RateSetter says “options under review” after reports of a sale

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 1 April 2020

Alternative Lending

“We do expect consolidation in our sector, with RateSetter potentially being a consolidator rather than potentially being acquired.”

RateSetter says “options under review” after reports of a sale
Image source: RateSetter CEO Rhydian Lewis.

Marketplace lender RateSetter has said that as a business “all options [are] under review” in response to a Sky News report that the lender is exploring a sale or merger.

The media report said RateSetter had approached rivals, potential buyers and was exploring fundraising among its options, with its hopes to one day IPO “effectively... abandoned”.

“We do expect consolidation in our sector,” the lender wrote in a blog post last night responding to the report. “With RateSetter potentially being a consolidator rather than potentially being acquired.”

“With regards to a future stock market listing, RateSetter recognises that a stock market listing is not possible in the current environment.”

RateSetter said its loan book performance had been “stable”, and noted that requests from its investor customers to sell their loans had “reduced to normal levels” following a peak on Monday 16 March.

RateSetter, along with many from the marketplace lending sector, has been lobbying for involvement in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the £330bn package of government-guaranteed loans to small businesses.

The scheme has drawn criticism, not only by excluding peer-to-peer lenders like RateSetter, but also from the ability of the currently 40 accredited lenders to deploy the cash quickly enough.

“In terms of access to the Bank of England’s stimulus schemes, RateSetter believes the non-bank lending sector, including regulated P2P lending, has much to offer with regards to lending efficiently into the economy,” said RateSetter.

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