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New Prime Minister – what does this mean for fintech?

Khalid Talukder 29 July 2019

There is no doubting that it has been a whirlwind few days for the new PM. When Boris Johnson arrived in Downing Street on Wednesday, he brought with him more than just a harder approach to Brexit.

Dramatic changes to the Cabinet and a new advisory team in No. 10, set the tone for a Prime Minister who intends to waste no time in stamping a fresh and more bullish form of leadership on the country.

As the new Cabinet met for the first time on Thursday it became clear that they are unlikely to shy away from delivering radical decisions. Comprised of Vote Leave staff and his key allies from City Hall, the new governing team will be determined to revolutionise business, education, policing and the environment.

With just 94 days to go until the next Brexit deadline, the government’s primary focus is on this issue. However, given they only have a majority of 2 in the Commons, Boris is likely to persuade Labour rebels to back his approach or go back to the country for a general election. Over the summer recess our new PM will tour the country, attempting to woo voters and is likely to announce radical new policies around infrastructure and technology.

So, what does this mean for the financial and technology sectors? We take a snapshot look below at some of the key individuals.

Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak – HM Treasury

The new duo at the top of the Treasury as Chancellor and Chief Secretary will both sit in Cabinet and can be described as starting from a pro-business, low tax perspective.

Interestingly, Javid becomes the first ever ethnic minority chief of the Treasury and is the first Chancellor since Norman Lamont in the early 1990s to have worked in the finance industry, where he was a managing Director at Deutsche Bank. He took office a day after the IMF revised its estimate for UK growth to 1.3% but warned that Brexit posed a risk to the economy, despite unemployment being at its lowest since the 1970s and earnings growth outpacing inflation again.

We await to see what they will do around stamp duty, business rates and other methods of boosting investment, development and home ownership.

He will be supported by Rishi Sunak MP, who was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Rishi spent his professional career before politics in business and finance, working internationally. He co-founded an investment firm working with companies in multiple geographies. He then used that experience to help small and entrepreneurial British companies grow.

Nicky Morgan – Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Skills

The former education secretary is a qualified lawyer, with a keen intellect, and will be overseeing the wider DCMS brief. Morgan has frequently been tipped as a potential party leader and is a notable appointment due to her remain-supporting views and links to former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Nigel Adams – Digital Minister

Nigel Adams, the MP for Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire, has been appointed Minister for Digital in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new cabinet. He previously owned his own technology business, co-founding Advanced Digital Telecom in 1993, which was then sold several years later for £3.1 million to JWE Telecom. He subsequently acquired NGC Networks in 2006, a business in which he continues to be a shareholder. Adams also has a track record campaigning around issues such as faster broadband and better connectivity.

As one of Boris Johnson’s campaign managers he replaces Margot James, who announced her resignation from government on 18th July rather than serve in a Johnson-led administration.

Matt Warman – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

The former technology editor at The Daily Telegraph, turned MP and now minister. He has campaigned extensively for broadband roll-out across the UK and serves as Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology.