Numbers add up for city’s financial technology sector

A new report from Whitecap Consulting shows the FinTech sector in the Leeds City Region has experienced huge growth over the last three years.

The region is now home to more than 100 FinTech firms, which are contributing more than £700m per year to the regional economy.

Of those FinTech companies identified in the Leeds City Region, the vast majority are start-ups and scale-ups. Core strengths are visible in payments, lending, financial regulation, wealth management and banking.

The report is the result of a research project which was funded through sponsorship and support from Leeds City Council and other organisations such as Leeds Building Society, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Bruntwood SciTech, Cloud Gateway, Equiniti, the University of Leeds, FinTech North and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Leeds has plenty to be proud of, not least the new Centre for Green Finance at the University of Leeds, the UK Infrastructure Bank and the Bank of England as well as the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent move to the city, and the recognition of Leeds as part of an established FinTech cluster.

“FinTech start-ups, scale-ups and leading institutions alike are recognising Leeds as an exciting space for innovation and opportunity.”

Tom Riordan, chief executive of the council, said: “Whitecap Consulting has provided structure and clarity to the FinTech ecosystem in this report, and the in-depth research and analysis both quantifies and qualifies the strength, growth and maturity within the sector.

“It is great to see double digit growth across all of the key metrics since 2020, and the report recognises the diversity and key strengths across the range of tech sub sectors, from RegTech to LegalTech.”

Whitecap’s analysis shows growth of 263% in the number of FinTech start-ups and scale-ups with a presence in the region, which now amount to 87 firms.

In total there are 107 FinTech firms, and more than 200 firms identified as operating in the FinTech sector, including financial services and tech firms.

Steve Elliot, managing director at LexisNexis Risk Solutions (UK & Ireland), said: “We’re proud to have supported this report and to play an active role in the economic prosperity of the Leeds City Region which, as this report shows, has been experiencing strong growth.

“We acquired Leeds-born tech start-up TruNarrative in August 2021, and we are proud to have a home in Leeds and to be creating a range of exciting job opportunities as we continue to expand the team supporting the LexisNexis RiskNarrative orchestration platform.”

Deb Hetherington, head of innovation services at Bruntwood SciTech, added: “FinTech has long been a high-profile feature of the Leeds economy and bridges the vibrant tech and financial services sectors in the region.

“The strength of FinTech in Leeds that is evident in this report is also reflected in the organisations based at our Platform tech and digital workspace, where FinTech is prominent along with other fast-growing digitally-led sectors such as LegalTech and HealthTech.”

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