Zopa blows the doors off! - A Roundup of April's UK Volume

By Sam Griffiths on 5th May 2015

The Easter break did not stop the UK Alternative Finance sector from setting a new record for monthly origination in April. Annual growth rates in the Liberum AltFi Volume Index (UK) remain above 100%. With £212m of financing originated, the existing record from February was beaten by over £7m. Cumulative origination now stands at £3.36bn with year to date origination of £754m. As we noted a few weeks ago, year to date origination has already surpassed the amount of financing provided by the industry for the whole of 2013.

Zopa blows the doors off! - A Roundup of April's UK Volume

The P2P Business lenders did perhaps see some slow down in business due to the Easter break, posting only their 3rd biggest month of lending. Consumer lenders, however, more than filled the gap with a new benchmark being set £13m above the previous best, with Zopa leading the charge (more about that below).

There were many individual platform records set this month:

  • Lending Works continues with its consistent growth, posting its second ever £1m+ month and setting a new platform record in the process.
  • Funding Secure, the peer to peer pawnbroking platform added almost 30% onto its cumulative origination in April with a record breaking £1.5m loans issued.
  • ThinCats originated a whisker under £10m loans in April, bettering last month’s record by almost £3m. Origination on the ThinCats platform really seems to be coming alive now with more loans originated in the past two months than in the entire six months prior to that. Perhaps the funding partnerships with the BCRS and ESO that the platform has signed over the past few months, combined with the platform’s software overhaul, is powering this resurgence?

But surely the most noteworthy platform this month in terms of origination performance is Zopa. With a massive £45.4m loans originated, Zopa have retaken the UK monthly industry record, an accolade that the platform has not held since May of 2014. Zopa’s April origination more than doubled the platform’s origination in February of this year and is almost 50% higher than their previous record month. We’ve put together the chart below to illustrate how much of a jump April’s volume was for Zopa.

We caught up with Giles Andrews, CEO and co-founder of Zopa to find out what is driving this growth and he told us:

“We’re delighted to have lent over £45m in April to sensible consumers looking for great value. The increase in loan volume reflects the hard work undertaken by our team to increase borrower origination through our partners, further diversifying our loan origination channels as well as ensuring we are most competitive on loan rates, hence attracting the most credit-worthy customers. Zopa is on target to lend £550m for 2015 and we expect monthly volumes to continue to increase.”

The diversification to which Giles refers is evident in the increased dispersion of interest rates in Zopa's lending which we highlighted in our look at the loanbooks here. Giles also throws the gauntlet down to RateSetter and Funding Circle – £550m of lending for the year would put Zopa on £1.25bn cumulative origination at year end, well clear of the current growth trajectories of RateSetter and Funding Circle that we highlighted in our first to £1bn piece last month.

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