Goldman Sachs published the research paper ‘The Future of Finance’ analysing the potential impact of alternative finance companies, especially p2p lending marketplaces, on the US banking sector. Goldman Sachs states ‘We see the largest risk of disintermediation by non-traditional players in: 1) consumer lending, 2) small business lending, 3) leveraged lending (i.e., loans to non-investment grade businesses), 4) mortgage banking (both origination and servicing), 5) commercial real estate and 6) student lending. In all, [US] banks earned ~$150bn in 2014, and we estimate $11bn+ (7%) of annual profit could be at risk from non-bank disintermediation over the next 5+ years.‘
The new study ‘Moving Mainstream – The European Alternative Finance Report‘ is available now (free download). The study by the University of Cambridge and EY looks at the development of p2p lending, p2p equity, crowdfunding and other alternative finance offers in Europe and compares it to the development in the UK. The very comprehensive study combined survey results from 205 platforms in 27 European countries with 50 survey responses gathered from UK platforms as part of the Nesta Study.
P2P-Banking.com was one of the research partners in this study.
Here are the main findings from the executive summary:
Since the global financial crisis, alternative finance – which includes financial instruments and distributive channels that emerge outside of the traditional financial system – has thrived in the US, the UK and continental Europe. In particular, online alternative finance, from equity-based crowdfunding to peer-to-peer business lending, and from reward-based crowdfunding to debt-based securities, is supplying credit to SMEs, providing venture capital to start-ups, offering more diverse and transparent ways for consumers to invest or borrow money, fostering innovation, generating jobs and funding worthwhile social causes.
Although a number of studies, including those carried out by the University of Cambridge and its research partners, have documented the rise of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending in the UK, we actually know very little about the size, growth and diversity of various online platform-based alternative finance markets in key European countries. There is no independent, systematic and reliable research to scientifically benchmark the European alternative finance market, nor to inform policy-makers, brief regulators, update the press and educate the public. It is in this context that the University of Cambridge has partnered with EY and 14 leading national/regional industry associations to collect industry data directly from 255 leading platforms in Europe through a web-based questionnaire, capturing an estimated 85-90% of the European online alternative finance market.
The first pan-European study of its kind, this benchmarking research reveals that the European alternative finance market as a whole grew by 144% last year – from €1,211m in 2013 to €2,957m in 2014. Excluding the UK, the alternative finance market for the rest of Europe increased from €137m in 2012 to €338m in 2013 and reached €620m in 2014, with an average growth rate of 115% over the three years. There are a number of ways to measure performance across the various markets. In terms of total volume by individual countries in 2014, France has the second-largest online alternative finance industry with €154m, following the UK, which is an undisputed leader with a sizeable €2,337m (or £1.78bn). Germany has the third-largest online alternative finance market in Europe overall with €140m, followed by Sweden (€107m), the Netherlands (€78m) and Spain (€62m). However, if ranked on volume per capita, Estonia takes second place in Europe after the UK (€36 per capita), with €22m in total and €16 per capita.
In terms of the alternative finance models, excluding the UK, peer-to-peer consumer lending is the largest market segment in Europe, with €274.62m in 2014; reward-based crowdfunding recorded €120.33m, followed by peer-to-peer business lending (€93.1m) and equity-based crowdfunding (€82.56m). The average growth rates are also high across Europe: peer-to-peer business lending grew by 272% between 2012 and 2014, reward-based crowdfunding grew by 127%, equity-based crowdfunding grew by 116% and peer-to-peer consumer lending grew by 113% in the same period.
Collectively, the European alternative finance market, excluding the UK, is estimated to have provided €385m worth of early-stage, growth and working capital financing to nearly 10,000 European start-ups and SMEs during the last three years, of which €201.43m was funded in 2014 alone. Based on the average growth rates between 2012 and 2014, excluding the UK, the European online alternative finance market is likely to exceed €1,300m in 2015. Including the UK, the overall European alternative industry is on track to grow beyond €7,000m in 2015 if the market fundamentals remain sound and growth continues apace.
Today the Nesta Study ‘Understanding Alternative Finance – The UK Alternative Finance Industry Report‘ was released. The researchers Peter Baeck, Liam Collins and Bryan Zhang worked in four stages to compile this great report. One included questioning more than 15,000 users with the help of the platforms in distributing the surveys. Furthermore to gauge awareness of the general public for alternative finance 2,007 consumers and 506 SMEs were questioned.
The more than 90 page report documents and visualizes the fast ongoing growth of all alternative finance sectors in the UK and the positive reception by the users. I will conclude by citing some graphs from the study to induce everybody interested in p2p lending and alternative finance to read the full study.
A new study of the DIW Berlin (see page 3-9) (authors: Nataliya Barasinska, Nicola Jentzsch und Dorothea Schäfer) has analysed Smava loan data from the years 2007 to 2011 and found out that people who use p2p lending Smava for borrowing resemble the average population using conventional bank loans. Against expectations there was no major difference in age structure:
Regarding gender there is a gap, 28% of Smava borrowers are female; whereis in the comparison group 40% of borrowers are female. Regional distribution of borrower residence did not differ from average population. Continue reading →
Sander van Damme has written the master thesis ‘Peer to peer Microfinance: the case of Zidisha.org‘ at the Louvain School of Management (Belgium). The 70 page study dives deep into analysis of Zidisha‘s complete loan portfolio (Q4 2009 – Q1 2011). It offers a very comprehensive overview on the p2p microfinance operations of Zidisha, the motivations of lenders and borrowers and developments of the interest rates on the marketplace.
Excerpt from the conclusion:
When looking at the trends in social media, the propagation of the internet and the innovations in mobile banking, we believe this website offers us a glimpse of what the future of aid and banking will look like. Although not necessarily a mainstream tool for everyone on this planet, it will surely become part of many a person’s portfolio. Rather than donating anonymously to some big NGOs who will use the money for projects we do not know about; people want to see their impact and be able to connect with each other across the globe. Whereas we set out to discover whether peer to peer microfinance was a viable solution in the first place, we came across a business model that in the long run could allow both investors and entrepreneurs to profit from their exchange.
Are women more risk-averse then men when it comes to lending money to strangers via p2p lending services? A recent study by Nataliya Barasinska, analyzed what impact gender has on the investment decisions. In the study, which was supported by a grant by the European Commission, she looked at bidding and loan data of the German p2p lending service Smava for the time span from March 2007 to March 2010.
Women are a minority among lenders, but are no more risk-averse than men
Only about 10% of the lenders at Smava are women. But they do not perceive and react to risks differently than men, when it comes to picking loans for investments. Continue reading →