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How do you create a leading FinTech ecosystem?

Helping the UK government to understand and shape a rapidly growing sector

Related topics Financial Services EMEIA
How can government propel growth in the FinTech sector?
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How can government propel growth in the FinTech sector?

The FinTech sector is growing rapidly. The UK is already a leader in financial services, but its government wanted to know – how could they create the world’s leading FinTech ecosystem?

From payment apps for your smartphone to the financial systems that support businesses, FinTech underpins many of our daily transactions. It’s worth £6.6bn a year to the UK and growing quickly. Driven by initiatives such as Open Banking, it’s one of the most dynamic sectors in the industry.

With its mandate to promote innovation and competition, the UK government has been quick to spot the opportunities for revenue, employment and growth. 

Its question; how can the UK create the world’s leading FinTech ecosystem?
And our challenge; to support them in this goal.

This requires reliable information to benchmark the scene and solid ground on which to base policy. Only by truly understanding the sector’s needs can it hope to attract FinTech businesses and the investment that allows them to scale.

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Laying the foundations for a FinTech ecosystem

By creating a clearer picture of the global and local sectors, we provided the government with a better understanding of how they can help FinTechs to succeed, with a set of recommendations.

Our established networks across the global FinTech ecosystem gave us access to world-class contributors from a broad scope of firms. These ranged from innovative start-ups to major industry players. The team was led by EY Global FinTech Leader, Imran Gulamhuseinwala. As a former entrepreneur who started his own FinTech 50 business, he was uniquely positioned to get to the heart of the issues from different perspectives.

Informed by 65 stakeholder interviews with FinTech firms, investors, trade associations and policy makers, we analyzed how the UK compares to other key hubs around the world. This formed the basis of our first major report, UK FinTech: on the cutting edge.

We set out a working definition of the term FinTech, identifying characteristics and emerging areas of innovation considering four attributes essential to a FinTech ecosystem: talent, capital, policy and demand. And with this framework in place, we assessed international best practices.

With these rich resources of knowledge and insight, we proposed nine key recommendations including:

  • Creating a FinTech delivery body to drive through high impact policy ideas as quickly as possible.
  • Building FinTech bridges with other hubs across the world to support the international expansion of UK firms.
  • Initiating investor-focused programmes to improve access to growth capital.

As part of the FinTech bridges programme we also created the China and UK FinTech: unlocking opportunity report, to support the UK government in their mission to improve cross-border collaboration.

In our most recent report, UK FinTech Census 2017, we gathered insight from 245 respondents, an even wider pool of key industry players. We explored important growth areas, as well as potential challenges, compiling data on revenues, investment, talent, regulation and future expansion.

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Building a roadmap fit for today’s digital financial age

The insights we provided are supporting ongoing growth and helping to build a roadmap for the future - shaping attitudes and policy to create a thriving FinTech industry.

Our findings and recommendations across these reports have supported ongoing growth in the UK FinTech sector and are key to building a roadmap for the future. The sector remains poised for rapid growth, with 50% of respondents from our most recent study expecting revenue growth to exceed 100% over the next 12 months globally.

The UK FinTech industry has evolved from a vibrant local sector to a well-rounded FinTech ecosystem. And by supporting innovative and dynamic businesses it is enabling far-reaching benefits that touch our personal and professional lives.

The insights we gathered enabled us to provide a fact base and set of recommendations to the heart of government, shaping attitudes, understanding and policy. No other industry touches more people or shapes as many futures.

The UK is one of the world’s leading financial services hubs. However, with the growth of FinTech globally, the UK government wanted to enhance its financial services reputation by creating a FinTech ecosystem to help it maintain its global advantage.

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