HM Treasury appointed Fintech Envoy for Northern Ireland, Andrew Jenkins held a positive discussion with Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Robin Walker MP earlier today.
Envoy Jenkins outlined how the sector has remained strong and resilient across Northern Ireland. He noted that Fintech has the potential to fuel economic recovery here but highlighted challenges including skills and talent, access to later stage funding and ongoing support for the start-up and scale-up ecosystem which need continued focus to meet the long-term needs of the sector.
In recent months, the Fintech sector has benefited from job creation with significant global investment announcements from Cygilant, Riskonnect and Vox Financial Partners.
Fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy, encompassing innovation in financial services including digital banking, payment technologies and asset management. 40,000 people are employed in this sector across Northern Ireland.
Envoy Jenkins recently met with Economy Minister Diane Dodds MLA and has been appointed to the National Connectivity Advisory Panel for the UK Fintech Strategic Review announced by Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister John Glen MP in July.
Speaking following this meeting, Andrew Jenkins, Fintech Envoy for Northern Ireland said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to meet and engage with Minister Walker today. This was a timely meeting with the Minister who showed significant interest and understanding of Northern Ireland’s Fintech sector and its potential to drive economic growth. As our economy recovers from Covid-19 and with Brexit on the horizon, it is vital that Fintech is central to this.
“Despite being a relatively small place, in terms of Fintech we punch well above our weight. We have a rich start up and scale up community across Northern Ireland and the combination of factors including talent availability, infrastructure, cost-effectiveness, and a supportive business environment have contributed to our attractiveness to foreign investors. Furthermore, we have world-class technology expertise across Northern Ireland including in cyber-security, AI, big data and advanced analytics. There is momentum and energy in the sector. We need to harness that, and also recognise there is more work to do.
“As Fintech Envoy, I will continue to work with the UK Government, the NI Executive and industry to embed Fintech in economic development programmes and ensure that Northern Ireland is the best place in the world to start and build a Fintech company. In particular, I look forward to taking part in the upcoming independent strategic review into the wider Fintech industry across the UK which will ensure the levers are in place to accelerate change and enhance our global reputation.”