Leeds City Region: Thriving in a hyper-connected world
Businesses from Leeds City Region are heading to London this week for the annual Sibos conference, an international financial services event and a key date in the Fintech calendar.
To mark this event we asked Dan Rajkumar, Founder of peer-to-peer lending platform rebuildingsociety.com and Director at Fintech North about his passion for financial innovation and why Leeds City Region is the place to be right now.
1) Why is digitally driven innovation so important in the financial services sector?
The way we consume financial services is rapidly evolving. Savers are keen to earn better returns and banks are compromising their margins to stay competitive with fintech companies keen to steal market share.
Fintech collaboration is more important than ever before, with API interfacing, and the advent of Open Banking, more firms are finding ways to collaborate and cooperate, to bring innovative and competitive financial services to customers.
2) What are the characteristics of a successful fintech business?
A clear purpose, presenting a unique proposition, while delivering a great customer experience, operating a sustainable business model.
3) What makes Leeds City Region an attractive place for global fintech companies to invest and grow?
Leeds City Region is a hotbed of financial services, with an abundance of talent, from a thriving professional services sector. This is underpinned by an ongoing supply of skilled graduates from three industry engaged universities. The introduction of the Fintech Msc degree at the University of Leeds is testament to the commitment to fintech and future proofing the workforce .
4) What would you say to fintech business looking to move to Leeds City Region?
Scaling a fintech needs talent and funding. And you can access both in Leeds City Region.
Being based outside of London it can sometimes feel like your competitor has an advantage for its higher valuation and investment, but if those funds are sunk into a high cost of labour, overheads and marketing, then it creates an inefficient business model.
When your business model is predicated on efficiency and low costs, then its important to operate in an environment that supports that. For example, you can have four desks, with a canal view, 8 minutes’ walk from Leeds city station, for less than the price of one desk in London in a shared workspace.
5) And finally what are you hoping to get out of Sibos?
Following a recent visit from the Lord Mayor of the City of London, I was honoured to have been invited to a London Round table. Wearing both my rebuildingsociety.com and Fintech North hats, I aim to contribute to the discussion on fintech links and opportunities between Leeds and London with a focus on payments and platforms. For example, we are proud to have launched the UKs first BuyBack guarantee, to create a lower risk offering to people who are new to peer to peer lending.
To find out more about the opportunities for fintechs in Leeds City Region please email the Leeds City Region Trade and Investment team