The coronavirus crunch has made it harder to find small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans that are “safe options” for peer-to-peer investors, Money&Co founder Nicola Horlick has said.
Horlick (pictured), known as the City superwoman, said the economy was already slowing before the pandemic and its priority is currently preserving capital and investing in technology to support staff working from home.
It comes as the P2P business lender revealed in its latest accounts for the 12 months to March 2020 that it posted pre-tax losses of £499,176, down from £547,679 a year before.
“The company’s heritage lies in making loans to SMEs,” Horlick said in a director’s report seen by Peer2Peer Finance News.
“The company continues to look for opportunities to lend in this area and has supported its current borrowers through the pandemic.
“However, the severe economic downturn that has occurred due to the Covid-19 crisis has made it harder to find safe options for our lenders in this area.
“It should also be remembered that the economy was already slowing before the pandemic due to the uncertainty created by Brexit and that there is still a possibility that the transition period ends with no EU trade deal, which would result in a further economic shock.”
She said the company is hoping to be profitable next year.
“The company’s first priority is to protect the interests of its lenders and preserve their capital,” she added.
“The company continues to invest in technology and it has been pleasing that the team has been able to work from home during the pandemic with ease.
“The company expects that turnover will rise very significantly during the coming year and the board will continue to invest in technology.
“It believes that this should take priority over short-term profitability, but it is hoped that the company will be profitable in the year to 31 March 2021.”
The platform is still focusing on music and litigation loans, which Horlick said are proving popular and are expected to grow.