On 20 April 2021, the FCA published a speech given by its CEO, Nikhil Rathi, during the FinTech Week event. The speech is entitled Levelling the playing field – innovation in the service of consumers and the market.

Highlights in the speech include:

  • The Chancellor has announced that the FCA will be taking forward the Kalifa Review’s recommendation for a Scalebox. This will draw on lessons from Project Innovate which has shown that once authorised firms continue to need higher levels of support from the regulator and, often, enhanced oversight.
  • By autumn, the FCA will develop plans to create a regulatory ‘nursery’. This will create a period of enhanced oversight as newly authorised firms develop and grow used to their regulatory status.
  • The FCA will shortly begin allowing year-round applications for the Sandbox and better advertise the support it already offers those firms looking to build out their innovative offering.
  • Working in partnership with the Corporation of the City of London, the FCA will also refine the Digital Sandbox, successfully piloted last year and focus, specifically, on sustainability.
  • The FCA has called on the Government to take action to provide better financial protection for consumers online. Online search and social media firms need to take greater responsibility for their role in connecting consumers with investment offers. The FCA sees no reason why different standards should apply to a search engine or social media compared to a newspaper.
  • The FCA is currently reviewing how the Regulatory Decisions Committee functions.