IFGS: the flagship event of UK Fintech Week

Picture of Ambar Vitelli-Khosla

Ambar Vitelli-Khosla

Innovation Lead

After a two-year hiatus, IFGS returned to the City of London Guildhall as the flagship event of UK Fintech Week. Bringing together regulators, policymakers, financial services institutions, investors, and fintechs, IFGS 2022 was a testament to the incredible growth of the fintech industry in the UK, following the Kalifa Review.
The speed of innovation within the UK fintech sector has been bolstered by substantial investments, initiatives like the fintech Pledge by TechNation, and regulatory support such as the FCA’s sandbox. The UK Digital Sandbox, a collaborative effort by the City of London Corporation and the FCA, has facilitated over two thousand specialists to develop future-proof financial products using synthetic data.
Reflecting on the industry a year after the Kalifa Review, the UK continues to implement recommendations effectively, fostering international collaborations and advancing initiatives like CBDC and Digital ID. The government’s extension of R&D tax credits to Data and Cloud Computing has further fueled innovation across the fintech landscape.
A highlight of IFGS 2022 was the keynote by Rt Hon. John Glen, applauding the UK’s fintech growth and affirming its position as Europe’s leading fintech hub. Notably, the UK is home to over half of Europe’s fintech unicorns, with a proactive stance on crypto businesses and stablecoins shaping the future of payments.
Jonathan Middleton, our Director of Financial Services, discussed with the Fintech Times the industry’s health and the pivotal role of partnerships in driving banking innovation. This emphasis on collaboration ensures that UK fintechs remain at the forefront of technological advancements.
IFGS 2022 underscored the UK’s dominance in European fintech, highlighted by significant investments and regulatory advancements supporting global collaboration. As London continues to blend the financial prowess of New York with the tech innovation of the West Coast, it reaffirms its position as a hub for fintech innovation.

The role of collaboration and ecosystem building

One of the recurring themes at IFGS 2022 was the importance of collaboration and ecosystem building in driving fintech innovation. The UK has excelled in creating a conducive environment for fintech startups to thrive, supported by a robust network of accelerators, incubators, and industry bodies.
Programs like the Fintech Delivery Panel and initiatives such as the FCA’s Innovate scheme have been instrumental in providing startups with the necessary resources, mentorship, and regulatory guidance to scale their operations. This collaborative approach has not only fostered innovation but also ensured that fintech solutions are aligned with regulatory standards and consumer needs.
The event also highlighted the growing trend of partnerships between traditional financial institutions and fintech companies. Banks and other established players are increasingly looking to fintech startups for innovative solutions to enhance their services, improve customer experience, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market.
Fintech has significantly enhanced financial inclusivity both in the United Kingdom and around the globe. During IFGS, discussions focused on how fintech innovations are closing the gap for marginalised populations. Digital banking solutions, mobile payments, and blockchain technology are providing access to vital financial services for those previously underserved by traditional banks.
Micro-lending, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and mobile wallets have empowered individuals and small businesses to access credit, manage their finances, and conduct transactions. These technologies have enabled people in remote areas to participate in the financial ecosystem.
Fintech’s impact on financial inclusion goes beyond access to monetary resources. Many fintech companies integrate financial education into their systems, helping users understand financial management, investment opportunities, and the importance of saving. This dual approach of providing access and education is crucial for sustainable financial inclusion.
At IFGS 2022, discussions also focused on the economic implications of fintech. The growth of the fintech industry can stimulate economic progress by creating employment opportunities, promoting entrepreneurship, and driving overall economic vitality. Ongoing innovations in fintech will shape payment infrastructure, lending practices, insurance policies, and wealth preservation.
The future of fintech in the UK looks promising, with support from the government, regulators, and industry advocates. The nation’s proactive approach to emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain demonstrates its commitment to being at the forefront of fintech advancements.

As the biggest event of UK Fintech Week, IFGS 2022 delivered on everyone’s expectations. The event reflected the UK’s dominance in the European Fintech Market by illustrating the incredible growth of the industry following $11.6 bn of investment into UK fintech firms and a further $25.5 bn into the UK tech sector.

The FCA’s exploration of outcome and principle-based regulation and support of global collaboration echoes the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal’s view that London, being that it has the fin of New York & the tech of the West Coast, is the centre for Fintech innovation and technical advancement.

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