SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Accumulated peer-to-peer (P2P) loans in South Korea are estimated at over 4 trillion won (US$3.57 billion) as of the end of August, data showed on Wednesday.
P2P lending refers to a new type of loan extended to individuals or businesses through social network services and the Internet, covering a wide range of services, including loans to startups and self-employed businessmen.
According to the data obtained by Rep. Jeon Hae-cheol from the Financial Supervisory Services, accumulated P2P loans reached 4.07 trillion won at the end of August, sharply up from 1.67 trillion won one year before.
The number of P2P loan-extending firms also increased to 207 from 171.
South Korea’s P2P loans have been on the rise, and such lending firms have come up with a set of self-regulatory measures in a bid to make the P2P lending market more transparent and cleaner.
P2P lending firms are largely unregulated in South Korea. With two related bills languishing in the National Assembly, financial authorities have been struggling to cope with market irregularities.