DUBLIN-BASED peer-to-peer lender Flender has stopped offering loans to Irish businesses which have cross-border exposure, as the UK continues to work out the details of its exit from the EU.
Amid ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, Jeremy Davies-Betancourt, Flender’s co-founder and chief finance officer, told Peer2Peer Finance News that the firm was unwilling to lend to businesses which could be affected by changes to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
This may include agricultural businesses which span the border area, and haulage firms which operate across the entire island of Ireland.
“All Brexit has done is create uncertainty,” said Davies-Betancourt. “The problem for the province is its position in the eyes of the rest of Europe. Is it really going to be seen as a separate jurisdiction after Brexit?”
However, he added that once the terms of Brexit have been settled, Flender hopes to expand its business into Northern Ireland.
“Northern Ireland is an underserved marketplace in terms of P2P,” said Davies-Betancourt. “We are looking at doing business in the North as a first step back into the UK after Brexit.
“We like Northern Ireland just because of its proximity and its similarities to the South.”
Davies-Betancourt added that Northern Ireland is an attractive jurisdiction for businesses and investors due to its skilled native workforce and low cost of living, as well as its reduced corporate tax rates.
This article originally appeared in the January print edition of Peer2Peer Finance News. You can read the full issue here.