UK government launches fintech accelerators with Asian trade in sight

The Department for International Trade has announced two pilot programmes to extend Britain's fintech reach

Fintech on tablet

The UK government is launching two fintech pilot programs with the aim to boost trade with international partners in countries such as Hong Kong and Australia.

London's Fintech week started on Monday and the Department for International Trade (DIT), in partnership with Her Majesty's Treasury (HMT), is building upon the UK's fintech bridge agreements with Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and South Korea.

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The aim of the programs is to bolster existing frameworks, providing tailored, structured support for each company selected and open further opportunities for UK financial technology companies - reducing barriers they may face as they undertake international expansion.

The government has already laid the groundwork with its Fintech Bridge agreements, signed with Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and South Korea in 2016. But the Fintech Bridge represents a bespoke agreement outlining collaboration between two governments, cooperation between regulatory bodies and connectivity between two markets and ecosystems.

"The two cohorts are made up of sector-leading companies representing the spirit and innovation which make London an undisputed global fintech hub," Dr Liam Fox said.

"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."

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Hong Kong and Australia have almost 1,000 active fintech companies between them, according to the government, and offer large-scale business opportunities through key markets across Asia.

These Fintech Bridge pilot programs have been launched at a pivotal time, according to the government, 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.

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