Skip to main content

The UK FinTech Landscape

As part of the Kalifa Review, Deloitte produced a grassroots analysis of theUK FinTech landscape: where FinTechs are located and their growth patterns; the local strengths and specialisms; the driving forces behind them; and why some areas are better at producing more high growth FinTechs than others.

Wherever you find entrepreneurial minds, financial expertise, investment capital, technology skills, engaged regulators and proactive policymakers, you’ll find FinTech. Here in the UK, we have a fantastic combination of all these things and, as a result, we are a global leader in the future of financial services.

To find out more on our role in the Kalifa Review of UK FinTech, please visit our main site:

FInd out more

Our key takeaways from the National Connectivity Chapter have been:



A third of all FinTechs are outside London – we have a success story that spans the UK

16% vs 1.3%

FinTech is an engine for growth - annualised growth rate of 16% vs 1.3% annualised SME growth over the past 10 years


With London as the ‘superhub’ of Fintech activity, we also see nine additional high-growth FinTech clusters racing to catch up


The UK continues to create global category-defining FinTechs and has strengths across the board, particularly in WealthTech and payments

£2.4 - £3bn

FinTech connectivity can drive levelling up and equalling out, with the potential to drive GVA uplift of £2.4-£3bn and create more than 50,000 jobs in the next three years

The Growth Story


London has been a key driver in the UK’s FinTech success story. As the second highest ranking FinTech ecosystem globally1, it has the world’s highest concentration of financial and professional services firms. It’s also attractive to investors: in 2020 $4.1 bn, 94% of the UK’s FinTech venture capital, came to the city2.

But the headlines surrounding the success of the London FinTech ecosystem can overshadow the wider UK FinTech story. Across the UK, from Belfast to Durham, Edinburgh to Cardiff, and Bristol to Birmingham, there is a significant amount of FinTech activity.

Our research has shown that there are c2,500 FinTechs in the UK. Growthof UK FinTechs accelerated between 2011-2016 where the number of FinTechs increased up to 21% year on year, and although there are signs of this slowing in recent years, there is still plenty of activity throughout the country. And it’s happening faster in the high growth clusters.

1 Findeable Global FinTech Ecosystem City Rankings:

2 Innovate Finance, 2020 FinTech VC Investment Data

What are the UK FinTech specialisms?


The UK’s c2,500 FinTechs are made up of 23 different specialisms, which aggregate up into 8 broad categories – banking, RegTech, InsurTech, lending, payments, WealthTech, quote aggregators and accounting, auditing and cashflow management.

The UK overall has clear strengths in WealthTech (including PFM and cryptocurrencies) and payment technology, accounting for more than 50% of all UK FinTechs. The WealthTech specialism is driven primarily from London, where 77% of WealthTech businesses are based, alongside a strong cluster in Scotland. Payments businesses make up 17% of UK FinTechs and around half are clustered in London with a strong presence in the Pennines cluster and Scotland.

Tap the 8 broader FinTech categories below to find out what they mean. It’s worthwhile noting that some FinTechs span more than one category based on business activity, for example Revolut is in both banking and WealthTech. 

Banking - 13%

Core banking products including personal current accounts, savings and mortgages. This category also includes banking platforms and operations FinTechs such as Railsbank and challenger banks such as Atom.

Subcategories include:

  • Banking Personal Current Accounts (PCA)
  • Banking Platforms
  • Banking Operations

RegTech - 10%


This FinTech category focuses on companies with activities and technology focused on reimagining and streamlining risk (AML, KYC), credit scoring and compliance software.

InsurTech - 6%

InsurTech includes companies selling insurance digitally or introducing new business models or (re)insurance specific software.

Subcategories include:

  • InsurTech – Commercial
  • InsurTech - Personal
  • Insurance Platforms and operations

Lending - 13%

Companies focused on innovating credit, from commercial to alternative and specialist lenders or platforms facilitating P2P.

Subcategories include:

  • Consumer Lending
  • Commercial Lending
  • P2P Lending

Business Banking - 8%

This category is primarily focused on supporting SME businesses with their accounting, finances, payroll, invoice and expense management needs, for example Xero.

Payments - 19%

Businesses that provide underlying money transfer, remittance and foreign exchange services, from payments initiation (e.g. to EPOS systems (e.g. SumUp).

Subcategories include:

  • Payments
  • Foreign Exchange
  • EPOS

Quote Aggregators - 4%

Companies providing online comparison engines for consumer quotes, originally for insurance but this has now extended into wider financial services such as mortgages.

WealthTech - 37%

The largest category, covering investment and management platforms, sales and trading analysis tools, personal finance management & crypto exchanges.

Subcategories include:

  • Personal Finance Management (PFM)
  • Investment Data and Information Services
  • Trading and Investment Platforms
  • WealthTech Operations
  • Distributed Ledger Technologies & Cryptocurrencies
  • Robo Advisors

Growth in Specialisms


When looking at how the different specialisms - or types of FinTech - grew over time, it is evident that the majority have grown at a similar rate sincethe year 2000, but with Lending as the exception. We examine the notable movements below.

Lending has achieved double digit growth for most of the past 20 years. Starting with Payday Loans and consumer lending (P2P) such as Amigo Loans and then moving latterly into SME lending such as B-North. Many lenders founded in the early 2010s, such as Iwoca, Funding Circle & Market Finance are notable players in the industry today.

One of the drivers for growth within the banking category included the PRA’s process support for new banking licence applications. In 2010, the first entirely new banking licence in over 100 years was issued to Metro Bank. Then in 2014, the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) set up a start-up unit to help aspiring banks navigate the process of gaining a licence: opening the door for the age of neobank innovation in the mid-2010s, which we see in our data.

Another key driver was the PSD2 legislation launched in 2016, which helped facilitate innovation in open banking, leading to new offerings in banking, WealthTech and payments, including innovative products in personal finance management such as Moneybox whilst enhancing the offerings of challenger banks.

The 2010s have been particularly good for WealthTech, maintaining close to 20% growth year on year for a decade. Within the WealthTech categorylies crypotocurrency and trading and investment platforms, making it our largest specialism, where there is an increasing shift to Business to Business (B2B) products such as OpenGamma.

Conversely, we see that business banking - mainly invoice and cashflow management - has had a lower growth rate than the rest of the specialisms in recent years, a potential sign that this market has become more saturated. 

FinTech Clusters and their distinguishing specialisms


We have identified 25 clusters of FinTech activity across the UK. As you would expect, they are at various stages of growth and development with different focus areas and specialisms. Of the 25, there are 10 notable high growth clusters with the most potential to grow and develop as globally recognised FinTech clusters, some of which have already emerged with leading specialisms as illustrated below.

Interestingly, we can see how a cluster’s history contributes to its specialism blend. This is clearly apparent in Reading, home to the Microsoft, Vodaphone and Huawei UK headquarters, as well as a long-standing presence of outsourcing finance operations and data centres. It hardly surprising that the FinTech specialisms there are centred around the simplification of SME business operations. 

Understanding the clusters


London is one of the top three FinTech hubs in the world and approximately two-thirds of all UK FinTechs are headquartered there.As a super hub, London’s success is catching. It has helped establish and support a halo of FinTech activity around Greater London, the South and the South East of England, in areas such as Milton Keynes, Oxford, Brighton, Southampton and Bournemouth. A number of these areas are developing into emerging clusters, such as Reading and Cambridge. With regards to specialisms, it is strong across the board, especially in Banking, Payments & WealthTech.

The Pennines includes Manchester and Leeds. To date, this cluster may not have received the recognition its scale and activity deserves. This cluster, with over 135 FinTechs, has the highest count of FinTech companies outside of London, with 7% of scaleup FinTechs nationally being headquartered here. Specialisms include Lending, Payments & RegTech.

Scotland, predominantly the Edinburgh – Glasgow corridor, is another example of an established cluster that is better known nationally and internationally and it hosts the third largest volume of FinTechs within the UK. It has strong roots in financial services with many large financial institutions such as The NatWest Group and Aberdeen Standard Life choosing Scotland as its HQ. Edinburgh University, as a world leader in AI, supplies a rich pipeline of data skills and talent. The focus of specialisms issimilar to London, with a large focus on WealthTech and payments.

Birmingham also qualifies as an established cluster with a significant financial services presence, one example being HSBC’s recent relocation of its UK Retail Banking Head Office from London. However, given Birmingham’s size and status as the UK’s second city, together with the many potential ecosystem contributors, there is a sense that there is a lot more yet to emerge from this cluster. Birmingham’s specialisms include lending, layments & banking.

There are six additional emerging clusters across the UK which, though smaller than their established counterparts, show exciting potential to grow or are already featuring a specialist FinTech focus. These are Bristol & Bath, Cambridge, Newcastle & Durham, Northern Ireland, Reading & West of London, and Wales. 

The importance of data

Now we can clearly see the UK FinTech landscape, with its exciting potential for growth in innovation and scale-ups. This rich data-driven insight will equip the UK to drive forward the Kalifa Review recommendations and provide liquidity of information that can benefit all. The focus on, and nurturing of, the UK’s high growth clusters and FinTech assets will support local and national economic recovery and be a driver for levelling up.

To find out more on the Kalifa Review of UK FinTech, please visit our main site:  Find out more

The data that Deloitte has collected is amazing.. and should form the basis for any future structuring of the large UK-wide opportunities for FinTech, and the intervention and support of public and private-sector alike.

Dr Chris Sier, Chaired the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s panel, Chapter Member, Chairman of ClearGlass

Key findings and more coming soon..

Our national connectivity key findings and recommendations have been followed up with a series of blogs and articles

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey