European peer-to-peer lending marketplaces are pulling out of the Polish market before strict new lending regulations come into effect at the start of the New Year.
On 1 January 2024, Polish lenders will be prohibited from borrowing funds from investors via online platforms. This will impact any P2P lending marketplace which had previously listed loans from Poland-based loan originators.
“Any ‘creativity’ in funding Polish lending businesses through platforms puts the lending company at risk of losing its licence,” said Arūnas Lekavičius, chief executive of P2P lending marketplace PeerBerry. “The new law in Poland says that all loan companies are subject to the National Financial Supervision Authority; if any company finances itself through the platform, it will be deleted from the National Court Register and will be restricted from running business.”
PeerBerry has already told its investors that no Polish loans will be available on the platform from 1 January 2024. However, the platform has onboarded a number of new loan originators from countries such as Mexico and South Africa, in an effort to maintain its lending volumes.
At the start of November, Polish loans represented 16.6 per cent of the PeerBerry portfolio. Croatia-based P2P lender Lonvest has also opted to withdraw from the Poland loan market. It stopped listing Polish loans on 1 November, and has offered fee-free exits for any investor who wishes to divest from their Polish investments.
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“Our legal team is exploring avenues to possibly reintroduce Polish offers in the future, in compliance with the new regulations,” the platform added.
ViaInvest exited the Polish market on 31 October 20232, after more than 10 years of listing Polish consumer loans from Polandbased originators.
Poland-based loans represented 3.5 per cent of ViaInvest’s portfolio at the end of October. Hive5 – another Croatia-based P2P lending marketplace – has also stopped listing Polish loans, despite chief executive Ričardas Vandzinskas praising the platform’s Polish lenders for their profitability and low default rates.