Peer-to-peer lending appears to be slowly threatening Australia’s big four banks, where private lenders partner with individuals or small business owners looking for cheaper property prices.
Prior to this growing trend, non-bank mortgage brokers shook the status quo of banks across the country by providing more choices to borrowers. This kept interest rates lower amid competition.
Today, the big four still hold almost 90% of all home loans in Australia.
Peer-to-peer lending emerged in the US and UK over the past decade. In Australia, well-known ones are SocietyOne and LendingHub.
A start-up called MoneyPlace is catching up and is set to cover consumer loans of $5,000 to $30,000.
Founder Stuart Stoyan believes his industry could be worth as much as $50bn in just a decade, or about 15% to 20% of the consumer and small-medium enterprise market.
While peer-to-peer lending may seem to be a lucrative venture for some investors, these lending companies are not listed on the ASX.
Westpac Banking Corp, one of the big four, invested in SocietyOne in 2014 through its venture capital funds.