The U.K. is already a hotbed of FinTech startups, but the government is getting behind it in a bigger way, committing to invest £500,000 a year into financial technology companies.
According to a report, the U.K. government is also gearing up to launch a network of regional FinTech envoys as an effort to enhance the country’s status as a leader in FinTech. The funds, noted the report, will come out of the Department of International Trade.
The U.K. government, noted the report, has also commissioned a yearly study of the U.K. FinTech market, which includes key metrics that investors need. The government in the U.K. is also agreeing to modernize its guidance in conjunction with the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group on electronic ID verification.
In July, the U.K. struck a deal with Korea to make it easier for both countries to invest in the financial technology sector, creating a so-called “FinTech bridge.” The agreement will provide U.K.-based FinTech companies and investors access to the Korean market and Asian investors and Korean FinTech companies access to the U.K. markets. The agreement, which garnered approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. and the Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC), will make it possible for regulators in both countries to collaborate and provide information about financial innovation. Korea is a newcomer to the FinTech market, but the country is focused on developing a regulatory environment that fosters rapid growth, said Yim Jong-yong, chairman of the FSC. The FinTech bridge is another piece of deepening a relationship between the two.
The agreement comes at a time when Britain has become the leader in the FinTech movement, which is turning traditional banking on its head. More FinTech employees reside in the U.K. than in New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia combined. According to the British Treasury in 2015, the FinTech sector employed more than 60,000 people in the U.K. and generated $8.7 billion in revenue.