Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has acquired two motor finance providers and launched a strategic partnership with a loans provider in an attempt to extend its direct lending.

The lender acquired Vehicle Stocking and Vehicle Credit from their parent company, which had gone into administration. Vehicle Stocking provides stocking loans to car dealers, and Vehicle Credit provides loans to carbuyers.

RateSetter formed a partnership with guarantor George Banco as part of its strategy to build direct relationships with borrowers, and announced the end of wholesale lending originations.

Peter Behrens, RateSetter’s chief operating officer, said: “Our focus on direct lending supports our goal of delivering excellent risk-adjusted returns for investors and attractive finance to borrowers.

“To achieve this, we have invested in our direct origination capabilities by bolstering our in-house expert lending teams.”

RateSetter previously provided wholesale finance to George Banco, and through the deal will lend directly to its customer base, with the guarantor acting as introducer. The p2p lender has taken an equity stake in George Banco, and Peter Behren’s, RateSetter’s chief operating officer and cofounder, sits on its board.

Marc Howells, George Banco’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to enter into this new partnership with RateSetter which will support the sustainable growth of our business and help us responsibly meet the needs of our customers.”

RateSetter said it intends to rebrand Vehicle Stocking and Vehicle Credit and invest in them. The lender previously provided wholesale finance to the motor finance providers, and will now provide their customers with secured finance.

Chris Burgess, managing director of Vehicle Credit and Vehicle Stocking, said: “We are excited to join forces with the RateSetter team.

“Our established UK-wide network plus RateSetter’s expertise in finance is a great combination that puts us in a strong position for future growth.”