The FinTech Five – 5th November 2021
Welcome to the FinTech Five, the part of the week where we take a closer look at the best articles, news, and features from over the past week from our FinTech Wales members.
1. Tech Nation’s New research supports targeted action on ethnic diversity in UK fintech
First this week, New research exploring the ethnic diversity of UK fintech’s workforce, produced by Tech Nation’s Fintech Delivery Panel (FDP) with the support of GoCardless and Fintrail, has initiated important conversations on the targeted action needed across fintech companies and the sector as a whole.
The Ethnic Diversity in UK Fintech report indicated that while the participation in UK fintech of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds has increased from 12% in 2011 to 20% in 2021, this has not been identical across different communities. The number of individuals from an Asian background has increased from 7.5% to 12.2%, but the proportion of Black people working in fintech has remained static, at 3.1%.
Commenting in the report, Genevieve Leveille, founder and CEO of AgriLedger, highlighted the role of socioeconomic and cultural factors which are hard to capture in quantitative data but may be presenting barriers for Black people entering and progressing in the fintech sector. She highlighted differences in aspirations and expectations between different immigrant communities depending on their cultural background and reasons for migrating.
At a report launch event, Genevieve also pointed out that as a relatively new industry, a career in fintech may not be a viable or attractive option for people who don’t have the financial security or stability to accept job security risks or low salaries that can often come with working in an early-stage tech startup.
You can read the full article on Tech Nation’s website here, or click here to read the full research report.
2. Currencycloud releases research report on ‘Elastic Bundling in Financial Services’
Next, Currencycloud have released a research report into industry trends related to bundles products and services from the view of consumers and business leaders.
Currencycloud surveyed over 10,000 consumers globally, and over 1,000 business leaders across Europe, North America, and Asia to find out what’s really happening when it comes to bundling financial services.
What’s covered in the report:
- What business leaders think about consumer behavior and preferences
- What consumers really want from financial services
- Industry expert thoughts on consumer and business attitudes towards bundling
- What services are available to help you on your journey towards providing financial products and services
3. Principality on path to a greener future
Next this week, Principality Building Society has partnered with environmental experts ClimatePartner to help the member-owned organisation measure, reduce and offset the carbon footprint of its operations.
The largest building society in Wales, which employs more than 1,000 people and has 71 branches and agencies, has an ambition of being carbon neutral from 2021, and has set a net zero business operations target by 2030.
ClimatePartner, who have been helping companies around the world take climate action for the past 15 years, will support Principality in creating a detailed carbon reduction roadmap including a corporate carbon footprint assessment. This will then inform specific strategies and help devise policies for Principality to become a more environmentally sustainable business.
Julie-Ann Haines, CEO at Principality Building Society, said:
“Following the introduction of a dedicated sustainability manager, our focus this year has been to look at how we can genuinely become a greener organisation for the long term as a major Welsh employer, and influencing the supply chain of partners we work with.
“We switched to using renewable energy at our head office in Cardiff a few years ago, and the redesign of the building makes it easier for remote collaboration and incorporates sustainable materials. A full review of our flexible working policy which will see colleagues being given the option of whether they want to return to the office in 2022, should reduce our greenhouse gases from employee commuting further.”
“As a business we are committed to being net zero by 2030, and I am looking forward to working with ClimatePartner on how we achieve that.”
4. Vantage Data Centers Raises an Additional US$530 Million in Securitized Notes to Further Strengthen Financial Position
Next, Vantage Data Centers, a leading global provider of hyperscale data center campuses, today announced that the company raised US$530 million in securitized notes.
The proceeds from this transaction are primarily being used to refinance the company’s Variable Funding Note (VFN) facility, which was used to facilitate the CA22 transaction in September 2021, as well as to fund general corporate needs. This financing priced at the tightest spread ever for Vantage, continuing the company’s recent momentum of accessing attractively priced capital to fund the growth of its securitized data center portfolio.
“This transaction marks Vantage’s seventh securitization financing since 2018 when we pioneered the use of this approach in the data center sector,” said Sharif Metwalli, Vantage’s chief financial officer.
“We are faced with increasing demand for premiere hyperscale data centers that can be delivered quickly and sustainably. Our strong financial position enables us to continue our global expansion with favorable interest rates that not only reduce our overall costs but further strengthen our competitive position in the market. We appreciate DigitalBridge’s partnership throughout this process and their continued support to grow our business.”
“We are proud of our ability to execute unprecedented financings for our portfolio companies, and we applaud the Vantage team for this milestone,” said Marc Ganzi, president and chief executive officer of DigitalBridge.
5. FinTech Wales CEO Sarah-Williams Gardener gives talk at Cardiff University Data Science Academy
Last but not least, this week saw our CEO Sarah Williams-Gardener give a talk for students at Cardiff University’s Data Science Academy.
Stay tuned on our socials as the talk, titled ‘Being a Banker wasn’t in the plan’, will be available to watch on the University’s DSA pages shortly.
Until Next Week
And that’s it for the FinTech Five this week. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to join us next week for more of the best content from across our FinTech Wales membership.