Number of UK financial services trade marks surges due to fintech growth – RPC

Maria Nikolova

Fintech development has spurred a 35% jump in the number of trade marks registered by financial services firms in five years, according to numbers provided by RPC.

Fintech has been rapidly developing in the UK and this has been a key driver of the number of registered trademarks by financial services companies over the past five years. According to data provided by professional services firm RPC, the number of trade marks registered by financial services firms has jumped 35% in five years – from 3,141 in 2011 to 4,228 in 2016.

The recent growth in investment in fintech, both from established institutions and start-ups, has resulted in a sharp rise in new services protected by trade marks in the sector over the last five years. The use of trade marks in financial services is popular given the relative ease at which financial products can become commoditised by the launch of ‘me too’ products by competitors.

Examples of fintech companies and challenger banks that have registered a number of trade marks recently include Atom Bank, Monzo, and Redwood Bank. Last year, the raft of fintech and financial services trade marks registered in the UK comprises names like “ Zentity” and “Numus Cash”.

Fintech is among the foci of attention of the UK regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority, which has embraced regtech and artificial intelligence. The UK parliament is examining the area of artificial intelligence. Recently, the Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence launched its autumn program of public evidence sessions by talking to three academics about the ‘big picture’ issues associated with AI. The problem about ethics and the possibility to somehow regulate AI was raised during the discussion. The experts agreed that the necessary codes of practice already exist in numerous areas, but broader guidelines were dubbed not necessary.

Professor Michael Wooldridge said:

“AI-specific ethical guidelines, I’m not convinced is something that is particularly necessary. Nor AI law. Looking at specific areas – the data protection legislation that we have, would make sense but a general AI law – no.”

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