Auxmoney.com has added more loan term choices for it’s p2p lending borrowers to choose from on the weekend. Previously available loan terms at Auxmoney were 12, 24 and 36 months. Now any term between 12 and 60 months (in 6 month increments) can be selected.
Auxmoney achieved substantial growth rates in the second half of 2009 (see Wiseclerk statistics tracking Auxmoney loan originations per month). And this is despite the fact that Auxmoney was criticized by a renowned consumer advocacy institution for misleading marketing and unfavourable fee structures.
In international comparison of p2p lending fee structures, Auxmoney is a rare exception, as it charges many fees regardless of whether a loan request is successfully funded or not. With it’s listing fees Auxmoney generates revenues even from those customers with bad credit history that have little or no chance of getting funded by lenders.
MYC4 will change its fee structure for borrowers for new loans starting in July. One main point of criticism had been that MYC4 by charging origination fees profited from any loan, regardless whether it was paid back or defaulted.
MYC4 has reacted. In future there will be no origination fees and only fees on the interest of the repayments. This uis a step in the right direction as the interests of MYC4 are now more aligned with the interests of the lenders. To make or increase profit MYC4 has to avoid and decrease defaults.
Quote of the announcement:
We have made a strategic decision with regards to the way MYC4 earns money by removing “closing fees” and only charging “interest fees” on the loans, when they are being repaid. That means that we put ourselves on the same side as the Investors on MYC4 only earning money when the Borrowers repay their loans.
With this change we want to signal that we believe strongly in the viability of the Businesses, and to align MYC4 earning with the earning of the investors and similar to investors be affected by any defaults and currency fluctuation.
Concretely, MYC4 will change the current income structure, where the Borrower is charged a flat fee of 2% of the loan amount, payable only when the loan is actually disbursed, and an additional fee of 2% (interest spread) when the loan is repaid on the basis of a declining balance. This corresponds to a total fee to MYC4 of approx. 3 percent of the total loan amount.
Instead, we will charge 6% interest commission. Considering a 12-month loan time, this 6% charge matches the 2% on initial balance plus the 2% on outstanding balance fees. The change will in most cases be neutral for the borrower.
In the same line, MYC4 encourages our Partners to shift their income from closing fees to repayment (interest) fees to show their belief in the quality of their portfolio towards investors. However, our Partners are not obligated to change their income structure, so it is up to each of them if and when they will change due to for instance their cash-flow situation.
Today Lending Hubannounced the launch of the p2p lending service aimed at loans between family and friends. Lending Hub is a private Australian company based in Sydney (Read earlier coverage by P2P-Banking.com on Lending Hub, including a guest article by Director Ivan Martelli).
Lending Hub loans are 3 year unsecured loans. Currently most loans listed seem to be example loans.
Lending Hub fees for borrowers are a listing fee of 30 AUS$ plus a settlement fee upon funding ranging from 1.25% to 4%, depending on credit grade. Lenders pay a fee between 1% and 3% of each repayment depending on credit grade.
In Germany p2p lending service Smava.de will increase its fees in February. Smava management said the fee increase is necessary to build a sustainable business and points out that now 20 months after the launch the value proposition of Smava has been verified. Median ROI is given as 9.4% with 90 percent of lenders (best and worst 5% cut off) earning between 4.7% and 12.9% ROI per year.
Old fee structure:
Lenders: no fees Borrowers: 1% of the loan amount
New fee structure:
Lenders: 4 Euro (approx 5.30 US$) for each successful bid Borrowers:
2% of the loan amount, minimum 40 Euro, for 36 months loans
2.5% of the loan amount, minimum 60 Euro, for 60 months loans
This increase will more than triple Smava’s revenues from 8,000 Euro per month to 27,700 Euro per month (estimate based on 800,000 Euro loan volume per month; 5,500 Euro average loan amount; average bid amount 330 Euro; 50% of loans for each loan duration).
While the fee height is tolerable for most lenders, I am somewhat sceptical whether Smava is attractive enough for borrowers under the new fee schedule and will be able to continue its required growth.
The Prosper study I featured yesterday lists the Prosper fees. While it does not attempt to calculate the revenues of Prosper.com it gives some indications regarding the operating costs:
According to Mendelson (2006), the primary costs of Prosper consist of …, (2) a $4 fee for identity authentication, credit pulling, and bank-account setup per active borrower, (3) customer service at the average rate of four interactions per loan and $2 per interaction, and (4) a fixed overhead cost of approximately $3 million per year. …
Given these estimates, it is difficult to measure Prosper accounting in precision. However, there is no doubt that Prosper’s revenue does not cover its full cost (as of February 2008). The difference is met by a large stock of venture capital.
Regarding the Prosper revenues, Mike did a calculation estimating the November 2007 revenues at 114,000 US$. If this is correct, it did not even cover fixed overhead.
Zopa UK has announced that it will remove the options to lend for 12, 24 or 48 months and concentrate on lending terms of 36 and 60 months. The changes apply only to money lend through Zopa markets not to Zopa listings.
Why are we making these changes? – Since Zopa began more than three years ago, more than 95% of your loans have been taken for a period of 3 years or less. – The popularity of larger loans repaid over 5 years is increasing, particularly since we introduced the new fixed borrower fee. – Almost half of our new lenders who sign up to Zopa do not become active and our hypothesis is that it is just too time consuming for them to make offers to all of our markets. – This allows us to simplify the marketplace considerably, while still allowing borrowers to repay their loan early with no penalty. – Because listings still enables all loan terms from 1 to 5 years, Zopa will continue to offer a wide variety of borrowing and lending options. – By structuring repayments over at least 36 months, we aim to encourage fewer borrowers to repay their loan early, maximising the interest you earn from each loan and reducing the period your money might spend in your holding account. This is because the loans that have been repaid early to date were mostly taken for 12 and 24 months in the first instance, so that borrowers had paid back a good proportion of their loan after just a few months. – We’re not envisaging that there will be any significant financial impact for Zopa from these changes. At most, we would earn 0.5% of the outstanding capital for a little longer if we can dissuade early repayment, but since we would hope that lenders would relend any funds repaid early anyway, we’re unlikely to earn anything more significant. These changes are purely aimed at simplifying our offer.
Lender reactions in the forums (19 pages of comments) are mostly negative. Some lenders speculate that this move is a necessary result of the new flat fee which was introduced earlier. Borrowers pay 94.25 GBP of the loan amount. For short term loans the impact of this fee on the APR is higher then for long term loans.