‘P2P Income Partners‘ is a new investment fund by Symfonie Capital that will invest capital in p2p loans. The founder, Michael Sonenshine, an ex-investment banker, told P2P-Banking.com that he plans the first tranche to be 25 million Euro. He says: “Initially we will invest in loans issued by sites such as Prosper, Lending club, Funding Circle, Zopa, Isepankur and we will add fonds to the mix as we see fit. The P2P market is not only web-based. There are opportunities to make direct loan across Europe. The key to success is spreading the risk and doing careful due diligence.”. The fund is open to qualified investors. Minimum investment is stated as 100,000 US$.
The bank of Italy has authorised Zopa Italy to operate as a payment institute. Zopa now cleared the legal problems it encountered in 2009. Maurizio Sella of Zopa Italy stated that Zopa will resume loan financing after performing some legal steps necessary in connection to being regulated as a payment institute.
Watch the preview of the coming new Zopa TV advert. It will air starting next Monday on channels like Dave, More4, Sky Sports 2 and ITV4. There will be a second version emphasizing how Zopa is different from banks.
As the end of 2010 approaches here is a selection of main peer-to-peer-lending news and developments covered by P2P-Banking.com:
- January: Focus on Zidisha with an Zidisha review and an interview with Zidisha founder Julia Kurnia; P2P Lending companies Monetto and Bankless Life close
- February: Isepankur introduces B2B Loans
- March: Smava turns 3, merges polish operations into Finansowo; Prosper raises more capital
- April: Moneyauction wins Savings Bank as Lender; Lending Club raises 24.5 million US$ series C round
- May: Auxmoney uses cars as collateral for p2p loans
- August: Guest article: Does P2P Lending work for microfinance?; FundingCircle Launches P2C lending in UK; map of p2p lending sites in Europe; Zopa expects record loan growth
- September: Interview with CEO of new British player Yes-Secure
- October: Ratesetter and Quakle are more newcomers in UK
- November: Kotikonttori family and friends beta launch; Aqush gets Venture Capital; Zopa Rapid Return Secondary Market starts
- December: Money360 is the first site to try p2p real estate loans; Prosper abandons auction model; CommunityLend starts interesting FinanceIt service.
(Photo by paul (dex))
One of the disadvantages for lenders in many p2p lending markets is that money lent cannot be withdrawn early during loan terms.
Zopa UK now introduces a secondary market called ‘Rapid Returns’, which allows lenders to cash out on all or selected market loans early. To do this a lender simply selects all or specific markets to ‘sell’ his loans.
For each of these loans, the system looks for other lenders offering to the same market at the same or a lower interest rate. Where a match can be found, each loan is then permanently transferred to the lowest bidding lender in that market. The winning lender will then earn the interest rate that the previous lender was getting on that loan, even if they offered at a lower rate. The lender receives the total outstanding capital on the loan from the offered funds of the winning lender.
Zopa deducts a 1% admin fee from the transferred capital.
There are some limitations: Loans made through ‘Zopa Listings’ are not eligible. Also excluded are loans where the borrower ever has missed a repayment. Some more restrictions apply.
And of course there needs to be a matching lender offer with a rate low enough.
Asked why lenders can not bid on loans on offer – thereby buying at a discount or premium – a Zopa employee explains:
“What you describe here is a true secondary market which …, we are not regulated to provide. I hope all will become clear when the full functionality is available in the next couple of weeks.
As a final note on the ‘never missed a repayment rule’ – we started development with this rule as ‘not currently in arrears and hasn’t missed a repayment in the least three months’ but when we looked at the proportion of the total loan book for each, there’s a negligible difference. It’s therefore much clearer and fairer to go with the former.”
Currently Rapid Returns is only collecting offers on the buying lender’s side, letting lenders amend their bid offers to include Rapid Return loans. The feature will actually go live in a couple of weeks. Then selling lenders can mark their loan books for sale.
I expect that the Rapid Returns feature will further boost Zopa’s growth in the British market. Congratulations.