Risk summary for P2P agreements or P2P portfolios

Estimated reading time: 2 min

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

1. You could lose the money you invest

  • Many peer-to-peer (P2P) loans are made to borrowers who can’t borrow money from traditional lenders such as banks. These borrowers have a higher risk of not paying you back.

  • Advertised rates of return aren’t guaranteed. If a borrower doesn’t pay you back as agreed, you could earn less money than expected. A higher advertised rate of return means a higher risk of losing your money.

  • These investments can be held in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). An IFISA does not reduce the risk of the investment or protect you from losses, so you can still lose all your money. It only means that any potential gains from your investment will be tax free.

2. You are unlikely to get your money back quickly

  • Some P2P loans last for several years. You should be prepared to wait for your money to be returned even if the borrower repays on time.

  • Some platforms may give you the opportunity to sell your investment early through a ‘secondary market’, but there is no guarantee you will be able to find someone willing to buy.

  • Even if your agreement is advertised as affording early access to your money, you will only get your money early if someone else wants to buy your loan(s). If no one wants to buy, it could take longer to get your money back.

3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

  • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well.

  • A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments.

4. The P2P platform could fail

  • If the platform fails, it may be impossible for you to collect money on your loan. It could take years to get your money back, or you may not get it back at all. Even if the platform has plans in place to prevent this, they may not work in a disorderly failure.

5. You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong

  • The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover investments in P2P loans. You may be able to claim if you received regulated advice to invest in P2P, and the adviser has since failed. Try the FSCS investment protection checker here.

  • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated platform, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection here.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA’s website here. For further information about peer-to-peer lending (loan-based crowdfunding), visit the FCA’s website here.

Terms and Conditions

Blend Loan Network Limited’s Terms and Conditions for Lender Members and Borrowers

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1. Interpretation

1.1 In this agreement the following rules of interpretation shall apply:

1.1.1 defined terms in these terms and conditions have the meaning set out in Schedule 1 hereto;

1.1.2 clause and paragraph headings shall not affect the interpretation of this agreement;

1.1.3 a reference to a person shall include a reference to an individual, firm, company, corporation, partnership, unincorporated body of persons, government, state or agency of a state or any association, trust, joint venture or consortium (whether or not having separate legal personality) and that person’s personal representatives, successors, permitted assigns and permitted transferees;

1.1.4 unless the context otherwise requires, words in the singular shall include the plural and in the plural shall include the singular;

1.1.5 unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to one gender shall include a reference to the other genders.

2. Applicable Terms and Conditions

2.1 If you become a Lender Member or Borrower of the Blend Platform these terms and conditions set out the basis on which you will utilise the Blend Platform and the basis on which, together with any applicable Loan Documents, you will lend or borrow monies through the Blend Platform.

2.2 These terms and conditions should be read together with and are in addition to our Terms of Website Use, Website Acceptable Use Policy, Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy and Consent to Receive Unsolicited Direct Marketing Material all of which are available online at www.blendnetwork.com.

2.3 Please read these terms and conditions carefully and print a copy for your future reference.

2.4 In utilising the Blend Platform you confirm that you have read and understood these terms and conditions and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions you must stop using the Blend Platform immediately.

2.5 We have the right to revise and amend these terms and conditions from time to time without the need to obtain your prior approval. You will be advised of any such changes and by continuing to utilise the Blend Platform you will be deemed to have accepted any such revisions and amendments to our terms and conditions.

3. Requirements for Membership of the Blend Platform

Requirements for Membership

3.1 Representations and warranties are promises and statements made by you to us upon which we rely on being accurate in our dealings with you.

3.2 It is a pre-requisite to being approved as Lender Member that you make the following representations and warranties to us at the time you register on the Blend Platform and every time you use the Blend Platform or our Services and upon entering into a Loan Participation:

3.2.1 you are an individual or a limited liability partnership or a limited liability company or other legal entity;

3.2.2 if you are an individual you are not less than 18 years old;

3.2.3 if you are lending as an individual you are not holding a US passport, nor are you a resident of the US or Canada.

3.2.4 you confirm that all personal information that you provide to us about yourself is accurate and true to the best of your knowledge and you will promptly provide us with updates if any such the information changes;

3.2.5 you have, and maintain, a valid United Kingdom bank or building society bank account; and

3.2.6 you will only ever lend your own funds through the Blend Platform unless you are authorised to deposit funds on behalf of a third party (“Third Party”), in which case you may do so only with our express consent. We may request that you provide written authorisation from the Third Party confirming you have the necessary authority to deposit and lend funds;

3.2.7 you will immediately notify us if you hold a Consumer Credit Licence issued by the Financial Conduct Authority;

3.2.8 if you are registering as a Lender Member or accepting these terms and conditions on behalf of a legal entity such as a company, trust or partnership, you must confirm to us that you are legally authorised to do so and we may request evidence of such legal entitlement (by way of a copy of any document which shows the valid and subsisting authorisation);

3.2.9 by entering into this agreement, you are not breaking any laws or regulations that are applicable to you nor is any company, trust or partnership upon whose instructions you are acting;

3.2.10 you have carefully considered the risks involved with using our Platform and also the risks associated with business lending, including but not limited to, the possibility of losing the money you lend and the Risk Warning highlighted in paragraph 6 below;

3.3 To become a Lender Member of the Blend Platform you must:

3.3.1 first be approved as a Lender Member,

3.3.2 You must register your details on our website at www.blendnetwork.com,

3.3.3 You must successfully complete the appropriateness test on our website at www.blendnetwork.com,

3.3.4 You must satisfy our anti-money laundering and know your client checks.

3.4 Where a prospective Lender Member does not meet the required criteria set out above, the prospective Lender Member may be otherwise permitted to become a Lender Member of the Blend Platform with the written agreement from us.

Anti-money laundering information and know your client information

3.5 Once you are registered on the Blend Platform, prior to accepting your application to become a Lender Member we are required by law to undertake appropriate anti-money laundering and identification verification checks. This requires us to ask you to provide personal information about yourself.

3.6 You agree that we may share your personal information with credit reference agencies and other third parties, both for these purposes and for the purposes of fraud prevention.

3.7 Even if prospective Lender Members are able to satisfy all of our membership criteria the Blend Platform may still, using its unfettered discretion, refuse to grant Membership or withdraw Membership without giving a reason.