Save, make, understand money

Experienced Investor

Record year for peer-to-peer lending

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The peer-to-peer lending industry lent more than £2.2bn in 2015, according to latest figures from the sector’s industry body. 

The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) said peer-to-peer lenders – Funding Circle, Landbay, Lending Works, LendInvest, MarketInvoice, RateSetter, ThinCats and Zopa – have now lent £4.4bn in total, doubling in size since the end of 2014.

In the final quarter of 2015 alone, P2PFA members provided just under £650m in new lending.

User numbers up

The number of people using peer-to-peer lending platforms, which bring together savers and borrowers and cut out the middle men such as banks, has also grown, the figures suggest. 

In the past 12 months, the number of lenders increased by more than a fifth (22 per cent) to just over 128,000, while borrowers have almost doubled (96 per cent) to 273,000.

Innovative ISA

Christine Farnish, chair of the P2PFA, said: “Year-on-year, peer-to-peer lending continues to grow and have a strong impact across all markets. The growth demonstrates that more lenders and borrowers believe our industry to be a real alternative to traditional lenders. This is only enhanced by our members’ approach to transparency and strict business conduct rules.

“2016 is another important year for the industry as we look forward to the April launch of the Innovative Finance ISA.”

The new Innovative Finance ISA, which makes investors using peer-to-peer lenders eligible for tax-free interest, launches in April 2016.

The leading peer-to-peer platforms compared