By Sam Griffiths on Monday 1 September 2014
The Liberum AltFi Volume Index broke the £2 billion mark on the last day of the month, having only reached £1bn in December of last year. Far from seeing a summer lull in activity, the £2bn milestone is one of a number of records posted within the peer-to-peer lending space during August.
Wellesley & Co. posted the largest loan in the history of peer-to-peer lending at £10.8m – breaking its own record of £8.3m, which was set in April. Meanwhile RateSetter has set a new standard for monthly loan origination – lending £26.9m over the course of August, thus topping the previous mark (again set by Wellesley) by £700k.
The rapidly expanding “challenger” platforms – which we examined in last month’s statistical breakdown – continue to be at the heart of sector-wide growth. Thanks largely to this tier of fast-rising challengers, the peer-to-business sector has already outstripped the consumer space in terms of 3 month market share. Indeed, the gap in cumulative volume is also shrinking fast. The consumer arena has a comparative dearth of up-and-coming players behind the established giants of Zopa and RateSetter.
LendInvest’s cumulative volume figure has seen a sudden surge – but this is due largely to a change in methodology as opposed to a sudden flurry of activity. LendInvest’s counter now includes the lending totals of Montello Capital (the platform’s “incubator”) since May 2013.
We’re also seeing an increasingly clear separation between the major players and those trying to play catch up. The top 6 platforms’ 3 month market share accounts for 88% of the peer-to-peer lending sector. It’s becoming an increasingly tall order for a fledgling platform to attempt to hound down the leading lenders. It would have to be quite the proposition (and probably a highly specialized proposition at that) to make any kind of serious inroad into the ever increasing market share of the major players from a standing start.
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