The ThinCats IFISA is coming soon

You could earn 7 - 8.5%* tax-free interest with the ThinCats Innovative Finance ISA whilst supporting UK businesses.

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What is the IFISA?

Traditionally there have been two types of ISA (Individual Saving’s Accounts): Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs. The current tax year has introduced a third type – the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

Unlike a traditional ISA, the IFISA enables you to invest your money via a peer to peer lending platform, meaning that you lend your funds directly to others. The new Innovative Finance ISA can only be managed by peer to peer platforms that have been approved by the FCA and HMRC.

Investing can soon be done inside a tax-free wrapper in a brand new ThinCats IFISA account, meaning that all returns through this account are tax-free.

ThinCats is one of the UK’s leading P2P platforms specialising in secured SME loans and the new IFISA enables you to invest your £20,000 ISA allowance for this year across a variety of UK business loans to achieve tax free interest in the region of 7 – 8.5%*.

ThinCats Innovative Finance ISA logo

*Estimated weighted average annual interest after all costs and provisions for losses of actual defaulted loans after forecasted recovery of security but before income tax (2012 to date). Past performance is not indicative of future results. Capital is at risk. For more detail see our statistics and default rates.

What are the benefits?

  • Tax free interest of 7 – 8.5%* on £20,000 depending on the portfolio you build for yourself
  • Transfer in ISA funds from previous tax years without limit into your ThinCats Innovative Finance ISA
  • We specialise in loans backed by security, helping protect your investment in case the borrower runs into problems
  • Make informed decisions. Our experienced team conduct extensive due diligence on all loans and provide a detailed information pack for lenders to review before committing

  • Access invested money early by selling loans on the Secondary Market
  • Lend directly to UK businesses, helping grow the economy
  • Discuss loans with thousands of ThinCats members on our forum and Q&As, find out what others are thinking before investing
  • The ability to spread investments over a broad range of businesses, from manufacturing to healthcare to renewable energy, reducing your exposure to any one type of industry

*Estimated weighted average annual interest after all costs and provisions for losses of actual defaulted loans after forecasted recovery of security but before income tax (2012 to date). Past performance is not indicative of future results. Capital is at risk. For more detail see our statistics and default rates.

How will it work?

  1. Image depicting a form to be filled outStep 1Fill in our online form (once available)
  2. Image depicting a stack of notes with a pound sign onStep 2Receive your IFISA account details and subscribe funds
  3. Image depicting a gavelStep 3Invest your money in loans on our platform
  4. Image depicting rotating arrows around a percentage signStep 4Receive tax free interest that can be re-invested or withdrawn

How can I register my interest?

In order to offer an IFISA, Peer to Peer platforms require full permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) & HMRC. We will be able to offer the new ThinCats’ ISA once we receive the full regulatory authorisation and are currently putting all our efforts into achieving this.

You can register your interest below and we will keep you up to date as soon as we know more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will I be able to open a ThinCats IFISA?
    • Like other major P2P platforms, ThinCats is waiting to hear the result of its FCA application and we have been preparing our offering so that once we are fully authorised, you will be able to open a new IFISA account with us or transfer in existing ISA’s.

      If you pre register your interest we will contact you as soon as we start accepting applications.

  • What are the differences between an IFISA and traditional ISA products?
    • There are some key differences between the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) and the longer established Stocks and Shares ISA that you may be more familiar with.

      Firstly, only firms authorised by the FCA as crowd funding (or peer to peer) platforms can offer an IFISA.

      Secondly, only certain types of peer to peer lending and debentures can be held in an IFISA, normally restricted to those offered on the platform operated by the IFISA manager. A traditional Stocks and Shares ISA can hold a wider range of different funds, equities, bonds and other investments (although it cannot hold peer to peer loans), and often you can access investments not managed by the ISA manager itself.

      Thirdly, if you wish to transfer your IFISA to another ISA manager you can only transfer cash balances, not any loans that you hold. With a Stocks and Shares ISA, it is normally possible transfer the ISA and its investments without having to convert these investments to cash beforehand. This point is important as you may not always be sell your loans on the secondary market (see ‘How Can I Access My Money?) and so it may not be possible to transfer your IFISA in its entirety to another provider as quickly as you wish.


      *Estimated weighted average annual interest after all costs and provisions for losses of actual defaulted loans after forecasted recovery of security but before income tax (2012 to date). Past performance is not indicative of future results.

  • I already have a ThinCats account, can this be changed into an ISA account?
    • Due to regulatory obligations associated with any ISA – the IFISA is no exception – a new ISA account must be set up even if you have an existing ThinCats account. This means that you will have separate login details for the two and you will have a different membership number and reference for when transferring in funds.

      However, it is possible to transfer cash balances from your existing ThinCats account to fund your new ThinCats ISA account. Only cash can be transferred, not loans, up to the 2017-2018 ISA tax year limit of £20,000.

  • Do I start earning interest immediately on ThinCats and how much will I earn?
    • To earn interest on your ThinCats ISA money you will need to invest in loans to businesses, via the ThinCats platform and hold these investments in your ISA account. Your money only earns interest when it is lent to a business.

      The interest you earn depends on the rates you invest at, which is determined by the auction process. There are two types of auctions; fixed where the borrower offers a single fixed interest rate and the loan is filled on a first-come-first-served basis, and variable, where you get to set the interest rate you want to receive (within the terms of the loan), and the software automatically selects the lowest rates to make up the loan. The interest you receive will be tax-free.

  • How much money can I invest?
    • The overall ISA limit for the 2017-2018 tax year is £20,000 and this can be split between a Cash ISA, a Stocks and Shares ISA and an Innovative Finance ISA as the investor wishes. However, you can also transfer in an unlimited amount from existing ISAs set up in previous years.

  • How can I access my money?
    • There is no minimum period that you have to keep your ISA in order to qualify for the tax relief but peer to peer loans tend to be over periods from 1 to 5 years and you need to take that commitment into account when making your investment decision. ThinCats operates a ‘secondary market’ to help those needing to get back to cash and at the same time providing an opportunity for those investors seeking to build a widely diversified portfolio faster. If you want to access your money before the end of the loan term you may normally sell your loan parts to other investors. We charge a 1% fee for selling on the secondary market. Not all loans are deemed suitable for sale on the secondary market for a range of reasons (such as missed payments). Also, due to the nature of the Secondary Market the price you will receive, and the ability to sell the loan will depend on the supply and demand at the time that you wish to sell your loan (that is, there need to be willing buyers of your loan).

      You can withdraw any un-invested cash in your account, this will normally be processed within 3 working days upon request. Withdrawing funds already committed to loans depends on your ability to sell those loans on the secondary market and then transferring the cash.

  • Can I transfer my IFISA to other platforms if I want?
    • You are able to transfer your IFISA to and from different providers subject to any rules and restrictions they impose. It is important to note that you need to request such a transfer from your new ISA manager. You must not attempt to do the transfer yourself by withdrawing funds and investing them into a new ISA account as you may lose your existing IFISA.

      You can transfer the whole or part of a previous year IFISA. However if you wish to transfer your current year IFISA, you must transfer the whole of it. There is a minimum of £5,000 or the account balance, whichever is the lower, for ThinCats to accept the transfer request from the new ISA manager.

      The ISA regulations only permit transfers of cash balances, not loans themselves. This means that in order to transfer funds out of your ThinCats account you will need to sell any remaining loans on the secondary market. This is not always possible, or may not happen immediately (see ‘How Can I Access My Money?’). Accordingly, you may not be able to transfer your IFISA as quickly as you wish.

  • How do I transfer existing ISAs in?
    • You can transfer from your Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs into your ThinCats Innovative Finance ISA. Simply open an ThinCats IFISA account and then complete the Transfer In form. You will need to print and return this to us as we will need your signature to confirm your instructions to your old ISA manager. We will then handle the rest of the process with your old ISA manager. Timescales for the transfer vary considerably depending on your old ISA manager, but it should be completed within 30 days.

  • Can I apply on behalf of someone else?
    • No, the ISA regulations do not permit this.

  • I am non UK resident, can I open an ISA with you?
    • No, only UK residents over the age of 18 can open an IFISA. There are certain very limited exceptions to this regulation, such British Forces Posted Overseas. If you think that this might apply to you, please contact us and we can confirm the situation for you.

Want to know more?

Fill in the contact form below with your query and email address and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.