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UK P2P Lending Reaches New Record

As U.K. policymakers continue to make headway in reforms that strengthen small businesses’ access to financing, the nation’s peer-to-peer lending sector has made significant headway. Earlier this year, the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association revealed 2015 Q1 statistics that found a new high of $709 million that has been lent out through P2P lending platforms, with a significant share of this funding going straight to SME borrowers.

But last week, researchers found that this lending market is growing even further. Reports published Friday (July 17) revealed that the U.K. P2P lending market experienced a record-breaking quarter in Q2 2015, with more than $792 million worth of P2P loans being handed out in the period by the end of June. The data was released by the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association as well.

According to reports, the numbers represent a diversifying market of business models when it comes to alternative lenders. While the top two leading P2P lenders in the quarter were Zopa and Ratesetter, both consumer lending sites, the third-largest lender was a business lending platform, Funding Circle.

“We have passed yet another milestone with our members facilitating over half a billion pounds of new loans in the last three months — at this rate we may hit £4 billion [$6.24 billion] by the New Year,” said Peer-to-Peer Finance Association Chair Christine Farnish in a statement. “Strong growth continues across all parts of the market, reflecting the increasing trust that both lending consumers and borrowers have in peer-to-peer lending platforms.”

According to the data, P2P lending has more than 116,00 lenders in the U.K. market, with nearly 189,000 borrowers, both individuals and businesses.

Reports highlighted the data in respect to policymakers’ latest announcement that involves the industry. The new federal budget includes a new type of savings account aimed specifically towards the P2P lending market, while officials also announced that returns on investments in these accounts would be tax free. These policies are set for implementation as early as next April.

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