Request Innovation Hub support

Through the Innovation Hub we encourage and support innovation in financial markets and ultimately promote effective competition. Find out how to request our support.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

In the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, we all face significant economic challenges. To help businesses address these challenges, we have set up an SME unit to support established firms. We recognise, however, that there are firms – both start-ups and established companies - who have creative and innovative solutions to the challenges posed by coronavirus. This innovation and creativity is something we encourage.

In 2014, we set up Innovate to help innovative firms to understand the regulatory regime and to help us make sure our rules work when applied to new ideas and new business models. Following the coronavirus outbreak, we would like to make it clear that we are still here to support innovative firms looking to launch financial services products and services that meet our criteria. We are particularly interested in firms who want to help people and the financial systems they rely on deal with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. We are keen to hear from firms developing businesses, products or services intended to:

  • improve access to credit or funding for consumers or small businesses
  • help individuals or companies to access cash, charitable donations, government aid or other financial help
  • help distribute funds or other forms of support during periods of isolation
  • help improve the speed or efficiency in assessment and resolution of insurance claims
  • help firms identify their vulnerable customers
  • improve the identification of scams from, for example, phishing or push payment fraud

We are not limited to the above and will consider any credible proposals intended to help with the consequences of coronavirus, and indeed any innovative financial services ventures. These proposals/tools must be innovative and show clear consumer benefit.

Direct support

The Direct Support Team provides a dedicated contact for innovator businesses that are considering applying for authorisation or a variation of permission, need support when doing so, or do not need to be authorised but could benefit from our support.

We can also help businesses understand our regulatory regime and the challenges they may face when developing an innovative product or business model.

Find out how we determine eligibility for Direct Support.

Please email the form to [email protected] along with basic information about your product or service, your business or any other information you think will support your request.

Request our support

When you request support from the Direct Support Team you have to provide basic information about your product or service, and about your business.

The more relevant information you are able to provide, the quicker we are able to determine whether you are suitable for support from the Direct Support Team.

We will let you know if we need additional information to make a decision about your eligibility for support.

Response to enquiries

If you are eligible for Direct Support we will establish the most appropriate form of support, such as:

  • explaining relevant parts of the regulatory regime
  • providing an informal steer on potential regulatory implications at an early stage of developing an innovative product or business model
  • giving an informal steer or individual guidance to help address concerns or issues

You will be provided with a dedicated contact that will work with you and may draw on expertise from across the organisation.

In some cases, we may advise and help you to submit an application for authorisation.

Disclaimer (PDF, 235KB, 1 page): see what it means when we give an informal steer.

Prepare for authorisation

If we decide that your business needs to apply for authorisation or a variation of permission, a dedicated Direct Support case officer will help you prepare an application.

Your case officer will work closely with you to understand your business model and identify any additional information that may be required when applying for authorisation.

The time required to prepare an application for authorisation depends on your case, but we will work with you to address challenges and communicate our expectations throughout.

Apply for authorisation

We will work with innovator businesses to ensure an application for authorisation or a variation of permission is accurate and complete.

You case officer will also be able to address any issues or concerns until a decision is made about your application.

The cost of applying for authorisation after engagement with the Direct Support Team is the same as our usual authorisation application fee.

Receive ongoing support

We will continue to support your business once authorised for up to a year.

This could include assisting with regulatory returns or dealing with general queries about our regulation.

When this support is due to end we will have an exit meeting and provide an ‘exit pack’ before you enter our normal regulatory framework and processes.

The ongoing support we provide to innovator businesses is only for those that would not otherwise have a dedicated supervisor.

Fostering innovation and facilitating external engagement

Each of these functions will support our objective of fostering innovation, with lessons learned used to identify trends and potential issues at an earlier stage.

This information will be used to identify possible policy and process changes.

Practical support for businesses will be complemented by an array of external events, including roundtables, surgeries and thematic workshops.

Page updates

13/05/2020: Information added Coronavirus update