Barclays opens Europe’s largest fintech site

Barclays has opened an innovation centre in London’s hipster capital Shoreditch housing internal banking and technology teams alongside more than 40 fintech startups.

The bank says its new site is Europe’s largest co-working space dedicated to fintech and will play host to more than 200 hours of learning, workshops, hackathons and networking on a monthly basis.

It is part of the Rise initiative, which has seen Barclays set up centres in New York, Manchester, Mumbai, Cape Town, Vilnius and Tel Aviv to create products, services and platforms along with startup partners.

Among the projects at the centres is the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, which has seen the bank go on to sign contracts with numerous participants in areas such as blockchain, AI and big data.

Group chief executive Jes Staley says that Barclays plans to be a technology leader, pointing to news last week of the creation of 750 new UK tech jobs.

He continues: “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.”

Michael Harte, group head, innovation, Barclays, adds: “For us, the more vibrant we make the fintech community, the greater the value contribution to customers and shareholders as well as to the financial services sector as a whole.”