Fintech startups will now be able to test out their ideas without fear of getting on the wrong side of regulators.
A so-called sandbox has been launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today offering a tech accelerator environment for young firms looking to disrupt finance.
"Supporting innovation is an essential part of our role in promoting competition in the interests of consumers," said the FCA's acting chief Tracey McDermott.
"Our aspiration is that the sandbox not only enables innovative ideas to be tested and brought to market, but also helps to reduce the time and the cost of getting them there."
Applications are now open and the sandbox will accept startups which are looking to test out ideas but are not yet regulated.
Initially the number accepted will be "relatively small" as there will be an intensive amount of time and attention from the FCA.
The launch of the project follows the success of the FCA's Project Innovate, which has worked closely with startups seeking authorisation since 2014. But under the new scheme, fintech startups without authorisation will be able to test and trial technology with close supervision from the watchdog, without incurring any penalties.
Applications close on 8 July, while a second cohort will be accepted between mid-November and mid-January and the FCA is looking for startups with feasible plans ready to be tested.