THE PEER-TO-PEER Finance Association (P2PFA) has reported that new lending among its members equated to more than £700m in the third quarter of 2017, despite losing ‘big three’ platform RateSetter during the period.
The self-regulated trade body said on Monday that cumulative lending by the existing P2PFA platforms came in at more than £7.1bn by the end of September 2017.
“Cumulative lending at the end of the same period in 2016 for P2PFA platforms was £4.2bn, which underscores the continued steady progress which platforms have made,” said Robert Pettigrew, director of the P2PFA.
The P2PFA’s members now comprise Funding Circle, Landbay, Lending Works, MarketInvoice, ThinCats, Zopa and newest platform entrant Folk2Folk, which joined in February this year.
Interestingly, the data strips out comparatives with previous quarterly reports that included now-departed members LendInvest and RateSetter.
Specialist mortgage lender LendInvest left during the second quarter as it has moved away from the P2P space, while consumer and business lender RateSetter left in August after breaching the association’s rules on transparency.
In August, the P2PFA reported that cumulative lending in the second quarter of 2017 came in at £8.39bn, including RateSetter.
The third-quarter data showed that new lending among the existing P2PFA members has risen quarter-on-quarter from £666m to £733m. The number of borrowers has risen from 231,189 to 246,813, but the number of lenders has dropped from 140,098 to 134,658, the P2PFA said.
The slight drop in the number of lenders may come as a surprise to some industry onlookers, given that most platforms have spoken about the challenge of balancing an influx of funds from yield-hungry investors in a low interest rate environment.
Funding Circle remains the UK’s largest P2P lender in terms of cumulative lending, having overtaken Zopa earlier this year. It had lent out around £2.74bn at the end of the third quarter, compared to Zopa’s £2.65bn.
“With all P2PFA members seeking full authorisation having received the regulator’s stamp of approval, it is clear that the sector is well-placed for further responsible growth and development in the interests of its customers, both borrowers and lenders,” added Pettigrew.