20k jobs pledge

10-year plan aims to create fintech ‘engine room’

Nicola Anderson
Nicola Anderson: positive outcomes (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland will be turned into a centre for climate finance and improving citizens’ financial wellbeing under a 10-year plan by cluster group FinTech Scotland.

It wants to develop Scotland as an “engine room” for financial technology and a desirable location for international companies.

The group believes Scotland can be a leader in developing green practices in finance and that it can employ artificial intelligence and cyber technologies to build on its existing expertise in regulation and compliance.

FinTech Scotland says that achieving its goals could boost jobs in the sector from the current 8,500 to 29,300 over the next decade and increase its economic contribution by 330% from £598 million to £2.1 billion.

The targets are contained in the cluster group’s Research and Innovation Roadmap, the first of its type in the UK, which has been produced in collaboration with entrepreneurs, the financial services sector, academia, regulators, government bodies and consumer groups.

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It notes that consumers are putting greater urgency on mobile money management, ethical banking and alternative methods of supporting ESG issues.

While it sets ambitious growth targets a survey of the sector found that 76% of respondents believed short-term thinking was the biggest obstacle to innovation.

Scotland has an established fintech cluster of more than 190 firms, up by more than 50% since January 2020. With nearly 25 fintech firms per million population, Scotland’s density of fintech companies is about 60% greater than the UK average outside London.

Fintech Scotland chief executive Nicola Anderson, who co-authored the Roadmap with executive chairman Stephen Ingledew, said: “The R&I Roadmap demonstrates how collaborative fintech innovation can drive positive economic and social outcomes.”

It is published on the first anniversary of the Treasury’s commissioned Review of Fintech led by Ron Kalifa.

Mr 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.”

Treasury minister John Glen said: “Our fintech sector is a global success story, with record levels of investment over the last year.”

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