Consumer lender SocietyOne has joined the growing list of finance companies offering investors access to income from a credit fund. It is aiming to pay a 6 per cent return.
The Personal Loans Unit Trust is open to wholesale investors, with a minimum investment of $100,000. Investments are for a minimum term of 12 months.
Distributions will be paid monthly. SocietyOne is targeting a fund raising of A$25 million to $50 million.
Returns above the targeted rate will be split between investors and a reserve account, which will be used to “smooth volatility”.
SocietyOne chief executive officer Mark Jones says: “The unit trust was designed to provide investors with greater levels of simplicity, access, diversification and liquidity.
“The market has evolved, with investors wanting a more simplified structure and means of investing.”
One significant change is that investors will get access to their funds after 12 months, whereas under current funding arrangements investments are fixed for the life of a loan, which is usually 24 to 60 months.
SocietyOne provides unsecured personal loans to consumers of between $5000 and $50,000 over terms of two to five years.
The company claims that since opening for business in 2012, it has originated more than $600 million of loans for 24,000 borrowers. At the end of last year the loan book was worth $235 million.
Jones says the business picked up momentum last year. “Twelve months ago we were doing $8 million or $9 million of loans a month. Now we are doing $25 million.”
The average customer interest rate is 13 per cent. Society One’s fee is 2 per cent and the loss rate is 4 per cent. The average return to investors is currently at 6.7 per cent.
The portfolio will be made up of a representative sample of loans – with different maturities, loan sizes and credit grades.