Crowdlending players raised CHF 186.7 million worth of loans in 2017. This represents growth of 240 percent in comparison with the previous year (CHF 55.1 million). We are expecting a market volume of between CHF 400 and 500 million in 2018. A sharp rise in the volume of funds raised is regarded as the main driver of profitability by most platforms.
A number of regulatory obstacles for Fintech companies have now been removed, simplifying the activities of crowdlending platforms. There are two major innovations. Firstly, the maximum period for holding funds for settlement purposes has been increased from 7 to 60 days. This considerably streamlines the lending process. Secondly, the restrictive 20 rule has been modified. According to the new conditions, loans for SMEs of less than CHF 1 million can now be financed by more than 20 investors. The bar set for consumer loans remains unchanged.
The growth rates witnessed in Switzerland may be impressive, but by international standards, the volume of funds raised is a long way behind that of crowdlending frontrunners such as China, the US or the UK. Time will tell whether similar growth trends can be achieved in Switzerland. Swiss crowdlending volumes would need to double over the next two years to equal the per capita rates generated in the US (2016: CHF 71.30 per capita) or the UK (2016: CHF 72.20 per capita).