Project returns quarterly update – October 2019

At Funding Circle, our aim is to allow you to earn attractive, stable returns by lending 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 are making no change to the projected returns for either lending option.

What are the 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 not changing. They will continue to be:

Balanced: 4.5% to 6.5%

Conservative: 4.3% to 4.7%

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

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. The return you achieve 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 been 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 and is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The Funding Circle team

How to access your funds

By lending through Funding Circle, your funds are lent out in small amounts to lots of different businesses. These are called loan parts, and businesses repay them over 6 months to 5 years. 

Each month you receive back a portion of the money you have lent plus interest. By keeping lending switched on, these repayments will be lent out again on more loans. This creates a rolling investment to help you earn better returns.

As a result, your funds are continually lent out to businesses who repay over up to 5 years. When you want to withdraw funds you have two options:

1) Switch off lending to withdraw small amounts

If you’d like to take out small amounts, you can withdraw your repayments as you go. Simply sign in to your account, go to the ‘Lending Settings’ page and turn off lending. Your repayments will no longer be lent out and the funds will accrue in your account. 

The rate at which your funds will accrue will vary, but on average investors get back: 

Approx 3-5% of their portfolio after the first month 

Approx 15-20% of their portfolio after the first 6 months

Approx 30-40% of their portfolio after the first 12 months

The rate then slows, with repayments continuing over 5 years (or longer with recoveries).  

Figures are based on the average repayment rate for all loans outstanding on the 1st of September 2019. As you are lending to your own individual portfolio of loans, your actual repayment rate may differ.

2) Sell loans to withdraw a lump sum

If you would like to access your funds before your loan parts have been repaid, you can look  to sell them to other investors using our automatic tool. There are no fees to sell loans or withdraw funds, however, selling loans is subject to supply and demand at the time. 

To withdraw funds you need to first set up a nominated bank account.

How does the selling tool work?

To use our selling tool, sign in to your account and go to the Sell page. It will show the value of loan parts you have available to sell at that time (not all loan parts can be sold, more on this below). 

Enter the amount you want to sell. If you don’t want to sell the full amount available, the tool will select loan parts that best match up to the value of your request. 

Your loan parts will then be placed into a queue. When they reach the front of the queue, they will most likely be sold in one batch, so the amount sold may show as £0 until the sale is completed. We’ll email you to let you know when the sale process is complete. 

How long does it take to sell loans?

The time to sell your loan parts may vary. At different times the number of investors looking to buy or sell loans will change, which affects the size of the queue. To help treat all investors fairly, our lending tool balances how much lending goes into new and existing loan parts, which can also affect the queue times. 

You can find the latest queue times in our FAQ which is updated weekly. 

To sell your loan parts as fast as possible, please keep them in the queue. If you cancel a sale and start again your loan parts will rejoin at the back of the queue.

How much of my portfolio can I sell?

To make it fair to all investors, you can only sell active loans with no credit issues, and not in the last month of their term. As a result, typically 85-95% of your portfolio is available to sell at any one time.

For loans that are late or have another credit issue, our Collections and Recoveries team are constantly monitoring and working with these businesses to recover the funds. You’ll continue to own these loan parts and receive repayments and interest as they come in. 

If their credit issue is resolved, they will become available to be sold again. 

What about defaulted loans?

Defaulted loans are removed from your portfolio and will not be available to be sold again. Our Collections and Recoveries team pursue each defaulted loan to recover as much as possible (read more here).

Recoveries take time and may vary significantly depending on the loans in your portfolio. Successful recoveries will appear as Available funds in your account as they come in ready for you to withdraw. 

Will I get the full amount requested?

The amount you will have in your account when the sale is complete may differ from the amount requested. 

If you are looking to sell your whole account, any loan parts that can’t be sold (for the reasons given above) will not be sold, so the amount you receive may be lower than the amount requested. 

If you have any further questions or want to know more about accessing your funds, you can contact our Investor Support team at contactus@fundingcircle.com.

All information correct as of 1st October 2019. 

 

Looking forward to 2020 and what it means for our introducers

Since its formation in 2012, our broker channel and introducer panel has continued to be integral in our success. This community has supported £1.3 billion of lending over 15,000 loans through Funding Circle, helping numerous businesses and unlocking thousands of jobs as a result. In turn, our registered introducers have grown their businesses too. 

We recently announced the promotion of Jeremy Crinall to the Head of Broker. Since joining in 2014, Jeremy has worked as a Business Development Manager (BDM) and as Regional Manager for Southern England. He has worked closely with all the team in their respective sub regions and is looking forward to using his 13 years of experience in the financial industry to assist the growth and development of the team, their panel of introducers, and building on those relationships even further. 

Jeremy has big plans for 2020 and sees three key areas to focus on for the next stage of success:

Service

Our team consider all our introducers as long term partners. We see them as relationships for life. We’re going to focus our efforts on improving the experience of all our introducers and their clients. We’re going to be focusing on optimising all touch points for our introducers and their clients and getting to know all our introducers on a greater level. This will enable our team to continue to go even further to provide them with the excellent service that they deserve.

Technology 

Technology will continue to be a pivotal focus for us and the team as we turn into the new year. We’ll continue to strive  to provide best-in-class solutions and to provide our introducers with even quicker decisions. We’re planning on making a lot of improvements across the business, which will ultimately benefit the broker channel and in turn, the service we’re able to provide.

People

As our plans for lending continue to grow in 2020, we want to look to build the team and further invest in our people. We strive to recruit the best individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences to ensure we can provide our introducers with an excellent service. We’ll also be looking to develop our existing team members. Both Business Development Executives and Business Development Managers receive continuous training and specialised courses, ensuring we have the right people in the right places. . 

2020 is going to be another amazing year for the entire introducer community and we want to remain at the heart of that at Funding Circle. We’re looking forward to the future and working with our introducers as we move towards 2020. We recognise the importance you will play as we continue to build a better financial world.

Loan Purposes we can help with

At Funding Circle we want to help fund all of your clients’ business needs. Every business has unique requirements and will be at different stages in their journey, so our loans can be used for a huge variety of needs.  Some of the most popular include:

Working capital – Working capital is the lifeblood of any business. Healthy cash flow allows business owners to pursue new opportunities and win more business. It saves them time, gives them greater peace of mind, and the breathing space to make the best long term decisions for them.

Refurbishment of premises – From office space to shop fronts, refurbishing business premises can be transformative. We can provide finance for refurbishment and spread the repayments over 5 years.

Hiring staff – The entire process of taking on extra staff can be costly and time consuming. Taking finance can allow  your clients to either outsource this process or conduct it in house. We’ve helped thousands of businesses for this very purpose. 

Buying new equipment/machinery – Equipment and key pieces of machinery can breakdown unexpectedly or become out of date. Often, this can be a significant outlay and cause delays in production. We can provide finance for business owners to purchase equipment and machinery. All our loans are unsecured (backed by a personal guarantee) so this means your client would own the equipment from the outset.

Deposits for property purchases – Business owners will often need full deposits before being able to apply for commercial mortgages. We can provide the funds for this, which means your clients can go to their bank, secure the full mortgage and then settle in full with us. They can repay in full with no early settlement or exit fees, making the process ideal for this scenario.

Stock purchases – Many of your clients will go through busier and quieter periods. It is important that they are prepared and can take advantage of busier times. We can help with providing finance for large stock purchases, which can provide your clients with peace of mind and often reduce overall costs.

Tax funding – Tax bills can creep up on business owners and often leave large unforseen dents in their cash flow. We can provide finance to cover the bill and spread cost out over up to 60 months. 

Funding a new project or product – For your clients, it is imperative that they stay commercially competitive and come up with new ideas to engage their current client base and attract new customers.

Refinancing existing debt – We also offer loans to refinance existing business debt. As long as the debt is registered under the business rather than anyone personally we can look to consolidate that into one repayment. This can often be easier to maintain and can reduce your monthly outgoings, assisting with cash flow.

What can’t we cover?

There are a few loan purposes that we are unable to help with: 

Refinancing of personal debt – We’re unable to provide finance for the consolidation of personal debt. Even if the debt was taken out for the purpose of benefiting the business, if it  is under a personal name we’ll be unable to help.

Onwards lending – We can’t help if the funds are going to be passed outside the business that has applied to either an individual or another business. The finance we provide must stay within the business and directly benefit the business is applying.

Speculative ventures that aren’t related to the core activity of the business – We’ll need to see how the loan purpose will benefit the business. It cannot deviate too far from the core activity of the business. For example, if your client owns a bakery but wants to expand into I.T. sales, this wouldn’t be something we could provide finance for.

Are you a looking for fast, affordable funding solution for your clients now?

Get in touch with our Partnerships Team at ukpartners@fundingcircle.com or give them a call on 0203 308 9708.