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Innovate Finance Launches 36H Group

 

Launch follows the implementation of enhanced FCA rules for lending platforms that accept retail investments – raising standards across the industry

13th Jan 2020, London – Innovate Finance, the industry body representing UK FinTech, has today launched the 36H Group. The new Group provides a unified voice for lending platforms that accept retail investments, now that standards are set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Named 36H Group to reflect that member platforms are fully authorised by the FCA under Article 36H of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the launch of the Group follows the implementation of enhanced regulations which raise standards across the sector.

The 36H Group will focus on policy and regulatory matters, as well as promoting 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. 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. Initial members are Funding Circle, RateSetter, Zopa, Lending Works and CrowdProperty.

Innovate Finance is coordinating the Group following five successful years representing the wider FinTech community.

The lending platform industry – 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:

“The lending platform sector delivers value for investors as well as providing much needed lending to consumers and businesses. 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 open to everybody. 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.”

 

ENDS

 

For more information please contact:

Clare Black, Director of Corporate Affairs & Communication, innovatefinance@wearesevenhills.com

About Innovate Finance:

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.