Prominent peer and philanthropist, Lord Stanley Fink, widely known in financial services, has defied Brexit doom-mongers’ predictions of economic chaos by leading a £7m investment in a new UK property platform that launches today.
British Pearl is the first property investment platform to offer both debt and equity investments in individual property deals in one place. This enables people to split their investments between fractional equity ownership of property and to act as mortgage lenders in their own right.
British Pearl’s debt product empowers investors to ‘earn like a bank’ with the added bonus that their investments can be held in a tax-efficient ISA wrapper. These loans are lower risk and pay an attractive fixed interest rate every month.
Historically, debt investment in property has been the preserve of professional and institutional lenders seeking lower risk, secured returns. Just like high street mortgage lenders, British Pearl’s loan investments are ‘first charge’ secured, unlike many peer-to-peer loans.
British Pearl has seen an increasing appetite among investors to be lenders, often as a way to reduce risk in a property investment portfolio or to diversify a broader range of personal savings and investments. Crucially, British Pearl’s property loans are between 50% and 70% loan-to-value, meaning they offer robust protection of investors’ capital.
The platform empowers anyone to build a property portfolio online, and has launched with three investments made up of six residential units — in Acton, Portsmouth and Lancaster. Many more properties will be added in the weeks and months ahead and, in time, the company will extend its offering into commercial units.
British Pearl’s tax-free interest on UK property loans is currently running at up to 4.4% per year, after all fees. You can invest up to £20,000 in an ISA in this tax year and you can effortlessly transfer funds from existing ISAs into British Pearl’s ISA for free.
Importantly, both the equity and debt investment products can be accessed for as little as £100, while British Pearl’s ISA is fully ‘flexible’. This means people can move their cash in and out without depleting their annual ISA allowance.
For equity investors, there is increased protection since each property is ring-fenced in a standalone holding company, separate from the liabilities of other investments and British Pearl itself.
Lord Stanley Fink, Director, British Pearl, commented: “Despite the doom-laden predictions that are being mooted because of Brexit, I’m backing British Pearl and UK property for three reasons: first, the country is in desperate need of new homes, which the Government is working hard to provide, so the fundamentals are strong and the property market still presents many attractive opportunities.
“Second, property has been one of the most consistent, profitable and trusted asset classes in recent times; and, third, British Pearl is not only making property investment accessible but giving people two different ways to invest in it through one platform.
“We know investors don’t always want all their money tied up in property equity investment, so we’re giving them the option to diversify their portfolio into debt within the same platform. My investment in British Pearl is my own personal vote of confidence.”
Ali Celiker, CEO & Founder, British Pearl, added: “Our goal is to give investors the all-important choice as to how they invest in the properties they select, whether the reduced risk associated with conservative LTV property loans, the greater potential upside of equity stakes or a mixture of both.
“Ultimately, we’re empowering people to design and diversify their investment portfolios to suit their own specific needs and individual risk profiles. It’s important to note that the debt investments we offer are not bonds issued by a company but first charge loans secured against property — just like a mortgage from a high street bank. The fact our debt product can be held in a flexible ISA is something else we expect to drive considerable interest.”
British Pearl marks former Conservative Party Treasurer Lord Fink’s first PropTech venture, though his wide experience in financial services is well documented. He has been a prominent figure in financial services, and was formerly CEO and Deputy Chairman of investment giant, Man Group. Recently he was named as Special Adviser to online trading platform, eToro. British Pearl is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).