Accountancy and business advisory heavyweight Deloitte has agreed a “strategic partnership” with Fintech Scotland in a bid to put the country at the forefront of financial technology development.
The firm has been appointed as global professional services partner and will support the industry body with “experience and connections” to drive the sector’s growth on the world stage.
It comes at a key time for the fintech sector, which has attracted tens of millions of pounds in investment in recent years in Scotland and is home to companies such as Nucleus, ShareIn, LendingCrowd, iZettle and Money Dashboard.
Across the UK, fintech employs more than 60,000 people and now generates almost £7 billion a year, according to Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Kent Mackenzie, director and head of fintech at Deloitte in Edinburgh, said: “Since late 2015, we have immersed ourselves in fintech, establishing what it means for financial services, and how Scotland can continue to establish itself as a leading global voice in the sector.
“Scotland’s reputation and expertise carry significant global weight and we intend to help to improve this position and accelerate further growth through our work with Fintech Scotland.
“For several years we have worked hard to develop a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges for all who operating in the sector, both in a domestic and global context, and through doing so determine a strategy that can see Scotland emerge as a leader in the global market and become an influential voice.
“Our intention is to continue to build on this work, leveraging our global fintech networks and partnerships to provide major advantages for businesses and organisations working with Fintech Scotland in the years ahead.”
In 2016, the big four accountancy firm was commissioned by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise to conduct a scoping review report of the sector and organise a series of consultations with the fintech ecosystem.
This led to the development of an industry-led fintech strategy for Scotland and a detailed business plan to catapult Scotland onto the global stage. As a result, Scotland was recognised in the top 15 centres for fintech growth in the annual Global Fintech Hub Federation Report.
Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of Fintech Scotland, said: “We are hugely excited to be working with Deloitte as strategic partner.
“The firm has already contributed significantly in developing the fintech ecosystem in Scotland and its breadth of professional services expertise and market leading capabilities will play a valuable role in achieving our ambitions.
He added: “We are very excited to be working with Kent Mackenzie and the Deloitte team across Scotland and on the international stage.”