Julian Cork, Landbay COO, explores the 5 points you should consider before stepping into the peer-to-peer lending world as a lender.
Four: The Platform
It is easy to make a slick looking website but you need to be able to have a look under the bonnet.
That means understanding who is running the platform and how they are doing it.
Look for a history of running and working in successful businesses. The team and board should also have a deep understanding of the peer-to-peer process and, perhaps more importantly, the market they are lending into. The age-old maxim still stands: Lending is easy, but getting the money back is more difficult.
You also need to think about your interaction with the platform. Can you contact them easily or are you just put through to a call centre like a bank? Confirmation of regulatory status over the coming months will help with this as firms will be bound by the full FCA TCF (Treating Customers Fairly) rules.
You can also gain confidence in a platform’s capability by looking at external vindication of their business model through institutions. For example, Landbay has recently secured a £250m institutional funding line through the platform. We have been able to use this to fund Keystone Buy to Let’s New Classic Range, replacing an established bank as Keystone’s major funder. You could also look at equity investment in the company itself; do professional investors buy into the vision, team and business model?
The information contained in this blog post should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Consumers have a range of different financial needs and requirements and as such should always seek independent professional financial advice before making an investment decision.