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Volume 658: debated on Tuesday 9 April 2019

15. What assessment he has made of the potential economic effect of the introduction of FinTech in the UK. (910310)

FinTech revolutionises financial services, promoting innovation, stimulating competition and incentivising firms to deliver better outcomes for customers. FinTech firms directly contribute £6.6 billion annually to the UK economy, employing over 60,000 people across 1,600 companies.

I thank the Minister for that answer, and I thank the Government for keeping us in the No. 1 slot for FinTech. I very much welcome the call for evidence on digital payments, but there is a danger that if the wrong type of payments are taken, particularly around the interchange fees, we could undermine the sector. I therefore urge the Minister to remain open-minded to charging a maximum fee per transaction, as opposed to a proportionate fee.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question and for his work as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on financial technology over the last four years. The regulator is the UK’s leading authority for interchange fee regulation, as he knows, and it is conducting a review into the fees that businesses face when accepting card payments. I acknowledge his concern, and we are open to hearing views on this issue, and on digital payments more broadly, as part of our call for evidence.

Can the Minister think of one independent trade expert who thinks FinTech in the UK will do better once Britain has left the European Union?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, it is the Government’s policy to have an orderly exit from the EU. However, we know that FinTech has proved to be very resilient in all circumstances. We had record investment of £15 billion last year. That is testimony to the creative power of that industry, working in the financial services sector in the City.