As we are currently in the middle of FinTech North conference season, we asked our intern Beth Ure to take a look at the sector to help with our ongoing market research. Here are some of her observations.

The UK FinTech State of the Nation report, published recently by the Department for International Trade and Innovate Finance, was compiled to outline the status of FinTech across the UK. The verdict? Overwhelmingly positive. Not only has the UK established itself as a world leader in FinTech, the sector has also helped to grow our regional economies, and brought new opportunities to huge swathes of the population. Galibier has worked hard and invested heavily to position itself at the heart of a sector that is beneficial to the UK on multiple levels: economically, socio-economically, and culturally.

While London still pulls in the majority of FinTech investment, the report points out the growing importance of initiatives like FinTech North, which illustrate that the sector is far from confined to the capital. Many FinTech companies have chosen to establish their headquarters outside of London, for example Atom bank in Durham and AccessPay in Manchester. In fact, the North of England region is ahead of most European countries in terms of financial services GVA. This regional spread of FinTech is what allows the UK to be the leading global FinTech hub, and the report states that, in this sense, the UK is unprecedented globally.

FinTech not only surpasses city boundaries, it can also transcend social ones, and benefit groups that have to date faced financial exclusion. Its focus on innovation and development means that FinTech companies are always trying to improve financial services, and a key area of improvement is access to these services for vulnerable people. Examples include Kalgera, which allows caregivers access to their parent’s finances and alerts them to unusual activity, reducing the number of elderly people who fall victim to scams. PaidYou is another great example of a company that is working towards protecting the financial assets of people who are often overlooked, by allowing tenants in multi-occupancy houses to track their spending and rent, helping to relieve cash-flow problems.

The bright future in the FinTech sector will usher in new waves of innovation, hinging heavily on areas including robotics and AI. By 2022, almost 30% of jobs within the financial sector are expected to require advanced tech skills. Universities including Sussex and Manchester Metropolitan are leading the way to provide the sector with a skilled workforce, both offering undergraduate degrees in FinTech, while other Universities such as Oxford offer short courses to improve skills in the area.

As an agency that has always had a strong expertise in FinTech, Galibier is part of the driving-force behind the UK’s rise on the global FinTech scene, and in securing its position at the very top. The challenge now for the whole of the UK will be to maintain that position – but it’s one that we welcome with open arms and, with no shortage of collaborations on all levels, from exciting start-ups to established banks, we have no doubt we can accomplish.