At Funding Circle, we are committed to protecting the personal data of the small business owners and investors who use our platform to drive the economy forward.
- how and when we collect your personal data, and what information we collect;
- what we use your personal data for;
- who we share your personal data with;
- how long we hold your personal data for; and
- your rights to control your personal data.
If you engage with us in any way, we may collect the following information about you through the methods of contact you choose to use at the point of engagement:
- information you provide through our website and through our application and verification processes;
- information you provide through communications with us, whether in writing (including by letter or email) or on the telephone (including by way of recorded calls);
- information we obtain through your engagement with us on social media, including on blogs, forums and through Facebook and Twitter; and
- information provided on your behalf by your representatives or agents (“Agents”) who engage with us on your behalf in the ways described above.
From time to time we obtain information from outside sources to help us carry out our business functions. This information, which often contains personal data, includes:
- information and reports from credit reference agencies, fraud prevention agencies, insolvency practitioners, debt advisers and tracing agents;
- commercial databases and marketing databases; and
- public records and other publicly available information sources.
If you wish to become a member of our marketplace you will need to provide us with the following information, which we sometimes also collect from third parties:
- your personal details (including name, date of birth, current and previous postal addresses and national insurance number);
- your contact information (including phone, fax and e-mail details);
- (for borrowers, those representing borrowers and relevant investors) your business name and contact information;
- financial information (including bank or building society account details and details of debit cards used to make transfers on the Funding Circle [platform/marketplace]);
- information you provide in our registration or application processes (including, if you are a borrower, Agent or relevant investor, certain personal data, identity verification, contact details and financial information about directors, partners, members, shareholders, beneficial owners and guarantors);
- information you provide in your dealings with us and through your interaction with our marketplace;
- if you are a borrower or a director, partner, member, shareholder, beneficial owner or guarantor of a borrower:
- information about your business or company, such as previous credit applications and the conduct of your accounts, and similar personal credit information;
- credit reference checks (see section 6 below for more detail);
- electoral register information;
- fraud prevention information; and
- passwords and answers to security questions.
In addition to the personal and financial information you submit or we collect as described above, we will also collect information about your computer (including, where available, your IP address, operating system and browser type), your interaction with our marketplace and website, and email performance data.
We also collect and retain:
- copies of our correspondence with you as well as other data we collect relating to your activities on the marketplace and your arrangements with Funding Circle;
- details about visitors to our website for the purposes of aggregating statistics or reporting purposes and to calculate referral fees; and
- comments made on blogs and discussion forums in connection with the marketplace.
We generally do not seek to collect sensitive personal data (also known as ‘special categories of data’). However we are occasionally given sensitive personal data of borrowers, investors or guarantors (such as medical information or criminal records).
If you provide information about other people (for example, if you represent a borrower and you provide information about directors, partners, members, shareholders or beneficial owners other than yourself) then you must:
- when providing information about other people, ensure that you have all relevant permissions and authority: (i) to make all those disclosures; (ii) to act on their behalf; and (iii) in relation to partners, members, shareholders or beneficial owners of borrowers, to allow us to make credit checks at credit reference agencies in respect of those persons.
We collect, store and use your personal data:
- to inform you of marketplace developments and activity and of changes to our products and services;
- to develop and improve our services, products and business, including analysing and improving our credit risk models and our customer service offering;
- if you are a borrower (or a director, partner, member, shareholder, beneficial owner or guarantor of a borrower):
- to ascertain your borrowing needs;
- to assess your creditworthiness and to make credit-related decisions; and
- if you miss any repayment of your loan, to trace your whereabouts and recover debts or enforce a loan contract or personal guarantee and to verify any payment plan you have proposed or income and expenditure form you have submitted;
- to transfer money;
- to carry out mandatory or other regulatory checks;
- to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
- to carry out statistical analysis and market research and testing;
- to contact you (including by SMS and e-mail) with products and services which Funding Circle think may interest you (at all times taking into consideration your rights at law including your right to opt-out from receiving marketing from us);
- to open accounts with us and to manage and maintain those accounts;
- to verify your identity and the other information you have provided to us, including your bank account information and (if relevant) the identity of your business associates;
- to update the records we hold about you from time to time;
- to provide and administer the marketplace and our related services; and
- for the prevention and detection of fraud, money laundering, or other illegal or criminal activity.
Where relevant, we will hold and process your sensitive personal data data to allow us to make decisions about you and your accounts with us or with which you are connected. This may involve us sharing your sensitive personal data with your Agents. We will process sensitive personal data only in accordance with our legal rights and obligations. If this processing is carried out with your consent, at the point of collection you will be informed of your right to withdraw that consent at any time, and the process for doing so.
We continually review the legal basis for us using your personal data in the ways described above. In most instances it is in our legitimate interests to use your information in the manner described above to provide you with the services we offer as an online lending marketplace. We consider this data processing to be proportionate and not prejudicial or detrimental to you. In some, specific circumstances, the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party, necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or necessary in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of other small business owners or investors. We sometimes rely on consent, and in those instances we have processes in place to ensure that we obtain your freely-given and informed consent to use your personal data for agreed, specific purposes.
We use the information we collect about your computer for: (i) our legitimate purposes; (ii) marketing; marketplace administration; and (iii) service improvement. Our Cookies Policy describes these processes in more detail and explains how we respect your right to privacy when collecting these types of data and do not seek to bypass browser settings set to ‘do not track’ or similar.
We may disclose your personal data to other registered members of our marketplace, including:
- to operate our marketplace and seek to match investors and borrowers;
- in the loan contract and personal guarantee, when investors and borrowers are matched;
- to provide transactional and performance information;
- to provide updates (including if and when there are late repayments or if and when a risk-banding has been downgraded); and
- if required to enforce (or make preparations to enforce) any loan contract or personal guarantee.
In this context, investors may mean individual retail investors, corporate investors or institutional investors.
If you, as a registered member of our marketplace, receive information about another registered member, then you must only use that information to communicate with us about your loan contract with that member. You acknowledge that we are not responsible for misuse of transactional or other information by other members but you must inform us promptly if you are the victim of any misuse of that information.
We may disclose your personal data:
- to companies in our group and our affiliates;
- to our suppliers, sub-contractors and third party data processors (including card payment and direct debit payment processors, marketing and data analytics service providers, collection agents, tracing agents, insolvency practitioners, professional advisers and persons who provide us with the following services from time to time: identification and fraud check; marketing; technology; marketplace support; and back-up and business continuity);
- with any third party you have asked us to share your personal data with, including social media sites if you have asked us to connect with your social media account;
- to credit reference and fraud prevention agencies (see sections 7 and 8 below for more information on this);
- if we are unable to provide you with credit and if you consent, to third parties who may be in a position to arrange credit for you;
- to a third party if it acquires all or part of our business or assets in connection with the acquisition, or to a successor in interest in the unlikely event of our insolvency, winding up or liquidation;
- if we are required to do so by applicable law and regulation or by any governmental, tax, regulatory body or law enforcement agency;
- if you are represented by an Agent, to your Agent; and
- to any other person with your prior consent to do so.
Third parties who process your personal data on our behalf are only permitted to process your personal data in accordance with our instructions and we take steps to ensure that the transfer and any on-going processing by those third parties is carried out securely and in accordance with applicable privacy laws.
Save as expressly provided above, or otherwise without your consent, we will not share your personal data with any third party.
We will not keep you personal data for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it was collected and is processed and for the purposes of satisfying our legal, accounting or regulatory reporting requirements. These requirements generally permit us to retain our borrower and investor files for a period of six years after the end of the borrowing/investing relationship (i.e. the date on which we no longer provide services to you as a borrower or investor). We may retain data for longer than this in certain circumstances, for example in the event of an ongoing dispute.
We are part of a global group of companies and, in order to support our business in the most efficient manner possible, we share infrastructure and functions across our business internationally. This means that we may transfer your personal data to, or your personal data may be accessible in, any location in which we do business. If your information is transferred to or accessible in a country which is not considered by the European Union to adequately protect of personal data (such as the USA), we will always take steps to ensure that your information is protected and that those transfers comply with applicable privacy laws.
We may transfer your information to other countries, including those outside the European Economic Area, either for storage purposes or if we engage suppliers, sub-contractors or third party data processors who are based or have operations overseas. We will always take steps to ensure that your information is protected and that those transfers comply with applicable privacy laws.
From time to time we undertake credit reference checks against borrowers and investors (and against directors, partners, members, shareholders and beneficial owners of borrowers and investors), guarantors and Agents:
- as part of the application process, to assess creditworthiness and product suitability;
- for general credit management, account management and identity/know-your-customer (KYC) checks during the term of a loan;
- to trace and recover debts if there are late repayments or default; and
- to prevent criminal activity.
In order to do this, we will supply your personal information to CRAs and they will give us information about you, such as about your financial history. When CRAs receive a search request from us they will:
- place a credit search “footprint” on your business credit file following each credit application, whether or not your application proceeds. If the search was for a credit application the record of that search may be seen by other organisations when your business applies for credit in the future;
- place an enquiry or organisational search on the personal credit files of directors, partners, members, beneficial owners and shareholders that have been searched, as well as an associate enquiry search on your personal financial partner’s credit file, if they are a director;
- link together the previous and subsequent names advised by you of anyone that is a party to the account;
- place an enquiry or identification search on the record of any shareholder or beneficial owner and who we have checked; and
- create a record of the name and address of your business and its proprietors (if there is not one already).
We will give details of all loans taken through our marketplace and how they are managed to the CRAs. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, the CRAs will record the outstanding debt and, in some cases, the length of time that the debt remains outstanding; other organisations may see these updates and this affect your ability to obtain credit in the future.
We will also continue to exchange information about you with CRAs on an ongoing basis about your settled accounts and any debts not fully repaid on time. CRAs will share this information with other organisations.
Any records shared with CRAs will remain on file for six years after your account is closed, whether any outstanding sums have been settled by you or following a default. You can contact the CRAs currently operating in the UK. The information they hold may not be the same so you may consider contacting them all. They will charge you a small statutory fee.
They are the identities of the CRAs, and the ways in which they use and share personal information, are explained in more detail at www.callcredit.co.uk/crain, www.equifax.co.uk/crain and www.experian.co.uk/crain.
If we suspect or identify fraud we may record this and may also pass this information to FPAs (such as CIFAS) and other organisations involved in crime and fraud prevention including law enforcement agencies. We and fraud prevention agencies may also enable law enforcement agencies to access and use your personal data to detect, investigate and prevent crime.
We and fraud prevention agencies process your personal data on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in preventing fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity in order to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations and to protect us and users of our marketplace and services. Such processing is a legal requirement if you request to invest or borrow through our marketplace.
We and other organisations may access and use this information in order to prevent fraud, money laundering or other criminal activity (for example, by checking details on credit applications, for managing credit and recovering debt). We also use FPAs to screen job applicants and employees.
Fraud prevention agencies can hold your personal data for different periods of time, and if you are considered to pose a fraud or money laundering risk, your data can be held for up to six years.
If we, or a fraud prevention agency, determine that you pose a fraud or money laundering risk, we may refuse to provide the services you have requested, or we may stop providing existing services to you.
A record of any fraud or money laundering risk will be retained by the fraud prevention agencies, and may result in others refusing to provide services, financing or employment to you.
Whenever fraud prevention agencies transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area, they impose contractual obligations on the recipients of that data to protect your personal data to the standard required in the European Economic Area. They may also require the recipient to subscribe to “international frameworks” intended to enable data sharing.
Please contact us if you want to receive details of the relevant fraud prevention agencies.
You may, at any time:
- exercise your right to request access to certain personal data records we hold about you (a subject access request), by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “subject access request”;
- request that we update and correct any out-of-date or inaccurate personal data we hold about you by emailing us at email@example.com with the subject line “data update request”, and also log-in to your Funding Circle account and make changes yourself;
- contact us to register your preferences for how we contact you at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on 0207 401 9111;
- opt out of any marketing communications that Funding Circle may send you by emailing us at email@example.com by calling us on 0207 401 9111, by writing to our Data Protection Officer at 71 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4AY or by following the link on any email marketing you have received or by following the appropriate opt-out procedures that we include on all marketing materials;
- exercise your right to object to our continued processing or your right of erasure, neither of which is a guaranteed or absolute right. We will consider all requests of this nature and take into account any compelling legitimate grounds to continue processing, for example our need to continue to process your personal data in connection with any legal or regulatory requirements to which we are subject; and
- tell us if you have changed your mind about us referring you to a third party broker or lender.
When you contact us, we will need you to provide us with adequate information to identify yourself to enable us to assist you in fulfilling your request. We will deal with your request as soon as possible.
You may also request that the CRAs we use provide you with information that they hold about you. You must contact them directly to do this.
Funding Circle takes appropriate technical and organisational measures to safeguard the personal data that you provide to us, but we accept no liability if communications are intercepted by third parties or incorrectly delivered or not delivered.
If we transfer your information to third parties we will take steps to ensure that the transfer and any on-going processing by those third parties is carried out securely and in accordance with applicable privacy laws.
You also have a responsibility to ensure that your information is kept secure. If you are a member of our marketplace, you must:
- keep your login details secret;
- log out of your account when not using it;
- maintain good internet security (for example, be careful when using public WiFi or shared access internet connections); and
- tell us immediately if you think your account has been compromised.
If you have concerns about how we manage your personal data, you can make a complaint to the UK Data Protection Authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can find their contact details here: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/.
Funding Circle Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales, with registered number 06968588 and registered office at 71 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4AY.
Funding Circle Limited is registered with the Information Commissioner with registration number Z2133885. It is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm registration number 722513.