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Industry calls on UK government to support fintech, immigration

As Brexit negotiations continue, the UK fintech association urged the government to support the globally diverse industry.

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As Brexit negotiations continue, the UK fintech association urged the government to support the globally diverse industry. 

Innovate Finance, the fintech trade association has called on the UK government to pledge its support for the growing sector, as companies worry about the impact that Brexit will have on talent.

The association of more than 270 UK-based fintech companies, asked the government and all UK political parties to support an immigration policy that gives access to global talent, ensure continued access to capital and markets, and to call upon UK regulators to digitise.

The UK has long been considered among the leading hubs for fintech, but its current political, social and economic changes could change that, the association said.

“The UK’s fintech sector relies heavily on a highly skilled, and internationally diverse workforce,” the non-profit said.

Nearly 30 per cent of the founders of companies that are part of the association are not British, research from the company found. The sector contributes nearly £7bn a year to the economy, employing over 60,000 people, according to the Treasury.

The associations call largely echoes a speech that Chancellor Philip Hammond gave in early April at the government’s first International Fintech Conference. He said the government was working on keeping London as a fintech hub after Brexit, and funding talent and productivity would be key.

“We can’t remain the number one place for fintech and the other technologies of the fourth industrial revolution by simply relying on our ingenuity, talent and openness...we have to go out and get the business,” he said.

The association also urged the government to incentivise investments from Corporate Venture Capital, pension funds, and provide clarity over tax investment schemes.

Venture capital investment in the UK declined last year, although globally investment increased. Global fintech VC investments rose by 10.9 per cent to $17.4bn in 2016, while in the UK investments declined by 33.7 per cent to $783m.

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