Lending Club Cleans Up Secondary Market
Lending Club made a few changes to its secondary market this week as part of an attempt to reduce the overall number of notes listed and to improve the quality of notes listed on its trading platform.
Specifically, investors will no longer be able to sell notes that have been charged off or in default. Previously, investors had listed defaulted and charged-off notes for a small fraction of what they were owed in hopes of recouping some of their investment. Notes that are in default rarely become current, as a result, Lending Club has made it so that only current and notes that are less than 180 days late can be listed on its marketplace.
Lending Club has also made it so that listings will expire 7 days after they’re listed. This will dramatically reduce the number of notes on Lending Club’s trading platform. Some notes on the platform take several weeks to sell. Investors hoping to unload notes may now have re-list their loans every week until they sell.
The company has also made it so that investors won’t be able to mark up their loans by more than 70%. Previously, some unscrupulous investors had listed notes between 10 and 30 times the outstanding principal, hoping that an unsuspecting investor not paying much attention would purchase their notes at well above market rates.
Lending Club, and its competitor Prosper.com, both make use of a software platform created by FolioFN for their secondary markets. These markets allow for some liquidity in peer-to-peer lending investments. Investors that want to liquidate their investments can sell them to other investors on Lending Club and Prosper’s secondary markets. Investors typically use these markets as a means to sell-off underperforming notes and to purchase loans from other investors at a discount.
These modifications to Lending Club’s marketplace will likely be followed by additional changes. The company said in an email to investors, that “these changes are part of a larger, multi-month, project to improve the features and usability of the Note Trading Platform.”