The Financial Conduct Authority has applied to place an unauthorised peer-to-peer lending platform into administration.
It has made an application to the High Court in Manchester to appoint administrators for three connected companies: Collateral (UK) Ltd, Collateral Sales Ltd and Collateral Security Trustee Ltd.
The Collateral companies operated a peer-to-peer lending platform through a website - collateraluk.com - and Collateral UK Ltd purported to hold an interim permission from the FCA to carry on regulated activities.
The companies were placed into administration by their directors on 28 February but were required to seek FCA approval when doing so to protect investors by making sure an independent person conducted the administration process.
Since the companies did not do so, the FCA has now made an application to the High Court to have new administrators appointed.
In a statement, the FCA said: "The FCA has intervened to ensure investors are protected as the law requires.
"On 16 March 2018, the High Court adjourned the FCA’s applications to 27 April 2018. Until then, the court ordered that, barring incoming payment of loan interest and repayments and certain other administrative steps, the substantive progress of the administration should be paused.
"The FCA will continue to work in the best interests of investors in the Collateral companies."
None of the Collateral companies held any valid authorisation or permission to carry on regulated activities. When challenged by the FCA, the Collateral companies agreed to cease their lending activities and, on 26 February 2018, the lending platform became inoperative.