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Lending Works narrowed losses last year ahead of P2P exit

Lending Works reduced its losses in the last full year before announcing the closure of its peer-to-peer retail lending business.

The consumer lender reported a loss of £1,279,653 for the 12 months to 31 December 2020, down from a loss of £1,875,641 in 2019 and a loss of £2,119,524 in 2018.

The latest financial statements, filed with Companies House, put Lending Works’ total losses since incorporation at £10,506,295.

The number of employees at the company fell from 42 to 34 during the year.

The financial statements also revealed that Lending Works’ parent company made four equity investments in the platform during the year, totaling £4.75 million.

“Further funding will be made available as needed to ensure the company remains financially resilient and sustainable over the long term and to support the company’s continued growth over time,” the document said.

Earlier this month, Lending Works announced that it had shut down its P2P lending business, citing changing market dynamics, Covid-19 and declining retail interest.

“The dynamics of the P2P market has changed significantly in recent years, with private investor participation steadily declining,” said Nick Harding, co-founder and CEO of Lending Works, at the time of the announcement.

“This has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, to the extent that we no longer feel it is large enough to support a mainstream lender like Lending Works. We now need to use alternative funding sources to ensure we can provide our loan customers with the service they need.”

Lending Works was acquired in 2020 by alternative fund manager Intriva Capital, closing on December 15 of that year.

The platform has faced a number of challenges in recent years. In March 2020, the platform halted new lending in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In October 2020, it introduced negative interest rates to investors so it could channel more money into its provisioning fund to mitigate projected higher credit losses.

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