Building a long-term business

We want you to have the best experience possible when lending through Funding Circle. When we founded the business 10 years ago, we opened up small business loans as an asset class, allowing members of the public to lend to them for the first time. 

Since then more than 90,000 investors have lent over £6.2 billion through our platform, helping over 57,000 businesses to grow and achieve new success. Investors have earned c. £330 million in interest along the way, and loans taken out since 2012 are on track to deliver returns of 4-7%*.

As our business and the industry has evolved, we’ve continued to adjust and improve our service. Today we’re as committed as ever to helping investors earn attractive returns, and we’re excited about what the future holds.

New regulations will help set industry standards

We’ve always been big supporters of regulation, and believe the new regulations are really positive and set a good bar across the industry. We’ve seen some businesses closing their doors as a result, but overall I think we’ll see a stronger, more mature industry going forward.

The FCA has been consistent with what they set out to do, reviewing the market as it has evolved. There have been a variety of innovative business models, so it’s a natural progression that as more regulation has come in, some providers have left the market. Those that remain will be the more resilient lenders who can provide for investors and borrowers alike.

A diverse community of investors makes us more sustainable

We want to have a very sustainable platform that will last long into the future. In order to do that, we need diversity of funding that delivers great returns across all the different funding sources. That’s why, at Funding Circle, individual people (known as ‘retail investors’) lend alongside larger institutions.

The loans you get as retail investors are the same loans that institutional investors get. We think that’s a real positive – you are investing on the same terms as institutions are, getting the same product and the same returns.

Other platforms have chosen to close their retail business, but at Funding Circle you remain a key part of our long-term plans.

Adjusting our credit criteria to help returns

We focus on making sure that our loan book and our credit models are as resilient as they can be. We regularly stress-test our loans to see what could happen in different scenarios and, even if losses doubled, overall returns would remain positive. 

Last year we tightened our lending criteria. This was in response to some higher risk loans showing lower returns due to the macro environment, and the initial results show that this has helped improve returns. You can read more about this in our recent update from Chief Risk Officer Jerome Le Luel

As well as adjusting our lending criteria, we also made changes to how investors sell loans. We launched a new tool that allows investors to sell a portion of their loans regularly, so that they start getting funds back more quickly. 

Our share price may change, but we’re focused on building a long-term business

It’s important to remember that the return you make depends on the performance of loans in your portfolio, and is not affected by our share price.

In 2018 we chose to list Funding Circle on the London Stock Exchange. By becoming a public company we were able to raise a significant amount of investment and, as a result, we’re a very well-capitalised business. This not only makes us more resilient, but means we can be more innovative, launch new products and not be reliant on raising equity funding.

The share price will move up and down, often due to things that aren’t in our control. However, our focus is on how we build a really great long-term business, that supports thousands of small businesses and provides great returns for our investors.

Building for the future

We recognise that a key cornerstone of our success has come from the thousands of investors who choose to lend to small businesses through our platform. You create jobs, support communities and drive the economy forward, and we’re proud to help you make a real impact on the country.

We believe the best way to continue to support you is to create a really resilient, sustainable business that will last for many years to come. We’re excited about the future, and we’ll continue to listen to your feedback and keep working to give you the best experience possible.

Lisa Jacobs – UK Managing Director

Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk, Funding Circle is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Data correct as of 31st December 2019. 

*Loans taken out since 2012 are projected to deliver annualised returns between 4.0 – 7.4% after fees and bad debt. It can take up to five years for loans to be fully repaid, so these ranges take into account how loans are currently performing and how we expect them to perform in the future. Data is from Funding Circle. Find more detail at fundingcircle.com/uk/statistics

Lisa Jacobs