Unleashing Fintech as a Driving Force for Economic Recovery

By FinTech Scotland

Treasury Review Highlights Potential Growth of Fintech Clusters

26th February 2021: An independent review of the financial technology (fintech) commissioned by HM Treasury has highlighted the important role fintech can play in driving economic recovery by creating jobs, developing global trade and enabling financial inclusion. 

FinTech Scotland along with fintech bodies across the UK contributed to the Fintech Strategic Review (FSR) recommendations which sets out a five-point plan to leverage innovation through a positive regulatory environment, developing diverse skills, facilitating investment to scale enterprises and accelerating a targeted approach to inward investment.

The detailed data-driven analysis of fintech innovation across the UK gave recognition to the momentum of the FinTech Scotland cluster, which included growing expertise in open finance, payments, regulatory innovation (RegTech) and “Fintech for Good”. 

The Fintech Scotland cluster model was noted as a driving force since formation in 2018, progress over three years which has included, 

  • Entrepreneurial Growth, increasing number of fintech SME firms from 26 to 155 today
  • Innovation Excellence – collaboration to establish Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence in 2020
  • Strategic Engagement –  27 strategic partners from private, public, academic sectors
  • Practical Collaboration – developing mutual opportunities with UK colleagues in the Fintech National Network
  • Global Recognition – European cluster centre of excellence accreditation in 2020 

Stephen Ingledew, Executive Chair of Fintech Scotland and a member of the FSR working group commented, “Fintech has the potential to revolutionise how we live whether it’s paying for our shopping or managing our money or setting up a business”

“Crucially, it can play a pivotal role in stopping the exacerbation of economic and social inequalities. Fintech innovation is fast growing right across the UK and offers great potential for Scotland through investment, innovation and jobs.”

“We have been fully involved in the Review to share our learnings from the last three years, in which we’ve managed to build an inclusive and vibrant cluster, a model which The Review recognises can help foster innovation and collaboration in boosting recovery of the UK economy” 

“We believe the Review recommendations will support further progress in developing a growing fintech ecosystem and build on successes of home grown and international fintech firms already rooted in Scotland”

Linda Hanna, interim Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise said: “This independent review supports Scotland’s growing worldwide reputation as a leading fintech location.  Scottish Enterprise has been proud to partner with FinTech Scotland in developing a vibrant environment that continues to attract international fintech firms from around the world, providing economic opportunities for our communities and high-quality jobs for our skilled workforce.”

James Varga, founder of Direct ID and Loral Quinn, founder of Sustainably also contributed to the FSR and welcomed the recommendations on behalf of the fintech community. 

James Varga said, “We have known for some time that Fintech has been one of the fastest growing parts of the economy driving innovation across the country and the findings of this report illustrate why the future of fintech is very bright indeed and, with the right drivers, can continue as one of the UK’s biggest success stories.”

Loral Quinn said, “The FSR is a boost for fintech entrepreneurs across the country and the package of recommendations will enable innovative small and medium enterprises to accelerate growth nationally and globally”

Deloitte co-led the FSR National Connectivity Chapter with Tech Nation, undertaking a comprehensive data- driven analysis of the sector across the UK. Kent Mackenzie, Head of Fintech in Scotland, said “‘the detail and data contained in this review will underpin and support what we’ve understood for a long time – that fintech across the UK is alive and kicking, and primed for next stage of scaling’”.  

The full report is available here

About FinTech Scotland 


FinTech Scotland is an independent not for profit body jointly established by the financial services sector, universities and Scottish Government/Scottish Enterprise to ensure that Scotland seizes the FinTech opportunities and achieves positive economic and social outcomes by encouraging financial innovation, collaboration and inclusion as part of the country’s broader digital economy objectives.

The organisation acts as a strategic enabler and cluster management body focused on leveraging the potential economic (i.e., productivity, innovation, business creation, employment) and social (i.e., financial inclusion, well-being and accessibility) benefits arising from becoming a leading global centre focused on Fintech innovation.

FinTech Scotland’s objectives are to develop an innovative community of FinTech firms, generate impactful collaborations between firms of all sizes and foster an inclusive cluster which is globally recognised and connected.

In January 2020, FinTech Scotland was formally recognised for the development for the Fintech cluster in Scotland and accredited with the bronze label for Cluster Management Excellence by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis. 

FinTech Scotland was initially founded in January 2018 as a joint initiative by Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, University of Edinburgh, Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise. The organisation is now supported by a broad range of global financial services, technology and professional services firms as well as University of Edinburgh and University of Strathclyde, the Financial Conduct Authority, Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

Media Contact: 

Mickael Paris – Marketing Director, FinTech Scotland