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FCA boss visits ‘dynamic’ fintech hub in Northern Ireland

FCA Northern Ireland
Image credit: Alexey Fedorenko via Shutterstock

The chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has met with leaders in the Northern Ireland fintech community to discuss the region’s strengths and opportunities.

Nikhil Rathi, who was appointed as the CEO of the UK financial regulator in 2020, met with regional fintech companies at the event hosted by the financial service consultancy firm Fscom.

“There is a dynamic ecosystem of financial institutions and fintech firms in Northern Ireland, with vast expertise,” Rathi said.

“The opportunity to hear directly from the firms and gain insights into the strengths and priorities of the sector is invaluable.”

The watchdog boss highlighted Northern Ireland as a key area for UK fintech growth. Despite being less represented than hubs like London, the region’s fintech sector generated around £392m in annual gross value added (GVA).

“As the financial and regulatory space grows, the FCA continues to be a vital institution that is heavily relied upon both to ensure financial markets function well and to give founders and CEOs a clear understanding of how their business can grow and expand while remaining compliant,” said Fscom director Alison Donnelly.

“As a governance, risk, and compliance consultancy, we are encouraged to see this level of engagement from the FCA and have no doubt today’s session will bolster Northern Ireland’s fintech sector once more.”

A recent example of the region’s fintech success is Polyloop, a Belfast-based spending management platform that raised £1.2m in early-stage funding this month.