Why Fintech Is Flourishing In Scotland
16 June 2017
The word on everyone’s lips in the Financial Services and Banking industries in Scotland is, without doubt, Fintech. It is fast becoming one of the most lucrative and appealing sectors of employment, with graduates and established industry candidates vying to get in on the action.
There are currently 86,600 people employed within the Financial Services industry – and growing. There are also 101,397 people employed within digital technology. Some of the world’s biggest names in financial services already have thriving technology operations in Scotland. For centuries, our prestigious heritage in financial services, coupled with a well-qualified and experienced talent pool, has attracted both domestic and international businesses.
So, why has Scotland been able to launch itself as the natural home of Fintech? For starters, our renowned education system is providing the industry with some of the best and brightest graduates. We produce over 15,000 graduates in technology related subject every year and we have five university in the world’s Top 200 – that’s more than any other country per head of population except for Switzerland. Out of the 19 universities nationwide, 15 of those have Informatics and Computing Science departments.
Most recently, Strathclyde University has introduced an MSc in Financial Technology. As a nation, we realise that the Financial Services and Banking industries are evolving at a rapid pace – one we are determined to keep up with.
As my colleague, Barry Lee, pointed out in a blog, the cost of office space in Glasgow is also significantly lower than that of London or any other major English cities (roughly £71k per year here compared to £234k in Canary Wharf). This has seen a sharp increase in the number of businesses – including those in the Fintech market – taking advantage of the price difference and setting up home north of the border. Even the accessibility of our major cities, via road, rail or skies, has drawn a bigger business community to them. Many of the big names on the international banking scene have significantly increased their presence here in recent times.
There has been significant investment in Fintech companies with high-growth potential. There are several sources of public and private money that have been made available to companies showing technology promise. For this reason, Scottish Fintech start-ups are becoming increasingly prevalent. This steadfast commitment to financial services led to the creation of the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB), which is chaired at the highest level by the First Minister of Scotland.
All of the major cities across Scotland, particularly Glasgow and Edinburgh, have met technological changes within the Financial Services sector head on, never shying away from digital developments and transformation. In 2014, Scotland was declared the UK’s biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) region outside London.
This is a really exciting time within the financial and banking industry as with new technological developments, come new opportunities.
If you would like to discuss Fintech recruitment or available roles with me, I would happy to chat with you confidentially. Click here to see my contact details.
Written By Shona Preston