In 2020, loans issued on Swiss crowdlending platforms reached a record high volume of CHF 448.0 million. The volume grew by 7.1%, even though the Swiss crowdlending market was heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The latest publication of the Crowdfunding Monitor by the Lucerne School of Business once again discusses the market development of crowdlending in Switzerland. Figure 1 shows the volumes of new loans issued via Swiss crowdlending platforms from 2012 to 2020. After a high growth of 60.0% in 2019, the volume growth fell to 7.1% in 2020.

Growth rates varied a lot depending on the form of crowdlending. Of the CHF 448.0 million raised, CHF 95.9 million was accounted for by business crowdlending (loans for SMEs): the volume in this subsegment was CHF 159.7 million in 2019 (-40.0%). Consumer crowdlending (loans for private individuals) shrank by 18.2% compared to 2019 and reached CHF 55.4 million in 2020. On the other hand, real estate crowdlending grew by a high 55.3% in 2020 to reach CHF 296.7 million.

Figure 1: Swiss crowdlending volumes (new loans per year) from 2012 to 2020 (Source: Crowdfunding Monitor 2020)

The severe impact of the COVID-19 crisis and government lending

The decline in SME lending was a direct effect of the Swiss government’s COVID-19 loan programme. Between March and July 2020, businesses could submit loan applications to banks to bridge Corona-related liquidity shortages without any credit checks required. These loans aimed to provide liquidity to cover ongoing fixed costs despite Corona-related revenue losses. The government programme resulted in crowdlending platforms transacting significantly fewer loans during this period. The consumer loan segment was also heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis, as consumption of private individuals declined in 2020, leading to fewer applications for consumer loans.

More to come: Marketplace Lending Report 2021 will be published in mid-July

In two weeks, the SMLA will publish further insights into how COVID-19 impacted the Swiss crowdlending segment in its Marketplace Lending Report 2021. The Marketplace Lending Report will provide information on the risk and return figures of its members, the number of loans issued during 2020, a survey on challenges faced by Swiss lending platforms, and a much broader look at the market, including all forms of online debt financing in Switzerland. The Marketplace Lending Report 2021 will be a joint publication by the SMLA, Lucerne School of Business and TMF Group.

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