Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Technology, has asked the Government a series of questions on what they are doing to ensure that the UK’s world class financial technology (fintech) industry remains on the cutting edge.
An Ernst and Young report commissioned by HM Treasury in 2016 found that the UK was the best placed hub in the world for fintech. Subsequent studies, such as the annual Z/Yen Financial Services Index, have further reinforced the UK’s claim to be the world’s best location for fintech firms.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what role financial technology plays in promoting financial inclusion; and if he will make a statement.
John Glenn (Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister): Financial technology plays an important role in promoting financial inclusion and capability. Banks and fintech firms use new technology to make it easy for consumers to save and invest money, receive better financial advice, and access cheaper, more appropriate loans and overdrafts.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Open Banking in encouraging consumers to switch current accounts.
John Glenn (Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister): The Current Account Switch Service (CASS), have conducted research which suggests that Open Banking will allow consumers to better understand the value of their current account, and compare it with competing products, potentially leading to an increase in switching. CASS will continue to monitor the impact of Open Banking on account switching
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to promote financial technology.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to promote alternative finance.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the contribution of financial technology to the UK’s financial sector.
John Glenn (Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister): Fintech offers a significant opportunity for the financial sector, providing new jobs and delivering benefits to consumers through increased competition and innovation. It contributes £6.6bn annually to the UK economy, employing 60,000 people across 1,600 companies.
The most recent step taken to promote the UK’s fintech industry, is the government’s second International Fintech Conference, due to be held on 22 March 2018. The conference will help showcase the UK fintech sector to investors from across the globe.
The government is continuing to support alternative finance, through implementing proportionate, principles based regimes for peer-to-peer (P2P) and equity-based crowdfunding that balance consumer protection with allowing the sectors to grow and evolve; and various supportive tax measures.
The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:
“I have to say that this is really good news for all of us who want to see a robust, productive and profitable fintech sector.
“As the Internet of Things becomes ever more ubiquitous the demand for smart payments and all other manner of fintech services is likely to sky-rocket. It is essential that the UK is well placed to take advantage of this technological revolution by being at the forefront of this rapidly growing industry of the future.
“As a report by the Institute for Economic Affairs earlier this week illustrated, there is a major threat to the UK’s dominant position in finance, and that isn’t Brexit, it is complacency. We must never forget that we do not have a birthright to our position as the premiere location for finance and fintech firms to locate.
“However, I have absolute confidence that the pro-active, forward thinking exists in our financial regulators and government to ensure that the UK remains the best place in the world for fintech post-Brexit.”
Note to editors
- Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
- He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
- He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
- He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.