Wednesday July 11 2018, Daily News Digest

Change Year to Year in Commercial loans

News Comments Today’s main news: PayPal is on an acquisition binge. Financial advisers eschew P2P lending. Ant Financial to go all in on the blockchain. 51 Credit Card IPO priced at HKD 8.50 per share. Today’s main analysis: Consumer debt increases in May. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Business loan drought ends for banks. Germany’s crowdfunding market hits $588M. Brazil leaders want […]

Change Year to Year in Commercial loans

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United States

PayPal is leading a payment company acquisition binge (Quartz) Rated: AAA

PayPal is tearing through a flurry of payment company acquisitions, having snapped up four in just a five-week period this year.

This year has already been a record for payment company deals, with $46 billion in acquisitions (paywall) though June, according to Dealogic. That compares with $33 billion in total for last year

Recent acquisitions include iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company, and Hyperwallet, which businesses can use to pay employees around the world (the deal size is only shown if it has been verified by Pitchbook):

Source: Quartz

Business-Loan Drought Ends for Banks (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

Preliminary second-quarter data from the Federal Reserve indicate the year-over-year growth rate of business loans rose to 5.5% in late June from less than 1% near the end of 2017. The upturn marks the reversal of a prolonged slump in business-loan growth that began in earnest about two years ago.

For banks, the acceleration in lending may help lift results when firms report quarterly results this month. Profits from lending are a major component of bank earnings and grow when total loans increase or rates on loans rise. Business-loan growth often helps on both fronts because these credits typically carry floating rates that allow banks to capture rate increases.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Consumer Debt Increases In May (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

New data shows that U.S. consumer debt rose in May by the most in six months, showing that Americans were more comfortable with spending midway through the second quarter. The data from the Federal Reserve shows an increase in revolving debt, which includes credit cards, as well as a boost in non-revolving debt that includes educational and auto loans.

Source: Lending Tree

This latest news comes after LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, released its first Consumer Debt Outlook in May 2018, finding that Americans owe more than 26 percent of their income on consumer debt, up from 22 percent in 2010. That means Americans are on track to accumulate a collective $4 trillion in consumer debt by the end of this year. In fact, over the past five years, Americans have been accumulating more debt, and for nearly two years, consumer credit has grown at a steady rate of 5 to 6 percent annually.

Source: Lending Tree

See the full results of the study here.

Insolvent insurer causes headache for Va. bank’s student lending (American Banker) Rated: A

Virginia National Bankshares in Charlottesville, Va., will increase the loan-loss allowance for its student loan portfolio after an outside insurance carrier was shut down.

The $625 million-asset Virginia National said in a regulatory filing Thursday that ReliaMax Surety, a South Dakota insurer that issued surety bonds tied to purchased student loans, is insolvent and was placed into liquidation last month.

JPMorgan Chase launched an online bank for millennials called Finn, and I prefer it to the real thing (Business Insider) Rated: A

Finn, a mobile bank built by Chase, recently rolled out nationwide. And I gave it a try.

In addition to offering bread-and-butter checking and savings account functionality, it also offers services many firms in the personal finance startup space have built their businesses around. These include automatic saving tools and charts to see where you are spending money.

Personally, I think the app is a better experience than my traditional Chase mobile bank, since it more easily allows you to send checks from the app, save money in an easy and fun way, and keep track of your spending. It’s also free. And there’s no overdraft fees. But it’s not without flaws.

The Past, Present and Future of the ILC Bank (DeBanked) Rated: A

Last Thursday, Square confirmed that it withdrew its application to the FDIC for depository insurance, which would allow it to take deposits from customers in all 50 states. The company said it plans to refile.

Regardless of the reason for withdrawing the application, this news revives the debate over whether fintech companies should be allowed to become banks in the first place – at least in the manner that Square and SoFi have sought to attain bank status.

How to invest $ 100 regularly and make it a fortune? (Global Banking and Finance) Rated: A

Don’t let your money sit, let it work for you. I know I sound bit weird, but you can put your money to work. No! you do not need the fortune to invest in, just $100 is all that is required. Though investing an amount may appear bit difficult in starting but once you get a hold on the things, it will become easy eventually. Investing is all about making a choice, you can invest $100 and can earn thousands in future or you can just spend this amount on a dinner.

Lending Club

This could be another great option to make the investment in. Lending Club is basically a peer-to-peer lending, where borrowing and lending takes place between the ordinary folks. This is one of the largest online market in the world, that connects the investors and borrowers.

Can I turn $ 100k into $ 1 million in a decade? (Money Rates) Rated: A

A decade is a fairly short period of time, so think about what it will take to grow your initial investment by a factor of ten in ten years. With no additional investment, turning $100K into 1 million would require a compound average annual return of 25.9 percent, which is pretty unrealistic. Historically, the U.S. stock market has averaged a return on investment of about 10 percent per year.

Peer-to-peer lending has created a relatively new form of income investing in which you can invest by making personal loans. Higher risk loans produce higher income yields but are also more likely to default. You can manage your risk somewhat by choosing lower risk loans, focusing on shorter term loans and diversifying by funding small amounts of many different loans.

Credibly Hires Former CIO of FBI to Drive Information Technology Strategy (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Credibly, a small and medium-sized business lending platform, announced on Tuesday it has hired Jerome Pender to drive its information technology strategy. According to the online lender, Lender is a seasoned professional more than three decades of experience in information technology. He has experience in business systems, enterprise architecture, technology, and governance.

Prior to joining Credibly, Pender was the Chief Information Officer, Operating Partner, and Managing Director at Z Capital Partners. He also spent more than a decade at the FBI, serving as Chief Information Officer and Executive Assistant Director, as well as Deputy Assistant Director. Before the FBI, he held several leadership positions at UBS AG.

United Kingdom

Advisers eschewing P2P due to insurance ‘grey area’ (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FINANCIAL advisers are avoiding giving advice on peer-to-peer lending because they are worried it will not be covered by their professional indemnity insurance (PII).

Max Lehrain, chief operating officer at P2P property lender Relendex, said P2P investing is a “grey area” when it comes to PII.

Brendan Llewellyn, co- founder and director of communications platform Adviser Home, suggested PI insurers will decide whether or not to cover P2P investments on a case-by-case basis.

Open Banking – a complete failure? (The Finanser) Rated: A

PwC recently delivered a report on open banking – Open Banking market could be worth £7.2bn by 2022: PwC – PwC UK. Some notable points raised;

The principle growth areas are projected as account aggregation, analytics of expenditure and financial product comparisons. This is difficult to understand given that none of these areas is new – in fact the information is being delivered differently – that is all that has changed. And in most cases (relative to challenger banks) the data delivered is very limited, preventing innovation on these pre-existing services. The major market comparison engines pull richer data through a combination of private means and screen scraping, and have made clear that open banking APIs will not replace this in their current form.

Oblix secures FCA authorisation for P2P lending platform (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: A

Oblix Capital Technologies has been granted authorisation as a P2P firm by the FCA.

The authorisation allows the subsidiary to the London-based specialist lender Oblix Group to operate a regulated electronic lending platform.

Oblix has enjoyed a strong period of growth and hopes the launch of its P2P lending platform will supplement this.

NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR PROPERTY LENDER (Insider Media) Rated: B

A new chief executive has taken the helm at a Birmingham-based peer-to-peer property lender. Michael Bristow has assumed the role at CrowdProperty after acting as a non-executive director.

Bristow was previously managing partner at Growth Strategy, a property technology investor and private equity advisory business.

China/Hong Kong

150 Billion Dollar-valued Firm Ant Financial Will Go All in on Blockchain (Toshi Times) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial: you may never have heard of it if you don’t live in Asia, but its payment platform Alipay is one of the biggest payments facilitators in the region, bigger than Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay in most Asian countries.

It is part of Jack Ma’s $450+ billion valued Alibaba empire and recently raised significant investment from investors worldwide pumping its own value up to a whopping $150 billion.

51 Credit Card’s IPO priced at HKD 8.50 per share (KrASIA) Rated: AAA

China’s 51 Credit Card, an online credit card management platform, is set to price its IPO at HKD 8.5 per share at the bottom of its indicative range of between HKD8.5 – 11.5, according to various reports.

The company is set to raise an estimated US$129 million in the flotation, according to a Tencent report.

Its net profit is up nearly 1304% in 2017 from a year earlier, standing at $112 million (RMB 744 million). However, it has been operating in a negative cash-flow for the last three years and its cash and cash equivalents dropped to 1.26 billion yuan in 2017 from 2.1 billion yuan in 2016.

Hong Kong digital bank Neat nabs tidy $ 2m funding (FinTech Futures) Rated: A

Hong Kong-based digital bank Neat has secured a new round of $2 million funding from Dymon Asia Ventures and Portag3 Ventures.

According to Neat, this investment will be used to unveil some new features and tools; and for recruitment.

For the features and tools, it offers a vote option on its website to create a “wishlist”. (A common ploy among new firms and banks.)

Chinese Auto Sales Run Into a Lending Roadblock (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

China’s crackdown on shadow banking has caused some high-profile blowups. Now it’s driving the country’s car makers off course.

One big target for Beijing has been the proliferation of peer-to-peer lending platforms—total transactions on these ballooned to 2.8 trillion yuan ($423 billion) last year, more than 10 times the total in 2014, according to industry website wdzj.com. The worry is that such platforms have become a hotbed for embezzlement, or could simply run out of money. Local media reported dozens of them collapsing.

Tighter rules may trigger P2P industry shakeout (ECNS) Rated: A

Only one out of the nine peer-to-peer lending companies in China might be able to survive as top financial regulators are stepping up the pace of scrutiny to curb risks caused by the massive unregulated sprawl in the past few years.

The central government plans to maintain “pressing posture of severe attack” to clamp down on activities violating laws and regulations in internet finance, extending the ongoing nationwide crackdown for another year, Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, said during a meeting on Monday.

Dianrong Names Tony Zhang Chief Technology Officer (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Dianrong today announced the appointment of Tony Zhang as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Mr. Zhang will report to Long Hsiang Loh, CEO of Dianrong.

Mr. Zhang has nearly two decades of experience in science and technology, with in-depth knowledge of financial and internet technology as well as company management. He worked in Silicon Valley for 11 years, including eight years at PayPal in various leadership roles. He provided recognized technical and business leadership across a range of PayPal’s core product features and functionalities.

International

LendLedger (LOAN Token): Decentralized Blockchain Crypto Lending Market? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

LendLedger hopes to be the solution to these problems by opening up global lending markets. The platform is changing the face of lending to the underserved segments. Already this platform has processed tens of millions of dollars in loan requests in India, which has led to the provision of loans to hundreds of thousands of borrowers in the informal and small business sectors in 40 Indian cities. This platform is opening up new financial markets across the globe.

The platform unlocks data on informal and small business borrowers making it possible for lenders to offer loans to the informal traders. LendLedger seeks to bridge the $2.6 trillion lending gap between the institutional lending capital and informal borrowers. The aim of the platform is to come up with a lending market that is both inclusive and profitable for all the participants.

Leading Crypto-Backed Lending Networks Join Forces To Unlock Mass Adoption (Payment Week) Rated: B

Etherisc, the global, decentralized insurance platform for collectively building insurance products, has announced the launch of a blockchain consortium to create Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI) for the crypto lending market. The consortium aims to address a current, significant barrier to mass adoption by facilitating safe participation in crypto lending, clearing the way for more institutional players to enter the market.

The founding members of the lending consortium include bZx, formerly b0x, a decentralized margin lending protocol and liquidation oracle marketplace; Celsius Network, a peer-to-peer decentralized borrowing and lending platform; Colendi, a comprehensive credit scoring protocol and microcredit platform; ETHLend, a peer-to-peer lending smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain for lending ether; Lendroid, a unique non-custodial lending platform working to enable a range of collateralized loans, advanced auction markets and trust-independent margin trading; Libra Credit, a lending ecosystem that facilitates open access to credit; Nexo, a platform for instant crypto-backed loans, powered by the 10-year-old leading European FinTech group Credissimo; Ripio Credit Network, a protocol based on smart contracts and blockchain technology, which brings enhanced transparency and reliability in credit and lending; and Sweetbridge, a blockchain-based economic framework that transforms supply chain, logistics, and unleashes working capital.

European Union

Germany’s crowdfunding market reaches $ 588 million (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

At the end of June 2018, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Germany had raised €500 million ($588 million) using equity crowdfunding and crowdlending marketplaces, according to a report from crowdfunding.de.

Source: Business Insider

Here are a couple of key takeaways from the report:

  • Real estate companies use crowdfunding most. Real estate accounted for over half, 53.3% of all the crowdfunding in Germany, making it the most common segment to opt for this funding method. It was followed by enterprise with a 42.6% share of funding raised and energy at 3.8%. Other segments combined only had a 0.3% share, showing that crowdfunding is largely dominated by two areas. However, as crowdfunding becomes more popular, we might see other sectors increasingly choosing it.
  • Unsurprisingly, a digital real estate investment provider had the largest share of funding among platforms. Germany-based Exporo raised 32.3% of the total, followed by UK-based Funding Circle with 14.4%. This shows that foreign companies also have a lot to gain from Germany’s crowdfunding market.

Read the full report here.

Australia

Robo-advice users in for the long haul (Financial Standard) Rated: A

Insights from the automated investment platform show 36.5% of its users are attempting to grow wealth outside of super, while 28.6% are using it to accrue retirement savings.

The top reasons driving use of automated investment and advice platforms were lower fees and investment diversification, highlighted by 18.3% and 16.7% of users respectively.

Viewing the data through a gender lens, half of Six Park’s female clients are checking the progress of their portfolios at least once a month and their most common goal is the ability to purchase a property in the near-term; 25% of females flagged this, compared to just 10% of men. In contrast, more than half of Six Park’s male clients are checking their portfolios on a daily or weekly basis.

Latin America

Local leaders in Brazil look for investments in social impact (Impact Alpha) Rated: AAA

At the country’s first social finance forum in 2014, you could count the participants on one hand. All of them were in Rio and Sao Paulo. Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending were still in regulatory review. Few universities included social finance in their curriculum. All of that has changed. Today:

Asia

Credit manager AsiaCollect picks up $ 4.5m funding (FinTech Futures) Rated: AAA

Singapore-based credit management services (CMS) provider AsiaCollect has raised $4.5 million to date after closing its recent investment round led by SIG Asia Investments.

Dymon Asia Ventures, the venture capital arm of Dymon Asia Capital, a Singapore-based alternative investment management firm, returned to co-invest in this round after investing $1 million in AsiaCollect’s pre-series A equity round in August last year.

AsiaCollect offers CMS outsourcing, CMS advisory services, debt purchasing, and Software-As-A-Service (SaaS).

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa is profitable again. Capital One limits access to alt lenders. SimpleNexus raises $20M. Funding Circle changes projected returns. Metro Bank launches digital bank in Australia. Today’s main analysis: Deep dive into Amazon. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Deep dive into Amazon. More Chinese P2P lenders fall under regulatory scrutiny. How blockchain can assist banks with consumer lending. SMBs access […]

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

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News Summary

United States

Capital One restricts third-party data access, upsets customers (Payments Source) Rated: AAA

Capital One Financial Corp. is limiting how account data flows to outside apps for managing finances, prompting a backlash from the bank’s customers who say they have been locked out of their own information.

A technology upgrade led to the disruption, people familiar with the situation said. Plaid Technologies, whose software is used to connect banks with third parties, is unable to link with some Capital One accounts, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Slightly weak US GDP growth, Amazon Deep-Dive (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US Q1 GDP growth was revised slightly lower from 2.2% to 2% driven by lower-than-expected growth in services. This slowdown in growth seems to be temporary as the Atlanta Fed is projecting a blistering 4.5% GDP growth rate for Q2.

Amazon Treading Carefully with Its Financial Services Ambitions

A new report by CB Insights details Amazon’s “barreling into” the financial services sector, notably in payments and lending. Our view on Amazon is more sober.

In the absence of a clear regulatory swim lane, Amazon will continue to partner with financial institutions to provide lending services. The major lending products Amazon offers today are executed with highly regulated banking partners. Amazon for instance has developed co-brand relationships with JPM, Synchrony and AmEx.

Also, Amazon is courting major financial services institutions as customers of its cloud business so the company has a delicate balance that it needs to maintain between disrupting the financial services industry and losing its clients and partners.

Amazon’s Lending Products

Amazon has made a foray into consumer lending mainly with the help of co-branded credit cards. The company has also made ~$3 Bn in small business loans, but that standalone effort has now fallen to the wayside with the new small business lending partnership with AmEx.

Amazon’s international investments in fintech products have been concentrated in India where Amazon will finance commercial loans to Amazon’s sellers. However, unlike the model in the US where Amazon lends on its own balance sheet, Amazon will utilize a marketplace model with six participating banks at the outset. The lending program has grown 150% in the first five months of this year (total volumes are unreported).

Source: CB Insights

Digital Mortgage Platform SimpleNexus Raises $ 20M In Growth Capital (FinSmes) Rate: AAA

SimpleNexus, a Lehi, Utah-based company that brings the home mortgage process to mobile devices through a dynamic digital mortgage platform, raised $20m in growth capital.

Insight Venture Partners made the investment.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate its continued growth and expansion.

TD Bank Teams Up With Fintech BizEquity to Enhance Commercial Customer Experience (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

TD Bank announced on Tuesday it has formed a new partnership with BizEquity to provide its small and mid-size business customers and prospects from Maine to Florida a no-cost comprehensive business valuation through a cutting-edge digital application.

The bank revealed that through its relationship with the Philadelphia-based fintech it now offers a service that typically costs several thousand dollars free of charge to small and mid-size companies. BizEquity delivers a detailed report with valuation information and key industry performance indicators to TD Bank relationship managers, who then share it with the business owner.

Small Businesses Access More Than $ 1 Billion of Working Capital During Non-Banking Hours through Kabbage (PR Web) Rated: A

Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, reports its 145,000-plus small business customers accessed over 300,000 loans during non-banking hours, reaching a record total of more than $1 billion in funding. In total, Kabbage has now provided access to more than $5 billion in funding to its customers across America. The non-banking hour analysis illustrates how Kabbage’s fully automated lending solutions remove the age-old hurdle of normal business hours by offering companies 24/7 access to working capital online.

LendingPoint Upsizes its Mezzanine Financing, Bringing it to More Than $ 50 Million (Business Wire) Rated: A

LendingPoint announced it closed an increase of its mezzanine financing, bringing the total of the facility to $52.5 million.

Paragon Outcomes Management LLC provided the financing that closed earlier this month. Paragon and LendingPoint have been building upon a successful relationship started with their first mezzanine credit facility in January 2017 of just $20 million, which was upsized just seven months later, and now has been upsized again to $52.5 million.

Amit Aggarwal: Refining A Real Estate Platform (Think Realty) Rated: A

Amit Aggarwal joined Auction.com as its chief technology officer in late 2017, but the experienced senior information technology (IT) leader had his eye on the needs of the national housing market for more than a decade before the hire. As early as 2005, Aggarwal was watching the residential real estate industry, considering the early signs of what he refers to as “cracks” in the then-booming housing ecosystem and working on a solution. By the time the market melted down in 2007, Aggarwal had been instrumental in the design and implementation of the workflow processes and platforms that served as the underpinning for the foreclosure crisis, including working closely with Fannie Mae and several of the country’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders.

Aggarwal took his passion for purifying and refining technology, processes, and real estate transactions with him when he joined Auction.com. 

Marketplace Lending: 60-Second Market Review and Insights (Credit Chronometer) Rated: AAA

Seven securitizations totaling $4.3 billion closed in Q1 2018, up 34% versus a year ago and representing the second-highest issuance in any quarter (after Q4 2017). Q1 issuances comprised $2.1 billion in student loan ABS, more than double Q1 2017 and the highest ever quarterly issuance of student deals. Total ABS issuance is expected to climb to $18 billion in 2018, up 30% from 2017.

Delinquencies increased in Q1 2018 across the consumer credit space, and reports of an influx of defaults on marketplace loans have prompted online lenders, including Lending Club and Prosper, to tighten their underwriting guidelines. The bright spot has been the student loan sector. The sector, led by SoFi which issued its largest ever student deal in Q1 at $1 billion, has been performing well, driven by refinance loans made to borrowers with strong credit profiles.

Battle for small-business customers spurs arms race at banks (American Banker) Rated: A

Surveys of small-business owners show an increasing level of confidence and commercial-and-industrial lending is up. The Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan guarantee program seems poised for a fourth consecutive record year.

To capitalize, banks are investing in technology to make faster loan decisions. They are also hiring more lenders to better serve this segment. Now, bankers and other industry observers are hoping it all leads to increased earnings.

A retirement perk for millennials who are buried under student debt (LA Times) Rated: A

A new benefit program at Abbott means she won’t have to choose between paying down student debt and saving for the future. For any U.S.-based employee who puts at least 2% of their salary toward student loan payments, the healthcare company will contribute the equivalent of 5% of their salary into their 401(k) plan.

Abbott’s twist works around the tax penalty, because 401(k) payments are tax-free. Steve Fussell, a human resources vice president at Abbott, says the benefit also helps employees kick off their retirement savings early, which can make a huge difference over several decades of work. Only about a third of millennials are currently contributing to the company’s retirement plan, compared with 90% of the workforce overall.

Lending to Digital Natives: A Map to the Millennial Market (Credit Union Times) Rated: A

Millennials are a major demographic, yet they are not being served by credit unions. Only 32% of millennials are currently using a credit union compared to 50% of baby boomers, according to the Financial Brand.

Time reported the average 2016 college graduate will enter the workforce with $37,172 in student loan debt. They will change jobs four times in their first decade after college and their salaries are 20% lower than those of baby boomers at the same age, according to CNN.

United Kingdom

Zopa back in black (The Times) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa scraped back into profit last year, but rising default levels have led it to crack down on who it allows to borrow, writes Rosamund Urwin. The company, which has lent out £3.3bn in total, matches borrowers with investors wanting to lend. It has applied for a banking licence and wants to launch its bank within a year. A float has been pencilled in for 2020.

Funding Circle changes projected returns (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

FUNDING Circle has altered its projected returns, meaning that investors lending across the platform’s full risk spectrum are expected to earn less money and those opting for lower-risk loans could earn more.

The peer-to-peer business lender said on Friday that that its projected returns for its Balanced account – which invests in the full range of businesses across all risk bands – will now be six to seven per cent.

The target rate on the Balanced account had previously been 7.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Funding Circle’s Conservative account – which only invests in businesses assessed as lower risk – is now offering a projected return ranging between five and 5.5 per cent.

Funding Circle fund warns on dividend as currency costs bite (Citywire) Rated: A

Shares in Funding Circle SME Income (FCIF) fell today after peer-to-peer lending fund said the rising currency costs would force it to cut its dividend.

Shares fell 2.1%, or 3p, to 102p after it reported a ‘material increase’ in the cost of hedging, or removing the impact of the investment company’s holdsin dollar-denominated loans.

As a result the company, which mainly lends to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, would only be able to pay a fully covered annual dividend of 5p to 6p per share from the third quarter of 2018. This is down from the current annual dividend of 6.5p, a potential decline of 8%-23%.

SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: Recent AIM entrant Trufin is a financing business with four divisions (This is Money) Rated: A

Recent AIM entrant Trufin is a financing business with four divisions. DFC lends to firms selling motorbikes, caravans, yachts and industrial kit, areas that mainstream banks may not be willing to touch.

Oxygen Finance helps councils make savings by prompting them to pay suppliers early, and Satago helps smaller businesses manage their cash flow. Lastly, it holds a 15 per cent stake in peer-to-peer lender Zopa.

Trufin is applying for a UK banking licence, which could help lower the company’s funding costs and boost margins. Zopa has also proposed a new funding round, which could increase the value of Trufin’s stake.

Open Banking could be worth £7.2bn by 2022, report shows (London School of Business & Finance) Rated: A

A report from Big Four accountancy firm PwC has predicted that the Open Banking sector could be worth £2.8bn by the end of the year and £7.2bn by 2022.

SMEs were shown to be more aware of the effects of Open Banking than retail customers and are also willing to make use of the data-sharing scheme, with 40% saying that they would share their financial transaction information.

When it comes to what information individuals would be willing to share, just 10% cited transaction history, while 12% said that they would share information about their financial products.

Banks were also found to still be popular with businesses, with 72% favouring them over fintech companies and peer-to-peer lending firms. This was also found to be the case for 65% of individuals.

HEAVYWEIGHT INVESTOR SAYS ‘TOO MUCH MONEY’ THROWN AT TECH (Business Cloud) Rated: A

One of Britain’s most high-profile investors has expressed concerns about “too much money being chucked” at tech businesses in the UK.

Moulton has also been an active tech investor over the last three decades, having backed peer-to-peer lending marketplace Funding Circle “very early on”, and estimates that around 50 of his 120 current investments have a link to technology.

However speaking to BusinessCloud at an investment roundtable in London organised by the Lancashire Investment Readiness Programme, the 67-year-old said the return on investment in technology is is relatively “poor”, particularly in the UK, and fears that it could become worse.

China

More P2P lenders collapse amid tough regulations (Global Times) Rated: AAA

As China has been ramping up efforts to strengthen regulations on the online financial industry, an increasing number of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms have found themselves collapsing. As such, experts have warned investors of the perils of illegal financial activities that offer lucrative rewards.

After several P2P firms such as lianbijr.com and txslicai.com.cn were investigated by police in June, another Shanghai-based online lender reportedly collapsed.

Yilongcaifu and its parent company Fuxing Group have been shut down and are under investigation by police, news site stcn.com reported on Thursday.

Another Online Lender Falls Under Investigation (Caixin Global) Rated: A

Another online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender has fallen under investigation on suspicion of illegal fundraising as the crackdown continues on China’s scandal-plagued internet finance industry.

Shanghai police have detained four senior executives of Tangxiaoseng, an online lending platform controlled by Zibang Financial Service Internet Technology Co. Ltd., since police began investigating the platform on June 16, Caixin has learned.

51 Credit Card hits road for $ 174m IPO (Global Capital) Rated: A

51 Credit Card opened books on Friday for its HK$1.4bn ($173.9m) listing in Hong Kong, with 10 firms in the syndicate.The Chinese online peer-to-peer lending platform is offering 118.7m primary shares for HK$8.5 to HK$11.5 each, which could raise between HK$1bn and HK$1.4bn.

Sponsors China Merchants Securities and Citi are leading the trade alongside CLSA, which is a global co-ordinator.

European Union

Belgian Lending Marketplace Look&Fin Partners with Insurer Atradius (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Today June 28, Belgium-based SME lending platform Look&Fin announced that it has partnered with credit insurer Atradius to offer a 100% guarantee on the capital lent to SMEs by its retail investors. The move is dramatically closing the gap between marketplace lending and bank lending. SME borrowers will get marketplace loans at lower interest rates, closer to the banks’ and retail investors will enjoy bank-level security for their investment.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Atradius is the second largest global credit insurance leader with operations in more than 50 countries around the globe and total revenue of more than €1.8 billion.

Azlo and Green Dot Offer New Lending Products for Gig Economy Workers (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

Azlo will begin offering lending services to small businesses and gig economy workers this fall, the company announced last week. The fintech, which is backed by BBVA Compass, will be partnering with an undisclosed “non-traditional lending platform” to originate loans. These loans will range between $10,000 and $100,000, and even less Azlo CEO Brian Hamilton told Bank Innovation.

To determine a borrower’s creditworthiness, Azlo will not be looking at FICO scores. Instead, it will look at data collected from payment tools using APIs connected to platforms like Stripe, Square, and PayPal, in an Azlo account.

Latvia Pushes Fintech Innovation (Inside Bitcoins) Rated: A

Riga-based online lending marketplace Mintos, which just turned an annual profit for the first time, is now looking for global expansion.

Alongside Mintos, some of Latvia’s most well-known fintech startups include peer-to-peer lending marketplace Twino, and micropayment app Monea.

INLOCK to Conduct Poll to Determine the Future of Its ILK Token Model (Tech Bullion) Rated: B

INLOCK(INCOME LOCKER), a blockchain and smart-contract based peer-to-peer lending platform that enables crypto assets to be used as collateral, today announced that it will be hosting a community poll to help inform the development of its ILK token model.

Amidst preparation for the initial token sale and throughout the business screening process, INLOCK found that its token model with fractals created an unnecessary inconvenience for its users, leading to an overwhelming number of requests for a token split.

Spotcap Expands C-Suite As Business Matures (Spotcap) Rated: B

Fintech business lender Spotcap recently expanded its C-Suite to include two newly created roles.

Linh Bergen-Peters joins the company as Chief Marketing Officer and Martin Gawlak as Chief People Officer. These new roles will be instrumental in ensuring Spotcap’s continued growth. The company increased its gross revenue by more than 100 percent between May 2017 and May 2018, and doubled the size of its loan book during the same time period.

Linh Bergen-Peters joins Spotcap from HID Global and will be responsible for Spotcap’s multinational marketing strategy. Linh is a highly experienced global marketer, having held senior roles in leading technology companies such as AMD and Hewlett Packard, building and marketing high-tech brands.

International

Harmonic Fund Services live with Finastra for loan servicing (Finastra) Rated: A

Harmonic Fund Services has gone live with Finastra’s Fusion Loan IQ solution. The independent fund administration and alternative asset fund servicing firm will leverage the platform — traditionally used by banks and increasingly by service providers, to service their bilateral, specialised and syndicated loan portfolios — to provide a new loan administration and agency service to its diverse alternative investment funds client base.

Blockchain can assist banks with consumer lending (Digital Journal) Rated: AAA

The finance sector has been in the lead in terms of implementing blockchain and tokenization. The next area where the technology is likely to be applied is with traditional loans.

The advantage of cryptocurrency assets as collateral lies in the efficiency the digital currency can bring into the entire lending process. For any cryptocurrency asset approved by the lender, blockchain allows for immediate validation of its authenticity, ownership and worth. This should enables anyone to get immediate backing for a loan, provided they have a verifiable means of making repayments.

The types of startups that are making in-roads in the finance space include Ripple, a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network. Ripple is by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander. A second is the Depository Network [DEPO]. This is a multi-platform network enable lenders, including peer-to-peer lending marketplaces, banks, other credit institutions to accept digital assets as collateral.

Bitcoin Millionaires Turn to SALT for Liquidity (BTC Manager) Rated: A

SALT Lending offers a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows cryptocurrency holders to use their Bitcoin and Ethereum as collateral for loans.

A Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform

Dave Carlson, who runs a cryptocurrency mining operation in Washington, has used SALT for this very purpose. With electricity expenses running as high as $250,000 per month, Dave needed $1 million to cover operating expenses for Giga-Watt, his mining operation. However, the potential for a price surge made him reluctant to exchange his cryptocurrency for cash.  He found an alternative in SALT, which The Wall Street Journal has reported is helping Bitcoin millionaires “unleash their fortunes.”

Australia

Metro Bank founder joins digital challengers in Australia (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Serial banking entrepreneur Anthony Thomson, co-founder of Metro Bank in the UK, is helping to set up a new digital bank in Australia that aims to shake up a market dominated by the Big Four institutions.

The bank, named 86 400 after the number of seconds in a day, is initially being funded by Cuscal, an Australia payment services company.

Asia

The magic of crowdfunding (The Manila Times) Rated: AAA

Here in the Philippines and in many countries around the world, not only is the family the basic unit of society, but it also serves as the primordial foundation for economic activity.

Crowdfunding, through its biggest platform, Kickstarter, proved to be a very effective mode of hosting linkages between entrepreneurs and investors. Since its inception in 2009, Kickstarter has successfully funded 130,000 projects having around $3.76 Billion worth of pledges on all its projects. The huge acceptance and positive reception of these crowdfunding platforms continue to grow. In fact, it is estimated that it will be a $300 Billion industry by the year 2025.

Another type is “Peer-to-Peer Lending” that enable proponents to gain funding outside the traditional banking system through the risk-taking investors who are willing to shed a buck or two towards the growth of their loan portfolios.

Bermuda

Blockchain mortgages, touted for real estate investors, get thumbs-down on security concerns (Financial Post) Rated: AAA

Blockchain advocates have long touted the technology’s ability to disrupt entrenched business models. Now, several companies want to use it for real estate crowdfunding in a bid to circumvent the banks.

Bermuda-based Viva Network wants to exploit the blockchain’s ability to store records and transfer value quickly across international borders.

Targeting Bermuda as its first market, the company would use local mortgage professionals to run “mortgage hubs” that would evaluate and underwrite mortgages. It would divide each mortgage into 100,000 FMS units that could then be listed on the company’s blockchain-based exchange. Investors would purchase an FMS using Viva’s blockchain-based VIVA tokens and would harvest principal and interest payments from the property’s owner each month.

Inventions funded by

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor