The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has received applications from 77 firms to take part in the second round of its regulatory sandbox initiative.
As part of Project Innovate, the regulator launched the sandbox as a 'safe space' for companies to test propositions which have not previously been offered in the UK.
Last year the FCA received 69 applications from firms who wanted to take part in the first round of the sandbox. It accepted 18 of these firms, and re-opened applications for a second round at the start of this year.
In an interview with City A.M. the FCA's executive director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard (pictured), said 77 firms have applied for the sandbox since applications were re-opened.
He said some of the applications came from firms based outside the UK, and warned that any major changes to regulation after the country leaves the EU could stop financial firms from launching innovative propositions.
'When we think about what really makes London a global financial centre, one of the key things is its reputation and the efficiency, the effectiveness, the well-run nature of the markets that operate here and that we regulate. I think we would have to think very, very carefully about diluting that,' he said.