Regulator forces Dutch p2p lending site boober to stop lending

Dutch p2p lending site is in big trouble. A court in Rotterdam ruled that Boober needs a license, with the judge supporting the position of the regulating authority AFM. After Boober published its interpretation what this ruling means, the AFM clarified its position in a press release.

Under pressure Boober finally posted a statement on its homepage saying that while the site remains open and existing loans will continue to be serviced, Boober stops any lender bidding. Statement:

Beste Boober Gebruiker

In tegenstelling tot wat dinsdag en woensdag is gecommuniceerd heeft Boober gisteravond na overleg met de Autoriteit Financiële Markten besloten om de krediet-bemiddelingsactiviteiten voorlopig te staken. Dit wordt geëffectueerd door uitleners voorlopig niet de mogelijkheid te geven op leningen te bieden . De site blijft gewoon beschikbaar en het besluit heeft geen enkele consequentie voor lopende leningen.

Boober betreurt de ongelukkige wijze waarop zij met de markt heeft gecommuniceerd en verwacht begin volgende week meer duidelijkheid te kunnen verschaffen.

Boober's service was controversial in the Netherlands from the start. It was even subject of discussion of the Dutch national parliament.

An update on what will happen next is expected early next week.

Richard van den Toorn, publisher of the great site has supplied with this chronology of events:

  1. One (!) day before launching, Boober decided to inform the
    Authorities Financial Markerts (AFM) and launched.
  2. The AFM took several weeks/months to formulate an opinion and decided
    that was actually an company that lends out money. Boober made an
    objection against that decision, that they were just a mediator between
    borrowers and investors. The AFM finally agreed.
  3. Now that Boober is in the mediator role, they have to have a license to
    do so. Furthermore AFM thinks that the lenders are lending on a
    professional basis which means that each lender has to have a license as
    well. The latter is ridiculous. In the meantime, while boober is obtaining
    a license they were not allowed to do any transactions. The current loans
    can continue though.
  4. Boober again objected to the decision to stop until a license has been
    given. That would mean several (8) weeks of inactivity, possibly leading
    to the decline of the p2p lending market. This objection has been rejected by
    the court.
  5. Now Boober is 'under protest' obtaining a license and in the meantime used
    a company of one of the shareholders which actually has a license. However the AFM states that this is not allowed either and Boober still has to stop their activities.

(Other sources: 1, 2, 3)

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