On 9 May 2016, the FCA published a press release confirming that its regulatory sandbox is open for application by interested firms. It has also published a new webpage on the regulatory sandbox and the application form for businesses wishing to take part.

The webpage confirms the sandbox is aimed at:

  • Unauthorised businesses. The FCA has set up a tailored authorisation process for unauthorised firms that want to join the sandbox. Successful firms will be granted restricted authorisation that only allows them to test their ideas. These firms will still need to apply for authorisation and meet threshold conditions, but only for the limited purposes of the sandbox test.
  • Authorised businesses. The FCA states that it can assist authorised firms through individual guidance and waivers or modifications.  It may also issue no enforcement action letters.
  • Technology businesses supporting financial services. These businesses can also apply to take part in the sandbox if they need clarity about applicable rules before testing.

Firms have until 8 July 2016 to apply to be in the first cohort of the sandbox.