Fintech Lending: Financial Inclusion, Risk Pricing, and Alternative Information

48 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017

See all articles by Julapa Jagtiani

Julapa Jagtiani

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Catharine Lemieux

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2017-07-18

Abstract

Fintech has been playing an increasing role in shaping financial and banking landscapes. Banks have been concerned about the uneven playing field because fintech lenders are not subject to the same rigorous oversight. There have also been concerns about the use of alternative data sources by fintech lenders and the impact on financial inclusion. In this paper, we explore the advantages/disadvantages of loans made by a large fintech lender and similar loans that were originated through traditional banking channels. Specifically, we use account-level data from the Lending Club and Y-14M bank stress test data. We find that Lending Club’s consumer lending activities have penetrated areas that could benefit from additional credit supply, such as areas that lose bank branches and those in highly concentrated banking markets. We also find a high correlation with interest rate spreads, Lending Club rating grades, and loan performance. However, the rating grades have a decreasing correlation with FICO scores and debt to income ratios, indicating that alternative data is being used and performing well so far. Lending Club borrowers are, on average, more risky than traditional borrowers given the same FICO scores. The use of alternative information sources has allowed some borrowers who would be classified as subprime by traditional criteria to be slotted into “better” loan grades and therefore get lower priced credit. Also, for the same risk of default, consumers pay smaller spreads on loans from the Lending Club than from traditional lending channels.

Keywords: fintech, Lending Club, marketplace lending, banking competition, shadow banking, credit spreads, credit performance, P2P lending, peer-to-peer lending

JEL Classification: G18, G21, G28, L21

Suggested Citation

Jagtiani, Julapa A. and Lemieux, Catharine, Fintech Lending: Financial Inclusion, Risk Pricing, and Alternative Information (2017-07-18). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 17-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3005260

Julapa A. Jagtiani (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Catharine Lemieux

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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