on the blog

08th Jan, 2015

Self-Assessment Tax Return Deadline

With the festive season behind us, many self-employed professionals will be turning their attention towards the looming deadline for self-assessment tax returns. This deadline, however, is also applicable to members of the who are earning money from their investments.

The deadline for online tax returns for the 2013-2014 financial year is midnight on 31 January 2015. An automatic penalty of £100 will be incurred for late returns (even if you have no tax to pay) and continuously delayed returns could see penalties increase to as much as £1,600.


01st Dec, 2013

The best way to invest money for a property deposit in 2014

In 2014, it might be time to look at innovative ways of putting enough cash aside to get on the bottom rung of the housing ladder as the future of Help to Buy comes into the spotlight, as Nick Moules explains.

The reality

Since the housing crash, it has been well-publicised that first-time buyers (FTBs) have been frozen out of the housing market. The Help to Buy scheme has an uncertain future (before it has really started) and if evidence of a housing bubble grows, political pressure to cancel the scheme will be ramped up.

From a lender’s perspective, it’s a tough ask to support FTBs as they’re typically the riskiest part of the market without the incentives; loans are at a high loan to value (LTV) and they’re under regulatory pressure to reduce risk and balance their books.

But it’s worse for the would-be borrowers for several reasons: (more…)

29th Nov, 2013

90% of Investors in Peer-to-Business Lending Invest More Than £1k

Nick Moules talks at Knowledge Peers’ Exchange 2013


Knowledge Peers hosted an insightful event at the Oval on 28 November focussing on emerging trends in the alternative finance market for SMEs.

Based around research compiled by Knowledge Peers on the alternative finance market, the event attracted speakers from Market Invoice, ThinCats, Funding Circle, Asset Match, Funding Knight, Crowdcube, Seedrs and more.

Knowledge Peers’ research will be published in full in the coming weeks and we’ll link to it, but some headlines are:

  • 90% of investors contributed more than £1k
  • The industries which have been loaned the most by peer-to-business lenders are 1) manufacturing 2) engineering and 3) technology.
  • Businesses in London have borrowed the most, followed by the South East and then the Midlands.


15th Apr, 2013

Making Your Business Investible

This week, we’re welcoming a guest blogger to the site, Rodger Seaman of Advantage Business Partnerships. Rodger is a business growth specialist and here he offers some tips on acquiring angel investment, which can sometimes be the solution for young businesses looking to raise finance and the expertise of a seasoned professional investor. If you would like to contribute a blog on a related topic in the future, contact

“So how do investors select the businesses that they decide to invest in? More than two-thirds of private investors recently polled said ‘being personally moved by the idea’ was a leading factor when evaluating a venture for potential investment. The potential of the market and the prior experience of the entrepreneurs were also key factors.


22nd Mar, 2013 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”.

28th Feb, 2013

The quandary of regulation

There is no more divisive subject in the crowdfunding sector at the moment than regulation. On 26 February, talked and exhibited at the UK’s first crowdfunding conference, “Crowdfunding Deep Impact”, held at Hertfordshire University. Nick Moules outlines the basics of the argument for and against.

While everyone in attendance (including Vince Cable through a pre-recorded video) agreed that crowdfunding in its many guises is undoubtedly a positive movement for everyone – there were huge divides over whether regulation applied by the FCA would be appropriate for the market.

Part of the complication is down to the different types of crowdfunding available: (more…)

15th Feb, 2013

Long-term investments: What’s hot?

Lending to UK businesses gives people returns over the short to medium term with loans ranging from six months to five years, but what about people with longer to wait for investments to come to fruition? As ever, the technology sector seems to have the answers.

We’re in an age where technology is bounding along, with the latest remarkable invention occurring on a seemingly weekly basis.

The Genius of Invention interviewed James Dyson for the show broadcast on 14 February. He believes we’re at an incredibly exciting time where it is not just the inventions themselves that are ground-breaking, but also the materials that create the inventions.


13th Dec, 2012

Is there a shortage of investment appetite?

In his blog out yesterday (12/12/12), Robert Peston, commented on the findings of a McKinsey report that declared Britain is suffering from an investment crisis.

Apparently rates of investment in UK businesses have fallen below the forecasted rate by as much as a third in 2012.

You can’t exactly blame the investors, as Peston points out:

“A good deal of the investment squeeze is the poisonous legacy of the recklessness of banks in the boom years, which lent unprecedented and ludicrous sums to over-indebted property developers.”

Investors will certainly be cautious about investing in the same products as they did pre-crash for fear of a repeat, but there are simply new ways of making private investments that are growing rather than falling.


29th Oct, 2012

Resuscitating Streets

Reading about the latest attempt to resuscitate Britain’s high streets by the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce fills one with feelings of deva-vu. This time last year, Mary Portas was trying to do the same, but the cost of living has continued to rise in that time and shoppers will continue to shop online because it is convenient. These campaigns seek to address one side of the problem – if the shoppers had more money to spend, they probably would.

So it’s not looking good for the high street, but the UK has to accept that the business model of the last 50 years has changed. Consumers will vote with their feet and retailers might choose to move exclusively online to save the physical overheads incurred through owning or renting premises.

There have been calls for all out of town planning applications to automatically go through ministers, but why should a business forego an excellent opportunity to get shoehorned into a unit that might not be the right size or dynamic for its operation?

You can’t halt change, but there is opportunity there.


23rd Oct, 2012

The Investor Stats Widget is coming…

Soon, registered users will be able to see their investment statistics at a glance with the Investor Stats Widget, which will appear on the Dashboard and login page.

As shown in this preview image, lender users will get information on returns, outstanding loans, deductions and risk will be visible. It will update in real time as you make investments, receive repayments or add funds to your account. With this information you can adjust your risk appetite, which will filter through to your automatic bid settings.

If you’re registered but not able to add funds to your account yet, we’ll need to verify your address. You can start this process by following this link and logging in to your account:

Newly registered users must verify their address before adding funds.

Happy lending!

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