ArchOver obtain full FCA authorisation

May 25th, 2017

ArchOver have announced they have received full authorisation from the FCA, a day after Funding Circle.

Below is a copy of the email sent to customers:

We are pleased to announce that ArchOver has secured full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

To date, we have facilitated over £35 million of investment through the ArchOver platform, operating under interim permissions granted by the FCA.

Lending via the ArchOver platform continues as normal. Lender security remains our primary focus, alongside the ability to help fund UK SMEs by offering suitable and reliable lending against a company’s assets. Receiving approval is a testament to the quality and credibility of our platform, procedures and recovery processes, and will allow us to continue to accelerate our growth plans and deliver more projects to the platform.

For those of you that may have been waiting for full authorisation before lending across our platform, we encourage you to log in to view the latest ‘Secured & Insured’ project which is offering 6.5% p.a.

If you have any questions please contact us.

Below is a copy of the press release:

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, has secured full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a P2P lending platform (Article 36H). Since launching in September 2014, ArchOver has facilitated over £35 million of investment over its platform, operating under interim permissions granted by the FCA. Full authorisation will support ArchOver in attracting new lenders to the platform and allow it to continue working with businesses to make access to funding as easy and simple as possible.

“There is great satisfaction in gaining a stamp of approval. Our industry leading policies and procedures will allow us to take alternative forms of lending to the next level,” commented Angus Dent, CEO at ArchOver. “At a time when investors are experiencing low interest rates and banks are tightening the purse-strings, P2P lending offers a unique and much needed service. Incorporating the most successful elements of P2P lending into the regulations and strategy of the FCA is critical to raising awareness and protecting the long-term success of the industry.”

As a fully authorised P2P lending platform, ArchOver can operate on a level regulatory playing field and focus on expanding its community of investors to achieve its ambition of facilitating £500 million of lending within the next five years. With no borrower defaults, late payments or losses in nearly three years of operations, ArchOver delivers an above-industry-average return of 7.24% to investors.

Backed by the Hampden Group, ArchOver has developed two asset-based lending services allowing UK SME’s to borrow against Accounts Receivable and/or recurring contracted revenue. Its experienced management and credit team carefully vet borrowers and monitor the performance of businesses and assets every month. ArchOver also partners with Coface, the world-leading provider of credit insurance and debt recovery services, to offer additional security.

“From the first day of operations, we’ve placed lender security at the heart of our business model to exceed any potential compliance requirements,” commented Ian Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at ArchOver, who has been closely involved in the authorisation process with the FCA. “This attitude meant we have not had to change our primary working practices in order to comply with regulation. While we have waited a long time to gain this recognition, we always believed that it was in the best interests of ArchOver, and the sector in general, that the FCA take the necessary time to ensure the process was thorough and fair.”

Funding Circle obtain full FCA authorisation

May 24th, 2017
Funding Circle

Funding Circle has announced it has received full authorsiation from the FCA, two weeks after Zopa.

Below is a copy of the email sent to customers:

We are very pleased to to announce that Funding Circle has today received full authorisation from the FCA.

The news comes as we become the largest UK platform (having overtaken Zopa last week in terms of total lending).

There are now over 60,000 retail investors lending directly to small businesses through Funding Circle. Since launching in 2010, they have earned an average return of 6.5% per year and a total of £116 million in net interest.

To manage risk, investors lend small amounts to hundreds of different businesses, all of whom are first assessed by an experienced credit team. Investors also have the option to access money early by selling loan parts to other investors on Funding Circle’s secondary market.

Please get in touch if of interest.

Below is a copy of the press release:

Funding Circle, the world’s leading direct lending platform for small businesses, has today become fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Launched in 2010, Funding Circle allows people and organisations to lend to small businesses, offering investors attractive and stable returns whilst supporting the backbone of the British economy.

By bringing together industry leading risk management and cutting edge technology, investors have earned an average 6.5% per year* and £116 million of net interest over the last seven years.

The news puts Funding Circle in a position to be able to launch an Innovative Finance ISA, subject to approval by HMRC.

James Meekings, UK Managing Director and co-founder said: “Our vision is to support thousands of people across the UK to earn stable, industry leading returns by lending directly to small businesses. With more than 60,000 investors now regularly lending through Funding Circle, we are on track to becoming a mainstream investment choice for investors up and down the country.”

Funding Circle facilitates lending to small businesses from a wide range of investors including 60,000 individuals, local authorities, the UK government-owned British Business Bank, the European Investment Bank and financial institutions such as pension funds. Investors have now lent more than £2.3 billion to over 24,000 businesses.

Zopa obtain full FCA authorisation

May 11th, 2017

The world's first peer-to-peer lending company Zopa has announced it has received full authorisation from the FCA. Zopa launched the concept of peer-to-peer lending in March 2005 and remains one of the leading platforms in the UK. Zopa becomes the first of the top tier peer-to-peer platforms to receive full authorisation which would allow it to apply to HMRC for permission to launch an Innovative Finance ISA.

Here is the statement on the Zopa blog:

Zopa, the pioneering financial services business, announces that it has today been granted full authorisation by the FCA for peer-to-peer lending (Article 36H).

Giles Andrews, co-founder and Chairman of Zopa commented: “Zopa, both individually and as a founder member of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), has campaigned for peer-to-peer lending to be a regulated activity for a number of years. We are delighted to receive our full FCA authorisation.”

Jaidev Janardana, Zopa’s CEO, said: “The authorisation process has been rigorous and in-depth and involved extensive scrutiny of our business. We will continue to focus on serving UK borrowers and investors through our market-leading products and best-in-class customer experience. In addition, we are also working towards applying for a banking license which will allow us to offer great customer choice whether you are spending, borrowing, saving or investing”.

Full Authorisation from the FCA is a pre-requisite for Zopa to offer the Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISA). Following notification that Zopa has been granted full authorisation, it will seek permission from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to become an ISA Manager. Further details of the launch of Zopa’s Innovative Finance ISA will be announced following the HMRC’s decision.

Funding Circle close forum

April 28th, 2017
Funding Circle

Funding Circle announce the closure of their forum.  Funding Circle follow Zopa which closed their forum in February 2016.  They are also encouraging users to move over to the P2P independent forum.

Reaction to the news on the P2P Independent Forum was surprisingly negative with the following comments posted:

A pathetic abdication in my opinion. The views of customers are a valuable resource unless one is determined to develop a bunker mentality.

Here is the copy of the email sent to users:

When we opened our forum in 2012, our aim was to foster a community of customers, both investors and borrowers, who could discuss their experience of lending and borrowing through Funding Circle and help each other.

We have enjoyed the healthy debate with members over the last four years and gained significantly as you shared your experiences with us and provided feedback on the development of the platform. However, more recently there has been a developing trend towards a small number of investors asking questions about a narrow range of technical topics - most of which are better dealt with through our Investor Support team.

Therefore we have taken the decision to close the forum at 6pm on Tuesday 2nd May. We hope you will all continue sharing your views on Funding Circle over on the P2P Independent Forum, which we will continue to monitor.

Although the forum will no longer be active there are still many ways for you to share your views with us. Our Investor Support team are always best placed to help with any queries and can be contacted here. For the opportunity to meet the team directly, we host investor evenings and arrange monthly trips to meet borrowers you have lent to. We're also excited to announce that we will soon be launching an investor panel to help test new product launches and provide feedback. If you are interested in taking part please register your interest here.

Finally, we'd like to thank you for the contribution you have made to the Funding Circle forum, and the support and advice you have given to others. Please stay involved and continue to share your feedback. If you would like a copy of your posts, please contact Investor Support and we will provide them to you.

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Cocktails & Conversation with LendIt

April 20th, 2017

LendIt is excited to be launching LendIt Europe 2017 with Cocktails, Canapés and Conversation on May 3rd in London.  LendIt would love for you to join them to mix, mingle and listen to an exclusive Fireside Chat hosted by Peter Renton, Chairman & Co-Founder of LendIt.