ASSETZ Capital has opened an office in Belfast, claiming there is a “massive opportunity” for peer-to-peer lending in Northern Ireland.
The P2P business finance platform said on Tuesday that it has seen an increase in borrowers from Northern Ireland and has now secured a base in the Scottish Provident Building in the heart of Belfast’s financial district.
“We’ve been doing business in the region for quite some time, so the launch of our Belfast office is a natural step,” Andrew Fraser, relationship director for Northern Ireland at Assetz Capital, said.
“There is a massive opportunity for Assetz in Northern Ireland, which is becoming a hub for fintech companies. We have seen increased interest from borrowers in P2P, driven by the fact that there aren’t many other alternative lenders in the region besides the mainstream banks.
“We have always been committed to offering personal services, so it is important that we are within easy reach of borrowers and brokers operating on the ground. More and more companies are now noticing the benefits of P2P to support expansion and we expect this market to become a key growth area for our business.”
It has been a busy few months for the business lender, which has expanded its product range to include a residential refurbishment product and launched its Innovative Finance ISA.
Belfast has been mooted as a fintech hub in the wake of Brexit. Low overheads, a large tech talent pool and access to the European Union have been cited as some of the reasons that a number of P2P lending platforms and service providers have set up in the city.
P2P-facing broker Clearpath Finance, crowdfunding platform CoFunder and SME lender Linked Finance have all chosen to base their headquarters in Belfast, while US-based fintech firm Hanweck has also chosen to have its European headquarters in the city.