Norfolk’s fintech sector projected to worth over £100M by 2027


Norfolk’s Fintech Sector: Pioneering Growth and Diversity

Norfolk’s fintech domain is experiencing a rapid surge, underscored by a robust presence in insurtech and substantial investments totaling £49 million, significantly boosting the local economy and laying the foundation for future innovation and inclusivity.

Despite London’s enduring status as the UK’s premier fintech hub, the sector’s expansion beyond the capital demands recognition. Recent insights into Norfolk’s financial technology landscape forecast its value to exceed £100 million by 2027, with the number of fintech enterprises set to double within the next three years, potentially creating over 600 new job opportunities across the region.

This forecast comes on the heels of heightened innovation and economic growth in the region. From 2010 to 2021, Norwich, Norfolk’s largest city, witnessed the highest increase in real output per hour among all UK cities (2.3%). Additionally, it secured the 11th position nationwide for the density of ‘new economy’ firms per 10,000 individuals in the workforce.

Norfolk currently hosts 24 fintech firms, collectively raising £49 million in investment, contributing to a broader East of England cluster estimated at over 80 fintech firms.

The rise of insurtech is particularly notable in Norfolk, where the insurance industry employs over 7,500 individuals, positioning the region as a significant hub outside London. Norfolk’s financial services sector yields over £1 billion, constituting over 20% of the city’s gross value added (GVA). Moreover, Norfolk boasts the second-highest concentration of insurtech firms in England, trailing only London.

Ben Luckett, Aviva’s Managing Director of Venture Capital, praises Norwich’s conducive environment for insurtech ventures, citing a robust support ecosystem and proximity to primary investor hubs like London and Cambridge.

Norfolk’s fintech ecosystem comprises financial services companies, technology providers, and a supportive network of specialist businesses across various sectors, contributing to the region’s growing economy and offering essential expertise and resources for local fintech startups. Leading this charge is the Financial Industry Group (FIG), actively involved in shaping the landscape and development.

Despite its modest size, Norfolk’s fintech sector excels in sustainability and diversity, with a higher-than-average proportion of female fintech founders at 17%, surpassing all other English regions outside London.

Additionally, a broader analysis of Norfolk’s economy identifies 342 SMEs relevant to fintech, with combined net assets exceeding £250 million. Over half of these enterprises operate with ultra-low emissions, surpassing the UK average.

Lisa Perkins, Chair of Tech East, expresses optimism about Norfolk’s fintech potential and stresses the importance of fostering new relationships and partnerships to sustain growth and innovation in the region.

Support infrastructure for Norfolk’s fintech sector is expanding, with initiatives like the inaugural Norwich FinTech Hackathon and the University of East Anglia’s ‘FinTech Lab’ and post-graduate fintech master’s degree offering support for young and local talent.

Julian Wells, Director and Fintech Lead at Whitecap Consulting, highlights the collaborative spirit among Norfolk stakeholders to nurture the fintech ecosystem and emphasizes the strong potential for economic growth through fintech in the region. Collaboration on a regional and national level is essential to driving this growth forward.