WELLESLEY swung back into profit in 2017 and revealed that it has made progress with its application for regulatory approval.
The alternative property lender, which offers peer-to-peer investments and bonds, reported pre-tax profit of £205,890 for the year ended 31 December 2017.
It called this a “significant improvement” from the pre-tax loss of £211,354 reported in 2016, which is attributed to “more measured advertising and marketing spend”.
Wellesley spent £600,000 on advertising and marketing in 2017, compared to £2.9m in 2016.
The firm, which focuses on residential property development loans, said that “the outlook for the company remains positive” and that it had made progress with its Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) application for full approval after the reporting period.
Wellesley was put on interim permission after the FCA took over regulation of the sector in 2014.
In an interview with Peer2Peer Finance News earlier this year, Wellesley’s managing director Andrew Turnbull said that the platform is now taking a “very different approach” to property lending, focusing on larger residential property development loans.
“We had to reposition ourselves in terms of finding the right type of borrowers,” says Turnbull.
“We had to change out some of the members of our team and hire more experienced people. And in terms of the way we underwrite deals, we have had to completely change the amount of time and the amount of analysis that we spend on deals and we spend a lot of time performing analysis on those deals which just leads to a different process.
“Our average borrower used to represent the ‘S’ in SME, but now they probably represent the ‘M’.”