Greater Birmingham targets key US market for fintech investment

Inward investment agency Business Birmingham is attending global conference FinovateFall (11-14 September, New York) to secure more foreign direct investment (FDI) into Greater Birmingham’s growing fintech and cyber security sectors. It is the only UK destination officially partnering with the prestigious event.

Greater Birmingham secures more FDI from the USA than any other overseas market. The USA was responsible for nearly a quarter (23%) of all FDI projects into Greater Birmingham during 2016/17. This is significantly higher than the second highest market, Germany, which generated 10% of all projects.

The development of Greater Birmingham’s financial services industry has led to rapid expansion of the cyber security and financial technology sectors. It has one of the UK’s largest financial services hubs, with a range of global financial firms locating and expanding in the area – including Deutsche Bank, KPMG, PwC and HSBC, which is setting up its ring-fenced UK banking headquarters in Birmingham, bringing 1,000 roles to the city. Financial services in the wider West Midlands region is expected to grow by 23% by 2025, making it one of the UK’s fastest-growing financial services centres, according to research by TheCityUK and PwC’s Strategy&.

The scale and growth of Greater Birmingham’s financial services supply chain has created a wide network of potential customers that fintech and cyber security firms are now targeting. B2B technology firms now comprise some 80% of the wider tech sector in the West Midlands, with 11,000 firms based in the region, according to the Regional Observatory’s Tech & Digital Deep Dive Report. The report also identified that Birmingham is the UK’s premier tech and digital centre outside of London, with just under 3,000 tech and digital firms in the city itself, an increase of 38% during the last five years.

Roy Meredith, Senior Business Development Manager at Business Birmingham, is attending FinovateFall and will have a stand at the event. He commented:

“Global demand for fintech, financial services technology and cyber security support is rapidly increasing, as businesses in a range of sectors realise the importance of protecting their finances, technology and data. For financial services firms in particular, ensuring that their systems are secure is absolutely critical to their performance. The rapid growth of financial services in Greater Birmingham is fuelling a surge in fintech and cyber security firms looking to move into the region, from innovative SMEs to global names.

“This is the ideal time for us to approach US tech firms and explain why Greater Birmingham is the smart choice for a UK or European base. The region offers a highly-skilled workforce, renowned universities, a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurial businesses, and is well connected to other global financial centres such as London, Frankfurt and New York.”

Business Birmingham is also targeting the USA, with a focus on New York and Atlanta, with a digital marketing campaign during the autumn.

Fintech companies that have recently invested in the area include Lombard Risk Management plc, which recently opened a new Technology Centre in the region, creating 140 new jobs. US software provider Advanced launched its new Midlands headquarters in April 2016, creating 400 roles over 18 months. A range of cutting-edge SMEs in cyber security, fintech and financial services technology are also growing their presence in Greater Birmingham – such as Falanx Cyber Defence, Synapse and Oxygen Finance.

FinovateFall showcases the most important new financial and banking technology. The event will attract over 1,600 delegates – including senior financial and banking executives, venture capitalists, industry analysts, the media, regulators and entrepreneurs – who will see more than 70 companies launch new products and technology.

Business Birmingham’s activity at FinovateFall is supported by the ERDF Investing in Greater Birmingham programme, which aims to support and attract foreign direct investment from SMEs to Greater Birmingham.

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