LENDINVEST has confirmed that it has cancelled its application with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate a peer-to-peer lending platform.
The online mortgage lender revealed in its annual report, released this week, that it had shelved several applications with the City watchdog, for permission to operate a P2P platform and for credit broking and consumer credit licences.
“While these FCA applications can be reopened at anytime, we currently have no need for these permissions,” it said in the report.
Since its launch in 2013, LendInvest has run an online property platform allowing unregulated investment into products such as bridging and development finance, alongside an FCA-regulated alternative investment fund.
Since May, the report said, any LendInvest online platform investment has been into the alternative investment fund, which has only been open to sophisticated, high-net worth and professional investors.
This means new lenders need to complete a qualification test, while existing users have their current portfolio run as usual but would need to complete the test to invest any new money.
“Shortly after year-end we took the decision to tailor our online investment platform to sophisticated or high net worth investors and investment professionals,” said chief executive Christian Faes in the report.
“In doing so, the loans into which these eligible investors now invest are managed under the terms of our existing alternative investment fund management permissions granted to us by the FCA.
“We expect that the majority of existing platform investors will be eligible to continue investing with us and the response has been hugely positive to date.”
It is believed that LendInvest will remain a member of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association.
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The annual report revealed gross revenues increased to £40m, from £32m in 2016, while profits dropped from £3.4m to £0.1m.
Overall lending volumes grew from £611m to £968m over the financial year.
Meanwhile, the platform has been praised for how originates, underwrites and services loans.
ARC Ratings, a European ratings agency, has awarded LendInvest a SQ1 Servicer Quality Rating for the third consecutive year. This is the highest possible rating.
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