Innovate Finance chief executive Janine Hirt has said the fintech ecosystem can “save the world” by aiding the fight against climate change to avert a catastrophe.
Speaking at an Innovate Finance event in London on 13 October, which brought together fintech firms and policymakers to discuss how the sector can make a difference, Hirt (pictured) said that the UK is fast emerging as a world leader in sustainable fintech.
In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to enshrine into law a net zero emissions target by 2050.
Hirt said fintech supported small firms and consumers during the pandemic, and can play a key role in fostering greater financial inclusion and wellness across the UK, as well as helping to address climate change.
“Now today we see fintech supporting industry and society in tackling probably the biggest challenge that faces our planet today, averting climate catastrophe,” said Hirt.
“Achieving a transition to a net zero economy in a way that is just and inclusive.
“Across the UK there are already dozens of sustainable fintechs helping consumers and businesses to achieve net zero by funding green innovation, providing companies with better tools to manage and mitigate their impact or by giving consumers the information to make better decisions…
“Add to this strong policy by the UK government and regulators and the UK’s leading position as a global financial services sector both in green finance and technological innovation and it’s easy to see why so many sustainable fintechs are choosing the UK as its global base. When we think of both the issues of financial wellness, financial inclusion and climate change it is clear we have a very difficult road ahead of us…
“Our response has to be transformation of our economy and business models, the good news is that transformation is what fintech is all about. It is what you do, you have the solutions. Net zero will be driven by finance and capital markets and will be enabled by technology and data.
“Transformation of financial markets, net zero through finance and technology, fintech, the fintech ecosystem can now truly save the world. And you can grow revenue by doing this, you can do well by doing good. The opportunity here is for the UK to be the global centre for net zero financial innovation leading in a rapidly growing global market.”
City minister John Glen said that fintech can help improve financial inclusion and take action against climate change through innovation.
“I’m quite sure some of you will have ideas that can help tackle challenges,” he said.
“So, please don’t leave those thoughts lurking in the recesses of your mind or lingering on the backburner, instead take inspiration from this event, take those ideas into daylight so that we together can turbo charge the power of fintech to create a better world for all.”