The UK’s soon-to-be-launched Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) has appointed Ezechi Britton as its first chief executive officer.
When he starts in the role in April this year, Britton will work closely with CFIT’s chair Charlotte Crosswell, former chair and trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity.
Britton is a founding member and outgoing CTO of Impact X Capital and was previously chief executive officer and co-founder of Code Untapped, and the CTO and co-founder of Neyber. He also held several software developer roles within Credit Suisse.
“I am honoured to take on the position of the first CEO of CFIT and to have the opportunity to make the UK the undisputed leader in fintech globally,” he said.
“I look forward to working with the financial services, fintech and technology sectors across the UK to drive fintech growth, attract diverse talent into the fintech sector, and ensure better outcomes for consumers and SMEs.”
CFIT has been established following the 2021 Kalifa Review of UK Fintech.
The idea is that CFIT will bring together experts in finance and technology from across the UK to come up with solutions to tackle the issues facing fintech firms, such as how to scale, how to foster collaboration within and between growing national and regional fintech hubs, and how financial innovation can promote sustainability and financial inclusion.
HM Treasury and the City of London Corporation committed a combined £5.5 million in seed funding to establish CFIT, after which, it will be self-financing.
Crosswell said: “I am delighted that Ezechi will be taking on the role as our first CEO of CFIT. His experience, energy and understanding of the fintech sector will be invaluable as we work to ensure that the UK is the global leader for financial innovation.
“I look forward to working with him to accelerate opportunities and unblock barriers to growth for financial technology by bringing together the best minds from the ecosystem across the UK and help to drive better outcomes for consumers and SMEs across the UK.”
In her ‘Trustee End of Implementation Roadmap Report’, published on 31 January, Crosswell warned there is a significant risk that investment in the UK fintech sector could slow if the Open Banking Standard doesn’t evolve or if certain systemic issues remain unresolved, such as the lack of a long-term vision for a Smart Data economy in the UK.
Britton added: “The UK is in a unique position, with some of the strongest finance technologists in the world and we have an extraordinary opportunity to support this exciting sector and to capitalise on the forward-thinking approach taken by our regulators, government and industry to ensure that its transformative impact is felt by all.”