Start-ups and SMEs are being urged to apply for the second annual FinTech Innovations Lab in London, which aims to help small companies accelerate the development of cutting-edge technology for commercial application in the financial services industry.

The FinTech Innovation Lab London is a 12-week program, headed up by Accenture and some of the world's leading banks, to help early and growth stage financial technology innovators accelerate product development and gain exposure to leading financial industry executives.

Applicants can enter at from now until 8th September.

Some of the big-name backers of the Lab include Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and RBS.

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, said: "London is now the leading digital city in Europe home to a dynamic community of tech giants, entrepreneurs and new start-ups.

"The Mayor and I are committed to creating the right conditions for this sector to flourish further still. The FinTech Innovation Lab marries finance and technological innovation and we are delighted to see it entering its second year."

Last year's participants in the Lab included Digital Shadows, a cyber-security company that helps firms identify and monitor their 'digital footprints', and Waratek, whose technology is designed to help companies reduce IT infrastructure costs by using Java to move to the cloud.

Another participant, The Open Bank Project, an open source application programming interface, management platform and app store for the banking industry, was recently accepted to the Open Data Institute's start-up programme.

This year the Lab is looking for start-ups with technology that focuses in the areas of mobile, payments, big data and analytics, security, and social media.

CTOs and senior technology executives from the financial institutions will select six entrepreneurs to participate in the Lab, following a competitive process. To be accepted, applicants must have at least a beta version of their product available, and be able to demonstrate that access to senior-level executives at financial services firms would have a meaningful impact on the company's growth prospects.

Applicants from outside London will be required to relocate to the city during the programme.

During the 12 week programme, successful participants will be partnered with banking executives and successful technology entrepreneurs, who will help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business strategies through a series of workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, ones-on-one meetings and presentations.

It culminates with an Investor Day presentation by all six participants in front of an audience of venture capitalists and financial executives in March 2014.

Barclays Chief Operations and Technology Officer Shaygan Kheradpir, said: "The increasing role of technology in financial services is accelerating the pace and breadth of innovation and driving the kind of cutting-edge services which our customers and clients demand. The entrepreneurial approach that the FinTech Innovation Lab London delivers is exactly the kind of capability that this industry needs and we are delighted to be supporting it."

Mark Kimber, Chief Information Officer for J.P. Morgan in the EMEA region said: "For the second year in a row, J.P. Morgan is proud to support the FinTech programme.

"The calibre of companies we engaged with in the inaugural year's program was first class. As London continues to evolve as a technology hubwith emerging companies able to deliver to global scale corporationsprograms like FinTech are essential to nurture and encourage that ecosystem. We look forward to a great second schedule."