Comparative Economic Studies

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 115–130 | Cite as

The Financial Intermediation Role of the P2P Lending Platforms

  • Olena Havrylchyk
  • Marianne VerdierEmail author


The objective of our paper is to explore the role of P2P lending platforms through the prism of the theory of financial intermediation. P2P lending platforms perform the brokerage function of financial intermediaries by matching lenders’ supply and borrowers’ demand of funding, according to the risk and the maturity of their needs. Unlike banks, P2P lending platforms do not create money and do not perform risk and maturity transformation. However, they can organize secondary markets to trade loan contracts before maturity and some P2P lending platforms aim at providing a fixed income to lenders. To ensure efficient and sustainable financial intermediation, P2P lending platforms need to ensure that they are not subject to principal-agent problems and that their incentives coincide with those of lenders. The possibility of orderly resolution of P2P lending platforms failures might decrease moral hazard problems that are inherent in the modern financial intermediation.


Peer-to-peer lending Online lenders Market structure Access to finance Financial crisis Internet Information and communication technologies 

JEL Classification

G21 G23 G01 O33 D40 



We would like to thank Sebastian Schich for useful discussions on this topic.


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Copyright information

© Association for Comparative Economic Studies 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CES, Labex ReFiUniversity Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance
  2. 2.CREDUniversity Paris 2 Panthéon AssasParisFrance
  3. 3.CERNAEcole des Mines de ParisParisFrance

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