As part of a continuing review of its Operating Principles, the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) has made a revision to improve the accessibility of performance data published on member platform websites.
The Operating Principles, to which all platforms commit, ensure that members deliver high standards of practice. The amendment is being made to Operating Principle 3.5, and will require that platforms 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.
With the growth achieved in peer-to-peer lending, we need to consider how best to configure the P2PFA’s requirements to make platform disclosure requirements meaningful for all investors. The loan books of the largest platforms are now of such a magnitude that their continued accessibility for a large number of investors is of questionable value. This amendment maintains transparency but ensures that it is delivered in an accessible and meaningful way.
The revised text of the P2PFA’s Operating Principle 3.5 is amended to read: ‘Platforms undertake to (a) publish their full loan book, which is a loan-by-loan view of the portfolio of loans originated through the platform or (b) publish on their website a detailed breakdown of loans in the overall loan book such as would enable a consumer to be informed about the nature and number of loans of different descriptions presently originated through the platform to meet standards approved by the P2PFA Board’.
The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association is making arrangements for an afternoon seminar to be held on Monday 4 June — being hosted at the offices of P2PFA associate members Simmons & Simmons — which will explore why peer-to-peer lending is good for the economy. The event will be addressed by the P2PFA’s new Chair, Paul Smee, and will focus on the important economic ‘gap’ which is filled by the sector.
The growth of the peer-to-peer lending sector has been impressive and consistent over the last few years — with cumulative lending facilitated through P2PFA platforms approaching £9 billion; particularly marked has been that of net lending to businesses which has experienced at thirty-five per cent increase since the third quarter of 2017.
These are interesting times for peer-to-peer lending. With the next stage in the Financial Conduct Authority’s post-implementation review of crowdfunding regulation due to be published in the coming months, and regulatory proposals from the European Commission in their FinTech Action plan, the debate about how the high standards embodied in the P2PFA’s Operating Principles should be maintained across the entire sector as well as between the different markets served has a particular resonance at this time.
Equally, the P2PFA has appointed a new Chair in the last few months, and the future structure of the sector and its platforms are important as the macro-economic environment continues to change.
At this exciting time, the P2PFA has arranged a seminar in early June to bring together representatives and voices from the sector and all of those who have an interest in peer-to-peer lending to consider why peer-to-peer lending is good for the UK economy, and consider how best it is likely to develop in the coming months and years ahead to overcome the inevitable challenges which will arise.
Interested delegates can register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/p2pfa-seminar-why-peer-to-peer-lending-is-good-for-the-uk-economy-tickets-45627867179