Just before 2014 draws to a close, RateSetter is delighted to announce that it has taken on the loan book of GraduRates, a fellow P2P lender which helps students finance their education, funding loans for postgraduate study.
GraduRates, which launched in 2010, has decided to run down its operations ahead of the impending regulation of the industry by the FCA and wanted to ensure uninterrupted service to its customers. This showcases the self-regulating power of the industry and as the UK’s largest P2P platform, RateSetter will act as a stable and effective mediator. It will also allow RateSetter to broaden its borrower channels and ensure a larger volume of high quality loans for lenders to lend against - one of a number of developments for the business as it enters 2015.
Rhydian Lewis, RateSetter CEO and co-founder, highlights the wider benefits to the P2P industry:
"This is a sign of the peer-to-peer lending industry growing up. One of the things the Government is focussed on in the upcoming HMT Consultation on peer-to-peer ISAs is the ability for platforms to wind down in an orderly manner. This agreement between RateSetter and GraduRates will serve as one of the first examples of the peer-to-peer market finding solutions that work in the best interests of customers."
P2P expansion in 2014 has been exponential. The industry itself grew by 107% this year and for RateSetter, it has been a record breaking year with 219% growth and £280 million loaned in the year to date - over £20 million ahead of its closest rival. As existing platforms are growing and new ones are arriving, consolidation will become increasingly frequent and customers will expect the seamless service to be maintained.
The deal between GraduRates and RateSetter is a landmark example of how two platforms can work together for good customer outcomes. The former is able to effectively wind down and the latter is able to offer the high standard of service lenders and borrowers now expect of P2P platforms.