Bank of England selected to host BIS Innovation Hub
An event which will see the UK centre providing support to the banking and wider financial services community through the development of ‘digital public goods’ (open source software).
It is hoped that the decision will help solidify the country’s standing in the international business community as a financial, innovation and technology leader.
“The UK is home to a world-leading fintech sector and is at the forefront of innovation – so it’s fantastic the Bank of International Settlements has chosen to establish a Hub Centre in London,” commented Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
“It presents an invaluable opportunity to connect the expertise of the world’s central banks, working collaboratively on innovative new ways to enhance financial services.”
In the pursuit of financial stability
Founded in 1930, BIS is owned by 62 central banks in countries all around the world (accounting for 95% of global GDP). Headquartered in Switzerland, the organisation is dedicated to bringing about monetary and financial stability through international cooperation.
BIS’ medium-term strategy ‘’ is a plan centred on fostering continuous technological development in terms of analytical and business capabilities. It is hoped that initiatives within the plan will promote a dynamic work environment and create added value for stakeholders.
Topics currently under consideration include digital currencies, payment innovations, regtech and the digitalisation of trade finance.
The possibilities of technology
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, stated that he was proud and excited to host the Innovation Hub in the UK, citing the present need for open collaboration and exploration into the possibilities of technology:
“Now more than ever it is important the central banking community does all it can to build a more effective, resilient and inclusive financial system and technology is an important part of that effort.
“By involving central banks and prudential regulators in this important work, we can help to ensure that innovation is consistent with our objectives of safety and soundness and financial stability. This centre provides an important venue to ensure the UK’s deep expertise in innovation can contribute to solving global financial issues,” he said.
Origami raises £20mn in Series C round led by Barclays PLC
The investment, which saw Barclays take the lead as part of the bank’s Sustainable Impact Capital initiative, is geared to back companies that specialise in sustainability and working towards zero carbon emissions.
Additional investors in the round were Origami’s existing shareholders, Octopus Ventures, Aggreko, and Cambridge Innovation Capital.
Origami green technology
The Cambridge-based technology company which was founded in 2013, is on a mission to build a green energy world powered by smart technology. It's green energy initiatives focus on transitions to renewables, energy systems, smart and real-time digital solutions.
Origami's trading and automation software currently provides power traders with real-time data and machine-learning decision support tools to reduce risk, improve visibility and capture valuable opportunities within new and rapidly evolving energy markets.
This new investment will enable the startup to improve its products, serve a growing customer base and scale up for international markets. The success of the funding round, said Origami executives, highlights the increasing investor appetite to back leading tech companies pursuing the reduction of global carbon emissions.
Green energy technology
Peter Bance, CEO, Origami, explained, “This investment recognises that with powerful real-time software solutions underpinning our emerging green energy systems, tackling the world's greatest threat of climate change can also become the world's greatest commercial opportunity.
“Barclays shares our vision and has a broad customer base in the UK and internationally, which includes many energy businesses. I am looking forward to working with them to help achieve our ambitious goals.”
As part of its broader commitments, Barclays has pledged to invest £175m of its own capital, led by the Principal Investments team, in fast-growing, environmentally-focused companies whose values are aligned with those of Barclays and which target the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement.
Speaking about the Origami investment drive, Steven Poulter, Head of Principal Structuring and Investments, Barclays, said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that powerful digital solutions, like Origami’s, are critical enablers for maximising the potential of green energy assets such as renewables, batteries, and EVs.”
He added, “Their technology is essential for a successful and timely transition to a low-carbon economy, and the opportunity for Barclays to partner with such a compelling business in the world-class Cambridge Greentech ecosystem is an exciting prospect.”
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