9 fat reasons to lend through ThinCats

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A 9% rate of interest

ThinCats’ lenders have earned an average of 9%.* We are one of the most established platforms in the peer-to-peer lending market, and have been successfully helping businesses grow by linking them with individuals who want a better return on their cash since 2010. See our current statistics.

While 9% is an historic average, there is a broad range of loans available on the ThinCats platform running from 7% to 15%, allowing you to target the rate which best suits your income needs.

Lending is straightforward and transparent: once you have registered and deposited money into your ThinCats account you are all set to bid on auctions across a wide range of loans and interest rates. The minimum bid is £1000. If participating in a variable auction, you pick the interest rate you are happy with. If your bid is successful, you get the rate you have chosen. If you pick a fixed rate loan, it’s even simpler: just choose to participate in a loan that is open on the ThinCats platform.

9% average interest*

is what our lenders have achieved when they lent with us

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All our peer to peer loans are secured

ThinCats is the UK market leader for peer to peer secured business loans.

Businesses sometimes fail, and so default on their loans. The problem with an unsecured loan is this will often result in a complete loss of lenders’ capital. But secured loans offer a degree of lender protection. Unlike most peer to peer platforms, all ThinCats loans are secured – backed by real assets which can be claimed in the event of a default.

Cumulative total Year

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Arrears1 0.30%
0.00% 0.08% 0.36% 0.17% 0.57% 7.69% 0.00%
Loans in default2 3.92%
0.00% 0.48% 4.54% 7.45% 14.91% 0.21% 0.00%
Expected loss3 1.89%
0.00% 0.21% 1.77% 3.90% 7.73% 0.07% 0.00%

(Data prepared on 31st March 2016)

As a minimum this security is in the form of a debenture. A debenture creates fixed and floating charges over the present and future assets of the borrowing company. Additional security may be taken in the form of a specific charge over assets such as freehold and leasehold property, a chattels mortgage may also be provided in respect of specific items of plant and machinery. The debenture is legally binding and is registered at Companies House, as is a chattels mortgage and certain specific charges. Where appropriate specific charges are also registered at the Land Registry.

Where a company is part of a group, we will also take cross guarantees from the associated companies, often supported by a debenture over the guaranteeing company. In addition, we usually take personal guarantees from the directors of the company. The security taken for each loan is bespoke and appropriate to the nature of the business and is set out in the information pack. Should a borrower default, our first call is on the security taken. Should that not be adequate, then we would call on the cross guarantee and personal guarantees.

ThinCats monitors loans throughout their lifetime, and we have our own Risk & Recovery resources to work with the borrower to find a solution to their financial difficulties. It is in everyone interests if the business can continue to trade and payoff its loan. The team will also help recover our members’ capital in the event of a formal default. This is supported by our unique Sponsor relationships, who work closely with the company in the event of difficulties.

Notes:

  1. Arrears means: Loans in arrears (but not in default) by 45 days or more as a percentage of the loans made in that year.Note: ThinCats is unusual amongst peer to peer lenders because of the close relationship it seeks to establish with borrowers. Sometimes it is appropriate for lending syndicates to agree a change in a repayment schedule and the P2PFA rules require these agreed changes to be shown as defaults even when the loan repayments are fully up to date as far as lenders are concerned.
  2. Loans in default means: Loans where a default has occurred as a percentage of the loans made in that year.Note: These figures represent the amount outstanding on the loan at the date of default and do not take into account any recoveries. ThinCats loans are always backed by security and therefore this figure is not a realistic measure of losses faced by lenders on this platform.
  3. Expected Loss means: the expected losses after the recovery of security as a percentage of the loans made in that year.Note: Security is in various forms and recovery can takes several months. This figure represents our best estimate of the eventual losses that will be experienced.

Every peer to peer loan is secured, helping protect against capital loss

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The benefits of diversity

ThinCats offers peer to peer loans across a broad range of businesses, from manufacturing, through healthcare to renewable energy, as the graph below shows.

Diversification is an important way in which investors control risk. The wider the range of loans you hold, across a breadth of business types, the less will be the impact of a particular loss. A broadly-invested ThinCats loan portfolio brings the benefits of diversification on two levels:

Diversification within your ThinCats loans

Holding a range of different loans means that your loan portfolio will be less vulnerable to specific economic conditions than one where loans are concentrated in one business- or asset-type, such as property. So, for example, a manufacturer of computer components will be subject to different market forces than a care homes business, which in turn behaves very differently than a windfarm.

Diversification within your overall portfolio

P2P loans are a distinct “asset class” and behave differently to other asset classes: for example, equities, bonds or property. Peer to peer loans produce a fixed predictable return. Having a meaningful P2P loan allocation in a portfolio should, therefore, lower its overall volatility.

ThinCats spread of loans per industry (Jan 2011 – Dec 2015)

Broad range of loans offering excellent diversification

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Hands on vetting by experts

Peer to peer lending, in its present form, is a fairly new concept. But the way we do it at ThinCats is old, tried and tested. We know the businesses we lend to in the way the traditional bank manager would, but most modern banks have discarded to save costs.

We do this through close partnership with a network of financial professionals who vet and structure the loans and continually monitor the underlying businesses. We call these professionals “Sponsors”.

Sponsors are the first point of contact for potential borrowers. They are financial services professionals, always in teams that include at least one person with banking experience. They assess the business proposals and vet applications for loans. They help the borrower to prepare the loan information. That includes meeting with the borrower at least twice, getting to know their business, as well as assessing the security on offer. They answer questions from lenders during the auction and monitor the loan after it has been completed. All loans on ThinCats have to be supported by a Sponsor. The Sponsor’s reputation depends on the quality of the deals they back and how they deal with the questions and problems.

The Sponsor presents a detailed information pack for each loan and after the loan is made, is expected to provide quarterly monitoring reports on the progress of each loan. Sponsors make no recommendations and offer no investment advice.

Experts provide professional quality control and due diligence – unique to ThinCats

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Making an informed peer to peer lending decision

Be fully informed before making an investment decision. Each loan, along with information on the borrowing company, comes with a comprehensive information pack. To download the latest information packs you only have to register as a member. It’s easy and it’s free.

With our detailed information packs, you have everything you need to make a decision

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ThinCats loans have the potential to deliver a steady pension income when held within a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS).

Loans transferred to a pension fund immediately attract tax relief at your marginal tax rate. In addition, the interest earned by a SIPP or SSAS is tax free.

Whether you’re growing your pension fund, or drawing your income in retirement, discover how you can take advantage of the significant benefits of lending your pension money on ThinCats. To find out whether a SIPP or a SSAS is more appropriate for your circumstances, and which provider is likely to best suit your requirements, click here for a jargon free guide to pension funds and P2P loans.

You can include ThinCats loans in your personal pension

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Choose the loans you want. Create a portfolio to suit your needs

ThinCats is one of the pioneers of peer to peer lending in the UK and was the first to offer secured business loans. It was set up by a group of experienced private investors looking for a low-risk way of getting a good and predictable return on their investment. That is why we provide lots of information and membership is free – unlike some other platforms.

As a ThinCats lender you can research and build your own portfolio from a range of secured business loans. Because we are bypassing banks, both lenders and borrowers get a better deal. To download the latest information packs you only have to register as a member. It’s easy and it’s free.

The 9% interest rate quoted isn’t a target or maximum rate, but an historic average. The ThinCats platform contains a broad range of loans and you select the interest rate you want, from 7% to 15%.

ThinCats’ members can access the lenders’ forum to share their experience and participate in auctions, with the money deposited in their ThinCats account. The minimum amount for each loan is £1000. There is no maximum. If you are bidding in a variable rate auction, you pick the interest rate you are happy with, and if your bid is successful you get the rate you have chosen. You can make multiple bids at different rates of interest and for different amounts. If more than one bid is successful you will have more than one stake in that loan. Fixed rate loans are even simpler: you just lend money at the set rate of interest and the loan is made up of those that bid first.

ThinCats members can select loans by the criteria that suits them: for example, by maturity, interest rate, business type, and location – indeed, using any of the factors covered in our exhaustive information packs. You can take out an individual loan, or build a diversified portfolio. The choice is yours.

Choose the loans you want. Create a portfolio to suit your needs

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Benefitting from the wisdom of crowds

ThinCats has brought the power of the crowd to lending in a way no other peer to peer platform has. Hundreds of people – experienced investors, business people, accountants and others – scrutinise each lending proposal. They ask the most awkward questions: if they don’t like the answers, they don’t invest. You have the opportunity to harness this collective wisdom.

This process enables our lenders – whatever their level of expertise – to get a good overview of any loan before they make the decision to commit their funds. We call this ‘Crowd Due-Diligence’.

So ThinCats members can pick the brains of experienced investors, ask questions from the owners of a business they are interested in lending to, or grill the experts who have put the loan application together. If they need any further information in order to make an investment decision, there are a wide variety of experts there to provide it.

We believe that markets are conversations, and efficient markets are well-informed conversations, involving both buyers and sellers – or, in this case, borrowers and lenders. Discussions take place in the ThinCats online Forum. You just click on a discussion thread to read it, post your own comments or queries, or start a new thread.

Communicate with experienced investors and business professionals on our forum about each loan

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Supporting British businesses

Since the global financial crisis, bank lending to small and medium-sized businesses has declined sharply, leaving many viable and developing businesses starved of the funding they need to grow.

Composite graph of outstanding lending stock at year end and growth 2003-2014

ThinCats has been linking dynamic, quality UK businesses with individual lenders since 2011, cutting out the banks. Over the period, our lenders have provided more than £140 million to UK businesses.

You can support the businesses of your choice, with a wide variety of companies represented on our platform.

ThinCats facilitates funding for businesses and great rates of return for our lenders. Unlike the fat cats at the big banks, with no fees for our lenders we take very little of the cream. That’s why we’re ThinCats.

Lend close to home and back the growth of British businesses

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*Weighted average annual interest after all costs and provisions for losses but before income tax (all time).
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  • What is ThinCats?

    ThinCats is an online peer to peer lending platform for secured business loans.

    By bypassing banks both lenders and borrowers can receive a better deal. We link experienced investors with established business borrowers.

  • What are the risks of peer to peer lending?

    Get all the facts on our risk page
  • What people are saying about us

    I can choose what businesses I want to support and I know what my money is being used for.

    Spode lender & forum member

    The ThinCats process was not only fast and efficient but we were literally inundated with offers from investors!

    Kevin Singh borrower

    The people who run ThinCats implement innovations to their offerings and systems regularly and do not appear to have run out of ideas.

    Alan John lender
  • ThinCats are proud to be a member of the Peer to Peer Finance Association, the industry association which promotes high standards of conduct and consumer protection.