LendingCrowd, UK’s alternative finance lenders to the SME market, has received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – making it the UK’s second P2P platform and first P2P lender to SMEs to move from interim to full authorisation status. Effective as of 1st November 2016, authorisation translates to LendingCrowd meeting the stipulated “rigorous statutory standards” required by the FCA and paves the way for the launch of an ISA product.
Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, said:
Peer-to-peer investing is growing in popularity every day, we are supportive of industry regulation and we’re extremely pleased that LendingCrowd has reached this milestone. Unquestionably, it adds credibility and trust in a relatively young marketplace in which our aim is to be a major player. It also means that we can look to launch our ISA product both directly to investors and through investment platforms, several of which we are already engaged with.
Since launching in 2014, LendingCrowd, Scotland’s only headquartered peer-to-peer lender, has facilitated loans totalling £8m and has over 2000 investors signed up to its platform. Deals range in size from £20,000 to over £1m, and in 2015 LendingCrowd helped Diet Chef complete one of the biggest ever peer-to-business deals seen in the UK in a £1.5m debt finance transaction.
Alternative and innovative new sources of funding have emerged over recent years in response to changing market dynamics. The UK Alternative Finance sector provided £3.2 billion worth of loans, investments and donations in 2015, up 84% compared to 2014.