Finland's Fellow Finance is following in the footsteps of Zopa, closing its P2P lending business to concentrate exclusively on a new banking operation.
The loan-based crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform is in the process of merging with Evli Bank to create Fellow Bank.
Set to open up for business as a new digitally-oriented lender in April, Fellow Finance will offer customers the option to sell their loan portfolios to Fellow Bank and to open an interest-bearing bank accounts and fixed term deposit accounts as an alternative.
Fellow Finance has intermediated consumer and business financing of more than 900 million euros in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic and served more than 1 000 000 customers.
The firms says it will continue to service active and current loan investments normally and the cessation of intermediation does not require action from customers.
The Finnish company is following the same path as P2P lending pioneer Zopa, which in December announced plans to wind down its lending business and buy out the retail portfolio as it concentrated fully on its banking arm.
Zopa said customer trust in P2P investing had been damaged by a small number of businesses whose approach led to material losses for retail investors. It also cited changing regulations which led to higher costs of doing business.