Folk2Folk, a leading West Country peer-to-peer lending company, is pleased to announce a year of great success and strong operational progress in 2015 which saw the company double its volume of lending to businesses, positioning it well for expansion in 2016 and long term growth.
- Cumulative volume of lending has increased 100% from £40 million in December 2014 to £80 million by year end
- The company’s offices in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset celebrated their first anniversary
- Awarded the AltFi award for Best Lending Platform for Small Businesses 2015
- Appointed a new CEO, Jane Dumeresque, to drive growth and expansion of the business
Folk2Folk, a leading peer-to-peer lender built upon traditional values, has enjoyed huge success this year, and has now introduced £80 million of funding to date to small businesses. The company has facilitated millions of pounds of local investment by introducing lenders to borrowers in various industries including renewable energy, house building, agriculture, leisure facilities and land and property acquisition. The funding has helped to deliver a broad range of projects encompassing farm diversification, property development, equestrian centres, wedding venues, and golf courses.
While customers are able to access Folk2Folk’s service online, Folk2Folk continues to reinforce its physical presence beyond the borders of its native Cornwall and recently celebrated the first anniversary of its agencies in Devon and Somerset. As a result of its rapid growth, Folk2Folk’s workforce has almost tripled since this time last year, and it is still actively recruiting. Other developments include the launch of a new website, which was re-designed to further improve customers’ experience and strengthen the company’s brand.
During 2015 Folk2Folk saw a significant increase in the number of existing lenders who have returned to invest further funds. Approximately 75% of Folk2Folk customers are now repeat lenders, demonstrating the strength of Folk2Folk’s product and the confidence lenders have in the company. Furthermore Folk2Folk has seen exceptional customer satisfaction rates with 96% of customers surveyed saying their experience has been good or excellent.
On top of an ever-increasing loan book, Folk2Folk was selected by an independent panel of industry experts and SMEs as winner of the AltFi Best Lending Platform for Small Businesses Award for its excellent fundamentals, strong values, good customer engagement and clear transparency of fees. The judges of the AltFi Awards 2015 also highlighted that Folk2Folk’s High Street offices, which provide an opportunity for face-to-face meetings, are a key advantage for its customers and that this level of access cannot be underestimated or undervalued. Folk2Folk also celebrated this year its position in AltFi’s list of Top 10 Alternative Finance Lenders in the UK.
Folk2Folk’s success this year has been underpinned by the appointment of a new CEO, Jane Dumeresque, in April. Jane’s focus is on implementing a strategy to expand the business nationally and drive growth for the long term. Jane brings more than 25 years of financial services experience and over 10 years at Board level both as an executive and non-executive director.
Looking ahead to 2016, Folk2Folk is preparing for national expansion to replicate its success in the South West in other counties across the UK. In addition, and in a bid to continue to optimize its customer experiences online, Folk2Folk will be launching a new tech platform to streamline the borrowing process, enable Lenders to specify detailed preferences, and help customers have greater visibility of their loans and investments.
Folk2Folk’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Dumeresque, said: “This has been an excellent year for Folk2Folk and we’re very pleased to have been able to provide funding for so many small businesses. The progress we have seen in 2015 serves as a launch pad for an even more successful 2016 and we’re excited for the year ahead.”