Wednesday January 31 2018, Daily News Digest

eloans

News Comments Today’s main news: Spreads narrow on SoFi’s SCLP 2018-1 consumer loan ABS. DiversyFund raises $1M. Ranger Direct Lending sees arbitration delay. Klarna partners with Maplin. BNI Europa partners with Funding Circle on German SME lending. Western Union opens tech center in India. Today’s main analysis: Banco Popular reboots Eloan. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Marketplace Lending Association executive director’s testimony […]

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News Summary

United States

Spreads narrow on SoFi’s 1st consumer loan ABS of 2018 (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: AAA

Strong demand and higher credit enhancement allowed Social Finance to offer lower spreads on its first consumer loan securitization of the year, even after upsizing the deal to $850 million from $650 million originally.

Four tranches of rated were issued, resulting in an advance rate of 91%, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The amount of overcollateralization in the deal will gradually build from 9% to 16%.

Two senior tranches of notes rated AA + by KBRA were issued. The Class A-1 tranche, which has a shorter expected life, pays 50 basis points over the Eurodollar synthetic forward curve, in from 57 basis points on the comparable tranche of the previous transaction. The Class A-2 tranche pays 75 basis points over the interpolated swaps curve, in from 90 basis points on the previous deal.

 

Ranger Direct hit by arbitration delay and manager uncertainty (Citywire), Rated: AAA

The New Year rally in Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) shares has come to an abrupt halt after the listed loan fund, which is backed by fund manager Mark Barnett, said arbitration to settle the legal dispute between it and Princeton Alternative Finance had been extended by around two months.

The £119 million investment trust has been locked in an argument with Princeton, a New Jersey-based investment fund in which it is the leading investor, over its exposure to Argon Credit, a US peer-to-peer lending platform that collapsed in December 2016.

Uncertainty over the exposure to Argon – which represents 14% of its £217 million net assets – and doubts over the due diligence by its adviser Ranger Alternative Management (RAM) have hobbled the shares. They fell over 23% last year but had rallied since the end of December when they hit a record low discount of 32% below net asset value. From 704p at the start of the year they recovered to 767p last week but have dropped 4% or 31p today after yesterday’s announcement. Although still wide, the discount has narrowed to just under 13%.

Relx pays £580m for digital identity company (Financial Times), Rated: A

Relx, the UK-listed information and analytics group formerly known as Reed Elsevier, has struck its biggest deal in a decade with the £580m purchase of ThreatMetrix, an online identify verification business.

ThreatMetrix has one of “largest repositories of online digital identities”, according to UBS analysts, and has built a database containing 1.4bn unique online digital identities from 4.5bn devices in 185 countries.

GLI Finance scores £50m funding line from HoneyComb fund (AltFi), Rated: A

The funding line has a term of 3 years and comprises a £50m revolving credit facility, of which £20m will be drawn and deployed immediately.

Ezbob Raises £15M in Expansion Capital (Finsmes), Rated: A

Ezbob, a London, UK-based E-lending company, raised £15M in funding.

Da Vinci Capital Management Ltd. reportedly made the investment at a post money valuation of £100m.

Meet The Lenders That Need Your SME’s Money More Than You Need Theirs (Forbes), Rated: A

in particular, the UK’s peer-to-peer lending platforms are now crying out for new customers.

Today, however, more than 30 lending platforms, including all the large small business lenders, offer their own IFISA or are on the verge of launching a product. For investors, moreover, the returns available from these schemes looks very attractive: annual yields of 10 per cent or more in some cases look phenomenal when set against the backdrop of bank and building society accounts typically paying less than 0.5 per cent a year, even if there is a risk of losses on IFISAs if borrowers default.

Augmentum Capital to seek public listing to back fintech start-ups (Financial Times), Rated: B

Augmentum Capital, the venture group backed by Lord Rothschild, is planning to list a financial technology investment fund in what would be one of the sector’s biggest initial public offerings in a decade.

It is understood to be applying for admission to London’s main market in March and will seek to raise up to £125m with the sale of new shares.

China

China’s financial risk worse than in US before financial crisis, says former finance minister (Today Online), Rated: AAA

The level of risk facing China’s financial system could be higher than was seen in the United States before the global crash, according to a former Chinese finance minister.

“China’s ratio of M2 [a broad measure of money supply] to gross domestic product has surpassed 200 per cent, which is more than twice that of the United States, yet the average Shanghai interbank offered rate is 4.09 per cent, far higher than the 1.1 per cent in the US.”

According to official figures, the M2 money supply at the end of December was 167.68 trillion yuan (S$34.75 trillion), or 203 per cent of China’s nominal GDP in 2017.

Chinese P2P lending platform Senmiao Technology sets terms for $ 14 million US IPO (NASDAQ), Rated: A

Senmiao Technology, an early-stage Chinese marketplace for peer-to-peer lending, announced terms for its IPO on Tuesday.

The Chengdu, China-based company plans to raise $14 million by offering 3.3 million shares at a price range of $4.00 to $4.50. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Senmiao Technology would command a market value of $109 million.

European Union

Klarna signs Maplin for online pay-later (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Today, leading payments provider Klarna has announced a partnership with Maplin – the UK’s number one specialist technology retailer. Maplin customers will now be able to use Klarna’s Pay later and Slice It services, allowing them to order online and receive the very latest Smart Home tech, security/CCTV products, top quality drones and so on, and then pay for them either at a later date or spread the cost over time.

Pay later enables online and mobile Maplin customers making purchases of £200 or less to receive their products and pay for them 30 days later, with no interest or fees.

BNI Europa to fund German SME loans via Funding Circle (Finextra), Rated: AAA

The Portuguese online bank Banco BNI Europa and Funding Circle have entered into a strategic partnership to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in Germany.

Investment will support the funding needs of c. 600 companies and thereby help to create c. 1,500 new jobs

Banco Popular reboots Eloan for new era in online lending (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Banco Popular is relaunching E-loan (it dropped the hyphen from the name) to serve as its “fintech arm,” a stand-alone brand offering solely digital products.

Launched in 1997, Eloan re-enters a market where fintechs now account for over 30% of personal loan originations, according to TransUnion. The brand will compete for clients alongside well-financed upstarts like LendingClub as well as new offerings from banks such as Marcus from Goldman Sachs.

 

Spendesk Raises €8 Million to Expand Its Platform for All Company Purchases (Payments Journal), Rated: A

Spendesk, a fintech solution that helps businesses manage their spending, has raised an €8 million Series A round led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investors. The funds will be used to accelerate product development and expand across Europe.

ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank hit by cyberattacks (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

Three Dutch banks, ABN AmroING and Rabobank, suffered a series of DDoS attacks last weekend (27 and 28 January).

During the attack, internet banking, mobile banking, its website and Ideal were unavailable or extremely slow on 27 January from around 8pm to 12.15am CET and on 28 January from 12pm to 2pm CET and after 7pm CET.

International

 

CHECQIT, the P2P Lending Platform Aiming to Empower the Unbanked (The Merkle), Rated: A

According to the World Bank’s Global Findex report, nearly 2 billion adults and 160 million small businesses from all over the world do not have bank accounts. Efforts to approach them to traditional financial institutions have not been enough, limiting their economic growth potential.

Only 14% of adults living in the Middle East hold a bank account, opposed to the 94% of citizens from first world western countries that do. Developing regions with underserved communities such as India and sub-Saharan Africa comprise, when combined, nearly 32% of the world’s unbanked and underbanked population.

As a response to this issue, Nassim Benzekri and his team developed CHECQIT, an Ethereum-based, decentralized, peer-to-peer lending platform that allows users to grow their collaterals against a fast-guaranteed loan.

Finastra acquires Olfa Soft SA (Realwire), Rated: B

Finastra has acquired Olfa Soft SA and its cutting edge FX e-trading platform for banks and financial institutions. The move enables Finastra to deliver a unique end-to-end real-time eFX trading solution for banks’ treasury departments, covering distribution, position-keeping, post-trade and payments.

India

Western Union Opens Tech Center In India (Bank Innovation), Rated: AAA

Cross-border payments company Western Union is opening a technology center in India, which will focus on biometrics, machine learning, and robotics, the company announced yesterday.

The center, located in Pune, Maharashtra, will have over 1,000 employees all focused on building these “innovative digital and retail customer experiences globally,” the company said in a press release.

Rubique announces strategic partnership with Optacredit (Outlook), Rated: AAA

Rubique, a marketplace lending platform for individuals and SMBs, entered into a strategic partnership with OptaCredit, an Artificial Intelligence-powered, data-driven online lending platform focused on providing unsecured credit to salaried professionals across India.

With its Online PLUS technology led model and proprietary matchmaking algorithm, Rubique will enlist the company on its online marketplace for applicants to avail viable loan products from OptaCredit’s offerings.

P2P Lending Set to Explode in 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

RBI’s much awaited official guidelines for Peer to Peer (P2P) lending platforms to bring them into the ambit of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is set to boost online lending. It is fast emerging as an investment option for retail lenders. The NBFC-P2Ps will act as an intermediary to provide an online platform to lenders and borrowers to transact on mutually agreeable terms. RBI has defined P2P lending as a form of crowdfunding that entails issuing unsecured loans to borrowers via an online portal in its 2016, ‘Consultation Paper on Peer to Peer Lending’. However, P2P lending is different from other crowdfunding activities in being a purely debt product, in which multiple lenders fund borrowers as personal loans or small business loans. Most of the P2P platforms in India such as IndiaMoneyMart curate their borrowers after conducting KYC checks, credit assessment, and due diligence before listing them on their loan exchanges.

On the positives, the regulation has made P2P lending platforms accountable to furnish credit repayment/non-repayment information to all 4 credit bureaus, thereby increasing transparency in the credit rating system. The credit rating agencies have records on about 150 million population but P2P lending platforms are also going to bring customers hitherto relying on private money lenders. This presents a huge opportunity to close the credit information gap. It will also reward sub-prime borrowers with a better credit score for showing improvement in loan repayment behaviour.

As many first time or retail borrowers take loans from money lenders or payday companies which charge interest as high as 5% to 20% per month, P2P platforms like IndiaMoneyMart are bridging the gap by making credit not only accessible but affordable. Bangalore-based IT consultant, Tanmay Thorat* (name changed) was paying over 300% interest to payday loan companies and approached IndiaMoneyMart for a small ticket size loan of INR 1 Lakh secured at rate of 13% annualized interest in March 2016required to settle his credit card debt and pay rent deposit.

The expectation from the Union Budget 2018 is immense in the BFSI segment, especially after RBI regulation. Experts hope that essential financial services will have GST rates revised from 18% to 5% or nil.

Budget 2018: how can we enhance the growth of startups in India? (YourStory), Rated: A

Most importantly, the fund of funds for startups (FFS) has begun to take shape with as much as Rs 1,100 crore being disbursed to SIDBI for allocation to venture funds. As of September 15, 2017, 17 venture funds have raised Rs 605 crore from SIDBI and as many as 72 startups have received about Rs 318 crore funds. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has also recently announced that this number will be increased to Rs 2,400 crore by the end of the next fiscal.

For instance, the startup space has reportedly seen a decline of 53 percent in seed funding and 25 percent in venture funds in 2017.

Listed below are four suggestions for Budget 2018.

  1. Abolish angel tax
  2. Encourage Indians to fund India
  3. Extend tax holiday
  4. Standardise and simplify   

10 things FM Arun Jaitley can do to boost access to capital via digital lenders (Financial Express), Rated: A

  1. Allow a lower MHP for servicing short-term needs of MSMEs
  2. Raise rate caps under MUDRA scheme: The RBI currently has capped the final rate that can be charged above the refinance rate offered by MUDRA at 3% for banks, 6% for NBFCs and 10%-12% for MFIs, depending on portfolio size. Since most of the new lenders incur high opex, this cap should be increased in the Budget 2018 to 10-12% in line with MFIs, for loans up to Rs 5 lakhs, and 8-10% for loans from Rs 5-25 lakh value.
  3. Extend the SIDBI net
  4. Make P2P platforms more attractive: A cap of 5% of net worth for lenders and a maximum individual loan amount of Rs 25 lakh for the borrowers would make these platforms attractive for both lender and borrower.
  5. Expand access to MSMEs
  6. Introduce PSU Banks turndown program
  7. Raise eKYC-based lending limit: The cap for lending through OTP based eKYC should be increased from Rs 60,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
  8. Promote eSign
  9. Mandate eMandate
  10. Increase the flow of data for lending
APAC

Lancers raises $ 9.2m venture round (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Tokyo-based Lancers, which operates a crowdsourcing platform under the same name, has closed a JPY 1 billion ($9.2 million) round from Tokyo-listed enterprises Persol Holdings and Shinsei Bank.

The investment sees Lancers concluding business partnership contracts with both companies concurrently and will also see it commence its new financing business targeting freelance workers, which the company claims comprise 17 per cent, or 11.22 million workers of Japan’s entire working population.

The addition of Shinsei Bank as an investor will see Lancers, Persol and Shinsei collaborate to develop and provide a new loan service to individual workers who need equipment investment or education/training upon starting a new business.

Crowd Realty closes $ 5.2m Series A (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

Tokyo-based property crowdfunding portal Crowd Realty has closed its Series A round at JPY 580 million ($5.2 million) from Tokyo-listed Mitsubishi Estate, Shinsei Corporate Investment, Shinsei Bank, and Mizuho Capital, based on an account from The Bridge.

The Series A round saw two tranches: a follow-on investment of JPY 230 million subsequent to a JPY 350 million investment from Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and Kabu.com Securities.

SSC warns against investing in cryptocurrencies (Viet Nam News), Rated: B

In a notice issued on its website on Monday, SSC said that the market now had companies operating in fintech, including cryptocurrency, initial coin offering, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and blockchain. These were new products that had not been regulated, SSC said, thus posing high risks.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Further reading

Inequality and recessions; The Bitcoin carnivores; Supermarkets should be more like Wetherspoons; Choose your own facts, help Corbyn; The sad tale of Kodak’s dabble
Continue reading: Further reading

Inequality and recessions; The Bitcoin carnivores; Supermarkets should be more like Wetherspoons; Choose your own facts, help Corbyn; The sad tale of Kodak's dabble

Continue reading: Further reading

FT Opening Quote – Capita suspends dividend, warns on profits

What’s the most frustrating job in corporate Britain today? Apart from middle manager at Carillion asking why on earth did the directors keep bidding for contracts? And keep overlooking the pension deficit? And keep reassuring the so-called auditors?

Arguably, it’s middle manager at at any other UK outsourcer, trying to address similar questions, writes Matthew Vincent.

Continue reading: FT Opening Quote – Capita suspends dividend, warns on profits

What’s the most frustrating job in corporate Britain today? Apart from middle manager at Carillion asking why on earth did the directors keep bidding for contracts? And keep overlooking the pension deficit? And keep reassuring the so-called auditors?

Arguably, it’s middle manager at at any other UK outsourcer, trying to address similar questions, writes Matthew Vincent.

Continue reading: FT Opening Quote – Capita suspends dividend, warns on profits

Demystifying Securitization

growth of securitization

Mortgage Backed Securities (“MBS”), Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs), Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLO’s), Asset-backed Commercial Paper (“ABSCP”) and other types of securitized products are largely responsible for the Subprime Crises in 2008. These financial instruments created massive financial losses and large-scale damage to the economy overall. A great deal of negative press followed demonizing certain industry […]

growth of securitization

Mortgage Backed Securities (“MBS”), Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs), Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLO’s), Asset-backed Commercial Paper (“ABSCP”) and other types of securitized products are largely responsible for the Subprime Crises in 2008. These financial instruments created massive financial losses and large-scale damage to the economy overall. A great deal of negative press followed demonizing certain industry participants and the use of financial engineering. Best-selling books like Too Big to Fail and The Big Short along with countless congressional testimonies drew even more attention to the subject.

With all the media attention came a fair amount of misinformation. For decades now, securitizations funded large consumer purchases including automobiles and homes. It also fueled the credit card industry and the expansion of consumer credit. Securitizations fund the small to large businesses and countless other aspects of the United States and world economy. Yet, for many it is a relatively new phenomenon that they may not completely understand, or even mistrust.

More recently, internet lenders brought an entirely new buzz to the securitization market. Their more customer-centric model to lending resulted in explosive growth. So much so, the original peer-to-peer funding model was largely replaced by the efficiency of the securitization market. According to Bloomberg/Peer IQ, total securitization of marketplace loans is now close to $90 billion, up from less than $50 million at the end of 2013.

What is Securitization?

Securitizations, or, more specifically, asset-backed securities (“ABS”), are pools of loans such as residential and commercial mortgages, auto loans, consumer loans, leases, trade receivables, or other assets packaged in security form. The loan pools often separate into different securities with varying levels of risk and return.  Lower risk, lower interest tranches receive the loan payments first, with the holders of the higher-risk securities receiving payments thereafter. The securities sell as new issues and subsequently may trade in the secondary securities market. Public offerings of ABS require registration with the SEC.

Securitization is like secured lending in many ways. Secured lenders require borrowers to pledge specific assets as collateral for a loan. Cash flows from the borrower and the assets pledged as collateral back the loan in the case of default. In a similar way, the loan pool in the securitization trust acts as collateral for a security. In a securitization of secured loans, assets that collateralize the loans in the pool also flow through the trust in case of a loan loss and subsequent liquidation. The holder of the security has a rightful claim to the cash flows of the loan pool including principal and interest payments, loan sales and recoveries from any defaults.

Essentially, securitization is the process of taking a group of homogeneous assets and transforming them into a security. The assets are pooled together and repackaged into a single security, which is then sold to investors. The security entitles them to the incoming cash flows and other economic benefits generated by the asset pool.

A Simplified Overview of the Securitization Process

From FDIC.gov website

How did Securitization Begin?

The modern history of securitization began in 1970s when Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSE’s) including the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) issued the first residential mortgage-backed securities. These first issuers pooled residential mortgage loans and used them as collateral for securities. The market was significantly expanded by the Emergency Home Finance Act of 1970, which authorized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy and sell mortgages insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Along with credit enhancement of the government guarantee came an entire industry of creating newly issued bonds and trading securities in the secondary market. By 1977, Bank of America issued the first non-government sponsored security in the form of a private label (non-government backed) residential mortgage pass-through bond.

Securitization evolved over the decades, as different methods and products developed from the process. A critical component was the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The Tax Reform Act eliminated the double taxation of income earned at the corporate level by issuers and dividends paid to securities holders. It also allows for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs” or “Conduits”). A REMIC is an important distinction for balance sheet lenders as they were now permitted to structure a security offering as a sale of assets. The ability to package assets off-balance sheet offered regulatory capital relief for lenders and greatly increased capital available to fund growing consumer loan demand. Mortgage securitizations then led to new types of asset securitization including auto loans, credit card receivables and others. As the United States paved the way other advanced countries soon followed with their own ABS.

By the 1990s the securitization market exploded. New rules in the United States by the SEC along with REMIC legislation made the process more efficient. Global consumer culture clamoring for access to credit paired with the expansive growth of institutional managed money seeking new investment opportunities was the perfect combination. Consumer credit was now available to purchase everything from houses and cars to consumer electronics and higher education.

The need for business credit also expanded during this time. The 1990s saw the introduction of commercial mortgages backed securities (“CMBS”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), Franchise ABS, Equipment Leasing Securitizations and other structures designed to finance business.

Growth of Securitization (1970–2008)

Source: *Securitization and Fractional Reserve Banking Nov 12, 2009 Nikolay Gertchev

What are the Benefits of Securitization?

For the Issuer, Securitization is Cost Efficient. It allows a company to issue low cost senior debt independent of the company’s rating and fund itself less expensively than it could on an unsecured basis. The strategic use of securitization enables a company to grow its business and earnings without additional equity capital and/or enhance return on equity. These benefits derive primarily from the capital efficiency of securitization. Depending on the structure, securitized assets can be supported with less equity capital than on balance sheet assets primarily due to the transfer of asset-related risks to investors.

Securitization Transfers Asset-Related Risks. Firms that specialize in originating new loans and have difficulty funding existing loans may use securitization to access more liquid capital markets for funding loan production. In doing so, the originator or finance company also transfers risk. These risks generally include interest rate risk, basis risk, liquidity risk, prepayment risk and credit risk. While in some transactions the issuer may retain most of the economic credit risk associated with securitized assets, the credit risk of certain asset types may be small compared with these other risks. In addition, securitization can create opportunities for more efficient management of the asset ability duration mismatch generally associated with the funding of long-term loans, for example, with shorter term bank deposits.

Diversification for Investors. Investors seek diversification of investments for the benefit of their overall portfolio. Securitizations offer unique investment opportunities and attractive risk-return profiles compared to other asset classes such as government and corporate bonds. Securitization also allows the structuring of securities with differing maturity and credit risk profiles from a single pool of assets that appeal to a broad range of investors.

Risk Sharing and Liquidity. Securitized products allow institutional investors opportunities to participate in consumer and corporate assets that cannot be found elsewhere. With securitization, investors may invest in various consumer and business loans without having to develop in-house origination and servicing capabilities required to procure loans, collect payments and managed defaults and liquidations. In this way, investors benefit from the sourcing and servicing expertise of originators freeing money for more efficient capital deployment. Finally, the conversion of basically illiquid banking assets into tradeable capital market instruments often gives investors the opportunity to sell securities in the secondary market and obtain liquidity.

Securitization Provides Market Driven Pricing Discipline. Securitization can provide a market driven pricing discipline by highlighting the market price for risks transferred to investors and, thereby, providing pricing benchmarks to judge the profitability of a business.

How do the Regulators Look at Securitization Post-Crises?

Despite a major setback in 2008, securitization continues to be the primary alternative to bank financing. Securitizations transfers trillions of investment dollars into the economy. The regulatory authorities in the United States recognize the systematic importance of the capital markets to the real economy. In a report to Congress in 2010 by the Federal Reserve (“The Fed”), the Fed states, “the securitization markets are an important link in the chain of entities providing credit to U.S. households and businesses, and state and local governments. When properly structured, securitization provides economic benefits that can lower the cost of credit.” That exact phrase was reiterated in 2014 in a joint agency report by the US Treasury, SEC, OCC, HUD, The Fed, FHFA and FDIC regarding risk retention for securitizations.

Comments like this from the regulatory bodies lead most people to believe that securitization is here to stay. Transforming illiquid typical bank assets into tradable securities, is an important way to channel cash to borrowers and fund economic growth. While new regulation calls for increased scrutiny of deals it recognizes the importance securitization plays to the overall economy. New measures such as better documentation and risk retention are now in place. The rules call for issuers to retain and economic interest or so-called “skin-in-the-game” on deals they bring to market. This makes for a better alignment of interest, stronger transactions and increased transparency. In that way we are better than ever before.

Author:

Written by Phil Toth, managing director at Oberon Securities  

Tuesday January 30 2018, Daily News Digest

France crowdfunding

News Comments Today’s main news: WeWork, SoFi partner on student debt. Marlette Funding closes largest securitization in company history. Kabbage targets larger businesses with expanded credit lines. LendInvest adds 200 brokers to buy-to-let panel. Signicat builds out identity assurance as a service with $2M fundraise. Today’s main analysis: France’s alternative finance sector grows by 50% while equity crowdfunding shrinks. […]

France crowdfunding

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News Summary

United States

WeWork Joins Forces With SoFi to Help Employees & Members to Tackle Student Debit (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Online lending platform SoFi announced on Monday that it has joined forces with WeWork to help WeWork’s more than 3,000 employees and over 175,000 members take on their student loan debt. The lender revealed that this is its first SoFi At Work partnership to extend beyond a company’s employees to include customer base.

How Twitter’s Noto Found Room at SoFi (Market Realist), Rated: AAA

Twitter’s (TWTR) outgoing COO (chief operating officer), Anthony Noto, quietly worked out his exit from the company. When the Wall Street Journal broke the story that he was considering taking up the job of CEO (chief executive officer) at SoFi, both Twitter and SoFi were tight-lipped at the time.

But only a few days later, Twitter confirmed that Noto was departing, and SoFi confirmedthat Noto was joining its team. Who made room for Noto at SoFi, and what might follow after he leaves Twitter?

Given SoFi’s ambitions and the ambitions of Square (SQ), the company run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Noto and Dorsey appear to be on a competition course. SoFi and Square both have ambitions of becoming full-service banks. And Noto, a former Goldman Sachs (GS) banker, has made it clear that this is a course he would like to pursue once he joins SoFi.

Square, which supplied $303 million in loans to customers in 3Q17 and has supplied over $1.8 billion in loans overall, already faces competitive pressures from Amazon.com (AMZN) and PayPal (PYPL) in the alternative lending market.

Source: Market Realist

Marlette Funding Closes Largest Securitization Transaction in Company History (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Marlette Funding, LLC, the parent company of Best Egg, announced today it closed its fifth proprietary “MFT” securitization. Approximately $495 million of Best Egg loans were financed via $464.3 million of MFT 2018-1 Notes with four classes and one class of Certificates, with certain loan sellers retaining risk on a portion of the Notes and/or Certificates.

This is the first securitization of 2018 bringing the total program issuance to date to $1.7B, with capital provided by a broad set of investors. The transaction was significantly oversubscribed, upsized and successfully priced, reflecting Marlette’s differentiated product offering and superior credit performance. Underwriting the transaction were Goldman Sachs, who served as the structuring agent, Citi, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. The Class A, B, C and D fixed-rate Notes were rated AA (sf), A (sf), BBB (sf) and BB (sf), respectively, by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA).

Year over year, Best Egg has demonstrated impressive scalability – 66% year-over-year growth in originations with only 9% growth in year-over-year fixed operating expenses and 29% reduction in marketing cost per loan.

Why banks should rethink their fee models (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

If free checking accounts aren’t already a thing of the past, perhaps they should be, now that consumers are demonstrating that if something is valuable to them, they’ll pay for it.

About 77 percent of people have a “free checking account” at their bank, according to a studyfrom Cornerstone Advisors’ Ron Shevlin published last week. But nearly every free checking account holder paid at least one fee in the 12 months leading up to the survey. Out of 1,555 surveyed, 26 percent paid a third-party bank ATM fee and 25 percent paid an overdraft fee. They also paid fees to replace lost or misplaced ATM and debit cards, rush fees for those replacements, non-sufficient funds fees, wire transfer fees, international transaction fees, fees for overdraft protection and “extended overdrawn balances,” for stop payments and for statement copies, check copies and check image services.

But banks have been reporting flat fee income for the past six quarters. Service charges on deposit accounts have hardly moved in several years and banks are changing their overdraft programs to improve customer relationships, which eats into that fee income.

Bank of America has one of the most competitive mobile and digital banking offerings and no longer needs to give people an incentive to bank digitally instead of at branches (those were the terms of the account; those who wanted branch banking and paper statements paid an $8.95 monthly fee that was waived for customers who agreed to do all their banking digitally).

Almost 60 percent of people indicated they would consider switching accounts if their primary financial institution offered a hypothetical Amazon-like bundled checking account — which would include basic checking account services plus cell phone damage protection, ID theft protection, roadside assistance, travel insurance and product discounts — for a $5 to $10 monthly fee, Shevlin found.

Kabbage expands credit line, targeting larger businesses (AltFi), Rated: AAA

After previously securing a $200m asset-backed revolving credit facility from Credit Suisse in 2017, Kabbage has announced it will be offering lines of credit of up to $250k in an effort to attract larger businesses.

The expanded product will provide large businesses with greater purchasing power for longer-term investments, and is the largest credit line available from any online lender yet.

A recent survey of 800 small businesses conducted by the platform showed that more than 73 per cent of businesses expect to increase their revenue by more than 20 per cent in 2018.

The Tao of Rob Frohwein (LinkedIn), Rated: A

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Frohwein, the CEO and co-founder of Kabbage, for the 11:FS Connection Interrupted podcast.

“Getting easy access to your data allows you to see your data and know if someone has compromised it.”

“One of our goals is to make it more advantageous to be a small business than a large business.”

Or listen here.

Elevate Appoints Former PayPal, loanDepot Executive Brian Biglin as Chief Credit Officer (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced the appointment of Brian Biglin as Chief Credit Officer, effective immediately. Elevate also said it has granted inducement stock awards as part of Mr. Biglin’s employment.

He served as Chief Credit Officer at Bill Me Later when it was acquired in 2008 by PayPal, and he continued until 2014 as Chief Credit Officer at PayPal, where he helped grow the portfolio from $400 million to $6 billion and managed credit through the Great Recession. Mr. Biglin subsequently was Chief Risk Officer at loanDepot.com and at Intuit. At loanDepot he built a new consumer lending platform and helped create the first personal loan securitizations for the company; at Intuit he reduced fraud losses, improved customer experience, overhauled operations and increased efficiencies.

California judge issues stunning rebuke to CFPB (RESPA News), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) first enforcement action against an online lender has ended with a judicial rebuke nearly as stunning as its case against the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

Although a California district court ruled in favor of the CFPB in the case, it declined to confirm the CFPB’s request for restitution from the lender defendants, instead cutting the penalty award to a Tier One violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

Should you crowdsource to buy a home? (Bankrate), Rated: B

Only a small handful of companies currently offer mortgages through this method. One of most well-established, SoFi, offers mortgages in 29 states and the District of Columbia through its peer-to-peer lending platform, which is a type of crowdsourcing where individual investors contribute through a lending platform, and in return earn interest on their investment, paid for by the borrower.

Feather the Nest offers a crowdfunding registry, where friends and family can donate toward your real estate goals. Every donation to your registry is charged a percentage of the amount given as a transaction fee.

Best Investment Funds Options For 2018 (FX Daily Report), Rated: B

#8: Peer to Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending platforms such as the Lending Club allow you to loan small amounts of money to individuals and earn a decent return of 6 percent or more. As a peer-to-peer lending investor, you are helping other people reach their goals. The good thing about this is that you are not giving large amounts of money to people who you do not know at all. According to experts, the benefits of investing in peer-to-peer lending platforms include the following:

• Easy to sign up and started
• Five to Seven percent returns
• Starting investment can be as small as $1,000

House Financial Services Committee to hold Jan. 30 hearing on fintech marketplace (The National Law Review), Rated: B

On January 30, 2018 at 10 a.m., the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing, “Examining Opportunities and Challenges in the Financial Technology (“Fintech”) Marketplace.”

The Committee Memorandum states that the hearing “will examine the current regulatory landscape [for fintech], the need to amend or modernize the regulatory landscape or the necessity to amend existing financial laws or develop new legislative proposals that would allow financial services entities to use fintech to deliver new products and services to consumers.”

United Kingdom

Over 200 brokers join LendInvest BTL panel (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

LendInvest has formed a national panel made up of over 200 brokers, packagers and other introducers, following the launch of its buy-to-let product.

The lender launched the BTL product – which is only available via intermediaries – in late November.

LendInvest believes that assembling a panel of this size in just 10 weeks demonstrates the appetite brokers have to get behind the product.

Ranger Direct Lending Expects Princeton Arbitration Decision Soon (London South East), Rated: B

Ranger Direct Lending Fund PLC said on Monday it expects arbitration against Princeton Master Fund to conclude by mid-April.

European Union

Signicat Raises $ 2 Million to Build Out its Identity Assurance as a Service Technology (Finovate), Rated: AAA

Identity Assurance as a Service (IDAaaS) innovator Signicat has won phase two funding from Horizon 2020, the EU framework program for research and innovation. The $2 million grant (€1.6 million) will enable Signicat to continue development of its IDAaaS toolbox for use in Europe, and takes the company’s total funding to $3.9 million.

France’s Alternative Finance Grows by 50% – Equity Crowdfunding Shrinks (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The annual Alternative Finance & Crowdfunding Barometer compiled by KPMG for the French Crowdfunding Association (Financement Participatif France, FPF) shows that in 2017 the French Alternative Finance market grew by 50%, driven by SME lending growth, and came close to the billion euro mark, at €940 million. Crowdfunding, as a subcategory of alternative finance open to retail investors, grew slightly slower at 44%, and equity crowdfunding shrank.

  • Institutional SME lending grew by 157% to €215 million,
  • SME crowdlending and crowdinvesting in SME debt grew by 102% to €195 million.

The market is heavily concentrated, with the top 5 platforms, Lendix, Credit.fr, Lendosphère, Unilend and Lendopolis accounting for more than 80% of the loans originated. Credit.fr, which was recently acquired by investment firm Tikehau Capital is growing fastest. Funded for more than 80% by non-retail money, Lendix captures more than half of the market. Most recently, the platform raised €120 million of a new €200 million investment fund designed to finance SME loans from 2018 on.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Consumer Lending Decelerates

Alternative consumer lending grew only by 17%, from €197 million to €231 million, three times more slowly than in the previous year. The market is dominated by Younited Credit which originated €227 million worth of consumer loans in France, Italy and Spain in 2017. Younited’s growth remained high in terms of number of loans (nearly +50%) but the growth in euros was slower because the company introduced smaller €1,000 to €3,000 loans and stopped promotional campaigns that were waving fees on large loans.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Equity Crowdfunding Shrinks

French equity crowdfunding raised a mere €58 million, 15% less than in the past year. 

Read the full report here.

3 things that could drive fintech investment in Europe through the roof (again) (PitchBook), Rated: A

Last year, venture investment in European fintech companies more than doubled YoY to €2.8 billion, even though the deal count remained almost flat, per the PitchBook Platform.

The jump in money invested was boosted by some monster deals, including rounds of well over $200 million each into foreign exchange unicorn TransferWise and student loans startup Prodigy Finance.

Pan-European Marketplace Investly Now Seeking £500,000 on Seedrs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Investly, an Estonian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, is now seeking £500,000 through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.

International

CB Insights is working with The New York Times to identify the best VC professionals. (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

We’re exploring additional rankings for other types of investors:

  • Top Corporate VCs
  • Top Seed-Stage VCs Brand
  • Top VCs by Region (Asia & Europe)

Ranking Algorithm Factors:

  • Performance Persistence
  • Network Centrality
  • Brand
  • Investment Discipline
  • Illiquid Portfolio Strength

The Top 20 Venture Capitalists Worldwide (The New York Times)

FinTech, RegTech and SupTech (Finextra), Rated: A

Two–thirds of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 have a mobile phone and use mobile banking.

FinTech improves the lending process by reducing the cost of underwriting through automation of the credit application process. That process includes the review of the credit application, credit score monitoring, and the collection of financial documents.

Credit standards and trading limits are monitored more efficiently as Fintech applications can be created that employ customized credit standards per the bank’s risk-management policies

Just as FinTech helps institutions manage their internal credit and trading standards, RegTech enhances their ability to adhere to the government’s regulatory rules set out by various agencies and The Federal Reserve Bank.

Fewer fines and litigation costs are possible with RegTech applications.

Adapting to new regulations faster can be achieved with RegTech as financial institutions can monitor changes in regulations in real-time.

Regulatory reporting times improve with RegTech.

Australia

IFM Investors ups stake in digital provider Decimal (Private Banker International), Rated: A

IFM Investors, an Australian fund manager, has increased its stake in local digital advice provider Decimal to 15%.

IFM acquired the additional stake through the placement of 28,900,000 ordinary shares at $0.03 per share.

India

Why P2P should be empowered to fill the void in SME financing (ET Rise), Rated: AAA

The Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in the Parliament on Monday delivered an unsurprising, but troubling figure. The amount of credit or loans disbursed by banks amounted to Rs 26,041 billion as on November 2017, but 82.6% of this was pocketed by large enterprises. For millions of SMEs in the country, banks only lent out 17.4 % of the total credit.

RBI data show that NBFCs have increased their lending to the SME sector by giving out about Rs 680 crore to the micro, small and medium enterprises compared to Rs. 480 crore in 2016. These figures do not include the loans extended to SMEs by the P2P industry, which has been recently classified as an NBFC.

In 2015-16 more than 10,000 businesses across UK benefitted and an estimated 30,000 new jobs were created due to UK government’s favorable policies for the P2P lending sector.

India’s flourishing fintech sector is craving the finance minister’s attention (Quartz), Rated: A

While the Narendra Modi government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have already laid down regulations for certain segments, such as peer-to-peer lending, others like cryptocurrencies and online lending startups are yet to be regulated. Such regulation may mean stricter compliance, but the management at these firms believe it will lend legitimacy to the industry, which is expected to be worth $2.4 billion by 2020. That, in turn, will help them grow faster.

Asia

Indonesia’s fintech lending boom exploits shortfall in bank loans (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Wimboh Santoso, head of Indonesia’s financial regulator (OJK), said while the trend was still a drop in the ocean of overall lending, more than 250,000 people had taken out loans through fintech. Around 30 P2P firms had extended 2.6 trillion rupiah ($193.8 million) in lending as of January 2018, compared with just 247 billion rupiah of lending in December 2016. Another 36 more firms were waiting to be approved, he added.

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday January 30 2018, Daily News Digest

France crowdfunding

News Comments Today’s main news: WeWork, SoFi partner on student debt. Marlette Funding closes largest securitization in company history. Kabbage targets larger businesses with expanded credit lines. LendInvest adds 200 brokers to buy-to-let panel. Signicat builds out identity assurance as a service with $2M fundraise. Today’s main analysis: France’s alternative finance sector grows by 50% while equity crowdfunding shrinks. […]

France crowdfunding

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

WeWork Joins Forces With SoFi to Help Employees & Members to Tackle Student Debit (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Online lending platform SoFi announced on Monday that it has joined forces with WeWork to help WeWork’s more than 3,000 employees and over 175,000 members take on their student loan debt. The lender revealed that this is its first SoFi At Work partnership to extend beyond a company’s employees to include customer base.

How Twitter’s Noto Found Room at SoFi (Market Realist), Rated: AAA

Twitter’s (TWTR) outgoing COO (chief operating officer), Anthony Noto, quietly worked out his exit from the company. When the Wall Street Journal broke the story that he was considering taking up the job of CEO (chief executive officer) at SoFi, both Twitter and SoFi were tight-lipped at the time.

But only a few days later, Twitter confirmed that Noto was departing, and SoFi confirmedthat Noto was joining its team. Who made room for Noto at SoFi, and what might follow after he leaves Twitter?

Given SoFi’s ambitions and the ambitions of Square (SQ), the company run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Noto and Dorsey appear to be on a competition course. SoFi and Square both have ambitions of becoming full-service banks. And Noto, a former Goldman Sachs (GS) banker, has made it clear that this is a course he would like to pursue once he joins SoFi.

Square, which supplied $303 million in loans to customers in 3Q17 and has supplied over $1.8 billion in loans overall, already faces competitive pressures from Amazon.com (AMZN) and PayPal (PYPL) in the alternative lending market.

Source: Market Realist

Marlette Funding Closes Largest Securitization Transaction in Company History (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Marlette Funding, LLC, the parent company of Best Egg, announced today it closed its fifth proprietary “MFT” securitization. Approximately $495 million of Best Egg loans were financed via $464.3 million of MFT 2018-1 Notes with four classes and one class of Certificates, with certain loan sellers retaining risk on a portion of the Notes and/or Certificates.

This is the first securitization of 2018 bringing the total program issuance to date to $1.7B, with capital provided by a broad set of investors. The transaction was significantly oversubscribed, upsized and successfully priced, reflecting Marlette’s differentiated product offering and superior credit performance. Underwriting the transaction were Goldman Sachs, who served as the structuring agent, Citi, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. The Class A, B, C and D fixed-rate Notes were rated AA (sf), A (sf), BBB (sf) and BB (sf), respectively, by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA).

Year over year, Best Egg has demonstrated impressive scalability – 66% year-over-year growth in originations with only 9% growth in year-over-year fixed operating expenses and 29% reduction in marketing cost per loan.

Why banks should rethink their fee models (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

If free checking accounts aren’t already a thing of the past, perhaps they should be, now that consumers are demonstrating that if something is valuable to them, they’ll pay for it.

About 77 percent of people have a “free checking account” at their bank, according to a studyfrom Cornerstone Advisors’ Ron Shevlin published last week. But nearly every free checking account holder paid at least one fee in the 12 months leading up to the survey. Out of 1,555 surveyed, 26 percent paid a third-party bank ATM fee and 25 percent paid an overdraft fee. They also paid fees to replace lost or misplaced ATM and debit cards, rush fees for those replacements, non-sufficient funds fees, wire transfer fees, international transaction fees, fees for overdraft protection and “extended overdrawn balances,” for stop payments and for statement copies, check copies and check image services.

But banks have been reporting flat fee income for the past six quarters. Service charges on deposit accounts have hardly moved in several years and banks are changing their overdraft programs to improve customer relationships, which eats into that fee income.

Bank of America has one of the most competitive mobile and digital banking offerings and no longer needs to give people an incentive to bank digitally instead of at branches (those were the terms of the account; those who wanted branch banking and paper statements paid an $8.95 monthly fee that was waived for customers who agreed to do all their banking digitally).

Almost 60 percent of people indicated they would consider switching accounts if their primary financial institution offered a hypothetical Amazon-like bundled checking account — which would include basic checking account services plus cell phone damage protection, ID theft protection, roadside assistance, travel insurance and product discounts — for a $5 to $10 monthly fee, Shevlin found.

Kabbage expands credit line, targeting larger businesses (AltFi), Rated: AAA

After previously securing a $200m asset-backed revolving credit facility from Credit Suisse in 2017, Kabbage has announced it will be offering lines of credit of up to $250k in an effort to attract larger businesses.

The expanded product will provide large businesses with greater purchasing power for longer-term investments, and is the largest credit line available from any online lender yet.

A recent survey of 800 small businesses conducted by the platform showed that more than 73 per cent of businesses expect to increase their revenue by more than 20 per cent in 2018.

The Tao of Rob Frohwein (LinkedIn), Rated: A

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Frohwein, the CEO and co-founder of Kabbage, for the 11:FS Connection Interrupted podcast.

“Getting easy access to your data allows you to see your data and know if someone has compromised it.”

“One of our goals is to make it more advantageous to be a small business than a large business.”

Or listen here.

Elevate Appoints Former PayPal, loanDepot Executive Brian Biglin as Chief Credit Officer (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced the appointment of Brian Biglin as Chief Credit Officer, effective immediately. Elevate also said it has granted inducement stock awards as part of Mr. Biglin’s employment.

He served as Chief Credit Officer at Bill Me Later when it was acquired in 2008 by PayPal, and he continued until 2014 as Chief Credit Officer at PayPal, where he helped grow the portfolio from $400 million to $6 billion and managed credit through the Great Recession. Mr. Biglin subsequently was Chief Risk Officer at loanDepot.com and at Intuit. At loanDepot he built a new consumer lending platform and helped create the first personal loan securitizations for the company; at Intuit he reduced fraud losses, improved customer experience, overhauled operations and increased efficiencies.

California judge issues stunning rebuke to CFPB (RESPA News), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) first enforcement action against an online lender has ended with a judicial rebuke nearly as stunning as its case against the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

Although a California district court ruled in favor of the CFPB in the case, it declined to confirm the CFPB’s request for restitution from the lender defendants, instead cutting the penalty award to a Tier One violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

Should you crowdsource to buy a home? (Bankrate), Rated: B

Only a small handful of companies currently offer mortgages through this method. One of most well-established, SoFi, offers mortgages in 29 states and the District of Columbia through its peer-to-peer lending platform, which is a type of crowdsourcing where individual investors contribute through a lending platform, and in return earn interest on their investment, paid for by the borrower.

Feather the Nest offers a crowdfunding registry, where friends and family can donate toward your real estate goals. Every donation to your registry is charged a percentage of the amount given as a transaction fee.

Best Investment Funds Options For 2018 (FX Daily Report), Rated: B

#8: Peer to Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending platforms such as the Lending Club allow you to loan small amounts of money to individuals and earn a decent return of 6 percent or more. As a peer-to-peer lending investor, you are helping other people reach their goals. The good thing about this is that you are not giving large amounts of money to people who you do not know at all. According to experts, the benefits of investing in peer-to-peer lending platforms include the following:

• Easy to sign up and started
• Five to Seven percent returns
• Starting investment can be as small as $1,000

House Financial Services Committee to hold Jan. 30 hearing on fintech marketplace (The National Law Review), Rated: B

On January 30, 2018 at 10 a.m., the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing, “Examining Opportunities and Challenges in the Financial Technology (“Fintech”) Marketplace.”

The Committee Memorandum states that the hearing “will examine the current regulatory landscape [for fintech], the need to amend or modernize the regulatory landscape or the necessity to amend existing financial laws or develop new legislative proposals that would allow financial services entities to use fintech to deliver new products and services to consumers.”

United Kingdom

Over 200 brokers join LendInvest BTL panel (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

LendInvest has formed a national panel made up of over 200 brokers, packagers and other introducers, following the launch of its buy-to-let product.

The lender launched the BTL product – which is only available via intermediaries – in late November.

LendInvest believes that assembling a panel of this size in just 10 weeks demonstrates the appetite brokers have to get behind the product.

Ranger Direct Lending Expects Princeton Arbitration Decision Soon (London South East), Rated: B

Ranger Direct Lending Fund PLC said on Monday it expects arbitration against Princeton Master Fund to conclude by mid-April.

European Union

Signicat Raises $ 2 Million to Build Out its Identity Assurance as a Service Technology (Finovate), Rated: AAA

Identity Assurance as a Service (IDAaaS) innovator Signicat has won phase two funding from Horizon 2020, the EU framework program for research and innovation. The $2 million grant (€1.6 million) will enable Signicat to continue development of its IDAaaS toolbox for use in Europe, and takes the company’s total funding to $3.9 million.

France’s Alternative Finance Grows by 50% – Equity Crowdfunding Shrinks (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The annual Alternative Finance & Crowdfunding Barometer compiled by KPMG for the French Crowdfunding Association (Financement Participatif France, FPF) shows that in 2017 the French Alternative Finance market grew by 50%, driven by SME lending growth, and came close to the billion euro mark, at €940 million. Crowdfunding, as a subcategory of alternative finance open to retail investors, grew slightly slower at 44%, and equity crowdfunding shrank.

  • Institutional SME lending grew by 157% to €215 million,
  • SME crowdlending and crowdinvesting in SME debt grew by 102% to €195 million.

The market is heavily concentrated, with the top 5 platforms, Lendix, Credit.fr, Lendosphère, Unilend and Lendopolis accounting for more than 80% of the loans originated. Credit.fr, which was recently acquired by investment firm Tikehau Capital is growing fastest. Funded for more than 80% by non-retail money, Lendix captures more than half of the market. Most recently, the platform raised €120 million of a new €200 million investment fund designed to finance SME loans from 2018 on.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Consumer Lending Decelerates

Alternative consumer lending grew only by 17%, from €197 million to €231 million, three times more slowly than in the previous year. The market is dominated by Younited Credit which originated €227 million worth of consumer loans in France, Italy and Spain in 2017. Younited’s growth remained high in terms of number of loans (nearly +50%) but the growth in euros was slower because the company introduced smaller €1,000 to €3,000 loans and stopped promotional campaigns that were waving fees on large loans.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Equity Crowdfunding Shrinks

French equity crowdfunding raised a mere €58 million, 15% less than in the past year. 

Read the full report here.

3 things that could drive fintech investment in Europe through the roof (again) (PitchBook), Rated: A

Last year, venture investment in European fintech companies more than doubled YoY to €2.8 billion, even though the deal count remained almost flat, per the PitchBook Platform.

The jump in money invested was boosted by some monster deals, including rounds of well over $200 million each into foreign exchange unicorn TransferWise and student loans startup Prodigy Finance.

Pan-European Marketplace Investly Now Seeking £500,000 on Seedrs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Investly, an Estonian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, is now seeking £500,000 through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.

International

CB Insights is working with The New York Times to identify the best VC professionals. (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

We’re exploring additional rankings for other types of investors:

  • Top Corporate VCs
  • Top Seed-Stage VCs Brand
  • Top VCs by Region (Asia & Europe)

Ranking Algorithm Factors:

  • Performance Persistence
  • Network Centrality
  • Brand
  • Investment Discipline
  • Illiquid Portfolio Strength

The Top 20 Venture Capitalists Worldwide (The New York Times)

FinTech, RegTech and SupTech (Finextra), Rated: A

Two–thirds of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 have a mobile phone and use mobile banking.

FinTech improves the lending process by reducing the cost of underwriting through automation of the credit application process. That process includes the review of the credit application, credit score monitoring, and the collection of financial documents.

Credit standards and trading limits are monitored more efficiently as Fintech applications can be created that employ customized credit standards per the bank’s risk-management policies

Just as FinTech helps institutions manage their internal credit and trading standards, RegTech enhances their ability to adhere to the government’s regulatory rules set out by various agencies and The Federal Reserve Bank.

Fewer fines and litigation costs are possible with RegTech applications.

Adapting to new regulations faster can be achieved with RegTech as financial institutions can monitor changes in regulations in real-time.

Regulatory reporting times improve with RegTech.

Australia

IFM Investors ups stake in digital provider Decimal (Private Banker International), Rated: A

IFM Investors, an Australian fund manager, has increased its stake in local digital advice provider Decimal to 15%.

IFM acquired the additional stake through the placement of 28,900,000 ordinary shares at $0.03 per share.

India

Why P2P should be empowered to fill the void in SME financing (ET Rise), Rated: AAA

The Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in the Parliament on Monday delivered an unsurprising, but troubling figure. The amount of credit or loans disbursed by banks amounted to Rs 26,041 billion as on November 2017, but 82.6% of this was pocketed by large enterprises. For millions of SMEs in the country, banks only lent out 17.4 % of the total credit.

RBI data show that NBFCs have increased their lending to the SME sector by giving out about Rs 680 crore to the micro, small and medium enterprises compared to Rs. 480 crore in 2016. These figures do not include the loans extended to SMEs by the P2P industry, which has been recently classified as an NBFC.

In 2015-16 more than 10,000 businesses across UK benefitted and an estimated 30,000 new jobs were created due to UK government’s favorable policies for the P2P lending sector.

India’s flourishing fintech sector is craving the finance minister’s attention (Quartz), Rated: A

While the Narendra Modi government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have already laid down regulations for certain segments, such as peer-to-peer lending, others like cryptocurrencies and online lending startups are yet to be regulated. Such regulation may mean stricter compliance, but the management at these firms believe it will lend legitimacy to the industry, which is expected to be worth $2.4 billion by 2020. That, in turn, will help them grow faster.

Asia

Indonesia’s fintech lending boom exploits shortfall in bank loans (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Wimboh Santoso, head of Indonesia’s financial regulator (OJK), said while the trend was still a drop in the ocean of overall lending, more than 250,000 people had taken out loans through fintech. Around 30 P2P firms had extended 2.6 trillion rupiah ($193.8 million) in lending as of January 2018, compared with just 247 billion rupiah of lending in December 2016. Another 36 more firms were waiting to be approved, he added.

George Popescu
Allen Taylor