It appears to be unclear whether the new platform will be a fully-fledged marketplace or a business initiation facilitator. Some hints are contained within the bank’s 2015 annual report, where the term ‘peer-to-peer-lending-platform’ is used to describe the new service.
As highlighted in a recent Euroview, banks alone may originate loans in Germany. Marketplace lending platforms must therefore forge partnerships with a transaction bank, which originates the loan and then sells the proceeds onto investors. This model – widely known as the “exportation model” – was described for us by Renaud Laplanche (CEO of Lending Club)in a recent interview.
Since the inception of the German P2P space, just a handful of small, specialized banks have been involved in these kinds of transactions. If the rumours around “Main Funders” turn out to be true, Commerzbank would be the first large German bank to operate in the space and to run its own platform.