The Platform One Innovative Finance ISA
Platform One’s IFISA investments are available in the form of ‘Crowdfunding Debentures’, also known as ‘Loan Notes’. In simple terms, these are loans made to companies who wish to finance projects more cost-effectively than via other, more traditional capital raising alternatives.
Loan note investors must receive financial advice from an FCA-authorised financial adviser prior to making the investment. Platform One will not accept applications or investments from investors directly.
How does it work?
Our online platform brings together companies, wishing to finance projects using Loan Notes with investors who have sought appropriate financial advice and received a personal recommendation from an FCA-authorised financial adviser.
As investors make investments via the Platform One IFISA, borrowers issue Loan Note Certificates to Platform One to hold on behalf of the investors. These certificates act as legally binding ‘IOUs’ to repay the amount of money lent to the investor at a specified future date, in exchange for an agreed interest rate.
Borrowers typically offer investors an option to receive interest payments at different intervals such as quarterly or bi-annually. Alternatively, the investor may choose to wait until the end of a fixed term – in which case the borrower would typically offer a higher rate of interest. At the end of the term, borrowers are required to repay the initial investment amounts, along with any accrued outstanding interest.
Platform One liaises with the borrowers on a regular basis and receives lump-sum interest payments from them when due. We then credit each investor’s account and then deduct any financial adviser and platform fees, which will be detailed to each investor in advance. These fees will reduce the net return to the investor.
What are the risks?
IFISA investments are riskier than more traditional forms of investment.
Investors should not invest more than 10% of their net assets
in this type of investment.
These investments are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Generally, the greater the interest rate payable,
the greater the perceived or actual risk.
Loan Notes should not be compared on a ‘like-for-like’ basis to bank deposits.
There is no guarantee that the investor will receive their money back or receive
the interest that has been promised.
The main risk to the investor is of a borrower being unable to repay the loan at the agreed date or being unable to pay the interest it has agreed to pay during, or at the end of, the investment term.
If an investor were to require their money back before the end of the term of the Loan Note, there is no ready market for Loan Notes – therefore they cannot easily be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business.
Security and the role of the Security Trustee
The Loan Notes may be secured against the assets of the borrowers.
A Security Trustee is a person or corporate entity which holds security on trust for the benefit of the investors. Security Trustees are in place to ensure that, as much as is possible, investors are not disadvantaged by a potential loan default. It is normal for Security Trustees to be used in relation to secured Loan Notes, where the benefit of the security is held on behalf of the Loan Note holders as a group.
A Security Trustee will facilitate the administration of the security – for example, when the security is a charge over property and the beneficiaries would be too numerous for them all to be listed on the Land Registry. Also, with Loan Notes, the group of beneficiaries changes over time so, appointing a Security Trustee avoids the cost and inconvenience of administering the security each time a new beneficiary is added.
If anything goes wrong and the security needs to be enforced, it would be the Security Trustee’s responsibility to act impartially to enforce the security and distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries.
If you would like to discuss Platform One’s Innovative Finance ISAs or Loan Note opportunities, please contact our Client Services team in the first instance.
Telephone: 0345 366 5445