The U.K. government is ramping up its efforts in supporting the country's fintech industry, announcing initiatives to create a fintech strategy unit and information hub for startups.
In a keynote speech at the 2016 Innovate Finance Global Summit in London, Harriett Baldwin, economic secretary to the Treasury, said the government would establish a panel designed to set a fintech strategy in the U.K. Further, she said the government planned to create an information hub for fintech startups, with the goal of making it easier and more cost-effective for them to find basic resources, such as accounting services, to get off the ground.
"This industry-led panel will oversee the overarching strategy for U.K. fintech and ensure the delivery of key initiatives," Baldwin said, according to a copy of the speech posted Monday on the Treasury website. "It will also will have its very own delivery support function, which will monitor and drive initiatives to fruition. It will accelerate the time to market of government and industry initiatives, ensuring that they are targeted where they will add most value."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has begun looking at how it will manage the U.S. fintech industry. On March 31, the OCC issued an 11-page white paper on the topic. Comptroller Thomas Curry has said the agency is working on a framework "to help us understand and evaluate innovation."
Innovation "is not risk free. But it can be managed, and we want to foster an internal culture that is receptive to new technology and new ways of doing business," Curry said in a speech at Harvard University in late March. The agency is also considering opening an office dedicated to monitoring the fintech sector.
Baldwin also noted that alongside the U.K. Trade and Investment department, the Treasury will work on establishing "fintech bridges" with priority global markets, helping U.K. startups to expand internationally.
Baldwin said the Treasury will be working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority, a regulatory agency, to support the development and adoption of new technologies that facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements, and announced the creation of a regulatory sandbox to provide innovative businesses with a "safe space" to test innovative products and services.