Big Tech Firms Warn UK Risks Losing Its ‘FinTech Crown’

UK Committee to Probe Country’s Approach to Crypto

A U.K. lobbying group wants Great Britain’s next government to improve the country’s technological standing.

In a report issued Tuesday (June 6), UK Tech — whose members include Amazon, Apple, PayPal and Microsoft — warned that the country risks falling behind in the race to develop fast-rising technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The report is aimed at the U.K.’s next government ahead of its general election, which will be held no later than January of 2025. It contends that this government will inherit a “strong digital sector and globally-leading research and startup ecosystem.”

However, the report argues that while the U.K. remains a “tech positive” society, it says the country’s approach to regulation has hampered its economy.

“Despite warm words from the Government on having a light touch and pro-innovation approach to regulation, the regulatory burden and cost of doing business has continued to rise,” the report says.

“A confused approach to how we approach EU rules has emerged, in some cases resulting in the U.K. becoming an expensive and awkward market.”

The report also outlines a number of opportunities to improve the country via technology, including making sure the “U.K. holds on to its fintech crown” by embracing technology such as AI and machine learning to speed up the delivery of a central bank digital currency.

PYMNTS examined the U.K.’s approach to business and technology in an interview published Tuesday with Innovate Finance CEO Janine Hirt and Stephen Feline, North America director at London & Partners.

Hirt cited the value of collaboration among the British government, FinTech regulators and industry in dealing with new technologies and understanding how best to regulate innovations in a way that benefits business and the public.

One example is the downfall of crypto exchange FTX, which Feline said had minimal effect on the U.K. compared to other countries because of the pro-business, but still cautious, view the government has taken to regulating new technologies.

“You look at what’s happened with FTX, a lot of [companies] lost money from that, but the U.K. didn’t allow it in quite the same way,” he said.