FCA Regulatory Sandbox gives crowdfunders room to play

Audrey White

In the world of crowdfunding and alternative finance, it can be a challenge for businesses to know exactly what will be effective to grow their products and reach customers.

The FCA’s regulatory sandbox aims to bridge the gap between what the imaginable and reality by giving businesses leeway to try out new products and systems without the same stringent regulations they would otherwise face.

The sandbox is part of Project Innovate, which “was developed by the FCA to foster competition and growth in financial services by supporting both small and large businesses that are developing products and services that could genuinely improve consumers’ experiences and outcomes.”

The sandbox, which was proposed in November, would hopefully be effective in:

  • reducing the time and, potentially, the cost of getting innovative ideas to market
  • enabling greater access to finance for innovators
  • enabling more products to be tested and, thus, potentially introduced to the market
  • allowing the FCA to work with innovators to ensure that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are built in to their new products and services.

This is a huge step for an institution that has been accused of discouraging innovation in its not-too-distant history. And it’s great news for WLCF clients, says Malcolm South — and the company is ready to help clients pursue the opportunities the sandbox presents.

“Both our new and existing clients will have the opportunity to develop their own innovative services. We anticipate a growth in innovative services that automate financial services provision at key stages like underwriting, investment and financial advice. By engaging with the new wave of innovative services, our clients will be able to achieve greater operational efficiency and compete more effectively with incumbent providers. We will support this by developing integrations with these new services.”

You can read the FCA’s full proposal online. We’ll be sure to keep you apprised of when the sandbox becomes available — we look forward to providing technical support so you can take advantage of this exciting new program.

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