DUBAI, March 5 Dubai-based Beehive said on
Sunday it had become the first peer-to-peer lender to become
regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the
regulator for the Middle East and North Africa's largest
After emerging in response to a shrinking in bank lending
following the financial crisis of 2008, peer-to-peer lending is
gradually taking off, with loans from such firms globally
forecast to reach more than $300 billion by 2020.
In the region, peer-to-peer lending, which allow consumers
and small businesses to borrow from investors online, is at a
more nascent stage, with lending for businesses still dominated
overwhelmingly by banks and other traditional finance providers.
Beehive is one of the few peer-to-peer lenders in the
region. Nearly 4,500 investors have provided more than 75
million dirhams in loans via Beehive since the platform launched
in November 2014.
Until now it has been based and licensed out of the Dubai
Multi-Commodities Centre but has not been officially regulated
as rules governing the industry in Dubai did not exist until
The DFSA last month launched a consultation on its proposed
framework for regulating loan-based, crowdfunding platforms.
The regulator's new rules would provide clear governance for
fintech businesses but will also provide added protection for
peer-to-peer retail investors, Beehive said.
As part of being officially authorised and regulated by the
DFSA, Beehive said it would set up offices in the Dubai
International Financial Centre.
(Reporting By Tom Arnold; Editing by Robert Birsel)