The UK’s fintech scene has become much less London-centric over the last couple of years, with the likes of Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow developing into thriving hubs, according to a report from Findexable.
London retains the second spot out of 264 cities, behind San Francisco, but the index also shows a maturing sector around the UK, which saw three new cities enter the charts. There are now 13 UK cities with at least 10 fintech companies, with Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Cambridge, Brighton, Oxford, Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Glasgow all on the index.
However, in many of these hubs, firms are still relatively small, with only London and Manchester home to the headquarters of billion dollar-plus unicorns.
The growth in previously underserved areas echoes a theme seen across the world: more than 50 new cities and 20 new countries joined the index for being home to at least ten fintech companies.
The report shows that even during a year of significant economic downturn and serious disruption, fintech companies were being launched and significant investment was being made in the sector, more than doubling the value of fintech unicorns as a group from $199 billion to $440 billion.
Findexable links this to Covid-19, arguing that the fintech and the digitisation of finances and lives more generally has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Simon Hardie, CEO, Findexable, says: “The UK continues to be a major player in fintech, but unlike the larger finance sector it is moving away from being largely London-based. We are seeing how investment in creating technology hubs in secondary cities is translating into the creation of thriving communities and viable companies.”