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Equifax, the consumer and business insights expert, has expanded its footprint in the alternative lending sector. RateSetter, the fastest growing major peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform in the UK will utilise Equifax data insights and identity verification solutions to assist in making good decisions on behalf of its lenders, offering them an additional layer of protection on their investment.

Checks on every applicant will include verifying addresses and borrower credit histories as well as more in-depth analysis of other data to confirm whether an identity actually exists and belongs to the right person. RateSetter is then able to use this insight to assess the credit worthiness and affordability of potential borrowers and make informed and reliable business decisions.

Craig Tebbutt, Head of Alternative Lending, Equifax, says: “The P2P lending sector has an increasingly important role to play as consumers demand more borrowing flexibility and higher returns on their savings. The market has experienced significant growth in recent years and its popularity is set to grow even higher as savers look for alternative options to banks.

“P2P providers have a duty of care to protect their lenders against the risk of default. This underpins the need for robust credit and identity verification in the sector to ensure responsible lending. Using the Equifax data suite will allow RateSetter to strengthen their already impressive protection of lender money. This additional risk mitigation is essential for RateSetter’s growth plans in what are increasingly volatile markets.”

Rhydian Lewis, Founder and CEO of RateSetter, says: “Protecting our lenders is our core business and using Equifax to assess credit worthiness and affordability helps us enormously. Equifax has built up a wealth of experience and expertise in the P2P lending market and their insights allow us to review each loan application in granular detail and make good decisions.

“P2P lending is the future of the savings and loan market with a modern approach to business and very competitive rates. Working alongside Equifax allows us to offer our lenders and borrowers a great service.”

Launched in 2010, the last few months has seen RateSetter become the UK’s leading P2P lending platform based on monthly volumes with a ground-breaking proposition that lets savers set the interest rates at which they lend via a low-risk and open online platform. To date, it has matched over £418m in loans and has over 75,000 active customers. While not guaranteed, the lenders are protected by RateSetter’s Provision Fund which was the first and remains the largest in the industry and has meant that no RateSetter has ever lost a penny.