Open Finance has the power to launch the next phase of financial innovation


It is well recognised that Open Banking has democratised finance, and built the foundations for the next phase of financial innovation.

The availability of next generation technology, API-led mobility, cloud enablement and progressive data analytics are all opening new possibilities, with Open Finance being the next step to truly leveraging better financial outcomes for SMEs and consumers.

Accessing and opening up data across entire financial footprints and building advantageous new services clearly does raise many complex challenges for all across the financial ecosystem. Whether it’s data integrity, siloed relationships, new standards, security or regulations, there are some significant hurdles to progression.

CFIT’s core purpose is to unblock barriers to growth for financial technology by bringing together the best minds from across the UK in order to drive better outcomes for consumers and SMEs and this is why CFIT’s first coalition will consider the opportunities within Open Finance.

Positioned at the intersection of government, regulators and industry, CFIT is a central convening force, leveraging expertise from across the financial innovation space to set priorities, drive forward solutions and advance growth.

CFIT will also ensure that key learning is connected and that case studies from the UK’s exceptional finance and innovation hubs are leveraged and success built upon.

At the heart of CFIT is its coalition-led operating model, and this first coalition within Open Finance will work to unlock powerful data sets that will boost efficiencies, enable more personalised offerings and reduce risks for all SMEs and consumers. It’s an ambitious agenda, but we know Open Finance has the power to create new products, services and solutions, and build on the UK’s existing expertise in financial technology.

So what is a CFIT Coalition?

A CFIT coalition will be a multidisciplinary group focusing on specific themes and pain points that hold back financial innovation. They will be time-bound, purposeful, agile and open collectives consisting of experts from across finance, technology, policymakers and academia. Finally, these coalitions will be collaborations that work across and with the UK’s regional high growth fintech clusters. This will drive a real focus on national and regional inputs and ensure the outcomes benefit the whole of the UK.

How will a coalition work?

The coalitions will set strategic priorities, define use cases and opportunity statements with the ultimate aim of turning these use cases into innovative solutions within 9-12 months. Coalition ideas will be research-based and any structural barriers to financial innovation, such as skills gaps, finance, national connectivity or data research access will be identified. Skills, talent and investment will run through all coalitions with participants providing industry context for pre-product development, partnership enablement and data sharing.

What next?

We will now work over the next few weeks to engage with industry, regulators and government to examine those use cases that will power our first coalition and ensure that we are not only ambitious in our agenda, but can deliver real outcomes by Spring next year.

We will continue to work across regions and sectors within financial services, ensuring that the fintech clusters and innovation hubs across the UK are leveraged to input into the coalition focus groups.

We are working very closely with many of the major Trade Associations and regional bodies so our next phase will see us reaching out to these groups with the aim of consulting them on coalitions that can drive real change in addition to asking them to suggest members that can join the coalitions as we move forwards.

If you are part of the financial services and technology ecosystem, and share the CFIT mission of tackling the issues inhibiting financial innovation, then your participation and voice is valued. Do sign up to our newsletter on the homepage, so we can keep you apprised of our progress.

I look forward to working with you all as we kick off our first coalition in June. Let’s unblock those barriers and lead the world in financial innovation!

Ezechi (Ez) Britton MBE
CEO, Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT)