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Squirrel looking for more opportunities

Squirrel Money founder John Bolton says he probably would not have bothered with peer-to-peer lending if he had not been able to see opportunities beyond it.

Tuesday, September 20th 2016, 8:12PM

by Susan Edmunds

The Squirrel platform is one of four operating in the market, matching investors with those looking for loans. It is an off-shoot from the successful Squirrel mortgage broking business.

Squirrel’s model is different in that it offers a reserve fund to cover any losses that are incurred, but lower interest rates in return.

But Bolton said Squirrel Money was part of a much broader strategy.

He said it was difficult to get economies of scale in the peer-to-peer market as it currently was.

“I don’t think we would have launched into peer-to-peer if it wasn’t part of a bigger play in fintech,” he said.

Squirrel would apply for a non-bank deposit taker’s licence by the end of next year, he said.

That would enable it to offer a broader product set.

“The peer-to-peer licence is quite restrictive. You can’t construct a new financial product within that licence and we would like to have a competitively priced on-call product on both sides, to lend to people who need short-term loans, whether that's renovating before they sell, and could offer an on-call savings product that would be incredibly well-priced. But that’s too difficult to deliver under the peer-to-peer licensing regime.”

It would also become an agency under the new Financial Advisers Act (FAA).

“That’s reflective of where we are taking the business, we want to take it to compete across the whole financial services spectrum.”

He said Squirrel’s team had also been looking overseas at what digital banks were doing. “That’s always been our view. Nothing has really changed except we are putting a line in the sand.”

Bolton said Squirrel was also looking at the opportunities in roboadvice, which the new version of the FAA will make possible.

Tags: Squirrel

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.55 2.95 3.29
ANZ 4.44 3.10 3.50 3.84
ANZ Blueprint to Build 1.68 - - -
ANZ Special - 2.50 2.90 3.24
ASB Back My Build 1.79 - - -
ASB Bank 4.45 2.55 2.95 3.29
Basecorp Finance 5.49 - - -
Bluestone 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
BNZ - Classic - 2.55 2.95 3.25
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.15 3.22 3.85
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online 1.95 1.85 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.80 3.90 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.19 2.45 2.69
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - 2.25 - -
ICBC 3.69 ▲2.29 ▲2.69 ▲2.99
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.67 2.97 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.75 3.34 3.34 4.14
Kiwibank - Offset 3.75 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.75 2.49 2.49 3.29
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 2.99 3.24 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 2.98 2.79 3.29
SBS Bank 4.54 2.69 2.99 3.29
SBS Bank Special - 2.19 2.49 2.79
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.29 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.49 2.89 3.19
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.99 3.39 3.69
TSB Bank 5.34 3.30 3.69 4.04
TSB Special 4.54 2.50 2.89 3.24
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac 4.59 3.15 3.49 3.89
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.55 2.89 3.29
Median 4.54 2.68 2.99 3.29

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