Alternative Lending Review, Part III - Plus Loan Latest
In this third instalment of our review of alternative lending, we look at the Financial Conduct Authority's view of the sector.There's been a greater focus on the sector following the failure of peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms such as Lendy. Lendy's failure was linked – completely unfairly – with a number of problems experienced by investors in unregulated investments, notably minibonds. The best-known of these failures the London & Capital Finance debacle. It's in the light of these problems that the FCA decided to propose a limit on investor exposure to alternative loan assets.The essence of the FCA's proposal is this: Investors should not commit more than 10 per cent of their portfolio to platform lending (aka P2P). The move comes amid a broader drive towards greater transparency in reporting defaults and bad debts in platforms' loan books, more scrupulous risk management requirements and clarity on dealing with wind-downs in the event of a platform failure.As far as the alternative lending sector is concerned, the 10 per cent limit is actually good news. Consider the figures:
The larger question, though, is whether there's an implicit asset-management decision here – by limiting P2P exposure, isn't the FCA at the same time both accepting P2P as a valid asset class and setting up an asset allocation model, with P2P as the sexy 10 per cent of the cash exposure?The argument for this seems pretty persuasive: think of the brouhaha as Neil Woodford's income vehicle fell out of favour with intermediary/introducer, Hargreaves Lansdown. By deeming the fund not fit for purpose, the necessary implication is that the fund was previously actively deemed suitable for investors. This is, in everything but name, advice.Yesterday, we were talking about the need for acceptance of platform lending as an asset class. The FCA move could be considered a first step down that path.
New Loans Latest
Project Rhapsody is now 74 per cent funded. The loan offer has an A risk rating, and provides a fixed-rate return of 8 per cent over five years.
Log in or register for full detail. As ever, we've done due diligence but cannot categorically warrant that the representations are true. Read risk warnings on site. Our current annual bad debt rate is 0.03 per cent over more than five years (see also risk explanations and associated articles below).
The second tranche offered by Yes You Can is a B-rated offering, over a five-year term, with a fixed rate yield of 11 per cent gross. It is presently nine per cent funded.
Money&Co. lenders have achieved an average return of more than 8 per cent gross (before we deduct our one per cent fee).
That figure is the result of over £18 million of loans facilitated on the site, as we bring individuals looking for a good return on capital together with carefully vetted small companies seeking funds for growth. Bear in mind that lenders' capital is at risk. Read warnings on site before committing capital.
Money&Co. has been lending for over 5 years and has only had one bad debt so far, representing a bad debt rate of 0.03 per cent per annum.
All loans on site are eligible to be held in a Money&Co. Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFISA), up to the annual ISA limit of £20,000. Such loans offer lenders tax-free income.Our offering is an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that can hold the peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans that Money&Co. facilitates. For the purposes of this article, the terms ISA and IFISA are interchangeable.So here's our guide to the process:
Step 1: Register as a lender. Go to the login page, and go through the process that the law requires us to effect. This means we have to do basic checks on you to comply with money-laundering and other security requirements.
Step 2: Put money into your account. This is best done by electronic transfer. We can also process paper cheques drawn in favour of Denmark Square Limited, the parent company of Money&Co.
Step 3: Buy loans in the loan market. Once you've put cash in your account it will sit there - and it won't earn interest until you've bought a piece of a loan. It's this final step that requires lenders and IFISA investors to be pro-active. Just choose some loans - all loans on the Money&Co. site can be held in an IFISA - and your money will start earning tax-free interest.
The ISA allowance for 2019/20 is unchanged from last tax year at £20,000, allowing a married couple to put £40,000 into a tax-free environment. Over three years, an investment of this scale in two Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISAs would generate £8,400 of income completely free of tax. We're assuming a 7 per cent return, net of charges and free of tax here.Once you have made your initial commitment, you might then consider diversifying - buying a spread of loans. To do this, you can go into the "loans for sale" market. All loans bought in this market also qualify for IFISA tax benefits.