UK and EU regulation of financial innovations and fintech
UK and EU regulation of financial innovations and fintech

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • UK and EU regulation of financial innovations and fintech
  • The UK fintech sector
  • Digital currencies, virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies
  • Impact on SMEs
  • Regulatory initiatives—FCA Project Innovate
  • Fintech Accelerator–Bank of England
  • The European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan
  • The EBA’s approach to fintech
  • Risks associated with financial innovation and the fintech sector

The UK fintech sector

This Practice Note provides an overview of recent and proposed financial innovations, with a particular focus on the emergence of digital and virtual currencies; the current status of the financial technology (fintech) industry and successes so far; the future prospects for, and the associated risks in financial innovation; and the regulatory approach to encourage the development of, and investment in the fintech industry.

In August 2014, the then Chancellor George Osborne declared his intention to make Britain the global centre of financial innovation and announced measures to support the growth of the country’s fintech sector:

'It’s only by harnessing innovations in finance, alongside our existing world class knowledge and skills in financial services, that we’ll ensure Britain’s financial sector continues to meet the diverse needs of businesses and consumers here and around the globe, and create the jobs and growth we all want to see in the future'.

The following year saw the launch of Innovate Finance as an independent membership-based industry organisation that aims to advance the UK’s standing as a leader in fintech innovation both domestically and abroad. Innovate Finance’s mission is to accelerate the expansion of the financial technology industry to position UK as the principal global hub for fintech. Government backing and the apparent expertise within the City of London has led to significant