Giles Cross takes over as boss of branch-based peer-to-peer lender.
He fills the void left by former boss Jane Dumeresque’s resignation, which caught the P2P world by surprise in September of last year. Dumeresque left the business quite suddenly and for no apparent reason. Under her stewardship, the business had achieved full authorisation, launched its IFISA and set itself the lofty ambition of hitting £1bn in lending to UK business by 2020.
Folk2Folk has lent a little shy of £200m to date, according to AltFi Data. Its unique twist on the P2P model is to pair its online platform with a branch network, not unlike those used by banks. This model has given the business a strong local focus. Launched initially in the South-West, Folk2Folk is currently in the process of a gradual expansion across the country, adding new branches as it goes.
Cross brings 25 years’ of financial services experience to the CEO role. He held senior leadership roles at wealth managers Sanlam UK and The English Mutual Group prior to joining Folk2Folk. His focus as chief executive will be on positioning Folk2Folk as the go-to provider for rural and entrepreneurial local businesses seeking finance, while also providing attractive investment opportunities for investors.
“Our intention is to build a best loved, UK financial services brand; a business built on the value of fair exchange, that delivers stakeholder and shareholder value in equal measure, with a significant national presence: online, in the high street and in the mind of the consumer,” he said. “Our unique local lending offering and asset backed approach provides a fair, transparent and tangible form of finance that’s attractive to both Lenders and Borrowers.”