P2P Lending in Europe for U.S. & UK Investors
Can you invest on European P2P lending platforms as a non-European investor? P2P lending has become a popular investment opportunity for Europeans, mainly due to the high returns and relatively low requirements. Can you however invest and earn interest from P2P lending even if you reside elsewhere, let’s say in the UK or in the U.S.?
I have reached out to 8 European P2P lending sites and asked them about the requirements for UK and U.S. investors.
In this post, you will learn, which European platforms allow you to invest and earn more than 10% of interest every year.
P2P Lending for UK investors
Many investors from the UK don’t know yet how Brexit is going to affect their portfolio and whether their operations on European lending sites will be restricted.
While many platforms treat UK investors the same way as any other investors from the EU, there are some platforms that have difficulties accepting investors from the UK.
- The P2P lending platform Mintos doesn’t currently accept investors from the UK due to licensing regulations
- PeerBerry, EstateGuru, Crowdestate and Robo.cash accept UK investors
In order to be eligible to invest, you need to successfully complete your registration with one of the above-mentioned platforms. An additional requirement is to be over 18 years old and have a European bank account. All of the platforms require you to send funds on to the platform from a European account that is in your name. If you don’t have one, you can open a digital bank account with Revolut or N26.
Robo.cash stated that they don’t require any specific requirements for investors from the UK as the AML procedures are the same for all users. Read my Robocash review here.
How will Brexit affect UK investors?
None of the P2P lending platforms I reached out to have detailed information about how the Brexit might affect their investors from the UK.
The question that remains open is whether the existing European AML (Anti-Money-Laundering) criteria, as well as the Know-Your-Client (KYC) rules, will remain unchanged after the UK leaves the EU.
According to PeerBerry and EstateGuru, investors from the UK that are currently active on their platforms won’t be affected by the Brexit.
If you are wondering how many investors from the UK invest on European P2P lending sites, here are the numbers, retrieved at the beginning of October 2019.
P2P Lending for U.S. investors
When it comes to P2P lending on European P2P platforms for U.S. investors, the options are more limited.
The following European P2P lending sites accept investors from the U.S.:
EstateGuru (100 active U.S. investors)
Mintos (1000 active U.S. investors)
PeerBerry (40 active U.S. investors)
Even though European P2P lending platforms are more popular in Europe, some of them don’t mind offering their services to investors from the U.S.
On the other hand, many P2P lending sites don’t accept U.S. investors mainly due to extensive reporting requirements or internal KYC policies.
Requirements for U.S. investors
U.S. investors that want to invest on European P2P lending platforms need to fulfill the same criteria as all other investors, meaning successfully complete the registration process.
You can learn about how to sign up on every platform here:
Furthermore, you need to have a European bank account that you will use to transfer funds to the platform. If you reside in the U.S., the easiest and least expensive way to get a European bank account is to open the Transferwise borderless account. Make sure to open a Euro account and you will get a German IBAN that you can use to transfer funds to the P2P lending platform.
Other than that, the sign-up is quite straight forward, you will only need your ID or passport to verify your identity.
I have tested signing up on Mintos and EstateGuru with my Canadian friend and all worked perfectly even for non-European investors.
We only encountered one glitch with EstateGuru. If you don’t have a phone number from the country of your residence, you need to switch your account to the country you got the phone number from and amend it afterward.
If you are new to P2P lending, here is a quick guide to get familiar with this investment opportunity.
Why investing in Europe as a non-European?
If you are based in the U.S. or in the UK, you might be familiar with local P2P lending platforms such as Lendingclub.com or Prosper.com in the U.S. or Zopa, RateSetter or Lending Works in the UK.
Here are some major differences between the European and U.S. or UK platforms.
|European platforms||U.S. / UK platforms|
|Higher interest: 10% - 19%||Lower interest: 3% - 6%|
|Free||Often charge fees|
|Various protection systems||No protection|
|Minimum investment from €1||Restricted to U.S. / UK citizens|
Many platforms offer protection mechanisms such as the buyback guarantee that help reduce the risk and increase the liquidity of investor’s investments.
Even though the main focus of European P2P lending sites is to cater to the European investors, the popularity of their brands is expanding to other markets outside of Europe as well.
If you are thinking about investing in P2P loans, make sure to read my article about the safety of this asset class first so you are aware of all the risks connected to P2P lending.
I have been investing on many of the above-mentioned platforms myself since 2017. Read my platform reviews to get a better overview of the offers.