A new project has been announced that will involve the first ever detailed analysis of the FinTech ecosystem in the South West of England. The initiative will be a collaboration across organisations from the public and private sector, as well as higher education.

The work will be led and delivered by Whitecap Consulting, the regional strategy consultancy that has conducted similar projects over recent years across numerous regional FinTech ecosystems, including an analysis of FinTech in the Bristol & Bath region, which was published in 2020. The new analysis will cover a wider area spanning from Wiltshire and Gloucestershire down to Dorset and Cornwall and will involve the development of data and insights relating to the FinTech capability and potential of the region.

The project will be delivered in collaboration with a number of sponsors and partners, including Osborne Clarke, Amdaris, Cardstream, Integration Works, Invest Bristol & Bath, RSM UK, and University of the West of England (UWE), and FinTech West. Further sponsors are being sought and are expected to be announced soon.

Julian Wells, Director and Financial Services & FinTech Lead at Whitecap Consulting, said:

“We are excited to be working on this new project and supporting the growth of FinTech in the South West, and it will be fascinating to uncover the FinTech story of the many key hubs of the region. We’ve previously analysed the tech sector across the South West for a report, so we are acutely aware of the diverse range of tech strengths in the region.”

Mark Wesker, Corporate Partner & International Financial Services Sector Leader, Osborne Clarke, said:

“This is a landmark project for the South West and we are delighted to be involved as a headline sponsor. Our work in FinTech, and the financial services and tech sectors more broadly, clearly highlights the depth, strength and entrepreneurial spirit of this region. We believe this report will not only shine a light on the great things already happening in our FinTech ecosystem but will also give some clear pointers as to how we can realise its full potential moving forward.”

Expected to be published over the summer, the output will be a publicly available report on the FinTech ecosystem, including recommendations and suggested actions which can help support the economic contribution of the sector to the regional economy. The project will also reflect on progress since the 2020 report, which identified more than 100 firms operating in the FinTech sector, 28 of which were startups and scaleups – a larger number of early stage FinTechs than areas with populations more than three or four times the size. Early analysis suggests the region has experienced strong growth since this time.

The report will also link the South West to the development of the national FinTech sector in the UK. In February 2021, a strategic review of UK FinTech (the Kalifa Review) was published which highlighted the strength of key regional FinTech clusters across the UK, naming the Bristol and Bath region as one of the top 10 clusters.

Charlotte Crosswell OBE, Chair of the recently launched Centre for Finance, Innovation & Technology (CFIT), said:

“The South West, and in particular the Bristol & Bath region, has a reputation as a strong FinTech hub and is home to some nationally significant brands including Moneyhub, Seccl and LOQBOX. I’m delighted to see the continued growth in FinTech activity across the UK, and I am really enthused to see the region collaboratively investing in the development of its FinTech sector via this project. Our work at CFIT focuses on the financial services and technology sectors across the UK and our aspiration is to drive international FinTech growth, attract talent into the FinTech sector, and ensure better outcomes for consumers and SMEs. Central to this is a desire to enhance the links between industry, academia, government, and regulators, and I look forward to working with the key stakeholders across the South West.”

Organisations in the region who are interested to be involved in the project should email [email protected]

Previous reports published by Whitecap Consulting can be found here, including FinTech, LegalTech, and Tech more broadly.