Funding Circle announce the closure of their forum. Funding Circle follow Zopa which closed their forum in February 2016. They are also encouraging users to move over to the P2P independent forum.
A pathetic abdication in my opinion. The views of customers are a valuable resource unless one is determined to develop a bunker mentality.
Here is the copy of the email sent to users:
When we opened our forum in 2012, our aim was to foster a community of customers, both investors and borrowers, who could discuss their experience of lending and borrowing through Funding Circle and help each other.
We have enjoyed the healthy debate with members over the last four years and gained significantly as you shared your experiences with us and provided feedback on the development of the platform. However, more recently there has been a developing trend towards a small number of investors asking questions about a narrow range of technical topics - most of which are better dealt with through our Investor Support team.
Therefore we have taken the decision to close the forum at 6pm on Tuesday 2nd May. We hope you will all continue sharing your views on Funding Circle over on the P2P Independent Forum, which we will continue to monitor.
Although the forum will no longer be active there are still many ways for you to share your views with us. Our Investor Support team are always best placed to help with any queries and can be contacted here. For the opportunity to meet the team directly, we host investor evenings and arrange monthly trips to meet borrowers you have lent to. We're also excited to announce that we will soon be launching an investor panel to help test new product launches and provide feedback. If you are interested in taking part please register your interest here.
Finally, we'd like to thank you for the contribution you have made to the Funding Circle forum, and the support and advice you have given to others. Please stay involved and continue to share your feedback. If you would like a copy of your posts, please contact Investor Support and we will provide them to you.
Funding Circle have announced that they are to exit property loans by mid 2018. Funding Circle state the reason for this is to focus on their core product of small business lending.
Lenders on the P2P independent forum were disapointed with this development as a number of them had focused exclusively on property loans.
Its a shame , it worked OK for me. I suppose that FC must know their business though & some of the borrowers must have taken liberties. I wonder how soon it will become apparent where the business will drift away to , if it does.
This may have a positive effect on Lendy (formerly Saving Stream) who have focused on property loans in recent years.
Here is the statement on the Funding Circle blog:
Funding Circle’s long term goal is to become the first choice for small businesses here in the UK and across the world. By attracting thousands more businesses to the platform, we can offer you many more lending opportunities, allowing you to continue to earn an attractive, stable return. To meet this goal, we have taken the decision to focus on our core small business lending product in the UK and our other markets and will scale down new property development lending, expecting to stop all lending by mid-2018.
We are proud of the lending we have facilitated to small developers since 2014. The borrowers you have lent to have built thousands of homes and credit performance has been strong; loans have generated a 7% annual return* (as of 10th April 2017) and you have earned more than £22m in interest.
By focusing on our core product you will be able to help thousands more small businesses to access finance and grow. Over the last year you have lent record-breaking amounts, with approximately £280m lent to small business borrowers in the first three months of 2017. We expect this trend to continue.
It’s important to note that this decision is not related to credit performance of property development loans, which have outperformed expectations over the last three years and we expect this to remain the case.
We will continue to work on your behalf to service all existing property development loans. There will still be opportunities for you to lend to experienced property professionals over the next 12 months.
With only a short window remaining within this tax year, the majority of peer-to-peer platforms still have not received full FCA authorisation, and are therefore unable to offer the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). However there are a number of P2P platforms that have been successful in obtaining FCA authorisation and HRMC registration as an ISA manager. The members of the P2P Independent Forum have compiled a list of the various platforms that are currently offering an Innovative Finance ISA.
We have take a copy of this list as of 1st April but for the up-to-date list please refer to the P2P Independent Forum.
|Abundance||5% to 12% AER
Typical 7.5% AER
|£5||Yes||2% AER return on ISA cash balances until 31st May 2017|
|Bassett & Gold||6.12% AER||£1000||Yes||No fees|
|Capitalrise||10% to 14% AER||£1000||Not yet||£35 transfer out fee|
|Crowd for Angels||Not specified||£100|
|Crowdstacker||Typically 5% to 7% AER||Not specified||Yes||£15 fee to sell investments through platform|
|Crowd2Fund||Estimated 8.7% AER||Not specified||Yes||Secondary market available|
|Downing||Typically 4 to 7% AER||£100||Yes|
|HNW Lending||Not specified||£10,000||Yes||£75 transfer fee|
|Landbay||Expected 3.75% AER||£5000||Yes||£50 transfer fee|
|LandlordInvest||Up to 12% AER||£100||Yes||0.5% secondary market fee if you choose to sell early|
|Lending Crowd||Target 6% AER||£1000||Yes||1% withdraw fee|
|Lending Works||3.6% AER||Not specified||Yes||Rates for 3 year and 5 year ISA respectively|
|Money & Co||Typically 7% AER||Not specified||Not specified|
|Property Crowd||7% to 10% AER||Not specified||Yes|
|UK Bond Network||Typically 7% to 12% AER||£5000||Yes||1% cashback bonus|
Thanks to the members of the P2P Independent Forum for their tireless work in investigating these platforms.
As we reported earlier, today two platforms received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. The second of these was FundingSecure. They have also announced that they will be offering an Innovative Finance ISA once their application has been approved by HMRC.
Here is the section from the email sent to lenders:
We are happy to announce that FundingSecure is now fully authorised by the FCA. Significantly, this means we can now apply to be an ISA manager. Our application has now been submitted and we hope to be able to offer an IFISA within the next 2 months.
Look out for a separate email giving details of how and when to apply.