Funding Circle shares rally 30%

By Roger Baird on 12th August 2019

P2P/Marketplace Lending

The Peer-to-peer lender said it has seen a ‘deterioration in the consumer credit environment’.

Funding Circle shares rally 30%
Image source: Company supplied

Funding Circle saw its shares continue to climb following the departure of one of the peer-to-peer lender’s founders.

The FTSE 250 firm saw its stock price lift more than 3 per cent to around 127p in morning trading, following last Thursday’s announcement that UK boss James Meekings will stand down weeks after it issued a major warning over its growth rate.  

Meekings, 36, who made around £16m when the firm floated on the stock market last year, will stay on as a non-executive director on the UK board. He retains a 3 per cent stake in the business.

He will be replaced by the lender’s chief strategy officer Lisa Jacobs in the third quarter of this year. 

 

'Uncertain environment'

Funding Circle’s stock has jumped 30 per cent since last Thursday, when it reported a pre-tax loss of £31m over the last six months, up from £27m a year ago.

Sales increased 29 per cent to £81.4m, but rising engineer recruitment and product development costs kept the business in the red.

The firm also noted a weaker loan environment. It said: “In historic cohorts, we have seen some deterioration in higher risk band loans. This has been driven by a deterioration in the consumer credit environment since 2016, which affects smaller and younger companies.”

Chief executive Samir Desai (pictured, centre) added that there remained an “uncertain economic environment” but the company had taken “proactive actions”.

Also, late last week Funding Circle chairman Andrew Learoyd bought just over 47,000 shares for just under £50,000. 

However, despite recent gains, the company remains well below its London Stock Exchange debut last October when it sold stock at 440p per share, valuing the platform at £1.5bn.

Funding Circle was founded in 2010 by Desai and his two friends, James Meekings (pictured, right) and Andrew Mullinger (pictured, left), who all met at university.