FinTech North News and Regional FinTech Developments

FinTech North Team Speak at Barclays Radbroke Early Careers Event

On the 19th of June, the whole FinTech North Team had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Barclays Innovation and Partnerships team and Rise, created by Barclays Early Careers event at their Radbroke Campus in Cheshire.

The Radbroke Early Careers FinTech showcase aimed to highlight to graduates and apprentices what Barclays is doing within the FinTech space and current initiatives in the broader FinTech community, as well as to foster their knowledge development and interest in emerging tech and FinTech. The content and purpose of the event strongly align with FinTech North’s new strategic skills focus, to help to bridge the FinTech skills gap.

In addition to being a grand site with a rich and intriguing history, the Radbroke Campus is Barclays’ largest technology site and a critical tech hub, both in the UK and globally. What better place to host a FinTech event than at the heart of the bank’s technology and operations?

After an afternoon of immersion in the campus’ vast facilities, a hybrid of beautiful traditional architecture and high-tech purpose-built workspaces, the FinTech North team came to the stage to speak on a panel and Q&A session to share their insights on FinTech in the region and beyond. The session provided an opportunity for early careers colleagues to understand the changes and efforts happening in the surrounding FinTech ecosystem, building their knowledge and sparking interest in innovation and roles in the sector.

The session, enthusiastically chaired by Clare Whitehead, FinTech and Open Innovation Lead from Rise, Created by Barclays, delved into the FinTech North team’s collective experiences within the ecosystem.

Rachel England, FinTech North’s Events Coordinator kickstarted the session by introducing her role within the organisation, and explaining FinTech North’s goals to uplift and showcase the massive amount of FinTech activity taking place in the North of England through events, skills and international initiatives.

Joe Roche, FinTech North’s General Manager, introduced himself and shared some statistics with the audience about FinTech’s massive prominence within the UK economy, before prompting members of the audience to share guesses about how many FinTechs are based in the North out of the 2,500 in the UK. Following some audience guesses, Joe expanded on the significance of the North, a crucial force within the UKs FinTech ecosystem.

Rachel went on to further highlight FinTech North’s events and aims to spotlight the North as a centre for FinTech excellence, encouraging the audience to get involved in the ecosystem by attending events and networking with likeminded people in the space.

Ryan Walsh, FinTech North’s Marketing and Events Executive spoke on the extensive opportunities in FinTech, such as through inbound and outbound international trade missions. He expanded on FinTech North’s recent outbound trade delegation with the North’s inward investment agencies and several Northern FinTechs to Money20/20 in Amsterdam, further highlighting the importance of attending events and networking in creating valuable business prospects.

After sharing further information about each region’s nuances and specialisms within the ecosystem, expanding on upcoming events and skills initiatives, and sharing a few favourite northern FinTechs, the team then shared some advice and tips with members of the audience in the early stages of their careers.

Rachel stressed the significance of soft skills, mentioning that this had been a prevalent theme across several recent skills-focussed events and panels recently. Similarly, Ryan highlighted not everyone in FinTech necessarily has a FinTech background, so not to be daunted.

Clare and Ryan both agreed on the importance of not being discouraged or afraid of ‘buzzwords’ like FinTech. Ryan went on to note the most important thing someone can do is getting out of their comfort zone, networking, meeting new people and listening.

Taking a different approach to the question, Joe shared some trends and hot topics in FinTech for the audience to be aware of, including regulation, and consumer duty, AI, CBDC, cash, vulnerability, friction and being aware of upcoming political and economic changes.

After several thought-provoking questions about regulation and the benefits of setting up business in the North, the panel drew to a close for some networking.

This marked a special occasion for FinTech North, with all three members of the team speaking together for the first time on a panel. FinTech North will make its return to Radbroke this Q4 for its North West FinTech Forum – more details to be announced soon!

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