Secret Investor: Records broken at Assetz Capital and technical problems for Thincats

Last post: Jun 30, 2017

A record-breaking fortnight for Assetz Capital… Cash Flow! Don’t mention Cash Flow… Another outage for the ThinCats’ website… Only a single loan has been listed on FundingKnight in the first half of 2017

Headlines: A record-breaking fortnight for Assetz Capital… Cash Flow! Don't mention Cash Flow… Another outage for the ThinCats' website… Only a single loan has been listed on FundingKnight in the first half of 2017

Totals lent to date (29th June 2017)

*All data correct at the time this blog was compiled.


Assetz Capital - £290,408,514
Funding Circle - £2,437,863,413
FundingKnight - £31,485,000
FundingSecure - £129,858,834
Money & Co - £6 million approx
Rebuildingsociety - £11,500,000
ThinCats - £242,540,000
Invest and Fund - £3 million plus
LendingCrowd - £13,326,021
ArchOver - £38,447,000



Zopa - £2,400,000,000
RateSetter - £1,952,332,087

Lending Works - £58,359,734



Assetz Capital  

Lent to Date: £290,408,514 – fortnightly increase of £21,429,268 – 7.97% growth.

A record breaking period for Assetz Capital with the highest increase in the "Lent to Date" figure occurring in the past 2 weeks. This is not surprising as the number of loans in the platform's pipeline has been growing however, when this blog was compiled, the figure was around 10% down on recent levels with 67 upcoming loans of which 2 were imminently due to be drawndown.

Highlighted Loan: Borrower was looking for a bridging loan to enable them to purchase a residential property with security provided by their Guest House which they are in the process of selling. The proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off the loan – both capital and interest which, when combined, total £250k. To improve the chances of finding a buyer, the borrower is applying for planning permission to convert the Guest House into apartments. This seems a fairly safe loan, the only concern is that the Guest House has been on the market for some time at an asking price well above the valuation of circa £500k (the latter gives an LTV of 50%) and one wonders whether the borrower would accept a realistic price – especially if the application for the change of use is unsuccessful. A return of 8% pa was offered which, given the doubts, I felt was a little on the low side. As I had almost £130 of repayments in my Manual Selection Account, rather than invest a significant proportion in this risky loan, I transferred it over to the Great British Business Account where it will earn a return of 7% pa and be covered by a Provision Fund.

Managed Accounts: The following accounts automatically distribute funds on behalf of investors across different sections of the platform's portfolio and are covered by a discretionary Provision Fund:

Quick Access Account (3.75% pa)

30 Day Access Account (4.25% pa)

Property Secured Investment Account (5.5% pa)

Great British Business (7% pa)

Green Energy Income Accounts (7% pa)

Possible Loss: I received an email this week which provided me with the opportunity to vote on a proposal from a borrower who had been unable to repay their loan when it matured. They have a refinancing offer available but this would not be enough to cover the outstanding capital and interest in its entirety. The alternative would be to put the asset up for sale, possibly via an insolvency order, but it may take months, or even years, for the recovery to be completed.

The loan is not part of the portfolio I have manually selected on this site therefore I assume my exposure is via one of the managed accounts.

This situation raises a number of issues. Firstly, according to the blurb on the Assetz Capital website, if the inadequate refinancing proposal was accepted it would be the first time that investors have suffered a loss on this platform.

Furthermore, if there is a shortfall in the amount recovered, presumably those who invested via a managed account would receive compensation from the Provision Fund so they would be more likely to accept the immediate refinance. In that case, those who manually select loans are at a disadvantage as they would want to wait for a full recovery to take place rather than suffer a loss.

I have asked Assetz Capital to confirm whether my understanding is correct. They have acknowledged my email but advise that it will take some days to provide an answer. While it is great to have such a democratic process, the voting system may need to be reviewed to take account of the differing requirements of those who manually select loans or invest via the managed accounts.

Funding Circle

Lent to Date: £2,437,863,413 – fortnightly increase of £49,449,014 – 2.07% growth.

There were 14 auctions ongoing when this blog was compiled although, as loan requests tend to fill in a matter of hours on this site, that is not a fair reflection of throughput.

Secret Investor's Activity: This is one of the sites which I have the most exposure to -because they have the largest number of manually selectable loans.

Below are highlights from my activity over the past fortnight:

Highlighted Loan Invested in:

Working Capital Loan of >£127k to flooring specialists (C risk rating 13.5% pa return). Having just heard that another of my borrowers had defaulted due to cashflow difficulties (see below) when I read in the proposal that this loan was to cover the same scenario, my mind was set on rejecting it but when I saw that that the borrower had replied to a request in the Q&A to provide more up to date figures (it's very rare to get an answer from anyone on this site), I thought they deserved a second chance. On closer scrutiny, the shortage of funding was partly due to having staff tied up on a long-term project and the net assets situation just about covered the value of the loan so I decided to commit.

Highlighted Rejected Loan:

Working Capital Loan of £124k to cleaning company (C risk rating 13.5% pa return). As the loan was over 90% full, I invested in this without looking at the proposal. When I had chance to check out the details, I didn't like what I saw. The business was in cash flow difficulties due to late payments but there was no indication that this was a one-off situation. "Cash Flow" seems to be the most common reason for loans to default so this business looked to be in a bad situation from the outset. Furthermore, the accounts were well over a year out of date. Therefore I put the loan up for sale immediately… it soon found a buyer.

Defaulted Loans Update: Last week, 2 of my loans defaulted because the borrowers had either gone into either administration or insolvency. The former concerned a civil engineering firm that was experiencing cashflow difficulties – the owners had been hoping to find a buyer for the business – while the latter loan was to a camper van business. Fortunately, in the latter instance the borrower has already set up a direct debit arrangement to ensure payments continue to be made. Many other sites probably wouldn't have declared this debt as a default. In total, I had £46 of capital outstanding across these two loans.

More bad news today after Funding Circle decided to default Occupation Health practitioners who had become insolvent. The site seemed reasonably confident that a payment plan could be put in place with the guarantor. My remaining exposure was £60 thus, since the last blog, I have lost more than £100 in total. It has not been a good fortnight.


Lent to Date: £31,485,000 – no change.

There were 0 auctions ongoing when this blog was compiled – only 1 loan has appeared on this site in 2017.


Lent to Date: £129,858,834 at the end of May – total updated monthly.

There were 4 auctions ongoing when this blog was compiled.

Highlighted Loan: As mentioned in the last blog to get my £20k of IFISA funds that I allocated to this site invested rather than being stuck in my account, I am choosing certain loans to invest more than my usual ultra-safe £75. This week I allocated £500 to the renewal of a loan secured against a property in West London which is being renovated with the intention that it will be rented out so that long term funding will be provided by a conventional Buy to Let mortgage. When originally valued, the LTV on the property was below 65% but I imagine, following the dreadful Grenfell Tower fire, demand for houses in the area would be even higher, upping the value and bringing the LTV down further.

Defaults: The assets associated with some of my 6 defaulted loans edge closer to being sold but no purchases have agreed yet.

Money & Co

Lent to Date: £6 million approx. (latest available figure)

When this blog was compiled there were 0 auctions taking place.


Lent to Date: £11,500,000 – no change in the past fortnight.

There was 1 active auction taking place when this blog was compiled.

Highlighted Loan: Food Consultants were looking to raise £27.2k to consolidate existing borrowing and to help with a lack of Cash Flow while waiting for payments to arrive from 3 clients. I had a bad feeling about this business as it is clearly dependent on income from a small number of customers. What would happen if one of these ceased training? While returns in the high teens were offered, I decided to pass due to the apparent vulnerability of the operation and the fact that only a Personal Guarantee was offered as security.


Lent to Date: £242,540,000 – fortnightly increase of £3,514,000 – 1.47% growth.

When this blog was compiled, the ThinCats website was down due to an issue with their third-party IT provider. Yesterday when I checked there were 2 active auctions taking place.

Highlighted Loan: Property Developers from Northern Ireland returned to ThinCats for their sixth loan relating to a domestic housing project. The latest tranche of funding was for £250k and brings the current amount owing to the platform's investors to £1.44 million providing a LTV ratio of 61%. At 14% pa, quite a healthy rate of return was offered, especially with the government chucking money into the region as part of the agreement with the DUP.

Invest & Fund

Lent to Date: Over £3 million

There were 0 active auctions taking place when this blog was compiled.

Highlighted Loan: Listed recently was the sixth >£70k tranche of a £2.4 million bridging loan for the redevelopment of a farm into residential properties. The project appeared to be on schedule and investors were offered a return of 9.5% pa.


Lent to Date: £13,326,021 – fortnightly increase of £653,960 – 5.16% growth.

There were 0 active auctions taking place when this blog was compiled although several have been listed in the past fortnight. To avoid funds being tied up for too long, investors usually have just 24 hours to decide whether to commit to each loan.

Highlighted Loans: Last week two owners of convenience stores were looking to raise £87k and £185k respectively. The former was looking to add an in-house bakery and the other was opening an additional premise. What worried me was that neither balance sheet covered the amounts requested. While the platform gave assurances that the guarantors were able to cover the borrowings, past experience on this platform indicates that bad debts can take a long time to be recovered – if at all.


Lent to Date: £38,447,000 – fortnightly increase of £1,424,000 – 3.85% growth.

There were 2 auctions taking place when this blog was compiled.

Highlighted Loan: Several loans requested by the same borrower have been listed on ArchOver in recent weeks as a provider of serviced accommodation looks to raise a total of £3.1 million to replace existing borrowing and to provide working capital as the business adds further locations to its portfolio. ArchOver will ultimately have a first charge over the entire operation but at present (with only part of the £3.1 million raised) security is held on 4 out of the 7 subsiduaries that sit below the holding company. Investors are offered a return of 8.25% pa – higher than usual for this site because the insurance that is often arranged by this platform is not available in this instance.


As the FCA hadn't granted full authorisation to any of the platforms that provide access to a wide number of loans when the 2016/17 tax year was drawing to a close, with some reluctance I committed £5k of my ISA allowance to a bridging loan listed by CapitalRise which was to fund the conversion of offices on The Strand in London into residential apartments – this was a big step for me as previously £80 was the maximum I had allocated to any individual borrower but I was desperate to get a decent tax free return on my savings.

CapitalRise provide quarterly reports on their loans and I received the first one of these concerning The Strand development yesterday. It was all good news with everything progressing on schedule and on budget.




Lent to Date:  £2.4 billion – fortnightly increase of £40 million – 1.69% growth.

Returns: Zopa's 2 accounts offer returns of 3.9% and 6.1% pa with the latter allocating some funds to riskier loans that offer higher returns.

Zopa distribute investor's money mostly to unsecured consumer loans.


Lent to Date: £1,952,332,087 – fortnightly increase of £18,660,891 – 0.97% growth.

Returns: Interest rates are set according to supply and demand. They currently range from 2.6% pa to 4.3% pa depending on the length of the investment. Compared to a fortnight ago, the figures have reduced by 0.1% and 0.5% respectively.

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: £58,359,734 – fortnightly increase of £2,111,964 – 3.75% growth.

Returns: 3.3% pa and 4.8% pa via an IFISA or standard account for 3 and 5 year investments respectively. The lower rate has not changed over the past fortnight while the latter has increased by 0.3%.

As well as a Provision Fund to cover investor's risks, this site also insures borrowers against redundancy, fraud, illness and accidents making this a very fair site for all concerned.

****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.