A new roadmap to support the growth of Scotland’s digital economy and the development of financial technology is being launched by a leading financial organisation.

FinTech Scotland, a not-for-profit which encourages financial technology innovation, is developing a ten-year business-led plan that reflects one of the recommendations highlighted in the recent Kalifa FinTech Sector Review, which was to ‘nurture the high-growth potential of the top 10 fintech clusters’ at national level.

The review into the UK’s financial technology industry, which was launched by HM Treasury in July 2020 to identify opportunities for further growth in the sector, referenced Scotland as the second largest fintech cluster in the UK.

A ‘fintech cluster’ refers to a group of financial technology companies.

The study, conducted by British entrepreneur Ron Kalifa OBE, also said there was an opportunity to build on this position through ‘strategic research and innovation.’

FinTech Scotland’s roadmap hopes to advance the country’s cluster in a number of ways, including:

  • Develop priority innovation themes such as financial inclusion, net zero and well-being
  • Align research strengths and capabilities with innovation priorities and drive efficiencies
  • Enhance Scotland’s national and global reputation for fintech innovation
  • Shape innovation challenges and influence future Government Innovation strategies

The plan is being developed in collaboration with the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) and together they have appointed Whitecap Consulting to progress the initiative.

The work builds on FinTech Scotland’s ‘Research and Innovation for UK FinTech’ report published in January 2021 as well as the academic-led research and innovation roadmap recently developed by the Edinburgh Futures Institute at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with regional universities.

Nicola Anderson, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “The roadmap will further advance and grow Scotland’s fintech cluster and it will bring insight and specific focus to accelerate fintech innovation. Working with Whitecap consulting and across the cluster we will identify a suite of progressive actions that will enable positive economic outcomes.”

Kevin Collins, chief executive of the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence, said: “We’re delighted to be working with FinTech Scotland and Whitecap Consulting on this roadmap which is essential to ensuring we prioritise the needs of financial and fintech businesses, including key skills gaps as well as provide an opportunity to align businesses and academics effectively.”

Richard Coates, managing director of Whitecap Consulting, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside FinTech Scotland and the GOFCoE team on this interesting project. The development of FinTech Scotland’s research and innovation roadmap calls for us to utilise a combination of our core strength in strategy and planning, our extensive work across the UK’s regional FinTech ecosystems, and our experience working with and connecting key stakeholders across public, private and higher education organisations.”

FinTech Scotland is an independent not-for-profit body established by the financial services sector, universities and the Scottish Government to ‘ensure that Scotland seizes 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’.