FinTech Scotland gains European cluster first as more partners come on board
FinTech Scotland has had a double boost as it looks to strengthen the sector’s standing on the world stage.
The industry organisation said the country’s financial technology community had been formally recognised for its excellence by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA), which benchmarks economic clusters across Europe.
Scotland becomes the first fintech cluster in the UK to be recognised for the excellence award and one of only three such clusters in Europe to achieve the accreditation.
The ESCA undertook a benchmarking analysis based on 36 economic indicators.
The cluster award has been achieved as FinTech Scotland, which recently celebrated its second anniversary, announced an increase in the number of partners supporting the next stage of its strategy.
Those partners include financial institutions, global technology and professional services firms, two universities developing fintech skills – the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde – as well as Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
In addition, the Financial Conduct Authority continues to provide support with the full-time secondment of a senior regulator to the FinTech Scotland team.
Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “We are very proud of this centre of excellence cluster recognition which will further contribute to being recognised as a global fintech centre.
“Achieving cluster accreditation recognises the progressive innovation, collaboration and inclusion initiatives across Scotland over the past two years and will shape the economic and social priorities for 2020 and beyond.”
Scottish Financial Enterprise chief executive Graeme Jones added: “To be identified as the first fintech cluster in the UK is further recognition of Scotland’s position as a thriving, forward-thinking, international centre and is a landmark moment for Scotland.
“This will present new opportunities to deliver even more economic and social benefits to Scotland and the UK.”
Earlier this month, it emerged that Scotland had seen a 60 per cent surge in the number of fintech businesses in the past 12 months as the country establishes itself as a global hub for high-growth fintech firms. FinTech Scotland said the number of “innovative” fintech SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) based north of the Border had grown from 72 to 119.