Collapse of property platform Lendy prompts FCA probe

By Roger Baird on Tuesday 28 May 2019

Alternative Lending

The Portsmouth-based platform has been handed over to administrators.

Collapse of property platform Lendy prompts FCA probe
Image source: Wiki Commons

Property peer-to-peer lender Lendy has collapsed and is under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Portsmouth-based platform, which allows savers to lend to property developers, was taken out of the hands of its directors following a court order last Friday (24 May).

The business, launched in 2012, is being handled by joint administrators Damian Webb, Phillip Sykes and Mark Wilson of RSM.

Lendy, which sponsors the Cowes Week sailing regatta, has crashed with outstanding loans of more than £160m, and more than £90m is in default, according to City A.M.. The business announced it had more than 21,500 investors last July.

An update from RSM on the platform’s website confirmed: “The administrators are working closely with the FCA who consented to their appointment”.

It added that “the information we have is limited” and asked creditors to “continue to consult the website in the first instance”.

The regulator said: “There is an ongoing FCA investigation into the circumstances that have led to this action.”

The FCA, chaired by Charles Randell, is to publish new rules in the next two months to clamp down on peer-to-peer sites, according to the Sunday Times. It aims to give investors an “appropriateness” test before they hand over cash, and could cap the amount lent at 10% of their savings.

Peer-to-peer lenders sprung up in the wake of the financial crisis as high street banks pulled back from small business lending, fearing defaults.

These digital lenders took their place, but critics argue they are under competitive pressure from backers to make loans in order to grow their balance sheets, which can lead to poor quality lending to firms who are unable to pay back their debts.

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