Mainstream To Take AltFi Sector On Trust

The ever-changing world of Alternative Finance raises all sorts of issues as it rushes headlong towards the mainstream. To complete that journey the world at large must place its trust in the new-fangles sub-sector. Our friends at AltFi opine on the topic of trust in FinTech.

The question of consumer trust in financial services came into sharp focus last week with news that Lanistar, a fintech start-up aiming to be the next digital bank success story was re-launching its plans via a deal with Modulr Finance after a shaky start.  

If you’ve not heard of Lanistar, it’s less than a year old and hasn’t yet launched. But, it has attracted huge attention owing to a colourful social media campaign encompassing 3,000 ‘influencers’ offered equity in the business in return for promotion of its services. 

Not long after Lanistar last year trumpeted its ambition to be the next fintech unicorn (recently upgraded to a ‘deca-corn’ goal) through an attention-grabbing social media campaign the FCA put out a statement warning that it may be a scam only to change its mind a few days later and remove the warning.

What is the average consumer to make of the events? Will consumers trust Lanistar with their cash? Do they even care about a messy start to a fintech brand’s life? 

Fintech, and all digital finance, has faced an uphill struggle over the last decade to build trust, not helped by a number of moderate scandals such as the collapse of several mini-bond issuers, Wirecard’s demise and Lendy’s administration to name but a few. Not to mention the churlish warnings of many sceptical onlookers.

All have knocked consumer confidence and trust in fintech, highlighted regulatory weaknesses, as well as provided fuel for naysayers who wince at the fast-paced growth and bold ambitions of fintech entrepreneurship.

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Historical Performance And IFISA Process Guide

  • Money&Co. lenders have achieved an average return of more than 8 per cent gross (before we deduct our one per cent fee). 

That figure is the result of over £20 million of loans facilitated on the site, as we bring individuals looking for a good return on capital together with carefully vetted small companies seeking funds for growth. Bear in mind that lenders’ capital is at risk. Read warnings on site before committing capital.

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All loans on site are eligible to be held in a Money&Co. Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFISA), up to the annual ISA limit of £20,000. Such loans offer lenders tax-free income. Our offering is an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that can hold the peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans that Money&Co. facilitates. For the purposes of this article, the terms ISA and IFISA are interchangeable.

So here’s our guide to the process:

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The ISA allowance for 2020/21 is unchanged from last tax year at £20,000, allowing a married couple to put £40,000 into a tax-free environment. Over three years, an investment of this scale in two Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISAs would generate £8,400 of income completely free of tax. We’re assuming a 7 per cent return, net of charges and free of tax here.

Once you have made your initial commitment, you might then consider diversifying – buying a spread of loans. To do this, you can go into the “loans for sale” market. All loans bought in this market also qualify for IFISA tax benefits.

Risk: Security, Access, Yield

Do consider not just the return, but the security and the ease of access to your investment. We write regularly about these three key factors. Here’s one of several earlier articles on security, access and yield.

Tags: Altfi, FCA, mainstream


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Disclaimer: Money&Co.™ is the trading name of Denmark Square Limited, Company Number 08561817, registered in England & Wales, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company is identified on the Financial Services Register under Reference Number 727325. The registered office is 58 Glentham Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9JJ where the register of Directors may be inspected. Denmark Square Limited (ISA manager reference number Z1932) manages the Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISA.