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Innovation Hub

Responding to an increasingly dynamic financial services market, we’ve launched a new service that helps businesses with exciting and innovative propositions set themselves up and move into regulated markets.

Our Innovation Hub has a clearly defined mission: helping you understand and navigate today’s complex legal and regulatory landscape and supporting you through the early stages of establishing your business.

Innovation Hub can help you with:

    • Business model and processes
    • Business and legal documentation
    • Funding and outsourcing
    • Business model and processes.

The Innovation Hub process begins with an in-depth face-to-face consultation, so we can be sure of fully understanding your business goals and targets. We’ll then work with you to move your business forward. We’ll apply our expert regulatory knowledge and experience to help you establish a business that’s fully compliant, without compromising your commercial goals. We can help you set up effective governance controls and ensure your internal systems are both compliant and proportionate to the scope of your intended business.

Business and legal documentation

Our Innovation Hub team can work with you to build a sustainable and robust business plan that lays firm foundations for your future success. We’ll create a suite of policies and procedures that ensure you’re able to comply seamlessly with all applicable regulations. This might include policies on anti-money laundering, training and competence, IT security, complaints handling, and data protection. We can call on our specialist legal partners to draw up terms and conditions documents, privacy policies, and anything else you need to make sure you start out with a full suite of legally robust documentation. They can also offer ad hoc assistance and legal opinions as required.

Funding and outsourcing

Setting up a business can involve considerable initial costs. We understand how important it can be having access to capital early on. That’s why our Innovation Hub team have partnered with selected venture capitalists and private equity firms to help you access funding. Subject to meeting funders’ requirements, we can broker the relationships you need to get your business fully operational. Funding partners we’ve worked with include Craven Street Capital and Medici Advisors.

We also appreciate that developing a new financial services business, and the technology around it, can be a complex process that requires access to a wide range of specialist experience and resource. Many newer firms often opt to use third parties to support their business operations and meet regulatory requirements. So, we’ve teamed up with selected third parties who can give you the help you need. One such is electronic money institution MangoPay. Using e-money to transfer payments between two parties can be an attractive alternative to holding client money, which can be difficult to arrange and monitor.

Next steps

Beyond Innovation Hub, there are many other ways we can help. These include:

FCA authorisation

Our consultancy arm can support your application for direct authorisation by the FCA. Whether it’s an application for payment services, e-money, or FSMA, our experienced specialist team can help. Based on the models and documentation built up during your time with Innovation Hub, they’ll develop a robust and compliant application for you. This ensures a seamless end-to-end process, from drawing up your business plan through to FCA approvals, with expert compliance support at every stage. Following authorisation, we can continue supporting your business as compliance consultants, ensuring you stay fully up to speed with an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Becoming an appointed representative

If the appointed representative (AR) model would suit your business – either in the short or the longer term – our regulated sister company Resolution Compliance Limited (FCA number: 574048) offers significant benefits. Once you’ve been on-boarded by Resolution Compliance, and then approved by the FCA, you’ll get dedicated compliance support from an experienced compliance and supervision manager. That means you can develop your business steadily while acquiring the knowledge and experience you’ll need if you want to apply for direct authorisation later on. Temporarily becoming an AR can also be a good way of getting your business up and running quickly, while you apply to the FCA for direct authorisation.

Taking the unregulated path

It could be that, at the end of your journey with Innovation Hub, you conclude that your business model need not involve FCA authorisation. But, given that the FCA is taking a growing interest in areas of the fintech sector beyond those it currently regulates, it makes sense to develop and establish robust processes even as an unregulated entity. Here again, we can help. We offer valuable support and advice to firms on the edge of the FCA’s radar. One example would be helping cryptocurrency firms by providing guidance on systems, controls and internal structures.

Innovation Hub

For more information about Innovation Hub, FCA authorisation or taking the Appointed Representative route, call
0207 436 0630 to speak to a member of our expert team or email info@thistleinitiatives.co.uk.


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