The European Banking Authority (EBA) is looking into how the business of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is conducted. The UK P2P sector has had its own problems with the collapse of Lendy – which was regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but still failed. See our take on the way forward here. Problems experienced with unregulated investment firms have compounded the problem.In the UK, the FCA is subject to a chorus of disapproval and calls to action from many commentators. Now, there's a call from the EBA for "cross border P2P and crowdfunding regulations to go further to protect consumers", according to our friends at P2P Finance News.The European Parliament is currently considering proposals to create a single market-wide crowdfunding licence that allows platforms to operate across the EU under a single set of regulations.But the EBA notes that this may not provide protection for consumers investing with domestic-focused firms that aren't currently regulated.It suggests this could be remedied by introducing "harmonised consumer protection" and anti-money laundering rules for all crowdfunding and P2P firms across the European Union.
Of course, if the UK suffers a brutal exit from the European Union with no transition period, this particular writ will not run.
Loan Latest 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). New loans are expected to land on site soon.
That figure is the result of over £17 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.
Money&Co. has been lending for over 5 years and has only had one bad debt so far, representing a bad debt rate of 0.04 per cent per annum.
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:
Step 1: Register as a lender. Go to the login page, and go through the process that the law requires us to effect. This means we have to do basic checks on you to comply with money-laundering and other security requirements.
Step 2: Put money into your account. This is best done by electronic transfer. We can also process paper cheques drawn in favour of Denmark Square Limited, the parent company of Money&Co.
Step 3: Buy loans in the loan market. Once you've put cash in your account it will sit there - and it won't earn interest until you've bought a piece of a loan. It's this final step that requires lenders and IFISA investors to be pro-active. Just choose some loans - all loans on the Money&Co. site can be held in an IFISA - and your money will start earning tax-free interest.
The ISA allowance for 2019/20 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.