On October 1st Jevgenijs Kazanins became new CEO of Latvian p2p lending marketplace Twino. He previously worked as CMO at Estonian p2p lending marketplace Bondora. Twino was launched in June and is part of the Finabay group which operates since 2009. So far all loans offered on the p2p lending marketplace are from Latvia, whereas the Finabay group is active in a broader set of markets. Twino is open to international investors – German retail investors are the largest foreign investor base.
In a call with P2P-Banking.com the new CEO outlined the expansion plans. Twino will add loans from new markets, starting with polish loans shortly and possibly adding loans from countries like Russia, Denmark or Georgia at a later stage. There will be no currency risk for investors as it will be covered by Twino. Twino will apply its buyback guarantee to all loans – by which Twino covers overdue principal and interest for investors once a loan is 60 days overdue (though due to extensions this might take 8 month). The interest rate offered to investors for p2p loans in the new markets will be in line with the current offering: up to 14.9%. The loan terms will likely longer and Twino will move away from the current very short term loans many of which I deem essentially payday loans. He said: ‘… we are working on introduction of the loans from other markets, where Finabay has lending operations, such as Poland, Russia, Georgia and Denmark. The reason for the inclusion of other countries is that the demand from investors has already surpassed the volumes we can originate in Latvia. We aim to offer similar rates to the Latvia-originated loans and all loans will also come with the buyback guarantee‘
Since the mother company Finabay is already originating these loans, it will not be a challenge to build loan volume. Kazanins aims to originate 5 million Euro loan volume per month. As the loans already exist and the new aspect consists only of refinancing through p2p investors, Kazanins is convinced of the good quality of the loans: ‘We estimate that 15-20% of [polish] loan volume will be bought back through the BuyBack Guarantee program (defaulted loans and loans with more than 6 extensions‘.
Twino also works to add statistics to the site. He stated: ‘ … Disclosing information about financial health of Finabay is highly important given the fact that all loans offered on the platform come with the buyback guarantee …‘
Loan extensions on Twino frequently prompt questions by investors. Kazanins has described in detail how loan extensions on Twino work here.Kazanins pledged responsiveness to investor wishes and requests: ‘The goal of Twino is to facilitate not only the monetary exchange, but also the exchange of information between the investors and the lenders. Let me explain what I mean by that: through their investment decisions investors are communicating their preferences in terms of rates, loan amounts, duration, data disclosure, borrower profiles, etc. Lenders in turn can use this new, previously unavailable, information to innovate and grow their business.
Obviously, this puts a lot of pressure on Twino in terms of openness to investor feedback, flexibility of the platform, data transparency, etc., but Finabay is a very innovative and technologically advanced company, so I am very optimistic about the future of Twino.’
Also read the related interview with Jevgenijs Kazanins that Tauri Alas published yesterday in his blog.