From 1st April 2014 Funding Circle and all other peer-to-peer lending platforms have been subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation – under ‘loan-based crowdfunding’. This is a positive step that Funding Circle welcomes, to maintain industry-wide high standards.
The regulation will impact investors in the following areas:
- Peer-to-peer lending platforms are required to have arrangements in place to continue to return available funds and administer existing loans in the event that the platform fails. In practice, this means that if a platform does fail all of your existing loans will be unaffected and you will continue to receive repayments and any available funds will also be returned to you. This is something Funding Circle has had in place since the beginning.
- All peer-to-peer lending platforms are required to hold capital reserves (extra cash) to help mitigate any business and financial risks. Again, this is something we have always done.
- Every platform must have a complaints procedure in place (you’ll find ours in the FAQs). If necessary, investors will be able to escalate their complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
- The FCA has also issued guidelines on the information that a peer-to-peer lending platform should provide to investors, most of which we already provide you with. These include:
· Information on the average returns (after fees and bad debt) from the last few years
· Expected bad debt rates going forward
· If the loans are secured, and if so, what form the security takes
· An explanation of the criteria that the borrower must meet to be eligible for a loan (e.g. at least £50K turnover)