FCA to spotlight ‘robo-advice’ in Project Innovate

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The FCA is to expand initiatives to encourage innovation across financial services through a series of themed weeks, beginning with sessions on robo-advice.

Beginning in September, the FCA will seek to learn about problems with the regulatory system as well as dispelling myths and uncertainties, with robo-advice first to be targeted.

The final programme has yet to be decided, but the FCA hopes the initiative will help it understand development and encourage innovation.

At the same time, the FCA says it hopes to expand the reach of Project Innovate and is seeking better engagement with larger businesses, which it says have failed to reach out to the regulator.

It is understood the issue is represented across the financial services industry, with market leaders in insurance, banking and advice failing to participate.

The FCA says: “This is a missed opportunity for them, particularly if they hold back on initiatives because of apprehension or uncertainty about the regulatory environment, as well as for us (since it limits our impact).

“We will therefore build 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. In particular, we will seek out opportunities to conduct pilot research on new initiatives.”