Just as it has been revealed that the UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) has disbanded, Innovate Finance has announced the creation of 36H Group to take its place. Innovate Finance described 36H as a “united voice for lending platforms that accept retail investments.”
Inaugural members of 36H Group include Funding Circle, RateSetter, Zopa, Lending Works and CrowdProperty. Any platform that is authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under Article 36H of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 is able to join the new association.
Innovate Finance said the UK online lending industry has opened up access to lending as a “mainstream investment class to consumers for the first time.” Smaller investors may earn better risk-adjusted returns in a historically low interest rate environment. Innovate Finance noted that 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.
Crosswell issued the following statement on the announcement:
“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 they are very proud as to what the P2PFA has accomplished during the last 8 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.”