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Peer-to-peer trade body changes the rules

Two people with laptops and paperwork

Investing is all about trust, and trust is built on transparency. That’s why we’re committed to being completely transparent with people who choose to invest with LendingCrowd.

As a peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, people are at the heart of everything we do. From our thousands of loyal investors, to our dedicated customer service staff and the experts on our Credit Team, we’re an online platform with a distinctly human touch.

You may have seen the news that the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), a trade body of which we’re not a member, recently changed its “operating principles” in a move it claimed would “improve the accessibility of performance data published on member platform websites”.

Previously, P2PFA members were obliged to publish their full loan book, showing information about all the loans on their platform. However, they will now have the option to “either continue to publish their entire loan book, or provide a detailed breakdown of loans in their overall loan book to enable a consumer to be informed about the nature and number of loans of different descriptions presently originated through the platform according to standards to be approved by the P2PFA Board”.

There are no doubt valid reasons for this change in stance, but LendingCrowd believes that investors deserve better treatment, especially at a time when the Financial Conduct Authority is preparing a new consultation on P2P regulation. The watchdog is seeking to further strengthen protection for investors, having already raised concerns about the difficulties they face when comparing platforms or assessing risks and returns.

The P2P sector often likes to boast that it cuts out the middleman by connecting individual investors with business borrowers. By enabling people to “be the bank” and lend directly to Britain’s vital community of small businesses, it would be step backwards for P2P platforms to then add a layer of opaqueness to the system.

We’re firmly opposed to any reduction in transparency and will continue to update our loan book each day, making it freely available to everyone who signs up to our platform.

After all, unlike the UK’s big three P2P platforms, we still offer an “active” option ­– enabling investors to hand-pick individual business loans on our platform – alongside our automatic “passive” investment accounts.

Sign up for a Self Select Account or Growth Account before 29 June 2018 and you’ll receive up to £500 cashback when you invest within 14 days. Capital at risk, terms apply.

Article author

Stuart Lunn

Stuart Lunn

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If you invest through LendingCrowd you should understand that your capital is at risk.

LendingCrowd is the trading name of Edinburgh Alternative Finance Limited, Company Number SC468392, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm reference number 670991). LendingCrowd and its products are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Read more about the risk involved when investing and borrowing.

The company's registered office is 23 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7DX.

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