Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has appointed Whitecap Consulting to conduct a project to analyse the evolving FinTech sector in the West Midlands and create a plan for its future development.
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The research commences at a time when the UK’s FinTech sector is now said to be generating £6.6 billion in revenues per year and is acknowledged to represent a significant regional opportunity for cities and regions outside of the thriving sector in London.

The project will aim to analyse the current FinTech activity taking place within the West Midlands to help understand where the areas of current and potential future competitive advantage lie.

Whitecap’s research will provide recommendations as to how the West Midlands can collectively look to develop and capitalise on these areas of competitive advantage and will engage with the key stakeholders in the region to ensure as complete a picture as possible can be established. It will feed into an ecosystem development plan detailing the interventions required to grow the sector and the resources required to deliver them.

Richard Coates, Managing Director of Whitecap Consulting, says:

“We are delighted to have been appointed by GBSLEP to conduct this important piece of work in the West Midlands, which we will deliver via a national team including our new Birmingham office. The national FinTech market is evolving and growing beyond the start-up and investment focused activity in London, there are multiple regional clusters and communities developing across the UK, and it is important to understand and further develop these ecosystems, to support productivity and growth.”

Saqib Bhatti, Director for Growing Businesses, said:

“Greater Birmingham is already host to a globally relevant centre for business, professional and financial services. The sector makes a significant contribution to the local economy, adding £24bn in GVA to the West Midlands over the last year, and with 400,000 employed in the sector is a key source of high-quality jobs and employment growth. It is therefore vital that the sector is well prepared to capitalise on advances in technology to enable its continued growth.

“Building on our existing strengths and depth in financial services and in digital technologies, the region is well positioned to take advantage of the growing opportunity offered by Fintech to become a recognised regional centre of excellence, both within UK and internationally. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this project.”

Established in 2012, Whitecap Consulting is a regional strategy consultancy headquartered in Leeds. It has recently appointed David Mellor as Associate Director for West Midlands and is opening an office in Birmingham. The firm also has regional offices in Newcastle, Manchester, Milton Keynes, and Bristol. Whitecap works with clients across multiple sectors, with Financial Services and FinTech being key areas of focus.

Whitecap is also the co-founder of FinTech North, the not for profit event-based initiative that has hosted 40 events across the north since 2016. Whitecap is also the co-organiser of FinTech West, a similar organisation in the South West. FinTech North and FinTech West are both involved in the FinTech National Network, which was launched earlier this year and aims to forge closer ties between the UK’s regional FinTech clusters.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is a partnership of business, public sector and further and higher education. Its mission is to drive sustainable economic growth across the city-region, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for everyone.

The GBSLEP area spans nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest. It is home to over two million people, an estimated 967,000 jobs and an economy worth £50.3 billion.

Since 2010, GBSLEP has been by far the fastest growing Core City LEP, growing by 20% compared to the Core City average of 11%, and more than 167,000 new private sector jobs have been created.

To find out more about how you can take part in the research please contact [email protected].

This announcement was also published on the GBSLEP website and can be viewed here.

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