LONDON — The Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC UK) is leading a delegation of 30 UK fintech companies and investors to Riyadh from 29-31 January 2024.

The visit marks the second fintech mission headed by SBJBC to the Kingdom and stands as one of the largest sector-specific delegations from any country to the region. The mission aligns with Saudi Arabia's movement toward more open banking and the swift expansion of its fintech ecosystem.

Co-sponsored by Saudi Awwal Bank and Geidea, and supported by the UK’s Department for Business & Trade, the Saudi Ministry of Communications & IT, and Fintech Saudi, the three-day event will feature meetings with key local stakeholders and potential partners. The highlight of the visit is a UK/Saudi Fintech Venture Day at The Garage Innovation District on 30 January, which will host interactive panel discussions and pitches from leading UK and Saudi startups.

The UK continues to be a global fintech leader, ranking second only to the US and as the top fintech market in Europe. In 2023, the UK fintech sector attracted $5.1 billion across 409 deals. The country houses approximately 2,500 fintech companies, with a growing number of specializations, including digital payment technologies and Islamic Fintech.

Saudi Arabia leads the MENA region in venture capital volume, experiencing a 33% growth in 2023, reaching a record $1.4 billion. The Kingdom is rapidly advancing toward becoming a regional fintech hub, with fintech accounting for 60-70% of early-stage deal flow.

Chris Innes-Hopkins, UK Executive Director of SBJBC, commented: “SBJBC is thrilled to lead this second UK fintech mission to Saudi Arabia. The caliber of the delegation reflects the global interest in the transformative reforms in Saudi Arabia’s financial services sector. We anticipate a fruitful visit, fostering new partnerships between our two fintech ecosystems. I am thankful for the collaboration of all our partners”.

Peter Ashby, Director of Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Riyadh and Deputy UK Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, said: “We eagerly welcome the return of SBJBC and the UK Fintech delegation to Saudi Arabia. The rapid growth of the Saudi fintech sector is a testament to its burgeoning status as a key player in the industry. Saudi Arabia's goal to become the regional fintech hub, with an aim of hosting 525 fintech companies by 2030, contributing SR13.3bn to the GDP, aligns perfectly with our support for Vision 2030. We are committed to fostering fintech sector growth through robust delegations that include unicorns, innovative fintechs, and investors”.

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