New national delivery body will prioritise working with consumers and SMEs

A new national delivery body which aims to bolster the UK’s position as a global leader in financial technology has announced it will prioritise working with consumers and SMEs.

CFIT, the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology, which has been backed with £5m of Government start-up funding and a further £500,000 from the City of London Corporation, launched in Leeds earlier this year,

The organisation aims to bring together ‘coalitions’ of experts from finance, technology, academia and policy-making to identify and remove barriers to sector growth, support the creation of jobs and enable firms to achieve global scale.

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The first ‘open finance’ coalition was announced in April. Now the CFIT has said the coalition will demonstrate the power of using financial data to to help consumers and SMEs.

Ezechi Britton, MBE, chief executive of CFIT.Ezechi Britton, MBE, chief executive of CFIT.
Ezechi Britton, MBE, chief executive of CFIT.

CFIT’s mission, as mandated in the Kalifa Review of UK FinTech, is to unblock barriers to growth for financial technology and position the UK as a global leader in financial innovation.Over recent weeks, CFIT has carried out an extensive programme of work to identify the key areas within open finance that the initial coalition will work on.

The initial organisations committing to the open finance coalition include: Leeds City Council, the Association of British Insurers, Allen and Overy, Amazon Web Services, the City of London Corporation, Experian, EY, HSBC, IBM, Innovate Finance, iwoca, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, MBN Solutions, Monzo, Open Banking, The Open Finance Association, Revolut, the Smart Data Foundry and Zopa; with the support of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Ezechi Britton MBE, chief executive of CFIT, said: “This open finance coalition is the first time that such a cross section of the ecosystem has come together to solve complex challenges in this way and on this scale, and we thank everyone who has already committed to working with us.

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"We look forward to working with these and additional partners, as they will play a critical role in providing the solutions needed to ensure the coalition is successful in delivering tangible results that benefit society as a whole.”

The open finance coalition will kick off its programme of work this summer to identify and unlock access to data sources that have the potential to improve consumer finances and access to financial services for SMEs.

Charlotte Crosswell OBE, chair of CFIT, said: “We have the foundations and all the ingredients to drive open finance forward. Given the current challenges related to the cost of living, we firmly believe that by leveraging existing data and unlocking new datasets, we can have the biggest impact in the shortest time on the wellbeing of UK SMEs and consumers.”

Jessica Rusu, executive director of data, technology, and innovation, and Sheldon Mills, executive director, consumers and competition of the FCA, added: “Supporting competition and innovation to benefit consumers and businesses is a priority for the FCA.”