Lloyds Bank is looking for a “Head of FinTech Discovery,” as part of its £1 billion digital transformation plan over three years.
The role will “focus on initiatives to drive opportunities for innovation and FinTech in Lloyds Banking Group,” according to the job listing.
Lloyds’ new “fintech tsar” will “spot patterns of potential partnerships and investments” in London’s booming fintech scene, as well as “work within a team on increasing awareness of innovation and FinTech within the organisation.”
The right candidate must have “a solid understanding of the London FinTech sector with relationships to incubators, accelerators, academia, service suppliers, professional services firms, start-ups, venture capitalists, regulators and government institutions within the industry,” the job ad says.
Lloyds is offering a salary of between £81,900 and £109,200 for the role, as well as “a package that includes a performance-related bonus, generous pension contribution, car/allowance and a range of flexible benefits to suit your lifestyle.”
A spokesperson for Lloyds told Business Insider: “Technology in all walks of life is driving different expectations from customers for their banking services — we need to respond to this.
“Our challenge is to understand what is happening in our industry, what forces are shaping the future of banking and how we can respond to these opportunities and solve real customer problems.”
Big banks are seeing a wave of innovation in finance coming from startups that have opened their doors in the last decade, collectively dubbed fintech. Some focus on doing discreet services on the internet in either new ways or at a cheaper price due to lower overheads, such as peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle or international money transfer service TransferWise.
Banks have been trying to tap into the innovation to make sure they are not overtaken by rivals who adopt the technology quicker.
Santander, HSBC, and BBVA have all set up venture capital funds to invest in promising fintech startups and help them keep their fingers on the pulse. Barclays, Lloyds, and Standard Chartered, meanwhile, have all sponsored fintech “accelerators” — mentorship programmes meant to help businesses grow, some of which also offer investment.
Lloyds also recently launched a separate fintech mentoring programme, where 100 Lloyds staffers provide advice and guidance to startups. The idea is that this kind of access will create opportunities for cross-pollination that will benefit both parties.
Dan Cobley, who leads the fintech practice at London-based venture builder Blenheim Chalcot, told BI earlier in the year: “Fintechs are chasing those kind of partnerships because it gives them market access and reach to scale quickly. And banks, they’re increasingly seeing that the kind of innovation they need to keep their customers happy is best delivered through partnerships with fintechs.”
The Lloyds spokesperson added: “We research continuously how we can improve our proposition, looking at the outside. Our team often runs experiments with FinTech companies, we focus on startups that have solved a single, meaningful problem for a group of customers and found a way to build a business model around this.
“The relation between Lloyds Banking Group and FinTech ventures is very beneficial for both parties. The FinTech has access to subject matter experts who can help them understand how to scale their propositions in a regulated environment. For us it is beneficial because we learn about new business models, see the results within our market and deduce important lessons to stay ahead and deliver value to our customers.”
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