fintech and blockchain icons on financial technology background

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking to fintechs to help solve Covid-19 challenges that financial markets are facing.

The FCA opened two new regulatory sandboxes for innovative firms seeking to tackle issues caused by the pandemic, such as preventing scams, supporting vulnerable consumers and improving access to capital for small companies.

The initiatives include the seventh cohort of its existing regulatory sandbox project, and a new pilot program with the City of London to support product development.

The latest version of the FCA’s existing sandbox will allow businesses to test innovative products and services with real consumers, while the Digital Sandbox pilot aims to test the value of providing assistance to innovative firms — such as access to synthetic data sets — in terms of getting new ideas to market more quickly.

“The FCA is a strong believer in the positive power of innovation. Today we are strengthening the range and scale of support we are providing to innovative firms to deal with the challenges raised by the pandemic,” said Nick Cook, director of innovation at the FCA.

“Together, these services will allow us to support a wider spectrum of innovative firms, from early stage proof of concept development in the Digital Sandbox, to testing new products or services with consumers in the Regulatory Sandbox,” he said.