FRANKFURT, June 21 (Reuters) – Germany’s Commerzbank has launched a peer-to-peer lending platform to match small businesses seeking finance with institutional clients seeking better returns on their investment.
The service will allow small businesses to borrow up to 10 million euros ($ 11.3 million) with maturities of up to five years, Germany’s second-largest lender said on Tuesday.
Rather than risk losing customers for this type of financing to competitors in the emerging fintech industry, Commerzbank became the first major bank in Germany to offer such a service.
Commerzbank chief executive Michael Kotzbauer said he didn’t think the âmajor fundersâ platform would erode the bank’s own lending business.
Commerzbank, which knows customers on both sides, provides technical support and guarantees fair prices in a system approved by supervisors. He receives a commission for the organization of the transaction.
Such fees help Commerzbank reduce its dependence on interest income, which banking supervisors have pushed banks to do in view of negative interest rates.
Peer-to-peer loans also prevent banks from having to back equity loans against their balance sheets. ($ 1 = 0.8866 euros) ($ 1 = 0.8883 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Kroener and Jonathan Gould; Editing by Keith Weir)