Whitecap to conduct research into Leeds City Region FinTech ecosystem

Leeds based Whitecap Consulting, with support from Leeds City Council, is to conduct an analysis of the Leeds City Region FinTech Ecosystem and over the coming weeks is seeking to engage with key stakeholders in the region on a range of initiatives.

Over recent months  FinTech initiatives have increased across the Leeds City Region including announcements by some of the region’s major banks and building societies, a programme of ‘FinTech North’ events, various visiting FinTech delegations led by the Department for International Trade, several FinTech-related developments from the major universities, and the formation of a Leeds FinTech Steering Group.

FinTech is a sector that is and will be an increasingly important economic contributor to the Northern Powerhouse. Within this, Leeds is rapidly becoming recognised as a FinTech hub. However, amidst this activity it is widely accepted that the city lacks a degree of insight and detailed understanding within the region regarding the size and make-up of the FinTech Ecosystem. This can make it difficult for people and organisations to successfully promote the city coherently on a regional, national and international basis, which in turn risks hampering the economic growth the sector can deliver for the Leeds City region.

To address this issue, some new research is being conducted by Whitecap Consulting, with support from Leeds City Council.

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, says:

“This research project is of strategic importance to the Leeds City Region, and we are delighted to be supporting it via partial-funding and by making some of our resources available. I am actively encouraging senior business leaders in the region to invite them to provide support for this project, by contributing insights and to help fund the work.

“Whitecap has had an active involvement in many of the FinTech-related initiatives in Leeds over the last 6 years, including their involvement in co-founding and running the FinTech North events over the last 3 years which have played a pivotal role in building the FinTech community in Leeds.”

Richard Coates, Managing Director of Whitecap Consulting, says:

“We are grateful to Leeds City Council for the support they have given to this project and excited to be undertaking this analysis of the Leeds FinTech Ecosystem, which has already commenced. Our intention is to approach this work in an open and inclusive manner, ensuring we obtain input and engagement from a broad range of stakeholders across the region. Over the coming days we aim to secure funding and resource support to enable the work to be completed by the end of July.”

The research will be conducted via a range of methodologies including:

– Desk research, including existing published research and analysis of the region’s FinTech and related digital capability

– An online survey  – Click here to complete the survey

– Key stakeholder interviews with public and private sector organisations with an interest in FinTech

To participate in any of these and / or to request an interview, please contact us on info@whitecapconsulting.co.uk.

At the FinTech North seminar in Leeds on Friday 18th May there was be a session dedicated to discussing the research plans, and gaining input and feedback from attendees.

 

Overview of FinTech in Leeds: 

The amount of activity in the FinTech sector in Leeds has been significantly increasing over recent months, with activity including but not limited to:

The third annual FinTech North conference in April attracted nearly 300 attendees on the day and featured speakers including FCA, CBI, Innovate Finance, DIT, as well as major FS brands, investors and FinTech innovators, including speakers from Canada, Latvia and Belgium.

– Monthly FinTech North seminars are now taking place (previously held annually) which are attended by 100+ people and are playing a central role in creating an active and connected community within the city. Leeds City Council has actively supported these events over the last 6 months, and speakers have been drawn from the region and international destinations including Atlanta, Brazil and Estonia.

A delegation of 20 Nordic & Baltic FinTechs visited Leeds in November, hosted by DIT, co-ordinated by Whitecap Consulting, and supported by others including the LEP, University of Leeds and aql and attended by representatives of the region’s major Financial Services brands, professional services firms and investors.

– A Leeds City Region delegation will visit Boston, USA, in July with a focus on FinTech, HealthTech/MedTech, Advanced Tech (such as AI, robotics, data analytics), as well as innovation ecosystem and tech infrastructure. 

– The recent formation of a Leeds FinTech Steering Group with representation from Leeds City Council, LEP, DIT, NorthInvest, FinTech North, and Dr Chris Sier in his capacity as HM Treasury’s FinTech Envoy for the Northern Powerhouse and visiting Professor at University of Leeds.

– Hosted by DIT, a recent delegation of FinTechs visited from Latin America and further international FinTech-related engagements are planned over the coming months.

– There are many FinTech related developments being carried out across the region by established banks, building societies and other Financial Services providers.

 

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