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Home > Research > Staff Working Paper No. 598: Peer-to-peer lending and financial innovation in the United Kingdom - Ulrich Atz and David Bholat
 

Staff Working Paper No. 598: Peer-to-peer lending and financial innovation in the United Kingdom - Ulrich Atz and David Bholat

29 April 2016
​Staff Working Paper No. 598: Peer-to-peer lending and financial innovation in the United Kingdom
Ulrich Atz and David Bholat

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending — direct lending between lenders and borrowers online outside traditional financial intermediaries like banks — first emerged in the United Kingdom and the world with the launch of Zopa in 2005. Our paper provides a quantitative analysis of nearly 14 million loan agreements. We lay bare the history of P2P lending from its beginning, showing the regional geography of P2P lending in the United Kingdom. We suggest that the history of P2P lending can shed light on financial innovation in general. We base our conclusions on four semi-structured interviews with the founders of the three most significant UK P2P platforms (Zopa, RateSetter, and Funding Circle).
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