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The FSClub: Leading Fintech in Scotland (and twitter too!)

In the third Financial Services Club meeting last week (the other two took place in London and Warsaw), we had a conference in Edinburgh: Fintech2014, in partnership with Scot-Tech.


Our checkin folks are real apparitions these days?

The conference was ably chaired by Mark Stephen of BBC Scotland, and had myself speaking alongside

  • Susanne Chishti, a Senior Capital Markets Manager, Entrepreneur and Investor who runs FINTECH Circle
  • Alasdair Anderson, who leads HSBC’s Big Data technology in his role as Head of Data Engineering
  • David Freeland,  Senior Policy Officer with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • Bob Ferguson, leader of Project Innovate at the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA’s active engagement with the innovation community and with fintech in particular)
  • Brigid Whoriskey , Head of Research & Innovation at the Royal Bank of Scotland

… and more.

There were breakout sessions looking at specific tech areas such as cloud, big data and mobile, but probably the most interesting session of the day for me was the dialogue that Alasdair and Brigid had around innovation and change.

Alasdair made the point very humorously about the lack of joined-up internal thinking that you have to breakthrough to get to use data effective.  He stressed that you would never get a single version of the truth – put 20 lawyers in a room and ask them to define ‘truth’ and you’ll get 20 different answers – but you can try to get a leverage of data by drawing it together in a consolidated view.

Brigid discussed innovation and how ten years ago there were hardly any fintech players changing the game.  Maybe Sage, Intuit, PayPal … but that was about it.   The world is so different today with hordes of third party players attacking every part of banking, one of my favourite subjects.

In the breakout sessions, we looked at the concept of using a mobile for true authentication, with triangulation between the signal masts, the telephone number and a biometric identification with QR codes.  It certainly seemed far more robust than a piece of plastic with a signature.

Finally, there were many exhibitors enjoying the networking and dialogue, culminating in some drinks and debate at the end.


All in all a good day out, although I was troubled by the fact that it’s the first time I’ve been to any fintech outing where I’m the only person tweeting.   Nevertheless, such concerns were relieved by the stunning venue: Our Dynamic Earth


This is a science centre telling the story of Planet Earth in a digestible form for children, and added a great backdrop to our first conference in Scotland.

We will be repeating these meetings in London and Edinburgh in the future so, if anyone’s interest, just let us know.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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