Peer-to-peer lending platform JustUs has been granted full authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Founder and Chief Executive Lee Birkett CEO said: “I am thrilled we have secured this authorisation. It has been a long process and we understand the need for the FCA to be thorough and rigorous. It means we can now push on and raise significant funds to establish JustUs as a true market leader.”

Birkett, who has 27 years’ experience in financial services, added: “A number of our larger competitors have been unable to satisfy the regulatory requirements to operate a peer-to-peer lending platform, and have withdrawn from the application process. We wholeheartedly believe in the spirit of peer-to-peer and as a team have all invested a huge amount of the time, money and effort to deliver a unique proposition to UK borrowers and savers.”

Birkett and his backers, who include veteran advertising agency boss turned angel investor Sir John Hegarty via his business incubator The Garage, Soho, said that with interest rates at a record low of 0.25%, new products for savers are urgently required.

“The ISA brand is of huge significance to the UK savings and Investment market, currently worth approximately £500bn. The ability to deliver a better return for savers’ cash is something that we relish and have been testing since formation in 2013. Our lenders can lend to borrowers with great credit histories and also to consumers with a less-than-perfect credit history, but who have friends or family members willing to stand as guarantor.”

JustUs plans to launch a number of market-leading products including offering; bridging loan rates from 7% p.a. compared to a market average of 10%; unsecured loans from 10% compared to a credit card average of 18%; guarantor loans of 28% compared to a market average of 42% and buy-to-let mortgages offering up to 3.5% interest payable to lenders and fixed rate borrower interest rates for up to 15 Years from 4.5% fixed.

Sir John Hegarty added: “Gaining full regulatory approval shows our belief in the business model Lee and his team presented to us was justified. That is why we at The Garage are so pleased to be part of JustUs.”