The UK Government is appointing two fintech envoys to help Scotland realise the benefits of the boom in financial technology innovation.
The appointment of David Ferguson, CEO of Nucleus, and Louise Smith, head of design in personal and business banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland, was announced by Simon Kirby, the economic secretary to the treasury on a visit to Edinburgh.
After London, Scotland boasts the UK’s next two largest international financial hubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The sector contributes more than 7% of Scotland’s GDP and employs around 85,000 people, with a further 70,000 working in associated professional services.
However, a recent report from Strathclyde Business School cautioned that the Scottish financial sector faces a loss of over 14,000 jobs in the next decade if it fails to embrace the the current technological revolution in banking and insurance.
The new fintech envoys will build on the work of Scottish Financial Enterprise in boosting the local fintech scene. The representative body for Scotland's financial services industry recently convened a fintech Strategy group to map out a five-year plan to look at innovative new technologies in financial services and their potential impact on, and opportunities for, the industry in Scotland.
Commenting on the new appointments, SFE chief Graeme Jones says: "There is huge potential for growth in Scotland’s fintech sector and a number of exciting developments taking place. David and Louise work at the heart of fintech in Scotland and have the expertise, drive and commitment to provide leadership and make the connections needed for the development of the sector throughout the UK."