At the City of London Lord Mayor’s Banquet in Guildhall last night, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered a message of prosperity for fintech as he spoke to dignitaries and politicians gathered for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.
As the biggest meeting of Heads of Government of any kind that the UK has ever hosted, Hammond said that the room represented “the entire breadth of the economic spectrum”, as he emphasised the need to embrace the upcoming technological revolution that faces governments globally.
Hammond stressed that Commonwealth nations must ensure that their economies and citizens are able to seize the opportunities that fintech will bring in the coming years. Giving the examples of cashless transactions, and the ability to send remittances to family members abroad as key examples of fintech’s benefit, the Chancellor prompted the audience to “unleash the talent of [their] populations”.
He also cited the recent signing of a fintech bridge agreement between the UK and Australia as a positive sign of the work that can be done between governments across the Commonwealth, adding that the Treasury is currently “exploring similar opportunities between the UK and India”.
He concluded: “I hope we can encourage more of these agreements between Commonwealth countries in the years ahead. Because by working together in the Commonwealth we can be a force for good and for progress around the world.”
At the end of last month, the Chancellor unveiled the UK government’s first ever Fintech Sector Strategy as part of the Treasury’s second International Fintech Conference. Chief among the proposals is a Cryptoassets Task Force, consisting of a team effort between the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority to harness the benefits of blockchain while assessing its risks.