Flender is entering the UK market after having been authorised in May.
Flender, a Dublin-based, “friendly” peer-to-peer lending platform, is bringing its newly launched Innovative Finance ISA to the UK. The firm was fully authorised by the FCA in May.
Flender’s focus is on social-circle lending. It claims to be the first online platform to formalise the lending market that exists between families and friends. But the firm also lends to small businesses.
Loan listings on Flender are somewhat similar to crowdfunding campaigns, with borrowers able to create and share a personalised link to a project via social networks, or to invite individuals to invest directly by email.
Flender claims that only “one in four” P2P firms have been authorised to date, and that its own authorisation should provide reassurance to cautious investors in the UK who are considering peer-to-peer lending.
“Achieving FCA authorisation demonstrates our commitment to fair and honest business practices and is a great way to launch our foray into the UK peer-to-peer lending market,” says Kris Koik, the firm’s managing director.
He also said that the IFISA will “widen the scope” of possible investors for Flender and other peer-to-peer platforms like it. “Offering a tax-free allowance is a compelling incentive to investors who are looking to support SME businesses and private individuals – and make an attractive return on their funds,” he continued.
Flender raised £501k through the equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs in December of last year. The firm has since attracted further funding from Halo Business Angel Network. It claims to have received loan demand of €4m to date.