Pat Saini, head of immigration at Penningtons Manches Cooper, has contributed to the newly released Kalifa Review of UK Fintech.
In last year’s Budget, the Chancellor asked Ron Kalifa, Chairman of Worldpay, the online payments specialist, to conduct an independent review to identify priority areas to support the UK’s fintech sector.
The review highlights the opportunity to create highly skilled jobs across the UK, boost trade, and extend the UK’s competitive edge over other leading fintech hubs. Its recommendations include: launching a fintech growth fund, which UK pension funds would be free to invest in to stop early stage companies selling to overseas competitors too soon; setting up a new retraining programme, where further education colleges would offer short courses to help develop essential tech skills, and developing 10 new fintech ‘clusters’ located across the UK.
Pat contributed to the chapter on skills and talent, which was led by Sherry Coutu, an entrepreneur and investor in the sector. The specific recommendations relating to immigration centre on the creation of a new visa stream to enhance access to international talent for fintech scaleups.
She comments: “I am delighted to have been invited to be part of this review. The UK has more than 10% of the global market share in fintech and the sector is worth more than £11 billion a year to the UK economy. The pandemic has seen an increase in customers using digital channels, this has meant that our clients in the sector have had to react quickly. The need for specialist skills in this sector has therefore never been greater. The proposal for a new visa stream specific to the sector would position the UK as the destination of choice for those with specialist skills. I look forward to supporting key players in the sector, including fellow members of Tech London Advocates, to help make this recommendation a reality.”