P2P, crowdfunding, etc – viable alternatives to bank lending

20 June 2017

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P2P, crowdfunding, etc – viable alternatives to bank lending


Moderator: Phil Alcock - PBF Solutions

Expert: William Rist - Lending Works

  • Consumers get better access to money than SMEs, so how about considering some of the alternatives on the market? 
  • They are regulated now so it is not such scary territory. They also have something of a track record and some stats to share. So let’s dig deeper. 
  • This session will talk you through the myriad of lenders in this space; how to cherry-pick the good ones; the sort of amounts which are typically invested and the level of returns anticipated. It will give you a feel for what good looks like.

HEADLINE FINDINGS FROM THE SESSION: 

  • A combination of better technology and freedom from the regulation weighing down banks means that P2P lenders aim to offer better rates of interest to both savers and borrowers. 
  • Low interest rate environment, political and regulatory pressure to stimulate competition and low trust in banks mean that P2P lending is here to stay. 
  • The IF ISA is a recent development which will pull more retail investors and savers into P2P lending although it was felt that traditional IFAs and intermediaries will not embrace it as an asset class due to the risks 
  • Not all P2P platforms are true peer-to-peer and this makes comparisons around the risks and returns very difficult to evaluate. 
  • It was felt that the key challenge was to raise the awareness of the sector as an alternative. More can be done here through better industry coverage and reporting, events and more involvement from trade bodies 
  • The key differentiator in terms of borrowing (particularly for business and property lending) was deemed to be the speed of the decision making process versus traditional lenders such as banks and building societies.

WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS? 

  • It was felt that there were strong opportunities for collaboration between banks and alternative lenders, possibly on both sides of the balance sheet. Also with Zopa going down the banking licence route, there is going to be convergence where similar regulation will come into effect

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