The UK government’s 2017 Autumn Budget included some measures of particular interest for fintech firms, demonstrating the government’s continued commitment to making the UK a world-leading fintech hub.
The government has provided only scant detail on these measures at present, but no doubt firms will be watching closely to see how they are developed, and what benefits they can bring for the fintech sector.
First, the government is planning a “Regulators’ Pioneer Fund” — a £10 million fund to help unlock the potential of emerging technologies. The aim is to help regulators develop innovative approaches aimed at getting new products and services to market.
The government will also invest £21 million over the next four years to expand the reach of “Tech City UK” — a publicly funded organisation delivering programmes, research, and events to help digital tech companies grow. The aim is to help this London-based organisation expand to become “Tech Nation”, supporting regional tech companies and start-ups. Tech Nation will roll out a dedicated sector programme for leading UK tech specialisms, including artificial intelligence (AI) and fintech.
In relation to AI, the government plans to create a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, to enable and ensure safe, ethical, and ground-breaking innovation in AI and data-driven technologies. The government envisages that this advisory body will work with the government, regulators, and industry to help lay the foundations for AI adoption. The government will also invest over £75 million to progress key recommendations of the independent review on AI, create new AI fellowships, and provide initial funding for 450 PhD researchers.