RateSetter motor finance is available through more than 60 affiliated dealerships, car supermarkets and brokers at 209 locations across the UK. Separately, RateSetter also provides personal loans to car buyers, with an average car purchase price of £6,700; the £100 million figure does not include this.
Car finance is a very well-established form of lending which is traditionally difficult for new companies to enter. RateSetter has done this by starting small (in 2013, its first year providing car finance, RateSetter wrote £15 million of motor loans) and by focusing on a personal loan product, rather than hire purchase.
Importantly, RateSetter has also focused on speed, transparency and customer service, bringing new systems and technology to the industry.
RateSetter motor finance is led by Nick Elkan (pictured above), who has more than 15 years of experience in the motor trade. He said: “These are exciting times and £100 million is a fantastic milestone for us to reach. It proves that we are providing finance that car buyers need, competitively and efficiently. Obtaining finance via a peer-to-peer lender is no longer niche, but something that increasing numbers of car buyers are aware of and choosing.</>
“Our competitors in motor finance have often been around for decades, but by building up a strong track record and understanding how the car industry works and exactly what buyers require, we’re increasingly able to win people over.”
Peter Behrens, chief commercial officer at RateSetter, added: “Motor finance is an attractive market, but it’s also a complex one which you need to understand well before wading in. Nick and his experienced team have carefully grown this part of our business and it now makes up roughly 10% of our total lending to date. We’re proud to have hit this milestone and already looking forward to the next!”
Marketplace lending platform RateSetter has now lent more than £250 million to UK businesses. The milestone comes after a number of significant recent developments for RateSetter’s business lending proposition, including senior hires, revised lending limits and investment from the government-backed British Business Bank.
Since the start of 2016, RateSetter has brought in a number of experienced senior business finance experts, including Paul Marston as head of commercial finance divisions and Brian Cartwright as head of business finance, in a move to boost its SME lending capabilities.
Marston was previously managing director of the business and commercial division at Secure Trust Bank, and a managing director at NatWest RBS before that. Cartwright joined RateSetter from challenger bank Cambridge & Counties, and prior to that he worked at Barclays and Bank of Scotland.
In addition to this, RateSetter has now built a team of regional Relationship Managers spanning the whole of the UK to make RateSetter significantly more accessible for SMEs and their advisors.
RateSetter offers loans from £25,000 to £1 million, with terms of three months to five years. All loan purposes are considered, and RateSetter provides a lending decision within two days in principle – with funds typically available within 10 days.
RateSetter also counts the British Business Bank amongst the 39,000 investors that lend through the platform. The Bank is lending £10 million to SMEs via RateSetter.
Paul Marston stressed: “£250 million is a great milestone, and there’s more to come. Commercial lending is one of the fastest-growing areas of our business, and that’s because there’s a genuine need: the market for SME finance is not fit for purpose and businesses are still being let down by the banks. The faster the SME receives their loan, the faster it can be put to good use.
“There’s an exciting and significant opportunity for forward-thinking companies like RateSetter to provide the desperately needed finance that will enable UK SMEs to grow and improve their productivity. With great tech and great people we’re building up a first class business lending team with experienced senior hires, putting ourselves in an excellent position to take our business lending to another level.”