TWINO opens Russian consumer loans to investors

By Ryan Weeks on Thursday 1 December 2016

Alternative Lending

Latvian peer-to-peer lender TWINO claims to be first platform to offer European investors exposure to Russian loans.

TWINO, the Latvian peer-to-peer lender which offers investors a buyback guarantee, will begin listing Russian consumer loans on the platform. TWINO thus claims to have become the first peer-to-peer platform to offer European investors exposure to this slice of the market.

The Russian loans will arrive on the platform with a c. 14 per cent gross return attached. Of course, TWINO will tell you that its gross and net returns are indistinct, given the presence of the buyback guarantee, which will apply to the new Russian loans.

This is what TWINO’s website tells us about the buyback feature:

TWINO will buy back loan (principal amount and accrued interest for full term), if a borrower is late with the repayment for over 30 days.”

TWINO launched in late 2015 and has seen €77m invested through its peer-to-peer offering to date. The platform currently has 4,500 investors signed up from over 30 countries, and offers them exposure to consumer loans in Georgia, Latvia, Denmark, Poland and now Russia.

The platform is backstopped by TWINO Group (formerly known as Finabay), a self funded holding company of short term lenders which has issued in excess of €350m in loans across Europe since its inception in 2009, and which has been profitable for the last 5 years.

The buyback guarantee is funded by TWINO Group, and our conversations with the firm would suggest that it will consider publishing some kind of coverage ratio metric in the future.

“It’s becoming more and more important for investors to diversify their portfolio, and introducing Russian loans on our platform is an important milestone in our offering,” said Jevgenijs Kazanins (pictured above), CEO of TWINO. “We want to give our investors the opportunity to get bank-beating returns and Russia has emerged as one of Europe’s most attractive alternative lending markets.”

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