2017 – P2P Year In Review
2017 Industry Summary
- 2017 was the year that the majority of platforms gained their full Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation – albeit there are still a few larger property platforms awaiting approval
- On the back of full authorisation, platforms have sought ISA Manager status to launch their Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISA) – Proplend being amongst the early adopters this tax year
- LendInvest withdrew its FCA approval application and withdrew from the Peer To Peer Finance Association as it moved away from P2P activity
- Ratesetter’s wholesale lending practices (lending to other lenders) proved costly as they took the unusual step of buying the borrowing businesses they issued failed loans to. Ratesetter later withdrew from the P2PFA having breached the association’s operating principles
- The FCA delayed any updates to peer to peer lending regulation with no amendments until 2018
- Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance ‘Entrenching Innovation’ report found; “sustained industry growth” and “continued innovation” – describing alternative finance as an “increasingly important source of alternative business funding”
- UK P2P industry volumes continue to grow with total lending to date topping £10bn in the first half of the year.
2017 Proplend Summary
- In 2017 our loan book increased 620% from the previous year and almost doubled in total
- Lending via the Proplend platform has now exceeded £30m, secured against commercial property worth over £60m
- £6m of loans were transacted through the PLE a 300% increase on 2016
- The number of invested platform Lenders increased 290%
- In response to this growth and feedback received, we trialled a 24-hour maximum investment cap to give more Lenders a better chance of investing in each loan. The cap, along with the introduction of overnight notice of new loans going ‘In Funding’ have been well received and will continue going forward
- Proplend maintains the highest platform rating from P2P lending rating agency 4thWay, based on investor risk and returns
- With the team continuing to grow, Proplend relocated to larger Richmond (London) premises in September. Phil, Anetta and David already proving valuable additions to our Credit, ISA and Operations teams respectively
- We received nominations for three best P2P platform 2017 and a Moneywise recommendation for experienced investors
- Proplend Wealth, a dedicated portal for Wealth Managers and IFAs, was launched and well received with £3m deployed already
- We launched our flexible Innovative Finance ISA at the end of May. Initially offered to existing Lenders, Proplend’s IFISA now offers regular tax-free returns to both new and existing customers
- Proplend has been welcomed as a Patron of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB)
- Three platform loans repaid in full during the year and there was one partial (early) repayment
- Capital repayments and interest totalling £9m has been paid to our Lenders since we launched in 2014 – £2m being returns on investment
- Crucially, the Proplend platform has completed another year with no borrower defaults and no investor losses. We are working very hard to maintain this record.
Proplend looking forward to 2018
- 2018 will see a new look Proplend with redesigned Lender Dashboards, Proplend.com website and the launch of our Auto-Invest product
- Initially Proplend Auto-Invest will be a low-risk (Tranche A), three-year, Innovative Finance ISA product targeting returns of c.5% each year
- We have built a healthy loan pipeline which will be available on the platform from early 2018, subject to due diligence, valuation and legals.
Finally, we’d like to take the time to thank all Proplend Lenders for their support throughout 2017 and offer a warm welcome all our new Lenders and Borrowers. We have hopefully shown that not being the biggest of the platforms can be a virtue, with the quality of our proposition and consistent results being recognised. This will remain at our core as we grow the business in 2018 and beyond.
The Proplend Team would like to wish you and your families a very happy and successful 2018.