Over half of consumers don’t understand P2P
The Assetz Capital survey also revealed that only one in five consumers (20%) have actually heard of peer-to-peer lending.
Although awareness of this investment vehicle is increasing among higher net worth individuals earning an annual salary of more than £71,000, with 82% having come across peer-to-peer lending.
Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz Capital, said: “Peer-to-peer is increasingly popular among high net worth individuals, eager to invest in something that will support budding entrepreneurs and give an excellent, often short term, return.
“As the big banks have lost credibility their monopoly will continue to be eroded and more creative forms of lending will prevail and blossom.”
Despite greater awareness among high net worth individuals the proportion who had actually invested in peer-to-peer lending stood at 7%, compared to 3% across all consumers questioned in the survey.
ISAs appeared to be the investment of choice: 84% of those surveyed had invested in an ISA at some point and 49% identified this form of investment as “very safe”.
However stocks and shares were deemed to be more risky than peer-to-peer lending by 23% of respondents compared to only 19% who considered peer-to-peer to be “very risky”.
Consumers are currently fearful of unregulated lending with 79% of individuals indicating that they were not prepared to invest in something that was unregulated only 2.1% proffered an unequivocal “yes” to considering an unregulated investment.
Law added: “Our survey shows that peer-to-peer lending is still in its relative infancy and unregulated lending is still viewed with caution in spite of the loss of confidence in banks.
“This will no longer be the case when the peer-to-peer sector comes under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2014.”