Chancellor introduces new tax relief for investors. December industry news
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, co-founder James Meekings went on CNBC to discuss why traditional small business lending is still shrinking, and what other options are now available to small business owners. Online marketplaces are one such option, linking supply and demand directly. Funding Circle is now the 4th largest net lender to small businesses in the UK.
The Autumn Statement itself included some great news for individual investors. The Chancellor outlined tax and regulation changes which we have been campaigning for since we launched in 2010. From April, you will be able to offset any losses – or bad debt – against your net return. You can read more about what this means here. The news was also covered in the Times and Guardian.
Last month we also announced that for the first time, a global investor will be investing in small business loans through the Funding Circle UK marketplace. A private fund, managed by New York-based KLS Diversified Asset Management, will be investing £132 million in loans to UK small businesses. The KLS-managed fund will invest in whole loans across all risk bands and will not compete with any individual investors lending on partial loans. It’s a significant step on the journey to creating a stable and sustainable global marketplace, where creditworthy businesses borrow directly from a diverse range of investors – you can read more here.
In a landmark moment for the industry, Lending Club, an online marketplace in the US which focuses on personal loans, became the first to publicly list on the New York Stock Exchange. Our US Managing Director went on Bloomberg to discuss the potential of the marketplace model. CEO Samir Desai also discussed the news on CNBC, and you can read more in the Times and City AM.
The Financial Times warns banks are at risk of treating the industry too lightly. The piece compares the disruption marketplace lending is causing, to Uber’s rapid expansion across the globe. Whereas taxi drivers have rushed out their own online apps and mounted the legal barricades to stop Uber even pulling up in their neighbourhoods, the way mainstream banks have responded to peer-to-peer lending is much more laid back.
In an end of year roundup piece, the FT predicts that 2015 will be a big year for the industry following a successful 2014.