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Changes in UK Law to Support Fintech

April 19, 2021

Lord Holmes puts Fintech firmly in the financial services bill:

•     Lord Holmes has tabled a series of amendments to the Financial
Services Bill covering Digital ID, open finance, digital infrastructure and
access to digital payments that are designed to ‘turbocharge’ UK fintech.
•     The amendments – amendments 30, 31, 32 & 37E  - will be debated in the
House of Lords on Monday, 19 April 2021. Watch here from mid to late
•     Lord Holmes tabled similar amendments at an earlier stage of the bill
and has written about his objectives in putting forward these legislative
changes in Crypto AM and the New Statesman.

Lord Holmes said:

"Fintech is already a remarkable British success story – worth £7 billion to
the UK economy – yet one that still retains incredible potential. This
technology can empower state and citizens and I have put forward several
changes to the Financial Services Bill to help the Government fully realise
this potential.

On digital ID my amendment gives the Treasury 6 months to publish plans for
a digital ID for individuals and corporate entities in the financial
services sector. The amendment also states that such ID must be scalable,
flexible and inclusive, capable of deployment and take-up across the entire
UK, and capable of adapting to change – not least in new technologies such
as quantum computing. By inclusive I mean not just inclusion concerning
protected characteristics as set out in equality legislation, but wider – a
guarantee that a digital ID will enable and empower everyone across the

Another amendment relates to the modernisation of UK law to allow financial
market infrastructure to process digital instruments. Within 3 months the
Treasury must make the regulatory changes necessary and in so doing consider
such pressing issues  as  the need to dematerialise securities at the same
rate as the European Union.

Another would promote open finance by requiring that providers of financial
services data must make that data available to appropriately licensed third
parties on a non-discriminatory basis and yet another would require the
Government to conduct a review into the accessibility and usability of
digital payments, to ensure that no individuals or groups are excluded and
also to investigate the link between digital and financial exclusion. A
serious issue that is only likely to become more problematic as bank
branches close and so many financial services continue to move online.

I am incredibly optimistic about the way technology can enable and empower
in all walks of life and this is no different. If we get this right the
prize is great and I’m honoured to be playing a small part in trying to
guide us towards a financially included technologically capable nation.

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