Further to our previous blog post, the FCA has now announced the successful applicants in relation to its Green FinTech Challenge 2021.  The challenge allows the FCA to take a more active role in driving innovation in an area where it sees clear benefit to UK consumers and markets.  The FCA launched the second Green FinTech Challenge to support the development and live market testing of new products and services that look to aid the transition to a net-zero economy.

The FCA received 25 applications from a diverse range of firms operating both in the UK and overseas, choosing to select ten firms into the programme.  This includes five firms approved for the regulatory sandbox and five firms that will benefit from the FCA's Direct Support services.  Successful applicants can be viewed on the FCA’s webpage.  As well as benefitting from a package of support services, the successful applicants will be offered bespoke support and engagement as part of this "green cohort", for example, by taking part in showcasing and networking events. 

The FCA has also published a case study of one of the firms accepted into the pilot Green FinTech Challenge 2018.  Its support included:

  • providing the firm with one of its regulatory tools; an "informal steer".  For this, the FCA helped in an assessment of whether the firm’s activities would meet the definition of an account information service provider (AISP) under the Payment Services Regulations 2017; and
  • working closely with the firm to understand its business model, user journey and which regulated activities were being carried out.

Following the support received from the FCA, in October 2019, the firm registered with an online platform to provide payment services.  A month later, it launched and has since entered into partnerships with several UK banks.

The challenge is being run as part of a broader programme of work by the FCA to assist firms and regulators to overcome some of the challenges arising from the transition to a net-zero economy.