The 2016 Innovate Finance Global Summit saw large financial organisations, start-ups, regulators and entrepreneurs come together to debate the key drivers of FinTech success and how the different players can collaborate to innovate at scale for consumers. As sponsors of the event, our colleagues were in attendance to hear from the fantastic line of speakers and join in round table discussions.
Innovate Finance aims to accelerate the UK’s leading position in the global financial services sector and, acceleration was very much the theme of the 2016 summit. Here are some of the highlights:
- An endorsement of the work of Innovate Finance by David Cameron and Prince Charles showed the support there is for the Financial Services sector in the UK
- The UK is a FinTech powerhouse but to stay ahead we will need to continue to innovate, evolve and grow as a global FinTech hub
- Harriet Baldwin, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, announced three new initiatives to ensure the UK remains the FinTech capital
- Christopher Woolard of the FCA announced the application date for the regulatory Sandbox, 9th May
- Financial Inclusion was a key theme with an ‘Innovation Jam for Good’ and panel debates led by UNICEF and partners.
Lloyds Banking Group is a founding member of Innovate Finance and it was great to see the focus of debate at #IFGS2016 move towards FinTech collaboration, new tech demos that are improving services for consumers and as 60% of delegates were entrepreneurs, there was a genuine buzz that 2016 could see the real consumer adoption of FinTech needed to encourage further investment in the sector.
Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO, opened the morning sessions by talking about how technology, talent and investment are the recipe for FinTech success. The FinTech industry is booming in the UK, employing over 130,000 people, and 2016 saw Worldpay’s listing on the London Stock exchange for £2billion. If there was ever an exciting time to work in financial services it is now where we are on the cusp of, as Omar Ali from EY put it, wide spread consumer adoption of FinTech. A new report from EY found that one in seven digitally active consumers use more than one FinTech product or service, however, scale is needed to ensure further investment in the sector.
The event was host to hard hitting speakers including Harriet Baldwin, Economic Secretary who announced three new initiatives to cement the UK as the FinTech capital of the world; FinTech Bridges to help expansion internationally, an industry led FinTech Panel to drive the UK’s FinTech strategy and a professional services hub for start-ups.
Regulation has been differentiator for the UK creating the innovation in regulation needed to enable FinTech success. Christopher Woodard announced the regulatory sandbox will open for applications from firms on the 9th May. The sandbox, part of the FCAs Project Innovate, will enable a small number of organisations to test new ideas and products for consumers.
The first globally sourced FinTech book, that included contributions from digital colleagues at LBG such as Andra Sonea, was also being promoted at the summit and is in itself the embodiment of the collaborative nature of the sector. Many of the panelists throughout the day discussed the need for industry and academia and big and small organisations to work together to be successful with larger organisations providing the scale and smaller with the agility and innovation to develop new products. Chris Skinner of the Financial Services Club went so far as to say FinTech is not disruptive, a view that some but not all the audience agreed with.
Inclusion was also high on the agenda with impassioned debates about FinTech’s ability to make finance inclusive of all, globally. Lawrence Wintermeyer talked about the 2 billion people that are currently outside the FS sector and the opportunity that presents for FinTech to make a genuine difference to the lives of so many. For more on this, you can track the winners of the ‘Innovation Jam for Good’ initiative led by UNICEF on the Innovate Finance website.
And, of course it would not have been a summit without mentions about blockchain (although the practical application of the technology has not yet hit mainstream financial services), the revolution in payments and open banking. The flag was also flying high for the women in tech and the #FemTechLeaders group who are hosting their next London meetup at our very own digital hub in the 26th April, themed on ‘Enlisting Manbassadors’, so please do get involved and join the event which is open to all.
If you missed the summit you can view the post-event materials at the links below: