London, UK. November 15th 2016.
The FCA received 69 applications for its regulatory sandbox, an initiative which kicked off in 2016 to provide innovators with support to promote competition in the interest of consumers. Oval Money in partnership with Oakam, was amongst the 18 applicants selected for the sandbox, and will be trialling a proposition to help the financially excluded build solid savings habits and move up the credit ladder.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said “it has been an intense process for both firms and ourselves and we are grateful for their cooperation and hard work in getting us all to this position. We look forward to these businesses bringing new products and services to market, whilst we ensure that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are in place.”
Oakam was founded by Frederic Nze after he recognised a need to help those who struggle to access banking services and credit in the UK. The UK based fintech lender is backed by Cabot Square Capital LLP, a leading financial services private equity firm. Oakam hopes to leverage the insights gained from this experiment to continue to deliver innovative products and a seamless customer experience. Frederic says, “we are excited to participate in the sandbox and gain insights on how we can help our customers build assets and pay their loans back early”
Benedetta Arese Lucini, Co-founder of Oval said: “Having started to implement our vision from our Italian garage, it is a huge honour to be recognised by the FCA for such an important program. We could not be more excited to partner with such a recognized institution like Oakam, to help their customers improve their saving habits and be smarter about their financial health, through education, inclusion and fairness.”
Oakam provides straightforward and simple financial services for people who find it difficult to borrow from banks. Oakam uses a unique omni-channel combination of face-to-face and high-tech delivery to ensure it achieves the dual objectives of increasing reach and reducing the cost of credit to people at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.
About Cabot Square Capital LLP
Cabot Square Capital is a leading provider of growth capital to UK financial services and operating property businesses. The firm is entering its 20th year of operations and has helped build over 25 companies during this time. Cabot Square Capital is currently investing its fifth institutional fund.
Oval is an online community that enables people to gain financial knowledge while connecting to each other with the help of a smartphone app. With Oval, setting money aside will become easier, through analytics and personalisation that empower and motivate consumers to be money wise. By connecting with any bank account or card, Oval can aggregate, categorize and simplify confusing bank statements. The savings accumulated through simple micro-saving steps, will be available to users to withdraw anytime or to improve their financial profile.
About the FCA’s Sandbox
The regulatory sandbox aims to create a ‘safe space’ in which businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment while ensuring that consumers are appropriately protected.