Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


UK’s Tech Nation picks 20 fintech programme members

The UK-based, government-backed, national network for tech enterpreneurs has picked 20 early-stage startups to join its new fintech programme

It has promised to give them intensive backing to help grow their businesses and the country’s financial and technological ecosystem.

First unveiled as part of the government’s fintech sector strategy in March, the new programme will provide the participants a chance to work with and learn from some of the UK’s top fintech entrepreneurs.

Over five months, firms will get coaching sessions around the UK and access to field experts before making a networking trip to the US to meet potential investors and partners.

The 20 firms picked to join the first cohort are operational in the areas of: payments, financial inclusion, regtech, AI, SME financing, Open Banking, and cryptocurrencies.

Tech UK is stressing the regional variety, with a third of participants from outside of London, headquartered in places like Norwich, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Manchester. Some 40% of the 20 also have female founders or co-founders.

Eileen Burbidge, chair, Tech Nation and HM Treasury’s special envoy for fintech, stated: “The UK is an acknowledged world leader in fintech but having this programme, endorsed by HM Treasury, will help the UK to further accelerate the development of the sector.”

The UK has long been a leading fintech hub and the government is committed to ensuring that the sector continues to flourish post-Brexit. 

While the implications of the country’s exit from the EU on the UK’s scene have yet to become fully clear, a recent Tech Nation report suggested that firms continue to be concerned about the fall out. 

The report surveyed more than 3400 members of the technology community, finding that for companies in London Brexit is considered the third biggest challenge. The top challenge still remains access to talent – something which will again be affected by the UK’s EU exit.

-GBO Correspondent.

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