Fintech

Our work on fintech is wide ranging and looks at how technology is changing financial services.

What is fintech and why are we interested in its impact?

Combining the words ‘financial’ and ‘technology’, fintech is technology-enabled financial innovation, which is changing the way financial institutions provide – and consumers and businesses use – financial services.

Although ‘fintech’ is a relatively new term, innovation has always been important in the financial sector. The key difference now is the pace and impact of change. This trend prompted us to develop the Future of Finance initiative, which explores how the financial system might change over the next decade, and what it means for our priorities now and in the future. 

We are actively exploring how developments in fintech might support our mission to promote the good of the people of the UK by maintaining monetary and financial stability. 

To embrace the potential of fintech we are:

Understanding how fintech developments may affect systemic stability

Understanding how fintech developments may affect the safety and soundness of firms

Applying fintech, where appropriate, to enhance our capabilities

Our Fintech Hub brings together all our work in this area. Sir Dave Ramsden, our Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking, spoke about the importance of being open to fintech when he launched the hub in March 2018. We also have an active regtech agenda.

Latest updates

31 March 2022: Victoria Cleland, Executive Director for Banking, Payments and Innovation, delivered a speech at the Central Bank Spring Meeting on the road to enhanced payments.

The Bank of England, in line with many central banks, plays many roles in the payments industry: as an operator, overseer, user (through our customer banking function) and catalyst. The speech focuses on how the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service can help us maintain stability and promote innovation in the context of rapidly changing user needs; and how collaboration between central banks and other public authorities, the industry and the international community can deliver far-reaching benefits.

24 March 2022: the Financial Policy Committee published an in Focus report on Cryptoassets and decentralised finance.

This Financial Stability in Focus report provides an assessment of the role that cryptoassets and associated markets and activities, including decentralised finance currently play in the UK and globally, and how this could develop as these markets continue to evolve.

17 February 2022: In collaboration with the Financial Conduct Authority, we published the AI Public-Private Forum: Final Report.

The report explores the various barriers to adoption, challenges and risks in the areas of data, model risk and governance. In order to further the debate, it also explores potential ways to address such barriers and challenges, as well as mitigate potential risks. This report aims to advance the collective understanding and promote further discussions amongst academics, practitioners and regulators to support the safe adoption of AI in financial services.

Our publications on fintech

External engagement and initiatives

We closely monitor fintech developments in the UK and globally, and actively engage with the fintech sector, industry experts and other authorities. We regularly collaborate with public and private stakeholders to harness the potential of fintech.

AI Public-Private Forum

In October 2020, we launched the Artificial Intelligence Public-Private Forum (AIPPF) with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The AIPPF ran for one year, with four quarterly meetings and a number of workshops. It brought together a diverse group of experts from across financial services, the tech sector and academia, along with public sector and standard setting bodies as observers.

The purpose was to further dialogue on AI innovation between the public and private sectors. More specifically, the AIPPF sought to:

  • Share information and understand the practical challenges of using AI within financial services, as well as the barriers to deployment and potential risks.
  • Gather views on potential areas where principles, guidance or good practice examples could be useful in supporting safe adoption of these technologies.
  • Consider whether ongoing industry input could be useful and what form this could take.

In February 2022, the AIPPF published its final report. The report explores the various barriers to adoption, challenges and risks related to the use of AI in financial services. In order to further the debate, it also explores potential ways to address such barriers and challenges, as well as mitigate potential risks. These are highlighted in the key findings and examples of best practice.

The report and minutes from the quarterly meetings reflect the members’ views as individual experts, rather than their institutions. Moreover, the outputs do not reflect the views of the Bank or the FCA. Therefore, the Bank and FCA will publish a Discussion Paper on AI in 2022 to build on the work of the AIPPF and broaden our engagement to a wider set of stakeholders.

Regulation of fintech firms offering financial services in the UK

If you are a fintech firm thinking of providing financial services in the UK, you may need to be regulated.

We are responsible for supervising financial firms such as banks, building societies, credit unions, major investment firms and insurers. And we provide information and support for businesses that are thinking of setting up a new bank in the UK. 

We also supervise financial market infrastructure and we act as settlement agent for payment systems. 

Financial services in the UK are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and UK payment systems are also regulated by the Payment Systems Regulator.

Working with fintech firms

As part of our fintech work, we have engaged in a number of proofs-of-concepts. We will continue to work with businesses on fintech proofs-of-concepts whenever this may help us fulfil our mission.

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch about our work or events, you can reach us at fintech@bankofengland.co.uk.

This page was last updated 17 May 2022

Give your feedback

Was this page useful?
Yes
No
Add your details...