investUP insights: Was this Budget good for crowdfunding?

23 March 2015

"I will always owe my budgeting interest to my parents, who seemed to budget according to how many cases of wine would fit into the Volvo estate."

And then I saw my first public budget, which seemed to be a very similar farcical public showing, although billions were spent, rather than should the family spend money on food or go for the seriously decent plonk. Both pantomime of the highest level. And so I adopted gazelle intensity, as customary with the budget bonanza, and a skill well learnt from childhood. After all, this entire budget was hyped to contain a few nuggets dealing with the crowdfunding sector, something naturally keen to my and UP’s heart.

Hints of an equity crowdfunding ISA

A pledge was included to explore looking at the inclusion of crowd equity within the Chancellors new "Flexible ISAs". If true then this is an excellent result for equity crowdfunding and UP. But I would not jump UP for joy just yet, the P2P loans consultation is still ongoing, and that was announced last year. That said UP will be unique at being able to offer users both P2P and equity ISAs from under one roof.

A bespoke regulatory environment for crowdfunding sites

The Chancellor announced creating a bespoke regulatory regime for P2P and crowdfunding platforms. This is an excellent result. Whilst it is known that the FCA are already pretty bespoke in how they deal with crowdfunding, further political support for the sector shows even more acceptance for the direction in which crowdfunding is going.

P2P relief and ISAs

The Government has previously indicated that they will introduce a new relief, allowing individuals lending through P2P to offset any losses from loans against other P2P income. This is a big change! Likewise there was further confirmation that ISA eligibility will be extended to P2P investments from April 2015. 

Further lending support

Another £85m of British Business Bank investment will be pushed out via peer-to-peer and crowdfunding platforms. Hopefully these funds will also be distributed through smaller sites and not just the big boys.

So after all that it was a pretty good budget for crowdfunding. No fireworks, just business progressing nicely. With the political landscape potentially changing soon, it is a massive case of wait and see.

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