Institutional investment in online business lending markets

Cummins, Mark and Mac an Bhaird, Ciarán and Rosati, Pierangleo and Lynn, Theo (2020) Institutional investment in online business lending markets. International Review of Financial Analysis, 71. 101542. ISSN 1057-5219 (

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We provide new insights into the business lending decisions of institutional investors in online credit markets by benchmarking their lending performance against that of retail investors.We find superior performance for loans financed by institutional investors, although large sized retail investor groups achieve equivalent performance. Lending decisions of institutional investors are not default risk minimising, and we quantify lending inefficiencies. From a platform perspective, we show that (i) the platform-administered loan allocation process is not biased in favour of institutional investors, (ii) institutional participation in the retail marketplace is not a distorting factor in loan performance, and (iii) the platform's move to a fixed rate system had detrimental effects on loan outcomes for institutional investors. The superior loan performance achieved by institutional investors is confined to the auction period, when institutional investors had autonomy over setting interest rates.