Innovation call aims to bring Fintech partners together to tackle regulatory challenges

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A first-of-its-kind innovation challenge is bringing together financial institutions and innovators across the Scottish Fintech community to develop solutions to key regulatory challenges.

The inaugural innovation challenge is being spearheaded by the newly established Financial Regulation Innovation Lab (FRIL), led by FinTech Scotland in partnership with the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow, and focuses on 'Simplifying Compliance through the Application of AI and Emerging Technologies'.

FRIL, funded through the UK Government’s Innovation Accelerator programme and delivered by Innovate UK, aims to leverage expertise in financial services risk and compliance and combine this with emerging technologies to build capabilities that maintain and grow both Scotland and the UK’s position as a global leader in financial services regulatory innovation.

Working with professional services supporter Deloitte, and with Tesco Bank, Morgan Stanley and abrdn, the industry-led call to action will encourage financial institutions and innovators from across the Fintech community and beyond to learn collaboratively and facilitate industry forums to collectively share best practices for companies to develop new solutions to key financial regulatory challenges.

Emerging technologies

The initiative is dedicated to fostering confidence in the adoption of emerging technologies into financial services. Notably, this call aims to demonstrate the ability technology could have in meeting global regulatory requirements, setting a new standard for future advancements in the industry.

FinTech Scotland and the financial services firms, in conjunction with professional services leader Deloitte, are inviting entrepreneurs and innovators to identify and use technologies to address industry compliance challenges.

Launched under the principle of responsible innovation, these calls set the stage for exploration and development of effective solutions that will yield positive outcomes for the pressing needs of consumers and businesses alike, resulting in an overall economic contribution.

Nicola Anderson, CEO of FinTech Scotland, said: “We are extremely excited to kick off this inaugural industry innovation challenge. Demand-led innovation calls are an important part of the toolkit that the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab will employ to drive positive outcomes. It is also an opportunity to bring together financial institutions and innovators, enabling financial institutions to learn collaboratively about ways to improve compliance processes to drive efficiency for the sector and, ultimately, increase consumer protection.”

Mark Cummins, Professor of Financial Technology with the Strathclyde Business School, said: “The University of Strathclyde is delighted to be collaborating with FinTech Scotland and the University of Glasgow on this next exciting phase of the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab, which will deliver tangible innovation impact in line with the objectives of the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator programme.

We look forward to engaging with key financial services partners and the FinTech community over the course of the innovation calls series.

Close collaboration

The programme includes three phases: challenge definition, solution design & testing, and final demonstrations. Applicants will receive invaluable insights about financial firms through close collaboration, a support network, academic expertise and service design support. Successful companies will receive grant awards up to £50,000 for further development and implementation.

Fintechs and other teams of innovators are invited to join the challenge. The application window opened on 1 February

The Innovation Challenge Call finale event will take place in April 2024.

The Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator programme, led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, is investing £100m in 26 transformative R&D projects to accelerate the growth of three high-potential innovation clusters – Glasgow City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands. Supporting the UK Government’s levelling-up agenda.  This is a new model of research and development decision making that empowers local leaders to harness innovation in support of regional economic growth and help attract private R&D investment and develop future technologies.