In a recent speech delivered at the British Bankers’ Association FinTech Banking Conference, Christopher Woolard, the Director of Strategy and Competition at the UK Financial Conduct Authority spoke about the high level of interest in the FCA’s Regulatory Sandbox for FinTech ventures. The Sandbox aims to create a ‘safe space’ in which FinTech businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of engaging in the activity.
Of 69 applications to join the Sandbox, the FCA has accepted 24 to develop towards testing. The FCA’s team has been expanded to meet demand. 40 of the unsuccessful first time applicants will be offered assistance via Project Innovate or other FCA staff, in some cases to prepare for the next cohort of the Sandbox.