Tech Nation, the network for UK technology entrepreneurs, has announced the launch of a new initiative for the financial services sector, the FinTech Pledge, with support from the government.

The Pledge is a voluntary code that aims to support more effective collaboration between banks and FinTech companies, in order to ensure that the UK remains one of the leading countries in which to found and scale a FinTech startup.

The organisation unveiled the Pledge this week alongside representatives from the Treasury and the FinTech Delivery Panel, the Tech Nation collaborative group created in 2017 by startups, investors, and financial institutions to push UK interests.

Under the Pledge, a signatory bank undertakes to:

  • Give clear online guidance to technology firms on how the on-boarding process works, via a dedicated landing page
  • Provide clarity to tech startups on their progress through on-boarding
  • Supply a named contact, guidance, and feedback
  • Encourage good practice and improvement
  • Commit to implementing these steps within six months from signing the Pledge and to providing feedback twice during the first year.

Banks commit to adhering to these principles for as long as they remain signatories. In addition, they will be listed on Tech Nation’s website and display the Pledge logo on their own sites.

Signatories will also be required to provide a senior sponsor from within the institution, plus a named individual responsible for updating the FinTech Delivery Panel’s on-boarding group on progress.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, and Santander are early signatories, due to their membership of the Panel, new members of which include representatives from Monzo, TransferWise, OakNorth, and Atom Bank.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“The UK is already the best place in the world to start and grow a FinTech, and we’re committed to that remaining the case as our economy bounces back. So I welcome the FinTech Pledge from some of our leading banks and look forward to more firms becoming signatories.”

Eileen Burbidge, Chair of the Fintech Delivery Panel and Partner, Passion Capital added,

“It’s brilliant to see the collaboration and efforts of the FinTech Delivery Panel lead to this fantastic commitment, helping FinTechs scale their businesses by partnering more effectively with banks.

“The Fintech Pledge, with the support of HM Treasury and the five largest banks in the UK, will support transparent and efficient collaboration, ensuring that the UK continues to lead the world in FinTech innovation and sector growth.”

Victoria Roberts, Director of the FinTech Delivery Panel at Tech Nation, said:

“Building partnerships with established institutions is a fantastic route for FinTechs to drive positive change in finance, be it underpinning new customer solutions or transforming regulatory reporting.

“The FinTech Pledge provides a welcome clarity, setting out clear commitments of what FinTechs can expect and how best to create productive collaborations.”

  • Recent research from market analysis firm CB Insights suggests that the UK is the world number two in this space and not the leader, if the spread of startups throughout the country and overall investments levels are any guide.

As previously reported on Transform Finance, multi-million dollar FinTech startups can now be found in 43 US states – 86 percent of the country. By contrast, much of the UK’s strength in this sector is centred in London.

CB Insights has mapped the most successful startups in each US state that hosts a multi-million dollar FinTech company. Collectively, those 43 have raised nearly $12.6 billion, including 10 unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion).

In total, there are 38 FinTech unicorns in the US. By contrast, the UK has 18.