RateSetter, a UK-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lender that has been recently acquired by Metro Bank, confirmed that it had won the ‘Best Loan Provider’ award for loans of £ 2,500 or more at the Consumer Credit Awards for 2020.
The Consumer Credit Awards “help put customers at the heart of the industry and find the best credit providers in the UK”. Over 27,000 customers voted last year. As Noted by the Consumer Credit Awards team, their awards are ‘decided by customers, not’ industry experts’.
RateSetter said it was shortlisted in several other categories as well, including Best Auto Finance Provider, Fair Treatment of Customers, Innovation of the Year and Company of the Year.
As explained by the RateSetter team:
“The awards are organized by the financial services review platform Smart Money People and identify the best credit products and providers in the financial services industry. Importantly, the rewards are based on direct feedback and votes from over 19,000 customers. “
Rhydian Lewis, Founder and CEO of RateSetter, Noted (earlier this year):
“P2P lenders have historically focused on new and existing customers as they grow their businesses. “
He also mentioned in June 2020:
“The pandemic is the first major crisis in the P2P lending industry and the focus is completely on existing customers, so you are actually improving their experience and learning something.”
As covered in early August 2020, Metro Bank had agreed to acquire RateSetter for an initial consideration of £ 2.5million, with additional consideration of up to £ 0.5million payable 12 months after completion subject to certain criteria and additional consideration of up to £ 9 million payable on the third anniversary of the completion of the transaction. The transaction is to receive the blessing of the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Over the years, RateSetter has experienced several setbacks regarding loan losses. More recently, COVID-19 has challenged the online lending platform – just as it has impacted all businesses and fintechs.
In May 2020, RateSetter announced that investors would only receive 50% of their interest, with the remaining 50% going to the contingency fund due to increased concerns about defaults.
Overall, the P2P lending industry continues to iterate and evolve. Earlier this year, 36H Group was launched as a replacement association to the UK Peer-to-Peer Funding Association (P2PFA) – once a leading advocate for the P2P industry. 36H is described as a “united voice for lending platforms that accept retail investments”. P2P lending is said to be “one of the fastest growing areas of the UK Fintech ecosystem”. RateSetter was a founding member of the group.
The updated rules have, in some ways, made it more difficult for the industry to compete. A competitor, Zopa, set out to become a digital bank and thereby provide a broader portfolio of financial services – a popular emerging path for established online lenders.
RateSetter said Metro Bank’s goal is to be the UK’s best community bank and RateSetter is proud to be a part of that mission.
In August 2020, RateSetter renamed its Australian P2P lending platform in Plenti. Plenti chief marketing officer Sebastian Paulin shared more details about the rebranding, saying:
“As Plenti, we want to help our customers get the most out of their money. We believe that what you do today can transform your future. That’s why we’ve built a new world of lending and investing that makes the experience faster and easier for everyone. Powered by technology so smart you can’t even see it.