Future of Scotland’s financial services ‘secure’ thanks to shift towards fintech
Scotland’s financial services sector has a secure, optimistic future, thanks to investment in innovation and the rapid rise of tech disrupters, according to political and business leaders.
Speaking at a KPMG event in Edinburgh, the Scottish Government’s minister for public finance and the digital economy, Kate Forbes, praised the industry for its move towards a ‘fintech’ future.
Ms Forbes said: “Scotland has a long-standing international reputation for financial services and is the most important UK financial centre outside London and the South East.
“With a fintech community of more than 100 companies now operating right across financial services, Scotland is increasingly innovative and dynamic in bringing together financial services and technology.
“The collaboration between citizens, businesses and employees working together in the digital world gives me confidence that we will achieve our vision to make Scotland a top five global fintech centre by 2020.”
Ms Forbes joined industry leaders at the “30 Voices: The Next Generation” event, which included a panel discussion exploring challenges for the sector, featuring Helen Page, CYBG’s group brand and marketing director; Barry Connolly, managing director of everyday banking at RBS; Joe Trodden, CEO of Mindset Experts; and Loral Quinn, co-founder and CEO of Sustainably.
Ms Quinn said: “It’s great to see so much new talent coming through in Scotland’s fintech sector. As technology and the traditional financial services world combine, ensuring we have the right skills to grow and compete globally is going to be crucial.
“The Scottish eco-system has provided a great foundation for a number of success stories, but the reality is that success in this field needs to be on a scaled-up international level. Sustainably is flourishing because we’ve tapped in to the right markets and funding support around the world.
“Armed with knowledge, a passion for positive disruptive change, and a global mindset, tomorrow’s fintech leaders can play a key role in ensuring the long-term, sustainable growth of a vital sector in Scotland.”
Future talent from the financial services sector took part in the event, including NewDay’s James Holt, and Anjali Mahey, Elise Bailey and Thomas Nash from KPMG UK, sharing some of their pioneering ideas for the future of the industry.
Catherine Burnet, KPMG UK’s senior partner in Scotland, added: “Scotland’s financial services sector plays a vital role in the success of the economy, but it’s essential that it doesn’t stand still.
“Technology is driving huge, disruptive change, leading to a shift in attitudes and practices throughout the industry. We’ve got a raft of young talent rising up the ranks within the field, so it makes complete sense to ask them for their views and insight as they’ll be the leaders responsible for driving the change in years to come.”