Online lender Ratesetter has finally been fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Ratesetter is a peer-to-peer lender that offers unsecured loans from its investors to its consumers or businesses. Often the rates are extremely competitive and top a lot of the best buy surveys. Founded in 2010, the company has already lent over 2 billion and has 250,000 customers. It follows authorisation for the other two largest peer-to-peer lenders, Zopa and Funding Circle who have been fully authorised since May 2017.
The Ratesetter FCA application was first submitted in October 2015 and CEO Rhydian Lewis said that the process “has been a long but positive journey during which we have learnt a lot, improved our infrastructure and implemented important changes, notably making the business more transparent.” Ratesetter has increased the total amount of data it makes public, and has now announced plans to make it a more simple process for investors to access their money.
Indeed Ratesetters transparency has been in the spotlight after revelations by the Times which reported that they had been investing customer money into unsecured loans on rival peer-to-peer lending sites Archover and Wellesley. The FCA condone such activity and Andrew Bailey CEO of the FCA said that the “transparency and fairness” of peer-to-peer lending platforms was one of the biggest challenges for the whole sector.
Mr Lewis commented further that: “Transparency is vital to our business because our customers need to understand what we do to appreciate the risk of lending on RateSetter. We are proud to receive full regulatory authorisation from the FCA. We have always aspired to have a regulatory framework for our business and our industry. We strongly support effective regulation to protect customers and enable industries to compete and grow.
“Authorisation is a milestone but not an end in itself and we look forward to working with the regulator and all stakeholders to continue to deliver good customer outcomes and to grow RateSetter.”
Fantastic news for the consumer therefore, lets’ just hope those competitive unsecured loan rates don’t now increase.