The peer-to-peer lending industry in the UK lent just over £1.2 billion in 2014 according to new figures released today from the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA). The sector has now lent more than £2.1 billion in total, doubling in size since the end of 2013, says the trade body. The figures also show a growth in users of peer-to-peer lending. The number of lenders increased by one-third, while borrowers have also increased by almost 90%.
Christine Farnish, chair of the P2PFA, indicated the figures demonstrate the growing impact of alternative sources of finance in the credit industry. “Last year showed continued and solid growth in the consumer market and a significant increase in lending flow to businesses,” Farnish stated. “Invoice finance and peer-to-peer finance within the property market are also growing.”
The UK Government has been promoting the uptake of P2P financing arrangements as an alternative to bank lending. Banks are being encouraged to pass on loans that they are unwilling to bet on to alternative lenders, and the Government is also proposing an ISA tex-wrapper for P2P investments.
“2015 will be another important year for our industry,” predicted Farnish. “Our strong view is that Government should establish a new ‘Lending ISA’ category to enable consumers to understand the difference between peer-to-peer lending, cash savings and stocks and shares investments.”
The P2PFA’s current membership includes Funding Circle, RateSetter, Zopa, ThinCats, LendInvest, Madiston LendLoanInvest, MarketInvoice, Lending Works and Landbay.