Folk2Folk has turned a profit for the first time in its seven-year history.
The peer-to-peer rural business lender has credited its new managing director Roy Warren (pictured) with the turnaround as it reported a profit of £198,000 for the financial year February 2019 to January 2020.
Warren – previously the platform’s head of risk – was appointed in May 2019 and officially started in November, replacing Giles Cross.
The platform said it has continued operating throughout the coronavirus outbreak, keeping its secondary market open, and facilitating £8m of loans.
This brings the company’s cumulative lending volume to in excess of £350m.
It is also awaiting the outcome of an application to become an accredited lender for the coronavirus business loan interruption scheme.
Read more: Folk2Folk chief bullish on 2019 prospects
“Platform profitability has become increasingly important, not just for the Financial Conduct Authority, but for retail and institutional investor decision-making,” Warren said.
“Many view it as an indicator of whether a P2P platform is viable and has a sustainable future.
“I’m proud that Folk2Folk has made a big step forward in building its financial strength, including strong positive cashflow.
“Achieving profitability despite the market-impacting forces of Brexit, the election and now coronavirus is a significant breakthrough for the company and testament to our team’s commitment and our customers’ loyalty.
“Stability of P2P platforms is important right now.
“Creditworthy businesses, who can’t access finance from their bank, need alternative finance providers.”