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.
With the publication of new Investigatory Powers legislation due this week, Adam Afriyie MP, a former technology entrepreneur and Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has said that a crackdown on encryption technology would be economically irresponsible and ultimately futile.
In an article, published on the Telegraph Online, Adam Afriyie writes:
“The Government is rightly concerned about the risks of digital encryption technology, in the same way that it was concerned about invisible ink, encoded letters and faxes in the past. If there is substance to rumours of a crackdown on encryption in the publication of new Investigatory Powers legislation, it would be as mistaken as it would be ineffective.
Adam Afriyie today reacted to George Osborne’s plans to make Britain a “global centre of financial innovation”.
Yesterday the Chancellor announced that he’d commission a review to explore the potential role that cryptocurrencies could play in the UK.
Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, said:
“The UK must remain a global centre for financial innovation and I very much welcome the jobs and prosperity these plans can bring.
“There is a large global market for cryptocurrencies, and this is something we must consider taking advantage of. Having pioneered “sukuk” Islamic bonds, we have a good track record in bringing innovative and flexible financial services to market.
“The Government should allow innovation to flourish in the financial marketplace, keeping an open-mind to new technology and emerging payment practices that are increasingly becoming the norm for businesses and consumers.
“Alternative currencies, like Bitcoin, will need further regulatory recognition to secure fair and competitive trading practices coupled with some assurance for users. I believe this can be achieved with a light touch approach to trading standards and regulation. In any case, the FCA should make its regulatory position on cryptocurrencies clear to give the markets some certainty.
Notes to Editors:
- Mr Afriyie’s website: http://www.adamafriyie.org
- The Chancellor’s speech on FinTech at ‘Innovate Finance’: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-on-developing-fintech
- Coverage of the new investigation into the prospects of alternative currencies: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/11014508/George-Osborne-embraces-Bitcoin-as-London-aims-to-be-centre-of-global-financial-technology-revolution.html