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英国下调金融服务赔偿限额 或将推动P2P产业发展

近日,英国审慎监管局(PRA)宣布,对金融服务补偿计划(FSCS)的赔偿金额重新做出调整。

金融服务补偿计划可以在银行或者住房互助协会破产时,为其客户提供一定数额的赔偿,当前的赔偿金额为八万五千英镑。不过英国审慎监管局近日宣布,传统储蓄账户客户的赔偿将调整为七万五千英镑。自2010年12月起,赔偿金额上限一直保持为八万五千英镑。

简而言之,调整的原因是金融服务补偿计划想要与欧洲计划达到协调一致。欧洲计划对储蓄客户的赔偿上限为十万欧元。审慎监管局对金融服务补偿计划每五年调整一次。主要受希腊财政状况的影响,英镑对欧元汇率不断攀升。因此,金融服务计划根据其补助能力将该金额下调一万英镑。

那么,这一调整又会对替代金融产业产生什么影响呢?RateSetter首席执行官Rhydian Lewis发表了如下看法:

"当前,金融服务补偿计划下调赔偿数额,提高收费,而并未提高储户的回报率,这凸显出对金融服务补偿计划进行调整的必要性。RateSetter认为,金融服务补偿计划的一刀切的方法已经过时,存在价值也贬损不少。因此,我们推出了我们定制的、自给自足“准备金基金”系统。该基金保证任何对我们市场进行投资的投资者都不会有分文损失,同时还能得到合理的回报。"

RateSetter是第一家建立准备金基金的P2P机构,不过现在有很多平台也推出了类似产品,比如Zopa, Wellesley & Co. 和 Assetz.等。

针对金融服务补偿计划,RateSetter在去年年底进行了调查。通过调查发现,人们对金融服务补偿计划有很多普遍的误解。调查显示:

# 只有47%的人听说过金融服务补偿计划。

# 17%的人认为,由于金融服务补偿计划为其提供赔偿,那么低储蓄利率是可以理解的。而52%的人持反对意见。

# 只有39%的人知道八万五千英镑(很快将下调)的赔偿标准。

#  71%的人认为,该计划不应对赔偿金额设限。平均来讲,人们认为金融服务补偿计划应该提供的赔偿应当为115, 137英镑,比现在的金额还要高出35%。

根据英格兰银行消息,八万五千英镑的赔偿额度将于今年12月31日结束。从RateSetter的调查我们可以想到,自此人们对金融服务补偿计划的了解程度可能更低。人们对降低赔款金额(尤其是回报率很低的情况下)的不满之声也会越来越大。

约克郡建筑协会进来对P2P借贷行业表示担忧。1月中旬对1500名英国成年人的调查发现,42%的人表示熟悉P2P借贷。但这其中60%的被调查者并不知道P2P投资不在金融服务补偿计划之中。

有何警示?

鉴于人们对金融服务补偿计划的了解本来就不多,这也是该计划颇为困扰的地方,下调补偿金额将使这一情况更加严重。所以说,或许不会产生什么影响。

RateSetter于2014年12月进行的调查数据显示: 在表示知道金融服务补偿计划存在的受调查者中,15%认为该计划是为了帮助他们的存款免受通货膨胀的影响。 当然,这也是不正确的。

传统储蓄回报率低,国家的保护力度又不断减小,替代金融正越来越受到人们的欢迎。

The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) has announced a rebalancing of the coverage offered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The FSCS exists to cover savers in the event of their bank or building society going bust. The scheme currently offers up to £85k of coverage, but that amount will soon come tumbling down. The PRA today announced that the level of protection offered to traditional savings account customers will soon stand at £75k. The FSCS has provided a buffer for up to £85k since December 2010.

The reason for the recalculation, in short, is that FSCS protection is designed to stand in line with a European scheme, which offers up to €100k of coverage to savers. The PRA rejigs the sterling equivalent (the FSCS) every 5 years. With the pound climbing rapidly in relation to the value of the euro, thanks largely to the situation in Greece, a sizable £10k has been shaved off of the FSCS' protective capacity.

But how is this relevant to the alternative finance space? Here's RateSetter CEO Rhydian Lewis' take on the situation:

"Moving the goalposts in this way with a lower level of protection and higher charges while offering no improvement to the pitiful returns for savers only strengthens the case to refresh the FSCS. RateSetter is of the view that the one-size fits all approach of the FSCS is no longer fit for purpose and results in poor value. This is why we have put in place our own bespoke, self-sufficient system - a Provision Fund which has ensured that nobody investing in our market has lost a penny whilst allowing them to enjoy healthy returns."

While RateSetter was the first P2P outfit to establish a provision fund, there are now a number of platforms that feature a similar type of instrument. These platforms include Zopa, Wellesley & Co. and Assetz.

RateSetter in fact produced a survey on the very issue of FSCS protection towards the tail end of last year. The study unearthed some recurring misperceptions about exactly how the FSCS operates. Of the people surveyed:

# Only 47% had heard of the FSCS.

# 17% believed a low rate of interest on their savings was a fair price to pay for the protection afforded by the FSCS. Over 52% of people disagreed.

# Only 39% were aware of the £85,000 (soon to be less!) protection buffer.

# 71% thought that the scheme should cover unlimited amounts of money. On average, respondents believe that the FSCS should cover up to £115,137 - 35% higher than the current level of protection.

The £85k level of FSCS coverage will endure until December 31st this year, according to the Bank of England. From there onwards, the low levels of FSCS understanding exposed by the RateSetter survey will likely dip even lower. Furthermore, indignation over the already low level of coverage (especially when set against the backdrop of extremely low returns) will surely become all the more pronounced.

Yorkshire Building Society recently raised concerns over the peer-to-peer lending industry. The company surveyed over 1,500 UK adults in mid-January, discovering that 42% claimed to be familiar with the concept of P2P lending. Of those people, 60% were unaware that P2P investments are not covered by the FSCS.

Alarm bells?

Given the lack of general understanding that appears to plague the FSCS - a situation that will likely deteriorate thanks to the £10k cut - perhaps not.

RateSetter's December 2014 survey also threw up the following statistic: 15% of the respondents that were aware of the existence of the FSCS thought that it protected their money from the effects of inflation. This is, again, false.

With traditional savings options offering unpalatable returns, and a gradually diminishing level of state protection, the allure of the alternatives stands only to grow.


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