Octopus Choice, a UK P2P lending platform from Octopus Investments, said it has been granted full authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
According to its statement, it is the first of its kind, i.e. adviser-focused P2P lending platform to be fully authorized by the British regulator and now the company is developing its innovative finance individual savings account (ISA) to be launched later in 2017.
Octopus Choice was launched in April 2016 by the London-based Octopus Invest, in consultation with financial advisers.
Every loan is secured against residential property at conservative loan-to-values (averaging 60%) and is underwritten by Octopus’s lending team, Octopus Property. Since its launch in 2009, Octopus Property has lent over £2.2 billion with a default rate of less than 0.1%. To provide investors with additional protection, Octopus also invests 5% in each and every loan at first loss and spreads investors’ money across 10 loans or more.
“We’re delighted that the FCA has decided to grant Octopus Choice full authorisation. It’s the culmination of some really positive dialogue with them over the past few months, and a hugely important milestone that will give renewed confidence to our fast-growing base of advisers and investors,” said Richard Wazacz, Head of Octopus Choice.
“The incredible demand we’ve witnessed in the nine months since launch underlines the level of interest that financial advisers and their clients have shown for this type of solution, especially at a time of low interest rates and rising inflation. The authorisation from the Regulator and prospect of an Octopus Choice ISA will only help bolster that demand.”
Octopus Choice is one of the numerous P2P lending platforms on the UK alternative finance market, which is estimated as the largest in Europe with a total volume of £3.2 billion in 2015. The major players in the UK include Zopa, Funding Circle, Lending Crowd, etc.