FinTech Scotland roadmap sets goal of adding 20,000 financial tech jobs

FinTech Scotland has published an “innovation roadmap” in a bid to drive a fourfold Increase in economic growth and job creation over the next decade.

Over the ten-year period, the ambition will be to deliver an additional 20,000 plus fintech - or financial technology - related jobs as well as produce an increase in economic gross value added (GVA) through fintech innovation from £500 million today to more than £2 billion by 2031.

The industry-led Fintech R&I Roadmap - the first of its kind in the UK - has been pulled together by the Scottish cluster body in collaboration with fintech entrepreneurs, the financial services sector, academia, regulators, government bodies and consumer groups.

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The cross industry collaboration has resulted in four key strategic innovation themes which provide the foundation for the roadmap - open finance data, climate finance, financial regulation, and payments and transactions.

Financial technology, or fintech, has become a key growth area for the digital economy in Scotland. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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It has been published on the anniversary of the HM Treasury commissioned Review of Fintech led by Ron Kalifa, which set out a number of recommendations, including the opportunity for research and innovation to accelerate the development of cluster excellence.

Nicola Anderson, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, who co-authored the roadmap with the organisation’s executive chairman, Stephen Ingledew, said: “The roadmap demonstrates how collaborative fintech innovation can drive positive economic and social outcomes.

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“I would like to thank industry, academia and all participants for their enthusiastic engagement and contributions in producing this action orientated roadmap. As a dynamic tool, work is already underway with partners across the FinTech Scotland cluster and the UK.”

Kalifa said: “This roadmap aligns with the recommendations I set out in the review of UK fintech and supports our national ambition to encourage growth by creating the right conditions for innovation. I believe the roadmap can act as a stimulus for purposeful UK wide fintech collaboration and I am excited to see the positive impact of this work.”

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Finance secretary Kate Forbes said: “Scotland is one of the best places in Europe to start and grow a fintech firm and I am delighted to see the industry focusing on research and innovation as we move forward with Scotland’s economic, social and environmental transformation.

“This roadmap sets ambitious targets for sectoral growth and job creation, building on the wealth of talent and innovation that exists across the wider tech ecosystem in Scotland.”

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Peter Mathieson, principal and vice chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, added: “As one of the founding members of FinTech Scotland, the university is committed to supporting Scotland and the UK to achieve the ambition to be a global fintech leader.

“We have academic excellence across many disciplines and this roadmap invites us to harness data-driven innovation and build purposeful collaboration across sectors to meet the challenges of open finance, financial inclusion and the transition to net zero.”

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In January, FinTech Scotland reported a surge in the number of companies focused on financial technology amid an acceleration in the move to a digital economy.

It noted that the fintech community had now reached 190 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), compared to 147 a year earlier, and just 26 firms when the industry body started four years ago.

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