Fintech, the use of technology such as AI and blockchain to deliver financial services, is worth close to £219m in the Liverpool city region every year, new data shows. Tony McDonough reports
Fintech is worth almost £219m to Liverpool city region every year, according to a new study.
Short for ‘financial technology’, fintech refers to the use of digital technology to deliver financial services. These include artificial intelligence, block chain and big data.
A group of public and private sector partners have, for the first time ever, commissioned a report from Whitecap Consulting. The intention of the report was to offer an accurate snapshot of this fast-emerging business sector.
Whitecap has found that the fintech sector across Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton is estimated to be generating £218.8m of GVA per year.
It identifies 42 fintech firms that are based within the region, approximately four out of five of which are startups and scaleups.
Key strengths of these firms are in payments, wealthtech, insurtech and accounting. In addition to mapping out the fintech sector, the report includes case studies highlighting the region’s strengths in healthtech, legaltech, and gaming.
Liverpool’s strength in wealth management fintech is no surprise. It offers an expertise in wealth management stretching back many years. Two biggest players in the city are Investec and Rathbones.
It also has notable gaming businesses that are now in the digital space. Stanleybet, which was founded in 1958, grew rapidly by opening high street betting shops and casinos. Now it is a major player in the European gaming market, handling £500m in bets a year.
Another is The Football Pools. This has taken the traditional paper-based football pools game pioneered by iconic Liverpool entrepreneur Sir John Moores and updated it for the digital age.
And in May, digital SME bank Cashplus said it was to expand its Liverpool city centre operation and create 150 new jobs. It is based at The Spine in Paddington Village in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.
Julian Wells, director and financial services and fintech lead at Whitecap, said: “Over the course of this project the ambition of Liverpool city region’s innovation investment activity has been a prominent feature.
“Whitecap’s analysis of other regions over recent years has shown the economic value generated by FinTech has doubled or trebled over the last three years.
“When you combine this trend with the fact that the region is targeting nearly twice the national average in terms of R&D investment, the potential for significant growth of FinTech in the region is clear to see.”
Sponsors and partners of the report include economic development agency Growth Platform, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, University of Liverpool, DTM Legal, RSM UK, Professional Liverpool, and FinTech North.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added: “Establishing our city region as one of the most attractive places in the country – and the world – for businesses to innovate and invest is one of my top priorities.
“In the six years since I was first elected, the journey to realising that ambition has been made much easier by the enviable foundations we’re building on.
“Our area is fortunate to already be home to a thriving FinTech sector that is worth almosy £220m a year to our economy.
“Those businesses support livelihoods, cultivate creativity, and enhance the communities they operate in. My role, therefore, is to ensure they get the opportunities they deserve to unleash their full potential.”