Innovative Finance Individual Savings Accounts or IFISAs has the potential to see millions pour into UK P2P lenders from retail investors; Samir Desai, CEO of Funding Circle, tells the FT, “We have done lots of surveys and a huge proportion of the base told us they would like to put all of the money they invest with us through the ISA.”; the IFISAs were approved in April 2016 but the big P2P lenders in the UK have just started to offer them. Source.
Assetz Capital is a large P2P lender in the UK and now has authorization from the FCA; the company has lent more than GBP316 million ($410 million) to businesses and is now working on the final stages of its Innovative Finance ISA which it expects will be available in Q4 2017; Stuart Law, CEO of Assetz Capital, stated: "Our cautious approach of employing a world-class credit underwriting team and taking realisable security on loans is essential for our investors' peace of mind. Our focus remains to ensure the growth and security of our lenders' investments, as well as the success of our borrowers' businesses. Our team has done fantastically well to deliver such success to all of our stakeholders over the last few years and yet there is also so much more to achieve ahead of this milestone and we are all excited about the continuing journey." Source
UK online marketplace lender ThinCats is the latest P2P platform to receive full authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); the firm is a secured business lender and says it has a number of developments in progress including the launch of an IFISA; in comments regarding the authorization, John Mould, CEO of ThinCats, said: "We are delighted to have been granted FCA authorization, proving the dedication of our team and processes. We are very happy that more and more alternative finance providers are now being authorized, as it ultimately proves that the industry deserves the trust and confidence of investors, advisors and SME borrowers alike." Source
Ablrate was recently authorized by the FCA and is now launching their custom Innovative Finance ISA; Ablrate offers a self-select marketplace where investors hand pick the loans they look to invest in; this is one of many products the company will launch in this arena; Ablrate facilitates asset-backed loans with specialization in aircraft and capital equipment; they currently will take cash deposits for their IFISA but no transfers as David Bradley-Ward, CEO of Ablrate, tells AltFi, "We want to be able to get everyone going with their IFISA first and then allow transfers in from other providers after the first week of our launch." Source
Early last year UK online lender Zopa closed the platform to new investors, they have now re-opened it; investors will be able to invest in both the Core and Plus products, with and without the IFISA; last week Zopa also announced for the first time since 2015 they were raising target investor rates to 4 percent for Core and 4.6 percent for Plus. Source.
Abundance sold 72% of all Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) products in the last year; this represented 62% of investment into the new product overall; while the P2P lender is happy with their success they realize their market lead will diminish as they were one of a few platforms approved in the last year; a host of other platforms, including top lender Zopa, have been approved recently and the numbers are sure to be more widely spread out among a larger group of platforms; Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint managing director of Abundance, tells AltFi, "Abundance's success is very much the good news part of the Innovative Finance ISA story to date." Source
ISA statistics were released on Thursday by HMRC; last year two thousand Innovative Finance ISA accounts were subscribed with retail investors collectively investing GBP17 million (USD $22 million); this compares to GBP22.325 billion ($28.94 billion) into stocks and shares and GBP39.191 billion ($50.81 billion) into cash ISAs; about one third of money invested into IFISAs on P2P platforms last year was from transfers; while the accounts opened and amount invested were low it still shows appetite for such products. Source
Firm was given full FCA authorization at the beginning of 2017 and expects the IFISA launch to add to high current demand on the platform; says it will target financial advisers with the new offering; the lender has originated over GBP130 million ($169 million) since launching in April 2016; it focuses on secured property loans with conservative loan to value ratios of approximately 60%. Source
Kevin Caley from ThinCats writes on the evolution of the P2P lending industry and why financial advisers should consider the investment for their clients; reports on the industry's growth and the comparable returns of the product; notes the introduction of the IFISA as a factor for greater investment and increased acceptance from financial advisers. Source