UK FinTech Sector Getting Big Boost with Launch of Innovate Finance

Last week marked the launch of Innovate Finance in London, with the founding event taking place at the Level39 fintech accelerator

Last week marked the launch of Innovate Finance in London, with the founding event taking place at the Level39 fintech accelerator space at One Canada Square in Canary Wharf. Backed by Canary Wharf Group and with assistance from the City of London, Level39 was created in 2013 to establish London as a leading global center for financial technology innovation.

Moving the program to another level, Innovate Finance was created as an industry body that will include both startups and existing financial companies to promote fintech in the UK. Among its goals, Innovate Finance will be a platform for companies to learn from each other where they need to innovate, and how technology can provide solutions. Part of the innovation is represented by fintech startups that will have access to industry veterans to learn what financial firms require, as well as offering a glimpse of the future for established companies to view what is being created and how others are trying to disrupt their businesses. As it launches, Innovation Finance consists of 53 member companies representing global financial giants along with payments, digital data, crowdfunding, insurance and lending firms.

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Members aligned to the FX industry include social trading broker eToro and cross-platform financial applications development firm OpenFin. Among firms involved with Innovate Finance, as well as in the Level39 program, are a group of data compliance/fraud related companies. While not used universally among brokers, automated data mining is an area Forex Magnates expects to see innovative products emerge within the FX industry.

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Due to requirements related to anti-money laundering and identifying customers, as well as spotting client fraud, firms have been looking towards solutions from technology to provide more efficient methods to handle the cumbersome process. Within FX, monitoring customer IPs are used to spot potential identity and affiliate fraud. In addition, firms are creating products to handle customer registration, such as was reported last month in a partnership between AU10TIX and eToro.

Heading Innovate Finance is CEO, Claire Cockerton, who is also a founding member of Level39, and as described by Level39 Head, Eric van der Kleij, “Every day she works with the largest companies helping them figure out what their innovation strategy is in fintech, as well as the smallest young company that really wants to ‘eat their lunch’.” Introducing Innovate Finance, Cockerton spoke about the changing landscape of financial technology and how important it is for the City of London to have a community-based fintech initiative to help pave success for the future.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking at Innovation Finance
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Attending the launch and keynoting was George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Osborne spoke about how fintech was leading to a new way for the world to bank and handle money. He added that he was there to help make sure that London is the fintech capital of the world. On this, he explained that the government was backing the fintech sector with incentives, investments and providing a regulatory environment for new companies to be able to succeed. An early creator of guidelines to allow for equity crowdfunding, Osborne announced that the government had also just expanded its framework of P2P lending. In addition to his talk, highlighting Osborne’s presence was his stop at a bitcoin ATM where he picked up £20 in bitcoins as he was making his rounds in the fintech demo room.

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