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Balance, by Erich Gerbl:
Things are going splendidly for the credit platform in the crisis. Apparently, growing concerns about tax cases are fuelling demand.

The demand for loans by public debtors shot up steeply during the Covid 19 crisis. This can be seen in the business of the loan platform Loanboox.

«In the lockdown, almost three times as many trades were made via the platform as in the previous year,»

says Stefan Mühlemann, founder and VRP of the Zurich-based start-up.

Loanboox brings together public borrowers such as hospitals or municipalities and institutional lenders such as banks and pension funds in Switzerland and five other countries.

In concrete terms, March and April brought Loanboox an increase in loan volume of 136 percent to 1.8 billion Swiss francs compared to the same period last year. In the first half of the year, the platform’s loan volume rose from 2.5 billion to 4.2 billion.

Loanboox as «Corona-Profiteur»

Mühlemann, who himself suffered from the virus, sees his company as a “Corona profiteer”. For the year as a whole, he conservatively expects Loanboox to increase its loan volume by 100 percent.

The reasons for the enormous demand for loans at the height of the crisis are manifold. One important one, according to Mühlemann, is the fear of declining tax revenues due to companies’ declining business. In addition, municipalities are moving ahead anti-cyclically with infrastructure projects to support the economy. Money is also cheap, especially for top borrowers, he said. “You can even continue to make money by borrowing money,” says Mühlemann.

Loanboox has been active for four years and has brokered loans worth 45 billion Swiss francs. The goal is to become a global marketplace for debt capital. The expansion is to take place primarily through partnerships with banks and other financial institutions.