ISAs on the horizon: December industry news
Despite all the festive cheer, peer-to-peer lending continued to make headlines in December.
The month kicked off with speculation around whether the Chancellor would announce plans to include peer-to-peer lending within ISAs. Ahead of the Autumn Statement on 5 December, The Telegraph, The Times and Financial Times all covered the story. Although the Chancellor didn’t go on to announce it, we’re confident it will happen very soon and when it does, it will add a great deal of credibility to the industry.
The Financial Times covered Nesta’s latest report on alternative finance. Data compiled by the think-tank along with the universities of Cambridge and Berkeley in California, put the total value of this type of activity – which relies on online marketplaces bringing together investors and borrowers who want to bypass the banks – at £939m. Peer-to-business lending specifically, has grown by 211 per cent in the last year alone. What we are seeing now is not just the emergence of a challenger model but a fundamentally better method of borrowing and lending that will continue to grow in importance over the coming years. Reuters also covered the story.
An interesting piece on Forbes looks at how the UK is leading the way in the world of alternative finance. With political and regulatory support, and growing demand for funding in a recovering economy, the industry’s growth is not surprising. The article also discusses the diverse nature of alternative finance on offer in Britain.
Leicestershire swelling Funding Circle’s ranks as county council makes £1m available to firms struggling to access finance
The Mail on Sunday announced our news that Leicestershire County Council have signed up as our latest partner in the Local Business Lending Partnership; a pioneering scheme to stimulate local economic growth and employment. Leicestershire Council have committed to lend £1 million to businesses in the region, the largest amount by any council to date. After a year of working with Lancashire Council, we have seen a 126% uplift in business lending within the region, and we’re hoping to see a similar effect in Leicestershire too.
And finally, the second batch of high growth start up firms identified for the Government’s Future Fifty programme were announced, and we were really excited to be included. The launch included a visit to the London Stock Exchange by our co-founders, Samir and James, where they met the Prime Minister and discussed how important technology firms will be in ensuring Britain’s place in the global economy.