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Fintech 2021

Building on the UK’s reputation as a fintech leader

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Janine Hirt

CEO, Innovate Finance

The Kalifa Review brings a renewed focus on the importance of the fintech industry to the UK.


In many ways, fintech is the embodiment and culmination of the UK’s long-standing international leadership in technology, financial services and entrepreneurship.  

The emergence of UK fintech sparked a deep wave of innovation across financial services, improving products and engagement for consumers and businesses throughout the country. From banking and borrowing to investing and insurance, we’ve seen a growing focus on placing the consumer back at the centre of the proposition.  

The UK fintech ecosystem is world-leading, securing more than £4.1 billion of investment in 2020 alone, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and being home to eight of Europe’s 12 fintech unicorns. It must be recognised as a key pillar in global Britain’s soft and hard power as we look to re-establish our international identity after Brexit and COVID.  

Maintaining the UK’s competitive advantage  

The Kalifa Review, commissioned by HM Treasury last year, sought to ask the question “what more can we do to help UK fintech grow?” and set out a clear roadmap for the future. While acknowledging the proven strength of the UK innovation ecosystem, it makes clear that we must not rest on our laurels if we wish to maintain our global competitive advantage.   

All eyes are now on UK fintech, both nationally and internationally.

In the wake of the Kalifa Review, all eyes are now on UK fintech, both nationally and internationally. We are already seeing how the recommendations will help to positively focus the minds of the entire ecosystem, from industry, to government and to the regulators.  

There is also a growing awareness that nurturing this industry can reap positive societal benefits, while still ensuring complete protection of the consumer, helped in part by fintech’s notable role in supporting the country through the COVID-19 crisis.

Helping consumers benefit from fintech 

Now is the time for us to work together to ensure firstly, that consumers understand and continue to truly benefit from these new technologies, and secondly, that the UK maintains the global leadership position in innovation that it has worked so hard to achieve. Innovate Finance believes the delivery of the Kalifa Review recommendations are critical to the realisation of both of these goals. 

We heard more about the Government’s ambition to support fintechs in their desire to grow and compete internationally in the Chancellor’s official response to the Review. It was also promising to hear plans from the Department of International Trade to create a set of new initiatives aimed at providing further advice to fintech looking to scale to new markets.  

We look forward to continuing to work with industry, government, policy-makers and regulators to ensure the UK remains one of the best places in the world to build, grow and scale a fintech business, to the benefit of consumers across the country and beyond. 

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