FinTech Scotland has revealed it is on track to hit its targets for economic growth a year on from publishing an industry roadmap to boost the sector.

The independent cluster body’s FinTech Research & Innovation Roadmap, released last March, identified industry priorities for the UK to accelerate its financial technology (FinTech) ambition through research and development (R&D) and targeted innovation. 

And since then, the number of Scottish small and medium sized enterprises has increased by 13 per cent, driven by both new FinTech startups and international firms setting up in Scotland.

Scottish fintechs also received over £305m in funding in 2022 – half of which invested in fintechs aligned to the roadmap’s priorities.

FinTech roadmap has ‘already made a real difference’

The plan was developed with fintech entrepreneurs, the financial services sector, academia, regulators, government bodies and consumer groups.

The roadmap also supports the recommendation in the Kalifa Review of UK Fintech, for increased R&D investment in fintech innovation to accelerate fintech cluster excellence, and was positively welcomed by Ron Kalifa, the financial services sector, UK and Scottish Government and the City of London Corporation.

The priorities laid out in the Roadmap centred on four strategic innovation themes:

  • Climate finance
  • Open finance data
  • Payments and transactions
  • Financial regulation

Over a 10-year period, the ambition is to significantly increase fintech related jobs across Scotland and the UK, as well as produce an increase in economic gross value add (GVA) through fintech innovation.

One year on, FinTech Scotland says its industry-led collaborations have driven results against each of the strategic innovation themes.

Nicola Anderson, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “By enabling collaborative innovation across the fintech ecosystem not just in Scotland but the whole of the UK and beyond, we can see how the FinTech Research and Innovation Roadmap is already making a real difference – helping businesses to build economic growth, create jobs, work through climate finance to enable a future net zero economy, and helping to alleviate the cost of living crisis.

“The FinTech R&I Roadmap demonstrates how collaboration and innovation can change people’s lives, driving positive outcomes for both business and citizens both in Scotland and across the UK.”

Charlotte Crosswell, the new chair of CFIT. Picture: Paul Watt.

Charlotte Crosswell, chairperson of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology, said: “The UK Fintech Sector Review clearly set out recommendations to ensure the country retains its global leadership position in financial innovation.

“An important component of that success is increased investment in fintech, and ensuring the brightest minds across the UK are involved.

“It’s encouraging to see that in just one year, the FinTech Research and Innovation Roadmap has enabled more of that important R&D collaboration and aligns with our approach at CFIT.”

Damian Nussbaum, executive director, innovation and growth, City of London Corporation, said: “The Roadmap highlights the power and potential of that ecosystem and the transformative impact that collaboration in this sector can have across society.

“The City of London Corporation welcomes the progress made and we look forward to working with Scotland and the other nations and regions of the UK to drive further fintech growth.”