FCA opens regulatory sandbox to applications

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), today announced the opening of its regulatory sandbox to applicant firms.

The sandbox is a ‘safe space’ in which businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms while securing necessary protection to consumers. A part of Project Innovate, which was launched in October 2014, the regulatory sandbox aims to help the FCA stimulate innovation and promote competition through disruptive innovation.

The sandbox will offer a set of options for eligible firms, such as a tailored authorisation process (restricted authorisation) for new firms in the testing phase. An application should show that:

  • the firm is in scope;
  • the idea is a genuine innovation;
  • there is a consumer benefit;
  • there is a need for sandbox, including which tool and why;
  • the firm is ready for testing.

Firms can apply to be part of the first sandbox cohort until July 8, 2016. The FCA plans to run a second cohort with applications accepted from November to mid-January 2017.

For the official announcement from the FCA, click here.

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