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Institutional backing gets blame for high rates

Constraints on funding are being blamed for the interest rates peer-to-peer lenders are charging borrowers.

Monday, June 20th 2016, 10:36AM

by Susan Edmunds

Before peer-to-peer lending launched in the New Zealand market, providers said its interest rates would represent a drop in cost for borrowers and an increase in income for investors.

While investors are pulling in rates that are much better than they could get on a bank term deposit – Harmoney’s average return is just under 12% for lenders – borrowers are not paying much less than they could get from a bank.

The highest-grade borrowers are paying just over 12%, up to almost 40% for those with an F credit rating.

Harmoney recently increased the interest rate it charges borrowers.

Squirrel Money charges from 9%, Lending Crowd charges from 7.9% and LendMe charges between 6.64% and 15.04% but requires security - often a property.

Claire Matthews, of Massey University, said the platforms were facing a number of issues.

“It may reflect a greater reliance on institutional lenders than expected, which may be more expensive than retail lenders would be. It may also indicate they are lending to riskier borrowers - so the rate offered to an individual borrower may be lower than they would get from a bank, but for the total portfolio the average may be higher than the average for a bank's less risky portfolio.”

A Harmoney spokeswoman said it structured its rates in a way that was most fair to borrowers and lenders.

“Harmoney does not itself charge or earn interest, but grades and prices risk for lenders to choose from. In pricing risk, we take a neutral position,” she said.

She said unlike the bank approach of a flat interest rate for all credit card borrowing, Harmoney used a gradient of 30 risk grades.

“Rating for risk as Harmoney does is the more fair approach, in our view, but banks have a vested interest in protecting their high returns from interest paid by credit card borrowers, which means their rates do not accurately reflect risk.

“In the Harmoney marketplace, each loan application is attributed a risk grade with an associated interest rate according to Harmoney’s credit scorecard. The interest rate on a loan is both the interest rate paid by borrowers and the gross interest rate due to lenders.”

Tags: Harmoney interest rates Peer to Peer Lending

« Harmoney appoints chairHarmoney adds payment protect feature »

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Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.24 6.75 6.65
ANZ 8.64 7.84 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - 7.24 6.79 6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 7.24 6.75 6.65
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.24 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.84 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 7.04 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 7.24 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.74 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.69 6.45 6.19
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.75 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.79 7.39 7.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 8.25 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 7.25 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.75 7.35 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
Resimac - LVR < 80% 8.84 8.09 7.59 7.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac - LVR < 90% 9.84 9.09 8.59 8.29
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Full Doc) - - 9.49 -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.84 7.45 7.25
SBS Bank Special - 7.24 6.85 6.65
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 6.74 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 8.04 7.55 7.45
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 8.64 7.24 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - - 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Westpac 8.64 7.89 7.35 7.25
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - 7.29 6.75 6.65
Median 8.64 7.29 7.32 6.65

Last updated: 8 April 2024 9:21am

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