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Santander unveils £58m fintech venture fund

Will focus on areas such as payments and big data

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Santander has unveiled a $100 million (£58m) venture capital fund aimed at supporting technology innovation in the financial sector.

The fund will focus on three main areas from launch, including digital services such as payments and e-commerce, online lending including crowd and social funding, online systems for financial investments, and big data analytics.

It will be owned by Santander UK and based in London, but will be a 'self-standing' organisation that will provide funding to start-up companies worldwide.

According to Santander, banks account for only 10 percent of fintech investment, compared to the 60 percent provided by venture capital firms.

"The UK is a global leader in financial innovation. The Santander Fin-Tech Fund builds on our philosophy of collaboration and partnership with small and start-up companies at Santander," said Ana Botin, chief executive of Santander UK.

"In this case our aim is to provide fintech companies with much needed capital, whilst we gain know-how and our customers benefit from the latest thinking."

Santander recently announced a partnership with start-up Funding Circle, in a deal which will see Santander refer clients turned down fo a loan to the peer to peer lending website.

Other major banks are also engaging more directly with the fintech start-up community, with the aim of fostering innovation that can enable digital transformation within their own business. Barclays, for example, has launched its own accelerator, while the Accenture-led FinTech InnovationLab is currently supporting its second wave of start-ups, having launched in the UK last year.

Others such as UBS CIO Oliver Bussmann, and Citi's EMEA CIO have previously highlighted their willingness to connect with new financial technology firms.



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