Linked Finance receives full authorisation from UK regulator
State begins public consultation on potentially regulating peer-to-peer lending sector
Linked Finance chief executive Niall Dorrian and Murphy’s Ice Cream co-founder Sean Murphy. Murphy’s has raised €75,000 from Linked Finance. Photograph: Conor McCabe
Linked Finance, a peer-to-peer lending platform, has received full authorisation by the UK’s financial conduct authority to enter the UK lending market.
The approval to begin UK operations comes as the Department of Finance initiates a public consultation process on the potential introduction of regulation of the peer-to-peer lending sector in Ireland.
Figures from the first quarter of 2017 show that the company’s Irish platform increased lending activity by more than 326 per cent on the same period a year earlier.
According to a statement from the company, the authorisation from the UK’s financial conduct authority will provide further confidence in the platform among local lenders and Irish SMEs.
“We are encouraged that the Department of Finance has initiated a public consultation in relation to regulation of crowdfunding here in Ireland. The sector is becoming an increasingly important source of funding for Irish SMEs and any actions that will promote further growth in the sector are to be welcomed,” said Niall Dorrian, chief executive of Linked Finance.
Commenting on the department’s consultation process, Mr Dorrian said: “Any regulation of the sector in Ireland should seek to encourage, rather than inhibit, further diversification within the financial landscape.”
Since its launch in 2013, Linked Finance has facilitated more than 870 loans and more than €25 million in funding for Irish small to medium enterprises.