Rabobank is to run trials of P2P lending, connecting high net worth customers with businesses in need of financing.
The Dutch bank is building an online platform (Rabo & Co) that brings together businesses and Private Banking customers. Businesses place their financing request on the platform and Private Banking customers state which loan they wish to co-finance. In the six-month trial phase, Rabobank will provide at least 50% of every loan.
To participate, investors must have freely investable assets of at least EUR1 million and take out a minimum share of EUR100,000 at any one business. The businesses taking part in the trial are all Rabobank customers in the growth phase and are seeking financing for expansion or refinancing.
Rien Nagel, member of the executive board of the bank, comments: "We were established in the past to link wealthy farmers to farmers needing money. What we are going to do now is similar: the money will now go directly from the high net worth individual to the business in need of funds. Rabobank will still manage the financing as the go-between and main participant, but without fully using its own balance sheet. If the platform is successful, we intend to open it to institutional investors as well."