Scotland is home to more than 2,000 financial businesses and over 3,650 professional services firms making it one of Europe's leading financial hubs and the second largest in the UK, following London.
The country's financial technology (fintech) sector is thriving and is continuing to grow exponentially. Mickael Paris, Marketing Director of FinTech Scotland discusses the work of the organisation and the upcoming Scotland FinTech Festival.
Mickael Paris, Marketing Director of FinTech Scotland.
A sector in constant growth
The fintech sector in Scotland has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. The country now boasts 244 companies that are dedicated to providing innovative solutions to solve societal, economic and environmental issues. In 2022, the fintech sector raised £300 million in funding, representing a 200% increase from the previous year, demonstrating the strength and resilience of the industry in the face of global economic uncertainty.
This growth is a result of collaborative efforts by the whole Scottish fintech cluster including the public and private sector, universities and regulators. The strength and cohesiveness of this cluster was demonstrated in 2022 when FinTech Scotland was recognised for its cluster management excellence by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis, becoming the only fintech cluster in Europe to achieve silver accreditation.
Taking fintech in Scotland to the next level
In 2022, FinTech Scotland launched the Fintech Research and Innovation Roadmap (R&I Roadmap), with the objective of boosting economic recovery, driving growth and creating jobs over the next ten years. FinTech Scotland, has already taken important steps to deliver on the R&I Roadmap recommendations.
One of the areas of focus is Climate Finance, recognising the important role the financial sector can and will play in attaining net zero. Recently, FinTech Scotland and Space Scotland have started working together to explore how cross-sector collaboration can facilitate net-zero. This is an important step towards meeting Scotland's goal of becoming a net zero economy by 2045.
Another area of focus is Open Finance Data. With the development of Open Banking, FinTech Scotland has seen a great deal of innovation and increased competition. Going one step further and opening more data to innovators to deeply understand the customer's needs will enable them to develop innovative and frictionless solutions. These can potentially provide better outcomes for customers by increasing choice, giving more access, and deepening customer engagement.
In the area of Payments & Transactions, the focus will be on digital currencies, embedded payments and security. FinTech Scotland facilitated collaboration between Smart Data Foundry and the FCA to further explore developments in payment security. Smart Data Foundry generated and supplied synthetic data to protect consumers from the growing problem of Approved Push Payment (APP) Fraud. This initiative is an important step towards ensuring that consumers' financial information is protected and secure.
In the first quarter of 2023, FinTech Scotland secured government funding to accelerate innovation and research in financial regulation through the creation of The Financial Regulation Innovation Lab. The Lab will ensure alignment with CFIT, the recently announced Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology, which was launched in a UK-wide response to HM Treasury's Kalifa Review of UK FinTech. This collaboration is a significant step towards creating a regulatory environment that is conducive to innovation and growth in the fintech sector.
Showcasing fintech leadership
This year, the Scotland Fintech Festival will take place from 21 September to 12 October. With over 50 events scheduled across Scotland, the festival will showcase the strength and capabilities of the sector.
To launch the festival, the Fintech Summit 2023 (21 September) will welcome attendees to Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. The summit will focus on the crucial role of financial innovation in driving socio-economic recovery.
As the festival draws to a close, The Scottish Fintech Awards (12 October) will be a celebration and recognition of all the work being done across the industry, leaving attendees motivated and inspired by the work done throughout the festival.
This year's event is expected to attract over 2,000 delegates, from the UK and beyond, across the three-week event. It will be an amazing event for companies, investors, and policymakers to unite and discuss the challenges and opportunities in the sector.
To find out more about Scotland Fintech Festival visit - www.scotlandfintechfestival.com