Loanland Sweden Will Close

Loanland, the only p2p lending service in Sweden, will discontinue it’s operation.

The Board of Loanland has decided to liquidate Loanland.

The reason for the decision to liquidate Loanland is that Loanland has not reached the critical mass of members needed to be a success. The company stated that today Loanland approximately has 20,000 members and requires approximately 200,000 members before becoming profitable. The Board believes that it is not realistic that Loanland reaches this volume within reasonable time. Loanland’s site will however be open until the operation is discontinued and customer service will continue as usual.

During the liquidation period, which can take up to three years, Loanland will take care of the existing loan portfolio and ensure that all loans are repaid according to the payment plans. All members’ money is at Handelsbanken in a trust account.

Polish P2P Lending Site Monetto Goes Under

In e-mail newsletter sent to its users on January 20th the operator of Polish peer-to-peer lending site Monetto.pl informed that the website will be accessible only until the end of February. Lenders are urged to update the loan contracts and to change the number of bank account set up for repayments. Monetto will no longer intermediate in processing repayments and loans should be repaid to lenders’ accounts directly.

Monetto was one of the early entrants to Polish social lending market. The company was financially backed by venture capital fund IIF. From the beginning the market was plagued by the influx of unfair borrowers, partly due to the insufficient verification procedures. Lukasz Banach, CEO of Prender Ltd. – the company behind Monetto project, reflected in the interview for finnovation.pl in September 2009, that what attracted crooks might be higher (than on other P2P lending markets in Poland) initial limit of loan amount. He also said: “In USA, UK (also Germany) there are central, accessible and trustworthy databases of credit history. As long as there is no such thing in Poland, I don’t believe that social lending will be successful here. When this barrier is removed, the percentage of bad debts on P2P markets will fall down significantly. ”

Things started to get worse in the end of 2008, when VC investor decided to stop financing the project. Since January of 2009 Monetto was in “coma” – there were no new loan listings, repayments were forwarded to lenders infrequently and there were significant problems with customer service. The investors made an effort to sell the service (although it was never announced officially) but no interested buyer was found.

The announcement is viewed by many as the last act of the drama which lasted far too long. In few articles that were published in press, the negative consequences for the credibility of social lending model in Poland are stressed. In other opinions there is a little bit of optimistic tone – failure of Monetto shows that market weeds out the weaker and less secure players.

Financial Services Authority Closes Bankless-Life

Austrian p2p lending service Bankless-Life (see earlier coverage on Bankless-Life’s launch) was closed by the FMA, the authority supervising banking regulation in Austria. The FMA sent an order to Bankless-Life on Dec. 22nd, demanding it to stop arranging loans, since it lacks the necessary concessions. Today FMA issued a notice to the public, informing potential lenders that the offering of the service is not in compliance with the law.

Bankless-Life.at has published a statement on their website on planned legal steps against the order to close.

Pertuity Direct Seems To Discontinue Operations

P2P lending company Pertuity Direct, which launched in January this year, seems to go out of operation. A special meeting of the board of  trustees of the National Retail Fund (the fund though which lenders invest in Pertuity Direct loans) took place “to approve the liquidation and distribution of all shares of the fund”.

Currently it is unclear what this means to investors and if past borrowers will be affected in any way. Currently it is not possible for new borrowers to apply for new loans and new investors can not sign up on the National Retail Fund website.

I’ll try to reach (former?) Pertuity Direct employees to comment on the situation and review the situation further.

(news broke via Prosper Lending Review)

Boober Failure Hurts Lenders

As reported earlier Dutch site Boober.nl failed. Richard van den Toorn, speaking for the association of lenders PIVN, estimates that about 1,200 lenders are affected. While part of the total loan volume of 1.65 million Euro had been repayed over the loan term before the failure, overall borrower’s willingness to pay dwindled after the failure. Still PIVN hopes to recover 50-80% of the outstanding amounts on behalf of the lenders.

(Source: ANP via Nu.nl)