How Does Peer-to-Business Lending Affect Financial Policy of SMEs?
32 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 3, 2021
We study how alternative sources of financing, Peer to Business (P2B) platforms, affect the financial policy of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We find that firms obtaining P2B loans are higher quality firms as they are large, more profitable, with higher sales growth, higher bank debt, and lower default rates. We conclude that P2B platforms are serving the same type of firms than traditional banks. While P2B loans do not seem to affect investment policy and performance, it does affect financial policy. Firms use the availability of P2B to reduce long-term bank debt, while they increase short-term bank debt following P2B lending. In addition, SMEs increase the number of lending relationships and reduce their dependence on a single bank, in particular those with less stable funding and lower liquidity. Our findings suggest that FinTech lending complements the debt financing choices of SMEs and allows them to diversify away from traditional banks.
Keywords: FinTech, SMEs, Peer-to-Business lending, Small business lending
JEL Classification: G21, G23, O33
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