European FinTechs head to the Northern Powerhouse to strengthen UK ties

A delegation of 25 established FinTech firms from across Europe is visiting the North of England from February 11th – 14th as part of an International FinTech Mission organised by the Department for International Trade and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, financed with Northern Powerhouse prosperity funding.

Over 80 firms applied to take part, leading to the size of the visiting party being increased to cater for the strong demand. The delegation, which is drawn from eight different countries, is comprised of established FinTech firms from a range of sectors including payments, banking, insurance, lending, savings and investments, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, data security, and aggregation services.

Each day of the mission will include a conference attended by up to 150 guests. Delegates will hear presentations from senior representatives of over 20 established UK organisations including CYBG, First Direct, HSBC, Barclays, Nationwide, AJ Bell, Computershare, Lowell Group, and IBM.

The events will include a ‘reverse pitch’ format where the visiting FinTechs and UK organisations will pitch to each other, with the objective of identifying areas of interest and potential collaboration.

It is the third FinTech delegation to make such a visit in the last 18 months. Each mission has been coordinated by Whitecap Consulting, who have also worked in partnership with Invest Liverpool, Midas and Leeds City Region LEP in planning the programmes for each mission.

Minister for Investment Graham Stuart MP commented:

“The UK is Europe’s FinTech capital thanks to a highly-skilled and creative workforce. I’m delighted that this success is attracting strong interest from overseas.

“It’s also great to see the Northern Powerhouse punching above its weight in this sector, playing an increasingly important role outside London.

“The Department for International Trade (DIT) is committed in its support of the UK’s FinTech sector. Initiatives like these offer a great opportunity for UK firms to collaborate with our European partners and ensure the UK’s FinTech profile continues to grow.”

Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership said: 

“It is really encouraging to see such strong interest in us as a destination for FinTech businesses from across Europe given the current uncertainty around the course of Brexit, and risks of a no deal to the wider northern economy. The city regions across the Northern Powerhouse have a long standing strength in many areas of financial services and banking and can offer a rich range of opportunities for FinTech innovators who are seeking to establish a UK presence.”

Chris Sier, Chairman of FinTech North and HM Treasury FinTech Envoy, will accompany the visiting party throughout the visit and commented:

“The interest we have seen in this International FinTech Mission is testament to the work of the DIT team across Europe and the strength of the combined financial services proposition of the north. I have said many times that I would like to see an increasing amount of collaboration across the northern cities, so it is fantastic to see yet another FinTech mission being delivered to the north as a region, rather than just to one city.”

 

Arriving on 11th February the visitors will embark on a 4 day visit which will include time in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds as well as a visit to the Hartree Centre at SciTech Daresbury. In Manchester the group will be hosted at Gateley for an evening event, and will spend a day at Manchester Science Partnerships’ state-of-the-art workspace, the Bright Building. Moving onto Leeds, Barclays will host an evening at AvenueHQ, and the following day will be spent at aql’s Salem Chapel, dubbed the church of technology, a venue that has now been used for all three of the FinTech missions.

The International FinTech Mission is being supported by a number of northern-based organisations including AJ Bell, Barclays, Computershare, DLA Piper, Manchester Science Partnerships, the Hartree Centre, and Nexus (University of Leeds).

Anyone interested in attending the FinTech North events taking place across the visit can sign up at www.fintechnorth.uk.

Further information on opportunities to invest in the United Kingdom can be found at https://invest.great.gov.uk/.

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