The Alternative Lending Landscape Sees New Entrants

The investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is considering launching a consumer lending arm in the UK, which will compete with the likes of Zopa and RateSetter.


The US bank is reportedly looking to expand its retail banking business in the UK, initially with savings accounts and potentially moving into lending with the roll out of its ‘Marcus By Goldman Sachs’, online consumer lending platform which initially launched in the US.


The investment giant has also just made a strategic investment into the UK consumer lender market with a £100 million stake in debt and equity financing to Neyber, the fintech start-up providing loans that are repaid out of people’s salaries. Neyber was founded by two former Goldman Sachs employees five years ago, and partners with companies to offer their employees loans at lower rates than credit cards or payday lenders. 


In the commercial lending sector Reward Finance, the U.K.-based invoice and trade finance firm has also seen new money with a funding boost of $51 million from Foresight Group. Reward Finance says this funding will allow it to double its small business financing capabilities.

The UK’s alternative finance players are only growing stronger as highlighted this week with the UK’s ‘big three’ peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms being recognised among the UK’s fastest growing technology firms.


Funding Circle, Zopa, and RateSetter have been included in latest Tech Track 100, featured in the Sunday Times. The annual league table, compiled by research firm Fast Track, ranks the 100 fastest growing private tech companies in the country by sales over the previous three years. RateSetter, which ranked the lowest of the three P2P firms, recently appointed City veteran Paul Manduca as chairman, as it gears up for a stock market float however Funding Circle, which has yet to become profitable, ruled out any initial public offering earlier this year.


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