The FCA has published the following documents relating to the regulatory sandbox:

  • sandbox eligibility criteria setting out the criteria against which the FCA will make decisions regarding applicants for testing in the sandbox. Criteria include whether the firm is in scope, whether it is a genuine innovation, whether there is consumer benefit and a need for the sandbox, and if the firm is ready for testing; and
  • default standards for sandbox testing parameters that cover duration, number of customers, customer selection and safeguards, disclosure, data and testing plans.

The FCA has also published a speech by Christopher Woolard, FCA Director of Strategy and Competition, which he delivered at the Innovate Finance Global Summit on 11 April 2016. Mr Woolard pointed out that the key question for the FCA relates to how a regulator can create a sandbox that gives industry the freedom to break new ground and encourage creative solutions when there is a limited public appetite to accept business failure if things go wrong, particularly in financial services. He further discusses the two main challenges to this question being:

  • how does the FCA deliver a sandbox that lowers barriers to testing within the existing regulatory framework; and
  • how does the FCA ensure that risks from testing novel solutions are not transferred from firms to consumers.

Mr Woolard states that the FCA will be open to applications for authorisation by sandbox firms from 9 May 2016.

View Sandbox eligibility criteria, 12 April 2016

View Default standards for sandbox testing parameters, 12 April 2016

View Innovate Finance Global Summit speech, 11 April 2016