Risk Summary

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.

Risk Warning | Blend

1. Loss of Capital

Lending to businesses can lead to a loss of your capital and there is a risk that the companies or individuals you lend to may default. You should not lend more money than you can afford to lose. If you are unsure about any aspect of the information provided, you should seek advice from an independent financial adviser.

2. Illiquidity

Any lending you carry out through BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED will be highly illiquid. Whilst we do offer a secondary market, there is no guarantee that there will be a willing buyer or that the loan will be bought at the desired price. Even for a successful loan that is being repaid on time by the borrower, the underlying principal debt you have lent will not be accessible to you until the loan expires or you are successful in finding a willing buyer on the secondary market. In particular, if you are over the age of 60 at the time of lending you should consider the effect this illiquidity could have on your lifestyle.

3. Diversification

Lending to businesses should be done as part of a diversified portfolio. This means that you should invest small amounts in multiple asset classes as opposed to a large amount in one or a few. You should also invest only a small proportion of your investable capital in this asset class, with the majority of your investable capital invested in safer, more liquid assets. You are able to further diversify by lending to multiple businesses on the BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED platform as opposed to just one.

4. Tax

You are responsible for the administering of your own tax affairs, which may include capital gains and/or income tax. Each time you lend, you must satisfy yourself prior to making any commitment that you understand and accept the tax consequences to you. We do not provide tax advice and you should seek this independently before lending if you are unsure of your position. It is your responsibility to ensure that your tax return is correct and is filed by the deadline and any tax owing is paid on time. If you are unsure how this investment will affect your tax status you must seek professional advice before you lend.

Tax treatment is dependent on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future.

The tax-advantaged status of the IFISA is subject to the continuation of the Individual Savings Account regime by HM Revenue and Customs, which could alter it at any time

5. Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Lending through BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

6. Advice

BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED does not give investment advice or provide analysis or recommendations regarding investment opportunities. Investments can only be made by members of BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED on the basis of information provided. BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED takes no responsibility for this information or for any recommendations, opinions or predictions.

7. Past Performance

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. You should not rely on any past performance as a guarantee of future investment performance.

8. Future performance

Companies may provide forward-looking statements with respect to future results. Forward-looking statement are not guarantees of future results or performance and many different factors could cause actual results to be different from those that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. As such, forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future performance.

9. Lack of Operating History

Many companies on BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED are recently formed entities and have no substantive operating history upon which prospective investors can evaluate likely performance.

10. Currency exchange rates fluctuate

BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED may from time to time also provide lending opportunities where the loan might not be denominated in GBP. We will clearly mark those opportunities. Lenders should note that while we will undertake to hedge all currency risk for their and the borrower’s benefit, variations/fluctuations in market and currency can affect the repayment of the principal amount of the loan and of any interest.

11. Client Classification

Before being allowed to lend, you will need to be classified as an investor type. You will need to provide the relevant information to us, which you warrant to be truthful and accurate, in order that we can classify you. Please follow the steps when signing up to complete this process. If you no longer fall into at least one of the categories of investor available, you will give immediate written notice to BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED and you will not access, or try to access the service unless and until you fall into one or more of these categories again.

12. Jurisdication

The information and services provided on the Site are not provided to, and may not be used by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction where the provision or use thereof would be contrary to applicable laws, rules or regulations of any governmental authority or where BLEND LOAN NETWORK LIMITED is not authorised to provide such information or services. Some products and services described in the Site may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

This list of risk factors does not purport to be a complete enumeration or explanation of the risks involved. Prospective lenders should read the relevant companies’ pitch documents in their entirety and consult with their own advisers before deciding whether to lend. If you are unsure about any aspect of the information provided by the company, you should seek advice from an independent financial adviser.

13. Platform Failure

Blend Loan Network Limited could cease business or may otherwise no longer be able to manage and administer the loan agreements on your behalf. Arrangements are in place for Blend Network to continue to manage existing loans and wind the business down in an orderly manner with as little impact to investors as possible. New lending will cease, and the operation of the secondary market will be affected. Your capital remains at risk and there remains no guarantee that the borrower will repay. For further details, see our FAQs.