UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to introduce new visas for financial technology workers in next month's budget, part of a package of proposals in a report aimed at boosting the industry in the country, according to newspapers.
The fast-track visa program is designed to lure global talent to Britain's fintech companies and will mirror a similar policy for scientists, the Telegraph reported. It's one of five pillars contained in a Treasury-commissioned report by former Worldpay Inc. CEO Ron Kalifa that's due to be delivered to Sunak as soon as this week, the Sunday Times said.
The Treasury has been examining options to spur the development of Britain's financial technology industry after Brexit as the City of London faces a growing challenge from European Union rivals. London tops European rankings for such companies, according to an index compiled by real estate broker Savills Plc.
Kalifa's report will also propose 10 fintech clusters around the UK to act as hubs for innovation, the Sunday Times said. Planned locations for the clusters, which are designed to ensure the industry is not solely concentrated on London, include the corridor between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Wales. They could receive funds from so-called local enterprise partnerships that link businesses with local authorities, the newspaper said.
Other proposed measures include digital training, a 1 billion-pound ($1.4 billion) fund for start-ups and reforms to listing rules on the London Stock Exchange.