First of all, if you haven’t checked-in with NHPR’s Word of Mouth…you need to. StateImpact listens in frequently. And it just so happens that we found a cool interview host Virginia Prescott did with reporter MacGregor Campbell about the resurrection of peer-to-peer lending in lieu of banks. As the segment intro explains:
“Back in the mid-2000’s, peer to peer lending web sites like Prosper and Lending Club bet that ordinary people could take the place of banks. The business model was both daring and consistent with the hyper-connected internet culture. The idea was that people who needed loans could connect with investors willing to bet on getting paid back with a little interest. Prosper’s faith in crowd-sourcing replacing traditional risk-assessment tools used by banks turned out to be a mistake. Within two years, the SEC shut it down for not holding insurance to repay jilted lenders…it turns out that up to twenty percent of the borrowing crowd defaulted on their loans. Today’s tighter loan policies have paved the way for a new wave of P2P banks to again experiment with connecting people through lending.”
Prescott’s short interview focusing on the return of populist, internet-driven lending is well worth the listen.