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Financial services and fintech

Discover how Scotland, the UK’s largest financial centre outside of London, can help you grow your financial services company.

Did you know?

Scotland is one of the most accessible, well-connected and collaborative financial services hubs in Europe.

  • Significant lower costs

    For property and salary compared to London

  • 9.2% of Gross Value Added (GVA)

    Financial Services is the biggest sectoral contributor to Scotland’s economy

  • Around 135,000 employed

    In financial and professional services in Scotland

Sources: FDI Benchmark, Scottish Financial Enterprise and NOMIS 2021 

  • One of Europe's leading financial centres

    Scotland’s financial services community is made up of over 2,000 financial service businesses, both local and international.

    A combination of innovation, talent and technology expertise has already attracted global names to Scotland and continues to fuel the growth of both our financial services sector and globally recognised fintech cluster.

    With leading experts across a wide range of fields from data to blockchain, a highly skilled workforce and a truly supportive business environment, Scotland has all the resources to aid the growth of your financial business.

Why Scotland is a good fit for your financial services business

Join a community with innovation at its heart

Scotland's strength lies in its international reputation for innovation in financial services. Smart, profitable ideas flow from the broad mix of multinational firms based here, and from the diverse technology community that supports them.

Scotland's tech community is a hotbed of innovation, producing great ideas and solutions that can benefit your company. There’s never been a better time to find out how your business can benefit from its innovative spirit.

Read about Scotland's software and IT capability 

Access the skills and talent you need

As well as some of the most business-friendly labour market regulations in Europe, Scotland also has a huge pool of talented employees already working in the market, including EU and global professionals with additional language skills. And with more than 9900 students currently studying finance and accounting, and over 101,000 students studying related fields like business and management, computing, engineering and technology, law, and mathematical sciences, this talent pool is always growing.

Scotland has some of the best universities and tech workforce in the world, with expertise across data, cyber security, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, blockchain, machine learning, quantum, gaming and 5G/6G technology.

Digital skills support for businesses locating to Scotland

Benefit from ongoing support

With over 300 years of expertise in financial services, we know how to help businesses succeed. Our five-year plan for the financial services sector provides a strong set of initiatives to strengthen our industry. We can help you access funding, connect you to our global network of specialist advisers and offer business development advice.

Most of the world’s large professional services firms have offices in Scotland and you can access Scottish, UK and international law firms, offering financial sector expertise 'on the ground'.

Read more about Scotland's FDI performance  

More about how we can help 

  • Location opportunities

    You’ll be in good company in Scotland. Glasgow’s International Financial Services District (IFSD) is a highly attractive environment for local and overseas firms in finance and related sectors. As a pre-equipped business area, it is designed to allow fast-track occupancy by financial firms seeking a new UK location for their operations.

    Since its launch in 2001, IFSD has welcomed investments and diversified developments from companies such as J.P. Morgan, Esure and Morgan Stanley. And existing employers such as Barclays and BNP Paribas have expanded their operations substantially.

    More about Glasgow's International Financial Services District  opens in a new window  

Scotland's financial services expertise

With its origins dating back to the 19th century, Scotland is a renowned centre of excellence in investment management and servicing, and a major asset management hub within the UK and Europe:

  • Our Investment Management industry manages more than £700 billion
  • 6 of the 10 largest global asset servicing companies are operating in Scotland

Source: Investment Association Annual Survey 2021/22

Scotland’s banking services have been in demand since the 17th century. Today, around 39,000 people are employed in Scotland's banking sector (about 9.9% of the GB total). You only have to think of Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group) and Royal Bank of Scotland - both are headquartered in Edinburgh.

Major international banks also have a wide range of functions in Scotland, including: Barclays, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citi, State Street and Santander.

And it’s not just the long-established banks that choose Scotland. New challengers Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank and Virgin Money have all chosen to base their headquarters here.

With a large financial centre and increasing expertise in cyber security, Scotland provides a massive opportunity for cyber security organisations to grow and diversify.

Scotland’s cyber security companies are growing fast. And our universities are filling their ranks, producing exceptional talent through cyber security courses and qualifications at undergraduate and graduate level.

Edinburgh Napier University’s Cyber Academy opens in a new window brings industry and academia together. Its virtual Security Operations Centre lab (SOCLAB) provides facilities for companies to test cyber security in a safe environment. Meanwhile The Data Lab opens in a new window , Scotland’s data science innovation centre, supports local industry by ensuring staff have the skills to apply the latest data science to their roles. 

Cyber security firms in Scotland all benefit from this collaborative approach, working closely with these innovation centres, academic centres of excellence and government policy decision makers. Spin outs and companies who have already chosen Scotland for their R&D include Zone-Fox, Symphonic, Cyan Forensics and Adarma. 

Why companies like Adarma, Cisco and Corero chose Scotland for cyber security 

Where better to grow in the UK? There are already a growing number of Security Operations Centres (SOCs) in Scotland, and 15 financial institutions with cyber security departments. Among them are banks such as RBS and Tesco Bank and other organisations including Dell, ATOS and SecureWorks.

More on why Scotland is the right choice for cyber security 

Data management

Data management and services are a key driver of the Scottish economy. Our strengths lie in access to a highly skilled workforce at moderate cost, research-driven universities, advanced digital infrastructure and an established network of enabling technology companies.

Scotland has breadth and depth in data research, particularly at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics. This attracts a cluster of associated early-stage technology businesses and encourages collaborative research with recognised global industry leaders. The School of Informatics is the largest in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. It’s among the top five leading centres of research and teaching in computation, information and cognition in the world.

As well as working closely with businesses the school has also been highly successful at encouraging startups and spins outs from within its research community.

Artificial Intelligence

Several Scottish universities are actively involved in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

Universities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and St Andrews offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses focused on AI. The University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and Strathclyde University all have expertise in machine learning.

Our insurance industry is making significant efficiency improvements by using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate standardised processes with the potential to make cost reductions of 25-40%.


An increasing number of large firms and start-ups are looking at blockchain and the applications within financial services. Scottish start-ups in this area include Wallet Services and MaidSafe. The University of Edinburgh has now established a Blockchain Technology Lab opens in a new window within its School of Informatics.

The Data Lab

The Data Lab opens in a new window relies on collaboration to deliver success and is the only organisation of its kind in Scotland, supporting and incubating innovation in data across the public, private and university sectors. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from big data. With hubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the Data Lab is close to industry and universities that offer leading research in informatics and computer science.

Find out more about data and data science in Scotland 

Scotland's open and inclusive fintech community

Want to grow your firm in one the world's top five fintech locations? It's here. Scotland has all the perfect credentials to grow your business in a world-class fintech hub.

Scotland blends its status as the UK's largest financial centre after London with 1000 tech firms located here. A fusion of minds, body and spirit. Scotland has ambitions to become one of the top fintech hubs globally. And it's getting there. Fast. Especially with the driving force of a new national organisation, FinTech Scotland.

FinTech Scotland is the bridge to connect you to Scottish fintech companies. The network's mission is to not only support and build the fintech community in Scotland but also to attract global partners to work with or benefit from the solutions developed by their members.

FinTech Scotland has pledged its commitment to the FinTech For All charter opens in a new window alongside a host of Scotland-based companies. The charter is an industry led initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in fintech. It was established in 2020 and is a commitment to use diversity and inclusion as a force for innovation and growth.

FinTech Scotland also led the creation of Scotland's Fintech Research and Innovation Roadmap 2022-2031 opens in a new window . This is the first of its kind in the UK, and aims to deliver an additional 20,000 fintech related jobs in Scotland, as well as driving growth and boosting economic recovery by building on the wealth of talent and innovation that exists across the ecosystem in Scotland.

Latest global tech firms to come to Scotland

TranSwap and GC Exchange Limited (GCEX) are the latest international technology firms to come to Scotland. TranSwap, the cross-border payment platform headquartered in Singapore is setting up a fintech R&D centre in Edinburgh to continue its international growth.

Why TranSwap chose Scotland 

Meanwhile, GCEX, which has offices in London and Switzerland, is creating 26 jobs in Glasgow to support its global growth.

Smart Data Foundry at the University of Edinburgh

This world-first centre secured £22.5 million UK Research and Innovation funding in 2020 to develop financial technology and education to deliver social and economic benefits around the world. This will include how best to use open finance, the sharing of consenting customers' data between different financial businesses.

The university will partner with the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) and FinTech Scotland and draw on expertise from academia, financial services and fintech businesses.

Smart Data Foundry website opens in a new window  

Scotland's growing fintech community and ecosystem

By investing in Scotland, fintech companies become part of a growth sector fuelled by new start-ups, companies relocating their activities to Scotland and firms from other sectors that have decided to apply their technology to the financial sector.

Access to data skills and talent, cost savings and a supportive fintech ecosystem are just some of the top reasons why Edinburgh is a powerhouse for growing fintechs.

Read Modulr's story 

General insurance, life assurance and pension services in Scotland date back to the 1700s. Today, around 20,000 people are employed in Scotland in this sector (about 6% of the GB total).

Many major insurance groups choose Scotland for their headquarters, or have substantial operations here. These include: Scottish Widows (part of Lloyds Banking Group), Phoenix Group, AEGON UK, Royal London, Prudential and Aviva.

Financial services is increasingly driven by technology and Scotland’s reputation for innovation makes it an ideal location for development, testing and implementation.

Our technology sector is flourishing, with around 74,000 employed in digital roles across a range of areas.

So from application development, cyber security, analytics and big data to robotic process automation and artificial intelligence, you can be assured that Scotland has the skills and expertise to support you.

JP Morgan opens in a new window , Lloyds Banking Group opens in a new window , Morgan Stanley opens in a new window and NatWest Group opens in a new window are just a few examples of some of the leading financial services companies which already have technology operations here. 

In addition, a wide range of tech firms like Clearwater Analytics opens in a new window , Encompass opens in a new window , Equifax opens in a new window , Experian opens in a new window , Fujitsu opens in a new window , FNZ opens in a new window , HP opens in a new window , IBM opens in a new window , Morningstar opens in a new window , NCR opens in a new window , Nucleus opens in a new window and Origo opens in a new window have established operations in Scotland, benefiting from the strong cross-over between the financial services and tech sectors.

These companies, together with the Scottish headquartered financial services companies which also have technology functions in the country, are making a significant contribution to the thriving financial technology scene in Scotland.

Lloyds Banking Group has invested in a new digital technology hub in Edinburgh, creating 500 new software engineering roles. This is part of their drive to support the development of technology, skills and talent in the fastest growing digital economy outside of London.

To support a talented and highly creative workforce, Scotland has developed an ecosystem of successful accelerator programmes, centres of excellence and academic research institutes which work closely with industry.

Find out more about software and IT in Scotland 

What our investors say about Scotland

  • Barclays is transforming Glasgow

    Global banking giant Barclays' brand new £500 million campus is a flagship development and a game-changer for the city.

  • Why J.P. Morgan chose Edinburgh

    Back in 2015, J.P. Morgan selected Edinburgh to expand its areas of wealth management and investment banking.

  • Renovite scale up in Scotland

    Fintech startup Renovite Technologies created the world's first cloud-native e-payments solution. Now they're scaling up in Scotland.

If you have any questions or want to talk with one of our advisers, we're always ready to help.