P2P firms meet with City minister to discuss future of fintech
PEER-TO-PEER finance platforms were among the fintech companies invited to attend a government roundtable today with City minister Simon Kirby to discuss the future of the industry.
Today’s meeting was the first of two roundtables, taking place over two days, at which the government will talk with fintech companies and regulators about the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
John Battersby, director of policy and communications at Ratesetter, Martin Cook, UK General Counsel at Funding Circle and Andrew Lawson, chief product officer at Zopa were the three representatives from the P2P industry invited to attend.
Other attendees included Chris Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, Brexit minister Robin Walker and Eileen Burbidge, the Treasury’s FinTech envoy and chief executive of Passion Capital.
“Fintech is one of the shining lights of the UK economy,” said Kirby. “It is expanding rapidly, receiving high levels of investment, and employing some of the brightest minds the UK, Europe, and the world have to offer. I am determined to see fintech remain one of our great British success stories.”
Topics at today’s discussion included the need to attract international talent to the UK’s fintech workforce in the wake of the Brexit vote, which the government is said to be aware of and keen to maintain.
The group also discussed access to capital, passporting rights and the regulatory environment. It considered how government messaging frames policy action, in order that the industry does not lose momentum over the time period it takes to implement Brexit.
Battersby, who attended the meeting, said it was “definitely a positive sign” for the peer-to-peer finance industry and the wider fintech sector.
“RateSetter as a business is optimistic about the future,” he told Peer-to-Peer Finance News.
“It’s important to engage with the government to ensure its support for the industry is going to continue. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.”
The roundtables follow on from the Treasury’s announcement last week that it will hold a new, annual fintech conference in London from next April, to address a gap in attracting international investment to the sector compared to other countries.