A new innovation lab in Glasgow is set to boost the UK’s financial technology – or ‘fintech’ – industry’s approach to regulation.

The Financial Regulation Innovation Lab (FRIL) will be based in the city and will work with the financial services industry on technology-based regulatory products and services.

FinTech Scotland, the cluster management organisation for fintech companies, announced the ‘dynamic initiative’ which will shape regulatory approaches in the UK and globally.

It is hoped FRIL will also help boost jobs and business opportunities, while also unlocking the potential of future talent.

“FinTech Scotland is uniquely positioned within the Scottish fintech industry to lead such an initiative as it will work to inspire collaborators across Scotland, the UK and globally, enabling those around the world to see Glasgow’s financial services capabilities,” said Nicola Anderson, CEO of FinTech Scotland. 

“Bringing the fintech community of industry, academics and regulators together to explore, test and experiment with new technologies is an important part of our mission.”

FRIL was launched in partnership with the University of Strathclyde and University of Glasgow  and will deliver a wide-ranging, ambitious research agenda.

The Lab delivers one of the strategic recommendations laid out in the FinTech Research & Innovation Roadmap, launched in March 2022.

It aligns with the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), formed in response to the HM Treasury FinTech Sector Review in 2021 (otherwise known as the Kalifa Review).

The Lab will engage participants in industry-led innovation challenges, integrate academic research with industry aims and design and implement a skills and education programme. It will also facilitate knowledge exchange through workshops, roundtables, conferences and trade missions. 

Professor David Hillier, associate principal and executive dean of the University of Strathclyde Business School, said: “The University of Strathclyde is delighted to partner with Fintech Scotland and the University of Glasgow to deliver this critical initiative. We have significant capabilities across the university in emerging technologies including AI, space and quantum, which we look forward to leveraging through FRIL. We look forward to continuing our work with industry, policy makers, regulators and innovative SME’s to drive actionable solutions and deliver on FRILs ambitious agenda.”

Professor Eleanor Shaw, head of the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, said: “The Adam Smith Business School is very pleased to be a founding partner alongside our colleagues in FinTech Scotland and the University of Strathclyde to deliver FRIL. The opportunity to transform the regulatory landscape is remarkable and we are excited to work with partners across all sectors to deliver a collaborative centre of excellence for cutting edge developments in financial regulation.”

Stephen Ingledew OBE, chair of FinTech Scotland, said: “Once more, FinTech Scotland is taking proactive measures to showcase the effectiveness of how a cluster approach can accelerate the UK’s ability to seize competitive advantage in the future of financial regulation and fintech innovation. FRIL will allow us to continue to endorse the opportunity from the fintech sector to support growth across the UK economy.”

FRIL is funded by the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator programme (led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation).