Each week, we take a look at the latest news coming out of the UK fintech scene. This week, London ranks fourth globally for investment raised in 2021 and 3 in 10 women think they could be losing money as they don’t understand financial “lingo”.
Two-thirds of UK adults say rising cost of living has impacted their ability to save money
A survey by Accenture of over 2,000 UK adults found that two-thirds (66%) said the rising cost of living has impacted their ability to save money.
The findings highlight the challenges when it comes to saving and the gap in advice available for those who want to save. Over 1 in 4 (30%) adults say they don’t save any money at all on a monthly basis. 18–24-year-olds were the least likely to save any proportion of their income, with less than half doing so (43%).
Laura O’Sullivan, Banking Strategy and Consulting Lead, Accenture UK and Ireland, said: “UK adults are faced with a uniquely challenging environment as we enter 2022, with the rising cost of living set to get worse, not better. These findings illustrate that although one in four have been able to save more since the pandemic began, an equal number are saving nothing at all each month.
“Regardless of their savings habits, the cost-of-living crisis will make it harder for people of all ages to save money, with young people feeling the impact most acutely. The impetus is now on the financial services sector to help build financial confidence and develop products and habits to empower the next generation of savers.”
Wise named a top 20 ‘best place to work’ in 2022 by Glassdoor
Wise, the global technology company building the best way to move money around the world, has been awarded the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognising the UK’s Best Places to Work in 2022.
The Employees’ Choice Award, now in its 14th year, is based solely on the input of employees, who provide anonymous feedback about their job, work environment and employer on Glassdoor. Wise ranks 20 out of 50 on Glassdoor’s list with an overall company rating of 4.4.
Hayley Bucur, Senior People Team Leader at Wise commented: At Wise, we strive to do the right thing by everyone involved in achieving our mission. It’s not an easy job to save our 11 million customers £1bn a year, and it’s the actions of each and every person here that make it possible.
“Our people have had plenty to do over the last year, including a rebrand, a listing, and the pandemic to deal with, so to know our Wisers enjoy working here is such a huge compliment to the business. It just goes to prove that we’re able to do great things, and take good care of each other at the same time.”
London ranks fourth globally for investment raised in 2021
A report published by London & Partners and Dealroom found that the United Kingdom was ranked fourth behind the United States, China, and India in venture capital investment over the past year.
The report also found that London startup investment reached an all-time high in 2021 of $25.5B, growing 2.3x year on year.
Tom Henriksson, General Partner at OpenOcean, said: “London’s raising of $25.5bn in funding over the past year is indicative of how quickly the United Kingdom, and Europe, are becoming eminent players within global technology. London is now a magnet for investment as it currently holds a total number of 75 “unicorns”. Its strong foundations and diverse mix of talents ensure that investment will continue to pour in at a rapid scale.”
“While fintech accounts for nearly half of the investment that London saw over the past year, enterprise technology is quickly becoming a worthy contender as the pandemic continues to ensure that remote working is here to stay. It is an exciting time for investment in technology and that is going to continue into 2022.”
3 in 10 women think they could be losing money as they don’t understand financial “lingo”
More than a quarter (27%) of UK adults think they could be losing money due to lack of, or insufficient, understanding of financial terminology, according to recent research from Aviva. The insurer also found that women (30%) are more likely to think financial lingo could be losing them money than men (23%).
Compared to men (£449), women were found to be saving almost 40% less money (£272) and were also more likely not to save any money on a monthly basis. 1 in 6 (17%) male respondents said they don’t save any money, whereas nearly 1 in 4 (24%) women said the same.
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, comments: “There is a close relationship between financial confidence and financial reward. The financial services industry has a responsibility to ensure that information is communicated in a clear and consistent manner. Our clarity and consistency will feed our customers’ confidence. Aviva has a host of valuable tools and information available on our website to help customers to do just that, including an explanation of the most frequently used financial terms and expressions. Aviva is committed to building on this support, for all our customers.”
Nearly one in five do not know card spending abroad comes with extra charges
Nearly one in three holidaymakers have felt ripped off when using credit or debit cards for spending abroad, new research from UK-based banking, crypto, FX and investment app Ziglu shows.
Its study found 31% of adults felt they were overcharged when using plastic overseas while 3.3 million say they have come home to find ‘substantial’ unexpected extra charges for using their credit or debit cards abroad.
Ziglu’s research found one in seven (14%) admit they do not shop around for the best deals on foreign exchange before going overseas. That more than doubles to 29% who do not shop around for the best deals when changing money overseas.
WealthKernel raises $7m Series A+ to expand into European markets
WealthKernel, a provider of digital investment services and infrastructure, has announced a Series A+ funding round, securing a further investment of $7m. Already one of the leading embedded investing providers in the UK, WealthKernel will use the additional investment to support its integration of intraday trading and the expansion of its services into European markets.
The investment comes as younger and other non-traditional investment audiences have become more engaged with managing their finances and growing their wealth, causing a significant surge in the popularity of trading and wealth management apps. According to a study by App Radar, this now sees 6.4m people – approximately 12% of the UK adult population– using at least one investment app to manage their finances.
Karan Shanmugarajah, CEO, WealthKernel, says: “I’m incredibly excited to take this next step in WealthKernel’s journey. Our investors’ backing will not only help us bring our product to a wider audience and expand our platform, but also achieve our goal of becoming the leading provider of API-based wealth and investment infrastructure across Europe.”