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    FCA Launches Innovation Pathways Initiative to Support Fintech Firms

    April 04, 2022

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a CryptoSprint as well as a support service called Innovation Pathways, which is intended to remove barriers to entry for firms looking to innovate or launch new products, including automated advice and guidance. It also published insights on the financial sector firms and technology to be supported by the Regulatory Sandbox and Innovation Pathways, including firm sizes, sectors, and locations.

    In addition, FCA issued eligibility criteria and guidance documents on Innovation Pathways and Regulatory Sandbox. FCA also published an authorization guide for firms developing automated advice models. This guide applies to firms that are seeking authorization and change in permissions, identifies key themes that firms should consider before applying, and is based on the experience of firms that have previously applied. As per FCA, data show that a high proportion of firms that use its innovation services successfully become authorized. Entities wishing to test an innovative new financial services product with real customers in a live environment can apply to the Regulatory Sandbox. Innovation Pathways combines the direct support and advice unit services of FCA; it is a bespoke support service that is aimed to help firms to launch innovative products and services for consumers and to promote innovation by:

    • helping innovative firms understand how regulation relates to their activities
    • removing barriers to entry through ongoing monitoring of rules
    • clarifying existing rules in relation to new business models
    • helping firms understand their obligations as regulated firms


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    Keywords: Europe, UK, Banking, Insurance, Securities, Fintech, Regtech, Regulatory Sandbox, Innovation Pathways, Suptech, DLT, Blockchain, Crypto-Assets, Crypto Sprint, FCA

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