09 Jun 2014

Giving business a hand: Cash starved companies are shunning the big banks for peer-to-peer lenders and crowdfunding

Almost seven years since the start of the financial crisis, banks are still under fire for not lending enough to small and medium-sized companies.

Small businesses complain that they are being forced to jump through hoops or are turned down point blank by their banks.

Government schemes such as Funding for Lending have led to a glut of cheap mortgage deals and boosted lending to households. But net lending – which includes money paid back – to small businesses continues to fall.

 

Go to Article

19 May 2014

Peer-to-peer lending: The wisdom of crowds

Julie Robinson does not consider herself to be a financial innovator. But when the 44-year-old secretary from Hertfordshire left her bank and began borrowing money from an online peer-to-peer lender she became part of an industry intent on disrupting the future of global banking.

Go to Article

19 May 2014

Growth Capital: Borro's Paul Aitken — he’ll lend you a million pounds, just don’t call him a pawnbroker

"We had a guy asking if he could get a loan against his livestock,” says Paul Aitken. “Which obviously we turned down.”

The founder of Borro, which has been labelled as a pawnbroker for the wealthy (more on that later), is remembering some of the assets he has refused to lend against.

“Another guy filled in on the website what he wanted a loan against. It was under watches, he said tanks,” says the 41-year-old chief executive. “So we assumed it was a Cartier Tank watch. But when we spoke to him he actually wanted a loan against a tank. We didn’t do that.”

Go to Article

14 May 2014

Jane Hamilton - Card Transfers Not Right For All

A huge 49 per cent of balance transfers are not repaid within the zero per cent period, meaning consumers get hit with interest charges – estimated to total a staggering £443million a year. And even those who do pay off are still forking out a bumper £810million in balance transfer fees, according to peer-to-peer lender Zopa.

Go to Article

13 May 2014

Credit Where It's Not Due - Britain's 0% Balance Transfer Trap

Getting a good deal? A report by Mike Naylor, 2014.  This report was commissioned to investigate if UK credit cardholders are getting a fair deal from credit card companies. An online survey was used to ask credit and store cardholders questions about their debts, credit card balance transfers and interest rates, and their attitudes to debt.

 

Go to Article

25 Mar 2014

CNBC - Live Interview with Tim Levene

CNBC – Live Interview with Tim Levene. 

Go to Article

17 Mar 2014

Why Business Is Picking Up For High-End Pawn Shops

One of the interesting, and potentially market-changing, stories to come out of this current recession is the creation of high-end pawn operations, or what some people in the business prefer to call "collateral lenders."

Go to Article

04 Mar 2014

Borro, The High-End Online Pawnshop, Raises $112M To Fill Its Finance Pool, Expand In U.S.

Borro, an online platform that lets people borrow cash and put up luxury watches, art and other fine goods as collateral, is today announcing a new funding round of $112 million, coming entirely from one backer that focuses on finance investments, Victory Park Capital. Paul Aitken, Borro’s founder and CEO, tells me that the money will be used to continue to grow out its business in the markets where it is active — the UK and the U.S. — and specifically to expand the pool of money that Borro has available to offer for financing.

Go to Article

19 Feb 2014

Focus on gold: bullish about bullion?

The price of gold, as set in London, had until yesterday moved higher in nine consecutive daily trading sessions. This is a remarkable run; it last happened in August 2012, before the precious metal suffered a severe reverse in the spring of last year.  

Go to Article

11 Feb 2014

Interactive Investor Adds Augmentum Capital As Investor

Interactive Investor has raised a new undisclosed investment round to help grow its technology platform.

The business, which was set up 1995, is being backed by Augmentum Capital and Unicorn AIM VCT through the transaction.

Through its platform, Interactive Investor helps users to make financial decisions and manage investments by bringing together tools, facts and independent information. Some 600,000 posts are made on its discussion boards each year, while funds purchased by customers through the platform increased by 200 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a statement.

- See more at: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/news-and-market-deals/fundraising-deals/2453807/interactive-investor-adds-augmentum-capital-as-investor.thtml#sthash.ZFO7z668.dpuf

Go to Article

10 Feb 2014

Total Lending Between Zopa Members Since Launch

It’s an interesting chart, especially the hockey stick rise in funds transferred as the financial crisis hit, and relates to a recent headline in the Financial Times: P2P group Zopa secures £15m investment from Arrowgrass Capital

The article included the following line:

“Lending Club, the largest P2P lender, has issued $3.5bn in loans since 2006 and reached a valuation of $2.3bn late last year. The company is considering a US stock offering expected later this year. Prosper, the next biggest US P2P, raised $25m from investors including BlackRock and Sequoia Capital in September … [Zopa] has facilitated £455m of loans over the past nine years.”

Go to Article

10 Feb 2014

Interactive Investor Attracts Backing From Two New Institutional Investors

Monday, 10 February 2014 – Interactive Investor, the DIY investment service championing straightforward investing, today announces that Augmentum Capital and Unicorn AIM VCT have become shareholders in the company. The funding will help Interactive Investor accelerate growth as one of the UK’s most innovative investment platforms.

Augmentum has built a portfolio of investments in internet-focussed companies and is wholly backed by RIT Capital Partners plc, the award-winning investment trust chaired by Lord Rothschild, whose family own 18% of RIT’s shares.  Other companies in the Augmentum portfolio include Bullion Vault.com, Zopa and borro.

Go to Article

29 Jan 2014

P2P Group Zopa Secures £15M Investment From Arrowgrass Captial

Zopa, Europe's largest peer-to-peer loan platform, has secured £15m from London-based hedge fund Arrowgrass Partners in the latest sign of investor interest in companies that use technology to cut banks out of the lending process. 

Go to Article

27 Jan 2014

The Martin Lewis Money Show - Peer-to-peer Lending

 

You can watch Martin’s show on ITVPlayer. The peer-to-peer lending feature starts around 16 minutes in.

We would like to welcome the hundreds of new members to Zopa who have joined us after seeing the Martin Lewis Money Show last Friday on ITV1. If you need any assistance with your lending please get in touch on contactus@zopa.com or Tweet us via @Zopa.

We are fans of Martin’s guides for consumers and pleased that he chose to cover peer-to-peer lending on TV and the MoneySavingExpert website. We think Martin’s advice to dip a toe in the water with peer-to-peer lending is a sensible approach. We see many savers start lending with smaller amounts before going on to lend more over time. As the first and largest p2p lender we now have over 46,000 active savers – some lending over £1m and some starting with just £100.

 

 

Go to Article

14 Jan 2014

Is this 5pc Savings Rate A Good Investment?

A company that cuts out banks to lend savers' money directly to borrowers is offering returns of 5pc fixed for five years. 

Go to Article