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Government launches nationwide plans to turbocharge FinTech growth

The government has announced plans for financial innovation hubs will be established in cities across the UK and placements on offer at leading fintech firms to students at leading universities.

The plans are part of a push to encourage financial innovation which will be coordinated through a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT). One of its other roles will be to work with the government, regulators and the Bank of England on improving rulemaking in the sector.

City minister Andrew Griffith said the initiative would further government ambitions to improve productivity by improving skills, and make the UK “a technology and science superpower”. It would fit within the “framework of pursuing growth in the [financial services] sector, a really important sector for growth in the UK economy,” he added. Charlotte Crosswell, the new chair of CFIT and former chair of the Open Banking Implementation Entity, said the centre would also work on plans for a fintech growth fund, pointing to the “huge opportunity for [UK] pension funds to be investing small amounts into some of these growth areas”.

The government will provide £5mn in seed funding, with an additional £500,000 from the City of London Corporation, the governing authority for the capital’s financial centre. CFIT’s roles will include creating cross-sector “coalitions” including from finance, technology and academia to try to address the barriers that are impeding growth. The centre will announce plans on Tuesday to establish “financial innovation hubs” in cities across Britain, including Leeds, Manchester and Bristol in England, and others in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and co-ordinate their work.

It will also offer student placements at some of the UK’s top companies in the financial services sector, in partnership with leading universities including members of the Russell Group. “We’re in a global race for talent,” said Crosswell. “We want to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and we want to make sure that is being done across the UK.”