Banking without banks
The Economist wrote a brilliant article recently about peer to peer lending, boldly titled “Banking Without Banks”. Peer to peer lending is a revolutionary concept that's starting to taking hold around the world, as banking becomes a less and less appealing option for the average individual.
Consumer credit has been a paradox since the global financial crisis: returns for savers are at record lows, but credit for borrowers is expensive and scarce. The problem attracted a few innovative solutions, most notably in the form of Peer to Peer Lending (P2P). Unaffected by the high costs, bad balance sheets and sinking reputations of the banks, P2P platforms match up those wanting to lend with those wanting to borrow. The end result is a better deal for both parties, with higher returns for lenders and lower interest for borrowers. P2P is growing rapidly worldwide – loans in the U.K. have passed £1 billion, and in the U.S., with a 98% share of the P2P market, Prosper & Lending Club issued $2.4 billion in 2013 alone.