Peer-to-peer lender MoneyThing has announced it is closing down and is no longer taking any new investments or new customers. A statement on the lender’s website said: “We have found it is increasingly difficult to compete in the current market conditions and we expect there is a tougher economic environment to come”. Launched in February 2015, MoneyThing began life as an online pawnbroker and used its P2P platform as a way of raising funds. It then transformed to offer property and development bridging loans and asset backed finance. As of December 6th, MoneyThing had made loans totalling £92.2m with £71.9m of capital repaid and £8.1m in interest paid. The lender cited “significant changes in the lending markets in the UK” and the prospect of “less potential borrowers committing to projects and growth in borrowing is slowing”. – IBS Intelligence
Aldermore reveal the UK’s BTL hidden gems
Aldermore’s new Buy-to-Let City Tracker, analysing 25 cities across the UK to understand the best places for landlords to invest in, has found Oxford, closely followed by Manchester, to be the best. Damian Thompson, Director of Mortgages, Aldermore comments: “The number of people renting in the UK has been rapidly growing, up 1.7 million in ten years, so private landlords are an increasingly central part of the housing market as supporting a robust and strong Private Rented Sector becomes more essential.” – Aldermore, Press Release
Business & Legislative News
Prem Sikka: Tories will do little to reform governance
Prem Sikka says in the Independent that the Conservatives would not make the changes needed to end the culture of short-termism in UK companies and institute the regulatory reforms required to prevent the mis-selling and accounting scandals seen over recent years. The Labour party, however, “offers a vision of corporate governance and regulation that is inclusive, focuses on the long-term success of companies and provides a regulatory architecture that eliminates waste and protects people from malpractices.” – The Independent
Insolvency giant expects retail wreckage to continue
Underlining shaky consumer confidence amid the growth in online retailing, Ric Traynor, executive chairman of restructuring and insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, has suggested that there is little sign that the High Street carnage is softening. He also said retail sector woes would likely continue to hit landlords in the property sector. The firm reported revenue growth of 21% to £33.8m for the six months to October 31, with profit before tax growth of 280% to £1.9m due to “favourable conditions in the UK insolvency market”. – City AM
Report shows recovery in small business health
The latest SME Health Check Index from Virgin Money UK shows business confidence is stable despite the uncertainty around Brexit and the general election. The Virgin report showed that in Q3, the index rose 7.5 points to 49.0 across eight indicators: measuring business costs, GDP, employment, revenue, capacity, confidence, lending and net business creation. However, employment growth saw a minor decline and late payments continued to hamper SMEs. Gavin Opperman, group customer banking director, at Virgin Money UK, said: “The Q3 SME Health Check results show cause for optimism. After a challenging start to the year, UK SMEs are showing definite signs of recovery. There are undoubtedly challenges to navigate, and political uncertainty remains a thorn in our economy’s side.”- Business Money
UK economy stagnates ahead of general election
The economy suffered its weakest three months since early 2009 with ONS data showing growth flat in October after two months of declines. The ONS said: “Increases across the services sector [were] offset by falls in manufacturing with factories continuing the weak performance seen since April. Construction also declined across the last three months with a notable drop in house building and infrastructure in October.” – Financial Times & The Daily Telegraph
MFS lowers bridging loan rates to combat election and Brexit lethargy
Market Financial Solutions (MFS) has lowered its bridging loan rates to combat a potential property market slowdown as a result of the General Election, Brexit and Christmas period. MFS has created a dedicated fund of £50 million for all its bridging products at the new lower rates to ensure loans can be delivered as quickly as possible. The NACFB Patron is now offering rates of 0.59% for its first-charge loans on residential and buy-to-let investments with a loan-to-value (LTV) rate of 60%. This is down from 0.75% previously. – MFS, Press Release
Lendinvest offers bridge to let product
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