Barclays London headquarters
Image: Håkan Dahlström Photography

Barclays UK Ventures to invest in fintech

Barclays UK has launched a dedicated unit to focus on developing fintech and other innovating technology companies.

Barclays UK Ventures, known as BUKV, said it will lever the latest technology and digital innovations through a rapid test-and-learn platform to facilitate the development of new customer propositions and services that can be delivered quickly to the market.

The new venture arm will be led by Ben Davey, formerly Barclays’ group head of strategy, who will also join Barclays UK’s executive committee.

Davey explains: “Barclays has a history of generating great innovative business ideas and at BUKV we will focus on incubating those ideas and accelerating them into meaningful new business lines. We intend to drive this initiative by building a strong team of technologists, developers and entrepreneurs within BUKV, mandated to operate independently of, but in partnership with, our core operations.

“Our ability to support this development through targeted commercial partnerships and equity stakes in strategic technology partners will also help ensure we deliver best in class solutions to our customers, whilst helping our partners develop and grow. The way we will work as a team will look and feel very much like a start-up or scale-up operation, so that we can move at pace in order to realise and deliver long term value for Barclays customers and shareholders.”

BUKV has outlined its plans to support major areas of disruptive technology by working to accelerate the growth of new business lines within the bank. The unit will provide dedicated management support to help technology companies grow more quickly.

BUKV will also work closely with third parties, whether through partnerships or by taking equity stakes in fintech and other non-financial technology companies.

Ashok Vaswani, Barclays UK CEO, said: “We live in a very exciting time for our industry where the deployment of new technology is making new business models and partnerships possible for the first time.

“Barclays has long been at the forefront of technology in banking that adds value and convenience for customers and Barclays UK Ventures will take this work to the next level combining our main strengths of agility and scale. We are a growth business and Ben’s appointment will put real weight behind this new unit to provide new lines of revenue growth in addition to the organic growth of our core business.”

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