The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) has been disbanded and some of the UK’s major platforms have instead formed a sub-group within fintech trade body Innovate Finance.
The P2PFA website has been down since the start of the year but platform officials and its chair Paul Smee (pictured) had told Peer2Peer Finance News that this was due to technical issues.
However, it has today been revealed that members decided it has served its purpose and instead a new 36H Group has been formed with Innovate Finance.
Its initial members are Funding Circle, Zopa, RateSetter, Lending Works and CrowdProperty.
Membership is open to all P2P lending platforms.
It is understood that members felt the P2PFA did what it had set out to do as a self-regulatory body and was now less relevant given the sector is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Smee and P2PFA director Robert Pettigrew will not be involved in the new group.
The 36H Group will focus on policy and regulatory matters, as well as promoting the benefits the sector is delivering; including bringing choice, competition and transparency to the lending and investment markets.
It will be chaired by Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance.
“The lending platform sector delivers value for investors as well as providing much needed lending to consumers and businesses,” Crosswell said.
“As a result, it has been one of the fastest growing areas in the UK’s fintech ecosystem.
“The new regulations introduced at the end of last year will assist its development into a mainstream investment option open to everybody.
“Innovate Finance is committed to supporting forward-thinking UK fintech innovators like those in the lending platform sector, and I look forward to chairing the 36H Group.”
Read more: P2PFA members see IFISA value surge
Paul Smee, chair of the P2PFA, said platforms have made it into the mainstream of financial services.
“We can be very proud of what the P2PFA accomplished over the last eight years,” he said.
“We were set up to ensure the innovative and rapidly growing lending platform sector maintained the highest standards of customer protection. We worked hard to achieve our goal of securing effective external regulation, which I’m pleased is now in place.
“Now that platforms are in the mainstream of financial services for both investors and borrowers, this is the right moment to recalibrate, and I look forward to seeing the industry go from strength-to-strength into the future.”
The P2PFA was launched in 2011 by founding members Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter, which subsequently left.
It has also lost other members in recent years including LendInvest, MarketInvoice, Landbay and ThinCats as the platforms shifted focus onto different strategies.
Read more: Landbay exits P2P market