HARGREAVES Lansdown is set to launch its peer-to-peer platform in early 2017, Peer-to-Peer Finance News can confirm.
The as-yet-unnamed platform will offer loans to both businesses and individuals, while the firm will target its existing client base for investment.
“Our intention is that we will be offering a marketplace-type service where loans will be pooled,” said Danny Cox, head of communications at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“We’ll also give some of our borrowers the chance to secure their loans against their investment accounts.”
The fund supermarket announced its intention to move into the P2P sector in December 2015, with an initial roll out scheduled to take place after the launch of HL Savings, the firm’s new cash management service.
Cox told P2PFN that HL Savings would arrive before the end of 2016, and the P2P service will follow in the new year.
Hargreaves Lansdown is currently authorised to provide stocks and shares ISAs and cash ISAs through its platform, and the firm has applied for IFISA approval.
“The demand is there. Interest rates on cash are virtually zero in most cases so P2P loans offer attractive headline rates,” said Cox.
“On the face of it the P2P industry is looking at half a trillion pounds of ISA money that could be coming their way but the reality is that the amount of money lent is only going to be matched by the money that is being borrowed.”
Cox said that the platform was a “substantial investment” for Hargreaves Lansdown and that the firm would be particularly targeting businesses as potential borrowers. The firm currently boasts 827,000 users, an increase of 100,000 from the previous year.
According to the FTSE 100 firm’s annual report, assets under management rose by 12 per cent in the year ending in June 2016, reaching £60bn for the first time in the firm’s 35-year history.
Pre-tax profits were up by 10 per cent year on year to £218.9m, and the Portfolio+ online investing service reported assets of £311m, up from £26m one year ago.