The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), in partnership with HM Treasury, has launched two fintech bridge pilot programmes in Australia and Hong Kong, in an effort to boost the UK fintech industry.
The objective of the fintech bridge pilot programmes is to strengthen existing frameworks to offer customised, structured support for each of the selected companies in the Australian and Hong Kong cohorts.
Through the programme, the UK government expects to create opportunities for domestic financial technology companies and to decrease hurdles faced while taking up global expansion.
UK Secretary of State for International Trade and president of the Board of Trade Liam Fox said: “I’m delighted to announce the launch of DIT’s Fintech Bridge Pilot Programs. The 2 cohorts are made up of sector-leading companies representing the spirit and innovation which make London an undisputed global fintech hub.
“With the UK accounting for 11% of the global fintech industry and employing over 75,000 people in the UK, DIT will continue to support fintech and build upon initiatives and policy frameworks, such as the Fintech Bridge Programs for reaching key markets and ensuring we remain at the forefront of the industry.”
According to DIT, a fintech bridge represents a customised agreement targeted at achieving collaboration between two governments, connectivity between two markets and ecosystems, and cooperation between regulatory bodies. The fintech bridge promotes information sharing, including emerging trends and regulatory issues, with counterparts and discussions centring on areas of best practice, said DIT.
A total of 20 companies have been selected by industry experts to take part in this year’s fintech bridge pilot programmes, which have been equally divided to visit Australia and Hong Kong.
The selected companies will be offered customised support such as mentoring and networking advice from DIT during the 10-month programme from March to November 2019.
DIT said that the fintech bridge pilot programmes have been launched at an important time with the UK fintech surging by 18% to $3.3bn in 2018 and venture capital investment reaching $36.6bn through 2,304 deals, which marks an increase by 148% from previous years.