ISAs, regulation and the Budget. March industry news
Arguably one of the most important months in the industry’s history, March saw peer-to-peer lending make headlines across the board. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) kicked a busy month off with the publication of their final rules ahead of formal regulation coming in earlier this week on the 1st April. This was closely followed by the Budget where the Chancellor announced that peer-to-peer lending would be included within ISAs, as well as a consultation into the mandatory referral of small businesses to alternative funders by banks, where they cannot lend. Finally this bumper round-up finishes with a few amazing stories from businesses who have borrowed through Funding Circle.
On 6 March the FCA published the final rules for regulating the peer-to-peer lending industry. Our co-founder James Meekings was on BBC Breakfast discussing how the introduction of proportionate regulation is a step-change for the industry and will cement our position within the wider financial landscape. BBC News Online also covered the news, as well as Reuters, Financial Times, and This is Money.
As part of the Chancellor’s ISA reforms, he announced in the Budget that peer-to-peer lending would be included within an ISA wrapper. This was trialled in the Autumn Statement last year and we’re part of the ongoing consultation with the Treasury about timings and mechanics of how it will work. It’s a huge win for investors as it will make their investments tax free up to a certain amount. BBC News Online, Daily Telegraph, Reuters and This is Money also covered the news. Funding Circle’s new Innovative Finance ISA can be found here.
Hope on the horizon for 250,000 rejected business loan applications after Chancellor gives go-ahead for High Street referral talks
Included in the Budget was a second big boost to the alternative finance industry – although this one was for businesses. The Chancellor announced a new consultation into the referral of small businesses to alternative funders by the banks, where they are not able to lend. Perfect timing, as only a week before we helped to launch the Alternative Business Funding portal which allows businesses to see the range of non-bank options out there and could be used for lead sharing. The Times covered the launch here and here.