RATESETTER has launched Australia’s first green loan marketplace, with AUS$20m (£15.5m) of seed capital from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The move from the peer-to-peer platform, which it expects will attract “thousands” of investors and lay the groundwork for a roll-out of similar green platforms, opens up access to regulated green loan products to retail investors for the first time in the country.
It also marks the first investment by an Australian government body with an Australian P2P lending platform, and is set to attract demand from larger lenders such as ethical superannuation funds, the platform said.
Returns to investors are likely to hover around seven per cent, mostly from loans with three- to seven-year maturities.
Loans from the new marketplace will fund individuals’ and businesses’ green purchases such as solar panels and battery systems, energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, emissions-reducing industrial applications and low-emission/electric vehicles.
“This is a truly innovative partnership that showcases the exciting opportunities for both businesses and consumers when government agencies such as the CEFC team up with the fintech sector,” said RateSetter Australia chief executive Daniel Foggo.
“For the first time, everyday investors have direct access, alongside the CEFC and other investors to stable, attractive returns from a green asset-class, while green borrowers are rewarded with great rates.
“This highlights the enormous opportunities that can result when innovative businesses and government organisations such as the CEFC work together.”
“This innovative facility offers the potential to improve the marketability of green assets,” added CEFC’s chief executive Ian Learmonth, “by bringing purchasers, installers, and manufacturers closer together.
“There have been green loans before, and there has been peer-to-peer lending, but combining the two into one platform is an Australian first.”
“Investment in this transaction could establish a successful precedent to pave the way for a roll-out of similar green platforms,” said the agency’s head of debt markets Richard Lovell.