Great piece by the Economist on Shadow Banking after the financial crisis. Most notably the retreat of large traditional banks from the lending business has allowed the shadow banking system to fill in the void. New sources of loans from non banking institutions are available as they aren't regulated as such.
Money markets in the rich world seized up during the crisis and have not yet fully recovered, but in China and other emerging markets they are growing rapidly. A money-market fund launched last June by Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, attracted 500 billion yuan ($81 billion) in its first nine months. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders—websites that match savers with borrowers—are also growing like topsy, albeit from a tiny base. The value of loans chaperoned by Lending Club, the biggest such website, has doubled every year since its launch in 2007 and now totals over $4 billion. New firms are springing up the world over to cater to all manner of niches, from short-term loans for property developers to advances against unpaid corporate invoices. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), a global financial watchdog, reckons that shadow lending in all its forms accounts for roughly a quarter of all financial assets, compared with about half in the banking system. But it excludes insurance and pension funds from its calculations; add those in, and shadow banking is almost on a par with the better-lit sort.