Innovate: engagement

To maximise the reach of our Innovate initiatives, we engage with firms across the UK and internationally.

Domestic engagement

We continue to grow our reach in the UK, both inside and outside of London and with firms of all shapes and sizes.

Engaging with large firms

While Innovate works with a wide variety of businesses, we will be building and executing a programme of proactive engagement with large incumbents to make sure their potential for consumer-friendly innovation is not being held back by regulatory considerations. We are particularly looking for opportunities to conduct pilot research on new initiatives.

Regional engagement

With the emergence of FinTech hubs outside of London, we see real potential for a further wave of innovative firms.

We’re especially interested in areas where ‘Fin’ and ‘Tech’ collide; areas that have both strong financial centres and a technology presence, often backed by strong relationships with local universities.

In the coming months, we will be holding regulatory surgeries around the country as part of our commitment to support innovative firms around the UK, based on the priority areas outlined in a speech by Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition: Innovating for the future: the next phase of Project Innovate.

Find out the locations of our regulatory surgeries and how to apply for a 15 minute session

International engagement

Through engaging with international firms and regulators, Innovate supports the FCA’s competition objective by promoting the UK as a centre for innovation in financial services. It does this by:

  • facilitating the entry of innovative overseas firms to the UK, thereby increasing innovation and competition in UK financial services markets
  • facilitating the expansion of UK-based innovative firms into overseas markets, making them potentially more sustainable challengers in the UK

We collaborate closely with international financial services regulators to promote innovation in our respective markets. This includes signing Co-operation Agreements and frameworks.

The agreements with the regulators below include a referral mechanism for innovative businesses seeking to enter the other’s market. The regulators will provide support to innovative businesses before, during and after authorisation to help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market. To qualify for the support offered by the agreement, innovator businesses in the UK and internationally need to meet the eligibility criteria of their home regulator’s Innovate equivalent.

Once referred by their home regulator, and ahead of applying for authorisation to operate in the new market, they will have access to a dedicated team or contact person who will help them to understand the regulatory framework in the market they wish to join, and how it applies to them.

If you are a UK firm who would like to use the referral mechanism, please complete the request for support form, stating the regulator you would like to be referred to.

If you are an international firm looking to set up in the UK, please email us at [email protected] to find out how we can support you.

The agreements we have signed are with:

We have also signed Co-operation Agreements with overseas regulators, enabling them to share information about financial services innovations in our respective markets, including emerging trends and regulatory issues. These regulators are: