Ratesetter will expand its p2p lending operations to Australia in 2014 and says this will serve as the stepping stone to further launches in Asia. It is also exploring launches in association with financial services partners closer to home in Europe.
Ratesetter has secured investment of $3 million from local and international investors to kick-start its offering from its Sydney offices.
Headed by Daniel Foggo, a former banker with Barclays Capital and NM Rothschild in Sydney and London respectively, the company says it will be the only Australian P2P company offering market-beating savings rates to individuals who lend funds on its platform and accessible loan rates to everyday borrowers who are tired of banksâ€™ hidden fees and profiteering.
Ratesetter will go live in AustraliaÂ this summer. Ratesetter says, it will be the first P2P lender in Australia to be fully regulated from the outset, allowing all Australians to participate on its Â platform, not just professional investors. To make the platform available to retail investors at launch, Ratesetter has been working for a year on licensing.
Ratesetter, launched in October 2010 in the UK was also the first P2P lender to launch a â€˜Provision Fundâ€™ â€“ the largest in the UK at 3.8 million GBP â€“ to help protect saversâ€™ funds in the event of a borrower default.Â In March 2014, Ratesetter also originated the largest monthly inflows in the UK p2p lending sector. Since October 2010 the total p2p loan volume originated by Ratesetter has been over 208 million GBP.
Rhydian Lewis, founder and CEO of Ratesetter, said: â€œWhen looking at international markets in which to expand, Australia was the obvious choice as it bears great similarity to the UK before the advent of p2p lending. Its saving and loans industry is ripe for disruption as banks have been offering below-par deals for too long with little true competition.â€
â€œWe have decided to focus on strategic growth markets such as Australia, which is a natural stepping stone to the huge opportunity in Asia. Targets closer to home on mainland Europe will not be overlooked, however, and initiatives there are already in train.â€
â€œWe want to empower savvy savers and borrowers by putting them in control of their finances through a simple, fair and flexible method of saving and borrowing. We hope they will follow in the footsteps of thousands of UK customers who have realised there is no need to take crumbs from the table of the banking industry when you can have your cake and eat it!â€
Daniel Foggo, Chief Executive of Ratesetter Australia, added: â€˜â€œI worked in banks in the UK and Australia for over a decade and knew there had to be a better way to provide customers with a better rate and a better experience. When I met Ratesetter, it was clear that is what they were doing and that Australia would be the perfect market for them to expand their international footprint. This offering will be extremely popular with everyday savers and borrowers, â€¦â€.
In the Australian market, competitor Societyone – launched in August 2012 – received an investment by Westpac Banking Corp, Rocket Internet and further investors last month.
(Sources: Press release & own data)