The number of fintech SMEs based in Scotland has grown by more than 60% from 72 to 119 over the past twelve months, FinTech Scotland has confirmed.
The announcement comes on the second anniversary since the formation of FinTech Scotland – a joint initiative by a number of financial services firms, University of Edinburgh, Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.
The growth in the new fintech enterprises focused on reinventing financial services has been driven by new start-ups such as Visible Capital, SecureTheFile, Open Banking Research, Contract2Pay, Digital Future Capital and Guiide.
In addition, the growth in numbers has been fuelled by fintech firms moving to Scotland from other parts of the world such Gobbill (Australia), Polydigi (Hong Kong), EedenBull (Norway) and QWallets (USA), which are now very much part of the Scottish fintech community.
Furthermore, there have been a number of innovative fintech enterprises from the UK which have set up operations in Scotland, including Xpand, Mudano, Infinity Works and BePayd.
Since its inception in early 2018, FinTech Scotland has facilitated the growing fintech innovation by fostering the connection between entrepreneurs, large financial services firms, the universities, Government and public sector as well as a range of strategic partners and stakeholders.
Examples of FinTech Scotland’s strategic enabling leadership role in 2019 included:
• The formation of the FinTech Scotland Consumer and Citizen Panel, a first for UK and Europe, launched to encourage the development of new solutions to tackle societal and inclusion challenges
• International trade missions of fintech firms to meet the Scottish community including from Canada, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Singapore and USA to name a few
• Scotland’s Fintech Festival over three weeks in September with 60+ events across the country with international fintech guests attending from over twenty nations
• Collaboration with UK fintech organisations to form the Fintech National Network to support investment, innovation and inclusion initiatives
• Founding member of the European Fintech Discovery Programme with eight leading fintech hubs across the continent to offer greater access to innovation across nations
• Ongoing close collaboration with the financial regulator, the FCA, including the extention of the of the secondment of a senior regulators to FinTech Scotland
• Developed financial inclusion and diversity initiatives working with consumer groups, social enterprises and charities such as Money Advice Scotland
• Facilitated cross sector fintech innovation, for example, with ScotlandIS, Law Society of Scotland and as well as Scottish Government Digital Team
• Partnership agreement with University of Strathclyde in developing the Glasgow fintech cluster as part of the City’s Innovation District
Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive of Fintech Scotland, said: “It is a privilege to lead the FinTech Scotland team and galvanise the broad range of support from across Scotland to support the growth of innovative fintech enterprises in this last year.
“Our progressive, collaborative and inclusive agenda is certainly establishing Scotland as a major global fintech centre which can contribute to Scotland’s economic and social ambitions
“There is still much to do but with the support of a range of stakeholders from private sector, Government and academia actively participating we can achieve the top ranking global fintech status. I am excited about a number of new initiatives planned for early 2020 which will enable us to build on the momentum throughout Scotland.”
Digital Economy Minister, Kate Forbes said: “Congratulations to FinTech Scotland for an another immensely successful year. Under Stephen Ingledew’s leadership at FinTech Scotland has galvanised collaboration between Scotland’s innovative SMEs, universities, financial industry and public sector. Together, we are building Scotland’s reputation as a major global FinTech centre and commend FinTech Scotland team for their collaborative leadership over the last year and their vision for the future.
Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland’s rich heritage in financial services coupled with its reputation as a country of innovators means it’s ideally placed to become one of the world’s leading fintech ecosystems. This is evident in both the number of new Scottish fintech companies and those international businesses that are relocating their operations to take advantage of Scotland’s experience and expertise in the sector.
“The fintech movement in Scotland has been determinedly driven forward by FinTech Scotland over the past two years. Stephen and his team deserve great credit for keeping the momentum going – here’s to another successful year.”
The second anniversary was recognised on Tuesday the 8th of January at the joint quarterly Government and financial industry meeting, the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB), chaired by Scottish Government ministers and Philip Grant of Lloyds Banking Group, one of the founding partners of FinTech Scotland, and attended by executives from across the financial sector.