July 2023: CFIT expands its engagements beyond the Open Finance coalition

April to July is always an energetic time in the industry working calendar, and for us it’s been a particularly busy and rewarding few months. Across the period we have been working hard to bring together our inaugural coalition, we have validated the most deserving and deliverable focus areas of Open Finance for the coalition to work on, and we have visited and connected with many in the ecosystem across the UK.

We are therefore pleased to share a few significant highlights from the last few months…

The first coalition

CFIT Open Finance Founding Partners

Substantiating the power of financial data to deliver better financial outcomes for SMEs and consumers

Since our April announcement that Open Finance would be the focus of our first coalition we have carried out an extensive programme of work, including virtual workshops, in-depth research, wide ranging interviews across the ecosystem and a use case survey to validate the key areas within Open Finance that the initial coalition will work on. As our first coalition mobilises, there is now great confidence that the Kalifa Review recommendation and the collected industry views are aligned on targeting those areas of Open Finance that will create the best opportunities for substantially improved SME and consumer financial outcomes in the UK.

The founding partners

This month we were delighted to announce our founding partners – those organisations and experts from finance, technology, academia and policy-making who will be working on our shared mission to remove obstacles to fintech sector growth and unleash the full potential of Open Finance for SMEs & consumers.

The founding coalition partners include: the Association of British Insurers, Allen and Overy, Amazon Web Services, Experian, the City of London Corporation, 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 working groups

The working group partners include: Amdaris, Aperidata, Credicar, CRIF, CX Partners, DirectID, Edinburgh Futures Institute (Edinburgh University), Finecta, FinTech Scotland, FinTech West, Fluidity, GoodWith, Intuit, iwoca, Lenvi, Mmob, MonstarLab, Navos, Oaknorth, Penny, Revolut, Secci, Smart Data Foundry, Smarter Contracts, Tech passport, The University of Ulster, Trustly, The University of Bristol, Untied, Vestd, Woodhurst and Zopa Bank.

Regional and UK engagement

Countrywide: Regional hubs and UK initiatives

Whether it’s been a regional fintech community event, an industry association conference, a university initiative or the launch of a key city fintech report, we have visited, connected and engaged.

The highly successful fintech clusters across the UK (FinTech NI, FinTech North, FinTech Scotland, FinTech West, Supertech West Midlands, FinTech Wales and Innovate Finance) are central to our mission, and we continue to value this foundation as they mobilise members, support our growth and play such a significant part in our coalitions.

In conjunction with EY, we took a series of showcase events to outline the next steps for our Open Finance coalition on the road visiting London, Bristol, Leeds & Edinburgh.

Policy profile

In May it was great to be invited to attend the parliamentary launch of the new Whitecap Consulting report on Open Finance opportunities at the House of Lords. This report highlighted the huge potential that Open Finance has to support SMEs facing challenges of cashflow, finance, late payments, winning new customers and financial business administration.

At the Westminster Business Forum, our CEO Ezechi Britton MBE gave a keynote speech on the next steps for financial innovation in the UK and there were some thought-provoking topics on innovation discussed by senior policy-makers, government officials, regulators and industry participants at the GlobeGovFintech Lab event.

We were also delighted to be invited to contribute a forward to the recent Liverpool City Fintech Report, as well as represent at multiple other ecosystem events in Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Engaging academia: Research and skills

Over the last few months we have supported a number of higher education events and other forums that have connected and engaged academia with industry. These have included collaborative initiatives from the University of Edinburgh, the Black Graduate Career Conference at Imperial College London and the UKFIN+ launch events in Birmingham and London.

Expansion: New hires

We have continued to expand operationally, welcoming Wasim Mushtaq as our Interim COO and Kennedy Mashanda in the role of Technology Analyst in April.

In June we were delighted to announce the appointments of Stephen Ingledew OBE, Chair of Fintech Scotland and Alex Marsh, former Head of Klarna UK, as non-executive directors supporting CFIT’s growth plans.

And in July we appointed Madush Gupta to the role of NED, Gemma Hallett as Head of Talent, Engagement and Placements, Ksenia Grant as Director of Ecosystems and Partnerships and in Coalitions and Research Delivery, Leon Ifayemi.

All our hires are strong advocates of open and progressive financial innovation and bring extensive and invaluable ecosystem experience as we move to the next stage of delivery.