The UK fintech industry's representative body, Innovate Finance, has launched 36H Group in the wake of enforced regulations on lending platforms that accept retail investments.
36H group replaces the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), which was established in 2011 to lobby for regulation of this area of lending.
With its aims achieved in the form of the FCA's enhanced regulations, the P2PFA has been reinvented as 36H Group to promote the benefits brought to the sector by lending platforms accepting retail investments.
A statement from Innovate Finance says 36H will provide "a unified voice" for such platforms that will be subject to new standards set by the FCA.
Some critics have argued the new regulations' cap on retail investment will be negative for the sector and the closing of P2PFA is a reflection of sector's "declining relevance".
A source familiar with the matter has told The Times: "Now they have not got enough to sustain their own trade body, relevance is diminishing because of the cap on retail investment and the fact that big investment and the fact that big institutions don't want to play."
Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance and new chairwoman of 36H, however states: "The lending platform sector delivers value for investors as well as providing much needed lending to consumers and businesses.
"As a result, it has been one of the fastest growing areas in the UK’s fintech ecosystem. The new regulations introduced at the end of last year will assist its development into a mainstream investment option open to everybody."
Initial members of 36H include Zopa, RateSetter and Funding Circle, with membership open to all lending platforms that are authorised by the FCA under Article 36H the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, after which the group is named.