Wellesley to launch broker portal
The lender currently sources deals directly with developers but revealed it has already begun work on a technology platform that will allow brokers to access a decision in principle with full pricing and structure details quickly, in an attempt to attract more intermediary-sourced business.
Tom Clark, head of bridging at the firm and a former Shawbrook regional development manager, said: “Our broker portal is designed to give intermediaries a user-friendly, accessible online tool that we hope will help us establish ourselves as their first port of call.”
Clark added that it was likely Wellesley would create a broker panel in late summer and said the offering would focus mainly on light refurbishment deals.
Wellesley & Co launched in late 2013 as a peer-to-peer lender specialising in development finance and bridging and offering retail investors the option to receive interest up front against the loans funded.
Investors do not match with a specific loan in the way that LendInvest investors are able to. Instead they get exposure to Wellesley’s entire loan portfolio on a volume weighted basis which Clark said offered good diversification.
He added: “We offer investors a more passive exposure whereas LendInvest is offering investors the chance to pick winners – it’s a more active form of investing.”
In November last year Wellesley resigned its membership of the peer-to-peer trade body P2PFA for undisclosed reasons although Clark said the firm is hoping to get full regulatory approvals from the Financial Conduct Authority by April 2016 when stricter regulation of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lenders comes into force.
Clark added that Wellesley also plans to share more detailed information about its loan book with investors including loan-to-values, locations and pricing in the spirit of transparency.
In 18 months Wellesley has funded around £200m of loans against properties in England and Wales, offering borrowers rates between 0.95% and 1.25% a month.