New technologies are transforming the way we live our lives and do business across the world. FinTech integrates finance with technology in ways that are changing the emerging digital economy. New regulations, changing customer expectations, and rapid advances in technology increasingly put pressure on financial services companies to digitally transform and innovate. Innovation is taking place in all aspects of financial services and it impacts everything from money, payments, markets, marketplaces, and underlying infrastructure. I believe Fintech is one of the most exciting areas in today’s global business. The emergence of a new generation of financial technology has, in a short time, had a considerable impact on how we conduct business, transact, save, manage and borrow money, and how we view our financial future.
The UK has a world leading Financial Services sector which is one of the country’s most valuable economic assets. Scotland prides itself as the UK’s second largest financial services cluster, with more than 86,000 people employed in banking, asset management, asset servicing, insurance and pensions in the country. The largest proportion of that workforce is based in Edinburgh and the surrounding region. As the world changes, the innovation that FinTech brings will play a major role in the future success and sustainability of the Financial Services Sector in the region.
Development of joint initiatives between the industry and the academia, aimed at innovation collaborations and training the next generation of industry leaders, needs to be the priority for the future growth and continuous leadership of our FS and Fintech sectors. In an increasingly competitive global landscape, the Financial Services and Fintech sectors in the DDI region require us to nurture, mobilise and attract the highly qualified talent with ability to harness the power of data and AI, innovation skills, as well as knowledge of financial markets and economic interactions.
We also need to directly address the gap in capacity and capabilities that companies face to drive tomorrow’s innovations. It is often said that successful innovation in Fintech starts not with finance or technology, but with a problem which needs fixing. I fully embrace this approach, and work with a range of different partners to share the University of Edinburgh world-class research expertise, and help companies achieve their strategic goals and tackle business challenges. We can translate our cutting edge research, which continuously challenges the boundaries of knowledge, into support for industry through short and long term collaborative partnerships. We link many disciplines to provide our partners with the R & D base capable of facilitating innovation and creating new opportunities for partners.
New and innovative financial products and solutions are increasing efficiency, reducing cost of financial services, and improving financial inclusion. I am particularly passionate about exploring how data and technology can help improve customers’ financial wellbeing, tackle financial exclusion, advance climate risk management in financial services institutions, drive more sustainable investment of capital, and enable a progressive financial services sector that will serve the future.
Financial technology has, in a short time, had a considerable impact on how we conduct business, transact, save, manage and borrow money, and how we view our financial future