340. Interviews: John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Welcome to Fintech insider infuse coming to you from His Majesty Treasury this rather impressive Salon <hes> I'm Deborah and it's my pleasure to join this week by John Glenn M._p.. WHO's the economic secretary to the Treasury? How's it going Nazi bad? Thanks David thanks for making time for his and actually leading in here as well. This was really really exciting. I guess for for all of those is in the U._K.. We probably more context on on your particular role but we've got lots of international listeners show. I'm can you give him a bit more context about what the E._S._p._N.'s role actually is this five members of parliament who administers in the Treasury as the chance of the Chief Secretary Secretary Financial Secretary the Economic Secretary and the Exchequer Secretary so economic sectors responsible for the city so I do the banks insurance anything to do with the city of London <hes> then also do financial inclusion and debt-management office ideal with Sanctions Ninety Money Laundering Economic Crime Green Finance and Fintech is also one of those elements. It's very busy role. I've been doing I for eighteen months and <hes> ah yes a fantastic role because the city of London such an important part of our economy and to be sort of overseeing and be responsible for the interface between parliament and regulators on really key parts of our economies is great privilege what I'm saying to super-busy role but within that fintech being we'll financial services more broadly but fintech identifying something that must be taking up a lot of your time right now. We'll Fintech so really exciting bit of my brief because he's growing fast with independent dependent. It's not just me Senate is independent acknowledgement the U._K.'s sort of world leader Sir. I think we saw fifteen billion of investment last year about being followed up by figures early this year to says exciting in a world changing rapidly to see really the application of technology to financial services and see this country flourishing is wonderful yeah. It's been a great thing great news story for us really internationally as well as locally. I guess when it comes to Fintech no you can you speak quite a lot about it. Is this something you use on a day-to-day basis as well well. I do obviously got banking APPs and various investment APP. Something should be giving a plug to anyone in some areas. I'm excited to see further evolution. The full application of open banking is really important and it'd be great when you'll renewing your insurance. That's what I look forward to some better products that that would I think that's work going on but it'd be good to see some progress that but you know it's exciting on the everyone is a device which is virtually everyone. He's looking for new products in new ways of accessing better financial services products over time and. And I guess in terms of over the last eighteen months that you've been in in this particular role. What's the achievement that sort of stands out for you in that space? You should've mentioned open banking a little bit there but I mean is that the thing that stands out or is there. It's almost hunter pick with everything that's happening well. We've had quite lot progress. I mean open banking is still to be fully realized we have the FINTECH sector strategy last year and I think that's sort of crystallized some of the things that we wanna do in terms of better interface between regulators in different jurisdictions with fintech bridges. We're not swimming Australia last year but also we really keen to get behind entrepreneurs and to actually make sure that they can be facilitated through the on boarding process. We've got these on boarding guidelines which really important ally entrepreneurs not to be held back by interface with regulators. We've given even the F._C._C. is strong competition obligation and so some of the what they've been doing is really helpful to move things quickly and I've had a number of conversations ran tables with fintech entrepreneurs and I've been very pleased pleased with the generally positive response they've had to the way that we've with Fintech nation tech nation in terms of what they've been doing to try and grab entrepreneurs get into a point of delivery quickly well. It definitely feels like that's the that's been the PAT's list do appointed around the the statement around competition and actually I guess both here and now further sees were seeing Singapore and Hong Kong and various different places trying to emulate that that sort of push in that ecosystem that's created here. <hes> do you see Fintech being a an expert now as well as something that were changing our own environmental well. We're very well positioned in the U._K.. In terms of what we've got to bringing together the city of London <hes> the regulator and digital technology and technology generally that's creating real hub here but yes it is something we need to export and what we need is optimal pathways of dialogue business to business governor government regulated due to regulate a with the country's you just mentioned preschools. Many of those have got growing consumer markets where the appetite for better financial services products better ways of accessing niche new products is there so you know I say we need to grow all dimensions locally domestically and then of course internationally as well steal this economy to get down to business the pressure to jobs the Brexit brexit over everyone else's shouting listen Uh for the clarity behind the headlines Subscribe to the Financial Times Visit F. T. dot com today. Customers are demanding greater value from financial services. They expect more agility innovation. 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I think that as enormous resilience to the city of London I mentioned the three elements of the technology heritage the access to finance city of London and a strong internationally Ashley well regarded regulator that isn't going to change and I think the beauty of Fintech is it is less focused on <hes> which jurisdiction it's it prizes innovation and if you can innovate and get regulatory approval you've got mark opportunity so I'm not for broader reasons within my portfolio relaxed about where we all we need to resolve the exit path from the but I think Fintech he's proved to be very resilient over the last three years and I see no reasons why it will be damaged going forward whatever the circumstances of our exit complaining wherever that I think as you say all of the elements are are still here if anything it it gives us some opportunity to to potentially take advantage of changing landscape. I I guess maybe the only thing to talk about is where we're going with this. What's the vision that you have from a future perspective? In terms of where tackle the London in financial services ecosystem couldn't get well. I think why would say is that the focus can always sometimes dwell a lot on creating entrusting tools for wealthy people to access better financial services products while I'm interested in the whole financial inclusion agenda we still have I think it's one point two million people who are on banked and I think fintech provides opportunities to alive people to access financial services products to be able to access credit a more affordable right to verify that credit worthiness more efficiently than traditional bricks and mortar banks and so I think the application of the. The fintech phenomena to the person AW society providing real solutions to allow them to budget veteran to access you know financial products more easily is where I think that's great opportunity and and <hes> I wanna see that facilitated an extended and and be too yeah. It feels like as you say there's there's potential to focus really into small groups doesn't whether it some bank to I mean the remedies funds that have been unlock yeah. It feels like you're GONNA get amazing amount of focus there as well wealth as well to your point. It's actually being in a situation went. Digital can just facilitate well. If a few weeks ago I went to visit funding options who the sensually provide a an online marketplace funding for S._M._e.'s giving them more appropriate tailored match to the needs of different small businesses and I think that principle is obviously mostly applicable to the person society with different profiles and different needs and that sort of work excites me because I think it means a step change in terms of the better than you know people in unauthorized hike high high-cost lending or exploitative actors who really don't care about what's happened to individuals involved yeah. It's it's interesting isn't it. It's a relentless focus on the end-consumer. Isn't it and I find the the matching their really interesting because we've oh really big organizations learning again sort of rekindling of that fire for customers intensity. You've got fintech players coming in who are born into the digital age. You are by nature very sort of consumer centric so it's an interesting sort of battlefield. That's really sort of shaping enough and it's happened so quickly. Just thinking as you will ask as you were talking that I left university in one thousand nine hundred six and I remember friend in the states telling me to contact her by email and I was like at a book assault New Room now you know we we do virtually everything on the device that we carry in our pockets from our banking or scheduling a shopping delivering a food and we've seen a transformation in the generation says exciting to think about perspective Fintech where we will be in twenty years time because I think the air that's quite interesting to is to anticipate needs and year of open banking you know. How can you say well actually you? This is your behavior of the last three months. Can we suggest these interventions to make your life function better. This is where it gets very exciting and transformational. Yeah sites completely agree we we took a lot about the different stream products and services and actually that move as as you say to a service where you can avoid people going into overdraft soul of weed people defaulting on loans. I mean anything that's preventive rather than <hes> sort of restoration posters absolutely nothing syntax the heart to that and say we're seeing lots of work going on in small firms getting up to grits some these ideas and the flight working that is obviously exciting for the country and you know I think is an enormously strong sector employing lots of people.