Bank of England Starts Hub to Monitor Fintech Alongside Hammond

(Bloomberg) -- Developments in fintech could boost the U.K.’s sluggish productivity growth and the Bank of England has started a unit to monitor its developments, Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said Thursday.

“We have set up a new Fintech Hub that will sit at the heart of the bank, to consider both how the bank understands and how it applies fintech, relevant to its mission,” Ramsden said. “Given the size of the financial sector in the U.K., I can see fintech driving competition and a pick-up in productivity in the medium term.”

The new unit will add to the bank’s ongoing research efforts on digital currencies, and runs parallel to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s fintech strategy, also unveiled Thursday. Speaking at the Treasury’s International Fintech Conference in London, Ramsden said the hub would “play an active role” in Hammond’s taskforce.

The central bank has already been delving into cryptocurrency issues over the last few years, particularly through its Fintech Accelerator, which has contributed to the bank’s understanding of distributed ledger technology.

“We are now looking to build on the success of the Accelerator by integrating its key approaches into our business as usual activities,” Ramsden said.

Ramsden spoke hours after the BOE announced a decision to keep interest rates on hold. Ramsden didn’t comment on the outlook for monetary policy in the speech.

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