UK Department for International Trade Under Liam Fox, Launches International Programs to Boost Fintech Innovation

DIT Fintech Bridge

As London Fintech Week kicks off, the Department for International Trade (DIT), in partnership with Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), have announced new programs to boost Fintech innovation. According to a release from DIT, the UK will be building upon their Fintech Bridge agreements with Hong Kong and Australia. A Fintech Bridge is defined as an agreement outlining collaboration between two governments, cooperation between regulatory bodies and connectivity between two markets and ecosystems.  As Brexit questions persist, the UK has pressed forward with strategic agreements to boost their Fintech ecosystem and relevance.

The UK seeks to provide “tailored, structured support” for each company participating in the program. The goal is to boost opportunty for UK Fintechs while reducing regulatory barriers to expansion.

DIT notes that Fintech Bridge agreements have been signed with Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and South Korea. Australia and Hong Kong are estimated to have almost 1,000 active Fintech companies.

The program has accepted ten Fintech companies to participate this year with an additional ten to follow.

The programs is scheduled to run for 10 Months from March-November 2019. The participants will visit Australia and Hong Kong and receive tailored support from DIT, including mentoring and networking advice.

Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Liam Fox said he was delighted with the launch of the “DIT Fintech Bridge Pilot Program.” Fox said their goal is to 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,” stated Secretary Fox.

Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin commented as well, stating Fintech is already a major asset for London and the UK in general employing well over 75,000 people. He predicts this number to “surge” to over 100,000 by 2020.

“It is vital that we ensure innovative UK fintech firms can access overseas markets to support their growth and share international best practice. DIT’s Fintech Bridge Pilot is a step in the right direction.”

Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of TrueLayer – participant in the program, said the Fintech Bridge Pilot Program could be an excellent way to solidify and grow the UK’s Fintech reputation on the world stage.

“For many Fintech businesses, scaling internationally provides a unique set of challenges due to the way complex financial regulations vary from country to country. As a result, international collaboration and cooperation is incredibly important in breaking down barriers to entry,” said Simoneschi. “This programme has the capacity to provide its participants with critical support in entering fast-growing fintech markets such as Australia and Hong Kong. We’re honoured to have been chosen as one of the first 20 startups to pilot the programme – we’re well aware that there are scores of other UK startups that have the product, talent and desire to also take part. This is why we’re fully committed to maximising this opportunity.”

Launched in 2016 by DIT, HMT, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the then-Economic Secretary, the Fintech Bridges represent the Government’s flagship international Fintech policy, which sets out a bilateral agreement between the UK and a priority market with the aim of facilitating trade flows, reducing frictions to international growth and increasing access to capital opportunities.

DIT states that the Fintech Bridge Pilot Programs have been launched at a pivotal time as UK Fintech rose by 18% to $3.3 billion in 2018 and VC investment reached a record $36.6 billion across 2,304 deals, a 148% increase from previous years.

The two cohorts for the Fintech Bridge Pilot Programs 2019:


  • Crowd2Fund is an alternative solution to an out-of-date financial system designed for investors and innovative businesses. It gives investors great investment opportunities, while ensuring businesses get access to funds at competitive rates.
  • Disberse is a new kind of regulated financial institution for the aid industry built on distributed ledger technology. It enables donors and aid organisations to manage and move money across the globe more transparently and  efficiently.
  • Fractal is fundamentally changing how Small-Medium-Enterprises (SMEs) access financial services. They combine data and automation to unlock an entirely new value exchange between SMEs and their Financial Services (FS) providers.
  • pirkx is egalitarian and socially conscious, providing benefits and savings for individuals in order to extend their income spending potential and enhance their health and financial well-being.
  • Recordsure improves performance, transparency and culture within regulated firms. The solution is built upon AI-powered tools that gather data from all customer interactions, automatically interpret the information the way a human reviewer would and then leverage unique insights such as significant cases which need follow-up action.
  • Smart Pension has built the first truly digital DC pensions platform. The unique world-class technology solution can help Australian Superannuation Funds reduce operating costs, experience best-in-class administration and transform user engagement.
  • Thyngs was founded in 2016 and connects the physical and digital world to create powerful multi-channel commerce solutions that are simple, quick and cost-effective. It also transforms any physical product, packaging or advertisement into an instant point of transaction without the need for an app.
  • TradingHub’s tools help solve a range of issues for sell side and buyside financial services clients.
  • TrueLayer builds universal APIs that allow companies to securely and efficiently access their customers’ bank accounts to share financial data, initiate payments and validate their identity.

Hong Kong 

  • AMPLYFI is transforming the business intelligence and research sector, displacing traditional analytical methods with cutting-edge technology. Its software solutions are driven by its own propitiatory AI, where it’s developed world leading technology to empower its customers to make faster, data-driven decisions.
  • Artificial Labs makes insurance frictionless. It builds superior products to harmonise the insurance experience for your business and customers. Their solution radically improves the performance of insurance companies by providing them online software as a service platform to embrace the power of your data; simplifying the pricing, distribution, claim automation and selection of risk using AI.
  • ComplyAdvantage helps firms make intelligent risk decisions faster. It provides the world’s only dynamic, real-time database of people and companies to help determine any risks associated with who you do business with.
  • Delio is a digital infrastructure that helps financial institutions, including top-tier global banks, to launch, streamline and scale the way they connect private assets with capital. Delio does this by providing a highly configurable white-labelled platform with a host of rich functionality that optimises the origination, execution, distribution and portfolio reporting of private equity, private debt, real estate, social impact and fund investment opportunities.
  • Novastone builds privately-hosted or on-premise white label messaging solutions for high-value client interactions in financial services, legal and healthcare. Novastone’s secure, mobilecentric instant messaging platform is designed for firms that deliver a high-touch, personalised client experience through relationship teams.
  • Onfido is working to create an open world where identity is the key to access. Whether it’s sharing a car or opening a bank account, many services are moving online. That means millions of everyday interactions now happen digitally– without people ever meeting face-to-face. Its mission is to help more people access those services by building trust between businesses and their users.
  • Paymentology provides next generation card issuing and processing for digitally enabled banks. With Standard Chartered as a customer, Paymentology is already an established solution provider in Hong Kong and expanding, driven by the new Monetary Authority banking licenses and market demand in the region.
  • Seedrs has democratised access to venture capital by allowing all types of investors to invest as little or as much as they like in the businesses they believe in
  • Trade Ledger is a business lending technology platform built specifically for banks and alternative finance providers looking to digitise their corporate lending operations.
  • TransferWise is a financial company for people who travel, live and work internationally. It makes sending money overseas up to eight times cheaper than a banks’ rate.
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