Double Boost for Scotland’s Global Fintech Ambitions

FinTech Scotland welcomes two significant developments which will support its ambition to become a globally recognised fintech centre.

First, as announced by Scottish Government today, Scotland’s fintech cluster has been formally recognised for its excellence by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA) which benchmarks economic clusters across the Europe.

The ESCA undertook a benchmarking analysis, based on 36 economic indicators, of the work led by FinTech Scotland resulting in the award of the cluster excellence accreditation.

Scotland becomes the first fintech cluster in the UK to be recognised for the cluster excellence award and one of only three fintech clusters in Europe to achieve this accreditation. 

Second, the cluster award has been achieved as the two-year old FinTech Scotland confirms an increase in the number of strategic partners supporting the next stage of its strategy. 

The strategic partners include: financial institutions, global technology and professional services firms, two of leading international universities developing fintech skills; the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde, as well as Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government.

In addition, the Financial Conduct Authority continues support with the full-time secondment of a senior regulator to the FinTech Scotland team.

The broad range of FinTech Scotland strategic partners, illustrated below, will participate in a range of innovation and collaboration initiatives to drive further the development of the fintech cluster.

Commenting, Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive of FinTech Scotland said: “We are very proud of this centre of excellence cluster recognition which will further contribute to being recognised as a global fintech centre. 

Achieving cluster accreditation recognises the progressive innovation, collaboration and inclusion initiatives across Scotland over the past two years and will shape the economic and social priorities for 2020 and beyond.

To progress this, we’re delighted to partner with a broad range of forward thinking and innovative strategic enterprises in developing the fintech cluster, all who have recognised the economic, social and international value of our collaborative and inclusive model”

Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes said: “The global financial services sector is being transformed by technology which is providing a range of benefits such as speeding up transactions, making payments more secure and helping avoid problem debt. 

“Scotland is already at the forefront of these developments and the fintech cluster is ensuring the benefits are spread across the country.  This accreditation will further increase our international profile and is another step towards the goal of being ranked among the world’s top five fintech cluster nations.”

Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Scottish Economic Development at Scottish Enterprise, said: “A huge amount of credit is due to FinTech Scotland for its leadership in securing this accreditation in such a short space of time. 

“It sees FinTech Scotland join the country’s existing family of accredited cluster management organisations alongside ScotlandIS and Technology Scotland, underlining Scotland’s international standing as a nation of innovators. 

“We look forward to working with Stephen and his team, plus their new and existing strategic partners, as they continue to nurture and encourage the growth of Scotland’s fintech ecosystem.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, Graeme Jones commented “To be identified as the first fintech cluster in the UK is further recognition of Scotland’s position as a thriving, forward-thinking, international centre and is a landmark moment for Scotland.  This will present new opportunities to deliver even more economic and social benefits to Scotland and the UK”

Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive of ScotlandIS said,' We are delighted that FinTech Scotland have achieved this award. This is a huge boost to the developing cluster economy in Scotland. We are very excited by the potential of the Scottish clusters and the opportunity to further collaborate with FinTech Scotland. '