The UK and Scottish governments are backing a new hub aimed at boosting the country’s £6bn fintech sector
Thanks to massive government backing and an abundance of entrepreneurial talent, London is quickly solidifying its title as the fintech capital of the world. However, the city could soon be facing a contender for the title. Edinburgh is launching its first fintech accelerator in May in a bid to become a world leader in the sector.
The new hotspot for financial innovators will open one year after Entrepreneurial Spark, the startup accelerator, launched at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s base in Edinburgh. Backed by both the UK and Scottish governments, the new hub will provide free space and expertise for fintech entrepreneurs. Among the companies that will support the budding fintech founders are the Royal Bank of Scotland; KPMG, the accountancy firm; Dell EMC, the computer company, and Harper Macleod, the law firm.
Commenting on the news, Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, said that “bringing together industry leaders and networks” will make the opening of the new accelerator “a key milestone in Scotland’s journey towards its ambition of being a world leader in fintech and innovation.”
Welcoming the announcement, Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, said: “This will contribute to the immediate need for physical space for fintech companies while the wider financial services industry continues to work collectively to deliver the fintech strategy. Scotland is already playing an active role in the fintech sector and the strategy will further enhance our standing, both nationally and internationally.”
This news comes on the back of a report from Innovate Finance, the non-profit association for global fintech firms, which revealed that VC investment in UK fintech startups dropped by 33.7% from 2015 to 2016. The firm attributed the decrease in funding to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Still, with both this new hub opening and the chancellor’s continuous support for fintech, it seems as if the sector will remain in rude health – even if London may have to share the glory.