Where has all the credit gone?

Seventy times more reserves in the banking system and almost twice as much sleep volume than when the financial crisis hit, traditional banks seem unable or unwilling to meet current credit needs. The growing reliance of borrowers on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is an indicator that these loan needs are not being met by traditional banks. P2P online lending networks such as credit club, Prosperetc otherhelp close the credit gap connecting lenders and borrowers that traditional banks do not have. The growing dependence of Americans on P2P loans for business and personal needs is expected to exceed $700 billion by 2030, when the US leads in total sleep volume from global P2P lending activity.

Asymmetric Information Problems infiltrate the traditional banking system. Moral hazard issues arise when one party can use information asymmetry to the detriment of the other. Traditional banks know more about the loans they make than the depositors whose money they lend, and borrowers know more about their ability to repay debt than the banks they borrow from. Banks have an incentive to make sound loans, but savers have little opportunity to assess their soundness. P2P lending alleviates some of these problems through more direct funding mechanisms. Individual investors buylawsuit against” specific borrowers who provide information about themselves, their loan and the intended use of the loan. While asymmetric information challenges persist in P2P relationships, investors approaching at least one degree of separation from borrowers and actively participating in the selection process contribute in part to P2P relationships. recent growth.

The push to build confidence in traditional banking, given such asymmetric information challenges, now means the FDIC is insuring deposits. up to $250,000, although the consequences of an SVB failure could effectively remove any limitation. Such generosity relieves anxiety, but exacerbates it. moral hazard issues when people or institutions take on more risk than without such certainty. Another bank rescue and reform programssuch as the Troubled Asset Relief Program of 2008 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 provided similar incentives. P2P lending services reduce such moral hazard issues because they don’t have a lender of last resort, government assistance, or FDIC insurance programs to fall back on.

While this feature puts lender-investors at greater risk in case of borrower defaultit also encourages prudence in investment decisions and, as an incentive to participate in P2P lending markets, offers higher returns than other savings instruments.In addition to accommodating riskier borrowers and better catering to some investors’ risk appetite, P2P agreements often have a faster approval and transfer process. In a sense, bypassing traditional banks in P2P markets embodies spirit of free bankingin which the growth and stability of the banking system depends on competition, not tight regulation. No institution issues its own currency or fixes problems with asymmetric information, but P2P lending services are highly competitive and rely heavily on the reputation of the institution to attract creditworthy customers through the website portal.

Historically, the notable advances in free banking have occurred more precisely during “slightly adjustablebank periods. Growing demand for Fintech (financial and technical) services indicates a desire for more competition and less regulation in the banking sector. For many, competitiveness means speed, flexibility, and even lower interest rates for borrowers. good credit ratings. Like banks during the free banking period, Fintech P2P lending services are enjoying great flexibility in how they raise capital and are free to pursue profit through whatever. legal, no fraud means Fintech services are different from traditional banks in that they simply make it easier to get loans – funds come from individual investors who review proposals, decide whether and how much to lend, and determine the terms of the loan, similar to the successful experience of the Scottish free banking era. While the memories of wild banks are unsettling to some, examples of successful competition in loosely regulated free banking environments offer a path of mutual benefit for investors, small business owners and others who have no other options.

While the growing prevalence of P2P lending rural banks were the first to suffer in non-competitive areas, the projected growth in P2P lending is bringing more competition to the broader banking industry. While questions about the impact of competition on moral hazard and insolvency risk may resurface in an era of free banking, the emergence of this alternative to traditional banking sends a very clear message: more U.S. lenders/investors are demanding alternatives beyond traditional banking and clarify their preferences. using wallets.

Predictions about what the increase in P2P lending means for risk in the traditional banking industry vary. On the one hand, banks will face increased risk of insolvency if they lose their best clients to this new competition and are forced to take on riskier clients to make up for it. At the same time, these growing credit-substitution facilities may reduce the risks of illiquidity for traditional banks, since most of the banking portfolio will be in cash. The behavior of individual banks in response to the growth in P2P lending will cause the weights of these risk factors to fluctuate. However, there remains a real possibility that the rise of fintech will reduce risk in the broader banking industry by transferring it to fintech investors who voluntarily invest in loans from non-traditional borrowers.

In an increasingly interconnected world, fintech and P2P lending represent a new frontier for one of the most important functions of traditional banks: lending. The growth of P2P lending is paralleling the growth of P2P payment applications such as Venmo And PayPal. For individuals and small businesses, this movement represents the pursuit of convenience and likely avoidance of some regulatory and tax laws. As well as The IRS cracks down for Venmo transactions totaling more than $600 for small businesses, the possibility of increased regulation of P2P lending services seems imminent.

With a bright future and perhaps no end in sight for P2P lending services, the existing traditional banking sector presents a real challenge for the growth of these fintech services. Back in 2018 lobbyists representing prominent banking institutions pressured the Financial Conduct Authority and the Credit Standards Board to impose strict regulations on the fledgling P2P lending industry. Seasoned public choice economists recognize that this is more than a goodwill offer to protect individual lenders and borrowers from fraud and potential loss—this type of rent-seeking and regulatory capture attempt is not unique to the banking industry. The divergent forces of the traditional banking industry, regulators, young fintechs, and individual borrowers and lenders are all interested in the future of P2P lending. Will the traditional banking industry be able to quell the rising spirit of free banking, or will the growing demand for P2P lending services prevail? Only time and the response of regulators to the incentives they face will tell.

David Gillett

David Gillett

David Gillett is Professor of Economics at Truman State University, recipient of the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Truman Student-sponsored Educator of the Year Award. He regularly coordinates speaking series and reading groups in which students explore areas of interest not covered in the core economics curriculum.

His research focuses on pedagogy, especially in the field of economics. He has published such papers in The American Economist, Teaching of Psychology, Jossey-Bass, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, and is contributing articles to the Journal for Economic Educators and the Journal of Economics and Finance Education.

Get notifications of new articles from David Gillette and AIER.

Caroline Wright

Caroline Wright attends Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, majoring in economics and studying Spanish for the professions. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Truman’s Pershing Society and Delta Sigma Pi. She has interests in business and plans to go into consulting after graduation. Her hobbies include writing, hiking and traveling.

Get notified about new articles by Caroline Wright and AIER.