The online person-to-person loan facilitator Prosper Marketplace Inc. said it has stopped accepting loan applications as part of the process of forming a secondary market.
The San Francisco company also said on its blog Wednesday that it was entering a quiet period as part of its registration of the market, which would let lenders to trade loans among themselves. The company's current policies require lenders to hold all loans for the duration of their three-year term.
Prosper made its announcements a day after its Sunnyvale, Calif., rival, Lending Club Corp., finished a similar process and launched a secondary market of its own. Like Prosper, Lending Club stopped accepting new loans and participants during its registration.
"A successful registration can take several months, but we assure you we will do our best to move forward as quickly as possible," Prosper said on its blog.
Lending Club's quiet period lasted six months.
Analysts have said that some potential lenders may be reluctant to fund loans through peer-to-peer Web sites, because they must hold the notes to term, and that adding a secondary market could attract more lenders.
Prosper outlined its intent to create a secondary market in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year. Until Wednesday's blog post, it had refused to discuss the process publicly since the filing.
Loans made through Lending Club before its quiet period cannot be traded through its secondary market.
In its SEC filing, Prosper said loans "outstanding prior to the date of this prospectus will become transferable through the resale platform."
Observers have said the fact that Prosper and Lending Club are following very similar paths shows that in the peer-to-peer lending market, which is still evolving, some of the basic questions about the business model appear to have been resolved.