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A UK fintech revolution is taking place – and it’s not just in London

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With its strong financial sector, access to investment and deep tech talent pool, London is without a doubt the king of fintech in the UK, Europe and possibly the world.

But a quiet revolution has been taking place in the rest of the UK, as highlighted by a list of rising fintech programme stars identified by Tech Nation.

The organisation, which is on a mission to accelerate the growth of UK tech, has named 20 UK fintech companies to watch, and 35% of them are based outside of London – in cities home to growing fintech clusters, such as Cardiff, Manchester and Leeds.

“It’s an absolute testament to the fact that you don’t need to be in London to build a company that can compete at a national level,” said Greg Michel, fintech lead at Tech Nation, who adds that the list was impartially chosen by a panel of judges.

Strength and depth

The list includes the likes of Cardiff-based wealthtech business Delio, Edinburgh charity payments platform Sustainably and Bristolian credit history tool LOQBOX Savings. See the full list below.

The companies span the financial services sector, from consumer solutions to business to business ventures, which Tech Nation said demonstrated how fintech has the potential to dramatically improve the provision of essential services like payment solutions and banking.

Greg expects further growth in fintech businesses outside of London. This would be helped by the government’s appointment of fintech envoys, such as Richard Theo in Wales, and a growing recognition from venture capitalists that they need to expand their horizons beyond the capital.  “A lot of people are realising for London, by London doesn’t cut it anymore,” Greg said.

His advice to help grow fintech hubs outside of London is to “think globally and think what your unique strength is – recognise what you’re good at and double down on that.” That means not necessarily trying to compete with London itself, but instead taking on other European clusters.

Different UK clusters, including London, should also better communicate with each other. “We’re trying to champion people where they are, and we want these different ecosystems to speak to each other,” Greg said.

Tech Nation’s 2018 Fintech companies to watch:

  • Airtime Rewards – Manchester
  • Akoni – London
  • AltFi Data – London
  • Coinfirm – London
  • CoInvestor – Canterbury
  • CreditLadder – London
  • Delio – Cardiff
  • Enforcd – London
  • Fiskl – London
  • Float – Edinburgh
  • Funding Options – London
  • LOQBOX Savings – Bristol
  • Maxatta – London
  • MishiPay – London
  • SteelEye – London
  • Sustainably – Edinburgh
  • Tail Offers – London
  • TAINA Technology – London
  • Thyngs – Norwich
  • TransFICC – London
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Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall

Hi, I’m Chris, Content Editor at BrandContent. I work on content strategy, planning and creation. I have nearly 15 years’ experience as a journalist and editor. I bring a newsroom mindset – along with a heavy dose of pedantry – honed from writing for the likes of the FT and Sunday Times. Outside of work? Pizza and my two small children are the first two things that come to mind.

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