NEO Finance Review 2024: The Safest P2P Platform in Europe?

NEO Finance markets itself as one of the safest platforms in the P2P environment. The basis for this argument is the regulation by the Lithuanian central bank as well as the proper segregation of investor and company funds, which rules out any misappropriation.

In this NEO Finance review you will get a bettter understanding about the current risk-reward profile of the platform and in which circumstances NEO Finance might be a good addition to your P2P portfolio. 

All the information covered in this NEO Finance review are based on my own personal experiences with the platform that I gathered since 2019. Please make sure to do your own due diligence before investing on this or any other platform. More information can be found in the Disclaimer.

Further analyses of other platforms can be found on my P2P Platform Review page.


NEO Finance Overview

Founded / Started:January 2014 / January 2016
Legal Name:NEO Finance, AB (LINK)
Headquarter:Vilnius, Lithuania
Regulated:Yes (Central Bank of Lithuania)
CEO:Evaldas Remeikis (August 2015)
Community Voting:2,39 out of 5 | See Voting
Assets Under Management:Not Disclosed
Number of Investors:15.000+ (April 2024)
Expected Return:10,84%
Primary Loan Type:Consumer Loans
Collateral:No
Bonus:1% Cashback for 90 Days

About NEO Finance

neo-finance-bonus

NEO Finance is a Lithuanian P2P platform, operating since December 2015, where investors can fund Lithuanian consumer loans and earn an average return of around 10%.

NEO Finance is the biggest P2P platform for consumer loans in Lithuania. In the European context though, the platform is one of the smaller providers, despite its long track record.

The Origin Story

neo-finance-review-ceoIn 2013, Evaldas Remeikis and his wife Aiva Remeikiene, together with the financial support of Grigory Gurevich (approx. EUR 200,000), founded the company Paskoly Klubas (English: Loan Club). This lender still operates under this name today.

At the beginning of 2015, legislation for online lending by private individuals came into force in Lithuania. After acquiring the necessary licences, the P2P platform started its operations in December 2015.

The rebranding to NEO Finance took place in October 2017 as the company wanted to become more accessible to foreign investors.

Ownership

Who owns NEO Finance? The majority shareholder in NEO Finance is the company “UAB ERA CAPITAL”, which owns 73% of the shares in the company. The two shareholders, Evaldas Remeikis and Aiva Remeikiene, each hold 50% of the shares.

neo-finance-review-2023-p2p

The second biggest shareholder is the Russian Grigory Gurevich with 10%, who supported NEO Finance with growth financing at the beginning. Other and smaller shareholders include UAB Value Capital, ASIAN PACIFIC GREEN ENERGY PTE. LTD, Arminas Sinkevicius, Marius Navickas and some Seedrs investors.

NEO Finance Management

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Antanas Dany, former CEO of the Lithuanian Swedbank. The members of the Supervisory Board include:

  • Marius Laurinaitis (expert in law and electronic money).
  • Vytautas Bučiūnas (entrepreneur and consultant)
  • Maurice Beckand Verwee (entrepreneur and investor).

The chairman of NEO Finance’s board, on the other hand, is Evaldas Remeikis. He is both co-founder and largest shareholder of the company. He is the company’s ultimate decision-maker.


Business Model & Finances

Throughout the process of due diligence, investors should also have a look at the business model of a P2P platform as well as the overall financial situation. How does the company earn money? Does the platform operate profitably? And how well is the company positioned financially? In the following paragraphs of this NEO Finance review, you can follow-up on those questions.

Monetization

NEO Finance earns money on three different levels:

  • Intermediary Fee Income: This is the commission fee charged to the borrower for getting the loan. The range can be between 4.9% and 9.9%.
  • PIS Income: PIS stands for Payment Initiation Service. This is an IT development on the part of NEO Finance that has been in use since April 2018 and is primarily used in online shops as a payment option. The brand name of this service is NEO Pay and it offers an alternative for payment processing in Lithuania compared to traditional banks and other payment service providers.
  • Other Income: Other sources of revenue include, among others, withdrawal fees, fees for administration, maintenance of second accounts or fees related to EMIL.

Profitability

neo-finance-review-profitability

Is NEO Finance profitable? NEO Finance regularly publishes audited business results on the company’s performance.

According to the annual report for 2022, the platform generated a revenue of EUR 3.5 million (2021: EUR 3.4 million).

The profit at the end of the year was EUR 104,000, which is a similar result to the previous year (EUR 118,000).

The annual reports can be viewed and downloaded here.


Investing on NEO Finance

How does NEO Finance work and what should investors know and consider when investing on the plaform? In the following sections of my NEO Finance review you will find all the necessary information that you need.

Loan Offering

NEO Finance offers investments in private consumer loans from Lithuania. As a mono lender, this does not offer investors broad diversification opportunities.

The loan term can be chosen flexibly. However, the assets at NEO Finance tend to have longer maturities.

The average interest rate is currently around 14.60%.

Costs and Fees

It is free of charge to sign up on NEO Finance. Also no fees are charged for investments on the primary market. On the secondary market, a brokerage fee of 1% is charged, both for purchase and sale. The basis is the sale/purchase price of the loan. In addition, fees are also due for withdrawals or the request of certain documents.

More info can be found on this price list.

Expected Returns on NEO Finance

neo-finance-review-returnThe average interest rate on NEO Finance is promoted with 14.50%. Depending on the chosen investment strategy, this range can vary greatly.

My personal return on NEO Finance after 4+ years is at 10.31%. This corresponds to an interest rate appropriate to the risk.

NEO Finance Auto Invest

On NEO Finance, investors can invest in loans both manually and via an automated investment strategy (Auto Invest). This automatically reinvests the repayments in the preset criteria. The configurable Auto Invest settings include:

  • The credit rating (From A+ to C-)
  • The interest rate (From 4% to 27%)
  • The loan term (From 4 months to 120 months)
  • Maximum investment amount per loan

In addition to the classic selection criteria, also other settings can be configured. These include e.g. the gender of the borrower, education, family income or available assets.

NEO Finance Forum

If you have questions about NEO Finance, other platforms or different p2p-related topics, you can join the re:think P2P Community on Facebook and engage in discussions with more than 1,000 other private retail investors.

Alternatively, you can also find the latest news and updates on my Telegram channel.


NEO Finance Taxes

neo-finance-review-taxesGenerally, the interest income generated by loan financing is considered investment income and thus must be declared as such in the tax return.

NEO Finance also withholds 15% withholding tax on the interest income. Currently, 10% of the withholding tax can be deducted as final withholding tax in the tax return.

The other 5% can be recovered by applying for a refund in Lithuania. This requires the DAS-1 form, which must be submitted to NEO Finance.

NEO Finance is currently working on a solution in which all interest income up to EUR 500 is exempt from withholding tax.


NEO Finance Risks

Investors should look very carefully at the potential risk factors when evaluating a P2P platform. What is it that investors need to be aware of when it comes to NEO Finance? Where are the underlying risks and how are they assessed?

Corona Crisis / Covid-19 Pandemic

NEO Finance was one of the first P2P platforms to respond with concrete measures following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures included:

  • Depending on the credit rating, interest rates were raised by up to 3%, thus compensating for a greater risk of default.
  • Refinancing loans where borrowers have a DTI (debt-to-income) ratio of 40+% will be rejected until further notice.
  • For C-rated loans, only the top 80% of borrowers will get financing.
  • The maximum loan amount will be reduced by up to 30% in each risk class.
  • Operational costs and marketing expenses are being scaled down.

As a result, the financed loan volume, in Q2/2020, has decreased by approximately 20%. In addition, NEO Finance has been very open and transparent. In live Q&A sessions, investors could approach the company with the most important questions.

On a positive note, there was no negative impact on investors during the pandemic. The payout requests were processed immediately and the terms of use were not changed either.

Covering Loan Default Risks

NEO Finance offers three ways for investors to deal with loan default risk on the platform.

The Provision Fund: This is a classic type of buyback guarantee. After 60 days of delayed payment, investors are reimbursed for the entire interest and redemption claim. The difference to other platforms with a buyback guarantee is that the investor has to provide this protection himself in advance – in the form of a payment into the Provision Fund. The amount to be paid depends, among other things, on the credit rating or the term of the loan.

The Buyback Guarantee: If the Provision Fund is not used, NEO Finance terminates the loan agreement with the borrower between 60 and 130 days after the payment is in delay. Before the loan is passed on to the collection partner Legal Balance, investors can buy back 50% to 80% of the market value from the overdue loan with the Buyback Guarantee. The value depends on the rating and the timing of the sale.

The Collection Process: If the investor does not use either the Provision Fund or the Buyback Guarantee in the event of a default, the loan moves to the collection department. Here, NEO Finance works with Legal Balance, which has been involved in recovering defaulted loans for 10+ years.

Is NEO Finance a Safe P2P Plattform?

NEO Finance offers a very safe environment for investors across all platforms. On one hand, the platform is regulated by the Central Bank of Lithuania, and on the other hand, there is a proper separation between investor and company funds, which prevents misappropriation.

Also positive is the financial development of the platform, which has been profitable since 2021.

Nevertheless, investors should pay attention to the usual investment risks. A total default due to poor credit performance and/or lack of deposit insurance is also a possibility.


Pros & Cons

In this section I have listed the biggest advantages and disadvantages of NEO Finance.

Advantages

  • Regulation: NEO Finance operates in a regulated environment and is controlled by the Central Bank of Lithuania.
  • Transparency: NEO Finance publishes a large number of audited reports, which makes it possible to constantly track the business development.
  • Safety: The Electronic Money Institution licence offers investors a high level of security against misappropriation.
  • Skin in the Game: NEO Finance board level members invest six to seven-figure amount on the company’s own platform.
  • Profitability: NEO Finance has been operating profitably since 2021.

Disadvantages

  • Usability: The interface, the navigation and also the Auto Invest configurations are sometimes very confusing and make life unnecessarily difficult for investors.
  • Provision Fund: Well conceived in principle, but rather unusable for investors.
  • Expected Return: The expected return stated actually refers to the average interest rates of borrowers. The realistic return for investors is significantly lower.

NEO Finance Alternatives

In terms of history, business model and focus on one lending segment, NEO Finance is best compared to the Estonian P2P platform Bondora. Both are classic P2P platforms with direct lending, both focus on a few markets and the core is financing consumer loans with a long loan term.

You can find other NEO Finance alternatives on the P2P Platform Comparison page.


NEO Finance Community Feedback

NEO Finance is rated below average in the P2P lending community. In the 2023 community voting, NEO Finance managed a score of 2.39 with 23 votes. In the years before, the score was 2.04 (2022) and 2.46 (2021).

The most popular platforms in 2023 have been Esketit, Robocash, PeerBerry, LANDE and Income Marketplace.

NEO-Finance-Review-2023-Community-Voting


Summary NEO Finance Review 2024

NEO Finance is a very solidly positioned P2P platform. Due to its secure infrastructure (P2P regulation, EMI licence), it has a clear competitive advantage over many other P2P platforms. The thoroughness of the platform almost leads one to believe NEO Finance is a kind of “German” company.

On the other hand, also certain issues should be taken into account (provision fund, lack of clarity, misleading information), which unnecessarily complicate the lives of investors. On top, NEO Finance is still a relatively small P2P platform that has hardly developed further in recent years.

NEO Finance is particularly suitable for conservative and somewhat experienced investors who also have a long-term investment horizon.


FAQ NEO Finance Review

✅ What is NEO Finance?

NEO Finance is a Lithuanian P2P platform, operational since December 2015, where investors can invest in Lithuanian consumer loans and earn an average return of 10%.

✅ Who owns NEO Finance?

The majority shareholder in NEO Finance is the company “UAB ERA CAPITAL”, which owns 71% of the shares in the company. The two shareholders, Evaldas Remeikis and Aiva Remeikiene, each hold 50% of the shares.

✅ How does NEO Finance earn money?

NEO Finance has three sources of income. These include “Intermediary Fee Income” (commission payments from borrowers), “PIS Income” (Payment Initiation Service) and “Other Income”.

✅ Is NEO Finance a safe platform?

NEO Finance offers a very safe environment for investors across all platforms. On one hand, the platform is regulated by the Central Bank of Lithuania, and on the other hand, there is a proper separation between investor and company funds, which prevents misappropriation.

Hi, ich bin Denny! Seit Januar 2019 schreibe ich auf diesem Blog über meine Erfahrungen beim Investieren in P2P Kredite. Meine Analysen sollen Privatanlegern dabei helfen reflektierte und gut informierte Anlageentscheidungen treffen zu können. Dafür schaue ich mir die Risikoprofile der einzelnen P2P Plattformen an, hinterfrage deren Entwicklungen, teile meine persönlichen Einschätzungen und beobachte übergeordnete Trends aus der Welt des Crowdlendings.    
Mein Bestseller "Geldanlage P2P Kredite" gilt in Fachkreisen als das beste deutschsprachige Finanzbuch zum gleichnamigen Thema. Zudem versammeln sich in der P2P Kredite Community auf Facebook tausende von Privatanlegern, die sich regelmäßig über die Anlageklasse P2P Kredite austauschen. 

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