UK Fintechs Head to Saudi Arabia After Finserv Reforms

Saudi British Joint Business Council Send 30 UK Fintechs and Investors to Riyadh in a bid to Capitalise on the Kingdom’s Financial Services Reforms

A delegation of 30 UK fintechs and investors will head to Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh to participate in a three-day programme, deepening the bonds between the UK and Saudi fintech industries.

Organised by the Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC), the mission will see UK-based fintechs look to capitalise on recent financial services reforms in the Kingdom, as they look to scale their presence and strike partnerships in the region. 

The three-day programme in Riyadh will run from January 29 to January 31.

Saudia Arabia: Attracting fintech investment 

This latest move from the SBJBC puts Saudi Arabia firmly in the limelight as a growing hub for fintech in the Middle East. 

The Kingdom has already grown to lead the way for attracting fintech investment in the Middle East and North Africa region, generating US$1.4bn in fintech investment for 2023, representing 33% growth year-on-year.

Saudi Arabia is seemingly on track to become a fintech leader in the region, representing 60%-70% of regional early-stage deal flow. 

SBJBC UK Executive Director Chris Innes-Hopkins says: “SBJBC is delighted to lead this, the second UK fintech mission to Saudi Arabia. 

“The strength of this delegation is recognition of the excitement that reforms in Saudi Arabia’s financial services sector have generated. 

“We look forward to a productive visit and new partnerships between our two fintech ecosystems. I am grateful for the support of all our partners.”

Those attending the programme will include representatives from Clifford Chance, Golden Record Ventures and the NewcastleGateshead Initiative

The latter is co-sponsored by Saudi Awwal Bank and Geidea and has backing from the UK’s Department for Business & Trade and the Saudi Ministry of Communications and IT.

Per Arab News, Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Riyadh, and Deputy UK Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, Peter Ashby, says the deal highlights how fintech “is fast becoming one of the most exciting sectors” in Saudi Arabia. 

He adds: “Saudi Arabia aims to become the region’s fintech hub, with the target of 525 fintech companies by 2030, contributing SR13.3bn (US$3.55 billion) in direct GDP (gross domestic product) – £2.8bn (US$3.57bn). 

“We look forward to supporting Vision 2030 fintech sector growth, through bringing strong delegations such as this, which includes unicorns, innovative fintechs, and investors.”

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