A fixed rate auction is our default type of loan auction, where the interest rate has been set in advance. Lenders can place fixed bids in multiples of £1,000, which are accepted on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Once the loan amount has been reached, no more bids can be placed.
A variable rate auction is where lenders can bid at the interest rate they wish to receive, up to the maximum rate set for the specific auction. If the loan amount has been reached, a lender can still bid, as long as they are willing to accept a lower rate than those already in the auction. Once the auction ends the platform will allocate the loan to the bids at lowest rate which make up the loan total. Variable rate auctions allow lenders to place ‘dynamic bids’.
A dynamic bid allows a user to set a starting rate of interest and a floor rate of interest. If the bid were to be knocked out of the auction, the system will keep adjusting their rate down until their floor rate has been reached.
Community & social investments
We do, but in a limited format. See our community & social investments page for more details.
ThinCats is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’). As an authorised firm it is required to follow FCA’s guidance for complaints handling. We have established a transparent complaints handling procedure which is in line with the FCA guidance.
For information about how to make a complaint please refer to our dedicated complaints section.
Defaults & recoveries
An event of default is an event which means that a loan is considered as being in default.
Typical events of default include non-payment of interest or principal, insolvency, misrepresentation or failure to perform any obligation contained in the loan agreement. Individual loans may have different events of default as different conditions are placed on borrowers. The list is often extensive and will be set out in each individual loan agreement.
A loan is considered to be in default if any of the specific conditions of the loan has breached and so an ‘event of default’ has occurred.
Details of our default rates can be found on our statistics page.
Due to complexity of the process, the enforcement of security may result in a delay in you receiving any recovery of your investment. Additionally, because each case is different, we cannot give an estimate for how long the delay could be.
Following initial registration, we allocate each lender with a unique membership number starting with “BLN-P0”. We contact lenders via email once this number has been assigned with details on how they can transfer money into their client account. It is essential that you quote this membership number in full when depositing funds. Failure to do so may result in a delay in allocating your payment.
If you have lost or deleted this email and need a reminder on how to pay funds into your client account, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funds are normally available within 2 working hours of receipt.
Before you make your first deposit we will undertake anti-money laundering (AML) checks to validate your identity and the details of your bank account. Please note this account must be in your own name. You may be required to provide additional documentation to support these checks. It is called a nominated account. If you decide to change the nominated bank account we may undertake additional AML checks.
Once the AML checks have been passed, your first deposit will be credited to your ThinCats account. Because of this process, your first deposit may take longer to be credited to your account than the time frame stated for regular deposits.
All of our lenders’ funds are held in the ThinCats Client Money account, which is a pooled client money bank account held with Barclays Bank Plc.
Investors who register after 1st January 2018 will be charged a fee equivalent to a 1% reduction in the annual rate of gross interest received. See our fees page for more details.
We charge 1% of the capital outstanding (rounded to the nearest whole pound) of the loan part sold.
Recovery fees of 15% will be charged to the borrower, in the event of the borrower entering into a formal insolvency process. Where there are insufficient realisations from the borrower to repay the outstanding capital, accrued interest, and charge in full, a scale charge will be applied based on the recovery made as set out in the Platform Use and Terms and Conditions (see 17.2.5). This will apply to all loans listed on the primary market from the 1st March 2017.
We have use a two-tiered grading system for all loans on the ThinCats platform:
- Credit quality, represented by a one-to-five-star grading
- Security quality, represented by a one-to-five-padlock grading
This provides two ways of judging any loan: the ability of a company to service its loan obligations, and the value of the underlying security relative to the size of loan.
For more information, see our loan grading page.
Each component used to construct the credit grade has been subjected to testing against proprietary analysis and the wider UK SME universe – some 3,000,000 firms, of which 500,000 are borrowers. While the grading system has been proven to represent relative risk accurately over multiple data sets, lenders must make their own judgement when lending on the platform. The grades do not represent recommendation of specific loans by ThinCats.
The Stars signify the assesed relative likelihood of the borrowing company going into default, and therefore of the riskiness of the loan- five Stars being the highest grading and least risky and one Star the lowest grading and most risky.
This model combines a financial perspective on each borrower, which is driven by leading credit-agency scores, with additional and non-financial proprietary metrics, proven over 25 years of analysis to add an additional layer of insight and predictivity of default. The methodologies used to separately refine both the financial and the non-financial perspectives from the original inputs, and then to combine the two perspectives, have been validated by observing the actual patterns of insolvencies across very large datasets (3m UK firms, of which 0.5m are SME borrowers).
The security grading is represented by Padlocks and is based on the value of assets offered as security compared to the loan amount, at the time of valuation. The highest level of grading (five Padlocks) means that the estimated value of security is more than the loan amount. One Padlock means that the security is estimated to be worth less than 25% of the loan amount. These ratings take into consideration certain industry factors and the ability to recover those assets subject to the security, in the event of a default.
There are currently no plans to do this.
Gradings are applied to each loan at the time of the original auction. We have no plans, as yet, to periodically update each loan following the initial grading. Therefore, you will see that only new loans will carry the grading and the assessment of loans on the Secondary market will remain as before.
All the safeguards from before are still in place: if ThinCats believes that there is any cause for concern with a loan, we will not allow it to be traded on the Secondary Market. If it is already being traded on the Secondary Market, we will suspend its trading until any concerns are resolved.
All loans (old and new) will continue to be prefixed with a secondary market loan status code.
We predominantly offer three different loan repayment methods on our platform:
Amortising – Each month you will receive back a fixed value payment consisting of both interest owed and a repayment of capital.
Interest Only – Each month you will receive back a fixed value payment consisting entirely of interest. At the end of the loan term you will receive back a final interest payment and the return of your invested capital.
Interest Rollup – You do not receive monthly payments. At the end of the loan term you will receive back your invested capital plus all of the compound interest you have earnt over the term.
We sometimes feature loans that offer a combination of these loan types or completely different repayment terms. We recommend that you read each information pack before investing to understand what the repayment method will be.
A loan update is when we share information with syndicate members who are part of a specific loan. We communicate updates via email and only send it to current investors of the loan. Loan updates are private and confidential and are strictly between ourselves and the current loan syndicate.
We issue these updates when we have news about the borrower that needs to be shared. Examples of when an update is issued:
- The loan is to be repaid early
- A syndicate vote is required
- The borrower has run into difficulty with repaying their loan
- There has been progress with the recovery process
No, we only issue updates when there is news that affects your investment. We do not provide updates on business performance or progress.
A syndicate vote is when an important decision regarding how to proceed with a loan is needed. When a vote is deemed to be the most suitable way forward, syndicate members will have the opportunity to vote for the best course of action given their own personal circumstances. What we do is explain each course of action and offer investors the opportunity to vote on which course of action they believe is best. Each investor is allowed to vote once and their vote is weighted based on their outstanding capital in the loan. After a period of time the votes are tallied and a loan update is issued with the results of the vote.
Please note that when investing alongside an institutional investor(s), who in aggregate own more than 50% of the loan, syndicate votes will not typically be offered to retail investors. This will typically be the case where an institutional investor has underwritten a loan.
When loan updates are issued the applicable loan Q&A’s will be updated to highlight that an update has been distributed.
If you do find that a loan update has been issued upon reviewing loan Q&A’s but have not received it, please contact the admin team directly who will be happy to assist. The admin team can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
Each investment opportunity on the platform is accompanied by a detailed information pack, which describes the investment opportunity and provides background information about the borrower and its business. This usually includes business plans, credit reports, information on assets available as security for the loan, past account and other document relevant to the opportunity.
We also grade each investment opportunity on its credit and security quality. See our section on grading for more information.
Yes, each investment opportunity features a Q&A facility, which allows investors to ask specific questions or request further information.
Members have to be a UK resident and have a valid UK bank account. However, if you do not meet these criteria you may otherwise be permitted to become a member by written agreement from us in accordance with the Platform’s policy then in force and applicable law and regulation. If you have any questions regarding this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Yes you can, providing your pension provider allows it. For more details see our pensions page.
ThinCats is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and entered on the Financial Services Register with firm registration number 724062. It is important to recognise that crowdfunding/peer to peer lending is NOT covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. ThinCats is registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner for data protection purposes.
Payments are collected from borrowers’ account via Direct Debit so that a fixed repayment date can be scheduled for the duration of the loan term. If a payment due date falls at a weekend or on a bank holiday, then the borrower is debited the first working day after the due date, but not before.
Once payments have cleared successfully (next working day following payment date), ThinCats lender’s accounts are credited within two working days.
In the event of being unable to collect payments due to a bank error, the problem can generally be rectified within 3 working days. In this case payments are not usually received until at least day four following the original payment date. Once successful payment is collected, lenders’ accounts are credited in the normal process.
By investing through ThinCats your capital is at risk. You are making direct loans to corporate businesses, and if for some reason they fail to repay, there is a chance your money will be lost or there will be a delay in repayment. Additionally, your money is not covered for compensation in the event of loss by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. For more information on applicable risks please see our risks page.
We do not allow the sale of loans that are in distress, have missed payments against them, are in legal recovery, or have been restructured against an agreed plan. Only loans that are being repaid to schedule without any outstanding questions are free to be traded. A key exception to this are ThinCats Lending Club (TLC) loans, which may potentially contain impaired loans but can still be traded.
Only loans that are status “A” are able to be traded on the Secondary Market.
The status of a loan can be viewed in the Secondary Market Status List spreadsheet. This can be found via www.thincats.net. If you have not logged in before and require a password, please contact email@example.com and one can be provided. From here you will see a link to ‘View Documents’, where additional information is available to members who have funds on the platform. The spreadsheet can be found in the Secondary Market Information folder. This is a document containing information about all loans made on the platform including status codes of each loan.
A member of our admin department will email you explaining why your loan part is unable to be sold, and will return the loan part to your account.
If a loan becomes untradeable, all of its loan parts that are listed on the Secondary Market will be returned to the seller and any pending transfers will be cancelled.
Sellers: 1% of the capital outstanding (rounded to the nearest whole pound) of the loan part upon successful transfer
Buyers: No fees involved
Selling at a fixed rate means that the loan is sold at its par value, i.e £1,000 loan part sells for £1,000.
However, selling at a variable rate changes the value of the auction, and allows the seller to account for accrued interest, especially in relation to Roll Up loans. It is up to the seller to decide on this premium and the buyer to decide if it is valued correctly.
ThinCats Lending Clubs (TLCs) are a portfolio of loans and therefore, a single status cannot be applied to them. TLCs are able to be traded on the Secondary Market until twelve months before the end of the loan period.
The trading policy for TLCs allows for them to be traded on the Secondary Market even if the portfolio contains impaired loans. Information about the status of each loan and the breakdown of the mix of loans within any TLC can be found in the VIP Dropbox. If you are unsure how to access these documents please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Detailed analysis of TLCs is published monthly and is made available to lenders with funds on the platform. All lenders are advised to complete their own due diligence prior to bidding on the secondary market so that they understand what they are purchasing.
Auctions will begin the following day and be listed for 7 days. Lenders are able to request shorter auctions by contacting email@example.com.
Yes, but you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of the auction
Unfortunately, we do not have the facility to cancel your bid, however, in some circumstances, we will allow you to resell the loan part with no fees.
Bids must be in multiples of £1,000. If the loan part is not a multiple of £1,000, you must place a bid for the nearest thousand, or the whole loan part amount.
This means your ‘Bid Rate’ exceeds the maximum rate. In order to view the maximum bid allowed, click on the ‘Loan Part Details’ tab, then the ‘Loan Part Auctions’ tab.
This mean the bid rate you are entering is not in a multiple of 0.1. All bids placed must be a multiple of 0.1.
We take out a variety of security depending on the loan itself, the most common form being a first ranking debenture. See our securities page for more details.
The syndicate is the group of Lenders that together provide individual loans to a borrower under the loan agreement.
No, we do not. It is each member’s own responsibility to declare any money earned through ThinCats to HMRC.
Yes, we issue tax statements containing gross interest earned, principal write off, and unrecoverable principal from your portfolio during the specified tax year.
We automatically issue tax statements to UK personal tax payers. All others, such as SIPPs or limited companies, need to request a tax statement. Please contact us on email@example.com and we will be happy to help.
We issue tax statements as soon as possible following the end of the tax year and no later than 30th June.
Due to the tax rules for 2016/17 you personally are able to submit for tax relief in relation to P2P loans which may become irrecoverable. For this reason, we are required to provide you with provisions in relation to specific loans that you are invested in, which may be of assistance if you choose to claim tax relief for the specific loans. The decision to claim tax relief or not however is solely yours to make.
We only provide this information about loans where we are certain of loss and only provide the principal that we are certain is irrecoverable. It is up to the lender, based on the loan updates they receive throughout the year, to decide what they submit to HMRC.
Terminating an account
You may terminate your membership at any time as long as you do not have any outstanding loan parts.
Please send us written notice to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we receive such notice we may seek additional information to confirm that the origin of the request is genuine. Once we are satisfied of the authenticity of the request, we will arrange the transfer of any outstanding balance to your nominated bank account.
If the Platform were to fail or BLN were to become insolvent, lose its FCA authorisation or otherwise cease to operate, we have made arrangements to ensure that your Loans will be unaffected - Collections and distributions of all payments from Borrowers would continue in accordance with the terms of the Loan Documents. For more information on how this will be managed please refer to our prepared documentation.
Transferring an account
You may not assign or transfer your account to a third person without our prior written consent (which we may grant or withhold in our sole discretion).
Connections made to the ThinCats website are encrypted with a 256-bit encryption.
Lenders who wish to transfer uncommitted funds can send us a withdrawal request through the ThinCats system. Once we have received your request our admin team will process the withdrawal and the funds should be with you within 3 working days. Except under special circumstances, and by prior arrangement, we can only return your funds to the bank account they came from.