West Midlands joins UK National FinTech Network
The West Midlands has been appointed to the FinTech National Network – the UK’s first network connecting FinTech hubs and supporting nationwide financial innovation.
The FinTech National Network brings together regional clusters up and down the country to encourage collaboration and amplify the collective voice of the UK’s FinTech sector. The network facilitates mutually beneficial initiatives across skills, talent, capital and investment, as key enablers for growing the UK’s FinTech capabilities.
Spearheading the West Midlands’ presence on the Network is SuperTech – the UK’s first professional services technology (ProfTech) supercluster designed to showcase the talent, innovation, and investment potential of the West Midlands’ rapidly emerging expertise in FinTech, LegalTech, PropTech and InsurTech.
Charlotte Crosswell, CEO at Innovate Finance – the body behind the Network – said:
“We are delighted that SuperTech is joining the FinTech National Network and look forward to working with the West Midlands, alongside the other Network members, to drive the domestic FinTech agenda in the UK.
“The UK is a global FinTech leader and a highly attractive destination for investment, but in order to retain its position, it is important to leverage the collaboration between the various centres of excellence that are thriving across the country.”
The membership builds on recent recognition of the region’s FinTech scene at a national policy level in the independent Kalifa Review, which highlighted how regional hubs – including the West Midlands – could ‘level up’ the UK’s FinTech economy to preserve the country’s reputation as a global financial powerhouse.
The region’s eligibility to rebalance and advance the sector is already evident, with high-profile institutions from the UK’s traditional financial heartland in the capital attracted to explore the benefits of coworking with West Midlands industry leaders.
March 2021 saw the City of London Corporation join forces with SuperTech to harness the rising potential of modern services innovation underway in the region, of which FinTech is an integral element.
The agreement will see the two bodies work closely to promote West Midlands professional, financial and technology firms on a national and global scale, to ensure that the UK remains the FinTech capital of the world.
Hilary Smyth-Allen, Executive Lead at SuperTech, said:
“We launched SuperTech in January 2021 with the sole purpose of shining a spotlight on the strength of the West Midlands’ burgeoning community of tech-led professional and financial services expertise, as the exemplar of how UK regions hold the key to unlocking emerging sectors vital to the country’s economic future.
The West Midlands’ growing influence is swiftly gaining momentum, turning heads of typically London-centric financial heavyweights.
Significantly, prestigious global investment bank Goldman Sachs announced earlier in April 2021 its plans to establish a major new tech function in Birmingham – it’s largest office investment outside of London creating several hundred jobs.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company – the region’s official promotion agency – said:
“Goldman Sachs’ investment undoubtedly cements the West Midlands’ prominence on a global scale; it is powerful affirmation of our region’s appeal to the aspirations of the world’s most iconic, multinational financial services brands and the talent they seek to attract. As the outcome of a meticulous review of the UK’s digital employment base, it is another resounding endorsement of our best-in-class talent from the technology and finance sectors.”
Among the region’s FinTech residents is leading mobile payment specialist, PM Connect – an award-winning provider of in-demand content monetised through Direct Carrier Billing (DCB).
Founded in Birmingham in 2012, PM Connect has grown to process over 10 million payments a month, with a reach of one billion consumers around the world. February 2021 saw the company expand into the increasingly popular cloud gaming market, launching a ground-breaking partnership with gaming provider RemoteMyApp to offer subscribers using its streaming platform, Vortex, access to over 165 top tier hi-spec games on their mobile phones, without a console.
Also counted among the region’s FinTech community is pension administration technology provider Delta Financial Systems, accountTech leader BlackLine and Parisian Artificial Intelligence order-to-cash firm Sidetrade, which last year opened a new Tech Hub in Birmingham’s City Centre and announced £12 million in R&D investment over a 24-month period, supporting around 100 engineers.