News Comments Today’s main news: LendingPoint closes $178M personal loans securitization. OnDeck hits $879M in online financing in Texas alone. RateSetter adds three products. Funding Circle lenders face longer cash out waits. Yirendai files Form 6-K. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for August 2019. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Silicon Valley is building a social […]
LendingPoint, the company revolutionizing and democratizing commerce, announced today that it closed its inaugural securitization of consumer loans. LendingPoint Receivables Trust 2019-1 (“LDPT 2019-1”) issued $177.85 million of notes backed by a pool of $187.22 million of direct-to-consumer loans originated on the LendingPoint platform.
The LendingPoint Receivables Trust securitization was rated by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. and includes $117.76 million of Class A notes rated “A-“, $24.74 million of Class B notes rated “BBB-“, $23.68 million of Class C notes rated “BB-” and $10.67 million of Class D notes rated “B-.” The notes priced at a blended yield of 4.05% per annum and provided for a 95% advance rate. The transaction has a 5% overcollateralization Deposit and a 5% overcollateralization Target. The risk adjusted yield of the receivables securing the notes is expected to be 13.14% per annum.
OnDeck today announced that TyMac Electric of Plano, Texas is its Small Business of the Month for August, 2019. The 30-person company serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area with high-quality, professionally managed electrical services.
Over the last two years, OnDeck has provided additional financing to TyMac Electric as the business grew to meet demand in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial marketplace.
Overall, OnDeck has provided more than $879 million in financing online to small business owners in the State of Texas.
Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.
Real estate investment platform Fundrise has raised over $22 million for their Opportunity Fund. The information was revealed in a recent Form D 5o6c filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Data is the new oil, as the saying goes, and today Kabbage — a fintech startup backed by SoftBank that has built a business around lending up to $250,000 to small and medium enterprises, using AI-based algorithms to help determine the terms of the loan — is picking up an asset to expand its own data trove as it looks to expand into further SMB financial services. The company has acquired Radius Intelligence, the marketing technology firm that has built a database of information on some 20 million small and medium businesses in the U.S.
Nonbanks and alternative lenders have garnered attention in the banking industry due to their ability to partner with legacy banks and utilize technology to make financial transactions more efficient and convenient for users.
Challenger bank Chime has reached 5 million customers in the U.S. The San Francisco-based startup is creating an FDIC-insured mobile bank without any physical branch. The company also promises fewer fees.
Back in March, Chime said it had 3 million customers when it announced its $200 million Series D round. So that’s 2 million additional customers in roughly 5 months.
Even Financial, a four-year-old New York-based provider of APIs for financial services search, acquisition, and monetization, today announced that it’s raised $25 million in a strategic round of investment co-led by Citi Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, with additional participation from LendingClub. Existing backers American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, and Goldman Sachs also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total raised to $50 million.
Credit Sesame — which lets consumers check their credit scores and evaluate options to rebalance existing debts and loans to improve that score and thus their overall “financial health,” in the words of CEO and founder Adrian Nazari — has raised $43 million. With the company already profitable and growing revenues 90% each year for the last five, Nazari said that this round is likely to be the last round the company raises before it goes public.
Household debt in the U.S. continues to rise and as of this year now stands at nearly $14 trillion.
CrowdBureau Corporation, a fintech startup and index provider, has closed $1.1 million Series A equity funding to expand its series of benchmarks and launch a pilot program for its patent-pending regulatory technology product. The round, which values the company at $9.7 million, was led by Clydagh Limited, Estuary Holdings Ltd. and Alpama Limited along with existing investors.
A growing number of companies are helping workers gain access to payroll advances and loans, reflecting concern over the impact money problems are having on productivity levels and worker retention.
Employers including Walmart Inc. and Pima County, Ariz., have recently added these services. The aim is to help cash-strapped employees, many with damaged credit, cover unexpected expenses without resorting to high-cost debt.
Lendingblock, the regulated, open exchange for institutional borrowing and lending of digital assets, today announces the launch of its institutional lending platform on September 3, 2019. The lending product, which is a reinvented version of securities lending from traditional capital markets, is the first exchange fully dedicated to pure crypto lending and aims to support the needs of the broader cryptocurrency market by providing a secure and liquid venue for lending and borrowing needs of institutional market participants.
Upon launch, Lendingblock platform users will be able to borrow and lend BTC, ETH, PAX and USDT on a fully collateralized basis, for loan terms of 1, 7, 14 and 30 days, with a minimum trade size of $100,000 equivalent of a specified digital asset.
Top MBA schools for income-to-debt ratio. AT: “SoFi’s studies on income earners after college are quite interesting and usually deliver a few surprises. For instance, Wharton School of Business MBA graduates earn the highest average income three years after graduation (which isn’t surprising), but the University of Pennsylvania program isn’t even in the top 10 for salary-to-debt ratio. The top school there is the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brigham Young is second. The question is, what determines the debt part of this scenario? If those attending the top 10 schools for salary-to-debt fund their education with daddy’s money instead of student loans, then this list is an indication of which schools are most likely to be attended by students who do not seek loans for education–on the average.”
Elevate announces FY 2017 results. AT: ” As expected, Elevate is looking good. Y-over-Y growth is at 16%. Y-0ver-Y growth for combined loans receivable is at 28%. Adjusted EBITDA is up 45% compared to the prior year.”
Customers of online lender Social Finance Inc. are missing their loan payments at an unexpectedly high rate, a misstep for a company that has boasted that its focus on high-earning individuals would yield better borrowers.
The privately held San Francisco-based company said it missed its internal fourth-quarter earnings projections, due in part to a markdown in the “value of certain personal loan assets due to lower-than-expected credit performance,” according to a letter to investors that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The company also cited increased hiring costs and expenses related to recent management changes.
SoFi examined 60,000 student loan refinancing applications to determine which MBA programs churn out the highest earners, and which produce grads who are mired in student debt.
According to SoFi, these are the top 10 business schools, ranked by average salary three years after graduation:
1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business): $224,034
2. Columbia University: $189,295
3. Stanford University: $186,534
4. Harvard University: $184,463
5. University of California, Berkeley: $171,270
6. Dartmouth College: $169,498
7. Northwestern University: $167,770
8. Cornell University: $167,544
9. University of Chicago: $166,215
10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $165,666
These 10 programs have the best salary-to-debt ratio in the US:
Elevate’s Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Highlights are the following:
Fourth quarter GAAP net loss due to federal tax law charge, but fourth consecutive quarter of net income on an adjusted basis: Fourth quarter 2017 net loss totaled $12.2 million, or $(0.29) per diluted share, reflecting a one-time $12.5 million charge associated with the change in the federal tax law resulting from the tax reform in 2017. Excluding the impact from the tax law change, net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 would have been $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $4.4 million, or $(0.34) per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016. The net loss for full-year 2017 totaled $6.9 million, or $(0.20) per diluted share. Excluding the impact of the federal tax law, net income for full year 2017 would have been $5.5 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $22.4 million, or $(1.74) per diluted share, for full-year 2016.
16% year-over-year revenue growth: Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 14.5% from the fourth quarter of 2016 and were up 16.0% for full-year 2017 versus 2016. Revenues totaled $193.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $169.0 million for the prior-year period. Full-year 2017 revenues totaled $673.1 million compared to $580.4 million for full-year 2016.
More than 28% year-over-year growth in combined loans receivable – principal: Combined loans receivable – principal totaled $618.4 million, a 28.5% increase from $481.2 million for the prior-year period. The Rise installment loan and Elastic line of credit combined loans receivable – principal balances as of December 31, 2017 were up 19.6% and 47.4% over the prior year-end balances, respectively.
Adjusted EBITDA up 45% compared to prior year: 2017 Adjusted EBITDA totaled $87.5 million, up 44.7% from $60.4 million in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 13% for both the fourth quarter of 2017 and full-year 2017.
The ending combined loan loss reserve as a percentage of combined loans receivable was 14.3%, lower than the 16.1% reported for the prior-year period due to the improved credit quality and the continued maturation of the loan portfolio. Charge-offs as a percentage of originations for full-year 2017 continued to trend below previous years at less than 25% of principal originations.
The total number of new customers acquired during the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately 95,000 with an average customer acquisition cost of $231, below the targeted range of $250-$300. This represented a 34.6% increase over the approximately 70,000 new customers acquired in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Volatility made an abrupt return to capital markets after a nearly 18 month hiatus. Equity markets dropped almost 10% from their peaks, as investors focused on rising US treasury yields. 10-year yields touched 2.88% – nearly a four-year high. Corporate bonds (CDX.IG spreads) widened 5bps this week to 60bps, while high-yield widened 16bps to 353bps.
US consumer credit grew by $18.4 Bn in December 2017, at an annualized growth rate of 7.7%. Revolving credit card debt increased by $5.1 Bn to $1.03 Tn, the highest on record. Consumer spending has boosted US GDP, although the increasing cost of leverage and rising rates could create a drag on growth.
The model is attracting a new generation of startups, as well as investors, eager to bail out American students drowning in $1.3 trillion in student debt. The Brookings Institute estimates as much as 40% of students who entered college in the early 2000s may default on their loans by 2023, based on historical trends.
One of the first firms to enter the US market was the Chilean firm Lumni founded in 2002 (although it only came to the US in 2009) followed by 13th Avenue (2009), Cumulus Funding (2011), Upstart (2012), Pave (2012), and Vemo (2015). Not all are still signing ISAs, but current interest seems to be based on growing demand.
Are income-sharing arrangements a good deal for students?
The federal government already provides more than $200 billion (paywall) in grants, loans, and work-study assistance for students’ post-secondary education each year. Private lenders hand out about $8 billion in student loans annually, estimates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Parents and family contribute still more.
Almost 60% of college graduates in the US carry student debt, and about 57% of Americans regard it as a major problem, reports the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Yet many are not even confident their college educations are still the golden ticket they once were. A 2017 survey of 32,000 college students revealed only one-third felt prepared to enter the job market, while only half said their major will lead to a good job.
MissionU, a one-year training program in data analytics and business intelligence, offers students a blended online (80%) and in-person curriculum (20%), and work experience. It charges no tuition. After graduates earn at least $50,000, they pay back 15% of their income for the first three years.
Symphony, a messaging service that has gained some traction among Wall Street firms, has been integrated into OpenFin, an operating system built for financial-services, the two companies announced Thursday.
OpenFin hosts more than a hundred applications on its platform, and the integration means Symphony will be “interoperable” with those apps, the same way social media apps on your phone are able to talk with one another.
For new immigrants, buying a home or getting a cellphone is complicated and expensive. Even if they have financial identities and wealth in their home countries, they have no credit history in the U.S.
It’s a challenge for millions of people, and a handful of fintechs, including Nova Credit, CreditStacks, and Petal, see an opportunity to help with some creative solutions.
Others, like Deserve (formerly SelfScore) and Petal have been hoping to woo immigrants and other thin files with their own credit products, while still others like eCredable are crunching alternative data to help people build up their credit history.
And in January, CreditStacks announced a credit card product aimed at immigrant professionals who want to have a U.S. credit card in hand when they arrive in America.
San Francisco mortgage fintech Lenda, which offers mortgages faster and at lower cost than traditional rivals, expects growth to accelerate this year as it expands into a dozen states and puts to work the $5.25 million it raised in its first venture round.
When I wrote my book on P2P Lending for the retail investor, P2P Investing 101 (the paperback version here), that came out in November, there were only 7 options for retail investors. Those options were Lending Club and Prosper, as well as 5 options that take advantage of the adjustment to SEC Regulation A known as Reg A+.
We now have an 8th investment option. The Worthy Bond, which uses Reg A+ and comes from Worthy Financial. By using Reg A+, the Worthy Bond is available to retail investors as a proxy savings account within the p2p lending landscape.
While the average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles hit $36,270 in January, a whopping $1,360 or 3.9-percent gain over a year earlier, the ATP declined from December’s record, dropping $486 or 1.3 percent month over month.
Subaru 0-percent financing
Subaru, which has been setting sales records, typically runs tight inventories and keeps a close rein on incentives. However, through the rest of February it is offering 0-percent financing for 63 months on select models along with a couple of enticing fleet deals.
The 0-percent deal for 63 months is being extended on 2017/18 Legacy models, 2017/18 Outbacks and 2017 Foresters. On the 2018 Legacy, there’s also a $185 per month lease for three years with $2,595 down. The 2018 Outback is being offered on a 3-year lease deal for $239 per month with $1,739 down, while the 2018 Forester can be leased for 36 months at just $219 with $1,719 down.
Interest rates climb
According to Bankrate.com, the average 60-month new car loan is averaging 4.51 percent interest, a two-basis point increase over rates being offered at the end of November. Shorter 48-month loans are slightly cheaper, averaging 4.44 percent, again, two basis points higher than two months ago. On the used car side of the ledger, rates are closing in on the 5 percent level, averaging 4.97 percent on 3-year loans. That’s up from an average of 4.78 percent at the end of November.
Independent broker-dealers are rebuilding their online presences for a digital investing era, ushering in new client portals and offering automated investing for smaller accounts.
Advisors have pushed the firms to mimic the speed and look of digital investment platforms. Digital advice clients of all kinds will soar 844% to more than 17 million by 2021, according to a September study by Aite Group. In a nod to incumbents’ services, robos have also started offering human advisors to clients.
Narmi, a financial technology company, showcases two of its remarkable fintech integrations – Billshark and Lemonade.
Billshark – Helping Reduce Monthly Bills for Millions of Americans
Billshark helps consumers reduce monthly bills on cable, satellite TV, wireless phone, internet and many other categories. There are currently approximately 375 million monthly bills in America and roughly 80% can be negotiated. The average amount saved per bill is $280-300.
Lemonade – Reinventing Insurance Through Artificial Intelligence
Lemonade provides a mobile-first, artificial intelligence-infused way to obtain a home insurance policy. The company’s focus is on homeowners and renters insurance, and policies start at $25 a month and $5 a month, respectively.
Adding a community touch to automation has proved a profitable lending strategy for one bank.
Marquette Bank in Chicago has been able to digitize its lending processes and improve its credit memo creation time by upwards of 25% using technology from the cloud-based loan origination software firm Baker Hill.
Small-business lending has long been a staple of community banking, but in recent years customers have turned to online lenders and other fintechs for credit, in large part due to the speed and digital aspect of the experience.
The banks behind the Zelle network had more in mind than P-to-P payments between consumers, and BNY Mellon is beginning the network’s evolution by targeting the business payments market.
Zelle will help support tokenized digital payments for institutional and corporate clients in a market that is notoriously resistant to automation. BNY Mellon hopes corporates will see the Zelle network’s ability to increase control over cash flow through near-instant processing.
Webster Investments, a division of Webster Bank, N.A., now offers Guided Wealth Portfolios (GWP), an advisor-enhanced, digital investment platform designed to enhance customer experience by providing an additional option to manage their investments. The online investment platform was designed as an innovative option for clients seeking a technology-enabled investment solution combined with the opportunity to have a relationship with a financial advisor.
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The UK’s major banks are being shown a clean pair of heels by non-bank competitors in the Open Banking space, with new announcements by TrueLayer in tandem with Zopa, and Openwrks demonstrating the determination of third party providers to open up access to consumer account data.
Zopa has worked with TrueLayer to create an income verification product which removes the need to manually upload documents to verify income – replacing it with Open Banking data.
Separately, Openwrks – which likewise enables providers of consumer and small business products and services to access consumer’s financial data – has become the first third party provider to successfully connect to all of the banks currently providing functional APIs (Lloyds, RBS, AIB, HSBC and Danske).
A new bank based in Wales has raised £150 million from a hedge fund to launch as an online lender.
Chetwood Financial has received £50 million in the form of equity from Elliott Advisors, giving the fund a majority holding, with a further debt facility of up to £100 million available. Elliott is one of the best-known investors in the financial services sector.
In the FCA’s December 2016 Feedback Statement containing its interim feedback following a call for input on its postimplementation review of its crowdfunding rules (FS16/13), P2P firms received clear sign-posts on how the FCA is likely to develop its regulation of the sector. In particular, it may:
Require firms to maintain an enhanced control environment, especially as regards retail protections, such as due diligence, disclosure, transparency, and creditworthiness;
Mandate appropriate planning for wind-down/ insolvency scenarios, related controls on client asset and client money/safeguarding and potential enhanced capital requirements; and
Impose additional restrictions around complex business models (e.g. cross-investment) or those where regulatory arbitrage is possible.
China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to $5 billion in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than $100 billion, people familiar with the move told Reuters.
The new round should start with a valuation of between $80 billion to $100 billion, the people said.
A self-regulatory association that draws support from China’s banking and securities sectors is vowing to increase its oversight over cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO) in 2018.
In its annual meeting held on Feb. 9, China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) revealed that while it has put special efforts into overseeing the sector in 2017, it expects this work to become a regular part of its 2018 agenda.
Online lender, loans.com.au has today slashed rates for both owner-occupiers and investors on certain home loans, and is now offering some of the lowest mortgage rates in the market.
One of the changes was to cut the Essentials Variable 80 rate for owner-occupiers looking to make principal and interest repayments by 12 basis points, bringing it to a red hot 3.52% – the lowest rate for a loan of its kind in the Mozo database.
The rate on loans.com.au’s Offset Variable 80 for owner-occupiers making principal and interest repayments was also slashed by 12 basis points, bringing it down to a competitive 3.60%.
A government-backed inquiry into Australia’s finance sector on Monday said it will start its year-long investigation by scrutinizing the selling tactics of banks’ most lucrative products – mortgages.
Mortgages are Australian banks’ most lucrative money-spinners. The four major lenders – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, National Australia Bank, and Westpac Banking Corp – hold about 80 percent of the country’s A$1.7 trillion mortgage market.
Eduvanz Financing Pvt. Ltd, an education technology start-up that provides loans for skill development to students, has raised $500,000 in a round of funding led by Blinc Advisors, a venture capital fund, a senior executive at the start-up said.
Neha Kumari needed a new phone urgently after her old one was damaged during a Saturday night party. To add to her difficulties, it was the beginning of the last week of the month and the salary day was 10 days away. Missing client calls for more than a couple of days was out of the question and the weekend was expensive anyway.
Neha, who did not have a credit card, could have borrowed from friends, but most of them were as broke as she was then. And borrowing from the family was ruled out. The last time she had borrowed Rs 10,000 from a friend to book emergency tickets was three …
This is with reference to reports on market volatility. Regulators must ensure that this trend does not end up promoting alternative investment avenues of an uncertain nature. Investor interests demand that risk-based P2P lending via online/social marketplaces be regulated. Peer lending has significantly grown and enabled borrowers with a sub-par credit history. P2P lending is highly prone to performance risks on account of a higher probability of a borrower-default, credit risks owing to poor loan-sanctioning decisions & lack of fund-monitoring post disbursal, cash drag risks because of a larger borrower-population than the available lenders, platform Risks driven by borrower insolvency or frauds or technology risks/cybersecurity breaches and market risks owing to interest rate fluctuations and unemployment risks leading to non-payments.
With more than 200 million active users in India — the largest anywhere in the world — WhatsApp is expected to drive large volumes on peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and also become a popular platform for merchant payments. India is slated to be the first country globally to get the payments facility from WhatsApp.
Other global giants, too, are zeroing in on this space. For instance, Google has already launched its payments app Google Tez (“Tez” in Hindi means fast), while Samsung has launched Samsung Pay and Amazon has introduced Amazon Pay.
Paytm, India’s largest online payments and mobile wallet company, has invested Rs. 5,000 crore ($786 million) in mobile payments to date.
This was 13% less than $14.6 billion in 2015. On the other hand, fintech investments in Asia increased to $5.4 billion in 2016, up 12.5% from $4.8 billion in 2015.
In the not too distant future, there may come a time, where we cease to interact with the banks as we know it. Banks which were monolithic organization who created the products, sold it directly and owned the customers are being slowly ceding ground to so called new breed fintech companies chipping away at the edges. While regulations and strict KYC/AML regulations still enable banks to continue to be in business, the power they once wielded is diminishing. As Niti Aayog Chairman, Amitabh Kant said “Debit cards, credit cards and ATMs might lose relevance in the next four years”.
According to the latest annual report of RBI, during Q1 of FY18, as against negative incremental rise in bank credit, the non-bank sources gained space in lending. The total flow of funds to the commercial sector from non-bank sources during the period increased to Rs 1,16,600 crore while the formal banking system trailed behind.
In terms of financial assets, NBFCs recorded a healthy growth — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% in the past few years — comprising 13% of the total credit and are expected to reach nearly 18% by 2018-19.
Active support and initiatives by financial regulators such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank Negara Malaysia and Bank Indonesia has enabled the Asia-Pacific Fintech ecosystem to grow significantly in 2017.
The Fintech industry in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 72.5% from 2015 to 2020, reaching US$72 billion.
Future of Cashless Payments in Singapore
According to Ms Quah Mei Lee, Industry Principal, ICT, Asia-Pacific, the mobile payments market in Singapore was estimated to be worth US$1.4 billion in 2017. The market is still small but is growing fast. There are many supportive regional and local regulations and initiatives that will help Singapore move towards a cashless Society.
Fintech in Singapore’s SME Landscape
In the wake of the global Fintech boom, disruptive market innovations have forced a radical shift of business models in the Financial Services industry, notably within the P2P Lending segment. Frost & Sullivan believes that leading banks and financial institutions are driven to be lean and agile on multiple fronts, including but not limited to new digital services, elevated customer experiences and innovative technological solutions.
Online loan providers have recently begun targeting young adults here in their 20s and 30s in Korea in the name of “providing pocket money.” Other peer-to-peer lending platforms promote their services as an investment fund or shared wallet to relax young people’s vigilance toward the money lenders.
Blockchain spending in Asia Pacific excluding Japan will jump 91 percent in the five years until 2021, thanks to applications in finance and supply chain industries, said IDC in a report today.
China will see a five-year annual growth rate of 95 percent, compared with about 81 percent growth worldwide, said IDC in the report, the first blockchain report released by the company.
For example, PPDai, China’s first online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform listed in the US market, said in January it would invest 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) within three years to set up a new research institute.
News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi hit with a new lawsuit. Former SoFi loan reviewer says company created a hostile work environment. LendingClub launches Android app for investors. ZhongAn prices Hong Kong IPO at HK$59.70, raises $1.5B. Australia passes Japan to become second largest alternative finance market in APAC. Today’s main analysis: APAC alternative finance report. Today’s thought-provoking […]
New lawsuit against SoFi filed. AT: “Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it looks like we’ll be reading this news for awhile. With so many allegations on the table, it makes me wonder how many lawsuits in the end will be filed, and it seems highly plausible that it could become a class action situation.”
Why startup founders should be required to sign a ‘no go, bro’ clause. AT: “I couldn’t agree more. The days of a slap on the wrist for ruining a company’s public image should be days gone by. Accountability has to happen at the gut level, and that means shareholders need to be involved. If company executives lose financial benefits when they misbehave, perhaps we’ll see fewer shenanigans. At least, we can hope so.”
The ultimate anti-competitive mergers. AT: “It should be noted that there is a great distinction between a bank engaging in commerce and a commercial entity owning a bank. In the latter scenario, the bank could be a subsidiary that takes no direction from its corporate parent. In the former, the implication is that the commercial activities are directed by the bank. Huge distinction.”
A former loan reviewer at Social Finance Inc. claims in a lawsuit she was repeatedly sexually harassed while working there, ratcheting up pressure on the embattled fintech startup.
Sonoma County Superior Court court clerk confirmed by phone that the complaint was filed Thursday.
Top management indulged in the inappropriate behavior, which then trickled down through the ranks, according to the complaint. Cagney dated subordinates at SoFi’s San Francisco office — where his wife works as chief technology officer and vice president of engineering — and attended parties with SoFi’s Healdsburg staff while intoxicated, Zamora alleges.
Yulia Zamora, who worked as a loan reviewer at SoFi’s Healdsburg, Calif., office from October 2015 until October 2016, said in a complaint against the company that a manager had propositioned her for sex and retaliated against her when she refused.
She added that SoFi exhibited a “hostile work environment where sexually inappropriate behavior became widely accepted and laudable by upper management.”
In her complaint, Ms. Zamora said that a SoFi director of operations who had authority over promotions approached her during and after an office Christmas party in December 2015. The manager, Adam Cobb, told her that he was “intimidated by [her] beauty” and that he “want[ed] to do sexy things” to her, according to the complaint. She denied his advances, the complaint added.
In the weeks following those comments, Mr. Cobb refused to promote Ms. Zamora and refused to write her a letter of recommendation after she resigned from the company, according to the complaint. She raised the issue with supervisors just after the party, but said that they found the story “entertaining rather than upsetting.”
Startup CEOs like Cagney, Travis Kalanick at Uber, and Taylor Freeman at UploadVR—accused in a recent lawsuit of bragging with his co-founder Will Mason about how many girls they were going to have sex with at company parties, and designating a room at the office as a “kink room”—can destroy as well as create billions of dollars in value for their companies, all while creating toxic work environments.
Whether they resign like Cagney and Kalanick or remain with the company like Freeman and Mason, startup executives typically own a large percentage of company stock. That often leads investors and boards to treat them gently when it comes to sexual harassment allegations and other forms of misconduct—but it should not.
Before making a big investment in a startup, investors should use their power to require CEOs to sign a clause under which they forfeit a large proportion, or potentially all, of their stock, if fired for misconduct, including reasons such as sexual harassment and misrepresentations to investors.
With the LendingClub Invest app, you can log in via your fingerprint, view information like your current value and return, as well as transfer money.
Keep in mind that this is for investors, not borrowers. It’s for those using the service who want to manage their accounts and view the details of their current investments. Borrowers using LendingClub don’t have an app just yet.
The full log for this initial release is below:
Access your LendingClub investor account through a convenient experience optimized for your mobile device.
In this initial version you can:
– Log in to your account with a touch of the finger (for Android 6.0 or above)
– View and manage your account
– See your Net Annualized Return (NAR)
– Invest in Notes
– Use your saved filters to find the Notes you want
– Set up and update automated investing
– Transfer money between your LendingClub account and your bank
FireEye’s Mandiant group, which has been hired by Equifax to investigate the breach, said the first evidence of hackers’ “interaction” with the company occurred on March 10, according to the Mandiant report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Equifax has said it didn’t discover the breach until July 29. Days later it called in Mandiant. Equifax didn’t disclose the breach until Sept. 7.
In a progress report that accompanied that announcement last Friday, Equifax said hackers accessed consumers’ data from May 13 through July 30. It didn’t mention in that report that the attack had begun at an earlier date.
Mandiant’s report this week noted the hackers accessed one of Equifax’s servers by taking advantage of a flaw in software called Apache Struts, used by many companies to build interactive websites.
Two days before the access occurred, on March 8, security researchers at Cisco SystemsInc. warned of the flaw in Struts and a patch was issued by the Apache Software Foundation. Equifax in its report last week said its security staff “took efforts” to fix the system, saying it understood the intense focus outside the company on patching efforts and that its review was ongoing.
After interacting with Equifax’s server in early March, the hackers then entered the computer command “Whoami,” Mandiant wrote. This command would have given the attackers the username of the computer account to which they had just gained access, an early step in a hacking attempt.
When you need a new mortgage in the future, will your only options be AmazonWellsFargo or AppleChase? The prospect of a mash-up of banking and commerce keeps people like George Washington University law professor Arthur Wilmarth up at night. “This would mean an end to healthy innovation and startups and competition,” said Wilmarth. “I think it is that dire.”
In principle, these maneuvers could inject competition into a banking industry controlled mostly by four Wall Street giants, making financial services more accessible and flexible to modern needs. But special charters also let fintech evade critical regulatory scrutiny. And the tentative steps by SoFi and Square seem like a dry run for the day Silicon Valley’s giants decide to get in the game, building sprawling businesses the government has aimed to prevent for decades.
Banks get all sorts of privileges from the government—and if banks can also function as ordinary commercial enterprises, they have unfair advantages against other businesses (who are also their clients).
Members of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) now sit at the age where they anchor the country’s economic and social structure. Yet, new research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class shows that Gen-Xers face a slew of economic challenges that perpetually keep them off balance. Worse still, that lack of balance means they can’t plan for the future or get back on track.
Non-prime Gen-Xers, in particular, lack stability – in their employment as well as their income. They have difficulty predicting their monthly income, and consequently act like cash accountants in managing their day-to-day finances. Non-prime Gen-Xers are thus the least likely generational cohort to be able to save money—an important aspect of financial planning. Compared to their prime counterparts, non-prime Gen-Xers are:
4x as likely to be living paycheck to paycheck
4.5x as likely to worry about meeting monthly expenses
2x as likely to have been laid off in the past year, and almost 3x as likely to be laid off in the last 5 years
5x as likely to feel “significant stress” over finances
5x more likely to say that in the prior 12 months they were never able to plan for a major expense
The planning gap between prime and non-prime Gen-Xers is wider than any other generation, and 1 in 5 reports running out of money every month. When it comes time to pay for unplanned or unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs, only 13 percent feel confident they could come up with $1,200. This lack of confidence may be due to lack of reliable options. Though 80 percent of prime Gen-Xers have a solid option – savings, credit or turning to family/friends – only 44 percent of their non-prime counterparts have a solution for coming up with the funds.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Club is finally starting to show signs of growth after several quarters of stagnant loan originations. With the stock down 74% since its first trading day in 2014, there’s certainly potential for a big investment win if things continue to go well.
For the second quarter of 2017, Lending Club’s loan originations grew by 10% year over year as well as sequentially, which came as a pleasant surprise to investors. Revenue grew by an impressive 35% from last year, and profit margins improved tremendously. What’s more, Lending Club’s CEO said that the company could approach GAAP profitability as we head into 2018, which would be a major improvement from the first half of the year.
Lending Club’s loan portfolio is currently about $11.1 billion in size, which may sound like a lot, but consider that the U.S. nonrevolving (loan) consumer lending market has more than $2.7 trillion in outstanding balances, not including mortgages, according to the Federal Reserve.
Hyundai Capital America, the car maker’s US lending division, has partnered AutoGravity, a US-based digital car shopping and financing platform, to extend its loans more easily to consumers looking to buy a Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis vehicle.
Hyundai Capital will be one of several auto lenders that consumers can borrow from via the platform.
JPMorgan Chase partnered online car marketplace TrueCar in August 2016 to launch an end-to-end digital platform, Chase Auto Direct, for finding and financing a vehicle. Additionally, Ford Motor Credit Co., the car giant’s lending arm, started leveraging US marketplace lender AutoFi’s software in January to make it easier for customers to buy and finance a vehicle without going to showrooms.
The Saatva Company, the largest online luxury mattress retailer, has formed a strategic partnership to offer financing plans to its customers with Klarna, a global payment solutions company that works with other top U.S. brands like Microsoft and Taylormade.
Through this partnership, Saatva customers now have the option to “Slice Up Your Payment” through Klarna and spread the cost of purchases over time with convenient, stress-free low APR financing offers. It is available immediately under all three Saatva Company brands – Saatvamattress.com, Loomandleaf.com and Zenhaven.com.
After selecting the perfect mattress, customers can apply for Klarna financing at checkout through a simple three-step instant credit approval process. Customers are approved for an open line of credit that may also be used at any other merchant where Klarna is accepted.
In a recent sampling of 10,000 purchase loans from LendingTree, a leading online loan marketplace, the closing times on mortgages saw a sharp decrease thanks to more digital lending; approximately 74 percent on average from May 2016 to May 2017. According to the report, the average closing still takes roughly 72 days, but this rate is influenced by several other buying factors as well as digital integrations.
The study shows the average amount of days to close in Boston (79.5) strongly differs from the time spent in a city like Denver, (56.2); a 23.3 day difference. New York closely followed Boston at 79.2 days and Cleveland at 71.5. Phoenix and Dallas barely ranked above Denver at 57.5 and 57.6 days respectively. The time to close also varies largely by state, with Montana measuring at 52.7 days until closing and New York at 91 days.
Nine months after raising $22 million for its unique take on the cash-advance business, Activehours has gone back to the venture capital well and pulled out another $39 million in financing.
Led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from the company’s early-stage investors Matrix Partners, Ribbit Capital, and March Capital Partners, Activehours has managed to now raise nearly $65 million since its launch in 2013.
The Palo Alto-based company skirts regulation as a payday lender because it doesn’t charge interest on the cash that it fronts to customers. Instead, the company asks that users pay a small voluntary fee for access to their money ahead of their payday.
An online lender accused of striking “rent-a-tribe” deals with a Native American tribe in order to benefit from tribal immunity urged a Virginia federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a proposed class action over its lending practices, saying it is, in fact, a sovereign arm of the Chippewa Cree tribe and therefore immune from the litigation alleging false immunity.
The CFPB, which was created under Dodd-Frank supposedly to protect consumers and prevent the next big financial crisis, is now being used to try to discourage payday lending, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans. The rule will require customers applying for a small-dollar loan – the average of which is $350 — to submit extensive personal financial information in support of their applications. In addition to determining a customer’s ability to repay the loan, the lenders will be required to share this information with each credit reporting agency (CRA) registered with the Bureau.
With this data all in one place, it will be vulnerable to a potential hack.
eOriginal, Inc., today named Michael Coluzzi as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), another valuable addition to the executive team of the rapidly growing financial services technology firm.
Coluzzi is the third key addition to eOriginal’s leadership following a growth capital investment by LLR Partners. In addition to the new CFO, Brian Madocks joined as Chief Executive Officer in April 2017 followed by Timothy Wall as Chief Revenue Officer earlier this month. These hires and the existing eOriginal management team together will drive the business towards achieving full potential.
Personal Capital, the leading digital and professional advisor based wealth management firm, today announced that Bruce Felt, the Chief Financial Officer of DOMO, has joined Personal Capital’s Board of Directors and will chair the Audit Committee.
Felt is the CFO of DOMO, one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the country. Previously, he was the CFO of SuccessFactors, where he guided the company through six acquisitions, a public offering and the sale of the business to SAP. Felt has spent 25 years managing financial operations for high-tech companies and serving on multiple boards of directors.
The Registered Office of the corporation in the State of Delaware is changed to 251 Little Falls Drive, in the City of Wilmington, DE, County of New Castle, Zip Code 19808. The name of the Registered Agent at such address upon whom process against this Corporation may be served is Corporation Service Company.
The aftermath of the financial crisis has seen investors pour capital into income generating alternative assets perceived to be low risk but market watchers have warned the dangers won’t be evident until interest rates rise.
The AIC said 70 per cent of the investment trust launches over the past five years have been in the alternative income sector.
Jonathan Davis, who runs Jonathon Davis Wealth Management in Hertford, said he has been preparing his clients portfolios for higher inflation, and higher interest rates, and generally avoiding UK equities.
THE 30 September deadline to secure the necessary funds to purchase the threatened Tafarn Sinc pub in Rosebush is fast approaching.
“The aim now is to see a sum of £200,000 in shares achieved by 1 October and also the committee has endorsed a special Peer to Peer (P2P) lending scheme where a four per cent gross interest rate is offered to individuals who can lend a £5,000 sum to the co-operative to secure the total funds.
“As a target for the P2P we have 20 lots of £5,000 loans we are seeking and then this will bring in the needed final sum to purchase the pub and ensure it is owned by local people.”
ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co priced its IPO at the top of an indicated range, raising $1.5 billion in Hong Kong’s biggest ever financial technology stock offering, IFR reported on Friday.
China’s first internet-only insurer priced 199.3 million new shares at HK$59.70 ($7.65) each, the top of a HK$53.70-HK$59.70 range said IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. It cited people close to the deal.
ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co priced its IPO at the top of an indicated range, raising $1.5 billion in Hong Kong’s biggest ever financial technology stock offering, IFR reported on Friday.
China’s first internet-only insurer priced 199.3 million new shares at HK$59.70 ($7.65) each, the top of a HK$53.70-HK$59.70 range said IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. It cited people close to the deal.
Zhongan Insurance, which was co-founded by Jack Ma of Alibaba, Ma Mingzhe of PING AN and Pony Ma of Tencent, is the first internet insurance company in China. Because of its strong background, every move of Zhongan Insurance is closely concerned. On September 17, Zhongan Insurance revealed it would be listing in the main board of Hong Kong stock exchange. More details, the price range will be set at HK$53.7- 59.7, and the company plans to raise HK$10,948 million in total, it is scheduled to begin trading on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange on September 28. If the plan is implemented, Zhongan will become the first publicly listed fintech unit of China.
Tiger Brokers, a Chinese online securities brokerage start-up backed by Wall Street billionaire investor Jim Rogers, said on Thursday it has landed an investment from Interactive Brokers Group, one of the largest electronic brokers in the United States.
The Beijing-based Tiger Brokers, which offers an app to allow Chinese investors to trade on US stock markets and the Hong Kong exchanges and in Chinese A shares, did not disclose the size of the investment by Interactive Brokers.
What happens when a cookie of a Brit in London lands in the server of a community bank in the U.S. if, on an off-chance, the Brit browses the bank’s website?
It’s unclear, experts say, but U.S. banks — especially small and midsize banks — need to go find out because the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could affect them, unlike the EU privacy regulations before it.
The countdown is ticking on GDPR’s website. The law, approved by the European Parliament in April 2016, will take effect in late May 2018. It will apply to “all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location,” the website said.
Their presence begs a question of the Vision Fund, whose backersinclude Apple Inc. and Saudi Arabia. Is its long-term goal to get into everything from ride-hailing apps to indoor farming, or is it more about getting juicy returns?
One Fund to Rule Them All
SoftBank’s $93.2 billion Vision Fund is the world’s largest private equity fund.
Anshu Jain, Deutsche Bank’s former co-chief executive officer and key architect of its rapid growth in markets prior to the credit crunch, was an adviser at SoftBank-backed U.S. based online lender Social Finance Inc. until recently.
While SoftBank put in equity to the tune of $28 billion, its partners, including the government funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, hold part of their stakes via preferred instruments, also known as mezzanine capital. It means they’re owed yearly payouts, similar to a dividend.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, for instance, is injecting $45 billion, but only $18 billion of that is straight equity, the Wall Street Journal reported in May. The preferred units will earn about 7 percent interest annually over the life of the fund, expected to be 12 years.
Banks typically spend 80% of their IT budgets on legacy technology maintenance and a tier one bank could easily spend up to $300m a year on existing software which constantly needs expensive updates in order to meet regulatory requirements.
Why so much? Because most of those systems are written in programming languages that no one knows anymore. Anna Irrera writes on Reuters that 43 percent of US banks’ core systems are written in COBOL.
$3 trillion in daily commerce flows through COBOL systems. The language underpins deposit accounts, check-clearing services, card networks, ATMs, mortgage servicing, loan ledgers and other services.
In another report, Autonomous Research said the banks with the most potential to do better than analysts’ profit expectations because of digitisation were: JPMorgan Chase and SunTrust in the US, Spain’s CaixaBank, Lloyds Banking Group in the UK and KBC in Belgium.
Autonomous ranked the banks based on two criteria: their current level of digitisation and their transformation outlook. It assessed 18 attributes from customer ratings of mobile banking apps to IT expertise on the board of directors. Banks viewed as being behind on digitalisation included HSBC, BNP, Credit Suisse, Intesa Sanpaolo and Standard Chartered; the three biggest Japanese banks: MUFG, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group; and the four big Canadian banks: TD Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia.
Among those leaving the building is Wayniloans (‘an online peer to peer lending platform based on bitcoin technology. Wayniloans INC was founded in 2015 and is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina’).
According to Juan Salviolo, Wayniloans co-founder:
On Wayniloans part of our business is achieved thanks to bitcoin, and in May we agreed to a sentence to reach consensus for the good of the ecosystem. This sentence was later changed to a longer agreement without our notice, and it was known as the New York Agreement (NYA). At the time we didn’t know that existing developers wouldn’t support it, or that most Latin American bitcoin users, our customers, would view it as a contentious proposal.
Which brings us back to Fickling’s point. The connection between Bitcoin and the real economy is sentiment and therefore, ipso facto, prima facie, mutatis mutandis, sentiment is the sole driver of value.
Findings from a joint study by KPMG, the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, released today, reveals that Australia’s alternative finance market size grew by 53 per cent from 2015 to 2016 and has now reached US $609.6 million.
According to the Second Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report, Australia has leap-frogged Japan to become the second largest alternative lending market (behind China) across the Asia-Pacific.
Outside of China, Australia now contributes 30.42% of the total market in Asia Pacific and stands well ahead of Japan (US $398.45 million) and South Korea (US $376.31 million) in terms of market size.
China is the biggest kid on the block when it comes to the emerging alternative finance market in the Asia Pacific region. In fact, China has the largest alternative finance market in the world driven by a fast growing economy, a highly connected population via mobile devices, and a need for access to capital not serviced by traditional state owned banks. But rapid alternative finance growth is not isolated to just China in the Asia Pacific region. Australia experienced growth of 53% from 2015 to 2016, according to the recent research report published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. Australia’s alternative finance market has now reached US $609.6 million.
MoneyPlace CEO Stuart Stoyan echoes Bertoli’s sentiment regarding online lending;
“We have now moved on from being an ‘early stage’ and ‘cottage’ industry to be a legitimate source of funding for Australian borrowers,” he said.
Daniel Foggo, CEO of RateSetter Australia, explained that while trust and confidence in banks continues to erode, peer-to-peer lenders are building a sustainable, technology-led alternative to the bank model, offering better value to Australian investors and borrowers.
Technology is an increasingly important aspect of the financial marketplace. With the rapid introduction of platforms such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and new crypto-currencies, it is important for fin-tech users and providers to protect their intellectual property (IP) from infringement and ensure they are not at risk of infringing the IP of another.
While the recent Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification treating all peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is likely to bring some credibility to the business, experts say it’s a battle half won by the fintech firms.
The RBI proposal, they say, might cripple the operations of small players who won’t be able to comply with some of the new requirements such as keeping net available funds of Rs 2 crore.
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance together with the Australian Centre for Financial Studies at Monash University and Tsinghua University today released their second annual alternative finance report.
Alternative finance volume totaled $245.28 billion in 2016, up from $103.31 billion in 2015. It’s amazing to see alternative finance continue to grow in the region. Not surprisingly, China is the main driver accounting for 99.2% of the total Asia Pacific market. China represented approximately 85% of the entire global market in 2016.
Other findings from the report include:
China continues to see “distinctively low levels” of institutional participation in alternative finance compared to other markets such as the US and UK, with only five per cent of peer-to-peer business lending coming from institutions in 2016.
In the Asia Pacific outside of China, about $1.5 billion was raised by businesses through alternative finance channels, up 72 per cent from the previous year, with an estimated 43,000 business entities utilising alternative channels of business finance.
In China, 72 per cent of peer-to-peer consumer lending platforms see cyber-attacks as the biggest threat to the industry, while more than 50 per cent across all platforms in China see current and proposed regulatory norms to be adequate.
Outside of China, 69 per cent of platforms in Japan see existing regulation as inadequate or too relaxed, while in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia around two thirds of platforms see current regulations as adequate.
The intermediaries tasked with passing along interest payments for the cash-strapped nation haven’t received the funds for an $185 million coupon that was due Sept. 15, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Investors interviewed by Bloomberg say they haven’t been paid, and brokers say their clients are still waiting on the cash.
The government has a 30-day grace period — now 25 days — to make good on the payment before triggering an event of default on the notes.