The alternative finance market in Europe has more than doubled in 2014 to € 3 billion in volume, reports the University of Cambridge today.
What is striking, however, is the fact that the already very significant gap between the UK and continental Europe has further widened: While growth rates in 2013 were approximately the same on both sides of the channel, 2014 saw a decrease in growth in the Euro-area and an acceleration in the UK. As a result, the UK market is nearly 4 times bigger than that of all of the rest of Europe combined.
It is not for a lack of entrepreneurial spirit and energy: The report includes for continental Europe nearly 3 times more platforms than for the UK. However, the largely unfavorable regulatory environment in most European countries, as well as less experimental financial sector clients, both on the borrower, as well as lender side, seem to take their toll.
Neverthless, with growth rates of above 100% in France, Germany and Spain, for example, the overall trend is clear and very promising for the industry, from peer-to-peer lending, to equity and rewards-based crowdfunding.