EDINBURGH, Scotland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LendingCrowd, one of the UK’s fastest-growing alternative finance lenders to the SME market, is preparing to launch an ISA during Q1 of 2017, one of the first to be launched in the UK Alternative Finance sector. It follows a record year for LendingCrowd in which it became the UK’s second P2P platform and the first P2P lender to SMEs to move from interim to full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Since launching in 2014, LendingCrowd, Scotland’s only headquartered P2P lender, has facilitated loans totalling over £9m and has over 2000 investors signed up to its platform. Deals range in size from £20,000 to over £1m and in 2015 LendingCrowd helped Diet Chef complete one of the largest ever P2P deals seen in the UK in a £1.5m debt finance transaction.
- Effective on 1st November 2016, the FCA authorisation translates to LendingCrowd meeting the stipulated “rigorous statutory standards” and paved the way for the launch of an ISA product.
- In October, LendingCrowd partnered with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, in an initiative that will see £2.75 million invested in Scottish SMEs across the LendingCrowd platform. It is expected that the move will stimulate loans of up to £35 million for SMEs while leveraging significant private sector investment.
- Also in October, LendingCrowd announced a market-leading offer to investors in relation to adding P2P to their investment strategy. By investing £5000, investors received a 2.5% joining bonus allocated to their accounts and access to a lending platform that achieved an 8.1% rate of return over the last twelve months.
- During the year, the credit assessment team led by Ian Cunningham, a former Head of Corporate and Commercial Risk at RBS, was strengthened.
- In August, Michael Allan joined LendingCrowd as Director of Operations, joining from IT analytics specialist Sumerian.
Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, said: “While we are not the biggest P2P platform in the UK, the investment made in our people and technology combined with the FCA approval has positioned LendingCrowd right at the front of the market when it comes to alternative financing of UK SMEs. We intend to build on this position of strength in 2017, continue to innovate for the benefit of our clients and will be updating the market on plans to launch our ISA during Q1.”
1. Alternative and innovative new sources of funding have emerged over recent years in response to changing market dynamics. The UK Alternative Finance sector provided £3.2 billion worth of loans, investments and donations in 2015, up 84% compared to 2014.
2. Past returns are not indications of future performance. Returns from LendingCrowd investments are not guaranteed and investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. As with all investments, capital is at risk.