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Labour finance policies welcomed by tech community

Labour business
Image credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock

The finance and tech community has embraced the latest set of business-oriented policies announced by the Labour Party.

Last week, Labour held a business conference alongside the release of its Financing Growth report, in which the opposition outlined a handful of economic policies as it courts the business community in preparation for an election campaign.

Policies included an expansion of the remit of the state-owned British Business Bank (BBB), a focus on consistency in financial regulation, support for the digital pound rollout and progressing open banking implementation.

Open banking support welcomed

“We welcome the focus being placed on open banking from our government, regulators and parliamentarians,” said Richard Newman, director of corporate affairs at Open Banking Ltd.

“The UK is a world leader, and it is clear that the Labour Party understands the need to maintain momentum and the pace of innovation.”

Open banking is a model for sharing financial data between banks and third parties via software interfaces.

Newman said that the technology “transcends party politics” and celebrated the “commitment across the political divide to unlock its full potential”.

“Open banking is of huge value to consumers, businesses and has contributed to the UK economy – it’s important that we leverage what we have built to help deliver other smart data schemes in other sectors, such as energy and telecoms.”

Labour committed to digital asset hub

The blockchain trade body CryptoUK appreciated the nod of support for the development of a British central bank digital currency (CBDC), with a spokesperson saying: “Labour has committed to helping turn the UK into a global hub for digital tokenisation”.

The spokesperson said blockchain technology is “essential to the tokenisation of financial assets” and Labour has noted the “adoption of tokenisation could boost the economy by providing more asset classes, whilst strengthening risk management practices”.

The spokesperson added: “Clarifying the law and regulations around these innovations will be key to promoting more jobs and growth within the British economy.”

BBB plan is a ‘positive sign’

The emphasis on BBB and plans to grow its SME investment capabilities was met with approval from ACF Investors managing partner Tim Mills.

Mills described the policy as a “positive sign that will help foster an ecosystem that can turn thriving British startups into world-beating businesses”. Mills also supported the decision to direct financial support “across the UK”.

Labour’s BBB plan included greater scrutiny of its work on growing regional economies.

Mills, however, warned that it is “imperative that these commitments support and build on the strength of the existing UK market”.

He said that “making investments that play out and generate value over the long term requires policy stability and a clear vision for the future”.

Read more: Why we can ‘cheers’ to Labour’s fintech policies