Quakle.co.uk launched in summer as a rare bird in p2p lending. Instead of using credit rating data to gauge the borrowers Quakle set out to base its rating on social connections tied online. Quote from then: “The trustworthiness of the borrowers is assessed by the lenders only. Quakle believes that social bonds strengthen confidence and make borrowers more likely to repay. In addition we are convinced that getting dozens of people to trust you is, at least, as much difficult as building yourself a high credit score. It is then the responsibility of a lender to choose whether to lend money to borrowers who are active members of user groups and have a good social rating.”
Recently Quakle reconsidered and adapted its approach. Now the site uses Experian data to credit score the borrowers. Director Josselyn Digny told P2P-Banking.com: “We changed the information collected on borrowers after we’ve got some feedback from lenders and potential lenders that they would not lend out money to borrowers if their credit history was not reviewed at all“.
A recent press release phrases the new message: “Quakle, the online peer-to-peer lending community, allows people to lend money to each other in a friendly and structured way, while cutting out the banks. Quakle credit checks its borrowers but is different from other peer-to-peer lending websites in that members also have a â€˜reputation scoreâ€™. This score is based on their individual behaviour and that of any group they may be part of within the site. This peer group system encourages people to be financially responsible.”
The company still suffers from a shortage of lenders and offers a 30 GBP reward on first bid for new lenders as registration incentive. Furthermore there are no fees for lenders.
Asked for the expected default rates, Digny stated: “The expected default rates are: no more than 3% for C- & D-rated borrowers and no more than 1% for A- & B-rated borrowers. We will endeavour to publish the real default rates as soon as we have enough data to do so.“.
Unlike the other British p2p lending companies Quakle is licensed by the FSA as a small payments institute.
Quakle is supported and funded by a business angel who is a successful serial entrepreneur in wind turbines and green real estate.