Banking

UK Retail Banks Draft FinTech Alliance Guidelines

Top U.K. banks and financial technology firms have worked together to create a set of guidelines to improve the relationship between FinTech startups and financial institutions (FIs).

The new guidelines, developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI), aim to address issues that interfere with FinTech firms and banks forming alliances. The U.K. banks that put them together includes the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander  as well as vendors like MarketInvoice, The ID Co. and iwoca.

The U.K. has been a hotbed of FinTech startups. In 2016, the government revealed it was committing to invest £500,000 ($656,182.50 USD) a year into financial technology companies.

The new guidelines provide advice for FinTech companies pitching to banks, including details about the commercial considerations and the necessary checks and controls to meet business and regulatory demands. These items include data gathering, due diligence, onboarding, commercial and contractual processes, data protection and security considerations.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for newcomers to collaborate with the bigger players. That’s why we helped to set up the FinTech Delivery Panel, and, thanks to the guidelines published today, the industry will be able to work closer together, benefiting customers across the country,” said John Glen MP, economic secretary to the Treasury, in a press release.

MarketInvoice, which partnered with Barclays Bank earlier this year to launch its own online invoicing platform for the bank’s small business (SMB) clients, said the guidelines provide helpful information for startups to boost their bank relationships.

“There is a lot of guidance that can really help young [FinTech firms]. For me, culture is key. Both parties need to know and agree on a central mission in partnering. In our case, it was always about ensuring the highest level of customer service in helping U.K. businesses,” said Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder at MarketInvoice.

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