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STARTUPBOOTCAMP LAUNCHES WORLD-CLASS FINTECH ACCELERATOR

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Rainmaking Loft

First program of its kind to benefit from partnerships with multiple financial services firms, including Lloyds Banking Group, MasterCard and Rabobank

Rainmaking Loft

Rainmaking Loft

Startupbootcamp, Europe’s leading startup accelerator, has today announced the launch of a new accelerator program focused purely on FinTech startups, Startupbootcamp FinTech. The three-month program is open to startups across the globe and is the first FinTech accelerator to receive support from multiple corporations, including financial services groups Lloyds and Rabobank, and payment industry leader MasterCard.

Alessandro Hatami, Director of Digital Payments and Innovation at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Lloyds Banking Group is committed to supporting enterprise across Britain as the recovery gains momentum and confidence returns. Through this partnership, we hope to help smaller fintech businesses get access to the expertise and funding they need in order to grow. We will work with Startupbootcamp to advise startups on how to become more effective in working with large financial institutions, especially by providing insight on customers’ needs and expectations.”

Stephane Wyper, Vice President of Startup Engagement and Acceleration for MasterCard Labs, said, “As MasterCard looks to further enhance our relationships with the next wave of innovative startups that will help drive the future of financial technology, our relationship with Startupbootcamp is an invaluable way to give us visibility into a truly unique set of startup companies, and benefit from their deep expertise in helping these companies scale successfully.

Harrie Vollaard, Innovation Director at Rabobank, said: “The landscape within the banking industry is changing. We see that the FinTech industry is going to have an increasingly greater impact. With this partnership we have the opportunity to participate actively. It’s an excellent way  to collaborate and build up best practices and knowledge together with  startups.”

As with all Startupbootcamp programs, the ten successful startups will benefit from extensive mentorship from 100+ entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate partners, helping guide them through each of the ‘shape’, ‘build’, and ‘sell’ stages of their development. Startupbootcamp FinTech’s partnership with Lloyds and MasterCard will also provide startups with access to pilot customers, industry data, APIs and capital.

Each successful team will also receive €15,000 and over three months’ free office space in London’s Rainmaking Loft, a 10,000ft2 startup hub in the iconic St. Katharine Docks, next to Tower Bridge.

Teams will also benefit from legal advice from specialist law firm, MJ Hudson and public relations advice from global technology PR specialists, Clarity PR.

And, while the program itself starts in August, Startupbootcamp FinTech will go well beyond just acceleration. Over the next few months, Startupbootcamp will also be running a global innovation program, aimed at nurturing talent, ideas and developing earlier stage FinTech startups. The program will comprise a range of events taking place in FinTech hotspots across the world, including New York, Singapore and Shanghai. These will include:

  • FinTech hackathons – Attracting talent to create new innovation in the financial industry and solve challenges in 48 hours
  • FinTech lounges – Exclusive events for later stage startups to engage with the financial industry executives
  • Worldwide pitch days – Inviting the local startup communities around the globe to pitch in front of Startupbootcamp FinTech experts

The Startupbootcamp FinTech team is led by Managing Director Nektarios Liolios, former Innovation Leader at Innotribe, SWIFT, with over fifteen years’ experience in the financial industry. Nektarios is joined by Chief Operating Officer Markus Gnirck, a serial entrepreneur with focus on early-stage startups and Chairman Carsten Kølbek, a seed investor and the founder of Startupbootcamp.

Nektarios Liolios commented: “Technology has the potential to completely transform the way that the financial industry operates and because of this FinTech has become the hottest trend in today’s global startup scene.”

“Right from the outset, we were determined that Startupbootcamp FinTech should focus its efforts on developing earlier stage companies, providing them with support from a broad range of financial organisations. We want to nurture talent, great ideas and innovation, and for us that also meant involving as much of the financial community as possible. That’s why our mentors, investors and partners are made up of individuals from right across the financial services spectrum.”

“We’re excited to get Startupbootcamp FinTech underway with a number of events planned for the first half of the year, all aimed at attracting talent, inspiring innovation and engaging entrepreneurs with the financial services industry.”  

The package:

Startups making it through the Startupbootcamp FinTech selection process will receive:

  • Extensive mentorship from 100+ entrepreneurs, investors, and partners
  • Access to top markets in London, US and APAC
  • 3+ months free office space
  • € 15K package per team
  • €250K+ in partner services
  • Exposure to 200+ Angels & VCs
  • Invitation to SBC global alumni network

Anyone startup interested can apply for Startupbootcamp FinTech here.

For more information:

Finance

Sunak warns of bill to be paid to tackle Britain’s ‘exposed’ finances – FT

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Sunak warns of bill to be paid to tackle Britain's 'exposed' finances - FT 1

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will use the budget next week to level with the public over the “enormous strains” in the country’s finances, warning that a bill will have to be paid after further coronavirus support, according to an interview with the Financial Times.

Sunak told the newspaper there was an immediate need to spend more to protect jobs as the UK emerged from COVID-19, but warned that Britain’s finances were now “exposed.”

UK exposure to a rise of one percentage point across all interest rates was 25 billion pounds ($34.83 billion) a year to the government’s cost of servicing its debt, Sunak told FT.

“That (is) why I talk about leveling with people about the public finances (challenges) and our plans to address them,” he said.

The government has already spent more than 280 billion pounds in coronavirus relief and tax cuts this year, and his March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown.

He is also expected to announce a new mortgage scheme targeted at people with small deposits, the UK’s Treasury announced late on Friday.

Additionally, the government will also announce a new 100 million pound task force to crack-down on COVID-19 fraudsters exploiting government support schemes, it said.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)

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G20 promises no let-up in stimulus, sees tax deal by summer

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G20 promises no let-up in stimulus, sees tax deal by summer 2

By Gavin Jones and Jan Strupczewski

ROME/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders agreed on Friday to maintain expansionary policies to help economies survive the effects of COVID-19, and committed to a more multilateral approach to the twin coronavirus and economic crises.

The Italian presidency of the G20 group of the world’s top economies said the gathering of finance chiefs had pledged to work more closely to accelerate a still fragile and uneven recovery.

“We agreed that any premature withdrawal of fiscal and monetary support should be avoided,” Daniele Franco, Italy’s finance minister, told a news conference after the videolinked meeting held by the G20 finance ministers and central bankers.

The United States is readying $1.9 trillion in fiscal stimulus and the European Union has already put together more than 3 trillion euros ($3.63 trillion) to keep its economies through lockdowns.

But despite the large sums, problems with the global rollout of vaccines and the emergence of new coronavirus variants mean the future path of the recovery remains uncertain.

The G20 is “committed to scaling up international coordination to tackle current global challenges by adopting a stronger multilateral approach and focusing on a set of core priorities,” the Italian presidency said in a statement.

The meeting was the first since Joe Biden – who pledged to rebuild U.S. cooperation in international bodies – U.S. president, and significant progress appeared to have been made on the thorny issue of taxation of multinational companies, particularly web giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the G20 Washington had dropped the Trump administration’s proposal to let some companies opt out of new global digital tax rules, raising hopes for an agreement by summer.

“GIANT STEP FORWARD”

The move was hailed as a major breakthrough by Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.

Scholz said Yellen told the G20 officials that Washington also planned to reform U.S. minimum tax regulations in line with an OECD proposal for a global effective minimum tax.

“This is a giant step forward,” Scholz said.

Italy’s Franco said the new U.S. stance should pave the way to an overarching deal on taxation of multinationals at a G20 meeting of finance chiefs in Venice in July.

The G20 also discussed how to help the world’s poorest countries, whose economies are being disproportionately hit by the crisis.

On this front there was broad support for boosting the capital of the International Monetary Fund to help it provide more loans, but no concrete numbers were proposed.

To give itself more firepower, the Fund proposed last year to increase its war chest by $500 billion in the IMF’s own currency called the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), but the idea was blocked by Trump.

“There was no discussion on specific amounts of SDRs,” Franco said, adding that the issue would be looked at again on the basis of a proposal prepared by the IMF for April.

While the IMF sees the U.S. economy returning to pre-crisis levels at the end of this year, it may take Europe until the middle of 2022 to reach that point.

The recovery is fragile elsewhere too. Factory activity in China grew at the slowest pace in five months in January, and in Japan fourth quarter growth slowed from the previous quarter.

Some countries had expressed hopes the G20 may extend a suspension of debt servicing costs for the poorest countries beyond June, but no decision was taken.

The issue will be discussed at the next meeting, Franco said.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Crispian Balmer in Rome; editing by John Stonestreet)

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Bank of England’s Haldane says inflation “tiger” is prowling

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Bank of England's Haldane says inflation "tiger" is prowling 3

By Andy Bruce and David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane warned on Friday that an inflationary “tiger” had woken up and could prove difficult to tame as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially requiring the BoE to take action.

In a clear break from other members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who are more relaxed about the outlook for consumer prices, Haldane called inflation a “tiger (that) has been stirred by the extraordinary events and policy actions of the past 12 months”.

“People are right to caution about the risks of central banks acting too conservatively by tightening policy prematurely,” Haldane said in a speech published online. “But, for me, the greater risk at present is of central bank complacency allowing the inflationary (big) cat out of the bag.”

Haldane’s comments prompted British government bond prices to fall to their lowest level in almost a year and sterling to rise as he warned that investors may not be adequately positioned for the risk of higher inflation or BoE rates.

“There is a tangible risk inflation proves more difficult to tame, requiring monetary policymakers to act more assertively than is currently priced into financial markets,” Haldane said.

He pointed to the BoE’s latest estimate of slack in Britain’s economy, which was much smaller and likely to be less persistent than after the 2008 financial crisis, leaving less room for the economy to grow before generating price pressures.

Haldane also cited a glut of savings built by businesses and households during the pandemic that could be unleashed in the form of higher spending, as well as the government’s extensive fiscal response to the pandemic and other factors.

Disinflationary forces could return if risks from COVID-19 or other sources proved more persistent than expected, he said.

But in Haldane’s judgement, inflation risked overshooting the BoE’s 2% target for a sustained period – in contrast to its official forecasts published early this month that showed only a very small overshoot in 2022 and early 2023.

Haldane’s comments put him at the most hawkish end among the nine members of the MPC.

Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden on Friday said risks to UK inflation were broadly balanced.

“I see inflation expectations – whatever measure you look at – well anchored,” Ramsden said following a speech given online, echoing comments from fellow deputy governor Ben Broadbent on Wednesday.

(Editing by Larry King and John Stonestreet)

 

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