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BWB @ LendIt Europe 2016

Talking P2P and online lending with the industry

· Event,P2P lending

After an early start, the BWB Compliance team were excited to set up our exhibitor stand at the 2016 LendIt Europe Conference, the major P2P and online lending event in the UK.

The team and our stand!

It was an action-packed two days at the Conference. The first day kicked off with Samir Desai from Funding Circle looking at the development of the industry and, in particular, debunking the myth that P2P is banking in a different cloak.

Samir Desai, Funding Circle

Our Partner, Gillian Roche-Saunders, participated in a panel discussion on why corporate governance is vital to the future of the P2P industry, which was moderated by Mike Baliman of London FinTech Podcast. Gillian flagged that despite the FCA’s interest in good governance, and the upcoming changes when the Senior Managers Regime is applied to all firms, good governance goes far wider than regulation. The discussion went on to look at what to consider when appointing board members.  A common theme was that while tick-box governance can be applied, it is better for business to make meaningful choices, and that what is good for business will look different for firms just starting out to established platforms. 

Gillian and the panel discussing regulation and corporate governance

We spoke to tons of people at our stand about the services we provide to alternative finance firms, including our dedicated training for P2P platforms.  After a summer of FCA visits, questions and consultation there was no shortage of conversation!

And of course we made sure we caught many of the keynote speeches, panel discussions and company demos. Top of our priority list was seeing Chris Woolard of the FCA gave an update on Regulation and the current post-implementation review process.  He told the audience that we could expect a feedback statement from the FCA before the end of the year. Click here to read BWB’s letter of response to the FCA’s call for input which we sent in early September.

Chris Woolard, Keynote Speaker

Chris emphasised that the authorisation process is indeed time-consuming and complex, but this enables the FCA to challenge business models and make these companies better prepared for ongoing regulation in the future.  Click here to see the text of Mr Woolard’s speech.

It was also interesting to hear from challenger banks including Starling Bank, Monzo and Tandem about their experiences with the regulator. Their responses consistently showed that while getting regulated as a bank is an incredibly intense process, with huge volumes of paperwork, that they found the FCA to be collaborative and constructive during the license application process.  They said that they had a lot to thank Metro for as, being the first new bank to be authorised in a hundred years, clearly smoothed the path of banking licences ahead of them.

Digital banks - the new breed of innovators

The piece de resistance of the conference was the address from Lord Adair Turner.  Having been reported earlier in the year by the BBC as saying that P2P was too risky, Lord Turner significantly qualified his remarks and highlighted that P2P could bring some real value to the industry as long as it’s kept simple and transparent.  You can access the text of his speech from this article by CrowdFundInsider.

We were delighted to see demos from faces new and old, including Landbay, Folk2Folk, LendingWell, Mambu, Goji, Orca Money, & Fintech Finance.

We met some interesting contacts from a range of innovative companies and look forward to keeping in touch, and perhaps seeing a few of you at Crowdfest next week!

If you were at LendIt and didn’t manage to speak to one of our team, please do contact us and we would be happy to set up a call or meeting.

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