Boost for London
The Bank of England plans to set up a fintech hub to ramp up UK’s weak productivity levels, deputy governor Dave Ramsden said in a speech last night.
“We have set up a new fintech hub that will sit at the heart of the Bank, to consider both how the Bank understands and how it applies fintech, relevant to its mission,” Ramsden said.
“The defining trend of the last 10 years has been the weakness of productivity. Given the size of the financial sector in the UK, I can see fintech driving competition and a pick-up in productivity in the medium term.”
Ramsden also said that the Bank will consider prospects for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
“Adapting these technologies for the demands of the financial system poses significant challenges.
“But the distributed ledger and cryptographic technologies used by crypto-assets have the future potential to deliver benefits both to the financial system and to the economy it serves, including increasing efficiency and resilience and contributing to a more distributed and diverse payments system,” Ramsden said.
The news came as finance minister Philip Hammond said he was committed to helping fintech grow by taking a series of domestic steps and forging links overseas.
“As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology,” Hammond told a fintech conference hosted by the finance ministry.