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Retail Money Market Ltd
FounderRhydian Lewis, Peter Behrens
FateAcquired by Metro Bank, September 2020
Area served
UK, Australia
ProductsFinancial services
ParentMetro Bank
Websitewww.ratesetter.com Edit this at Wikidata

RateSetter is a British personal loan provider, founded in 2009 as one of the pioneers of peer-to-peer lending. The London-based company traded in the United Kingdom and (from 2014) through a locally-owned and run business in Australia. The UK business was acquired by Metro Bank in September 2020, leading to closure of the peer-to-peer products in April 2021.

The company is known for having introduced into peer-to-peer lending the concept of a "provision fund" – an internal fund which aims to help lenders manage the risk of borrower default, and is generated by borrowers' payment of a "credit rate" fee based on their credit profile. Launched in October 2010, by September 2020 the company had matched more than £4bn in loans and had over 750,000 investors and borrowers.[1][2] RateSetter claimed that none of its individual investors ever lost money.[1]


RateSetter's holding company, Retail Money Market Ltd, was incorporated in October 2009 by Rhydian Lewis, an investment banker from Lazard, and Peter Behrens, a lawyer turned banker formerly of Royal Bank of Scotland.[3] The private limited company was funded from the start by angel investors.[4][5]

In July 2014, it was announced that the British Business Bank would begin lending through RateSetter to support individuals, sole traders or partnerships borrowing for business purposes.[citation needed] In December 2015, RateSetter moved from Southwark to new offices in Bishopsgate, London.[6]

In June 2017, RateSetter raised £13m from existing shareholders, including Woodford Investment Management and Artemis, bringing the total amount raised to £41.5m.[7][8] The following month, Paul Manduca became chairman of RateSetter;[9][10] he is also chairman of Prudential plc.

In early 2018, the company announced the arrival of its Innovative Finance ISA. In its first year, it attracted over £100m in ISA subscriptions.[11]

RateSetter's lending had an average gross yield of 8% in 2019–20.[12]

Sale to Metro Bank[edit]

Metro Bank plc, a London-based retail and commercial bank, announced in August 2020 that it had agreed to acquire Retail Money Market Ltd for a price of up to £12 million, with £2.5 million paid upfront and the remainder to be paid over the next three years; the latter component is conditional on meeting certain performance criteria. The announced purchase price marked a sharp decrease in the company's value, which was £200m during its last round of funding in 2017.[7] Metro Bank acquired 100% of RateSetter shares but its stake in RateSetter Australia, valued at £13.7 million, was excluded from the transaction and remains with RateSetter shareholders.[13] The purchase was subject to regulatory and RateSetter shareholder approval, and completed on 14 September 2020.[14] Metro Bank said it intended to continue the RateSetter brand and its operations, with new unsecured personal lending funded by the bank's deposits, not through peer-to-peer.[12]

In February 2021, Metro Bank bought RateSetter's remaining unsecured personal loan portfolio, valued at £384m. After the contractual two months' notice, all peer-to-peer lending accounts would be closed from 2 April and full repayment of capital made to investors.[15] Some among the 45,000 investors objected to the inclusion in the transaction of the "provision fund", which had been bolstered by interest diverted from investors in recent months.[16]

Effects of COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In May 2020, since the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic was expected to cause an increase in defaulted loans, RateSetter halved the interest paid to all lenders.[17] Lenders experienced long delays after requesting to withdraw money; in October, for some types of loan, RateSetter was processing requests made in March.[18] Full payment of interest resumed on 28 January 2021.[19] In early 2021 it was announced that the investment side of the business would be shut down,[20] a move which was completed on 2 April 2021.

In Australia[edit]

RateSetter Australia commenced operations in November 2014.[21] The Australian business, based in Sydney, is managed and majority-owned locally, and was the first peer-to-peer lending platform in the country open to retail customers.[22]

In December 2017, it was announced that over AU$200m had been lent via the platform.[23] By mid-2020, lending had grown to AU$800m and the company was preparing for a stock exchange flotation.[24]

In 2019, 14% of the company was owned by Retail Money Market Ltd;[25] this holding was not included in the 2020 acquisition of the UK business by Metro Bank.[12]

In August 2020, RateSetter Australia was renamed Plenti[26][27] ahead of an IPO which took place in September 2020.[28]


Borrowers can apply for a loan for between 6 and 60 months. The company has strict lending criteria, accepting (in 2011) between 12 and 15 per cent of borrower applications.[29]


  1. ^ a b "Data Hub". RateSetter. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ Lloyd, Michael (9 October 2020). "Many happy returns! RateSetter marks its 10-year anniversary". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  3. ^ Hurley, James (7 October 2010). "Ratesetter aims to tap social lending growth". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  4. ^ Titcomb, James (19 September 2015). "Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter doubles sales as it targets listing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  5. ^ Hazlehurst, Jeremy (9 October 2013). "New Generation Moneylenders". Management Today. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  6. ^ Lucy Bott. "We are moving". RateSetter Blog. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b Nair, Praseeda (1 June 2017). "RateSetter hits highest valuation at £200m after recent funding round". Growth Business. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  8. ^ Martin, Ben (30 May 2017). "Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter valued at £200m in latest fundraising". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  9. ^ Williams-Grut, Oscar (15 May 2017). "Fintech lender RateSetter lands FTSE 100 heavyweight as new chairman". Business Insider. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  10. ^ Elizabeth Pfeuti. "Ex-Deutsche funds chief joins Woodford-backed fintech". Financial News. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  11. ^ Greenland`, Martin (19 June 2018). "RateSetter Isa attracts £100m". bridgingandcommercial.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "Acquisition of RateSetter". Metro Bank. 3 August 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  13. ^ Editor, James Hurley Enterprise. "Metro Bank secures new platform in Ratesetter". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 15 October 2020. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  14. ^ "RNS announcement: Metro Bank PLC: Completion of Acquisition". Investegate. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  15. ^ Shoffman, Marc (2 February 2021). "Metro Bank to purchase remaining RateSetter P2P portfolio". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  16. ^ Jones, Rupert (6 February 2021). "RateSetter savers claim investments are being sold off 'on the cheap'". the Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  17. ^ Collinson, Patrick (5 May 2020). "UK's biggest peer-to-peer lender cuts rates 50% to prepare for loan defaults". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  18. ^ Jones, Rupert (17 October 2020). "Peer-to-peer lending: 'I'm 19,050th in the queue to get my savings back'". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  19. ^ Lloyd, Michael (27 January 2021). "RateSetter to return to full interest for investors". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  20. ^ Shoffman, Marc (8 March 2021). "RateSetter prepares investors for P2P account closures". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  21. ^ Shaun Drummond (11 November 2014). "RateSetter targets Australian 'savers' with new lending website". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  22. ^ "About us - RateSetter Australia". www.ratesetter.com.au. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  23. ^ "RateSetter passes $200m | RateSetter Australia". www.ratesetter.com.au. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  24. ^ Lloyd, Michael (25 June 2020). "RateSetter Australia reports growth in lending ahead of IPO plans". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements". Companies House. Retail Money Market Ltd. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  26. ^ Shoffman, Marc (10 August 2020). "RateSetter Australia rebrands as Plenti". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Plenti RE Limited". Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  28. ^ Shoffman, Marc (23 September 2020). "Plenti enters Australian stock market after completing IPO". Peer2Peer Finance News. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Small but mighty: Online lending's growth market". The Scotsman. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.

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