24th Sep, 2018

Lender Review Speaks for Rebs Success

Interview with Brian Johnson, successful rebuildingsociety.com lender

Hello Brian, how did you first find out about Rebs?

I was becoming interested in P2P and opened some accounts with Funding Circle, Zopa and Ratesetter, when I came across an advert for a Rebs breakfast seminar in Hunslet, which I decided to attend

What made you decide to invest?

I was impressed by the approach set out at the seminar, especially the understanding of the issues faced by new, young and small businesses, and the hope that Rebs could play a part in stimulating local and regional economic revival. The fact the Rebs is Leeds based was another big plus for this proud Yorkshireman! Also, Dan, Kylie and other staff happily devoted time to answering questions well into the morning, as a result of which I decided to open an account.

How much do you have on the platform at any one time?

Prefer not to say, but not so much that a total or partial loss would cause me financial difficulties. This applies to all my investments.

What’s your average return?

As I mentioned in my Trustpilot review, Rebs and many longer term investors went through a period of relatively high losses as a significant proportion of businesses defaulted. After tighter vetting and more rigorous enforcement processes- and a more cautious spread of investments on my part, including in the Secondary Market – my overall return is recovering. So in broad terms, average returns have gone from 13-14% to a low of 6.9%, now recovering to about 9%, and my target is 10 -12%, probably nearer to 10%. Inspite of the set backs and my withdrawing some money, these interest rates, compounded through reinvestment have resulted in the amount in the account having more than doubled.

What other platforms do you invest on? Could you provide info on the returns from them compared to rebs? Which are the best?

Funding Circle (5.9%),  Zopa (4.1 – 4.3%), Ratesetter (circa 4.4%). So Rebs is still returning a significantly higher rate. (around 9%) And now, of course, it is the only site which enables – nay, encourages – you to be an active investor, and does so in a pretty straightforward way.

In fact I have found Rebs to have been superior to Funding Circle in terms of information available to active investors in all phases of the investment cycle (initial information, updates, news of financial difficulties with individual investments, involvement in decisions over recovery actions, and in relation to returns and income). The relationship with Funding Circle always felt (indeed feels even more so) a bit remote, cold, even ‘robotic’

As I indicated in my Trustpilot review, one of the pleasures of Rebs is to be able help borrowers, sometimes with advice, occasionally by doing business with them, and not infrequently through investors’ votes in relations to recovery action. I am pleased that in nearly every case relating to a clearly honest business that has hit unforeseen problems, investors take a positive and generous approach, allowing time for the business to recover. It is notable how many problems are linked to directors’ personal circumstances, as well as to issues like the late placing of a contract, late payments and the inevitable effects on cash flow.

I think Rebs and its investors’ inherent generosity of spirit might have been abused by some unscrupulous borrowers in the past, but this seems to have tightened up and investors now do take a dim view of the relatively few ‘chancers’ that we now encounter. It would be interesting to know how many Rebs investors have either been directors or owners of small businesses.

What advice would you give to someone considering investing on Rebs?

Join Rebs because you share its ethos and want to be an active investor, and through your input help smaller businesses, and the regions where they’re based, to prosper. Don’t invest more money that you can afford to lose and ‘don’t put all your investment eggs in one basket’. Don’t invest solely in the highest interest-returning borrowers, which usually have highest attendant risk. Mix it up a bit, including buying some investments on the Secondary Market where borrowers’ repayment records are obvious. Understand the power of compound interest combined with reinvestment. Focus on your net return (after losses) and your overall growth in capital invested (the product of compounded interest, reinvestment and time).

Any other insights?

No, I think that’s enough blether on my part for the moment!

Thank you very much indeed Brian! It’s a pleasure working with you.


21st Sep, 2018

Win £100 for taking our survey

We want to understand the market better, and what better way than by asking?

Giving £100 credit on the rebs site, that’s even better.

So yes, take the survey, it’s only 10 questions long, and takes about 60 seconds. And you could win a cheeky £100 to invest in local businesses.

Here’s the link people! http://reb.so/worklend

Good Luck! And thank you!


  • Prize will be drawn at random after a minimum of 300 survey responses have been received
  • The £100 prize will be awarded as a promotional credit to the account of the winner
  • To be eligible, you must work in the private sector, have more than £5000 in savings and be willing to share your contact information. Anonymous survey responses are welcome but do not qualify for the prize
  • The prize is not open to rebuildingsociety.com employees. Sorry guys!

21st Sep, 2018

Logistically speaking, it’s all in the pipeline…

“Arnol, you have an unusual business! Can you explain in really simple terms what you do?

 We are a management consulting firm that specialises in logistics solutions for the telecom and transportation, specifically train and aviation industries. We focus on projects that needs special technical and scientific skills.

In terms of logistics, the rapid and constant change in the technology industry has forced the shipping industry to rethink the way they operate as the classic way of shipping has had to evolve to match the high standards now demanded with the help of sciences, electronics and physics.

In order to facilitate the tech industry to ship from their lab to their assembly site around the globe, (electronic components /parts/Nano chips for mobile phones, Nano satellite components and others telecommunications advances /sensitive materials) we have provided a new solution of packaging and conditioning for a safe transit. In transportation, the story is not very different, there is an ongoing issue with trains not running on time and not running as fast as they should. In order to achieve better results, new technical scientific skills have been applied to improve the train journey and make it more pleasant (less vibrations). Our aim is to improve existing facilities using new technology…

 And how did you get into this line of work?

 I have a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics which was the start of my passion for how science can improve our everyday lives. I started working as a Junior Analyst for Hyder Consulting improving bus journey times by using statistical methods to implement new bus policies across the UK. I then worked for TFL street management team to improve the traffic in London and worked on the design and the implementation of the congestion charge and its bindery. I then worked for an independent consulting company specialising in engineering for Crossrail on the project Rail CTRL 1 & 2 in London, France, Germany and the Eurotunnel.

 After 10 years of experience in this field I decided to focus on building a solution in transport and logistics. I developed and built my own isotherm containers which are 100% safe and stop all interference with other electronic devices and other very sensitive telecom components which are particularly at risk during their shipping via sea or air.

It sounds like your work involves some travel. Tell us a little bit about where you’ve been so far.

I worked Worldwide, South Asia, the Middle East, Kazakhstan and many parts of Africa and Europe working with major manufacturers like Apple, Huawei and Samsung. As Apple, Huawei and Samsung establish themselves in Africa, Asia and CIS countries like Kazakhstan, predicted investment in logistics is expecting to exceed £56billion in the shipping of their components in the next 20 years creating a vast opportunity for BFM Limited.

Any particularly interesting or unusual stories from these parts?

 So many stories to tell….I always make sure to eat the local street food wherever I go. Suffice to say, that’s not always proved to have been the best decisions I’ve made in my life!

What are you looking forward to in the future?”

There is a big opportunity to further develop products and services that will guarantee a safe journey for all new electronics devices and components for the tech industry specially for Nano electric components. My aim, simply, is to lead the field.



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