FinTech CEOs call for bolder action on Kalifa Review

A group of over 70 FinTech chief executives and leaders have signed a letter calling for bolder action to realise the aims of the Kalifa Review.

The letter contained signatures from leaders at companies including Monzo, Starling, Checkout.com, Klarna, Atom Bank, Zopa, and Innovate Finance.

The news comes after Ron Kalifa published his independent review of UK FinTech, commissioned by the chancellor of the exchequer in 26 February 2021, which said that the path of UK FinTech is at a crossroads of “opportunity and risk,” with competition from overseas and the Brexit fallout threatening its leading position in the market.

The signatories of the letter said they were pleased to see action taken to implement a majority of the Kalifa Review’s recommendations by UK Government, regulators, and industry.

These actions included the government committing its support to a new industry-led Centre for Finance, Innovation, and Technology (CFIT), which it said will be up and running in the next year.

The letter also praised the Bank of England for commencing work on a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), supporting the development of Net Zero FinTech solutions through its digital sandbox, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for progressing the introduction of Digital ID.

In addition, the letter praised government plans to implement a “scale up” visa, and the changing of listing requirements for founders, including a reduction in the minimum free float requirement.

The letter said, “though good progress has been made by the government, regulators, and industry” that “rather than resting on our laurels, it is imperative that we continue to build on this momentum and work together to establish an environment in the UK that is even more supportive of and conducive to innovation in financial services”.

The letter said that the “regulatory rule book requires further updating”, and recommended the introduction of a full UK crypto regulatory regime, as well as the extension of Open Banking to new areas.

In addition, it recommended plans to better address the growth capital gap in the UK.

“The pandemic has increased the adoption of digital finance and placed a renewed focus on the critical role that technology and innovation must play if we are to make financial services work for all,” said an Innovate Finance spokesperson. “Now is the time for even bolder action to realise the Kalifa Review vision: to work together to maintain the UK’s coveted position as the leading hub for FinTech, creating solutions that strengthen our economy, foster greater financial inclusion and wellness, tackle climate change and build a more sustainable financial services sector for all”.

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