Friday May 25 2018, Daily News Digest

The likelihood that business would choose fintech over banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper qualifies borrowers up to $40K. GreenSky completes largest fintech IPO of the year. RateSetter hits $2.5B in lending. Lebashe increases RainFin stakes to 75%. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s quarterly MPL results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Alternative loan customers may perform well on traditional credit products. Banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders. How Ashton Kutcher […]

The likelihood that business would choose fintech over banks

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United States

United Kingdom

China

International

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News Summary

United States

Prosper Introduces Loans Up To $ 40,000 For Borrowers (Prosper Blog) Rated: AAA

Today we’re pleased to announce that Prosper now offers qualified borrowers access to loans up to $40,000.

GreenSky Completes Largest Fintech IPO of the Year (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

There is a lot that sets GreenSky apart from many of the fintech companies that exist today. The biggest differentiator is that the company is profitable and runs a high margin business. In fact, the company has been profitable for the last five years. They reported $139 million in net income on revenues of $326 million last year. They also have a highly differentiated, boots on the ground model to originating loans, empowering contractors to offer financing to homeowners at the point of sale. They also partner with other types of merchants to offer financing. GreenSky only holds a small portion of loans on their own balance sheet with most loans being funded through around 15 bank partners.

Segment of Population Using Alternative Loans May Perform Well on Traditional Credit Products (Globe Newswire) Rated: AAA

Two-thirds of consumers active in the alternative loan market fall in the subprime risk category, the riskiest of all credit tiers. Yet, a new TransUnion (NYSE:TRUstudy found that many of these consumers perform well when opening traditional credit products such as credit cards, auto and personal loans.

TransUnion studied over five million consumers who originated a traditional credit product between Q2 2015 and Q1 2016 and measured their performance 12 months after originating the loan. Of the over five million consumers, approximately 450,000 (or 8%) were present in TransUnion’s alternative lending database. TransUnion then compared the performance of the alternative loan population to those consumers who were not seeking or did not possess an alternative loan product.

The study corroborated that many alternative loan borrowers do present greater risks on traditional loans. However, there is a material subset of this population that would present reasonable risks on an auto loan or credit card, among other traditional products.

For instance, in the near prime risk tier (consumers with a VantageScore 3.0 credit score of 601-660):

  • Approximately 14% of those borrowers who possessed only one short-term loan went 90 or more days past due on a traditional account 12 months later.
  • The delinquency level declined to less than 12% when a consumer possessed two alternative loans.
  • The delinquency figure dropped even further to around 9% when a consumer had eight or more alternative loans over the course of seven years.

Near Prime Consumers with Strong Alternative Loan Payment History Perform Better on Traditional Loans

Number of
Satisfactory
Alternative
Loan
Accounts
0 1 2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 11+
Ever 90+
Days Past
Due in 12
Months on
Traditional
Loans
18 % 11 % 11 % 11 % 10 % 9 % 8 % 8 %

Comparing Origination Activity of Alternative Loan Borrowers to the Rest of the Population

Approximately 26% of alternative loan borrowers who originated a traditional loan product in the study opened an auto loan and 50% took out either a personal loan or auto loan. This latter statistic compares favorably to the 37% origination rate for the rest of the population in the study.

From a supply perspective, traditional finance companies are providing by far the most loans to alternative lending consumers, with a market share of 59%. However, credit unions (9%) and FinTechs (3%) supply about 12% of such loans to this credit population.

Five Banks and Credit Unions Rocking The Small Business Market (The Financial Brand) Rated: AAA

FIS found that more than one-quarter (27%) of small businesses in the U.S. are using alternative lenders like these. Among Millennial business owners, that percentage is double (48%). And yet only 7% say they are using these platforms for lower interest rates; in most cases, banks and credit unions offer better rates. FIS also found that small businesses have been turning to non-bank financial apps to make B2B payments.

In research conducted by ath Power Consulting, two-thirds of small business owners said they would consider switching to a competing banking provider if it offered products and services to help them better manage and grow their business, and over half (54%) would consider switching to a non-bank alternative for the same reasons.

Source: The Financial Times

Digital Federal Credit Union and offers a service to small businesses to raise capital and give its members an opportunity to invest in community business. The credit union has partnered with GrowthFountain, a funding portal of crowdfunding solutions. Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union has also done the same thing.

San Francisco startup Seed is a free mobile-only banking service for small businesses, who can get a checking account and a debit card through Seed’s partnership with The Bancorp and have access to bill payment, mobile check deposit and ACH and wire transfers. Seed is sort of like Mint and QuickBooks except that Seed directly partners with a FDIC-insured bank (like how Simple started out). There’s not a physical checkbook in sight.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q1 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

My preliminary return of 4.70% is close to where it was last quarter but still down. I don’t expect my final Lend Academy P2P Fund return to increase this number so I am still stuck in the downward trend of returns.

My six original accounts at Lending Club and Prosper have all been open for at least six years so they are very mature accounts that have experienced several turns of capital as I have kept reinvesting over the years. The returns for the past year are still bad at 2.34% as I continue to pay for poor underwriting performance in 2015 and 2016 at both companies. When you see today that you can get 3% on a 10-year Treasury Note a sub 3% return is just not acceptable for an unsecured consumer loan.

Source: Lend Academy

SoFi finds new downtown San Francisco office a talent magnet as it expands services (San Francisco Business Times) Rated: A

San Francisco-based SoFi said a downtown San Francisco office it picked up this year through an acquisition is paying an unexpected dividend: greater interest from engineers that the fintech wants to hire.

SoFi has 44 engineers at the company’s downtown San Francisco office at 222 Sutter St, consisting of almost 15,000 square feet on one floor. Another 40 or so employees float between SoFi’s downtown office and Presidio headquarters.

How [and why] I invest in startups (TechCrunch) Rated: AAA

A lot of venture funds try to optimize for returns. They run complex ratio economic models to determine what their diluted value will be at the end of the life cycle of the optimal and non-optimal case of every given company.

What I look for in founders

I don’t have a magic formula, but there are four important factors that must all check out for me to invest in a founder.

  1. Domain Expertise
  2. Grit
  3. Purpose
  4. Charisma

Amazon’s Finance Ambitions Are Drawing Attention From the Fed (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles, the U.S.’s most influential banking watchdog, is monitoring the potential for disruption to the industry and has expressed concern about how tech companies could provide financial services outside of regulators’ oversight, according to people who’ve spoken with him privately. Quarles hasn’t yet made any moves to intervene and the Fed’s influence would be limited.
Should the Fed get involved in the debate, it could be welcome news for traditional banks, who view Amazon and other technology companies as potential threats that enjoy fewer regulatory constraints. The companies are increasingly encroaching on lenders’ business, as evidenced by Amazon’s recent interest in offering a product akin to checking accounts.

Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book Team with LendingTree to Empower Shoppers with Auto Lending Options (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Securing vehicle financing in advance can save car buyers both time and money on their car-shopping journey. With this in mind, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, both Cox Automotive companies, have teamed with LendingTree. LendingTree’s auto finance marketplace provides each site’s visitors simple and easy online financing that can be used for new and used cars and trucks, anywhere in the United States.

Plenty of payday loan customers have good credit: TransUnion (American Banker) Rated: A

When Liz Pagel and Matt Komos began analyzing a slew of alternative credit data gathered by FactorTrust, an alternative credit bureau TransUnion acquired last year, they sought to understand the behavior of consumers who use payday loans, pawnshop loans, auto title loans, rent-to-own arrangements and “buy here, pay here” credit.

But 12% turned out to be prime and super prime. Only 3% were unscored.

The researchers then looked at what other credit these short-term borrowers have and found 75% have traditional credit, too.

Developers could make bank from Dodd-Frank rollback (The Real Deal) Rated: B

New legislation passed by the House of Representatives would relax restrictions on thousands of smaller lenders, potentially opening up the spigot for developers seeking commercial loans. The bill, which is awaiting President Trump’s signature, would remove provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that many community and regional banks had deemed too costly and unfairly burdensome.

14 Chicago tech companies made Inc.’s 2018 Best Workplaces list (Built In Chicago) Rated: B

OppLoans is an online lender that uses a data-driven credit-scoring algorithm to provide loans to consumers who can’t access credit from traditional institutions. OppLoans is one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Chicago and has been named to the Inc. 500 two years in a row.

 

 

Fundbox Named “Best Overall Business Lending Company” In 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Annual Awards Program (PR Newswire) Rated: B

 Today Fundbox,  a leader in credit and payments for small businesses serving other businesses (SMB2B), announced that it has been selected as winner of the “Best Overall Business Lending Company” award by FinTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global FinTech market today.

“We are delighted to recognize Fundbox for one of our program’s marquee awards, the Best Overall Business Lending Company award, an uber-competitive award category for our program with many compelling companies nominated,” said James Johnson, Managing Director, FinTech Breakthrough. “Fundbox stood out from the competition with its artificial intelligence-based underwriting platform. By fully automating the underwriting process with a data-driven risk model, Fundbox promises to underwrite faster, more cost-effectively and with greater accuracy than many other lenders – opening up lending possibilities for more customers. Congratulations to the entire Fundbox team for their industry recognition with our 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Award distinction.”

United Kingdom

RateSetter hits £2.5bn of lending (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer lender, which launched in 2010, said 65,000 people have RateSetter investment accounts, financing more than 460,000 borrowers.

Investors have lent more than £1.55bn to individuals and almost £950m to businesses and have earned an average annual return of 4.4 per cent.

ArchOver launches Innovative Finance ISA to UK investors (Global Banking & Finance) Rated: A

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, is helping British investors make the most of their annual tax-free allowance with the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). ArchOver’s IFISA service offers investors premium credit control and security, proven by ArchOver’s no-loss rate. It allows investors to invest directly in successful businesses, earning tax-free interest of up to 10% p.a. – far more than the average return on a cash ISA.

OakNorth: Brexit creates opportunity to reform banking regulation (AltFi News) Rated: A

OakNorth has called on the Treasury to use Brexit as an opportunity for regulatory reform in banking.

Responding to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry on SME finance, the bank said that there should be more proportionality between challenger banks and incumbents.

Mayo-based Doherty Menswear successfully raises €45,000 in peer-to-peer loans (Mayo Advertiser) Rated: B

To date, €1,012,000 has been raised through Linked Finance’s online lending platform (www.linkedfinance.com ) to facilitate business growth in Mayo, for 29 businesses.

Two more hires for ThinCats amid company growth (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER-TO-PEER lending platform ThinCats has appointed two new sales and marketing executives, as its hiring spree continues.

The alternative finance specialist has named Tony Smedley (pictured) as head of sales operations, and Richard Wilson as head of marketing, as part of a new push to “ramp up the provision of vital funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

China

China Rapid Finance Announces Preliminary First Quarter 2018 Results (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE:XRF), operator of one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, today disclosed preliminary financial results for the first quarter of 2018.

The Company expects to report a net loss in the range of $25 to $30 million, the majority of which consists of approximately $16 million of one-time expenses: 1) non-recurring expenses associated with preparing for registration; 2) write-offs related to receivables and amortizations; 3) non-cash accounting charges related to adoption of the new GAAP standard for revenue recognition (ASC 606); and 4) one-time costs associated with a pilot funding program that was discontinued due to regulatory changes.

Yirendai Reports First Quarter 2018 Financial Results (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

In the first quarter of 2018, Yirendai facilitated RMB11,956.7 million (US$1,906.2 million) of loans to 174,128 qualified individual borrowers through its online marketplace, representing a year-over-year growth of 65%; 23.1% of loan volume were generated by repeat borrowers who have successfully borrowed on Yirendai’s platform before; 72.5% of the borrowers were acquired from online channels;  100% of the loan volume originated from online channels was facilitated through mobile.

In the first quarter of 2018, Yirendai facilitated 214,231 investors with total investment amount of RMB11,427.6 million(US$1,821.8 million), 100% of which was facilitated through its online platform and 95% of which was facilitated through its mobile application.

In the first quarter of 2018, total net revenue was RMB1,592.7 million (US$253.9 million), an increase of 56% from prior year; net income was RMB278.9 million (US$44.5 million), a decrease of 21% from prior year and adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2018 was RMB668.5 million (US$106.6 million), an increase of 91% from prior year.

The fuse that could light China’s debt bomb (Financial Review) Rated: A

A financial planning manager in a major Shanghai bank branch points to a flickering computer screen displaying a list of wealth management products for customers wanting a higher yield to normal deposits.

For a deposit of 100,000 yuan ($20,600), he recommends a “low risk” product with an interest rate of 4.25 per cent over one year. Alternatively, the customer can opt for a riskier 4.75 per cent yield but there is no guarantee they will get any of their money bank. The customer is advised to act fast as yields are falling rapidly following closer government scrutiny of China’s savings products since March.

European Union

New Robo.cash P2P Lending & Millennials Research & 4M€ Milestone (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Robo.cash’s research shows that Millennials are steadily taking over the leading position from the older generation of investors. Six months ago, the average age of investors of the platform was 38 years, and the age groups were distributed as follows: Silent generation (73-90) — 0.8%; Baby boomers (54-72) — 9.5%; Generation X (38-53) — 38.6%; Millennials (22-37) — 50.3% and Generation Z (18-21) — 0.8%. Today, the typical investor has grown younger to 37 years old due to the increased share of Millennials — 53.9% and Generation Z — 1.8%.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Dublin-founded Future Finance agrees £100m debt facility (Irish Times) Rated: A

Future Finance, a Dublin-founded student loan specialist that recently secured €40 million in funding, has signed a £100 million (€114 million) debt facility.

The deal with alternative asset management firm, Waterfall Asset Management, which includes an option to participate in a further £150 million (€171 million) extension, will enable the company to grow its student lending business further.

International

What the Blockchain Means for the Future of Small Business Funding (Business.com) Rated: AAA

Business financing has always been a thorny issue for many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and is often cited as one of the reasons behind the morbid failure rates for new businesses. One report found that about 29 percent of failed businesses identified the lack of working capital as a major reason for failure, second only to the lack of market demand for their products or services.

Here are a few specific ways the blockchain can be used to bolster funding for SMBs.

1. P2P lending

The blossoming crypto market is also helping fan the flames of disruption for P2P business lending. Earlier this month, Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, XRP, announced plans to push the use of XRP into other industry segments outside of P2P payments and banking, including the P2P lending industry.

2. Using blockchain and big data to improve existing systems

Wish Finance, a blockchain-based lending platform for SMBs, is using the blockchain to help improve traditional risk scoring systems while providing a simple platform for repayments.

3. ICOs and SMB funding

But as investors become wiser and as trust becomes a permanent feature of the blockchain, there’s a growing opportunity for SMBs with solid business models to cash in.

Africa

Budding SA bank buys peer-to-peer lending firm RainFin (Business Tech) Rated: AAA

Johannesburg-based Lebashe will boost its holdings in RainFin by 24% to 75% for an undisclosed sum, the company said in an emailed statement on Thursday. RainFin, the largest peer-to-peer lender in South Africa, bought back the 49% held by Barclays’s South African unit, with Lebashe acquiring its 51% stake in February last year.

Asia

Singapore’s GIC emerges as most active Asian PE investor in Q1 (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC completed at least 11 private equity deals in the first quarter of this year, making the $344-billion fund the most active Asian PE investor during the period.

GIC joined other investors in sealing two of the biggest investments of the quarter, according to a PitchBook report. It participated in the $5.5-billion buyout of Denmark’s Nets A/S by partnering with private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, and in the $2.5-billion investment in FirstEnergy in January.

Canada

IOU Financial Inc. Releases Financial Results for the Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2018 (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV:IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), announced today its results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2018.

  • Net earnings on an IFRS basis and adjusted net earnings amounted to $0.8 million in Q1 2018, the second consecutive quarter with positive earnings for the Company.
  • Loan originations increased 11.2% to $24.5 million compared to the same period in 2017.
  • Provision for loan losses decreased 50.6% to $0.9 million in Q1 2018 driven by measures taken to reduce defaults.
  • Opex decreased 23.1% to $1.9 million for the first quarter of 2018

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday April 27 2018, Daily News Digest

Canada investments

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage buys Orchard.Ascentium Capital issues $330M securitization.LendingTree reports record Q1 results.Funding Circle issues second MPL deal.Revolut raises $250M, achieves unicorn status.BBVA issues first blockchain loan from a global bank.IOU Financial releases 2017 results. Today’s main analysis: Canadian fintech funding declines 60 percent in Q1. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Where the oldest […]

Canada investments

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Canada

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News Summary

United States

It’s Official: Kabbage To Acquire Orchard (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

It was the worst kept secret in fintech. There were rumors flying around during LendIt Fintech earlier this month and then Bloomberg published this story a couple of weeks ago about the pending deal. Well, today it became official. In a press release this morning it was confirmed that Kabbage, the tech-focused small business lender, will acquire Orchard.

So, what will become of Matt Burton and his team? Some clues are provided in the press release:

Orchard’s CEO and co-founder, Matt Burton, as well as Chief Analytics Officer and co-founder, David Snitkof, will both join Kabbage in leadership roles upon the closing, helping oversee technology integrations and future innovations. In total, Kabbage will add more than twenty Orchard employees who are predominantly focused on advanced analytics, data science and engineering to its New York City office.

Kabbage plan in Orchard deal: Expand offerings to banks, small businesses (American Banker) Rated: A

Kathryn Petralia, president and co-founder of Kabbage, said the acquisition will help the company diversify its business and offer more data-driven services to small businesses and financial institutions. It currently works with ING, Santander and Scotia Bank. Kabbage’s U.S.-based loans are issued by Celtic Bank in Salt Lake City.

The Orchard name will not survive. “At closing we will be Kabbage,” Burton said.

Until now, Orchard has been providing loan and portfolio analysis to other online lenders. This business model will be discontinued and those relationships will most likely end. Orchard’s current clients are being told about its sale to Kabbage, Burton said.

Ascentium Capital Announces $ 330 Million Securitization (Ascentium) Rated: AAA

Ascentium Capital issued a $330 million small ticket equipment securitization of Ascentium Equipment Receivables 2018-1 Trust.

This represents the company’s ninth securitization since 2012 and the first time a non-investment grade, independent equipment finance company received triple AAA and Aaa ratings from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

LendingTree Reports Record 1Q 2018 Results (Markets Insider) Rated: AAA

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE), operator of LendingTree.com today announced results for the quarter ended March 31, 2018.

First Quarter 2018 Business Highlights

  • Revenue from mortgage products of $73.5 million represents an increase of 17% over first quarter 2017 driven by strong growth in both purchase and refinance revenues at 13% and 18%, respectively.  According to Mortgage Bankers Association, originations industry-wide were projected down 4% in the comparable period.
  • Record revenue from non-mortgage products of $107.6 million in the first quarter represents an increase of 55% over the first quarter 2017.
  • Revenue from our credit card offerings continued its momentum, growing to $46.1 million in 1Q, up 36% over the first quarter 2017.
  • Personal loans revenue of $26.0 million grew 53% over first quarter 2017.
  • Home equity revenue continued to climb, growing 81% over first quarter 2017.
  • More than 8.0 million consumers have now signed up for free credit scores and savings alerts through My LendingTree.  Revenue contribution from MyLendingTree grew 76% in the first quarter compared to the prior year period as new features, such as Credit Analyzer and free credit monitoring, are driving increased engagement.

LendingTree Study Reveals Which Places Buy the Oldest Used Cars (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released the findings of its study on the places that buy the oldest used cars. LendingTree analyzed auto loan offers for borrowers in the top 50 U.S. metros (based on population) to find the average age of used cars financed in each metro, as well as which makes of used cars were most popular.

The national average age of a used car people sought to finance was six years old, but some parts of the country prefer older used cars more than others.

Source: Lending Tree

Mobile Banking One of Top Three Most Used Apps by Americans, 2018 Citi Mobile Banking Study Reveals (Citigroup) Rated: AAA

Apps for mobile banking have become some of the most widely used by Americans, according to Citi’s 2018 Mobile Banking Study, released today. The survey of 2,000 U.S. adults found that, measured by top two ranked responses, 31 percent of consumers use their mobile banking app the most, behind only apps for social media (55 percent) and the weather (33 percent).

“Over the past year we’ve witnessed this increase in engagement first-hand, with mobile usage in North America increasing by almost 25 percent, and we don’t see this trend slowing down any time soon.”

LendingClub was sued for the fees it charges — how you can avoid being overcharged (Market Watch) Rated: A

Pay attention to both the interest rate advertised, as well as the annual percentage rate (APR), Clements said. If they’re different, the lender is likely factoring additional fees into your annual percentage rate.

You may need to borrow more money than you expected if that’s the case, he said, because the total amount you would receive will be less than you asked for.

Research several lenders before choosing which one you want, he said. And if there are any unfamiliar terms, or any confusion about how much you’ll pay back monthly, ask.

Digital bank in a box: Fintech offers branding tool (American Banker) Rated: A

The core systems provider Nymbus is offering a new product for bank customers that want to get in on the burgeoning trend of having a stand-alone, digital brand.

Dubbed SmartLaunch, the offering enables financial institutions to create a digital brand under their existing charter in as little as 90 days, according to Nymbus. The product is built on Nymbus’ cloud-based SmartCore platform, and the company says it provides banks that use the service with all outsourced operational and technological requirements to run the digital bank. Also included are client support, digital marketing and website services.

Source: American Banker

RealtyMogul and Comunidad Realty Partners Close $ 30 Million in Texas Multifamily Properties (Citizen Tribune) Rated: A

RealtyMogul, a pioneer in providing private real estate to discerning investors, announced that MogulREIT II, its real estate investment trust or “REIT,” has completed investments in multifamily apartment complexes in Fort Worth, Texas and San Antonio, Texas, consisting of over 450 units.

The properties were acquired through a partnership with Comunidad Realty Partners, a dynamic real estate investment firm specializing in workforce housing communities in culturally diverse neighborhoods.

Scaling Real Estate Crowdfunding: PeerStreet Establishes a Culture of Excellence at the Top (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Loans on PeerStreet are sourced and curated from vetted private lenders throughout the United States. These lenders have real estate expertise and established borrower relationships. To date, PeerStreet has helped to finance over $900 million in loans by using this partnership approach. The properties they help finance are typically smaller in value – a segment of the industry that is usually overlooked by big institutional money. Loans range from 6 to 24 months and are first lien so investors have a good degree of security.  Most of the loans are below a loan to value of 75%. About a year ago, PeerStreet announced having funded $300 million in loans. In less than 12 months, PeerStreet has funded double that number.

PeerStreet is doing small loans commercial, some multi family and mixed used properties. The largest loan size is around $5 million but there can be exceptions. The rate of return for investors during 2017 stood, on average, at 8% net of fees. As for defaults, so far only five loans have gone into foreclosure but they have not experienced any loss of principle – a positive metric.

Citizens Bank Taps Finastra and Infosys for Trade Finance Solution (Citizens Bank) Rated: A

Citizens Bank, working with Infosys as its implementation partner, has selected Finastra to power the trade finance solution it offers to its corporate clients. This new capability will enable Citizens’ corporate clients to digitize traditionally paper-based trade processes, leading to increased efficiencies and reduced costs.

The new trade finance offering will allow the bank to meet increased client demand. Citizens picked Finastra’s Fusion Trade Innovation for its end-user experience, ability to support all trade products, capacity to integrate with downstream systems through open APIs and its high level of configurability.

Consumers in Columbus less likely to put fraud alerts on their credit reports (The Columbus Dispatch) Rated: A

However, a new study finds that consumers in the biggest Midwest cities, including Columbus, are much less likely to put alerts on their credit reports than those in other cities, such as Las Vegas, Houston, Miami and New York. The study by online lender Lending Tree was based on a random sample.

US banks to get more freedom to offer unsecured loans (Financial Times) Rated: B

Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency, said he believed standards should be relaxed to allow banks back into the small dollar loan market; loans would range from $500 to $5,000 and be paid back in 45 and 90 days; right now payday lenders dominate this space and typically take advantage of borrowers by charging high fees and rolling over the principal; allowing banks back into the market will help to bring more regulation and cut down on abuses.

Growth plans: Both big and small banks set to expand locally (Orlando Business Journal) Rated: B

David Stahl, senior vice president, SunTrust Bank: We acquired an online lender called LightStream two years ago, and that has been a huge opportunity for us. The days of people walking into a bank and applying for a loan are pretty much gone.

Free Research Reports on These Credit Services Stocks — MoneyGram, Navient, Oaktree Specialty Lending and On Deck Capital (PR Newswire) Rated: B

This morning, WallStEquities.com observes MoneyGram International Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI), Navient Corp. (NASDAQ: NAVI), Oaktree Specialty Lending Corp. (NASDAQ: OCSL), and On Deck Capital Inc. (NYSE: ONDK). Credit Services companies originate, acquire, and service loans to individuals and corporations. Their products include student loans, mortgages, lines of credit, private equity, and venture capital. All you have to do is sign up today for this free limited time offer by clicking www.wallstequities.com/registration

Covr Financial Technologies appoints Chris Growney to Board of Directors; Gregory Fleming and Robert Kerzner, join Covr’s Advisory Board (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Covr Financial Technologies, a digital, multi-carrier life insurance platform for financial institutions, announced that Chris Growney, an advisor with venture capital and advisory firm Nyca Partners has joined Covr’s Board of Directors following Nyca’s role in Covr’s June, 2017 fundraising. Growney, a director, advisor and investor in a broad range of start-up and growth companies was most recently the founder of Clearwater Analytics, an investment analytics and accounting software company based in Boise, Idaho.

6th Avenue Capital Announces Promotion of Darren Schulman to President (deBanked) Rated: B

6th Avenue Capital, LLC (“6th Avenue Capital”) announced today the promotion of Darren Schulman to President, effective immediately. In his new position, Schulman has oversight over originations, underwriting, operations, collections and strategic initiatives. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer, and will continue to report directly to Chief Executive Officer Christine Chang.

The company also announced today that Chang and Schulman have been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors.

Best Egg Teams with Junior Achievement of Delaware on Financial Education Initiatives (Business Wire) Rated: B

Best Egg, the consumer lending brand of Marlette Funding, LLC, is providing both classroom education and other inspiring financially-related activities for Junior Achievement of Delaware (JA of DE). This announcement coincides with National Financial Literacy Month, being celebrated throughout the month of April.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle brings second marketplace loan deal (Global Capital) Rated: AAA

Sole arranger and lead manager Deutsche Bank announced Thursday a £207m UK SME securitization from Funding Circle, Small Business Loan Origination Trust 2018-1, the second ABS offering from the online lender.

In addition to being just the second deal from Funding Circle, and the third European marketplace loan ABS overall, SBOLT 2018-1 marks the first time Kroll Bond Rating Agency has assigned a public rating for a European securitization deal.

KBRA Europe Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Small Business Origination Loan Trust 2018-1 DAC (Business Wire) Rated: A

Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited (KBRA) has assigned preliminary ratings to four classes of notes (“Rated Notes”) issued by Small Business Origination Loan Trust 2018-1 DAC (“SBOLT 2018-1”). This is a £206.6 million ABS transaction collateralised by unsecured loans made to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) incorporated in the United Kingdom (“UK”).

This transaction represents the second ABS securitisation collateralised by unsecured loans to SMEs originated through the online lending platform operated by Funding Circle Limited (“Funding Circle”), and the first European rated ABS securitisation for KBRA.

Source: Business Wire

Confirmation of that came on Thursday as Revolut became the first of Britain’s digital-only banks to achieve “unicorn” status – in other words, a privately held start-up company with a valuation of more than $1bn (£720m).

Revolut, which was only founded in July 2015, has been valued at $1.7bn (£1.22bn) in its latest funding round.

The bank, which started out as a currency exchange app but later moved into providing personal banking and cryptocurrency trading services, raised $250m (£180m) from backers including DST Global, an investment firm backed by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, whose previous early-stage tech investments have included Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and Spotify.

Ranger Direct Lending rejects investor call to wind up (City Wire) Rated: A

Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) has criticised shareholder Oaktree Capital Management for trying to force the struggling alternative income fund to wind up.

Oaktree, the second largest shareholder in the fund that invests in and through lending platforms, has made public its correspondence with Ranger, which it described as a ‘sub-scale platform’ with shares ‘too illiquid to attract large institutional investors, especially in light of its persistent trading discount to net asset value (NAV)’.

Goji passes £50m in assets (Goji) Rated: A

Goji has now got more than £50m of assets on its platform a little over a year after opening its doors to investors.  With over 5,000 customer accounts, our hard earned growth is testament to the work the whole industry has done in selling the asset class to the UK public.

After campaigning hard to change the tax laws to open up the ISA rules so that non-lending platforms could also offer an IFISA, Goji was the first firm to offer investors diversification across a number of platforms through a single Innovative Finance ISA.  Goji’s Diversified Lending Bonds target 5%, whilst it’s Renewables Lending Bond targets returns in excess of 8%.

A lending site where you can rent anything just scored millions in venture capital (Business Insider) Rated: A

Fat Lama, which announced $10 million in its Series A on Wednesday in a round led by Blossom Capital, says it will use its latest funding to further its reach within the US and to create a mobile-first offering (so far, the site’s mobile app is only available in the UK).

Fat Lama lets users borrow everything from drones to camera equipment to printers.

The site insures any item listed on its site for up to $30,000, and Englander said his company has plans to raise that amount to $50,000 in the near future.

 

 

Artificial intelligence backed to reduce P2P defaults (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) could provide peer-to-peer lenders with greater lending security and less chance of defaults, a technology consultancy claims.

Nick Parham, technical pre-sales consultant at NashTech, said there is much P2P platforms can learn about AI from traditional lenders.

“The traditional lending market offers us a powerful insight into the potential for AI in P2P lending,” he said.

TURNING TO YOUR PEERS (BQ Live) Rated: A

They created ArchOver, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that allows firms that have been operating for more than two years to borrow money from lenders using its website. Companies borrow a minimum of £250,000, with interest rates starting at 7.7% a year.

Since it launched in the autumn of 2014, ArchOver has helped its lenders to inject more than £65m into British businesses, bringing in more than £2.5m in interest at an average return of 7.3%. In an age when bank savings accounts are paying less than 0.5%, it’s easy to see the attraction for investors who understand the risks as well as the rewards.

European Union

Klarna integrates with Magento for streamlined checkout (Payments Source) Rated: AAA

Commerce platform Magento is giving merchants the option to activate Klarna instant credit for online checkouts.

Sweden-based Klarna is built into the latest version of Magento Commerce, giving merchants a streamlined path to offer goods consumers may opt to pay for immediately, within 30 days, or longer via installments, Klarna said in a Thursday press release.

Taaleri increases its ownership in Fellow Finance by 7.3 per cent (Globe Newswire) Rated: A

Taaleri Plc has decided to exercise its option to acquire an additional 7.3% holding in Fellow Finance Oy, as outlined in the shareholders’ agreement signed in 2015. After the transaction Taaleri’s shareholding in Fellow Finance, which offers a crowdfunding platform for companies and for consumers, will increase to 45.7%. The transaction is scheduled to be realized in April-May.

International

BBVA and Indra deliver the world’s first blockchain-supported corporate loan (BBVA) Rated: AAA

BBVA has successfully completed the first global corporate loan transaction using blockchain technology from the negotiation of the deal to its signing, in line with their close collaboration to leverage cutting-edge technologies to streamline business processes.

The pilot enabled the closing of a €75 million loan using a solution developed by BBVA based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). This demonstrates how BBVA continues to incorporate innovative and disruptive technology into its customer solutions, including those products that up to now have seen limited digital innovation, as is the case with wholesale finance.

BANKS VS FINTECHS: THE WAR FOR TALENT (International Banker) Rated: A

Many of these start-ups, moreover, are equipped with enough cash to be able to compete with their banking counterparts on salaries. According to assessments by recruitment site Glassdoor, for example, a London-based software engineer at online lender Funding Circle will earn a base salary of £51,000 on average, which is equal to the salary paid at Goldman Sachs for a similar role. At UBS, that figure is £59,000, while at challenger Monzo Bank it is currently £64,000. Speaking recently to Bloomberg, co-founder and CEO of property lending platform LendInvest, Christian Faes, asserted that between 30 and 40 percent of the company’s hires are from major financial institutions, while banks also account for 100 percent of its small-risk and compliance team. Similar trends are also being reported by UK online lender MarketInvoice Ltd., where three-quarters of its 85 employees have come from either the financial-services or accountancy space.

Source: International Banker

Deserve Raises $ 50 Million in Debt Financing (Finovate) Rated: A

In rebranding his company from SelfScore to Deserve, CEO Kalpesh Kapadia explained “we believe that access is everything and everyone deserves a chance to build a positive credit history. So we are making our products available to all students, U.S., and international, and to all those who seek to build and/or maintain a good credit history.”

And now Deserve is $50 million closer to serving this broader population of potential customers. The Accel-backed fintech has just secured a $50 million debt facility from Keystone National Group to drive growth in account receivables and help “jumpstart” first-time credit owners’ financial journeys.

 

Fintech for the Financially Excluded? (Stanford Social Innovation Review) Rated: A

At Bamboo Capital Partners, we believe fintech can help low-income people reduce vulnerabilities, build assets, manage cash flow, and increase income, and we have invested as such: In the last couple of years, we have made four equity investments in fintech companies in Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Tanzania, committing more than $16 million. Our investees are helping democratize access to finance through peer-to-peer lending platforms (KuboFinanciero), promoting access to insurance (ComparaOnline), enabling mobile payments and savings for low-income people through nano deposits (Movii), and providing a smart data platform for emerging market financial institutions (First Access).

APAC

Game-changing technologies at work in Asia Pacific’s real estate (JLL) Rated: AAA

Singapore-based mall operator Capitaland has a chatbot called Sparkle on its app that responds to shoppers’ queries and make reservations or hail a ride from its malls.  National Australia Bank is participating in a A$9 million investment round for real estate crowdfunding platform Brick X.

The rise of proptech, however, could be a cause for cybersecurity concerns, as highlighted in JLL’s report Clicks and Mortar: The Growing Influence of Proptech.

Source: Jill Real Views

 

Coast Labor MP Calls For Ban On Loan Machines (TripleM Network) Rated: A

There are calls for the Berejiklian Government to outright ban payday loan machines cropping up on the Central Coast.

There’s a Cash N Go kiosk at Wyoming offering up to $1000 at a time with minimal checks, while the devices, which look like ATMs, have also been spotted in the Hunter and Illawarra.

Latin America

Brazil’s Central Bank authorizes peer-to-peer lending (Rueters) Rated: AAA

Brazil’s Central Bank on Thursday released rules for credit start-ups that include authorization for peer-to-peer lending, as a way to increase competition in loans in a country with notoriously high interest rates for consumers.

Credit fintechs will be allowed to operate with a minimum capital of 1 million reais ($288,000), according to the new regulation. Peer-to peer lending had not yet been formally authorized in the country. The practice involves lending between individuals through online services.

Canada

Funding for Canadian Fintech Companies Declines 60 Percent in Q1 (Investing News) Rated: AAA

Canadian fintech companies received $88 million in investment over the first quarter of 2018, representing a 60-percent decline, says a new report from PwC.

Total investment in Canada in the first quarter of 2018 was over $1 billion, which is a 52-percent increase over the last quarter. A total of 105 deals were signed as compared to 81 in the previous quarter, representing a 30-percent increase.

Source: PwC

Read the full report here.

IOU Financial Inc. Releases Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2017 (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV:IOU) announced today its results for the year ended December 31, 2017.

  • Reached profitability during the year with positive adjusted net earnings of $0.1 millionin Q4.
  • Surpassed the half-billion loan origination mark with loan originations of $91.3 million(US) for the year.
  • Increased interest revenue of 8.1% to $14.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 vs 2016.
  • Reduced operating costs (excluding non-recurring costs) by 20.3% to $9.0 million for the year ended 2017.
  • Raised $3.5 million via a private placement.

BlackChain Solutions Signs LOI With DMG Blockchain Solutions to Bring P2P Lending to the Cryptocurrency Market (Investing News) Rated: B

Under the proposed license, BlackChain will retain exclusive rights for use of the technology for P2P Lending. DMG will be entitled to a royalty on commercial revenues generated by Blackchain using the technology. The parties intend to negotiate and finalize a definitive agreement by May 15th, 2018.

 

MENA

Global REIT’s crypto-powered real estate investment model will be first of it’s kind… (Global Cryptocurrency Press) Rated: AAA

Moving this structure onto the blockchain, and powering the investments with cryptocurrency now means the average cryptocurrency investor can easily access the real estate investment market. Global REIT will begin in their home of Dubai, a place where real estate is currently exploding, and acquire assets within the U.A.E, before branching out globally.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Elevate, Mastercard collaborate on credit card for the New Middle Class. Funding Circle opens IFISA to new investors. Ant Financial’s $150B valuation. Funding Societies raises $25M. Today’s main analysis: Marketplace lending securitization tracker Q1 2018 (A MUST-READ). Why PPDAI is a buy. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Interview with Kabbage’s CEO. Cities with highest share of cash-out […]

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Elevate to Collaborate with Mastercard on Credit Card Product for the ‘New Middle Class’ (News Channel 10) Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced an agreement to collaborate with Mastercard on the development of a new credit product to expand financial opportunities for the approximately 160 million Americans with low or no credit scores.

Elevate is committed to advancing growth and economic opportunity for these households that it has dubbed the “New Middle Class.”

Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker Q1 2018 (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Seven marketplace lending securitizations priced this quarter totaling $4.3 Bn, the 2nd highest level of quarterly issuance, representing 34% growth YoY. To date, cumulative issuance equals $33.4 Bn across 114 deals.

We observed an unprecedented 21 months of non-stop issuance. Markets remain in a “risk-on” mode and MPL investor appetite continues to grow.

Spreads tightened this quarter, amidst rising rates and increased
volatility, and we saw deals price at record tights. Average spreads at
issuance are tighter in the consumer and student spaces across credit tranches. New issue spreads in the Consumer MPL space on As were tighter by 27 bps and those on Cs were tighter by 107 bps on average. New issue spreads in the Student MPL space were also tighter across the stack, with the Cs seeing a nearly 100bp tightening on average.

SoFi issued the largest consumer and student deals ever seen in the MPL space. SoFi continues to increase deal sizes every quarter with a billion-dollar student deal in 1Q18.

View the full report here.

Inside a Kabbagehead (Banking Exchange) Rated: AAA

Frohwein noted that there are multiple ways that companies can fail when trying to expand their offerings.

1. Trying too long a stretch.

By way of example, Frohwein pointed out that Prosper Marketplace, which offers three- or five-year personal and business loans, tried an expansion in 2016 called Prosper Daily.

2. Cheaping out on brand promotion.

Another error is failing to spend money on the company’s brand. Interestingly, given that the fintech fraternity is a crowd attuned to social media, Frohwein urged listeners to invest real money in their brands. (@KabbageInc, the corporate Twitter handle, has 23,400 followers, while @KabbageRob, Frohwein’s own account, has fewer than 2,000 followers.)

3. Developing customer knowledge.

Frohwein said that all those data connections referred to earlier give Kabbage a strong idea of what its customers look like. Few online lenders have that depth of customer knowledge, he said.

 

How JPMorgan’s CIO decides which startups to partner with, invest in, to buy (Business Insider) Rated: A

Here’s Beer:

“In some cases, we saw in the fintech ecosystem that one of their challenges is the size, scale and complexity of a company like JPMorgan Chase. If you’re trying to build out something in the wholesale payment ecosystem, you’re talking about 200 regulators, $5 trillion dollars we process a day, over 120 currencies and countries. There are multiple layers of complexities considering anti-money laundering rules, fraud requirements and new sanctions. How do you understand that complexity if I’m a startup in the payment space in wholesale?”

These companies could later wind up with an investment from JPMorgan if all goes well.

Here’s why banks need to prioritize digital platforms (Business Insider) Rated: A

With bank earnings season upon us we have seen a continued growth among mobile users at some of the biggest banks; JPMorgan Chase saw active mobile customers jump 13 percent and Wells Fargo saw total active digital users jump 3 percent; mobile banking has become a priority for all banks as the focus has shifted from just offering mobile to increasing engagement on mobile.

99,000 Investors and $ 5.8B in Commercial Properties Now on CrowdStreet (PR Newswire) Rated: A

With a steady focus and at an accelerated pace, CrowdStreet is moving the fundraising component of the $15-trillion commercial and multifamily real estate business online, helping real estate developers and operators raise capital and acquire new investors online, and helping high-net-worth investors build wealth through online real estate investing.

With more than 99,000 investors now on its platform, CrowdStreet is one of the largest platforms for online real estate investing.

LendUp and Nonprofit EARN Launch Cross-Sector Partnership to Combat America’s Savings Crisis (Lendup) Rated: A

LendUp, a fast-growing financial services firm for the emerging middle class, and EARN, a national nonprofit empowering low-income Americans to take charge of their financial lives through savings, today announced a partnership to offer LendUp customers, who represent the nearly half of Americans with subprime credit scores, the opportunity to begin saving with EARN’s SaverLife program.

LendingTree Ranks Cities With the Highest Share of Cash-Out Refinance Borrowers (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

LendingTree analyzed mortgage requests and offers for refinance borrowers between March 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018, based on the location of the property to be mortgaged. The city rankings are generated from the percentage of total refinance mortgage funded that included a cash-out portion of the loan.

Cities with the highest share of cash-out borrowers

#1 Albany, N.Y.

Share of refinance mortgages funded with cash-out portion: 73% Average loan amount: $166,504

#2 Portland, Ore.

Share of refinance mortgages funded with cash-out portion: 72% Average loan amount: $266,152

#3 Cape Coral, Fla.

Share of refinance mortgages funded with cash-out portion: 72% Average loan amount: $162,975

Source: Lending Tree

What You Need to Know About Peerform Peer Lending Loans (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

With Peerform, an affiliate company of Versara Lending, you can apply for personal loans via an online platform that connects you with individuals or businesses willing to loan you the money.

You can then use the cash to make home improvements, start a business, buy a new car, or consolidate your credit card debt.

The peer lending company offers unsecured, fixed-rate loans to people with a range of credit scores. Read on to learn the pros and cons of borrowing from Peerform.

 

This fintech partnership could serve as template for small banks (American Banker) Rated: A

New Resource Bank in San Francisco is working with a fintech firm to reach underserved small-business clients.

The $349 million-asset company has been offering asset-based loans to companies with at least $1 million in annual revenue through a partnership with P2Binvestor in Denver, known as P2Bi, since late 2017.

Family Offices: Beware of These Startup Investing Pitfalls (Wealth Mangement) Rated: A

According to PitchBook Data, family offices did $100.6 billion in deals in 2016, compared with $25.1 billion in 2011. These family offices are seeking opportunities that offer better returns than the public market and, therefore, investing in startup companies through longer-term private equity deals.

What Family Offices Get Wrong When They Try to Invest in Startups Alone

In emerging markets, family offices can face a number of challenges when they try to invest in startups.

Most family offices don’t possess specialized knowledge of startups, because the startup ecosystems in emerging markets are very different from the traditional business climate that family offices are used to. Because of limited experience and exposure, they may not always have a comprehensive list of questions or resources at their disposal that would aid them in the decision-making process or to evaluate a deal.

Best Oregon Mortgage Lenders of 2018 (Nerd Wallet) Rated: B

United Kingdom

Funding Circle opens IFISA to new investors (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle has opened its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to new investors.

The peer-to-peer business lending platform opened its IFISA to existing users last November but has now said that the tax wrapper, offering projected returns of 7.2 per cent, is open to the wider public.

Mid-sized P2P platforms taking bigger market share (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer investor’s 2018 Direct Lending Report found direct lenders – which include P2P platforms – facilitated more than £4.5bn of lending in 2017, with the ‘big four’ – Zopa, Funding Circle, RateSetter and LendInvest – making up two thirds.

But loanbook growth at the biggest lenders was up just six per cent last year, while mid-sized lenders saw their lending grow 50 per cent to £1.6bn, according to the report.

The report also looked at the performance of P2P and alternative finance-focused investment trusts, finding that if you had invested the same amount in the main funds – P2P Global Investment, Ranger Direct Lending, VPC Specialty Lending, SQN Secured Income Fund and Honeycomb – last year, you would be down 1.69 per cent.

P2P Lender ArchOver Bridges Finance Gap with New Research & Development Advance (Crowdfud Insider) Rated: A

ArchOver, the UK P2P business lending platform, aims to bridge the funding gap to enable businesses to continue to grow while waiting for their R&D tax claim to be repaid. ArchOver’s Research & Development Advance (RDA) service is reportedly the first provided by a P2P lender funding advances upward of £100,000.

According to ArchOver, only 1.67 percent of national income is currently being spent on R&D compared to an average of over 2 percent across the EU. Government initiatives have been put in place to encourage further investment in innovation in the UK. Under the current system, UK businesses can claim cash repayments of up to 33 percent of their R&D expenditure, but it can take up to six months to receive payment from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). ArchOver aims to help qualifying companies to bridge this gap, and connect them with the money they need to invest in the products and services of the future.

 

Update: Landbay is Set to Close Latest Seedrs Funding Round After Securing More Than £1.6 Million (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay is set to close its latest equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs later this evening with more than £1.6 million from nearly 285 investors. The funding round was launched last month and quickly secured its initial £1.25 million funding target.

All funds from the latest funding round will be used for lender’s growth, which are:

  • Technology – 50%.
  • Marketing & Brand Development – 25%.
  • General Operating Expenses – 25%.

 

More awareness of Open Banking benefits needed (London School of Business and Finance) Rated: A

The study surveyed 2,000 UK consumers and identified some of the barriers that Open Banking will need to address in order for the initiative to be adopted on a wide scale.

Implications

Security was found to be one of the main issues for UK consumers, with 69% citing this as a top reason for being against the idea of Open Banking, whilst more than 45% cited security issues such as data breaches and identity theft as the main implications of the initiative.

Seedrs: £500 Million in Crowdfunding by 2021 (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Seedrs has raised more than £330 million for smaller firms so far but according to CEO Jeff Kelisky they expect growth to ramp up rapidly by 2021. While 2017 was their best year ever, Seedrs is just getting started.

He expects that before 2020 deals will get larger. In 2017, twenty four crowdfunding offerings were over £1 million. Some of these deals are starting to approach the € 5 million hurdle. In the UK, the European directive on doing a prospectus at € 5 million has become a regulatory speed bump of sorts for crowdfunding platforms. But raising that limit to € 10 million, or perhaps € 20 million, is currently under discussion.

Two tribes: fintech versus traditional banking (CLNews) Rated: A

Quietly though, another part of Britain’s finance sector is leading the world and it’s starting to disrupt the traditional financial companies in the UK.

Fintech describes the marriage of finance and technology within one company. The first big growth sector in fintech was the peer to peer marketplace originally launched by Zopa in the UK. Peer to peer finance allows those who have savings who want a better return than they’d get from their bank in interest the opportunity to lend money to those who need quick access to money.

 

China

Ant Financial’s $ 150bn valuation belies glaring risks for investors (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial’s $150bn valuation belies glaring risks for investors. Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his trusty advisers have pulled off a coup in gaining a $150bn valuation for Ant Financial ahead of a mooted listing next year. It is easy to see how the pitch to investors went.

Chinese P2P Players Yirendai And Hexindai On Making It In China’s Lending Industry (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Yihan Fang: The P2P lending industry is in a different stage now, it went from being very wild to heavy regulation, and after that it will be a more rational industry. Yirendai is in compliance with regulations, implementing minor modifications along the way. Compliance was always the highest priority, and from day one we had a very good business model and didn’t change it along the way. We have high quality customers. We have a good business platform and have used a bank as custodian since 2015, even before the regulations came out. Yirendai also strives for transparency. Regulations are good, because the industry has been quite chaotic since other companies don’t do the same things as we did.

Johnson Zhang: Hexindai has had no negative impact of regulation. The new regulations are focused on petty loans. We don’t touch the petty loans market so we have no impact. In this market, all of the borrowers lack the capacity to repay loans, they just borrow more money to repay existing loans. Unlike these other firms, we offer loans in the range of 20,000 to 200,000 RMB to middle class consumers with a stable income. These are borrowers who are upgrading their social class for a better life. The second part of the regulations restricts financial institutions like banks from providing funds to fintech companies, but we do not rely on any financial institutions. All of our fund sourcing is from individuals. Our company is part of the Beijing Internet Finance Association, which alerts us to upcoming regulations. The China Banking Regulatory Commission governs the P2P industry. Government registration for P2P companies is mandatory this year. Those that fail the process will be shut down. The number of competitors will become smaller.

China Looks to Implement Credit Scoring System Without Giving Top Players too Much Power (Financial Times) Rated: A

China has been looking to create a credit scoring system seen in many developed economies like the U.S. and the U.K.; initially asking 8 top companies to be involved, though they found it hard to form as companies were unwilling to share proprietary data with competitors; the PBoC is now tasked with having a industry wide system that does not favor giants like Alibaba and Tencent.

PPDAI Group: China’s ‘Lending Club’ Is In A Buy Range Now (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

  • Net loss was RMB 507.1 million (US$77.90 million) for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with a profit of RMB 266.0 million in the same period of 2016. More specifically, the loss was due to:
    • Net interest income/(expense) and loan provision losses for the fourth quarter of 2017 was an expense of RMB 13.2 million (US$2.0 million), compared to an income of RMB 3.6 million in the same period of 2016. This was primarily due to a one-time provision of RMB 107.7 million (US$16.3 million) for expected discretionary payments to investors in investment programs protected by the investor reserve funds caused by the increase in delinquency rates.
    • Other income recorded a loss of RMB 694.8 million (US$106.8 million)for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with income of RMB 124.7 million in the same period of 2016. The loss was caused mainly by an expense of RMB 271.9 million (US$41.8 million) related to the quality assurance fund and an expense of RMB 460.4 million (US$70.8 million) from a fair value change of financial guarantee derivatives due to increased credit risks across the industry which led to upward adjustments to the company’s expected default rate for loans protected by the quality assurance fund and underlying loans in investment programs protected by the investor reserve funds.
Source: Seeking Alpha

Indeed, when we look at the delinquency rate by balance at each quarter, there was a significant jump in every delinquency bucket at 2017 Q4:

As of 15-29 days 30-59 days 60-89 days 90-119 days 120-149 days 150-179 days
March 31, 2015 0.79% 1.75% 1.10% 1.01% 0.87% 0.67%
June 30, 2015 0.88% 1.06% 0.67% 0.54% 0.89% 0.67%
September 30, 2015 0.67% 0.89% 0.61% 0.54% 0.44% 0.35%
December 31, 2015 0.80% 0.93% 0.51% 0.49% 0.39% 0.32%
March 31, 2016 0.62% 0.93% 0.72% 0.61% 0.48% 0.32%
June 30, 2016 0.82% 1.01% 0.63% 0.43% 0.47% 0.44%
September 30, 2016 0.83% 1.11% 0.80% 0.63% 0.49% 0.39%
December 31, 2016 0.63% 0.91% 0.75% 0.79% 0.69% 0.57%
March 31, 2017 0.57% 0.95% 0.79% 0.59% 0.54% 0.51%
June 30, 2017 0.86% 1.11% 0.79% 0.51% 0.55% 0.52%
September 30, 2017 0.89% 1.40% 1.15% 1.02% 0.79% 0.60%
December 31, 2017 2.27% 2.21% 1.72% 1.63% 1.36% 1.20%
 Source: PPDF’s Q4 ER release
European Union

Homelend ICO (HMD Token): Blockchain Mortgage Crowdfunding? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Homelend is a mortgage crowdfunding platform built on blockchain technology.

What is Homelend?

Yes, just like we have P2P lending platforms for smaller loans and offers, we now have lending platforms for larger loans – like home mortgages.

The goal of Homelend is to disrupt the $31 trillion global real estate lending market. As of April 2018, Homelend is still preparing to launch. They’ve published a whitepaper online and appear to be preparing for a token sale in the near future.

Spotcap Opens Fintech Fellowship Applications (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Spotcap, an SME focused online lender based in Berlin, announced on Tuesday it has opened applications for its Fintech Fellowship. According to the lending platform, this program offers a £8,000 award to a postgraduate student studying a fintech related course at a UK university. Applications will be open for four months and close on August 1st.

International

HOLD ICO: Cryptocurrency Lending & Investing For Instant Cash? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

HOLD provides members with unique P2P lending and borrowing capabilities. The platform allows users to leverage their existing cryptocurrency holdings for instant cash advances from other willing users. Through their mobile app and prepaid card, they enable online and offline purchases with over 45 million retailers worldwide and over 3 million ATMs.

BitcoinEthereum, and Litecoin can be used as collateral for cash advances at a competitive rate of 8%, not requiring a good credit history and without geographic restrictions.

HOLD cardholders earn HOLD tokens every time they use their card. On almost all purchases, the HOLD platform will provide a 1% cashback in HOLD tokens, directly into the user’s wallet. The platform will progressively match provided liquidity with cash advances, producing lucrative and low-risk returns of up to 7.5% p.a. for lenders, representing a lucrative money-making opportunity.

Australia

 

Mortgage trust sector has nearly doubled over the past year (Australian Financial Review) Rated: AAA

The size of the mortgage trust sector has nearly doubled over the past year but the quality of underlying loans are healthy with low arrears, research group SQM Research says.

Source: SQM Research

Australian millennials have taken to robo financial advice (Business Insider) Rated: B

In Australia, robo-advice has gained significant recognition among the Australian online share investor population, with 22% saying they are familiar with these services.

Only in the US, where the bulk of innovation in robo-advice is taking place, is familiarity with robo-advice significantly higher (39%).

India

Mumbai-based P2P Lending Platform PaisaDukan Raises $ 650K Through Angel Funding Route (Indian Web2) Rated: A

PaisaDukan.com a P2P Lending marketplace solely owned by Mumbai based FinTech start-up BigWin Infotech, today announced a secured seed funding of USD 650K through Angel funding rout. The fund will be used for marketplace platform and mobile app development.

 

Asia

Homegrown P2P lending platform Funding Societies raised US$ 25m (Singapore Business Review) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Funding Societies has raised US$25m in its oversubscribed Series B funding round, which was led by Softbank Ventures Korea, along with Sequoia India, Alpha JWC Ventures (Indonesia), and Golden Gate Ventures. Qualgro and LINE Ventures also participated.

Its Series B funding round was led by Softbank Ventures Korea and Sequoia India.

Ex-law firm boss fined $ 10,000 for failing to report suspicious deal (The Strait Times) Rated: A

The former director of a Singapore law firm decided to find out more about a “high net worth client” who was buying a house in Sentosa Cove – and discovered she was linked to one of China’s biggest Ponzi schemes involving $10.8 billion.

Kang Bee Leng, 56, failed to notify the authorities that a sum of almost $5.5 million involved in the purchase could have been benefits of criminal activities.

Kang, who was a managing director of Sterling Law Corporation during the offence but has since left the firm, was fined $10,000 on Tuesday (April 17) after pleading guilty to the offence last month.

MENA

Why unbanked Egypt is ripe for a FinTech revolution (ZDNet) Rated: A

World Bank data reveals that the Middle East has the lowest level of bank-account penetration in the world, averaging 14 percent of adults, in line with the in-country figure for Egypt.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday March 6 2018, Daily News Digest

credit card charge offs

News Comments Today’s main news: Is Amazon about to partner with JP Morgan Chase? Elevate saves customers $3B over payday loan alternatives. LendInvest hosts a roadshow. Folk2Folk lenders provide 200M GBP to UK rural businesses. China issues first personal credit rating license. Today’s main analysis: Credit card losses surge at small banks. Today’s thought-provoking articles: FT Partners’ CEO monthly […]

credit card charge offs

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United States

United Kingdom

China

International

News Summary

United States

Amazon wants to make it easier to shop its website without a credit card (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Amazon is in early talks with financial institutions including J.P. Morgan Chase to help launch checking account-like products, aimed at younger customers and those without bank accounts, The Wall Street Journalreported Monday.

More than a quarter of U.S. households have no or limited access to checking and savings accounts. Unbanked doesn’t necessarily mean unconnected, about 6 in 10 unbanked consumers have a smartphone, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

New prime subscriptions flattened in the third quarter of 2017, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Another survey by Piper Jaffray in June said that 82 percent of U.S. households with more than $112,000 in annual income are already Prime members. Its reach is the lowest among those that make less than $41,000 a year.

In November, it announced that shoppers at 7-Eleven stores nationwide could deposit as little as $15 and as much as $500 into an Amazon account through its “Amazon cash” program. Shoppers can then use that cash to shop on Amazon. Nearly one-half of the U.S. population lives within one mile of a 7-Eleven store.

Will Amazon Pitch Financial Advice To Millennials? (Financial Advisor), Rated: A

If Amazon is successful in creating a banking relationship with its vast customer base of millennials, can an investment advice platform be far behind?

Stich predicts that Amazon, a company with a $700 billion market cap, will offer three levels of investment accounts to millennials and interested customers: It could offer do-it-yourself accounts and robo-advisory accounts; and for those who want a personal advisor, Amazon could create and refer customers to a state-by-state network of select investment professionals.

Consumers interested in idea of Amazon-created cryptocurrency, survey reveals (The Block), Rated: A

More than half of consumers would be open to using an Amazon-created cryptocurrency, with Amazon Prime users even keener, according to poll findings from student loan marketplace LendEDU.

The study, which polled 1,000 consumers who had purchased a product from Amazon in the past 30 days, found 51.7% would be interested in an ‘Amazon Coin’, with the number increasing to 58.27% for Prime members, and only one in five (21.9%) saying no.

Only 17% of those polled said they would trust Amazon more than a traditional bank, compared with 23% who disagreed and 38% who said levels of trust would be about the same. Nine in 10 respondents however said that overall, they trusted Amazon to have their best interests in mind, with 52.49% answering ‘yes, very much so’ and 37.56% opting for ‘somewhat.’

Elevate Milestone: Customers Have Saved More Than $ 3 Billion Over PayDay Loan Alternatives (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (Elevate), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, announced on Monday its customers have saved more than $3 billion to date, versus what they would have paid for payday loans. $1.3 billion was saved in 2017 alone.

FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis  (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Keith Smith, Co-founder and CEO of Payability, a platform that provides friction-free financing to sellers operating on digital marketplaces. In our conversation with Keith, he delves into the vision behind founding Payability and the unique opportunities and strategies of lending to online marketplace sellers.

M&A
Financings
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)

Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

A Dialogue with Peter Renton: Cryptocurrency and Beyond (deBanked), Rated: AAA

deBanked: Why did you decide to rebrand LendIt as LendItFintech?

Renton: The main reason is that we have moved beyond the online lending space.

deBanked: What about online lending? The industry has gone through a lot of changes in its relatively short history. How do you expect to see the competitive landscape change in the next year or so? What about farther out?

Renton: The online lending space has gone through a lot of changes in its short history. I feel like the biggest trend we’re seeing right now is banks launching their own platforms. Take Goldman Sachs with the Marcus online lending platform, for example. More than anything else that has happened in the history of online lending that is among the most telling for the future, I think.

deBanked: What do you see as the biggest risks for online lenders today? How can they best overcome these challenges?

Renton: As an industry, we have to focus on profitability.

Credit-Card Losses Surge at Small Banks (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Missed payments on credit cards at small banks have risen sharply over the past year, a sign that their cardholders are taking on more debt than they can handle. Their charge-off rate, or the share of outstanding card balances written off as a loss after consumers failed to pay, hit 7.2% in the fourth quarter, up from 4.5% a year ago, according to Federal Reserve data.

But they’ve especially surged at smaller banks, those outside the 100 largest by assets that have less than around $10.4 billion in assets. There, the average charge-off rate is near an eight-year high, while the 3.5% loss rate at large banks remains well below the 10.6% seen in 2010.

tZero Has Acquired VerifyInvestor for Million in Cash (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Buried within the tZero Offering Memorandum for its ongoing initial coin offering were several interesting items of note. The first was the fact the SEC was in the process of reviewing the offering. Another interesting bit of information was the fact tZero has acquired a majority stake in VerifyInvestor.

 

Gina Harman of Accion (Lend Academy), Rated: A

My next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Gina Harman, the CEO of the U.S. Network for Accion. They are a non-profit lender with 14 regional offices around the country focused on providing funding to underserved businesses. Accion has a very consultative approach to lending so their work often involves face to face meetings with the potential borrowers. But they are also serving the entire country through online means today.

LendingPoint Launches Merchant Solutions Platform (BusinessWire), Rated: A

LendingPoint, the company working to revolutionize access to consumer credit, today unveiled LendingPoint Merchant Solutions to provide merchants and other service providers a fully integrated one-stop retail financing platform to convert more consumers at the point of sale.

LendingPoint Merchant Solutions combines the LoanHero merchant onboarding, program management and reporting technology with LendingPoint’s industry-leading credit underwriting, risk management, and customer service expertise.

Grameen America eyes banks in ambitious push to expand microlending effort (American Banker), Rated: A

Grameen America is looking for banks and social impact investors to help fuel significant growth in its microlending effort.

The plan is to double the size of its loan portfolio, and lend a cumulative total of $2 billion, over the next five years, David Gough, its chief financial officer, said in an interview.

RICO suit filed against Great Plains Lending over allegations of predatory online lending scheme (Legal NewLine), Rated: A

Vanessa C. Grainger, Beverly Kristina Miller and Lilya J. McAtee, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against Great Plains Lending LLC, Kenneth E. Rees, Victory Part Capitol Advisors LLC, et al. over alleged violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

THE SEC’S ICO SUBPOENA EXPLAINED (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

“The SEC typically sends a subpoena for one of two reasons: you are either a direct target of a new or ongoing investigation or you are involved somehow with an entity or individual that is under investigation,” notes William Skelley, Co-founder of William Chris, a Dubai-based consulting firm founded by David Drake and Simon Cocking.

Clayton had stated that most ICOs need to register with SEC because, like other securities that the agency regulates, they trade coins in secondary markets. However, ICO companies have shown reluctance in subjecting themselves to SEC’s oversight despite the fact that up to $8.7 billion has been raised through ICOs, based on CoinDesk data.

How Stash Invest is trying to reach the underserved (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Stash is letting its customers invest in single stocks, the company’s latest major investment product launch beyond theme-based exchange-traded funds.

Stash lets customers buy portions of shares (called fractional shares) with a minimum balance of $5.

Core Upgrade Brings Orion’s Dynamic, Time-Saving Reporting to Private Assets (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), the premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors, today announced the release of its Alternative Investment Platform (“AIP”), a tool that lets Orion advisors show their clients’ private assets as easily as their public holdings at no additional cost.

AIP lets financial advisors track and maintain alternative investment data for client assets held in private equity, direct investments, venture capital, hedge funds, private real estate, REITs, and more, with ease and efficiency. AIP lets advisors aggregate and update committed capital amounts, total cash distributions, return of capital, and commitment amounts for alternative investments of all types into client reports alongside publicly-traded assets to create a cohesive picture of the client’s net worth.

Is there a sandbox in the US’s future? (Euromoney), Rated: A

The cooperation between the FCA and the CFTC will cover information sharing, referrals and learning from proofs of concept, trials or innovation competitions.

Various agencies – including the CFTC, SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) – oversee specific segments of the market, and for a US sandbox regime to be successful there would need to be substantial collaboration and coordination between all of these agencies.

Shinnecock Partners Publishes “How to” for Private Investors on Direct Lending (PRWeb), Rated: B

Direct lending is a new category that is reshaping the asset management and investment landscape, yet most investors see the arena as a “black box.” Shinnecock Partners, a 28-year old family office boutique with significant expertise in alternative finance and fintech, offers investors insights into the category with its recently published report: High Yield for Investors in Specialty Finance: Exploring Opportunities in Factoring and Merchant Cash Advance. Written and researched by the firm’s founding partner, Alan C. Snyder and co-author Marla Harkness, the 37-page report is a virtual blueprint for investors, RIAs, advisory firms and the new generation of innovators who have started alternative lending companies to serve a vacuum left by large banks and community banks that used to serve small and mid-size business pre-recession.

The paper covers:

  •     In-depth descriptions of both factoring and merchant cash advance (MCA) loan originators
  •     Insider lingo, so investors are up to speed when reviewing documents
  •     Regulatory history and framework
  •     Detailed investor evaluation checklists

You can access the report here: High Yield For Investors in Specialty Finance.

Fintech firms are gobbling up Manhattan office space (The Real Deal), Rated: B

Fintech firms and units of larger companies accounted for roughly 877,000 square feet of Manhattan office leasing last year, according to JLL data reported by the Wall Street Journal. That’s almost triple the sector’s total for 2014.

Venture capital funding for fintech firms has roughly doubled from 2014 to $2.2 billion in 2017, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Albuquerque ranks among 10 best places for new small businesses (Biz Journals), Rated: B

Albuquerque ranked No. 8 on LendingTree’s list of the best cities for new small businesses released Feb. 27.

United Kingdom

Roadshow Announcement (London South East), Rated: AAA

LendInvest Limited, the specialist mortgage provider, announces that it has mandated Peel Hunt to arrange a series of meetings with fixed income investors in the UK and Channel Islands, commencing the week of 5 March 2018, to discuss a possible second issue of sterling denominated bonds.

Folk2Folk Lenders Provide £200 Million to Rural Businesses in the UK (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Folk2Folk, a peer-to-peer (P2P0 lending platform for local and rural businesses, announced on Monday it has now lent £200 million, providing a valuable source of capital to hundreds of local businesses across the UK. According to the online lending, this milestone demonstrates the strong demand in the company’s Local Lending Movement as Lenders and Borrowers are attracted by Folk2Folk’s platform, providing a fair exchange that sees no difference between what Borrowers repay and Lenders receive on a monthly basis.

Folk2Folk’s lending milestone was reached thanks to a growing community of local Lenders who have placed £20,000 or above on the lender’s platform. The average lent per Lender now exceeds £65,000. Lenders receive 6.5%pa interest which is paid monthly, helping them achieve their financial goals, whether it be an additional income for retirement or funding a life event like a once in a lifetime holiday.

Exchange Platform LendingBlock Boosts the Development of the Crypto Sphere (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

Lendingblock is an outstanding representative of the “picks and shovel” business of the crypto economy. The recent announcement of an ICO by this company raises an important issue: can these followers of Gold Rush traditions achieve the same success?

Lendingblock is an open exchange platform for both borrowers and lenders of crypto currencies. The platform enables owners of digital assets to earn passive, low risk interest income, while borrowers get an opportunity get assets needed to support trading, hedging and working capital needs.

Tales of failed peer-to-peer lenders (AltFi), Rated: A

A little-known pawnbroking and property-backed peer-to-peer lending platform named Collateral has gone into administration, according to reports. Its investors are in limbo, unable to access their money or even view their accounts.

Be The Lender folded in August 2014. It was a tiny peer-to-peer platform with a focus on lending to small businesses.

GraduRates was a very small peer-to-peer lender specialising in loans to post-graduate students. In 2014, with a new regulatory regime for P2P firms looming, its founder Jonathan Webb decided to close down operations.

TrustBuddy was a peer-to-peer firm specialising in short-term loans for consumers. It is perhaps the best-known example of a P2P blow-up because it was the first big platform to go belly-up.

Finally, the complete comedy that was the Ezubao blow-up. There are many, many examples of failed Chinese P2P platforms, but Ezubao takes the biscuit.

FOS tells adviser to pay client over £30k loss through unsecured Sipp loan (Money Marketing), Rated: A

The Financial Ombudsman Service has told an adviser to compensate a client who they told to make an unsecured loan to a third party with money from their Sipp.

Mr H says O’Rourke Partnership recommended and arranged for him to make an unsecured loan of £29,325 to the third party from funds he held in his Sipp.

The loan was to be over a short-term at a high rate of interest but the loan has not been repaid and Mr H has lost his money.

An investigator reviewed the complaint, thought the advice was unsuitable and recommended that it should be upheld.

P2P lending “high  up the scale of respectability” for non-standard investments (AltFi), Rated: A

BondMason boss warns that recent FSCS fines are likely make SIPP providers extra cautious in reviewing non-standard investments.  

An estimated one million people are said to have taken up a SIPP (self-investment pension plan) since the wrapper was first introduced as part of the government’s Pension Freedom Reforms in April 2015. But squeezing non-standard investments into the still relatively-new tax wrapper hasn’t been easy.

Archover announces new non-exec director, nears profitability (AltFi), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer business lender is turning dissenters into directors with its latest hire, after hitting £60m in lending.

ArchOver, the p2p business lending platform, has announced it will be appointing Bill Johnston to its board as a non-executive director. Johnston previously was an outspoken critic of p2p lending and alternative finance in general, but says he has been swayed after seeing ArchOver succeed.

Beauty marketplace founder joins Blend Network management team (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A FORMER Morgan Stanley banker turned beauty marketplace founder is among two appointments to the board of a new peer-to-peer lending platform aiming to become the “Goldman Sachs of P2P”.

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, a former Morgan Stanley vice president and founder of Zeebba – which arranges at-home beauty services – has joined asset-backed property lender Blend Network as business development manager.

Metro Loans Presents Unsecured Business Start up Loans for Unemployed in UK (MENAFN), Rated: B

The UK based direct lending company has come up with unsecured business start up loans to build up new entrepreneurs.

China

China Issues its First Personal Credit Rating License (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On February 22, the People’s Bank of China published an announcement about setting up personal credit rating agencies. According to the document, Baihang Credit Rating Co., Ltd., was granted the first personal credit rating license in China, and the qualifications of its management team (including board member, supervisors and senior management) has all received approval.

A New Ransomware Virus Could Steal All Your Alipay Balance

Recently, a ransomware virus called “unicorn 2.1” raged online. It spreads through QQ and other Instant Messengers.

Once the virus hacks the computer, it will lock all the files in the computer and requires the victim to pay ¥3 yuan by scanning with his / her Alipay. As long as the victim scans the QR code, the hacker will be able to get access to the Alipay account and steal all the balance.

International

Marketplace lending platform Maliyya scores EUR1.3 million in seed funding (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Maliyya, a fintech company engaged in development of a P2P lending and borrowing platform, has just closed the first seed investment round of USD$1.3 million from Ground1 Ventures, a private investment firm based out of UK.

Targeting to become a primary P2P lending and borrowing platform for the Middle East, North African and Asian Region, Maliyya is working on to roll out its MVP in the coming months.

How can today’s generation of lenders fight global financial crime? (LendIt), Rated: AAA

What if you lent money to someone who used it to finance an act of terrorism? Or to disguise the proceeds of drug dealing. How would this make you feel and what would it mean for the reputation of your growing business?

Today’s generation of FinTechs however, face huge technology and operational challenges – they interface with banks and therefore need ‘bank-grade’ solutions for KYC/AML but existing technology solutions struggle to fit with their unique needs. Increasingly, they are looking to new technology to help them comply with global KYC/AML standards, maintain banking relationships and ultimately fight financial crime.

What are the financial crime risks for lenders and FinTechs?

Lenders spend billions of dollars a year on compliance solutions trying to combat their financial crime risk, which broadly fall into two categories: anti-money laundering / terrorist financing (AML/CTF) risk and fraud.

Crypto’s missing pieces: Building a sustainable financial ecosystem (International Business Times), Rated: AAA

Centralized, “off-chain” cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex and Poloniex, support margin-lending. Although limited to certain customer groups, and a limited number of assets, they generally fit the definition of money markets. The downside is that investors have to trust that the exchange won’t get hacked or abscond with assets. That’s a big risk. The recent $530 million heist from the Japanese exchange, Coincheck, isn’t likely to be the last, and many customers feel that the incremental returns aren’t worth the risk. That may change as exchanges move toward adoption by the existing financial system.

Peer to peer lending protocols, including ETHLend and Lendroid, eliminate the risk of centralization by allowing users to lend to each other directly. But to an outside observer, they hardly resemble money markets with a uniform interest rate.

Peer to peer lending protocols, including ETHLend and Lendroid, eliminate the risk of centralization by allowing users to lend to each other directly. But to an outside observer, they hardly resemble money markets with a uniform interest rate.

Profile Software’s innovative solutions for banking and wealth industry (Hubbis), Rated: B

The company today has a presence in Europe, the Middle East, America, Asia and Africa, throughout those regions delivering innovative solutions to both start-ups and established banking and finance institutions, through direct communication or a reliable partners network.

Profile’s leading platform, Axia is an omnichannel wealth management  platform covering all aspects of the investment operations that modularly, and with flexibility, embrace the whole spectrum of portfolio management, with continuous updates on client onboarding, online trading, compliance issues (such as MiFID II), instruments, custodian links and bank interfaces, financial planning, and so forth. The investment management solution also supports operations in insurance firms, private banking, custody, brokerage needs and more, with a successful track record.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday March 5 2018, Daily News Digest

marketplace lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage says ‘no’ to lending for assault guns. Collateral enters administration. Orix invests $60M in Wecash. SMBs accept face-to-face payments via mobile devices. Today’s main analysis: The friction between new finance and old regulations (a must-read report). Today’s thought-provoking articles: 3 lessons from LendingClub’s earnings. The business schools that produce the highest salaries. Beware fintechs […]

marketplace lending

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United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Africa

News Summary

United States

Online lender Kabbage to restrict weapons lending (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Kabbage Inc, a U.S. online lender for small businesses, said it will cut ties with clients that make or sell assault-style rifles or that sell weapons or ammunition to people under 21 years old, one of the strongest steps by any financial firm after last month’s high school massacre in Florida.

3 Revelations From LendingClub’s Earnings Report (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

1. Lawsuit settlements

One piece of good news is that the company recently dealt with its largest liabilities from the 2016 scandal, settling both federal and state class action shareholder lawsuits. The bad news: LendingClub has to pay plaintiffs a total of $125 million, with $47.75 million covered by insurance, leaving LendingClub on the hook for the remaining $77.25 million. That amounts to roughly 12% of the company’s liquid assets and about 5% of the current market capitalization.

2. A challenging environment

In addition to these company-specific problems, the macroeconomic environment has become more challenging, though that is no fault of LendingClub. Increased awareness of personal loans delivered via the internet has spurred a large increase in applications, and LendingClub saw a 43% increase in applications in 2017 — much higher than the company’s 3.7% growth in originations.

3. Cost cuts in 2018

LendingClub believes it has stabilized both its credit model and its investor base in 2017 while introducing new investor products, and it will pivot in 2018 to focusing on controlling costs. Part of that will entail outsourcing its loan servicing to industry-standard third parties while reallocating internal engineers to the things that differentiate the company, like data-driven underwriting and product innovation.

For the full year 2018, the company forecasts 18% to 22% revenue growth while targeting cost growth of only 14% to 16%.

 

The top 20 business schools where graduates earn the most money, ranked from lowest to highest salary (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

With that in mind, online lender SoFi looked at the average salary graduates of American business schools earn and ranked the top 20.

SoFi’s approach is unique. It reviewed the self-reported income on over 60,000 student-loan refinancing forms from January 2014 to December 2017.

The average salary for graduates of all business schools SoFi reviewed was $109,992.

  • 20. University of Texas at Austin — $139,776
  • 3. Stanford University — $186,534
  • 2. Columbia University — $189,295
  • 1. University of Pennsylvania — $224,034

There is Friction Between New Finance & Old Regulation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Milken Institute is out with a comprehensive report this week that drills down into existing legislative action by Congress that addresses the emerging Fintech industry. This is the first report of its kind and provides a solid perspective on what Congress has accomplished to date while recognizing the fact elected officials can do far more.

“Subjecting nonbank lenders to 50 different state usury laws is inconsistent with today’s increasingly interconnected and digital global economy.”

The research provides multiple policy recommendations. In brief, they are as follows:

  • Provide certainty on “true lender” and “valid when made” issues to maintain a vibrant, competitive marketplace for credit.
  • Harmonize inconsistent state-by-state regulations related to mobile banking to drive financial inclusion and access.
  • Update tax reporting guidelines regarding cryptocurrency transactions to protect against tax evasion and to promote a more transparent, responsible marketplace.
  • Enable the reporting of alternative data that can expand access to credit.
  • Develop common reporting standards among U.S. financial regulators to foster a more transparent marketplace.
  • Require the IRS to automate certain data collection and reporting processes that can help enhance the speed and efficacy of the underwriting process.

This report is a must read policy paper for Capitol Hill staffers and US Fintech industry participants.

Read the full report here.

Equity and Credit Market Volatility, Continuing Bank-FinTech Partnerships (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US equity markets had a bad week as the S&P500 closed 3.3% lower at 2,659. CDX IG spreads widened marginally by 0.6 bps to 55 bps and CDX HY spreads widened by 8.7 bps to 337 bps. We have seen significantly higher volatility this year, driven mainly by rising interest rates and inflation expectations. No new MPL deals have priced since the rise in volatility, although we expect the first $1 Bn MPL ABS transaction to announce soon.

We share a few anecdotes from our informal conversations which we share in generic fashion to protect the innocent:

  • A large issuer: “Our bonds are oversubscribed 2 to 3x. And when we share that with our investors they want more.”
  • A large ABS investor: “We need help monitoring losses in the personal loan ABS space. Is this an indutry issue?”
  • A large investment bank (Warehouse): “We ar doubling our exposure to warehouse lending. We have the mandate to grow the book.”
  • A large investment bank (Syndicate Desk): “MPL has gone mainstream now.”
  • A lender: “The 5% risk retention requirement is hurting our ability to issue loans to consumer and grow our business responsibly.”
  • An issuer: “We are a small emerging originator and we have 7 term sheets – from large banks and small – in the last few weeks. Competition in warehouse lending is growing.”

Also heard at the conference was that Citibank is planning a Marcus-like online lender to enter the consumer unsecured loans space, although the timeline was unclear. Our view is that the GS Marcus – and specifically the ROE and NIM opportunity – is inspiring competitive response from other banks including Citi.

Marketplace lenders develop new wrinkles to attract more funding (American Banker), Rated: A

Last year, marketplace lenders learned that maintaining diverse sources of funding is just as important as managing the credit risk in their loans.

LendingClub, Marlette Funding and others developed their own securitization platforms, rather than relying on whole-loan sales to large investors. They also invited some of these investors to contribute seasoned loans to collateral pools for these in-house deals.

Marketplace lending’s death has been over exaggerated (PaymentsSource), Rated: A

It’s clear that equity investors no longer see the value of marketplace lenders, such as companies that provide credit at the point of sale or online lending.

Source: PaymentSource

A typical lender leverages equity into debt at a fixed ratio. If they want to grow their portfolio they have to raise equity and lever it into more debt. An off-balance sheet marketplace eliminates the equity-debt leverage ratio allowing a lender to double and triple their portfolio as quickly as they can grow their marketplace.

The SEC Goes Hot with ICO Subpoenas but are Regulators “on Shaky Legal Ground?” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The fact the Securities and Exchange Commission has been issuing subpoenas to initial coin offering (ICOs) issuers has been rumored for quite some time. Recently, multiple publications, including Crowdfund Insider, revealed this fact. The SEC has been warning of this sort of activity for many months and, while not surprising to most, it is an unpleasant moment for an issuer when that subpoena shows up.

Mulvaney says the CFPB will depend heavily on state Attorneys General for enforcement of consumer protection laws (Lexology), Rated: B

For example, the acting director noted that the agency will devote greater resources to consumer education, instead of relying heavily on enforcement actions to ensure consumers make the correct choices, reaffirming previous remarks in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece (previously covered by InfoBytes here).

Mulvaney stated that he does not anticipate devoting any further resources to mandatory arbitration clauses, citing Congress overturning its arbitration rule through the Congressional Review Act as evidence the Bureau does not have the authority to do so.

3rd Circuit holds payday lender’s arbitration clause unenforceable (Lexology), Rated: B

On February 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit held that an arbitration clause is unenforceable if the corresponding forum selection provision designates a forum that does not actually exist.

The benefits of fintech for the credit invisible (microbilt), Rated: A

 

Rethinking The Reputation Of The Merchant Cash Advance (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The rise of alternative lending and familiarity of growing names like OnDeck is beginning to shift public perception of the merchant cash advance, however.

There are scenarios, too, in which a merchant cash advance may actually be the best financial option for a business in need of working capital.

“We see a lot of clients who already have a long-term equipment loan, or an SBA loan, or a loan from a traditional bank or a factoring line, and they’re looking to unlock short-term liquidity from their business,” he said. “When you take out an SBA loan or equipment loan, you have to have some type of collateral to pledge, and that money can dry up quickly. We come in un-collateralized.”

One driver behind the shifting reputation of merchant cash advances is the industry’s participation in technology adoption and innovation.

At Best Egg, talk is a best practice (American Banker), Rated: B

So, every quarter, he and the company’s management team host an all-hands meeting and outline to the company’s 100-plus employees what the most important goal for the next 90 days will be.

So the word went out to employees that for the time being, efforts to grow the business would have to take a back seat to making certain that the existing business was profitable. According to Meiler, it was employees’ focus on the task that helped Best Egg rack up $11 million in GAAP profits last year, even as competitors were still posting operating losses in the tens of millions of dollars. And, he adds, the company still grew its business by 60% anyhow.

Best Fintechs to Work For (American Banker), Rated: A

Office exercise happens beyond a standing desk at many of the companies. NvoicePay not only provides stretching areas and lockers to employees, it offers monthly classes with a certified trainer and kinesiologist. Marlette Funding’s Best Egg unit offers employees self-defense classes on site, along with yoga.

And if you like the beach, check out nCino, where employees regularly go for early morning paddleboat sessions at nearby Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, N.C., and SmartbizLoans, which hosts “Disco Yoga” at San Francisco’s Baker Beach.

Addressing an employee’s well-being and comfort comes in different forms, whether it is Cross River Bank’s policy of providing 100% of the premium for various insurance benefits covering employees and their families, Nav’s unlimited paid time off option for employees, or Ensenta’s tradition of celebrating workforce diversity with multiple holidays, including Kwanzaa, Diwali, and the Day of the Dead.

To keep burnout in check, PeerStreet mixes play with hard work (American Banker), Rated: A

To that end, they’ve established a company that regularly celebrates its successes and milestones with parties, and encourages employees to get together and have fun in nonwork environments. A prime example of the latter is the PeerStreet Olympics, an annual event in which the company is divided for a day into teams of friendly athletic competition, some of which takes place on the beach near its Southern California offices.

United Kingdom

Peer-to-peer lender Collateral enters administration (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Collateral (UK), a small P2P company offering pawnbroker-style and property-backed loans with 15 per cent returns, went into administration on Wednesday after it emerged that it was not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

BondMason offers to step in on Collateral loans (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER investor BondMason has offered to step in and manage the loanbook of the troubled Collateral platform.

BondMason, which invests in loans across more than 30 P2P platforms on behalf of investors, revealed it has invested 2.48 per cent of its portfolio through Collateral, which has fallen into administration.

P2P platforms reassure investors after Collateral closure (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER lending firms have been reassuring their investors about the safety of their platforms in the aftermath of Collateral going into administration.

Business lenders Ablrate and MoneyThing have both sent messages to their customers detailing their stability, performance and regulatory requirements that mean they have to hold client money separately and have a ‘living will’ that puts a plan in place should a business fail.

Growth in the number of Zombie businesses in the South East says report (Daily Echo), Rated: A

The proportion of south east companies which are only paying the interest on their debts – one of the signs of a so-called ‘zombie’ business – has risen to four per cent in December from one per cent in April 2017, according to indicative research by R3, the insolvency and restructuring trade body.

This represents around 12,000 businesses in the region.

Beware Fintech Firms Bearing Bitcoin (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Rather than try and undercut banks, or chase millennial savers’ pennies at a loss, fintech firms are now leaping at the chance to make serious cash through a technology that most banks won’t even touch. What’s more, Bitcoin has the power to take over people’s lives. One trader says it’s worse than gambling; Korea calls victims “zombies.”

Here’s a roll call of recent converts: Mobile-payments firm Square Inc. has rolled out Bitcoin trading; social-payments app Circle splashed $400 million on Poloniex, only about 15 months after it had stopped offering bitcoin trading; and money-transfer company Revolut has started offering crypto trading facilities.

Trading platform Coinbase booked more than $1 billion in revenue last year, according to Recode, which, if true, is more than peer-to-peer marketplace Lending Club and more than Square. On top of the money to be made from trading fees and asset-price gains, Bitcoin could also act as a lure, helping startups cross-sell their other products to a bigger audience.

 

London Fintech Humaniq Launches New Version of Mobile App (Crowfund Insider), Rated: A

On Friday, London-based FinTech firm Humaniq revealed it is marking the milestone of its mobile app reaching its first 50,000 downloads by unveiling a new, improved version.

Some of the new features include:

  • New referral program: The new 2.0 referral program will build on this by displaying community progress with referrals and thereby make the referral process more transparent and intuitive for all users.
  • Transaction options extension: Transactions can now be made through the messaging chat system.
  • New registration process: Allows users to start interacting with a Humaniq assistant bot, which becomes smarter and is learning to execute more useful commands, even without the registration.

Peer-to-peer lender Linked Finance helps firms to add 2,400 jobs (The Times), Rated: A

The country’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform said that it had supported the creation of more than 2,400 jobs since it began its Irish operations almost five years ago.

Linked Finance, which connects local businesses in need of loans with an online lending community of individuals, institutions and other investors, said firms that had borrowed money through its platform had raised staffing levels by 24 per cent on average.

City Moves for 5 March 2018 – who’s switching jobs at ArchOver? (City A.M.), Rated: B

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, has announced Bill Johnston will join its board of directors as a non-executive director (NED). In his role, Bill will support ArchOver in formularising its training and development programme, to ensure it has the right talent in place as it continues to scale.

China

Orix invests $ 60m in Chinese fintech startup (Asian Review), Rated: AAA

Japanese financial services group Orix bought a 6.4 billion yen ($59.8 million) stake in Wecash, a Chinese startup that uses big data and artificial intelligence to rate consumer credit.

Wecash can calculate a consumer’s creditworthiness in 10 seconds or less using phone records and other personal information, and has partnered with dozens of financial institutions so far. It also suggests potential lenders to consumers looking to take out a loan.

Only about 30% of the Chinese population is believed to borrow money from banks.

Hong Kong gives fintech measures the thumbs up (Asia Asset Management), Rated: B

Hong Kong will allocate HK$500 million (US$64.1 million) to financial services, including fintech, over the next five years, Mr. Chan said in the budget speech.

European Union

We talked to Nordic fintech queen Lena Apler – and her message to legacy banks is reboot or die (Business Insider), Rated: A

Big banks are particularly exposed when it comes to ETF funds. The fast-growing $5 trillion-dollar industry is being challenged by a crop of robo advisors, such as Apler’s portfolio company Sigmastocks, an algorithm-powered tool that tailors portfolios for customers, or BetterWealth, a roboadvisor app.

Although the region’s leading banks, such as Danske, Nordea and Swedbank are doing some good things and building new digital banking products and roboadvisory capabilities, Apler says, it won’t be enough.

Apler’s online bank Collector, which received its full banking license in 2015, has expanded to comprise cards, saving accounts and quick loans to both consumers and businesses. Collector doesn’t face the same issues as legacy banks in a digital world, Apler explains.

International

SMBs Turn To Mobile Devices To Accept Payments In Face-To-Face Environments (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

The retail point-of-sale (POS) terminal market is no stagnant business. While it is currently a $15 billion industry, Global Market Insights is expecting it to reach $45 billion by the year 2024.

Only 13 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are considering adding new payment types to face-to-face and remote environments, according to The PYMNTS SMB Technology Adoption Index.

Here are five ways SMBs are accepting payments from their customers.

  1. About a quarter – or 26 percent – of SMBs use hardware and software integrated POS to accept payments in a face-to-face environment.
  2. Almost two in 10 – or 19 percent of SMBs – use check scanning to accept payments in a face-to-face environment.
  3. And just about the same amount – 18 percent – of SMBs use NFC-enabled terminals to accept payments in a face-to-face environment.
  4. Fourteen percent of SMBs use mobile phones to accept payments in a face-to-face environment.
  5. Just under one in 10 – or 8 percent – of SMBs use mobile tablets. 

AltFin Shines As Investor Interest In B2B FinTech Continues (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Total venture capital across the global FinTech market between 2010 and 2017 hit a combined $97.7 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47 percent.

Accenture highlighted Kabbage, the U.S. alternative small business lending firm, that secured $900 million in 2017, while other alternative finance players, like LendingPoint and SoFi, landed significant investment rounds.

This week, alternative lender C2FO showed that the alternative finance funding gears are still turning, landing $100 million from Allianz X and Mubadala Investment Company. Existing backers Temasek, Union Square Ventures and Mithril Capital also participated, an announcement said.

This week’s blockchain investment comes from Square Peg Capital, which provided $5.5 million in Series A funding to AgriDigital, an Australian company hoping to use the funds to expand into North America.

Reports in The Australian Financial Review this week said the company uses blockchain to facilitate supply chain finance to the agriculture business, offering supply chain management features also powered by distributed ledger technology.

Why More MBA Students Are Gunning For Careers In Fintech (Business Because), Rated: A

According to CB Insights, $4.7 trillion of revenue generated by financial services firms is at risk of being displaced by fintech startups.

Prominent business school alumni have founded successful fintech startups, such as Giles Andrews, who setup peer-to-peer lender Zopa after getting an MBA at INSEAD. Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva developed crowdfunding platform Seedrs during their MBA at Oxford’s Saïd Business School. According to PwC’s Global Fintech Report 2017, funding of fintech startups has increased at an annual growth rate of 41% over the past four years, with $40 billion in cumulative investment made.

Niels Turfboer is UK managing director at Spotcap, the Berlin-based online lender.

Lending and profit on the blockchain – Bitstrades targets new markets (The Merkle), Rated: B

Bitstrades is clearly aiming to position itself as a complete platform that both links users together and also leverages economies of scale to make both lending and investing possible. The Bitstrades ICO raised millions in funding and now the BSS token is available for trading.

TigerWit Raises $ 5M in Funding (Finsmes), Rated: B

TigerWit, a global fintech company, secured $5m in funding.

Australia/New Zealand

Financial planners not needed in credit space (TheAdviser), Rated: A

Bringing financial planners into the credit space would be unnecessary, according to a Commonwealth Bank executive, as there are more than enough brokers to service the mortgage needs of Australians.

The CBA executive said: “With 16,000 brokers out in the marketplace, we’re certainly not in a position where we need more people to serve Australians well in meeting their mortgage needs. For me, it’s certainly not a quantity issue.

The PC has also alleged that brokers working for lender-owned aggregators could feel compelled to provide customers with home loan products offered by the bank with an ownership share of the business.

Commissioner Stephen King referenced CBA’s ownership of Aussie Home Loans and cited figures published in the PC’s report, which said that 37 per cent of loans written by Aussie brokers were for CBA products.

We launch a new calculator that figures out the true “cost of credit” of a loan contract (Interest.co.nz), Rated: B

This one will be very helpful for readers who know just three things: how much they are borrowing, the amount of their repayments, and the number of those repayments.

It will be very useful indeed for anyone contemplating taking out a personal loan, a car loan, or even a payday loan.

With just these three items, you can work out the effective cost of credit of the debt obligation, expressed as a % per annum.

India

FY 19 – Beginning of a New Era for P2P Lending in FinTech Sector (India Info Online), Rated: AAA

India is poised to be a USD 4-trillion economy by 2022, of which USD 1-trillion would be digital economy.

Digital economy was a focal point for this budget ’18 as government’s support with regard to lending MSME’s allocated 3794 crore in the form of capital support and interest subsidy by 2022 which will help develop the MSME sector. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute about a third of India’s manufacturing output and provide employment to over 10 crore people. Despite this, the share of institutional lending in the total borrowings of MSMEs is less than 10%.

The prudential guidelines include maximum leverage ratio that can be maintained (2 times), minimum net owned funds (Rs2 crore), cap on aggregate exposure of lender to all borrowers (Rs.10 lakh), borrowers across all P2P (Rs10 lakh), exposure of single lender to borrower (Rs50,000) and maturity of loans (not exceed 36 months).

Signzy is helping banks solve customer authentication, onboarding problems with blockchain-based solution (YourStory), Rated: B

Signzy developed blockchain and AI-based solutions to digitally identify, verify, and authenticate customers. Its onboarding solution, Real KYC, has now been deployed by more than 45 large clients, including leading banks, NBFCs, mutual funds, P2P lending platforms, payment wallets, and so on.

Africa

Nigerian banks are using Facebook Messenger to onboard small businesses (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Mastercard is working with Facebook Messenger to bring a digital payments and banking experience to small businesses in Nigeria, in an effort to incentivize Nigerian merchants to close the mobile payments adoption gap and bring them onto the formal financial grid.

The payments giant, which has said it’s in the business of killing cash, is bringing this initiative to a country where 98 percent of the $301 billion in consumer-to-business payments is transacted using cash.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday March 2 2018, Daily News Digest

Seed

News Comments Today’s main news: How Funding Circle wants to fix the financial system. VPC Specialty Lending, Ranger Direct see dividends move up. Klarna triples net profit, mainly in Nordic countries. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Can Seed solve banks’ digital onboarding issues? How banking institutions can decentralize (The best read of the day). Institutional […]

Seed

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Asia

News Summary

United States

This neobank believes it can solve banks’ digital onboarding problem (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Since 2014 the neobank Seed has been reimagining one of the sleepier areas of banking: deposit accounts for small businesses.

Rather than walk into a branch — Seed, of course, has none — yoga instructors, food truck owners and other would-be customers can apply for accounts in less than five minutes on the startup’s web or mobile app. If approved, they receive a business debit card in the mail.

Now Seed, led by veterans of the fintech Simple, is selling banks software to help them solve one of their most pressing problems: finding a way to open accounts online as branch transactions continue to decline.

Source: American Banker

Lendio Franchise Announced in Clemson Region (Lendio), Rated: A

Lendio, the marketplace for small business loans, today announced the opening of a new Lendio franchise in the Clemson, South Carolina Region. Through the Lendio franchise program, Andy Ronemus will help local businesses in the community apply for loans, review their options and secure funding, easing the financial hurdles for small business owners.

In A Time of Need, A Woman Rises To Disrupt Fintech In Puerto Rico (Forbes), Rated: A

One notable leader in this endeavor is 

Fintech Startup Magilla Wants to Be the Match.com of Loans (Big Law Business), Rated: A

Since its launch in January 2016, Sacramento-based startup Magilla Loans says it’s originated more than $5 billion in loans and is changing the way lenders connect with borrowers. The platform can shrink into a few days what can often be a weeks- or months-long process of loan applications, data submissions and waiting just to get a loan term sheet.

Crowdlending helped Shorewood business woman’s dreams come true (tmj4), Rated: A

One Shorewood businesswoman did this all on a website called Kiva.

Shelia Long’s business is a workspace that helps ladies who work from home come together to get inspired.

“It was so great as the loans were coming in you can see like Switzerland, Boston, Carlsbad, Texas,” said Shelia Long.

One-hundred-thirty-seven people in total used PayPal to help her get to a goal of raising $8,000 at zero-percent interest.

Validus Specialty Launches Package Policy for Fintech Companies (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Validus Specialty Underwriting Services, Inc. (Validus Specialty) announced on Thursday a comprehensive package policy specifically designed for private U.S. fintech companies. According to the company, the solution is designed to address Fintech’s complex risk management needs, which are traditionally underserved by incompatible and inadequate policy forms.

What’s next for marketplace ABS? Revolvers, ETFs & IOs (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: A

Last year, marketplace lenders learned that maintaining diverse sources of funding is just as important as managing the credit risk in their loans.

LendingClub, Marlette Funding and others developed their own securitization platforms, rather than relying on whole-loan sales to large investors. They also invited some of these investors to contribute seasoned loans to collateral pools for these in-house deals.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS WARY OF PASSIVITY (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

Geopolitical events are the most worrisome prospect on the minds of the decision makers at institutions looking ahead to 2018. The percentage of respondents who believe such events will have a negative impact this year is at 74%. The second most worrisome? Asset bubbles (65%).

More than three fifths (63%) of those surveyed said that the growth of passive investing has increased systemic valuation risk: 59% believe that flows into passive strategies artificially suppress volatility.

In 2015, Natixis found that 64% of institutions said they were upping their investments with active managers. In 2016, that number rose to 67%. In the latest survey it rose again, to 68%.

Be cautious when seeking income (Money Week), Rated: A

But Square Pie had sold bonds on the Crowdcube platform, offering lenders 8% a year. It illustrates why so many people are suspicious of mini-bonds (debt issued by small, retail-orientated firms). Anyone thinking of lending to just the one relatively new business has to be aware of the risks – and then ask: is 8% enough?

A more diversified option

The latest offering in this category comes from a platform called Goji, which aggregates a variety of direct-lending and peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. It has just brought out a Renewables Lending Bond, which pays out anything from 5.5% for a three-year term (with regular income) to 7.6% over five years, where the interest is rolled up at repayment. The underlying assets are provided by a direct lender called Prestige Group, which lends to clean-energy projects.

The book of loans – around 39 – has an average duration of four years, with a typical loan-to-value ratio of between 70% and 80%.

2018 LightStream Home Improvement Survey (PR Newswire), Rated: A

More than half (58 percent) of homeowners are planning to spend money on home improvement projects in 2018, according to the fifth annual LightStream Home Improvement Survey. LightStream is the national online lending division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI). Budgets for renovations are on the rise: among homeowners planning renovations, 45 percent will spend $5,000 or more — an all-time survey high. Those planning to spend $35,000 or more doubled from 2017.

The survey shows robust enthusiasm for renovation, as well as a thoughtful desire to balance a home’s needs and the homeowners’ budget, so they have the financial confidence to move forward. Specifically, the survey revealed the following trends:

    • Home “Sweat” Home
      The majority of homeowners plan to invest sweat equity, as 65 percent say they’ll do at least some of the work themselves. The 18-34 group is particularly fond of do-it-yourself projects, with 70 percent planning to work on at least a portion of their renovation.
    • Staying — and Aging — in Place
      Only seven percent of homeowners are renovating to prepare their homes to be sold, the lowest percentage since 2015. Instead, 14 percent of homeowners across all age groups — not just baby boomers — are citing “aging in place” as a reason for making a home improvement. Even respondents aged 18 to 34 (11 percent) and 35 to 44 (10 percent) say they’re renovating “to prepare my home so I can stay in it as I get older.”
    • Tax Reform Boosting Budgets
      With recent passage of tax reform, homeowners have already begun calculating how the changes might affect what they spend on home improvements. One in four homeowners who have set a budget for renovation projects stated that tax reform has had an impact, with 18 percent increasing their budget and seven percent decreasing it.
    • Paying for Projects
      The majority of homeowners (62 percent) plan to pay for projects, at least in part, by using savings. Additional payment strategies were further revealed. Intent to fund through home equity lines of credit (HELOC) jumped from 10 to 13 percent. “U.S. economic growth and limited housing inventory have contributed to healthy home equity gains,” said Ellen Koebler, SunTrust head of consumer solutions. “HELOCs can offer a financial solution for many homeowners, as accrued value may be available to tap for renovations.”

At the same time, the percentage of people intending to use a home improvement loan has grown 29 percent from 2017 with 54 percent more 18- to 34-year-olds planning to fund projects through home improvement financing.

Crowdfunding your way to homeownership (Mic), Rated: A

According to recent research from the National Association of Realtors®, 24% of buyers under age 36 saved for their down payment for more than two years.

NAR research also found that 25% of homebuyers ages 36 and younger used a gift from relatives or friends for some or all of their down payment.

Platforms have popped up that simplify this process: HomeFundMe, which launched last year, and Feather the Nest.

An estimated 1,500 “nesters” have used Feather the Nest to crowdfund a down payment since 2014, according to company president Beth Butler, with an average goal of $10,000 to $15,000.

JPMC’s FinLab Launches $ 3M Contest For FinTech Startups (PYMNTS), Rated: B

To help identify FinTech products that may improve the financial health of underserved populations in the U.S., the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) launched its fourth annual $3 million challenge. The lab focuses on products that meet the financial needs of overlooked populations, JPMorgan Chase said in an announcement.

Accounts in Transit (O’Dwyer PR), Rated: B

Kwittken signs up Laurel Road, online lender of student loans, personal loans and mortgages. Aaron Kwittken’s firm will be responsible for raising awareness of the company’s products through content marketing, brand activations, thought leadership and traditional media relations. Laurel Road, which is part of Darien Rowayton Bank, recently surpassed $3 billion in student loan originations.

United Kingdom

Keeping the little guys in the loop: How Funding Circle hopes to fix the financial system (City A.M.), Rated: AAA

“When we think about the people we hire, it’s all about energy,” says Funding Circle co-founder James Meekings. “We want staff to share their excitement about what they do with others in the office – even if they’re talking about tax.”

“Even though we now have 800 employees, we still feel like a small business. We still push for opportunity and for people to be creative.”

VPC and Ranger funds see dividends tick up, but remain below target (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The £219m Ranger Direct Lending and £337m VPC Specialty Lending investment trusts have announced their latest quarterly dividends with both portfolios showing an uptick since their last pay-outs.

Leeds offers business loans through peer-to-peer platform (Room151), Rated: A

Leeds City Council is to use a peer-to-peer lending platform to lend money to local businesses.

The authority has decided to use the rebuildingsociety.com platform — based in the city — to provide money for small and medium sized businesses with an LS postcode.

Isas 2018: Innovative Finance Isas hit stumbling blocks (Financial Times), Rated: A

Innovative finance Isas (IF Isas) offer the promise of a good return, sheltered from tax, to investors willing to take on the higher risks of the peer to peer (P2P) finance market.

The market has taken longer than expected to ignite, however, as providers struggle to match growing demand with limited supply. Many new investors will find the door shut, at least for now.

Growing consumer indebtedness in the UK combined with the prospect of rising interest rates could push up default rates on loans, sharpening the dangers for those invested in the highest-risk P2P products.

How does the Isa allowance actually work? (Which?), Rated: B

For the tax year 2017-18, the maximum amount you can pay into one – or a combination – of Isas held in your name, is £20,000.

Once the new tax year for 2018-19 begins on 6 April, your allowance resets – once again to £20,000.

There are five main types of Isas. The current annual limits are as follows:

  • Help to Buy Isa: Money can only be used to buy your first home, and savings receive a government bonus of 25%. You can save £1,200 in the first month, then £200 per month thereafter. Therefore, in the first year you will have a limit of £3,400. In the following years the limit will be £2,400.
  • Lifetime Isa: Expressly for first-time buyers or to be used in retirement once the account holder has reached the age of 60. There’s a 25% government bonus on savings up until the account holder is 50 years old. You can pay in up to £4,000 per year.
  • Cash Isa: A traditional savings account – money you pay in grows with the provider’s interest rate. You can pay in up to £20,000.
  • Stocks & shares Isa: Money you deposit is invested in stocks & shares by the provider. Returns can be higher, but so is the risk that you may end up with less money than you paid in. There will also usually be fees involved for managing your investments. You can pay in up to £20,000.
  • Innovative finance Isa: Money paid in is invested in Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms, and you receive the interest when this loan is repaid. There is also some risk involved. You can pay in up to £20,000.
European Union

Klarna’s profits driven by growth in Nordics and Germany (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

The Swedish group posted a 27 per cent increase in revenues to SKr4.53bn ($546m) while net profit more than tripled to SKr346m. Klarna processed about €18bn in online transactions last year, an increase of 42 per cent.

Klarna reports double-digit sales growth (Finextra), Rated: A

As a result, 89,000 retailers globally now use Klarna products, this represents a 20% growth compared to the previous year. Available in 14 countries, retailers are increasingly adopting Klarna solutions which makes the payment processes as smooth as possible for consumers. As a result of the surge in retailer adoption, Klarna now handles 10% of all online payments in Northern Europe.

International

How Banking Institutions Can be Decentralized (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Decentralized banking is a term that has been construed in the wake of the cryptocurrency boom.

Cryptobanks are decentralized platforms that provide the usual services that centralized banks provide, primarily lending services and credit scoring, but essentially cuts out all of the middlemen that a centralized bank uses. The people needed in a bank to approve loans and structure financial data are replaced in a crypto banking ecosystem by smart contracts and p2p, peer-to-peer, services.

What kind of technologies do crypto banks use?

P2P, Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, Machine Learning, Big Data and smart contracts are used in crypto banking.

All transactions are recorded on the Blockchain.

Machine Learning Big Data.These technologies help to automate the lending process and cut through bureaucracy. AI can work 24/7 and match lenders with borrowers.

Do crypto banks have their own native currency?

Yes. Native cryptocurrencies help make the bank global.

Datarius, the first social p2p crypto bank, for instance, uses their own native token DTRC for all transactions. This helps create a standard for a global payment system within the p2p lending process.

What is social lending?

Thanks to Big Data and AI, crypto banks can see beyond a borrower’s credit score to identify their level of trust. Listings can include Trust Limit, Trust Management and User Ratings which helps AI decide if the participant is justified in borrowing from a specific lender.

Crowdlending: Anatomy of a successful strategy (EurekAlert!), Rated: A

The entrepreneur’s strategy for achieving this can be summarized in three stages. The first consisted of bypassing the banking monopoly on his platform using “cash vouchers,” a tool dating from 1937 that had long been forgotten. They allow personal loans to be made without a bank as intermediary. Secondly, by collaborating with future competitors, the public authorities and the sector’s regulators(2), the entrepreneur contributed to the development of a long-term crowdlending regulation in France. This collaboration relies on the creation of a meta-organization(3) called “Financement Participatif France” (FPF), which worked to define the status of “Intermédiaire en Financement Participatif” (IFP, equivalent to “crowdlending financing intermediary” in English), which regulates this new market.

Asia

Smartag International Signs Agreement to Provide Fintech Solutions to Rural Indonesia (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Smartag International, Inc. entered into a joint venture agreement with PT. Supratama Makmur Sejahtera (“PTSMS”), an Indonesian Fintech company to form a Joint Venture Indonesian PMA company in which Smartag will own 51% equity and PTSMS will own 49%. This follows an earlier MOU signed on October 12, 2017 between PTSMS and PT Rijan Dinamis Selaras (“RDS”) representing Pondok Pesantren Riyadhul Jannah Pacer Mojokerjo, founder of Consultative Assembly of Indonesian Boarding Schools which has a network of 28,000 boarding schools to undertake a Fintech project (the “Indonesian Project”).

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday February 20 2018, Daily News Digest

Loan Charge Rates

News Comments Today’s main news: Cross River Bank, PeerIQ partner on loan data.Coinbase to offer crypto payments service to compete with PayPal.Better Mortgage hits $1B in mortgage loan funding.LendingClub updates Truth in Lending Statement.Zopa to launch a credit card.Funding Circle plans IPO at $2.1B valuation.Prospa ranked #1 among high-growth firms in APAC. Today’s main analysis: […]

Loan Charge Rates

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

APAC

Other

News Summary

United States

Fintech-friendly Cross River Bank partners with PeerIQ on loan data (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Cross River Bank in Fort Lee, N.J., has entered into a partnership with PeerIQ, a provider of consumer loan data analytics, in an effort to streamline capital sourcing between online lenders and institutional loan buyers such as small banks.

Coinbase Now Powering Payments in Digital Currency (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has launched Coinbbase Commerce, a payments platform that allows merchants to accept digital currency anywhere, anytime.

Millennials SME Owners Prefer Online Alternative Lenders to Tradtional Ones (Bank Innovation), Rated: AAA

According to Mercator’s report, Business Banking Services: Keeping Up with Millennial Owners, 27% of total U.S. SMEs have used online alternative lenders (P2P lenders or marketplace lending platforms) in 2017.

Of this number, 48% of millennial owners (aged 18–34), currently have a loan from an alternative lender compared to 25% of SMEs run by owners over 35 years of age. Further, these millennial owners said they are twice as likely to use alternative lenders than their older counterparts.

Source: Bank Innovation

P2P lending soars but SMEs generally wary of finance (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

The 2018 Small Business Finance Markets report, released on Tuesday, found that P2P business lending rose by 51 per cent in 2017. In contrast, bank lending to UK small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fell to £700m in 2017 from £3bn the previous year.

Despite increased demand for alternative finance, the report found that 70 per cent of smaller businesses would rather forego growth than borrow. The BBB’s analysis found that only 1.7 per cent of small firms sought new loans over the last 10 quarters – a record low since its index began in 2011.

Less than half (43 per cent) of businesses surveyed were confident they would get a loan if they applied, even though most new loan applications (72 per cent) are approved.

Better Mortgage Hits $ 1 Billion Dollars in Mortgage Loans Funded after Launch in January 2016 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Better Mortgage, a digital mortgage company focused on improving access to home financing for a new generation of homeowners, announced that it has funded over $1 billion dollars in mortgage loans to date. Better launched in January 2016, making it the third fastest online lender to reach this $1B milestone — per research published by Lend Academy in July 2017.

The Case for M&A (Why Banks Should Buy Online Lenders) (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Tech firms have already demonstrated they can open these markets. The largest money market fund in the world, Ant Financial’s four-year-old Yu’e Bao, was built on a sweep from the AliPay payments product. Intuit can utilize proprietary accounting and tax data to underwrite (and acquire) borrowers in novel ways. Amazon can underwrite small businesses using inventory turnover and reams of customer data.

“Big Tech” firms also have proprietary platforms and channels – in-home (think ‘Alexa’), apps, in-car, and mobile to name a few.  However, in the US – at least for now – Big Tech firms lack a regulatory “swimlane” to compete with banks in lending and payments on a national scale. Their non-bank and commercial status confines their activities to narrow forms of lending, affinity partnerships, and lead generation. Until that impediment is dissolved, “Big Tech” firms need to partner with national banks with unsecured lending capabilities to fully unlock these markets.

Our argument is that banks without an unsecured lending capability risk losing long-term customer relevance. Banks that do not have an unsecured lending business do not have a seat at the table.

Source: PeerIQ

Which Banks are the logical buyers?

Banks that have the following characteristics would make a short-list of likely acquirers:

  • Are active in lending, but have a gap in unsecured consumer loans
  • Banks with asset management or structured products arms that can package loans into new products (e.g., ABS offerings, investment vehicles, etc.). Also, banks that have aspirations to develop a robo-advisor
  • Banks that have a demonstrated history of partnering with FinTechs
Source: PeerIQ, SEC filings, bank corporate websites

We assume underwriting and loan terms similar to those today (e.g. ~700 credit score, 15% coupon, $15k principal, 3 to 5 year term). We assume annual charge-off rates of 5%. We assume a 1.5% deposit funding charge and a leverage ratio of 15%.

We find that a bank can generate 10% NIM, 2 to 3.5% ROA, 15 to 20% marginal-ROE during good times.

Update to Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement (Lending Club), Rated: AAA

As of Friday, February 23, 2018, recent updates made to the Truth in Lending disclosure statement for unsecured consumer loans will take effect. The forthcoming Truth in Lending disclosure statement is available here.

Will LendingClub Turn a Corner in 2018? (Guru Focus), Rated: A

LendingClub has a market cap of about $1.6 billion, which makes it one of the biggest players in the peer-to-peer lending market.

The company’s stock price has plunged nearly 40% over the last four months and this could continue unless the upcoming earnings call changes investor sentiment. LendingClub was valued at about $9 billion in late 2014 but it has dropped to about $1.6 billion.

Source: Guru Focus

Pricey personal loans would be outlawed by bill that would reshape state lending industry (Los Angeles Times), Rated: AAA

A bill introduced Thursday by Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) could dramatically reshape California’s lending industry by capping interest rates at roughly 20% for consumer loans between $2,500 and $10,000. Since rate caps were removed by the Legislature in the 1980s, there’s been no limit to the amount of interest lenders can charge on those loans.

That has led to startling growth in the market. In 2016, more than half of the loans between $2,500 and $5,000 and about 21% of larger loans charged interest rates of 100% or higher. In all, Californians in 2016 — the most recent year for which state data are available — borrowed $1.1 billion at triple-digit interest rates.

But Kalra’s bill would do much more than ban lenders’ priciest offerings. The bill would extend an existing set of rate caps that now apply to loans of less than $2,500 to all loans of up to $10,000. That would cap interest rates at roughly 19% for loans up to $10,000.

Had the caps been in effect in 2016, 98% of loans between $2,500 and $5,000 and 95% of loans up to $10,000 would have been outlawed. Only about $91 million of the $2.7 billion in loans made in those sizes in 2016 had rates below 20%.

BFS Capital Announces New 5 Million Credit Line (BFS Capital Email), Rated: A

BFS Capital, a leading small business financing platform, today announced it is has received a new $175 million revolving credit line provided by funds managed by Ares Management, L.P. BFS Capital will use the new facility to accelerate the growth of its lending business, following a record year where the company generated more than $300 million in originations, a new annual high.

Braviant Holdings Announces $ 7 Million Equity Raise (Braviant Email), Rated: A

Braviant Holdings, a leading fintech startup that uses advanced analytics and proprietary technology to make smarter lending decisions, has raised $5 million common equity from Loom Capital, LLC. Alongside the equity investment, Braviant has entered into an exclusive partnership with a subsidiary of Trend Capital, a tech-enabled digital marketing platform affiliated with Loom.

VPC’s portfolio sales drag on performance (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

VPC Specialty Lending Investments has reported a total net asset value (NAV) return of 3.07 per cent for 2017 – below its target return levels.

PeerStreet Review (Benzinga), Rated: A

In addition, “accredited investors” need only apply. Investors must have a net worth greater than $1 million in liquid assets (meaning the equity in your home doesn’t count) or you need to earn more than $200,000 per year or make $300,000 jointly.

PeerStreet’s minimum investment is $1,000 and account fees range from 0.25% to a 1% setup fee. The investment length ranges from six to 24 months.

Marla Blow of FS Card (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Marla’s time at the CFPB indirectly led to the founding of FS Card.
  • Why creating a new credit card company is so complicated and challenging.
  • What their Build card is and who is their target market.
  • How they are able to offer an secured credit card to people that banks reject.
  • The types of data they use to find stable customers in the subprime segment.
  • The typical size of the credit line they provide to these customers.
  • The profile of their target customer and how they are using the credit card.
  • How they are providing financial education to these people.
  • How FS Card is acquiring these credit card customers.
  • The percentage of their customers who have qualified for credit line increases.
  • Why improving credit scores of their customers is a key metric.
  • How they are able to issue these cards through their partner bank.
  • How FS Card makes money.
  • What regulators could be doing to help subprime consumers get more access to responsible credit.
  • What more should fintech companies be doing to help these underserved people.
  • The biggest challenges that FS Card has to overcome to become a large and successful credit card company.

How does real estate investing benefit from technology (Realty Biz), Rated: A

Buying and selling property has already become much more accessible due to technology, and this trend is only going to speed up. While historically, real estate professionals, investors, and landlords have been reluctant to pay for technology, and the data available has been spotty, the tide is turning as more wake up to the opportunities. Investment values are shooting up in many places due in a large part to technological advances, including the ability to market real estate to audiences beyond the immediate community and to close deals securely, quickly, and remotely with investors.

BBVA taps digital start-up Azlo to target US freelance market (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

BBVA has partnered with digital business account provider Azlo to target the freelance market in the US.

According to BBVA, by 2020 in the US alone, 43% of workers will be employed in freelance capacities – a trend that is expected to continue to grow.

Goldman Sachs and rivals home in on risky consumer banking (Financial Times), Rated: A

Lloyd Blankfein was a breezy opening act at a big industry event this week in Key Biscayne, Florida. On stage at the Ritz-Carlton the chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs was talking about Marcus, the bank’s new online savings and lending platform, which is targeting borrowers with scores as low as 660 on the 300-850 Fico scale. Goldman calls such people “creditworthy”; others call them subprime.

Banks Urged to Take On Payday Lenders With Small, Lower-Cost Loans (WRAL), Rated: A

Those who find themselves pinched for cash often turn to high-cost payday lenders. But traditional banks and credit unions could serve that role for borrowers and do it at much lower rates, according to a new proposal from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

B of A’s Moynihan: Big banks are ‘fine’ with Dodd-Frank (American Banker), Rated: A

While small and regional banks are pushing for a rollback of the Dodd-Frank Act, big banks are largely supportive of the 2010 financial reform law, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said Thursday.

African-American Entrepreneur Launches Innovative Mobile Tax Refund Loan App to Revolutionize the Tax Industry (Black News), Rated: B

Good news for Americans struggling with income tax returns given the recent changes in the tax laws with the enactment of The PATH ACT. A visionary African-American entrepreneur, Marshawn Govan, has come up with an innovative mobile tax refund loan app that is all set to revolutionize the tax industry and make tax returns simpler for Americans.

Titled as MKG Tax Refund, the state of the art program is a patent pending mobile tax refund Collateral Driven Interest & Investment (SaaS) Software-as-a-Service (FOF) Fund-Of-Fund multi-manager investment application.

Add Another Bank to Fintech Roostify’s Roster of Investors (Bank Innovation), Rated: B

If there’s any question that digital mortgage firms are gaining attention from larger fintech players and investors, then look no further than venture capital firm Santander InnoVentures‘ investment in Roostify, a startup that digitalizes the mortgage application process.

French asset manager signs record deal in the Meatpacking District (The Real Deal), Rated: B

Tikehau Capital, a Paris-based firm with $15.6 billion in assets under management, signed a lease for the top two floors at Rockpoint Group’s new development at 412 West 15th Street, sources told The Real Deal.

The 11-year lease covers nearly 10,000 square feet on the top two floors of the 18-story building, which offer sweeping views of the Hudson River.

Lawmakers highlighted that H.R. 3299 — the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017 — clarifies current law to ensure innovative marketplace lending remains in-tact while simultaneously providing safe consumer protections.

H.R. 3299 passed through the House by a vote of 245-171 and went on over to the Senate, which received it, read the measure twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

United Kingdom

Zopa on hiring drive to support credit card launch in 2018 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA is recruiting staff to develop its new credit card, which it plans to launch later this year as a feature of its digital bank.

Temasek-backed Funding Circle plans IPO at .1b valuation (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle, the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lender in the UK, is planning to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) that will see it float at an estimated valuation of £1.5 billion ($2.1 billion), according to a report by Britain’s Sky News.

Funding Circle set to hire Morgan Stanley to lead London flotation (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FUNDING Circle is reportedly poised to hire Morgan Stanley to lead a flotation on the London Stock Exchange in the second half of this year.

The largest P2P platform by loan book size in the UK is expected to hire the US bank in the coming weeks, according to Sky News.

Lendy reports 224% turnover increase (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Lendy has revealed a 224% turnover increase in 2016 (to £29.2m), compared with the previous year (2015: £9m).

The P2P lending platform has published its audited accounts for 2016, which also showed that profits before tax increased to £3.3m, compared with the £53,000 reported in 2015.

Lending Works chooses Credit Kudos to power new Open Banking initiative (Finextra), Rated: A

Credit Kudos, a challenger credit bureau, and Lending Works, a fast-growing peer-to-peer (P2P)  lending platform, are partnering to enable customers to benefit from the UK’s Open Banking  initiative, a secure way for banking customers to take control of their financial data. Credit Kudos  and Lending Works’ partnership is one of the first initiatives to use Open Banking to improve  customer experience in the finance industry.

Currently, approximately 60% of Lending Works’ borrowers are provided with  instant and automated credit decisions, whereas the remaining 40% require some manual  processes. Within the new world of Open Banking, Lending Works expects to increase that figure  to up to 90% of credit decisions being fully automated.

Small businesses look to specialist lenders for loans (Financial Times), Rated: A

British small businesses are diversifying their sources of funding away from big banks, as a growing number turn to specialist asset-backed lenders, peer-to-peer finance sites, private equity and venture capital investors.

Fewer small businesses are applying for loans than in the past five years and more of them fear that if they did they would be rejected, according to the latest report into small business finance by the British Business Bank, a government-backed development bank.

Out of the UK’s total of 5.7m small businesses, only 1.7 per cent applied for a loan or overdraft last year, the fifth consecutive year of decline since 2012.

There’s never been a better time to seek alternative finance (Belfast Telegraph), Rated: A

There are also several privately funded lenders (with a local presence in the province through brokerages) such as Atom Bank, Relendex, Thin Cats and Dunluce Capital which have all completed a number of deals in Northern Ireland from cash flow loans to property development finance.

The Access to Finance initiative supported by Invest Northern Ireland offers a variety of support including start-up funding, loans and equity investment.

WhiteRock Capital Partners manages the £50m NI Growth Loan Fund (Access to Finance) which offers loans from £50k to £1.25m to local SMEs. With an extensive network of funding partners, we work hard to deliver the most appropriate support for local businesses.

ArchOver readies for IFISA launch (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ARCHOVER is planning to launch its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) in the next few weeks.

Crowdfunding Comes of Age (moneyexpert), Rated: A

Crowdfunding is gaining serious traction in the UK market, with the sector pushing past the £10 billion milestone in 2016. While, most people will probably still associate the idea of ‘crowdfunding’ with websites like Kickstarter or early stage equity investments, the reality is that 97% of the market is debt-based – either P2P lending or Crowd Bonds.

Both P2P lending and Crowd Bonds are also making big strides into the mainstream thanks to their inclusion in the new(ish) Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), which allows investors to earn interest tax free on their investments.

It’s time to get clear on the Innovative Finance ISA (moneyexpert), Rated: A

With the birth of the Lifetime ISA (LISA) for 18-39 year olds on 6 April 2017, the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is no longer the baby of the ISA family. But it is perhaps still the least well understood.

The peer-to-peer lending industry celebrates its 13th birthday this year. Has it finally grown up? (Verdict), Rated: B

Whether that’s Paypal in the US or the start of the peer-to-peer lending industry (P2P) in the UK, financial services were changing long before the global recession hit.

The P2P industry is celebrating its 13thbirthday this year. With big changes afoot in its major players such as Zopa, as well as Funding Circle, what is next for P2P lending?

China

China Gets Pushback on New Rules to Curb Lending Practices (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese regulators and commercial banks are butting heads over new rules Beijing is rolling out to tackle off-the-books lending that’s compounding China’s debt woes.

Particularly targeted are practices banks use to move loans off their books by repackaging them as investments. Banks transfer the loans—mostly corporate and local government borrowings—to brokerages and other types of shadow lenders, which then peddle the rebundled investments to investors. Such maneuvers accounted for $3.5 trillion in off-balance lending as of last year.

European Union

Online Lending Market Growth Continues With Spanish Purchase (Prague Post), Rated: AAA

Wonga’s latest acquisition is Spanish company Credito Pocket, who was a lending company based in Barcelona. This is aimed to boost the visibility of their Wonga.es domain.

BinckBank and Raisin double up for Dutch savings market (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

BinckBank says it will be the first in the Dutch banking sector to offer its clients access to European savings products via its cooperation with Raisin.

Augmentum Fintech to raise £100mln to cash in on Europe’s financial disruption (Proactive Investor), Rated: A

A new trust aimed at Europe’s fast-growing fintech sector is looking to raise £100mln ahead of a float in London.

Augmentum Fintech PLC said the financial services sector is ‘ripe for disruption and disintermediation’ but, unlike other sectors such as retail and travel, this has yet to happen.

ING Diba Buys Lendico (P2P Banking), Rated: A

Bank ING Diba acquires p2p lending marketplace Lendico. According to Finanz-Szene.de the transaction was reported to the German Federal Cartel Authority last week. The bank has confirmed the acquisition.

International

Digital Identity Pioneer IdentityMind Global Lands $ 10M (Coverager), Rated: AAA

IdentityMind Global, the leader in Digital Identities You Can Trust, today announced that it has closed a $10M Series C round of financing. In addition to all existing investors, the round was co-led by Benhamou Global Ventures and Eastern Link Capital and included Hanna Ventures, Overstock.com, and Zanadu Capital Partners.

Coin-backed P2P platforms shrug off crypto volatility (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum suffered from price falls in January but many firms are still seeing the benefits of creating their own cryptocurrency to use for P2P lending. One provider, SOFIN, is currently looking to raise up to $1m (£720,000) to create a token that can be used as a tool to bypass high exchange rates so loans can be funded internationally.

FintruX’s whitelist closes in 11 days (AMBCrypto), Rated: B

The global P2P lending ecosystem, FintruX backed by Ethereum and No-Code development has reopened the Token Sale, FTX which is used to power the FintruX network and is set-up as a mean to reward or get rewarded for participating in the marketplace. The token’s minimum per transaction at present is 0.1 ETH.

Harnessing the Full Potential of the $ 600 Billion Crypto Network (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Gluwa and Aella Credit are the two fintech companies that have come together to create a blockchain based protocol that will allow investors to lend in any crypto.

These two companies plan to launch Creditcoin, which will operate across blockchains in the P2P lending market.

The Gluwa platform, to be powered by Creditcoin, will address the issues of accessibility of the crypto market by those in the fiat world by seamlessly connecting them with cryptocurrencies.

GISC LoanCoin Network (NewsBTC), Rated: B

GISC LoanCoin Network is a utility token based lending and borrowing platform that allows users to leverage their blockchain assets to secure cash loans. The network is optimal for P2P and B2B credit financing on a global scale.

iP2PGlobal Announces Its Pre-ICO Crowdsales For Its TWQ Token On Feb 19 (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

The TWQ (Tawarruq) is an ERC20 token that confer the right to the token holder to submit an application for a personal financing based on a Commodity Tawarruq Trading program, through the iP2PGlobal platform and have it listed in the platform for prospective lenders to view and choose to finance.

10TWQs are needed to apply for a personal financing of up to 5ETH.

Australia

Australian Online Lender Prospa Ranks #1 in List of High Growth Firms in Asia Pacific (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Prospa, a Sydney based online lender servicing the SME market, has received a nice recognition as it took the top spot for a high growth firm in Asia Pacific. According to a recent ranking of the top 1000 firms in Asia-Pacific by the FT, Prospa ranked number one having experienced revenue growth of 1600% during the time period of 2103 to 2016.

Payday lender Nimble Money up for sale, bids due this week (Financial Review), Rated: A

Privately owned personal loans company Nimble Money is on the block, with its two founders believed to be seeking an exit.

Street Talk can reveal Melbourne-based Baillieu Holst has been hired to find a buyer for the business and has been marketing the short term loans provider to financial services industry players and private equity firms in recent weeks.

Interested parties have been told Nimble Money is on track to make about $15 million in earnings this year, following significant growth in its loan book over the past 12-months.

It’s expected to be worth about $100 million.

Loans.com.au slashes variable rates for home buyers (Canstar), Rated: B

Online lender loans.com.au has cut interest rates on its variable rate home loan to just 3.52% (3.56%* comparison rate).

Comparatively, the next lowest variable home loan for owner-occpupiers at the time of writing sits at 3.54% (3.55%* comparison rate).

Over $ 11.5 million lent by payday loan alternative (finder), Rated: B

BaptistCare has approved 16 loans per week to some of Australia’s most financially vulnerable people.

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILs), a microfinance program aimed at providing small no- and low-interest loans to financially vulnerable people, has this week announced it has surpassed $11.5 million lent in NSW. The loans are designed to help people on lower incomes purchase essential goods and services.

The loans are provided through BaptistCare with the scheme run under Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with NAB and the NSW Office of Fair Trading.

India

Financial services execs invest in fin-tech startup Fincash (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Mumbai-based personal finance startup Fincash.com has raised Rs 1 crore ($150,000) in a fresh funding round from a group of angel investors from the financial services sector, a company statement said.

The startup will use this money to build its team, expand its product line, acquire customers and make its services available across more cities and towns, the statement added.

Fintech startup Aye Finance raises Rs 25 cr from Vivriti Capital (Economic Times), Rated: B

Fintech company focussed on the MSME sector Aye Finance has raised Rs 25 crore through a securitisation deal facilitated by Vivriti Capital.

APAC

Lendit’s accumulated volume of loan tops W100b (The Korea Herald), Rated: AAA

Lendit, a peer-to-peer lending platform operator in South Korea, has extended a combined 101.8 billion won ($95.4 million) in nearly 7,300 consumer loans as of Monday to midrange borrowers seeking lower interest rates, according to the fintech startup Monday.

How VC Firm Magma Partners is Tapping Into the Untapped Chilean Fintech Market (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

With government-backed initiatives and a finite business of copper export, Nathan Lustig, co-founder and managing partner at Magma Partners, saw huge potential in the Chilean fintech market.

Lustig points out that only 30% of Chileans have credit cards, while only 50% have bank accounts, “and that’s the more advanced population,” he said. Additionally, consumer experience is “pretty horrible for about 80% of this population,” he said.

One area within the fintech space that Magma has been particularly interested in is invoice-based lending, also known as factoring. In its portfolio is Portal Finance, a startup that provides SaaS for the factoring industry.

Portal Finance earns between 0.5% to 1% for every deal the bank accepts.

Talad platform offers SME loans based on invoice collateral (The Nation), Rated: B

Talad Invoice, a lending platform initiated by a fintech startup, is expected to grow at an exponential rate this year, following two years of peer-to-peer lending using invoices as loans collateral, said Watewiboon Pumipue, chief executive officer of D90 Capital Co, which operates the financial platform.

Finda envisions online financial marketplace (The Korea Herald), Rated: B

Finda operates an eponymous web portal that provides information about over 7,000 financial products — ranging from personal and mortgage loans, investment instruments, credit cards to insurance products — standardized in Finda‘s own format. Users can be offered easy-to-understand and up-to-date information about products online, she said.

Finda gathers information primarily from an open API by the Financial Supervisory Service, but since the FSS’ database provides data, including interest rates, of the previous months, Finda reflects updates directly from sellers — banks, insurers, credit card firms and peer-to-peer lending platforms.

Africa

Global Startups Boot Camp Coming To Rwanda (KTPress), Rated: A

Rwanda will next month host a continental Startup boot camp (SBC) that will source innovative and top startup talents in the country and across the globe.

SBC is a global family of industry-focused accelerators, which last year launched its first-ever Africa-based programme.

Canada

KiWi’s marketplace loans set for imminent Canadian debut (Financial Post), Rated: A

The next stage in the development of Canada’s first credit fund that invests in marketplace loans — unsecured consumer and small business loans provided by online lending companies — is set to play out over the next month.

The gang behind KiWi Private Credit Fund — formed last summer with $30 million of contributions from institutional and high-net-worth investors — is planning to meet the Canadian platforms.

Russia

Microfinancers warn Central Bank of return to 90s (Realnoe Vremya), Rated: A

The regulator has been fighting against expensive and very risky loans for several years already. Last July it tightened reserve requirements for MFO again: they must add 100% interest for payday loans with a delay of more than 90 days.

Firstly, the regulator is going to restrict the size of payday loans to 10,000 rubles, secondly, to reduce the biggest term of such loans to 15 days, thirdly, to reduce interest rates to 1,5% in 2018, to 1% in July 2019 a day. Now the largest payday loan is 45,000 rubles. The maximum term is 2 months, while extra payment on such loans is limited to a threefold size of a loan.

Payday loans account for 57,6% of all loans that MFOs granted in the second quarter of the last year.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday November 7 2017, Daily News Digest

fintech credit

News Comments Today’s main news: Review of OnDeck Q3 earnings. Wealthfront to be first robo to offer a mutual fund. ArchOver goes over 50M GBP lending milestone. Hexindai rises 27% on first day. NOT coming soon: Ant Financial IPO. EU to create Europe-wide crowdfunding framework. Ripio closes $37M ICO. Today’s main analysis: Marketplace lenders balance growth, quality. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Will […]

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News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

OnDeck Q3 2017 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

With their latest financial results released today, the firm reiterated their plans to achieve GAAP profitability in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Originations in the quarter grew to $531 million, up 14% from the prior quarter. They also reported that operating expenses were at the lowest level in more than two years.

Revenue increased to $83.7 million, up 8% over the prior year period. Not surprisingly, loans sold or designated for sale continued to fall and represented just 1.3% of term loan originations. Other Revenue increased $0.7 million from the previous quarter to $3.4 million which reflected increased revenue from OnDeck-as-a-Service. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, the company improved bottom line performance by $12 million.

Source: Lend Academy

Online lender OnDeck posts surprise third-quarter loss (Reuters), Rated: A

Online lender OnDeck Capital Inc(ONDK.N) reported an unexpected third-quarter loss on Monday after the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma offset higher interest income and lower expenses, and its shares fell nearly 4 percent.

Chief Executive Officer Noah Breslow said on a call with analysts that the company had increased its loss reserves by $3.5 million after the hurricanes hit some of its small-business clients in August and September.

Wealthfront set to be the first robo to offer its own mutual fund (FinancialPlanning), Rated: AAA

Now Wealthfront wants to return the favor, filing with the SEC on Wednesday for a mutual fund offering of its own. If approved, it would make Wealthfront the first major independent robo to offer its own fund.

Dubbed the Wealthfront Risk Parity Fund, the derivatives fund will invest in global developed and emerging market equities, global developed and emerging markets fixed income, real estate investment trusts and commodities, according to the filing.

The fund will carry a 51-basis point expense ratio. It will be made available to Wealthfront investors with no contribution limitations and to institutional investors with a $5 million investment minimum.

Marketplace lenders balance growth and quality (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Fintech lenders now account for nearly a third of the personal unsecured loan market, from nearly 0% in 2010. The new players appear poised to not only continue building share there, but to begin gaining share in other credit types.

Rapid growth in personal loans

Wirth says TransUnion records indicate that there are over 100 fintech consumer lenders in the U.S. now—way beyond the usual companies mentioned in this area—and that new firms with new models continue to enter the market.

Source: TransUnion LLC. All rights reserved

TransUnion studied over 40 million personal loans originated by banks, credit unions, traditional finance companies, and fintech consumer lenders from 2014 to 2016. Among the findings of the research was that in spite of the perception that fintech personal loan borrowers skew towards the young end of the demographic spectrum, this is not the case. In fact, among the four categories of lenders, consumers 18-29 accounted for the smallest portion of borrowers from fintech lenders.

Source: TransUnion LLC. All rights reserved

Reviewing quality and return

A surprise for some in the TransUnion research is the fintechs’ choice of credit strata. Many see fintech consumer lenders chiefly as subprime creditors, but it turns out that six out of ten fintech personal loans are made to prime or near-prime borrowers. The latest figures indicate that 10% of fintech personal loan originations are subprime borrowers, while among all lenders the total is 14%.

Source: TransUnion LLC. All rights reserved

Using the risk-return methodology outlined above, TransUnion computes that the first-year effective portfolio risk-returns rank as follows: traditional finance companies, 11.5%; fintech lenders, 8.7%; banks, 6.7%; and credit unions, 6.3%.

Fintech will change more in the next 5 years than it has in the last 30 (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Today, Schulman said the person-to-person payment business is valued between $35 billion and $40 billion. In five years, its projected value is estimated to reach $335 billion.

Similarly, “online digital payments today are about $3 trillion,” the CEO said. “By 2020, three years from now, it’s supposed to be over $8 trillion. And we’re a leader in that market right now with 218 million people using the platform, so we just got to keep delivering on what customers want, merchants want and to stay that market leaders.”

PayPal CEO: Fintech will change more in the next 5 years than it has in the last 30 from CNBC.

Affirm Launches New Way to Pay For Holiday Travel (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Affirm, Inc., the company started by serial entrepreneur Max Levchin to provide fair and honest financial products, today introduced Travel with Affirm in time for the end-of-year holiday season. Travel with Affirm lets consumers book their travel plans, including airfare, hotel rooms, luxury suites, and more while splitting their purchases into manageable monthly payments. Charter partners in Travel with Affirm include Expedia, offering flight-and-hotel packages; CheapAir, offering low prices on airfare and more; and Suiteness, for those that want to treat themselves to an exclusive, luxury hotel suite.

According to a recent study conducted by Affirm, Inc. of 1,000 U.S. adults about holiday shopping habits, 61% of respondents said that holiday spending is a source of family strife. Over a third (34%) said they are worried about how they are going to cover their holiday spending costs this year.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that, according to another recent study conducted by Affirm of over 1,600 people, two of the top three reasons consumers use deferred interest products is for vacation and travel expenses along with holiday shopping. 67 percent of respondents also believe that some credit products are designed to purposefully cheat consumers.

“We know how tough traveling during the holiday season can be,” said Kyle Killion, co-founder and chief of product at Suiteness. “So, partnering with Affirm to offer as low as 0% APR on hotel suites with the ability to easily pay over time allows our customers to enjoy the holidays while knowing exactly what the final cost for their suite will be.”

In 2016 alone, U.S. consumers paid over $94 billion in fees. That doesn’t even include the $70.4 billion in interest fees credit card issuers made.

The simplest way to book travel
Using Travel with Affirm is quick and easy. All it takes is five pieces of personal information for a real-time credit decision. And then it’s up to the consumer to select the monthly payment plan—3, 6, or 12 months—that fits their budget.

Any U.S. resident 18 years or older (19 years old in Alabama or a ward of the state in Nebraska) is eligible to use Affirm.

And, paying Affirm bills is equally straightforward. After making their purchase, the consumer receives timely e-mail and SMS reminders on when their next payment is due. Alternatively, they can set up Autopay for recurring automatic payments.

“Credit cards are broken,” said Levchin. “If all Americans used Affirm instead of traditional revolving lines of credit, we could save people $90 billion a year in fees alone.”

CommonLoan Marketplace Milestone: Over $ 680 Million in Loans Processed (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Commercial real estate lending platform CommLoan announced on Monday it has successfully processed more than $680 million in loans since its launch in 2014.

Impact Housing REIT Makes Top 14 Non-Accredited Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Impact Housing REIT, LLC (ImpactHousing.com), today is pleased to announce that it has made The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review’s 2017-2018 Top 14 Nonaccredited Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites, receiving Industry Honors for Most Experienced Sponsors, and Most Socially Conscious, the only award given in the category.

Real Estate Issuers Need Online, Alternative Investing Processes to Thrive (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Blaine McLaughlin, chief operating officer of VIA Folio, says it’s time for real estate issuers to move away from the traditional capital raising process and use online brokerage technology. McLaughlin, who recently spoke at the IPA Vision 2017 Conference, said investors have embraced technology in every other aspect of their lives, so real estate issuers must now meet them on their own terms.

The additional benefits of using an online, alternative investing process include:

  • Meeting advisors and investors on their own turf. More advisors are using alternative investments to diversify client portfolios and differentiate their business.
  • Reaching accredited and non-accredited investors. Issuers that choose to raise capital under the JOBS Act have more flexibility when marketing to investors.
  • Offering different ways to invest. Advisors consider many factors, including security type, before making investment decisions. Issuers that use Folio’s online brokerage technology can choose to offer publicly registered or private securities, including Reg A+, Reg D, S-11 and small-cap Reg A+ IPOs.
  • Lowering investment minimums. For real estate securities issuers, high investment minimums are a necessary evil to keep expenses down. An online brokerage process – where subscription, closing, price reporting, statements and other services are done online – reduces administrative expenses, in turn enabling lower investment minimums.

CFX Markets Raises $ 2.17M Seed/Series A Funding (FINSMES), Rated: A

CFX Markets, a Chicago, IL-based secondary market trading platform for alternative assets, closed a $2.17M Seed/Series A funding round.

The round was led by West Loop Ventures, with participation from M25 Group, Origami Capital Partners, Harvard Business School Angels of Chicago, SixThirty Ventures, and angel investors David Schwartz of Waterton Capital and David Krell, founder of ISE.

Why banks are sub-branding new customer offerings (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Marcus by Goldman Sachs, for example, touts itself as the startup inside Goldman Sachs that built an entirely digital personal loan product for consumers — a new set of customers for the 148-year-old company. Two weeks ago JPMorgan Chase introduced Finn, an app for people who would rather skip the branches for completely mobile checking and savings accounts with personal finance tools. Last week, Wells Fargo announced a similar offering called Greenhouse, a standalone mobile banking app with digital-only accounts and personal finance features.

For large legacy institutions, it’s hard to make changes and scale them both across the company and the consumer base. For banks, it’s much easier to create and brand an entirely new experience, which is partly why they’re launching things like Marcus, Finn and Greenhouse. Doing so also ends up being a sort of innovation showcase for their peers and prospective employees.

“A sub-brand allows us a sandbox to rapidly innovate and learn from consumer preferences and behaviors, while maintaining the core Chase brand which our customers know and love,” she said.

Goldman Sachs plans rebranding of online consumer bank (American Banker), Rated: A

Last year Goldman Sachs found a warmer, fuzzier way to connect with the U.S. public, and now it’s doubling down on that approach.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the brand name for the Wall Street bank’s one-year-old digital consumer-lending business. The name is a reference to Marcus Goldman, who founded the company in 1869.

Digital investments give small banks deeper borrower pool (American Banker), Rated: A

With fewer customers showing up in branches for coffee and local gossip, some community banks are digitally transforming themselves to bring Main Street to people’s homes.

In July, SourceMedia Research surveyed 304 chief information officers from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions with assets ranging from less than $100 million to more than $10 billion, and nearly 70% said they planned to spend more on technology in 2017.

“Community banks don’t just compete against banks in their immediate community. We now compete with every bank, whether it be bricks-and-mortar or internet-based, credit unions, payment processors, credit card companies, investment houses, fintechs, peer-to-peer payments, you name it,” said Ryan James, Surety’s CEO.

Crawford noted customers have increased expectations when it comes to lending, in large part due to experiences with online lenders that tend to offer quick decisions and digital-first experiences.

Source: American Banker

Big banks target Venmo (CB Insights Email), Rated: A

Venmo, now owned by PayPal and acquired for a reported $26.2M, is certainly one of the best tech M&A transactions ever.

PayPal recently extended the “pay with Venmo” capability to 2 million online retailers with a focus on enabling e-commerce via mobile.

ReliaMax Selected to Service and Insure MetaBank’s Additional $ 73 Million Private Student Loan Portfolio (BusinessWire), Rated: A

ReliaMax, the leading private student lending platform for banks, credit unions and alternative lenders, announced today that the company is now servicing and insuring an additional $73 million in private student loans for MetaBank, the bank subsidiary of Meta Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CASH). In December 2016, ReliaMax was selected to service and insure MetaBank’s initial $151 million private student loan portfolio acquisition.

AI-driven finance app Douugh partners Choice Financial for checking account (Finextra), Rated: A

San Francisco-based fintech startup Douugh has teamed up with community bank Choice Financial to launch an app-based checking account and debit card that will lean heavily on AI to help users better manage their money.

Choice has also made an investment in Douugh, which has raised $2.5 million to date and is the brainchild of Andy Taylor, who previously founded Australia’s largest P2P lending platform, SocietyOne.

FinTech is the New Imperative that Lending Companies Need to Embrace (CIOReview), Rated: A

In today’s fast-paced life, where customers are short of patience and starved of time, an old-school retail lending organization doesn’t really make a compelling survival case. In the last couple of years, however, retail lending has witnessed a sudden surge in interest. Well, the reasons are a no-brainer; it is the optimization of financial technology that has worked as a catalyst and led to welcome changes in the landscape. Technology has enabled banks to get rid of sluggish loan management process, curbing the costs and delay predicament that has impeded the growth of many retail lending processes.

eMoney Advisor Announces Expanded Business Development Organization (Business Insider), Rated: B

eMoney Advisor (eMoney) announced today the hiring of Jeffrey Schwantz as SVP, Head of Enterprise Sales and Shannon Porro as VP, Strategic Partnerships. These two new roles report to eMoney’s Head of Business Development, Stephen Langlois, who joined the company in May.  The additions reflect eMoney’s commitment to expanding its presence with larger financial institutions and to better support its customers’ needs as the company evolves its planning-led wealth management platform to enable enhanced growth, profitability and risk management of its diverse customer base. Approximately 60 percent of eMoney’s nearly 50,000 users are affiliated with individual advisors while the remaining 40 percent are affiliated with firms, larger financial institutions and enterprises.

CFTC Commissioner Quintenz Names Margo Bailey Special Counsel (MondoVisione), Rated: B

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Brian Quintenz announced today that Margo Bailey will serve as his Special Counsel.

Prior to joining Commissioner Quintenz’s office, Bailey worked as Counsel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) where she reviewed the derivatives activities of national banks and supported the OCC’s Fintech initiative.

United Kingdom

ArchOver surpasses £50 million lending milestone (Finextra), Rated: AAA

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, has facilitated over £50 million of lending with no losses or late payments.

The ArchOver platform produces average yields of 7.3% per annum, and comes with multiple security measures built in to protect investors.

PropTech Lending: High Tech vs. Old-School Underwriting (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Interestingly, it seems property lenders are disproportionately wary of the pitfalls in automating credit underwriting – more so than their colleagues in SME and consumer lending verticals, it seems. And rightly so.

Within SME and consumer loans, many sophisticated tech lenders principally rely on automated systems to perform their credit assessments. Many use a statistical approach; intelligent systems first gather borrower data, then smart algorithms interpret those to assess credit integrity and price the loans. Where the underlying loans are large in number and small in size, there is safety in numbers: the statistical approach is supported by the granularity and homogeneity of the underlying asset class. More often than not, the alternative approach – to manually underwrite each loan – is somewhere between too costly and impossible.

  • Limited digital availability of data is, and will remain, a key handicap for property lenders looking to scale with enhanced tech.
  • Portfolio risk tolerance is substantially lower for property lenders thanwithin consumer or SME lending. Consequently, a property lender’s attitude to resolving the tension between tech (to reach scale) and manual underwriting (to keep loan books robust) will remain different.
  • Even if all relevant data was digitally available, and even if property loan amounts were smaller, real estate assets cannot be classified in the way consumers can. A statistical approach to credit underwriting will miss important nuances and hence remains risky.

Could the rate rise boost returns for peer-to-peer lender Zopa? (AltFi), Rated: A

The Monetary Policy Committee has raised interest rates for the first time in ten years, from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent.

More so than any other peer-to-peer lender, Zopa has been wrestling with the base rate, which was cut to its all-time low of 0.25 per cent in August 2016.

It opted for the latter course, several times dropping its interest rates, and so too its target returns for investors. In fact, Zopa has doubled down on that strategy in recent months, pledging in August to cut back on its riskiest loans, with losses growing beyond expectation.

Small businesses turn to alternative finance to fund growth (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A poll of 1,000 small business owners by payments company Worldpay found 52 per cent are concerned that traditional routes to finance, including bank loans, might not be available at the same levels in the coming year.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) have already encountered difficulties securing funding through these traditional channels.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of younger business owners claimed the growth of alternative finance options has made them less reliant on banks for funding.

Robo-advice responsibility (Lexology), Rated: B

The FCA identified two particular regulatory reasons why it considers that robo-advice presents a big opportunity:

  • since the FCA has a competition objective, they see that robo-advice can drive innovation, delivering economy and efficiency and reaching underserved consumers;
  • the final report of the Financial Advice Market Review which was published in 2016 and concluded that steps needed to be taken to make the provision of advice and guidance to the mass market more cost-effective as well as addressing consumers’ lack of confidence when making financial decisions.
China

Hexindai prices $ 50 million best-efforts IPO at $ 10 midpoint; up 27% on first day (NASDAQ), Rated: AAA

Hexindai, a Chinese marketplace for peer-to-peer lending, raised $50 million by offering 5 million ADSs at $10. The company had planned to offer 2.7 million to 8.9 million ADSs at a range of $9 to $11 in a min-max, best-efforts IPO. On Friday, Hexindai began trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol HX. The stock ended its first day at $12.66 (+27%) but traded down to $11.23 (-11%) on Monday.

Jack Ma says no Ant Financial IPO anytime soon (Tech in Asia), Rated: AAA

Speaking in front of media on Saturday, the billionaire Alibaba founder said that there’s no timeline for when Ant Financial will list, and they will only consider the IPO route – ie: the possibility of going ahead with it – two years later, reports Yicai.

“Regarding Ant Financial going public, we don’t have a time yet and we don’t know whether it will be in China, Hong Kong, or in the USA,” said Ma. “We will not really think about it in the next 12 or 18 months because there’s huge potential in inclusive financing and other tech-related opportunities. We will probably think about it two years later, but not now.”

Online Lender Fincera Announces 2 For 1 Stock Split (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Fincera (OTCQB:YUANF) , a China based peer to peer online lender targeting small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in China, has announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 2 for 1 stock split of the Fincera’s outstanding shares of common stock in the form of a 100% stock dividend payable on or about November 8 , 2017 to shareholders of record on November 1 , 2017. Stockholders will receive one additional share for each share held on that date .

Chinese police to step up crackdown on financial crime (Reuters), Rated: A

Chinese police will intensity a crackdown on financial crime to safeguard national security and fend off financial risks, the public security ministry said in an online statement on Tuesday.

The ministry said it will focus on crimes involving illegal fundraising, the online finance industry, securities and futures markets, and financial institutions.

Is Technology About to Decimate White-Collar Work? (Technology Review), Rated: B

Lee pointed to several of the investments made by his company, Sinovation Ventures, as clear signs of how routine office work is already being transformed by AI. For example, Lee has backed Smart Finance Group, a company that uses machine learning to determine a person’s eligibility for a payday loan. Sinovation has also invested in companies that automate customer service, training, and other routine office services.

Lee identified four distinct but nonsequential waves of AI. The first wave is being fueled by the availability of large quantities of labeled data. This has given big Internet companies, both in China and in the U.S., an advantage in building their businesses and cementing AI expertise.

The second wave—which is more relevant to the kind of workplace disruption Lee sees coming—is based on the availability of company data, especially in industries such as law and accounting.

A third wave relies on companies generating data through new products or apps, or by paying for it to be created.

European Union

The European Commission Hopes to Scale Crowdfunding by Creating a European-Wide Framework (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The European Commission has published an Inception Impact Assessment that pitches a legislative proposal for an EU framework for crowdfunding including peer to peer lending. The initiative is accepting feedback from interested parties until November 27, 2017. The expectation is the Commission will create a framework that is supportive of the policy for a Capital Market Union the heart of the mission of the EC. Thjs new framework is expected by Q1 of 2018.

Overall, the main policy objectives are as follows:

  • Enable platforms to scale cross-border: creating the required conditions such as licensing regimes that can be used across the EU without requiring further authorization in each EU country.
  • Provide platforms with a proportionate and effective risk management framework: cross-border activity requires a high level of trust.
International

Ripio Closes $ 37 Million ICO for Ethereum Lending Network (Coindesk), Rated: AAA

Blockchain startup Ripio has raised $37 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).

The RCN whitepaper indicates that 42.5 percent of the tokens would be dedicated to a pre-sale maximum, with 8.5 percent set aside for a public sale minimum. The remaining 49 percent were reserved for operational needs, such as incentives, marketing and expenses.

Millenials get finance advice from bots! (iAfrica.com), Rated: A

Forrester surveyed online adults in 20 markets to determine their need for and perception of financial services. The resulting report, “Millennials Want Financial Advice, With or Without Humans”, shows that Millennials:

  • Want financial advice: Results from the study showed that in Europe, 32% of online adults between the ages of 18 and 37 say they “rely on financial advice from professionals,” compared with 29% of older generations.
  • Are not afraid to share personal information in order to get the advice: At least two thirds of US Millennials were willing to share personal data in order to get improved service from their financial institution.
  • Are not confident in the current advice they are receiving: Only 38% of US Millennials are confident that a bank or credit union will offer them valuable financial advice, compared with 46% of their older counterparts. Moreover, just over two-thirds of US Millennials say, they don’t know who to approach in order to get reliable financial advice, compared with less than a third of older generations.

While 26% of US adults say they prefer to use mobile devices to access financial services and advice, almost half (46%) of Millennials say they would rather use their mobile phone for this.

China and Australia sign agreement on fintech cooperation (OpenGovAsia), Rated: B

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (‘CSRC’) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (‘ASIC’) have entered into an agreement yesterday to promote innovation in financial services in their respective markets.

China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner in goods and services (valued at AU$155.2 billion in 2016, up 3.7% on the previous year). China is also Australia’s largest export market (AU$93 billion in 2016) and Australia’s largest source of imports (AU$62.1 billion in 2016).

India

Top 10 Trends to Look Out in Fin-Tech Industry for Year 2018 (BW Disrupt), Rated: AAA

  1. ATMs will start disappearing
  2. Credit decisions will go beyond looking at CIBIL scores for individuals and SMEs – Credit providers will start leveraging other forms of digitized data to evaluate ability and willingness to pay of the borrower.
  3. Chat and payments platforms will start integrating
  4. Payments and lending platforms will start integrating – Payment platforms will see thin margins in their payments business and will start building or partnering with lending platforms. For lending platforms, a payment platform is a cheaper customer acquisition avenue and also a source for credit assessment data.
  5. Fraud Prevention solutions will start emerging
  6. Wealth platforms will go direct to consumer
  7. New themes will emerge in Insurtech
  8. Large institutions will consolidate credit: While I don’t predict the death of P2P lending entirely, as interest rates keep reducing and costs of capital for larger institutions keep reducing, it is difficult to see P2P lenders getting any scale. The only advantage that P2P lenders have is information asymmetry but with newer methods to collect data on the borrower, I see that advantage diminishing gradually.
  9. Regtech solutions becoming mature
  10. Greater localization of bots – Over 30 startups are working on bots for the fintech sector in India.

Why India’s Improved World Bank Ranking Will Boost Its Startups (Forbes), Rated: A

Following India’s meteoric rise to crack the top 100 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, the country’s startup community is confident of attracting more foreign investments across sectors and emerging as a highly preferred investment destination in the region.

This year, India has improved its performance in six of those areas — specifically, there’s been a marked improvement in getting an electricity connection to start a new business, resolving insolvency, obtaining bank credit and tax reforms.

Rajat Gandhi, founder of P2P lending platform Faircent, said: “The ranking is a shot in the arm for the government, which has eased the way for fintechs to do business. It has become simpler for startups like mine to approach regulators for business. Moreover, this will boost the confidence of investors and allow more capital to come our way.” Prateek Mehta, cofounder of investment platform Upwardly.in agreed: “We are moving towards an entrepreneur-rich economy, so raising funds and scaling operations should be easier. With reforms like GST, the burden of compliance is greatly reduced, especially in cross-state businesses, which can simplify the operations of a startup. Compliance can be made even easier in the first three years of a startup.”

Wilful defaulters cannot bid for their companies: SBI chief (India Times), Rated: A

State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar on Monday said that promoters of defaulting companies are within their rights to bid for their businesses which are on the block following insolvency proceedings. However, wilful defaulters or those borrowers who have diverted funds will not find any place in the bidding process, he said.

Asia

Singapore’s Central Bank Chief Has a Warning for Fintech Investors (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

While technological innovations such as blockchain and the area of big data analytics can result in powerful applications, people should be wary of some peer-to-peer lending platforms and the rapidly rising values of cryptocurrencies, Menon said in an interview with Bloomberg News late last month.

One potential area of concern for Menon is some examples of P2P lending, in which platforms connect investors with borrowers, and make money from charging both parties a fee.

Still, high-profile cases of malfeasance such as Ezubo — dubbed China’s biggest Ponzi scheme — have brought to light instances of how they can be used to defraud investors. In China, almost 4,000 P2P platforms have closed or run into difficulties since 2011, according to Yingcan Group, which tracks the data.

Another area of concern is in the use of big data, where increasing use of mobile phones, social media and the internet has given companies unprecedented access to customer data.

The MAS has set aside about $165 million for a five-year plan to nurture fintech and is spearheading Project Ubin, a blockchain-based project to facilitate cross-border payments. Last week, the regulator unveiled a so-called transformation map for financial services that aims to create 4,000 new jobs annually in the industry — a quarter of that in fintech alone.

Read a transcript of Ravi Menon’s comments on fintech

Kinerjapay Preparing to Launch Peer to Peer Lending Service (PR Newswire), Rated: A

KinerjaPay Corp., (OTCQB: KPAY), a digital payment and ecommerce platform (“KinerjaPay” or the “Company”), announced today that it is preparing to launch a peer-to-peer lending application to provide Indonesia’s largely underserved consumer sector with access to credit.

Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority estimates the country’s demand for consumer and small business financing at approximately US$125 billion. Domestic financial institutions are able to address an estimated US$50 billion, leaving a financing gap of about US$75 billion which is not being served by financial institutions.

KinerjaPay’s P2P application will offer loans in the range of $100 to $10,000 to individuals, and $5,000 to $500,000 to businesses over fixed periods of 12 to 60 months. The interest rate charged for borrowed funds falls between 8% and 18%, depending on the loan grade or creditworthiness of the borrowing entity. The Company will receive a fee of 1% of the amount of borrower payments received within 15 days of the due date of the loan.

Securities Commission Malaysia: Equity Crowdfunding, P2P Lending & DLT Gaining Traction as it Embraces Digital Innovation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

According to SC, the equity crowdfunding and peer to peer financing platforms have funded 450 campaigns, raising a total of RM 50 million  (USD $11.8 million) to meet the financing needs of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

For equity crowdfunding in particular, more than 70% of the issuers have women or youth as founders, with 40% of the investors under the age of 35.

Canada

Report aims to enhance fintech innovation and competition (Investment Executive), Rated: A

Canadian investors should receive clear, upfront fee disclosure, and securities regulators should be working with robo-advisors to help facilitate the development of cheap alternatives to traditional advice, according to a draft report from the Competition Bureau.

On Monday, the federal agency released the draft report on its market study concerning technology‑led innovation in the Canadian financial services (fintech) sector in a variety of market segments, including payments, crowdfunding, and investment advice.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday October 10 2017, Daily News Digest

U.S. commercial banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Money360 closes more than $100M in Q3. Zopa unveils banking product offering. RateSetter to simplify withdrawal fees. First P2P exit guidelines issued in China. Moody’s upgrades 4Finance, lender tops 5B Euro in loans. SocietyOne sets lending growth record. Spotcap surpasses $180M in credit issued. Afluenta launches commercial loans platform. Today’s main analysis: Securitization market conditions remain strong. […]

U.S. commercial banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Latin America

Canada

News Summary

United States

Money360 Closes More Than $ 100 Million in Loans in Third Quarter, On Track for Record-Breaking 2017 (Marketwired), Rated: AAA

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate (CRE) loans, today announced it closed more than $100 million in loans in the third quarter of 2017. This brings the company’s total loan closings to over $450 million, with a target of $600 million in transactions by year-end.

Notable loans closed in the third quarter include:

  • A $15 million bridge loan for a six-story, 310-room hotel property in Bloomingdale, Illinois.
  • A $12.5 million bridge loan for a hospitality property in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
  • A $9.9 million bridge loan for a three-story, multi-tenant office property in Fresno, California.
  • A $7.6 million bridge loan for a multi-family property in Bemidji, Minnesota.
  • A $6.9 million bridge loan for an office property in Denver, Colorado.
  • A $4.4 million permanent loan for a retail property in Mount Olive, New Jersey.
  • A $1.2 million bridge loan for a two-story apartment building in Miami, Florida.

Amazon Could Be Your Lender, Too (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Amazon.com Inc. has profoundly changed the way clothes and books are sold and is now targeting food shopping. Its next project may very well be taking on the heart of Wall Street.

The technology giant has had several conversations with banking regulators over the past two years on a wide range of topics, including “financial innovation,” according to lobbying disclosures reviewed by American Banker. It already has a lending operation that it started in 2011 to support merchants that sell on its marketplace. This unit has grown increasingly popular, to the point where it originated $1 billion in loans over 12 months.

Source: Bloomberg

“Amazon has very broad ambitions,” said Ram Ahluwalia, founder of PeerIQ, a startup that tracks loans originated on online systems. He attended the online lending meeting last month and noted that many people were talking about big technology firms plowing more into financial services, including regulators.

Amazon is not alone. Others, such as PayPal and Google, have also entertained banking ideas. In fact, they’ve joined forces, creating a lobbying group called “Financial Innovation” together, according to American Banker.

PeerIQ Securitization Update: Market Conditions are Strong (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Below are some of the highlights of the Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker for Q3:

  • This quarter saw six marketplace lending securitizations with quarterly issuance of $2.6 Bn, representing 7.6% growth in issuance over 3Q 2016. To date, cumulative issuance equals $23.8Bn across 96 deals.
  • Lending Club (NYSE:LC) issued its first deal with prime loans with borrowers having FICO scores of at least 660. The weighted average FICO score on this deal is 692, which is a shift in borrower profile as MPL lenders seek out higher quality borrowers.
  • All deals this quarter were rated.  DBRS continues to lead the rating agency league table, while Kroll dominates the unsecured consumer sub-segment. We see continued engagement from the top 3 ratings agencies like Fitch, with their rating of PMIT 2017-2A. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley continue to top the issuance league tables with over 49% of MPL ABS transaction volume. College Avenue, a nascent MPL student loan originator, issued its first securitization CASL 2017 -A, managed by Barclays.
  • Spreads at issuance are marginally tighter in the consumer space on higher rated tranches. As priced 14bps tighter on average, while Bs and Cs priced 1-2bps wider. In the student space, As priced 51bps wider, while Bs and Cs priced 46bps and 61bps wider respectively.
  • Credit support requirements remain stable as rating agencies get more comfortable with collateral performance. We see deterioration in credit performance, but investors are well protected due to structural features and senior tranches deleverage rapidly to gain greater protection. Demand remains robust in this sector.
  • Goldman Sachs purchased $300Mn of solar loans from Mosaic. It would be interesting to see if they would participate in future Mosaic securitizations, as they have in the Marlette transactions.
    3Q17 saw a benign macro environment and low volatility. The Fed announced the beginning of its balance sheet reduction program to start in October, and prepared the market for an interest rate hike at the December meeting.
Source: PeerIQ

Download the PeerIQ Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker Q3 here.

Equifax, TransUnion, Experian have spent decades avoiding transparency, regulation (Cleveland.com), Rated: AAA

For decades, the three major credit bureaus, along with a smaller fourth player, Innovis, have operated in the shadows of Americans’ finances.

Here’s a quick look at a timeline:

1960s: TransUnion’s original business was not compiling credit data on consumers. It bought a data collector, Credit Bureau of Cook County in 1969.

1970: Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act, aimed at regulating the reporting of credit information.

Around 1970: TransUnion started using automatic tape-to-disc transfer to compile data, which was a lot faster than entering data manually. TransUnion later was the first bureau to offer banks, credit card companies and other creditors online access to data.

1988: TransUnion gains a nationwide presence. Credit reporting takes off.

1989: FICO scores as we know them were introduced.

March 2000: FICO creator Fair Isaac Corp. took legal action against an online lender, E-Loan, after E-Loan provided loan applicants with their credit scores.

September 2000: It wasn’t until this time that consumers could pay about $8 to the credit bureaus to get their own FICO credit scores, which had a top score of 850.

2003: Congress amended federal law to require the credit bureaus to give consumers a copy of their credit reports at no cost once a year.

2006: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian formed a joint venture to introduce Vantage scores, which were quite different than FICO scores.

2013: Discover, First National Bank of Omaha and a couple of other major issuers became trendsetters by providing credit card customers with their FICO credit score every month as part of their statement.

2014: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a financial regulator, said it fielded 31,000 consumer complaints in 16 months. About 75 percent of the complaints concerned information in credit files that consumers said was inaccurate.

Jan. 2017: The CFPB said Equifax and TransUnion lied to consumers about the credit scores they were being sold, and ordered Equifax and TransUnion to pay $17.6 million in restitution to consumers and imposed fines of $5.5 million.

March 2017: Experian joined its counterparts and got busted by the CFPB for lying about the credit scores it peddles to consumers.

Sept. 2017: Equifax makes a bombshell disclosure that a cyber thief stole personal information, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, for 145 million people. It’s by far the biggest data breach in U.S. history.

New AutoInvest Feature Enhances Patch of Land Real Estate Investing Platform (Patch of Land), Rated: A

We’ve rolled out an automatic investment tool, AutoInvest, to help our investors more easily access investment opportunities that meet pre-selected investing criteria.

We think you’ll see several nice benefits from Patch of Land’s new AutoInvest feature:

  • Automatically participate in first-lien real estate loans based on pre-selected investing criteria
  • A new lower minimum investment amount ($1,000 per opportunity) versus the $5,000 minimum for manual investing, to help facilitate better portfolio diversification
  • Priority access to opportunities before they are publicly available on Patch of Land’s platform

RealtyShares Finances Several Texas Commercial Properties (BusinessWire), Rated: A

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, has deployed more than $10.1 million for a pair of commercial real estate transactions in Texas, collaborating with two different sponsors to provide fast and flexible financing for their projects.

RealtyShares secured a $2.4 million equity investment for a 302-room, full-service Sheraton hotel in Irving, Texas.

The hospitality equity transaction was sponsored by The Buccini/Pollin Group, a real estate acquisition, development and management company with four offices across the U.S. and more than $1 billion under management. Along with its hotel management affiliate, PM Hotel Group, Buccini/Pollin has acquired and developed 40 hotel properties, and possesses experience managing all aspects of project acquisition, finance, development, construction, leasing, operations and dispositions.

Global Debt Registry Raises the Bar on Lending Ecosystem Information Security (AltFi), Rated: A

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan validation expertise, today announced the successful completion of its Service Organization Control [SOC] 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type II attestation reports. Performed by KirkpatrickPrice, the independent audit confirms GDR’s internal security controls meet the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) applicable Trust Services Principles and Criteria. These latest verifications reaffirm GDR’s position as a leader in the online lending space for security and operational integrity in providing asset certainty and validation through its suite of digital due diligence solutions.

The SOC 1 Type II audit assessed GDR’s consistent application of internal controls and processes to protect consumer data, maintain operational integrity and comply with industry regulations over a six-month period. The SOC 2 Type II review compared the strength of those internal policies and controls with the AICPA’s own Trust Services Principles of security, availability, confidentiality and processing integrity. The SOC 2 Type II attestation provides a comprehensive and integrated assessment of an organization’s data security and integrity control framework to industry stakeholders — and is missing from organizations which choose to obtain a SOC 1 Type II exclusively and point to their cloud provider’s or vendors’ SOC 2 Type II attestation reports.

What the CFPB’s New Payday Lending Rule Means for Consumers (ConsumerReports.org), Rated: A

The new regulation, announced this week, could significantly restrict lenders of short-term, very high-interest loans, known as payday loans. The practice has long been criticized by Consumers Union, the advocacy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports.

Consumers, in fact, may have better alternatives with community banks and credit unions. And experts say the CFPB’s new rule could pave the way for even more lending by these types of financial institutions.

The payday lending rule is set to take effect in July 2019, unless it is rolled back by Congress. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress 60 days from the time a new regulation is published in the Federal Register to rescind it.

Assuming the rule remains in effect, it’s unclear whether the bulk of the payday industry could adapt. Some payday lenders are changing their practices already, creating less risky, longer-term loans.

Regardless, two types of consumer lenders that are exempt from the CFPB rule—community banks and credit unions—could step into the breach to serve payday loan clients.

The nation’s nearly 6,000 community banks are another potential source for small loans. But community banks don’t actively market their small-dollar loans, explains Lilly Thomas, a senior vice president and senior regulatory counsel for Independent Community Bankers of America, based in Washington, D.C. Rather, they respond to inquiries by individual customers.

But, she added, the CFPB rule changes could change that.

CFPB Has Spoken: Payday Lending Regs Drop (PYMNTS), Rated: A

By the CFPB’s own estimates, the regulations as written will cut the number of short-term loans in the U.S. by more than half, and industry estimates put that figure closer to 80 percent. Other than perhaps the very largest players in the game, most loan lenders can’t soak that kind of volume loss, since payday lending (contrary to public opinion) is not a high-margin business to start with. The average storefront lender clears about $37,000 in profit – and under the new regulations, that annual profit would become a $28,000 loss, according to an economic study paid for by an industry trade association.

Payday Lending (And Its New Rules At A Glance)

Payday lending is a big segment in the U.S., as storefront short-term loan lenders outnumber McDonald’s locations, and collectively lend out about $46 billion per year in loans to about 12 million borrowers.

The typical payday lending customer, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, is a white woman aged 25 to 44.

Roughly 22 percent of borrowers renewed their loans at least six times, leading to total fees that amounted to more than the size of the initial loan.

Payday lenders do in fact collect a lot of money in fees – about $7 billion as of last year. Default rates are estimated at 20 percent on the low end, while at a mainstream financial institution (FI), that rate is a lot closer to 3 percent on average.

OCC reacts to CFPB’s final payday loan rule by rescinding its deposit advance product guidance (Ballard Spahr), Rated: A

Hours after the CFPB released its final payday/auto title/high-rate installment loan rule on October 5, 2017, the OCC rescinded its guidance on deposit advance products.

How fintech will change bank M&A (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

Cannon, the firm’s global director of research and chief equity strategist, agreed. Today, KBW, traditionally focused on bank equities, also covers firms like PayPal, Square, and Green Dot. And a bit over a year ago, KBW, in cooperation with Nasdaq, launched the KBW Nasdaq Financial Technology Index, an eclectic mixture of 50 publicly traded fintech firms across multiple industry categories.

“We expect that bank M&A will shift over time to bank/fintech M&A with the largest banks looking to acquire successful fintech firms. This will be pushed by the limitations on bank acquisitions by the largest banks, and by the need of fintech firms to partner with banks to expand their operations. While regulators are looking at a new fintech bank charter, we expect that to be limited  in scope.”

Banking Exchange: What started you thinking about a bank/fintech M&A trend?

I’ve been puzzled by the lack of new start-ups since the financial crisis. Most of the discussion around this has concerned regulatory constraints. But as I dug into this, I began to think that maybe the historical entrepreneurship in finance—traditionally folks starting new banks to get their economy going—has shifted from the banking sector to Silicon Valley.

Banking Exchange: Do people just not want to invest in new bank charters anymore?

In the wake of the financial crisis, a lot of capital—such as from private equity firms—that might have gone into new charters went into recapitalizing existing banks. Postcrisis, there certainly was a regulatory element, insofar as increased regulation and FDIC’s reluctance to insure new banks. But while people talk about that, I haven’t heard about people applying for charters and getting turned down by FDIC.

Mid-sized banks are looking for creative ways to build loan books. They already have an advantage in lending to small- and mid-sized companies and in doing commercial real estate loans. But they’re starting to see those sources of assets ebb. And they, too, will be looking toward asset generation from electronic delivery through fintech-type operations.

Banking Exchange: There is also the opposite trend—some of the fintechs, such as Varo, SoFi, and Square are seeking bank or industrial bank charters. Do you see that gaining momentum?

A year or so ago, my son-in-law was refinancing his student loans. Now, remember that part of the key to SoFi’s initial, extremely rapid growth was this: They cherry pick the government program borrowers. They will give strong borrowers a 4% loan to replace the government’s 7% all day long.

Credit fintechs will wither, but small-business lending will prosper (American Banker), Rated: A

In the second half of 2016, the fintech-credit bubble began to show signs of losing air when investors and funders signaled declining confidence in fintechs by withdrawing their investments — triggering some fintech closures. In trying to scale up, some providers went outside their core markets and struggled as their credit models failed (e.g., CAN Capital). Some faltered in attempting to diversify into different loan types, while others — which are now retrenching (e.g., LendingClub) — struggled with costs far outrunning revenues.

The market is ripe for consolidation and beneficial partnerships. Indeed, the remainder of 2017 and 2018 will see more partnerships between the banks and fintechs for the following three reasons.

  1. The whole is greater than the parts
  2. Credit portfolios and models need adjustment
  3. Revenue and liquidity cushions are needed

Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia on Improving SMB Lending (Business.com), Rated: A

The influx of technology into the alternative lending industry has drastically changed the way small businesses access financing. As the co-founder of the online alternative lending platform Kabbage, Kathryn Petralia has been helping to lead this change.

Q: What drew you to the alternative lending space? Why did you think the market would support a lender like Kabbage?

A: I’ve been in alternative lending since the late ’90s.

Q: When a space is so crowded, like yours, what can you do to differentiate yourself?

A: Additionally, we are the only lender to offer SMBs the option to apply, qualify and draw funds entirely through a mobile app. Our Kabbage card allows qualified customers to draw from their line of credit at checkout or any point of sale (POS).

Kabbage is also unique as we license our technology to global banks, providing them more reach and a better user experience to serve their small business customers in a meaningful, cost-effective way. We have bank partnerships with Santander, Scotiabank and ING.

Q: What makes alternative lending an attractive option for small businesses?

A: It’s much faster and easier than traditional processes, and the anonymity of an online application process takes some of the stress out of what is traditionally a very anxiety-ridden experience.

Women in Tech Week Launches in New York City (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CommonBond, a financial technology company that helps students, graduates and employees pay for higher education, today launches Women in Tech Week, which runs through October 15. Together with partners including Betterment, Birchbox, Duolingo and others, CommonBond spent the last several months creating Women in Tech Week to recognize the contributions of women in technology and support the next generation of women leaders.

Women in Tech Week consists of three components:

1. A whitepaper on what women want in the tech workplace: CommonBond commissioned a survey of over 600 women in tech to learn what companies can do to attract and retain women, as well as create environments where women can thrive. The research found women want to see their companies implement the following changes, in order:

  • More women in leadership roles.
  • Better long-term career planning processes.
  • Additional training and professional development opportunities.

2. A social media campaign to support the next generation of women in tech: CommonBond has partnered with Girls Who Code to help fund the next generation of women technologists. CommonBond will donate to Girls Who Code for each social media post that:

  • Answers the question “Why are you proud to be a woman in tech?” or “Why are you proud to support women in tech?”
  • Includes hashtag #2017WITW.

3. A female founders event to encourage and inspire women in tech: On Ada Lovelace Day, a holiday on October 10 that celebrates the achievements of women in STEM, the co-founders of companies such as The Muse, PolicyGenius and WayUp will share their stories with students and professionals pursuing technology careers at an event in New York City.

Highlights from the Most Powerful Women gala (American Banker), Rated: A

Mary Navarro of Huntington and Linda Verba of TD Bank accepted Lifetime Achievement awards, and both shared some of the most important lessons they learned along the way about team-building.

Ohio Loophole Could Hold Back New Payday Lending Rules (WOSU.org), Rated: A

New rules issued this past week by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are meant to rein in payday and auto title lenders. The rules require enhanced credit checks for some loans and cooling off periods after three loans in a row to a single borrower.

“In Ohio, payday and auto title lenders are not operating under the intended statute,” Horowitz says. “They’re using a loophole that lets them operate as loan brokers.”

A 2008 law capped yearly interest rates at 28 percent. But the Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the loophole used by lenders.

What Works Best Onboarding Clients In The Robo Age (Investors.com), Rated: A

Led by tech innovators like Betterment, SigFig and Wealthfront, the more than 200 current U.S. robo-advisors in existence collectively boast some $53 billion in assets under management, with global robo assets poised to surpass $2.2 trillion by 2020. With such explosive growth in this space, many traditional full-service financial advisors feel compelled to beat their drums louder, when meeting prospects and onboarding new clients.

Despite the robo phenomenon, studies show that most individuals still value human interaction over technology. According to a survey conducted by online student loan marketplace LendEDU, 46.41% of millennials are working with a financial advisor, while only 24.30% have used a robo-advisor.

Furthermore, of the three-quarters of millennials who have yet to take the robo plunge, 61.58% say they’re reluctant to do so because they’ve never heard of robo-advisors, suggesting that general awareness still has a way to go. Finally, 68.92% of those polled said they believe financial advisors are more likely to yield greater returns on their investments.

Startups say this fintech ‘lab’ is giving them needed access to Wall Street and regulators (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Another program that gets high marks from founders is the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab), an offshoot of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a 13-year-old nonprofit focused on serving unbanked and underbanked customers.

Broadly speaking, it’s a 2.5-year-old program that aims to find and nurture fintech startups that are helping Americans save, access credit and build assets, and it is itself fueled by a $30 million, five-year grant from JPMorgan.

Among those startups it has worked with so far is Propel, a startup that helps people who receive food stamps manage their benefits.

Another company that’s currently a part of the program is Dave, an app that alerts consumers ahead of an upcoming overdraft and can advance them money.

LendingTree Partners with Jornaya To Deliver Independent TCPA Compliance on Leads (PRWeb), Rated: A

Jornaya, the fast-growing consumer journey insights platform, today announced that LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, has integrated TCPA Guardian from Jornaya to manage compliance risk associated with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Jornaya’s TCPA Guardian integrated with LendingTree’s marketplace provides lenders with ability to validate that the consumer was shown necessary and approved disclosures, including monitoring the size, text, and overall visibility of the necessary TCPA disclosure. What’s more, the solution documents the proof of that consent, allowing both LendingTree and its lenders to deter and help defend the costly and rising number of TCPA complaints.

Will regtech kill bank jobs? (American Banker), Rated: A

Technology and regulation are intersecting in ways that create uncertainty in a number of areas, but for those who work in compliance, the big question is whether advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain will ultimately replace people.

When BBVA Compass recently began using robotic process automation to carry out specific pieces of compliance, such as retrieving statements, employees were worried.

Northeast Florida Real Estate Firm New Leaf Communities Offers Major Returns on New Deal Crowdsourced by RealtyeVest (PR.com), Rated: B

New Leaf Communities is seeking $4,500,000 in Preferred Equity. The sponsor is offering a 10% preferred return with 8% as a current pay and 2% accrued. RealtyeVest, who is exclusively housing the offer on their crowdfunding platform, will raise the capital in a series of Class A, B and C stocks of $1.5 million each.

It’s first come first serve as the tranches will close once the total for each is raised. Participants in the Class A tranche will receive an 80/20 waterfall participation after the 10% preferred return. The Class B tranche will receive a 70/30 waterfall participation after a 10% preferred return. Lastly, the Class C tranche will receive a 60/40 waterfall participation after a 10% preferred return.

New Payday Loan Regs: Pros and Cons (Investopedia), Rated: A

According to proponents, the new rules are a real positive for consumers. They see the following as pros.

  • Requiring lenders to ensure that borrowers can repay loans protects them from a cycle of debt.
  • While some lenders will be prohibited, consumers can still borrow from those that meet the new requirements.
  • Voters generally prefer stricter guidelines for payday lenders.
  • The new regulations will stop lenders from exploiting loopholes in the law.
  • Limiting the number of times a loan can be rolled over limits the effective APR.
  • Preventing multiple attempts to withdraw from bank accounts will stop excessive overdraft charges for consumers.

The payday lending industry, the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), researchers at Pew Charitable Trusts, the banking industry and even some consumer advocates have pointed out what they see as the cons of these new rules.

  • The proposal exceeds the authority given CFPB by Congress and will be subject to expensive lawsuits.
  • The new rules still allow payday loans with interest rates of 300% or higher.
  • Banks and credit unions will be discouraged or prevented from entering the market with lower-cost loans.
  • Ultimately, the rules will inhibit consumer access to credit, driving them to far worse alternatives.
  • Many payday lenders will be forced out of business, costing jobs and creating credit “deserts” in areas where payday lending currently thrives.
  • Losing the ability to roll over loans will hurt consumers who need more time to pay off debt.

New Rule on Payday Loans to Hurt Industry, Help Banks (Newsmax), Rated: B

Revenues for the $6 billion payday loan industry will shrivel under a new U.S. rule restricting lenders’ ability to profit from high-interest, short-term loans, and much of the business could move to small banks, according to the country’s consumer financial watchdog.

Under the new rule, the industry’s revenue will plummet by two-thirds, the CFPB estimated.

Baptist advocates applaud rule to rein in abusive lending (Baptist Standard), Rated: B

A joint statement issued by the Texas Fair Lending Alliance and Texas Faith Leaders for Fair Lending noted from 2012 to 2016, Texans paid $7.5 billion in fees for high-cost loans.

Texas Appleseed, a public interest center based in Austin, noted for borrowers who do not refinance their loans, a typical $500 payday loan costs $1,351 in installments over five months.

How you can plan and enjoy vacation away from your business (NJBiz.com), Rated: B

According to a 2016 Funding Circle survey, about half of small business owners plan to take less than three days off during the entire holiday season; in fact, nearly 70 percent confess that they at least check emails on Thanksgiving Day, when most businesses nationally close.

United Kingdom

Zopa unveils banking product offering (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

Speaking at the LendIt conference in London, Jaidev Janardana (pictured), chief executive of Zopa, said banks have focused too much on products that help their business rather than the customer.

He revealed that Zopa Bank would offer unsecured personal loans with no early repayment charges and credit cards with no introductory offers but a flat rate as well as savings and investments that prioritise existing customers.

It will also offer auto-loans, allowing users to do a soft-search for products.

RateSetter to simplify early withdrawal fees (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer platform will be changing the current two fees for early withdrawal to a single and clear transfer fee for each market.

The transfer fee will be fixed for each market and will be a percentage of the capital being withdrawn (the fee will apply only to capital requested to be withdrawn, not interest).

Source: Bridging&Commercial

Why an effective online checkout can be the key to great customer experience (ITProPortal), Rated: AAA

Speaking to ITProPortal, Luke Griffiths, MD of Klarna UK, noted that consumer flexibility in terms of payment methods is helping change merchant habits too.

Griffiths revealed that just shy of three million customers in the UK will have used Klarna’s services in some form, with the company counting the likes of the Arcadia Group and JD Sports as clients here.

This includes a “pay after delivery” option, which allows consumers to order their goods, receive them, but only pay after either 14 or 30 days if they are fully satisfied. Targeted mainly towards the fashion online retail space, Griffiths notes that this service has seen great pick-up from both merchants and customers, with the former seeing increased conversion and a drop in returns (as buyers become more confident that they will only pay for the goods they want to keep) and the latter getting a more successful online transaction and “turning the sitting room into the fitting room”.

P2P better placed to keep up with changing borrowers (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FUNDING Circle co-founder Samir Desai (pictured) has ruled out launching a bank as he outlined the advantages of running a peer-to-peer platform over traditional financial models.

He said banks would find it hard to keep up with emerging technology such as artificial intelligence or machine learning due to the level of regulation.

Desai cast doubts on the ability of traditional banks to move into the online small and medium sized (SME) lending lending space, claiming Germany’s Commerzbank had seen loans underperform since entering this area.

£21.39 Million Raised on ArchOver in 2017 (So Far) (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer business lending platform ArchOver announced on Monday it has nearly doubled its overall lending in the first nine months of 2017. The company reported that since 2017 its total lending has reached £21.39 million, bringing its cumulative total that has been lent to date to over £48 million.

Ireland’s P2P Lending Platform Linked Finance Launches Pension Investment Product (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Linked Finance, Ireland-based peer-to-peer lending company, announced on Monday the launch of its new type of pension account. The account allows holders of self-managed pensions to make P2P lending to Irish SMEs part of their pension investment portfolio.

The ID Co. launches tool to assess loan applicants on verified income (Finextra), Rated: A

One of the UK’s leading financial technology specialists, The ID Co., has announced it is the first software specialist to offer lenders the capability to calculate and base lending decisions on customers’ real earnings, known as verified income.

The ID Co. has Major Clients including a Large UK Bank, Prosper, Marlette & More (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

UK based Fintech, The ID Co., says it is the first software specialist to offer lenders the capability to calculate and base lending decisions based on customers’ real earnings or verified income. The ID Co. has major clients in both the UK and North America including a large UK retail bank, Prosper Marketplace, Marlette Funding, OakNorth Bank, eMoneyUnion, and Fair Finance.

Ex-ECB board member Jorg Asmussen leaves Funding Circle board for advisory role (Business Insider), Rated: B

German economist and politician Jörg Asmussen has moved into an advisory role at Funding Circle, leaving the London-headquartered peer-to-peer lender’s board after a year and a half.

China

China Issued the First Exit Guidelines on P2P Lending platform (Xing Ping She), Rated: AAA

Recently, the official WeChat of Shenzhen Internet finance association issued a notice concerning the exit guide of shenzhen’s marketplace lenders (solicitation draft). It was known as the first exist guide for P2P lending platforms in China. According to the notice, this guideline was drafted to direct and standardize the P2P lending institutions to smooth out of the P2P loan industry, as well as to protect the legitimate rights and interests of lenders, borrowers and P2P institutions. Before officially released, the exposure draft of guide is soliciting opinions from the industry.

Counting Decacorns? Look To Beijing (Forbes), Rated: A

Already, China has climbed to account for 23% of the world’s total 214 unicorns (compared with the U.S. at 50% and India at 9%). China claims such highly valued companies as ride-hailing service Didi, hardware innovator Xiaomi and online lender Lu.com plus newcomers to the 2017 list: bike-sharing service MoBike, news aggregator Toutiao and e-vehicle maker Neo.

Moreover, China is getting with a new class of billion-dollar valued companies, so-called decacorns or startups with valuations past the $10 billion mark. Of 14 current decacorns, Silicon Valley has 5 and so does China — four in Beijing and one in Shenzhen, according to an analysis by GSR Ventures shared by managing director Richard Lim at the recent HYSTA conference.

How and where will the next generation of unicorns be formed? Research by GSR shows that the unicorn action is in China by Chinese returnees. There were 30 unicorns founded by Chinese in China versus 9 U.S. unicorns founded by Chinese.

European Union

Moody’s Upgrades 4Finance Credit Ratings as Online Lender Tops € 5 Billion in Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded 4Finance‘s credit ratings to B2 from B3. The upgrade comes as 4finance says it has passed € 5 billion in loan originations. The 4finance S.A. senior unsecured issuer rating was also upgraded to B2 from B3. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

Banks generally ready for rising rates (The News Tribune), Rated: A

The European Central Bank says banks under its jurisdiction appear well-prepared to face unexpectedly higher interest rates, but may be less ready for disruption from online banking.

The ECB’s banking supervision division released results Monday of a stress test that showed suddenly rising rates would increase net interest income, an important part of bank finances.

Netherlands Crowdfunding Award Nominees (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Netherlands Crowdfunding Association has recently announced the nominees for the annual Crowdfunding Awards.

The Assocation states that Dutch investors have contributed more than €400 million in more than 4,000 different companies.

Click here for a list of nominees.

International

Canada Embraces Cashless Economy; UK Falls Behind Sweden in Cashless Technology Uptake (ForexBonuses.org), Rated: AAA

A recent study from Forex Bonuses finds the countries among the 20 largest economies who are adapting quickest to using cashless systems like phones and contactless cards – revealing that Canada narrowly edges out Sweden for the top position.

Investigating twenty of the world’s most significant markets, the study looks into contactless card saturation, number of debit and credit cards issued per capita, usage of cashless methods, growth of these cashless payments, and the proportion of people who are aware of which mobile payment services are available.

Cashless Economies

The top position has gone to Canada, who, while only having contactless functionality in 26% of their cards (compared to 41% in the UK and 56% in China) and the lowest number of debit cards per capita included in the research (0.7), were found to have over two credit cards per person, a figure only exceeded by their neighbours in the US, who had just under 3.

Likewise, the majority of their payments were made using cashless means at 57% of transactions, outmatched only by 2% in both Sweden and France. The UK reached 52% on this scale, while China, despite the majority of cards being contactless, used cashless methods in only 10% of transactions. China were also the most educated on mobile payment services, with 77% of survey respondents claiming they were aware of the options available to them in this regard. In comparison, only 47% in the UK claimed the same.

Source: ForexBonuses.org

Global Online Lender Issues €120M In Credit Lines to SMEs (PaymentsJournal), Rated: A

In three years, online lender Spotcap has issued more than €120 million in credit lines to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The fintech also raised an additional €22 million of equity and debt funding from its existing investor network. It has now raised €100 million of investment since its launch in September 2014.

Alternative Finance’s Popularity Won’t Break With Investors (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In this week’s B2B venture capital breakdown, alternative lending for small- and medium-sized businesses (and their employees) is the clear winner.

SalaryFinance

The company, based in the U.K., recently announced about $52.5 million by Legal & General, while Blenheim Chalcot also participated, according to reports. The funding round will need approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, reports added.

Taulia

This supply chain financing company has been mum about the funding, with reports only catching onto the investment of about $20 million (so far) through a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. According to reports, the firm plans to raise a total of $33.29 million, though it is unclear who provided the funding or when Taulia will officially announce the raise.

Siigo

Colombia’s Siigo, which provides accounting and administrative software for small- and medium-sized businesses, raised an undisclosed sum late last week by Accel-KKR, reports said.

4 ways FinTech is changing global finance (The Next Web), Rated: A

1. Lending

One of the biggest and most profitable sectors of the financial industry is the lending sector. Most financial institutions have used the existing models to create new ones that better fit their business models and reach their profit targets.

2. Payments

Another major role played by banks is to facilitate the transfer of funds between parties. Banks have been rumored to make at least $4 billion annually just from fees obtained during funds transfers.

4. Facilitating speedy payments

For a business to thrive, its invoices should be paid on time and in a prescribed way. One of the things that make businesses go under is the accumulation of bad debt. When invoices are not paid on time, the business suffers because the business owner must find other means of paying his creditors.

Voice Sizzles, Equifax Fizzles And Social Security Numbers Get Ready For A Curtain Call (PYMNTS), Rated: B

Singapore’s OCBC Bank is integrating Siri to help conduct corporate banking across 12,000 customers. Voice commands send payments and can also inquire about account balances. Alexa is now available in India, and will soon debut in Japan later in the year.

JG Summit scales new peak with fintech (National Multimedia), Rated: B

JG Summit’s unit, Express Holdings Inc, inked an exclusive partnership with Greater China-based Oriente to create a peer-to-peer lending solution for “under-banked” consumers.

Australia

SocietyOne announces record lending growth in 2017 (Finder), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lender SocietyOne has announced three lending milestones for 2017 with the year not even over yet, showing how Australians are embracing this innovative way to borrow and invest.

This is a record for SocietyOne, as it has now originated more than twice the loans of the company’s nearest competitor and had seven successive quarters of growth.

The first three-quarters of 2017 also saw a record amount of funding made available by investor funders. The total number of funders has risen to 320 since SocietyOne’s inception and there is $61 million of committed available funding as at 30 September 2017.

Global SME lender Spotcap surpasses $ 180 million in credit issued (Finder), Rated: AAA

Online lender Spotcap has announced it has issued more than $180 million in credit lines to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally in just three years. The lender offers lines of credit up to $250,000 and has been operating in Australia since 2015.

Spring FG to launch its fintech platform in Australia (Proactive Investors), Rated: A

Spring FG Ltd (ASX:SFL) is planning a pre-Christmas launch of its innovative fintech platform, MyMoney247.

MyMoney247 will allow consumers to link hundreds of Australian bank, brokerage and investment accounts and retail and industry super funds.

Spring’s platform will employ customised technology from Australian fintech company, MoneyBrilliant, including advanced budgeting, cashflow management, bill management and spending analysis.

India

P2P platforms look for biz model restructuring to comply with RBI norms (Business-Standard), Rated: AAA

With the Reserve Bank of spelling out guidelines for regulating peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, many of these are looking at ways to comply with the norms by their business models. Further, companies find Rs 10 lakh cap on restrictive, given the phenomenal growth of the sector in the past couple of years.

RBI’s new P2P lending norms good for honest borrowers, but needs more clarity (Zeebiz), Rated: AAA

Banks and NBFCs usually offer personal loans to a salaried employees having minimum income salaried between Rs 1.20 lakh – to Rs 2.40 lakh with loan eligibility salaried between Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs.

Source: Zeebiz

 

SlicePay Adds International Investors To Its Board; Raises Mn In Series A Funding (Inc42), Rated: A

Bengaluru-based fintech startup SlicePay has raised $2 Mn as part of its ongoing Series A funding round. The investment was led by Japan-based Das Capital, Simile Ventures from Russia and few undisclosed angel investors.

Existing investor Blume Ventures also participated in the round, who earlier invested $500K in association with  Tracxn Labs in February 2016. With the raised funds, SlicePay plans to expand in three more cities, as well as make some senior-level hiring.

NBFC status to P2P places compliance burden; lending to go up (Business-Standard), Rated: A

Lending activity will gather pace on peer-to-peer (P2P) platform with the sector getting status even as the burden on them may eliminate some entities out of the market, industry players say.

Operational guidelines for P2P lending platforms and MediaNama’s take (Medianama), Rated: A

The guidelines from the RBI norms for disclosures are welcome. The disclosures on how companies are calculating credit scores are welcome to borrowers. Right now, with many companies looking to build credit scores through by looking at cash-flows and information on how the platforms collect this information is crucial. Companies such as EarlySalary are building credit profiles based on information on social media. Meanwhile, there are untested methods which profiles people psychologically on seeing if they are eligible for a loan.

Asia

Singapore’s OCBC Bank Pulls Siri Into B2B Payments (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Singapore’s OCBC Bank wants to use Siri to help corporates do their banking.

OCBC said in an announcement on Wednesday (Oct. 4) that it is integrating its Business Mobile Banking app with Apple’s voice assistant Siri for more than 120,000 corporate customers. The integration means professionals will be able to initiate B2B payments and funds transfers to other OCBC business accounts using Siri voice commands.Singapore’s OCBC Bank wants to use Siri to help corporates do their banking.

P2P lending can help curb national debt with data (The Korea Herald), Rated: A

One of South Korea’s leading P2P lending platform operator Lendit appears to have taken advantage of its maturing big data. The accumulated volume of personal loans originated from the firm doubled in six months as of early September to some 70 billion won ($61.6 million), after some 28 months of operation.

The database allows an individual lender to invest 10 million won at maximum in a “customized” package composed of possibly hundreds of bonds in different interest rates, while promising the lender a return of between 6 percent and 10 percent including tax and commission fee.

Kim, 31, believes Lendit could help mitigate the rapid growth of the national household debt, projected to have exceeded 1,400 trillion won in the third quarter. Household debt in Korea is considered a powder keg of the national economy amid looming signs of central banks ending expansionary monetary policies. Consumer loans take up nearly 20 percent of all household debt in Korea.

Latin America

Afluenta Celebrates Fifth Anniversary By Launching Commercial Loans to New Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Argentina-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Afluenta recently announced during its fifth-anniversary celebration it was launching commercial loans to the fifth version of its lending platform. According to the lender, in the latest version, it will add its own proprietary credit scoring and introduces commercial loans for people with commercial activities, which is noted to usually not served by traditional banks.

Small business lending in Mexico gets a boost (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Micro-lending and small business financing are a critical component of economic growth around the world, and the need for access to low-cost capital is especially important in developing countries.

The Catch-22 is that these countries are also the ones where the lending markets are the least developed, and where most financial institutions are reluctant to lend money to people who don’t have any credit history (what the industry calls “thin-file” customers).

The problem is especially acute in Mexico, where only 39 percent of the population has a bank account and 75 million people still have no access to the kind of financial services and lending support they would need to start micro- and small- businesses.

That’s the thinking behind Konfio, a Mexican startup that’s raised $10 million in new funding led by the International Finance Corp. (the investment arm of the development-focused World Bank) and previous investors, including QED InvestorsKaszek VenturesAccion Frontier Inclusion FundAccion Venture Lab and Jaguar Ventures.

Canada

Helping Ontarians Trapped in Payday Loans (BayStreet), Rated: A

In Ontario, the payday-loan industry offers sums of cash of less than $1,500 for short terms — less than 62 days — at very high interest rates: there are currently 657% on an annualized basis on the average 10-day term, down from 766% before the regulations took effect.

These lenders fill a unique niche in Ontario’s lending market for customers known as ALICE — an acronym for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed. More than two-thirds of ALICEs earn less than $50,000 per year. And while payday lenders’ reputation for being the somewhat shifty cousins of banks is not entirely undeserved, they nonetheless provide a real and needed service to people who, for a variety of reasons, can’t or don’t have the cash to meet their needs. The majority of people who take out a payday loan are doing so to avoid late charges, NSF fees, or maintain power in their digs.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday September 15 2017, Daily News Digest

ZhongAn Chinese fintech

News Comments Today’s main news: CFPB issues first no-action letter to online lender. SoFi defends its mortgage underwriting standards. Was SoFi’s FICO-free zone really FICO-free? RealtyShares raises $28M for commercial real estate investing. Betterment partners with Goldman Sachs, BlackRock. JustUs receives full FCA authorization. Raisin offers term deposits to businesses. Earthport partners with Cross River Bank. Reserve Bank of India waiting for government […]

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United States

CFPB Issues First No-Action Letter To Online Lender (Law360), Rated: AAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday issued its first no-action letter to online lender Upstart Network Inc., allowing the company to continue using alternative credit data to evaluate borrowers in exchange for providing data to the federal consumer finance watchdog.

SoFi defends mortgage standards, denies Fast Company allegations (Housingwire), Rated: AAA

SoFi, also known as Social Finance, adamantly said it doesn’t shy from criticism, stepping up to defend itself amid the recent negative news coverage on the company’s alleged toxic workplace environment.

Included in Fast Company’s coverage of the fintech company is a bold claim that “in the first round of SoFi mortgages, some homes lacked appraisals.”

According to a SoFi spokesperson:

In late 2014, we tested a simplified version of our home mortgage product that used paystubs for income verification and did not require home appraisal. The test did not proceed into a launched product, and we launched our mortgage product with requirements for full income verification and home appraisal, which is still the case today. All of these mortgages met the ability-to-repay standards promulgated by Dodd-Frank and none of these pilot mortgages were ever sold to investors, and we continue to hold those loans on our balance sheet.

SoFi’s “FICO-Free Zone” Loan Process Was Maybe Actually Rather Full Of FICO (Dealbreaker), Rated: AAA

It turns out that when SoFi executives and employees weren’t banging the “collateral” out of each other in parked cars or office bathrooms, they were being less than honest with loan applicants about how their loan applications were being evaluated.

According to conversations with numerous former SoFi employees, the company’s “FICO-Free Zone” loan product actually relied quite heavily on evaluating applicants by their FICO score. After very publicly announcing in early 2016 that SoFi would no longer use FICO scores to evaluate loans, sources tell Dealbreaker that the company saw defaults tick up and made the internal to decision to reintegrate FICO data. No announcement of the shift back was ever made, the “FICO-Free” language disappeared from the website and some evidence of the SoFi’s move away from FICO was even scrubbed from the company’s blog.

Eager to please, did SoFi close early mortgages without appraisals? (Housingwire), Rated: A

I’ve sat on panels that discuss all the benefits the aforementioned Silicon Valley approach brings to housing. Having SoFi around isn’t one of them, if their underwriting standards are as bad as some claim.

If this article at Fast Company proves true, this explosive headline is correct: At SoFi, The Problems Go Way Beyond Its Toxic Workplace.

Ainsley Harris writes: “In the first round of SoFi mortgages, some homes lacked appraisals.”

Why on earth would a lender not get the value of the collateral it was lending to? Did SoFi think in-depth valuations where unnecessary? Do investors know that SoFi doesn’t know how much these homes are worth in the event of an REO?

Let me say this, whatever the reason to potentially forego appraisals, SoFi’s investors will disagree with that decision. The Fast Company revelation is so baffling that SoFi’s plan for an IPO will be delayed, perhaps indefinitely.

Let’s hope so. A company that plays fast and loose with its own people is shameful. A company that plays fast and loose with prudent lending practices is downright dangerous.

Here is SoFi’s Response to NYT Article that Criticized Operations & Culture at Fintech Firm (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

SoFi has published a public letter addressing the allegations leveled by NYT.com earlier this week.

The letter is republished in its entirety below. (Ed. Note: Excerpted by Lending-Times)

Mortgage: The story cites unnamed sources saying there was some period where we were “not doing enough” to validate income for mortgage borrowers. This is an incredibly vague claim, and we have no idea what this means. We underwrite our mortgage loans consistent with market standards, which includes rigorous income verification, and consistent with the ability to repay requirements put in place by Dodd-Frank.

Personal Loans: The story implies that our personal loans business grew in part because of a change in the way loans were approved: that customer service reps were approving loans rather than underwriters. That view reflects a lack of understanding of our business. We underwrite loans using a highly automated platform where all credit decisions are made by a pre-defined algorithm that analyzes each applicant’s credit profile and ability to pay.

A Thriving Business: The story did mention our business performance, and indeed, SoFi is thriving. Since inception, we have funded more than $20 billion in loans, $3.1 billion in the second quarter alone. In Q2, we had $134 million in revenue, up 67% year over year, with adjusted EBITDA of $61.6 million, up 60% year over year. We have more than 350,000 members, and they like what we do – our products run Net Promoter Scores in the 60-80 range, among the highest in financial services.

RealtyShares raises $ 28 million for commercial real estate investing (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

RealtyShares is raising a $28 million Series C round led by Cross Creek Advisors, with participation from existing investors including Union Square Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, and Menlo Ventures.

Founder and CEO Nav Athwal says that RealtyShares has over 120,000 users on the platform. The startup says it has deployed over $500 million across more than 1,000 properties since it was founded in 2013.

Credit markets need legislative guidance after Madden decision (American Banker), Rated: AAA

In a recent op-ed in American Banker (derived from a longer blog post), professor Adam Levitin argues that the recent legislative proposals to “fix” the repercussions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s Madden v. Midland Funding decision are “overly broad and unnecessary and will facilitate predatory lending.” The legislation Levitin opposes would restore the ability of banks to sell loans to nonbanks and have the loans remain valid on their original terms, the type of transaction on which the Madden decision has cast doubt. I disagree, at least with regard to marketplace lending. There are compelling legal and policy arguments to undo the Madden decision that Congress should consider.

Levitin is certainly right that the Nichols case and the similar 19th-century cases reflect a different fact pattern than was presented in Madden. It does not necessarily follow, however, that the principle of valid-when-made should not also apply under the Madden facts.

The issue at question in Madden, the interest charged on the loan, was set by the bank at the loan’s inception. The borrower got the benefit of the federal regulatory regime, which includes the incorporation of the bank’s home state usury law, when the loan was created, and the relevant characteristics did not change. So why is there suddenly a problem?

The impact of Madden on innovative credit is harmful to borrowers

Madden also appears, as would be expected, to be reducing access from marketplace lenders to credit for borrowers with lower credit scores. Contrary to Levitin’s argument, a recent study shows a reduction in credit availability not just for borrowers with FICO scores under 625 (though that is where the reduction is most pronounced). The study indicates that borrowers in New York and Connecticut with FICO scores under 700 saw a reduction in availability relative to comparable borrowers outside the Second Circuit.

For example, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of marketplace loans are used to pay off bank-issued credit cards (which are not subject to borrower state usury laws) or consolidate existing debt. Denying borrowers access to these loans does not leave the borrowers unencumbered by debt; it leaves them in the situation they view as worse than taking out this new loan. This is especially true given that there is evidence that marketplace lenders can help provide expanded access and competition, services in areas that have few banks, and better pricing for some borrowers than they would receive from banks. Cutting off access isn’t protecting borrowers, it is leaving them with fewer, perhaps inferior, tools to protect themselves.

Usury caps can lead to loan arrangements being distorted in ways that make the loans legal but worse for the borrower. We see examples of this in the shift from payday to “payday installment” and subprime auto loans, where lenders bound by interest rate caps change the loan principal amount or repayment schedule to make the loans viable. These loans can actually be more expensive in total because the lower interest rate is applied to a higher principal over a longer time period. Larger loans also can be more expensive for borrowers if they pay them off early or go into default. Borrowers also could be forced into using suboptimal options like pawn shops or illegal loans, or find themselves without credit altogether.

Betterment struck a deal with 2 Wall Street giants to provide its 270,000 users more investment options (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Betterment, the largest roboadviser with $10 billion under management, has enlisted the support of financial juggernauts Goldman Sachs and BlackRock for two new portfolio options.

The portfolio managed by Goldman Sachs is a smart-beta option, providing users with a more aggressive alternative to Betterment’s core portfolio, which allocates money to stocks and bonds, according to Arielle Sobel, a spokeswoman for the firm. It will be more exposed to emerging markets and REITs, according to a press release.

Wealthfront, Betterment’s San Francisco rival, announced an in-house-built smart-beta portfolio in June, according to a company spokeswoman.

The other portfolio option is an income-based portfolio, managed by BlackRock, the largest fund manager in the world with $5.7 trillion under management. It provides investors a more conservative option and delivers target income.

The imperative for self-sovereign identification (get lost Equifax) (TheFinanser.com), Rated: AAA

As we have known for a long time now, it is no longer good enough to use customer’s personal information for account access. After Ashley Madison and so many other incidents (Tesco Bank, Lloyds Bank, JPMorgan Chase, SWIFT, the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security eBay, Yahoo, Google, Adobe, Target, Neiman Marcus, Home Depot …), surely we should be moving away from this antiquated system. Bear in mind it’s been used for almost two decades, it’s no wonder the system is no longer working.

So the banks add second-factor authentication (2FA) with secure entry pads and PINs, but they still rely on personal information for account access when you ring their call centres, and this is just annoying.

Is there a solution?

First is biometrics and TouchID, voice, eyes and more can easily be used for authentication via a smartphone. Why banks aren’t incorporating these into their onboarding and access mechanisms beggars belief …. or maybe not, as banks would need modern systems to use such radical authentication techniques, and that’s a big ask. Far easier to rely on name, address, date of birth and all the information the hackers stole from Equifax.

Source: TheFinanser.com

Emerging technologies (particularly blockchain, although not exclusively) are making the development of “self-sovereign identity” a real possibility.

The basic idea behind self-sovereign identity is that rather than have our information held by third parties (often without us even knowing what that information is) and used to guarantee our identity and make decisions that affect us; we could turn the entire model on its head and give each individual control over their own digital identity.

With self-sovereign identity, you would hold all of the different elements of your online identity in a “box” or “wallet”, and would then be able to choose which of those elements to reveal in any given context.

Anuj Nayar Leaves PayPal For Lending Club (Holmes Report), Rated: A

PayPal’s global head of product communications Anuj Nayar has left to become head of communications at peer-to-peer investment company Lending Club.

In his new role that starts on Monday, Nayar will be in charge of the team running all internal and external communications, as well as social media, for the $2.5 billion publicly-traded fintech company.

A recap of Goldman’s summer siege on fintech lending (AltFi), Rated: A

Last night we learned that Goldman Sachs is poaching roughly 20 employees from online lender Bond Street, which seems to have paused making new loans, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It is indicative of Goldman’s strategy that the bank has forced its way onto the AltFi (“Alternative Finance”) homepage three times this week. Those incursions were tied to its £100m investment in UK employee benefit lender Neyber, its $300m deal with home solar financing firm Mosaic, and the announcement that it plans to launch an online bank in the UK.

So its latest decision, to nab 20 workers from the dormant Bond Street, is not without precedent. But Bond Street is not a consumer lender. It offers term loans of up to $1m to small businesses. Could Goldman, then, be sizing up an expansion into small business lending for Marcus?

Open the door to new loan opportunities without sacrificing security (CUInsight), Rated: A

Year-to-year, community financial institutions have become more conservative about consumer lending. So as to not open themselves up to additional risks, many of these institutions tend to only service consumers with prime and super prime credit. However, consumers with non-prime credit make up a solid portion of the consumer lending market, so this desire to stick with “safer” loans leaves quite a few loan opportunities on the table. And when many community financial institutions are dropping their rates to as low as 0% in order to compete with large national lenders for prime and super prime consumers, missing additional revenue opportunities for your loan portfolio is not a small matter.

Market disruptors like retail lenders (i.e. Costco), mobile lenders (i.e. AutoGravity), and peer-to-peer lenders (i.e. Lending Club) are finding ways to bypass the existing banking system, credit bureaus and financing requirements to lend to this highly sought after demographic.

Got Student Debt? Soon Your Employer Might Help With That (Buzzfeed), Rated: A

Fidelity Investments introduced a program Thursday that will let employers make regular payments to their employees’ student loan accounts, much the way companies already pay into their workers’ 401(k)s or health care savings accounts.

Some smaller financial services companies already facilitate this type of benefit program, such as First Republic Bank and startups like Student Loan Genius and SoFi.

But the entry into the market of Fidelity Investments — one of the country’s biggest mutual fund, money management and financial planning companies — is a sign that student debt relief may soon become a mainstream benefit that employers will have to offer to remain competitive.

This Startup Is an ATM for the Money You Haven’t Been Paid Yet (Inc.), Rated: A

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, on the other hand, even small unexpected expenses can put you in the red. The two weeks between paychecks is an eternity for an hourly worker whose credit card is already maxed out, or who doesn’t have one to begin with. Every parking ticket and hospital co-pay is a potential crisis. By the time payday comes, it’s too late — the next crisis has already arrived.

Financial technology startup DailyPay thinks giving people in this situation more frequent access to wages would go a long way toward solving this problem and putting them on the path to financial security.

DailyPay’s solution works like this:

1) The startup integrates with a company’s established payroll and time-tracking systems. Instead of going directly to an employee’s bank account, paycheck deposits are set up to go through DailyPay first.

2) An employee can withdraw wages he or she has earned but not yet received throughout the two weeks or month before formally getting the paycheck. DailyPay fronts the money for a small fee, and keeps the expense on its balance sheet.

3) Come payday, DailyPay deducts whatever money the employee has already withdrawn, and sends the rest of the paycheck through to the employee’s bank account.

Perhaps Lee likens his service to an ATM because the more obvious comparison — a payday loan provider — is often considered predatory.

One key difference is that DailyPay interfaces directly with employers, positioning itself as an HR benefit. DailyPay’s pitch to other companies is that flexible payroll reduces turnover, which is good for the bottom line, and the service is free to implement. One internal study of 20 DailyPay clients found that turnover shrank by 40 percent on average after they adopted it.

Mosaic Will Sell $ 300 Million Worth of Solar Loans to Goldman Sachs (GreenTechMedia), Rated: A

Solar loan provider Mosaic reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs in which the bank will buy $300 million in loans over time.

This deal will clear up space on Mosaic’s balance sheet to finance more loans, and signals a prestigious bank’s willingness to buy and own solar loans for itself.

Market Overheated? Not These Sub-Sectors (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

Since I run an opportunistic portfolio that seeks out high upside “Fat Pitches” (soon to be a subscription service), it may seem as though I, too, would be stumped; however, I continue to find opportunities, albeit in sectors a bit off the beaten path.

While “value” and “high-growth tech,” may seem anathema to each other (wait till you see the next section), the three public fintech companies – Lending Club, Ondeck, and Elevate Credit – all seem undervalued today relative to their potential, and each have posted strong results in the recent quarter.

Ondeck, which lends to small and medium businesses, also recently decided to scale back its growth, raise rates, and cut staff. The company lowered orginations last quarter by 19% sequentially last quarter, but loss provisions as a percentage of revenues also fell from 8.7% to 7.2%. After implementing a $45 million cost reduction program, the company’s losses declined to only $1.5 million, down from $16 million in losses a year ago.

Speaking of acceptance, it may seem on the that the company that serves the subprime market – thought to be the riskiest of all – is the most profitable of the three. Elevate Credit has been doing everything right – though you wouldn’t know it by its languishing stock price. Last quarter, Elevate grew originations 29% and revenues by almost 19% (due to a higher mix of lower rate, but higher-quality loans), expanded its core RISE product to the state of Kansas—its 16th state, and was able to lower its interest rate on its high-cost funding from Victory Park Capital.

How A Bank And A FinTechs Are Jointly Cracking The Code On Financial Inclusion (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The teams at FinTech startup LendUp and Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank think very differently about that relationship. As LendUpCEO Sasha Orloff and Beneficial State Bank Co-CEO Kat Taylor told PYMNTS in a recent interview, banks and FinTechs need each other, and a very large segment of the population living on the margins of financial services in the United States need these two groups to work together as well.

That constituency, Orloff noted, isn’t always easy to serve – or to serve profitably – without relying on a business model that counts on its customers to fail and then charging sky-high fees for those failures. LendUp and Beneficial State Bank have a different approach: They want to invest and make money on their customers who are succeeding financially and are able to participate in the full spectrum of the financial system.

Fifty-six percent of Americans have a sub-prime credit score, meaning mainstream banks likely can’t approve them for their products; more than half of all Americans could not find $400 in the event of an emergency; and two-thirds of millennials have not started building any kind of credit score, in a system in which having no score or a poor score can cost a person $250,000 over their lifetime.

Lending money beyond what people can bear is the hallmark of predatory lending, she emphasized, and that’s not going to help the customer.

That alternative – the L Card, issued by Beneficial State Bank in partnership with LendUp – is a low annual fee card (starting at $0 and capped at $5 per month or $60 per year) that offers consumers a grace period for payments and even caps late fees (at $7). It has a higher interest rate – 19.99 percent to 29.99 percent – for a credit card than the national average, but according to The PEW Charitable Trusts, is a fraction of the payday lending rate, which is around 400%. Credit limits range from $300 to $1,000 based on credit score, and a year of timely payments and responsible behavior allow customers to double the limits.

CommonBond gets new CFO from Deutsche Bank (India Times), Rated: A

Jay Coleman, a Wall Street banker focused on equity raises and initial public offerings, has joined online lender CommonBondas chief financial officer, according to the company’s co-founder David Klein.

While still small, the company had lent about US$1bn to 12,000 borrowers as of May 1, according to Moody‘s Investors Service.

Coleman was poached from Deutsche Bank where he was head of private capital and equity capital markets execution, according to a CommonBond spokesperson. Prior to that he worked at Barclays, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley.

eOriginal Appoints Timothy Wall Chief Revenue Officer (Broadway World), Rated: B

eOriginal, Inc., a rapidly growing financial services technology company, has named Timothy Wall Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).

As CRO at eOriginal, Wall will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s sales organization and revenue development, including direct sales, channel sales, sales engineering and customer success.

Ex-U.S. Representative Nussle: credit unions are the ‘original disrupters’ in financial services (Radio Iowa), Rated: B

Former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle today said Iowa’s 94 not-for-profit credit unions have filled a void as banks throughout the country and in Iowa continue to consolidate.

More than 1.1 million Iowans are members of a credit union and the state’s credit unions have about $16 billion in assets, according to Nussle.

Nussle indicated the “speed of change” and stress in the industry has been rather dramatic, not only because of the “Great Recession,” but because of incidents like Wells Fargo’s admission that its employees created fake accounts without customers’ permission. The recent growth of on-line “peer to peer” lending presents credit unions with an opportunity rather than a challenge, according to Nussle, because credit unions are member-driven.

GDS Link Welcomes 2017 LEND360 to Dallas (PR Web), Rated: B

GDS Link, a global provider of credit risk management solutions and consulting for multiple verticals within the financial services industry including marketplace lending, retail finance, alternative financial services, credit card, auto, and business leasing, announced its role in bringing the fourth annual LEND360 to Dallas.

“The LEND360 Dallas host committee, co-chaired by Ken Rees, Chief Executive Officer of Elevate Credit, Inc. and Paul Greenwood, President and Co-founder of GDS Link, and supported by other influential members of the fintech community, has been meeting since late 2016 to ensure a valuable attendee experience for the upcoming conference, assist with speaker development and engage innovative industry leaders to take part in the event,” according to a LEND360 press release.

Hear from Both Sides of the Aisle on the Future of Fintech (Business Insider), Rated: B

The Online Lending Policy Institute (OLPI), the leading voice for policy analysis, in-depth research, and education for the online lending industry, today announced its roster of speakers for the Second Annual Summit on Sept. 25 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington D.C. The Online Lending Policy Summit provides an opportunity for industry participants to share insights, propose standards, and have an open dialogue with regulators and policymakers to build consensus viewpoints on the regulation of online lending. Keynote addresses will be delivered by the following four policy leaders:

  • Keith Noreika, Acting Comptroller of the Currency. Mr. Noreika advocates for the need to embrace innovation while ensuring that new products and services do not present undue risk to the financial system. He will discuss how regulators and industry can work together on “responsible innovation” and with principles for governing the rapidly growing financial technology sector.
  • Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY-5), now in his tenth term, serves one of the most diverse constituencies in the nation. Mr. Meeks is known for being an effective, principled, and commonsense leader. Congressman Meeks is a senior member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, and is the lead Democratic sponsor of important legislation dealing with the Madden v Midland Funding court case.
  • Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN-6) represents Minnesota’s 6thDistrict in the U.S. House of Representatives. He began his congressional career on January 6, 2015 and serves as a key member of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional service, Mr. Emmer practiced law for several years, and followed his entrepreneurial calling and opened his own law firm.  In 2004, he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and re-elected by overwhelming majorities in 2006 and 2008.  After a narrow loss in the 2010 gubernatorial race, Tom entered the radio business as a conservative radio host.
United Kingdom

JustUs Receives Full Authorization From the Financial Conduct Authority (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending platform JustUs announced this week it has received full authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The online lender revealed that the full authorization is a pre-requisite to offer the JustUs Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) and registration forms have been submitted to HMRC with a planned launch of the ISA in October.

A Battle For The Soul of Peer-To-Peer Lending (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Crowd2Fund, a relative newcomer to the alternative finance industry, is accusing Funding Circle, one of the market leaders, of turning its back on the whole ethos of peer-to-peer lending.

The row follows an announcement last month by Funding Circle that it will no longer allow investors on its platform to choose which specific companies they want to lend their money to. Instead, the platform will automatically spread investors’ cash across a group of businesses looking for funds – much as a professional collective fund manager in any other asset class chooses investments on behalf of its investors.

Crowd2Fund said Funding Circle’s move reflected the larger platform’s increasing focus on large institutional investors in peer-to-peer lending, as well as concern about the growing regulatory scrutiny of the sector.

36% of UK adults did not save or invest last quarter (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Over a third of UK adults (36%) have not saved or invested any money in the last three months, according to the second instalment of RateSetter’s quarterly tracker.

On average, people saved or invested £232 each month in the last quarter.

The research also revealed:

  • men saved significantly more than women over the period (£296 a month, compared with £170)
  • 25- to 34-year-olds put away the most over the period (averaging £278 a month), followed by those aged between 35 and 44 (£260 a month)
  • young adults, aged between 18 and 24, put away the least (£154 a month).

ArchOver CEO: SMEs have “wrong attitude” in eschewing finance (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ARCHOVER’S chief executive Angus Dent (pictured) has urged small business owners to be more confident in taking on debt, after new figures showed that 80 per cent of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are refusing to apply for new finance.

The boss of the peer-to-peer business lender said that while their caution was understandable, it is the “wrong attitude” for SMEs that want to scale up.

LendInvest property academy receives public support (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

LendInvest  has received public support from three major industry bodies for its property development academy.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs, Homes for Scotland, and the Home Builders Federation have each praised the academy, which was established in 2016 to help develop the skills of aspiring and new small-scale housing developers.

ASTL conference: FCA praises regulated bridging market’s ‘rosy picture’ (Mortgage Solutions), Rated: A

Data from the FCA showed regulated bridging customers contrasted strongly with the stereotypical version, with just 3.3% of bridging loans going to credit impaired clients.

The regulator found bridging customers ware typically wealthier, older, more likely to be self-employed and bought bigger houses than standard mortgage customers.

The FCA data revealed:

  • Bridging is much more concentrated in London and the South East – around 40% of loans are in these regions compared to 26% for standard mortgage lending;
  • Significantly less bridging lending takes place in the north of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland;
  • Median bridging loan value is around £208,000, compared to £143,000 for a standard mortgage;
  • Median property value is significantly higher at around £550,000 compared with a normal mortgaged property value of £230,000;
  • Significantly more bridging loans are on detached houses – 51% compared with 23%;
  • Average bridging customer age is 56, compared to 37 for a normal mortgage;
  • Bridging customer are more likely to be self-employed – 31% vs 11%;
  • Bridging customers are also significantly more likely to be retired at 28% vs 1% standard mortgage customers.

Why Investors are Excited about Birmingham (Landlord News), Rated: A

Birmingham, the site of LendInvest’s latest Property Development Academy, is a perfect example of this. Time and again we heard from attendees of just how exciting the city is for property development currently, and why they are so desperate to get cracking with their own development projects.

It’s notable that in last year’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute, which looked specifically at which European cities present the best opportunities for investors, Birmingham was the best performing UK city. It ranked 22nd, ahead of cities like Manchester, Edinburgh, London, Brussels and Rome.

All of this has led to a thriving rental sector. Our most recent Buy-to-Let Index found that the city currently boasts a rental yield of a very strong 5.03%, with capital gains of 4.97% over the last year.

The latest UK Economic Outlook report from PwC named the West Midlands as one of the housing hotspots, predicted to see house price growth of 4.5% this year, compared to a UK average of 3.7%.

China

Lawmaker urges FSC to curb online lending bad debt (Taipei Times), Rated: AAA

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) yesterday urged the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to curb bad debts stemming from fraud and loan sharking on Internet-based peer-to-peer lending platforms.

Online lending platforms have existed for years in other nations and have caused many problems, Lin said, adding that in China they are blamed for generating an estimated 60 billion yuan (US$9.2 billion) of bad debt.

ZhongAn Plants a Fintech Acorn for China (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Like electric cars, whose era of global dominance has yet to arrive, the app-driven insurance industry is more of a concept than reality. That doesn’t mean investors should dismiss the Hong Kong initial public offering of ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., despite its hefty price tag.

Bankers are currently sounding out investors for an IPO that could raise as much as $1.5 billion, giving ZhongAn a valuation of $11 billion. That’s well above CLSA’s $8 billion estimate, which already ranks the online insurer as China’s third-most valuable fintech company after Ant Financial, an affiliate of Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and Lufax, the peer-to-peer lender owned by Ping An Insurance (Group) Co.

ZhongAn is the world’s sixth-most-valuable e-finance company, at about $8 billion.

So here’s the bad news. ZhongAn is tiny. Its net written premiums were a mere 3.4 billion yuan ($520 million) last year, or 0.5 percent of China’s insurance industry, according to Bernstein Research analyst Linda Sun-Mattison.

Source: Bloomberg

It’s also expensive. The $11 billion valuation implies an adjusted price-to-book level of 4.3 times, Smartkarma analyst Ke Yan estimates.

European Union

Wealth Products Marketplace Raisin Takes a Leap Forward with Term Deposits for Businesses (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Pan-European marketplace Raisin continues its trailblazing expansion. Having penetrated new geographies with international and localized services in 2016, the Berlin-headquartered startup is now broadening its offering to address a new customer segment: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Starting September 14, businesses can open term deposit accounts on Raisin’s German site www.weltsparen.de, or more precisely, on www.weltsparen.de/geschaeftskunden.

International

Earthport strengthens US network with Cross River partnership (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Earthport (AIM: EPO), the leading payment network for cross-border transactions, is pleased to announce its partnership with Cross River, a US-based bank, to provide inbound cross-border payment services across the US market, adding to its existing capabilities to process payments in the US.

The partnership will facilitate the execution of inbound ACH payments through Cross River, and further strengthen Earthport’s global payment network, enabling high volumes of low-value payments originating outside the US to be serviced more efficiently.

Fintech to the rescue for the world’s unbanked (City A.M.), Rated: A

Half the world is unbanked. That’s the provocative title of a 2009 research paper published by the Financial Access Initiative (FAI), a consortium of researchers from New York University, Harvard, Yale and Innovators of Poverty Action.

Their study also provided an empirical grounding that, although it is possible to serve low-income communities at scale with financial services, there are still billions left to reach. According to figures from the World Bank, as of 2015 there are still 2bn people who lacked access to any formal financial services.

The advent of mobile technology along with increasing smartphone penetration, especially in developing countries, has opened up a new portal of possibilities.

This newfound access in countries across South East Asia and Africa has provided the perfect ecosystem to initiate financial inclusion.

Top Fintech Innovations To Look Out For in 2018 (Finovate), Rated: A

Nick Ogden – founder and Executive Chairman, ClearBank

The number one thing that’s going to occur in 2018 is fragmentation of the marketplace as we know it today. The days of big banks delivering everything and being specialists in everything are over. Some of them might still not accept that but the reality is that it’s happened.

Karen Kerrigan – Chief Legal Officer, Seedrs

Rather than looking at a specific technology, have a look at a particular sector. There are a lot of challenger banks out there at the moment – Starling Bank, ClearBank, Monzo, Tandem – and they’re all vying for the same space. They’re all doing things slightly differently, but  ultimately are taking on the banks.

Lol a FoHFs ICO, srsly (FT Alphaville), Rated: A

Tokens may not be available to all persons in all jurisdictions as certain offering restrictions may apply. In particular, no tokens will be available in the US, Singapore or the EEA. Offering and trade restrictions, as well as the rights of holders of FundCoin, will be set out in further detail in the offering memorandum.

That little snippet is from the last page of the “whitepaper” for FundCoin, which deserves a spot in the pantheon of initial coin offerings (ICOs) to which regulators should be paying more attention. FundCoin is “the first private equity token ICO” and is the creation of Finles, a 40-year-old Dutch fund of hedge funds manager that has decided to turn to the crypto markets to raise money.

Virtual money shifting global trading trends (BusinessDay), Rated: A

Cryptocurrencies are the most undervalued asset class in the world, says Farzam Ehsani, leader of Rand Merchant Bank’s blockchain initiative.

The combined market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies was only about $120bn, Ehsani said on Thursday at the Business Day/Financial Mail Investment Summit, held in partnership with Old Mutual Wealth.

By comparison, the market capitalisation of all stock markets is about $68.5-trillion, according to figures from the World Federation of Exchanges.

The price of a single bitcoin has surged from $605 to $3,487 over the past year, leading sceptics to label it a “bubble”.

India

‘RBI AWAITING GOVT NOTIFICATION FOR COMING OUT WITH P2P LENDING NORMS’ (Daily Pioneer), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank is waiting for a gazette notification from the Government on getting the peer-to-peer lenders under its regulatory ambit before coming out with guidelines on the sector, a senior official said on Wednesday. “Following up on the consultation paper we did last year, we are shortly going to come up with guidelines on peer to peer lending,” RBI’s executive director Sudarshan Sen said at an industry event here.

According to the official, the P2P lending interface will come under the purview of RBIs regulation by defining these platforms as NBFCs under the RBI Act by issuing a notification in consultation with the Government.

Investree to develop online transaction system of state securities for retail investors (e27), Rated: AAA

Indonesian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Investree announced that it has been appointed by the country’s Ministry of Finance to run a pilot project that aims to develop online transaction system of state securities for retail investors.

According to a DailySocial report, through the project, users will be able to purchase state securities through the Investree platform.

Demonetization in India shines a light on the digital future (The Asset), Rated: A

India’s demonetization experiment has been declared a failure by economic pundits. However, it has expanded India’s tax base and fast-tracked the digitization of payments, which is a good thing.

Some nine-million-odd new taxpayers came into the fold thanks to the scheme. Around 20 million new bank accounts were created by Indians panicked by the possibility of having their cash holdings voided.

Second, the scheme accelerated the digitization of payments in India, with a vast swathe of merchants forced to accept digital payments in lieu of cash.

Types of crowdfunding and why it is beneficial for real estate sector (Moneycontrol), Rated: A

The global crowd-funding industry generated about USD 34.4 billion in 2015.

Apart from raising capital, crowdfunding is also a way to create awareness among the masses and support for a project from the people around you.

Crowdfunding has exploded new ways to raise funds for start-ups, social sector, real estate, inventions and so on.

In India, transaction value in the “Crowd-funding” segment amounts to a meagre USD 6 million in 2017.

Transaction value is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2017-2021) of 24.8 percent resulting in the total amount of USD 16 million in 2021.

The most used method for real estate crowdfunding is “equity crowdfunding” which helps individual become partial owners in distinct properties, allowing them to participate alongside real-estate companies who acquire, redevelop, or build.

Another type of crowdfunding used for real estate is syndicated debt crowdfunding. This fast growing platform takes some or all of an existing real-estate loan, secured by a deed on the underlying property, and syndicate it out to a network of individual investors at a fixed rate of return.

Canada

IOU Financial Ranked Fourth Fastest-Growing Company in Canada (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”; TSX-V:IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), announces today that Canadian Business and PROFIT ranks IOU Financial as the fourth-fastest growing company on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

IOU Financial makes the 2017 PROFIT 500 list as the fourth fastest growing company with five-year revenue growth of 8,600%.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor