First Peer-to-Peer lending industry conference of many. February industry news

This month saw the first Peer-to-Peer Finance Association annual industry conference, as well as continued speculation about Isa inclusion. The Government-backed British Business Bank also announced they would be investing a further £40 million in small businesses through Funding Circle. Here’s a selection of the month’s peer-to-peer lending industry news.

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Lend-to-save more than doubled last year as savers turned to alternatives amid crumbling bank rates

At the beginning of the month the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association released figures from 2013 which showed the industry – including both business and consumer lending – had more than doubled in 2013. The data found last year that there were over 3,700 business borrowers, 70,000 consumer borrowers and more than 86,000 active lenders in Britain. Finextra and Financial Reporter also covered the news.

Banking without banks

The Economist covers the discussion had at the industry’s first official annual gathering last week. The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association conference heard from industry experts, borrowers and investors, the platforms themselves, and the regulator ahead of formal regulation in April.

Make Isas fit for purpose

The Daily Telegraph kicked off a campaign to update our Isa system. The newspaper calls for peer-to-peer lending to be included within a stocks and shares Isa as part of this. We’ve been in conversation with the Treasury and other industry players over the last month or so to discuss what this might look like and how it might work. This is Money covers the consultation in a bit more detail.

Funding Circle announces broker roadshows

This month our business development team are on the road to meet brokers across five locations, and talk to them about how we can work better together to help thousands more businesses access the finance they need to grow. We will be running sessions for new and existing introducers, so get in touch if you’d like to come along.

Pioneering university is on course to lend £1million to small businesses

A year after committing £100,000 to small business lending, the University of Huddersfield has increased its Funding Circle investment to £1 million. It’s currently the only university to lend through the platform and puts all interest earned towards a student scholarship scheme.

Funding Circle gets £40m from UK government

And finally, we end with the news that the British Business Bank has decided to invest £40 million in small businesses via the Funding Circle platform. This follows an initial investment made in March last year via the Business Finance Partnership, which has now all been lent out to approximately 2,500 businesses helping to create an estimated 6,500 jobs. The Times, Growth Business and Bridging & Commercial also covered the news.


Head of Corporate Communications