Each week, The Fintech Times takes a look at the top stories in British fintech. In today’s roundup, one in three Brits in lockdown dream of becoming an entrepreneur, FCA sends thousands of staff on cyber and financial crime training courses and the UK is one of the countries most interested in Ether
One in Three Brits in Lockdown dream of becoming an entrepreneur
Virgin StartUp has released new research to celebrate funding its 4,000th founder. Virgin’s not-for-profit entrepreneurial hub reveals that one in three (33%) Brits dream of becoming an entrepreneur and would like to set up their own business.
According to the study, approximately two million (5%) people have started a side project during the lockdown. A further one in four (24%) said that although they don’t currently have a passion project, they would be interested in starting a business alongside their main employment.
Wanting to be your own boss is amongst the main motivations for becoming self-employed (49%), alongside a better work-life balance (45%), disliking existing jobs (17%), and finding it hard to be managed (14%). And it seems as though home is the place that sparks the most creativity, as one in five (20%) who have their own business launched from their living room, with a further one in seven (14%) setting up from their bedroom.
Andy Fishburn, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp, comments: “The pandemic has allowed people to refocus on what’s important to them. It has also provided essential time and space to develop ideas, so it’s been amazing to see more and more founders getting creative in a crisis. It’s so encouraging to be working with so many people trying to make a difference at the moment by bringing innovative ideas to the table.”
UK consumers see a bright financial future ahead
Despite the pandemic’s negative impact on the UK economy, Klarna’s Money Management pulse has found that consumers are optimistic about their financial futures. The report, which looks at personal finance behaviour and future expectations, found that more than a third (34%) of UK consumers think they will be better off financially a year from now. Only 15% thought they would be worse off in a year, while 51% felt their financial situation would stay the same. Younger generations are the most positive by far, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of 18-25-year-olds and half (51%) of 26-35-year-olds believing they will be better off financially in a year’s time.
While younger generations are often portrayed as irresponsible when it comes to their personal finances, they are in fact highly engaged. 18-25-year-olds are set to boost savings more than any other age group, with 39% planning to save more than usual in April, closely followed by 26-34-year-olds (34%), double the UK average of 18%.
Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK, commented: “As lockdown restrictions lift and the vaccination rollout continues at pace, UK consumers have a positive outlook for their personal finances, especially the younger generations. Heading into the summer, the future is also bright for key retail and hospitality industries who are finally able to throw open their doors to welcome back customers in increasing numbers.”
UK one of the countries most interested in Ether
has become more prominent than ever before and one of the digital coins making the most noise is Ether. Unlike its closest crypto rival Bitcoin, people can build applications on top of Ethereum (the open-source blockchain technology behind Ether), therefore making it a very attractive proposition for existing and potential investors.
Invezz.com found that the United States is in the number one spot with a substantial average of 1,116,000 online searches a month for Ether. That is the equivalent of 36,000 online searches per day. In second place is Germany, as there is an average of 736,300 online searches every month from Germans regarding Ether.
In sixth place is the UK where there are an average 230,000 online searches each month from Brits checking the latest developments surrounding Ether. There is an average of 366,800 online searches a month from Brits specifically checking the price of Ether.
Jayson Derrick from Invezz.com said “Ether exploded in value over the past year and likely generated life-changing returns for early investors who truly understood the concept from day one.
“These days we are noticing high levels of interest from wealthier investors (i.e. those with at least $1 million in assets) who want exposure to cryptocurrencies. These investors tend to be more cautious in how they manage their life savings: they own physical gold bars and have taken advantage of IBM’s dividend reinvestment program for decades.
“These investors tend to be more sophisticated and will pay for professional investment advice to maximize their return. They are not interested in “meme” cryptos like Dogecoin. Rather, they are interested in Ethereum and other large-scale coins because of their real-life use.”
FCA sends thousands of staff on cyber and financial crime training courses
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has sent 4,430 of its employees on compulsory cyber and information security courses over the past two financial years – (FY 19-20 and FY 20-21) – to help combat the growing threat of financial crime, such as money laundering and fraud, according to official figures.
The FCA revealed that as well as the ‘Cyber and Information Security’ eLearning course, which is compulsory for all staffers to complete, 217 participants were also enrolled into locally organised security courses for more advanced training.
Regulation expert Wayne Johnson, CEO, Encompass Corporation comments: “Investing in the latest cyber skills training is essential, especially for an organisation tasked with investigating financial crime, money laundering and upholding regulatory standards.
“With a surge in newly launched finetchs, alongside expanding traditional banks, the FCA has a complex remit that requires the highest technical skills in order to investigate and enforce.”
Trading volumes soar past $80billion on Capital.com
Capital.com the high-growth trading and investing platform empowering everyone to trade responsibly has announced its growth results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. During this period, the company grew the number of clients on its platform to more than 2 million.
The platform’s growth in Q1 was in part driven by the global market rally and rising retail participation in financial markets owing to national lockdown measures. These external factors coupled with Capital.com’s strengths as a regulated and transparently priced platform enabled the platform to engage with more clients.
“The extraordinary growth on the platform is testament to Capital.com’s ability to build a strong business that is responsive to wider changes. This is just the beginning for us. Looking ahead, we will continue to deliver solutions and services and make improvements to our platform to empower more people to trade with confidence and ease,” said Jonathan Squires, Chief Executive Officer, Capital.com.