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英国:2018秋季预算涉及多项金融科技举措

国际资讯投融资监管与政策

英国:2018秋季预算涉及多项金融科技举措

英国财相Philip Hammond今年将比以往早些宣布政府财政计划以避免和脱欧谈判最终轮时间冲突。不久之前英国首相Theresa May在保守党大会上说财政紧缩将终结。

民众除了担心NHS在预算中的拨款以外,2018年预算也是英国和欧盟达成协议前最后一个预算。因此无论Hammond说什么都可能改变与欧盟谈判何时结束并生效,在那之后他可能会宣布一个小预算计划。

这个月早些时候,财相"表格Philip"说区块链将是可行的在脱欧后解决爱尔兰边境问题的方法,而且是带来无缝贸易的最佳方案。

据BBC报道,2018年保守党大会上Hammond在被问及如何解决爱尔兰边境问题时说:"有可用的科技"并且补充"我虽然不是专家,但显然一个可用的科技就是区块链。"

随后BBC就此联络了财政部,后者回应称:"我们正积极考虑可以帮助北爱尔兰-爱尔兰陆地边境贸易顺畅的科技,以便在英国脱欧后满足贸易商可能出现的需求,确保贸易顺畅。这些科技解决方案将帮助我们实现对于陆地边境没有物理基建壁垒的承诺。"虽然很多人对Hammond的话和提及的科技本身持怀疑态度,但他的表态确实体现了英国政府成员对使用新科技持开放态度,并且认为科技是未来的方向。那"表格Phillip"今年会提出哪些项目呢?

创企投资

在强调企业以及数字对企业的帮助的2017年财政预算公布之前,英国财政部'耐心资本调查'报告出台。这份报告加强了对开放银行领域和科技投资的支持。

2017年秋季预算也推出了一个在未来十年投资200亿英镑于金融创新的计划。计划中包含多种途径,第一个就是在英国商业银行(BBB)建立一个25亿英镑的投资基金。

The Telegraph报道称,Hammond在该基金成立一年后可能将谈一下BBB的成功以及英国政府如何思考直接投资于最具潜力的英国创企。

该基金(英国耐心资本基金)CEO Lewis La Torre说:"我认为我们下一步的模式就是思考与我们的合作伙伴或天使投资机构一起共同投资。我们关注于风险投资与成长,我们一直关注吸引着风投界兴趣和资本的领域,因此人工智能是一大聚焦点,之后就是自动驾驶汽车。"

除了区块链技术,Hammond可能还会谈论AI。新闻报道称一些列总价高达5000万英镑的投资轮将出现,由此缩小英国公司与美国美国公司吸引资本的差距。

Lewis La Torre说:"英国没有不能创造出下一个科技巨头的理由。"这些增加的投资可能旨在脱欧后弥补外界对英国的观感并舒缓人们对于金融、科技和Fintech行业的担心。

网络安全

除投资外,2017年预算还提出建立"国家安全战略投资基金",投资8500万英镑于保障国家安全的先进科技。

这一基金的进程没有太多报道,但这个月早旬有报道称惠普和Centrica Hive宣布他们支持英国政府一项新的关于帮助制造商增加联网设备如智能手表和虚拟助手的安全性的行为准则。英国政府称这是世上首例,该准则将在设计断增加产品的网络安全性。Hammond周一可能会提到,英国未来三年内将有4亿2000万个使用的联网设备。

数字部长Margot James说:"从智能手表到儿童玩具,联网设备对我们生活有积极影响,但它们必须具有最佳可能的安全性才能保证我们的隐私不受侵犯或我们不遭受网络攻击。英国在产品安全性方面正成为领头羊,并且将消费者必须确保设备是安全的这种负担转移向生产商。惠普和Centrica Hive的承诺值得称赞,这是第一步。其他制造商应该跟随他们的步伐,确保从产品设计之初开始日常科技活动中就采取了强劲的安全措施。"

开放银行

开放银行和PSD2指令已全面生效,GDPR现在进入公众视线,许多欧盟之外国家在脸书和剑桥分析丑闻后意识到引入保护消费者数据的监管措施很重要。2017年预算中提到了CMA的零售银行研究报告和PSD2指令,而英国财政部这周在IMF年度会议上说在脱欧后英国应该在新型创新金融服务领域成为"全球天然的齐聚之地"。

Hammond在巴厘岛说这一目标的实现将依赖于加密资产和分布式账本技术的监管方法,确保资金环境安全并且允许fintech企业蓬勃发展。

年度会议上,Hammond说:"自2008年以来的国际合作让我们的金融系统变得更加安全、简单和公平。在本土,我们的银行业改革保护民众并且让他们更能确信自己的资金是安全的。英国世界一流的知识经验意味着我们拥有独天得厚的优势,塑造未来面对新兴科技的方法,比如区块链。这样这些科技才能有利于企业、民众和国家。"

Hammond还向他的同事解释了开放银行的重要性,督促他们在全球金融体系中保护民众不受新风险的威胁,方法就是利用Fintech创企创造的新服务。这一点他可能在2018年预算中也提到。

地产科技

2017年预算中提到了200万英镑的竞赛计划,支持为首次购房者开发创新型解决方案的Fintech公司。截至2018年8月, CreditLadder, Bud和RentalStep赢得了其中一部分奖金。

Bud是一家基于AI的租赁承认工具,银行可以将之耦合进自己的APP中为之后的按揭贷款申请提供数据;CreditLadder可以让租户汇报租金支付;RentalStep是一个房主-租户的匹配平台。

租金在信用评级中不计算为参数,因此租房者很难获得按揭贷款。英国政府给予这三家创企奖励,奖励他们提供记录并分享租金支付数据的APP,这是'租赁承认挑战'项目的一部分。

除了在2018年预算中宣布该项比赛结果,我认为Hammond还会提到区块链对地产科技行业的帮助,尤其考虑到保留客户数据是这个项目的一大组成部分。

Hammond可能也会提到英国国土登记局的研究和发展项目'数字街道'。这个项目旨在改变针对现在购房过程的态度。'数字街道'已经提出的概念包括房产助手,购房者可以向其问问题并获得关于购房要求的建议。

除此之外,即时按揭贷款和新型发放按揭模式也得到了探索。一款APP会在相关的登记信息中搜索买方和房屋的信息,如果没有发现任何问题,那买方就可以获得一张多个借贷方的最优惠按揭贷款政策的列表。

第三个概念就是房产换手助手,这将加速购房完成的流程。这个会是一个在线服务,利用智能合同、自动转移资金并且使用区块链技术更新登记信息。鉴于Hammond对分布式账本技术的热爱,这个概念应该很快就会化为实际操作。

Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, will be announcing the government’s economic plans a little early this year to avoid clashing with final Brexit negotiations and soon after Prime Minister Theresa May said that austerity was coming to an end at the Conservative Party Conference.

In addition to concerns surrounding the NHS, this is the final Budget before a deal is struck with the European Union, so whatever Hammond says may change when the negotiations are over and set in stone, after which, a mini-Budget may be announced.

Earlier this month, the UK finance minister who has been dubbed ‘Spreadsheet Phil’, said that blockchain could be a viable solution to solve the Irish border problem post-Brexit and the perfect way of delivering frictionless trade.

At the 2018 Tory Party Conference, Hammond said: “There is technology becoming available” when asked about how to resolve the issues with the border and added “I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology is blockchain,” as reported by the BBC.

After Hammond publicly climbed on the blockchain bandwagon, the BBC contacted the Treasury, who provided comment. “We are actively considering technologies that could help facilitate trade over the Northern Ireland - Ireland land border, in order to streamline any requirements that may emerge for traders after the UK leaves the EU. These technological solutions will support our commitment to no physical infrastructure at the land border.”

Despite there being many skeptics towards Hammond’s announcement and around the technology itself, it does show that members of the UK government are openly working with new technology and believe that this is the way forward. But what will Spreadsheet Phil bring to the table this year?

Investment in startups

Ahead of the 2017 UK Budget that had a heavy focus on business and how the digital landscape could help this sector, the HM Treasury Patient Capital Review response was published. This report consolidated support for open banking and investment in technology.

The 2017 Autumn Budget also revealed an action plan to unlock over £20 billion  investment ($26 billion) for financial innovation over the next 10 years in a number of ways, the first being the establishment of a £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) Investment Fund within the British Business Bank.

A year after the launch of the fund, Hammond may discuss the success of the BBB and how the government is considering directly investing in the most promising British startups, as reported by The Telegraph.

CEO of the British Patient Capital fund Catherine Lewis La Torre said “I think the model we would move to next would be to think about co-investing alongside our partners or the angel syndicates. Given that we have a venture and growth focus we have been looking at those areas which are attracting interest and capital from the venture community, so artificial intelligence is a big feature and autonomous vehicles are coming down the tracks very quickly.”

In addition to blockchain technology, Hammond may discuss AI and this news revealed that investments as large as over £50 million ($64 million) over a series of rounds would occur and would close the gap between the capital that US companies can attract.

Lewis La Torre continued to say that “There’s no reason why the UK shouldn’t create the next big tech giant” - this increased investment could be an attempt to remedy attitudes towards the UK after the vote to leave the EU and the fears for the financial, technology and fintech industries that later emerged.

Cybersecurity

In addition to this, the 2017 Budget revealed plans to launch the National Security Strategic Investment Fund which would drive £85 million ($109 million) into advanced technology that contributed to national security.

While developments of this fund have not been widely publicised, it was reported earlier this month that HP and Centrica Hive announced their support for a new UK Government code that would help manufacturers increase the security of internet-connected devices such as smart watches and virtual assistants.

In what the government report claims is a world first, this Code of Practice will strengthen the cyber security of products at the design stage ahead of the predicted 420 million internet-connected devices which will be in use in the UK within the next three years, that Hammond may mention on Monday.

Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: “From smartwatches to children’s toys, internet-connected devices have positively impacted our lives but it is crucial they have the best possible security to keep us safe from invasions of privacy or cyber attacks.

“The UK is taking the lead globally on product safety and shifting the burden away from consumers having to secure their devices.

“The pledges by HP Inc. and Centrica Hive Ltd are a welcome first step but it is vital other manufacturers follow their lead to ensure strong security measures are built into everyday technology from the moment it is designed.”

Open banking

With open banking and PSD2 now fully in force, GDPR has now entered the spotlight with many other countries realising the importance of adopting a regulation that protects customer data in the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal.

While the CMA’s retail banking review and PSD2 were mentioned in the 2017 Budget, it was just this month that the UK Finance Minister said that Britain should be the “natural global home” of new and innovative financial services after Brexit at the IMF Annual Meeting.

In Bali, Hammond said that this would be done with the implementation of a regulatory approach towards cryptoassets and distributed ledger technology, ensuring that money can be managed in a secure environment and allowing fintech to flourish.

Speaking before the Annual Meetings, he said: “International cooperation has made our financial system safer, simpler and fairer since 2008. At home, our banking reforms have protected people and given them more confidence that their money is safe.

“The UK’s world-leading expertise means that we are in a unique position to shape the future approach to emerging technology like blockchain so that they benefit businesses, people and the economy.”

Hammond also explained the importance of open banking to his colleagues and urged them to protect their people against new risks to the global financial system by taking advantage of the new services that fintech startups are creating, a sentiment that he may mention as part of his 2018 Budget.

Proptech

The 2017 Budget revealed plans to launch a £2 million ($2.6 million) competition to support fintech firms who are developing innovative solutions that will help first-time house buyers and by August 2018, it was announced that CreditLadder, Bud and RentalStep had won a share of the prize fund.

While Bud is an AI driven rental recognition tool that allows banks to integrate it into their apps which stores this data for future mortgage applications, CreditLadder allows tenants to report rent payments and RentalStep is a landlord-tenant matching platform.

As rent is not recognised in credit scores and in turn, makes it harder for renters to get a mortgage, the UK government awarded these three startups which offer apps that record and share rent payment data, as part of the Rent Recognition Challenge.

Alongside announcing the results of the competition, I believe that Hammond may mention how blockchain could help the proptech industry, especially because retaining customer data was such a big part of the plan.

Digital Street, the HM Land Registry’s research and development project that aims to change the current attitude towards the home buying process, may also be mentioned by Hammond. Ideas that Digital Street have already conceptualized include a property assistant where homebuyers can ask questions and get advice about what it takes to buy a home.

In addition to this, instant mortgages and new ways of approving mortgages were explored. An app would search for information about the buyer and the house on relevant registers and if no risks were found, a list would be provided to the best mortgage deals from a number of lenders.

The third concept was a property exchange assistant, which also speeds up the process of completing a house purchase, would be an online service that would use smart contracts, automate transfer funds and update the register using blockchain and with Hammond’s new love for DLT, this could be a process adopted sooner rather than later.

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