We’re excited to tell you that this Monday, 15th August 2011, Zopa and two of our competitors – Funding Circle and RateSetter – set up a new UK trade body called the ‘P2P Finance Association’. We all thought this was a great idea to help ensure that high standards of cutomer protection are in place and policed in our rapidly growing sector, especially for the areas where there is still a gap in UK regulations.
As you may know, although individual borrowers are protected by Consumer Credit laws overseen by the OFT, there are currently no bespoke regulations in place to protect lenders and Zopa has been actively lobbying Government to put appropriate regulation in place. We have received supportive responses, but have been told that new regulation must wait for the new regulator replacing the FSA to be put in place. This is still some months or even years off.
It is with this in mind that we as key industry players decided to establish an official trade body to set meaningful standards that all members must adhere to. This body will help ensure that when regulations do eventually get put in place by the Government, they are sensible and appropriate for our innovative sector. Other peer-to-peer finance firms are free to apply for membership, but to join they must meet all of the Association’s Rules and Operating Principles as Zopa, RateSetter and Funding Circle all do.
Full details about the P2P Finance Association and its Rules and Operating Principles can be found at its website: www.p2pfinanceassociation.org.uk