The Bank of England has launched its own FinTech Accelerator to work in partnership with FinTech firms on challenges that central banks uniquely face.
The Accelerator will work with new technology firms to help the bank harness FinTech innovations for central banking. In return, it will offer firms the chance to demonstrate their solutions for real issues facing the industry as policymakers, together with the valuable ‘first client’ reference that comes with it.
“Benefits spring from FinTech’s potential to deliver a great unbundling of banking into its core functions of settling payments, performing maturity transformation, sharing risk and allocating capital.” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.
“This would mean revolution, fundamentally re-shaping the financial system. At the same time, some financial technologies could make incumbent banks more efficient and profitable, reinforcing existing economies of scale and scope in banking. This would mean a restoration, reinforcing incumbents’ power.”
With time, the Accelerator will build a network of firms working in this space for the benefit of the bank and participants. Partner firms will be selected to engage in short Proof of Concept projects via a transparent and competitive process, based on clearly defined selection criteria. These criteria will ensure each project has the potential to be truly innovative, relevant to the Bank’s Mission as well as commercially viable.
Proof of Concept
At the end of the POC, the Bank will consider producing an assessment of our experience of the work. Where appropriate, we will consider making this accessible through publishing a description of the findings. For successfully completed POCs, the Bank will consider acting as a reference client for the firms. The Accelerator has already carried out initial work in the areas of data anonymisation, cyber security and distributed ledger technology.
Other areas of potential future interest for the Accelerator include finding new ways to structure and analyse large datasets, machine learning, particularly in relation to anomaly detection and pattern recognition, and protection of the Bank’s sensitive data.
However, the Bank says it’s interest is not limited to the topics above and welcomes expressions of interest from innovative firms in all areas of FinTech that can demonstrate how their work relates to the Bank’s mission.