Back in 2011 I covered the news of the very first industry trade association to launch globally. The P2P Finance Association (P2PFA) in the UK launched in August 2011 with three founding members: Funding Circle, Zopa and Ratesetter. What was most significant about this is that the UK government was already thinking about new regulation for the P2P lending industry and the leading companies realized an independent trade body would be needed if they wanted their voices heard.
The original chair was Zopa co-founder and then CEO, Giles Andrews. In December 2012 the organization announced that Christine Farnish would be taking over as chair. Her regulatory experience and connections brought a new level of professionalism to the industry and she guided the UK industry through their growth phase. Now, the baton has been passed with today the P2PFA announcing a new chair, Paul Smee, will be taking over from Christine.
It is no coincidence that the world’s first set of regulations created just for the P2P lending industry happened in the UK. It was through the work of the P2PFA, led by Christine Farnish, that these regulations were sensible and promoted the growth of the industry there. And while this initial regulatory framework is currently being reviewed by the FCA, today, the UK is one of the most competitive markets in the world in no small part because of these initial regulations.