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FinTech focus for Wales at TheCityUK National Conference in Cardiff

Dr Richard Theo, exiting CEO and Co-founder

TheCityUK National Conference 2019, in partnership with PwC, is an opportunity for delegates to join senior policymakers, practitioners and academics to discuss critical issues and growth opportunities for financial and professional services across the UK.

The conference theme is ‘Making an Impact’, with keynote speeches focusing on how the financial and related professional services industry supports people and businesses across the UK.

Event headliners include The Rt Hon the Lord Heseltine CH, Richard Theo, UK Government FinTech Envoy for Wales, and Chief Executive Officer for Wealthify, Economy Minister Ken Skates AM and the Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales.

Wales has become something of a FinTech powerhouse, giving rise to the creation of industry champion FinTech Wales, with a number of big name players and small, agile businesses boosting regional economic growth and benefitting from access to the country’s skills and involvement with world-class educational institutions.

Richard Theo launched FinTech Wales with the support of Welsh Government in April this year. He said: “The Welsh FinTech sector is flourishing, so it’s fitting that we welcome TheCityUK to Cardiff in November to examine the issues and explore the opportunities in the UK financial and professional services sector.”

FinTech Wales hosted its first event on October 7, bringing together the FinTech and Financial Services communities from across Wales to share the organisation’s future plans and vision.

Welsh Government and FinTech Wales will also exhibit at FinTech Connect in London in December, alongside six Welsh companies:- Comparison Creator; Confused.com; Credas; DevOpsGroup; Vizolution and W2 Global Data. The companies will be given the opportunity to deliver a sales pitch at the event with a special ‘Wales Hour’ planned for 2pm on December 3.

Earlier this year challenger bank Monzo announced they will create over 300 jobs over the next four years in the heart of the Welsh capital, the first challenger bank to nearshore to Wales from London, following a pattern that has been developing for years, with Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC all having a significant presence in south Wales.

Wales is already world leading for its financial aggregator site technology. Three of the most prominent UK fintech companies – GoCompare, Confused.com, part of the Admiral Group, and MoneySupermarket.com are indigenous companies headquartered in Wales, and up and coming FinTech scale-ups, such as Wealthify, Amplyfi and Vizolution are enjoying rapid growth. FinTech businesses here are investing heavily in R&D – a positive sign of their confidence and opportunities in the sector.

The Welsh Government supports and encourages entrepreneurs including through its Business Wales service, and there is an ongoing stream of talent graduating from the region’s universities, who are heavily involved in innovation and industry collaboration. Cardiff has its own internet exchange, with the second highest number of customers connected outside of London.  Europe’s largest data centre, Next Generation Data, is also based in the region. The most promising fintech companies can apply to accelerator programmes, such as Tramshed Tech, Barclays Eagle Lab and NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator in Cardiff.