British peer-to-peer (P2P) lender LendingCrowd has received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company is now the country’s second P2P platform and first P2P lender to SMEs to secure full authorisation status.

The FCA authorisation will allow LendingCrowd to launch an ISA product.

LendingCrowd CEO and co-founder Stuart Lunn said: “Peer-to-peer investing is growing in popularity every day, we are supportive of industry regulation and we’re extremely pleased that LendingCrowd has reached this milestone.

“Unquestionably, it adds credibility and trust in a relatively young marketplace in which our aim is to be a major player. It also means that we can look to launch our ISA product both directly to investors and through investment platforms, several of which we are already engaged with.”

LendingCrowd, which launched in 2014, has till date facilitated £8m of loans and has over 2000 investors signed up to its platform.

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The UK market is opening to several alternative finance lenders in the rcent times. Last month, consumer P2P platform Lending Works received full FCA authorisation, while in September 2016, online lender AvantCredit received full authorisation from the FCA.