P2P peer to peer handshake

Published on June 6th, 2019 | by Jenny


How are the Innovative Finance ISAs Faring 2 Years after their Release?


Rising Houses costs means many young people are struggling more now than ever to get a foot on the ladder. Peer to Peer lending could provide a solution and the new innovative finance ISA introduced in 2017 offers tax free savings with above average interest returns.

Two years on from its release how is the IFISA faring? And should you consider using it as part of your portfolio.

There are a wide variety of ISAs on the market and all offer different USPs and are best suited to different people. The IFISA is focused on wrapping peer to peer lending savings account in a tax-free wrapper. Initially, lenders were slow to offer the product given the large amount of regulatory hoop-jumping that was necessary to get them on the market.


Peer to Peer Lending in 2018

If you are looking to get on the peer to peer ladder you may find it challenging. In 2018 research indicated that due to high demand for the new ISAs from existing customers few peers to peer lenders offered the product to new customers. With the new ISAs needing FCA approval before launching savers can take some comfort that the industry is becoming more financially regulated. Customers were tempted by the simpler interfaces and similar returns offered from stocks investments.


Whilst gross returns have increased over the year default rates have also risen. This has caused some draw back in the market.  This financial years ISA allowance of £20,000 can be spread across any ISA based product in your portfolio.


The current regulation means that you cannot transfer peer to peer lending loans into an ISA account. So it is advisable that if you have non-ISA p2p savings you wish to move over to an ISA account you should start as soon as possible. Having said that one positive aspect of Peer to Peer lending is the quick access it gives to your money. Additionally the fact that you can use personal savings allowance towards it means you can benefit from having both a standard p2p account and an IF ISA.


The recent peer to peer boom has resulted in many businesses like funding circle launching an IPO. This is due to the very low interest rates which have made borrowing across the board very cheap. But is this sustainable? Many have compared the recent boom in lending through peer to peer sources to the extremely bullish market of the subprime mortgage lenders which contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.


How should you structure the IF Isa into your portfolio?

Whilst Peer to Peer lending may seem tempting and fairly straightforward as with any investment product you must make sure to structure it into a balanced portfolio. The returns have been tempered by rising default rates in recent years and the current uncertainty around Brexit means any changes to your savings structure should be properly researched and tested.



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