At the end of June, FinTechNZ held a strategy session, discussing our strategic direction. We had over 25 participants involved in the discussion in both Auckland and Wellington; members were highly engaged and we had a robust discussion on the future of FinTechNZ.
There was general agreement at that session that FinTechNZ is ready to transition to more formal governance arrangements, and I have spent this month working with the team at NZTech to develop this framework. The new governance structure will include the appointment of an Executive Council via a formal voting process. The Core Working Group is now tasked with finalising those details and I look forward to sharing our progress with you in future updates.
As part of our growth strategy, we’re looking forward to co-hosting the NZ Fintech Summit this year, the premier FinTech conference in New Zealand. If you’d like to get involved in the Summit, please get in touch to discuss various options available.
In other news, Minister Parker announced an update on the FTA agreement between the UK and NZ. It’s my belief a FinTech bridge between the UK and NZ can be implemented far quicker than a traditional FTA, which will take years. A closer relationship will be good news for both countries; bringing with it with easier access to talent, the ability to play in the UK sandbox, new partnerships and the ability to test products in new markets.
FinTechNZ is well poised to play a part in the developing UK trade relationship, with New Zealand FinTech’s 48.5 percent growth compared to the global average of 31 percent. The tech sector is now the third largest contributor towards our GDP, and tracking to take over the number two spot.
Our growing relationship was evident when FinTechNZ attended London FinTech Week, hosted in the world’s number one financial centre, with a delegation of 15 companies from New Zealand. We discovered there is plenty we can do to build the FinTech relationship between NZ and the UK from the top down, including closer regulatory relations, while leveraging existing FinTech Bridge and FTA discussions.
With increased exposure on the international stage, now is the time for Kiwi financial services to be more transparent following banking issues in the United Kingdom and Australia. Transparency will be critical and as New Zealand is ranked number one in the world along with Denmark as the most transparent and least corrupt country by Transparency International. We are well positioned to take advantage of massive growth in the market if we create the right experimental environment, combined with great access to the regulators.