Global investment in financial technology (fintech) companies has tripled in the past year, with the fastest growth witnessed in Europe.

Research carried out by CB Insights on behalf of Accenture showed investment in fintech firms across the world grew from $4.05 billion (£2.7bn) in 2013 to $12.2 billion (£8.2bn) in 2014. Overall spending on fintech firms grew by more than three times the rate of general venture capital investment.

Accentures is hosting the third annual FinTech Innovation Lab at RBS' headquarters today. Image: iStock/mikeinlondon
Accentures is hosting the third annual FinTech Innovation Lab at RBS' headquarters today. Image: iStock/mikeinlondon

The US continued to dominate investments, though Europe was the fastest growing region, up 215 percent to $1.48 billion (£1bn) in 2014.

More than two thirds of the investments in Europe were made in the UK and Ireland with spending up from $264 million in 2013 to $623 million (£417m).

Across the rest of Europe, the Nordic countries ($345 million), the Netherlands ($306 million) and Germany ($82 million) also saw significant levels of investment.

“The massive investment in fintech shows that the digital revolution is well advanced in financial services, and it is both a threat and an opportunity for banks,” said Julian Skan, Accenture managing director banking in Europe, Latin America and Africa.

“Fintech is empowering new competitors and startups to move into parts of the banking business but, paradoxically, it is also helping banks to create better, more convenient products and services for their clients."

London’s fintech community in particular has seen fast growth as the financial sector is transformed by new technologies. Separate figures published last year by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promo agency, showed that by November, London’s fintech companies have attracted more than $539 million (£342 million) during 2014.

The publication of Accenture’s report into fintech investment growth comes as the service provider hosts the investor day for its third annual FinTech Innovation Lab, backed by a number of other organisations including the Technology Strategy Board and the London Mayor’s office as well as major UK banks.

This year’s finalists - Atsora, Cytora, Duco, PontusVision, Ripjar, Torusware and xWare42 – have been enrolled on a 12-week mentorship programme hosted at Canary Wharf’s Level 39 accelerator space, and will present as part of an investor day in front of finance sector businesses, hosted at Royal Bank of Scotland’s offices later today.