EPA Advisory Board launches Project Europe to bring the FinTech community together, working as a powerful force that can impact policy, regulation and legislation post Brexit
Tony Craddock, Director General of the EPA comments;
‘New strategies and modes of working will need to be adopted to cope with the uncertainty of the transition period as we make our exit from the EU. The EPA is already putting in place support and advisory groups that will work with members, plan for change and seize new opportunities.’
London – In response to the decision made by the British public to leave the EU, the Emerging Payments Association (EPA), the representative trade body advancing payments innovation, has today announced an important new project. Project Europe aims to navigate some of the uncertainties now facing the industry, focusing on new models and strategies that will allow the UK PayTech sector to retain its reputation as the world’s hotspot for payments innovation.
Project Europe is set to tackle a wide range of issues including; regulatory inclusion in EU payments directives, the retention of highly skilled FinTech talent in the UK’s thriving financial services economy and a continued push for access to the single market and passporting.
The EPA Advisory Board is represented by some of the most influential leaders in the sector and is urging businesses to put their best foot forward. Regardless of what their personal vote was, it is time to innovate and continue to drive the UK FinTech industry.
Since its formation, the EPA has been instrumental in lobbying financial services bodies, setting the global standard for best practice and providing clarity on two critical aspects of FinTech – regulation and legislation. Post referendum, it will continue to help establish the UK as the global hub at the forefront of payments technology innovation. It will also set out to ensure that payments are a central part of the UK’s negotiation with the EU. This will avoid loss of momentum for a more innovative and customer-focussed marketplace and ensure the good work that has come out of the EU, such as PSD2, is not lost.
Andrea Dunlop, CEO of Card Solutions and Acquiring at Paysafe, and member of the EPA Advisory Board says, ‘The UK is well known for having one of the most business-friendly regulators in the FCA and PSR, organisations which enable growth across Europe and the world. This well-earned reputation won’t change as a result of Brexit. However, as part of the EPA, we will begin searching for Plan B options outside the UK well in advance of any impacts that will cause serious detriments to our industry members.’
Consistent with its members’ responsive, innovative and flexible approach, the EPA and its Advisory Board will aim to:
PRESERVE THE UK’S EU PASSPORTING AND OTHER INTERESTS
As part of Project Europe involving nine member volunteers, the EPA is formulating a plan to help preserve our passporting rights post-exit. The project will explore whether to create a legal template for all EPA members, allowing them to reduce duplication and multiple legal fees. As part of this initiative, the group will also explore how to ensure the implementation of plans to allow direct access to settlement accounts at the Bank of England. The group will also look at how UK businesses might establish a presence in friendly jurisdictions that will allow access to the EU if passporting or an equivalent is not possible, such as Ireland, Malta, Luxemburg and Cyprus.
REDUCE UNCERTAINTY NOW
The EPA has also launched a legal advice helpline. PayTech companies can send questions, to be answered free of charge, to LegalQ&A@emergingpayments.org. This will help the PayTech industry get valuable legal advice and clarity during this temporary period of flux while the UK takes steps to come out of the EC. Top lawyers will be on hand to give practical advice to businesses grappling with legislation, directives, regulations and compliance in the PayTech eco system.
BUILD CONFIDENCE IN THE UK AS THE WORLD’S LEADING HUB FOR PAYMENTS INNOVATION
The EPA’s PR and social media activity is being cranked up to reinforce and educate users of UK PayTech companies that the UK is firmly open for business.
HELP MEMBERS SELL TO EMERGING MARKETS
With a new EPA Initiative involving ten member volunteers, the EPA is exploring how to build corridors to enable exports of UK business with non-EU European countries.
Ian Clowes, CEO of PCT, and member of the EPA Advisory Board says, ‘The good news is that we now operate in a global world and many leading Fintech and PayTech businesses will have no need to move operations from the UK when we leave the EU and are less concerned about the effects of Brexit.’
David Hunter, Chairman of W2 Global, and member of the EPA Advisory Board, says, ‘The value of internal communication, with staff and clients, couldn’t be higher than at this moment in time. Many things are still unclear and will continue to develop in coming months, for example, Passporting is a key factor.’ Hunter continues, ‘If agreements can be preserved in one sector, they are likely to remain across others. How the banks respond will have significant impact on the rest of the industry as they are notoriously slow and bureaucratic. We also have to answer the question, will the UK remain part of the single market?’
Tony Craddock, Director General of the EPA states; ‘The main message being sent by the EPA’s leadership to EPA members is, let’s unite to look for the opportunities, prepare quickly for change and innovate to preserve our reputation and world leading economy. The PayTech industry is more powerful and bolder working together.’