UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched its Innovation Hub to encourage competition in the financial sector.
The FCA initiative is aimed at helping new and established technology firms navigate regulations, making it easier to do business with banks and independently.
The FCA — which launched its Project Innovate programme earlier this year - is keen to promote competition and facilitate new services and trends such as peer-to-peer lending, said FCA chief executive, Martin Wheatley.
"The Innovation Hub is part of our commitment to support innovation by opening doors to those — regulated and not — who come with fresh ideas about how to deliver financial services," Wheatley said.
"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."
Despite a booming fintech scene in the UK, it can be difficult for smaller firms and those which do not traditionally work in the financial sector to meet compliance demands.
The Innovation Hub will offer dedicated support from FCA staff, answering innovation-related questions, helping firms understand regulatory frameworks, and providing continued support for up to a year. It will also use discussions to inform potential changes to legislation in future.
The service will be available to companies which can exhibit clear benefits to end-users, whether a business or individual. More information on participation criteria can be found here.
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