UK fintech firms urged to take on displaced Ukrainian talent

Support group ‘Fintech Without Frontiers’ is calling for UK fintech companies to aid Ukrainian refugees with career opportunities.

The initiative was created by London-based Ozone API as an attempt to lay down a safe net for displaced fintech talent in the UK. In this case – people running away from the war in Ukraine, who Fintech Without Frontiers says have “skills useful to fast-growing businesses” due to Ukraine being a “centre of excellence and expertise in tech innovation”.

Huw Davies, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Ozone API, said: “It’s heart-breaking to see the situation unfolding in Ukraine. We wanted to do something, but we aren’t able to write big cheques like major corporations can.

“What we can do though is hire talent. There are many more businesses like us in the fintech sector, so we felt we could do something positive by creating a collective and working together to expose all of the growth opportunities in the industry to the displaced talent when they start to rebuild their lives.”

As an industry collective, Fintech Without Frontiers consists of multiple other companies in the sector besides Ozone API. These are Moneyhub, RegAlytics, Allica Bank, Monese, Acin, Muse Finance, Ordo, Bloom Money, The Payments Association, Open Banking Excellence (OBE) and Innovate Finance.

Official statements on the situation were issued by some of the aforementioned companies, such as the CEO of Moneyhub, Samantha Seaton, who said: “We have all watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It’s heart-breaking, and we’ve been looking for ways in which we can help those displaced in practical and immediate ways. The answer lies in collaboration.

“It’s touching to see the sector come together to create Fintech Without Frontiers so that those feeling conflict have a real opportunity to find employment in an exceptionally high-growth industry. Displaced individuals need to be able to rebuild their lives and careers for a more stable future, and there is a huge opportunity for the fintech sector to help them do just that and have a positive impact.”

OBE Founder Helen Child added: “What words are left to describe the war in Ukraine? Horrific devastation doesn’t even come close. Some of the stories on the news have reduced me to tears and maybe you too. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the war. Overwhelmingly there is a desire to help. So how can we channel this sentiment to make a real difference?

“At OBE we believe in the true power of community and see the collective good collaboration brings. We are proud to be working with Fintech Without Frontiers. A remarkable idea brought to life by some truly dedicated people behind the scenes across fintech, all pulling together with a common purpose.

“It is a wonderful demonstration of how when you get great people together amazing things happen. It’s a privilege to be able to play a part in sharing more about Fintech Without Frontiers with our community. Fintech thrives on talent, creating so many opportunities that can be resourced by Ukrainian refugees and providing new perspectives for employers, hope and opportunity for the brave hearted Ukrainians, who have already taught us so much.”

UK businesses that decide to get involved in the Fintech Without Frontiers cause can do so by signing the initiative’s manifesto which would then create remote and visa-supported work opportunities.

Placed in the manifesto are pledges to provide fair compensations, perform an adequate recruitment process, and commit to working in a sensitive manner when candidates are to be interviewed in a second language or have endured any sort of trauma.

As a whole, the UK fintech sector is well-placed to assimilate incoming talent. Currently experiencing huge growth, investments reached $37.3bn in 2021 – a stark difference from the $5.2bn in 2020.