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Nigel Wilson

Nigel Wilson

Group Chief Executive

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Now is the time to achieve global leadership in Fintech

The UK is awash with disruptive talent. Local start-up companies are addressing the challenges faced by customers and consumers, constantly looking for solutions that can help solve real-life problems. With help from UK government we can nurture our Fintech companies into becoming the next Amazon, Facebook or Tencent. We can’t afford to miss out on the opportunity again.

Digital success is largely about listening to customers and partners and aiming high, creating disruption within their chosen market by applying good business practise, great experience and digital transformation.

The UK has recently been described as the “global capital of fintech”, an emerging industry that contributes £7 billion to the economy. If we do not continue in changing our attitudes towards digital economies or continue to support and develop underdeveloped parts of the UK, then we are at real risk of falling behind competitors from other nations such as China.

17 years ago, Friends Reunited was launched – a classic example of an innovative, disruptive online company founded in the UK that unfortunately failed to reach its potential due to not having the resources to keep up with overseas competitors. Their lack of technical support and experience left the market wide open for Facebook and Twitter to grow into the giants that they are today.

The UK is still a great place to establish new business – we have some of the best talent in the world being produced from world-class Universities. Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle have already shown the potential in becoming smart cities and are producing innovative ideas in digital markets – including Medtech, Edtech and Caretech.

Fintech offers the chance to connect the world and help deliver financial services and innovations that can drive widespread growth and prosperity, creating millions of jobs, and build stronger, fairer, faster financial services for customers. Legal & General recognise that this is the future of our economy and we have already placed over 120 investments into digitally orientated businesses such as SalaryFinance – helping them set a target of over 1 million customers in less than 12 months. We have also applied disruptive technological developments in-house to great effect – £1billion of business written from a standing start thanks to SmartQuote and SmartClaims since 2016.

Fintech must be entered into for the right, positive reasons, with the support of enabling regulators, emboldened leaders and ambitious government. By investing in underdeveloped parts of the UK and helping to mentor fintech start-ups, we have a real chance of building on our “global capital” reputation and achieving global leadership.

The UK has recently been described as the “global capital of fintech”, an emerging industry that contributes £7 billion to the economy. If we do not continue in changing our attitudes towards digital economies or continue to support and develop underdeveloped parts of the UK, then we are at real risk of falling behind competitors

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