RBS to bring Silicon Valley to Edinburgh

RBS to bring Silicon Valley to Edinburgh

Royal Bank of Scotland is inviting tech entrepreneurs from across the world to its Edinburgh HQ to discuss the latest trends in technology and mingle with local fintech entrepreneurs, customers and bank staff at an event dubbed Disrupt 17.

The full-day event will hear from tech leaders and host speakers including Singularity University, the influential Silicon Valley think tank and RocketSpace, the tech incubator that helped the likes of Spotify and Uber get off the ground.

Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer of Royal Bank of Scotland says: “It’s vital that we continue to build relationships with innovative tech firms from around the world, so that we can make the very best technology available for our customers. This event brings partners, customers and colleagues together to help us do just that. This is also a great opportunity for Scotland’s burgeoning Fintech community to build new relationships with global tech entrepreneurs and help boost our economy in the long run.”

The show follows the recent establishment of a technology and innovation committee at the Scottish bank and a fintech hub at its Gogarburn HQ offices.

The bank has an extensive scouting network for new tech-led initiatives, which takes in the UK, US and Israel and recently introduced Facebook at Work to its employees, deployed AI to help answer customer queries and biometric technology to crack down on fraud.

Yet for all the digital dazzle, RBS is still struggling to reshape its legacy core technology estate after years of neglect and in the wake of its Government-backed bailout in 2008. The promotion of Disrupt 17 comes just days after the bank announced that it is planning to cut nearly 900 technology jobs in London by 2020. In 2016, the majority state-owned bank employed 2200 IT staff in London but by 2020 there will be just 950 full timers, labour union Unite says.

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