Peer-to-peer platform Plend has gained approval from the City regulator to start lending, paving the way for its official P2P launch.
Following a lengthy authorisation process, the consumer lender has officially gained the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to start deploying loans.
It has also become the first consumer lender to achieve Pending B Corp status. This is a certification programme which demonstrates that a business has good environmental, social and environmental fundamentals, and promotes transparency.
It aims to use open banking to assess creditworthiness in a fairer way to help the millions of people who are unable to access affordable credit.
The platform’s website, which was rebranded in March, says it will offer “affordable loans for ambitious people building brighter futures.”
Borrowers can apply for loans up to the value of £10,000 at 10 to 25 per cent APR, with repayments over one to five years. Meanwhile, lenders can earn up to eight per cent per annum by financing loans to credit-checked consumers from around the UK.
“It’s outrageous that we are still experiencing financial discrimination based on a system that hasn’t been updated since the 1950s,” said Rob Pasco, co-founder and chief executive of Plend.
“We passionately believe affordable and ethical loans should be easily accessible based on your personal spending habits today, not your credit history over the last six years.
“Now as our early access launches with FCA approval, we’re itching to create a fairer future where people are not held back by their credit score.”
Last year, Plend announced a raft of appointments including Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang as executive chair, RateSetter’s former risk officer Kevin Allen, Sarah Davies as head of compliance and Ash Woolf as head of data analytics to shake up the credit scoring process.
In September last year, in preparation for its launch, the platform raised £700,000 in a pre-seed equity funding round from venture capital firms including Tomahawk VC Ascension and Haatch, alongside NBS Ventures, which is a part of Nationwide Building Society’s Incubator.
It has also previously joined trade body Responsible Finance, which aims to increase access to fair and affordable credit for people and businesses.