The representative body of technology-based financial services firms in the South West, FinTech West, has announced its ambitious growth plans for 2022. Here at TechSPARK, we’re celebrating all things fintech throughout March, in partnership with payment experts Dojo. Keep an eye out for dedicated features, such as our breakdown on what is fintech?

This year will see the planned Spring launch of the FinTech West accelerator, powered by SETSquared for startup firms in the region. The FinTech West team is also working on an expanded events calendar; international exposure with collaborative initiatives in the pipeline with Chile and Hong Kong; and increased student engagement and a collaboration with the University of Bristol in a continuation of its ‘Learning from London’ project designed to develop the region as a centre of excellence.

The planned growth of the region’s financial technology ecosystem comes following FinTech West being highlighted as one of the UK’s top 10 FinTech clusters in the Kalifa Review. 2021 also saw the organisation appoint Hargreaves Lansdown’s former Head of Pensions and Head of Transformation David Henderson to its board as Strategic Advisor.

Flying the South West flag for fintech

The region looks set for more high profile launches and investment rounds from the FinTech West stable including payments disruptor brand Roqqett with its planned Online Checkout launch and the launch of sustainable investments platform Stratiphy, both due in the first half of 2022.

FinTech West’s popular events programme will be expanded alongside its lecture series following last year’s successful pilot project with UWE Bristol’s FinTech MSc – a collaboration with corporates, startups and founders from the regions FinTech cluster. The team is committed to further raising its national profile off the back of high-profile speaking engagements at the National FinTech Conference in Glasgow and joining the TISAtech Advisory Board.

The West’s FinTech ecosystem has grown in the last two years to become a major hub for inward investment and a raft emerging fast growth FinTech startups. The region’s leading city Bristol is home to Open Data, analytics, and payments platform, Moneyhub; AI powered pensions database Penny; and online investment platform Tumelo to name just a few.

Founding director of FinTech West and Associate Director at Whitecap Consulting Stuart Harrison says, “Our FinTech community is growing at a rapid pace and last year saw great collaboration and a number of substantial investment raises as a result of the established ecosystem in the South West.

“This year we’re going to be expanding our collaboration with sister supporting technologies in the region such as cybersecurity, distributed ledger technology, quantum computing and AI. We’re also focusing on our national reach to identify funding opportunities as well as working to implement the actions from the Kalifa Review which sets out recommendations to ensure that UK Fintech firms have the resources and business environments they need to thrive.”

David Henderson, strategic advisor to FinTech West expands on the future plans for the representative body: “The West region has always had a strong financial services community; with Bristol also an international technology hub we are seeing it become a serious player in innovation, investment and fast growth scale up firms deciding to site their operations in the region.

“We’re committed to providing the support, a thriving network and access to vital investment that is needed to generate exponential growth this year, which, in turn, will lead to job creation and enhancement of skills across the region.”

FinTech West is set for success this year, building on established connections with the FinTech National Network (and involvement in national connectivity matters), as well as collaborations with other member regions including FinTech Scotland, FinTech North, FinTech Wales, FinTech Northern Ireland, SuperTech West Midlands and Innovate Finance.