‘Future of the North depends on FinTech” say policymakers
SPEAKING at today’s FinTech North event in Leeds, political leaders have agreed that the future of the entire Northern Powerhouse region will depend on the rapidly growing sector of FinTech (30% growth in the last five years in this region).
Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, and Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, joined a panel including investors, regulators, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators from finance and technology at the third annual FinTech North event, to discuss the rapid rise of the region as a destination for this emerging and vital business sector.
The chief executive of Leeds City Council today confirmed his continued backing for building FinTech capability in Leeds by announcing the Council would support research carried out by Whitecap Consulting to support the growth of the eco-system.
Tom Riordan believes that Leeds has the strongest data analytics capability in the country, and showed that a fifth of jobs in the area are in financial or professional services.
Henri Murison added that the future of the region depends on FinTech, and the key to success lies in the skills agenda. Calling for investment in education, he said: “We must recognise that early years work is crucial to supporting change.” As traditional financial services models decline and are replaced by emerging technologies and disruptive new products and services, he argued that we need to ensure that our workforce are able to transition their skills and talent.
Further evidence of the optimism and ambition of the event comes from the business deals and opportunities that are created in this room. For example, Dan Rajkumar, chief executive of White Label Crowdfunding and Rebuildingsociety, and co-founder of the event, has today announced the win of a new customer, AGPeer, which is launching a new peer-to-peer lending platform targeted at the agriculture sector.
Julian Wells, director of Whitecap Consulting and co-founder of FinTech North, concludes: “Our third annual event is bigger and better than we ever anticipated. Now expanding to other cities across the region including Manchester (22 May) and Liverpool (12 June), we are hearing the same message from everyone in our growing network: the North can rightfully claim to be a global destination for this industry. We have the skills, the infrastructure and the determination, and the big players from all over the world have already started to take notice.”
The Leeds event is the first in a series of three FinTech North events. The next events take place in Manchester on 22ndMay and Liverpool on 12thJune.
FinTech North 2018 is proudly sponsored by: AJ Bell, aql, BJSS, Canadian High Commission, Computershare, Curo Transatlantic, DAC Beachcroft, Deloitte, Department for International Trade, DLA Piper, Equiniti Credit Services, Fiserv, Innovate Finance, International Business Festival, Invest Liverpool, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City Council, LEP, MIDAS, University of Manchester, NorthInvest, Vocalink, White Label Crowdfunding, Whitecap Consulting and Womble Bond Dickinson.