Leaders in the UK’s fintech industry are gathering in London’s iconic Guildhall for day 2 of the Innovate Finance Global Summit.
The event kicked off UK Fintech Week which, over the course of this week, will showcase the success of the fintech sector across the UK, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Investment in fintechs tripled to $11.6 billion in 2021 and fintechs have already raised £3.3bn in 2022, suggesting we are on course for another record-breaking year. This figure doesn’t include the billions that traditional financial services firms and tech giants are spending on apps and new technology to keep up with the fast-moving fintechs and how things have historically been done. As always in fintech, there is much to discuss. Here are four themes we expect will dominate conversations:
- Fintech as a force for good is sure to grab a few headlines as the world faces down three global crises. As Innovate Finance CEO, Janine Hirt shared in this excellent article in City AM, war has returned to European soil, people are battling a cost of living crisis and we are on the brink of a climate change catastrophe. Janine writes: ‘The future of financial services, and our economy, will be defined by these crises and how we respond.’
- Building on the UK’s success at attracting fintechs and investment is likely to be a key theme throughout the week. We can expect conversations around competing with other fintech hubs, improving late-stage funding and making the UK a more attractive place to IPO and spreading investment around the country.
- Diversity, or lack thereof, will also be at the top of the agenda. Seed stage companies in the UK technology industry have 15% representation in the workforce of ethnic minorities and other underrepresented communities and this falls to 9% at more established firms, according to Tech Nation. Furthermore, around 9% of UK capital goes to female fintech founders, and just 3% of venture capital funding goes to all-female teams. Entrepreneurs from Black, South Asian, East Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds receive in total 1.7% of VC investment.
- Another important topic will be ESG which is top of mind for many fintech firms as well as investors and customers. A PwC report found that 83% of consumers think companies should be actively shaping ESG best practices and 86% of employees prefer to support or work for companies that care about the same issues they do. However, it’s important that fintechs tread the fine line between green and greenwashing. Read our blog on avoiding greenwashing here.
UK Fintech Week is taking place at a critical juncture for the industry. After much investment and success, it’s important we don’t rest on our laurels and continue to innovate, while at the same time retaining a strong social purpose to help those who most need it during these difficult times.
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