Bank of England’s fintech chief says he has left to join Fireblocks

Varun Paul, the head of the fintech hub at the Bank of England, has said he has left to take up a role at Fireblocks, ending a nearly 14-year stint at the UK central bank. 

Although it is not yet clear what role he will take at the custody platform, a person familiar with the matter told The Block that Paul is set to join the firm’s corporate strategy team.

“16 years after starting my first internship and more than 13 years after starting as a graduate, today I’ve parted ways with the Bank of England,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday.

Paul’s tenure at the bank spans a period of significant change. According to his LinkedIn profile, he spent around two and a half years from September 2018 leading a project on the future of the financial system. He was named head of the fintech hub in February 2021. 

The Block contacted Paul, Fireblocks and the Bank of England for comment but had not heard back by the time of publication. 

The hiring move points to a growing trend of officials formerly housed at public entities, such as central bankers, politicians and regulators, moving in-house at crypto and fintech firms in the UK.

Last year, Austrian exchange Bitpanda hired former Financial Conduct Authority official Matthias Bauer-Langgartner as its managing director for UK and Ireland. Zodia’s chief compliance officer Chris Kiew-Smith is also ex-FCA. Alongside these, ex-UK chancellor Philip Hammond joined Copper as a senior advisor last year. 

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