City watchdog to trim rules to suit innovators

Tim Wallace
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RED TAPE could be tweaked to allow more finance startups to grow, and to accommodate more innovations from established firms, top regulator Martin Wheatley said yesterday.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set up an Innovation Hub, which it wants to become the first port of call for setting up a finance firm or launching creative new products.

Wheatley hopes it will make the process less intimidating and encourage innovation. As long as entrepreneurs, innovators and product designers can show their scheme would help consumers, the Hub will give them advice.

It is intended to steer them through the thicket of red tape to make it easier to get products and firms off the ground. And if a rule is blocking their progress, the FCA will look to adjust it to help.

“The Innovation Hub is part of our commitment to support innovation by opening doors to those – regulated and not – who come with fresh ideas about how to deliver financial services,” said Wheatley.

“This work levels the playing field by giving all firms eager to innovate access to our expertise so that the process of joining the financial markets or introducing new products does not seem so daunting.”