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Peer2Peer Finance News | August 19, 2017

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Octopus Choice close to £50m loan target ahead of first anniversary

Octopus Choice close to £50m loan target ahead of first anniversary
Marc Shoffman

OCTOPUS Choice is set to have raised £50m within its first year of operation.

The peer-to-peer platform, spun out of institutional investor Octopus Investments, began a pilot with retail investors at the end of April last year providing loans secured on residential property before an official launch at the end of September.

A spokesman said Octopus Choice, led by Richard Wazacz (pictured), has currently raised “just shy” of £50m.

“We’ve been heartened to see an overwhelmingly positive response to Octopus Choice from the advisers we work with,” he said.

“We’re on track to have £50m invested through the platform before our first birthday – making us one of the fastest-growing P2P platforms ever – and we think that’s testament to the important role that secured lending can play within client portfolios.”

Read more: Octopus Choice’s Richard Wazacz explains why P2P and IFAs should see eye to eye

The lender offers average returns of 4.2 per cent based on conservative loans-to-value of up to 70 per cent and currently has 20 loans open for investment.

It pre-funds the loans, which a spokesman said has been given the green light by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – despite several other P2P lenders having to stop the practice in order to gain approval from the City watchdog.

The platform’s loan book shows it has funded loans of as little as £95,000 to more than £5m, secured on properties valued between £175,000 and £8m.

Octopus Choice received full FCA authorisation and ISA manager status in January.

It is yet to launch its Innovative Finance ISA but says it will first be offered to existing investors once it is available.

Read more: Octopus Choice to launch IFA portal