Swedish digital banking platform Tink has signed a new partnership agreement with NatWest.

The deal gives NatWest, one of the UK’s ‘Big Four’ clearing banks, access to Tink’s personal finance management data enrichment products. From Q4 2019, these will be integrated into NatWest’s mobile banking app, with the aim of giving customers personalised insights into their transaction histories and financial health.

Tink was formed in 2012 to help customers both see and take action on their finances within a single app, and is already an FSA-regulated partner to several major banks, including BNP Paribas and ABN AMRO. FinTech unicorns and startups are also able to build services on Tink’s APIs.

The deal is the latest evidence that the emerging narrative is not so much one of established banks being overtaken by digital upstarts, but one of partnership between slow-moving incumbents and nimble players that are able to bring digital services to market more quickly.
Traditional banks are having to adapt swiftly to compete with the likes of Funding Circle, Transferwise, and Revolut. Meanwhile, the rise of smartphones and 4G means that digital banking is an option for more and more people, while reducing the barriers to entry for new players.

The Tink/NatWest news is underscored by publication of a report by financial services recruitment company Robert Walters into the UK FinTech market.

According to that report, The UK FinTech Revolution, the global financial crisis in 2008-09 indirectly spurred the establishment of FinTech, by flooding the market with 100,000 former bank employees at a time when the sector was in turmoil and innovation was being forced into the back seat.

The report says that there has been a 37 percent increase in IT roles within FinTech over the past year, and a 61 percent increase in job creation overall.
This trend can also be attributed to the pressures of Brexit, says the report. Increasing numbers of front- and middle-office roles are being relocated to other operational hubs in the EU, shifting hiring patterns within the UK banks. As a result, IT now constitutes over 30 percent of all professional roles in the sector, up from 24 percent in 2017.

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