Fundkiss and FSC P2P Lending license
03 May 2021
As a fintech company, we strive to transform the financial services landscape with innovation. Trust is an important currency in the financial sector and even more so in fintech, which is an emerging activity in Mauritius. To enhance investor and borrower trust in what Fundkiss stands for, we place great importance on regulatory approval and oversight.
Beginning of April 2021, our journey reached a very exciting milestone. We were granted a Peer-to-Peer Lending license (P2P license) from Financial Services Commission (FSC), the regulating body of all non-banking financial activities in Mauritius. This marks our move from the Regulatory Sandbox License we operated under for the last two years, granted to us by the Economic Development Board (EDB) Mauritius.
This license approval supports our growth trajectory and opens a world of opportunities for us. Here are some of the changes the P2P license brings.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OUR BORROWERS?
Bigger projects – Fundkiss can now help fund business loans between MUR 50,000 and MUR 5million. The previous ceiling on the loan amount was MUR 3million. This means bigger projects and more diversity within our borrower community.
Robust Credit Underwriting – We will now be able to partner with the Mauritius Credit Information Bureau (MCIB) to create a faster approval process for loan applications. Fundkiss will now also be under obligation to report late and non-payments to MCIB.
Fundkiss meets the world! – The regulatory approval allows Fundkiss to arrange for finance projects in foreign currencies. This opens possibilities for overseas borrowers in the region to fund their development projects through Fundkiss.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OUR LENDERS?
The recent changes to the Peer-to-Peer Lending FSC Rules in 2021 bring some notable changes for lenders at Fundkiss. These include:
Higher investment ceilings for individual investors – Individual investors can lend between MUR 5,000 to MUR 100,000. Individual lenders will now be able to invest a cumulative maximum of MUR 1.5 million for any 12-month period.
Our internal policy caps the maximum amount an individual investor can invest in a single project to MUR 100,000 remains. This ceiling recognises the need for lenders to minimise risk through diversification in investments.
Higher investment ceilings for institutional investors – Institutional investors can lend between MUR 5,000 to MUR 1 million. Institutional investors will now be able to invest a maximum MUR 3 million per year, cumulatively.
For institutional investors, the maximum amount they can invest in a single project is limited to MUR 1 million per project.
Introduction of Expert Investors – An Expert Investor is an individual or institutional investor who i) makes an initial investment of at least US $100,000 or approximately MUR 4million on the Fundkiss platform or ii) is a Sophisticated investor as defined in the Securities Act 2005 such as investment advisers etc.
Expert investors have no restrictions on the maximum amount they can invest with Fundkiss.
Welcome foreign Investors! – With the P2P license, foreign investors will now be able to lend on Fundkiss with no restrictions on the maximum amount they can invest with Fundkiss.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN FROM A TAXATION PERSPECTIVE?
Exemptions – Tax rate on earnings from interest on the platform was previously 15%. Now, both institutional and individual investors can benefit from an 80% tax exemption on their interest income earned on the platform, effectively bringing down the tax rate to 3%.
Debt from amount lent through the platform, which have been declared as ‘bad debts’, may also be deducted from any interest received from money lent on the platform. Any unrelieved debt could be set off against future interest income receivable in succeeding income years.
And lastly, what does it mean for Fundkiss?????
The regulatory approval establishes Fundkiss as a full-fledged and trusted fintech player in Mauritius, which will contribute to accelerating our growth and development. We will be able to create more collaborative partnerships and welcome more institutional and individual investors to the Fundkiss platform, all of which will benefit the SME community in Mauritius.
With the P2P license, the ability to fund overseas projects and onboard overseas investors opens opportunities to international expansion.
All of this, while staying true to our mission of simplifying and democratising the financing of SMEs in Mauritius by building a digital solution that offers a great customer experience.
And most of all, we will continue to play our modest part in helping the Mauritian economy grow again, at a time when it truly needs it.
The full version of the FSC’s P2P Lending Rules can be found at ‘Financial Services (Peer to Peer Lending) Rules 2020’ and ‘Financial Services (Peer to Peer Lending) (Amendment) Rules 2021’.