What is FinTech?
FinTech is an abbreviation of the phrase ‘financial technology’. It was first used in the 1980s by Peter Knight in The Sunday Times and has since become a common term when referring to technology which supports or enables financial services.
Examples of FinTech include: new payment methods such as PayPal and Bitcoin; the blockchain, which may be deployed to improve back and middle office processing for financial services businesses; and technology which gathers and/or analyses large data sets to improve business intelligence.
The Global FinTech sector has grown from investment of under US$930 million to $2.97 billion in 2013.
Financial activity predicted to rise from US$3 billion in 2013 to $6 billion by 2018.
A strategic vision for FinTech
In July 2015, the States of Guernsey, in association with PwC, published “A Strategic Vision for FinTech”. This collaborative piece of work highlighted that Guernsey is already doing much in this area and is a place where established and new businesses can flourish.
Fifty years as an IFC
Politically and financially stable
A government that supports business of all kinds
A simple, stable and competitive tax system
Highly skilled workforce
Highest standards of regulation
Some of the firms that have chosen to take advantage of the environment Guernsey offers include:
In February 2017, Northern Trust, in collaboration with IBM, launched the first commercial deployment of blockchain technology for the private equity market.
Together they have built a distributed ledger solution, which is being used for the management and administration of a private equity fund by Unigestion - a Swiss-based asset manager with $20 billion assets under management.
The group opted for a Guernsey-based fund because the use of blockchain has already been approved by the Guernsey authorities.
As a jurisdiction we continually monitor new technologies, support businesses in developing ground-breaking new ideas and provide a supportive environment where products can not only flourish but be first-to-market. Deputy Gavin St Pier, Guernsey's Chief Minister
The ID Register was officially launched from its base in Guernsey in September 2016.
The ID Register provides a secure online portal onto which LPs can create and upload their due diligence profiles for free. They can then choose to connect that profile to anyone who needs their DD such as banks, legal firms, fund managers and other counterparties.
As well as removing the need for investors to prepare and submit due diligence, The ID Register conducts sanctions screening on the investor, ensures documentation remains up to date, and ensures documentation complies with FATCA and CRS legislation.
Wealthify is an online investment service that uses technology to make investing easy and affordable for everyone. Its customers can start investing with just £1 and add as little as £1 per month to their plan if they choose.
"We think everyone should have the opportunity to invest, so we’ve created a straightforward and jargon-free service that everyone can use no matter how little experience they have." Michelle Pearce, Wealthify’s Guernsey-born Chief Investment Officer
Wealthify is in fact an FCA-regulated company operating out of an office in Cardiff, but it came to life when Michelle teamed up with Guernsey-based investment manager Richard Avery-Wright and Cardiff-based tech entrepreneur Richard Theo.
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The Digital Greenhouse is dedicated to growing Guernsey’s digital and creative sectors. It provides a space for co-working, networking and learning in the centre of St Peter Port.