Growing the fintech sector in the UK through collaboration

By Simon Pickering, Head of Insurance and Pensions, Finance Isle of Man.

Look to any league table on FinTech and it will tell you that London is firmly ranked in the top 3 globally, alongside North American competitors of San Francisco and New York. What this won’t reveal however, is that the British Isles has a burgeoning FinTech sector from Edinburgh to Douglas, the Capital of the Isle of Man.

Last year, Finance Isle of Man, the Government agency for the financial services industry on the Island, was delighted to sign its first partnership agreement with FinTech Scotland. This collaboration is a source of strength for the Isles and intended to promote and develop FinTech and InsurTech capabilities across the Irish sea, as well as boost economic and business co-operation and investment.

The partnership has already seen our two organisations working closely together to stimulate education, recruitment and employment opportunities, as well as provide businesses with opportunities to attend events and seminars, trade missions, conferences and Expos, including the globally renowned Scotland FinTech Festival.

We were delighted to welcome Stephen Ingledew, the Chair of FinTech Scotland to the Isle of Man this June to see first-hand how we are attracting global innovators at the Island’s first FinTech Innovation Challenge Demo Day event. This program, launched at the end of 2022 invited businesses from around the world to showcase their solutions to core challenges identified across the Isle of Man business community. 14 finalists, from Singapore to Switzerland, India to the US, were chosen to work closely with the Isle of Man Government and local financial institutions to refine their solutions. These are addressing a range of emerging issues from blockchain and cryptography protections, to AI-based business forecasting.

This is just one example of how we are establishing expertise in digital finance, and this builds on the success of the Island’s first InsurTech Acceleration Program, which last year supported pioneering InsurTech scale-ups to pitch their innovations to the business community. The program, which culminated in a sold-out pitching event in Douglas, marked a major milestone for plans to establish an InsurTech hub on the Island.

The potential for the family of British Isles, from Scotland to the Isle of Man, to collaborate and drive leadership in digital finance is significant and the past year has only seen our two jurisdictions grow in strength together.

I look forward to building on and growing this partnership over the coming months, not least returning to the Fintech Festival in Edinburgh this Autumn where I hope to have the chance to meet and reconnect with many of you.

London may sit highly in the global rankings for digital finance – but this success story is undoubtedly also one of the British Isles.