Orca, a Belfast-based research and data provider specialised in peer-to-peer lending markets, is set to launch its own four-factor rating service for individual P2P providers.
This follows the launch by the company of a P2P investment data and research platform.
The Orca Rating will be designed in partnership with Dublin City University’s Irish centre for cloud computing and commerce research team, to address the growth of the asset class and the demand for more independent analysis and information on P2P lending.
The Orca rating will analyse P2P platforms through four factors: performance, liquidity, operator health and security.
This analysis aims to enable advisers and investors to assess all fundamental criteria at once when comparing and choosing P2P lending platforms.
According to Orca data, the P2P market has now surpassed £9bn cumulative total lent with 2016 alone seeing a 40% increase in investment in the asset class.
Orca will roll out the rating to users in summer 2017.
Iain Niblock, co-founder and CEO of Orca said: “Despite the recent growth of the P2P market, there is still a fundamental lack of understanding of how P2P lending works, what returns it provides, what risks are associated with it and how to mitigate them.
“It is a complicated market to grasp, and the creation of an overarching rating would simplify the picture for investors. There is so much diversity between P2P providers however, that a single rating to compare and asses all of them is not particularly efficient.
“That is why we decided to create a four-category rating, to give advisers and investors a comprehensive look at what each provider offers.”
Theo Lynn, professor at Dublin City University, said: “The financial services community is only starting to understand the role and value of new financing models such as P2P lending in the marketplace.
“Our project with Orca Money looks at how reporting by P2P lending platforms can be standardised and their performance assessed. This will play a crucial role in the legitimation of these platforms for all stakeholders as they become more established.”