An update on Project Innovate and the Regulatory Sandbox

Held on Wednesday, November 30.

With support from Penningtons Manches LLP.


  • Anna Wallace

  • Dan Morgan

  • Giles Andrews

  • Peter Randall

  • Andrew Henderson



A year ago, the FCA announced its intention to create a regulatory “sandbox”.  The objectives were bold: reduced time-to-market; better access to finance; greater innovation. Since then, the first cohort of successful applicants has entered the sandbox, and applications for the next round open soon.

But what is happening inside the sandbox? We know the names of most of the current participants and – at very high level – the objectives of their projects, but precious little else. Whatever is going on, it has sparked international interest – and competition. Sandboxes are to open in Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi and Canada (at least), and the EU may even create a pan-European sandbox.

So we are delighted to welcome Anna Wallace, head of the innovation unit at the FCA, to provide us with an early insight into the activities of the sandbox, its approach, and the outlook for Project Innovate next year.

But what more can be done to keep the UK at the forefront of FinTech? And who should be doing it? Joining Anna to discuss the FCA’s work, the relationship between the regulator and FinTech, and the challenges to maintaining the UK’s position, I am pleased to welcome:

  • Dan Morgan, head of policy and regulation at Innovate Finance, the industry body for the FinTech community. Dan previously held policy roles at a number of business groups including the CBI, BRC and ABI.
  • Giles Andrews, co-founder and chairman of Zopa, the world’s first peer-to-peer lending business.  Giles is also chairman of Bethnal Green Ventures, and was one of the co-authors of the Blackett review on FinTech (which called for the initial creation of the sandbox).

  • Peter Randall, Chartered FCSI, CEO of SETL, a multi-asset blockchain settlements platform that recently completed its FCA sandbox testing. Peter was the original founder and CEO of Chi-X.

  • Andrew Henderson, partner at Eversheds specialising in financial institutions.  Andrew co-leads the financial regulation practice and works closely with firms seeking to obtain or expand authorisation.