P2P firm RateSetter ploughs ahead with new product launch

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 1 August 2017

Alternative Lending

RateSetter launches business hire purchase loans.

RateSetter launches business hire purchase loans with former wholesale lending partner. 

RateSetter, one of the UK’s “big three” peer-to-peer lenders, has launched hire purchase loans for businesses. The firm claims to have become the first peer-to-peer platform to offer the solution.

The new product has been launched in partnership with leasing and asset finance specialists Corporate Asset Solutions (CAS), although RateSetter will also consider direct hire purchase applications. CAS will operate as an authorised representative of RateSetter, acting as a distribution channel for the platform. The platform’s hire purchase agreements will range up to £750k in size.

The involvement of CAS as a distribution channel may raise a few eyebrows, in light of RateSetter’s recent travails over its wholesale lending activities. CAS used to be one of RateSetter's wholesale borrowers, but the arrangement came to an end and the lending has been repaid in full. Now CAS is simply an introducer to the platform, and every loan that it brings in will be credit checked and approved by the RateSetter team. 

“Hire purchase is a logical area for us to expand into: it allows us to help good quality businesses who want to expand or become more productive. We take full security over the asset which provides an extra layer of protection,” said Paul Marston, managing director, commercial finance at RateSetter.

“We have chosen CAS as partners as we build this new area of business based on their considerable understanding of this market and their origination capability.”

RateSetter is one of the largest peer-to-peer lenders in the UK. It recently passed the £2bn mark in cumulative lending, and is a member of the so-called “big three” of the P2P lending sector, alongside Funding Circle and Zopa (both of which are fully authorised by the FCA).

RateSetter has not yet been authorised, and is currently in the middle of a window in which it will allow its investors to sell out of their investments without incurring fees, so long as liquidity exists within its secondary market. The sell-out offer was made in light of new information being published on the platform's former wholesale lending partners. 

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