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FCA supporting 9 robo-advice models with regulatory feedback on way

  • 23/09/2016
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FCA supporting 9 robo-advice models with regulatory feedback on way
The FCA has established an Advice Unit, to support firms developing automated models which focus on delivering low cost advice and is set to offer regulatory guidance and online development support for advice firms from 2017.

Out of the 19 applications reviewed for the Advice Unit, nine firms were successful and will now seek to provide regulatory feedback on the automated advice models they are developing.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “…there will be lessons for everyone – from regulators to firms.

“With that in mind, we aim to share publicly what we’ve learnt from the Advice Unit’s interactions with firms, in order to give greater clarity to the industry on how to take an automated advice model forward.

“We will begin to publish these resources on the FCA website for all firms developing automated advice models in early 2017.”

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has emphasised the need for existing firms to join new fintech start-ups in developing innovative technology in response to changing consumer demands.

Delivering an update on the regulator’s Project Innovate, Woolard called on incumbent firms to highlight any barriers they face when looking to improve competition and innovation.

He said: “…greater competition does not just mean new fintech start-ups, it also means incumbent firms developing new innovative services in the interest of consumers, and in some cases greater competition brought about through a start-up and incumbent firm collaborating.

“That is why I want to reiterate to you all today that Project Innovate is about working with incumbent firms to develop new innovative ideas as much as it is providing support to start-ups. If there are specific challenges incumbent firms face when it comes to competition and innovation, we would like to hear about them to inform our future activity,” Woolard added.

“We want UK firms to feel that both established players and start-ups can bring new ideas to market, invest and be able to grow.”

The FCA’s ‘Regulatory Sandbox’, part of Project Innovate, which provides businesses with a safe space to test innovative products and services, has so far seen 69 applications since opening in May. The FCA said it has accepted 24 of these to develop towards testing.

From the applications accepted, four came from retail banking, four from insurance firms, three covering advice and profiling and three related to IPO. There was also one application each for digital identity, disclosure and the mortgage sector. The geographic demographic of applicants has also been wide-ranging, coming from areas including Singapore, Denmark, USA and Canada.

Seven applications came from payment firms – including blockchain firms.


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