The Bank of England has begun working with financial technology (fintech) firms to provide real time information to banks to warn them of cyber-attacks. While speaking at the Telegraph’s Future of Fintech conference, the head of the BoE’s Fintech Accelerator Claire Sunderland Hay, said this was one avenue the bank was pursuing to tackle the growing number of fraudulent activity online. She revealed that they are exploring “threat intelligence tools, which we hope will lead to faster sharing of threat intelligence information across a broader group, allowing firms to be more aware of risks in real time.” The partnership has been in operation since June, and has yielded many viable solutions which are being followed. The declaration is a welcome step, following the cyber-attack on Tesco Bank earlier in the month, from which £2.5 million was stolen from 20,000 accounts. The bank is also working on using distributive ledgers – blockchain -, and also a form of anonymous data to boost cybersecurity.
Despite the one-of-a-kind partnership with a central bank, other fintech directors are not as enthused with the British market, following the Brexit vote. Fintech owners have revealed they have begun relocating staff to parts of Europe, a move which may hinder what Threadneedle Street is trying to accomplish. While speaking at the same conference, the chief executive officer of business finance firm Iwoca, Christopher Rieche, said “The UK is not going to fall off a complete cliff, but we are the number one and we want to build the lead against the rest – and we are losing that race. We are letting others catch up when we should be running ahead.” He further added that “Fintech is the opportunity to build European champions, which banks have not managed in 300 years. Fintech was the opportunity for London, with a strong expertise in financial services, to go beyond its frontiers in retail banking, and we shouldn’t leave that real ambition out of sight.”