Why we launched a manual lending ISA

Why we launched a manual lending ISA

While others chased after institutional money at an early stage to fund loans, we have always prioritised our retail customers. When others opted for unsecured loans, we insisted that all of ours be secured, usually against property. It’s not that there is a right or a wrong way. We simply have a vision that we have remained committed to.

Part of that vision includes staying true to the roots of peer-to-peer lending. At its core, our industry is simply people lending money to other people and businesses. It is this model that has helped provide better rates of return after the crash, and also allows good businesses that don’t fit the banks’ criteria to access much-needed finance.

For this reason, since the day we started trading all those years ago we have always maintained a manual lending option through our Manual Lending Account. Manual lending will never suit everybody. For some people an automated investment account is how they want to achieve their financial goals and how they can fit the investment into their busy lifestyles. But for those who perhaps used to pick shares on the stock-market or have direct business experience and who embraced the industry from the start, manual lending is peer-to-peer lending. Being able to handpick the loans that you invest in is what draws many people to our platform.

This is why, when we came to plan for our ISA, we knew manual lending had to form part of it. It was a significant technical challenge, but we were committed to delivering for our investors. Whilst some others in the industry have phased out manual lending we have bolstered ours with the ability to now add an ISA wrapper.

The Manual Lending ISA works just like our other ISA accounts. You can invest up to £20,000 tax-free, and transfer in any prior years' investment, in part or in full. And you can mix and match automated investment accounts with the MLA if you wish.

We still hold the same fundamental belief that was behind the founding of our company, that there is a difference between making money at all costs and making money by creating a positive and constructive difference to wider society. In the long-term we believe that the latter will produce us a better business and produce you a healthy return. We believe that providing a wide choice of accounts that suit a wide spectrum of our investors is a cause worth pursuing. We hope our many long-standing investors enjoy the new Manual Lending ISA.


Stuart Law, CEO

- February 23, 2018