The new strategy has been developed by Whitecap Consulting with the support of key stakeholder organisations in the public sector, private sector, and higher education. It outlines a high level plan for the region to create more and better jobs, develop a collaborative, sustainable, growth-focused FinTech hub, and to foster regional, national and international connectivity.
In addition to the new jobs, the Gross Value Added (GVA) created by FinTech is forecast to increase 11% per year, to reach £431m in 2025, and the number of FinTech firms is expected to nearly double to 81 (currently 45). The report finds 76% of the region’s FinTech firms are currently based in Newcastle, Gateshead or Sunderland, with 11% in Durham, and 9% in the Tees Valley region.
The project follows an independent national strategic review which identified the Newcastle and Durham area as one of the top ten FinTech clusters in the UK. The Review of UK FinTech, published in February 2021, showed the fast-growing sector generates £11bn of GVA for the UK each year. The work has been supported by key regional stakeholders including Atom bank, Dynamo North East, FinTech North, Invest Newcastle, Invest North East England, Newcastle Strategic Solutions, Newcastle University, North East ROCU (North East Regional Organised Crime Unit), North of Tyne Combined Authority, North Tyneside Council, Northumbria University, and Sage. The strategy was launched at an event in Newcastle on 19th October, hosted by Womble Bond Dickinson.
FinTech, the use of technology to enhance the delivery of financial services, is a growth industry in the wider North East region that has been driven by substantial levels of investment and employment. This investment has paid dividends, with a 58% increase in the number of firms operating in the FinTech sector over the last 3 years, including an 81% increase in the number of FinTech startups and scaleups, nearly a third of which are organisations that have chosen to expand their operations into the North East.
The strategy to develop the FinTech sector over the next three years is built on the foundations of qualitative depth research and online survey insights, and has involved consultation with more than 70 key stakeholders, as well as wider engagement via a session at FinTech North’s North East conference in Newcastle in July. It identifies three strategic priorities, each of which is associated with a set of recommendations which break down into a total of 18 specific areas of action. The three strategic priorities relate to creating leadership, increasing collaboration, and developing resources.