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UK Fintech News Roundup: The Latest Stories 22/09

Each week, The Fintech Times takes a look at the latest UK fintech news. This week, 3 in 5 first time buyers are comfortable applying for a mortgage via an app and 70% of consumers prefer Buy Now Pay Later to credit cards.

3 in 5 first-time buyers are comfortable mortgage borrowing through an online-only bank

MortgageResearch from NerdWallet has revealed that 3 in 5 (63%) of 25 to 44-year-olds are comfortable applying for a mortgage online or via an app, without any human interaction or speaking to an advisor.

This holds much significance considering that 77% of the UK’s first-time buyer mortgage borrowers are aged between 25 to 44, according to the latest ONS statistics*, and the average age of a first-time buyer is 34 years old.

“The shift to digital banking is very apparent and this trend is undeniably a contributing factor in bank branch closures. There is also an expectation as everything becomes more digital, for banks and other service providers to evolve to meet the modern needs of the public as well,” suggests Denise Ko Genovese, a Senior Personal Finance Expert at NerdWallet

Brits willing to spend an average of £360.72 on a collectable

Nearly a third of Brits (28%) admit to being owners of a collection of some kind, with coins (36%) and sports memorabilia (21%) topping the list of collectables, and 1950’s clothes, yarn and figures of YouTubers among the more obscure items that Brits are hoarding. Whilst one in 10 (10%) have either invested in or are looking to invest in non-fungible token (NFT) collectables.

In research commissioned by digital collectables platform Terra Virtua to mark the launch of its digital comic collection with Dynamite Entertainment, 28% of people admit to having over 100 items in their collection, with more than one in ten (11%) owning more than 400. When it comes to NFT collectables, two-thirds of people that have invested in one to date plan to buy more in the future.

Gary Bracey, Terra Virtua CEO said, “The world of modern collectables is a fascinating space. It’s great to see that in 2021, collecting is still such a big part of British life; it transcends age groups, from young to old, male to female. And whilst physical collections are still hugely popular, it’s exciting to see digital collections starting to get traction with the wider public. At Terra Virtua we are privileged to be working with incredible entertainment brands, such as Dynamite Entertainment, on bringing ground-breaking digital collectables to fans around the world.”

37% of UK consumers believe that financial services companies are doing enough to protect them against scams.

Against a backdrop of growing and increasingly sophisticated scams, just 37% of consumers agree or strongly agree that financial services firms are doing enough to protect them from being the victim of a scam.

The research carried out by Predatech also found that 62% of UK consumers are confident or very confident that they won’t fall victim to a scam in the next 12 months. While industry data shows that younger consumers are more likely to be the victims of scams*, consumers aged 34 and under are also the most confident that they won’t fall victim to a scam (70% are confident or very confident that they won’t fall victim to a scam vs. 58% of over 55s).

Jason Johnson, Cyber Security Specialist at Predatech said, “Most Brits have been targeted by scammers in the last 12 months, and worryingly, these scams are becoming a lot harder to spot. Our research makes it clear that for many consumers, the buck stops with the financial firms that are ultimately facilitating the payments to scammers. How firms respond to this demand for more action over the coming years will prove critical to maintaining trust in the financial system.”

70% of consumers prefer Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) to credit cards

Buy Now Pay Later – Paving the Way for Financial Recovery Across Multiple Industries

Marqeta has released a new report highlighting how the economic stress of the pandemic has increased the popularity of credit cards and flexible payment options – such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). The survey of 1,000 UK consumers showed that nearly 3-in-5 (59%) respondents have relied on credit to make ends meet during the pandemic. Yet it also suggests that credit cards could soon be usurped by BNPL as the consumer credit option of choice. Seven out of 10 consumers reported that they prefer BNPL options to credit cards, citing affordability and ease of management as key reasons, while over half (54%) said that BNPL will replace their use of credit cards. This is despite 35% saying they had tried BNPL for the first time during the pandemic.

“Credit cards and BNPL have provided a lifeline for many during the pandemic,” says Ian Johnson, SVP, Managing Director, Europe, Marqeta. “The boom in online shopping due to global lockdowns – combined with the ongoing financial insecurity for millions of households – has created a perfect storm for the surge in BNPL and credit card use. Lots of people are living hand to mouth due to the financial strain of COVID and having flexible payment options has helped them to make ends meet – for example, by allowing them to purchase essentials when they need them, while paying for them at a time that suits.”

West Midlands home to largest emerging technologies cluster outside London

A new comparative study of the country’s future tech capabilities reveals that of all UK regions, the West Midlands is home to the largest emerging technologies cluster outside the capital.

Led by London Economics and, analysis of the country’s core city regions found the West Midlands has the largest spread of up-and-coming tech strengths, as well as the highest number of companies developing new tech, surpassing the volume of expertise in both Greater Manchester and Leeds City Region respectively.

The findings follow the recent launch of the UK Government’s Innovation Strategy, where emerging tech is pinpointed as a vital catalyst for advancing industries and futureproofing the UK’s globally competitive economy, post-EU-exit.

Illicit activity hits UK corporates despite confidence in bribery and corruption controls

Kroll, a provider of services and digital products related to valuation, governance, risk and transparency, revealed that companies in the UK are some of the most confident when it comes to their bribery and corruption risk strategies, yet illicit activity persists.

Kroll’s Global Fraud and Risk Report shows that the majority (84%) of UK respondents agreed that bribery and corruption risk was given sufficient board-level attention in their organisation and that they were more confident in their internal record-keeping (only 24% ranked it as their top internal threat compared to 31% globally). Additionally, firms in the UK were more likely to be using data analytics to proactively detect bribery and corruption risk (92% vs. 86% globally).

Despite this confident outlook, companies in the UK are by no means watertight. According to Kroll’s research, they are less likely to have conducted an enterprise-wide bribery and corruption risk assessment in the last five years (77% vs. 82% globally), highlighting that almost a quarter (23%) are not capturing the full picture of risks facing their business at any one time.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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