On 22nd November, the UK government reaffirmed its commitment to having a leading regulatory and technology environment in the UK. Within the Autumn Budget 2017 speech, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond announced a new £10bn Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, established to “help regulators to develop innovative approaches aimed at getting new products and services to market”.

UK regulators are already recognised as being at the cutting edge of financial and regulatory technology, thanks to initiatives such as the Financial Conduct Authority’s Project Innovate and the Bank of England’s FinTech Accelerator. The FCA, PRA and Bank of England are forward thinking, collaborative and increasingly open organizations, which alongside an active VC community and a good startup culture, makes the UK a great place for RegTech companies and solutions to flourish.

Indeed, a recent study of the global RegTech solutions also showed that the UK is emerging as the top location for starting and growing a RegTech company in Europe, giving the US a run for its money in terms of becoming the overall RegTech global hub. Of the 464 solutions listed in the RegTech Markets Directory, 147 are headquartered in the UK. In an awards process judged by a panel of industry experts, the top 50 firms were identified and over half of these were UK-based.

There are some significant issues to overcome for continued growth in this sector, not least that the buyers (the regulated firms) are struggling to identify, test and procure solutions in a timely manner.

Can the UK further capitalise on this promising start and attract even more RegTech innovation in 2018? With Brexit looming, nothing is certain but the budget announcement and the government’s continued focus on technological innovation in the regulation space can only be a good thing for the development of smart solutions that help regulated firms meet their regulatory obligations more efficiently.

Further information and insights from the RegTech Markets study is now available on-line and free at http://regtechmarkets.co/directory/