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The UK’s burgeoning financial services technology (fintech) sector is targeting the creation of 100,000 jobs and $8bn of investment by 2020.
The goals have been set by Innovate Finance, the fintech trade body part-funded by the City of London Corporation and the government-backed British Business Bank. The organisation said the sector is already worth £20bn in annual revenues to the UK, employs 135,000 people and attracted 42% of all European fintech investment in 2014.
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But Silicon Valley still attracts more fintech funding than all of Europe, with only two of the 36 fintech startups that have grown to $1bn valuations – so-called “unicorns” – based in the UK.
Innovate Finance’s manifesto aims to support the government’s ambition to make the UK the world’s leading centre for fintech. Venture capitalist Eileen Burbidge was appointed as a government special envoy for fintech to champion the sector across the UK and internationally.
“Our vision for 2020 is for the UK to be the most investment-friendly environment for fintech globally, attracting $4bn of venture investment and $4bn of institutional investment in corporate venture funds, accelerators and innovation programmes. This is up from a UK total of $623m in 2014,” said a statement from Innovate Finance.
“Increasing investment in UK fintech and developing an increasing number of global leading companies will help create an additional 100,000 jobs – supported by a cohort of fintech apprenticeships and degree courses, helping to deliver the skills and jobs needed to make the UK the global centre for fintech,” it said.
Prime minister David Cameron led a trade mission starting the 27 July 2015 to Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia, which included several UK fintech firms promoting their wares.
“This government wants the UK to be the leading fintech centre in the world. That’s why, in the summer Budget, we appointed a special envoy for this fast growing sector,” said Cameron.
“I’m pleased that Innovate Finance’s manifesto has set such ambitious goals, including the creation of 100,000 jobs. This will ensure we are a world leader in the development of financial services technologies,” he said.
The government will also undertake a benchmarking exercise in autumn to help identify barriers to the development of the fintech sector.
Global fintech investment tripled from $4.05bn in 2013 to $12.2bn in 2014, with Europe the fastest-growing region, according to an Accenture study in March 2015. The UK and Ireland made up two-fifths of Europe’s growth rate (42%), with investment rising from $264m in 2013 to $623m in 2014.
Read more about the UK fintech sector
- Barclays is looking for innovative fintech systems by opening its own startup accelerator programme.
- Chancellor George Osborne launches a programme designed to put the UK at the forefront of fintech innovation.
- UK mobile banking software maker partners Monitise with Banco Santander in startup programme to support the fintech industry.