Ex-Chancellor Lord Hammond is among a plethora of key financial figures backing a £1bn fund aimed to accelerate the expansion of the fintech sector and burgeoning companies.
Sky News learned that the Fintech Growth Fund will serve Lord Hammond as an advisory board member and companies such as Mastercard, Barclays, and the London Stock Exchange Group have approached the fund group to offer small amounts of seed funding.
Sources told Sky News that the growth fund will seek to raise more capital from institutional investors with an aim to raise £1bn. The group will also be independent from government control.
The fintech initiative was inspired by a government-commissioned review of the UK fintech sector published last year by former Worldpay Executive, Sir Ron Kalifa.
Within Sir Ron’s report, the ex-Vice Chairman of Worldpay highlighted a capital gap in the sector, stating: “With a £2bn fintech growth capital funding gap in the UK, many entrepreneurs prefer to sell rather than continue to build their promising company.
“There is £6trn in UK private pension schemes alone, a small portion of which could be diverted to high growth technology opportunities like fintech.”
Along with Lord Hammond, former Treasury official Phil Vidler – now running operations at FinTech Alliance – and former government fintech ambassador, Al Lukies, have joined the initiative. Acting as Chancellor between 2016 and 2019, Lord Hammond has delved into many fintech and cryptocurrency ventures since stepping down. The Fintech Growth Fund is planned to be launched ‘this Autumn’.