Hargreaves Lansdown drops peer-to-peer lending plans

By Ryan Weeks on Thursday 29 June 2017

Alternative Lending

Peer-to-peer lending is “no longer part” of the fund manager’s plans.

Peer-to-peer lending is “no longer part” of the fund manager’s plans.

Hargreaves Lansdown created quite the buzz when it suggested, back in 2014, that it was mulling over the launch of a peer-to-peer lending platform. But after three years of hush around the exact nature of the plan – the firm has now officially confirmed that there isn’t one.

We’ve known for some time that peer-to-peer lending has been on the back-burner, with Hargreaves focusing instead on rolling out a new Savings proposition. This product will function as a marketplace, meaning the cash will not actually be held with Hargreaves. It sounds as though it will be somewhat similar to rival fund manager Octopus’ Cash account, which pays an interest rate of 1 per cent per annum, while multiplying savers’ FSCS coverage by up to three times.

The sheer size of the savings market appears to have been a big factor in Hargreaves’ decision to drop its planned P2P service.

“The Savings proposition is unique; we are pioneering a completely fresh way of helping people make more of their cash,” said Chris Hill, CEO of Hargreaves Lansdown. “Building this to the standard our clients deserve is quite rightly taking considerable time and resources. The Savings proposition is a much bigger market with far more potential – the savings market alone is around £700 billion which compares to the current loans in the Peer to Peer market being around £3.5 billion.”

Clarifying the firm’s position on peer-to-peer lending, Hill continued: “Peer to peer is an interesting market and we can see the attraction to selected investors, however it is no longer part of our plans.”

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