THE FINTECH industry will face a damaging shortfall of talent unless the UK government maintains a flexible immigration policy, warns Innovate Finance.
The trade body for the UK fintech industry has released a report showing the sector’s reliance on highly-skilled workers from outside the UK.
According to the report, almost half (42 per cent) of the employees in the fintech sector are from not from the UK, with 28 per cent drawn from the European Economic Area (EEA) and a further 12 per cent from further afield.
“Access to talent is a perennial issue, and one which affects all sectors of our economy. This is not in light of Brexit, but Brexit shines a light on it and risks exacerbating the issue further,” Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance, said.
Read more: Innovate Finance reveals Pitch360 finalists
“Without a flexible approach, the UK fintech sector stands to lose its global pre-eminence with fintech companies already facing challenges in recruiting appropriate skills and talent.”
The sector is projected to top 100,000 employees by the year 2030 with 30,000 new jobs created.
However, 82 per cent of companies say they already face difficulties in recruiting non-EEA migrants.
Under the most likely scenario for future immigration policy, in which the system for EEA migrants moves closer to that for non-EEA migrants, the report predicts a shortfall of 3,200 highly-skilled workers by 2030, at a cost to the UK fintech sector of £361m.
“The potential size of the loss has not yet come to pass and if managed correctly, may not materialise,” Crosswell added.
“It is up to policy-makers, industry and academia to propose sensible recommendations to mitigate the impact of these findings and to ensure sectors such as fintech continue to be an engine for UK innovation and growth.”