Regulatory Sandbox

The Regulatory Sandbox is for firms wanting to test new products live in the market with real consumers. Find out more about it and how to apply.

The Sandbox isn’t just for start-ups that may need to be authorised in the future.

We accept applications from authorised firms seeking to trial new products and services, and technology companies that want to help regulated firms meet their obligations more efficiently. We also welcome applications from unauthorised firms that are seeking authorisation.

Firms can submit their applications at any point throughout the year. 

We encourage applications related, but not limited to, AI and quantum, financial inclusion, open finance and tokenisation. 

What the Regulatory Sandbox offers

The Regulatory Sandbox provides innovators, both incumbents and new players, access to regulatory expertise and gives firms:

  • the ability to test products and services in a controlled environment
  • the opportunity to find out whether a business model is attractive to consumers, or how a particular technology works in the market
  • a reduced time to market at potentially lower cost
  • support in identifying consumer protection safeguards that can be built into new products and services

How to Apply

The Regulatory Sandbox is not regulatory exempt. This means that if you will be carrying out a regulated activity you will need to be appropriately authorised or registered first.

The support the Regulatory Sandbox provides is not comparable to the services of a compliance consultant. While we can help with questions around the applicability of FCA rules and our processes and expectations, it's up to you to determine how you will comply with those rules and to demonstrate to us that you meet our standards.

Who is the Regulatory Sandbox for

We accept applications from firms that are:

  • authorised
  • unauthorised
  • of all sizes
  • from all sectors of financial services
  • technology businesses looking to deliver innovation in the UK financial services market to UK consumers or firms

Read our eligibility criteria

See firms previously accepted into the Regulatory Sandbox.

You can also see the latest data on the firms supported by the Regulatory Sandbox.

Regulatory Sandbox tests

Firms will have a dedicated case manager to provide support in the development and implementation of a test.

Sandbox tests are expected to have a clear objective and a clear positive impact on consumers. They are typically conducted on a small scale, for a limited duration, and with a limited number of consumers.

Regulatory Sandbox tools

The Regulatory Sandbox gives firms access to regulatory expertise and a set of tools to facilitate testing. The tools your firm will need will depend on the nature of your business and your test.

If you are not looking to live test your proposition

Take a look at our other services:

  • Digital Sandbox: an online platform aimed at early-stage development propositions, where firms can access data sets to test and build prototype solutions.
  • Innovation Pathways: for firms that are not ready to test but need help understanding the FCA regulatory regime.

Find the right service for you

Use our decision tool to find out which is the right service for you, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Start here

We’re acting to accelerate the change needed to promote more diverse and inclusive practices across FinTech. We encourage innovators from all backgrounds to apply to the Sandbox. We also welcome applications with a focus on tackling issues associated with diversity and inclusion in financial services.

Find out more about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Innovation Spotlight.

Get in touch

You can contact us by emailing: [email protected] 

Please note, in initial calls or emails, we can’t answer complex regulatory questions and we can’t confirm whether an application would be successful.

Page updates

: Editorial amendment refresh of information on the page
: Information added explainer video
: Information changed Always Open Sandbox: Accepted firms update update
: Editorial amendment page updated as part of website refresh