Last month over 2,500 of some of the most talented and experienced individuals from our sector descended on the FinTech capital of the world1 to celebrate the third London FinTech Week. Sarah Kenrick, our Innovation Programmes and Events Manager gives us a round-up of the week’s events.
With almost £1bn of venture capital investment in 20152 the ~16,000 FinTech start-ups in the UK make up a considerable and powerful creative engine. The innovations they bring can make things easier for customers in financial services like the changes start-ups have spurred in so many other industries.
Lloyds Banking Group is investing £1bn to deliver simple and efficient digital products and services for customers and collaborating with start-ups is one way to leverage the best thinking from the industry. It is also why the Group is committed to supporting start-ups at the very early stage of their business. The Group does this by being a founding sponsor of Startupbootcamp and through its recently launched FinTech mentoring programme.
Commenting on the value of the relationship between the Group and the FinTech community, Lloyds Banking Group’s Director of Innovation, Claire Calmejane, said: “At Lloyds Banking Group, we work with FinTech start-ups like WoraPay and Swave to help them test their business models while their ways of working and innovative approach help challenge some of our own processes. We recently launched our mentorship programme which is the first pillar in our wider start-up collaboration programme. Being part of FinTech week gives us a real opportunity to connect with and demonstrate our commitment to this community”.
As a sponsor for the second consecutive year, Lloyds Banking Group kicked off London FinTech week with an event held at its very own Digital Hub in Chiswell Street. The evening session, used a format coined as an ‘Espresso Martini’, which typically features a diverse panel of expert speakers on a chosen topic. This time round to really emphasise the changing FinTech landscape, the usual order was reversed and some of the youngest and brightest ‘FinTeens’ in the sector were invited on to the stage to share their views.
It is no secret that the UK is leading the way in terms of young technical entrepreneurs. In fact the Daily Telegraph referenced the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe report in an article earlier this year, where 19 of the 30 young tech champions in Europe were from Britain.
The agenda early on in FinTech Week included a variety of sessions that looked at topical themes currently facing the industry. Some of the key discussion points from the Money and Payments Conference centred around the increase in use of mobiles and the security of these devices – with many of the panel discussions also focusing on the opportunities presented by open APIs3.
Chris Woolard, Board Member and Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA shared his support for innovation and reinforced the importance of keeping consumers at the forefront of our minds to drive healthy competition in the sector. Whilst other speakers emphasised the importance of collaboration between FinTech companies and institutions, especially as start-ups try to navigate the regulatory landscape.
In advance of the partnership workshop day on Friday, the fourth day focused on Data, Security and Blockchain, where FinTech Week Founder Luis Carranza took to the stage to chair a discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Speaking of the session, Luis said: “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are already here, however in order for these technologies to realise their potential they need human intelligence to guide and set the algorithms and I don’t envisage that changing in the near future.”
It is clear the fast paced activities of FinTech Week provided an opportunity for the key players to congregate, discuss and deliberate on the future of the sector, as well as identifying opportunities for collaboration, enhancing their personal connections and sharing insights. It was a fun-filled agenda this year and we very much look forward to FinTech Week 2017! To stay informed about how Lloyds Banking Group is involved and works with the FinTech community, you can follow @LBGDigi on Twitter.
1 £901m of venture capital investment in the UK in 2015, according to a report by the All -Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on FinTech, published in July 2016.
2 According to HM Treasury and The Rt Hon George Osborne MP’s FinTech Week 2016 Report published on 24 February 2016
3 Stands for Application Programming Interface. In the simplest terms, an API allows one piece of software to interact with another piece of software.