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FCA Finds Challenger Bank Behaviour… Unchallenging – Plus Loan Auction Latest

There’s outright criminal, unlawful, dodgy and – on the far side of the border of what’s OK –  there’s illicit. We’re pleased to see, thanks to a report from our friends at Crowdfundinsider, that a recent report published by the top UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that there’s nothing profoundly illicit going on amongst challenger banks in this, our FinTech sector…

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published an expected report on challenger banks and financial crime controls which states that some are falling short when it comes to diligence against malfeasance such as money laundering. The review, conducted during 2021, said that some challenger banks failed to adequately assess customer risk while identifying a rise in SARs or Suspicious Activity Reports by these banks. The review predated the Russia sanctions regarding the war in Ukraine.

Challenger banks are frequently digital-only banks that aim to compete with legacy, high street banks. The UK is one of the most robust markets in the world for these banks and Fintech in general. The review included 6 challenger retail banks, covering over 8 million customers. The FCA did not point to any profound illicit activity.

  • We start the new tax year with three loan auctions on site, from borrowers we have dealt with before.

All these loans can be held, up to £20,000, as Innovative Finance Individual Savings Accounts (IFISAs). IFISAs are explained in more detail below. Here’s the latest from the auction room:

  • Mar-Key has a credit rating of A+, a yield of 7 per cent and a term of two years. It is currently 62 per cent filled.
  • HTHL Ltd has a credit rating of A+, a yield of 7 per cent and a term of one years. It is currently 26 per cent filled.
  • Harris & Co has a credit rating of A, a yield of 8 per cent and a term of one year. It is currently 13 per cent filled.
  • You can see detail on each by logging in and downloading the credit note.

Historical Performance And IFISA Process Guide

  • Money&Co. lenders have achieved an average return of more than 8 per cent gross (before we deduct our one per cent fee). 

That figure is the result of over £24 million of loans facilitated on the site, as we bring individuals looking for a good return on capital together with carefully vetted small companies seeking funds for growth. Bear in mind that lenders’ capital is at risk. Read warnings on site before committing capital.

  • Money&Co. has been lending for over 5 years and has only had two bad debts so far, representing a bad debt rate of 0.03 per cent per annum.

All loans on site are eligible to be held in a Money&Co. Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFISA), up to the annual ISA limit of £20,000. Such loans offer lenders tax-free income. Our offering is an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that can hold the peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans that Money&Co. facilitates. For the purposes of this article, the terms ISA and IFISA are interchangeable.

So here’s our guide to the process:

  • Step 1: Register as a lender. Go to the login page, and go through the process that the law requires us to effect. This means we have to do basic checks on you to comply with money-laundering and other security requirements.
  • Step 2: Put money into your account. This is best done by electronic transfer. We can also process paper cheques drawn in favour of Denmark Square Limited, the parent company of Money&Co.
  • Step 3: Buy loans in the loan market. Once you’ve put cash in your account it will sit there – and it won’t earn interest until you’ve bought a piece of a loan. It’s this final step that requires lenders and IFISA investors to be pro-active. Just choose some loans – all loans on the Money&Co. site can be held in an IFISA – and your money will start earning tax-free interest.

The ISA allowance for 2020/21 is unchanged from last tax year at £20,000, allowing a married couple to put £40,000 into a tax-free environment. Over three years, an investment of this scale in two Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISAs would generate £8,400 of income completely free of tax. We’re assuming a 7 per cent return, net of charges and free of tax here.

Once you have made your initial commitment, you might then consider diversifying – buying a spread of loans. To do this, you can go into the “loans for sale” market. All loans bought in this market also qualify for IFISA tax benefits.

Risk: Security, Access, Yield

Do consider not just the return, but the security and the ease of access to your investment. We write regularly about these three key factors. Here’s one of several earlier articles on security, access and yield.

 



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Disclaimer: Money&Co.™ is the trading name of Denmark Square Limited, Company Number 08561817, registered in England & Wales, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company is identified on the Financial Services Register under Reference Number 727325. The registered office is 58 Glentham Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9JJ where the register of Directors may be inspected. Denmark Square Limited (ISA manager reference number Z1932) manages the Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISA.