Funding Circle Review

Funding Circle Review (UK Lender) 

(4 / 5)

– Updated September 2018

Read my 100% unbiased Funding Circle review here. Based on my own investing experience. Highlighting the positives and negatives of investing with one of the UK’s largest Peer to Peer lenders.

Funding Circle is one of the larger Peer to Peer – Peer to Business (P2P/P2B) lenders.  Offering good returns of 6%-7% or more on their balanced investment option. Providing loans to property developers and small businesses throughout the UK. I like Funding Circle and consider them to be one of the better options for high returns from a relativity safe, large company.

Obvious Investor Easy-Info Table

Overall Rating*: (4 / 5)
Who can invest: different rules per location
Estimated Return:5.00% - 7.2% depending on account (my projected 7.2%)
My Actual Return:9.60%
Risk Rating*:4/10 - Low-Medium   
Early Exit:Yes, no cost under normal market conditions.
Min. Investment:£100 initial deposit.
Auto Invest:Yes - 2 accounts
Manual Invest:No
Lending To:Borrowers
Loan Security:Some (not all) loans secured by property, land or
personal guarantees
Provision Fund:No
Time to Invest:Usually Quick. few days depending on loan availability
Time to Mange:None (auto-invest)
Lender Fees:1% fee to lenders
Amount Lent:£5 Billion
Number of Investors:75k
Loan/Dflt Stats:Yes, Click Here
Regulated:Yes: FCA
Location:HQ - London, UK.       also have locations in USA,
Germany, and the Netherlands
Launched:August 2010
Website:http://fundingcircle.co.uk/
IFISA/IRA:Yes: IFISA
Cashback**:Yes! Click here for more information!
How to Sign Up**: Sign Up Here!

* My opinions on ratings and risk rating factors refer to my personal experiences with the lender. Plus factual data such as interest rates, loan types, security, platform history, default numbers etc.

**Please read our referral policy for more information on referrals & affiliate links.

History

Funding Circle has been around since 2010 in the UK so they have a good amount of time under their belt.  Although they haven’t had to deal with a major recession yet.  Current figures suggest that they have lent a total of almost £5 billion with around £1 billion of it being lent in the last 12 months (as of August 2018).  Funding Circle also has a German, Netherlands and even a USA division lending to US businesses.

In the US however, for investors to become lenders, they need to invest a minimum $250 thousand US dollars, which excludes many individual, non-corporate lenders. Luckily in the UK their is just a minimum of £1000 to start investing with Funding Circle. However they do recommend investing at least £2000 in order to get good diversification between loans so a single default can’t damage your portfolio too badly. I really like Funding Circle and it is another one of my major P2P investments. I trust them with my money and I have no hesitation in giving them a good rating here.

 

Lending Options Screen Shot

Automated Investing

Funding Circle offers 2 automated lending options, one a “Conservative” approach targeting 5 – 5.5% returns and what they call a “Balanced” approach targeting 6 – 7%. Personally I only use the “Balanced” approach as it can take longer to get invested only investing in the two top (A & A+) risk bands, plus I really don’t consider 5% to be a great return considering some of their loans are unsecured and then they don’t have any type of provision fund.

Funds Summary Screen Shot

It’s all about the “Prime Directive” here, diversify for insurance. Funding Circle do that for us very well automatically with their automated investing. As you can see from above. Providing you have enough funds in your account, they will try not to lend no more than 0.5% of your portfolio to any single business.

Loan List Screen Shot

Loan Detail Screen Shot

Loan Information

Another thing I like about Funding Circle is the ability to drill down and see what loans you are actually invested in, as well as information on the individual loan. As you can see there is a wealth of information available about who you are lending your money to.

Apps

Funding Circle is one of the few Peer to Peer lenders that have produced an app for phones and tablets. You can do with the app much of what you can do with the website, including adding or withdrawing funds.

 

The summary screen gives you similar information to the website. Portfolio total and orders etc.

It is easy to drill down to see what actual and expected returns you are looking at.

 

There is even loan detail available.

 

Checking on loan diversification is easy.

 

 

Summary

Funding Circle continues to be one of my favorite UK Peer to Peer lenders. The returns they offer, coupled with their ease of use website, and the safety of one of the larger, older,  more established lenders makes them one of my largest Peer to Peer accounts.

 

Click here to open an account New Customers receive a £50 Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate when they join Funding Circle and invest £2000 or more! When you open an account using this link it helps me to run this website and write new reviews. Please read our referral policy for more info.

 

thumbs up

THUMBS UP POINTS FOR FUNDING CIRCLE

  • Safety – big company that is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and makes preservation of your capital one of their top objectives
  • Auto-Invest – means virtually no time managing investments. Just send your money over, decide which portfolio you would like to invest in (Conservative or Balanced). Once your money is invested (can take a couple of weeks, depending on the amount of available loans, and how much money you have to invest) you can sit back and watch the interest come in.
  • Great Rates – from one of the larger, peer to peer companies, the ability to get as much as 7% (as of 08/18) or more is not too bad at all.
  • Website – the Funding Circle website is very easy to use and understand. Some P2P websites leave a lot to be desired.
  • Large Investments – because the Funding Circles loan book is big, it can easily gobble up large amounts of capital, again reducing cash drag for larger investors.
  • £1000 minimum investment – if your portfolio is still small, it’s still easy to invest.
  • Zero cost exit – Funding Circle dosen’t charge any points for exiting your investment early (providing there are buyers available to buy your loan parts).
  • Low Default and Bad Debt Rates – this is important because there is no protection fund. Current expected bad debt rates are between 1.4% and 3%
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulated.
  • ISA available for UK investors

 

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THUMBS DOWN POINTS FOR FUNDING CIRCLE

  • Initial Investment Time – It can take a couple of weeks to get your money invested initially. Depending on how much money is in line before yours, loan availability and how much money you have to invest. Overall I’m happy with the time it takes. Understanding that Funding Circle are diversifying my money over many loans for me.
  • Unsecured Loans – many of the Funding Circle loans are unsecured loans given to businesses, so if things were to go bad, you don’t have any collateral. Diversification and low default rates should make us feel a little more comfortable.
  • Lender Fees – Funding Circle charge their lenders a 1% fee from the loan repayments. Most P2P companies charge their borrowers rather than lenders.

Low to medium risk                TrustPilot Review

RISK FACTOR – 4/10 – Low – Medium

I consider Funding Circle to be at the lower to medium end of the risk scale. Taking in to consideration that many of its loans are unsecured. In most market conditions this is irrelevant, but in a severe recession it could come in to play. Either way, I have no worries about investing a significant portion of my income portfolio with Funding Circle. I like them a lot and put a lot of trust in them. As you can see by the TrustPilot review above, so do many other people.

 

WHO CAN INVEST WITH FUNDING CIRCLE

Only UK residents with a U.K. address and bank account can invest with Funding Circle UK. USA and European residents can invest with the Funding Circle in their individual locations. However rules differ per location. Contact Funding Circle for further information.

 

Click here to open an account  New Customers receive a £50 Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate when they join Funding Circle and invest £2000 or more! When you open an account using this link it helps me to run this website and write new reviews. Please read our referral policy for more info.

 

 

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Funding Circle Peer to Peer Lender Review
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