Fintech Leads A New Industrial Revolution, Says Chancellor

Rapid advances in fintech apps for smartphones and tablets will revolutionise the way people access their money, said Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Speaking at International Fintech 2017 in London, he outlined how fintech was another industrial revolution that will change the world.

“Along with artificial intelligence, robotics, big data applications and biotech, fintech is set to transform how people and business interact with their money,” said Hammond in his keynote speech to the event.

“Whether it is cashless transactions between friends, sending remittances to family in other countries or apps that automatically invest savings at the best rates fintech provides consumers with better services, more choice, and lower costs.

Tremendous growth in sector

“For businesses, it can mean access to new and cheaper credit as digitally enabled disintermediation links savers and businesses directly through peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and smart lenders with innovative distribution techniques using technology to power credit approvals for on-line SME lending.

“Apps can also automate firms’ compliance processes – so-called regtech – have the potential dramatically to cut costs too.

“This market is growing at a tremendous pace and with hundreds of millions of people worldwide entering the digital financial system every year that growth shows no sign of abating.”

The British fintech sector employs more than 60,000 and generated £7 billion for the economy last year, he said.

His speech coincided with several announcements of fintech advances.

Barclays Bank is launching ‘London Rise’, a fintech accelerator with room for 500 innovators.

Building links

HSBC has new products for business on the way and deVere Group launched Vault, a new e-money service for expats.

Hammond also explained that the government is making £400 million available to leverage £1 billion of technology funding.

“If the UK is going to make the most of the freedoms it will have after leaving the European Union we must build trade links with the fast-growing economies of Asia, invest in the skills of the future and our economy must remain at the cutting edge,” he said.

“The world does not owe us a living and we will have to strive and graft and fight to seize opportunities; and make the most of them.

“That means growing and strengthening the areas – like fintech – in which we enjoy a comparative advantage.”

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