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Peer2Peer Finance News | November 22, 2017

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Sir John Hegarty-backed lender JustUs gains FCA approval

Sir John Hegarty-backed lender JustUs gains FCA approval
Suzie Neuwirth

A PEER-TO-PEER lender backed by advertising veteran Sir John Hegarty has received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Just Us, which started life as eMoneyHub, is re-launching on Tuesday after gaining approval from the City watchdog.

The Cheshire-based lender plans to offer a range of products, including bridging loans, unsecured loans, guarantor loans and buy-to-let mortgages, at borrowing rates it says are below the market average.

It said on Tuesday that it has already applied to HMRC for ISA manager status, with a view to launching its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) in October.

Read more: JustUs modifies ‘Rainyday’ fund to cover interest only

“I am thrilled we have secured this authorisation,” said Lee Birkett, founder and chief executive of JustUs. “It has been a long process and we understand the need for the FCA to be thorough and rigorous. It means we can now push on and raise significant funds to establish JustUs as a true market leader.”

JustUs launched as eMoneyHub in July 2012 and has already completed four fundraising rounds, starting with an oversubscribed seed round on Crowdcube in March 2014.  Investors include Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of renowned ad agency BBH, who has backed the firm via his start-up incubator The Garage Soho.

Read more: JustUs hires Santander’s Mike Moroney as COO

“Gaining full regulatory approval shows our belief in the business model Lee and his team presented to us was justified,” said Hegarty. “That is why we at The Garage are so pleased to be part of JustUs.”

JustUs said it is aiming to “revolutionise the personal finance market” with competitive rates and inclusivity.

“Our lenders can lend to borrowers with great credit histories and also to consumers with a less-than-perfect credit history, but who have friends or family members willing to stand as guarantor,” said Birkett.

Read more: CEO of P2P lender blames “unwelcome developments” for IFISA delays