P2P News – All The Latest Updates
Hi guys and welcome to our October P2P news blog round-up. As usual, we’ll be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the P2P world and today we start our round-up and look at the proposed regulations that peer-to-peer lenders would like to see in place to giving you some of our very own P2P tips! Missed our previous round-ups? If so, catch up here.
Peer-To-Peer Lenders Want Tougher Regulations
Peer-to-peer lenders have said there is an “urgent” need for tougher regulation of their own sector to ensure that consumers understand the risks they are exposed to, thus avoiding a future backlash if investments fail to perform. (FT.com, October 2016)
Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA)’s Robert Pettigrew stressed that investors need to realise that peer-to-peer lending products in no shape or form resemble anything equivalent to the guarantees represented by a bank deposit.
The P2PFA mentioned that advertisements from lenders suggesting that peer-to-peer loans were similar to a bank or savings deposit with instant access were “unhelpful”. Eight of the P2PFA members who control a large majority of the UK market are requesting that the regulator sets out stricter guidelines on how loans are marketed to consumers, as well as setting out common standards for declaring bad debts.
Back in February, Lord Adair Turner (who will feature in our third P2P news story) — former chair of the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority — told a journalist that, over the next decade, peer-to-peer loans could be the source of losses that “make the worst bankers look like absolute lending geniuses”.
The P2PFA have admitted that they would welcome the development of new rules to “protect not exclude” retail investors, they claim that peer-to-peer lenders have introduced beneficial competition and choice into the investment and borrowing markets respectively.
There has been this fear by some that P2P is confusing in understanding the differences between the concept and also equity crowdfunding.
However, as mentioned in our previous P2P news round-up, the P2PFA stated that there was no evidence to suggest that consumers are currently underestimating the risks associated with peer-to-peer lending as different platforms have adopted a variety of approaches to ensure a high level of consumer understanding. Top industry lenders recommend that investors should require financial advice if they are unsure about the investing process.
Image source : Investopedia
Chinese P2P: Loans More Than Doubled in September
Chinese P2P loans more than doubled to a record high at the end of September, despite the on-going challenges that the Chinese authorities face in regulating the exponentially growing sector.According to the official Xinhua news agency, P2P loans surged 153.5 percent to 956 billion yuan ($143 billion).
What’s particularly interesting from the data is that more than a month after China’s banking regulator used aggressive measures to restrain the P2P sector, warning that almost half of the 4,000-odd online lending platforms were seen as problematic.
So how has The Red Dragon been able to sustain P2P growth during problematic times? Many people moving from rural areas have a difficult time getting the loans they need because there is perception that they are not credit-worthy, because of this, there has been a surge in demand for P2P lending products and services. The government has taken steps to clean up the industry after a series of scandals (such as the Ezubao scandal which springs to mind).
Lord Turner Changes His Tune on P2P Lending
As briefly mentioned in the first story, one of the industry’s most well-known critics of peer-to-peer lending, Lord Adair Turner, has changed of his tune, he is now suggesting that the sector could potentially prevent a future credit crunch.
During a recent speech, Lord Turner was complimentary of the industry, he even suggested that online peer-to-peer lenders could perform credit underwriting.
In addition, he predicts that P2P lending could even act as a “spare tyre to the credit system, making credit crunches less likely.”
In contrast, he still stood by his comments that he made back in February about P2P causing losses, but understood that this loss would only make up a small part of the sector.
Image source : Business Insider
P2PFA Releases Major Research on Economics of P2P Lending
The P2PFA has released a commissioned study on the economics of the peer to peer lending market in the UK. The independent assessment, provided by the economic consulting firm of Oxera, analysed the risks, costs and benefits of peer-to-peer lending and provided an objective account of how P2P business models work. (Crowdfund Insider, October 2016)
The research primarily focused on the eight-member platforms of the P2PFA – which are known for their high standards of transparency and operation – the P2PFA members comprise over seventy-five per cent of the UK market.
Oxera’s Reinder van Dijk, sees P2P lending as a “real innovation” bringing benefits to both borrowers and investors.
Some key takeaways from the research was that P2P lending has created additional competition and choice in the market for loans and investment, in addition, it provides alternatives for retail investors, opening up access to risk-and-return from an asset class of consumer and business loans with net returns of between 4%-8%.
Moreover, P2P lending does not create systemic risk, and platforms are well-placed to weather a downturn in the credit cycle – borrower defaults would need to increase at least threefold to reduce average interest rates to investors below zero.
It was also revealed that the majority of investors have a good understanding of the associated risks involved.
You can read the full report below.
Basic P2P Tips
To end this month’s round-up, we thought we would share some basic P2P tips to help you on your way to getting started with peer to peer investments.
Our first P2P tip of the day is to diversify – just like with a stock market portfolio diversifying is key, with P2P lending, you should further diversify by spreading investments across multiple platforms. End of the day, the more you diversify, the less likely you’ll be to lose money on your investment.
Our second tip is to do your research. As Francis Bacon once said knowledge is power. Read the reviews on each platform you consider before getting involved. In addition, ask fellow investors of their experiences. It’s worth noting that not all lending platforms are the same, so make sure you’ve researched how they conduct their business and study their procedures for screening borrowers, as well as learning how they deal with late payments and defaults.
Finally, make sure you re-invest! The last thing you want is to have a static investment, DO take advantage of the compounding yields to be gained by continual reinvestment of returns into new loans.
Looking for more tips? It’s a bit of luck we’re a generous bunch at The House Crowd, view our 7 Top Tips for Investing in P2P Lending here.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Which of our chosen P2P stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.
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