The UK financial services market will see the entry of eight large-scale robo-advisers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said.
Executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said the regulator's advice unit has started to work with nine firms on creating automated advice models.
Of these nine firms, eight are "established financial services, who want to bring automated advice to the market at scale", he said.
The regulator opened its advice unit in July, after its joint work with the Treasury, the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), identified technology as a means of giving consumers better access to affordable advice.
Since then the FCA has received 19 applications, of which 10 were rejected because they did not meet the eligibility criteria, Woolard told the BBA FinTech Banking Conference on 22 September.
Find advice unit eligibility criteria here
He said: "This is an exciting time for the FCA and our work around innovation in the financial services sector.
"It is almost two years since we launched Project Innovate, and in that time we've seen the work to fostering innovation yield real results. Two of the clearest examples of this are the regulatory sandbox and advice unit."
The successful nine firms are now working with the FCA, who will provide regulatory feedback on the automated advice models they are developing.
The regulator will also publish its findings from working with the firms as a guide for others from early 2017.
The advice unit forms part of the FCA's Project Innovate, a regulatory hub for firms innovating in the fin-tech space, launched under then chief executive Martin Wheatley in 2014, who said he wanted to "fast-track" advice model innovation.
Woolard said the regulator has so far assisted 300 firms in navigating the regulatory system.
The project also offers a safe space for firms wanting to test their innovations on consumers without fear of a regulatory backlash.
The so-called regulatory sandbox opened in May and has received 69 applications so far, of which it accepted 24 to develop towards testing.
Three of the firms operate in advice and profiling, while others relate to IPOs, retail banking, insurance, and payment firms, the FCA said.
Find sandbox eligibility criteria here
The high demand, from applicants all over the world, led the regulator to expand its team, Woolard said. The FCA will open a second round of applications in mid-November. It will publish details on the accepted firms in the coming weeks.
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