By Ryan Weeks on 24th May 2017
Small business lending marketplace Funding Circle given go ahead by regulator after 18 month wait.
Funding Circle, the world’s original peer-to-peer/marketplace lender for small business loans, has been granted full authorisation by the FCA.
With its full permissions in hand, Funding Circle is now free to launch its Innovative Finance ISA offering, subject to approval by HMRC.
Funding Circle is the second of the UK’s “big three” peer-to-peer lenders to be authorised, with consumer lender Zopa pipping it to the post by a matter of weeks. RateSetter continues to operate under interim permissions.
Funding Circle was ultimately forced to wait more than 18 months for its authorisation to come through. The pace of authorisations picked up in the early stages of the year, but the initial focus seemed to be on small and middle sized operators.
Last week saw Funding Circle pass Zopa to become the UK’s largest peer-to-peer platform by cumulative lending. Zopa had held down the number one spot since becoming the world’s first P2P firm in 2005.
“Our vision is to support thousands of people across the UK to earn stable, industry leading returns by lending directly to small businesses,” said James Meekings (pictured), UK managing director and co-founder. “With more than 60,000 investors now regularly lending through Funding Circle, we are on track to becoming a mainstream investment choice for investors up and down the country.”