$1m a month signals lender's US domination

$1m a month signals lender's US domination


Having launched in the US less than two months ago, the UK’s leading personal asset lender borro appears to have successfully conquered the US market, lending $1,000,000 in March alone to individuals and small business owners in need of short term financing.

Paul Aitken, borro’s CEO, told B&C: “The service has been well received in the US, with the majority of loans being provided against art and antiques, diamond jewellery, watches and gold.

“Naturally, we are very pleased with the success we have seen in such a short time. We find that many people who come to us need to realise business opportunities quickly, and we provide them with access to immediate funding within 24 hours, and with no credit checks.”

Lending 50 to 70 per cent of the asset value and with interest rates costing between 2.5 and 4 per cent per month, the take-up in the US has been significant. “More people are realising that they hold a wealth of assets that they can use to access finance – either to fund a business opportunity like the majority of our customers do or to cover temporary cash flow issues,” Paul continued.

In an American interview on Yahoo’s Daily Ticker, Paul spoke to television host Henry Blodget about the company’s US success. Emphasising that borro provides a viable alternative to both credit cards and quick sales, Paul said, “If you go and take out cash on your credit card you’ll pay anywhere between 20 and 40 per cent a year, depending on what your credit profile looks like. So, versus that we look pretty smart.

“The alternative to people who have the asset is to sell the asset. If you go and sell the asset, you’re going to pay commissions to an auction site or an auction house, and actually those commissions are equivalent to six or seven months of lending with us. And in a lot of instances, people don’t actually want to sell, because there may be some sentimental value, or some other reason why they don’t actually want to sell.”

Since its US launch, borro, headquartered in New York City, has already lent against some interesting high value personal assets, including:

-          $140,000 against a Rolls Royce

-          $100,000 on a piece of fine art

-          $96,000 against a luxury watch collection

-          $58,000 against two 1kg investment gold bars.

Giving a hint about future plans, Paul also revealed on the Daily Ticker that the company plans to expand still further. “We are going to basically build a pan-US footprint, and we’re in the process of doing that so I think we’ll have offices in California within the next three or four months, and then we’ll have other regional offices as well.”

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