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With over 100 financial services companies developing and buying solutions from technology providers, and a dynamic cluster of over 1,000 tech companies in Scotland alongside connected supply chains, the pool of capability and talent here is considerable.

Scotland has a buoyant and growing data and analytics community that understands the financial services sector, boasting data analytics specialist companies such as MiiCard, Symphonic Trust, Money Dashboard and Sumerian. 

It also has a vibrant and growing cyber security community of between 80-100 companies that includes leading organisations such as PWC, Dell Secureworks, Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett Packard.

As well as this, global organisations such as JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Wealth, HSBC, RBS call Scotland home alongside solutions providers such as Avaloq, HP and Oracle who have significant technology solutions centres established in Scotland.

“There’s a hub effect in Edinburgh, with lots of technology companies all working alongside each other. There have been some real successes – and the city draws some of the top people from around the world.”

Craig Findlay, CFO of Money Dashboard

The skilled workforce of tomorrow’s fintech industry

The digital sector in Scotland employs over 80,000 technology professionals, and the finance sector in Scotland employs over 86,000 people.

  • Of Scotland’s annual pool of 97,000 graduates, 12 per cent graduate from financial technology related courses
  • Scotland is home to some of the world's best higher education institutions, with Edinburgh University being the largest informatics school in Europe
  • Scotland has a highly relevant, globally significant base in Computing Science including 790 academic and researchers and over 750 PhD students
  • 35 per cent of all technology spin-out companies in the UK come from Scotland’s educational institutions

Scotland, after London, turns out the most fintech related graduates in the UK. More detailed information on graduate numbers for fintech subsectors, compared with other parts of the UK as can be seen below

Connected to your needs

Scotland has a well-developed transport infrastructure and excellent transport links, with five major international airports serving over 150 destinations. Commuting times are low, with more than two million people living within a 60 minute drive of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

As well as this, Scotland also has specific strengths in the following areas to suit your specific business needs:

  • Systems security, protocols and networking
  • Cloud computing
  • CCTV and image recognition
  • Anonymity and identity management
  • Trust and provenance
  • Risk and intelligence analysis, and policy setting
  • Useable security, human computer interaction (HCI) and interfaces

“When we originally set out our plans to build an R&D centre to complement our development teams in Zurich, we knew we needed a location that was at the heart of the financial industry while also being a hub for current and upcoming talent in the technology field. Edinburgh was the ideal choice and our success has completely validated this decision, which is why we are continuing to invest in the Scottish capital.”

Chris Zwicker, Managing Director of Avaloq Innovation

Specialist courses and training – tailored to your businesses requirements

Scotland’s higher educational institutions provide a range of bespoke courses tailored to support financial services industry requirements. These range from courses providing training on analytical assessments and decision making through to practical applications of models and technologies used in financial markets globally.

SICSA is a collaboration of 14 Scottish Universities whose goal is to develop and extend Scotland's position as a world leader in Informatics and Computer Science research and education. The alliance works closely with companies of all sizes to transfer advanced research to industry and informs researchers of current industrial problems. They do this by providing mutual support and sharing facilities, working closely with Industry and Government and by appointing and retaining world-class staff and research students.

To date, SICSA has:

  • Offered more than 90 prize studentships to PhD students from around the world
  • Run visiting fellowship programmes
  • Supported summer schools for PhD student education
  • Promoted entrepreneurship and commercialization

Five Scottish Universities run dedicated cyber security courses, with a total of five undergraduate and nine post graduate courses. Together these courses are producing 126 graduates and 99 postgraduates per annum.

Specific courses and training includes:

  • Code Clan (Digital Skills Academy), which launched in June 2015 to fast track the provision of coding skills for digital businesses
  • The University of Strathclyde Digital Academy – providing BSc and Masters programmes to deliver work-ready graduates who have the skills to meet the changing demands of the sector
  • Ethical hacking at Abertay University, the first university in the UK to offer a Masters programme in Ethical Hacking. The course is designed to teach students how to think like a hacker, providing them with a deep understanding of security issues and concerns.
  • Heriot-Watt and Glasgow University - Masters level courses in data science
  • The University of Dundee - has already introduced a Masters level course in data science and also offers a related masters in reasoning analytics
  • University of Stirling - announced a Big Data Masters degree offered for 2015
  • University of Aberdeen - MSc in Information Systems & Data Management
  • University of Edinburgh - train PhD students at their Centre of Doctoral Training in Data Science

“SAS is proud to be building on its existing operations in Scotland. We initially established a global research and development team to create business applications to help modernise law enforcement, improve public safety and enhance national security. The initial investments allowed SAS to see the real potential with easy access to Europe, the excellent pool of talent from Universities and its strong culture of innovation.”

Mikael Hagstrom, Senior SAS Executive

Further support in Scotland

Setting up in Scotland has never been easier. We can provide support before, during, and after you locate in Scotland.

We can help with:

  • identifying premises
  • investment opportunities
  • funding for employment creation
  • R&D and training programmes

As well as this, there are other organisations that can provide you with the support you need.


ScotGrad is a free placement service for connecting you to appropriately skilled recent graduates eager to put their talents and qualifications to work. Scot Grad will stimulate applications to your placement vacancy by engaging with the graduate community so that you get strong applications to select from.

Modern Apprenticeships

25,000 Modern Apprenticeships are available each year with fantastic opportunities to introduce new enthusiasm and capability to your workforce. As an employer, you can pass on your experience, supporting your apprentice’s development whilst producing a skilled and productive workforce with financial assistance for training through Skills Development Scotland.

Next steps

Contact us if your project requires more detailed information in relation to skills or if we can help connect you to relevant educational stakeholders or partners.

Contact us

Alternatively, you can access benchmarking information on setting up a financial services project in Scotland

Access benchmarking reports