By Oliver Smith on Tuesday 23 June 2020
Many remain closed for new investors, and withdrawals are still facing delays.
Exactly three months ago today on the 23 March the UK economy was slammed into lockdown.
Now, as it starts to reopen, we’re taking a look back at the alternative lending platforms which shut their doors and which are starting to reopen.
Here’s how they’re all doing:
In the news this week, Growth Street was among the first of the platforms to shutter withdrawals in mid-March and initially start a 90-day ‘liquidity event’ seeking to restore confidence among investors.
Unfortunately, the process was unsuccessful and last week Growth Street began a ‘resolution event’ to wind down its loan book and return the proceeds to investors.
Essentially since 19 March Growth Street has been closed to new investors and withdrawals.
Besides chatter of its acquisition by high street challenger Metro Bank, RateSetter has recently halved the interest rates of its investors, with the proceeds channelled into the platform’s provision fund to cover credit losses.
As for platform access, RateSetter has remained closed for new investors since May (the company hopes to reopen for new investors soon) and the time it takes for investors to release investments is currently longer than normal.
After investors faced delays in making withdrawals during March, Zopa made changes to its secondary market to speed up the resale queue.
For now, the platform remains open for new investors and withdrawals continue.
Assetz followed in the footsteps of many other platforms in its implementation of a queuing system for withdrawals.
Soon-after the platform said withdrawals had largely returned to normal, but the lender introduced a new 0.9 per cent “loan servicing fee” to cover the additional costs of lending during this period.
Currently Assetz says withdrawals from its Access Accounts remain slower than usual and the company says it remains “unable to provide meaningful forecast on withdrawal speeds”.
Assetz remains open for new investors.
Octopus Choice stopped all transactions in mid-March, including new investments and withdrawals, and the situation remains largely the same today.
The company says it does not expect the freeze to be permanent, however there has been no change since the pause began on 19 March.
Since April Funding Circle’s secondary market has remained closed, and the platform has since prioritised its lending as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Funding Circle is currently closed for new investors.