Mintos is not by change the largest and most popular European P2P lending marketplace. Its success story triggered the growth of an entire industry in the Baltics, not without failures. Now, more than ever, Mintos faces a moment of true where alignment with loan originators over investors can bring black clouds. A Mintos update.
A Quick Overview of Mintos in 2020
Kristaps Mors latest post is a masterpiece in sharing light on Mintos in 2020: 17 failed Loan Originators, €118 million at risk. Any investor considering P2P as an asset class must read this and get aware of the reality behind the most successful P2P lending marketplace. P2P lending investments are not passive and require a tremendous amount of work to study loan originators, financials and even if you do everything right, you still have your capital at risk.
Capital Service as Example
Recently Capital Service, a Polish loan originator sent a letter to investors proposing a debt haircut of 40%, a grace period of 2 years and a period of 8 years to reimburse the remaining 60%. You don’t believe me? Read the letter by yourself!
“Dear Investors, due to this very unpredictable market situation caused by COVID-19, we kindly ask you for your understanding and acceptance of the proposed debt repayment plan. The debt repayment plan assumes a reduction of debt by 40%, repayment within 8 years with a 2-year grace period. We believe that only in this way we are able to survive this very difficult time for us, protect jobs and the company in order to generate profits for Shareholders and Investors in the future”.Kazimierz Dziełak, CEO of Capital Service S.A.
The most concerning message in Capital Service letter is that they state investors lent money directly to them. That is not true. Investors bought direct claims from thousands of Polish individuals who still have the money that needs to be collected. Capital Service works only as an agent and debt collector. This decision will trigger court litigation for sure, since no other loan originator on Mintos has suggested anything like Capital Service did. And maybe because of these growing problems, Mintos decided to change the user agreement with direct implications on these type of events.
Changes to Mintos User Agreement
Mintos published a new User Agreement. Make sure you are aware of the details.
Some highlights on changes:
- 6.15. Mintos is allowed to transfer, by way of novation, assignment or otherwise, in full or in part its rights or obligations arising out of this Agreement to another company controlled by the same shareholder as is Mintos itself at the moment of such transfer, without having to obtain prior consent of the User. Mintos shall inform the Users of a transfer.
- 10.1 A Service fee may (will) be introduced.
- 10.4 In case a loan originator does not pay on time, any debt collection costs will be assumed by investors.
- 10.5 In case any debt is paid, Mintos will always be paid first. Then, the oldest outstanding payments are settled first, FIFO principle.
What are the implications? In case you want to continue investing in Mintos, you should be rigid on the selection of loan originators to invest your money in. And get ready for some type of service fee in the near future. The worse? This user agreement terms will be applied to active loan agreements and not only to new ones. A nightmare in the making for Mintos investors.
“As a business, we mention that we can introduce a fee or a charge, yet before introducing it we are diligent in explaining what it is, why it is there and why Mintos implements it now… We cannot and will not implement a fee or charge investors for something without first informing investors about it and sharing the reasons for it.”Mintos Support Team
Mintos will for sure face many challenges to comply with the new EU Regulation for Crowdfunding. They are getting ready to change their business model and that means more costs to investors. If the risk/reward ratio for investments on Mintos was already challenging, we must now calculate what the implications will be for investors returns if and when the new fees are applied.
What is your opinion on the subject?
Share in the comments section your view on this update. What were the reasons to keep investing or leave Mintos? How do you plan to proceed in the near future? What can Mintos do to increase your trust? It will be very interesting to learn what the future will bring for the platform.
What to learn more about Mintos?
Mintos Alternatives and Competitors
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