Secret Investor: Funding Circle continues to break records

Last post: Dec 2, 2016

Following last week’s Autumn Statement, a fresh injection of £400 million to the Government’s British Business Bank will make further capital available to Funding Circle’s borrowers as the most prominent P2P platform continues to break records.

Totals lent to date (1st December 2016)
*All data correct at the time this blog was compiled.

Assetz Capital – £182,323,647
Funding Circle - £1,732,431,080
FundingKnight - £31,220,000
FundingSecure - £70,982,338
Money & Co –  £6 million approx
Rebuildingsociety – £10,400,000
ThinCats - £205,673,000
Invest and Fund - £1 million plus
LendingCrowd - £7,673,881
ArchOver - £24,630,000

Zopa - £1,800,000,000
RateSetter – £1,574,266,094
Lending Works – Over £37 million

Assetz Capital  
Lent to Date: £182,323,647 – fortnightly increase of £2,716,238 – 1.51% growth.
When this blog was compiled, there were 66 upcoming loans with 3 imminently due to be drawndown.
Highlighted Loan: A property developer from Northern Ireland required a bridging loan of £175k to purchase a site which had planning permission for 12 dwellings. An agreement was already in place for a housing association to fund the develop costs once the sale had been completed. With a first charge on the location and Personal Guarantees, a return of 9.6% pa appeared to be a very reasonable return.
Managed Accounts: The following accounts automatically distribute funds on behalf of investors across the platform's loans and are covered by a Provision Fund:
Quick Access Account (3.75% pa return); 30 Day Access Account (4.25% pa return); Great British Business and Green Energy Income Accounts (both of these offer a return of 7% pa).

Funding Circle
Lent to Date: £1,732,431,080 – fortnightly increase of £57,035,120 – 3.4% growth.
Wow! An increase of well over £50 million in the past fortnight has smashed all records.
There were 14 auctions ongoing when this blog was compiled.
Secret Investor's Activity: This remains the site which I have the most exposure to because they have the largest number of manually selectable loans.
Probably due to the recently implemented increase in returns for C, D and E rated loans, they have been filling up more quickly in the past fortnight and were usually fully funded before I had the opportunity to put a bid in. With over £500 of repayments accruing in my account I resorted to the secondary market yesterday to get my funds out there earning a crust.
Below are highlights from my activity in the past fortnight:
Highlighted Loan Invested in:
Refurbishment Loan of £70k to shop & off-licence (C risk rating, 13.5% pa return). Loan is required to refit the shop. As usual at Funding Circle, there was minimal information, but the balance sheet was profitable and the increase in returns for C rated loans from 11.9% pa to 13.5% pa made this offer more appealing. Looking at the exterior of the shop via Google StreetView, improvements are definitely required as the premise's appearance somewhat lags behind that of its neighbours.
Highlighted Rejected Loan:
Expansion Loan of >£31k requested by a marketing consultant (C risk rating, 13.5% return): Was surprised that this was given a rating as low as C. The marketing consultant was looking to diversify and set up an online health shop. This seemed a huge step from their core activity and no evidence was provided of any experience in this sphere. With internet retailing being so competitive, there was little to make me believe the new venture would be a success.
Defaulted Loans Update: Last Thursday a loan to a haulage business was defaulted as the borrow has become unresponsive. Subject to any recoveries, I will lose £14 of the £20 I invested but the following day a lump sum was paid by another defaulted borrower to repay 2 thirds of their debt. My share of the repayment was £15 thus I came out slightly ahead. There were no other defaults in the past fortnight.

Lent to Date: £31,220,000 – no change.
There were 0 auctions ongoing when this blog was compiled and there haven't been since September.

Lent to Date: £70,982,338 at the end of October. Monthly growth of £5,801,370 (8.9%).
Total updated monthly – we await the publication of November's results.
There were 11 auctions ongoing when this blog was compiled.
Highlighted Loan: Last Saturday, a loan for £3k secured against a limited-edition Formula 1 book valued at £7k appeared. The tome is limited to 100 copies worldwide and is signed by all the World Champions who were alive at the time of publication, including Phil Hill and Sir Jack Brabham who have since passed away therefore it is unlikely to reduce in value.
Defaults: No progress on realising the value of the assets of my four defaulted loans although the high-end car is scheduled to be put up for auction early this month.

Money & Co
Lent to Date: £6 million approx. (latest available figure)
When this blog was compiled there were 0 auctions taking place.
Highlighted Loan: A supplier of DIY legal services was looking for £182k+ to fund a marketing campaign to re-establish their business after the loss of a client 2 years ago put their balance sheet in trouble. Their profits have been on the up since then and those who invested will earn a typical return of 8.1% pa after the loan ended on Tuesday. This seems to be a low return considering the only security was a personal guarantee but the required capital was quickly raised nonetheless.

Lent to Date: £10,400,000 – no change.
There were 2 active auctions when this blog was compiled.
Highlighted Loan: A chain of high-end burger restaurants was looking to raise £50k of expansion capital. Personal guarantees were offered as security plus a company debenture. The directors chose not to remortgage their properties as they needed the capital in a hurry thus they decided to accept the high ReBS interest rates which, at the time the loan was analysed, was close to 20% pa for investors.

Lent to Date: £205,673,000 – fortnightly increase of £2,320,000 – 1.14% growth.
There were 5 active auctions when this blog was compiled.
Highlighted Loan: Borrower wished to raise £300k to purchase a building supplies company. The new owner was looking to expand the product range that the business offered. This seems one of the riskier of the ThinCats loans as there may not be the demand for the new offerings. Given this concern, the return seemed comparatively low at 11% with security provided via a first charge over the enterprise and a personal guarantee.

Invest & Fund
Lent to Date: Over £1 million
There was 1 active auction when this blog was compiled.
Highlighted Loan: The sixth drawdown against a facility of over £1 million for a residential redevelopment in Cardiff appeared on the site shortly after the previous blog went to press. The latest cash injection was for just over £52k. The project appears to be making excellent progress and is reportedly running under budget with further potential cost savings identified.

Lent to Date: £7,673,881 – fortnightly increase of £50,000 – 0.66% growth.
There was 1 auction taking place when this blog was compiled.
Highlighted Loan: A bar in London is raising £74.2k to convert office space into 6 bedrooms. As the location also hosts weddings, the bedrooms are expected to be used by "out of town" guests thereby generating an additional income stream.

Lent to Date: £24,630,000 – latest figure available.
There was 1 auction taking place when this blog was compiled.
Highlighted Loan: Developers of software that enables the automation of the packaging of food and drink products are looking to raise £350k of expansion capital. Investors are offered a return of 6.5% pa which is lower than that offered by many platforms in this section of the blog but, as is usually the case for this site, a higher level of security is provided via a first, floating charge on the borrower's Accounts Receivable and the loan is also insured.

This platform, which lists loans from multiple sites, had 6 auctions taking place today although many were from P2P lenders covered elsewhere in this blog.
Highlighted Loan: Via the Ablrate platform, investors were offered a return of 14% pa lending via a finance house that was raising £700k to provide funding to a holiday park looking to upscale by offering high-end "spa" type services. There does seem increasing demand for this sort of bolt-on to holidays and it was a healthy rate of return. Security was provided via a first charge over the park plus a personal guarantee.

Site was launched in early October and has listed 2 loans so far.
There were 0 auctions taking place when this blog was compiled.

Lent to Date:  £1.8 Billion – latest figure available.
Returns: Zopa's 3 accounts offer returns of 3.1%, 3.9% and 6.3% pa depending on the levels of access and whether or not they are covered by the Provision Fund. A further 0.2% has been shaved off the returns for the first of these accounts.
Zopa distribute investor's money mostly to unsecured consumer loans.

Lent to Date: £1,574,266,094 – fortnightly increase of £30,420,996 – 1.97% growth.
Returns: Interest rates are set according to supply and demand. They currently range from 2.9% to 4.8% depending on the length of the investment. These have increased by 0.3% and 0.7% respectively over the past fortnight.
Capital is covered by a Provision Fund. Ratesetter proudly boast that no investor has lost a penny since they launched in 2010.

Lending Works
Lent to Date: Over £37 million.
Returns: 3.2% and 4.6% for 3 and 5 year investments respectively. Both figures have reduced by 0.2% over the past fortnight.
As well as a Provision Fund to cover investor's finances, this site also insures borrowers against redundancy, fraud, illness and accidents making this a very fair site for all concerned.
Platform News: Lending Works have launched their swish new website.

****Disclaimer: This blog contains the views of the Secret Investor. Your capital is at risk when lending via all P2P Platforms. You're recommended to speak to a qualified Independent Financial Advisor.