Ablrate Review – Peer To Peer Lending
** Ablrate review updated January 22nd 2023 **
On June 2015, I made my first Ablrate deposit. The platform was of interest because of the secured aircraft loans. Honestly, what person doesn’t dream of investing in planes? Albrate was one of the few survivors in the high-risk high reward peer to peer lending sector but alas in July 2022, CEO David Bradley Ward announced he would be voluntarily winding down Ablrate’s loan book.
What does this wind down mean to you as investor? Read on to find out.
Click here to listen / watch my podcast with David Bradley Ward, Ablrate CEO and founder.
What Is Ablrate?
Ablrate is a UK based peer to peer lending platform where investors can lend money to borrowers who secure loans with residential, commercial, or industrial real estate. Secondary security to a loan may include a first ranking debenture over the business or business assets, third-party corporate guarantees, and personal guarantees.
How Can I Contact Ablrate?
UK Tel: 01491 410 400
What Is a Voluntary Loan Book Wind Down?
When a business looks at the future and see some troubled waters ahead, they sometimes decide to place the company into voluntary wind down to protect investors. Other companies such as Bondmason and Growth Street entered voluntary wind downs and repaid all investors.
A voluntary wind down is a restriction the business places on itself (and notifies the FCA of) and means that the business does not write any new loans or take on any new customers and the existing loan book is administered until completion.
Is Ablrate Out Of Business?
No. It is important to know that Ablrate plans to continue operations and should be able to do so. In his update, David Bradley Ward writes:
“We have a reasonable outlook financially as we continue to receive our commission element from loans that are paying or settling as well as recovering direct costs from others. So the business, barring any outside financial pressure, should be able to continue with long recoveries until the book is settled or brought to a conclusion”
Why Did Ablrate Decide To Place Its Loan Book Into Voluntary Wind Down Procedures?
David and his team decided to wind down the loan book for several reasons. These reasons include the challenging economic environment for small businesses, rising interest rates and challenges on some of the existing loans. One of my own Ablrate loans ran into problematic legal challenges and was written off as a complete loss. This happens within peer to peer lending and is nothing new.
Pressure and clampdowns from the FCA towards peer to peer lending companies was also cited as another reason for the decision. In my opinion the Ablrate team foresaw a change in FCA regulations that would make Ablrate’s existing business challenging. Banning of customer incentives and a possible banning of instant returns was enough to make Ablrate decide the p2p garden was looking less rosy.
What Happens To My Existing Lending?
In theory, nothing should change with your existing loans which will continue to be administered by Ablrate and capital and interest payments once collected will be distributed to Ablrate you.
There may be some loans that run into trouble throughout the course of the loan book and they should be handled appropriately by Ablrate as stipulated in the wind down agreement.
What Happens To Unused Funds In My Ablrate Account?
Unused funds which are not invested into loans should be withdraw-able at any time. Just log into your account and click on the withdrawal button.
When Did Ablrate Launch?
Is Ablrate Regulated?
Yes, by the UK Financial Conduct Authority under full permissions. FCA regulation is nothing like the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). FSCS covers consumers when they deposit money in banks, the FCA does not.
The FCA does have the ability to pursue criminal action against companies that violate its standards. The FCA is not a government entity and it’s funded by the very companies it regulates.
How Much Annual Interest Does Collateral Pay Lenders / Investors?
6.5% – 15.5%
When Is Interest Paid?
Interest payments are staggered throughout the month. Your account dashboard shows when your next payment is due:
Am I Lending To The Ablrate Platform Or To Borrowers?
Loan agreements are directly between lenders and borrowers.
What Are The Length Of The Loans?
Most loans are one to five years. Loans can renew at the end of term or be paid off early.
What Security Does Ablrate Loan Against?
Loans are usually secured by items such as aircraft, property, or business assets and debentures. Loan To Values vary but aren’t shown on the secondary market page. If the borrower defaults, Ablrate or its loan partners can try to sell the assets to recover lenders money. If a borrower defaults, it can take months or even years for recovery. That is one of the risks of peer to peer lending.
What Are The Loan Default Rates?
Ablrate doesn’t provide default statistics but I believe their default rate is very low. So far I have only experienced one default.
What Is Default Handling Like?
My single defaulted loan is working its way through the legal system but seems troubled. There are rumors that the security wasn’t properly handled and recovery is questionable. Only time will tell if this proves true. The recovery process has taken many months but Ablrate’s communication has been consistently good throughout. Hopefully, the assets can be legally acquired and Ablrate can attempt to sell the assets to recover some of the lenders’ capital and interest. Unfortunately, four years of legal fees will drastically reduce the recovery amount.
Is There a Secondary Market?
Ablrate used to have a secondary market but this was shut down by the FCA and no longer operates. This means investors have no way to access loans prior to their completion.
Is There A Provision Fund?
What Happens If Ablrate Goes Bust?
Ablrate has set up a living will through Kingston Smith LLP, a UK accountancy firm. In the event Ablrate ceases to operate, Kingston Smith would “administer the company in an orderly wind-down process and collect interest and capital to be redistributed to loan holders.”
It appears Ablrate have taken this process seriously but as we’ve seen with Lendy, Collateral and Funding Secure, the administration is very expensive and massively cuts into loan recovery amounts.
Ablrate has remained in communication with its investors since the wind down announcement sending periodic loan book updates. Hopefully this will continue in the future.
The Ablrate Conclusion
Ablrates wind down announcement was disappointing to many of its loyal lenders who have enjoyed high paying returns on their lending for years. I had my doubts as to the sustainability of Ablrate’s business due to the failings of previous high paying peer to peer platforms but remained optimistic as I liked Ablrate’s CEO.
It is my hope that Ablrate can wind down its loan book eventually repaying investor. This will depend on the businesses ability to financially operate throughout the wind down years and the borrowers ability to continue loan repayments through difficult economic times.
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** This Ablrate page is for information purposes only. This information is not financial advice and has been prepared without taking your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. You should consider its appropriateness for your circumstances. All investing carries risks. Opinions expressed in this review are opinions based on my own personal experiences. The FSCS does not cover peer to peer lending and your capital is at risk. Please don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. **