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Peer2Peer Finance News | April 26, 2019

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Barclays: Financial services firms need fintechs

Barclays: Financial services firms need fintechs
Suzie Neuwirth

FINANCIAL services giants cannot deliver the best products and services for their customers without the help of fintech firms, the head of Barclays’ new venture capital unit has said.

“Both incumbents and fintechs have their own unique strengths,” Ben Davey (pictured), chief executive of Barclays UK Ventures (BUKV), told Peer2Peer Finance News.

“As the pace of change of technology continues to grow, large corporates have had to come to the realisation that they cannot continue to deliver the best and most customer-centric products and services on their own.

“Therefore, the companies that succeed in the longterm will be those who start with the customer, and then work with the right partners to deliver the product or service that meets that customer’s needs.”

BUKV launched last month to develop new business lines, promote innovation and drive returns within the bank’s UK business.

Read more: Banks boost digital capabilities with fintech hubs

Read more: UK fintech is at critical juncture and needs support, says Innovate Finance

It will invest in both the fintech and non–financial technology sectors, through a combination of organic build-out, commercial partnerships and venture investments. BUKV has not disclosed which sectors or product areas it is most interested in, or how much money it is planning to invest.

Davey said that BUKV has “a blank piece of paper and an unfettered mandate to identify and incubate new business lines…in a way that Barclays core may not be able to”.

The relationship between incumbents and fintech firms has been a subject of great debate, centring around whether they need to collaborate or compete going forward.

This story featured in the May edition of Peer2Peer Finance News, now available to read online