Nucleus founder and chief executive David Ferguson has been appointed by the Treasury as a regional fintech envoy in Scotland to boost the growth of fintech, raise its profile and continue the UK's competitiveness in the market.
Ferguson will share the role with RBS head of design and transformation Louise Smith, with the pair being responsible for building regional and national networks to build a greater level of co-ordination and collaboration between government, fintech firms, investors and regional fintech hubs.
They have also been charged with raising awareness of regional fintech opportunities, identifying market failures and barriers to innovation, and supporting the development of infrastructure to encourage growth of fintech in the region. The 12-month appointment will be reviewed and extended by mutual consent.
"It is a great privilege to have been picked to help support the continued growth of fintech in the UK," said Ferguson (pictured), who will continue his role as Nucleus chief executive.
"Over 10 years ago we embarked on our mission to challenge the established industry. With technology and transparency at the heart of our thinking, we've been fortunate enough to become a successful and profitable player in what we now call fintech.
"One of the hardest things to get right is balancing the responsibilities of looking after people's money with the agility of the tech sector while also making money and I'm very excited to see how we can help others strike the right balance over the coming years."
In April, then-economic secretary to the Treasury Harriet Baldwin said the government would establish a fintech strategy for the UK in an attempt to remain the leading market for financial services innovation. She said the government wanted to show it was committed to initiatives that would "make our fintech sector even stronger".
Commeting on today's appointments, Baldwin's successor as economic secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby, said: "I'm delighted David and Louise have agreed to become the government's fintech envoys for Scotland. Their in-depth knowledge of the industry and excellent reputations makes them the right people to drive forward positive change and allow Scottish fintech to flourish."
In October, Kirby announced London would be the host of an annual fintech conference from April 2017. The conference is being set up in an attempt to attract investment into the sector.
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