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Hargreaves Lansdowne building

Bristol & Bath host the UK’s largest digital cluster and highest density of FinTech start-ups and scaleups outside of London.

We're home to a thriving FinTech ecosystem, with 93 regional FinTech businesses which contribute £398.7 million to the UK economy (Source: Bristol & Bath, SW FinTech Ecosystem Report 2023). Our region is highly collaborative - R&D, academia, industry and the public sector work together across multiple sectors, an approach which has also made us the home to the UK’s most productive tech cluster. We are one of the UK’s ten leading FinTech clusters identified by the Government’s recently published strategic review of UK FinTech (the Kalifa Review).

Ethical finance has a growing presence within the sector, with homegrown successes such as LOQBOX, Seccl and Tumelo. London-based businesses such as Clearbank and Curve are also expanding into the region.

67% of the UK’s fastest growing FinTechs consider talent to be a high priority, and there is a rich pool of FinTech talent in Bristol & Bath, supported by world class universities and an existing workforce of around 61,000 people employed by the financial services and FinTech sectors. The University of the West of England (UWE) offers a FinTech MSc, developed in consultation with the regional FinTech community, while 28,195 students across the four regional universities were enrolled in either Mathematical Science, Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, or Business Studies undergraduate courses in 2020/21 (HESA).

Our region is rapidly growing

£ 102 bn Home to Hargreaves Lansdown, a FTSE 100-listed FinTech company with £102bn of assets
£ 7.9 bn Bristol’s tech businesses had a combined turnover of £7.9bn in 2019
$ 500 m Key for Venture Capital investment, with $500m invested in 2019

Our FinTech sector is growing rapidly

  • In 2019, the UK’s FinTech sector represented £11 billion in revenue. This now equates to 8% of the country’s total financial services output.
  • Bristol’s tech businesses had a combined turnover of £7.9 billion in the same year.
  • FinTech continues to thrive amidst the acceleration in digitisation over the last two years, and 2021 has been a strong year for FinTech investment with Innovate Finance reporting that the venture capital funding in the first half of this year ($5.7bn) had already surpassed the total for the whole of 2020.
  • The West of England’s financial activities’ exports between 2016 and 2018 were worth over £1.4 million. This is the highest total recorded value of any sector’s export during this period. (Source: Verdict, Bristol 24/7)
  • Our region is nationally-renowned as a location where tech thrives, as shown by Bristol’s own dedicated FinTech accelerator - the NatWest FinTech Accelerator. Launching soon will also be the new 'FinTech West Accelerator' powered by SETsquared Bristol. More than 70% of the 500+ companies that have completed the SETsquared accelerator programme come from our region. (Source: Bristol & Bath, SW FinTech Ecosystem Report 2023).

We’re really positive about the region, and it has the benefit of being close to London. People seem to have time for you here whereas in London you feel like a tiny fish in a big pond.

Georgia Stewart, Co-Founder, Tumelo (Source: Bristol & Bath FinTech Ecosystem Report 2019-2020)

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