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August 18, 2015

Accenture, Barclays, HSBC and RBS seek fintech entrepreneurs

Consultancy wants to respond to pressure from the Valley.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Accenture and many of the world’s major banks and financial groups are seeking fintech start-ups in a bid to respond to growing pressure from Silicon Valley.

In preparation for a scheme soon to be launched by the consultancy and the likes of Barclays, HSBC and RBS, entrepreneurs are invited to submit their ideas to Fintech Innovation Lab London, in the fourth annual event in the city.

Julian Skan, Accenture managing director overseeing the scheme, said: "The financial services industry is being re-imagined by the accelerated adoption of new technologies by financial institutions and a corresponding surge of innovation and new ideas from small, entrepreneurial companies across the UK and Europe,"

"There are many talented entrepreneurs who are creating products and services that have the potential to disrupt the industry, and game-changing technologies that can help financial institutions enhance their operations."

The 15 start-ups accepted into the programme will be placed on a 12-week course intended to expose them to the rigours of the financial industry, including access with executives from the participating banks and financial services groups.

Six of these will then be invited to an investor day in March 2016, where their ideas will be placed before City of London luminaries looking to respond to pressure from technologists.

"Emerging technologies are transforming financial services and should be firmly embraced to ensure we stay at the cutting edge for our customers and clients," said Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of personal and corporate banking at Barclays.

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"The FinTech Innovation Lab London brings together disruptive innovators, corporates, resources and support networks to accelerate the speed of innovation and is an important initiative to help shape the future of our industry."

According to Accenture participants in the scheme have raised more than £150m after their involvement, with one firm in New York also being bought for $175m (£110m) in 2014.

Figures from the consultancy revealed global investment in fintech tripled from £2.6bn in 2013 to £7.8bn last year, with Europe claiming just shy of £1bn in 2014.

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