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Liberty acquires P2P lender

Non-bank lender Liberty has acquired online marketplace lender MoneyPlace, just days after Auswide Bank divested its stake from the platform.

MoneyPlace, which launched in 2016, connects investors with “creditworthy borrowers” seeking unsecured personal loans between $5,000 and $45,000 for three- to five-year terms.

Auswide Bank, which first acquired a stake in the platform in 2016, announced last week that it had completed the divestment of its 62 per cent stake from the lender.

The P2P platform has now been 100 per cent acquired by Liberty.

According to Liberty, the next phase of growth involves expanding distribution through accredited brokers nationally.

The chief executive officer of Liberty, James Boyle, was delighted to welcome MoneyPlace to the Liberty Group, saying: “We have a common purpose to help people get financial [assistance] and have a shared approach to good customer outcomes, product innovation and risk management.

“Brokers are very important to MoneyPlace and, over the past six months, the business has had tremendous success launching its broker channel with aggregators.

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“Liberty, with 20 years of residential, commercial and consumer lending experience, will help build on that initiative to propel MoneyPlace in the next phase of its growth. We’ll work with the MoneyPlace team to leverage the power and reach of the broader broker distribution network.

“Liberty’s existing personal loan product, which has been marketed directly to consumers, will be merged with the MoneyPlace product, with no impact or change to existing Liberty customers.”

MoneyPlace’s CEO, Stuart Stoyan, added: “With Liberty’s support, MoneyPlace is well positioned to scale up and obtain a meaningful share of Australia’s $100 billion consumer lending market. MoneyPlace will stay an independent brand and continue to be managed by an entrepreneurial executive leadership team.

“More borrowers view personal loans as a way to achieve their financial goals and brokers have an opportunity to engage consumers on their needs. A personal loan might be useful to replace a high-interest credit card, cover the costs of a major life event or consolidate debt in order to be ‘mortgage ready’.”

MoneyPlace’s proprietary technology reportedly uses 10,000 data points to give consumers a personalised interest rate. Once approved, the funds are available within 24 hours.

The CEO outlined that the lending platform has been designed “specifically for brokers” and can provide an indicative rate in “two minutes”, with a full application ready to lodge in 10 minutes.

Mr Stoyan said: “The process is entirely online, so there is no physical paperwork. We’ve spent the past six months working closely with brokers to refine our approach, and [we] see consumer lending as a significant opportunity for brokers to diversify their business and continue to meet the needs of Australian borrowers.”

He added that the platform’s lowest rate is 7.65 per cent, which is also “one of the sharpest unsecured personal loan rates in the market”.

[Related: FinTech Australia names new chair]

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