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Exit from P2PFA, but Wellesley & Co isn’t slowing down

By Matthew Howard on 24th November, 2014 | Read more by this author

Spokesperson Aldwyn Boscawen from Wellesley & Co., the P2P lending service, informed 4thWay today: “The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association has accepted the resignation of Wellesley & Co. with immediate effect. Following conversations between the P2PFA and Wellesley & Co. it became apparent that Wellesley’s ongoing marketing strategy would be incompatible with the rules of the P2PFA.”

Wellesley, joined the association swiftly when it started matching borrowers and lenders and helped to create rules that ensure transparency and other very high standards among P2P lending companies. It appears that the differences between the company and the association have arisen due to Wellesley's very successful savings bonds.

Rumours abound

Rumours on the internet are that the differences of opinion might be over Wellesley's very successful savings bonds.

Wellesley describes the bonds and their risks clearly on its website, but possibly the P2PFA does not like that savers and investors could be confused and believe the bonds are P2P loans.

AltFi suggests that the cause is because, as the P2PFA rules say: “Members should not borrow or raise funds through their own platform.” Wellesley sells its bonds on its website alongside its P2P offering, so the question is whether the Wellesley website itself is the “platform” or whether the P2P lending marketplace it creates is the platform.

No slowing Wellesley's growth

An exit from the P2PFA hasn't slowed Wellesley & Co's rapid progress. It has lent a total of £115 million in one year, but it recently put all previous deals in the shade with a £10.8 million pound loan to one borrower, secured against the historic mansion Burwalls, which is situated next to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge in Bristol. This is the largest ever loan made in peer-to-peer lending.

To put this in perspective, Wellesley celebrated reaching a total of £7 million of loans in February 2014, three months after it started matching borrowers and lenders.

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