Regulation  

FCA reveals the firms it's helping with tech plans

FCA reveals the firms it's helping with tech plans

The Financial Conduct Authority has accepted another 24 firms into its regulatory sandbox, including a company building an automated online advice process.

The sandbox exists to help companies test their new ideas, products or services in a live environment while protecting consumers.

This is the second cohort of firms which the FCA is allowing to enter the sandbox, with the first cohort approved in October 2016.

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It includes Evalue, which is looking to offer an on-going fully automated online streamlined advice process for employees to help them set and achieve realistic retirement goals.

Meanwhile nViso is looking to test an online platform providing advisers and clients with behavioural assessment profiles generated by artificial intelligence and facial recognition.

Experian is looking to test a mortgage eligibility tool that can be used to help consumers who are in the research phase of buying a home.

The list also includes Beekin, which aims to use artificial intelligence and data sharing to build transparency and liquidity in alternative assets such as real estate and offers risk management and analytics to small investors.

It also includes firms offering blockchain technology, insurance, an employee benefits comparison platform and remittance services.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “The sandbox continues to grow in popularity and it is particularly encouraging that both the number of firms applying and accepted for testing has increased in cohort two.

“That means more innovative firms, trialling more innovative propositions to bring to the market.

“This is an important part of the FCA’s commitment to promoting innovation and competition in the markets we regulate.”

For the firms in the first cohort the six-month testing window has now closed and they are submitting final reports which will be reviewed before they transition out of the sandbox.

The FCA said the majority of tests developed “as planned” towards their objectives and the regulator has predicted that most firms will take their propositions to market.

The regulator has said it is now accepting applications from firms of all sizes to be part of the third sandbox phase, and they have until 31 July to apply.

damian.fantato@ft.com