Frequently asked questions

About Wellesley

About Us

Wellesley is a leading alternative finance platform that enables investors to make healthy returns on their capital in the form of attractive interest rates, by connecting them with creditworthy borrowers seeking a competitive source of funding.

How do your loans work?

Wellesley matches investors funds against loans made by Wellesley Finance. All loans submitted to Wellesley Finance are scrutinized by the Wellesley Business Acceptance Committee prior to being accepted onto the loan book.

What type of loans do you offer?

Wellesley offers asset backed loans to small businesses and individuals. Assets that the loans are secured against include tangible assets primarily but not exclusively limited to residential property.

What types of property are financed via Wellesley Finance?

Wellesley actively supports property developers and builders seeking funding to buy new land, or a property requiring substantial redevelopment. In the vast majority of cases our loans are either personal loans to the developer, or through the developer’s company.

How does Wellesley make its money?

Wellesley charges borrowers an upfront arrangement fee of up to 2% (inclusive of up to 1% introducer’s fee, where applicable). Additionally, borrowers are required to pay an annual interest rate on their loan, the annual rate charge may vary according to circumstances. Wellesley does not charge investors any fee to invest through Wellesley.

Investors

What should you consider before investing?

Prior to investing with Wellesley, you should ensure that you understand the potential risks to your investment.

Wellesley matches investors funds against asset backed loans made by Wellesley Finance Plc to small businesses and individuals. Assets are primarily but not exclusively limited to residential property.

Wellesley is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (registration number 655503). Wellesley & Co is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Who can invest with Wellesley?

To invest you must be 18 years or older and a UK resident, with a UK bank account. UK companies can also invest with Wellesley.

Can I invest as a non-UK resident?

Wellesley Bond products are only available to UK, Channel Islands and Guernsey residents. If you do not reside in one of these countries, we will not be able to accept your application.

How do I set up an account?

Registration is completed either online here or by downloading and completing an application form. Please email your completed application form to newaccounts@wellesley.co.uk or send it by post to:

New Accounts
Wellesley
St Albans House
57-59 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4QX

What should I do if Wellesley cannot verify my personal details?

It is a UK regulatory requirement that we verify your identity prior to opening your account. In the event that we are unable to verify your details on registration, we will require you to provide us with additional documentation.

We’ve put together a list of documents that we can accept for verification purposes.

We require you to supply one document from each section below. Some documents appear in both sections.  We’ll need to see two separate forms of identity, so you can’t use one document to cover both sections. Where address details are displayed this must reflect your current residential address.

We recommend that you do not send original documents through the post using a non-secure service as we cannot accept liability for their safety en route to us.

We’re happy to accept copies of documentation if they’re certified by a professional person. See below for details of who can certify copy documents for details.

Personal identity evidence – List 1

Passport

  • Full current UK or overseas passport
  • The passport must be signed

Driving licence

  • Full current UK driving licence
  • EEA/EU photocard licence

Other

  • Shotgun or firearms certificate

Address evidence – List 2

Local Authority documents

  • Council Tax bill or payment book (valid for current tax year)
  • Local council rent card or tenancy agreement

Driving licence

  • Full current UK driving licence
  • EEA/EU photocard licence

Utility bills

Utility bill (not a mobile phone bill) or a certification from a supplier of utilities confirming the arrangement to pay for its services on pre-payment terms. This must be dated within six months.

  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Phone (not mobile)
  • TV licence renewal

Financial statements

All statements must be dated within six months. Online statements can only be accepted if they are certified by the issuer as a true copy, if they agree to do so.

  • Bank statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Building society statement
  • Mortgage statement

Original certified document means the copy which has been officially certified, officially stamped and signed by a qualified certifier as detailed below.

We will NOT accept: Any certified copies of a Driving Licence or Shotgun/Firearms Licence which does not show the customers current
address.

Certified documents must include the following statement:

Stamped with the official name & address stamp of a firm of UK solicitors/accountant/notary.

The statement: I (insert: “name of solicitor/accountant/notary”) confirm that this is a certified true copy of the original, and I certify that “the photograph bears a true likeness of (“insert name of customer”) identified in the document and present before me.

Be dated within the last six months.

Documents verified by any of the below professionals (Stamped with their official practice stamp) will be accepted:

SOLICITORS

NOTARY

ACCOUNTANTS

THEY MUST BE WORKING WITHIN A FIRM WHO ARE REGULATED IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE BY THEIR RELEVANT NATIONALLY RECOGNISED REGULATORY SUPERVISORY BODY, AND WE WILL CHECK THAT THEY ARE APPROPRIATELY AUTHORISED AND REGULATED.

OR

In person: Customers are very welcome to visit our offices with the relevant documents. Please call to arrange your appointment on 0800 888 6001.

If you have any questions or would like to speak in more detail please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team at newaccounts@wellesley.co.uk or by telephone on 0800 888 6001.

Can I open an account in the name of my business?

Yes, we do offer business accounts. Please contact our Customer Service team via email at newaccounts@wellesley.co.uk to request a business application form.

Do you offer joint accounts?

Yes, to hold a joint account with Wellesley, both parties must complete an application form, then submit both application forms along with a covering letter detailing your request to Wellesley.

Please note that only one email address can be used per joint account.

Payments to your Wellesley joint account must be made through a joint bank account in either parties’ names, or an account that is the name of your partner.

Please note you cannot revert your account to an individual account, from a joint account.

Investments

Are my funds covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

Investment through Wellesley is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Investment through Wellesley involves lending to individuals or companies and therefore your capital is at risk and interest payments are not guaranteed if the borrower defaults.

How do I deposit funds to my Wellesley account?

Once you have successfully registered for a Wellesley account, you will receive confirmation via email, along with further information on how to send funds to your account. You can also access the bank transfer information via your online Wellesley account.

We accept funds by bank transfer or by cheque. Funds sent via cheque will be credited to your Wellesley Holding Account once funds have cleared in our segregated Client Holding Account (may take up to 6 working days from date of credit).

Transfers must be made from a bank account that is in your name or from a verified joint bank account. Please note that if you send funds from a joint account we may require further confirmation.

If you wish to send funds from your Metro Bank account, please contact us prior to transferring your funds.

Please note any funds received without a valid Account Reference Number may be delayed or returned to the bank account from which they were received.

Operator Insolvency

In the event that Wellesley entered administration, Wellesley Security Trustee Limited would assume its duty to manage the orderly run-off of our loan book and repayment of outstanding loans to matched lenders.

Funds that are not matched directly with borrowers are held in a segregated Client Money account. This account is held with a UK Bank and is ring-fenced from the Wellesley balance sheet.

In the event that Wellesley entered administration, funds in this bank account would be returned to investors and could not be accessed by administrators.

Wellesley has entered into an agreement with Resolution Compliance Limited to act as a 3rd party back up service provider, who will independently manage the loan book on behalf of investors if Wellesley became insolvent.

Interest Payments

Do I earn interest whilst my money is in my Wellesley Holding Account?

Any funds held within your Holding Account, will not earn interest. To earn interest, you need to have committed your funds to an investment term.

Can I have interest automatically returned to my bank account?

We offer a regular withdrawal service, you will need to log in to your online Wellesley account in order to opt into regular withdrawals.

Withdrawals

How do I withdraw funds out of Wellesley?

Please follow the steps below to withdraw funds from your Wellesley account.

  1. Log in to your Wellesley account.
  2. Click ‘Withdraw Funds’, this is located on the left hand side of the ‘Account Overview’ page, under the heading called ‘Payments’ (for mobile and tablet users this menu may appear at the bottom of your page, please scroll down).
  3. Enter the amount you wish to withdraw, you do not need to enter the pound sign or any commas. Please note that the amount you entered must be no greater than the amount currently held in your Holding Account.
  4. Click the green ‘Withdraw Funds’ button located on the right hand side of the page.

The next page will confirm that you have made a withdrawal request.

Please note that funds will be returned to the bank account from which you most recently sent funds from. 

How long does it take for funds to be withdrawn?

All withdrawal requests received between the working hours of 8.30am-12pm Monday to Friday, will be processed on the day received to the timescales below:

  • Withdrawals under £100 will be sent by BACS (please allow 3 working days)
  • Withdrawals of between £100 – £1,000 will be sent by Next Day Faster payment
  • Withdrawals of over £1,000 will be sent by Faster Payment (funds will be credited to your bank account by the close of business)

Withdrawal requests received outside of the above times, will be processed on the next working day to the above timescales. All regular withdrawals (interest payments) will also be processed to the timescales listed above.

Please note when you make your first withdrawal, we may contact you to confirm your bank details.

Can I access my funds prior to the maturity of my investment?

Please note, Early Access is subject to Wellesley’s absolute discretion and there being another lender able to take your place.

At the submission of an Early Access request, Wellesley will remind customers of the parameters within which Early Access will be permitted and get in touch with further questions surrounding the request.

All investments which the investors Early Access relates, will be subject to an administration fee (between 0% to 1% determined by the duration in the product), loss of interest and any promotional penalties. The fee (including any promotional penalties) will be fully disclosed to the investor prior to the request being finalised.

As all Early Access requests have been dealt with on a discretionary case by case basis, and are subject to there being another lender, it means that even if you have been offered Early Access in the past, it does not guarantee that your request will be accepted.

Loanbook

Why would borrowers use Wellesley instead of a bank?

Wellesley Finance is a UK based property finance lender. We lend to experienced property developers whose loans are secured upon tangible residential assets. In the current environment where high street banks and other lenders have been reluctant to extend finance, Wellesley offers an alternative source of funding which is tailored to the needs of the borrower. Every finance application is assessed on its own merits focusing on structuring a suitable price for both the borrower and the project. We act as a trusted advisor for our borrowers. Thereby minimising the risks and optimising the profitability of their projects.

What are the geographical locations of your loans?

Presently, we only finance loans in England and Wales.

How does Wellesley Finance Plc attempt to recover funds from non-performing loans?

If a loan becomes non-performing, Wellesley Finance Plc will take enforcement action to maximise recovery of the outstanding balance by taking all reasonable steps that it judges to be commercially viable. This may include enforcement action against the land and property to maximise its value, pursuit of guarantors where relevant, or build out of developments where this is required to maximise recovery.

How do we assess the eligibility of loans?

The Business Acceptance Committee (‘BAC’) is the approval authority for the risk related to new lending transactions. BAC assesses the risk of each transaction on a case by case basis and its adherence to the requirements set out in the Credit Policy.  BAC will take into account many factors in its assessment of eligibility including lending appetite, geographical location, property specifications, deal structure, pricing, developer experience, financial soundness and other loan specific factors. A loan and borrower will only be eligible for a P2P agreement if BAC considers the loan is suitable for retail investment.

Borrowers

What assets are the loans secured against?

In the vast majority of cases we only lend on residential property.

What countries do you lend to?

At present we finance properties in England and Wales.

Will you do second-charge lending?

No, Wellesley will only lend on a first charge basis.

Development Funding

We actively support property developers and builders seeking funding to buy new land, or a property requiring substantial refurbishment.

In the vast majority of cases our loans are either personal loans to the developer, or through the developer’s company, in which case the developers are typically required to give us a Personal Guarantee.

Every loan submission is scrutinized by the Wellesley Business Acceptance Committee.

How long are your loans?

Typically, a borrower will require a loan for between 6 months and 24 months. Our average loan term is 18 months.

Who can borrow from Wellesley?

Wellesley Finance provides asset backed loans to small businesses and individuals.

What is the maximum loan amount?

There is no maximum loan amount, typically our loans tend to be between £2milllion and £20million.

How do I apply for a loan?

Providing your loan and application fit with our Borrowing Criteria, you can apply by clicking here.

General

How do I contact Wellesley?

Please contact us at info@wellesley.co.uk or by telephone on 0800 888 6001, or on our live chat service.

How do I update my personal information?

If you need to update any Personal Information, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 888 6001 or by email info@wellesley.co.uk.

Please note in some instances in order to verify your details, we may contact you to request additional documentation. If you wish to update your email address, you will need to contact us from the email address which is currently registered to your Wellesley account. Alternatively, please contact our Customer Service team by telephone.

Do I have to pay tax on the money I earn by lending?

Yes, as a lender you will have to pay tax on the interest your make. Tax treatment depends upon your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

Wellesley does not provide any advice or guidance in relation to tax or otherwise and therefore we strongly recommend that you consult an independent financial advisor or tax advisor if you are unsure as to what your tax obligations are.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any tax liabilities which you incur (though interest earned) are paid to the relevant tax authority.

Tax statement are available to download online via your Wellesley account. Wellesley do not issue paper statements.

How do I make a complaint?

We take complaints very seriously and please do not hesitate to contact us at complaints@welleley.co.uk, call us on 0800 888 6001, or send us a letter at:

Complaints
Wellesley
St Albans House
57/59 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4QX

To view our complaints policy click here.

Please note that Wellesley & Co Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under Interim Permissions and therefore you have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service.