Get John Lewis vouchers when you add funds and lend it to businesses

For a limited time only, you’ll receive gift vouchers when you add £15,000 or more to your Funding Circle account! Transfer funds into your account today and you could treat yourself to an Apple Watch, Sonos Smart Speaker, Amazon Echo or whatever you need with John Lewis gift vouchers.

What value John Lewis vouchers can I claim?

The amount you receive depends on how much you transfer into your account:

  • Add £50,000 to get £400
  • Add £30,000 to get £250
  • Add £20,000 to get £150
  • Add £15,000 to get £100

What do I need to do?

Firstly, you need to register your account for the promotion. Simply login to your account, go to the Transfer in page and enter your email address on the pop up window.

Then you need to add funds to your account between 21st of February and 21st of March 2019 to get the voucher amount you want. On March 21st, we’ll look at the amount added to your account during this period minus any withdrawals. This will determine the vouchers you’ll qualify for. If you have both ISA and Classic accounts, we’ll look at the amount added between them.

You also need to have lending switched on and keep those funds lent out until 21st of June 2019. If you withdraw funds (from either your Classic or ISA account) you may receive a lower voucher amount or no longer qualify. We’ll then send your vouchers out to your registered email address. For full terms and conditions click here.

Register and transfer funds now

Can I use my ISA and Classic accounts?

You can only claim one gift per person. If you have only an ISA account and have used up your ISA allowance, you can either transfer existing ISAs you hold from other providers, or open a Classic account.

If you have both an ISA and Classic account registered to the same email address, you can split the extra funds between the two. However, if you withdraw from one and transfer to the other, you won’t qualify for a gift. We’ll look at the net amount added between the two.

Can I transfer an ISA from an existing provider?

You can also transfer existing ISAs from other providers. In order for your ISA transfer to qualify, you need to fill out the ISA transfer form in your Funding Circle account between 21st of February and 21st of March 2019. The ISA transfer will need to be complete, with funds distributed to your Funding Circle account and lending switched on, by midnight on 21st of June 2019.

Register and transfer funds now

For more information call us on 020 7401 9111 or contactus@fundingcircle.com. Terms and conditions apply.

By lending to businesses your capital is at risk. Not covered by Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your tax-free entitlement depends on your circumstances and may change.

Enjoy lending!

The Funding Circle team

John Lewis is not a participant in or sponsors of this promotion. All related John Lewis logos are trademarks of John Lewis Partnership plc 2013.

Update to our projected returns

At Funding Circle, our aim is to allow you to earn attractive, stable returns by lending directly to a diversified portfolio of creditworthy businesses. As part of this commitment, we regularly review our projected returns based on our assessment process, the interest rates at which you lend to businesses and the performance of loans.

Taking into account these factors and the mix of businesses in each lending option, following our most recent review we have updated the projected returns for each lending option.

What are the new projected returns?

The projected returns are a forward looking estimate for loans added to your portfolio, and do not affect loans you already hold. As a result of our review, the projected returns for our Balanced and Conservative lending options are now:

Balanced: 5.5% to 6.5%

Conservative: 4.9% to 5.2%

You can see more information on how the projected return is calculated here.

Providing a clear view of how your account is performing

We have also recently updated your Summary page to make it easier to see how your portfolio is performing. Previously, we showed investors three different returns: gross yield, an annualised net return and an estimated fully diversified return. We have received feedback that showing three returns can be confusing, so to make this simpler you will now only see one return in your account, the annualised return.

The annualised return represents how your account is currently performing and is calculated after fees and bad debt. This links directly to your investment earnings and will help you to evaluate how your account has performed since you started lending through Funding Circle.

What other factors can affect your return?

It’s important to understand that your actual return may be higher or lower than the projected return shown for your chosen lending option. This can be caused by factors such as:

  • Actual performance may be higher or lower than projected – for example, more businesses may be unable to repay their loans if macroeconomic conditions were to change, such as during an economic downturn. In addition, the individual businesses you lend to may perform better or worse than projected.
  • The number of businesses you lend to – as you are lending to your own individual portfolio of loans, not everyone will earn the same projected return. Your personal projected return depends on the loans your funds are matched with, and the more businesses you lend to the better our lending tool will be at matching your funds to achieve the projected returns shown. Lending to more businesses also helps you earn a more stable return by reducing the impact of bad debt.
  • Your actual return is likely to change over time – the projected return is the annual return you could earn once all loans have repaid and recoveries have been received from defaulted loans. Bad debts do not typically occur evenly over the life of a group of loans, and it often takes time for recoveries to be made on defaulted loans. This means your return is likely to change over time. You can read more about this here.

Will this affect the businesses you lend to?

These projected returns will affect your lending going forward, and do not affect any loans you already hold. We will review and if necessary, update the projected returns every three months. We display projected returns for the past five years of loans on our statistics page, and update these every three months.

You do not need to do anything and, by having lending switched on, you will continue to lend to businesses automatically. As always, you can change your lending option or pause lending via the lending settings page of your account.

If you have any questions about today’s news, please get in touch. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

The Funding Circle team

News

How to save for retirement

Jasmine Birtles is a TV and newspaper journalist and personal finance expert. In her articles she’ll be helping you get the most from your investment and reach your personal goals.  

Retirement seems so far away and there are so many other demands on your income that it’s easy to put it off.

However, the good news about investing for retirement is that even small amounts that are put away now can grow to an impressive pile once you decide to slow down a bit.

The aim is to amass a pot of money that is big enough for you to live on for a few decades (you should expect to have a retirement of at least 20 years, if not considerably longer). How you collect up this pot of money is up to you. Pensions are often a good way to do this – particularly because of the tax saving while you work – but it’s not the only way.

Here are a few ways to save for retirement without having to think too much about it!

Make the most of your workplace pension

This is a lovely easy one because if you are an employee – even if you work privately, say as a nanny or carer – you should automatically be enrolled in a workplace pension. According to the new rules, you should be paying 5% of your income into it and, crucially, your employer will also have to pay 3% extra on top of that. So that’s free money from your employer! Not only that, because it’s a pension, the rules say that the Government has to add in the tax you would have paid on that money. So from the start your pot has grown.

Consider setting up your own pension

If you’re self-employed then you will need to be responsible for sorting out your own pension, if you want one.

Personal pensions used to be expensive (in terms of the management fees) and generally poor-performing. Nowadays though they are forced to charge a lower management fee, so you have as good a chance of the pot growing as you would if you had a workplace pension. The only downside is that you don’t have an employer adding to your pot.

As a self-employed person you could consider investing in:

  • Stakeholder pension (the maximum management fee they can charge is 1.5%)
  • Self-invested Personal Pension (SiPP) where you decide what to invest your money in
  • NEST pension (National Employment Savings Trust)

Use your ISA allowance

While pensions have the advantage of tax put in at the start, when you come to retire and live off your pension you will need to pay tax on that income. However, with ISAs it’s the other way round. You pay into an ISA out of your taxed income, then you’re not taxed on the gains you make and when you take it out at the end you get it all tax-free.

However, if you’re using your ISA as part of your retirement savings (and that’s the right thing to do with it, by the way) then you should be putting money in an Innovative Finance or Stocks & Shares ISA. These do better than a Cash ISA in the long-term. Take a look at Index-Tracking Funds (more in this article on MoneyMagpie.com) as they are a cheap and easy way to invest in the stock market and you can get them wrapped in an ISA.

Get creative about retirement savings

There’s absolutely no law that says you have to invest in pensions or even stock market products for your retirement. Frankly all sorts of different things could set you up for your golden years.  The ideal is to have money in a range of products including pensions, ISAs and, ideally, other investments too.

Other things you could invest in include:

  • Property (either in the UK or abroad)
  • Online lending such as Funding Circle
  • Collections (like art, jewellery, classic cars, Elvis memorabilia, plastic action figures and more!)
  • Gold, silver and other precious metals.

Really, any of these could help you save for retirement. They all have pros and cons and it depends on your likes and your lifestyle which you would go for.

For example, with online lending you can support UK businesses and help the economy grow as well as your nest egg.

Property is usually a good investment long-term, although there are a lot of costs involved in maintaining it and you’re never sure if the price will go up, particularly if you buy abroad. Gold and silver are good ‘safe havens’ when we go through economic uncertainty. It’s worth having some of that if you can do it.

Collections on the other hand can sometimes grow exponentially in value – some Lego sets go up by 1000’s of per cent over a few years. Collections can be very lucrative if you get it right, but it’s more of a gamble. Some people have managed to fund a new conservatory by selling their collection of designer clothes. Others have lived well by selling good art they invested in early. However, you can never know if a particular collection will keep its value. For example, right now posh dinner services which might have fetched thousands a few years ago are hard to shift, and beautifully carved, heavy wooden furniture can barely be given away. So collections should be used as an extra to your core investments only.

For more information

To find out more about the Funding Circle ISA visit fundingcircle.com/innovative-finance-isa.

By lending to businesses your capital is at risk. The tax-free entitlement of an ISA depends on your individual circumstances and may change. Not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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 adviser or seek independent specialist advice.