The United Kingdom Crowdfunding Association or UKCFA has launched a very informational wiki on their site which engages users by asking for participation and feedback. The newly released wiki also indicates the crowdfunding advocate group’s position regarding important regulatory items affecting crowdfunding in the UK today.
The UKCFA was started in 2012 by 14 founding crowdfunding businesses. The group recognized a need for a single voice advocating and educating in unison for the booming crowdfunding industry in the United Kingdom. The organization announced their first Chairman earlier this year, recruiting the leadership of Julia Groves. She is also the Managing Director of the TrillionFund, a renewable energy crowdfunding platform.
The objective of the UKCFA wiki is to create a platform where industry stakeholders, investors and other interested parties may communicate, share and discuss issues and ideas. In many respects the United Kingdom has been leading the rest of the world in recognizing the potential of investment crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding has the potential to revolutionise the way we fund or invest in projects and businesses in the UK, providing a more direct, transparent and democratic form of finance that is a better deal for consumers than what the traditional banks offer.
The UKCFA wiki policy positions have expressed concern regarding un-necessary rules and complexity regarding the current framework. While wholeheartedly embracing the need for regulatory oversight, the intent appears to be to lessen bureaucracy and associated cost while protecting investors. The bullets below represent just some of their regulatory positions:
The UKCFA believes that the existing FCA regulatory framework for crowdfunding is not yet fit for purpose, and is campaigning for a number of changes to make it more proportionate, allowing the sector to grow while ensuring consumer protection;
The UKCFA believes that the current authorisation process is creating unnecessary barriers to entry and so restricts effective competition and innovation. The industry is asking for greater clarity and transparency for the authorisation process: how it works, what is required, and how long it will take;
The UKCFA is concerned that the complexity and uncertainty of current rules requires platforms to hire external advisers – lawyers/specialist consultants – to a greater extent than the norm for other sectors to engage with the authorisation process. This disproportionately adds to the cost and risk of the process which any new crowdfunding business must take to acquire authorisation;
The UKCFA believes that there should be an industry liaison, specialising in alternative finance at a senior level in the FCA.