November 10, 2014
2014 has been quite a year for peer-to-peer lending. Announcements from the Government have boosted the industry – the P2P ISA consultation was recently announced – and FCA regulation has provided additional protections for P2P investors.
There have been big developments for us too: the amount we’ve been lending each month has steadily increased, by an average of approximately 15 per cent month on month.
As a result, October saw us sail past £50m in lending – what’s astonishing about this is that £10m of our first £50m was in 2013, meaning that we’ve lent £40m in 2014 alone.
What’s next for the P2P industry?
Well, as we’ve touched upon above, the Government is increasingly becoming involved in the industry, which is a good thing for us.
As well as regulation, the state-backed British Business Bank is lending to UK SMEs through P2P platforms, which means that P2P platforms can do more to support the UK economy.
New Assetz Capital website
At a platform level, you’ll have noticed that our new site is up and running, and it’s more than just a cosmetic change.
We’ve tried to make P2P lending simpler and less time-intensive. Rather than bidding on individual loans and waiting (a) for auctions to finish and (b) for loans to draw down, investors now have a much simpler process:
• Investors choose the basic criteria for the loans that they want to invest in
• and as long as there are appropriate loans available, funds will be invested straight away and lenders will start earning a return instantly.
Of course, experienced lenders can still take the time to pick out individual loans, but making investing easier means that P2P lending is open to a whole new class of investor.
What can you expect in the rest of 2014?
We have a number of new features planned. We can’t share all of the details yet, but one thing to note is that the new platform setup gives us the chance to group loans with similar characteristics, so that if, for example, someone wants to invest only in renewable energy loans, they can do that very easily. Watch this space…
Opportunity for ‘retail’ investors
P2P lending has attracted tens of thousands of adventurous, pioneering investors. Our belief is that, over the next 12 months, P2P platforms will increasingly appeal to ‘retail’ investors – people who want to earn a fair return on their investment and might otherwise use something like a Cash ISA, but who are frustrated with low rates and are willing to accept a bit more risk in exchange for potentially higher returns.
It’s a hugely exciting time to be involved in the industry. We’ll see some big changes over the next year as we aim to pass £100m, but what changes are you expecting? Please let us know in the comment box below.