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Peer2Peer Finance News | May 29, 2017

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Octopus Choice approved as ISA manager by HMRC

Octopus Choice approved as ISA manager by HMRC
Suzie Neuwirth

OCTOPUS Choice has been approved as an ISA manager by HMRC and is planning on launching its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) later this year, Peer-to-Peer Finance News can reveal.

The peer-to-peer lender, which was spun out of Octopus Investments last April, said it is planning on launching the product solely for new customers to begin with, before allowing ISA transfers.

Octopus was granted full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) just last week.

“We’ll be releasing further details on our IFISA in due course, with a view to launching it later in the year,” said Richard Wazacz (pictured), head of Octopus Choice.

“To begin with, our plan is to launch it for new subscriptions only, before opening up to ISA transfers afterwards.

“In the meantime, our primary focus is on giving the best possible service to the thousands of financial advisers and investors we’ve already attracted. We’ve achieved a huge amount in a very short time, but there’s still plenty we’d like to do to ensure Octopus Choice remains the simplest, safest and most transparent P2P product in the market.”

Read more: Octopus Choice to launch IFA portal

Platforms have to be approved by both the FCA and HMRC before they can offer the tax-free wrapper around P2P investments. While the City regulator’s approval process is notoriously arduous, HMRC authorisation is broadly seen as a formality.

A number of FCA-authorised platforms have been approved as ISA managers this month, including Landbay and LandlordInvest.

Read more: Octopus Choice’s Richard Wazacz explains why P2P and IFAs should see eye to eye

Octopus Choice offers property-backed loans to investors, who can expect average returns of around 4.8 per cent.

Loans are secured on the property but to provide investors with additional protection, Octopus also invests five per cent of its own money into every, meaning it would always lose its own money first in the event that anything went wrong.

Read more: P2P investors sent interest ‘nudge’ letters by taxman