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金融监管局:别把超过收入10%的钱投资于众筹项目

伦敦金融区的监管者今天宣布,投资者只能将其收入的10%投入到高风险的众筹网站。这是新规的部分内容,而这将有可能使一些中介公司破产。

众筹是指一个创业者或者任何想要筹钱的人要求公众把现金投入到被他们提议的风险计划中。

像Seedrs.com或是Crowdcube.com这样的网站允许筹资者把他们计划的细节以及如果每个投资者仅投入10英镑,他们会获得怎样的收益都披露在网站上。中介从这样的服务中获利。收益率会高于10%,但是有破产的风险会使得投资者血本无归。

今天发布的新的监管条例将从4月份开始更好地保护投资者,金融监管局说。

把钱放进众筹项目的投资者必须确认他们没有使用超过自身资产的10%,不包括房地产和养老金。这很可能会在注册页面上采取打勾的形式。那些自称是有经验的众筹投资者将不会有任何限制。

金融监管局的新法规也覆盖了P2P贷款,其中如Zopa这样的公司将储户,或“贷款人”,与借款人直接联系起来,以换取利益的抽成。然而,FCA给这两种不同类型的投资进行了明确的区分。它说P2P“风险较低”——体现在5%~7%的回报率——所以经验不足的投资者没有规定的“上限”。

即便如此,所有的P2P中间商必须符合严格的资本要求,并展示如果公司破产贷款合同将如何被强制执行的详细计划。

从4月1日起,公司将必须证明至少有20,000英镑的资本“缓冲”,大公司会有更多缓冲资本要求,以防止金融风险冲击。从2017年4月1日起这些限制将提升,最低将达到5万英镑,规模较大的公司会更多。

这些规则的设定究其原因是众筹和P2P借贷的投资者不受金融服务赔偿计划的保护。如果一家银行或房屋互助协会倒闭,该计划覆盖最多的储户的钱有85000英镑(联名账户为170,000英镑)。

金融监管局表示希望所有的企业满足这些规则。那些不这样做的公司将受到监管约束,就像一家银行如果它未能满足其要求可能会受到的约束一样。

金融监管局的政策风险研究主任克里斯托弗·伍拉德说:“我们要确保消费者得到适当的保护——但不是阻止其投资。

“我们一直谨慎地从市场上听取反馈,这些规则为消费者提供保护,同时也让企业能够继续在筹资方式上创新。”

P2P金融协会的主席ChristineFarnish说:“我们很高兴的是金融监管局对P2P贷款的监管采取了适当的方法。

“今天的声明在不将消费者暴露在显著的风险中与推动创新间寻求某种平衡。”

Investors will be told to put no more than 10pc of their money into high-risk “crowdfunding” websites as part of new rules, announced by the City regulator today, that could put some of these middlemen firms out of business.

Crowdfunding is where an entrepreneur – or anyone hoping to raise money – asks the public to put cash into their proposed venture.

Websites such as Seedrs.com or Crowdcube.com allow the fund-raisers to post details of their project and how investors might profit if they put in as little as £10 each. The middleman takes a cut for this service. Returns can be higher than 10pc, but there is a risk the business fails, leaving investors with nothing.

The new regulations laid down today will ensure “better protection” for investors from April, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

Those putting money into crowdfunding projects will have to confirm that they are not using any more than 10pc of their assets, excluding property and pensions. This is likely to take the form of a tick-box on the sign-up page. Those who declare themselves as experienced crowdfunding investors will not be prescribed any limit.

The new FCA regulations also cover so-called peer-to-peer lending, where companies such as Zopa link savers, or “lenders”, directly with borrowers in exchange for a cut of the interest. However, the FCA has drawn clear distinctions between the two different types of investing. It said peer-to-peer carries "less risk” – reflected in typical returns of between 5pc and 7pc – and so there will no prescribed “cap” for inexperienced savers.

Even so, all peer-to-peer middlemen will have to meet strict capital requirements and show detailed plans of how the loans contracts would be enforced if the company went bust.

From April 1, firms will have to show at least £20,000 of capital “buffer”, or more for bigger firms, to protect against financial shocks. These limits will rise from April 1 2017, when the minimum will be £50,000 and more for larger firms.

The reason for these rules is that investors are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme that covers up to £85,000 (£170,000 for joint accounts) of savers’ money if a bank or building society goes bust.

The FCA said it expects all firms to meet these rules. Those which fail to do so will be subject to regulatory discipline, just as a bank might if it failed to meet its requirements.

Christopher Woolard, director of policy, risk and research at the FCA, said: “We want to ensure that consumers are appropriately protected – but not prevented from investing.

“We have been careful to listen to feedback from the market and the rules provide consumer protection, whilst allowing businesses to continue to have access to this innovative method of funding.”

Christine Farnish, chairman of the Peer-to-peer Finance Association trade body, said: "We are pleased that the FCA is taking a proportionate approach to the regulation of peer-to-peer lending.

“Today's statement strikes the right balance between promoting innovation whilst not exposing consumers to significant risk.”


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