[Update March 14, 2014: Wells Fargo decided to reverse this ban on employee involvement in p2p lending.]
Really interesting news story today from the Financial Times (free registration required). Their journalists, Tracy Alloway and Arash Massoudi, have discovered that Wells Fargo has put in a policy that bans its employees from investing their own money in p2p lending platforms. Here is the crux of the article:
Wells Fargo has banned its employees from lending their own money through peer-to-peer loan platforms, in a sign of growing tensions between new “P2P” lenders and the largest US bank by market value.
“Ethics administrators” at Wells Fargo decided to forbid staff from P2P lending after concluding “that for-profit peer-to-peer lending is a competitive activity that poses a conflict of interest”.
What does this all mean? If you are a Wells Fargo employee it is very clear. No more new money is allowed to be invested into Lending Club, Prosper or any other online lending platform. For the rest of us it means the first acknowledgement of the impact that this industry could have on traditional banking.
I think this marks another step in the coming of age for p2p lending. It is no longer too small to be ignored. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.