15 start-ups selected for FinTech Innovation Lab London

22 January 2016 Consultancy.uk

Accenture has selected 15 innovators for its 2016 FinTech Innovation Lab London, which aims at nurturing fintech start-ups that are developing new technologies for the financial services sector. The 15 selected companies will follow a twelve week programme during which they will be mentored by leading financial institutions. At the end, six of them will get the opportunity to present their concept to potential investors.

FinTech Innovation Lab London
Launched in 2012, the FinTech Innovation Lab London is a collaboration between consulting firm Accenture and several leading UK financial institutions*, supported by the Mayor of London, the City of London Corporation and Innovate UK. The Lab has been established to help FinTech (financial technology) entrepreneurs accelerate their product development, while giving the participating banks exposure to the technologies they need to stay ahead.

Accenture and Level39 to host 2016 FinTech Innovation Lab London

Every year, Accenture selects several start-ups for its FinTech Innovation Lab London. The chosen participants will enter in a mentoring programme, hosted at Level39, during which they will be partnered with senior-level bank executives who will help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business strategies. During the 12 weeks, the start-ups will participate in panel discussions, workshops, leadership coaching and networking opportunities.

For the 2016 edition of the programme, 15 innovators have been selected, six of which six will get the opportunity to present their concepts to potential investors and participating industry executives at an Investor Day in April 2016. An overview of this year’s selected companies:

AimBrain | Albert | AlgoDynamix | Clausematch | Contego | Crowdaura | Cutover | PassFort | PayKey | Quotip | SBDA Group | Talent Rank | Undo | Voleo | ZeroDB

“The disruption of financial services by FinTech entrepreneurs continues at speed” comments Richard Lumb, group chief executive of Financial Services at Accenture. “We’re incredibly excited about working with this year’s entrepreneurs to make banking better, cheaper and faster. They offer some exciting innovations and have demonstrated exceptional creativity in what has been a record breaking year for applications from more than 30 countries, confirming that London is very much the centre of Europe’s thriving FinTech community.”

In addition to Accenture, EY also launched an intense mentoring programme for technology start-ups, titled the EY Startup Challenge, to find technology solutions for companies to tackle data privacy issues.

* Financial institutions supporting the FinTech Innovation Lab London include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, RBS, Santander, Societe Generale and UBS.

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Late payment culture cripples productivity of SMEs

29 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

UK SMEs are seeing their efforts to grow stifled by late payments, causing thousands to enter insolvency proceedings each year. According to experts from Duff & Phelps, this also has a major impact on the UK’s economy, meaning late payment culture must be tackled if the country is to dodge yet more economic stagnation in the shadow of Brexit.

Small and mid-sized enterprises in the UK face a myriad of pressures at present. Brexit anxieties are keenly felt by SMEs, with more than nine in 10 suggesting recently that economic conditions have worsened in the last 12 months. 66% of SME leaders also expect conditions to further worsen in the coming year.

At the same time, firms are keen to see value for money from investing in external expertise. Consulting fees which weight much more heavily on smaller firms, who spend £60 billion per year on professional services, but feel that more than £12 billion of that figure is wasted on unnecessary or bad advice.

Late payment culture cripples productivity of SMEs

Above all, however, SMEs are extremely vulnerable to late payments, and, according to a new study, the situation is only getting worse at present. According to corporate rescue consultancy Duff & Phelps, small businesses in the UK are facing a collective bill of £6.7 billion per annum due to late payments by other companies, while the average value of each late payment now stands at £6,142. This has risen from £2.6 billion in 2017, illustrating the plight of SMEs, particularly with uncertain economic times ahead.

Indeed, the spike in late payments has already caused significant productivity issues for SMEs, which in turn compromises their financial stability. With staff wasting hours chasing down late payments and businesses becoming preoccupied with short-term cash flow problems, they are less able to concentrate on creating new value for the firm, which in many cases gradually slides toward insolvency.

Small businesses across the UK are facing major cash flow pressure, leading to increased financial instability as a direct result of a late payments culture. This is likely a big driver of the UK’s 20% boom in insolvencies over the last three years, especially as it has a knock-on effect on other SMEs within the supply chain of those struggling firms. Approximately 50,000 small businesses fail each year because of late payments, amounting to a shortfall of more than £2.5 billion for the UK economy. 

Commenting on the findings, Paul Williams, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps, said, “In this modern era of technology, which is designed to enable business agility, late payments are particularly galling as there are no excuses. The day of the ‘cheque is in the post’ is long over!... More can be done to avoid businesses reaching this situation in the first place. SMEs underpin the economy, so prioritising timely payments will help allow business owners to focus their time and energy on providing good quality products and services and adding value to the customer experience, rather than chasing outstanding payments.”

The UK Government currently promotes its voluntary Prompt Payment Code to encourage good practice, but late payments by larger companies remain a common pain point for many SMEs. There may be hope for an end to late payments, however, following an announcement in the Spring Statement from Chancellor Philip Hammond. The Government aims to crack down on the practice, with Hammond stating big companies should hire a Non-Executive Director to be responsible for reducing late payments to small suppliers. The statement also advises that organizations publish payment practices in their annual reports.