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Peer-to-peer trade body axed

P2P companies will now join a new unit of Innovate Finance, a trade organisation for the broader fintech industry.

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The peer-to-peer trade body has been axed and its members will join a trade group for the wider financial technology industry.

The self-regulated Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) was set up in 2011 to lobby for regulation.

It was initially set up by founding members Zopa and Funding Circle and its other members include CrowdProperty.

The trade body was thought to have had just a handful of staff including Robert Pettigrew, director.  Its chairman is Paul Smee, who was previously Director General of Mortgage Lenders.  It was closed by its members.

It is unclear if staff at P2PFA have a job to go to.

Its members will now join a new unit of Innovate Finance, a trade organisation for the broader fintech industry.

According to Innovate Finance, the P2PFA had achieved its goal of seeing the industry regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The close of the P2PFA comes at a challenging time for the P2P industry which has been warned by the FCA about its practices.

Its replacement organisation is called 36H Group, which says it will provided a "unified voice for lending platforms that accept retail investments, now that standards are set by the Financial Conduct Authority".

Innovate Finance said the 36H Group, which is named after the FCA regulations for the industry, will focus on policy and regulatory matters, along with promoting the sector an bringing "choice, competition and transparency to the lending and investment markets".

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance (pictured), will chair the 36H Group.

According to The Times, the P2PFA had been "run by the big platforms who did what they wanted to do", according to a source it had spoken to.

The source added: "Now they have not got enough to sustain their own trade body, relevance is diminishing because of the cap on retail investment and the fact that big investment and the fact that big institutions don't want to play."

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Paul Smee

Former Chair of the P2PFA

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