JUSTUS has opened its first Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) accounts, having invited existing customers to register for the tax-free wrapper last month.
The Cheshire-based peer-to-peer lender previously said that it anticipated the process from application to account opening would take two to four weeks, “given the level of anticipated demand”.
Lenders that are now approved for the JustUs regular account can simply login into the portal, add their National Insurance number and this will automatically open their ISA account, the firm said in an email to its customers on Wednesday.
All cash deposits received into the IFISA product will automatically be allocated to the ‘access pot’ which pays 1.2 per cent annual returns on un-lent capital, thus avoiding ‘cash drag’ before the funds are ready to be deployed.
Founder and chief executive Lee Birkett told Peer2Peer Finance News last month that new investors will have to join a waiting list and will probably have to wait until early 2018 to lend through the IFISA.
“We expect to attract £10m purely from existing investors over the next few months,” Birkett said.
Once funds are ready to be deployed, investors have three options. A ‘prudent’ ISA account which will earn up to 4.16 per cent per year; a ‘balanced’ ISA account which will earn up to 6.51 per cent; and an ‘adventurous’ ISA account that earns up to 9.79 per cent.
JustUs, which gained full Financial Conduct Authority approval in September, started life as eMoneyHub in July 2012. Under its new brand, it plans to offer a variety of products, including bridging loans, unsecured loans, guarantor loans and buy-to-let mortgages, at borrowing rates it says are below the market average.
Its backers include advertising veteran Sir John Hegarty, who has invested in the firm via his start-up incubator The Garage Soho.