ReBuildingSociety offers incentives to lenders

January 3rd, 2014
ReBuildingSociety

ReBuildingSociety is now offering various incentives to lenders.  Here is the full statement on their blog:

To put a spring in your bidding this New Year, we’re introducing a series of incentives for lenders on our live auctions, which are applied after a successful auction. You might have noticed our marketplace is becoming busier with borrowers and this is one of the ways we’re trying to meet that demand.

There’s never been a better time to introduce us to a friend either – they could instantly pick up cashback through the incentives and enjoy market-leading rates.

Each incentive is exclusive of others, so you can only qualify for 0.5% on any one loan.

  • New lender – Your bids are in the first £10k of your bids across the site
  • Largest lender – The highest individual contribution on any one application
  • Quick lender – Within the first 10 accepted bids on one application (doesn’t apply to BidPal)
  • Growing lender – Double your average bids on previous loans (if your average bid size is £20 and you make a single bid of £40, you get cashback on the £40 bid)
  • Local lender – If you’re a postcode match with the borrower (first two characters)

Each incentive has a symbol that appears next to your bids, so you know whether you’re eligible for an incentive payment.

Lender investigates SavingStream

January 3rd, 2014
Saving Stream

Peer-to-peer lending simply facilitates loans between lenders and borrowers, but it is the lender's money at risk, so it is interesting to see that some lenders are performing their own checks on new P2P companies to see how good they really are.

One lender has performed their own checks on Saving Stream, which is a specialist P2P company arranging loans secured against boats which have been pawned, and this has been published on the P2P Independent Forum.  This has generated a lot of comments and representatives of Saving Stream have contributed.

This is a good example of how lenders can work together to bring about change and also how crowd finance is changing the face of finance.

Squirrl.com to close

December 26th, 2013
Squirrl.com

Squirrl.com has confirmed it is to close at the end of 2013.  We had predicted this only a two weeks ago, and unfortunately this has proved to be true.  Squirrl.com last made a loan in December 2012 and since then there has not been any new loans listed on the site.

Here is the full statement from Squirrl.com, courtesy of one of our readers:

Dear Squirrl Savers

It is now over a year since Squirrl was last active. We have not been able to come up with a suitable alternative and have reluctantly decided to close the site for the time being. From 1st January 2014 you will not be able to access the site.

Squirrl.com Ltd will continue to act as the Security Trustee and will manage all existing loans. The following arrangements are being made:

Please access your MySquirrl account before 1st January and request payment of all money due on the account using the current withdraw process.  We will pick up these requests and activate them on your behalf.

From 1st January we will pay you all loan repayments plus interest on the due date by cheque posted to your registered address on your MySquirrl account.

The email address [removed] will also stop working from 1st January. If you need to contact us please use [removed] from then on.

Our objective is to continue to provide a full repayment service and provided you follow the above simple steps we can assure continuity of contact.

Best wishes

The Squirrl.com Team

Companies exiting P2P market

December 15th, 2013
Encash

With no less than thirteen new peer-to-peer companies launching in 2013, there are two companies that have effectively exited the P2P market this year.  These companies are Encash (YES-secure) and Squirrl.com.

Encash has only arranged three loans in 2013, of which two have been repaid and the remaining one is more than two months late.  The website launched back in 2010 and in the early days did appear as a potential rival to Zopa, but the site failed to gain traction with lenders and to date has only arranged loans of just over £500,000.  This puts Encash (YES-secure) at number 12 in the P2P money league table of companies by loans arranged.  By way of comparison, Zopa which has arranged loans of over £426million.  There are still loan requests being made on the Encash (YES-secure) website, but despite rebanding twice, it is unlikely these will ever be fulfilled.  We have also noted a rise in late payments recently, which will be of concern to lenders.

Squirrl.com have not arranged any loans since December 2012.  Their business model was lending against invoices for The Danwood Group Ltd.  When P2P money spoke to them in 2012, just after they launched, they indicated this may expand to other companies.  However since then there has not been any additional loan requests.

Neither company were available for comment.

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The rise of future finance

December 13th, 2013

Nesta, along with Berkeley University of California and University of Cambridge, have published a report of the rise of future of finance.  This suggests that in 2013 there were £480million of loans made through peer-to-peer and peer-to-business lending.  We believe this is a slight understatement of the market based upon our own data, as we believe the figure will be closer to £495million by year end.

David de Koning of Funding Circle, the online marketplace for business loans, said:

We very much welcome this independent validation of the UK as world leading in the peer-to-peer business lending industry.

While traditional business lending shrinks, lending from online marketplaces, such as Funding Circle, is growing exponentially. Since the start of 2013 we have lent more than £120 million and at present we're lending more than £800,000 per day to businesses across the UK.

Peer-to-peer business lending has redefined the financial landscape and is playing a crucial role in the economic recovery. Over the next 12 months we expect more than 15,000 new jobs will be created by businesses using Funding Circle to access finance. We provide a better way for investors to lend and businesses to borrow.  77% of businesses who have borrowed through us would come back to us first, over a bank.

Responding to NESTA predictions for the growth of alternative finance, Stuart Law, CEO of Assetz Capital, commented:

The report’s projections are actually extremely low, and I’d be stunned if growth didn’t substantially exceed them – especially for P2P lending. The report’s authors concede that their growth forecast is based only on historic averages, whereas we believe that the next year will continue to bring exponential growth based on a number of factors.

2014 brings a ‘perfect positive storm’ for P2P lending platforms: not only will FCA regulation lead to increased consumer confidence in the industry, but there are strong rumours that steps will be taken to make P2P lending more tax efficient in 2014, such as inclusion in ISAs and SIPPs with the resulting increase in capital deployed in P2P lending.

We currently anticipate that we’ll facilitate loans worth £100m by the end of 2014, but if more tax-efficient measures are incorporated in to P2P alongside our rapid growth in attracting lending capital we’d expect to have lent £1bn within 3 years ourselves - with the market multiplying in size accordingly.

We would agree with the comments from both Funding Circle and Assetz Capital.  Based upon our data we believe that the P2P sector arrange a further £1billion of new loans in 2014.