Innovate Finance today launches 36H Group following the implementation of enhanced FCA rules for lending platforms that accept retail investments – raising standards across the industry.
Innovate Finance (www.innovatefinance.com), the industry body representing UK FinTech, has today launched the 36H Group. The new Group will represent lending platforms that accept retail investments and provide a unified voice now that standards are set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). CrowdProperty (www.crowdproperty.com) is a founding member.
Named after Article 36H of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to reflect that member platforms are fully authorised by the FCA, the launch of the 36H Group follows the implementation of enhanced regulations which raise standards across the sector.
The 36H Group will focus on policy and regulatory matters and promote the benefits the sector is delivering; including bringing choice, competition and transparency to the lending and investment markets.
The new Group succeeds the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) – a self-regulatory body established in 2011 to lobby for regulation, of which CrowdProperty was an active member alongside other peer-to-peer sector leaders. Following the introduction of the first regulatory regime by the FCA in 2014, the P2PFA set high-operating standards that went above and beyond the regulations on areas such as credit risk management and disclosure. With the majority of these Operating Principles included in the new enhanced regime, the P2PFA has achieved its objective of ensuring robust and appropriate protections for consumers.
Membership of the Group is open to all lending platforms that are authorised and regulated by the FCA under Article 36H legislation. Founding members are CrowdProperty, Funding Circle, Lending Works, RateSetter and Zopa.
Innovate Finance has been chosen to coordinate the Group following five successful years representing the wider FinTech community.
The introduction of 36H Group comes at a time when the lending sector is experiencing rapid growth. Having a unified presence is a key steppingstone for progress, with the group promoting innovation while adhering to the latest regulatory standards.
The lending platform sector – a pioneer in the UK’s thriving FinTech sector – has opened up access to lending as a mainstream investment class to consumers for the first time. Retail investors can earn stable and attractive returns by lending directly through these platforms to creditworthy borrowers, including consumers, small businesses and house builders. The industry has delivered several hundred million pounds of interest for investors across the UK, including within the tax-free wrapper of the Innovative Finance ISA.
The 36H Group will be chaired by Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, who said:
“At a time of reduced SME lending and a low interest rate environment, the lending platform sector has been proven to offer effective, alternative lending opportunities for retail and business customers. As a result, it has been one of the fastest growing areas in the UK’s FinTech ecosystem. The new regulations introduced at the end of last year will assist its development into a mainstream investment option. Innovate Finance is committed to supporting forward-thinking UK FinTech innovators like those in the lending platform sector, and I look forward to chairing the 36H Group.”
Paul Smee, Chairman of the P2PFA, said:
“We can be very proud of what the P2PFA accomplished over the last eight years. We were set up to ensure the innovative and rapidly growing lending platform sector maintained the highest standards of customer protection. We worked hard to achieve our goal of securing effective external regulation, which I’m pleased is now in place. Now that platforms are in the mainstream of financial services for both investors and borrowers, this is the right moment to recalibrate, and I look forward to seeing the industry go from strength-to-strength into the future.”
Mike Bristow, CEO and Co-Founder of CrowdProperty, said:
“The lending platform sector is a strategic sector for the UK not just in the context of the UK FinTech ecosystem but as a global leader in the innovative, high growth, high potential market that delivers powerful value to both owners and users of capital. The P2PFA played a critical role in defining operating best practice in the sector as it matured in the UK which led on to the new FCA regulatory environment, very much marking the coming of age and mainstreaming of the asset class. We are excited to be a founding member of the new Innovate Finance 36H group which will support both furthering the sector’s contribution to the UK economy and furthering the global leadership position of the UK lending platform sector.”
About CrowdProperty (www.crowdproperty.com):
CrowdProperty is a leading specialist property peer-to-peer lending innovator, directly matching the supply and demand of capital for quality property projects being undertaken by quality property professionals, delivering a better deal for lenders, borrowers, the under-supplied UK housing market and the UK economy.
The business has been responsible for funding the development of over 800 UK homes worth over £130,000,000 with over £55,000,000 of property project loans between private individuals and UK professional property businesses, unlocking over £40,000,000 spend in the UK economy on labour, materials and services. Over 5 years of lending, the business has paid back over £20,000,000 to lenders, maintaining a perfect, 100% capital and interest payback track record.
CrowdProperty’s vision is to build a more rewarding financial era whilst making a lasting and significant contribution to society. The founders built the business to tackle the fundamental issues with traditional lending that they face themselves for decades: SME property professionals are struggling to access the finance they need resulting in a severe drop-off of housebuilding by this segment in the last 10 years and investors are receiving inferior rates of interest due to high overhead banking costs and the many participants traditionally involved in bringing together the owners and users of capital in this market.
Enabled by technology and expertise, CrowdProperty provides quick and easy finance to property professionals whilst giving investors inflation-beating interest, all whilst meeting the under-supplied and rising demand for quality residential housing in the process. The company’s founders are leaders in the property industry: leveraging decades of hands-on experience, CrowdProperty selects and oversees only the very best projects for investment. The business uses its leading technology to efficiently pair investors directly with rigorously due-diligenced projects and borrowers, with lending effectiveness enabled by the team’s deep asset-class expertise. The loans are always secured by the first legal charge to minimise risk and the business enables many to share in the success of good projects, keeping true to the original democratising ethos of peer-to-peer lending.
CrowdProperty is a founding member and only specialist property development / bridging member of the Innovate Finance 36H Group (www.innovatefinance.com/36hgroup/) was the only such member of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) and the first to be Brismo Verified (www.brismo.com), underlining the commitment to disclosure best-practice and independent accountability for the performance of every loan originated.
About Innovate Finance (www.innovatefinance.com):
Innovate Finance is the independent industry body that represents and advances the global FinTech community in the UK. Our mission is to accelerate the UK's leading role in the financial services sector by directly supporting the next generation of technology-led innovators.
Innovate Finance's membership ranges from seed stage startups and global financial institutions to investors, professional services firms, and global FinTech hubs. All benefit from Innovate Finance's unique position as the single point of access to promote enabling policy and regulation, talent and skills, business opportunity and growth, and investment capital.
By bringing together and connecting the most forward-thinking participants in financial services, Innovate Finance is helping create a global financial services sector that is more transparent, more sustainable and more inclusive.