In talking to a charitable trust recently they described their organisation as ‘For Impact’ – a really compelling statement describing not only the great work they do, but also a reflection of their intent and purpose.
In thinking about FinTechNZ’s accelerating focus on Sustainability and having an ESG focus (environment, social and governance) it made me reflect on what role we within the broad Finance Sector ecosystem can have in advancing issues and developing opportunities that will drive positive impact?
This topic is of course a massive issue, but one where nations, business and individuals can all contribute for the common good of mankind and our planet. Right now COP26 is almost underway and financial investment is at the top of this list, specifically the topic of “Mobilising public and private finance flows at scale for mitigation and adaptation” of climate change.
So how do we all consider this awesome responsibility and consider what role we can all play?
Well at a FinTechNZ engagement level, just last week, we heard from Minister James Shaw talk about the Climate Disclosures Bill which was very close to its final reading. There are implications for many sectors across Aotearoa. With a lens on financial services and FinTechNZ, he acknowledged that the tension created from our need to continue to develop and grow the economy and meet societal needs within planetary limits, is driving an enormous amount of innovation. However, improvements need to be multi dimensional and business needs a target and delivery framework as well. So it raises lots of questions to consider. How do we advance FinTech innovation to attract different, lower impact investment? How do we help consumers engage? How do company directors need to report and rise to the challenge – and much, much more. You can view the event here.
To address the challenge requires a cross market shift – one that comes from our politicians, regulators, banks/lenders, our insurers and through to every person who makes personal investment decisions. It has been great to see the power of the consumer influencing the growth of Green/sustainable investment portfolios, more accessible platforms from the likes of our member FinTechs e.g. Hatch, Sharsies, Kernel and Mindful Money to name a few. Their value goes without saying and is helping engage a new generation of more environmentally conscious investors, interested in and benefiting from sustainable or ‘green’ portfolios. We are also seeing wealth companies actively targeting ESG principles, noting recent announcements from NikkoAM and mainstream advertising from ANZ for example. Clearly there is value in impactful investing. Looking more across the sector we also see others such as CoGo who offer carbon footprint tracking and the likes of Carbon Click, a fintech helping make it easier to decarbonize the transport and logistics sector.
FinTechNZ was actively engaged with MFAT advancing our views on the New Zealand/UK Free Trade agreement recently announced. Behind the usuals of agriculture there are some potentially powerful Financial services benefits that cover access, regulation and more, that will improve access to expanded FinTech community trade in the United Kingdom. Full information on the agreement is available on the respective websites of the UK Government here and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade here.
What matters to our members?
Recently Ministers Woods and Minister Nash invited feedback on the proposed CV-19 traffic light system. A survey was sent to our members asking what matters most right now. The responses were revealing. Of the 75 companies who responded, top of their list of concerns was Talent, next and not too far behind was opening the borders for investment and trade and a much lower priority was those who had concerns about workforce vaccination. In line with getting New Zealand moving the government COVID framework has recently been published – see here.
Yes our ‘connect events’ have taken quite a hit, but the online ‘inform’ events have been very active not only for FinTechNZ but also with sector partners. However, we are always seeking to offer more opportunities to get more from your membership. This might be participation on our executive teams, our working groups and being involved in and/or supporting special projects, all of which we are open to support and promote. Do reach out to me with your cunning plans.
Next Tuesday, IBM with the Blockchain Association and FinTechNZ are exploring the Token Driven Revolution in Financial Services. This already has nearly 300 people registered and will be a top class event.
Finally in closing, I do want to make a big shout out to James Brown, our ED before me, and wish him well at ApplyID. James has made a huge impact growing and representing FinTechNZ and frankly I have some pretty big boots to fill. I know some of our readers well, and the many others, having been involved with the broader technology sector for the last 20+ years. I look forward to supporting you and your businesses and am always happy to have a chat about what matters to you most as a member.
Vax to the MAX!
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