Plend is first UK consumer lender to achieve Pending B Corp status and announces FCA approval as early access launches

From last week, people can apply for early access to a Plend loan
as 4.7 million people admit to struggling to pay back loans

 

Last week, we announced that we are the first consumer lender in the UK to gain Pending B Corp status as well as becoming authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), paving the way for an ethical alternative to the flawed credit system.

As a team, we’ve created a more financially inclusive way to lend built from our proprietary open banking technology, the PLEND Score®, that looks beyond traditional credit histories in order to give an accurate picture of a person’s financial position. New research we’ve undertaken reveals that half (50%) of people in the UK with a loan have struggled to pay it back during the pandemic. The research, conducted by Opinium, is based on a nationally representative sample of over 4,500 people meaning that some 4.7m people in the UK may not have an affordable loan.

As a Pending B Corp company, we’re committed to going beyond conventional credit ratios to provide an affordable loan for people who have thin, non-existent or impaired credit histories, as well as meeting the highest standards of accountability and transparency. The flaws in the UK credit referencing system have long been recognised and traditional credit scoring methods often give an incomplete and outdated picture of an individual’s financial life, holding back over 20.3 million people in the UK from affordable financial services.

“It’s outrageous that we are still experiencing financial discrimination based on a system that hasn’t been updated since the 1950s! We passionately believe affordable and ethical loans should be easily accessible based on your personal spending habits today, not your credit history over the last 6 years. Now as our early access launches with FCA approval, we’re itching to create a fairer future where people are not held back by their credit score.” says Rob Pasco, our CEO & Co-Founder.

The last two years have been a struggle for many people in the UK and with rising prices set to squeeze budgets even further in 2022 due to the cost-of-living crisis, households are in danger of being caught up in a dangerous cycle of expensive or unregulated borrowing habits such as Buy-Now-Pay-Later or Pay-Day loans.

In April 2022, PwC estimated that now over 20.3 million UK adults are ‘financially under-served”, struggling to access fair and affordable financial products and services and face financial exclusion, which is an increase of nearly 50% from 13 million back in 2016. Financial exclusion could mean you are penalised for past mistakes such as a late bill payment, you are new to the UK so lack a credit history, or have previously been a victim of financial abuse. The broken credit system means that many are trapped with only expensive options available, which in turn exacerbates their credit options in a time when affordable access to credit is needed now more than ever