Almost £100m commercial property funded as Proplend lending tops £50m


Commercial property lending specialist reaches the significant milestone on the first anniversary of joining the NACFB – capping a highly progressive 2018 for the platform.

Proplend is delighted to confirm that total commercial lending facilitated to date via its P2P platform has now passed through the £50m mark. All loans are commercial property backed, with a mix of bridging, mortgage and property types – funded by their growing band of Classic account, Pension account and ISA lenders.

Proplend offer creditworthy borrowers access to fast, flexible funding that may not otherwise be available, in exchange for a competitive commercial interest rate and security package that fairly reflects risk. 6 months to 5 years, £250,000 to £5m (or more), gross LTVs up to 75% on an interest only basis – this is an area that high street lenders have neglected in the last 10 years, so alternative funding is vital.

“Our goal has always been to disrupt the traditional commercial lending industry, enabling investments without the requirement or burden of principal capital” states Proplend CEO, Brian Bartaby. “We like the securing property to be income producing to help ensure serviceability, but we can be flexible and extend the length of interest reserve beyond the term as an alternative.”

Bartaby continued; “We aim to provide a credible non-bank alternative for commercial property owners and brokers. We have shown we can be flexible and move very quickly to meet challenging circumstances, but we won’t compromise on our due diligence processes and won’t stray into development finance where the risks really start to ramp up. We have a duty of care to our Lenders and a reputation to uphold as one of the safest P2P property platforms in the UK.”

Head of Credit, Philip Gould credits working more closely with the National Association of Finance Brokers (NACFB) with contributing to a marked increase in loan origination during 2018: “We’re really good at what we do and we’ve had some incredibly positive feedback from NACFB brokers since joining the association a year ago” he enthused.

“Our NACFB patronage has really helped with awareness of the platform amongst the broker community. There’s been a great deal of interest in the P2P model and those that have tried us have tended to come back to work with us again. I believe a major factor is our common sense, commercial underwriting decisions that successfully marry the funding requirements of our borrowers with the risk appetite of our core lenders – we are not simply a tick box exercise.”

One such returning broker is Charles Smith of Capital Money Solutions who describes the Proplend lending experience as “first class”. Smith references his client’s delight at “the easiest and most competitive loan he has completed in the last three years”, advocating; “we’re trying to find another deal for the platform right now”.

And speaking after finalising bridging finance via the platform within just 7 days of their initial enquiry, another NACFB broker Gitesh Patel of PIA Financial Group remarked; “There really aren’t many lenders who can understand and turn around deals like this within such a tight timeframe.”

The platform doesn’t only facilitate brokered deals though – Proplend has a strong track record of accommodating Borrowers who’ve approached the platform directly too. Experienced commercial property investor Duncan from Berkshire reflected; “It is no exaggeration to say that this has, hands-down, been our best commercial borrowing experience” – describing a recent mortgage purchase funded by over 150 Proplend Lenders.

Having doubled the total borrowing facilitated within the last 15 months, Proplend has no intention of resting on its laurels or merely maintaining this growth. “There’s substantially more demand from registered Lenders to satisfy, particularly given the influx of ISA money to the platform during the last 18 months”, Gould continued.

“Word is getting out about our commercial borrowing proposition and we’re fielding more lending enquiries than ever before. By working closely with a preferred panel of commercial property legal specialists nationwide, as well as utilising the services of panel management company VAS Panel, we’ve helped speed up and smooth out what can traditionally be lengthy and complicated transactions. Brokers and borrowers alike are finding us surprisingly straightforward and particularly efficient – we’re proud the majority want to work with us again.”