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 all the 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 accredited, 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 risks compared to traditional ISA products?
    • All investments involve some risk and the risks associated with IFISA investment in peer to peer loans are significantly different from other types of ISA investments. Cash ISAs are safer but their rates are currently below inflation, Stocks and Shares ISAs are subject to fluctuations in the financial markets and could go up or down in value and their overall performance will dictate the returns you can earn whilst ThinCats loans provide an average return before losses in the region of 11% and this rate will not change once you have made the loan. However, there will be some losses and our experience is that these should be between 2.5-4% which will mean that the average net return on a ThinCats ISA should be in the region of 7 – 8.5%*. Diversification is a way in which investors can mitigate the risk. The wider the range of loans you hold, across a breadth of business types, the less will be the impact of a particular loss.


      *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. As such, the set up process must be treated like any other which means existing members will be subject to the mandatory AML checks. This is a legal requirement and even though you may have a longstanding history lending with us, it is a necessary part of taking out a new ISA and will be the same on any P2P platform.

      It is possible to transfer funds from your existing account but only cash can be transferred, 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 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 ISA to other platforms if I want?
    • You are able to transfer your ISA to and from different providers subject to any rules and restrictions they impose. The ThinCats ISA allows transfers in and out but only in the form of cash, you cannot transfer the loans you have made between accounts. 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. We make a charge of £25 for any transfer out of your ISA account which will be deducted from the amount transferred.

  • 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 print, complete and return our IFISA transfer form, which you will be able to download once your IFISA account has been set up. We will take care of the rest. Note the time taken to transfer will be dependent on your previous ISA provider and may take up to 30 days.

  • Can I apply on behalf of someone else?
    • No. We will require a signature from the applicant in order to open this account, therefore you cannot register on behalf of somebody else.

  • 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.

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.