31 March, 2017

Orca Launches Standardised Peer-to-Peer Research Service

NB: This is the press release distributed to media outlets following the new platform's launch yesterday.

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Orca Launches First Standardised Peer to Peer Investment Data & Research Service

Innovative platform provides a new way for investors to benchmark P2P investment opportunities

Belfast, 30th March 2017– Orca, one of the leading independent data, research and analysis providers on the UK peer-to-peer lending market has today announced the launch of their new platform, aimed at helping financial advisers and sophisticated investors clearly visualise and seize the opportunities within the P2P market.

The platform, offering unique standardised metrics to compare P2P investments, will allow users to perform in-depth due diligence on P2P investments, benchmark them in a way they would traditional asset classes, and hence make risk-adjusted, informed investment decisions or recommendations.

The P2P market has seen tremendous growth in the past two years, increasing by 40% in 2016. It is estimated that by 2020 around 2.7 million people will be investing in P2P. However, compared to other asset classes, there is a substantial lack of comprehensive, independently assessed investment information, which financial advisers and sophisticated investors crucially need to confidently approach the P2P market.

Responding to this gap, the Orca platform will offer standardised P2P investment and market data on items such as interest rates, default rates, bad debt rates, platforms’ financial standing. It will accompany the data with analysis and context for its interpretation, allowing investors to get a clear and understandable picture of the opportunities in the P2P market. Through Orca’s relationships with UK P2P lending providers, the platform also stands apart by its extensive coverage – the Orca team has translated millions of loans, covering 90% of the UK P2P professional market.

Orca also aims to add further standardised features to the platform following its launch, including a proprietary Orca Scoring, to enable users to identify the risks and opportunities that best match their needs.

Iain Niblock, CEO of Orca, said: “Although P2P investments offer stable, predictable risk-adjusted returns and great diversification for investors, there has been virtually no uptake since financial advisers were permitted to suggest their clients consider P2P products last year. This is because the risks are often relatively misunderstood, and investors and financial advisers alike do not have the tools and information to feel confident about P2P investments.

The provision of independent research from a credible source is of critical importance if the P2P market is going to achieve its full potential. Our platform therefore aims to provide compliant, credible and robust P2P data and analytics, similarly to what’s available for equity or fixed income investments, to empower investors and financial advisers when opting for P2P.”

The Orca platform will be free to advisers, investors and industry commentators until September 2017.

Incumbent financial research providers will also be able to extend their asset class coverage to P2P by consuming the Orca API data feed.

The Orca Platform is currently in Beta. The team aims to add to the peer to peer lending platforms analysed, and to refine the data and analytics in line with user feedback.