The Kalifa Review of UK FinTech – the Bangers ‘n’ Mash of reviews

Fintech is one of the UK’s great success stories and will help us seize new opportunities around the world.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

The big news of the last week is the Kalifa Review or as HMT introduce it:

UK’s global fintech leadership bolstered by new review: An independent review has set out a plan for the UK to retain its global leadership in fintech by helping the country’s financial technology firms to scale up, access the talent and finance they need, and deliver better financial services. 

The independent review was led by Ron Kalifa who sets out strategy to put UK at the top of the global fintech league table and includes recommendations include a new fintech scale-up visa stream, a ‘scale box’ for growing firms and changes to UK listings rules and states that support for the sector will create jobs and deliver better outcomes for people and businesses across the UK

The UK has more than 10 per cent of the global market share in fintech and the sector is now worth more than £11 billion a year to the UK economy.

The independent review, led by Ron Kalifa OBE, finds the UK is at a pivotal moment and presents a wide-ranging strategy and delivery model to build on its existing attractiveness to start-ups firms and become the best place for a fintech business to reach global scale.

It marks an important step in the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plan to make the UK the most open and dynamic place in the world to operate a financial services business. The government will now examine the recommendations and respond in due course.

The review highlights the opportunity to create highly skilled jobs across the UK, boost trade and extend a competitive edge over other leading fintech hubs. 

Recommendations include:

  • introducing a new ‘fintech scale up’ visa route for specialists from around the world
  • implementing a ‘scale box’ to provide regulatory support for growing firms
  • improving UK listings rules with free float reduction and dual class shares
  • creating a £1 billion-pound fintech ‘growth fund’ to help firms grow independently
  • establishing a private sector-led Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology to support national coordination and growth in fintech across the UK.

This review will make an important contribution to our plan to retain the UK’s fintech crown, create more skilled jobs, and deliver better financial services for people and businesses.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Report recommendations at a glance (source: Gov.uk):

In an article published by The StackDr Louise Beaumont, Chair, Open Finance and Payments Working Group, techUK, described it as “the Bangers ‘n’ Mash of reviews”:

It’s solid, sensible sustenance suitable for an industry which is emerging from its scrappy start-up phase and growing into its scale-up boots.  The Review recognises that we must make the UK an attractive place to innovate: competition-igniting regulation; a rich supply of talent from all four corners of the UK and, of course, from overseas; deep pools of investment flowing all the way from funding first ideas to fuelling IPOs; and a warm welcome for inward investment plus enthusiastic support for export. There is much to do – and Wednesday’s Budget will tell us whether Rishi Sunak believes, as Ron Kalifa does, that FinTech is the future of Financial Services.

Dr Louise Beaumont, Chair, Open Finance and Payments Working Group, techUK

Download: The Kalifa Review of UK FinTech.