Sunday 17 June 2018 12:20 pm

Worldpay founder welcomes Fox's fintech investment drive

The founder of Worldpay has welcomed the government's drive to increase investment in the UK's fintech sector.

International trade secretary Liam Fox launched the initiative towards the end of London Tech Week, saying it will put technology "at the heart" of the UK's future growth.

Nick Ogden, founder of Worldpay and ClearBank, told City A.M.: "Personally I think it's great, and I'm sincere in that."

While the Department for International Trade (DIT) has yet to reveal how much it hopes to raise, and from where, Ogden said it should look first to the EU despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

"Fintech is borderless," he said. "Whatever happens with Brexit we should push ahead and look at Europe as one of our closest trading partners we can get to easily and who are already receptive."

The British fintech industry recorded £1.8bn investment in 2017, according to government figures, a 153 per cent increase on the previous year, with the UK home to 1,600 firms.

But the DIT hopes to boost the burgeoning sector's growth, with fintech trade missions touted as a possibility.

Founders from Zopa and Neyber, as well as industry association Innovate Finance, have joined a steering board that will meet four times a year to lead the initiative.

Ogden said European regulators plan to persuade London fintech firms to relocate to EU countries but believes the loss of passporting rights post-Brexit won't impact UK startups, who can build their businesses here before finding "a Euro-capable bank".

"Get your business model sorted in the UK, get it working properly," he advised entrepreneurs. "You can always move into Europe. Fintech is outside the noise of Brexit."