The platform had been operating as an appointed representative since 2016.
Small business lender Growth Street has been granted full authorisation by the FCA, in tandem to announcing the expansion of its flagship product, GrowthLine.
The marketplace lending platform, which specialises in credit lines for small businesses, has been authorised somewhat after pack. One reason might be that matching a large number of individual investors to flexible credit lines is not easy – since those lines will only generate a yield when drawn upon by borrowers.
But Growth Street has managed to do it; the platform has matched over £150m of investor funds to small businesses since late 2016.
During that time, Growth Street had been operating as an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited – allowing it to get to market ahead of getting the green light from the regulator.
Now, Growth Street CEO Greg Carter has hailed the platform’s full authorisation as a vote of confidence in the ‘security and transparency’ of the business.
“We have long advocated for more transparency and better regulation in this industry, so the more companies being directly approved by the FCA in this largely unregulated space, the better,” he said.
The majority of peer-to-peer lenders in the UK were authorised in 2017, after a lengthy wait that lasted almost two years in some cases. RateSetter became the last of the ‘big three’ platforms to be granted full authorisation in October of last year. Peer-to-peer lenders must be fully authorised in order to launch an Innovative Finance ISA offering.
In addition to its authorisation, Growth Street has also announced that businesses will now be able to borrow as much as £2m through the platform – up from the previous maximum limit of £1m.
“That we’re able to double our previous maximum limit is a great endorsement of the calibre of businesses we have been speaking to in recent weeks and months,” said Carter.