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UK Fintech Week 2018: Day 1

UK Fintech Week 2018: Day 1

March 20, 2018    

Below is an update from our Founder and Managing Director Doubell Chamberlain, from Day 1 of the UK Fintech Week where he attended the Innovation Finance Global Summit looking at the fure of technology in financial services provision and regulation.


Fortunate timing allows me to be at the UK #Fintech Week (in association with HM Treasury) and attend part of the Innovate Finance Global Summit #IFGS2018. I’ve shared some of my early impressions from Day 1 in a quick set of bullets!

Fintech and Financial inclusion

  • It is great that this platform also considers the impact on #financialinclusion and consumers.
  • I was struck by the fact that we are still talking about #financialliteracy as if fintech is added to the mix but everything else remains the same. Does fintech, biometrics, client data and behavioural economics not usher in a new area of client engagement and protection? I certainly hope that we can come up with something more compelling than consumer education (and slightly less expensive) to ensure client protection and the delivery of value.
  • I was also reminded that there is a risk in assuming fintech will solve all challenges. Fintech is not sufficient by itself. Our starting point needs to be addressing client needs and solving business challenges. Fintech should then be applied if it’s the best way of doing so.

Sessions on sandboxing and what the future regulator will look like

  • This discussion raised the question for me whether sandboxing can deliver on the promise of accommodating innovation? A better understanding of what a sandbox is and where it fits in may lead us to expect some disappointment for emerging markets: https://cenfri.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Regulating-for-innovation_FSDs-Conference_Nov-2017.pdf
  • We expect that sandboxing may not be able to defy the “gravity” of limited emerging market regulatory capacity and will likely require more capacity and skills. https://cenfri.org/publications/regulating-for-innovation/
  • We also expect that sandboxing may not be able to defy the “gravity” of existing regulatory frameworks that are not calibrated to domestic risks or stage of market development. https://cenfri.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Funding-the-frontier.pdf#page=21
  • Short-term solutions (e.g. Sandboxing) have merit, but let it not distract us from investing in long-term solutions. We need to continue working on sound and calibrated regulatory frameworks and capacity.
  • “Multiple mandates (adding competition) make it difficult for regulators to endorse particular industry initiatives” Nick Cook (FCA). Made me wonder: What is the ideal mandate for #futureregulation? Will the regulator of client #data become the super-regulator of the future?
  • “Regulator needs to understand drivers of market development and maintain flexibility” Martin Etheridge (Bank of England). More research is needed to assist regulators to help locate themselves within stages of market development. FSD Africa and UKAID are actively supporting this and understanding where technology can assist in Africa https://cenfri.org/programme/risk-remittance-and-integrity-rri/

Parting thought: From the discussion on the geopolitical dimension of fintech: “Cities will matter more than countries”. Sean West (@EurasiaGroup). What does changing the relevance of geographic borders mean for regulators who still rely on geographic jurisdiction to define mandate and authority? Subsequent panel on what the future regulator will look like discussed the need for “interoperable” or global sandboxes. Perhaps evidence that ultimately #fintech transcends geographic borders and will revert to one primary regulator?

Read more about our work on #Fintech in emerging markets https://cenfri.org/news-and-events/london-fintech-week-2018/ or follow me at @doubellc on Twitter or tune in to #IFGS2018 to follow the discussions today!

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March 19, 2018 -
London, UK