A year ago Boober.nl launched as first peer to peer lending service in the Netherlands. While Boober faced some hardship (especially on regulation issues) the first year of Boober can be called a success for the company. So far Boober has funded over 2 million Euro in loans in the Netherlands. Compare this to the 1 million Euro Smava.de has loaned in the much larger German market in the last 10 months.
But not all lenders are satisfied with the results. The PIVN an association of lenders, on Jan. 14th called for an investment stop. The main cause are fee changes. Richard van den Toorn, Secretary of PIVN, told P2P-Banking.com:
It's not going very well with Boober, although they claim otherwise. The
PIVN (association of investors) has indeed given an advice not to invest
in new loans until some of her demands have been met. Reason for giving
such an advice is that Boober changed their payment-policy for the
investors radically, without consulting the PIVN first. It's so much the
height of their fee …, but that they are making sure the
benefits are going to Boober first, leaving the investors [lenders] with the risk of
remaining payments from the borrower.
They are charging 10% of the overall 'rendement' (=profit) from the
investors. So if the interest of the loan is 10% too, then Boober wil ask
1% from the investors. Not that much of a difference, but they will charge
this in advance. As far as I know, we haven't had any experiences with
this yet, as it only applies for new loans. That implies that if a
borrower pays the first two or three loans, Boober is sure they will get
their fee. As time progresses, it is getting more and more risky that a
borrower might not pay back (consumption-familiarisation, or what's it's
A second reason to give an advice for an investment-stop is that number of
terms not being paid, is ridiculously high. In average, over 12% of the
total number of terms is not paid back, which then leads to an increase of
the interest (investors are more careful, market mechanism), which then
only attracts borrowers with a low credit-rating. Current loans show
interests of almost 20%, which is absolutely too much
Unfortunately, the investment stop has not been picked up by all
investors. Some of them were against it, but it was a decision supported
by the majority. Hopefully in the long run, investors will realize that
Boober needs to fix some of their problems first before they will
re-invest their money again.
The rise of Boober's interest rates over the last year can be seen in this chart.