About British Pearl
British Pearl ® operates a property investment platform facilitating share and loan-based investment in UK property. Our site is helping to revolutionise the way people invest in property by enabling investment in buy to let and development projects for as little as £100, as either Share Investors (shareholders) or Loan Investors (lenders), while also helping developers to raise equity and debt funding.
British Pearl Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our FCA Firm Reference Number is 674693 and you can view our registration on the FCA’s financial Services Register. British Pearl is managed by an experienced team of professionals who are committed to delivering healthy returns. The FCA is the UK financial services regulator; which has three main operational objectives:
- securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers;
- protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system; and
- promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers in the markets
Accordingly, we are subject to strict rules and regulations to ensure these objectives are met. As well as operating within a controlled framework, we also hold ourselves to a very high standard and treat our customers fairly; this can be seen in our Code of Conduct found in the footer of this website. In particular, we do our utmost to ensure we are transparent about our fees and the risks of investing in property. All British Pearl approved property investments are thoroughly vetted by our Investment and Risk Team, who provide full details on every investment opportunity presented on our website. Also, our fee structure has been designed to ensure that our interests are aligned with yours i.e. we make money when you do.
Our accounting practices are audited by chartered accountants, and our compliance practices are reviewed by independent compliance consultants.
These steps have all been taken to give investors the confidence, security and trust they need to invest through our site.
Our mission is to be the market place for real estate investment and development capital by:
1. increasing access to property investment for small savers and other investors in both buy to let and development opportunities;
2. improving access to capital for developers; and,
3. creating a legitimate investment class in property shares and loan units which will be tradable in a liquid Resale Market.
We have designed a system to ensure that your investments are protected and would continue to be administered in the event that our service ceases to operate.
Each property investment is owned by a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”), which is a UK limited company incorporated for the “special purpose” of purchasing a single property. Each property is owned by a different SPV and Share Investors become beneficial shareholders of that SPV when they choose to invest in a selected property. This means that your investments are ring fenced from the rest of the business and would remain so if the business were to go into liquidation.
An additional layer of protection is provided by the structure of British Pearl Group. The estate management, nominee and trustee functions have all been kept separate by incorporating distinct legal entities for each function, out of reach of any potential creditors of British Pearl’s Property Investment Platform.
Follow the simple and quick registration process and you can start investing immediately. The registration process requires you to provide some basic personal details that we will verify with our partner credit reference agency.
The British Pearl Property Investment Platform, enables multiples investors to collectively invest in a property as either Share Investors (shareholders) or Loan Investors (Lenders). The British Pearl platform is not to be confused with Crowdfunding sites which are often associated with collective funding of charitable projects or early start businesses, or Peer to Peer (P2P) sites which often enable lending to businesses or individuals. The British Pearl Property Investment Platform enables people to invest in property shares, property loans or both. Our Share Investors receive dividends (distributable profits generated from net rental income) and a share of any capital gains, while our Loan Investors receive fixed interest returns.
Property investment through the site is made by purchasing shares in – or making a secured loan to – a UK limited company, known as a special purpose vehicle, incorporated specifically for purchasing that individual property.
Share Investors purchase shares in a property and Loan Investors provide a loan secured against the property, which will be up to 50% of the property value. This means that at the end of the investment, when the property is sold, Share Investors enjoy a share in the property’s price appreciation after Loan Investors are repaid their original loan amount. During the investment, Share Investors receive dividends (distributable profits generated from net rental income), after Loan Investors are paid their monthly interest.
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
It is not possible for more than four people to be registered property owners at the Land Registry. Accordingly, each property listed on our site is owned by an SPV, which is a UK limited company that you can buy shares in. There is a separate SPV for each property; so you know that you are investing in the specific property chosen by you.
As a Share Investor, your shares in the SPV are held under a nominee arrangement, with the nominee being the sole legal owner of the shares. The nominee holds those shares on behalf of you and your fellow investors, and you will be entitled to all the economic benefits as the beneficial owner. The nominee is another UK limited company within the British Pearl group of companies. The purpose of this arrangement is administrative: to facilitate the electronic transfer of shares and for operational ease. It is a widely used mechanism for collective ownership.
As a Loan Investor, your part of the loan to the SPV is held under a trustee arrangement, to mirror the administrative function of the nominee arrangement for Share Investors. The trustee holds all of the loan units on trust for you for operational ease. It is the trustee who is registered as the property’s mortgage holder at the Land Registry.
Property Purchase Costs
As with buying property as an individual, there are standard costs associated with the purchase such as stamp duty, solicitor’s fees and survey costs. These initial costs are funded by the Share Investors and are indicated clearly in the Information Pack before you make an investment.
Standard Investment Documents
At the point of investment you will be required to complete a set of investment documents. These are in standard form for each investment and sample documents can be viewed in your dashboard.
Selecting a suitable property investment takes time, experience and reliable relationships with property sellers.
Our Property Origination Team utilises its valuable relationships to ensure that we find property investments that meet our strict investment criteria. Our sources include: private landlords, estate agents, auction houses, insolvency practitioners, developers and funds.
The Investment and Risk Team applies a comprehensive vetting process to ensure that we select the most appropriate property investment opportunities to present to our investors. These include identifying properties in areas of strong rental demand and/or high capital growth potential. We also work very hard to purchase properties below market value although this is not always possible. This means seeking to purchase properties at a discount to the (industry standard) valuation conducted by an independent RICS chartered surveyor. We source properties all over the country in order to provide our investors with a variety of choices so that they can diversify their investment portfolios.
Our approach to property investment aims to achieve capital gains in an upward market, and a capital buffer in a challenging property market.
Yes. We provide a wide selection of properties from across the country, with varying rental yields and capital growth forecasts, so that you can build a diverse property portfolio. Together with utilising our detailed Information Pack, we recommend that you conduct thorough research before investing your money.
Our focus is on providing you with a selection of residential property investments from across the country.
We offer our investors three categories of residential property investment.
1. Tenant Ready
A buy to let (BTL) investment, mostly new build houses or flats ready for immediate occupation, with a minimum five year investment term.
A buy to let (BTL) investment, where refurbishment will add value to the investment, with a minimum five year investment term.
3. Development (Short Term)
We partner with developers and create value through planning permission. Investment duration will range between 6 and 24 months.
New Sale Market vs Resale Market
Property investments can be made through our New Sale Market and Resale Market within the site. The New Sale Market is where investors can purchase shares or loan units in properties new to the site and the Resale Market is where investors can purchase shares or loans units in properties that have already been fully funded through the New Sale Market.
New Sales are presented on the site with:
(i) a valuation and a survey from a chartered surveyor;
(ii) a conveyancing report; and,
(iii) forecast rental information.
Resales are listed along with:
(i) an updated valuation (based on indexing the purchase price against the House Price Index for the appropriate borough or region that is published, each month, by the Land Registry);
(ii) a RICS desktop valuation (carried out quarterly); and,
(iii) if available, a comprehensive valuation undertaken by a chartered surveyor after an inspection (carried out every five years).
Yes. You can invest by acquiring shares or lending in respect of different properties across all available categories and locations.
Eligible investors include individuals, trusts, corporations and overseas investors.
FCA Rules and other applicable laws and regulations require British Pearl to verify the identity of, and run anti-money laundering checks against, all of our investors.
Our investors will be asked to agree to the checks with external agencies, including credit reference and fraud agencies, and they may have to provide original identification documents. Customers will not be able to transfer money into their investor account, or make investments, until all checks are completed.
Additionally, the FCA requires us to categorise our Share Investors as either a Certified High Net Worth Investor, Self-certified Sophisticated Investor or Certified Sophisticated Investors. These three categories are collectively known as “retail investors”. More information is available on retail investor categorisation within the investor registration process.
Overseas investors are responsible for satisfying themselves that investing in UK property through British Pearl is legal in their country. This includes complying with any governmental or regulatory requirements and other applicable formalities. For details on how to invest please Contact Us.