FinTech firms join Sandbox as FCA expands team

The UK’s FCA has processed 24 out 69 successful applicants for its sandbox, who will move on to testing soon.

By Hayley McDowell

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has expanded its regulatory sandbox team to meet growing demand, having accepted 24 out of 69 applications from FinTech firms.

Speaking at the BBA Fintech Banking Conference, director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard, said the 24 firms will now move on to testing.

He mentioned the FCA is currently holding discussions with the government about distributed ledger technology (DLT) and its application as blockchain.

“DLT presents real opportunities in the regulatory space… Opportunities such as helping firms meet Know Your Customer or anti-money laundering requirements more efficiently,” Woolard said.

He added: “But there are a number of issues to be considered…  how do individuals gain access to a distributed network and who controls this process? What data security exists for users?”

The FCA received Sandbox applications from all over the world, Woolard said, including Denmark, Singapore, Canada and the US.

The regulator is now in the process of agreeing details of testing, timelines and customer safeguards for the 24 successful applicants.

“This is as much an experiment for us as it is for firms. It is the first time we are allowing firms to test in this way, so naturally some pilots will go better than others,” Woolard concluded.