Lending isn’t a new concept. The practice of lending within local communities has endured centuries because it rests on trust and a shared belief in the strength of common bonds.
The practice of credit being given and credit being received is an age old tradition and ranges from bartering and the exchange of goods through to the more formal arrangement of private mortgages.
Private mortgages used to play an important role in the local exchange of money. People with money lent to others in their local community who needed it and the local solicitor would document it, and generally administer the arrangement. Solicitors ensured a fair deal and got reputations for being honest brokers to this arrangement.
Keeping it in the community
Like many law firms, Launceston-based Parnalls Solicitors were involved in introducing private mortgages within their local community, maintaining a Private Mortgage Book in excess of £10 million. Typically customers were local wealthy farmers and landowners lending money to aspiring farmers with the intention of keeping the money within the community rather than through a mainstream bank. As an adjunct to that business, Parnalls had developed a leading Building Society agency with the Bradford & Bingley Building Society which became the longest serving Bradford & Bingley agency lasting until it was absorbed by Santander, who decided to close their agencies in 2012.
Modern take on Private Mortgages
In 2012 when people were still feeling the aftershocks of the credit crunch, interest rates for savers were at rock bottom and small businesses were finding it hard to access funds, Mark Parnall and Louis Mathers, partners of Parnalls solicitors, spotted an opportunity to return to the principles of local lending within the community.
Dissatisfaction fueled demand for a simpler, traditional lending between borrowers and lenders. Mark and Louis could see that people wanted a solution built around Borrower and Lender needs, rather than one that dictated to them. And so Folk2Folk was conceived. Born out of community need and formed from the original spirit of private mortgages.
|1647||First record of a private mortgage involving legal practice that later became Parnalls|
|1959||Bradford & Bingley Agency set up by Parnalls (Bradford & Bingley was later bought by Santander)|
|Mid 2012||Concept of Folk2Folk formed by the majority shareholders of Parnalls Solicitors|
|Nov 2012||Santander closed agency|
|Feb 2013||Folk2Folk was launched from the old agency premises|
Chairman appointed (Tim Sawyer)
|Apr 2014||Folk2Folk obtained interim P2P licence|
|Nov 2014||Opened four Folk2Folk agencies|
|Mar 2015||CEO appointed (Jane Dumeresque)|
|Nov 2015||Won AltFi award for Best Lending Platform for Small Businesses|
|Jan 2016||Launched national Legal Panel|
|Apr 2016||Achieved £100 million milestone|
|Aug 2016||Opened new national headquarters in Cornwall|
|Nov 2016||Opened new branch in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire|