Funding Circle has permanently closed down its retail peer-to-peer lending platform, two years after pausing retail activity due to Covid.
Loans will no longer be available to buy and sell through the secondary market, and all remaining loans will be repaid or recovered.
Investors will continue to receive repayments of interest and principal into their accounts until these loans have been completed.
“This has been a tough decision to make and one that we have taken following careful consideration,” said Lisa Jacobs (pictured), chief executive of Funding Circle UK.
“Since new lending was paused in April 2020, we focused on supporting small businesses to access finance through new and existing products, including through government schemes which retail investors were unable to participate in.
“During this period, retail investors have on average received 80 per cent of their investments back and currently represent five per cent of Funding Circle’s total loans under management.
“This period also saw some major changes within the industry including key players closing their retail platforms, proposed regulatory changes and broader market dynamics.
“These factors have led us to today’s announcement as we do not believe we could continue to operate a sustainable product for retail investors.”
Since Funding Circle’s launch in 2010, it has delivered average annualised returns of five per cent to more than 90,000 retail investors.
Jacobs thanked every retail investor for playing a “significant role in helping small businesses to access the finance they need to grow”.
“This has been a difficult decision to make and we have considered a number of options, but we feel now is the right time to close retail lending,” she added.