Germany's Commerzbank is entering the marketplace lending space. The FI announced on Tuesday (June 21) that it will launch a peer-to-peer small business lending platform that acts as a matchmaking service between SMEs and institutional clients looking to provide investments.
Businesses can borrow up to $11.3 million, Commerzbank said. Reports pointed to the financial institution's move as a sign that the bank wants to collaborate with, not compete against, the alternative and marketplace lending space.
Reuters said it has become Germany's first major financial institution to offer such a service.
According to reports, Commerzbank Manager Michael Kotzbauer denied that its P2P lending platform would negatively impact its own lending operations. The bank will earn commission for loans lent through its platform and will supervise activity to ensure fair prices for both sides.
As a new revenue stream, Commerzbank's P2P lending platform relieves some pressure that it and all banks face from competing alternative lending companies.
Commerzbank has made efforts to become more progressive in its financial services. Last January, the bank was part of a group of financial institutions that signed onto SWIFT's global payments innovation initiative, an effort to streamline cross-border payments via the SWIFT payments messaging network.
The initiative aims for same-day payments, payments transaction and cross-payment data collection, according to reports, and focuses on B2B payments.