Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) Begins to Deliver on its Kalifa Review Mandate

CFIT, the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology, announced that its initial ‘Open Finance Coalition’ will demonstrate the power of leveraging financial data to deliver better financial outcomes to consumers and SMEs.

It also announced the first coalition partners who have “committed to progressing Open Finance in the UK, alongside the FCA regulatory support.”

CFIT’s mission, as mandated in the Kalifa Review of UK FinTech, is “to unblock barriers to growth for financial technology and positioning the United Kingdom as a global leader in financial innovation.”

Acting as a central convening force, CFIT reportedly “brings together time-limited coalitions of experts from finance, technology, academia and policy-making to identify and remove obstacles to FinTech sector growth, support the creation of high-income tech-based employment across the UK, and enable firms to achieve global scale.”

Based on the Kalifa Review recommendation that Open Finance adoption will create substantial opportunities for better consumer and SME financial outcomes in the UK, CFIT announced Open Finance as the focus of its first coalition in April 2023.

Over recent weeks, CFIT has carried out “an extensive program of work to validate the key areas within Open Finance that the initial coalition will work on.”

Through a series of in-depth conversations, surveys and research, virtual workshops and interviews, national events and regional showcases “that have taken place throughout the UK, CFIT has now prioritized work on demonstrating the power of financial data to deliver better financial awareness for consumers and SMEs.”

These represent the largest opportunities “to showcase the power of Open Finance, giving both individuals and SMEs the ability to better manage their savings, cashflow, investments, pensions and insurance, leading to a positive outcome for the nation’s financial health.”

Ezechi Britton MBE, CEO of CFIT, said:

“Over recent weeks we have engaged, listened and prioritised the areas where the effective development of Open Finance and a modernised ecosystem will provide better financial health for all UK citizens. FinTech is an industry that cares about the end user, and the ecosystem has told us they want us to focus on delivering better consumer financial outcomes and SME financing. This Open Finance coalition is the first time that such a cross section of the ecosystem has come together to solve complex challenges in this way and on this scale, and we thank everyone who has already committed to working with us. We look forward to working with these and additional partners, as they will play a critical role in providing the solutions needed to ensure the coalition is successful in delivering tangible results that benefit society as a whole.”

The Association of British Insurers, Allen and Overy, Amazon Web Services, the City of London Corporation, Experian, EY, HSBC, IBM, Innovate Finance, iwoca, KPMG, Leeds City Council, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, MBN Solutions, Monzo, Open Banking Limited, The Open Finance Association, Revolut, the Smart Data Foundry and Zopa Bank; with the support of the FCA.

The Open Finance coalition “will kick off their programme of work this summer to identify and unlock access to data sources that have the potential to improve consumer financial outcomes and access to financial services for SMEs.”

From September, working groups will then “accelerate the ideation and create specific outputs, such as new proofs of concept, products or data partnerships between incumbents and FinTechs that will make a real difference to businesses and consumers across the UK.”

Charlotte Crosswell OBE, Chair of CFIT, said:

“We have the foundations and all the ingredients to drive Open Finance forward. Given the current challenges related to the cost of living, we firmly believe that by leveraging existing data and unlocking new datasets, we can have the biggest impact in the shortest time on the wellbeing of UK SMEs and consumers. We will be able to show the impact that an ambitious Open Finance roadmap can have. The time for action is now, to ensure that we continue to lead the world in financial innovation whilst maximizing economic growth across all regions of the UK.”

Ezechi Britton MBE, CEO of CFIT, concluded:

“The work of the Open Finance and all future coalitions is enabled by industry associations and the regional FinTech bodies. We’d like to thank Innovate Finance, FinTech North, FinTech Scotland, FinTech Northern Ireland, FinTech Wales, FinTech West and SuperTech, for their unwavering support.”

Andrew Griffith, MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said:

“The UK pioneered the adoption of Open Banking, which today is used by over 7 million consumers and businesses. Our vision is to build on this success, to forge a dynamic and inclusive financial data sharing market that is fit for the future. I am thrilled that CFIT will be doing just that, as it launches its initial Open Finance coalition. This first coalition unites industry leaders and will harness the transformative potential of financial data to deliver better outcomes for consumers and SMEs in the UK.”

Jessica Rusu, Executive Director of Data, Technology, & Innovation, and Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition of the FCA, said:

“Supporting competition and innovation to benefit consumers and businesses is a priority for the FCA. Open Banking and Open Finance have the potential to bring transformative benefits to UK financial services and will help the UK become more competitive and innovative. As such, we are delighted to support CFIT’s first coalition. We will assist the coalition through the sharing of our regulatory knowledge and expertise and our ongoing open banking work that is being delivered through the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee.”

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