Peer-to-peer lending platforms remain on track to meet huge lending milestones despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at UK Fintech Week, Nick Harding, founder of Lending Works, said that he remains committed to the platform’s £1bn lending target. The platform resumed new lending at the start of January 2021 with tightened creditworthiness and affordability criteria after pausing new accounts and loans for much of 2020.
“Our long standing aspirational operational target is £1bn in lending by 2025 and that’s still on the table and what’s more important is that we maintain the high customer experience we aim to achieve, our net promoter score for loan customers is plus 85,” he said.
Mike Bristow, chief executive of CrowdProperty, said that his platform is on the right path to meet the £400m lending milestone per year by 2024 through attracting more retail and institutional capital after using a diverse source of both to lend throughout the pandemic.
“We have a very clear strategy on route to growth to hit £400m lending per year by 2024,” he said.
“We can be better resourced for our scale and size, and develop a better delivery for a diverse source of capital. We have a very strong future and diversified business model.”
Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz Capital, has previously said that he does not expect the platform’s target interest rates to change in 2021.
He aims for his platform to be accredited for the recovery loan scheme (RLS) and to grow small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) housebuilding in the UK.
“We intend to go into the RLS scheme to follow on from the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme,” he said.
“I can talk about the billions of funding over the next few years but that’s back to front. We will get here, what matters is what we’re doing to get there. We’re putting our shoulder behind getting an organised plan together to bring institutional and retail capital to support housebuilders and SMEs, a different proposition from banks.
“We’re dealing with segments the banks aren’t dealing with anymore and bringing institutional capital to address that demand.
“We funded one in 12 new homes built by SMEs in 2018 and 2019. That was great but we can do more We’d like to get to a point where we can fund one in three, that’s not by squeezing others out but by growing SME housebuilders.”
Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, chief strategy officer at Blend Network, which this week gained approval for direct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority, said the platform is also in growth mode and scaling.
“We are not building enough housing in the UK, we plan to scale aggressively and to host more collaboration and partnership in the industry,” she said.