An automated approach to regulatory compliance, digitized advice and AI-enabled trading decisions, feature among the third cohort of firms to gain access to the regulatory sandbox hosted by UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the U.K. regulator announced Tuesday.
The sandbox allows financial firms to experiment with innovative ideas in a limited test environment.
Regulators in Canada introduced their own sandbox program earlier this year, although firms make their way through the Canadian version individually, not in cohorts.
The latest phase of the FCA sandbox attracted 61 submissions, 18 of which have been approved to test out a range of ideas, such as regulatory technology (regtech) solutions, automated advice and blockchain-based services.
For example, U.K. bank Barclays will be testing a system that tracks changes to FCA rules and aligns their implementation with the bank's internal policies. Nationwide is testing an automated solution for digital savings guidance and investment advice. Economic Data Sciences will be trying out a technology solution that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to provide fund managers with optimal trade-offs among a range of risks and objectives during the investment selection process.
"Since we first opened the sandbox, it has supported almost 70 firms in testing innovative new products and services," ays Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, FCA, in a statement. "As we open the application window for our next sandbox cohort, we continue to encourage applications from firms of all sizes and from a wide range of sectors, including sectors we haven't seen heavily represented in the sandbox to date."
The FCA is now accepting applications from firms to participate in the fourth sandbox phase.
The deadline for applications is Jan. 31, 2018, with the expectation that testing will begin in June 2018.
Key deadline: Jan. 31, 2018