UK should focus on fintech to retain its leadership position, says Barclays

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said that it is imperative that the country keep its leadership position in the financial sector by placing more importance on developing financial technology (fintech).

He pointed out that the UK has a regulatory system that supports fintech. The nation’s legal system is equally supportive; and there is enough venture capital available for companies that want to foray into the sector. These factors help the UK to have a thriving fintech industry, but it should not forget that other countries are also developing and creating IT for financial organisations.

Mr Vaswani said that while the UK faces traditional fintech competitors, including the US, countries such as South Korea, India, Singapore and Estonia are developing technology with the aim to surge forward in this sector.

It is important that the UK work harder to maintain its leadership position, he added, and this means investing in IT infrastructure upgrades around the country and introducing regulations that pertain to digital etiquette.

Fintech companies need to ensure that they offer their customers a great experience. Barclays has done its part by developing its Eagle Labs scheme so that it can access IT start-ups in their first stages. Also, its London-based Rise HQ boasts being the largest fintech co-working space in Europe.

Mr Vaswani stated that Barclays helps small businesses create new and innovative fintech and uses this technology on its platforms to support its customers and improve their experiences.

Collaborations such as these that have allowed Barclays to complete its first transaction in blockchain trade finance on its Wave platform. Wave forms part of Barclays’ accelerator programme.

Mr Vaswani also said that fintech companies should work to create technology that helps customers manage their finances in a seamless manner.

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