FinTech collaboration – how can the old guard work with the collaborators?

Retail Financial Services

Retail Financial Services

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Moderator: Tony Crane – BrightSky, ClearMind

Expert: James Alexander - KMPG 


Headline Finding 1:   

Firms don’t seem to have a structure around innovation. Most said they wanted to do it but very few were actively pursuing or developing an active innovation strategy.

Reason why: Complex organisational structures – particularly the larger firms – seemed to be getting in the way. No one person owning the end-to-end customer proposition seems common-place so identifying the decision-makers could be a barrier. 

None of the firms present had an active innovation hub or group within their businesses. 


Headline Finding 2:

Do we know what the problem that we are trying to solve is?

Why are we trying to innovate? 

Firms don’t seem to be able to narrow down the issues they are facing into a series of problem statements, seems innovation is quite reactive. 


Headline Finding 3: 

There are brilliantly innovative things being developed outside of FS – and some within it – but these are developing in silos without widespread cross sector collaboration – this was seen as a lost opportunity.                                                                                            


Headline Finding 4:

Firms tended to focus on either small operational innovation that led to increased efficiencies or large scale costly strategic projects. The middle-ground between the two is where most felt the opportunities were but very few were operating in this space (this may be a consequence of Exec teams focusing on big-ticket items and functional project teams on small efficiency drivers, leaving mid/senior managers out of the innovation loop) 


Headline Finding 5:

Does the UK have the right culture to collaborate?

Commercial concerns seemed to always get in the way of true collaboration. Equally can any firm be truly impartial in a collaborative environment – we’ll always want what’s best for our firm but at what point does that become counter-productive?



  • Few seemed to understand how they could start to innovate.
  • Questions around the ability for the larger firms to truly understand what problems they were trying to solve – beyond operational ones.
  • Content was seen as king and moving from purely transactional propositions into content rich propositions was seen as an innovation that most could make (but don’t know how given the commercial pressures).
  • Attendee’s were unsure on how to engage internally to develop a change culture around innovation.
  • Seen as difficult in a regulated environment (ease of doing it and commercial benefit seems to always lose out to regulatory risk of getting it wrong).
  • Identification of who was responsible/accountable for innovation within each firm was a common issue.


Possible outcome:

Innovation centre to be created or a collaboration tool to allow people to not just innovate but also understand how to create the right environment to allow innovation to be raised as a topic.