There was a lot of information in Funding Circle’s 2020 results, but one element of the business was conspicuous by its absence: retail lenders.
There was little mention of retail investors in Funding Circle’s 48-page annual report, after an overwhelmingly majority-zero retail year for the peer-to-peer lender.
In April 2020, the platform suspended retail loans to focus on lending under the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) program. Retail lenders are not eligible to invest in CBILS loans.
At the LendIt Fintech Europe virtual conference in November 2020, UK Managing Director of Funding Circle, Lisa Jacobs refused to rule out a return to retail investment in 2021, stating: “We believe small investors can access the same attractive returns as institutions.”
However, the company’s annual report seems to indicate a focus on partnerships and institutional investments for the future.
After CBILS ended on March 31, Funding Circle announced plans to operate its core loan product alongside the Recovery Loan Program (RLS) and Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans to the States. -United. The RLS and SBA schemes were set up to succeed CBILS in the UK and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the US. Like their previous plans, the RLS and SBA will not be available for retail investment.
One of the company’s stated priorities for 2021 is to offer “basic loans to borrowers who do not require collateral.” This could be interpreted to mean that he intends to revert to his original P2P lending model at some point in the coming year. However, the platform halted before confirming it.
“Funding Circle has not confirmed the resumption of retail investment,” said a spokesperson for the company. Peer2Peer Finance News. “They will continue to closely monitor conditions and update in due course.”
According to a chart from the company’s annual financial statements, only 11% of Funding Circle investors were individuals in 2020. 36% of investments were from asset managers, 35% from banks and 12% from bond programs. The remaining 6% came from funds (3%) and national entities (3%).