Peer-to-Peer Provider Lendy Collapses

Retail investors could lose tens of millions of pounds as Lendy falls into administration just weeks after FCA warned on dangers of P2P

Holly Black 28 May, 2019 | 4:28PM

Risk warning

Peer-to-peer provider Lendy has entered administration following an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lendy, which was previously known as Savings Stream, focused on loans used to fund the purchase and redevelopment of property. The company, which formed in 2012, promised returns of up to 12% for investors.

The firm, which was authorised and regulated by the FCA, was placed on the regulator’s watchlist in January amid concerns about its ability to meet the standards expected of regulated firms.

In October 2018, P2P comparison site 4th Way warned that, while publicly available data was limited, it appeared that around a quarter of outstanding loans made through the platform were at least 180 days late. Others estimated that up to 60% of loans were in arrears. 

Neil Faulkner, founder of 4th Way, said: "Lendy was notorious in the industry for providing very little information about its people, processes and performance. P2P lending and other investors can learn lessons from this." 

As Lendy fell into administration on Friday it is understood there were in excess in of £160 million in outstanding loans owed through the platform, of which more than £90 million is in default. It is feared that retail investors could lose tens of millions of pounds in the collapse.

Lendy has appointed Damian Webb, Phillip Sykes and Mark Wilson of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as joint administrators. An update on the firm’s website says that as the administration is in its early stages information is currently limited. The FCA said there is an ongoing investigation into the circumstances that had led to the collapse.

The firm’s collapse comes just weeks after the FCA warned of the dangers of investing in mini bonds and peer-to-peer investments through Innovative Finance Isas. The regulator said in April that anyone investing in an IFISA should carefully consider where their money is being invested and warned they may not be protected by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme.

Peer-to-peer lending involved investors making loans to individuals or companies through a middleman website. The industry has grown in recent years as a supposed halfway house between investing and cash saving. In response to growing demand, the government launched the Innovative Financial Isa in 2016, allowing investors to enjoy tax-free returns on their loans.

The FCA is currently consulting on changes to the P2P industry to improve protections for consumers and to ensure investors understand the risks involved.

Faulkner said: "The first rule of investing in any asset is that you only invest if you have enough information to assess the risks and rewards. My good wishes go to the investos who have open investments through the platform."

 

Investors owed money can contact the firm’s administration team at lendy.restructuring@rsmuk.com or 020 3858 9653. Lendy says it will only be able to respond to urgent queries.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

About Author

Holly Black  is Senior Editor, Morningstar.co.uk

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