While heading up a business that goes to the heart of helping fintech companies deliver a better service for their customers, I have been tremendously excited to see how the fintech sector has moved up to a whole new level this year. What particularly excites me is the way that two particular groups have seemed to really recognise the role of fintech companies in underpinning economic growth.
First of all, there is the government. In the summer, the UK government appointed its first Special Envoy for fintech, signalling a real recognition that this sector has a fundamental role to play. A partner at the London-based venture capital firm Passion Capital, Eileen Burbidge, was not only appointed by George Osborne as the government’s special envoy for fintech, she also took over as Tech City Chair. She has also just been listed Number 4 in the Computer Weekly list of the 50 most influential people in UK IT for the next 12 months. With a reputation for spotting and supporting the innovators in our sector, Eileen is undoubtedly an advocate who will champion the disruptors and challengers who set out to make business better.
The UK government has also signaled a commitment to fintech with an ambitious goal to make London the global centre for fintech. In setting out this ambition, George Osborne said that British regulators would provide “the space where innovation can happen”, which was backed up by Bank of England governor, Mark Carney’s promise that reforms to the financial sector would be designed to make innovation easier. Bold promises that, if genuinely delivered, will truly shake up the marketplace.