Today IT trade group techUK announced some of the things it wants the UK post-brexit immigration policy to include.
Just yesterday I was talking to the fintech lead at Tech Nation about this very subject.
I have not met anyone in the fintech industry that thinks brexit is a good idea, nor in my world of journalism. But fintechs are going to have to adapt to what ever is thrown at them as a result of this ill-conceived brexit.
Fintechs and other tech startups thrive on having access to the people they need to turn ideas into commercial successes. Anything that prevents people relocating to the UK and having the option to remain here will damage the tech startup industry. With fintech developing into an important sector for the UK it could harm future prosperity of the entire nation.
Greg Michel, head of the fintech programme at Tech Nation, told me that getting the immigration policy right is critical if fintech is to continue to grow. He said it needs to encourage fintech entrepreneurs to stay in the UK.
While the regulatory regime can be adapted to and fintechs can continue to trade with Europe if they set up European operations, their UK operations simple won’t be able to compete if they don’t have access to the right staff.
“If we don’t find a way to entice the entrepreneurs to stay here or we make it hard for them to recruit the people they want, there is a real risk that we will slow the growth of fintech in the UK,” said Michel.
So next week the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) will publish a report on EEA workers in the UK labour market.
Trade body techUK has already outlined some of its wishes for a new immigration system.
A removal of arbitrary caps of Tier 2 skilled workers and above;
A review of Tier 1 visas, both Exceptional Talent and Post-Study work visas
A stop to salary acting as a proxy for skill level
A relaxation of continuous residency requirements for those undertaking business or research travel.
Changes to supporting documentation requirements
A simplification of fee structures; and a review of the currently underused Tier 5 visa system.
But what do fintechs want?
I would like to hear from fintechs on this subject Please put your ideas in the comments section of this blog post.