Prosper SEC filing – step towards secondary market

A recent Prosper S1 SEC filing is a step towards the planned secondary market as this Prosper press release confirms. The secondary market will allow Prosper lenders to trade loans they have invested in. Excerpt from the press release:

…Following effectiveness of the registration statement, Prosper intends to establish and maintain a secondary trading market online auction platform, or Resale Platform, pursuant to which lenders may seek to transfer borrower notes to other Prosper registered lenders. …

Excerpt from the SEC filing:

If Prosper is able to establish the Resale Platform, Prosper intends to charge all selling Lenders a nonrefundable resale listing fee of $0.25 per Note being listed for auction resale, or $0.50 per Note being listed for resale with an automatic sale feature. Listing fees will be charged and collected at the time the listing is posted on the Resale Platform by deducting the resale listing fee from the selling Lender’s funding account. Prosper also intends to charge the selling Lender a resale transaction fee equal to 1.0% of the resale price, subject to a minimum fee of $0.50, which will be deducted from the resale proceeds.

Further discussion here.

Prosper secondary market

If you invest at lenders should not need your money for the next 3 years. Because at the moment all loans have 36 month terms. And – apart from the chance that the borrower might select to pay back the loan early – lenders can not withdraw money still loaned early (this does not apply to interest and monthly repayments).

Lenders have called for a secondary market as early as February 2006.

What is "secondary market"?

The idea is that a lender can sell his investment in a loan to another lender who buys it. It could work similar to trading bonds.

Suppose a lender have invested $100 in a AA loan at 12% interest, it is current and has still 18 month to run. Depending on the assessment of the buyers it could sell for a premium, that means the buyer pays the lender a price above $100 e.g. $102 or it could sell at a discount below $100 e.g. $97.

A premium would occur if buyer demand is strong, assessing that the 12% (and the other loan specifics) are an above average market deal. A discount could occur if the loan is assessed by the buyers as below average (on interest rate or other loan specifics) or if the risk for default is impacting (e.g. the loan is already late).


Aside from liquidity advantages a secondary market would offer more options for lenders. Since some loans fail first payment a lender might choose to build his portfolio by buying loans that have made their first three payments and are current. It even seems possibly that loans would be packaged (like mortages) and auctioned off. This way a lender could specialize in picking loans and then reselling them after several month – reselling risk (and living of his reputation as in delivering good picks – okay sounds a little farfetched, I admit).

Will the Prosper secondary market launch?

In a webinar in June 2007 there was the first mention by Prosper, that they are working on a secondary market. (Source: Tom)
However this could happen soon … or in x years as far as I can tell.

Zopa confirmed that a secondary market is in their decelopment plans.

The other (international) p2p lending platforms are not even close to implementing secondary market functions.