Lending Works Review
RATE OF RETURN3.5/5
TIME IN BUSINESS4.0/5
LAZY INVESTOR RATING5.0/5
- Safety – Lending Works are thought to be one of the safest P2P lenders in the U.K. To date, no lender has lost any of their capital, even through the pandemic.
- Auto-Invest – means virtually no time managing investments.
- Reasonable Rates – from one of the larger, safer peer to peer companies.
- Initial Investment Time - It can take a couple of weeks or more to get your money invested initially.
- Exit Fees – .05% or minimum £20 (plus any difference in rates between current rates and the rates of the loan you are selling) on Growth Account.
- Unsecured Loans – many (but not all) loans are unsecured loans given to individuals or businesses, so if things were to go bad, you don’t have any collateral.
Lending Works Resumes Retail Lending After A Rough Time With The Pandemic – Lending Works Review + Lending Works Shield & ISA
My Lending Experiences & Current Updates Published Below.
What is Lending Works?
Lending Works is a medium to large size Peer to Peer lender. Offering up to 4.5% returns, with little to no time required to manage investments.
Loaning capital to consumers for personal loans, debt consolidation, car finance, home improvement, wedding loans and holiday loans among others.
They also offer a retirement plan for tax free investing; Lending Works ISA.
My Experience with Lending Works
Lending Works had a hard time with the pandemic. They first had liquidity problems with their access accounts (as did many lenders) and had to freeze lending for almost a year. It appears that they cautiously came out of it and they began lending again on January 4th, 2021.
My experience before the pandemic with Lending Works was very good. It remains to be seen how they will fair moving forward.
My Lending Works Strategy.
I started investing with Lending Works again in February 2021. They’ve sent out a few emails describing their lending strategy & criteria moving forward and I think it makes sense. They are being super cautious until things get back to normal, so it’s taking a long time to get money lent out. They made it through the pandemic though and I think they learned a lot of lessons about how quickly liquidity can dry up in a severe economic downturn.
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Lending Works Returns
The Obvious Investor – Easy-Info Table© – Lending Works Review
Overall Rating*: (3.7 / 5)
Who can invest: Loan Currencies: £
Estimated Return: 4.0% to 4.5% depending on account.
My Annual Return
My Calculated XIRR: Risk Rating*: NA
Early Exit: Yes. Free in Flexible Account,
In Growth Account the fee is the greater of 0.5% of the amount or £20
Min. Investment: £100 minimum classic accounts. £5000 ISA
Deposit Funds: UK bank account 24-48 hours.
Debit card - usually same day.
Manual Invest: No
Lending To: Borrowers
Loan Types: Personal consumer loans.
Debt consolidation, car finance, home improvement,
wedding loans and holiday loans among others.
Default Rates: Bad debt at 2.2% against an estimated rate of 3.8%.
No lender has lost capital.
Loan Security: No
Provision Fund: Yes: Lending Works Shield. One of the best in the business.
Loans Amortize: Yes. Full amortization.
Time to Invest: Medium: Can be up to 2 weeks depending on loan supply.
Time to Mange: None (auto-invest).
Lender Fees: No.
When are Payments Received: Monthly. Various times.
Amount Lent: £205m +
Number of Investors: 6,200+
Loan/Dflt Stats: Click Here for Stats
Regulated: Yes: FCA #723151
Location: London, UK.
Launched: Jan 2014
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7096 8512 (UK)
IFISA/IRA: Yes: IFISA
How to Sign Up**: No longer accepting new investment.
Lending Works Review – Overview
Lending Works launched in January of 2014. In the time they have been in business, they have lent over £205 million to consumers throughout the UK.
They currently have over 6,200 active investors, with an average account value of around £28,000 per lender.
Loans have an average diversification of 420 loans per lender.
Lending Works are regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with full permissions under FCA number 723151. They gained FCA permissions in October, 2016.
It’s important to note that the FCA is not the same as the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), so capital is not protected as it would be in a bank.
Opening an account is fairly easy, whether it’s a standard taxable account or the Lending Works ISA.
Just the usual ID & anti money-laundering checks. If they can verify you though one of the UK’s credit agencies, you will be approved immediately. If not, you may need to send them a copy of your passport or driving license, and a utility bill or bank statement. You can read more about specific requirements at http://lendingworks.com
Residents of any European country can signup, however you will need UK bank account details.
If you don’t have a UK bank account, see my TransferWise Borderless Account review for more information on how it may be possible to get UK banking details even if you’re not a UK resident.
Deposits & Withdrawals – Lending Works Review
Deposits and withdrawals are made by bank transfer from a UK bank, or a UK debit card.
From a bank account, deposits usually show up in your account the same or next working day.
Debit card deposits are typically the same day, depending on what time you make the deposit.
Withdrawals are only to a verified bank account and typically take 2 – 3- business days.
Time to Become Invested
It can take from a few days, to a couple of weeks to get funds completely invested into loans.
Their loans are in great demand, so there can be a lot of money in the queue before you.
New funds always fall behind reinvested funds in the queue, which is good once you are fully invested as your funds get invested first. But not so good when you first deposit your funds as you have to wait your turn.
Interest is not paid on un-invested funds, so the cash drag can get a bit frustrating at first. Once you’re in though, reinvestment is fast.
It’s always easy to see from the main account screen what the current matching times are.
Click on the “Offers” drop-down to see what offers are for reinvestment of capital, and what are new offers.
Who are we lending to?
Lending Works is a true Peer to Peer platform. Lenders are lending directly to borrowers. The platform just acts as a middle man, managing loans, payments and debt collection etc.
Loans are provided to consumers for debt consolidation, car finance, personal loans, home improvement, wedding loans and holiday loans among others.
Loan Security- Lending Works Review
Loans are mostly unsecured personal loans to credit-worthy borrowers, however they are all covered by the Lending Works Shield (discussed further down the review in the “Provision Fund” section).
Default Rates – Lending Works Review
Lifetime bad debt rates currently stand at 4.2%, against an estimated rate of 5.0%. This doesn’t affect investment returns as defaults are all covered by the provision fund.
Amortization – Lending Works Review
Generally, Lending Works personal loans all amortize.
Amortization is the paying off of debt with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over time. This reduces the risk of the loan compared to a non-amortizing loan in which nothing is received until the end of the loan period, or only interest is received monthly, and then the capital repaid at the end of the loan period.
If you list the loans that your capital is invested in on their website, you can see that both capital and interest are being repaid.
Selling Loans and Withdrawing Capital – Lending Works Review
No exit fee in the Flexible Account. In the Growth Account the fee is the greater of either 0.5% of the amount, or £20.
Selling loans and withdraw capital with Lending Works can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days in normal market conditions.
Diversification – Lending Works Review
Diversifying loans is something Lending Works does automatically. Because of the way their platform works, diversification is all done in the background.
Diversification is not as important with Lending Works as it is with some other platforms as they have the Lending Works Shield, part of which is designed to diversify risk automatically for all investors. See below under “Provision Fund” for more information.
Provision Fund – Lending Works Review
The Provision fund is called the “Lending Works Shield” and is one of the best in the business. It protects investors from bad debt and defaults in a couple of ways.
The first is it’s reserve fund which covers every consumer-funded loan in case of late payments or default.
Another protection beyond the Lending Works Shield is, if there was a default that the provision fund somehow can’t cover, and capital was to be lost (has never happened so far), the defaulted investments would be put in to a pool and each investor would be party to that loss.
Pooling loans takes away the focus from a few investors that were part of the loan. Obviously it is beneficial because it spreads the losses between thousands of investors, instead of just a few having to take a big hit.
Another point they like to note is their rigorous borrower screening process and higher credit-quality borrowers.
Tax Free Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA)
Lending Works offers an Innovative Finance ISA – The Lending Works ISA, which was launched in January 2017 for UK residents.
The minimum investment for their Lending Works ISA is £5000.
Website – Lending Works Review
The website is really easy to use. You simply choose which account you want to lend with, the term, then put money into the “Offers” wallet, and that’s it!
Don’t forget to go to the “Lending Settings” screen and set automatic reinvestment of capital and interest to reduce cash drag.
Lending Works offers 2 lending accounts. The Flexible Account offering 3.8% return for no fee, easy access. The Growth Account which offers 5.4% for loans up to 5 years with a 0.5% early access fee.
It’s easy to see the loans you’re invested in. Just click on the “View Loans” drop-down from the website main account screen
Then you can see everything you’re invested into, plus your balance and average weighted interest rate.
However that’s all the information on the loan you get access to. No details on loans at all.
I think that’s OK though because as it’s all automatic investing through Lending Works, even if you had more information on the loan, what difference would it make because it’s not like you had any part in making the decision on investing in it.
Plus everything is covered by the Lending Works Shield which spreads any loan losses between all investors. So no single loan can affect a lenders account substantially.
Summary – Lending Works Review
My experience so far has been very positive. I use them as part of my overall diversification strategy and they are one of my largest accounts.
Lending Works are a safer, legit peer to peer lender in my opinion. The loan return rate of 5.4% is quite good considering their safety record (no lender has ever lost capital), and their Lending Works Shield provision fund protection.
I also like the fact they mostly loan to consumers, as most of the peer to peer lenders seem to be leaning more towards businesses these days. Business lending is inherently more dangerous than lending to consumers, and diversification between loan types is a welcome part of lending.
Thumbs Up Points for Lending Works
Safety – Is Lending Works Safe? They are thought to be one of the safest P2P lenders in the U.K. To date, no lender has lost any of their capital, and the “Lending Works Shield” should cover almost all possible losses under normal market conditions.
Flexible Access – Get free & easy access to capital by using the Flexible account at a return rate of 4.0%. They had liquidity issues through the pandemic (as did many lenders) but Lending Works are cautiously getting back to normal now.
Auto-Invest – means virtually no time managing investments. Just send your money over, decide which portfolio you would like to invest in (3 year or 5 year). Once your money is invested, set the reinvestment switch, and you can sit back and watch the interest come in!
Reasonable Rates – from one of the larger, safer peer to peer companies, the ability to get as much as 4.5% is not bad and in line with other similar lenders.
Website – the website is very easy to use and understand. Some P2P websites leave a lot to be desired.
Large Investments – because their loan book is big, it can easily gobble up large amounts of capital, again reducing cash drag for larger investors.
£100 minimum investment – if your portfolio is still small, or you would prefer to start out slowly, it’s still easy to invest with Lending Works
Financial Conduct Authority – (FCA) Regulated.
Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) – available for UK investors – Lending Works ISA
Thumbs Down Points for Lending Works
Initial Investment Time – It can take a couple of weeks or more to get your money invested initially. Depending on how much money is in line before yours. Reinvestment (repayments from prior loans) are invested in the new loans before new money is invested. This is a good thing once your in to the system, but can slow things down a bit for a new investor.
Exit Fees – .05% or minimum £20 (plus any difference in rates between current rates and the rates of the loan you are selling) on Growth Account. This can be seen as a bit of a negative, but where else can you get 5.4% return on your money and still be able to get out in an emergency?
Unsecured Loans – many (but not all) loans are unsecured loans given to individuals or businesses, so if things were to go bad, you don’t have any collateral. So is Lending Works Safe? In theory, yes as the Lending Works Shield should take care of defaults, so this shouldn’t matter. Through the pandemic, Lending Works lowered their interest rates paid to investors in order to keep the Shield protection up, so lenders didn’t lose capital.
Risk Factor – 3/10 – Low (in normal market conditions)
Is Lending Works Safe? I consider them be on the lower end of the risk scale.
They would get a lower risk rating except for the fact that many of their loans are unsecured. In most market conditions this is irrelevant, but in a severe recession it could come in to play, even with their Shield. Lending Works get the lowest rating given to any of my lenders.
I have no worries about investing a significant portion of my portfolio with Lending Works.
Who Can Invest with Lending Works?
Offers & Signup Links**
New Customers receive £50 cashback when they join Lending Works and invest £1000 or more using the links here on ObviousInvestor.com
Similar Lenders to Lending Works
Lending Works Promo Video – How It Works
Disclaimers: This page is presented for informational purposes only. I am not a Financial Adviser and therefore not qualified to give financial advice. Please do your own research and make your own investment decisions. Do not make investment decisions based solely on the information presented on this website. * My opinions, reviews, star ratings and risk ratings are based on my personal investing experience with the company being reviewed. These ratings are personal opinions and are subjective. ** Some of the links on this website are affiliate referral links. When you click on these links, I can sometimes receive a commission, at absolutely no cost to you. This helps me to continue to offer new reviews and monthly portfolio updates here on my website. I don’t receive commissions from all lenders and it has no effect on my ongoing opinions on lenders. Income on my investments and capital preservation are my main motivations. Platforms reviewed on this website I am currently investing with, or I have invested with in the past. You can see with full transparency on my Lending Portfolio Returns page which lenders I am invested with (or have previously been invested with) at any point in time. I am not paid a fee by any of the companies to write reviews, so the reviews are unbiased and purely based on my own personal experiences.
Lending Works Review
RATE OF RETURN
TIME IN BUSINESS
LAZY INVESTOR RATING
This page is presented for informational purposes only. I am not a Financial Adviser and therefore not qualified to give financial advice. Please do your own research and make your own investment decisions. Do not make investment decisions based solely on the information presented on this website.
* My opinions, reviews, star ratings and risk ratings are based on my personal investing experience with the company being reviewed. These ratings are personal opinions and are subjective.
** Some of the links on this website are affiliate referral links. When you click on these links, I can sometimes receive a commission, at absolutely no cost to you. This helps me to continue to offer new reviews and monthly portfolio updates here on my website. I don’t receive commissions from all lenders and it has no effect on my ongoing opinions on lenders. Income on my investments and capital preservation are my main motivations.
Platforms reviewed on this website I am currently investing with, or I have invested with in the past. You can see with full transparency on my Lending Portfolio Returns page which lenders I am invested with (or have previously been invested with) at any point in time. I am not paid a fee by any of the companies to write reviews, so the reviews are unbiased and purely based on my own personal experiences.