Scotland’s fintech industry has undergone a period of rapid growth during the pandemic, with the number of financial technology firms surging by 50 per cent since Covid struck.

FinTech Scotland’s entrepreneurial community has grown from 119 small and medium sized enterprises in March 2020 to 181 today.

The increase in innovative startups reflects wholesale changes in consumer behaviour, with the disruption caused by the public health crisis triggering a country-wide transition to digital.

This news comes as FinTech Scotland announces the formation of an SME Advisory Board, made up of leaders from the entrepreneurial community focused on ensuring the necessary support is in place to continue the momentum of fintech innovation.

Initially, the board will focus on providing impetus on skills development, experience when it comes to accessing funding and commercialisation opportunities.

It includes a “diverse” range of founders and leaders: Jude Cook (ShareIn), James Varga (DirectID), Loral Quinn (Sustainably), Anthony Rafferty (Origo), Pardeep Cassells (AccessFintech), Andrew Duncan (Soar), Andrew Veitch (EedenBull), Stuart Lunn (LendingCrowd) and Russell Jaques (Fin-Q).

Stephen Ingledew, executive chairman at FinTech Scotland and chairman of the Fintech Advisory Board said: “There is growing recognition of the valuable role fintech in contributing to the digital economy, therefore, formally bringing together prominent group of entrepreneurs signifies Fintech Scotland ongoing commitment to ensure the best support is available for innovative enterprises in Scotland”

Jude Cook, co-founder of ShareIn, added: “It’s great to see more entrepreneurs joining the FinTech Scotland community. Scotland is such an interesting place to be in the run up to Cop26 climate negotiations here in Glasgow in November. Fintech has a vital role to play as we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic.”

Nicola Anderson chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “We are focused on supporting fintech innovation in Scotland and the number of fintech SMEs establishing themselves here is a testament to the talent and experience across the Cluster. This Board helps us build on that talent and expend the practical fintech expertise that continues to build and evolve in Scotland.”

FinTech Scotland is an independent not-for-profit body jointly established by the financial services sector, universities and the Scottish Government 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.