The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association is a UK trade body. It has been set up primarily to ensure this innovative and fast growing sector maintains high minimum standards of protection for consumers and business customers.
Peer-to-peer finance businesses are bringing much-needed new competition and choice to the banking market in the UK providing loans to creditworthy individuals and businesses.
The initial members of the Association are Funding Circle, Zopa and RateSetter – the largest peer-to-peer lending platforms at present in the UK. Together these three businesses have facilitated over £500m of loans between their lenders and their borrowers, of which over £100m has been facilitated in the first 5 months of 2013.
Other peer-to-peer providers are known to be interested in seeking membership, subject to meeting the required standards.
The Association is focused on peer-to-peer lending that is facilitated by platforms on which the majority of lenders and borrowers are consumers or businesses, rather than ‘investment clubs’ or networks of sophisticated investors.
Membership of the Association is subject to its Rules and members must comply with the Association’s Operating Principles.
In December 2012, the Association named Christine Farnish as its first independent Chairman.
The Association welcomed HM Treasury’s announcement on 7th December 2012 that a regulatory framework will be established for peer-to-peer lending – the members had proactively sought a sensible regulatory framework.
The Association is engaging closely with the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, and HM Treasury - it recently submitted its response to their Consultations.