News & Views - Savantor

Peer to peer loans growing

Monday, 15 November 2010

We have commented before on person to person lending platforms like Zopa and their growing popularity and it seems this trend is set to continue with the launch of another such platform – Quakle.

In these days of poor returns on investments from Banks and the opposite on loans it is not surprising to see these types of offerings becoming more popular. Quakle is different from other peer-to-peer lending websites as it combines peer-to-peer lending with social networking. Members also have a 'reputation score' which is based on their individual behaviour and that of any group they may be part of within the site and gives an indication of how reliable they are as a borrower. Borrowers and lenders are encouraged to get to know each other and join groups to form a social community.

Unlike other peer-to-peer lending sites, investors are not charged anything to loan money. Borrowers make loan requests, which are open for a period of ten days. During this 'auction' period, lenders can bid to fund a proportion of these loans and can propose the interest rates at which they are prepared to lend. When the auction system finds a match, the lenders and the borrower enter into a legally binding loan contract. Loans must be repaid to the lender over a period of 12 to 36 months. As these systems are cutting Banks out of the loop it will be worth watching their performance over the next 2 – 3 years as they are likely to be popular with younger consumers who may also be more inclined to use PayPal on their mobiles to make payments and transfer funds and the Banks may find themselves being cut out of another loop.

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