The Treasury has recently published “Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation” – a 15 point plan to address the UK’s “long-term productivity problem”. The plan is “built around two pillars:

  • Encouraging long term investment in economic capital including infrastructure, skills and knowledge
  • Promoting a dynamic economy that encourages innovation and helps resources flow to their most productive use.”

The 15 points, which are consistent with, and repeat some of the points made in, the Chancellor’s recent Mansion House speech, include:

  • Plans to “launch an international FinTech benchmarking exercise in the autumn … to track how the UK ranks against its international competitors”;
  • The Chancellor’s appointment of a “Special Envoy for FinTech, Eileen Burbidge, to champion FinTech across the UK and at an international level”;
  • Plans to “issue remit letters to the PRA and the FCA in order to highlight those aspects of government economic policy that are most relevant to the regulators’ duties.” These letters “will outline the government’s priorities for increasing competition and innovation in financial services, for ensuring that the UK remains an attractive location for financial services businesses, and for securing London’s role as a the leading international financial centre”; and
  • A request to “the PRA and FCA to publish Annual Reports on how they are delivering against their respective competition objectives across financial services, to set out clearly the steps being taken to drive more competition and innovation and to help ensure that the right incentives exist for new banks to enter the market.”

HM Treasury notes that “the government’s vision is that five years from now UK financial services will be the best regulated in the world, with the highest standards of conduct; there will be more competition, more innovation and more choice for consumers; the UK will be the leading FinTech centre in the world…