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FinTech scoping review: establishing Scotland as a FinTech centre


FinTech (Financial Technology) is defined in the report as “the consideration, application or provision of support to new or repurposed technology that creates efficiency, reduces costs, manages risk or generates new insights to organisations working within, or supporting, the Financial Services industry”. The main aim of the study was to map Scotland’s FinTech ecosystem, identifying where gaps exist, and making recommendations where improvements could be made to existing services and support, or where investment should be made to support new initiatives or to take specific action.


The methodology focused on secondary, desk-based research to establish a view of the broader industry commentary and perspective for Scotland’s potential as a FinTech centre. This was coupled with primary research which involved consultations with 45 stakeholders across the Fintech eco-system in Scotland as well as international experts such as the CEOs from Level 39 (FinTech accelerator) in London and AlleyNYC (technology accelerator) in New York.


The study found that that a significant opportunity exists for Scotland in the FinTech sector. Over 85,000 people are directly employed in Financial Services (FS) and it generates around £8 billion for the Scottish economy, there is a rich and diverse set of university courses aimed at creating a next generation of programming, data science, user-experience and development professionals, and a range of support services exist. However, the research also highlighted that a number of important points need to be addressed if this opportunity is to be realised. The report notes that Scotland has all of the building blocks required to emerge as a FinTech centre, with supportive government policy, an attractive location and business environment, good access to funding and the fact that all components of the eco-system exist in such close proximity. Scotland’s culture and heritage is also highlighted as a positive element. However, it is noted that the lack of clear strategy and vision and the gaps in overall connectedness of FinTech components through any form of a dedicated FinTech hub pose a challenge that, if not addressed, could hamper the ability for Scotland to truly emerge. The report argues that the common success of many FinTech eco-systems is based on the recognition of community, clarity of vision and understanding of the specific challenge each component faces, and the willingness to act on solving them. It also argues that clear leadership, shared accountability and the ability to keep abreast of how the needs of each component are evolving will be critical to realising continued success.


A number of suggestions were made by Deloitte on where focus could lie in order to develop Scotland as a FinTech centre. These include: developing a clear FinTech vision and strategy for Scotland; creating a dedicated FinTech hub in Scotland; creating a dedicated FinTech programme to support talent attraction, development, and retention; focusing energy in the key areas where opportunity lies; developing a dedicated and sustained programme of activity to develop the attractiveness of FS and Tech roles in Scotland; developing FinTech mentors, a network of specialists and influencers; ensuring clarity of service and community offerings; and reviewing public sector funding for FinTech initiatives beyond incubation.

Author Deloitte
Published Year 2016
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies, Financial and business services
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses