Andrew Whelan: GLI Finance @ LendIt

 

LendIt Europe 2016

 

This week I am attending LendIt Europe 2016, one of the biggest events in the online lending calendar. As a participant on one of the roundtable panels I will be discussing publically traded funds in the UK and sharing my ideas on the topic alongside my industry peers.

As well as exploring this area further, I am also looking forward to learning more about some of the latest issues affecting the sector and reflecting on recent developments in the space with some of the brightest figures in the industry.

I have outlined the two key areas I am looking forward to hearing more about below:

Investor opportunities

Last year it was estimated that 26% of peer-to-peer business loans were funded by institutional investors – an impressive figure for a nascent industry, but one that still leaves much room for development. Though retail investment is important, the backing of institutional investors will provide a real boost to growth in the alternative finance industry.

In the wake of the Brexit vote investor confidence has been shaken and will continue to be volatile as we begin negotiations around our exit from the EU early next year. It is important that the industry is prepared for the journey that we will embark on with the rest of the financial services industry next year, and I am hoping that the conference will provide a platform for us to discuss the issue in the run up to Article 50 being triggered next March.

The future of fintech

This year we have seen a number of moves towards greater collaboration between traditional banks and the alternative finance industry. Rather than attempting to tear the other down, it seems both sides of the market have realised their best bet is to embrace each other’s strengths.

This was demonstrated earlier in the year when Santander UK joined forces with US based online lender Kabbage to enable the traditional bank to provide small businesses with funding at rapid speed. As other players in the space start explore the synergies created by such partnerships, I am looking forward to hearing how the industry thinks it will develop in the name of collaboration and innovation over the next year.

I hope to see you there!