The 2019 ISA season is now in full swing, and it's as good a time as any to focus on financial planning - and, within that, looking ahead to your retirement years to ensure financial security.
Lending Works completes the hat-trick at Moneywise Customer Service AwardsCurrent Affairs
If you're going to take a shine to an awards event, why not do it at the biggest one of them all? That's exactly what Lending Works did last Thursday, as we scooped the Best P2P Platform for Investors (formerly known as the ‘Best P2P Platform for Savers’) gong at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards for a third successive year.
The prestige of these Awards is underlined by the fact that they are generally referred to as the 'Oscars' of UK financial services, and the contenders for the various prizes are exclusively the most trusted and respected financial services providers in the country. Indeed, the impartiality of the process is exemplified by the fact that it is UK consumers who decide the nominees and victors, and this year over 40,000? of them voted with their feet.
Such an achievement was underlined by the strength of the competitors on the shortlist which Lending Works pipped to the post, and, as a platform, there can be no endorsement we appreciate more than the one that comes from our customers.
For us, it is also rewarding recognition for the efforts our team has made over the past year to further enhance the lender experience, while a number of initiatives on both sides of the borrower/lender divide have been for the benefit of both those seeking a loan, and those wishing to invest their hard-earned money.
In the past 12 months, we've passed the £100 million mark in terms of funds lent, and are now facilitating over £6 million in loans per month. We've consolidated the launch of our ISA last February, further refining our offer, and attracting a wealth of new lenders. And, most of all, we've invested heavily in our technologies, thus ensuring a market-leading user experience for all our customers.
So, after a busy year, such acknowledgement in the form of this award is all the more pleasing, and one we're delighted to share with our customers. Our founder and CEO Nick had this to say about our triumph last week...
"In financial services, it doesn't come any bigger than the Moneywise Customer Service Awards, and to have confirmed our place as the leading platform for P2P investors for a third year in a row is remarkable," he commented. "As savers continue to find it difficult to earn real returns in a challenging climate, we're proud to offer an alternative which genuinely benefits the individual.
"Since we opened our doors four-and-a-half years ago - and even prior to that - our most fundamental value has been to put our customers first, and we will always place a world-class customer service at the heart of our service. This success is therefore especially rewarding for us, and I would like to say a huge thanks to both the customers who voted for us, and our dedicated team, who deserve all the credit.
"That said, our appetite for innovation and improvement never wanes, and we have a number of exciting initiatives in place which we believe will further cement our place at the top table of this growing industry. We look back with great pride on this award, and all that we have accomplished. But we're equally confident that bigger and better things lie in store, and, as always, it is our customers who will reap the benefits."
The Lifetime ISA (LISA), announced in 2016, would prove to be one of George Osborne’s last flagship gestures to UK savers and investors as Chancellor, eventually launching against a backdrop of anti-climax a year later in April 2017.
There is barely a week to go until the conclusion of the 2017/18 financial year, which means that, as ISA season begins to hot up, time is running out to take advantage of your ISA allowance.
Over the last decade, there can be little dispute that the reputation of mainstream banks – and particularly the so-called ‘Big Four’ (HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS) – is at its lowest ebb.
The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry is now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The regulatory framework has been designed to protect customers and promote effective competition.
Loan underwriting is the process that we undertake to analyse all of the information provided by each loan applicant and their credit file to assess whether or not that applicant meets our minimum loan criteria. As part of that process all data is verified, analysed and summarised to paint a picture of each applicant.
When you earn interest from a regular bank savings account, for example, the bank automatically deducts basic rate tax (currently 20%) before paying your interest. With interest earned from peer-to-peer lending, tax is not deducted automatically so lenders will need to declare their income to HMRC.
As 2018 draws to a close, with our bellies full of Christmas turkey, it's only natural to look back on the past 12 months and reflect. No doubt, it's been a turbulent one economically and politically, and not everyone has had it all their own way.