The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that applications for the Digital Sandbox sustainability cohort are now open until October 11, 2021. FCA has added information on eligibility criteria to assess applications to develop a solution in the digital sandbox. Building on the lessons learned from the pilot, FCA is running the second phase of Digital Sandbox focused on providing support to innovators looking to develop and validate solutions in the area of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data and disclosure. In addition, FCA has launched the Green Fintech Challenge 2021 to support development and live market testing of new products and services that will aid the transition to a net zero economy. The application window for this challenge is open until November 15, 2021 and successful applicants will be notified in early 2022.
FCA has added information on eligibility criteria to assess applications in the Green Fintech Challenge. The Green Fintech Challenge is open to start-ups, incumbents, and technology providers that meet the eligibility criteria. FCA encourages applications from firms developing innovative green solutions that require regulatory support to bring their proposition to market. FCA highlighted its interest in firms that are developing innovations in the area of ESG data and disclosure. For example, products and services that will:
- enable transparency in disclosure and reporting on sustainability by companies along the investment chain
- help consumers better understand the ESG characteristics of relevant products and providers they engage with as well as provide visibility around alternatives aligned with their needs and preferences
However, FCA also mentioned that the criteria is not limited to the above and that it will consider all proposals in the areas of sustainability and climate change that meet the eligibility criteria. The Green Fintech Challenge does not replace the existing Innovate services (Direct Support, Advice Unit, the regulatory sandbox). Firms developing propositions that are not within the scope of the Green Fintech Challenge can apply directly to Direct Support, the Advice Unit or the regulatory sandbox. This Green Fintech Challenge is being run as part of a broader program of work using the regulatory innovation toolkit to assist firms and regulators to overcome some of the challenges the transition to a net zero economy will raise.
Keywords: Europe, UK, Banking, Securities, Digital Sandbox, Green Fintech Challenge, ESG, Reporting, Disclosures, Sustainable Finance, Green Finance, Regtech, Fintech, Net Zero Economy, FCA
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