There are very few personal lending sites in Russia (P2P), but the investor still has the opportunity to choose a platform that will provide him with a higher return than the deposit. However, such investments are quite high in risk.
P2P (peer to peer) is a service to provide loans that are issued directly to each other by citizens or companies themselves. Bank or credit institution is not necessary in this process, which allows the borrower to avoid the formalities inherent in the banking sector.
Now the Russian legislation does not have separate regulations for such projects, so each P2P company uses existing regulations in the field of lending, adapting them to its business model. In this regard, each of these projects have to deal with the same legal conflicts. There are three of them: problems of illegal entrepreneurship, tax administration and status.
Illegal entrepreneurship. In most services, investors are citizens who earn on interest received from a borrower. But in the case when the investor works on the site systematically (in fact, more than 2 times), the question arises whether such a profit qualifies as illegal business activity.
If we consider court judgments on P2P proceedings, in one of the cases the borrower referred to the lender’s systematic activities, but this argument was rejected by the court, since the requirements to obtain a license apply only to companies, not citizens. Meaning that disposing of own money by transferring it as a loan, albeit through online platforms, does not constitute entrepreneurial activity. The exceptions are cases when to make profit an investor takes a loan at a lower rate and issues at a larger one, wishing to make money on the difference.
Personal Income Tax with the income received, that is, with interest paid, the investor must pay the personal income tax. If the money is taken by an individual entrepreneur or a legal entity, then it is he who must perform the functions of a tax agent, namely to withhold and pay personal income tax. Since in most services interest is paid not once, but once a week or a month, the administration of personal income tax payment becomes a difficult task and raises many minor practical issues.
P2P Platform Status The contractual model largely depends on how the payments are made between the borrower and the investor. If the settlements are made through the platform, then an agency agreement is preferable. This makes it possible to optimize the platform tax burden. If the site uses nominal accounts to settle, or the transfer of the amount bypasses the settlement account of the online service, then both the service agreement and the license agreement can be used. The choice depends on the monetization scheme and the amount of services provided by the P2P platform.
There are two groups among the existing P2P projects in Russia:
classic P2P, where the platform acts only as the organizer of interaction between the borrower and the investor. In such projects, the entire procedure of interaction between the lender and the borrower looks transparent. These services include Potok or Penenza. There are also sites that, in addition to organizing transactions, participate in the recovery, gaining the right of direct debit in case of borrower delay (for example, Moduldengi). However, this can be considered an advantage only if the project has a good reputation;
services with a complex model, where the platform itself acts as the initial lender, and then gives way to the right of demand for investors. Such platforms are often considered microfinance organizations. However, the riskiness of this scheme has been repeatedly pointed out by the Central Bank in the context of violation of the law on microfinance organizations.
To date, the following platforms are represented in Russia as P2P services:
Positioned as one of the oldest P2P-services and provides an opportunity to get loans directly from investors.
How much you can take out: according to the term “loan” from the loan agreement, the service issues no more than 1 million rubles, while in clause 3.2 of the agreement the amount varies from 2,000 to 500,000 rubles.
Who gives the loan: the primary lender is the company itself. But then it transfers the right to claim to the investor and he becomes the ultimate lender.
Recovery procedure: in case of delay, the company participates in the collection on the basis of an agency agreement, which is also accepted online. Of note, all disputes are resolved in an arbitration court.
However small, positive legal practice on the project exists already. Despite this, there are negative reviews in the net on the funds recovery through the service. Now you cannot be registered there either in the status of the borrower, or in the status of an investor, from which makes me think that the site operates either in test mode or is no longer valid at all.
2. Gorod deneg
How much you can take out: there are no restrictions on the amount in the documents.
Who gives the loan: according to the service agreement, the service acts as a contractor for users and gives them the opportunity to apply for a loan from other users.
The chargeable services are indicated in the tariffs, they include among other:
participation in the transaction, financing of a project published in the terms of the “Business loan” product. It includes the technical ability to exchange electronic documents between the parties to the transaction using the Internet site; preparation of contracts, support of their signing, keeping a copy of the concluded contract and other documents on the transaction; the implementation of other organizational measures related to the conclusion of the contract in paper or electronic form using encrypted and certified digital signature;
“Gorod Deneg” guarantees include ensuring the repayment of a loan in the amount of not more than 500,000 rubles;
development of an individual loan agreement or other individual documents, such as payment schedule or SA to the loan agreement.
Settlements between borrowers are made through a nominal account, the use of which is governed by the relevant agreement.
Recovery procedure: there are no special rules, so in the event of a default, the borrower can recover the debt in court, attaching documents from his personal account.
The company implementing the service has the status of a microcredit organization. Of note, neither at registration nor when crediting the balance does an investor accept any documents.
But there are several documents available on the site in the investor’s personal account, including a license agreement for access to the service, which provides users accreditation, data exchange between them, etc. Based on this, the platform provides users with the above services and charges a commission for transactions between users.
How much you can take out: the maximum loan amount may not exceed 500,000 rubles, and the minimum - be less than 20,000 rubles. The loan amount must be a multiple of 1000 rubles.
Who gives the loan: loans are issued between "authorized users".
Repayment procedure: the service either gives a money back guarantee (the terms are given in the agreement), or the service itself, having an automatic order from users, transfers the debt to collectors after 30 days.
How much you can take out: the calculations of permissible amount are made automatically based on the documents provided by the potential borrower, including information on directors and participants, as well as statements of current accounts and balance.
Who gives the loan: the investors themselves, and the service provides the acceptance of the documents and settles through the nominal account.
Repayment procedure: the service has automatic overdue notification functions, and, given that interest is paid weekly, you can quickly catch a default. The debt, shall it occur, can be recovered through the courts.
Who gives the loan: you buy the right to claim loans issued to individuals. Loans are issued at a higher rate than regular bank loans. So you get more profitability than a bank deposit.
Recovery procedure: all issued loans are secured by collateral assets, cars or real estate with an estimated value that is 2.5–3 times higher than the amount of the loan issued.
Service cannot qualify as a classic P2P. Rather, it is competent receivables management.
A classic P2P product aimed at issuing tender loans.
How much you can take out: the amount is calculated taking into account the tender data.
Who gives the loan: the loan is issued directly by the investor, and the platform itself acts as an agent and participates in the settlements.
Recovery procedure: Considering that there is a lot of information about the borrower, such as the data of the tender application and the company participating in the tender, the recovery takes place in the usual legal manner. The project has a positive legal practice.
According to the rules, the platform provides information technology services to investors and borrowers. The borrower pays the company a user fee in the amount set by the company's rates.
How much you can take out: The loan amount is regulated by the site itself, depending on the application parameters.
Who gives the loan: investors and borrowers can be both individuals and legal entities and entrepreneurs. Loans are issued to perform government contracts. The platform features obligatory presence of an account in Modulbank.
Recovery procedure: when accepting the application for joining the offer and concluding a loan agreement, the borrower provides the company acting on behalf of the lender, the right without the borrower's additional approval to make demands and issue other settlement documents to the borrower's bank accounts in any credit organizations, and also write off and collect funds to repay any debt of the borrower under the loan agreement.
In fact, the platform itself will receive the amount of the debt first, and then transfer it to the investor, but if such a write-off fails, the investor will go to court independently.
The service is a message board for P2P, and through it you can both get money from private investors and place an application for a bank loan.
The review makes it clear that there is no full-fledged P2P industry in Russia yet. 100% P2P platforms are very few, and there are even fewer operating ones.
At the same time, services transparency raises questions since only a few projects disclose their documents to the public, giving potential clients the opportunity to make themselves aware of the work scheme.
Some platforms have errors typical of Internet services:
automatic check in the box when receiving consent to the processing of personal data;
missing personal data processing policy;
lack of documents acceptance mechanism.
All this clearly indicates the need for separate regulation so that investors can trust such services more and the industry would begin to develop more actively.Author: Lyudmila Kharitonova