Leeds Gets New Fintech Hub Supported by HM Government

Leeds is the beneficiary of a new government-supported Fintech hub that will formally launch today. The Centre for Finance, Innovation, and Technology (CFIT) is described as the first of its kind, backed by £5.5 million of Treasury and City of London Corporation funding.

Fintech is a key sector of finance. The UK has long been known as a global financial services hub. To maintain relevance, UK policymakers have sought to support innovative financial services firms. Today that means around 2,500 Fintechs, tens of thousands of jobs, and a market that is second globally only to the US for Fintech investment.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, commented on the launch noting that the UK is a world-leading location for Fintech growth, calling it a real British success story.

“Today’s launch of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology doubles down on this, boosting prosperity and investment in exciting cities for growth and innovation such as Leeds. It’s also great to see the UK Infrastructure Bank delivering on its mission to invest in the clean energy revolution and on much needed infrastructure – using its £22 billion of taxpayers’ money to help communities across the UK.”

Well-known Fintech advocate Charlotte Crosswell OBE, Chair of CFIT, stated:

“The launch of CFIT today represents a significant moment for the UK’s fintech sector and our economy more widely. This organisation will enable us to come together as a sector to start breaking down barriers that the fintech sector is facing while creating a clear path for our homegrown fintech companies to achieve global scale, impact and success. Today’s announcement marks an important first step in our work supporting the growth and development of the UK fintech sector by empowering its talented innovators and trailblazers in every corner of the country.

Ron Kalifa, Chairman of Network International and author of the Kalifa Review of UK Fintech, noted that CFIT is one of the key recommendations of his review. He said he has no doubt it will help the UK Fintech sector become more competitive.

CFIT is expected to announce the establishment of financial innovation hubs with comprehensive reach across the UK’s nations and regions.

Nick Murray-Leslie, Director at Chatsworth – a communications firm that has worked with many Fintechs, shared his thoughts on the news, stating it was a step in the right direction.

“We must level up our regions fast and support the development of talent and enterprise but stop treating them as some sort of after-thought. London does not have a monopoly on talent and it is excellent to see some focus on the other great cities around the UK. There is a perfect storm in London of high living and accommodation costs which increasingly means we need to support and tap into talent outside of the mothership. The capital has been an unhealthy pre-occupation for professional services for decades. It is not sustainable. Encouraging the development of other cities is an absolute win-win for employers and employees and the UK as a whole will benefit.”

Murray-Leslie added it was alarming it has taken so long to get things moving.

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