The FinTech Five – 26th January 2024
26 January, 2024
Welcome to Fintech Five, a fortnightly look at the best articles, news and insights from FinTech Wales members and the Financial Services industry across the UK.
1.Principality appoints new chair-elect
Principality Building Society has appointed a highly experienced financial services professional as a non-executive director and chair-elect.
Simon Moore, who had a career in the military, held roles in Lloyds Banking Group, Chase Manhattan, ABN Amro and Barclays Bank.
Moore served as managing director for Barclays Commercial Wales and the South West, and has a strong connection with Wales and Welsh business.
He has served as chair of another mutual organisation, LV=, as well as serving on a number of other boards.
Subject to regulatory approval, Moore will take over as chair from Sally Jones-Evans following the AGM. Jones-Evans has served as chair since April 2021, and as a board member since February 2015.
“I am honoured to take on the role of board chair-elect at Principality,” said Simon Moore. “Under Sally’s leadership, Principality is thriving, and I am looking forward to building on that legacy. Together with the dedicated board of directors and the whole team at Principality, we will continue to deliver value and service to our members.”
2. Fintech Wales Welcomes Starling Bank as Latest Partner
FinTech Wales, the independent members association and champion of the Fintech and Financial Services industry in Wales, has welcomed Starling Bank as the latest organisation to become a Partner to empower Wales as a globally recognised hub of fintech excellence.
The leading digital bank aims to give people a fairer, smarter and more human alternative to the banks of the past. It offers personal, business, joint, euro and dollar current accounts alongside a children’s card.
Starling was voted ‘Best British Bank’ four years in a row at the British Bank Awards between 2018 and 2021. With its headquarters in London, Starling also made the decision to scale its business in Cardiff in 2020 due to talent available, and now employs over 1200 people in the city centre.
Alexandra Frean, Starling’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said: “The Welsh tech sector is making a significant contribution to the UK’s tech industry, especially in fintech.
“As a partner of FinTech Wales, we’re delighted to demonstrate our commitment to growing the finance ecosystem in Wales and contributing to its growth.”
3. Accountancy services firm Mazuma looking to scale-up on Cardiff Capital Region equity backing
The Bridgend-based business, set up by its founders Lucy Cohen and Sophie Hughes back in 2006 while both in their early twenties, has established itself as a UK leading provider of accountancy services to micro-businesses – initially with firms sending in data like receipts in purple envelopes before developing its own proprietary technology platform, MazApp.
The founders, who together maintain a majority ownership stake in the company, said the multi-million-pound investment – the exact value of which is not disclosed – will support a scaling-up of the business in terms of its offer with new accountancy technology solutions, as well as subscriber and employee numbers. Mazuma currently employs around 40. With a UK-wide issue around a lack of equity investment into female-owned firms, the Mazuma founders say they hope their example, while not shattering, will tap away at the glass ceiling.
Funded from the £1.2bn City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region, made up of the ten local authorities of south-east Wales, the Innovation Investment Capital (IIC) fund is managed by Capricorn Fund Managers with PwC providing advisory support including investment research and sourcing.
Ms Cohen said: “We started off with just myself and Sophie, when we were 23 from my spare bedroom, and now we have a workforce of 40 serving clients across the whole of the UK. With this investment we will be looking to accelerate the development of our proprietary technology, expand our clients and staff, to become one of the largest providers of this sort in the UK, if not beyond.”
4.United States Mint and Royal Mint Announce Collaborative Design
Following a successful joint project in 2021 featuring the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Voyage coins and medals, the United States Mint and The Royal Mint are working together once again on a different type of project. This one features a unique design collaboration between the Chief Engravers of two of the world’s largest and oldest Mints. The collaborative design features Liberty and Britannia, two historical themes featured on many coins over the years, but never together on one unified design. American Liberty, historically represented by a woman in her many variations, represents that bedrock value that is so important to Americans. She has appeared on U.S. coinage since the early years of the Nation. Britannia, a staple on British coinage since the late 1600s, has long been the national personification of Britain. Often a symbol of maritime power, this allegorical image has come to be a symbol of national pride and unity.
The United States and the United Kingdom have long shared a close relationship, based on common values and ideals. In this project, these two historic Mints have come together in a groundbreaking creative partnership, featuring the talent and skills of each mint’s Chief Engraver to produce a design unifying Liberty and Britannia on one design. The United States Mint Chief Engraver, Joseph Menna, and The Royal Mint Chief Engraver, Gordon Summers, have created a stunning design, celebrating the harmony of the figures while giving each equal prominence in the design.
“This has been an extraordinary opportunity for the United States Mint,” said United States Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “This occasion marks the first time that the Chief Engravers of both mints have collaborated on a single design. The combination of their artistic talents has resulted in a truly unique design that will surely be a collecting standout. Our hope is that this project expands the reach of both mints and leads to more opportunities for growth between our institutions.”
5. TiQToQ Merges with Mewstone Consultant
In 2022 tiQtoQ partnered with Mewstone Consultants who brought a wealth of experience and expertise to tiQtoQ. It was always their intention in the long term to fully integrate the two companies and they are delighted to announce that as of 1st January 2024 they are now fully merged and will operate as a single business under the tiQtoQ name.
Neil Martin, the MD of Mewstone Consultants, has become a full director of tiQtoQ alongside Peter and Paul. Neil has also been appointed as the COO working to develop the business and supporting large accounts such as Allwyn.
This is a significant milestone for tiQtoQ. It reinforces the company’s commitment to excellence in all parts of the business. It enhances the leadership team and enables both companies to leverage its combined strengths to further grow both businesses, drive innovation and deliver even greater value and service to their customers.
CEO Pete Jones said: “This is the next step up for us at tiQtoQ and with Neil on board as part of the leadership team I’m confident we can achieve our goals both in the short and longer term”
Until Next Time
This concludes this week’s edition of FinTech Five. Remember to join us every two weeks for the latest news highlights from our FinTech Wales membership.