Funding Circle has confirmed that it plans to review its retail peer-to-peer lending business in June, after Zopa announced plans to close its P2P lending operations in the new year.
Retail lenders have been unable to invest in Funding Circle loans since April 2020, when the platform paused all retail lending activity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then, Funding Circle has been authorised to distribute government-backed loans through the bounce back loan scheme, the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), and the follow-on recovery loan scheme (RLS). These loan schemes can only be funded by institutional investors.
In January, before the RLS was set up and CBILS was due to end, a Funding Circle representative told Peer2Peer Finance News that the platform “will make our core product available to retail investors once conditions allow.”
In September, outgoing chief executive Samir Desai told Peer2Peer Finance News that Funding Circle will not consider reopening to retail investors while the recovery loan scheme (RLS) is still running.
He said that opening up the platform any sooner to retail investors would result in a “slightly uneven spread of loans”.
“We just need to see how things progress over the coming months, we need to see the economy destress and then we’ll evaluate when’s the best time to revisit our retail offering,” Desai added.
A Funding Circle representative told Peer2Peer Finance News that there had been no change to its plans in light of the Zopa news, adding: “We’re still planning to review retail lending once RLS ends in June.”