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The FCA is coming good on its promise to assist firms to prepare for a changing climate, rolling out a series of innovation programmes to support the transition to a net zero economy.

The regulator says the aim of the programme is to speed development of new approaches and solutions in the area of sustainability and climate change.

“These services allow us to engage with and support innovative solutions at various stages of their development,” the watchdog states. “This includes the initial ideation and proof of concept stage through our TechSprint programme, the further development and validation of proof concepts to demonstrate market value through our Digital Sandbox pilot, and the testing of innovative propositions in the market with real consumers through our regulatory sandbox.”

A four-day hackathon in the form of a Sustainability TechSprint, will bring together cross-organisational teams from across financial services, technology, academia and international regulators, to generate new supervisory technology to help supervisory authorities in monitoring ESG data and disclosure.

This will be backed up by a second digital sandbox pilot, running over eight to ten weeks, to provide support to start-ups in developing working proofs of concept to improve the transparency of ESG-related market disclosures and consumer understanding of the ESG characteristics of financial products.

The FCA is also proposing a ‘Green FinTech Challenge’ featuring a package of support services to help start-ups, incumbents and technology providers navigate regulation and support live market testing of new products and services that will aid the transition to a net zero economy.

Application windows for the digital sandbox and the Green FinTech Challenge open in September, while the Sustainability TechSprint will kick off in october.