RateSetter, the UK's largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, has become the first global platform to obtain a retail license to lend in Australia.
By opening its doors in Australia, RateSetter is disrupting the country's financial landscape, making P2P lending a viable investment option for the very first time. Rates that were previously the preserve of institutional investors have now become accessible to all Australian savers seeking a better return on their investments.
RateSetter Australia Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Foggo, said: "After an extended period of laying the groundwork and meeting regulatory requirements, we are delighted to announce that RateSetter has become the first and only P2P lender licensed to offer loans to everyday Australians.
"Our aim is to redefine Australia's $100 billion consumer finance sector by offering everyday Australians a better way to save and borrow. We want to empower savvy investors and borrowers by putting them in control of their finances through a simple, fair and flexible P2P platform."
Since launching in the UK in 2010, RateSetter has grown rapidly to become the UK's largest lender, handling a market-leading £235million in loans this year-to-date alone. A staggering £8m of this was in the first week of September, compared to a total of £7.4m lent in the platform's first twelve months of operation. These figures demonstrate the exponential growth of P2P in the UK and its capacity to reinvigorate Australia's consumer finance sector in a similar way.
Rhydian Lewis, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of RateSetter commented: "This is a significant milestone for the global P2P industry and for RateSetter, which is now the only P2P lender operating across these two continents.
"Having witnessed the growth of the sector within the UK market, we were keen to explore opportunities to take this to other markets. Australia was an obvious choice with an attractive economy populated by investors keen for better returns on their cash, and a significant number of responsible borrowers. What's more, the financial system was ripe for disruption – for too long banks have been offering below-par savings and loan deals in the absence of real competition."
RateSetter has matched more than a million loans in the UK and launches in Australia with one of the most advanced P2P lending technology platforms in the world. The platform provides investors and borrowers with a high level of transparency and brings sophisticated credit screening systems, helping to ensure all loans written are of a high quality.
Investors on the RateSetter platform are able to lend from as little as $10, for terms from one month up to five years. Interest rates are set directly by the lender and borrower, according to the relative supply and demand of funds. This means RateSetter will allow Australians, for the first time, to set their own rate, rather than have them passed down by the banks.
Mr Foggo concluded: "Australia is ready for the P2P alternative. RateSetter is part of a new wave of modern businesses that are harnessing technology to pass on efficiency savings to consumers. P2P lending is starting to redefine banking on a global scale and we believe Australians will embrace it, especially after they experience our model."