Downing Crowd

Downing LLP acquires P2P lender

The FCA has authorised Downing LLP's final acquisition of Funding Empire.

The P2P lender is behind the investment manager’s crowdfunding platform Downing Crowd. 

The technology has allowed Downing to innovate, with developments including an Innovative Finance Isa and SIPP account, as well as regular access bonds. 

Downing has raised over £60m since adopting Funding Empire’s technology in October 2016.

Julia Groves, partner at Downing LLP and head at Downing Crowd (pictured above), said: "Some areas of the P2P market have been attracting headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, but Funding Empire has long since stood out to us for both its excellent track record, as well as its clear technology expertise.

“We feel this acquisition brings together the best of both worlds: the innovative technology of a P2P platform business with the scale and long track record of an investment management firm, with over £1bn of funds under management.” 

It is claimed that neither Downing Crowd nor the Funding Empire platforms have seen any defaults or bad debt on their loan book to date.

Funding Empire will continue to administer repayments for historic loans originated on the platform, although it will not be issuing any new loans under this brand as all new opportunities will be offered under the Downing brand.  

Funding Empire’s existing investors will not be automatically moved over to Downing Crowd, but will be offered a special rate on their first bond investment.

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