Growth Street – 6 Month Results

6 Month Results

Expected ROI (Annualised) 5.20%
Actual ROI (Annualised) 4.62%

The ‘Expected ROI’ is taken from Growth Street’s own marketing material. The Actual ROI coming in at 4.62% is a little low. The main factor for this is month one was a part month and 6 months is fairly early days so the effect on the annual rate will be slightly exaggerated, ie. after 12 months the effect should be reduced. As far as I can see, I have experienced no defaults in the 6 month period. Growth Street has a unique model in which each loan part contract is only held for one month by each lender. While this tactic migrates risk for the majority of lenders, there will be unfortunate individuals left holding a bad debt parcell when a bad debt occurs. Growth Street dose however operate a provision fund it calls the Loan Loss Provision (LLP) but as I say I’m yet to experience how this works in practice myself.

Deal flow has been perfectly adequate for my holdings to be invested in no more than 3 working days so cash drag has been minimal. In terms of my own experience with Growth Street there’s not really much more to say at this point.

Company Information

Going back to Growth Street’s LLP in general, it looks like some difficult lessons have been learnt. 2017 saw a higher claim against the LLP then funds available while 2018 saw a substantially higher claim (almost double) against the LLP. This deficit was covered by a further £450,000 cash injection from the founders. Now Growth Street have claimed this was down to financial product they have since discontinued so they believe they will not be effected in the same way going forward. Indeed much of balance has been written off as fraud. While it’s disappointing to see a P2P platform getting it wrong it’s refreshing to see them take accountability and move quick to fix the problem. I’m also reminded they are still a very young company.

It’s predominantly because of this unfortunate episode that Growth Street remain some way off profitability. However they have also just completed a further funding round for £7.5 million so they should be fairly well financed for a little while at least. Growth Street held an investor Q&A on the 6th March 2019, unfortunately it was short notice for me and I was otherwise engaged, of course I would have attended. Again, it’s good to see Growth Street step out from behind the platform to reassure their human investors that they are taking their responsibility as custodians of their funds seriously.

Conclusion

I do like Growth Street, the layout of the platform and the product they are offing. I would like to see the ‘Expected ROI’ rate and ‘Actual ROI’ rate come closer together over the next 6 months. I will increase my holdings but with some reservation until I see more evidence of a platform learning lessons and maturing. So yes their place within my portfolio is safe for the next 6 months, but I will be watching their progress very closely.

Growth Street – An Introduction

Introduction

Growth Street Exchange Limited (full name) is a UK based, business focused P2P lender launched in 2015. The minimum deposit and minimum loan part for Growth Street is £10, made via bank transfer only. Current advertised annual return is 5.3%.

How Growth Street works is interesting, once a deposit has cleared you place an order on the market for the deposit to be assigned to a loan (Growth Street is ‘black box’ in nature so it chose the loans for you although you can view more detail on a loan once it’s been assigned) . All loans however are on one month rolling contracts. This means your deposit plus interest is redeposited back to your account balance at the end of the month, to be re-instructed for lending on new loan. This effectively means a total account closure/withdrawal could be performed in as little as a one month. This potentially makes Growth Street one of the most liquid P2P offerings on the market to date. Worth noting this is excluding the effects of defaults, which would be ‘unsellable’.

Growth Street does not offer a secondary market place so you are tied in for at least the month of the contract.

Growth Street Summary Page

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Summary Page for Growth Street

Money On Loan – shows the total balance currently assigned to loans.

Money On Market – shows the any open orders awaiting loan part assignment.

Holding Account Balance – shows any funds not yet on loan or queued for lending, with a minimum loan part of £10, cash drag is a factor with Growth Street. These holding balance funds can be withdrawn at anytime.

Current Interest Accrued (Unpaid) – is the outstanding interest on live loan part that should be expected with-in the next four weeks.

Interest paid to date – is the total interest paid on the deposited balance excluding accrued interest.

To perform a total account withdrawal you will first need to turn off the ‘Reinvestment’ instruction, accessible from the top right dropdown menu on the main website.