THE TAX INCENTIVISED SAVINGS ASSOCIATION (TISA) is lobbying both HMRC and the FCA to include P2P investments in self invested personal pensions (SIPPs), as it continues to reach out to financial advisors on behalf of the industry.
Jeffrey Mushens, technical policy director at TISA, told Peer2Peer Finance News that the group is in the process of publishing a number of white papers to encourage the government to further the agenda, and it has also started a parallel programme with the FCA, in an effort to remove the final hurdles to P2P pension investing.
“We were early supporters of P2P funding back in 2011,” he said. “We started out by lobbying the Treasury to include them within ISAs.”
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Now that the Innovative Finance ISA has brought P2P finance to savers, TISA would like to see a similar development in the pension space. However, there are still a few hurdles in place.
“I think the main issue is around connected parties,” explained Mushens.
“We put some specific proposals together which we raised with HMRC and intend to follow this year. It’s not a case that they’re trying to block P2P from pension savings, they just have to be certain that there won’t be any unintended consequences.
“There are rules about what you can and can’t include in the SIPP, and one of those is that you can’t make loans to connected parties. So, it’s going to be a matter of redrafting those rules.”
TISA is also continuing its efforts to educate financial advisors about P2P investing, although Mushens believes that this will take some time.
“We want to tell advisors in particular what we’re doing in the industry,” he added.
“Their caution is quite understandable because P2P is relatively new and advisors want to be sure that it’s something that is relatively mainstream before they advise their clients.
“We don’t take sides on any particular firm – we see P2P as being a way of giving more choice to investors and borrowers and an alternative to the mainstream banks. It enables people to feel that their money is going somewhere they can identify and getting a good return.”
TISA has circulated a survey among advisors to gauge their feelings towards P2P, and expects to release its findings later this month.