Hubs and Sandboxes
The FCA launched “Project Innovate” in October 2014, with the objective of encouraging innovation in financial services in the interests of consumers. This is closely linked to the FCA’s competition-related work as it seeks to assist both new and established businesses to introduce innovative financial products and services to the market. It is also designed to help the FCA in its role, by identifying where there may be gaps in the regulatory framework, or where that framework may need to be adapted to reflect changes in the market.
Support is provided through the FCA's dedicated “Innovation Hub”, which helps businesses understand how the regulatory framework applies to them, supports them through the authorisation process and provides them with dedicated contacts at the regulator. The FCA states that its Hub has supported over 200 businesses to date, 18 of which have now become authorised.