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Alternative Market Briefing

Peer-to-peer lending gains traction as new asset class for family offices, hedge funds

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

As part of the "sharing economy" phenomenon brought on by the internet are platforms where lenders and borrowers meet. Borrowers may seek an alternative from the more traditional lending outlets which have tighter string to their purse, and lenders may be attracted to the prospect of uncorrelated monthly income.

There are two main so-called web-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in the U.S., the larger one being Lending Club, the other Prosper.com. According to Euromoney, what is also know as "crowdlending" has taken off over the past 12 months; and as P2P lending portals become more mainstream, they are attracting greater interest from industry heavy weights and Wall Street firms. Prosper and Lending Club have been responsible for the investment of more than $1bn into the accounts of American citizens and their ventures, while traditional banks in the U.S. are accountable for around 25% of all lending, states Investopedia. Apparently, the UK's P2P industry is also thriving. The FT quotes Zopa and RateSetter. And as well as crow......................

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