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Innovate Finance to bring radical transformation to Britain’s fintech sector

As further validation that British fintech has come of age, a new trade body has been announced to promote the UK’s rapidly growing fintech sector.

Innovate Finance was launched at fintech accelerator Level39 by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and is backed by the City of London Corporation and the Canary Wharf Group.

Speaking to a packed room of leading members of the tech community Osborne explained that global finance was “key to the government’s long term economic plan”.

Global fintech capital

Innovate Finance hopes to accelerate the UK’s leading position in the global financial services sector.

It launched today with 53 members and CEO Claire Cockerton believes that the organisation will be 200 strong by October.

Member organisations cover a range of fintech sectors and include TransferWise, DueDil and Nutmeg.

Nutmeg is one of a number of fintech companies to attract funding in the past year. They recently raised $32m which gives some indication as to the size of the market fintech is becoming.

The companies involved range from pre-revenue to others that have raised substantial funds and each pays a membership fee that depends on the stage of the venture.

Osborne’s announcements

As part of the launch, Osborne announced a number of initiatives that he hopes will help fintech companies prosper.

He confirmed that the government will encourage the growth of alternative finance providers, which are a major part of the fintech sector.

New legislation announced will force banks to refer small and medium sized businesses who are turned down finance to alternative lenders.

Conrad Ford, MD of alternative funding platform Funding Options, said that Osborne’s announcement was “the final piece in the SME finance puzzle”.

Not just London

Innovate Finance will be led by CEO Claire Cockerton, with a Board of Directors made up of members of the fintech commnity such as Nick Hungerford of Nutmeg, Justin Fitzpatrick of DueDil, and Alastair Lukies of Monitise.

Cockerton was keen to emphasise that Britain’s fintech is not just London-based.

She highlighted Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham as areas that the organisation will also be active in. Leeds recently announced the first fintech accelerator outside of London.

It remains to be seen exactly how this new organisation will help growing fintech startups, but Chairman of the Board Alaistair Lukies was clear that this is very much the beginning for Innovate Finance.