A new report published by Whitecap Consulting in partnership with FinTechNI has found Northern Ireland’s FinTech ecosystem to have the highest concentration of FinTech employment in the UK with an estimated 7,000 FinTech related roles, with one in five people working across the financial and tech sectors in Northern Ireland working in FinTech.


Based on research completed over the last three months, which involved engaging with over 50 stakeholders, the report is the first formally published analysis of the FinTech ecosystem in Northern Ireland. The work was sponsored by a number of organisations including Allstate, A&L Goodbody, Automated Intelligence, Belfast City Council, Derry & Strabane District Council, Invest Northern Ireland, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, and Ulster University.

The report highlights core strengths in RegTech and Compliance, TradingTech, InsureTech, CyberSecuity and AI and Advanced Analytics and describes Northern Ireland as ‘a uniquely located country with an exceptionally high concentration of FinTech employment within a thriving and highly tech-focused financial sector, which is fed by an outstanding education system and is supported by an evolving FinTech ecosystem with strong links to the UK, Ireland and US’. Consequently, Northern Ireland is found to have opportunities across multiple fronts, including growing the ecosystem locally, further developing the talent pool, adapting to the impacts of Covid, developing national and international trading links, and staying aligned to the development of the UK’s national FinTech ecosystem.

A total of 74 firms are identified as being active in the FinTech ecosystem, including established financial and FinTech organisations, FinTech startups and scaleups, and tech firms also operating in financial services. The report specifically analyses 17 FinTech startups and scaleups within the Northern Ireland ecosystem, finding 94% to have a business-to-business element to their proposition, compared to an average of 66% across other regions researched.

Richard Coates, Managing Director of Whitecap Consulting:

“We are delighted to publish our analysis of FinTech in Northern Ireland, the sixth regional FinTech ecosystem Whitecap has analysed, and to be able to report on a strong and growing ecosystem underpinned by an impressive strength in people and technology. The FinTech employment levels are four times what we expected to find based on our model, which contributes to Northern Ireland generating proportionally up to fives times Gross Value Added (GVA) than other regions we have reviewed.”

Alex Lee, Chairman of FinTechNI:

“We are delighted to be able launch the 2020 Northern Ireland Fintech Ecosystem Report, which is an important initiative to support the continued growth and prosperity of FinTech in Northern Ireland. We have long felt that Northern Ireland possessed some unique technology and talent capabilities that gave it the potential to be a credible global FinTech hub. It is therefore incredibly satisfying to see those capabilities recognised and celebrated in this independent research.”

Andrew Jenkins, HM Treasury FinTech Envoy for Northern Ireland:

“The findings and recommendations within this report are broad and far-reaching. In several aspects they support what many of us within the sector have known for some time – that we have something very special in Northern Ireland; a blend of world-class technology capabilities, and exceptional people passionate about seeing the FinTech sector continue to grow and thrive. The launch of this report comes as the UK Government’s Independent Fintech Strategic Review considers its recommendations to ensure the ongoing success of UK FinTech, something that Northern Ireland has an opportunity to play a key role in.”

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance:

“We have been keenly following the evolution of FinTech across the UK and are delighted to see the ecosystem taking shape across Northern Ireland. The region plays a significant role in the UK economy and one which is recognised for developing strong links to the wider tech industry, as well as an increased presence in financial services.”

Karen Bradbury, FS Sector Lead at Invest Northern Ireland:

“As financial firms and solutions providers seek technology, talent and industry expertise to harness next generation development, Northern Ireland has become a leading global location for FinTech investment. Building on these strong credentials and working with FinTech NI, Invest Northern Ireland is delighted to support this important research into Northern Ireland’s FinTech industry, led by Whitecap. We are committed to supporting and growing the FinTech sector here.”

The report can be downloaded here:

Northern Ireland FinTech Ecosystem Report 2020 (high res)

Northern Ireland FinTech Ecosystem Report 2020 (email version)