Funding Secure – An Introduction


Funding Secure started life in 2012 as a pawnbroking P2P platform. To date it has issued £175 million worth of loans and advertises an investor base 3,500. Although it started life as a pawnbroking platform, for the last 3 years it has taken on property backed loans also. Funding Secure loans are usually for 6 month terms and unlike some platforms who pay a monthly return, loans accrue interest daily but is not paid until the end of the term and only if the loan is settled.

Minimum deposit for Funding Secure is £100 made by bank transfer, with a £25 minimum loan part purchase. Rates of return on offer range from 12.00% to 16.00% per annum. There are no charges for lenders and Funding Secure offers a secondary market for early sell out dependant on a buyer being available.

The Secondary Market

Funding Secure’s secondary market place is a little more complicated than some of it’s competitors. When it comes to tax liabilities the individual left holding the investment at term is liable for the entire term. For example if you snap up a 3 month old loan hold it for the remaining 3 months you are liable for the tax on profit for the full 6 months. This is because the interest for the whole term is paid to whoever holding the loan part at maturity. To reflect this you can pick up secondary loans for as much as 1% discount (or a 1% premium if demand for a particular loan is high, or is closer to maturity) .

On the flip side of this if you are selling primary loans, and effectively passing on the tax liability, or selling for a premium (up to 1%) you can make a tidy profit (with a significant volume) when the it comes to tax liabilities at the end of the financial year. I would seriously suggest holding off from getting involved in the secondary market if you are either new to P2P or the Funding Secure platform for at least the first year because if you are not too savvy you may end picking up problematic loans with tax liabilities you ratter wouldn’t have. Some loans get dumped for a reason.

The Funding Secure dash board

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The Funding Secure dashboard

Available funds – is the in-active balance on your account. This can either be invested (£25 minimum) or withdrawn.

My current investments – shows the total principle you currently have invested in loan parts. These funds can only be released on term and repayment of the loan, or a successful sale on the secondary market place.

Allocated funds – shows any funds you have put to a loan part that have not yet been accepted (interest will not accrue until the borrower accepts you offer of funds). It can take a little a while for offers to be accepted ( I’ve experienced as long as 3 weeks ).

Available investments – lists the investments currently available on the platform for investment. Information includes –

  • Reference – the loan ID.
  • Title – a brief description.
  • Amount – total size of the loan.
  • Rate – Anual ROI.
  • LTV – is the Loan to value of the security (capped at 70%).
  • Progress – shows how much of the loan has been funded so far.
  • Updated (scroll right) – shows any recent material changes to the loan.
  • Invest (scroll right) – shows the button to invest.

Bricklane – 6 Month Results

6 Month Results

The results for the first 6 months of investing through Bricklane are in, and they are as follows –

Expected ROI 5.00%
Actual ROI 0.54%

Now there needs to be some background to these figures for them to make a little more sense. The Expected ROI is taken from a few published figures from 3rd parties and I levelled 5.00 % as a sensible average target. The fact is Bricklane don’t make a big deal of an expected return, partly because regulations require at least 2 years of track record to advertise a return as a figure (which Bricklane are not quite there), but the main reason being Bricklane is very different to a traditional P2P investment platform ( in-fact it actually classifies as an ISA) . It’s easy to calculate an expected return based on the given percentage for each loan part, but with Bricklane you are investing in a share of an overall property portfolio, plus a share of the rental dividend pro rata.

So although a near 90% disparity between ‘Expected ROI’ and ‘Actual ROI’ looks worrying, it’s not as bad as a seems. Bricklane charge a 2% deposit fee (ouch) on balances under £25’000 (1% for over £25’000), plus a 0.85% annual servicing fee. This meant it took a couple of weeks short of 6 months to realise a profit. If that trend continues for the next 6 months (without anymore deposits) that would result in an annual return of just north of 2%, based on portfolio growth. That is only one revenue stream though, the second being a share of rental income paid every 6 months.

At the time of writing this blog I have now received my first share of rental income dividend, however because it fell just behind the 6 months cut off for compiling these figures (it will be included in the figures for month 7) I didn’t want to distort the results for 6 months. I’ve give you a clue though, 5.00% annual ROI is looking fair right now.

To conclude, I must admit I’ve been lukewarm about Bricklane for months, thinking a 2.00% annual ROI (- 1.00% when factoring in inflation) is hardly call for cracking out the party poppers. Now with the rental income dividend paid, it starting to look a little more rosy. What i have always liked about Bricklane though is firstly it’s heavy weight backing ( backed by Zoopla ), secondly you are invested in owned bricks and mortar, not a debt transaction that can default like most P2P property platforms, finally there are no withdrawal transactions or secondary market queuing. So once you have paid the deposit you money is theoretically accessible at any time.

I am considering increasing my investment in Bricklane but it means writing off most of this years gains (at the cost of a 2% deposit charge) for higher gains later on down the line, which of course are never guaranteed.

Lending Works an introduction


Lending Works is on online P2P platform. They offer unsecured personal loans at competitive rates, financed by individual lenders (consumer 87.3%, institutional 12.7% as of December 2017). Lending Works launched in 2014 operating out of an office in London and their total loans now amount £85’000’000 to date.

Funds can be deposited either by debit card (1 day clearance) or bank transfer (2-3 days). There are two rates of return on the Lending Works platform, either 4% for 3 years or 5.5% up to 5 years (correct as of December 2017). The projected rates can change with a weeks notice at the desecration of Lending Works.

The minimum you can deposit at any one time is £10. Interest earned on your ‘On Loan’ balance is paid out on the last day of the month. This balance will either go in to the ‘Classic Wallet’ for withdrawal or ‘Offers’ for re-lending as per your instruction.

You will notice there is a residual balance in the ‘Classic Wallet’, in this case £0.09. This is because unlike some platforms you can not manually choose which individual loans to invest in, Lending Works dose it for you. So the loans are broken down in to micro loan parts ( in the region of £0.85 ) so you are usually left with a few pennies waiting for further funds before being loaned out. One advantage of this is risk can be spread very wide, even with a relatively small balance. This insulates from most bad debts of defaults.

Lending Works also operates a provision fund that it calls the ‘Barrier’ to further insulate a lender from bad debts or defaults. This platform also operates a withdraw charge (on quick withdraws) of £20 or 0.6% of the balance, which ever is higher, designed to enforce stability of funds, this charge puts Lending Works straight in to the mid term investment prospect (2 – 5 years) before realising a profit. The only way to avoid this charge is to use the option to auto-withdraw monthly returns (for which there is no charge), this however means sacrificing compound growth.

The Lending Works dashboard

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The Lending Works dashboard

The dashboard for Lending Works is very simple to understand –

Classic Wallet – is the balance in your account unassigned to loans (this amount is available for withdrawal at any time).

Offers – is any balance you have instructed to lend out but has not yet been assigned to a loan. Loan assignments can take 5 to 10 working days depending on availability, and you do not earn interest on the offer balance.

On Loan – is the balance you have successfully lent out to borrowers. This balance is where the interest is earned.

Withdrawn – details all your withdrawals made from your account to date.

My repayments – shows the instruction you have given Lending Works regarding what to do with your repayments. You can either return them to your classic wallet for withdrawal or auto invest to maximise returns.

PropTechFish, the mission ?

So what is the mission of PropTech Fish ? Well quite simply its a blog designed to assess various investment platform’s for the small time investor (the fish). The limitations of a fish investor for the purpose of this blog is and individual who has £100 or less a month to invest. The blog will report back regularly on the progress of various platforms, as well as provide wider UK property market information.

Any information provided with in the blog should only be treated as a record of the authors own personal experience and provides no guarantees that a reader would experience the same outcomes. If you choose to invest in a platform, it is with your money and the risk is yours entirely.

The author of this blog has no preference with any platform discussed, with the intention being to provide an objective and honest assessment of the various platforms the UK market has to offer. This blog dose generate a nominal amount of income through link referrals which goes towards financing the cost of the blog it’s self. This income has no bearing on the reviews or assessment of individual platforms.

Finally read as much as you can before parting with any money and of course have fun investing !

What is PropTech ?

PropTech is short for Property Technology. This term casts a wide net over a number of areas but can defined by any technology developed to assist in the purchase, leasing or marketing of property. With-in the PropTech sector a number of platforms have sprung up in recent years allowing the small fish investor (like me) to easily invest small amounts in property transactions in exchange for a reasonable return. We all know UK banks are currently delivering pitiful returns on savings accounts at this time so its good to know there are alternatives.

Of course its has to be said any money invested in these platforms is at risk like any other investment, so be aware you can walk away with less than you started with if a borrower hits choppy waters and starts to default on repayments. I would suggest reading as much as possible on your chosen platform and more generally about the sector so your eyes are open before making any commitments.