FCA announced the list of 13 firms that have been accepted into cohort seven of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products and services. The selected firms include Blockpass, Hlthie, Kontinuous, TrustElevate, and Willow Money. Examples of propositions that have been accepted into cohort seven include a digital identity software service, a digital-first health insurance product, a distributed leger technology (DLT)-enabled platform, and an open banking platform.
FCA had received 58 applications to cohort seven of the regulatory sandbox and has set out the names of participating firms and their project descriptions. Applications were received from firms operating in the UK and overseas. The majority of applications came from firms in the retail investments and retail lending sectors. In the wider context of COVID-19 pandemic, FCA was interested in seeing more innovation and testing from firms developing businesses, products or services intended to detect fraud and scams, support the financial resilience of vulnerable consumers, or improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis.
At present, the regulatory sandbox is run on a cohort basis, with periodic application windows opened throughout the year. However, FCA intends to move to “Always Open” later in 2021, making the regulatory sandbox available throughout the year. In doing so, FCA will expand and clarify the scope of qualifying propositions to ensure it supports firms and sandbox tests, which will lead to tangible benefits for consumers and markets. FCA will make further announcements when the regulatory sandbox will be opening for new applications.
Keywords: Europe, UK, Banking, Insurance, Securities, COVID-19, Fintech, Regtech, Cohort 7, Regulatory Sandbox, Open Banking, DLT, FCA
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