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Peer2Peer Finance News | February 23, 2019

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Funding Circle eyes global expansion in 2019

Funding Circle eyes global expansion in 2019
Marc Shoffman

FUNDING Circle is planning to enter a new country in 2019, its chief executive has revealed.

Speaking at the LendIt Fintech conference in London, Samir Desai (pictured), co-founder of Funding Circle, said the peer-to-peer lending giant had spent time bolstering its senior staff following its most recent move into Germany 2015, and is now ready for more expansion.

The small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending platform now has a presence in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands.

Read more: Funding Circle IPO could trigger wave of sector consolidation

“We found being in lots of different markets difficult since our last expansion in 2015,” Desai said.

“We made a lot of senior hires and focused the business on SME loans and scaled back on property as it didn’t feel like a digital business.

“The markets we are in cover more than 34 per cent of global gross domestic product so it felt like we should be in those markets.

“We will enter a new country next year and get back into the habit of doing international expansion.”

Desai also spoke of his relief of getting the platform’s initial public offering (IPO) over the line, suggesting the IPO sector was ripe for disruption.

He addressed concerns of how Funding Circle would cope in a downturn, insisting the lender is different to banks as it only has a risk of funding while banks have to worry about that as well as liquidity.

Desai said Funding Circle has a “perfectly matched back book of loans” and said he would expect losses on historic loans to roughly double.

“As long as we are not asleep at the wheel we think we can adjust our models and increase price,” he said.

“As long as we can maintain funding it will be a great opportunity, the recession will be a good opportunity for firms like ours.”

Read more: Funding Circle remains fastest growing P2P firm