We talk to Greg Cox, CEO of Quint Group, a disruptive Fintech company based in Macclesfield about how the industry in the UK is growing and why it’s such an exciting time to work in Fintech.
But firstly, what exactly do we mean by ‘Fintech’? In short, it’s financial technology, the industry which is innovating how we manage our financial services; from online banking to credit comparisons through to transferring money abroad. Companies such as TransferWise, CurrencyCloud and Zopa are becoming household names, and there are plenty more to come.
In this ‘uber-age’, the user is king. Companies and products which don’t offer an easy customer experience, or good value for money can be easily usurped by new and better products, and there is no place where this is more relevant than in finance.
In 2015 George Osborne announced that he wanted the UK to become a ‘Global Centre for Fintech’, and already it is being hailed as such. In a recent government report, it’s estimated that the size of the UK Fintech market is £6.6bn, investment is at £524m and number of employees is around 61,000. Along with San Francisco and New York, the UK is really leading the way.
The UK’s customer base is sophisticated, which is essential for a successful Fintech market. Greg points out that “50% of people now get their loans online, and this figure is only going to grow. At Quint, we design our Products and services with a mobile first approach – people want access to their finances and products on their mobile. The mind-set of data sharing has changed, people are happy to conduct their finances on their mobiles and via apps, rather than in person or even on a PC/laptop.”
The growth of Fintech
The customer and commercial uptake of Fintech has propelled the growth of the industry. This growth has been reflected by Quint’s performance, who are currently at record profit levels, with their revenues growing by a massive 80% last year. Greg confirms that they are forecasting a turnover of £98m by 2019 and £84m in the current financial year.
The consumers are buying-in, the investors are buying-in and the government is not only investing heavily, but they’ve made this industry a priority-growth area. In fact just last month, the Treasury announced a new ‘Fintech Bridge’, which looks to attract more investment into the market from Asia and Singapore as well as giving the UK access to the Asian market.
As well as the new Bridge and increased funding, the Government has made a number of other steps to support Fintech including favourable regulations to safeguard its future. Harriett Baldwin of the Treasury has said “The Government wants to ensure that the UK continues to be the best place in the world to be a Fintech company.”
Greg attributes the government interest and investment in the industry as Fintech is so “relevant”. The size of the financial services market is huge, and the opportunity to support existing banks and services with Fintech as well as creating new products for the consumer is almost bottomless.
Working in Fintech & Fintech Recruitment
The Government has estimated that by 2020 there will be 100,000 employed within a Fintech company in the UK. So what positions are available in Fintech? From CEOs to developers to customer service agents – the Fintech industry is wide-ranging and there are not only a variety of jobs, but there are lots of jobs.
Taking Quint as an example, now 100-people strong with satellite offices across the world, they are still looking to grow their business, this year concentrating on their Product department – hiring developers and managers as well as bolstering other departments.
And what should you expect working in a Fintech? A lot of the companies are start-ups, so expect a fun, fast-paced and product-driven environment. At Quint, they focus a lot on the company atmosphere and employees, they are deliberately transparent with company (including financial) performance and information, and have an active social calendar, as well as a ‘break-room’ to make most companies jealous.
As with most technology industries, there is a significant question mark around a talent shortage – especially within the technical roles. Many companies opt to base the technical arm of operations outside of the UK – for example Quint have a technical team based in China. Those in the UK with development and technical skills are in hot-demand within Fintech recruitment!
The future of Fintech
The UK’s special appointed envoy for Fintech, Eileen Burbidge has said: “For me, the great thing is that they’ve [the Government] recognised how much is going to come from the tech and digital sector. Finance is changing, as are so many other sectors. They want to increase competition in the banking sector, they want to support the tech sector to encourage more innovation and skill, [and] they want to make sure that regulation and taxation are in the right proportion.”
With government-backing, favourable regulations, a receptive user-base and a wealth of investors – the UK is set to continue to be the world-leader in Fintech. The career opportunities are wide-ranging, and skills from other industries are both desirable and transferable. It’s a new industry, it’s an exciting industry and it’s growing with no sign of slowing down.
Input from Greg Cox, the CO of Quint Group – a Fintech company formed in 2009, with a suite of brands and products, which include Credit Angel and UK Loans. They’re soon to launch Money Guru, dubbed as the UK’s most innovative and relevant Credit and Lending price comparison service.
Triple Seven have been Fintech Recruitment specialists for a number of years. If you’re looking to hire, or looking for opportunities to work in FinTech, get in touch with us.