SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- The government is seeking to raise individuals' investment ceiling for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, while bolstering regulations to protect investors, officials said Monday.
P2P lending is largely unregulated in South Korea, but accumulated P2P loans jumped to 4.8 trillion won (US$4.27 billion) last year, compared with 600 billion won in 2016.
Currently, a person is allowed to invest up to 10 million won in one P2P platform per year.
Yoon Min-seop, a researcher at the Korea Consumer Agency, said the government needs to raise the investment ceiling by allowing the entire P2P lending industry to set a ceiling for its total loans.
Also, the government should consider allowing traditional financial firms to join the P2P lending market, Yoon said.
Yoon suggested the plan at a meeting organized by the Financial Services Commission.
P2P lending refers to a new type of loan extended to individuals or businesses through social network services and the Internet, covering a wide range of services, including loans to startups and self-employed businessmen.
So far, P2P lending firms have come up with a set of self-regulatory measures in a bid to make the P2P lending market more transparent and cleaner.
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