Review of sector

Fast-track visa in FinTech’s ‘Big Bang’ growth plan

Stephen Ingledew,Fintech Scotland

Stephen Ingledew: ‘fast growth’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Fintech companies expect to benefit from a “Big Bang” package of support, including more help to attract overseas talent and easier access to finance.

An independent Financial Strategic Review, commissioned by the Treasury, says the UK fintech sector can help lift the country out of its pandemic slump and recommends ways to help firms scale up, access the talent and finance they need, and deliver better financial services.

A fast-track visa route, making it easier for fintech firms to attract highly skilled migrants, is expected to be announced by the Chancellor in next week’s Budget.

Highly skilled migrants with a job offer from a recognised UK ‘scale ups’ – innovative high-growth businesses including fintech and cyber firms – will qualify for a fast-track visa, without the need for sponsorship or third-party endorsement.

It also proposes a £1 billion growth fund, expanded R&D tax relief and changes to listing rules.

The moves are seen as a necessary injection of help to avoid the UK sliding down the international fintech pecking order.

The review, led by WorldPay chairman Ron Kalifa, found that 42% of fintech workers come from overseas and argued it is crucial that UK firms can attract and retain global talent in order to grow and stay internationally competitive.

It states that the UK is at a “pivotal moment” and presents a wide-ranging strategy and delivery model to build on its existing attractiveness to start-up firms and become the best place for a fintech business to reach global scale.

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