Canadian fintech firms jet into Scotland on major trade mission

Some of Canada’s top fintech firms have jetted into Scotland as part of a UK-wide trade mission.

Financial technology, or fintech, is a fast growing industry in Scotland. Picture: Contributed

A dozen Canadian business chiefs are set to engage with senior stakeholders, ranging from Scottish Government ministers to industry leaders, to learn more about the country’s burgeoning financial technology sector.

The Scotland trip is part of a week-long fintech mission to the UK, organised by Scottish Development International and the Department for International Trade, and supported by British Airways and the Bank of Montreal.

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Mark Hallan, director of global investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has ambitions to become a top five global fintech centre by 2020. We have an incredibly exciting fintech ecosystem, with more than 100 companies now operating in financial services across our cities and towns.

The Canadian fintech firms are jetting into Edinburgh this week. Picture: Contributed

“Attracting overseas fintech firms to Scotland is a priority for Scottish Enterprise and our partners, with many companies growing their international presence here.

“These companies have advised us that access to talent, a thriving fintech scene and governmental support have been the reasons for locating in Scotland.

“Scotland already has a strong economic partnership with Canada, with around 40 Canadian-owned businesses in Scotland employing more than 3,700 people. We look forward to enhancing that relationship further as part of this fintech delegation.”

Leading role

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of industry body FinTech Scotland, added: “This week’s engagement with fintech leaders from Canada is a further example of how Scotland’s community is playing a leading role with the global fintech movement and embracing the opportunity to collaborate with international entrepreneurs.

“We are looking forward to sharing examples of how Scotland is developing its world class reputation for fintech innovation by bringing together innovative enterprises, the established financial services sector, globally renowned universities and a very supportive public sector to deliver inclusive growth which benefits consumers and business.”

So far this year, there have been 13 start-up fintech companies formed in Scotland, with ten overseas fintech firms setting up a base in the country over the past 18 months.

Last month, FinTech Scotland launched a consumer panel in what was billed as a UK first for the financial technology sector.

The move aims to connect consumer and citizen advocate groups into the fintech community with the emphasis on “citizen financial inclusion, problem solving and innovation”. Recent research suggests that 24 per cent of UK adults have little or no confidence in managing their cash.

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