The U.K Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced today that its Innovation Hub is now open and offering support to innovators as part of the regulator’s Project Innovate. As regulation is one of the biggest challenges for innovations in finance to overcome, especially groundbreaking ones, this is a move that can certainly benefit British Fintech startups.
Project Innovate has been developed by the FCA with the aim of fostering competition and growth in financial services by supporting both small and large businesses that are developing products that could improve services for consumers.
The FCA’s Chief Executive, Martin Wheatley, commented on the announcement: “The Innovation Hub is part of our commitment to support innovation by opening doors to those – regulated and not – who come with fresh ideas about how to deliver financial services. This work levels the playing field by giving all firms eager to innovate access to our expertise so that the process of joining the financial markets or introducing new products does not seem so daunting.”
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The Innovation Hub will provide direct support from a team of dedicated FCA staff to both regulated and non-regulated entrepreneurs. In order to receive support from the FCA, businesses will need to show that their innovation could benefit the end consumer, either an individual or business.
The Innovation Hub will provide businesses which qualify with a dedicated contact for innovation related queries, including individual guidance and continued additional support for up to a year after authorization, in order to help developers understand the regulatory framework and how it applies to them.
The FCA also plans to use the interaction with innovators to identify areas where the regulatory regime needs to adapt to facilitate innovation and use the expertise gained through working with firms to inform future policy development in a way that supports innovation.