Manchester’s reputation as a prime location to start and scale a financial technology firm has been underlined by a Top 50 ranking within The Global Fintech Index (GFI) by findexable. 

With cities ranked according to the success of individual firms and the ecosystem of their location, Manchester climbed 19 places in the 2021 index to secure 34th position in the rankings globally, ninth in Europe and number one in the UK outside London. 

The 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, powered by Mambu, identifies emerging hubs, FinTech companies and trends. The Index algorithm ranks the FinTech ecosystems of more than 264 cities across 83 countries incorporating data from findexable’s own records and collated and verified by its Global Partnership Network, including Crunchbase, StartupBlink, SEMrush and 60+ fintech associations globally. 

The index was first published in 2019 and has seen a huge uptake by the FinTech industry. 

The 2021 index includes 13 UK cities but only London and Manchester are home to the headquarters of ‘Unicorn’ companies, privately held start-ups with valuations over $1 billion. The wider Greater Manchester region is home to six unicorns – or 43% of the UK’s FinTech unicorns and more eCommerce unicorns than any city in Europe.  

Birmingham entered the findexable rankings at 123, while Cardiff came close after at 127.  

Providing an invaluable guide for financial institutions, investors, government agencies, advisors and FinTech firms themselves, findexable’s Global Fintech Index is powered by data including key scale-up drivers such as availability of tech incubators, investment, access to talent and ease of doing business. 

Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “We are delighted that Manchester’s growing global reputation as a significant FinTech hub has been recognised.  

“This report not only looks at the quantity of individual FinTech firms but delves down into the success of both the FinTech companies themselves and the supporting ecosystem, the latter of which we believe to be key to firms’ success. 

“Coupled with affordability, access to talent and brilliant quality of life, The Global FinTech Index by findexable provides clear evidence that Manchester is the best UK city to start and scale a FinTech business.” 

Elise Wilson, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) portfolio lead and deputy chair of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s great to see Greater Manchester’s emerging strength as a hub for FinTech businesses recognised in this global index. 

“Our city-region’s digital economy is thriving and we can offer employers and founders in the sector all the ingredients they look for – liveability, great locations, access to the right talent and outstanding education providers to work with. 

“FinTech is becoming increasingly relevant and important to our everyday lives, and we’re proud that some of the most exciting companies in the sector call Greater Manchester home.” 

Findexable’s founder and CEO Simon Hardie, said: “Manchester’s ambition as a viable commercial alternative to London is increasingly more about substance than soundbite. A well-established tradition of digital and media activity has more recently inspired a vibrant payments and FinTech scene. 

“This and other factors like the city’s world-renowned universities and an enabling ecosystem supported by development agencies like MIDAS have helped power the city’s rise to the top of the UK and European FinTech rankings this year. It’s an exciting time to be in FinTech in the north of the UK.” 

Manchester is home to more than 80+ FinTech companies and the UK’s largest regional financial, professional and business services (FPBS) industry outside of London, employing more than 280,000 people. 

Specialising in payments, platforms, software and consumer finance, Manchester has recently seen OakNorth, Adyen, Klarna and MoneySuperMarket expand into the city, complementing homegrown FinTechs including AccessPay, Raisin and Nivo. 

An array of innovation hubs, accelerators and incubators underpin Manchester’s FinTech ecosystem, where start-ups, SMEs and larger firms converge, collaborate and drive innovation.