Business / Industries

Online finance industry will rebound, industry exec says

By Li Xiang ( Updated: 2016-05-10 19:57

LendIt, the world's largest conference organizer for the online finance industry, said on Tuesday that the industry is set to rebound despite being challenged by rising investors' skepticism.

China has seen a flourishing online finance business, better known as peer-to-peer lending, as many technology firms have taken advantage of the Internet and mobile technology to offer loans and financial services to small businesses and consumers.

But rising fraud and irregularities, including the Ezubao incident, in the market have made investors skittish toward the emerging industry.

"A lot of things have happened that have challenged the industry but the fundamentals and the pace are still there," Jason Jones, the president of LendIt, said at a news conference in Beijing.

Jones said that China must deal with the high level of fraud and it has the ability to address the problem though innovation and technology involving big data.

LendIt will hold its first China conference on July 17 and 18 in Shanghai and more than 1,000 overseas and Chinese players in the online finance industry are expected to attend.

Emphasis on operational infrastructure, regulation and compliance will be the content featured at the conference.

The global online finance industry is facing skepticism after Chief Executive Renaud Laplanche of Lending Club, the largest US online finance firm, resigned on Monday over irregularities in its lending business. The resignation sent the firm's share price down by 35 percent that day.

Jones, the president of LendIt, said that the incident was a blow to the global online finance industry and the lesson is that firms have to act with integrity as the industry deals with other people's money.

"Fintech companies must continue to invest in their operational infrastructure and implement best practices around compliance," he said.

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