International Fintech Conference 2017Apr 19, 2017
Last week, HM Government hosted the International Fintech Conference 2017 – a new fixture on the calendar designed to attract more investment into the UK’s world-leading fintech sector. Alongside Sir Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, our very own Richard Wazacz, CEO of Labs, spoke on a panel at the first event of its kind.
Attended by a broad selection of fintech royalty, and the Chancellor himself, Philip Hammond, it was the perfect platform to showcase what Octopus is capable of. It’s also a real testament to the eye-catching work that's been going on within these four walls.
Chaired by venture capitalist and entrepreneur champion Eileen Burbidge, Richard and the panel discussed ‘the experience of investing in UK fintech’. They covered everything from how fintech firms should be responding to the changes brought about by Brexit, to what the next breakthrough technology will be, and the role of the government in making the UK such an attractive place to set-up a fintech business.
Some of Richard’s main takeaway points were:
Opportunities for growth – “I am most excited about what fintech can do for financial advisers. IFAs still have such a huge and valuable part to play in financial services, but so far, they’ve been neglected. There simply hasn’t been the technology there to support them. That’s what Octopus is trying to change.”
The British business environment – “The UK and the FCA have created a great environment for new firms, and this is a big reason so many start-ups want to come to Britain.
This is all the more reason why having a relationship with the regulator, for any financial services company, should be ‘core business’ – no matter what the size. Octopus benefits from having a strong relationship with the FCA, which means we’re able to work productively together.”
Shaking up the sector – “Financial Services is being disrupted because big companies can’t move quickly. Fintech has introduced an element of transparency and trust that never existed before. It’s made the complex simple for consumers.”
Distribution – “For any growing financial services company, the hardest thing is building distribution. So, if, as a business owner, you come across the opportunity to develop distribution channels with a partner, you need to really consider it.
“The challenge, though, is to not lose control of your customer relationships. The more you own the customer relationship, the more valuable the business.”
It’s clearly an exciting time to be part of the UK fintech sector, and having the regulator behind you couldn’t be more important. Philip Hammond opened the conference saying Britain will “lead the world” into the fourth industrial revolution. Well, Octopus Labs fully intends to be at the head of the charge.