Octopus Choice launches IFISA amid “impressive demand”

By Daniel Lanyon on Wednesday 9 August 2017

Alternative Lending

The firm is aiming to target financial advisers interested in the tax-efficient wrapper for P2P lending.

The firm is aiming to target financial advisers interested in the tax-efficient wrapper for P2P lending. 

Octopus Choice, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending arm of Octopus Investments, announces the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) targeting 4 per cent yields.

The IFISA was launched on 6 April 2016 allowing savers to use some or part of their annual ISA investment allowance (currently £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year) to receive tax-free interest on funds lent through FCA-regulated peer-to-peer lending platforms. Octopus Choice was granted full FCA authorisation at the beginning of the year.

Sam Handfield-Jones, Head of Octopus Choice, says over the past year, financial advisers and their clients have shown tremendous appetite for tax-efficient P2P.

“At a time of low interest rates, rising inflation and ever-present stock market volatility, providing clients with an alternative option for their investments may have never been more important or valuable.”

We expect today’s launch to bolster the impressive demand we have already witnessed for this product.”

Octopus Choice was launched in back in April 2016, to coincide with the FCA’s decision to broaden the scope of advisers’ permissions to include P2P lending. The firm has facilitated over £130 million of borrowing across nearly 200 deal since its inception.

Every loan is secured against property at what it deems to be “conservative” loan-to-values that currently average 60 per cent and is underwritten by the lending team within Octopus Propert who have lent out over £2.6bn with a default rate of less than 0.1 per cent, the firm says.

Octopus also invests five per cent in each loan at first loss, meaning investors can get their initial investment back first, as well as receive any interest due to them before Octopus receives any.

Octopus Choice was named ‘Most IFA Friendly’ at the AltFi 2016 awards – as well as being singled out as the ‘One to Watch’.

Mike Searle, director of Nouveau Wealth Management, is a fan. “I genuinely believe P2P lending will become more mainstream in the years ahead. If advisers simply pass it by without a thought, I believe they are doing their clients an injustice,” he said.

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