The FCA proposals for peer-to-peer lending: crackdown or coming of age?

Held on Monday, November 5, 2018


  • Paul Smee (P2PFA)

  • John Battersby (RateSetter)

  • Andy Davis (Prospect)



Peer-to-peer lending is a subject we have followed since its infancy. Our first report on the market, Seeds of Change, was published in 2012, and we returned to the sector last year with From Peer2Here.

For the last few years, the sector has benefited from favourable public policy: tax incentives in the form of the Innovative Finance ISA, and a supervisory “third way”, regulating P2P lenders as neither banks nor investment managers.

That novel regulatory status was always temporary. The FCA determined at the outset to review what was working (and what wasn’t) after a couple of years, and it has done so. The results have been described by more than one media outlet as a “crackdown on peer-to-peer lenders”.

How much of that is journalistic license I cannot say – but I know a few people who can:

  • Paul Smee has run the Association of IFAs, APACS, the Payments Council, and the CML – and is now chair of the peer2peer Finance Association, the trade body which represents most of the big players in the sector. He is also a trustee of the Money Advice Trust and an advisor to the Lending Standards Board.

  • John Battersby is head of communications and policy at RateSetter. He is a former deputy head of communications for the Lloyd’s insurance market, and head of communications strategy and head of news for HM Treasury.

  • Andy Davis is financial editor of Prospect and a former editor of the weekend FT – and the author of Seeds of Change, From Peer2Here, and several other reports on the sector. He is a previous holder of the Wincott Award for Personal Financial Journalist of the Year.

How the regulator balances promoting competition with protecting consumers is an issue that affects the whole industry, not just those who are currently in the spotlight. So, if you (or a colleague) would like to join us, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing or calling 0207 621 1056. As usual, wine and sandwiches will be provided.

Many thanks

Andrew Hilton