New Fintech Visa Will Aim to Attract Top Talent
The UK government will introduce a new visa scheme targeted at financial technology professionals (fintech) in a bid to fill gaps in the sector’s workforce due to, in large part, losing access to the massive skill base from the European Union.
The move has been welcomed by the fintech industry, which has repeatedly voiced their concerns over access to key skills during the Brexit process.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce the plan to help the UK fintech sector in the near future.
As the Brexit transition period has ceased, the UK no longer has the automatic right to hire professionals from EU countries to work in the UK. Indeed, all EU nationals are required to apply for a work visa in the post-Brexit environment.
Also, the Brexit process itself and the increased rhetoric around nationalism has seen skilled Europeans leave the UK in their droves.
There is global competition for talent in the fintech sector, with hubs in Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and elsewhere becoming increasingly attractive to EU-national fintech professionals.
“Tech Visas are a Great Thing”
Ricky Knox, who is CEO At digital challenger bank Tandem, said some of the company’s European tech staff have decided to leave the UK after Brexit. He believes that tech visas are essential in the new post-Brexit environment.
“Tech visas are a great thing and essential if we are going to keep a competitive tech and fintech sector,” he added. “Over half of our coders are from outside the UK and some have already left due to Brexit.”
He went on to explain that specialist visas for fintech workers will “help to ensure the UK remains a vibrant fintech hub for Europe”.
Research conducted by market intelligence firm Dealroom, and investment agency London & Partners, found that £3.064 billion pounds went to London’s fintech firms in 2020.
“Tech visas are a great thing and essential if we are going to keep a competitive tech and fintech sector”
Michael Kent, who is CEO at cross-border money transfer fintech Azimo, said that he and others have bene pushing the UK government for visas designed for fintech professionals.
“I haven’t seen the details, but it is good that the UK government is taking this seriously. Fintech is all about people”.
Shawa Tan, CEO of Skymind, a company which focuses on AI Ecosystems in fintech, spoke about the need to hire top talent.
“As an international company that has recently set up its operations in London, we want to make sure that we can hire the talent we need.”
The New Fintech Visa
A new visa for fintech will emulate one which is already in place for tech firms.
The Global Talent Visa scheme, set up in February 2020, aims to make it easier for skilled talent to move to the UK to work. This visa was a reform to the old Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route.
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