UK P2P lender Wellesley makes £10.8m loan

The UK-based lender has provided the largest loan ever made through a peer-to-peer lender, it claims.

UK-based Wellesley & Co has provided £10.8 million (€13.5 million; $17.9 million) in financing to support the purchase of a development property in Bristol, in what is the largest recorded loan made through a peer-to-peer lender, the firm said in a statement.

It beats the industry’s previous £8.3 million record also set by Wellesley in April this year, it affirmed.

The loan is secured against an historic mansion called Burwalls, which is situated next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge in Bristol. It will be used by the London and Bath-based developer Kersfield to purchase the property. The 142 year old building and grounds will be renovated to create five new apartments, six new build houses and a converted lodge.

Kersfield has found that banks are unwilling to lend in regional cities despite there being strong residential markets, it said. David Newton (pictured) of Kersfield said: “Wellesley understands these positive fundamentals, whereas most traditional lenders have not.”

“As the most prestigious residential development to come to the market in Bristol for some time, as with our other developments in the area, we expect to achieve record prices. We are likely to sell the entire scheme off plan, having already received a lot of unsolicited interest,” Newton added.

The loan takes total funds issued by Wellesley, since being founded in November 2013, to £73 million secured against assets worth £116 million.

According to the latest data from the alternative lender index AltFi Liberum, Wellesley lent more than any other peer-to-peer lender in July lending over £26.2m, “the largest monthly volume ever seen from a UK platform in the Liberum AltFi Index,” Sam Griffiths at Alt Fi said.

The record figures follow the £100 million launch of a mini-bond issue by the firm last month, also the largest ever of its kind, Wellesley said, in a bid to further boost the company’s lending capacity.