The UK’s IT sector grew by 15,000 companies last year, with demand from the financial sector being attributed as a large factor.

New data released by research group NoPalaver shows that there were 321,000 IT firms in the UK in 2014, up from 306,00 in 2013, notes cityam.com. This marks an annual jump of five per cent, with a boom in ‘FinTech’ and app companies driving the change.

Increased investment from big businesses in ‘FinTech’ applications has been a major force in the growth, according to NoPalaver. These apps enable financial services companies to provide expertise and services to customers through an increased use of technology, lowering operating costs without impacting on service provision, reports onrec.com.

Big data is also an area encouraging investment, as it presents companies with opportunities for improved customer service and more efficient operational processes. New start-ups are also benefiting from opportunities created by technology, empowering them to compete with more established rivals. The vast majority – 79 per cent – of UK IT companies remain sole traders.

Technological innovation is enabling a massive shake-up in the financial services – the biggest since the launch of online banking, notes Graham Jenner, director at NoPalaver. He sums up: “The UK, particularly London, continues to prove itself a breeding ground for technological innovation and offers attractive investment opportunities”.