On 10 August 2021, the FCA updated its webpage dealing with the Digital sandbox and coronavirus.

On this webpage the FCA has added a new section “Apply to develop your solution in the Digital Sandbox”.

The FCA states that it will be opening the application window for the sustainability cohort on 6 September 2021, with a view to opening the Sandbox to successful participants in November and access to the testing environment from January 2022. The FCA adds that applications will be assessed on the following eligibility criteria:

  • Genuine innovation: The solution/product is sufficiently different from what already exists in the market.
  • In scope: The solution would benefit UK consumers or financial services firms by solving one of the ESG data and disclosure use cases. The company doesn’t need to be domiciled in the UK, but the solution needs to be intended for use in the UK market.
  • Need for a Digital Sandbox: The solution requires Digital Sandbox features to be developed or improved.
  • Credible testing plan: The application has proposed a well-designed testing plan, detailing success criteria and future steps.
  • Applications must be submitted through the online application form on the Digital Sandbox. The form will go live on 6 September 2021. The FCA will publish more information in the coming weeks.