Scotland has recently become a hot topic in the investment world with many exciting announcements hitting the headlines over the past few months.

A stream of inward investments are adding to Scotland’s claim to fame as the UK's most attractive location for foreign direct investment (FDI) outside London for the 6th time in 7 years.

Join us as we celebrate the amazing work of Scottish Development International (SDI) as they continue to lead the way with groundbreaking initiatives and welcome FDI into Scotland.

Who are SDI?

As Scotland’s official foreign direct investment agency, SDI help businesses from across the globe do business in or with Scotland.

SDI aim to encourage more overseas businesses to set up shop in Scotland, invest in local businesses, and buy Scottish products.

From partnerships with overseas companies to offering information and resources to potential investors, SDI are here to help businesses find the connections they need to prosper in the Scottish market.

New Roles in Financial & Professional Services

Scotland continues to cement its position as a financial powerhouse on the global scene. 

With over 2000 jobs created from Scottish FDI projects, the plucky Scots are making bold leaps towards financial prosperity. Scottish financial services firms continue to present employment opportunities and attract professionals from the four corners of the Earth. 

Here’s a taste of SDI’s latest achievements to boost Scottish jobs in the financial sector.

EY Increases Scottish Headcount by 25% 

In May 2019, EY announced a push to increase job opportunities by 25% across Scotland with approximately 250 empty seats to be filled. 

Following the appointment of Ally Scott as the new managing partner for Scotland, EY is set to embrace Scotland as a centre for innovation and growth. 

Ally Scott explains how “the Scottish market is brimming with ambitious and talented individuals who want to work with a diverse range of clients from owner-managed scale-ups seeking on the ground support with funding and people strategy, through to established blue-chip brands with global operations.” 

EY is engaging with exciting initiatives like the University of Edinburgh’s Data Science Education Centre of Excellence to encourage inward investment into Scotland’s tech industry.  

Lloyds Build New Digital Tech Hub 

Lloyds Banking Group has announced 500 job openings for a new digital tech hub in Edinburgh. 

The banking giant hopes to build on their existing Scottish stronghold and tap into Edinburgh’s emerging tech scene in search of the best talent in the industry. 

Chairman of the bank’s Scottish Executive Committee, Philip Grant, explains how Edinburgh’s “growth in agile startups, offerings from its world-leading universities, and new digital academies provide greater scale and choice for careers in the industry.” 

KPMG Announce 400 jobs in Glasgow Offices 

In April this year, KPMG made the decision to collaborate with SDI to expand its Tax Centre of Excellence in Glasgow. 

The professional services firm expressed their interest in Scotland’s established financial sector and recognised "the depth of talent” in their education system as a positive driver for inward investment. 

JP Morgan Set Up Shop in the Capital 

In 2015, JP Morgan expand its investment banking and wealth management teams in Edinburgh. Fast forward to 2019, and the American multinational has opened 450 new jobs in the capital. 

Edinburgh ticked all the right boxes for JP Morgan. The availability of property and strong transport links prompted the bank’s enormous investment into outer-city offices at Edinburgh Park.  

Additionally, a highly skilled and multilingual workforce allowed the bank to build a diverse team with a cohort of 600 employees spanning across 53 different nationalities. 

Managing Director, Sandy Brodie, explains how “the cosmopolitan nature of Edinburgh and its attractiveness as a city” makes it easy to pull talent from across the world to build exciting teams. 

Glasgow Expansion 

Following the success of their Edinburgh move, JP Morgan has recently announced plans for a swanky 270,000 square foot office, slap bang in the middle of Glasgow. 

The bank says they’ll have space for up to 2,700 employees, which would make them the largest technology employer and recruiter in Scotland. 

Despite JP Morgan having a presence in Glasgow for over two decades, their ambitious 2022 plans will cement Glasgow’s position as one of the world’s leading technology hubs. 

Barclays Makes the Move to Glasgow

Continuing with the Glasgow theme, Barclays has recently announced plans for an enormous 5000-person campus in Buchanan Wharf.

Not only will the 2021 plans double the bank’s Glasgow presence, but it will also provide countless opportunities for local communities and the city’s world-renowned academic institutions.

Although Buchanan Wharf is just a short walk from the city centre, Barclays hope their investment will boost the local economy and encourage more businesses to set-up shop in this emerging part of town.

Regional Downsizing Plays into Scotland’s Hands

In June this year, M&G Prudential announced 400 new Edinburgh-based jobs as a result of the companies downsizing efforts across regional UK offices.

M&G is relocating employees from London, Chelmsford, Reading, and Stirling to build the company’s wealth solutions team and create a fintech hub in the Scottish capital.

With Edinburgh ranking as one of the world’s top ten fintech hubs, an M&G spokesperson explains how their investment into their Edinburgh office gives the company access to expertise and supports their transformation into a digital first business.

Scotland’s Fintech Boom

Scotland’s emerging tech scene is not only attracting investment from traditional financial services firms, but is also winning the hearts of cutting-edge fintechs.

Access to top talent and healthy competition from some of the world’s hottest fintechs, including Money Dashboard and Lightbox Reward, creates the perfect environment to disrupt established financial markets.

Here are some of our favourite examples of fintechs who are setting up shop in Scotland to rock the financial world.

Hong Kong Fintech Opens Edinburgh Hub

In January this year, SDI announced Actelligent’s decision to bring their online financial services platform 10,000 kilometers across the world from Hong Kong to Edinburgh.

Actelligent connects investors, private fund managers, and retail investors with exciting opportunities in international markets.

The adventurous move represents the first foreign direct investment into Scotland by a fintech based in Hong Kong. International fintechs are increasingly seeing the value in setting up Scottish offices to attract talent and create innovative products in a highly competitive environment.

Actelligent is expected to open 20 new jobs in their Edinburgh offices, following over £300,000 of support from Regional Selective Assistance.  

London Startup Ventures North 

September 2019 marked the one year anniversary of Modulr opening their first office outside London.

After attracting over £10 million of investment since the company's launched in 2016, the business payments platform travelled north to expand its UK reach to Scotland.

Their Edinburgh offices house over 30 new employees with the intention to grow the company’s software engineering, customer support and finance teams.

Scottish investment is helping London-centric fintechs (like Modulr) stretch their legs and ride the wave of rapid growth as they scale into new markets and attract top talent.

Fife Council Fund Cutting-Edge Fintech

Renovite Technologies, an innovative payment solutions startup from Dunfermline has hit the headlines after receiving £250,000 of grant funding from Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise.

The investment promises to upsize the company’s office and recruit 28 new staff members to boost local employment in the technology sector. 

The company’s COO, Jim Tomaney, explains how Scottish fintechs are satisfying rising demand for “new and innovative products in financial services.”

A Bright Future For Scotland

As FDI continues to encourage overseas investment and promote Scottish products, more and more businesses are catching the Scottish bug.

The future looks bright for Scotland as established financial services firms create more jobs, and emerging fintechs offer healthy competition by challenging market leaders with disruptive tech.

Recruit or Work with Change

If you’d like to work at a company at the centre of Scottish business growth, take a look at our current job openings and learn about our company culture here.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to add some exciting new talent to your company and build your business in Scotland, speak to one of our dedicated recruitment consultants to find out how we can help. 

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