It’s not just P2P in the FCA queue

  • Industry regulators are never going to come out top in the popularity stakes, but the Financial Regulation Authority (FCA) looks to be on the receiving end of mounting criticism from a number of different sides. The Alternative Finance sector certainly feels it has good reason to gripe, with only an estimated ten P2P platforms passed fit for authorisation (out of 80+) and all the major heavyweights – Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter included – still waiting patiently in the queue for official blessing.

    The frustration of the crowdfunders (as the FCA insists on calling everyone, regardless of whether the platforms are offering either equity or debt investments) has been well publicised, but there are other, arguably worse examples. Nick Pearson, CEO of Debt Councillors’ Charitable Trust, recently reported that it has been over two years since most of the UK’s commercial debt management companies (CDMCs) submitted applications for FCA authorisation. Without entering into the minutiae of that particular debate, it seems that, irrespective of the time taken to process submissions, the FCA stands accused of being less than helpful in terms of helping applicants to interpret the Consumer Credit Sourcebook. It follows that, if you don’t understand the rules as constituted by the FCA, it is unlikely you will ever know how to pass the test.  

    Elsewhere, ShareSoc, an organisation representing individuals who invest directly in the Stock Markets – as opposed to those who invest via pooled funds – has made a submission to the FCA arguing that financial markets are currently skewed in favour powerful institutions, particularly in the lucrative area of large share placings from which smaller shareholders are often excluded.

    The Deputy Chairman of ShareSoc, Roger Lawson, commented that: “The trouble with the FCA is that, apart from taking so long to do things, they make the rules so complicated that they create extra work for everyone, including themselves. And the FCA has inadequate resources to do lots of things.”

    I am not qualified to comment on the intricacies of these highly specialist markets, but there are parallels between these respective experiences, such as the inadequate feedback given to applicants to enable them to succeed.

    For the FCA to make sure that the public is protected and that applications should not be rushed through simply for the sake of financial expediency is obviously right. But commercial advantage is undoubtedly being given to the few that have managed to pass successfully through the net and it difficult to see how the Government’s much-vaunted Innovative Finance ISA is ever going to get off the ground. Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly likely that the P2P sector will have to wait until summer when the FCA is due to unveil the new rules and the operators may finally be allowed to know where they stand.

Related articles

  • Read More

    Bank Referral Scheme - is 3% success, success?

    We suspected that the Bank Referral Scheme was going to be a slow starter when, five months ago, The Marketing Eye asked the Treasury’s Press Office how it was getting on. Despite the fact that no...

  • Read More

    Peer-to-peer lenders should not fear APRs

    Following the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) announcement that the new pricing rules on business loans will not apply to peer-to-peer lenders, some are heaving a hefty sigh of relief,...

  • Read More

    Peer-to-Peer lending passes £10 billion mark

    Peer-to-peer lending has reached a significant milestone since Zopa launched the world’s first P2P platform in 2005. Over £10 billion has been cumulatively lent across 23 UK P2P platforms....

  • Read More

    Peer to Peer featured in Queen's birthday honours

    Good to hear that the pre-eminent pioneers of P2P lending in the UK are receiving formal recognition for their outstanding achievements. Described an a ‘Peer to Peer and Financial Inclusion...

  • Read More

    New Fintech Collaboration: Xero + Liberis

    Liberis, the card based finance provider, has announced an integration with Xero, the UK's leading online accounting software, to improve small businesses’ access to capital and credit....

  • Read More

    Consumer debt rises while businesses save

    Soaring levels of consumer debt are evidently causing the Bank of England, the Government and others in authority some sleepless nights. According to a recent report in The Guardian, the number of...

  • Read More

    Liberis and Sage launch Sage Pay Business Finance

    Sage Pay has teamed up with alternative business finance provider, Liberis,to give Sage customers access to flexible financing for the first time....

  • Read More

    ArchOver receives FCA authorization

    ArchOver, one of The Marketing Eye’s longest standing clients in the alternative finance sector, has been granted full authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The news represents a...

  • Read More

    Australian Budget sets scene for FinTech growth

    The latest Budget statement from ‘down under’, on May 9, reaffirmed the Australian Government’s intention to turn the continent into a global fintech centre....

  • Read More

    FinTech as a force for good

    Kids, they say, grow up quickly and nowhere is this more true than in FinTech. Barely five years ago, the phrase wasn’t even invented. Now it is the collective noun for billion dollar enterprises,...

Take the first step

To find out more about how we can help you grow faster, please get in touch. We'd like to hear from you.  Or try our instant marketing healthcheck, it's free!

Quick Contact

Quick contact


Contact us

T 01825 765617


Our offices

Full details of our offices in London and Uckfield more

Request a call