Uppspretta – First P2P Lending Service in Iceland

News from the far north: Uppspretta (engl. resource) launched the first Icelandic p2p lending service earlier this month. Uppspretta’s main goal is to allow startup companies to apply for microloans.

Uppspretta.is was founded by Björk Theodórsdóttir, Ingi Gauti Ragnarsson and Ragnheiður H. Magnúsdóttir. Uppspretta co-operates with Naskar, a group of Icelandic woman entrepreneurs, using them as a show-case for lenders and enabling a start with a secured supply of lender funds.

Iceland is a interesting market for p2p lending. While the market is small in size, the reputation of banks is nearing zero after the banking disaster last year. Theodórsdóttir told P2P-Banking.com: “There is definitely market for such a service as P2P lending in Iceland. We have been well received and in light of the bank‘s reputation, people celebrate the opportunity to bypass them. It‘s yet to be seen the impact Uppspretta will have on the lending market but we are optimistic that Uppspretta will be an real option beside the banks.”

Furthermore she pointed out that unlike other players Uppspretta is free of regulatory chains: “We worked closely with the regulators in Iceland and the conclusion was that Uppspretta would not require any licence to operate.”. Uppspretta charges a fee of 4 percent of the funded loan amount.

Studienaktie – P2P Student Loans with a Twist

Studienaktie.org is a Swiss non profit association offering p2p lending to students. The name translates to student share and is rather fitting, since the concept literally allows the investor to invest in a student and profit from his career development. Unlike with other p2p lending platforms for students,  investors do not really give a loan, but rather buy a share offered by the student.

An example illustrates how this works out. A student might offer to sell you a share for 100 CHF (approx 97 US$) now while in return promising to pay you 0.25% of the annual salary he will earn in 2017. Meaning if his salary will be 80,000 CHF in 2017 the investor will be repaid 200 CHF for his share then.

So this is really a bet of the investor on the students career chances.  To help on the selection investors can browse anonymous dossiers of the students and contact them. Chances for a positive ROI a probably good since Studienaktie originated at the university of St. Gallen, which has an elite reputation. Studienaktie is open to students of other universities, too.

The contract is signed directly between investor and student and the payment is directly facilitated between the 2 parties. Studienaktie only provides the platform. Investors pay a yearly membership fee of 100 CHF to participate.

The aim of the non-profit organisation is to enable more and better education.

Moneyauction – Booming P2P Lending Service in Korea

Moneyauction, a Korean p2p lending company, says it is “the No. 2 [website] in Korea’s non-bank area, but the number 1 website in the finance area”. And it has impressive figures to prove it. Between June 01th, 2007 and Sep. 15th the loan amount applied was 56.6 million US$.

Moneyauction partnered with telecommunication carrier Korea Telecom and offers a mobile service allowing borrowers to apply for and lenders to bid on loans via their cell phone.

In 3 months Moneyauction plans to launch a secondary market (called ‘Divided bond trading’). A spokesman told P2P-Banking.com that he expects this new feature to boost the transaction volume.

(Source: company management)

Swiss Private Banker: P2P Lending a Threat to Bank Balance Sheets

In an video interview in June, Konrad Hummler, managing partner at Swiss Bank Wegelin & Co, states how he sees p2p lending as a threat to banks.
P2P lending services could replace vital functions of banks. He says government influenced major banks are to inefficient. Established institutions will use calls for regulation to protect their business against newcomers.

(The interview is in German language)

CommunityLend Approaching Launch in Canada?

Microlending.ca reports that CommunityLend may be ready to launch soon as it cleared another registration hurdle. A legal document published at the Ontario Securities Commission site gives lots of details on CommunityLend’s p2p lending plans.

It also reveals that p2p lending in Canada will (at least initially) be restricted to accredited investors (high wealth individuals).

See Dan’s articleat Microlending.ca for a review of the document.