Spring-clean your Funding Circle account

Last week marked the start of Spring—the clocks went forward, the days get longer and with a bit of luck, the weather gets warmer!

For many people, spring represents the time to have a good clean out in their homes, but it is a good opportunity to get your financial house in order as well. Your Funding Circle account is no exception, so here are four tips to help you get the most out of your investment.

1. Give yourself the best chance of earning a stable return

Our data shows that investors who diversify by lending small amounts to many businesses are more likely to earn a stable return. From time-to-time some of the businesses you lend to won’t be able to repay their loans, so lending small amounts minimises the effect this could have on your return. We recommend that you lend to at least 100 businesses, with no more than 1% of your portfolio lent to each one.

Every investor who has followed these two steps for at least a year has earned a positive return. In addition, 91% of these investors are earning at least 5% annually after fees and bad debts. More information on the benefits of diversification can be found on our statistics page. You can see the maximum percentage you have lent to any one business in the My Loan Parts section of your Summary page.

2. Make sure your funds are working hard

You can earn great returns by directly lending to businesses through Funding Circle, but your money earns nothing if it is sat idle. Each month you will receive either a principal and interest payment (the amount you lent plus the interest earned), or an interest-only payment from the businesses you lend to. Ensuring these repayments are lent out to new borrowers can maximise your earning potential.

Doing this regularly can be time consuming, however our Autobid tool will automatically lend your repayments out to new borrowers, leaving you to get on with your day!

3. Check your Autobid settings

It’s good practice to review your Autobid settings regularly to ensure they still meet your lending criteria. While logged in, the Autobid page will allow you to turn the tool on or off and manage your diversification options. The Advanced Settings will also allow you to choose which risk bands to lend to and set the gross interest rates for buying loan parts from other investors. Remember, diversification across both risk bands and businesses can help you earn a stable return.

4. Grow your portfolio for the long-term

Setting up a standing order can be done quickly and allows you to set aside a little each month towards your financial future. Making even a modest regular contribution can have a considerable long-term effect on your Funding Circle account. For example, if an investor with £10,000 in their Funding Circle account was to set up a standing for £100 a month, after 30 years they could have an account worth nearly £200,000.*

Remember, past performance is not a guarantee of future performance, and by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

We hope you have found this useful, and if you have any questions about your account please get in touch.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

*Returns are at our estimated annualised return of 6.9%** (as of 6th March 2017), are compounded monthly, and are after fees and bad debt but before tax. Based on this, an account worth £10,000 with a standing order of £100 a month would be worth £199,084.63. Returns are calculated using a compound interest calculator.  

**This estimated return is a weighted estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans as of 6th March 2017. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 3000 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here.

Seven sweet treats to make your Easter complete

Join us on an Easter egg hunt this year to find the tastiest treats from seven small businesses across the UK that have flourished thanks to your lending. Whether you’re a fruity chocolate lover, a fudge fanatic or crave something nutty, our selection below will have something to suit all taste buds.

1. Rich and nutty treats from West Wales

Our hunt begins in a sweet shop in West Wales, a place nutty chocolate fans will love. In 2013, Nom Nom Chocolates took over an abandoned chocolate factory and has since grown to become Wales’ leading luxury chocolate manufacturer. On our hunt we found an array of delicious flavours, such as peanut butter and roasted hazelnut – yum! The sweets company purchased new machinery using their Funding Circle loan.

2. Make your own in East Wales

Next stop is Black Mountain Gold Chocolates just down the road in East Wales, where you can make your very own Easter sweets. The company owners are chocolate extraordinaires and teach chocolate making and tasting workshops. From ‘one to one’ sessions to master chocolatier courses, there are classes to suit all age groups and abilities. Black Mountain Gold were able to increase production after borrowing £15,480 from over 200 investors in July 2014.

3. Milk chocolate from Lancashire

From Wales we’re heading to Lancashire in search of milk chocolate bunnies. Beech’s Fine Chocolates create the tastiest Milk Chocolate Bunny Family, which is the perfect treat to share with the entire household over the holiday. The company, who have been producing quality treats since the 1920’s, have also featured in the BBC programme ‘Who’s the Boss.’ Beech’s Fine Chocolates were able to keep up with the high demand after borrowing £250,000 in January 2016.

4. Fruity flavours from Leeds

The next stop on our hunt is one for the fruity chocolate enthusiasts. Lauden Chocolate, based in Leeds, is run by a passionate husband and wife team who produce unique and delicious chocolates that look just as good as they taste. Flavours include mediterranean orange, sour cherry, passionfruit, and lychee & rose. The duo were able to launch new and innovative chocolate bars after borrowing over £41,000 through Funding Circle.

5. A treat for the little ones in York

From Leeds we’re heading to York to find the perfect treat for the little ones. With a choice of milk or white chocolate, these handmade chocolate Rabbit Lollies from Choc affair are a great choice for kids. Choc affair also supply a range of flavoured chocolate bars such as our favourite, Raspberry & Rose. The confectionery company were able to move to a larger premises after borrowing from Funding Circle investors in 2013.

6. Dairy-free Easter eggs from Reading

The next destination on our hunt is a sweet shop in Reading, where you can find award-winning dairy free chocolate. Moo Free, a leading manufacturer of dairy free and gluten free chocolates, produce the ultimate Easter eggs that are a must try this year. The company, which sells its products in Tesco and Ocado, were able to hire more staff after borrowing through Funding Circle back in 2013.

7. Fudge from Suffolk

And finally, if you’re more of a fudge fanatic, then our last stop is for you. Yum Yum Tree Fudge, based in Suffolk, is run by a dedicated family of fudge makers who strive to make the best fudge in the UK – they were even featured on the BBC Good Food Show! The skilled team produce a scrumptious collection of flavours such as mango, sea-salted caramel and mint chocolate chip. Yum Yum Tree Fudge were able to improve their facilities after borrowing over £128,000 in January 2017.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside over 59,000 investors and you could earn a great return whilst supporting small businesses across the UK. Sign up online today.

You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

We’ve helped more than 22,000 businesses in the UK access finance for a range of finance needs, including hiring staff, opening new shops and working capital. Get your instant quote today.

Enjoy lending. The Funding Circle team

Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Six ways to celebrate the Six Nations

As the final day of the Six Nations approaches – dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ for its back-to-back three match extravaganza – we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate 6 unique small businesses that represent each of the countries competing in the tournament.

Scotland v Italy

There’s two areas in which the Scots are infallible; their passion, and their whiskey. The aptly named The Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow was set up by three drinks enthusiasts – including a co-founder of the Glasgow Whisky Festival! They offer a huge range of the best spirits from every corner of the earth, as well as holding tastings and offering their very own octave of whisky called Cask 23.

Pizza hails from Naples but The Real Pizza Company have brought authentic pizzas to Crawley. They are cooked at 400 degrees and can be cooked in bulk on match day to feed the crowd! Their immense flavour will be enough to cheer up any Italian supporter!

France v Wales

French Flavour work closely with artisan producers from both France and the UK to bring the finest wines, cheeses, chocolates and much more – straight to your door! Why not treat yourself to one of their cheese and wine subscription boxes and receive a different selection of hand-picked wines chosen to complement top quality cheeses – every month!

A lesser known fact about the country with the lowest population in the tournament, is that Wales is believed to have more castles per square-mile than any other country in the world! So naturally, we picked out Castle Hotel Aberaeron as our Welsh business of choice. The luxury hotel is situated within a Grade II listed building in the Georgian harbour town of Aberaeron – conveniently located minutes from the seaside. If you find yourself on the west coast of Wales – pop in for some food or a drink… you can’t miss it’s fluorescent pink exterior!

Ireland v England

There’s nothing quite so English as a good portion of fish and chips. London-based Poppie’s Fish and Chips have been going at it since the ‘50s, using only the best and most responsibly sourced fish in their dishes – they combine the perfect blend of taste and nostalgia to create the ultimate chip shop experience. Next time you’re in Soho, Spitalfields or Camden – be sure to pay them a visit!

Now we head to Lisnaskea – a small town in County Fermanagh – to bask in the highest quality, locally sourced baked goods in Northern Ireland. Cherrytree Home Bakery have been baking traditional breads, cakes, scones and more since 1970 – using only the best available produce. Owners Isobel and Norman encourage cake enthusiasts to ‘Come to Lisnaskea and follow the smell of good quality, fresh home banking!

We hope you enjoy the matches this weekend. Whatever your interests – there’s a Funding Circle borrower for you!
If you’re interested in lending to small businesses like these, you could earn 7.1% per year by getting started today. You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Read between the lines: What does the Budget mean for you?

Over the next few months we will be bringing you a regular column from Simon Read, a personal finance expert with extensive experience in helping people make the most of their money. Simon has written extensively on personal finance issues for a number of national UK newspapers. Previously he was personal finance editor at The Independent, and is currently an expert on BBC1’s Right on the Money show.

Each month Simon will cut through the jargon to help you understand what is happening in the wider financial world. This month, we caught up with him to get his reaction to last week’s Spring Budget and what it means for you.

 

We’ll be hearing regularly from Simon over the next few months, so watch this space!

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not represent those of Funding Circle. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice.

The information and views contained here are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal, tax, regulatory, accounting or investment advice, or as a recommendation or an offer or invitation by Funding Circle.

To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, such information contained here.

If you have any questions, please speak to your professional advisor or seek independent specialist advice

Improving the way we talk to you

You told us that monthly and weekly updates were a little too much, so to better suit your needs we’ll now be updating you fortnightly with more in-depth information.

In-depth updates, every two weeks

Up first, we’re replacing your current Weekly Lending Review with two monthly blogs, which will still contain all the information you like to read, from the amount lent to businesses each month, how to make the most of your investment, and any recent defaults. However, we’re giving it all a spring clean and adding some new features.

Each month your new round-up will be split into two:

  • Your investment update will focus on the Funding Circle marketplace, from businesses you could lend to, to how much was lent last month, some new statistics and information from our experts.
  • Your lending impact will showcase success stories from recent borrowers, how your lending has helped them achieve their goals, insight into how things work at Funding Circle, and an opportunity to hear from other investors.

These refreshed blogs will be launching later this month.

Coming soon

Quick on the heels of the blog update, you’ll soon notice a refreshed look for your newsletters. Mirroring your new marketplace round-up blogs, the newsletters will be split into two:

  • An update on your investment and a round-up of what’s going on at Funding Circle at the beginning of each month.
  • What impact your lending is having on the UK economy mid-month, and showcase some of the extraordinary business owners you’re helping.

There’s lots of other improvements still to come, but for now we hope you like the new look and feel of our communications.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Digging into the data: How investor returns change over time

Whether you are new to investing, or have many years’ experience under your belt, a well-diversified Funding Circle portfolio can provide you with attractive and stable returns while helping the UK economy to grow.

To help guide you on what you can expect from your lending experience, we wanted to show how a typical investor account could perform over a five-year period.

What data did we use?

We used five full years of historical loan performance data to simulate how the returns in a typical investor’s portfolio can change over time. In our example, an investor lent £10,000 across all the loans originated through Funding Circle in 2012. Each month, the loan repayments and interest received were lent to new borrowers.

Performance over time

The below chart shows the annualised return, after fees and bad debt but before tax, earned by the example investor over a five year investment period. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns, however you can see that there are typically three distinct phases involved when lending to businesses.

Phase one – initial returns are at their highest

For the first few months the investor’s annualised return is at its highest, at approximately 7.8% after the 1% annual servicing fee is deducted. This is because the investor has typically yet to experience any borrowers being unable to repay their loans.

Phase two – the impact of bad debt

We robustly assess every business you lend to, however from time-to-time some borrowers will be unable to repay their loans because something significant changes in their business. This is called bad debt. Bad debts generally start to occur approximately six months after the loans are made. This is reflected in the chart above, where our example investor’s return starts to dip after six months. This trend then naturally decreases over time as the rate at which businesses run into difficulties tends to decrease.

While it can be concerning to see bad debt on your account, it’s important to see this as a normal and expected part of lending to businesses. Bad debt is usually more concentrated within this phase of a loan’s life, so returns are unlikely to decrease for good. Learn more about bad debt and loan defaults here.

Phase three – returns stabilise as recoveries arrive

After 18 months the example investor’s return stabilises, then generally increases as recovery payments start to arrive. As of 1st February 2017, 44% of the value of loans defaulted between 2010 and 2014 has been recovered. This trend typically continues for the rest of the investment period, with the example investor ending the five year investment period having earned an annualised return of 6.5% after fees and bad debt.

It’s important to note that past performance is not a guide to future performance, and as you are lending to your own individual portfolio your actual returns may differ. However the above chart provides an indication of how groups of small business loans can perform over time.

Diversification can help you earn a stable return

Over the five year investment period, our example investor earned a stable annualised return of 6.5% after fees and bad debt. This was helped by being especially well-diversified (lending to all loans made in 2012). Diversifying by lending small amounts to many different businesses, for example by using Autobid, can also help you earn a stable return.

You can see this from the above chart. It shows the annualised return earned by 95% of investors lending for at least one year, based on the number of businesses they have lent to. The results show that 95% of investors who have lent to at least 100 businesses for at least a year have earned at least 4% per year. In addition, every investor who has followed this strategy has earned a positive return. Data is correct as of 1st December 2016.

Returns are shown after fees and bad debt but before tax. You can read more about the benefits of diversification on our statistics page.

Growing your portfolio

Each month you will receive either a monthly principal and interest (the amount you lent plus the interest earned) payment, or an interest-only payment from the businesses you lend to. The below chart shows three different scenarios which highlight the positive impact reinvesting these principal and interest repayments can have on your portfolio.

If our example investor had lent £10,000 across all loans made in 2012, but did nothing with their capital and interest repayments, they would have ended the five year investment period with £11,131. However, if they compounded their earnings by reinvesting those repayments on new loans made, for example by using Autobid, this amount would increase to £13,215.

Making a regular contribution each month can also have a considerable effect on the growth of your portfolio. Alongside reinvestment of all principal and interest repayments, if our example investor had also set up a standing order of £100 each month from January 2013 (once the initial £10,000 had been lent by the end of 2012) then by the end of the investment period their account balance would stand at a healthy £18,672.

The power of compound interest

The benefits of regular contributions and compound interest increase exponentially over time. The below chart shows the projected account balance for an investor who lends £10,000 during March 2017, in addition to creating a standing order for £100 per month. Returns are at our estimated annualised return of 6.9%* (as of 6th March 2017), are compounded monthly, and are after fees and bad debt but before tax.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” – Warren Buffett

Building a six-figure portfolio may seem like a daunting goal, but by taking a long-term approach and adding a modest amount each month, you could look forward to a substantial sum in the future. You can see how your own portfolio could grow over time with this compound interest calculator.

It’s important to remember that as this is an estimate, actual returns may be higher or lower and by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Conclusion

Our aim at Funding Circle is for investors to earn attractive, stable returns by lending directly to small businesses. Although some bad debt is a normal and expected part of the lending experience, we hope this piece has demonstrated that keeping your account well-diversified and making regular contributions can help your portfolio grow at a stable rate over the long-term. More information on investor returns, including loan performance by year, can be found on our statistics page.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

*This estimated return is a weighted estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans as of 6th March 2017. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 3000 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here.

Bad debt, defaults and why not to be afraid of them

Bad debt explained

For the second piece in our Explainer series we’re looking at bad debt and loan defaults. We’ll describe what these terms mean from an investor point of view, then look at how you can reduce their impact and still earn a good return at Funding Circle.

What is a loan default?

A loan may be defaulted when a business is late in its repayments, has entered insolvency or has otherwise breached the terms and conditions of the loan. The remaining balance and interest is then demanded from the borrower and loan guarantors.

We’ll take the decision to default a loan if we think it’s necessary to protect the interests of investors. In some circumstances defaults are mandatory.

What is bad debt?

When a loan is defaulted, bad debt is the money potentially lost by investors. This amount may be reduced during the recovery process (more on this below).

Why do they happen?

Businesses fail for a wide variety of reasons.  The most common causes are cashflow (i.e. customers not paying on time, or creditors demanding immediate repayment), increased competition, losing a large contract, illness of the business owner or key workers, and regulatory changes making the business non-viable.

Consequently, a few of the businesses you lend to will be unable to fully repay their loans. We estimate that you should expect a bad debt rate of around 2.0% of your investment annually, although this will vary by the risk bands (A+ to E) you lend to.

How do we account for them?

As defaults are a known risk, we take them into account when setting interest rates. Our credit assessment team perform rigorous checks on all businesses and if we estimate a business is higher risk, they pay a higher interest rate to compensate.

For each risk band, the money lost on loans that default is balanced by the extra interest paid by those that repay. As long as the bad debt rate stays within expectations, investors can still earn good returns. That’s why when we give an estimated return, we give you the figure after bad debt and fees.

Reduce the impact of bad debt with diversification

Diversification is a simple way to help reduce the impact of bad debt on your investment. Diversifying means splitting your investment into lots of small pieces, and lending them out to different businesses.

  • Without diversification – As an example, say you have £2,000 in your Funding Circle account. If you lent that all to one business and they defaulted on their loan, you could lose all of your money in one go.
  • With diversification – Instead, if you were to split your £2,000 across 100 businesses, you could then lend just £20 to each. Then if one or two of them defaulted, you would only lose £20-40. You would still earn interest from the other 98 businesses you’ve lent to, so would still have a great chance of earning a good return overall.

How to diversify

A great way to earn a stable return is to lend to at least 100 businesses, and lend no more than 1% of your total to each one. As of 16 Feb 2017, every investor who has followed these two steps has earned a positive return, and 91% have earned 5% or more (after fees and bad debt) after being diversified for a year. You can diversify automatically by using our Autobid tool. 

Learn more about diversification here.

Collections & Recoveries – helping recover as much as possible for investors

Almost all Funding Circle loans are supported by a personal guarantee from company directors (property loans can differ). If a business is unable to repay the loan, our team can look to recover the outstanding balance from the guarantors.

Our Collections & Recoveries team pursue every single defaulted loan, arranging a new payment plan if possible, or exhausting every legal process available. The team has a range of methods and technologies in place to recover as much as possible for you.

When a loan defaults it will show the total loss on your account. However, our team are often able to recover a significant portion of that loss. As of February 2017, they have successfully recovered 44% of defaulted loans taken between 2010-2014, so it’s worth remembering that the amount “lost” on any recent defaults may improve over time.

The success of the team’s approach led to them winning the 2015 CICM Best Collections Team and 2016 Credit Excellence Award for Collections from CCRI.

You can read more about our Collections & Recoveries process here.

Things to remember

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of bad debt and defaults. Here are a few key points to remember:

Don’t panic!

Bad debt is inevitable, so be prepared for a small percentage of loans to default. It’s baked into our interest rates, and if you diversify you’ve still got a great chance of making a good return.

Diversify

Splitting your investment across 100+ businesses, with no more than 1% lent to each one, reduces the impact of any defaulted loans.

We’ll help you out

Our Collections & Recoveries team will work to recover as much of the debt as possible, but this will take time. They will update you on late and defaulted loans through your Funding Circle account.

Of course if you have any questions our Investor Support team are on hand to help, and can talk you through any activity on your account. You can call them on 0207 401 9111 or email contactus@fundingcircle.com.

As of 6th March 2017 our estimated return after bad debt and fees is 6.9%. If you’d like to invest through Funding Circle you can set up your account here.

It is important to remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance, and your capital is at risk when lending to businesses.

Preparing for your financial year end

Whether you carefully track everything all year round, or sort it all with two weeks to go, preparing for your financial year end is important for every business. If you’re about to get things in order for your business, we’ve put together a short guide to help your year end go as smoothly as possible.

What is a year end?

A ‘year end’ is the term used to describe the accounting documents you need to complete at the end of your financial year. What you need to submit depends on your business, but for a limited company you’ll at least need to file a corporate tax return to HMRC, and abbreviated accounts to Companies House.

Your year end accounts are publicly available, and will be checked by potential partners or investors you want to work with, or by lenders if you want to get a loan.

  • Corporate Tax Return – details the income you’ve received and any expenses or tax allowances. It’s important to get these figures right, as the remaining profit will be used to decide how much corporation tax you need to pay.
  • Abbreviated accounts – gives a broad view of your company’s finances, including your profit and loss, cash held, assets, creditors and debtors.

Key steps to get ready

Before you can file your accounts, you’ll need to do a lot of work to get all the information and documents you need. Here are a few key steps you can take to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Chase unpaid invoices

You want your books to be as accurate as possible, so you need to know exactly what you have and what’s missing. Chase down any outstanding invoices, then check the final amount matches with your records. If there’s any discrepancies you should investigate these before submitting your accounts.

Count your stock

If you have stock this should be handled in a similar way. Complete a full inventory of all your stock and log if there’s any discrepancies with your records. If there’s stock missing you can try to chase it down, or count it as a loss if it can’t be traced.

Get your expenses in order

Collecting expenses and receipts from all your staff is a crucial and often time consuming job. Business expenses are deducted from your profits which means you’ll have less tax to pay, so it’s worth putting the time in.

HMRC defines an expense as something ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business use. They can often be small amounts like lunch or transport, but can add up and make a difference over the year.

There’s a host of apps available to help track expenses and accounting. Read more in our Top Business Apps blog.

Check your employee data

Double check all your employee data is accurate. You as the employer are liable for any mistakes in income tax or national insurance contributions, not the employee. So to avoid having to ask your employees for some of their wages back later on, make sure it’s all up to date.

File your paperwork

Accounts need records to back them up, so make sure all your paperwork is organised and filed so that you can access them easily. This could be either hard copies or online. If you don’t have a record of something, this is the time to get statements from your bank, or statements of account from suppliers. Get everything in order before filing your year end, so if HMRC ask questions you’ll have evidence at the ready.

Work together to get prepared

Don’t leave it up to one person to chase down everything. Everyone in the business should be helping get the documents you need, whether it’s receipts for expenses, supplier contracts, or missing invoices. Get the word out early so that everything is submitted in plenty of time. Then whoever manages your accounts can bring it all together.

St Patrick’s Day: Our four favourite pubs across the UK where you can enjoy a pint of Guinness

From the Scottish Highlands to the hustle and bustle of Central London, right down to the idyllic Cornish sea, we’re taking you on a journey to find the perfect pint of Guinness this St. Patrick’s Day. Below is our list of four pubs across the country where you can find a delicious pint, while also supporting successful Funding Circle businesses.

1. Enjoy your Guinness with a delicious meal

Our journey begins in Dalkeith, Scotland at The Sun Inn, an award-winning pub and boutique inn. Visit this lovely pub if you fancy a Guinness while enjoying delicious food cooked with flair. The Sun Inn was able to redesign their kitchen to cope with increasing demand after borrowing £100,000 from Funding Circle investors.

2. Pair your pint with a burger

Next stop, London. If you like your Guinness paired with a scrumptious burger, then the Thirsty Bear in Southwark is the pub for you. The popular bar allows customers to pour their own drinks, use an ipad to order and also build their own custom burgers. Our favourite is their chicken, chorizo and jalapeno burger – yum! To help open another site, Thirsty Bear borrowed £99,500 in January 2014.

3. A pint and a place to stay

From London we’re travelling to beautiful Wells, Somerset where we’ll visit Crown at Wells, a 15th Century coaching inn. Nestled in the heart of the historic city, the family-run hotel boasts the top-notch Penn Bar, which is popular with the locals and tourists. To help with refurbishments, Crown at Wells has accessed £230,000 across three Funding Circle loans.

4. Guinness with a view

And finally, we finish our journey at The Golden Lion in Port Isaac, where you can enjoy your pint with a stunning view of the Cornish sea. Overlooking the idyllic fishing village, the 18th century pub is full of original character and charm. Providing the superb food and drinks at The Golden Lion is the Pollock’s Pub Company, who also have three other popular restaurants in the area. In order to recapitalise their hospitality business, Pollock’s borrowed £80,000 from 1580 investors.  

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside over 58,000 investors and you could earn a great return whilst supporting small businesses across the UK. Sign up online today.

You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

We’ve helped more than 21,000 businesses in the UK access finance for a range of finance needs, including hiring staff, opening new shops and working capital. Get your instant quote today.

Enjoy lending. The Funding Circle team

Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

British business booming after Brexit. February industry news.

Brexit Terrified This CEO. Then Business Jumped 50%

Last month, Bloomberg featured Funding Circle in a deep dive analysis of investor and borrower reaction to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Over the course of the last six months we’ve seen small businesses adapt and continue to invest. This has been made possible by your lending, with more than £500 million lent in the second half of 2016 alone. Supporting these businesses, who make up 50% of GDP and 60% of private sector employment, is crucial to the success of the UK economy.

Leading marketplace lender Funding Circle tops £2bn mark

Another exciting milestone as investors hit £2 billion lent to UK small businesses through Funding Circle since 2010. That means you have supported more than 22,000 small businesses with the funding they need to grow, helping to create more than 50,000 new jobs! We are seeing huge demand for fast, fair, flexible finance from businesses, which means many more lending opportunities on the platform. Watch this video to find out about the importance of diversification, where you lend small amounts to hundreds of businesses in order to manage risk.

Alternative finance in the UK ticks over £10bn mark

The wider crowdfunding sector also celebrated a major milestone this month having facilitated investment worth £10 billion, which is more than double the cumulative total during the same period in 2015. The rapid increase in consumers and businesses turning to alternatives for funding is testament to the customer experience that platforms have on offer. Hundreds of thousands of investors and borrowers alike have now benefited from a new and innovative way of taking out a loan or earning a return.

MarketInvoice and Funding Circle represent P2P on fintech delivery panel

February also saw the launch of one of the Government’s initiatives to help maintain the UK’s position as a global Financial Technology hub during Brexit negotiations. The FinTech Delivery Panel, which was set up by the Treasury and TechCityUK, is made up of senior figures from some of Britain’s most innovative companies and will help steer policy in such a way that ensures the UK’s thriving FinTech sector continues to be the best in the world.

European fintech deals hit 5-year high in 2016

European FinTech companies defied the global trend of a reduction in investment in 2016, with the number of deals increasing by 11 percent in Europe compared to a 1 percent drop globally. In total, innovative FinTech businesses attracted more than $1.2 billion of investment. 2017 is already looking like a good year for the industry with Funding Circle kicking off the fundraising with our £82 million raise in January – enabling further investment into our technology platform to create an ever better experience for our customers!

How your savings will be affected by the Bank of England’s interest rate freeze

And finally, as the high street banks continue to offer poor returns amidst the Bank of England’s decision to freeze rates at 0.25%, this Daily Mirror articles explores the many other options available as a means of making your spare cash work harder for you. By turning to investments such as peer-to-peer lending, you could earn attractive returns by lending to small businesses – but remember, this is an investment not a savings product so your capital is at risk.

Are you interested in lending to businesses through Funding Circle?

Lend alongside 58,000 investors and support small businesses across the UK by signing up online today. You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

More than 20,000 businesses in the UK have accessed finance from Funding Circle, helping with seasonal cash flow, refurbishment, asset finance and much more. You can check if you qualify for a business loan online in just 30 seconds.