Landmark moment for UK fintech as the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) launches – powering up the UK’s financial innovation sector
By Bruntwood SciTech
Leeds, UK, February 2023 – The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT),
backed by HM Treasury and the City of London Corporation, will launch today at an event in
Leeds, in a landmark moment for the UK’s growing financial innovation sector.
The establishment of CFIT is a direct response to the recommendations outlined in the Kalifa
Review of UK Fintech, a seminal review that identified the steps that the UK must take to
maintain its position as a world leader in fintech innovation. The organisation will act as a
central convening force, leveraging expertise from across the financial innovation space to
set strategic priorities and drive growth in the sector.
As part of CFIT’s implementation of the recommendations within the review, the organisation
will bring together time-limited ‘coalitions’ of experts from finance, technology, academia and
policy-making to identify and remove barriers to fintech sector growth, support the creation of high-income tech-based employment across the UK, and enable firms to achieve global
scale. The work of the coalitions will be research-led and data-driven, with a focus on
tangible outputs that will make a real difference to businesses and consumers across the
At today’s launch, the organisation will make two initial announcements. Firstly, CFIT will
announce the establishment of financial innovation hubs with a comprehensive reach across
the UK’s regions including Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as major cities
such as Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol. These hubs will drive
national connectivity, by enabling cross-sector experts with a local focus to input on barriers
to growth and ensure solutions benefit the whole of the UK.
These hubs will support the work of existing regional clusters across the UK to advance
fintech innovation, a move that reflects the impressive growth of the sector outside London –
in 2021, regional fintech saw a 237% increase in investment from 2020 1 .
The second announcement will outline CFIT’s plan to continue the sector’s work with leading
universities to give students the opportunity to participate in placements at the UK’s leading
companies operating in the financial innovation sector. The placements will act as a vital
platform for nurturing and developing fresh talent in the fintech industry, creating a pipeline
of skilled workers. As many as 67% of the UK’s fastest-growing fintech companies consider
talent a high priority 2.
Former CEO of Innovate Finance and Chair of Open Banking, Charlotte Crosswell OBE, has
been appointed as CFIT’s Chair. Ezechi Britton MBE, former CEO of Code Untapped and
outgoing CTO of Impact X Capital was recently announced as CFIT’s CEO.
Charlotte Crosswell OBE, Chair of CFIT, said: “The launch of CFIT today represents a significant moment for the UK’s fintech sector and our economy more widely. This organisation will bring together personnel from across the financial innovation ecosystem to break down the barriers that the fintech sector is facing while creating a clear path for our homegrown fintech companies to achieve global scale, impact and success. This in turn will deliver better financial outcomes for consumers and SMEs.
“Today’s announcement marks an important first step in our work to support the growth and development of the UK fintech sector, by empowering its talented innovators and trailblazers in every corner of the country, and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The UK is a world-leading location for fintech growth and investment - it’s a real British success story and one that’s spread across the whole UK. Today’s launch of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology doubles down on this, boosting growth and investment in exciting cities for growth and innovation such as Leeds.”
Deb Hetherington, Head of Innovation Services, Bruntwood SciTech:
“We are thrilled to announce the exciting collaboration between CFIT and Bruntwood
SciTech, as we join forces to drive growth and promote innovation in the fintech sector. This partnership brings together two powerhouses of innovation, combining the expertise of CFIT's network of financial professionals and researchers with Bruntwood SciTech's dynamic community and ecosystem of science and technology companies, from start-ups through to global-leading organisations.”
“With the shared objective of driving positive change in the industry, this partnership
promises to deliver transformative solutions that will help shape the future of finance.
We are confident that our joint efforts will generate a ripple effect of innovation,
driving growth, and fostering the creation of new and exciting opportunities for
businesses and consumers alike.”