Financial Services

Services are fundamental to the UK economy, with Office of National Statistics data showing that the combined services sectors account for 75% per cent of output in the UK.  We have looked at the innovation status and need in these areas, with an emphasis on high value services (those that generate high gross value add for the UK economy) and carried out an analysis to determine where our investment could add the greatest value. The results are in our Interim Strategic Assessment.

We have concluded that the area with the greatest opportunities for us to make a difference in technology-related investment is the financial services industry.  Our strategy for the financial services industry sets out the objectives for our involvement in the industry and the activities and investments which we plan for 2010 to 2013.

View the Financial Services Strategy Executive Summary.

View the full Financial Services Strategy document.

The UK has world class capabilities in financial services and the industry has historically been a significant employer and contributor to the economy.  Many of the most innovative developments in finance have come from the City and other financial centres such as Edinburgh.  However, the recent financial crisis has cost billions of pounds, tarnished the image of some of the largest financial institutions and called into question the culture of the entire industry.

The response to the crisis will require the involvement not just of government and regulators, but also of practitioners and academics.

We aim to bring greater focus on technology, know-how and behaviours to address the key challenges of risk, value transparency and system efficiency.  By encouraging cross-industry working on these challenges, we aim to support the industry in maintaining its globally competitive position and delivering growth at a level that is sustainable for the longer term.

Technology and innovation.

We believe that there are three main aspects to technology and innovation that are particularly relevant to the financial services industry:

  • the 'hard' aspects of technology such as computing, software and often highly complex algorithms
  • the areas of 'know-how', such as data, structures and markets, where we also find many of the innovations on which the industry thrives
  • 'behaviour', which includes aspects such as trust in financial services as well as the overall culture of the industry.

Strategic themes

From these three areas of technology and innovation, we will address three strategic themes:

  • risk - working with businesses and academics to improve industry capabilities in recognising, understanding and managing all kinds of risks
  • value transparency - without a proper understanding of what things are worth, there can be no trust in markets
  • system efficiency - ensuring that the industry can meet customer needs at an appropriate cost level, using the right technologies and employing people with the right skills.

The Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network

One of the key mechanisms that we intend to use for the delivery of our financial services strategy is the Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network.  The FS KTN was launched in late 2009 and comprises a dynamic network of organisations, led by FS-Net, with the aim of connecting financial services companies and practitioners across the industry, while engaging with regulators and academics.  Its ultimate goal is to improve the performance, sustainability and contribution of the financial services industry to the UK economy and its citizens.  For more information about the FS KTN and to become a member visit

Last updated on Wednesday 27 June 2012 at 11:10

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