The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has unveiled the first phase of its hub that will offer assistance to new entrants in the asset management industry during the authorisation process.

The hub will initially provide startups pre-application meetings, dedicated case officers and access to the website portal. The regulator said that the move will allow firms to more effectively understand the functioning of FCA and transition from its authorisation to supervision regime.

Additional phases of the hub, expected to be launched in 2018, will offer services like open days and surgeries for firms.

The watchdog, which currently regulates over 3000 asset managers and authorised 300 start-ups in 2016, first announced plans to launch the hub last month.

FCA executive director of supervision-investment, wholesale and specialists Megan Butler said: “The asset management sector is important for the UK economy. We want to aid new entrants to the market and the hub will help new firms understand us better as an organisation.”