Report: Fintech a powerful force in Delaware economy

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A report on financial technology (Fintech) in Delaware takes note of a growing sector of the economy that is attracting new players and legacy banks.

The report, researched and authored by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, First State Fintech Lab and the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, details the latest developments and innovation in financial services.

The report notes that thanks to JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, M&T Bank, WSFS Bank, and Citibank, the talent pool in banking and financial services has grown and accounts for nine percent of all jobs in Delaware, the highest share of any U.S. state.

In addition to being a destination location for traditional banking, fintech companies from around the world are choosing Delaware. Examples include Irvine, California-basedAcorns, which opened a satellite operation at The Mill in Wilmington; Delaware-basedFair Square Financial, which recently expanded and moved into a 22,000 square-foot facility in Wilmington; and Marlette Funding, which is expanding and creating more than 200 new jobs and making a $7.5M capital investment in New Castle County.

Defining the fintech sector can be complicated, according to John Taylor, director of economic research at the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

“Some are referring to fintech as a standalone new industry,” Taylor said. “Certainly, the term is relatively new, but a closer look suggests that all financial services companies are becoming fintech companies, including the well-established incumbents as well as early-stage startups.”

Highlights

  • Delaware has the highest relative concentration of financial services jobs of any U.S. state. Among S. counties, New Castle County ranks third.
  • Since 2009, nearly 200 fintech patents were assigned to Delaware-based individuals and companies. Delaware ranks first in the United States on a per capita basis, and fifth in absolute terms.
  • Finance accounts for more than one-fifth of Delaware’s GDP, the largest contributor of any sector.
  • Delaware has been a magnet for out-of-state direct investment by financial services firms in recent years, with $725 million invested since 2010. Wilmington is the leading destination in the region for
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