FinTech Wales has secured a City Deal £ 1.6m investment boost from the Cardiff Capital Region.
The investment will be spread over five years in a partnership between the Cardiff Capital Region – made up of the 10 local authorities of south-east Wales and the independent membership association for the fintech and financial services industry in Wales.
The funding will enable the two organizations to work together to deliver on the region’s ambition to establish Wales as a leading fintech sector in the UK.
Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) previously set out its “competitive clusters” goal as part of its overall strategy which focuses on investing in the development of competitive, innovation-led ecosystems in priority clusters. Fintech is one of the Cardiff Capital Region’s five key clusters alongside compound semiconductors, creative industries, medtech and cyber.
Rhys Thomas, chief operating officer of the CCR’s £ 1.3bn City Deal said: “CCR’s long term ambition is to build on the firm foundations we already have in place and create a UK-leading FinTech cluster as well as establishing CCR as a global leader in the digital insurance marketplace.
“FinTech Wales is absolutely the right partner to help deliver on this ambition and this latest investment will enable the organization to respond to the opportunities in this fast-evolving market, as well as help the overall FinTech cluster in Wales to further develop its own strategic direction. “
He added: “We also hope this will go some way to creating a bespoke talent pool, and enhance skills pathways in order to ensure FinTech businesses can recruit the skills and talent they require for growth, as well as attracting inward investment into the region. “
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FinTech Wales chief executive Sarah Williams-Gardener said: “The FinTech sector moves incredibly quickly, and a number of other regions in the UK are also looking to accelerate the growth of their FinTech clusters, so we cannot rest on our laurels.
“This investment enables us to build on the foundations we’ve laid over the past 12 months cementing Wales as the place to start up, scale up and accelerate innovative Fintech businesses, and add value for the Welsh economy.
She added: “Coming out of the pandemic, and with the additional burden of the cost of living, creating high quality jobs for Wales and attracting new businesses to the region is at the forefront of our strategy.
“Ron Kalifa’s FinTech Strategic Review (FSR) recommendations that were published in 2021 identified Wales as one of the top ten FinTech clusters in the UK – which is a huge achievement in itself – but we must not be complacent while other FinTech powerhouses gather momentum. This investment from CCR will enable us to further develop our strategy to support innovation, create jobs and economic growth. “
Wales Office Minister David TC Davies said: “The UK Government has invested £ 375m in the Cardiff Capital Region to grow a vibrant, modern economy and boost skills and well-paid jobs. This particular investment will help ensure the region becomes a center of excellence in the fast-growing financial technology sector, with the aim of creating 500 jobs over the next five years. “
He added: “This is what levelling up means in practice – creating jobs and opportunities, spreading prosperity, and having a material impact on people’s lives.”
Founded in July 2019, FinTech Wales has supported businesses in Wales as well as set up a roadmap to establish Wales on the global stage in the Fintech community.
The association has an Advisory Board of 20 people including representation from Welsh companies including Confused.com, Admiral, The Principality, Capital Law and Acquis Insurance.