22 June 2016
Industry group meets to consider new digital opportunities.
The increasing use of new technology in financial services presents huge opportunities for the industry and for Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Meeting for the first time this parliamentary session, the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB) heard about the work Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) are undertaking in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented by rapid developments in technology – known as Fintech.
Chair of FiSAB, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
Over 60% of Scottish adults own a smart phone and more and more people now expect to be able to handle their financial affairs, access services or make payments online and on the move.”
“With global investment in financial technology booming, our well-established and diverse financial services industry, with its skilled workforce and a long history of championing innovation, is at the forefront of this digital revolution.
“Scottish Enterprise is working with industry to capitalise on this success by supporting existing fintech businesses in accessing global markets, researching current fintech capability in Scotland and mapping the fintech supply chain.
“FiSAB will support SFE to develop a five year strategy to maximise opportunities, make employment and skills forecasts and consider joint industry and government initiatives.”
FiSAB today also considered the position of Scotland’s general insurance sector.
Deputy Chair, Sir Ewan Brown commented:
“Insurance is fundamental to all economic activity. It is part and parcel of everyday life, whether buying a house, or driving a car so consumers need an environment where the policy makers and the providers work together to develop policies which help prevent accidents, reduce fraud and mitigate environmental risks.
“The insurance industry has its origins in Scotland and it has been driven forward by Scottish knowledge and innovation. This has created thousands of jobs in Scotland and the potential is there to create many more. Working together with the Scottish Government, the industry can support the development of policy which promotes innovation and creates a positive environment for businesses and consumers.”
The board also discussed the work currently being done across the sector around gender diversity.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money presented the findings in her recent report; Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services. The report identified that more women than men start out in Financial Services but, as they progress, the majority leave, especially at middle management level. This leaves almost all of the top jobs in the hands of men, with women making up only 14% of Executive Committees in 2015. The Review recommended that financial services firms set internal targets for gender diversity, that they publish progress against those targets and ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to achieving them. A number of high profile firms have already signed the Women in Finance Charter, a commitment to build a more balanced and fair industry. HM Treasury will publish the up to date list of new signatories in July.
The First Minister also welcomed new members Barry O’Dwyer of Standard Life and Graeme Jones of Scottish Financial Enterprise to their first meetings as members of the board and thanked Sir Ewan Brown, chair of SFE and deputy chair of FISAB who is stepping down from his position at SFE next month, for his tremendous contribution to the financial services industry.
FISAB members attending today’s meeting were:
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Chair)
• Ewan Brown, Scottish Financial Enterprise, (Deputy Chair)
• Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
• Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy
• Philip Grant, Lloyds Banking Group
• Malcolm Buchanan, Royal Bank of Scotland
• Ian Ferguson, Aviva
• Barry O’Dwyer, Standard Life
• Christine O’Neill, Brodies Solicitors
• Angus Macpherson, Noble and Co
• Jayne Anne Gadhia, Virgin Money
• Mary Alexander, Unite
• Graeme Jones, Scottish Financial Enterprise
• Lena Wilson, Scottish Enterprise
Also in attendance:
- Ian Hanson, Skills Development Scotland, representing FISAB Skills Group
• Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director, Growth Companies, Scottish Enterprise
• Louise Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, SFE Fintech Strategy group