If fintech could run on working groups and enthusiasm alone, its future would be secure. Two new collaborative bodies emerged today, one coinciding with the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London, the other in Italy.
Innovate Finance and City of London Corporation are behind the first, which has been named the FinTech Strategy Group (FSG). It intends to drive the growth of UK fintech by bringing together senior leaders from across the industry. Regulators will participate alongside representatives from a range of fintech firms, as well as with institutional and banking partners.
The FSG seeks to spur on a collaborative dialogue on the future of the UK fintech sector, providing an independent platform for government and regulators to engage with the industry. Iain Anderson, executive chairman of Cicero Group, will chair the group, with Catherine McGuinness, chair of policy resources at City of London Corporation and Ron Kalifa, executive director of Worldpay, acting as vice-chairs.
It looks as though leading P2P firm RateSetter will be among those involved. “The FinTech Strategy Group will play an important role in helping us maintain this position, bringing FinTech firms, the Government and regulators together to encourage the sector’s positive development, and I am delighted to contribute,” said Rhydian Lewis OBE, founder and CEO of RateSetter.
Meanwhile, in Italy, a new working group named ItaliaFintech has been founded with a view to transforming the nascent market’s potential for growth into tangible development. In a press release announcing the group’s launch, it is admitted that the growth of fintech in Italy is taking place “with a slight delay compared to other European countries”, but it is also argued that the market has shown the ability to “innovate, to quickly adapt to changes, to create new waves of growth and to promote services even at an international level”.
The companies involved in the new initiative span a wide range of fintech niches. They are: BorsadelCredito.it, Conio, Credimi, Epic, Fifty, Housers, Lendix, Modefinance, MoneyFarm, N26, Oval Money, Let’s Lose, Raisin, Satispay, Soldo, Virtualb, Workinvoice and Younited Credit.
These firms collectively account for no less than 920,000 European customers, of which some 425,000 are located in Italy. Between them, they are responsible for transactions spanning savings, loans and managed payments of roughly €450m and a total investment capacity of €253m.
ItaliaFintech will be chaired by each of its members in turn, beginning with Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula, founder and CEO of Credimi, who commented on the launch.
“Fintech boosts the financial opportunities of Italian families and businesses and generates economic growth,” he said. “These numbers are just the beginning of an ever-accelerating rise. The members of ItaliaFintech will work as part of a team, together with similar European associations, to facilitate the access of Italian companies and individuals to new sources of financing and innovative services in the Fintech domain. They will also be a point of contact for regulators improving the understanding of the evolution trends and contributing to the ultimate protection of consumers.”
The European Commission recently set out its Fintech Action Plan, which included a proposed framework for allowing crowdfunding platforms to operate across the single market more easily. Under the proposed rules, a peer-to-peer lending platform licenced in one country – say, Italy – could operate across the EU without having to seek authorisation from multiple regulators.