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    FCA Extends Fintech Challenge Deadline, Announces TechSprint Winners

    November 16, 2021

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended, to December 06, 2021, the application deadline for Green Fintech Challenge 2021. FCA had earlier 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. FCA has also released the list of winners of the Sustainability TechSprint which took place in October 2021. The TechSprint focused on building technological solutions to overcome challenges faced by regulators in monitoring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data and disclosures.

    Ten mixed-disciplined teams comprising 120 active participants worked to develop solutions to four use cases. These use cases are related to verifying accuracy and completeness of disclosures, generating insights from different data sources to determine regulatory intervention, tracking and verifying companies’ claims regarding net zero targets, and identifying data points to design a sustainable investment label. The winning solutions include the following:

    • Decentralized Carbon Offset (DeCO). The solution aims to track how companies are moving toward net zero targets by increasing transparency around companies’ carbon offsetting programs. It does so by verifying companies’ reports on their carbon footprint and offsetting using independent data from satellite imagery, drones, and IoT devices.
    • Carbon attribute to digital payments. One of the winning teams proposed a mandatory carbon attribute to digital payments that carry the highest carbon intensity. The aim is to standardize carbon reporting and bring transparency around the consumption of carbon in the economy. This would incorporate spending data to measure carbon emissions, assigning carbon factors to key areas of activity. The tool would then aggregate and profile the carbon emissions captured.
    • Impact investing. Another team developed a tool to help calculate an Impact Score that would determine if a fund is eligible for an "Impact Investing Badge." To calculate the Impact Score, the tool would take into account the change in ESG Score of the investee companies, the extent to which the companies utilize their voting rights, and the length of an investment.
    • Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) Tracker. Another winning team built an “SDG Tracker” aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to generate insights from multiple structured and unstructured data sources, such as news sources, to help determine any areas for regulatory intervention. This sought to provide a more holistic focus on both environmental and social elements of ESG.

     

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    Keywords: Europe, UK, Banking, Securities, Green Fintech Challenge, Sustainability TechSprint, ESG, Deadline Extension, Reporting, Disclosures, Sustainable Finance, Regtech, Fintech, Net Zero Economy, FCA

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