Fintech

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

Latest updates

7 April 2020: we presented a webinar on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).

We discussed highlights from our recent discussion paper on CBDC, which outlines one possible CBDC design approach and requests feedback from interested parties such as the payments industry, and academics. We have not yet made a decision on whether to introduce a CBDC and continue to actively research CBDC, drawing on expertise from across and outside of the Bank.

26 March 2020: we hosted The impact of machine learning and AI on the UK economy conference.

In collaboration with the Centre for Economic Policy Research and Brevan Howard Centre at Imperial College Business School in London, the conference sought to stimulate academic research on how machine learning and AI will affect our policy objectives.

12 March 2020: we published Open data for SME finance.

The paper builds on our response to the Future of Finance Report, in which we proposed an Open Data Platform to boost access to finance for SMEs. We explain our proposal in more detail, and provide an update on our research and industry engagement. This will guide our ongoing engagement with public authorities, including as an input to the Government’s Smart Data Review and Digital Markets Taskforce, as well as the FCA’s Open Finance initiative.

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.

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.

Artificial Intelligence Public-Private Forum

In June 2019, former Governor Mark Carney announced plans to set up a forum to look at the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) on financial services.

In October 2019, we published Machine Learning in UK Financial Services with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

We are now working with the FCA to establish the forum and have published the forum’s terms of reference. The deadline for applications to become a member of the AIPPF has now passed. We will ensure that the forum’s design reflects a wide variety of views.

In line with UK government guidance regarding Covid-19, we decided to postpone the forum’s launch and first meeting. We now plan to launch the forum in October 2020.

The AI Public-Private Forum (AIPPF) will seek to:

  • share information and understand the practical challenges of using AI and ML within financial services, the barriers to deployment and any potential risks or trade-offs
  • gather views on areas where principles, guidance, regulation or good practice examples could support safe adoption of these technologies
  • consider if firms’ involvement could be useful and what form it could take

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 11 August 2020

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