Open letter: UK’s fintech industry urges faster Kalifa Review adoption

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Fintech founders and CEOs have signed an open letter to the UK Government, pleading for the faster integration of the Kalifa Review reforms into financial services.

Signed by high-level Innovate Finance members such as Starling and Monzo, the letter acts as a follow-up of last November’s fintech critique towards the Government’s inability of constructing a unified national strategy for the UK fintech industry – a recommendation outlined in the Kalifa Review. The signatures are now asking for further progress, noting that the adoption of the Kalifa Review reforms would reaffirm the UK’s reputation of being Europe’s most hospitable environment for fintech start-ups.  

“Rather than resting on our laurels, it is imperative that we continue to build on this momentum and work together to establish an environment in the UK that is even more supportive of and conducive to innovation in financial services,” the letter states.

The Kalifa Review will essentially bring a regulatory shift towards fully embracing innovation so that the UK can stay ahead of international competitors in terms of crypto, RegTech, and open banking.

The industry also calls for a shift in the way institutional investors operate in the UK, urging them to adopt a long-term view in support of growth opportunities in Britain. Also from the letter, larger UK institutions should also be encouraged to increase their investments in advanced technology.

“It is now more important than ever that we – industry, government, and the regulators – do not pause, but rather build on this current momentum and commit to cement the UK’s position as the best location in the world to start, build and scale a FinTech business,” outlines the conclusion.

Despite the overall tone of the document, the improvements in the year since the Kalifa Review publication were also mentioned. These include the new industry-led Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), the overhaul of the UK listings regime, the upcoming introduction of scale-up visas, as well as different regulatory initiatives such as the FCA’s sandbox and the Bank Of England’s work on digital currencies.