RATESETTER co-founder and chief executive Rhydian Lewis (pictured) has received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list, meaning that key figures from all of the ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lenders have now been officially recognised for their achievements.
Lewis gained the award for services to financial services, specifically with regard to P2P and financial inclusion innovation.
A RateSetter spokesperson said the platform was particularly pleased that inclusion had specifically been noted in the award, as it recognises the firm’s focus on creating a market where retail investors can access returns from lending easily and simply.
Funding Circle co-founder Samir Desai received a CBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List, alongside Zopa co-founder Giles Andrews who received an OBE.
Lewis’ accolade is an encouraging sign that the P2P lending sector’s achievements are being noted by the current government. A number of industry figures had previously highlighted diminished support for the fintech sector following the departure of former Chancellor George Osborne.
Last month, RateSetter announced that it had raised £13m from City investors, bringing the platform’s valuation up to £200m. The fundraising round followed RateSetter’s recent hire of investment veteran Paul Manduca as chairman, which fuelled expectations of IPO plans.
The firm is still awaiting full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority and is the last of the ‘big three’ to gain approval.