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Metro Bank in talks to buy peer-to-peer lender RateSetter

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Metro Bank has confirmed it is in talks with the company behind peer-to-peer lender RateSetter.

Speculation about the potential acquisition of Retail Money Market Ltd and its subsidiaries (RateSetter), has been confirmed by Metro Bank.

A statement by Metro Bank read: “The company regularly assesses various opportunities in the market and accordingly confirms that it has entered in to a period of exclusivity with RateSetter, but discussions regarding the potential acquisition are at an early stage.

“RateSetter is a UK focused peer-to-peer lender whose distribution platform could accelerate the company’s stated strategy to grow its unsecured consumer lending book.”

It added there’s “no certainty at this stage that a formal agreement will be reached” but will provide a further announcement “if and when appropriate”.

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter started operating in 2010 and to date, has over 80,000 investors with a combined £3.6bn invested. It was the first P2P lender to launch an ISA back in 2016.

However, the P2P industry has faced a crackdown with an investment cap in place since December 2019, allowing ordinary investors to deposit a maximum 10% of their assets in P2P loans, unless they’ve received regulated financial advice or have already made two investments in the past two years.

In 2016, Lord Adair Turner criticised the industry, stating P2P lending would “make the worst bankers look like absolute geniuses” and claimed the sector could be a source of immense losses before backtracking on these comments, stating the sector could potentially prevent a future credit crunch.

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