Thursday 22 March 2018 12:53 pm

The Bank of England is setting up its own fintech hub

The Bank of England (BoE) will set up a fintech hub to monitor developments that could help boost the UK's weak productivity levels.

"We have set up a new fintech hub that will sit at the heart of the Bank, to consider both how the Bank understands and how it applies fintech, relevant to its mission," deputy governor Dave Ramsden said in a speech today.

He said the hub will be a central point of contact for the fintech sector to engage with the Bank, and it will play an active role in a new taskforce that was announced earlier today by the government.

Britain is seeking to maintain its grip on the industry as it leaves the EU, and Ramsden said as a member of the monetary policy committee, he must stay open minded about the way fintech could impact the UK's economy.

"The defining trend of the last ten years has been the weakness of productivity. Given the size of the financial sector in the UK, I can see fintech driving competition and a pick-up in productivity in the medium term."

He added that he will remain open minded about the risks and opportunities associated with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

"Adapting these [blockchain] technologies for the demands of the financial system poses significant challenges.

"But the distributed ledger and cryptographic technologies used by crypto-assets have the future potential to deliver benefits both to the financial system and to the economy it serves, including increasing efficiency and resilience and contributing to a more distributed and diverse payments system," Ramsden said.

Ramsden's speech followed the unveiling of a new fintech strategy for the UK by Philip Hammond today.

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