Survey finds home owners think peer to peer lending is risky

Almost half of home owners in the UK who have not invested in peer to peer finance are put off by a perceived risk, new research has found.

Some 42% who took part in a new survey feared it was too risky, 22% had never heard of it, 17% do not understand how it works but 5% had invested on at least one peer to peer platform.

Younger generations however are more open to risk, with just 28% of those aged 25 to 34 citing risk as a factor for not investing in peer to peer, compared to 46% of 55 and overs, according to the YouGov poll commissioned by buy to let peer to peer platform Landbay.

Some 30% of those home owners who do use peer to peer platforms invested moderate amounts of £1,000 or less. However at the opposite end of the spectrum, 18% invested larger sums of over £5,000.

Investment in peer to peer finance appears to be divided into consumers trying out platforms with small amounts of cash invested, and those who regularly invest larger sums.

‘We’ve gone out of our way to be open and up front about the risks involved on our platform, but we’re equally open about the unique range of protections our model offers. We’ve based our proposition around creating the most risk proof peer to peer platform, in an industry sometimes reluctant to mention the risk,’ said John Goodall, cofounder and chief executive officer of Landbay.

‘These research findings highlight the need to debate the merits of risk more in financial planning. We need an open and proper discussion on whether more people should consider moving a small proportion of their savings into an investment,’ he pointed out.

‘Of course risk is not for everyone, but it appears too many hoard large amounts of money in cash savings when it might be wise to consider putting a small amount of those savings at risk in exchange for better returns as part of a balanced approach,’ he explained.

‘The question is whether too many people see it as a binary choice between keeping all their money safe in the bank or putting it all at risk. Instead it should be about finding the right balance to achieve what you want to with your hard earned cash,’ he concluded.