Regulator launches Project Innovate hub

The Financial Conduct Authority’s Innovation Hub is now open and offering support as part of the regulator’s Project Innovate.

The project has been developed to foster competition and growth in financial services by supporting both small and large businesses that are developing products that could genuinely improve services for consumers.

Martin Wheatley, the FCA’s chief executive, stated: “This work levels the playing field by giving all firms eager to innovate access to our expertise so that the process of joining the financial markets or introducing new products does not seem so daunting.”

The Innovation Hub will provide direct support from a team of dedicated FCA staff to both regulated and non-regulated innovators. Businesses will need to show that their innovation could bring benefits to the end consumer, either an individual or business.

It will provide businesses who qualify with access to the following services:

• a dedicated contact for innovation-related queries, including provision of individual guidance and informal steers, as appropriate;

• continuation of additional support for up to a year after authorisation (for those firms who have been supported through the authorisations process);

• help to understand the regulatory framework and how it applies;

• identification of areas where the regulatory regime needs to adapt to facilitate innovation, and

• use of the expertise gained through the FCA’s work with firms to inform future policy development in a way that supports innovation.