Another peer-to-peer platform gains pension presence

Another peer-to-peer platform gains pension presence

Another peer-to-peer platform is looking to raise its pension presence ahead of the radical reforms in April, with the company claiming to offer the UK’s first peer-to-peer bond auction service announcing a partnership to offer investments through a self-invested pension wrapper.

UK Bond Network offers high-yield bonds in UK businesses to individual investors through an ‘auction’ platform, in effect providing alternative source of debt financing for smaller companies. It is FCA regulated and states it is aimed at sophisticated and high net worth investors.

Under a partnership with Sippclub, the firm said in a statement that both quoted and unquoted bond issues are now eligible for investment through a new Sipp product, EvolutionSipp. The firm added the deal is in response to “significant demand” from investors.

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It follows the news last summer, reported by FTAdviser sister title the Financial Times, that Sippclub had struck a deal with peer-to-peer platform ThinCats to include for the first time P2P lending within the tax-efficient pensions wrapper.

Earlier this year, P2P lending platform Ratesetter told FTAdviser that it was close to launching with four Sipp firms to boost its pension presence.

P2P lending through Sipps was thought to have been restricted by rules last year which required providers to hold higher levels of capital as a buffer for non-traditional investments, leaving small self-administered schemes as the only wrapper that could accommodate the asset class.

Chris Maule, chief executive of UK Bond Network, said that investors are continuing to gravitate towards peer-to-peer investments in search of good returns.

“Following the relaxation of terms announced in last year’s Budget, we’ve received a lot of demand from investors to participate through their Sipps.”

EvolutionSipp is accessible to Sippclub members and enables those with sufficient financial knowledge to make their own investment choices, without getting them signed off by an independent adviser.

Brian Bennis, founder of Sippclub, added that in this low interest rate environment, sophisticated investors are demanding yield in their pension portfolios and are willing to go beyond traditional investment options to find it.