p2p lending

on the rebuildingsociety.com blog

15th Oct, 2018

Investing money selectively is one of the best ways to invest

Many people don’t trust themselves to invest (or lend) so they leave it to others. Independent Financial Advisers can be helpful with advising on a range of customers about their options, relevant to their circumstances.

We believe, that with little study and research, anyone can learn the basic investment skills, to understand risk and reward. One of the things our lenders love is receiving interest payments each month. Many investments don’t pay interest monthly, but the borrowers using our platform repay their loan on a Direct Debit. So as you collect this repayment onto your online balance, you can re-lend them to other businesses. This is known as compounding. (Where you can earn interest on previous interest earnings).

Many other platforms will encourage you to be passive about investing, offering little information about the businesses. They sell their service on ease, but they also tend to pay out less. By making a little effort, you can earn considerably more. We’ll show you how, but before we do, have a look at the evidence.

Here is a histogram of Net Returns for lenders as at October 12th 2018. (a live version is on our stats page, under the Net Returns tab)

Net Returns histogram for rebuildingsociety.com

From this chart, you can see the green line peaks from the 3-4% segment and continues to be high until the 9-10% segment. This shows how most lenders are earning between 3% and 10%, but notice how 85 lenders are earning over 20% (on the far right). This article explains how they do it, so you can learn from their investment strategies.

Invest your money the savvy way

Read our 10 tips on peer to peer lending – This article covers some key guidance on strategies that have proven to work.

Understanding how your portfolio matures is important. With any platform, there’s a honeymoon period for newbies, but there’s also a hard phase around year’s 2-4 where you have sustained your first defaults but not had any recoveries. In this article, Kylie writes about various phases in the journey to mature investing. It’s a good read.

Many happy returns

When you see a business with a unique idea or product, take a minute to consider who their target customers are. If you know anyone suitable, why not buy them a gift or simply make a referral. Word of mouth marketing is so powerful. Sometimes a new customer can make the difference to a business surviving. This is especially true of seasonal businesses, where they may be vulnerable out of season. Like the facebook page, follow them on Twitter, share the videos, be an ambassador for your borrowers, they will love you for it.

Getting good at investing is addictive

Did you know one of our top lenders retired early to invest full time on our platform? Gross earnings are shown below, (from a peak capital employed of: £624,000). Being smart about peer-to-business lending allowed them to earn more in interest than most people’s salary!

  • 2013 – (the first year was a part-year) – £23,945.89
  • 2014 – £99,259.85
  • 2015 – £84,114.08
  • 2016 – £106,923.64
  • 2017 – £119,534.66
  • 2018 – £75,884.59 (part year until the 12th October)

It has not all been rosy, over the six years this lender has also had a £105,562.93 loss from bad and doubtful debt. So their profit is £509,662.71 – £105,562.93 = £404,099.78 before fees and taxes.

This lender has an average weighted Net Return of 12.74%, by being diligent about lending decisions, they can support a great standard of living from a few hours work each day.

Notice also how 33 lenders (on the far left) have a Net Return of < -20%. It is possible to lose money if you are not careful. Investing for higher returns carries some risks. For example, lending to inexperienced business people, a business you don’t understand, offering little security on the loan, is not a good idea. Notice that the red line (lenders who invest over £5,000) and the blue line (lenders with more than 10 loans).

Understand the Risks

The above figures are taken from actual lenders from rebuildingsociety.com during various stages of their investment history with the platform. Remember that past returns are not indicative of future returns and your own experience may vary.

If you are unfamiliar with the risks of peer-to-peer lending, read more here.

Overall, our past performance has been good for most lenders, but that could change. For example in an economic downturn, not all businesses will survive.

The best way to learn is by doing, open an account today to get started, you can try lending from as little as £10 on each loan.

To learn more about lending visit our Lender Library.


16th Aug, 2018

Peer-to-business Lending – It’s a Journey Not a Destination

If you’re new to peer -to-business lending you might be wondering what you’re in for, if you’re a seasoned P2B lender, you may by now understand the various processes and cycles involved in lending to businesses.

As a platform we’ve been facilitating lending to UK SMEs for over 6 years and have noticed certain trends in lender and borrower activity. We thought it might be useful to give you an insight into what you might expect as a lender. (more…)


30th Oct, 2017

Fin vs. Tech

Is it the “fin” or the “tech” that is the key to developing the future of online lending?

“FinTech” is one of the biggest buzz words in finance and technology. Online lending platforms are just one of the many different types of companies at the forefront driving the industry. Given the buzz, it’s not surprising that every company with any finance-related technology is attempting to rebrand themselves as a FinTech company, trying to enjoy some of the limelight and investment on offer. With so many companies trying to dress themselves up as FinTech companies, it is difficult to truly understand or identify what a FinTech company really is, and often difficult to distinguish between true FinTech companies, financial services companies that have technology, and technology companies that are dipping their toes into financial services. We wonder: will it be the “fin” or the “tech” that really has the biggest impact on the development of the industry, specifically within the world of online lending?

Open-source

The financial services industry, in the traditional sense, is an industry that has long been able to rest on its laurels. In doing so, they have neglected to truly take into account the changing needs and habits of their consumers. This has created an opportunity for companies that have dared to think differently; leading to the creation of P2P lending, crowdfunding and money transfer platforms. The ability of these companies to understand consumer needs and meet them, using new technology, has seen many of them grow very quickly. Perhaps more importantly, it has also seen consumers think differently about how they manage their finances.

Whilst the creative technological solutions have been key to the creation and initial growth of the FinTech industry, the most significant development of this revolution has been the change in the mindset of consumers, spurred by the advances brought about by technology. Now more than ever, people are openly engaging with one another about the management of their finances; whether it be about who they have a mortgage with, the best and easiest ways of transferring funds to a different currency, or how to make the most out of one’s savings. Not only are consumers now engaging with one another; they are also more actively engaging with their financial services providers. Even more importantly, they are demanding better services and products from them. Consumers are getting excited about finance.

Traditional finance companies may continue to develop new financial products, and deliver and enhance them through new technologies, but if they fail to consider the new engagement of their consumers, these products are unlikely to be successful.

For example, online lending has become a success story, not because of the advent of a new financial product, but rather through making an old, in-demand financial services product more accessible to consumers. Of course, these companies would not long survive if the “fin” part of the product was neglected. If a company failed to observe good credit risk decisioning processes and poor lending practices, for example, these products – and with it the companies – would fail.

One could argue that whilst “tech” may be driving the FinTech industry, it could not operate without experience of the “fin.” It is likely that the biggest driver of the future of FinTech, specifically within the online lending market, will be, for the first time, the consumer, as they have become both the lenders and the borrowers.

Many online lending platforms may have already come and gone, but online lending is still arguably in its infancy. The products on offer and the types of loans available through these platforms still very closely resemble the more traditional loan types, with the online accessibility and speed of access being the main differentiators. Only over the last two years has the UK seen newer products such as the Innovative Finance ISA come to the market; yet even these mirror older financial concepts.

The fact that consumers hold the power to more significantly influence the financial products available to them, along with the ever-evolving way in which they are delivered, will surely lead to an extremely interesting period of financial services development. Changes in dynamic will lead to other changes, which will not only pose new challenges for FinTech companies and the financial sector as a whole, but will also likely raise some very interesting questions and challenges for the regulators of these markets around the world.


18th Mar, 2016

Creative Building Maintenance is Growing — and They Need Your Help!

In more than two decades working in the office fit-out industry, Antony Neilson noticed a trend: clients would have to work with numerous contractors to get their entire office designed, outfitted and ready to go.

So in 2013 he created Creative Construction Group to be a one stop shop for businesses seeking new or renovated office space. Creative does everything from design the space, find the chairs and install the electricity. Today, listed as Creative Building Maintenance, the company seeks a loan of £70,000 in order to improve their cashflow, refinance existing debt, and invest in marketing.

A One-Stop Shop

Neilson strives to make it easy for companies to get their entire project off the ground with one contract.

“For 25 years, I’ve worked for the office fit-out type companies and building companies, and I put that all under one roof. That enables us to build a building, fit it out, and give the keys back to the client at the end. The majority of our trades are in house staff as opposed to sub-contractors. We do it all.”

This means more efficient schedules, better prices and happier, less-stressed clients.

The company aims to grow further and take on more facilities management work, which would mean consistent cashflow from longterm contracts. That’s one reason Creative needs a more robust marketing strategy so they can attract clients to this new aspect of the business.

A Solid Business Base

Creative is offering a personal guarantee with personal guarantee insurance as well as an all assets debenture to secure this loan. And, Neilson says he hopes the company’s strong financial prospects will help lenders feel safe in pursuing the opportunity.

“We’re looking to report our best year yet at the end of July from an accounts point of view. We have a good, solid business base. Along side that, I have the personal expertise of 25 years. I’ve personally said I would guarantee the loan as well. I’m willing to put my neck on the line to get to where I need to get to.”

And they’re headed, in part, to increased turnover that will strengthen the business overall. Neilson has a strategy to £1.8 million this year, £5 million by 2018, and £12 million by 2020.

Learn more about this loan opportunity on the application and discussion.


14th Mar, 2016

P2P Weekly: Growing Innovation

“UK Government Report: Innovation Growing as Officials Push to Make UK Best Country in Europe to Start a Company,” via Crowdfund Insider

According to UK government data, 53 percent of small businesses are pursing new products and services. Business Secetary Sajid Javid said: “From new disruptive business models to driverless cars, innovation can not only revolutionise the way we live our lives, it can bring real opportunities for businesses to tap into and grow. That is why we are determined to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and start a company…these figures show that businesses throughout the UK are already leading the way, delivering exciting opportunities across the nation. The number of companies innovating and coming up with new, dynamic ideas is on the rise – up 8 percentage points between 2012 and 2014, with over half of businesses now developing new products and services, some with the potential to revolutionise their industries.”

“CFPB Now Accepting Complaints on Consumer Loans from Online Marketplace Lender,” via the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

After months of mostly quiet talk about further regulating the alternative lending market in the U.S., the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is officially accepting complaints from consumers who encounter problems with online marketplace lenders. You can read the bureau’s statement above.

“Real-Time P2P Payment Platform Early Warning Live on BoA,” via Crowdfund Insider

Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., will now process real-time P2P transactions through Early Warning’s clearXchange network. BoA joins numerous other banks, including JP Morgan Chase and Capital One, that use the network.


11th Mar, 2016

Fintech North Spotlights Alternative Finance in North England

Mark your calendars for the 27th of April for an event that highlights the bursting alternative finance sector in the north of England.

Fintech North will be a packed day of events and speakers so alternative finance experts and rookies can learn, share their stories and network.

Rebuildingsociety and White Label Crowdfunding are organizing Fintech North as part of the Leeds Digital Festival. Featured speakers will include rebuildingsociety Managing Director Daniel Rajkumar and Tom Cheesewright, who created the Applied Futurist’s Toolkit. The day of programming will also include an innovation showcase chaired by Disrupts Magazine & The FinTech Times.

This event is one of the showcase events of the Leeds Digital Festival, which further highlights the prestige of p2p lending and crowdfunding in the digital and alternative marketplaces. We look forward to bringing the best minds in our industry together for this occasion, and we hope to see you there.

You can register for this free event and get more details here.

Agenda
09:00 – Registration, breakfast buffet & networking
10:00 – Opening address & 3 keynote presentations
12:00 – Q&A Panel
13:00 – Networking lunch
14:00 – Innovation Showcase – chaired by Disrupts Magazine & The FinTech Times
15.00 – Break
16:30 – End Keynote
17:00 – Drinks reception

Location: A Q L – 11-15 Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ, United Kingdom


15th Feb, 2016

P2P Weekly: Industry Responds

The biggest news in the UK P2P lending world this week was negative comments from Adair Turner about the P2P industry.

Turner is the former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, the predecessor of the FCA. Turner told the BBC, “The losses which will emerge from peer-to-peer lending over the next five to 10 years will make the bankers look like lending geniuses.” Of course, P2P experts were quick to set him straight. Christine Farnish published her thoughts, writing “All members of the P2PFA operate to high standards of transparency and business conduct…All members of the P2PFA operate to high standards of transparency and business conduct…I challenge anyone to find this level of transparency in any other part of the financial services market.”

Other P2P leaders sounded off too: “The peer-to-peer industry is both broad and diverse, and to paint it with a single brush stroke as dangerous is ultimately unhelpful for consumers,” said Landbay CEO John Goodall.

In other news:

“Credit unions beginning to embrace fintech: ‘The way Canadians use financial services is rapidly changing,” via Financial Post

British Columbia’s First West Credit Union and Vancouver-based Grow have formed a new alliance designed to serve B.C. residents. And an Ontario credit union has announced plans to offer unsecured lines of credit through its own online platform. Financial leaders agree that the way Canadians use credit is changing, and companies are working hard to adapt.

“P2P lending: Four predictions for 2016,” via City A.M.

One P2P lending executive offers some insight into the coming year. As entrants to the industry rise, so may defaults, he writes, and the Innovative Finance ISA will continue to be front and center of the industry’s development.


01st Feb, 2016

P2P Weekly: Peer-To-Peer Lending Spurs Green Energy

“Peer-to-peer power? Finance tech comes to solar energy,” Business Green
P2P companies like Mosaic and Open Energy seek environmentally-motivated investors specifically to support projects like solar panels. Leaders in both industries are excited about the opportunities for potential partnerships.

“Estonia Based Investly Launches P2P Lending in the UK,” Crowdfund Insider
Investly has launched operations in the UK following a €600,000 investment. The Estonia-based company is an invoice finance platform targeting SMEs.

“London Is The European King Of Fintech, For Now,” Forbes
Responsive regulatory structures, strong tech infrastructure, and plenty of capital are among the chief reasons that London maintains relative dominance in the fintech sector, according to Forbes.

“The State Of P2P Lending,” TechCrunch
A nice breakdown of the history of P2P lending and some predictions for the future.


20th Jan, 2016

Finance firm Seeks New Income Stream

An exciting new application from One Stop Business Finance Limited breaks new ground for the company and for the rebuildingsociety platform.

OSBF is a business finance brokerage that primarily provides loans to those who have been refused credit by banks. They tailor financial solutions to each client’s needs and plan to add this loan from rebuildingsociety to a robust portfolio of loans from High Net Worth Individuals that maintain the cashflow of the business’s own book lending.

In the 18 months since incorporating, no client has defaulted on a loan from OSBF. Though this loan doesn’t have a personal guarantee (more on that in the profile), managing director Andrew Mackenzie is confident that he has a secure loan on offer. Alongside the security OSBF holds through its loan book, it is also offering a first ranking holding company debenture.

“To date we have lent £1,048k over eleven transactions with all loans fully secured by company debenture and directors personal guarantee as a minimum. Our financial projections for the current financial year show sales of £250k with a PBT of £51k. As this sales value is 73% covered with current order book (with six months to go) it is considered prudent. Next year turnover will increase to £410k and profit to £89k. It goes without saying, therefore, that this first rebuildingsociety loan is fully serviced from business cash flow.”

A Responsible Model

“Our model seeks to be entirely responsible in our lending, is client focused, thinks long term and as one client said ‘provides the customer service the banks say they will.'”

Lenders have transactions that last as few as six weeks and can take out loans for a maximum of 18 months. Every loan is secured by debenture and director’s personal guarantee and includes flexible terms that match the needs of each client.

This bespoke approach ensures that each investor is getting a strong return on their investment through OSBF.

A Unique Partnership

OSBF chose to work with rebuildingsociety in order to drive down borrowing costs in the long term, and in the short term it will allow them to expand the types of investors who can access their services to include more than just HNWs. A diversified income stream reduces risk to lenders and borrowers. And, for OSBF, P2P offers a chance to break new ground in the corporate short term lending world. Mackenzie believes OSBF is the first company of its kind to work with a peer-to-peer lender.

The relationship between OSBF and rebs comes naturally, as they are local to each other.

“When we first met Rebuilding Society last April we were very impressed. There are many similarities in our business philosophies. It seems a very comfortable and obvious business relationship.”

Please review One Stop Business Finance application page for more information and a robust community discussion.


07th Jan, 2016

Tax and Relief on P2P lending

Lets face it, HRMC have been pretty kind to us P2P platforms and lenders…

Legally, we could have been made to withhold tax on interest earnings at 20%. Lack of enforcement has been an indirect subsidy as it has allowed lenders to compound their gross earnings. P2P lenders are expected to declare their earnings on their self assessment forms, due imminently. Whereas platforms are required to submit an Other Interest report so that treasury are informed about who earns what.

The newly regulated P2P lending industry is growing up and the government is helping.

Things will change from 6th April 2016…

The UK government may offer relief to P2P lenders for irrecoverable loans. So lenders can use next year’s tax deductions towards current bad debt relief, allowing you to substitute one deduction for another. Hurray!

Interim rules have recently been published by Treasury, but will change once formalised. We’ll confirm once published, but we have an idea of what’s likely to happen. We’re expecting that platforms will need to deduct 20% of interest earnings as received from lenders. We will change the ‘Fees’ tile on the dashboard to ‘Deductions’ and show the detail on the pop-up.

The IF-ISA excludes ‘Wrapped’ microloans from taxation

So lenders without any taxable income cannot use bad debt relief. Unless they use more than one platform, in which case taxes accrued in one platform may offset losses from another.

We’ll have more info on the IF-ISA very soon.

rebuildingsociety CEO Daniel Rajkumar says:

“The Crown is sharing in some of the risk of lending to SME’s. Hopefully this will manifest itself with a widening of risk appetite and further support for the productive SME economy.

Equity crowdfunding enjoys great relief through EIS & SEIS, so its great to see similar incentives applied to credit based lending.”

It’s bitter-sweet

They say that the only things that are certain are death and taxes… We knew this was coming, so we’re grateful for the:

– all of which soften the pain.

Net earnings may not reduce

With gross yields near 15%, a 20% tax will clip yields to 12%, that’s an overall deduction of 3%. So on a portfolio of £100k invested, £3k which would be taxed can go towards bad debt instead. Many lenders without bad debt will have an allowance that can be traded for non-performing loans.

Total interest pay-outs are expected to exceed £1.5m for next tax period across all lenders, at 20% this would net the Crown circa £300k. This is about the amount we have in defaults, we are expecting to recover £100k, but defaults will rise as some businesses fail. If lenders are able to maintain losses below 3% of your portfolio (and yields at 15%) then you’ll suffer no more loss from bad debt, than you would from taxation.

Its important to re-iterate that decisions on interest earnings taxation is still pending, but we believe that from April 2017, platforms are likely to have to deduct 20% from most lenders (depending on their tax bracket).

Risk appetite…

We’re working on a ‘non-performing loans’ or ‘tertiary market’ where risk adverse lenders can sell underperforming loans however they wish and optimistic buyers may find a deal. More on that at the lender’s evening next Thursday.

Hope to see you there.

Photo credit to: Kadellar


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