OCTOPUS Choice is planning to launch a new portal in the Autumn that will help independent financial advisers (IFAs) to manage their clients’ investments on the peer-to-peer platform more easily.
The P2P platform, which was launched in April by fund management firm Octopus Investments, offers secured, short-term residential property loans, usually between six and 18 months.
It is targeting a return of around five per cent per year and investors can lend a minimum of £10. So far the platform has attracted more than 1,000 customers and raised over £10m from investors.
The company’s strategy has been to attract IFAs to the platform from the start and this is set to continue, according to Richard Wazacz, head of Octopus Choice.
“IFAs have a really important part to play in the business and we work with 3,500 of them,” he told Peer-to-Peer Finance News. “We’re helping them understand the value of asset-backed lending and building a market.”
The new adviser portal, which is set to go live this Autumn, is currently being tested on a number of IFAs.
“It will allow advisers to sign up their clients and manage their clients’ investments on the platform more easily,” he said.
Octopus Choice currently does not publish loan book data on its website, but Wazacz said this is simply because the platform is so new. “We will publish data like all the other platforms once we have meaningful data to publish,” he said. “We already share all our loans on the platform with our IFAs.”
The platform has ‘skin in the game’, contributing five per cent to every loan in order to provide an equity cushion for investors.
“We’re putting our own money at risk, rather than having a provision fund where the money comes from the borrowers,” said Wazacz.
Octopus Choice, like all of the major P2P lenders, is still waiting for its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) approval from the Financial Conduct Authority before it can offer the tax-free wrapper around P2P investments.