by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

A research project to analyse the evolving FinTech sector in Northern Ireland is to be conducted by Whitecap Consulting, working in partnership with FinTech Northern Ireland (FinTechNI) and Invest Northern Ireland. The research, which will be published later this year, will aim to analyse the current FinTech activity taking place within Northern Ireland to help understand where the areas of current and potential future competitive advantage lie.

It is being conducted in partnership with FinTechNI and Invest Northern Ireland, with the support of a number of other participants from the local FinTech ecosystem. The results will be published in a report which will provide recommendations as to how Northern Ireland can collectively look to develop and capitalise on these areas of competitive advantage both nationally and internationally.

As part of the project, FintechNI will host a webinar on at 10am on Wednesday 23rd September, where members of the Northern Irish FinTech community will have the opportunity to find out more about the research, share their experiences and opinions with the panel. Click here to register for the event.

The value that FinTech adds to the UK economy is now estimated at £11bn and has almost doubled in the last four years. The last two years have seen a number of significant developments in Northern Ireland, not least the creation of FinTechNI as an industry association, the appointment by HM Treasury of Andrew Jenkins as FinTech Envoy for Northern Ireland, and its recent rating by fDi Markets as one of the top three global destinations for the future for FinTech.

Alex Lee, Director of FinTech Northern Ireland, says “We are delighted to be working with Whitecap Consulting on this important initiative to support the future growth and prosperity of FinTech in Northern Ireland. Having conducted similar research across other regions in the UK, Whitecap have established themselves to be the industry authority on developing vibrant FinTech ecosystems that leverage unique local skills and capabilities”.

Andrew Jenkins, HM Treasury FinTech Envoy for Northern Ireland, comments, “Northern Ireland’s fintech sector has steadily been going from strength to strength with recognition coming from fDi Intelligence, the specialist division of the Financial Times, as the region being one of the top three global destinations for the future for FinTech. The fintech sector here has a lot to be proud of, and it’s not resting on its laurels.

The research project being conducted by Whitecap Consulting, working in partnership with FinTech Northern Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland, will be critical to informing how the sector continues to grow and compete successfully on the national and international stage.

The project comes at a time when the UK Government has announced an independent review into the financial technology industry. I’m confident that the findings from the NI-based report can feed into the broader UK-wide review and help identify opportunities to support further growth in the sector”.

Innovate Finance, the independent industry body for the FinTech community in the UK, adds:
“We welcome this report from FinTech Northern Ireland and Whitecap, which clearly demonstrates that despite the current challenges, there are a number of opportunities for the UK FinTech ecosystem as we move towards a ‘new normal’, especially in Northern Ireland. Only by understanding the needs of the sector, can we boost the industry and in turn support the wider economy. The success and growth of the FinTech sector in Northern Ireland will continue to provide opportunities across a number of digital businesses there and elsewhere in the UK, and the chance to connect with international markets as a leading FinTech nation. This enables the UK to continue to set the pace for the industry on an increasingly competitive global stage.”

Richard Coates, Managing Director of Whitecap Consulting, says: “We’re delighted to be conducting this research in Northern Ireland. There are multiple FinTech clusters and communities developing across the UK, and it is important to understand and further develop these ecosystems, which have the potential to generate considerable economic value. Northern Ireland has been raising its profile in FinTech over the last 18 months and this work will help shine a light on the progress being made and recommend future development strategies.”



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