Leeds flourishing financial and professional services sector takes centre stage at city event
Leeds City Council has embarked on a programme of events in partnership with the creators of FinTech North, to showcase and enhance the city’s burgeoning financial and professional services sector.
The first of the FinTech North-branded events was held at the new Platform building in the city centre and featured speakers and panelists who discussed a variety of topics including; artificial intelligence, connectivity, infrastructure, talent and cryptocurrencies. Platform is a new flagship development by Bruntwood, and includes a much-anticipated Tech Hub that was recently awarded £2m of council funding towards the project.
FinTech North was created in 2016 via a collaboration between Leeds-based Whitecap Consulting and rebuildingsociety.com. It has hosted an annual conference for the last two years as part of the Leeds Digital Festival.
Over 100 FinTech enthusiasts from Leeds and the wider region attended the event, which was opened by Leeds City Council deputy leader Councillor James Lewis.
Cllr James Lewis, deputy leader and Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources and Strategy, said:
“Leeds City Council are very pleased to be supporting the Fintech ecosystem in the region. The Financial and Professional Services sector employs 93,000 people in Leeds – 21.2% of all Leeds workers and we are the UK’s largest centre for financial and business services outside London with over 30 national and international banks having a base in the city. We have set out the potential for Leeds to be a major centre of excellence for fintech, and we will continue to explore the application of new technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning in the sector.
“A continuing series of events with Fintech North will enhance the council’s engagement with the fintech community, and also help raise the Leeds profile, attracting further investment and talent to the region. The Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy outlines our vision for everyone to benefit from the economy, and we will continue to offer support to our firms and communities.”
Julian Wells of Whitecap Consulting, one of the organisers of FinTech North, said:
“We’re delighted to have the support of Leeds City Council to help put FinTech firmly at the heart of the northern digital economy – particularly the Leeds City Region – making it attractive to UK and international organisations. We are looking forward to playing our part in increasing the profile, capability and economic value of FinTech in the region.”
Dan Rajkumar, founder and managing director of two Leeds-based Fintech firms, rebuildingsociety.com and White Label Crowdfunding, added:
“We’ve seen the FinTech sector in the region go from strength to strength over recent years and there is no doubt Leeds is now seen as a key FinTech and digital leader outside London both for infrastructure and talent.”
Stuart Clarke of Media Yorkshire & organiser of Leeds Digital Festival was one of the panelists, and said:
“Leeds is a really collaborative city and we should be proud of that, it’s great to see us building momentum via events like this.”
More information about FinTech North can be found at: www.fintechnorth.uk
www.leedsgrowthstrategy.com – The Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy website
Speakers and panellists included:
- Councillor James Lewis – Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources and Strategy, Leeds City Council and Chair of Leeds Digital Board.
- Gregoire Michel – Senior Program Manager – Fintech and Insurtech at Tech City UK
- Jeremy Coupland – Specialist, Financial Services, Department for International Trade.
- Julian Wells – Director, Whitecap Consulting.
- Dan Rajkumar – Managing Director, rebuildingsociety.com & White Label Crowdfunding.
- Sarah Tulip – Chief Operating Officer, aql.
- Richard Carter – Managing Director, Equiniti Credit Services.
- Paul Berwin – Senior Partner & Director, Berwin’s Solicitors.
- Stuart Clarke – Director, Media Yorkshire & organiser, Leeds Digital Festival.