Bristol & Bath’s emerging fintech cluster key to powering UK ahead in rapid-growth sector

February 26, 2021

The Bristol and Bath region has been named as one of the UK’s emerging fintech clusters with the potential to help develop further the country’s status as a global powerhouse for the fast-growth sector.

The region – already the UK’s leading tech cluster outside London – features among the top 10 areas in the FinTech Strategic Review –  an independent review of the sector produced for the government and published today.

The review by Ron Kalifa OBE, non-executive director of the Court of Directors at the Bank of England and the vice-chairman of WorldPay, highlights the increasing number of leading fintech companies in the West of England and the great potential for businesses in financial technology to grow.

Bristol & Bath – with established financial services sectors as well as strong tech industries – is highlighted as one of six emerging clusters that “show great potential to grow or already feature a specialist fintech focus”.

These clusters, along with more established centres such as Manchester and global hubs such as London, help the UK account for more than 10% of the global market share in fintech – a sector now worth more than £11bn a year to the UK economy.

The report makes a number of significant recommendations around five themes, including regional connectivity, skills, investment and scaling-up – all of major importance to the future of the fintech in the West of England.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said the region was already forward thinking and innovative, which had enabled it to become the UK’s most-productive tech cluster and so create well-paid jobs and career opportunities for local people.

“Fintech brings together our region’s strengths in financial services and tech, which thanks to our highly skilled and expanding digital and tech workforce is revolutionising the way that the finance sector operates.

“Our region is hugely collaborative and well connected, and we’re proud of the start-ups and spin-outs that thrive here thanks to some of the best business incubator support in the world.

“We are committed to building on these strengths to accelerate the development of our fintech cluster into an established hub of global significance.

“The West of England has rapidly become a vibrant and dynamic hub for innovation in professional services, and regtech and legaltech are developing at pace here too.

“The region is now looking forward to working with the government and stakeholders on maximising the impact of its thriving fintech cluster and implement the review’s recommendations to support growth and competitiveness, and to ensure that the UK maintains its global leadership in this vital sector.”

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