How are investors affected if OnStep Homes go out of business?

OnStep Homes is a trading name of Open Access Finance Ltd, a company authorised and regulated by the FCA to operate a peer to peer lending platform.If Open Access Finance Ltd ("OAFL") were to go out of business, the special purpose companies ("SPV"s) set-up to purchase the homes will continue to operate as normal, that is carry out the roles of owning and insuring the property, and collecting the monthly rent from the tenant.

A third party back-up servicer would then take the place of OAFL in administering the existing investment (loan) agreements between the lenders and the SPV. The appointed back-up servicer is Resolution Compliance Ltd ("RCL"), which is authorised by the FCA to operate an electronic platform in relation to lending under firm reference number 574048. RCL is authorised by the HMRC as an ISA Manager and would be able to take over the administration of the ISA accounts. This means investments held within an ISA account will keep their tax-free benefits. RCL will continue to service and monitor the loans. It will:

  • receive payments in respect of interest and capital due from the SPVs;
  • make payments in respect of interest and capital due to the lenders;
  • procure payment of the debts due under the loan agreements; and
  • enforce the rights under the loan agreements on behalf of the lenders.

RCL will charge a quarterly fee for providing its services. This fee will not exceed any ongoing income receivable by OAFL and RCL will not charge any additional fees.Please note that while a back-up servicer has a contractual obligation to administer the loans, there will be some residual risks in the event of the insolvency of a platform.

  • the property cannot be refinanced beyond the maturity of the existing loans (seven year term), and the property must be sold after that - either to the tenant or in the open market, to repay the lenders; and
  • lenders will not be repaid until the sale proceeds are received.

While RCL is not authorised to hold client money itself, it is allowed to control client money if required. In the event that OAFL ceases to trade, any funds will continue to be held in the segregated client money account held in the name of OAFL but RCL will act as the administrator of the client account.