FinTech Scotland leads call to raise UK industry profile on world stage

Scottish and Welsh organisations representing their countries’ financial technology sectors have outlined proposals to grow fintech innovation opportunities across the UK and improve global competitiveness.

Financial technology, or fintech, has become a key growth area for the digital economy. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

FinTech Scotland and FinTech Wales have released a report, entitled “Research and Innovation for UK FinTech”, setting out a number of key actions to build longer-term research and innovation across the UK.

The proposals include “challenge-led innovation programmes” identified through collaborative national and regional exercises in a bid to develop “ground-breaking propositions” through a funded research pilot programme.

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There is also a call for the development of a fintech innovation institute through the collaboration of UK fintech regions to lead the steering and operation of a long-term funded portfolio.

The report has been jointly authored by Nicola Anderson and Stephen Ingledew of FinTech Scotland along with Gavin Powell and Johnny Mayo of FinTech Wales.

Anderson, FinTech Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We know from experience that fintech across the UK offers real potential for economic growth, future employment and greater financial inclusion.

“This paper proposes a suite of purposeful and collaborative actions that can achieve success through commitment and regional contributions. The paper is just the start and we’re looking forward to continuing this work with fellow fintech leadership colleagues and teams across the UK.”

Sarah Williams-Gardener, chief executive of FinTech Wales, said: “This paper recommends a clear plan to secure a more prosperous future for fintech through innovation and we need to act now to ensure that we can continue to grow in fintech and not fall behind our international competitors.

“We must create an environment where opportunities to innovate – and break through the crowd – can be achieved.

“The importance to build back better post Covid-19 is even more pressing. If we don’t commit to providing the right conditions now for our fintech innovators, we will almost certainly lose out to our international competitors.”

Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation, added: “Fintech is a competitive strength for the UK and it’s terrific to see the regions looking to explore how a focus on innovation, and nationwide collaboration, can further increase UK fintech’s potential.”

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