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Peer2Peer Finance News | August 25, 2019

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RateSetter celebrates eighth birthday

RateSetter celebrates eighth birthday
Emily Perryman

RATESETTER is celebrating its eighth birthday this weekend, having originated more than £2.7bn in loans since it launched in 2010.

The peer-to-peer lending platform has garnered more than half a million customers in eight years and generated more than £110m in returns for investors.

RateSetter has firmly cemented its position as one of the UK’s ‘big three’ lenders. In June, it revealed that its Innovative Finance ISA had attracted £100m in subscriptions, just four months after launching the tax wrapper.

There has also been speculation that RateSetter is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO), thereby following in the footsteps of Funding Circle. In June, RateSetter was said to be in talks for a £30m fundraising round, which would value the company at approximately £280m.

Last May, RateSetter hired asset management heavyweight Paul Manduca as its new non-executive chairman to help guide it through its next phase of growth.

Its business strategy appears to be paying off, as the platform is set to break even in the first half of 2019.

Meanwhile, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Rhydian Lewis (pictured), received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list last year for services to financial services, specifically P2P and financial inclusion innovation.

“We launched RateSetter to give people the opportunity to earn get their money working harder, and we are very proud that over the past eight years we’ve generated more than £110m in returns for our investors without dropping a penny,” said Lewis. “But this is just the start as we are opening this asset class to everyone – filling the big gap between the pitiful returns of cash deposits and the volatility of shares.”

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. The platform came under fire earlier this year when it removed the ability for investors to set their own rate on reinvested funds and altered how returns were paid.

A backlash from investors resulted in RateSetter reintroducing rate setting in its Rolling Market at the start of September.

Concerns were also raised when the platform announced last August that it was leaving the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association after breaching the trade body’s rules on transparency.

This came after it told investors it had made “interventions” on some of its former wholesale lending partners, which included buying the operating subsidiaries of the Vehicle Trading Group when it went into administration.