A number of somewhat half-hearted operations within the P2P space are beginning to shrink from view.
Be The Lender has now suspended trading. Be The Lender is a UK-based peer-to-business lender advertising high rates of return to investors – as high as 10%. The platform also promised “market leading security to lenders providing strong protection from bad debts”. Be The Lender was operating under an “Interim Permission” licence from the FCA.
The platform's website currently displays this message:
Be The Lender has currently suspended trading.
If you have received repayment notification emails, then there may be a balance owing to you. Please login to your account to see your dashboard and withdraw any available balance.”
The “if”, “may” and “any” are a slightly worrying sign for any invested parties. AltFi has failed to make contact with any Be The Lender representatives, but will continue to pry.
The CEO of the platform is Mark Butterwick. Over the past several years Mr. Butterwick developed the People to People (P2P) Group – which aimed to offer introducers and customers a range of stellar products within the financial services space. There were 7 member companies in this group. By the looks of things, Be The Lender was one of those 7 and was owned entirely by People 2 People.
Back in March of this year People 2 People issued a notice via the High Court stating that it was “likely to become unable to pay its debts”. The organization went into administration, deciding that “it would be in the best interest of the company and its creditors for the director to file for administration”. At that time People 2 People employed upwards of 100 people – some of which would have undoubtedly worked for the now-dormant P2B platform Be The Lender.
In April, Andrew David Rosler – of Bolton-based Ideal Corporate Solutions Ltd. – was attempting to manage the company’s sticky situation. At the time he commented:
“We are in the process of selling the businesses so that they can be preserved and jobs can be saved.
“We will announce details of the purchasers shortly. Everybody who has been made redundant will be able to claim the majority back from the government’s insolvency office, and the new owners will be taking on the current staff.”
Be The Lender has gone the way of Yes-Secure – another P2P lender which closed down in late March of this year. News of this kind represents the more brutal side of the peer-to-peer sector’s ongoing maturation process; the dropping off of small-scale, under-performing players.