Liverpool City Region has positioned itself as a thriving hub for fintech innovation, boasting a robust ecosystem that houses more than 40 financial technology firms. However, it is Liverpool’s status as a major wealthtech hub that has captured global recognition, presenting a distinct opportunity to enhance its visibility even further.
By actively promoting its expertise and fostering collaboration, Liverpool can amplify its position as a premier wealthtech destination, enticing more businesses and cementing its role as a thriving fintech hub, a new report has revealed.
The report, developed by Whitecap Consulting in collaboration with key regional and national stakeholders, is the first comprehensive analysis of the fintech sector in Liverpool City Region. It maps out the region’s ecosystem and highlights its key strengths, providing insights into the sector’s growth and potential.
Liverpool’s fintech scene
Fintech is generating an estimated £218.6million of regional gross value added (GVA) with firms specialising in payments, wealthtech, accounting and insurtech.
Liverpool City Region is also making significant investments in innovation across multiple sectors, with an ambitious goal of achieving five per cent R&D investment annually by 2030, nearly double the national target. This investment aims to provide a gross GVA benefit of £41.7billion and create 44,000 new jobs by 2030.
Liverpool is the dominant hub for technological innovation in the Liverpool City Region, hosting 69 per cent of all fintech firms. However, other parts of the region also contribute to the fintech landscape. The Wirral accounts for 12 per cent of the firms, while St. Helens has a seven per cent share. Additionally, Knowsley, Sefton and Halton collectively contribute five per cent to the overall ecosystem.
Launch of the report
The Liverpool City Region FinTech ECOSYSTEM REPORT 2023 launched at a FinTech North event in Liverpool on Wednesday, hosted at the Spine building in Paddington Village.
Commenting on the report, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, outlined his commitment to establishing the region as an attractive destination for business innovation and investment.
“As Mayor, 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. Our area is fortunate to already be home to a thriving fintech sector that is worth a nearly £220million 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.”
Chris Sier, chairman of FinTech North, also said: “FinTech North has been coming to Liverpool since 2018 and we have always been made to feel very welcome, as have the international delegations of fintech firms we have helped bring here. Liverpool is always a popular destination with these firms due to the city’s rich cultural heritage as well as its long standing interest in financial services and technology.
“I’m delighted to see such a positive story about the fintech sector in the Liverpool City Region at a time when the importance of regional fintech ecosystems across the UK is high on the agenda than ever before.”
Potential for growth
One in four fintechs operates in wealthech, the report reveals, and Liverpool’s position as a major wealth management hub has attracted renowned international financial brands such as Investec to establish a presence in the region.
The city has also witnessed the rise of local investment platform CIRCA5000 (formerly known as tickr), which has raised over £12million in funding and become a nationally recognised brand in the fintech sector.
However, there is an untapped potential for enhanced collaboration between fintech and financial services, according to the report, while there is still a skills gap in the digital sector in Liverpool City Region.
This is echoed by Matt Latham, co-founder at CIRCA5000, who commented: “I’m pleasantly surprised by the size of the fintech sector in the region that this report has identified. I do think that whilst there may be an increasingly significant number of fintech firms here, we are lacking in a recognised fintech community and developing this would be helpful to fintech entrepreneurs looking to get traction in the region.”
The report recommends an increase promotion of Liverpool as a wealthtech hub to attract more businesses in this sector into the region, and an increased engagement with national initiatives such as CFIT Coalitions, the new FinTech Network and UKFAN Network. It also encourages more fintech-related events to take place in the region and for an increased awareness and understanding of employer requirements in research of fintech-related skills requirements.
Next stop: Newcastle
Next week sees the FinTech North annual Newcastle Conference 2023 with speakers from firms including Atom Bank, Kani Payments, Invest Newcastle, Mastercard and Innovate Finance.
A new regional initiative, known as ‘FinPact’ will also launch at the conference, aimed at accelerating the sector’s growth in the North East and help it reach economic impact targets earlier. A recent report highlighted that fintech should be contributing £430million to the North East’s economy by 2025.