1. Definition of the term "bank"
A bank is a company that offers services in the field of payment, credit and capital transactions.
Typical business areas of a bank are the granting of personal loans as well as business loans (this is why a bank is also called a "credit institution"). In addition, the management of savings deposits and the custody of and trading in securities (e.g. shares) are tasks that banks take on.Large banks that cover all areas of banking are also called "universal banks".
Fun Fact from the category of useless, but nevertheless exciting knowledge: The word "bank" in the sense of a credit institution comes from the Italian word "banco" or "banca" with the original meaning "table". What was meant here was the table of the money changer.
2. Crowdlending platforms vs. banks
For a long time, banks were the main players in lending, especially to private customers and small and medium-sized enterprises. More recently, however, crowdlending platforms such as LEND have become increasingly important in this segment. After loans amounting to more than CHF 180 million were already brokered via crowdlending platforms in Switzerland in 2017, this amount is also expected to more than double in 2018 with a P2P volume of CHF 500 million.
One reason for the strong growth in Switzerland is the increasing awareness of crowdlending.
In addition, platforms here usefully complement the lending market. For example, the areas of personal loans and loans for SMEs are often not interesting for banks. A high level of bureaucracy and undynamic process structures lead to high costs and make the granting of small loans less lucrative. Fintech companies such as LEND consequently form a useful addition in the area of financial services here.