The FCA's "sandbox" has proven to be a very useful and constructive initiative. Importantly, it is driving both fintechs and traditional corporates to think and execute on solving real world issues. Specifically, bringing together commercial and regulatory "guiderails" will help lead to more innovative and practical solutions, particularly for financial services.
Deloitte found this particularly helpful last autumn when teaming with Metro Bank and fintech start up, SETL, to prove out retail payments across SETL's blockchain infrastructure and into Metro bank accounts. Following the guidelines set out by the FCA helped ensure that key elements, such as KYC/AML, security, inter-operability, capacity and immediacy were all catered for and included in the end to end solution.
It is part of the FCA’s Innovate programme that was launched in 2014 and aims to encourage competition by helping fintech firms develop their products.The 24 firms that are poised to run tests follow 18 businesses that were allowed to play in the watchdog’s sandbox last autumn in the first round of trials.