LANDBAY saw lending volumes rise by 200 per cent over 2019, supported by a £1bn funding line secured over the summer.
The buy-to-let specialist, which announced earlier this month that it was exiting the retail peer-to-peer lending market, revealed on Friday that institutional funding accounted for 95 per cent of new mortgages originated in the past 12 months.
This contributed to the decision to exit the retail investment market, Landbay said. All retail investors saw their capital repaid in full within 24 hours of the decision being communicated, including all interest accrued to that date.
In an exclusive interview with Peer2Peer Finance News, Landbay chief executive John Goodall (pictured) explained that the retail platform was becoming less commercially viable as other P2P platforms were lending at higher rates while Landbay was looking to compete with banks where mortgage rates are lower.
“Our margins were being increasingly squeezed and we would have had to cut investor rates to compete,” he said.
Landbay’s workforce grew by 67 per cent this year to more than 100 staff. Most of the new appointments are the underwriting and technology teams, which Landbay said contributes to a smoother and faster process for its broker and landlord clients.
Landbay, which is still a member of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association but will not be renewing its membership, expects to significantly grow its lending operation next year, working with a vast range of networks and clubs to support brokers and landlords across the UK.
“As a business we’re focused on continuing to evolve and develop our proposition,” said Goodall.
“We’ve added significant numbers to our headcount which has helped to grow the business and we expect to keep on hiring well into 2020.
“Landbay is laser focused on 2020 as we exclusively partner with institutional investors to support the UK’s vital private rental sector.”