How European P2P lenders are protecting investors from war in Ukraine

6 months, 3 weeks ago - March 08, 2022
Euro Banknotes
Euro Banknotes
European peer-to-peer lending platforms have begun taking steps to protect investors amid concerns about currency risks and payment restrictions in Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian banks and oligarchs linked to the country’s leadership are facing a series of sanctions and possible bans from the SWIFT international payments system.

P2P lenders are taking steps to ensure investors aren’t hit if companies lending in Russia and Ukraine can no longer operate.

Five European P2P lenders have loans in Ukraine or Russia.

Here are the steps they are taking.

Iuvo

Estonia-based P2P lending platform Iuvo has one Russian loan originator called Kviku.

Its loans have been temporarily removed from the primary market and new loans suspended but the secondary market remains open if users still want to buy and sell loans from the region.

The platform has also paused the currency exchange from and to rubles for all currencies.

Mintos

Alternative investment marketplace Mintos had eight loan originators operating in Russia and Ukraine.

These were Creditter, DoZarplati, EcoFinance, Kviku, Lime, Mikro Kapital, Mokka, and SOSCREDIT.

The platform initially took loans from these companies out of its automated conservative strategy but has since excluded all loans from Russia and Ukraine from the Mintos primary market.

Mintos has also paused the placement of new loans from Russia and Ukraine on the platform until further notice but the secondary market remains open for investors who want to attempt to sell their loans from the region.

Twino

Latvia-based Twino has said Russian loans currently make up approximately 20 per cent of its loan book.

The European platform’s largest markets remain Latvia and Poland.

It has created an internal task group to monitor loans with exposure to Russia.

Twino has “activated additional measurements” of its Russian loan originator’s risk policy, which has resulted in limiting issuances in some regions and to riskier customer groups.

The platform said that it has already budgeted for a potential depreciation of the rouble, but it is actively managing its exposure to Russia’s currency.

It added that a significant liquidity buffer has been accumulated in its European operations, and its banks in Europe and Russia said that there are no known expected disruptions in payments, even if Russia is disconnected from SWIFT.

PeerBerry

Croatia-based Peerberry has six Ukrainian loan originators and three from Russia.

It has said that no loans from Russia and Ukraine will be listed on the PeerBerry platform and only repayments will be implemented.

“Our business partners were preparing for this situation for quite a time,” PeerBerry said.

“Our partners have accumulated significant reserves in banks in the European Union.

“Portfolios of our Ukrainian and Russian partners are 3 times higher than the amounts they need to return to our investors.”

Robo.cash

Croatia-based Robo.cash entered the Russian loans market in 2018 when it parent company the Robocash Group acquired consumer lender MFC Zaymer.

Robocash Group founder Sergey Sedov said in a webchat last week that Russian business units comprise approximately 60 per cent of net income for the group.

He said Robocash Group is legally and operationally independent from Zaymer and the conflict in Ukraine is of low risk to Robocash nvestors.

“Neither the Robocash platform itself, nor its loan originators, none of which are based in Russia, have any relationships with Russian banks,” Sedov said.

“All related transactions, as well as loan disbursement activities of the companies are done through the respective local banks.

“Therefore, we assure you that none of the money invested on Robocash is in any way transferred to or from Russia, and is not affected by any political tension and resulting sanctions.”

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