Is The Crowd Being Crowded Out? Alt Fi Asks Hard Questions


ReturnsGraphicAltFi

Peer-to-peer (P2P) or marketplace lender – or boutique bank? This is more than an issue of names. It's all about who provides the capital that borrowing businesses need to grow. If the lenders lending via platforms like Money&co.'s are exclusively big institutions, then P2P seems a strange name (even though an insurance company is a single legal entity, with the same legal status as a private individual).

Alt Fi takes a perceptive view of this changing market: "Looking at the webpages of the three largest members of the P2PFA, an interesting observation can be made.

"Only two of the three platforms, Zopa, and Ratesetter, now call themsleves peer to peer lenders. The third, Funding Circle, has opted for the moniker 'marketplace lending' to describe what it does. Is this as a result of increasing institutional volume?

"Can platforms that facilitate large amounts of institutional volume continue to call themselves 'P2P'? Opinion is split as to whether the increasing volume of institutional lending through Alternative Finance platforms in the UK is a good or a bad thing. P2P purists are concerned that institutional lenders may crowd out the retail investor and reduce returns. Others argue that the inclusion of institutions is a necessary step in the continued evolution of the industry into a new asset class, rapidly enabling the industry to scale in a way that retail investment could not do alone and also bringing a greater level of professionalism and scrutiny."

Money&C0.'s position is clear enough: we intend to keep our platforms open to individuals. Of course, we may take some money from big institutions one day – but we believe in the P2P principle, and we will continue to keep bringing people together with businesses. That way, our lenders can achieve excellent returns, and businesses can get the capital they need to grow.

Take a look at the graphic with this article, which compares "P2P" returns from the biggest platforms in the sector with money-market and banking alternatives.

Risk

Remember lending carries risk. We vet our borrowers very carefully, but capital loaned is at risk. Please read the warnings on our Home Page and in our Frequently Asked Questions.

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The objective is to provide information and commentary on:

- How to provide a balanced portfolio of high-yield debt and risk-weighted equity for individual investors and lenders

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Disclaimer: Money&Co.™ is the trading name of Denmark Square Limited, Company Number 08561817, registered in England & Wales, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company is identified on the Financial Services Register under Reference Number 727325. The registered office is 58 Glentham Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9JJ where the register of Directors may be inspected. Denmark Square Limited (ISA manager reference number Z1932) manages the Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISA.