This is the largest sandbox cohort to date with 29 firms whittled down from 69 applications. A record number.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed the 29 fintechs and established firms for the fourth cohort of its regulatory sandbox.
Launched in November 2015, the FCA’s regulatory sandbox allows firms to test new and innovative products, services or business models in a live market environment but with regulatory support.
The idea is that firms can understand, as can the regulator, the emerging requirements of regulation before firms reach significant scale.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, says this is the largest sandbox cohort to date with a record number of applicants.
"Cohort 4 has seen a large increase in the number of firms testing wholesale propositions including firms that are aiming to increase the efficiency of the capital-raising process. Alongside these we can see significant use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), some experimentation with cryptoassets which will help inform our policy work and propositions aimed at helping lower income consumers,” he said.
In this latest batch of firms in the sandbox , the fourth cohort, there are 29 firms whittled down from 69 applications representing a higher number of companies that cohort 3.
Nearly half (40 pe cent) of firms are using blockchain based technologies, or distributed ledger technology (DLT) as the FCA prefers to call it. Of these, six are using DLT to automate the issuance of debt or equity. Two are using DLT to support the provision of insurance. Other technology applied includes geo-location technology, use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and artificial intelligence.
“We have accepted a small number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks,” the FCA said in statement.
Below you can see a full list of firms barring one firm which has asked not to be named.
Platform that facilitates the issuance and manages the lifecycle of regulated bonds using DLT.
DLT-based solution for issuing tokenised debt. Capexmove uses smart contracts to make debt financing more efficient.
Psychology based risk platform that promotes good money management discipline and improves outcomes for customers that trade Contracts for Difference (CfDs). It acts like a digital coach, encouraging adherence to money management and risk exposure levels.
Community First Credit Union
Initiative to facilitate creation of an identity token that supports customers who lack traditional forms of ID, in order to assist them in accessing bank account services in the UK.
RegTech solution that supports regulated activities in the UK to achieve more secure customer authentication via mobile phone network based geolocation services. The intention is to draw on geolocation technology to protect UK bank customers from fraud and crime.
Investment platform that gives professional and institutional investors access to a wide range of online lending markets through a single access point. Investors will be able to gain exposure to consumer, SME and real estate loans via CreditSCRIPT.
Fully autonomous, ‘always-on’ mortgage advice platform that continuously tracks and compares a borrower’s existing mortgage, alerting them the moment it pays to switch.
Service that uses smart contracts on a blockchain to provide fully automated, decentralised flight delay insurance.
Blockchain based digital platform that enables companies to issue and administer debt and equity securities, including bonds backed by cryptoassets.
Insights platform using distributed ledger and artificial intelligence technology to power SME financing by digitising credit applications and connecting loan issuances to the underlying financial data.
Capital raising platform for SMEs and institutional investors which facilitates the issuance process of debt and equity securities. Globacap use DLT to simplify and streamline the issuance process.
Fully-automated governance solution that enables financial institutions to monitor and understand how spreadsheets are used for regulated activities. The software monitors and enforces compliance rules, identifies structural file errors and quantifies enterprise risks. Analytics captured can be used to identify and expedite the automation of operational tasks.
London Media Exchange
Platform that facilitates the buying and selling of contracts for digital advertising space. In the short term this will improve transparency for market participants, and in the long term will lead to the development of derivatives.
Chatbot on Facebook Messenger that allows customers to buy and manage travel insurance. Policies are written in plain English and customers can ‘ask’ the chatbot what they are covered for. Group discounts and automated claims handling will also be available.
Current account which helps small business owners make decisions, with forward looking finances, smart invoices and easy receipts.
Automated-advice offering to help customers pick the most suitable mortgage given their needs and circumstances.
Service that combines financial modelling and machine learning to provide holistic financial plans with specific product recommendations directly to consumers.
Governance model based on DLT that enables organisations to work collaboratively on developing and running decentralised applications. The model codifies society rules in smart contracts on a blockchain creating a digital mutual. NatWest will open source the code after successful testing.
Service that enhances KYC, client onboarding and monitoring processes using account data to support identity verification and financial suitability.
Payroll linked lending platform which provides consumers with access to their earned income by the day or week. By enabling employees to access their earned income more frequently, they will be better able to manage their budget, address unexpected needs or avoid ‘late payment fees’ of existing commitments.
Funding platform that uses DLT to facilitate the issuance of shares in private companies more efficiently.
Service that connects a centralised payment card to a decentralised blockchain. Consumers hold their own assets in a decentralised Smart Contract wallet and top up their card through simple exchange.
Service that leverages blockchain technology in the distribution of insurance products to increase trust and improve user experience.
Privacy-driven KYC and AML solution backed by machine learning and network analyses to facilitate onboarding and access to business banking.
World Reserve Trust
Service that facilitates cheaper and faster global trade payments and settlement using the Sīlùbì, an asset-linked smart token that utilises a permissioned DLT network.
Service that enables individuals to transfer and consolidate (hence ‘zip’) their pensions (‘zip-pen’) all in one place, delivering convenience, financial advantage or both.
1825 (part of the Standard Life group)
Automated advice proposition for consumers that are close to retirement. Plans are generated by an automated advice engine that considers how to meet the needs and aspirations of consumers using their available liquid and illiquid assets.
DLT-based platform that allows companies to raise capital in a more efficient and streamlined way. The test will be facilitated in conjunction with the London Stock Exchange Group ad Nivaura.
The application window for cohort 5 of the regulatory sandbox will open later this year.