The beauty of the UK being a kingdom of nations is the commercial diversity of opportunities it offers big and small companies alike. Step forward Wales – aiming to make Wales a global leader in the financial technology sector. As a globally-focused fintech agency, Full Reach has covered interesting (Fin)tech stories from Uganda to Stockholm and from Ghana to the Nordics, here’s what Wales has to say about Fintech:

FinTech Wales – the dragon gets its claws out

Wales has always had a proud history in industry and innovation. In the 1850’s it was the world’s second ever industrial nation and exported over half of the UK’s iron to the world. Picks and shovels have long since been replaced with 5G broadband and FinTech thanks in part to the new FinTech Wales organisation.

No alt text provided for this image

Wales has many unique advantages as a location for FinTech and we aim to build on this and make it the best place to setup or scale-up a FinTech company. We will now develop a programme of activities to support businesses and entrepreneurs who want to setup or operate in Wales.

Richard Theo – UK Government’s FinTech Envoy for Wales

Wales: Benefits of the UK, flexibility of a small nation

As part of the UK, Wales finds itself with immediate access to London, the #1 Fintech hub in the world – less than 1 hour by plane or 2+ hours by train. With 3 million people and its own parliament, Wales also gains from having flexibility to make its own decisions to boost investment and build its fintech economy. This allows entrepreneurs to have a dialogue with local government which is actively supporting the start-up scene. Credas is one such example – launched in 2017 offering ID verification using real-time facial recognition technology.

The FinTech scene in Wales is thriving thanks to a number of factors. In recent years, the Welsh government has collaborated well with FinTech businesses of all sizes and is actively working on creating an ecosystem that enables businesses to flourish and grow.

Rhys David – CEO, Credas

Welsh Start-ups – supported by an ecosystem with scale-ups

Many startups depend on the access to bigger existing scale-up business which can offer commercial opportunities, a pool of talent, and services that all companies can tap into. Admiral Group, with revenues of £1.3bn is the only Welsh company listed on the FTSE 100, and based in Cardiff -Wales’ capital. As owners of online portal Confused.com they are an example of the scale possible its possible to achieve in the country.

Wales has it all. Great career opportunities and great lifestyle. Confused.com benefits from a truly exceptional talent pool that is dedicated and loyal. Once you settle in Wales, you have no reason to leave. 

Louise O Shea – CEO, Confused.com

GoCompare is another online insurance and financial services company based in Newport and already enjoys a market capitalisation of around £350m. In addition to Go Compare, the holding company (GoCo Group) has also developed other spin-offs such as weflip, MyVoucherCodes and Energylinx. Despite being only a teenager – founded in the 2000’s, it has grown into a mature business and retained its Welsh HQ location.

No alt text provided for this image

GoCompare launched in 2006 as a disruptive fintech start-up and since then has transformed into a nationally recognised brand. Founded  in Newport,  the business has benefited from good transport links, sound infrastructure and lower operating costs than you might get in a bigger city, and certainly than in London. The talent pool is fit for purpose and we’ve also been able to pull in people from Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, London and other areas throughout south Wales, south west England and the whole UK.

Jackson Hull – CTO/COO at GoCo Group plc

Land of our start-ups – looking for more!

FinTech Wales will act as a global voice and advocate for fintech, introducing the benefits to fintech entrepreneurs and innovators of establishing a business in Wales, as well as nurturing and supporting those companies already in the country.

No alt text provided for this image

Companies such as Wealthify are building a brand recognised across the UK thanks to its first ever national campaigns. CEO and Wales FinTech advocate Richard Theo is keen to widen the community of like minded businesses in Wales.

FinTech Wales is a new, not-for-profit independent membership organisation set up to champion the FinTech and Financial Services industry in Wales. A full launch, introducing each panel member and FinTech Wales’ strategy plans, is expected in the summer of 2019.

No alt text provided for this image

If you would like to be involved in FinTech Wales contact them via their web site www.fintechwales.org