Dr Blazsek secured Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship funding for her Leeds Financial and FinTech Hub research project

The Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship is funded through a £1 million donation from Michael Beverley, a Leeds alumnus and Yorkshire business leader.

The School of Law’s Dr Virág Blazsek has secured funding for her Leeds Financial and FinTech Hub research project from the Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship programme. Dr Blazsek's project creates a professional network and external partnerships between the School of Law, University of Leeds and stakeholders in the Leeds Financial and FinTech hub.  

Over the past 15 years, building upon a strong financial services presence, Leeds has become a hub for FinTech companies across many areas of specialisation, second only to London in the UK. The number of investment funds funding FinTech companies has also multiplied in recent years. Leeds-based FinTech companies provide, among others, businesses with affordable ways to process card payments, crowdfunding platforms where people invest in property, regulation platforms for fraud prevention, anti-money laundering, and identity verification. These services create value and transform the financial sector; they can save money and time for both customers and financial institutions. Therefore, they have a positive impact on the economy. 

This comparative project is partly inspired by the US model of the Stamford, CT Partnership, but it will also distill learnings from other FinTech hub experiences in the US as well as in Singapore.  Ultimately, this project identifies and systematises "good" FinTech activities and distinguishes those from other FinTech activities with more "questionable" effects on financial services and systemic stability of the financial sector. This project also makes policy recommendations for the UK regulators as to how to facilitate the UK's becoming the most innovative jurisdiction and economy in terms of FinTech while also protecting the systemic stability of its rapidly transforming financial services sector. 

Dr Blazsek has been leading a team of four School of Law student research assistants in the mapping phase of her project and she is also organising a FinReg - FinTech conference, which will be hosted by the Centre for Business Law and Practice later this year.  

Dr Blazsek is the author of the book, Banking Bailout Law: A Comparative Study of the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union (Routledge U.S. & U.K., 2020). Her research is focused on financial stability-related legal, regulatory, institutional, and policy issues from a comparative perspective.