Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from First AML, Starling Bank, Teya, Liberis and Shepherds Friendly.
UK firms struggle to keep up to date with AML laws
First AML, the anti-money laundering startup, has revealed that 76 per cent of businesses believe compliance processes could be improved despite increased investment. The stat comes from the startup’s survey of 250 UK-based compliance professionals.
The survey also found that 60 per cent of companies struggle to keep up to date with changes in anti-money laundering laws and regulations, indicating a significant compliance challenge for businesses. First AML also found that 81 per cent have observed an increase in time and cost associated with AML compliance in the past year.
Simon Luke, UK country manager at First AML, said: “It’s concerning to see that such a high percentage of companies struggle to keep up with changes in AML laws and regulations and that the associated time and cost of compliance continue to increase. It’s clear that businesses must focus on improving their AML processes and keeping up to date with regulatory requirements to avoid costly fines and reputational damage.”
The new Starling feature supporting survivors of economic abuse
Starling Bank has launched a UK-first feature hoping to help survivors of economic abuse: ‘Hide references’. Launched in collaboration with the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, the feature enables people to hide abusive payment references in seconds in the app, without having to block a payment entirely.
Many domestic and economic abuse survivors receive threatening messages within payment references, that accompany payments as small as one pence, or alongside money they are owed such as child support. The feature enables people to claim the money they are rightfully owed – without having to receive intimidating messages.
Charity Wood, head of customer experience at Starling Bank, said: “Anyone can experience economic abuse; they might not realise that it’s happening to them or how their bank can support. This feature also shows just how powerful technology can be in making people’s lives easier, and is testament to Starling’s belief in doing the right thing.”
Liberis joins forces with Teya to improve access to credit
UK-based embedded finance platform Liberis has partnered with the financial service provider Teya. The partnership will enable Teya to further support its customer base by offering pre-approved revenue-based finance through a simple application journey. As a result, the firms are aiming to help business owners to better manage their cash flow and expand their operations.
Pranay Ahluwalia, CEO of credit at Teya, commented: “Teya’s partnership with Liberis is an exciting step in our journey to support people running small and growing businesses in Europe. Like us, the team at Liberis understand the complexities around funding and payments, and believe in making the process simple and efficient.
“They share our dedication to SMEs and entrepreneurs for the long haul – particularly as they scale and grow – and together our technology means we can offer the fair, flexible, and trustworthy solutions that merchants deserve.”
Southampton most financially literate – but significant progress required
Insurance company Shepherds Friendly has revealed which areas in the UK are the most financially literate. UK residents in Southampton proved to be the most financially literate, with 38 per cent passing a financial literacy test. However, the UK clearly needs more education, as less than half succeed in the UK’s most financially literate area.
Cardiff scored the highest on questions about ISAs (45 per cent) as well as questions on general personal finance (39 per cent). Liverpool scored the highest for questions on investing (49 per cent).
Meanwhile, Glasgow came out as the least financially literate city as Glaswegians scored the lowest on questions about investing (23 per cent) and general personal finance (19 per cent).