FCA’s ‘Project Innovate’ received 500 requests from firms

Since its launch in 2014, Project Innovate has proved to be popular, having received 500 requests for support from firms.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed 500 firms have requested support from the regulator through its FinTech initiative, Project Innovate, since its launch in October 2014. 

Director of Strategy at the FCA, Christopher Woolard delivered a speech at the Global Digital Banking conference in London last week, and provided attendees with an update on Project Innovate.

Woolard explained the regulator is focused on promoting competition and fostering disruptive innovation.

“Our main vehicle for this is Project Innovate,” he said.

Since launching late 2014, the initiative has received 500 requests for support from FinTech firms, and it has directly supported 250 of those “who presented genuinely innovative ideas.”

Woolard added: “Project Innovate has been a watershed moment for the FCA, and it has produced genuinely meaningful results.”

From the applicants, 40 firms have been authorised or are close to being authorised and launching new products to market.

“But 18 months or so after we launched the Innovation Hub, we’re looking to be bolder and more ambitious in our approach,” Woolard concluded.

Since its launch, other regulators around the world have followed by example and launched similar initiatives to support FinTech firms. 

In May this year, French regulators, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) announced the launch of a FinTech, Innovation and Competitiveness division.