TISA launches new P2P Forum

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 2 August 2016

Alternative Lending

TISA, the financial services membership organisation, has launched a new P2P Forum to help shape policy in the peer-to-peer lending sector.

The new forum is designed to enable those involved in the high-growth peer-to-peer market to have a say in developing policy recommendations for regulators and legislators, as well as in addressing operational challenges and determining best practice.

Jake Wombwell-Povey (pictured right), CEO of Goji Holdings, will chair the new group. Goji is a platform which handles the back-end administrative burden of ISA investment on behalf of platforms, and which intends to launch an aggregated investor offering in due course. Gill Cardy, insight consultant at Defaqto, and Intelligent Partnership managing director Guy Tolhurst are deputy chairs.

The new forum has been in the works for a while. TISA held a seminar in April which coincided with the somewhat muted launch of the Innovative Finance ISA. A subsequent meeting was then held towards the end of July. Pending authorisation from the FCA, the IFISA will allow investors to use their ISA allowance to invest through P2P platforms. 

The P2P Forum will focus on four core areas, which are copied below:

  1. Building an effective dialogue with the FCA, HMRC and HM Treasury
  2. Developing standardised terminology, operational technology, data governance principles and best practice
  3. Enhancing accessibility to the sector by improving the understanding of intermediaries, discretionary managers, consumers and related parties including PI insurers
  4. Identifying unintended regulatory and technical blockages – for example in relation to the inclusion of P2P within SIPPs – and proposing solutions.

TISA is a not-for-profit membership association for financial services companies, with over 150 members. Jeffrey Mushens, technical director at TISA, commented on the launch of the P2P Forum: “The appetite for TISA to create this Forum for the P2P community was clearly demonstrated at the open meeting and we are pleased to be able to respond. Peer to peer is a growing sector and the Innovative Finance ISA will help increase its popularity. Identifying best practice and standardising procedures will enable P2P providers to better showcase the sector to intermediaries and discretionary managers. It will also help to facilitate a more effective dialogue with the FCA and the Treasury.”

Mushens also clarified that the group will seek to work collaboratively with existing trade bodies like the P2PFA. While the two entities share many of the same ambitions – such as building an effective dialogue with policy makers and standardising processes – they represent different parts of the P2P market. The P2PFA’s membership is exclusively comprised of platforms. The P2P Forum will seek to represent a much broader range of firms, including third party firms – many of which are attempting to help open up the P2P market to financial advisers and wealth managers. We understand that a number of these third party firms are involved in the group.

Mushens said: “It’s important to stress that the Forum will not be a trade body for the sector. These exist already and the approach of the Forum will be to work collaboratively with other industry organisations, as TISA does in other sectors. It will also be for the Forum participants to determine the agenda, with TISA providing support services and a cross-industry perspective from our other members.”

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