Examining marketplace lending — how it affects borrowers, lenders and investors alike

Having disrupted the personal and commercial ­finance landscape, marketplace, or peer-to-peer, lending appears poised for strong, steady growth. But just how steady — and big — will marketplace lending get?

Tags: Loans, Alternative investments
Published: October 23, 2019

Marketplace lending is thriving, with rising amounts of capital being poured into the market and traditional financial services providers and non-bank lenders getting into the action.

See what’s behind the numbers of marketplace lending and what it means for existing platforms, new entrants and managing the wave of data and reporting that comes with the expansion. 

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Marketplace lending platforms: a brief history

2006: Prosper opens as the first P2P lender in the U.S.

2007: LendingClub starts operations.

2008: SEC requires Prosper and LendingClub to register their offerings as securities.

2012: The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act includes P2P lending for small and midsize businesses.

2014: LendingClub goes public on the NYSE.

2015: Regulation A+ allows nonaccredited investors to join in crowdfunding opportunities with limits.


Sources: NYSE, media reports


Soaring growth, then a pause

Issues at one lender dampened enthusiasm for marketplace lending in 2016, but analysts expect an extended rebound.


Marketplace lending

2014 – $7.6 billion in the Americas

2015 – $18 billion in the Americas

2016 – $21.1 billion in the Americas

2024 – $898 billion globally (projected)


Projected compound annual growth rate of marketplace lending from 2016 to 2024: 48.2%

Sources: University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Majesty Alliance


Institutional investors capitalizing on opportunities

Yields, with measured risk, trend toward the higher end of the fixed-income spectrum.

It offers very low correlation to other asset classes.

Sophisticated automation tools and technology quickly analyze loan offerings.

Percent of institutional investors polled very or somewhat familiar with marketplace lending

2015 – 75%

2016 – 82%

Percent of institutional investors polled with capital invested in marketplace lending


2015 – 29%

2016 – 50%


Top three most targeted loan types

2015 – Small business (31%), consumer (28%), real estate (24%)

2016 – Unsecured consumer (52%), small business (46%), real estate (37%)

Source: 2016 Survey of U.S. Marketplace Lending released by Richards Kibbe & Orbe and Wharton FinTech


Securitization extending the impact

Institutional investors are snapping up marketplace-loan-backed securities, which package multiple P2P loans into a larger fixed-income security, a long-standing practice with mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt.

P2P lending securitization by quarter

Q1 2016 – $1.5 billion

Q2 2016 – $1.7 billion

Q3 2016 – $2.4 billion

Q4 2016 – $2.4 billion

Q1 2017 – $3.0 billion

Q2 2017 – $3.0 billion

Q3 2017 – $2.6 billion

Q4 2017 – $4.4 billion

Source: PeerIQ


Financial service providers getting involved

Investing in securitized marketplace loans

Supplying lendable capital to P2P platforms

Sharing customers and business with a marketplace lending platform

Acquiring a marketplace lending platform

Providing administration services to investment managers’ P2P funds


Partnerships proving advantageous

Banks and investors are providing complementary — and valuable — business practices to marketplace lending platforms.


Origination and underwriting expertise

Capital accessible through existing distribution channels

Administration of P2P funds securitized debt investments

Reporting with transparency and real-time pricing and performance information

Artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive data and borrower insights


Robust expectations

With billions of dollars pouring in, the marketplace lending market will continue to grow — as will the need for P2P platforms and fund managers to leverage outside expertise to keep their operations going at peak efficiency.




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