LendInvest, which has aspirations to be the UK’s leading mortgage provider, said it was looking at buying a traditional high street outfit. For traditional lenders, however, the scale of the P2P sector is still small compared with the UK’s annual £200bn mortgage market.
“What makes most sense to us is to purchase an ‘offline’ lender,” said Christian Faes, chief executive and co-founder. “[We are looking for] one that has experience originating credit, but doesn’t have the technology, and perhaps is perceived as a dying brand or just doesn’t have a brand.” Mr Faes denied the move was born out of a natural limit to the number of borrowers who would use an online-only service. “With mortgages you always have an element of offline,” he said. “I think we can be the biggest mortgage lender in the country and not have capacity constraints.” LendInvest, which currently loans out approximately £25m a month in short-term finance, is one of a growing band of P2P lenders in the UK that includes Landbay and Assetz Capital. The Innovative Finance Isa, to be launched in April.