at the Great British Private Investor Summit

On 19 March,’s MD, Daniel Rajkumar, was invited to talk to a gathering of the UK’s private investors about ‘a new asset class’ called peer-to-peer lending.

Alongside Giles Andrews of Zopa (right) and Kevin Caley of ThinCats (left) in a panel discussion hosted by George Whitehead of Octopus Investments, the panel explained how private investors could make fast, reliable returns through lending to individuals and businesses.

A show of hands revealed that around a quarter of the audience were already involved in the sector, so for around 150 private investors, this was their chance to learn about new ways to make their money grow.

“The theme from the day was that investors are looking for an exit, liquidity, the right level of information to make an investment decision and communication with their investment. Peer-to-business lending offers all of this up front”, said Dan.

Much talk on the day centred around the budget, and Dan believes many attendees will be happy with announcements made by George Osborne, especially the SEIS extension, where SEIS investors can input £100,000 in a single tax year which can be spread over a number of companies. Investors are entitled to receive up to 50% tax relief in the tax year the investment is made.

Of course, there’s still a big risk for investors in start-up businesses that they will never get their money back.

Returns through peer-to-business lending will never be the ‘10 times investment’ quoted in business angel circles, but it is an emerging asset class where savvy lenders are earning returns after tax deductions and defaults of over 10 per cent.

Dan said: “This industry is relatively young and would benefit from the guidance of experienced private investors to make it a better industry, so it’s encouraging to know more investors are now suitably informed. And as the statistics show, they would benefit financially from being involved too”.

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