Member News: UK Government Ministers visit Scotland’s thriving fintech community
To recognise the global impact of Scotland’s growing fintech sector, FinTech Scotland hosted a visit by Secretary of State for Trade, Liz Truss and Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack on Tuesday 20th July, at the Bayes Centre, University of Edinburgh.
Financial technology (“fintech”) uses digital and data driven innovation to improve and enhance financial services, both for businesses and individuals and is making a significant contribution to innovation and the broader economy.
For example, the collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, FinTech Scotland and industry participants on innovative financial technology initiatives has enabled Scotland to be the home to the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence as well as FinTech Scotland being recognised as the UK’s first accredited fintech cluster.
The meeting at the Bayes Centre provided an opportunity for UK Government ministers to meet with a number of key entrepreneurs from leading firms from the Fintech Scotland community such as Direct ID, Modulr, FreeAgent, Float, EedenBull and Trace AI.
Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, said:
"The UK is a world-leader in FinTech and that's why we're breaking down barriers, pushing new frontiers in our free trade agreements and opening up markets to boost this growing industry.
"From Australia to Singapore, we are using our independent trade policy to drive foreign investment into UK FinTech and increase export opportunities worldwide.
"Scotland's FinTech sector is thriving, and I want to ensure that we fuel the future global growth opportunities for FinTech businesses across the UK."
Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack said:
“Scotland’s financial sector has a rich history, and with 180 fintech businesses now based here, it’s good to see this legacy growing and developing as the UK becomes a major force in the global industry.
“It was great to meet with some of the key people behind the sector’s success, and I look forward to seeing how their ambition and innovation will enhance the profile of Scotland and the whole UK within the global fintech community.”
Stephen Ingledew, Executive Chair of FinTech Scotland, who hosted the ministerial visit said: “This visit demonstrated how collaborative leadership by entrepreneurs, large enterprises, academia and government can make a significant impact in delivering impactful fintech innovation which will shape the future economy and people’s lives both in the UK and internationally. Our forthcoming fintech research and innovation roadmap will highlight how we will build on momentum created and foster further collaboration with the regional fintech hubs across the UK.”
Peter Mathieson, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, welcomed the Ministers to the Bayes Centre and commented:
“The University has a global reputation for ground-breaking innovation and the Bayes Centre is a great example of creating a creative and collaborative environment delivering new opportunities in data, artificial intelligence and robotics in the emerging new sectors such as fintech”
The Ministerial visit coincides with the unveiling of plans for Scotland’s FinTech Festival in September which will showcase financial innovation from across the UK highlighting progress made since the HM Treasury commission Fintech Sector Review by Ron Kalifa OBE was released in March this year.
The Fintech Festival, now in its fourth year, will be a diverse range of 50 plus events and activities taking place over four weeks with fintech leaders and entrepreneurs attending from the UK and virtually from around the world.
The Festival will include major conferences in Edinburgh and Glasgow with examples of innovation from Scotland and the UK amongst many other global fintech leaders.