Peer-to-peer lending trade body the 36H Group is marking its first year as the sector’s voice, so what are its highlights?
The 36H Group was launched on 13 January to replace the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA).
It came in the aftermath of new Financial Conduct Authority regulations for the P2P lending sector, meaning the P2PFA became less relevant.
The 36H Group was instead set up as a sub-group within fintech trade body Innovate Finance.
Its launch statement said 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.
Few could have predicted the pandemic that was about to hit the group’s in-tray.
Here is a year in the life of the 36H Group.
36H Group is launched, replacing the P2PFA, and is chaired by Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance.
The P2PFA website had been down since the start of the year but platform officials and its chair Paul Smee had told Peer2Peer Finance News that this was due to technical issues.
The 36H Group’s initial members are Funding Circle, Zopa, RateSetter, Lending Works and CrowdProperty, with Assetz Capital later joining.
Other former P2PFA members including Folk2Folk and Crowdstacker did not join.
The 36H Group starts a search for a head of platform lending to manage the trade body.
According to the job specification, the successful candidate would be responsible for planning and executing quarterly working group meetings, developing a platform lending policy programme, account managing group members, and advocating on behalf of members.
It is a part-time role, taking up 2.5 days per week.
The coronavirus outbreak hits the UK and the government scrambles to set up a lending scheme to support struggling businesses.
This initially takes the form of the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme and later bounce back loans.
Banks are the first to get accredited to provide this finance and critics including the 36H Group complain through Innovate Finance that fintech lenders are being ignored and approved too slowly.
36H Group member Funding Circle became the first P2P lender to become accredited for CBILS, followed by Assetz Capital.
Mike Carter (pictured) was also appointed as head of platform lending to lead the group.
36H Group member Lending Works is sold to alternative investment manager Intriva Capital.
Nicholas Harding founder and chief executive officer of Lending Works, will continue to lead the business, alongside the existing management team.
The platform had paused lending and closed its secondary market earlier in the year and investors are still awaiting its reopening.
Metro Bank completes the acquisition of 36H Group lender RateSetter.
The platform remains a member of the trade body for now.
Carter reveals in an exclusive interview with Peer2Peer Finance News that he expects the FCA to carry out a post-implementation review of the new regulations that were introduced last year.
“When that happens our lenders will be keen to provide a lot of feedback but that is obviously not a priority right now,” he said.
Carter tells Peer2Peer Finance News that the sector is this time feeding into plans for a successor lending scheme to CBILS, which has now been extended until the end of March.
The 36H Group may not have got round to pursuing its initial aims just yet but the pandemic has at least shown the strength and role that alternative lending can play.
This should help once the trade body can get round to normal working practices post-Covid.