Since the global financial crisis, alternative finance, which includes financial instruments and distributive channels that emerge outside of the traditional financial system, has thrived in the US, Europe and Asia. From equity-based crowdfunding to marketplace/peer-to-peer consumer and business lending, from invoice trading to reward-based crowdfunding, these alternative finance activities are supplying credit to small businesses, providing venture capital to start-ups, offering more diverse and transparent ways for consumers to invest or borrow money, nurturing creativity, fostering innovation, generating jobs and funding worthwhile social causes.
However, questions arise to what extent further development of the sector is desired and what are the risks associated with such growth dynamics. The issue of regulatory under-reach or over-reach comes to the fore of the policy debates. In this respect, the EU countries have adopted various regulatory regimes that either enable, restrict or are neutral as far as alternative finance institutions are concerned.
ECN will participate to the Alternative Finance Forum, with its CEO, Oliver Gajda, taking part to the expert panel called “What’s Alternative about Alternative Finance”.
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