Renaud Laplanche talks Lending Club, SEC and Upgrade

By Daniel Lanyon on Monday 1 October 2018

Editor's PickAlternative Lending

 The former Lending Club CEO joined Elon Musk with a deal from the US financial regulator following charges.

It has been two and half years since the CEO and co-founder stepped down from the helm of the largest marketplace lending platform as scandal engulfed both the firm and the wider industry.  

Renaud Laplanche has moved on and has since launched a new platform UpGrade which recently closed a $62m Series C fundraise led by CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, the venture investment arm of Chinese fintech conglomerate CreditEase.

However, Laplanche joined another tech CEO - Elon Musk - on Friday in being named by the US financial regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as being charged with fraud (separately to Musk of course).

The SEC charged Lending Club Asset Management, the platform’s investment management subsidiary as well. The matter appears to have been swiftly closed, however. with the two agreeing a financial settlement and Laplanche being banned from the securities industry.

Speaking to AltFi Laplanche said the process had been a strong learning curve and that the SEC ban will not affect his new efforts with Upgrade. 

“Upgrade does not have an investment advisory business like Lending Club, so the SEC bar has no practical impact on Upgrade.”

“I am pleased to have worked out a settlement with the SEC to put to rest any issues related to compliance lapses that might have occurred under my watch at Lending Club. We can now focus on the important goals of making credit more affordable to consumers and delivering attractive returns to investors through disciplined underwriting and exciting product innovation,” Laplanche said.  

Laplanche was forced to resign as CEO of Lending Club after an internal review discoverd $3m worth of loans were mis-sold to the investment bank Jefferies. The loans in question had falsified dates and as the incident was self-reported by Lending Club's board the matter did not implicate the actual company.

“With the benefit of my prior experience, I feel better equipped to establish a strong culture of compliance and effective internal controls under the supervision of capable professionals,” he added.

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