Trade body Peer-to-Peer Finance Association said this type of lending is becoming ‘increasingly significant’ for businesses and consumers.
Peer-to-peer cumulative lending jumped by almost half to £9.5bn last year as this loans market “continues to mature”, according to trade body data.
Loans originated by these firms lifted by 44 per cent in 2018, split between more than 288,000 business borrowers and individuals, said the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association. Loans to businesses totalled £5.5bn, with the remainder accounted for by consumer loans. These firms originated £6.6bn of loans at the end of 2017.
These platforms arranged loans worth nearly £3bn during 2018, with them performing strongly in the final quarter of the year.
More than £800m of new lending was originated by these firms in the final three months of last year. Businesses accounted for £527m of these loans, while £282m of this lending went to consumers.
Peer-to-Peer Finance Association director Robert Pettigrew said: “There was marked growth in levels of new lending facilitated by association members during the last three months of 2018, as the contribution of peer-to-peer lending platforms to UK businesses and consumers has become increasingly significant.”
He added: “There is clear evidence that the UK peer-to-peer lending market continues to mature, with discerning consumers increasingly aware of the variety of choice available to them across the broader market for loans.”
Market leader Funding Circle holds the largest loanbook, coming in at £4.6bn at the end of 2018. The smallest loanbook of the group belongs to CrowdProperty, totalling just over £27,000 at the end of last year.
The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association was established in 2011 as a representative and self-regulatory body for debt-based peer-to-peer lending.