Peer-to-peer bond platform, UK Bond Network, today received full authorisation as a financial services provider from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The approval marks the end of a several months’ review in which the company’s processes, systems, policies, levels of compliance and risk management have undergone intense scrutiny from the UK’s primary financial regulator.
With this FCA’s authorisation in hand, UK Bond Network will be eligible to deliver regulated products such as the Innovative Finance ISA (individual savings account), which is available only on platforms operated directly by authorised firms.
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The IFISA offering, which was announced by the ex-chancellor Chancellor George Osborne, allows investors to benefit from tax-free income from peer-to-peer loans. However, legislations only allows platforms with full authorisation from the FCA to obtain ISA manager status from HM Revenue & Customs.
Having operated under interim permissions since launch, like the majority of peer-to-peer lenders in the country, UK Bond Network has joined a small number of firms which have been fully authorised by the FCA.
Christopher Maule, UK Bond Network’s CEO and Founder, commented: “Proper standards are at the heart of our offering, so gaining FCA authorisation fulfills a key element of our growth strategy. We believe this approval will strengthen even further the confidence that our investors and corporate clients have in our platform, services and people.”
“Our focus is and has always been on quality and that remains the case. But full authorisation is a further significant, very positive differentiator for us. We will continue to offer highly attractive investment and lending products on our robust platform, but now to a much wider audience,” he added.