Proplend Review

4.3
118 votes
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Proplend is a P2P (peer-to-peer) platform that assists UK commercial property owners with alternative borrowing; they focus on inflation-free, investment returns that earn 5%-12% per annum.

Proplend enables retail and institutional investors to earn inflation-free yields through commercial property investors. Proplend goes against the traditional mortgage industry without the requirement or burden of principal capital.

“I was at the coal face during the financial crisis, when the banks and building societies retreated from the sub-£5m commercial property market and left a vacuum. This sector makes up almost a quarter of all outstanding commercial real estate debt market in the UK, so it’s a significant part of total lending. I saw an opportunity to provide much-needed funding to commercial property investors, while in this long term low-interest-rate environment, offering attractive returns to investors desperately looking for yield”. – Brian Bartaby, Proplend CEO & Founder

What does the Proplend platform do?

The Proplend platform will match debtors with investors by pairing the borrowing demand with income needs. The process is called ‘Real Estate Loan Syndication’ and it allows banks to access reliable and durable income that comes with significant capital protection. So, instead of three banks joining to offer a £5,000,000 loan, Proplend splits the loan into 5000 parts of £1,000. Each part has a separate investor.

Proplend is regulated and fully authorized by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and is approved by HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Department).

What’s special about Proplend?

Proplend specializes in commercial investment property loans, which is a tremendously under-utilized sector of the market. The company’s mission is to offer funding to commercial property investors with attractive and consistent returns.

Proplend is very transparent about their processes which enables them to be amongst the recognized as one of the safest P2P Lending and Innovative Finance ISA platforms by P2P industry experts, 4thWay.

Who created and runs Proplend?

Proplend was founded by Brian Bartaby who is currently the Company’s CEO too. Prior to Proplend, Mr. Bartaby managed FX and Options trading desks in New York, London, and Hong Kong. The Chief Operating office of Proplend is Matt Carson, who as over 20-year experience in all aspects of operations management and inter-related functions. Mr. Carson previously worked as Head of European and Asian Real Estate Loan Operations in Morgan Stanley for nearly 15 years.

The rest of the Propland team is very diverse with various background experience in financial services, property, technology, sales, etc.

What services does Proplend offer?

  • Auto-Lend ‘Plus’ – Automated Investing offers a stress-free solution for distributing available cash to In Funding and/or PLE investments. Investors can use this feature for their convenience and for passive investing. Since auto-allocation takes time, this facility is very helpful. Auto lend is customizable, so investors can choose their markets, max term, and set a maximum investment per loan. Furthermore, investors have priority access to New Loans (Tranche A only), which means investors have access to Proplend’s safest loans available. The minimal target return rate per annum is 5%. When you switch on Auto-Lend, it automatically invests all current and future available cash.
  • SSAS and SIPP Pension Investments – Clients can earn tax-free returns by investing pension funds within their SSAS or SIPP to property-backed peer-to-peer loans. The client’s pension provider will set up their Proplend account. This does have some restrictions though: pensions cannot be used to make loans to connected parties or for properties with a residential element.
  • Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) – Tax-Free Returns – Proplend offers an Investment ISA alternative to volatile stocks and shares, as well as cash ISA saving. The returns offered are fixed (5%-12% and tax-free) and you can withdraw funds whenever you want.

How to get started?

Getting started with Proplend is simple – you will need to register and submit your identity verification documents. Once you login in you will have access to your dashboard from where you can fund, invest, and manage your account, as well as access assistance from customer support and update your email communication preferences.

You can fund your account by registering your bank account with Porplend; once that is done, they will you the details of their client money account. Funds can only be transferred through bank wire, as Proplend does not accept Transferwise or Revolut Accounts.

Conclusion

Proplend is a great starting point for both new and experienced investors. The company is very transparent on their fees and offers good return rates. Their versatile and seamless platform is very functional and customizable, and certainly worth a try.

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