The UK government has announced the launch of a national hub to support the UK fintech sector, with £5.5m in funding promised.
The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) was created in response to a report into UK fintech carried out by WorldPay chairman Ron Kalifa in 2021.
According to the UK Treasury, the CFIT “will champion the UK’s world-leading sector, helping firms to achieve truly global scale”.
It added: “It will provide a much-needed boost to people and businesses up and down the country, enabling them to benefit from new waves of technological change and innovation – widening consumer choice, cutting costs and increasing efficiency for firms.”
Charlotte Crosswell, CFIT chair, said the launch is a significant moment for the UK’s fintech sector and economy.
“This organisation will enable us to come together as a sector to start breaking down barriers that the fintech sector is facing while creating a clear path for our homegrown fintech companies to achieve global scale, impact and success,” she said.
Kalifa, whose 2021 review influenced the government’s decision-making over fintech, said the centre “will be instrumental in fostering collaboration between industry, academia and policymakers, promoting innovation and turbo-charging the adoption of new technologies for businesses and consumers”.
He added: “I have no doubt it will enable the UK’s fintech sector to become more competitive, and I look forward to seeing the impact it will have across the UK in the weeks, months and years to come.”
The CFIT will spread fintech innovation across the company, with financial innovation hubs planned “across the UK’s nations and regions”, including in key growth centres such as Leeds, where the new centre was announced.
Leeds is an example of a city that has seen fintech growth. It now has 107 fintechs, with about 7,500 jobs and a valuation of £710m.
John Flint, CEO at the Leeds-based UK Infrastructure Bank, said: “The fact we are anchored in Leeds is a key part of our identity. It aligns with our mission to drive up regional and local economic growth.”
The UK Infrastructure Bank has announced that it is expanding its presence at its Leeds office, creating around 280 jobs.
Separately, in August, the Financial Conduct Authority announced that it was recruiting more than 100 people to work at a new digital delivery centre in Leeds, as it expands its presence across the UK.