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P2P industry news – what went on in February

With the Innovative Finance ISA and full FCA-regulation on the horizon as well as continued industry growth, the start of 2016 was always going to be a busy one for the peer-to-peer lending industry.

Here’s a quick media round-up of what happened in February:

Lots of interest in the Innovative Finance ISA

6th April is ticking ever closer and understandably there’s been a lot of interest about the platforms’ ISA offerings.

We released the first details about our Innovative Finance ISA offering on 11th February, looking at what we know so far about the benefits of the IF ISA and how it will work.

Our Chief Product Officer, Andrew Lawson, has made it very clear that Zopa will offer ISA products as soon as possible, but that the timeframe will be dictated by when we receive full FCA regulation. This was first covered in the FT (subscription required), with the Telegraph and the Independent also covering the news.

New products from Zopa

There was a lot of excitement at Zopa as we were finally able to give our customers a first look at our three new lending products.

Zopa Classic, Zopa Access and Zopa Plus will give our lenders more choice around their lending, so they can pick an option that has the access options and risk profile that is right for them. The new products were covered in the Mail on Sunday and in the Times (subscription required).

They’re due to go live this month and we’ll be announcing rates for each of the products later this week.

Industry response to Adair Turner

Beyond the product and ISA news, the P2P industry was in the press when Adair Turner, former head of the FCA, made some surprising comments about the lending practices in the peer-to-peer industry. The head of the P2PFA, Christine Farnish, took to the Today Programme and City AM to issue a robust defence of peer-to-peer lending that highlighted our collective commitment to transparency and high standards of credit risk management.

The industry continues to grow

NESTA released its annual Alternative Finance Report. It found that the whole alternative finance sector grew by 84%, with peer-to-peer lending remaining the leading alternative finance business model.

The P2PFA have breakfast

Finally, the P2PFA hosted its annual press roundtable, covering everything from ISAs to those comments by Lord Turner. Giles Andrews, Zopa’s co-founder and executive chairman, was in attendance, and speculated that we’ll see the first UK P2P securitisations this year.