Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon on Wednesday, the central bank's chief operating officer Charlotte Hogg said it had been focused on three key areas: "data analytics, information security, and some work exploring distributed ledgers."
"Just over the past six months we have met or researched over 130 startups, participated in around 25 conferences, and held roundtables with more than 80 organisations. In listening and learning, we are able to begin forming a judgement about the impact of these technologies," said Hogg.
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It is working with several startups, including BMLL Technologies and Enforcd.
"A recent addition to the Fintech Accelerator is a POC [proof of concept] with BMLL Technologies that uses a machine learning platform, applied to historic limit order book data, to spot anomalies and facilitate the use of new tools in our analytical capabilities. A second new POC, with Enforcd, uses an analytic platform designed specifically to share public information on regulatory enforcement action," she said in a speech.
And three startups have been looking at cyber security with the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street: Bitsight, Anomali and ThreatConnect
"The Bank’s twin focus has been on protecting the critical national infrastructures we provide, and working with other authorities to encourage financial sector firms to improve their own cyber defences. Fintech tools designed to identify, protect, detect and respond to cyber threats have therefore been of keen interest to us," she said.
"For example, we ran a POC with Bitsight using publicly available bulk data to assess our own resilience. We have also partnered with two firms – Anomali and ThreatConnect – that provide innovative technologies to collect, correlate, categorise and integrate cyber security intelligence data. Most network defence models and technology solutions in use today continue to focus overwhelmingly on aggregation of tactical indicators which, when collected and processed in isolation, provide limited value to security teams seeking to prioritise detection and remediation efforts. The work will help to assess how tactical threat information can be enriched to provide relevant operational and strategic context in order to prioritise monitoring and mitigation efforts against given threats."
The Bank of England is the first central bank in the world to launch its own fintech accelerator. It does however follow in the footsteps of forward-thinking UK authorities: City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority set up a so-called sandbox to give startups room to experiment with out falling on the wrong side of the rules. It this week revealed the 18 firms which were selected for its first cohort.