Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) is the practice of lending money to business or individuals through online services that match borrowers with lenders. Since the peer-to-peer lending companies providing these services operate online, they usually operate with lower overhead and offer the service more cheaply than banks. In the UK, P2P lending has been around for more than 10 years. The P2P Lending market in the country grew from £1.2bn of new lending in 2014 to more than £2.3bn in 2015. This list presents the company profiles of some of the major players in the UK P2P lending market.
Launched by Giles Andrews in 2005, Zopa is a peer-to-peer lending platform, which uses the internet to get rid of the banks entirely. Zopa matches savers with persons who want to borrow money, cutting out the bank and providing better rates. Since it was founded, the company has helped savers lend over £520 million in peer-to-peer loans.
RateSetter allows savers to lend to individual borrowers. The company was founded in 2009 by Rhydian Lewis and Peter Behrens. Since the company was launched, it has invested about £1.2 billion. Last year, Ratesetter was the largest peer-to-peer lender in the UK. The company has more than 1,000,000 registered users and has matched over £1.5bn in peer to peer loans.
3) Funding Circle
Based in London, Funding Circle offers peer-to-peer- small business loans. The company was founded by Samir Desai, Andrew Mullinger and James Meekings in 2010. Funding Circle’s allows savers to lend directly to businesses, getting rid of the banks. Therefore, it provides more favourable interests rates than traditional banks. Over £1.3 billion worth loans have been given since the company was launched.
LendInvest is the leading online platform for property lending and investing. The company offers an online platform for institutions and people to invest in loans against property. Since opening for business in 2013, the company has lent over 640 million to hundreds of borrowers to fund over 2,300 new and rebuilt homes worth more than £1 billion.
5) Wellesley & Co
Wellesley & Co is a top alternative finance platform that allows investors to make good returns on their capital in the form of good interest rates by linking them with creditworthy borrowers looking for a competitive source of funding. Founded in 2013, the company allows people to lend money directly to small and medium-sized housebuilders and property developers.
6) Assetz Capital
Assetz Capital is a peer to peer business lender that is active in bridging, SME finance, and property development sectors. Founded in 2012, the company was the fastest growing secured P2P Company in the UK in 2013. Within the first year of its business, it lent more than £19 million.
Rebuildingsociety.com is an online platform that links creditworthy businesses with savers who lend money in exchange for an attractive return. The company does not only provide fast access to finance for businesses but also help P2P lenders make informed investment decisions.
FundingKnight is a crowdlender that brings business borrowers together with institutional and private investors. Up to £1million loans are available for businesses, green energy projects and property developers. The company assesses each potential borrower and allocates each a “reserve interest rate and a quality rating. All loans go through an auction process where investors bid to invest.
9) Lending Works
Lending Works is a P2P lending platform based in London. It was the first P2P lending platform that has insurance to protect its investors against borrower default, using the “Lending Works Shield”.
Based in London, QuidCycle provides a direct lender to borrower service that gets rid of the traditional middlemen in financial transactions. The company aim is to support both borrowers and lenders, providing them with a better deal.