FinTech Scotland hails surge in financial tech firms setting up north of the Border

Scotland has seen a 60 per cent surge in the number of financial technology businesses in the past 12 months as the country establishes itself as a global hub for high-growth fintech firms.

FinTech Scotland said the number of innovative fintech SMEs based in Scotland has grown from 72 to 119 over the last 12 months. Image: Contributed

Industry organisation FinTech Scotland said the number of “innovative” fintech SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) based north of the Border had grown from 72 to 119 over the past year.

It said the growth has been driven by start-ups such as Visible Capital, SecureTheFile, Open Banking Research, Contract2Pay and Digital Future Capital.

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There has also been a surge in the number of fintech firms moving to Scotland from other parts of the world, including Gobbill (from Australia), Polydigi (Hong Kong), EedenBull (Norway) and QWallets (the US).

Graeme Jones, CEO at Scottish Financial Enterprise, Stephen Ingledew, CEO at FinTech Scotland, and digital economy minister, Kate Forbes. Picture: Contributed

A number of businesses from the UK have also set up operations in Scotland, such as Xpand, Mudano, Infinity Works and BePayd, becoming part of a “vibrant fintech community”, the organisation added.

The announcement comes on the second anniversary since the formation of FinTech Scotland, which is a joint initiative by a number of financial services firms, the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of Fintech Scotland, said: “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.”

The group also highlighted a number of initiatives undertaken over the last 12 months including the formation of a consumer and citizen panel, said to be a first for the UK and Europe, which has been rolled out “to encourage the development of new solutions to tackle societal and inclusion challenges”.

There have also been international trade missions of fintech firms to meet the Scottish community including from Canada, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Singapore and the US.

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.”

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In full: The Scotsman's 2019 Fintech Focus supplement