Unique peer to peer lending platform, Crowdstacker, is launching an opportunity to lend to Amicus Finance Plc (“Amicus”), offering investors 5.67% annual interest over a term of just 18 months – but investor’s need to be quick because this early-bird interest rate is only available until Friday 6th November.
The borrower, Amicus, is a leading specialist lender with a strong presence in the short term property lending sector providing solutions for commercial and private borrowers.
Regular interest payments to suit income investors
The 5.67% interest rate on the Amicus loan is available to ‘early bird’ investors before November 6th. After this date, the interest rate will be 5.43%. Interest is paid quarterly to meet demand for income from investors.
The minimum investment is £1,000 and the offer investment closes on December 11th.
According to Amicus, demand for short term property lending has grown from around £1.4billion in 2013 to an estimated £3billion annually today.* Many traditional banks have withdrawn from the short term lending sector to focus on standardised long term loans, enabling specialist alternative firms such as Amicus to rapidly grow their market share by offering high quality borrowers a faster and more efficient service.
Amicus’s property loan portfolio is currently made up of 90% residential properties and 10% commercial properties, with 70% located in London or the South East. Its loans are repaid, on average, in 8.5 months and it typically lends between £50,000 and £5 million. It won Bridging Lender of the Year at the Bridging and Commercial Awards, and has lent more than £500million in 800 loans over the past six years.**
Crowdstacker positions itself differently to other P2P firms owing to the comprehensive due diligence process borrowers must undergo before being accepted onto its platform.
Amicus went through several stages of quantitative and qualitative assessment undertaken by Crowdstacker’s team of experienced professionals from the accountancy, legal and investment sectors.
Amicus is only the third loan opportunity offered by Crowdstacker since its launch earlier in 2015. Crowdstacker has ruled out more than 30 other potential firms because they did not meet its strict lending criteria.
Karteek Patel, CEO of Crowdstacker, said: “We start our due diligence process where other platforms stop. We offer the innovation, speed and flexibility of peer to peer lending, but combined with a highly selective approach to the borrowers we accept on our platform, and underpinned by the robust due-diligence practices one would expect from a major accountancy firm.
“Most of our customers are looking to diversify their investments, but they are also quite cautious and only want to lend to financially solid businesses. Amicus has a top level management team, exposure to a very strong market, and has only lost 0.15% of capital on its loans over 6 years. We think that makes Amicus an extremely attractive opportunity for those looking to earn a market-beating return over the next 18 months.”
Amicus CEO John Jenkins said: “By lending to Amicus, investors are provided with an exciting opportunity to receive a market beating return by sharing in our success in the fast growing short term property lending market. As our loans are secured against property in the same way as a mortgage, and we take personal guarantees from directors, we have an extremely low default rate and therefore can offer investors a high degree of security.”
Other current opportunities on Crowdstacker
Crowdstacker, is also running a second round raise for Quanta Group, offering the same 6.8% rate of return, with quarterly interest payments, which enticed lenders to invest over £700k at the start of this summer. The opportunity has been reopened for a number of reasons including in response to requests from existing investors to increase their investments. It is looking to secure further funding to be used to purchase run-down UK properties and refurbish them for immediate resale.
Finance raised from the first round has already been successfully deployed, with the funds being used to buy properties that have now been valued for resale at more than 10% higher than the purchase price.
As with the first round raise, money lent to Quanta Group will be secured in a number of ways including security over the portfolio of properties purchased, currently un-invested cash segregated in a separate bank account, and overseen by an independent FCA regulated administrator. Quanta Group cannot drawdown any profits itself before first ensuring that there is always enough capital to repay lenders their original investments.
John Pybus, an investor in the initial Quanta raise, explains why he was inspired to put his money in: “The beauty of this opportunity to lend money to a property refurbishment business is that you get to invest your money for an excellent rate of return, but Quanta does the hard work. It’s not like stocks and shares, which are harder to understand. You can see property, and you can see where the value has been added when it has been repaired and updated. The potential to make money is more obvious.”
Your capital is at risk if you lend to businesses. Lending through Crowdstacker is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. For more information please see our full risk warning https://crowdstacker.com/risk-warning.
Crowdstacker Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (frn. 648742).
We recently reported that TrustBuddy, one of the leading European peer-to-peer companies, announced that it has closed following "suspected misconduct within the company". TrustBuddy has today announced that they have filed for bankruptcy.
While few UK lenders would be affected, this will raise some concerns for European and UK lenders, regulators and governments, considering TrustBuddy was regulated by the Swedish FSA.
Here is the full statement from TrustBuddy:
Further investigation has revealed that the situation is increasingly complex and it will not be possible to continue operations in any form. The Board of Directors concludes that the company is insolvent. To ensure fair treatment of all stakeholders, the Board of Directors, with great disappointment, has decided to file for bankruptcy. The District Court in Stockholm has appointed Lars-Henrik Andersson of Lindahl law firm to handle the process going forward.
The services of the company will continue to be closed, and the trading in the share will not be resumed.
Simon Nathanson, Chairman of the Board of TrustBuddy AB, comments:
As a result of the misconduct, our ongoing discussions with stakeholders, lack of liquidity and inability to operate a regulated operation, TrustBuddy cannot move forward with the business. Today’s decisive action will give all stakeholders the opportunity to receive fair treatment in a structured process. The Board of Directors and management will continue to support the process going forward in any way we can.
Lars-Henrik Andersson, Lindahl law firm, comments:
My immediate focus will be to fully understand the critical questions of the business in order to find the best way to safeguard the interests of the creditors and other stakeholders. One action is to immediately take control over all assets of the company. I am looking forward to an efficient cooperation with the current board and management of TrustBuddy.
Webcast for additional information
An audio webcast for investors is planned for today at 13.00 CET. The Chairman of the Board, Simon Nathanson, CEO Philip Mikal and Lars-Henrik Andersson will give a presentation on the background and the processes going forward.
To participate in the audio webcast and have the opportunity to ask questions, please dial the following number: +44 (0) 1452 567058, pass code 1929786.
The webcast will also be available on http://engage.vevent.com/rt/webcasting~20151019.
For more information:
Lindahl law firm will communicate on the development of the bankruptcy on www.lindahl.se/trustbuddy.
Claims and documentation can be sent to [email protected].
Media is welcome to call on +46 (0)8-527 70 777 and to search for information on www.lindahl.se/trustbuddy. The receivers will answer the questions to our best endeavours and in accordance with the bankruptcy assignment.
One of the leading European peer-to-peer companies, TrustBuddy, has announced that it has closed following "suspected misconduct within the company". Some staff have been suspended and all current and former employees have had their lending accounts frozen while investigations take place. The Swedish regulator and police have been informed.
Thankfully there should be very few UK lenders affected, but this will be a shock for the industry and clearly indicates that the platform risk is not zero, and should be priced into lending calculations. This is likely to cause European and UK regulators to pay greater attention to the sector in the short and medium term.
Here is the full statement from TrustBuddy:
Ongoing rights issue in TrustBuddy AB (publ) suspended – peer-to-peer platform closed after suspected misconduct within the company
An investigation initiated by the new management of TrustBuddy AB has indicated serious misconduct within the company. The Board of Directors has informed Nasdaq OMX and the Swedish FSA about the situation, and the FSA has demanded that TrustBuddy is to stop offering its services with immediate effect. As a consequence, the company’s planned rights issue is suspended. The Board of Directors will prepare a control balance sheet and are currently evaluating all available options in order to find a viable solution for all parties.
Simon Nathanson, Chairman of the Board of TrustBuddy AB, comments:
We are of course very disappointed in the situation that has arisen. With the new management team in place, TrustBuddy had both the platform and the capacity to create a company built for growth and industry leadership. In light of the recent events, we now have to redirect our focus to find a solution that is in the best interest for all stakeholders.
The new management team has been in place since early September, 2015. In connection with the repositioning of the business, an investigation of the business activities undertaken by the former management was initiated. The investigation is ongoing, but has so far pointed at several breaches of internal or external regulation:
- The Company has used lenders’ capital in violation of their instructions, or, without their permission. As a result, there is currently a 44 MSEK discrepancy between the amount owed to lenders and the available balance of the client bank accounts.
- The total amount currently lent out on the platform is approximately 300 MSEK, of which, 37 MSEK is not assigned to lenders.
- The Company has re-assigned existing loans, a significant portion of which were likely non-performing, to new capital deployed by lenders.
The investigation indicates that these practices were likely in place since the TrustBuddy platform began operation.
Actions taken by the new management and the Board of Directors
The questionable practices mentioned above, limited to the Company’s short-term lending business, have been stopped with immediate effect.
Further, the Board of Directors informed Nasdaq OMX and the Swedish FSA about the findings. Based on the findings, the FSA demanded that TrustBuddy is to stop offering its services with immediate effect. As a consequence, the planned rights issue, scheduled to run from 14 October 2015 to 30 October 2015, is suspended.
Due to the severe breaches of the internal and/or external regulation, the Board of Directors has also decided to file a report to the Swedish Police Authority.
The Dutch subsidiary Geldvoorelkaar, which focuses on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, has been operating on a stand-alone basis and has not been subject to misconduct.
Members of the previous management team that are current employees of the Company have been put on suspension while additional investigation takes place. Current and former employees that have participated as lenders on the TrustBuddy platform have had their accounts put on hold.
The Board of Directors will as soon as possible prepare a control balance sheet, and will also investigate the potential impact of the events on other significant agreements.
Information for lenders and investors
All services and products of the parent company TrustBuddy AB are being suspended. Therefore, it is not possible to make any withdrawals or deposits. More information can be found at http://investor.trustbuddy.com.
The trading in the company’s shares has been halted since 7 October, and will continue to be halted until the company has presented new information.
Webcast for investors
An audio webcast for investors is planned for today at 10.00 CET. The Chairman of the Board, Simon Nathanson and CEO Philip Mikal will give a presentation on the background and the processes going forward.
To participate in the audio webcast and have the opportunity to ask questions, please dial the following number: +44 (0) 1452 567058, pass code 1929786
The webcast will also be available at http://engage.vevent.com/rt/webcasting~20151012.
The very first individuals who lent through Buy2LetCars have received their final repayment on their loans. These individuals will have received 33% interest over 3 years. New lenders can achieve an amazing 14.65% AER over 3 years. The P2P money website has an exclusive £50 cashback offer for new lenders who sign-up and lend through Buy2LetCars, as if further motivation was required!
Here is the full press release by Buy2LetCars:
It gives us great pleasure and immense pride, to announce that Buy2LetCars have delivered exactly what we set out to do in the Summer of 2012.
We are delighted to be fully engaged in completing the final lump sum payments to the funders who initially backed our business by entrusting us with their hard earned money to start the ball rolling in funding cars.
From now on we will be drawing cheques every month in favour of our investors as we repay them the promised final payment.
Rumman Sohail, our very first client who, having attended one of our presentations looked us in the eye and simply asked, 'If I give you my money, are you going to do what you have just shown me?' The answer was YES! He went on to inform us that this was money he was saving up for his kids' schooling. Mr Sohail works in the banking world in Canary Wharf, the business idea made sense and he backed us, the underdogs at the time. It was such a joy to hand over his final payment and say thank you for believing in us when there was no evidence for you to use as a reference point. We are immensely grateful for that leap of faith.
Business owner Nadeem Shokat started with 1 car funded in the summer of 2012. He has now funded additional cars through Buy2LetCars and has received his payments on time every month including his final lump sum payment. Mr Shokat is an entrepreneur supplying very fine doors to high net worth clients through his business. He has recommended friends and family to fund vehicles with Buy2LetCars.
The past three years has been a roller coaster ride of late nights, hard work, persistence and dogged determination in delivering on what we promised. Thankfully, while we had 'doubting Thomases' in abundance a few people looked us in the eye and gave us a chance to achieve what we set out to do. Thank you, to those clients in 2012 who decided to look at the plan, ask questions and once they were satisfied with the answers, gave us a chance when there was no reference point and the idea was very much then just a concept.
The business was started in a serviced office in Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London. We (Reg & Scott) occupied this address for a few months and our mentor challenged us to move the business to a spare room in my house in Mitcham in October 2012 to save costs. We did this reluctantly kicking and screaming all the way home!
There we built the business, one phone call at a time, one home or office visit at a time and within a few months business was growing and we needed to have a proper office where interested parties on both the funding side and leasing side can pay a visit.
The team swelled from a two-man team to a total of five in 2013, working from the office in West Wickham. Amidst all the negative forum chatter from idle hands who had never dealt with Buy2LetCars and several other obstacles we persevered and a lot more people believed and loved what we were doing, from them getting a fantastic inflation-beating return to approving of the leasing solution we provide to the wider public who are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers and loan shark car finance companies.
Here we formed direct manufacturing relationships with:
Hyundai, Nissan, Vauxhall, Toyota and Mercedes Benz. It was also from here that we formed a very lucrative relationship with Uber (the taxi app firm owned by Google and Goldman Sachs). Today we are the number one supplier of Toyota Prius' to Uber, thanks to our funders who have taken keen interest in funding these Prius'.
In January 2015 we moved to our bespoke head office on a beautiful landscaped farm in Godstone Surrey. Staff levels have now grown to 25 during in the first half of 2015.
The Uber relationship has been so lucrative that we have been able to triple our lease income in the first 6 months of 2015, and grows each day as new cars are leased. As this relationship has grown stronger we have now secured a 1.5 acre site in Kent that holds 250 cars, this has enabled us to offer same day service, from application to delivery all within 12 hours! I think you would agree with me this is exemplary for a new car delivery.
We are also proud of the many accolades, awards and recognition that has been showered on us by doing the right thing.
So regarded by Toyota, as CEO of the business I have just returned from the Frankfurt Motor Show where I was personally invited by them to be their guest and attend the launch of the new Toyota Prius.
Our thanks and gratitude go out to all our clients both on the funding side with Buy2LetCars and the leasing side with Wheels4sure. We are proud to say that since inception our leasing arm has been averaging 96-99% client recommendation, the highest in the industry! Thanks to the funders for providing the cash needed to lease out those cars to the public.
It is with great pride that we are able to say that Buy2LetCars is no longer considered a concept, the business is real and final lump sum payments are being made this month and every following month as we have now firmly entered the three year repayment cycle in full swing.
We are proud to say our funder default rate is 0% and will remain so and our lease portfolio on 1000 cars is performing at 96% timely payments and up to date accounts.
It has been a wonderful walk down memory lane bringing you this update on our journey. The question I would ask you today as you read this, did any of your investments perform at 33% return over the term since 2012? If the answer is no and you want your money to grow at this rate, please contact us today and fund from £14,000 to £25,000 per unit to get your cash motoring at inflation beating returns today!
Is it not time you got your money working harder?
As with all other peer-to-peer companies, lending on Buy2LetCars is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and capital is at risk.
Unbolted is a new peer-to-peer company that lends against assets. That is not too different than a large number of peer-to-peer companies, but Unbolted is slightly different. There are two types of loans, one secured against assets (in a similar way to Saving Stream and Funding Secure), but the second - which is unique with the peer-to-peer sector - is loans secured against gold and precious metals. As well as security of the asset, Unbolted operate a provision fund for all non-gold and previous metals.
The current lending rates are 10.69% AER (10.5% gross) for standard assets and 8.08% AER (8.0% gross) for gold and precious metals for 6 month loans.
Here is a recent press release which explains Unbolted in more details:
Unbolted lends against assets. These are items that either individuals or small businesses hold that have a resale value. Everyone is familiar with a mortgage against their property and today, more and more people are realising that other items in their possession also have a value that can be borrowed against.
As long as the potential borrower is a UK resident and has an asset with a resale value, the Unbolted P2P site is open for them. Their credit rating is irrelevant as we lend against the asset. The advantage for the borrower is the most they can lose (if they fail to pay back the loan) is the asset that they have provided to Unbolted.
The advantage for the lender is that every loan is backed by actual collateral. That means the lender does not have to depend on Unbolted to assess the credit worthiness of the individual. If you are a potential lender, the only requirement is again to be a UK resident.
Smart investors know the importance of a diversified portfolio. Unbolted’s Autolend is our solution to the diversification of risk for the lender. Of course, Self Selected lending is also available if they want to bid on specific loans.
Therefore, determining the value of the asset to be collateralised is of primary importance. At Unbolted, we work with carefully selected experts to determine if a “secondary” market exists for an asset. The best place to determine the value of an item is through an auction process. As a result, we partner with firms who create or manage an auction process as they have experts who help determine the listing price in the auction. We use their mid-range estimate to determine the value of the asset in question.
Unbolted normally lends up to 70% of the mid-range estimate, and we lend 80% against the actual carat of gold items. We feel this is wise for the borrower and prudent for the lender.
Unbolted uses a simple loan structure and all loans mature in six months unless advised otherwise. All loans are made with standard non-commercial credit agreements.
We designate loans as Gold Loans or Non-Gold Loans prior to committing funds, and all lenders of Gold-Loans become automatic beneficiaries of the Gold Trust (the objective being to ensure that no lender loses money due to a fall in gold prices).
All Non-Gold loans are protected by the Provision Trust. Unbolted transfers 1% of the principal of every loan made, out of its Unbolted own fees to the Provision Trust.
All loans are secured against assets that are held in our possession (or in the possession of one of our authorised partners). As a lender, we will enforce the security and sell it in the event of default. However, we are in the business of lending and do not make a profit on the sale of any asset, and any surplus is returned to the borrower.
In the unlikely event that a borrower fails to pay back their loan, the lender does not necessarily incur a loss. The item, which is under the control of Unbolted for the duration of the loan, is then put up for auction and after the item is sold, the funds received (less the charges for selling it by the third party) are used to pay off the outstanding principal and interest.
Unbolted does not accept any fees until the loan principal has been recovered. We only receive our full fees if the lender receives their full interest and until then, we share in the losses.
The Unbolted P2P platform also guarantees the borrower that his or her loan will be fulfilled.
Unbolted is not dependent on its lenders to determine whether or not it will lend to a borrower.
Unbolted offers some of the best P2P lending rates available anywhere. Currently, Unbolted is offering lenders 10.5% per annum on non-gold loans and 8% per annum on loans against gold.
At Unbolted, we think that the risk profile for our lenders is significantly less than compared with other peer-to-peer platforms. If you are a serious investor and believe in diversification, you should consider Unbolted as part of your portfolio of P2P investments.
As with all other peer-to-peer companies, lending on Unbolted is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and capital is at risk.