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Saudi British Joint Business Council: Leading UK Fintech Delegation to Riyadh

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The Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC) is leading a delegation of 30 UK fintech companies and investors to Riyadh from 29 to 31 January. Co-sponsored by Saudi Awwal Bank and payment solutions provider Geidea, the three-day mission aims to strengthen ties between the UK and Saudi fintech ecosystems. The UK remains the second largest global fintech hub after the US, while Saudi Arabia aims to become the region’s fintech leader. The delegation will include representatives from Alba Partners, KYC Hub, Wise, and more.

The Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC) is leading a delegation of 30 UK fintech companies and investors to Riyadh from 29 to 31 January. The three-day mission aims to strengthen ties between the UK and Saudi fintech ecosystems. The delegation will include representatives from Alba Partners, KYC Hub, Wise, and more.

The mission is co-sponsored by Saudi Awwal Bank and Riyadh-based payment solutions provider Geidea, and is supported by the UK’s Department for Business & Trade, the Saudi Ministry of Communications & IT, and Fintech Saudi.

The visit is part of the SBJBC’s efforts to promote greater cooperation and partnership between the UK and Saudi Arabia in the fintech sector. It is the council’s second fintech mission to the country, and is one of the largest of its kind to visit the region from any one country.

Chris Innes-Hopkins, UK executive director of SBJBC, commented: “The strength of this delegation is recognition of the excitement that reforms in Saudi Arabia’s financial services sector has generated. We look forward to a productive visit and new partnerships between our two fintech ecosystems.”

The UK is the second largest global fintech hub after the US and the leading European fintech market, with $5.1 billion invested across 409 deals in 2023. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, was first in the MENA region in terms of venture capital volume in 2023, with a 33% growth resulting in a total of $1.4 billion. The Kingdom is aiming to become a regional fintech leader, with fintech representing between 60% to 70% of early-stage deal flow.

Peter Ashby, Director of Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Riyadh and Deputy UK Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, said: “It is evident that the fintech business in Saudi Arabia is growing rapidly and is fast becoming one of the most exciting sectors. Saudi Arabia aims to become the region’s fintech hub, with the target of 525 fintech companies by 2030, contributing SAR13.3 billion in direct GDP (£2.8 billion). We look forward to supporting Vision 2030 fintech sector growth, through bringing strong delegations such as this, which includes unicorns, innovative fintechs, and investors.”

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