The FCA has published a speech by Christopher Woolard, FCA Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, about what the next phase of Project Innovate will involve. Points of interest in the speech include:

  • the FCA is working more deeply with innovators than this time last year. For example, it received 77 applications for the second cohort of its sandbox, more than applied for cohort one. 31 of these applications have been accepted to progress towards testing;
  • the FCA’s Advice Unit, which currently assists firms developing automated advice models, will not have a broader approach. It will take in firms within the mortgage, general insurance and debt sectors, as well as firms that want to provide guidance instead of regulated advice;
  • the Innovate team has been asked to do more to lead the conversation about emerging trends and innovations. For example, the FCA has launched a discussion paper on distributed ledger technology;
  • Mr Woolard speaks of innovation having an international nature and a significant focus for the FCA will be seeking to develop consensus through bodies like the G20 and the International Organization of Securities Commission; and
  • serious interest in FinTech hubs is emerging outside of London. Specifically, the FCA is working with local authorities, development partners and firms in the Edinburgh-Glasgow corridor and the Leeds-Manchester area.

View FCA speech on the next phase of Project Innovate, 10 April 2017