As we seek to make sure the benefits of our continuing economic recovery reach all Americans, it is important that more consumers and small businesses have broad access to safe and affordable credit. That is why Treasury is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register on expanding access to credit for small businesses and consumers through online marketplace lending.
Online marketplace lending refers to the segment of the financial services industry that uses data-driven online platforms and investment capital to lend to consumers and small businesses. While still a small component of the total consumer and small business lending market, it is a rapidly developing and fast-growing sector that is changing the way consumers and small businesses secure credit. For example, research conducted by Morgan Stanley found that in less than a decade, online marketplace lending has grown to an estimated $12 billion in new loan originations in 2014.
In light of the growth of this segment, Treasury is interested in learning more about the business models and product offerings of online marketplace lenders; the potential for online marketplace lending to expand access to credit to historically underserved market segments; and how the financial regulatory framework should evolve to support the safe growth of this industry. In addition to seeking public comment through the RFI, we look forward to hosting roundtables later this summer to advance our dialogue with participants and other key stakeholders in this industry. To kick off the conversation, we invite you to please share your perspectives on online marketplace lending through the RFI. The RFI will be posted in the Federal Register tomorrow, and the public may begin submitting comments on Monday, July 20, 2015.