P2P Lending in Australia and New Zealandby Fintech News Singapore September 3, 2018
Since the arrival of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in Australia and New Zealand, in 2012 and 2014 respectively, the practice has become more and more popular.
P2P lending in Australia
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) reported a total A$300 million in loans being written in the last financial year, nearly doubling from the previous year. ASIC commissioner John Price said the data show that the industry is continuing to grow across borrowing and lending, and is continuing to mature.
Australia’s first peer to peer lending platform, SocietyOne, was launched in 2012. Since launching, SocietyOne says it has connected borrowers and investors to over $480 million worth of loans. Borrowers can apply for a loan of up to $50,000 to be repaid over a loan term of two, three, or five years.
MoneyPlace provides a large range of P2P personal loans to choose from depending on circumstances. Borrowers can apply for an unsecured P2P loan of up to $45,000, and there are currently no monthly service fees for using the MoneyPlace platform.
RateSetter, originally from the UK, launched in Australia in November 2014. Since then, RateSetter has attracted more than 700,000 customers and over $5 billion in loans. The platform offers loans of up to $45,000 for a minimum of six months and a maximum of five years. RateSetter Australia also uses a reserve fund model to help protect investors against credit losses.
ThinCats is another P2P lender from the UK that has expanded into Australia. ThinCats Australia is targeted at small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and offers secured business loans of up to $300,000, for loan terms of up to five years. It claims to have accumulated more than 250 lenders on its platform with loans aggregating just over $11 million to date.
New York-based fintech startup Lending Express has connected SMEs to over $40 million in the US and Australia. Lending Express connects SMEs with the suitable lenders using artificial intelligence to find perfect matches. The startup collected $2.7 million in seed funding in May.
Other P2P lending platforms for business loans in Australia include Marketlend, which claims to have funded a total of just under $48 million in loans for 588 businesses, and Bigstone, which offers SMEs business loans worth up to $1 million.
P2P lending in New Zealand
In New Zealand, P2P lending only became practicable on April 1, 2014, when the relevant provisions of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 came into force. The act enables P2P lending services to be licensed.
New Zealand has eight licensed P2P lenders, according to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). These lent $259.9 million to individuals and $29.5 million to businesses in 2017, according to a report by the regulator published in November 2017.
The FMA issued the first peer-to-peer lending service license in July, 2014, to Harmoney. Harmoney officially launched its service on October 10, 2014 before beginning operation in Australia in 2017.
The platform has more than 8,600 active retail lenders who have invested $214 million via the platform to-date.
Squirrel Money was the second P2P lending platform to launch in New Zealand in November 2015. The platform was the first P2P lender in New Zealand to offer loan trading on a secondary market and offers investors a mobile app to quickly and easily manage their ongoing investments. Squirrel Money has a reserve fund to help protect investors against credit losses. Some $25 million have been borrowed through the platform to date.
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