Lending Works makes it £100 million - and counting!
This past week, Lending Works cemented its place as one of the UK’s biggest peer-to-peer lending platforms, surpassing the £100 million mark in terms of pounds lent. For a platform which is just over four years of age, it represents an impressive achievement, and underlines the consistent upward curve the company has enjoyed since the first consumer-to-consumer loan was facilitated on a rainy January Monday afternoon back in 2014.
Growth, sustainability and customer focused
This pattern of growth is underscored by the fact that it was only in March 2017 that Lending Works breached the £50 million barrier – itself a fine achievement after just three years of trading. Nevertheless, it is over the past 12 months that the platform has taken things to a new level, and this has translated into significant success – both in terms of loan volume, and a number of other metrics too.
Lending Works has a clear path to profitability, which demonstrates that a focus on growth has not come at the expense of long-term sustainability.
Meanwhile, closer to home, some 20,000 customers (over 16,000 borrowers and nearly 4,000 lenders) have benefitted from the excellent value and service offered by the platform, while every penny of capital and expected returns has been delivered to lenders to date – and on time, to boot. And with a number of new projects and partnerships in the pipeline, it’s little wonder that CEO Nick Harding is optimistic about what lies ahead for Lending Works.
“We’ve achieved some exciting milestones since opening our doors at Lending Works, but this definitely ranks as one of our finest moments,” he beamed. “The growth we’ve seen over the past year in particular has enabled us to stamp our mark on the peer-to-peer lending sector, yet we have done this while maintaining a stable and sustainable footing as we build for the future.
“We’re also very proud to have created a business that is changing financial services for the better. We set out to improve the experience that our customers have when getting a loan or making an investment, and with customer satisfaction that is higher than that of Apple or Amazon, I feel we are achieving our objective. Making over 20,000 people’s lives slightly better, brings a smile to our faces.”
Plaudits on the customer-service front have been a feature of Lending Works’ brief history, with particular recognition coming at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards – widely regarded as the gold standard within financial services. Last June, Lending Works was awarded the honour of ‘Best Peer-to-Peer Platform for Savers’ for the second year in a row, while it simultaneously won the Highly Commended gong in the ‘Most Trusted Loan Provider’ category for a third successive year.
Lending Works can also lay claim to being the first P2PFA member to receive full authorisation from the FCA (October 2016), and, following that, the first to launch the new Innovative Finance ISA (February 2017). Since then, nearly £40 million has been lent via the Lending Works ISA, and this product will likely continue to underpin future growth – as will an emphasis on partnerships on the back of a fruitful collaboration with digital challenger Revolut, which launched last year.
And in a year when challenges such as GDPR and online protection are set to be thrust into the limelight, Harding is confident that Lending Works has all its bases covered, and is well placed to progress from strength to strength.
“It’s very pleasing to note the list of things we’ve accomplished, but it is also due reward for the resources we’ve invested into establishing solid foundations,” observes Nick. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on recruiting experts in data science, IT, online security and customer service over the past two years, and each of these areas has played a significant role in strengthening our brand and driving growth.
“Being able to expand our business and unlock new channels of loan origination and investment capital from such a strong base leaves us well poised to make 2018 the best yet, and to really challenge the market leaders in the years to come.
“But for now, I’d just like to extend a huge thank you to our customers, and also our dedicated, hard-working team. It is very rewarding to share in the satisfaction of reaching this landmark with you all, and I look forward to enjoying many more in the future.“
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.
At the Summer Budget in 2015, George Osborne had multiple nuggets of good news for investors in peer-to-peer lending (P2P), most notably the announcement of the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).
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.
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