This week saw the launch of Innovate Finance’s inaugural Fintech Growth Forum to support members on their journey to growth and create a dialogue to handle topics like culture, diversity and talent. With Liz Lumley as moderator and a welcome address from new CEO Charlotte Crosswell, the day brought issues that affect companies that are trying to grow in the financial technology sector to the surface.
Crosswell highlighted that his forum will enable communication and the sharing of experiences which needs to be done because financial services are so important to the United Kingdom. She also commented on the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s want for London to become ‘the global center for fintech’ as the UK capital is good at both ‘fin and tech’.
‘With or without Brexit, London is carrying on with innovation and the city is a blueprint for fintech and people come from far and wide to see how to do fintech,’ Crosswell said. She also mentioned how the ambition of fintech firms was displayed in the most recent Ernst and Young report, but an obstacle is found in the search for talent as the industry can only thrive with the best and the brightest.
Innovate Finance backs the UK government’s digital strategy, including the addition of coding into the national curriculum and heighten the awareness of innovation to the masses in order to cut out the skepticism surrounding fintech. The non-for-profit organization’s move to its new Broadgate location distances from the financial hub of Canary Wharf and closer to the tech landscape that the Silicon Roundabout boasts, as Crosswell spoke about.
The keynote address from former Barclays head Antony Jenkins, now executive chairman of 10x Future Technologies revealed that we are now ‘officially at the end of the beginning of the fintech revolution. The search for an effective, fair and transparent financial system sits at the heart of a stable economy and the system that we have is anything but that,’ Jenkins said.
Jenkins spoke about how banks find it hard to push through change because they are organizations that restrict change because of risk aversion. Mass adoption of mobile banking has resulted in a reduction of branch traffic and the same goes for the increase in use of contactless cards having reduced the amount of cash being taken out of ATMs.
A Kodak moment, which describes the tipping point where technology becomes obsolete could be approaching us very rapidly. But, as Jenkins relayed, ‘new technology is not possible without low-cost cloud computing technology’ and the ‘oxygen of what is going to happen next is in high capacity in low cost technology.’