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Kalifa Review’s Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology launches in Leeds

“A significant moment for the UK’s fintech sector and our economy more widely.”

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A new Government-backed fintech organisation the Centre for Finance,Innovation and Technology (CFIT), launched today in Leeds.

Chaired by Charlotte Crosswell OBE and led by CEO Ezechi Britton MBE the body will champion UK fintech through the establishment of financial innovation hubs across the UK (including in Leeds).

Originally proposed by Ron Kalifa in his 2021 review of UK fintech, CFIT was quickly adopted as Government policy and awarded £5.5m of joint seed funding from the Treasury and the City of London Corporation.

CFIT’s mission is to “boost the sector’s growth and help it to achieve truly global scale”.

Crosswell called today’s launch “a significant moment for the UK’s fintech sector and our economy more widely.”

“This organisation will enable us to come together as a sector to start breaking down barriers that the fintech sector is facing while creating a clear path for our homegrown fintech companies to achieve global scale, impact and success.”

Ron Kalifa added that he is “thrilled” to see one of his key recommendations implemented.

“I have no doubt that it will enable the UK's fintech sector to become more competitive, and I look forward to seeing the impact it will have across the UK in the weeks, months and years to come.”

CFIT arrives at a precarious time for the fintech sector, with funding hard to come by and many of the largest fintech unicorns nursing heavy losses.

UK fintech is meanwhile hardly short of industry groups championing its interests, with Innovate Finance (where Crosswell formerly served as CEO), Fintech Alliance, UK Finance, Tech UK and Coadec all having different offerings and financial models.

Crosswell and Britton have a challenge on their hands to establish CFIT as a valuable new addition to that landscape, to secure its financial future and, most crucially, to start helping fintechs to grow and scale.

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