Online challenger bank continues push into peer-to-peer lending

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 31 May 2017

Alternative Lending

BNI Europa signs a €10m deal with leading Portuguese peer-to-peer lender.

BNI Europa signs a €10m deal with leading Portuguese peer-to-peer lender.

BNI Europa has agreed to invest €10m via small business lending platform RAIZE. The funds will be deployed via the peer-to-peer lender over a two year period.

RAIZE has lent a cumulative total of €5m, making it Portugal’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform. Its local rival ClicInvest, which is also a business lender, has lent just €700k to date, according to AltFi Data.

RAIZE boss José Rego called the with BNI Europa “the first of its kind in Portugal”, and said that it shows renewed interest from investors in Portuguese businesses.

For BNI Europa, the move represents the continuation of a strategy for investing via fintech platforms that was first implemented in 2015. The most recent beneficiary of that strategy, prior to RAIZE, was leading invoice finance firm MarketInvoice, which clinched a £45m per annum deal with the bank a few weeks ago, after a successful £28.3m trial in 2016.

“The bank is extremely committed to supporting SMEs in the European space,” said Pedro Coelho, executive chairman of BNI Europa. “Our partnerships with Raize and MarketInvoice are just some of the initiatives the bank is promoting with fintech businesses and more are likely to follow.”

While yet to appear in great numbers, there is precedent for investment deals between challenger banks and online lenders. In the UK, Metro Bank has been investing via consumer lender Zopa since 2015.

Coelho said that he believes it is “inevitable” that banks will have to work more collaboratively with fintech businesses in the future. 

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