Record month for consumer focused peer-to-peer lenders

By Ryan Weeks on Friday 3 February 2017

Alternative Lending

Original peer-to-peer/marketplace lender Zopa has its best month yet during record January for consumer P2P sector in UK.

The UK’s consumer focused peer-to-peer lenders lent more in January than ever before, while Zopa – the biggest of the bunch – posted a personal best with a little over £80m lent.

The consumer lending platforms delivered a combined total of £154m in January, the largest amount ever lent by this sub-sector the P2P space in a single month. The previous high was set in September of last year, when £153m was lent. The platforms that contributed to the record are Zopa, RateSetter, Lending Works, Funding Secure and Lendable. It is worth noting that RateSetter does not lend exclusively to consumers, meaning that a relatively small volume of business and property loans also contributed to the record number.

The record month for peer-to-peer consumer lending comes shortly after the British Bankers’ Association found that annual growth in consumer credit had hit 6.6 per cent in December, a trend that the Bank of England has previously promised to keep an eye on.  

Zopa’s best month on record, until now, was October of last year, when around £75m was lent to consumers. The platform regularly sees a strong demand for its services in January, as an increased number of borrowers look to consolidate debts post-Christmas.

The January bounce-back will be welcome news for Zopa, which was forced to temporarily stop accepting new funds in December, as investor appetite outstripped borrower demand. The platform reacted by introducing queue times, which give investors an indication of how long money will take to be lent out. Zopa lent a little over £50m in December, according to AltFi Data.

It will also be seen as good news that Zopa’s current targeted returns – which were dropped for the third time in quick succession last week – do not appear to be hampering lending volumes.

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