Lending Works, a London-based peer to peer lending platform, states it tripled its business in 2015 and expects to double that number over the next 12 months. According to the 2 year old platform, in 2015 the company facilitated £20 million in loans and forecasts to do approximately £50 for the coming year. The increase in business is expected to receive a boost from the Innovative Finance ISA which becomes actionable later this year. Currently Lending Works has £14 million on loan spread across over 3000 individual loans.
“It is immensely rewarding to reflect on the tremendous strides we’ve made as a company in such a short period. To go from start-up to the UK’s #3 P2P lender, lending over £150,000 a day and approaching £20 million in loans exceeds even our wildest expectations when we launched. We’ve come a long way from the late nights in that tiny office in Farringdon, where it all started. To accommodate our ever-growing team, we upgraded to our new offices in August. One of our big motivations was to make the world of financial services a better place by delivering an innovative service that genuinely puts the customer first. In two years this hasn’t wavered, and we’ll keep investing in both our staff and our products to ensure that we continue to raise the bar in terms of service, quality and security.”
Approximately £150,000 is lent via Lending Works each day. An agreement established with P2P Global Investments should fuel platform growth with institutional money but retail investors currently make up 75% of loan volume.
Lending Works prides itself in the high degree of security investors receive via their insurance feature or “Lending Works Shield”. The Shield is the a layer of security in a threefold protection model which also includes a reserve fund and a “ring-fenced Trust”. Lending Works received recognition in 2015 as the “Most Trusted Personal Loan Provider” by the Moneywise Customer Service Awards.
The April launch of the new Innovative Finance ISA should drive P2P industry growth. Lending Works states it met the deadline for FCA authorisation and expects to be able to participate in the new retirement savings option.
“As a relatively new industry, we’ve always been strong advocates of regulation. With our application for full permissions having long been submitted, we embrace the prospect of being held to account to the highest possible standards set out by the FCA and welcome any measures which enhance our reputation and that of our industry,” stated Harding. “But it is the arrival of IFISA which excites us most. The news at the Summer Budget that we would be separated from the existing Stocks & Shares wrapper was hugely significant. It’s something we had lobbied for, and while we’re thrilled to offer our lenders the considerable tax benefits of the new IFISA, we are just as pleased that we will now be in a position to clearly communicate the risks and rewards of holding P2P loans within ISAs to them.”
Harding believes that by putting the “customer first”, Lending Works will be a strong contender for consumer investor interest.
“We’re an ambitious platform, and IFISA, along with numerous exciting partnerships and initiatives – such as our recent agreement with Pay4Later – which we have in the pipeline, mean that we’re expecting to write more than £50 million in loans over the next year, taking our total to £70m,” affirmed Harding.