Why do retail consumers look for P2P financial intermediation? Are internetbased peer-to-peer (P2P) loans a substitute for or a complement to bank loans? In this study we answer these questions by comparing P2P lending with the nonconstruction consumer credit market in Germany. We show that P2P lending is servicing a slice of the consumer credit market neglected by banks, namely highrisk and small-sized loans. Nevertheless, when accounting for the risk differential, interest rates are very similar. Our conclusion is that P2P lending is substituting the banking sector for high-risk consumer loans since banks are unwilling or unable to supply this slice of the market. Our study serves to show where the institutionalization of credit provision has left a slice of the market unsupplied.