Funding Circle Review

Funding Circle logo
Rated 3.5 stars out of 5

What we like

What we don't like

Key facts

  • The largest P2P lending platform in Europe currently, Funding Circle has strong backing
  • Liquid and active secondary market
  • Longer track record than most platforms, with good data available
  • Possible to invest large sums
  • Volumes have been growing strongly each year
  • Most loans are unsecured. The performance of the loans during an economic downturn is difficult to predict.
  • Funding Circle will cease to offer loans with real estate collateral from Mid 2018, which offers better downside risk
  • Funding Circle has announced that it will no longer allows investors to select individual loans
  • Historic returns have been in the region of 6-8% pa, which is acceptable but not market leading
  • Loan types - Mainly unsecured lending to small and mid size enterprises (SMEs)
  • Collaterals - Some property loans have collaterals but they will not be available from mid-2018
  • Protection fund? - No
  • Autobid available? - Mandatory
  • Secondary market? - Yes
  • Is platform profitable? - Currently heavily loss making, but with several strong equity backers and a high valuation attributed to the platform
  • ISA offered? - Coming soon

Our views on Funding Circle

Funding Circle is currently the largest P2P investment platform in Europe. It has received full FCA authorisation and is one of the few funds to have received investment from institutional funds. These funds perform significant amounts of due diligence before making investments, which provides some level of assurance for other investors. Funding Circle has been lending since 2010, which gives it a longer track record than most other platforms, and allows it to provide investors with high quality data. Most investors will make use of the autobid feature, which will allocate funds across up to 400 different loans. This is a good option for investors who want to take a more macro view and allocate their investments based on a target return and risk level.

We were disappointed with the recent announcement from Funding Circle that they will no longer allow their investors to manually select loans. Their announcement suggested that investors who manually selected loans achieved better returns. We tend to prefer sites that allows investors to manually select the loans, as it rewards investors who perform their own analysis and helps them create a more tailored portfolio.

Funding Circle is most suitable for investors who favour placing their funds with a large, well known platform, who don't want to have to devote significant time to managing the funds they hold on the platform, and looking to earn returns slightly higher than can be found at Zopa and Ratesetter. 

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