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FinPact Launches in Newcastle With Aim to Drive Fintech Growth in the North East

FinPact, a community interest organisation with industry leadership, has officially launched its mission to deliver the fintech strategy for the North East of England, recognising the region’s immense potential for innovation that has yet to reach a significant threshold, reflected in low levels of entrepreneurship and limited scale-up opportunities.

A recent report from Whitecap Consulting highlights that the fintech sector will contribute over £430million to the North East’s economy by 2025, as well as creating 2,000 new jobs.

However, according to FinPact, the North East grapples with a significant digital skills gap, inhibiting its ability to align education with commercial skills demand to attract and retain top talent.

FinPact aims to address this by fostering collaboration among entrepreneurs, educational institutions, corporations and organisations to develop viable use cases and attract further investment. With guidance from international law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, this initiative seeks to unleash the digital potential of North East England and the Tees Valley.

It wants to position the North East as a globally recognised ecosystem for fintech excellence. By bridging the digital skills gap, nurturing innovation, and showcasing the region’s academic and corporate expertise, FinPact believes it can unlock the true potential of Northeast England.

Launch event

The official launch of the community organisation took place during the annual FinTech North Newcastle Conference 2023 held on 20 July at The Common Room of the Great North in Newcastle.

Stephen Kevan, a non-executive director and board adviser working with growing and established companies in the North East, explained to delegates: “FinPact is now the front door to everything that’s going to happen in fintech community in the North East. So come knocking to us because we will become the entry point for all of the good work that’s going on, including the coordination, the mobilisation of the industry and improving the building blocks that make us this world-class ecosystem.

“FinPact is industry led so we need your participation, we need your mandate, we need your ideas and we need your involvement to bring this along. We’ve got some great businesses already signed up, large, medium and small, as well as local authorities getting involved, because they see us as a way forward for building opportunities.”

finpact

Usman Shahid, associate director at talent and recruitment advisory service TrueNorth, said the launch of FinPact is all about “less talk, more do”.

“There’s a lot of great stuff already going on, like coding clubs and we’ve got great spaces to work and this is all about all joining all this together. We’re not here to be another iteration of something that’s already been done but it’s about making it work and actually getting it done.”

FinTech North conference

In partnership with headline sponsors Atom bank and brand sponsors Mastercard, Kani and Invest Newcastle, FinTech North attracted more than 200 delegates to its Newcastle Conference 2023.

Anne-Marie Lister, chief people officer, Atom bank, gave an inspiring keynote speech on fintech culture and scaling.

“We talk at Atom about making things simpler, faster and better value for customers and that plays into how we do things and our self-conscience. Simplicity is really key. When you’re setting out right from the beginning, consider how are you describing yourself to the people that you’re pitching to and think, what’s the simplicity in your vision and your mission.

“People are your process – that is how you will build and scale your organisation.”

atom bank

️Due to the railway strike disruption, Ezechi Britton MBE, CEO for Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) delivered his keynote on CFIT’s coalition-led approach to open finance and regional fintech success via video link.

“The fintech sector requires continual innovation. And we all know how fast things move in technology innovation. This is why our coalitions are type and time bound, operating to short set schedules to ensure the delivery is timely and effective. Fintech moves fast we need to move faster.”

Matt Lowe, manager, digital and data at Financial Conduct Authority provided insight into its sandbox and innovation lab, while Rebekah O’Connor, co-head, fintech at Department for Business and Trade provided an update on DBT’s activities and initiatives.

Lowe revealed that from 1 August 2023, the UK’s startup’s experimental testing environment, the Digital Sandbox with NayaOne, will become a permanent feature.

Author

  • Claire is an experienced editor and writer with 25 years of experience in the publishing industry.

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