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Fintechs eye life outside the sandbox

PA Consulting’s Alex McGill, a financial services expert, is quoted in an article on how UK regulation must evolve to better meet the needs of growing fintechs. The article discusses how many UK fintechs have come of age during the coronavirus pandemic, but that a significant number still feel their development is stifled by governments and regulators.

The article discusses the findings of the recent report by PA Consulting and TheCityUK, which sets out the need for fintech regulation to mature and “get out of the sandbox”. The report reveals that 1,600 fintechs are now operating across Britain; “the role of government and regulators has been fundamental to the success of the UK’s FinTech industry and it is crucial that their efforts to maintain a fertile environment for innovation are continued.”

The report sets out recommendations for a broader set of regulatory accreditations. It also proposes creating a digital platform that could make more sandbox-style testing possible using synthetic financial data, and sharing the platform with other regulators and market participants.

The article goes on to say that the report highlights a need for expertise within regulatory bodies to be better integrated, too, by giving more front-line staff an understanding of new business models. According to the report: “UK regulators are accelerating the recruitment of data science expertise, but they can still be clearer on the features, risks and benefits of innovative propositions.”

Alex says that so far, the regulator’s response has been positive. He observes that “the FCA is already working on a data strategy to help fintechs trial their propositions.”

Read the full article in The Financial Times

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