As a guide some generic risks that investors need to consider before investing are listed below. The risks listed are generic to alternative finance and not specific to any one investment. They are included for information purposes only. Specific investments may carry additional risks not identified here. In all cases it is recommended that professional advice is sought from a suitably qualified and authorised adviser.
- Investors may not receive back the full amount that they have invested. The value of an investment may fall and may even lose all of its value.
- Investments in alternative finance are not readily marketable and the timing of any disposal is uncertain. Certain of the investments do not even allow redemptions or transfers for a certain period of time or for the term of the investment.
- Past performance of platforms and peer-to-peer lending products are not an indication of the future performance.
- Many alternative investments are developed to exploit new and innovative opportunities that in many cases would not otherwise be available to ‘retail’ investors. This may mean that they may be unproven and to some extent still in ‘development phase’. Consequently there is a risk that they may simply not work as planned resulting in capital loss.
- Some peer-to-peer platforms and products rely on other parties. These parties may not perform or even go bust.
- Tax laws may change or the peer-to-peer lending offering may be challenged by HM Revenue & Customs.
- As with most investments, economic factors can clearly affect the performance of the loans or the assets on which security is held.
- When looking at the parties involved in a peer-to-peer lending offering, the question should be asked if there are any potential conflicts of interest. Such potential conflicts should be declared by the operator and steps taken to ensure all connected party dealings are carried out transparently and fairly.