SPAIN has seen a surge in queries about peer-to-peer lending, amid speculation that Brexit-related uncertainty is detracting continental European investors from UK opportunities.
According to a new study by Croatia-based P2P platform Robo.cash, the number of search requests associated with P2P lending in Spain grew from 9,400 in July 2015 to 12,000 in June 2019. This helped the Spanish alternative finance market to grow by almost 23 per cent in between March 2016 and March 2017 – the largest increase of any European country.
The study looked at the number of P2P-related search queries for the five countries with the largest number of P2P platforms: the UK, Italy, Germany, France and Spain.
In 2015, France saw the highest number of P2P-releated queries, but Spain has been leading since 2017. This corresponds with data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, which reported that in 2017, Spanish alternative finance platforms raised €160m (£140m) – 23 per cent more than they raised in 2016.
Robo.cash analysts also noticed a spike in EU-based P2P search queries during key points in the Brexit timeline.
“One of the reasons for this trend could be the vote of the British parliament in March 2017 to start the Brexit procedure,” the firm noted. “The likelihood of this event could force continental investors to seek new opportunities in other countries.
“Apart from Spain, there was a growth in popularity of P2P lending in France and Italy at that time too.”