Charlotte Crosswell | CEO Innovate Finance | Crisis accelerating Fintech

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“It doesn’t really matter what your education is, you can make that change” – Charlotte Crosswell.

Charlotte Crosswell is the CEO of Innovate Finance – the industry body for UK Fintech.

Charlotte speaks passionately about the need for financial wellbeing education in schools, how Fintech can emerge from the current crisis and accelerate the need for digital adoption and transformation.

We learn of Charlotte’s rural childhood and how that formed a ferocious work ethic which has propelled her into leadership roles, firstly at the London Stock Exchange and then as President of NASDAQ.

This week kicks off 3 weeks celebrating UK Fintech and the role it now plays given recent events – find out more here

Podcast Transcript:


Lloyd Wahed: Welcome to Searching for Mana. The podcast focused on tech innovation in finance and fintech. I’m Lloyd Wahed and I’m a headhunter. I’m privileged to spend my days meeting with some of the influencers, leaders and founders in technology and finance from unicorn companies to financial disruptors. This podcast we’re going to be hearing from these individuals and really trying to understand how they got into fintech, what they’re doing, what their company is all about, and perhaps some of the trends that they’re looking at in the market.

Lloyd Wahed: Welcome to the podcast, Charlotte.

Charlotte Crosswell: Thank you.

Lloyd Wahed: For further introduction, Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance. We get to talk through your career, which has had highlights such as Head of International Business Development, the London Stock Exchange, President and other titles at Nasdaq in a really interesting period of time, 2008-2013. So again, we want to dig into that time. And as mentioned, many other things. But now, in a prominent role in fintech with Innovate Finance. So perhaps, just to
start with, to give the listeners a feel for who Innovate Finance is and who Charlotte is within that. You could talk us through that.

Charlotte Crosswell: Sure. And thanks. Thanks for inviting me. Innovative Finance is the industry body for fintech. You think there are hundreds of companies that right across the UK, but also across the world within the fintech space or want to do business in the UK, starting a business in the UK and in scale. When it was founded sixty-six years ago, there was a need to be a voice of place in tech companies. Maybe some of them would go ahead with partnerships with the
banks and time with the banks found that they were, especially those early days. And then in terms of lobbying and government policy and regulation policy, what we attempt to do is bring all of those fintech companies together and try to get a consensus of what they’re looking for. We can feed into policy where needed someone that’s the soundbox, whether it’s a good talent, whether it’s capital, etc. It’s very much designed to be the voice of tech. But I would say in terms of supporting the ecosystem is very important. Over the last few years, to make sure that we do our bit to help and grow. So that might be putting founders together so they can connect and then from each other. It may be our diversity program within fintech, which we spend significant efforts on, but also might be bringing investors and companies together or policymakers with fintech so that everybody has a voice.

The beauty of the UK is it’s so well interconnected with the fintech space. Government regulators in tech and banks, most of which you have in London within 20 minutes of each other and say we saw the hub of trying to bring those connections together. And then we talk about crisis we’re going through at the moment. You really looking to get a broad range of views on what can be done next. So that is Innovate Finance. And, you know, I have been there are two and a half years now. So I actually, originally, I was looking to be non-exec of Innovate Finance post Brexit referendum. And I felt that there was definitely a role in governance and industry together. And people are going to see how parallel and looking for action, as you said, I’ve been on Nasdaq for some time. So it was a really interesting process. I was going through that process and the CEO stepped down and they asked me if I would take it on an interim basis. I’d gone seen portfolio. And so that interim role and currently in the end, such fascinating role, especially with my background. So now, I have been running that and it’s always busy. Anyone running an industry body is always busy, but hopefully, advance the sector at the same time and to help with them on the right.

Lloyd Wahed: It’s when you describe it like that. It’s such a fascinating role if you’re interested in, like you say, bringing together just many different clusters of the sector, but also then outside of the sector, bringing in government as well. Crosspollinating to make sure that everything’s as creative and productive as possible. So I’m going to assume to be able to manage that CEO or interim CEO type of a role, you’re going to have to have brought many different strains
from your career to be able to do it well. So that leads us perfectly on to walking back through some of your bios and understanding the skill sets that led you to be able to be the CEO of Innovate Finance. So if we go right back to the beginning pre-university, I can’t find where we can find much in our research as who you’d expect on you know who Charlotte was then. Could you just kind of fill the story in for us a little bit please?

Charlotte Crosswell: And just I grew up in a village of 500 people in the depths of Whitchurch.So. So certainly it wasn’t that much out there at the time. And I actually went to school. 15-year-olds, right. Yeah. I grew up somewhere where I couldn’t even see my next-door neighbour. And that’s quite a unique upbringing. Really, there wasn’t a lot of workaround that wasn’t any digital skills. There were vague recollection of trying to coach a computer,it wasn’t even a computer
that it was a tape recorder you had to put in and play the tape on to the TV, dining room table, take it. Clearly, maybe I had some technical skills back then. And, you know, not a lot to do. And, you know, I was determined to work even then. My sister would be bored of each other’s company when you brought up in a setting
like that. And both of us found various bits workaround. Around the village where you can find really for the next 14 years old trying to get some pocket money. And I was definitely someone he wants to be put in the town or persisting. So after I did manage my GCSE or over my goals at A-levels, I then went off to university and never went back. So I eventually moved to Southampton and moved to London after that. But definitely it was there, definitely, the town pressure is probably only just looking back now. I appreciate the culture. I’ve definitely been able to see myself in London before.

Lloyd Wahed: So you just this to stay in that period a little bit more. So you have one sister?.

Charlotte Crosswell: Yes, I had one much younger. Yeah.

Lloyd Wahed: And, come around 14. Kind of, you know, whether it was boredom, whether it was wanting to work. So I think about doing jobs in the village and maybe little elements of technical aspects to it. What do you think when you ended up deciding to go to university after getting the GCSE and A-levels? You thought it would become in your career at that point? Can you remember back to that?

Charlotte Crosswell: I do, actually. We didn’t grow up with much money. And so you say, well, I was quite some just. If you wanted to go and spend on something, you had to get out early. And that was that. And, you know, we talk about what the jobs available were in a village of 500 people. There’s only four pubs and one local shop. So that was the choice. I went and traded the pubs over the course. I mean, right. Most of the people in the village jokes about trading floor in London. And yet you’re twenty-three. And I looked to the floor, and it is almost as many people on this trading floor as my entire village put together. But you had no idea. I was quite fortunate that my parents didn’t let it interfere with my education. They certainly encouraged us to study and go to university. And I wish they’d push me a bit harder while I was at school but pretty much left us on our own devices on that. And sending, not the helicopter parents saying you get it nowadays, especially in London. So we were encouraged to study and go to university. I wasn’t the most winning student, I would say. And so I probably had a natural ability. And if I’d done a little bit more work, I would’ve done it better. But it certainly was to get a start. I tried to go to Aston. I dropped out after a year, but it really wasn’t me.
Maybe, maybe, maybe living in a 24-floor tower block in the centre of family may have been just one step too far from the village. So I managed to try to actually go to Southampton. I really did want to get that degree, you know, studying French. So I spent the second year in Southampton, my third year actually in France. By then, I was being nomadic at a university education. And I know I went back. The problem is I’ve been. I think I was headed by strong work ethic through the whole piece.
You know, I was determined. I would end up with debt when I am out of university. And we had government grants two thousand pounds a year from the government to go to university. And It wasn’t enough. But I got out and my student earnings to level it and come out of debt. University, which meant a lot to you. That was great. And you’re very strong focus on paying off my education before I finished and wouldn’t necessarily say that was the best result for my degree. So, someone who was pretty fluent in French, I ended up tutoring French, which is not my proudest achievement. But never mind. We will move on from that one.

Lloyd Wahed: Because Charlotte, I’m not going to. Because it’s interesting if I hear everything you’re saying to try and then do the maths as to why at 23 you’re on the train for governments, then you know, the career after that is obviously excellent. So certainly from a perception anyway, we can go to, I’m sure, the reality of how the experience has been, which will be a combination of things, but it doesn’t that there’s not some standing out in that story. Yeah, it explains to me why then you’ve been successful. And I guess the thing that interests me in boys is trying to work out whether the outlaw has come from. And you’re certainly one, right? Yes. You say you weren’t successful early on. Well, can we just try and stay there a little bit more? So I know you said you didn’t get brought up with perhaps much, much money, but perhaps your parents were incredibly good at setting the right type of value proposition. You went to uni not wanting to be in debt that that a lot of students don’t do that and come out here with that result of not being in debt. You didn’t particularly focus on something that at uni feels like you were thinking of your career because you went and studied French because you were fluent in French. It was more at that point you wanted to get out the village and have a good experience of being perhaps. So at what point is the switch flicking, to “I am ambitious and this is where I’m aiming”. But even before that, we get on to that. What do you think the groundwork was? If you go back and think there might have allowed you to have had all the makeup to be successful?

Charlotte Crosswell: It’s really difficult to even for me to work through. I mean, the one thing I had was a very strong work ethic. And like my sister, my sister and myself, we were very similar. And she’s incredibly well and worked incredibly hard as well. So I think it was more I’d like, I’d love to say that there was this culture of ethics in the city now and in driving forward to the job. I think you when you grow up with some money challenges, you end up having to fight yourself a bit. You want to get to where you are. So repeat that cycle or you decide you want to break that cycle and you want to take control of your own destiny. I don’t think I was stepping in that account of sitting and saying you I don’t want to be in this scenario. You’re very aware of it. You’ll see a teenager. And I don’t want to be this, I’m not going to be like I want to take control of where I am. So I think it was it was definitely a drive to do well know, put myself in a good financial position.

I’m not really was the driver. And you’re quite a rational choice. That’s great. Incredibly hard when you don’t have to like myself to send these students across the UK where you get to your A-levels, you’re trying to choose which three you like and you’re quite good at and then you’re trying to decide on your own, your degree choice. You do what a lot of people do. What do I like? And I want to study for three or four years. And what might I actually do? Quite well. And so I think I fit into that. And you tend to worry less about your career choice and what you can do. So when I came out, my father then had some stocks and shares, I remember going to, my goodness, looking up share prices for him. So I obviously had something to do with this issue at that point, but I was battered and limited exposure like that. Certainly what I was getting through university. There was any to graduate programs I applied for. One was NatWest Markets. And so, you know, I was thinking back in the day when I put that back in the ground now. And the other was the diplomatic service. So it’s really funny when you look at where I ended up, even back then I applied for, one was a bank and one was gone. And I have this type of combination. I get both, I suppose. So maybe I had some sort of it.

But some of those the two that I wanted to go for and my maths wasn’t strong enough for the banking side. That’s where they were looking for. And interestingly, I did go quite far in the diplomatic service process of being a one on one interviews, but I was surrounded by a lot of Oxbridge students. I was sitting there briefly, economists debating the tape. And I was the only person who has come up from Southampton University at the time during through the that. I just say, oh, sorry, go round. Well, these people are clearly much more prepared than me. And I think that obviously here ends up with them. So I didn’t get it. And certainly, those were the pieces that interested me. And I’ve always had quite have an interest in politics. If I had my time again, I was advising some in my position to
what we should do, what you don’t get, where you’re going to be. And what you do is background o economics or politics or international business, I think can set you off quite well. instead of focus down into a degree that essentially I’ve never used limited amounts to. Remember that 30 years ago you had an advantage. You went to university. That piece of paper saying, I’ve got a degree. And, you know, and that was a big piece that people write about to you. What you actually did, it was more sitting there saying, you know, you have shown that you’re able to go to a university and study and that put you at an advantage over a lot of people out there, young people out there.

Lloyd Wahed: Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got a very young daughter. So my first child and, you know, it gets.

Charlotte Crosswell: You must be proud at the moment.

Lloyd Wahed: It’s amazing. It’s fantastic. Let’s make it. It’s making me be very productive with a kind of tag-teaming with my partner. She’s very busy with her work as well. So it’s intense, but it makes you think. I mean, I have to anyway, because of the advice I give in my career. But it makes you think, obviously, to a heightened level about all the stories that you hear and you try and work out the whole time. Okay. Well, somebody’s got to this role. Someone’s got to this type of profession. Then what are the things that have added up to them being successful? And that’s different based on where they end up. And so I think what I take from. You up until the point you land in a. This is the role now for the next few years and finance is that there was a whole kind of breadth of experience like running through it, you know, good work ethic. And then suddenly at some point, it computes. And then if we look at the rows you’re doing, you know, they’re not necessarily analytical or accounting. It’s business development. It’s networking. It’s a relationship type of roles in those financial institutions. And so what I’m always trying to work out, as is apparent now, is knowing these things, how much do I try and oversee what you see, what your child takes to, and you stare and point them in the right direction. But if you just did decide, okay, what I see you moving forward.

Lloyd Wahed: The data science skills full-stack programming can be very helpful. Creative UX is gonna be very useful as we move forward. And if you refined the focus and just decided, okay, well, you know, middle school, Lily, Lily, you’re gonna read the economist, read fintech times. You know, I’m going to put you on to Linked-In. You’re gonna build your network up in fintech. Then she’s just gonna be an outlier, an incredibly successful in that. If she takes to it or she’s going to absolutely hate it the reality. It probably means a lot to say I’m not going to be that pushy. But what you tend to find when you look at people’s backgrounds is that they have one way or the other that they’ve had some type of focus early on. And then that means that at twenty-three they come to the profession just desperately in a better position than other people. And it’s like, well, you are looking at. You went to the trading floor and or you know, to work for the first time and everybody had read The Economist. They were trained in how to be in that environment because they been for a certain type of school, some type of course, in a certain type of institutes. And it just meant they were going to do you really want in that profession? But as you say that.

Charlotte Crosswell: I mean, maybe I think I think the difference is that people often ask me:”What would you do again?” We worked with actually give to a young person to get the beauty of education. It sort of gives you that stamp as proof that you were able to do something. That’s all it gets. And if you don’t do that through education and a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to go to colleges or universities, you then have to prove someone else through work.

Now, we finished the story. And when I went to Goldman, I didn’t get to do an actual job. That was me nine months into working in my first graduate job, which was actually in fashion. I’ll show you impressed enough to some degree glamorous. And I went to go banking and I walked into a temp agency and said, I want to get to banking. What can you do? And I said, well, I can speak French. And actually, Goldman needed someone. The first is that Goldman Sachs on Monday, tempting on the trading floor and that’s how I got it. You know, it was one day that began two days a week, came to two months. You had so many trading systems. And so that’s actually how it started. And I had to do it really waiting halfway to prove that I had that seat, which I think was probably a holiday cover, had that extended and they kept me on. And so I think even for people who applied for that job, a prominent role, I felt that I had to work just as hard and probably a bit more to prove that I earned that job. Know, I don’t think you’d seen spending your whole of your 20s if you come through you that, that type of bridge where you go into a graduate job and there are hundreds of thousands of people at this time where you end up trying to create yourself and your 20s and maybe that’s where it happened.

So I always encourage people the education is good because it’s sort of, it’s giving you that piece of paper and you could argue that this might not be worth it. Write something else and then you’ve got really specialized skills, not some degree in computer science. And then we have to keep the computers will take over us anyway. And I think that’s the challenge. It’s hard to sit here and find your place where you want to base. You’re trying to work through your own career. You also have to look at you. What a lot of people think of you and say, when I’ve done two and a half years at Goldman and I don’t get it, it was a very busy job. I mean, anyone who is working or face death row. And I was fortunate that somebody had back to my banking. It says I’m going to get some qualifications there as well. But I always knew that I would never make it through that route because it wasn’t a straight route. So I knew I had to leave that to take that experience. I had moved to somewhere else with it. And we’ll meet again. And that’s what I can do. And you keep moving your role. Take that experience. Not staring. You know, too many people sit there and think, oh, “Someone’s gonna see that I worked really hard and someone’s gonna see I did a great job to promote me”.

Charlotte Crosswell: Yeah, the 60s. Not really like that. You know the city is more if you’re doing a really great job, you can try to stay there. And I’m slightly cynic moments. I think you. Fewer people are gonna spot some of these really hard work and promote them. You have to be very smart. You have to sit there and wait through that. And that often means you do have to move to different firms or to different roles within the firm to prove that. Yeah. So that’s what I did. The experience was about that. It was saying to you. I’m taking on experience. I’m going to use it. I never going to leverage it and I’m going to move to something else. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I can then either you just add on knowledge and experience through the hallway and I see too many people get stuck in jobs. And unfortunately it does happen. We’ll talk about later. But this does come down to women as well. We tend to say that thinking they’re gonna be seen, you know, and they’re going to be recognized for that work. The City is quite a tough place and that doesn’t necessarily follow.

Lloyd Wahed: Yeah. That’s you know, some of them I’ve I’ve watched with. With my friends, he did get that perfect university on their CV. You know, the PPE Oxford types, which opens the door, as you say, correctly. That’s what that absolutely does. But then it takes a really strong character to leave that place that they’ve gone to and so many of those guys. You’re obviously incredibly bright and very ambitious early on in their 20s. You know, keep on going one more year because bonus if you get on to the next step of the ladder and then before you know it, you’re in this kind of this gold mezzanine level where you’ve got some type of anchors around yourself, such as property, a certain type of lifestyle, a certain type of flexibility in a role, a prestigious organization. I think they are aware by that point that I don’t need to get seven years, that I need to get ten years on the CV anymore. But we call it and this is terrible. But this what we call it, we call it the “womb effect”.

Charlotte Crosswell: I’m frowning when I listen, I am frowning.

Lloyd Wahed: You know, that is going to be a tougher conversation to try and move that individual to different roles because I have anchored themselves into that position because it becomes very comfortable and you know, as you get older. You could. You can certainly argue the merits for remaining in those type of roles, because if you’re just a million different things and everybody’s got their own drivers. But if you go back to the ambition that individual had, it wouldn’t be aligning anymore with where they probably could have got based on their potential. And so taking this back to you, because you didn’t come into Goldman Sachs with the perfect PPE Oxford type of education, let’s just say then maybe it allowed you to be a bit more Machiavellian, or a little bit more agile in being able to think about. Okay. I’ve taken the scales from this tenure. Of course, I could get more if I’m patient. But actually this opportunity right now, I’m gonna go get it. See, you’ve become more of a go-getter. And what we call that, which is slightly better, is, is somebody who’s just a rising star, somebody who is throughout their career on any given month, productive and going as quickly as they can. And of course, that’s not always possible within one organization. So you tend to see those individuals in their 20s spend their tenure at two or three different types of organizations. So you’re definitely on that path. So, Charlotte, you’re at Goldman Sachs and then where do you move on to after that?

Charlotte Crosswell: So, yeah, so it’s quite clear that I know, I had applied for a couple of roles that would put me onto the program effectively to join a graduate program late. So I remember didn’t come through because I was pretty good at being, pretty good as a training assistant and saying you my view as I had some amazing experience on my exams. So I, therefore, stopped looking at the roles. I nearly moved to another bank. I tend to have interviews by that point. And this job came up, the London Stock Exchange, which is really interesting because back then this was very much the traditional mutual exchange. You know, owned by the bank, obviously, and companies listed on there. I didn’t do much. I was certainly not the size and breadth of the company today. And they want to people with excellent spirits, aren’t you? And they were willing to bring people in from you, from across the industry to have that, not many people went on the stock exchange with that background. There was lots of accountants, lawyers. There was a lot of regulatory obligations, obviously, on listing companies and raising capital. And I wanted someone in that regulatory team to look at some of the nominees and trading and investigate those. So actually, I went to become rich. That’s basically that more regulation size didn’t sit by. Well, my business development. She’s in my background. But it was fascinating the roles. So I left Goldman. I went there and ends up staying six years and moved around because it was much easier to move around an organization like that. And these days, those first couples of years in that regulates team not only gave me the most amazing ability to analyze something to look at, incredibly detailed trading investigations. So this would be the end of the trading day. You think someone might’ve manipulated the market, the closing price was the last trade of the day, but really open to manipulation. And we’d go off with our tape recorder and we were going into interview ahead of a desk for, you know, or head of floor, which you look at.
I was pretty young. Twenty-five. Twenty-six. So secondly, having been this tiny call in this mere 400 plus trading floor at Goldman, where you can be shouted out by everybody, if you made a mistake, you suddenly went into interviewing people. It was too above what I did, and I actually thought I was quite, quite interesting and quite intellectually stimulating, being able to look through. And we play every single trade in the last 30, 60 minutes and some of them, like future positions side for a few people.
Of course, the city wasn’t like, it like some of the work I did then. But it was just the most fascinating role because it really challenged me and I was there to learn a lot through that. And then you have to refer them on to you, on to regulations, et cetera, which you’d have to proofread this report to take, you know, weeks to write to my team. So hates me now because I can still spot typos. You know, two spaces. And I do think I will be able to scan it because you were just you.
That’s why you have to be absolutely correct and you referred to investigation. And just the most interesting role and I think it gave me what you need when you haven’t been sure that some traditional education route to be able to deliver something that was so perfect and you couldn’t have any mistakes made whatsoever. So was going to result tension in people’s careers being, you know, changing, etc. And it was hard work, but really interesting. And then after two years, I said, I think I missed that. The Sell-Side, I didn’t hear I didn’t like the fact I’d walk into places. They did not like me very much. Some of the investigations I got an idea because I have the ability to have seen that trading floor.

Charlotte Crosswell: So I was able to pick up these anomalies and we changed the way the glaze motion was done. Change it two or three times in three years. And when we finally got to the closing action and we were quite happy with how it was calculated and it was less of manipulation, that one stayed in place for about 20 years. And I always say to people is what your pride in your career? You’re always going to do something where you can make a difference. So you know what you’ve done? You actually lost from trying to do something to your point where you just spend another year to make some money. And every career choice I have made has been down that route. I’ve always sat there and decided I didn’t want to be someone who just sat on the trading floor and waited to be 50. God forbid. You know, John Hartsock, I wanted to do something that was a bit more lasting, a bit more meaningful. And that has very much driven all of my career choices since that point. And I think you’re able to look back and say, I worked with great projects and really interesting when it was going out internationally and traveled extensively for many, many years. But you would have this ability to learn. And if I ever felt I was stopping learning and I wasn’t having any value and, you know, and I had to look and say, I’ve been here three years, what I’m going to do is more interesting. People, great assets, more companies, fantastic. Or I can just move on and learn something else because I never wanted to be at the point where are you going to bore? I think when you get to create what you’re never thought, you’re busy. But I think it’s important that you have intellectual stimulation and that’s driven myself throughout the whole career.

Lloyd Wahed: So the soundbite , all the quotes, that has been one of the pillars for you to always make sure that you are on the
right course in your career is that you are producing something. The output is something that has a lasting benefit.

Charlotte Crosswell: I can’t even look away. I’ve ended up doing that now. Yeah, that very much has been the combination of that. Yeah. So you know, it’s had me that was in there covering tech back in the 90s. So I am within on the London Stock exchange. I moved there listed team, encourage people next door to look after listed companies. And I chose the tech sector to look after. When you’re spitting them out because I can see where it was going. And I said, yeah, that’s going to teach me. I understand tech, learn from them. But obviously they were raising significant capital back in the 90s. And these were the crazy fleck of tech companies, which was the most fascinating time, really well. And you got to meet those founders as innovators from the stage. So you take dot com. We did that float on the London Stock Exchange. And I got stopped to print Habermann on tax stuff instead. But, you know, it’s just really fascinating time watching what was happening in the tech sector. I’m learning from that and just seeing some of these parents and entrepreneurs who were doing everything they could to start a tech company. And here the one prediction I made my biggest mistake. And in the 90s got into the 90s. It was never going to see the decade of such technological changes this decade. You have the Internet. We had our first mobile phone, mainstream. We saw all these tech companies bringing this technology that nobody could think about. And you look at it now and say, we haven’t reached that decade yet. And it was definitely not. Yeah, that was my prediction. But it just felt so exciting.

Charlotte Crosswell: And, you know, and I just looked at side bets and that was, you know, working with a lot of tech companies and seeing the great work we’re doing here. Yeah, it was just fascinating. That’s why I made moved Nasdaq to do the same thing. But really be at the forefront of technological change.

Lloyd Wahed: The technological change that you talk about affects a lot of the work that people end down doing from a task perspective. And so, you know, I started my career around very early 2000, 2003, 2004. And apparently, according to some metrics, that’s when of all time the tasks that people were involved in, whereas intellectually challenging as they’ve ever been. And then if you look at a graph to 2020, it just goes down. And that’s in part because of the intelligence and the platforms that people are able to operate through in that network. And that’s the whole conversation around, you know, how is artificial intelligence going to change the function of the role that we’re doing in fewer and fewer people who are creative who are going to have that intellectually stimulating role. And then potentially a lot of people are going to either have a displacement of their career or you’re going to be involved like post the industrial revolution in quite administrative roles that actually it’s based on. It’s just cheaper for a person to fulfil that role versus the technology to do it.

Lloyd Wahed: And so it’s been interesting to try and reflect on my career and think what was the nature of it? You know, almost 20 years ago, what’s the nature of it today? And therefore, what’s the nature going to be in 10 years? I try to work out where our position and what the people in my business should be doing for us to be as great an employer as possible and say, if you can tell me when that decade’s going to be that we’re not going to see technical improvement anymore, then then we’ll both be very rich in many different ways. But I suspect it will just keep on surprising us.

Charlotte Crosswell: Well, you know it well, I need to put some things that people talk about now in driverless cars and new flying cars here and you sit and get lost. Never gonna never get to see a flying car. But now I’m actually making it. So I now, you know, all the things we thought in the 90s, which is never going to happen. And we started to see. I mean, I’m just I can’t imagine my BlackBerry. I remember being a candidate. Right, people. Blackberries. And they hadn’t yet left the world yet. And I was sitting there going, well, you got your e-mail, , which you know, and I just thought that was just amazing. And I thought, well, lucky Canadians, lucky they get to keep that here. And then, of course, you here they went global there and darting up at 2:00 in the morning in Japan, trying to get, dialling into my emails. It’s dialogue reasonable. You know, you look at some of that stuff and actually simple. I agree with you on AI.That’s going to replace so much of what we do now. But mostly statistics, which I mean, net jobs, there will be an increase from technical change. Computers didn’t take away jobs. Say put out for your concern. If you can’t take away coding, what will become less relevant for kids to see if you need to? Just shout at computing will do with you the way people teach. Schools will change dramatically. Now, if you think we have to go and get to the library, get an encyclopedia, drop something, you and my daughter just go back to this historical character. Is it makes sense?So I think it’s the piece of AI and the data and ethics around it are one of the really important things. I am concerned that the algorithms aren’t being built correctly. And I think it’s also past data. So we come to come to do our best to look at some of the algorithms being built, especially in the financial services world. You know, I have huge concerns around that. You know, because what you’re saying is you’re looking back. Our market stage, you’re looking back. AI was looking back on what used to be trend, so it would, therefore, indicate that women have fewer jobs than men on average, that you need jobs because that’s you. Historically, that’s been the case.

Charlotte Crosswell: And you fed that to the machine and you learnt from that, developed as the object in their thinking. So it might note that this may be young. You don’t really see that change job. Western markets, but there are markets where you’re seeing a much more balanced diversity. You know, I don’t I’m not spitting answers. The system is that it would make probably an hour less. Therefore, they’re going to be able to go further or their credit score will not be good just based on old data. So I think in terms of AI, we actually need to be really careful how we set it up. There’s not much you can do good with it, but it’s going to be the next decade trend, 2020, will be incredibly important to separate problems going forward, because if we don’t, we’re never going to escape that. So for all the work we’ve done in terms of diversity and such mobility, there’s so much part of what we can do. But if we don’t get it right, the next decade is going to be very difficult to get data out of a system. So wherever we do leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence, especially when it comes down to setting a financial profile, it’s where it is now and we have a chance of getting it right. And if we get it wrong, it’s going to be really difficult to get out. And that’s my concern.

Lloyd Wahed: You think your life you’re in a position where you can help drive that message. And if so, what are some of you doing right now and how are those conversations forming?

Charlotte Crosswell: Yeah, so I often say yes to speeches where I get to talk about data and ethics and I add where it goes to see GDPR and all presume that that which is going to protect your data. And it was a hassle of putting people to recognized why we were going through that pain of implementing GDPR, all that really doing is protecting your own data. And that’s actually right. What it’s not doing is sitting there and stopping these trends being the change. So what will be your data or my data particularly being leveraged? But collectively, it is. It’s how people shop, how people view, how they spend and how they say you are. And then it’s cutting into age groups and what it’s true. And that data is debatable. So as we look at these big tech firms around the world, you know, two big U.S. conglomerates, but also in Asia. What’s going to happen with that data that’s already being used? And so it’s a real challenge for financial services firms now when they’ve been monadic for a long time, mostly for storage and regulatory reasons compared to the fintech companies who’ve been setting up all the acquisitions based on that data coming in. They’re able to refine their products. We are at that point where if we look just the big tech clubs and there is a real concern that we’re having wrong measure going to the system. And we saw this with Apple or credit card if you follow that, whereas they completely share the wealth and his credit score was 10 times more than her.

Charlotte Crosswell: If you look at something’s wrong when that’s the case. And so that was a real warning shot last year. You’d be saying that. How do we make sure that this is not going to take place? And even now, that’s gonna be hard. Just as we look to leverage that, particularly in financial services where you’re making decisions, going to have an impact on the ability to borrow, to buy a house, to get a job. You didn’t have to get in front of me. It’s something that I would always talk about because the reason we’re called into my finance because that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to innovate financial services. And a lot of that is around the fintech space. But I work just as much with banks, the bigger players looking at how they’re going to do it. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is only going to accelerate that transformation of digitalisation. Similarly, without doubt, maybe not in this past month where everyone’s trying to sit there and work your processes at the right call centres. But what we’re going to see emerging from this is people really looking to the core and see what is not true. So we have this opportunity over the next couple of years to get it right. But we must make sure that anyone who is implementing that alongside their data, it’s challenging. It’s looking at it, speaking about it, thinking about it and making sure that that data is it. And I think we can do another to talking about it seems incredibly important.

Lloyd Wahed: Yeah. I mean, it’s really complex if you just think through the incentive of a technology business. To make their systems as productive for a user as possible, but also they have this vast sum of data to get on top of and they segment, and then they regress through it and they try and predict outcomes. And of course, what you’re saying, which is right, is that therefore is bias within that, because the trends are looking at might not represent the reality of today. In some instances or it might not represent what a fair outcome is. So I agree with you and I’ve had many conversations on this. One of the first podcast is with Professor Luciano of Oxford, who’s the ethics professor there, and actually sat on Google’s board and we had him debating with a technical startup founder about ethics and how you should be using data. It was absolutely fascinating for any of the guests who are interested in that. Then having listened to that podcast will be it sounds, great, but we’ll be revising this conversation the whole time. But how do you actually get the right outcome here over the next 10 years? Does there have to be some type of government regulatory body? The tech businesses then have to sign up to and work through where they are being watched, much as you did on the trading floor. You’re kind of that recording of, okay, guys, have you done this without the wrong type of bias? And the caveat to us doing that that you’ll get from any real true techie is that you know, that’s not a true algorithm. What’s in it for us to say that that’s not bias? You know, maybe the bias is from the government body and people stop fit in line that corrupts the ability for the business to work in its truest sense. So that’s the thing that I’ve seen is the challenge for us, too, from a sentiment get correctly.

Lloyd Wahed: But I would say that if that doesn’t happen with all the Facebook stories that we’ve had over the last year or so, then we are walking into a very dangerous time with AI.

Charlotte Crosswell: We are going to hear a lot of people are talking this day to trust companies where you go in and you’re in the role of the ICOs is incredibly important that this is something anything like the challenge you’ve got. It’s not being done. Obviously, country by country. So we aren’t using UK data produced by you, could we probably use data produced by U.S. Tech or Asia. So that’s the challenge with the regulators is how do we work globally to find some set of standards?

Charlotte Crosswell: And that’s the biggest challenge we have. It’s not something that we are to show that data for obvious reasons. Say what you think you’re going to find is large firms will put in these very these refined data trust companies where as soon as they actually have that ability to control what goes in there and that is fair. And this comes back to data, comes back to you looking at working on that and continue testing and having a range of people with different backgrounds, talking about social mobility. You’re looking at that and testing that and working that through, actually. Right. So it’s not just your professors within Russell Group who are advising on that. It’s also to challenge ourselves to a different perspective because the unintended consequences of something I get incredibly hard. It is something that obviously a lot of people are looking at. But in the race to drive through technological change, we have to sit and we put this piece of data and work with global data provided it’s great. There’s many out there looking at this piece. And just remember that maybe in the data you’re getting and you’re receiving an analysis done isn’t always correct. Yeah, it’s always been a trouble for insurance, for example, you know, how are they going to press insurance when you’re not sure what the data is, correct or not? You know, when you’re going to save money, when you’re suddenly going to get a mortgage in the box in their data, it’s incredibly hard. So people don’t really worry about it when all data was ready. You’d expect to keep cookies on your computer. And then that was spitting out potentially insurance to but never really thought much about it. It’s like that’s down the side. But what’s happening now is a subsidy. It’s coming into financial decisions about you and that that bias may be on where you live, where you grew up in a background, where you’ve studied, how you live your life. Now you can take your team. All these currently a lot of car companies investing so much in research, it’s because they’re sitting there taking that data and making assumptions about you. In theory, at some point you could assume with the change we’re going through that data, at some point we’ll get released, even the trend.

Charlotte Crosswell: So people who live in southwest London generally drive late at night or whatever? You got to look at that. And what’s impatient about when we get to as we innovate our financial services globally, we have to be able to sit down and take a step back and say, how do we get this data into a really safe place that we actually think that hasn’t had a box, it’s been cleansed. I mean, that’s regulators looking at this globally. It’s something I’m very passionate about. And I think when you when you represent companies that are coming into Innovate Financial services, you want to make sure.

Lloyd Wahed: And I think that what seems to run across most of the guests on Searching for Mana is that that’s one of the reasons that they’re in the fintech space because it does seem like a bunch of people who wanted to improve, certainly the value proposition at large in financial services. So how do we make sure we keep encouraging the right type of people who are excited about making sure the all of the data and technologies used properly and at best in financial services and make sure that the intake of that talent is incredibly diverse across race, sex education backgrounds.

Charlotte Crosswell: And maybe it comes back to where I spent my career. I often look at people with their CVs, and I look at people who haven’t may be done so well on education and then done really well in their careers, and I could be more biased towards kids with our nose. But I think there’s been a nostril diversity and that’s been great. It had to happen. We all in a vast world And that’s still a long way to go. You know, what I want to see in stepping on is really looking back going social mobility, whether that’s gender, whether it’s race, whether it’s a background because it’s really important that we’re bringing that to you. And not just because you check a box and say, I’m a diverse organization. It’s you want people to challenge your thinking from all different walks of life. And so, you know, not people. We look at this, they go for this graduate program. Thousands and hundreds of people apply for jobs in our position and it is only the best who are getting those. What I have been encouraged from you, from the press and special services providers, is how many are now looking to 16 to 18-year-olds. I’d say potentially going to take one to 18. They’re going to see those bright sparks and then they might have the best education. But they’re going on the drive. We’re going to a willingness to work. But they’re looking at that to recognize that if you put people through university 21, 22, they put their minds potentially channel in 7 directions and some friends decide they want to do themselves.

Charlotte Crosswell: I want to give them that experience. And it’s fascinating looking at some of those programs that we’ve seen, just the impact that’s going to have and obviously the fact that these are going to really big organizations that would normally have only taken them on a graduate stage and then taken an 18 and getting a completely different mindset. I’m encouraged recently by a bank. He went to a new one, working space providers, and said they wanted to take on the fact that students from quite a challenge school. And I think it’s going to take some long, longer. You know, I’ll take my first what my five worst students. I want men to have the experience. And again, that experience, as I understand it, you’re a couple taken up. So actually, you know, it’s not just about finding the people with the right great results, because in this in this next decade or two decades of this change, you actually want to have a diverse workforce at all levels, not just at senior levels, all the way through junior and definitely in the middle when you have but you’ve got a diversity of all thinking.

Charlotte Crosswell: And that’s how I would build my team if I want to have diverse thinking. I want the best person, that job you attempts to give me that diversity. And that to me is really important. You know that is why we have people from different backgrounds. You know, we’re representing the fintech industry. It’s a very diverse bunch of different tech industries. You definitely have media towards to chimney men, I’m afraid. But certainly, you want diversity in education, diversity in your thinking because that’s how you’re going to be successful. So we need to make sure that this will complete.

Lloyd Wahed: But what I was just thinking, it must be very different to when. You know, you work at Goldman all those years ago
go on to training for, a certain type of male fintech. For my experiences is more diverse. But you just say set there
and. So, you know, sit still, there are still too many men in your opinion. What? Why do you think that is? Do you
genuinely think that’s because of bias? Or do you think that’s also because of the educational opportunities?
Because of. Talk us through what you think is the result.

Charlotte Crosswell: That went into when it was born. It was born out of a financial crisis in 2008 and it was people who want to bring more transparency, competition into financial services and generally sweep fees. There were people coming out your banking who decided that they wanted to go and make financial services fairer. And generally, that was people who may have made a lot of money and take that risk. They are so passionate about it that they weren’t scared and jumping to fintech. And now we look back to 2008, the bias and the gender diversity potential, the senior roles and cheap 30 per cent of women on boards, but even ex-coach, it’s still pretty, pretty cool. So what we saw was OBC people at quite high up in their career coming in, taking that jump in. Maybe not the biggest risk they’ve ever taken. And Jeremy, that was meant well. So it was you. It was male bankers who saw that and were able to have that Rolodex bringing people together and a ton of these founders. It was two or three years ago, two friends and there was no criticism against them. That’s just a steal. It was just moving the policy, the lack of diversity from banking into fintech.

Charlotte Crosswell: And even when you look at some of the industry now, founders out there. Take Anne Boden and she would often say, I wouldn’t be able to get that without being in banking first. But yeah, I was a very senior person in banking and before I made that jump. And it just wasn’t as many senior people. What we’re seeing now, it gives me hope that we will see that change is we’re seeing a more entrepreneur, more innovators coming through out of university who are seeing a problem at university. Maybe they want to advance people’s salaries, which is great firms doing at the moment or using open banking to prove yourself. It was gross abuse for the moment. So what you’re saying is actually that doesn’t matter who does that, because it doesn’t really matter what your age is. You can make that change coming up, 23 24. And so some favourite fans, I meet people in their early 20s, male and female, who have just spotted a problem and decide what they wanted to fix it.

Charlotte Crosswell: And they haven’t needed to have 20 years of banking experience to do it because the problem probably has been born out of what’s happened over the last few years. So I hope that if we can go to schools and to universities and inspire them to show some of the problems we have in financial services, affordable credit is a huge one of those, that got worse, obviously with the current crisis and we don’t challenge them to kind of help fix it. And therefore, that sense of purpose that you could be talking about, I think is incredibly important. On millennials, Gen Z, Gen Alpha growing up, working through challenges is their single since half of the ones can be partial and they want to come work somewhere where you have a job. And I have therefore hope that if we can position that correctly within fintech, we appeal to your seasoned banker and in your 40s you just can make a change. We appeal to someone in the 30s to get stuck on career and just as a bit of being on the hamster wheel. But we also appeal to the 16 to 18-year-old who is trying to make that decision of getting into work. Am I going to university? Am I going to be an entrepreneur? And we show them it doesn’t really matter, because actually what we need within the innovative financial services in fintech is we need to have the range of all of those people. Now, if we get that right, that’s going to appeal just as much to a young woman as it is to a young man. And that’s what I have to do. And some of my favourite parts of this job is I get to go and talk about things like that. We’re launching the fintech schools where about in two to three weeks time, which is exactly that. It’s teaching children at school. It’s going to back, dominantly 16 to 18-year-old target audience to start with, to show what is finance, what is tech-savvy for some of these careers. Have you thought about what you can do with this?

Charlotte Crosswell: Have you thought about what you eat, how much you use fintech every single day? That we decided to go ahead with that program to inspire people on careers, but actually living used just as much. I’m inspiring people on financial education and financial well-being. It shows how to save or how to be careful online to cybercrime. I’m going to put that out as something that they can watch. Should I mean, how do we get the traction? Are we important? But, you know, that is the ultimate aim that my personal journey. I really want to show people that whatever you’re doing at school, into six-form, into university doesn’t really matter. You know, you can pivot and you can switch your career because you know because the world’s changing all the time. So you don’t need to send the same job for 20 years because the world is changing so dramatically this 20 years. And then challenge yourselves to learn something news but going to innovate in this industry. It’s going to be different in 20 years. And we want to inspire people on what fintech do and thereby can make some really amazing solutions in the fairness that we’re working with overnight and give them the opportunity to come and make it appear fairer and more competitive, ultimately more transparent and available to people.

Lloyd Wahed: Do you aware of or think through how the banks are going to try and have a purpose about their place or so their
positioning in the space?

Charlotte Crosswell: Our listener would do with all the banks, obviously, and a lot of those trying to drive through this change. It’s incredibly hard for an organization that’s been doing this the same way for many cases hundreds of years to suddenly change. And there are some banks were going through that change. I think the UK is much better in other parts around the world because it’s really embraced financial innovation compared to other markets in other cities, other regions. And that’s you. I think that is because you incubate innovations, so many great fintech companies here, but it’s also been welcomed by regulators and governments as well. So I think the banks understand that this is a journey that they’re already on. They’re not resisting anymore. Other countries are resisting it. They recognize that they are in a competitive world. And yet the smart bank is, they’ve really got their innovation teams. Every single bank will have innovation teams. And actually what we’re seeing now is that five years ago, innovation teams are coming into core banking and do as we come out of this Covid-19 crises, whatever that looks like as we emerge to take you know, I believe that to you that it’s going to get suddenly change really fast. It’s not going to be just a routine. It’s going to say if this ever happens again, how do we make this better? And that’s what you’re trying to do with fintech is you with the innovators and entrepreneurs that we work with, have really broken down the doors for the mix for the next phase. We’re not quite there yet. Whereas I would often say we’re at the end of phase one here, probably premium modules what this crisis does if there’s anything that’s too good coming out of it for the fintech community, not everything. Tech company is going to start this year. What we’re going to see is those big financial services, banks, not just the banks, the insurers, the asset management firms are going to sit there and say,” Right, how do we get ready for this to ever happen again?” And it’s not gonna be a nice to have. You know, I’ve had a financial crisis where people must-have innovation. I must bring this through and I must do it right. So it will take vertical able. This is going to drive so much change over the next three to five years.

Charlotte Crosswell: And we were looking forward to being part of that. I mean, how can the company survive at all in that space the moment and trying to raise the crucial funding to keep it going?What have you saying over the last couple of weeks, that’s not news, that decade of innovation that we’ve had since the financial crisis. It would be really easy to focus on the big financial services players over the next few weeks. Is that the channel that it’s linked to you? Who’s innovating in the moment and which solutions can we actually take from banking has so much ability to cross to be able to open up to people across the UK. And some of the fintech solutions aren’t getting sent tens per day of people who can verify our income who can you can verify what people are so they don’t have to go through payroll with the following staff and claim it back. We have the ability to box salaries already.

Lloyd Wahed: Are you talking to the government at this point about them trying to make sure they do protect the fintech community in the efforts of businesses that, as you say, might not be the channel that lending goes to SMEs just because of how things have been set up? I think that yeah, I think I saw some in let’s roll note that you have championed to the government. Walk us through that case.

Charlotte Crosswell: Yeah. So it’s a few things we’ve been doing. And yes, we all talking to governments every day at the moment and regulators and in particular around the lending sector because what we’re trying to get as many SMB loans out of the door as possible. As you said, the scheme was that was leverage, which was actually a post-financial crisis scheme. Maybe AFGE was used for COVID-19 business interruption loan that rolls off the tongue after you’ve said it about 50 times a day for the last three weeks. So what was and is that we have fintech companies that can analyze twenty fifty thousand loans per day using technology. Now I ask if this quarter it’s a bit clunky and yet it’s been we have been laying blame all sorts of doors into why is like somebody at the door. But what we have is we have this type of stability that we’ve built up. So we yes, we want to use it now as it’s rice for some of those lenders, non-bank lenders to get accredited business bank, but also will show is that we support those companies as well because that’s SME lending sector in alternative lending. It’s not something we can afford to lose through this process by not supporting or leveraging or even capture it needs. And because otherwise what we can do is going back to post-financial crisis. You know, who knows how long this crisis probably is going to take. And we cannot afford to lose that estimate. Lending will not be coming from the banks over the next few years. I think they’ll be the ones to admit such small loans is going be so difficult. So the financial crisis was all about creating competition and transparency, obviously bringing more, more lenders and other providers of innovation into the financial services sector. Coming out of this crisis, we’re going to probably see that then retreating and further on, making general assumptions here, and even more the need for alternative solutions to come true. So we cannot afford to lose those companies who spent the last three to five years proving their model. Hundreds of people themselves raising significant investments previous from the private sector. We must make sure we protect and support it because they’re going to be the ones that can give us these solutions coming out of the next few months and years. And let’s not go backwards. And that’s what I’m saying. We’ve had this decade of innovation. We’re not using it, it’s not completely embedded. And there’s been a lot of frustrations that we see from the tech sector. But what we have to use now is saying let’s make sure we use these companies at a certain level. Now that going forward, let’s embrace that and let’s make sure they are embedded because we can’t look backwards to too much innovation, too much development. And we want to show to investors when the next wave of entrepreneurs that this is a sector that is going to be supported. It’s critically important. So, so many opportunities. But do you really. Are you worried that we are going to go backwards by doing that?

Lloyd Wahed: And is that because of what you’re hearing from investors?

Charlotte Crosswell: I mean, across the board, it’s from founders, it’s investors. I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me, even the banks, it’s sitting there. Recognize you. We’ve heard and talked about the Siebold scheme in a fair amount of detail. They’ve been trying to change their processes to get loans is that the door. Call centres that just aren’t in existence anymore. People. What? Am I right? Yeah. Back in recognition that there is a growth rate, each different part play. And I often talk about it’s not either-or. No, it’s not big banks, or fintech or big tech, if we’re gonna get through this and manage it, it’s going to be a true collaboration. We have to sit there and get all the different people in the room at the same time, not individually at the same time. And say what? What are all the tools we have available to us that are going to deliver us. And that’s important. And that’s going to be true, this crisis. But especially as we come out of the crisis to say let’s lay the groundwork for how we move this forward quickly comes about next winter or something on some two or three years time, we never go through this scenario again. Credibly challenging for the banks. I mean, if you imagine, if people say that you are too weak to move everything online, everybody to remote working globally, people to put more. Yeah. And I guess what we’ve always sort of manage. We’ve muddled through. So it gets back criticizing what’s been done. But let’s make sure now is we get to the next year, four weeks, which is quite crucial as people try to make April payroll, May payroll. This means that we’re leveraging the best of every tool we have. And I’m using that because that’s going to be really important.

Lloyd Wahed: Yeah. So, you know, as an SME owner myself, in my experience, which I suppose is three or four weeks now of really having to refine our processes to digital, I think about operating in a completely changed environment as a headhunting business. What we have experienced is that people are looking for CEOs and leaders who are around in the last recession. They want to bring trusted hands in, which makes some sense in terms of the level below. So we operate at all levels because when you are part of a fintech and you understand their culture, it just makes complete sense that it’s just phrased and across the board. So recruitment in SMEs and in professional services stopped and say what we’re doing is we’ve changed our pricing scheme and model where we still pipeline for very bullish businesses who will most likely carry on and need certain types of talents either to replace or bring in additional skillsets. But we’re putting all payments way into the future set. So that’s us innovating in some way to keep adding value. But my experience actually from a banking perspective has been and I won’t name the bank since that moment to today. We have not been able to have communication with our big bank once. We haven’t had one conversation. We have not had a response on our email or any of the methods that we’ve tried on a daily basis.

Lloyd Wahed: And fortunately, we have a period of shade in our business. But of course, prudently, I want to speak to my bank account right now. When you get things into motion in terms of with with with with lenders in the SME space, you know, I’m having daily conversations with them, of course, about their business, but also. They just want to help, they’ve got, as you say, the technology that they could speed this up. And so, Charlotte, you’re in a highly pressurized but exciting position where you could bring this together because that would be the best outcome of this. Obviously in many ways horrible situation that we find herself in April 2020 where there are a lot of brilliant businesses out that might just need additional runway, might need clever financial solutions. It might not because they’re out of money, but they might need to factor in voices from the future where it might be. You know, we sit on top of that network and fintech. And I think if you can bring the government’s attention, as you’re obviously doing on a daily basis to the fact that the banks and the fintech community collaborate, then we come out of this in the best possible situation.

Charlotte Crosswell: I mean, that’s what we’re hoping, you know, we’re dealing with 40 non-bank lenders now altogether. Yeah. Yeah, because it is it is also about finding a situation where they can get both thinkings across the whole sector. There’s no point, you know, having five or 10, tt works for and another 30 it doesn’t. So it’s been you it’s been the hardest cases finding that solution. Everyone can live with it might not be perfect for everyone’s business. But to see, that’s like a consortium day. I said to people, and you will have to be a little bit unhappy because it probably means you’ve got the best deal. If someone’s happy and someone’s unhappy, that’s not right. And yeah. And that is. And she bodied it for you. They offer no dep. such a time of crisis like this where we come to our room and it’s not as you said, it’s not just about you actually. How can those companies depart this nation? It’s also making sure we’re protecting them because forbearance is a big impact on this sector. And, you know, if you can imagine, they’re being told to grant payment holidays, but they’re not getting that from their own arrested. So we’ll see. Because of government intervention to protect consumers, the SMEs, which is nobody talking is the wrong thing to do. We have to make sure that obviously that’s not what happens. And then there is the funding this year. Most investors we’re talking to returning the firms that they should have an 18 to 24-month runaway cash. Not many entrepreneurs have 18 to 24 months away on cash. I can tell you.

Charlotte Crosswell: And even if they just raise they raise you based on revenue growth, it does not just sit there, keep the base stable. or survival. And so at what point do you need to move back to your growth or you can set your bar and everyone on here is saying you can survive. So you some of the campaigns we’ve also been involved in looking at how do we get the capital behind SMEs? Did we create it? Let’s see. Let’s look after the startups in the scale-up who will help us emerge through this crisis. And they may not have the cash at the moment. And maybe if they have longer back to the first day, which makes it really tough position, you have to go OBC already in place, but you might have some great IP that we want to protect and that’s been quite challenging. You know, if we’re going to put together this funding, how do you know which ones do you pay that for? So what is the main reporting among vendors? It’s a little bit easier because everyone’s got roughly the same sort of issues. When you’re talking, let’s look at how we put it together. We’ll get some private-sector money into some of these startups and scale-ups incredibly hard. You would need that. Have they already got investors in place? Or haven’t got investors in place. Do we want to get investors for them? And that’s something we will work across the investment community as well.

Charlotte Crosswell: I see those fintechs themselves. And this is I said to people, you know, this is talking to us something different down the country. Everyone is going through this. Everyone position depends on what sectors it is, there have been techs who are helping real economy thugs. So if I see if those you can’t lend anymore says real economy firms, manufacturing, engineering, construction, then how are we going to kick start the economy again if those firms don’t have money? So it isn’t just financial services, it’s really important. And you’re not looking at some of those books. The mining sector over the weekend. We kind of looking at where to lend to. This isn’t just in restaurants and pubs and hospitality. This is a real economy. And if we don’t protect those companies, then guess what? We’re not going to have to start again. So it’s incredibly challenging is how do we get investment into the back? And you’ve seen the press around. Some of the work is being done on that, not just the short term crisis, but also the longer-term piece as we emerge here. That is the great thing about fintech is that it was born out of a crisis. Or maybe this is the one that leads us all out of this one, which will be really, really fascinating to you. There’s no magic solution here. Not so flippantly joked with someone the other day and say, go out and tell me that’s 2008.

Charlotte Crosswell: And it is just the warm-up. It’s so complicated, so complex. It’s not just one particular sector. It’s not just one type of consumer, which is every single business across the world is being affected. And just so hard. But you wouldn’t be encouraged or it’s just your seniority and attend to the involvement of people to get together and look at this as a common problem. How do we, therefore, generate that solution? And you’ve got to hate me and my job as somebody to bring that to you. That sector. And we’ll look at what the apocalypse. But it’s yeah, it’s definitely going to be a busy few weeks ahead. What would have been the UK would have kicked off on the 2020 April. And it’s just amazing. When we were sitting there saying, you know, what do we do with that? Go to the conference. We’re going to space it or we’re not. We took a decision to postpone it. Do you think that was quite a tough decision at same time and you looked back that a week away. Wow, that really wasn’t a tough decision. And yes, we now have three weeks here, open tag and all the program bits have moved you into certain subjects like this and supporting companies through this crisis, but also trying to take that bit of step back and say we come of this was the broker or financial services and the innovation.

Lloyd Wahed: Charlotte. How can people be a part of that fintech three weeks? Well, where do we go to watch all this?

Charlotte Crosswell: So that’s the U.K fintech websites where people can come in and they will find that. It’s obviously it’s webinars, it’s great talks, podcasts, recorded content. Generally, the way fintech works are they use the fintech week to release press releases. Fundraising. Maybe not so many of those this year. But sadly, we’re using as a focal point is we were gonna move it towards digital, protracting a celebration of UK fintech. But what we’re actually talking about now is actually the role of fintech, and that’s ours. We have been seen as a great believer. Over the last few years, seen some of the decisions made. It’s not really important that we really pull to get the best of our ability across everyone we have: bigger players, government, regulators in tech, too, are opening together. You can split it up with a solution in 48 hours in some cases and easier. And that’s all state spending, some of that time in the fintech week now that we now help them as well. I’d given them access to some much information in unrepairable. It’s a lonely life here. As a CEO and the founder, it’s incredibly hard. And it’s as much about giving them the support and the education, but also bringing an end to provide that to other people.

Lloyd Wahed: Yeah, I mean, it’s a shame, isn’t it? Everybody misses, you know, personal and personal time with other people and networks and events into work and socializing. But in this instance, as unfortunate as it is for innovative finance, the event is a person as it was planned.

Lloyd Wahed: Maybe given the situation as see is is as useful as it could ever be, because I’m sure the exact conversation that I think everybody needs to have over the next two or three years, two or three weeks, or who genuinely actually might be able to see, like you say, do something right now, because as you’ve just explained it if we can protect the banks, the financial service companies who actually do hold the economy in part still in their hands, who are lending across whole different sectors, then we’ll come out of this a lot stronger than we might otherwise say. Great work that you guys do in Charlotte. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show. Fascinating. Thank you. Fascinating career. And obviously the stuff you do right now is so important. I wish you all the best on that. Certainly, be nice if there’s any way I can help out all over the next few weeks.

Charlotte Crosswell: That’s great. Yes. We never turned down offers for help. So be careful what you wish for.

Lloyd Wahed: Cheers, Charlotte.Thank you.

Charlotte Crosswell: Thank you very much.

Also published on Medium.