It was the peer-to-peer website "for community-minded people" who wanted to lend money to each other in a "friendly and structured way".
But, as Quakle discovered to its cost, there are no friends in business. The business collapsed within a year of its launch - brought down, it is understood, by the fact it accepted too many poor-quality borrowers.
Quakle - prounced quake-el rather than quack-el - is probably the
Nevertheless, it just goes to show that you have to tread very carefully. When it launched in
Last October, the
The company said, at the time, that all borrowers were credit checked and then rated, but according to one industry observer the site attracted people with "less than ideal" credit records. Also, it didn't sign up enough lenders (with hindsight, its offer of pounds 30 to anybody who registered as a lender was probably a bit of a giveaway).
A few other
Increased regulation of the sector from April is likely to provide greater reassurance to investors, and may also trigger a shakeout in the industry.
This type of lending is increasingly a global phenomenon, though last month the Financial Times carried an article claiming that
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