Barclays ramps up fintech ambitions with the launch of Europe's largest co-working space for financial technologies in Shoreditch

Rebecca Smith
Barclays is keen to show its muscle on fintech
Barclays is keen to show its muscle on fintech (Source: Getty)

Barclays is focusing on boosting its fintech credentials with the opening of its flagship innovation site Rise London in Shoreditch, which it says will be Europe's largest co-working space specifically for financial technologies.

Rise, Barclays' fintech innovation arm, has seven workspaces around the world, including the likes of New York, Cape Town, Mumbai and Tel Aviv.

The London space, which opened today, will bring together a range of fintech startups, along with the bank's corporate clients and other experts, to work on Barclays' customer and business opportunities to "help create the future of financial services".

Read more: Barclays profits more than double as it plans extra 2,000 jobs

Rise London, spanning 30,000 square feet of workspace, will be home to more than 40 fintech firms, including simulation platform Simudyne and Flux, which provides automated receipts and rewards to phones.

The space will also house banking and tech teams from Barclays, and will host more than 200 hours of learning, workshops, hackathons and networking every month.

Jes Staley, Barclays' chief executive, said:

We believe that technology must be a core competency of a global financial institution, and we intend to be a leader in the industry. Last week we announced the creation of 750 new jobs in our UK technology centres.

Fintech startups are at the front of the technology wave that is changing our industry. Through Rise, we glean important insights; we can actively experiment with emerging technologies, and we can spot early trends and new markets as they form. This allows our employees, customers and clients to do things faster, better and at lower cost.

Read more: Barclays chairman to reduce board commitments amid investor pressure

Last week Barclays announced it had more than doubled profits for the first quarter to £1.7bn, as well as plans to hire 2,000 members of staff over the next three years, with roles focused on technology.

The development is also being taken as a positive backing for post-Brexit London and the future of financial technology in the capital. Chancellor Philip Hammond said last month he was pleased Barclays had chosen the capital to develop "the largest fintech accelerator in Europe".

Hammond also said it was imperative Britain "continue to attract the brightest and best from around the world" in order to stay ahead in fintech at a conference last month.

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