January 14th, 2020

Assetz Capital ‘considering’ 36H Group membership

Assetz Capital is considering joining Innovate Finance’s new 36H Group but has warned the P2P lending sector has to overcome a branding challenge first.

Stuart Law , chief executive of P2P lender Assetz Capital, said it was no surprise the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) was being replaced by the 36H Group.

“The P2PFA never really achieved critical mass in the industry with only a small number of members,” he said.

“Those members were mostly moving away from P2P finance in any case and more towards institutional funding, or becoming a bank in Zopa’s case.

“It was very much a closed group too. When we discussed some years ago the potential to join they made it very clear that we had to cease having our own view and putting that view out in our communications and that we had to follow their messaging only.

“We could not see eye to eye on that and we never joined. As a result, we often got asked by government bodies for our own view to contrast with the P2PFA view that they had also been given.”

Law said the sector must now take time to consider what it stands for and who it represents.

“We will certainly consider joining the 36H group but feel that people are running away from the current ‘P2P’ branding challenge after the failures of some badly run businesses who frankly didn’t know what they were doing and let the industry down,” he said.

“P2P, and retail participation in that, is a key part of the future of financial services in our view and we think we should address that head on in order to move on from this period of noise created by those bad actors in P2P space.”

The P2PFA was launched in 2011 by founding members Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter, which subsequently left.

It has also lost other members in recent years including LendInvest, MarketInvoice, Landbay and ThinCats as the platforms shifted focus onto different strategies.