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The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered the Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday 22 November 2023.  In this Special Edition, we summarise some of the interesting announcements which are, or may become, relevant for FinTech and financial services regulation.

Future of Payments report

HMT has published the report of the independently-chaired review into the future of payments.  The report considers how payments are likely to be made in the future and makes recommendations on the steps needed to successfully deliver world leading retail payments, further boosting UK fintech competitiveness.  The primary recommendation in the report is that HMG should 'develop a National Payments Strategy and Vision'.  It then sets out ten conclusions regarding customer experience, Open Banking, and regulatory oversight and alignment.

Pro-innovation regulation of technologies review

HMT has published the outcome of the review conducted by Government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Dame Angela McLean into pro-innovation regulation of technologies and HMG's response to the recommendations made. Dame Angela's recommendations are set out in three parts:

  • the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) acting as cross-Government focal points for pro-innovation regulation;
  • supporting regulators to drive innovation-led growth; and
  • ensuring regulators can access the right skills and resources.

HMG's response accepts eleven of twelve of the recommendations, and notes that the twelfth merits further investigation.  Of particular note for the financial services sector among the recommendations and HMG's intended actions are:

  • the possibility of a new 'concierge service' to aid innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape (Recommendation 1b); and
  • the intention to publish a roadmap in early 2024 with HMG's vision for a Smart Data ecosystem which will encompass various sectors, including finance, banking and 'homebuying' (Recommendation 2e).

National Quantum Strategy Missions

DSIT has published a policy paper under the National Quantum Strategy setting out five long-term quantum missions, including

  • Mission 1: by 2035, there will be accessible, UK-based quantum computers capable of running 1 trillion operations and supporting applications that provide benefits well in excess of classical supercomputers across key sectors of the economy (including finance);
  • Mission 2: by 2035, the UK will have deployed the world’s most advanced quantum network at scale, pioneering the future quantum internet (the UK will reach year 0 for the quantum internet); and
  • Mission 5: by 2030, mobile, networked quantum sensors will have unlocked new situational awareness capabilities, exploited across critical infrastructure in the transport, telecoms, energy, and defence sectors.

HMG plans to define the programmes under each Mission 'in the coming weeks'; it will work with industry, academia, and investors on this.

Consultation outcome – Digital Securities Sandbox

HMT has published the outcome of its consultation on the Digital Securities Sandbox. This confirms the final approach to implementing the Digital Securities Sandbox, summarises the feedback on the consultation, and sets out the HMG’s response. Legislation implementing the DSS will be laid before Parliament in due course.

Following the Chancellor's statement, a collection of policy documents was released.  These include the full text of the Autumn Statement, associated cost and impact assessments, a number of consultations, and several related announcements.

Cat Dankos photo

Cat Dankos

Regulatory Consultant, London

Cat Dankos

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Cat Dankos photo

Cat Dankos

Regulatory Consultant, London

Cat Dankos
Cat Dankos