Innovate Finance chief executive officer Janine Hirt kicked off the Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) 2023 with a rousing speech on the success and potential of the UK fintech sector.
Hirt highlighted that £12.5b was invested in UK fintech in 2022, making it the second biggest fintech sector in the world, only behind the US. It has also attracted more investment than the next 13 European countries combined.
The UK government’s quick reaction to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank was also spotlighted by Hirt, as HSBC rescued the UK arm of the fallen bank and closed the deal before markets opened on Monday morning following the collapse.
Hirt also drew attention to the crucial themes that are to be discussed over the next two days at IFGS 2023, which will be crucial to the success of the UK fintech sector.
Innovation and regulation will be critical to attracting investment, and necessary to help fintechs that base themselves in the UK to scale.
Another key topic is diversity. Of the £12.5b that was invested in the UK fintech sector last year, less than 5% of that went to female founders, Hirt noted.
If the UK fintech sector is to continue to be successful, this needs to change. Not only with women, but diversity across the board. The LGBTQ+ community, race and religion all need to be considered for a truly diverse sector.
Hirt ended her speech by calling on the next leaders in financial services. She said that it is the responsibility—and a great opportunity—for innovators and tech leaders to lead the way in diversity and inclusion, so that the UK fintech consistently continues to be a sector to be proud of.
Hirt concluded: “Let’s leave with optimism and celebrate the achievements the sector has made and will continue to have.”