Thursday September 19 2019, Weekly News Digest

MAS Singapore

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to get its name on a football stadium. Petal raises $300M. Funding Circle closing in on 1-year anniversary of float. Zopa sends warning of imitation scams. Cumulative UK alt lending hits 11.3B GBP. Companies to get social credit in China. Today’s main analysis: Student loan refinancing rates are down. […]

The post Thursday September 19 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

MAS Singapore

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United Kingdom

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News Summary

United States

Sundays at SoFi: NFL Stadium in Inglewood Lands a Corporate Name (Commercial Observer), Rated: AAA

Online lender SoFi Lending Corp. has secured the naming rights and a 20-year deal with the Rams and Chargers, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The firm agreed to pay around $20 million per year, reports say.

SoFi Stadium, which will be the largest in the NFL, is the centerpiece to the much larger $5-billion Hollywood Park project developed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. Construction is 75 percent complete, and the stadium is expected to open next summer for other events before the NFL preseason begins in August.

Taylor Swift to Open SoFi Stadium Next Summer (KFI AM 640), Rated: B

The opening of the $2.6 billion SoFi Stadium will happen next summer on July 25th. However it’s not for a Rams or Chargers game. Swift announced that she will play two shows (July 25th and July 26th) at the stadium as a part in her much-anticipated 2020 world tour.

Economy is Top Concern for Small Businesses Ahead of 2020 Election (OnDeck), Rated: AAA

Key Findings from the OnDeck Small Business Survey:

  • Economic concerns arise in several dimensions, including tax policy, job growth, support for small businesses, government spending and the overall economic climate. These issues were cited as the top concerns of more than 33% of those surveyed;
  • Immigration was an issue of interest for 11.3% of small business owners surveyed, ranking second behind the economy as a concern.
  • 57% of small businesses surveyed said they were either ”Very Optimistic” or ”Somewhat Optimistic” about the economic outlook for their businesses;
  • 93% of those surveyed said they plan to vote in the 2020 election.
  • 60% of small business owners surveyed said they already know who they plan to vote for in the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump was the choice of 37% of small businesses surveyed, followed by Joe Biden at 18%. When combined, the top five Democratic candidates were the preference of 44% of respondents.

Student Loan Refinancing Rates Down Sharply (Credible), Rated: AAA

During August:

  • Rates on 10-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.70%, down 22% from a July 2018 peak of 6.05%
  • Rates on 5-year variable-rate loans averaged 4.03%, down 14% from September

A borrower repaying the average graduate school debt of $84,300 over 10 years at 6.36% interest — the average rate for grad school loans in recent years — could save:

  • $20,927 by refinancing into a 5-year variable rate loan
  • $8,327 by refinancing into a 10-year fixed-rate loan

Credit card start-up Petal raises $ 300 million debt round from Jefferies (CNBC), Rated: AAA

The New York City-based company announced a $300 million debt round from Jefferies on Tuesday, adding to existing venture capital investments from names like Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.

Plaid adds credit card data to Liabilities product (Tearsheet), Rated: A

In July, Plaid launched its Liabilities product that gives developers access to real time information about what consumers owe. Expanding beyond student loan data, the company has added support for credit card information, so firms can build better debt management solutions.

GoCardless launches US debit payments solution and opens San Francisco office (TechCrunch), Rated: A

GoCardless, the London fintech that aims to become the one-stop shop globally for businesses that want to let customers pay via recurring bank payments, has launched a U.S. debit solution.

Specifically, GoCardless’  new U.S. product supports debit payments on the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network.

The company has also opened an office across the pond in San Francisco’s financial district, headed up by Andrew Gilboy, general manager, North America, who was previously the company’s chief revenue officer.

Nav Launches New Feature to Help Business Owners Boost Business Credit (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Today Nav, a fintech company that matches business owners with their best financing options for free, announced new offerings to help small business owners boost their business credit scores, giving an easy solution to developing a strong business credit profile that alternative and traditional lenders can trust and finance.

Why would HUD gut its own disparate impact rule? (The Times Weekly), Rated: AAA

Since 2013, the disparate impact rule has objectively examined the effects of business practices with lenders, landlords, insurers, and real estate professionals against the provisions of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The rule required that first a plaintiff must establish a discriminatory effect in policies and/or practices, before the defendant(s) would bear the responsibility of proving their own practices were nondiscriminatory.

During delivery of Capitol Hill testimony earlier this spring, Nikitra Bailey, an EVP with the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) also underscored the importance of disparate impact in fair housing.

“Disparate impact analysis encourages creative approaches that both increase effectiveness and inclusion,” testified Bailey. “This process and the value of disparate impact analysis was recently pointed out and endorsed by the largest personal loan company in the country, Lending Club.”

BlueVine Appoints Dosh & PayPal Vet Brad Brodigan As New Chief Commercial Officer (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Online lender BlueVine announced on Wednesday it has appointed Brad Brodigan as its new Chief Commercial Officer. BlueVine reported that through this role, Brodigan will be responsible for overseeing revenue-generating functions including sales, customer service, and partner management.

Money360 Closes $ 170 Million in Commercial Real Estate Loans in July and August (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate (CRE) loans, announced today it closed approximately $170 million in loans during July and August. This benchmark brings Money360 close to $500 million in loans closed this year.

Groundfloor Now Allows Real Estate Developers to Gain Pre Approval on Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Groundfloor, a real estate lending and investing platform that allows anyone to participate directly in real estate investments, has launched a new product to make the lending process more easier for real estate investors. Groundfloor now allows certain developers to gain pre-approval on loans with a new program called “QC Maxx.”

ABS East; Stripe’s Lending Arm; Madden Decision (PeerIQ), Rated: A

In financing news, student loan fintech “College Ave” locked down a $300MM securitization and a AAA rating this week. The securitization was co-led by both Barclays and Goldman Sachs. Affirm, led by Max Levchin, is reportedly close to wrapping up a $1.5 Bn debt and equity financing with Thrive Capital and Spark Capital leading.

Stripe is mirroring other payments companies that have since built lending capabilities – notably, Square and PayPal. Stripe believes it can compete in an already crowded small business lending market (OnDeck, Kabbage, Fundera, Funding Circle, etc.) due to its data & channel advantages stemming from its payments business.

Fintech Firm OppLoans Announces Its First Bank-Led Credit Facility (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

OppLoans, a growing fintech and top rated direct-to-consumer online lending platform, announced today that it has secured its first bank-led asset-backed revolving credit facility. This facility structure will enable OppLoans to further its mission by broadening access to online personal lending products for more middle-income consumers with credit challenges.

Aura Completes Three Social Bond Issuances Totaling 5 million Over Last 4 Months (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

M&G Investments and Community Capital Management, a mutual fund that specializes in impact and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) related investments, have joined with U.S. and international banks to invest $145 million in Aura’s social bonds to finance the origination of affordable, small dollar installment loans to working families in the United States.

Challenger banks insist they’re equal to the task of lending (American Banker), Rated: A

Almost all U.S. challenger banks offer no-fee checking, savings accounts and enhanced personal financial management tools. Now some of the most popular have taken, or are poised to take, their next step: making loans.

Personal loans and credit cards are lucrative but inherently risky, and these young companies — like MoneyLion, Varo and others — will have to prove to regulators, investors and the public that they have the wherewithal to weather downturns in the credit cycle.

Cash-flow data shows promise as predictor of credit risk (American Banker), Rated: A

Melissa Koide, co-founder and CEO of FinRegLab, analyzed loan data from six lenders that use cash-flow data in their underwriting. She shares what she found.

Prevu Raises $ 2 Million in Seed Funding to Grow its Digital Home Buying Platform (Digital Journal), Rated: A

Prevu, a customer-focused digital home buying platform delivering industry-leading efficiency and savings, announced today the closing of its $2 million seed funding round. The round was led by Corigin Ventures, a prominent seed-stage venture capital firm with expertise in the real estate technology and consumer industries as well as a history of backing startups disrupting residential brokerage business models.

Embattled Prodigy Network CEO Rodrigo Niño to step down (The Real Deal), Rated: A

Prodigy Network founder Rodrigo Niño is stepping down from his position as CEO amid mounting financial and legal issues, The Real Deal has learned.

Prodigy, a real estate crowdfunding platform, has faced criticism from investors in recent months over underperforming investment properties and unpaid distributions. On Monday, an investor in one of Prodigy’s newest projects — the 13-story Standard Hotel in Chicago — filed a lawsuit alleging the firm was “insolvent” and had used investments “for purposes other than those relating to the project.”

EquityMultiple Provides Investors with Options to Take Advantage of Unique Tax Benefits (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Opportunity Zones are new, tax-advantaged vehicles for investors to earn more on their money. Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the first qualified opportunity zones (QOZs) first hit the market in early 2018. Designated by state authorities, there are now thousands of QOZs in the US designed to boost development in selected communities. Investors receive a break on capital gains taxes which can be significant. Local officials can spur economic development which leads to more jobs. Online investment platforms immediately saw the opportunity intrinsic to QOZs with multiple platforms now offering investments in developments that benefit from these tax breaks.

Why are your Opportunity Zone Offerings better than some others available on competing investment platforms?

Soren Godbersen: There are a number of firms out there now marketing Opportunity Zone offerings to investors. We’re proud of what we have been able to offer to our investor network and there are a few things about our Opportunity Zone investments that are unique:

How to Recession-Proof Your Investments (U.S. News), Rated: A

AFTER A DECADE OF steady growth, the economic cycle is due for a reversal, with concerns of a recession.

  • Consider other types of investments outside of stocks and bonds.
  • Know that timing the market is difficult.

What to Invest in During a Recession?

Other less correlated assets include the real estate niche. With real estate crowdfunding, hypermarket segmentation is available. Investors can choose their property type and geographic region when investing in real estate. Two real estate crowdfunding platforms for accredited investors are CrowdFund and EquityMultiple. Fundrise and Groundfloor open targeted real estate investing to nonaccredited investors as well.

Litecoin Non-Profit to Hold Undisclosed Treasury Sum with Crypto Lender (CoinDesk), Rated: A

The Litecoin Foundation is putting its capital to work, lending at interest through another cryptocurrency program.

The Foundation has tapped the Celsius Network, a blockchain-based crypto lending program, to become its preferred crypto wallet, Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky told CoinDesk.

As part of the deal, the Foundation will allocate an undisclosed portion of its treasury to the Network. LTC holders can receive up to 10.53% annually back on their crypto holdings and dollar loans as low as 4.95 percent as well.

Fintechs give small business more choice for credit than just banks (PaymentsSource), Rated: AAA

It’s no secret working capital is the lifeblood of all small businesses. It’s the fuel that keeps them running, helps them grow and take on new opportunities.

And yet, so many small businesses struggle with cash flow. In fact, according to a recent study from Intuit QuickBooks, 61% of small businesses have had cash flow issues in the past year.

Source: FIS

Walmart’s New Credit Cards Have One Big Goal: Boost E-Commerce (Bloomberg), Rated: A

In a sign of how much Walmart Inc. is betting on e-commerce, the retailer’s revamped credit-card program with Capital One Financial Corp. offers better rewards for online shopping and checking out with its mobile app.

The new options, which become available Sept. 24 and use Mastercard Inc.’s network, offer 5% cash back for purchases made at Walmart’s website, including groceries. At the chain’s physical stores, shoppers only get that rate for a year and have to check out with Walmart Pay at the cashier. Otherwise, store customers get 2% back.

Finicity Releases New Verification of Income and Employment Solution for Lenders (PR Web), Rated: B

Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, announced today the release of its new Verification of Income and Employment (VOIE) solution using patent-pending TXVerify technology that will speed up borrower verifications and further advance the industry shift toward a fully digital experience.

The Finicity VOIE solution digitally extracts a borrower’s pay statement data from the paystub and then cross-verifies that key data with their income transactions from their financial institutions. Enabled by its TXVerify technology, this detailed vetting process creates a real-time picture of an applicant’s income and employment for fast, accurate reports. The solution does this by leveraging the highest value data – direct from banks – along with a scan, photo or PDF of a borrower’s paystubs. This process significantly shifts the current paradigm from a mostly manual process to one that is fully digital, all while reducing fraud and increasing confidence in the underwriting process.

Sallie Krawcheck: Why ‘don’t buy daily coffee’ is terrible advice (CNBC), Rated: B

“Don’t buy daily coffee” is the go-to financial advice. Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, Sallie Krawcheck, says that advice is misleading and just enjoy your latte.

Ethereum Development Studio ConsenSys Announces Codefi, A New DeFi Software Suite (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin announced at the Ethereal Tel Aviv press conference (on September 15) that his New York-based venture studio is launching a new product, Codefi, for the emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

Despite not having invested in emerging DeFi platforms, Lubin described P2P lending systems such as Uniswap and MakerDAO as some of the blockchain industry’s most promising projects.

ApplePie Capital Partners with LSQ Funding on A/R Franchise Financing (Monitor Daily), Rated: B

Online lender ApplePie Capital entered into a new strategic partnership with LSQ Funding Group, a technology-enabled provider of accounts receivable financing for small and mid-sized businesses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle nears one-year anniversary of London float (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer business lender began conditional dealings on the London Stock Exchange on 28 September before being officially admitted to the bourse on 3 October. It launched with an offer price of 440p per share, giving the firm a valuation of £1.5bn.

However, its market capitalisation as of 17 September has since dropped to £348.7m, with its shares now trading at just over 100p.

Zopa warns over imitation scam firms (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA has warned over a growing number of scam operators targeting UK customers using the peer-to-peer lender’s name to dupe investors.

They include: asking customers directly for their Zopa login details; claiming to work with companies investing money in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies; or working with companies who would ask them to take out a Zopa loan to fund an investment.

Record numbers of investors and borrowers as cumulative lending hits £11.3bn (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

MORE than 150,000 lenders were invested in 321,483 loans facilitated by Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) platforms at the end of the second quarter, which the trade body deemed “a record level of involvement in the sector”.

Funding Circle is the largest P2P lender among the P2PFA platform members, having lent out a cumulative total of £5.4bn as of the end of the second quarter. It is followed by Zopa at £4.5bn, with ThinCats in third place with just over £491m.

£814m of new loans were made in the second quarter, compared to £866m in the first three months of 2019.

Monzo halts cash referrals as it hits three million users (AltFi), Rated: A

Monzo has ended its cash incentivised referral system as the firm continues to grow users at a rapid pace.

Monzo now has passed the 3 million ‘users’ number, hitting the milestone late on yesterday and is now onboarding 55,000 people to Monzo every week.

Transferwise Books Its Third Consecutive Year of Profits (Lendit), Rated: A

European fintech company Transferwise has recorded its third year in a row of profits; the company reported its net profit after tax climbed to £10.3 million in the fiscal year ending March 2019, up 66% from the previous year on revenue of £179 million;

Payment provider Klarna appearing at London Fashion Week has everybody talking (MyLondon), Rated: A

UK fashion Designer Henry Holland decided to take things up a notch in Saturdays catwalk show with a T Shirt design in collaboration with Klarna.

Klarna expands partnership with Mothercare (The Paypers), Rated: B

Klarna and Mothercare have announced an extension to their partnership, which will see Klarna’s Pay later, Pay in 3, and Slice it products available online and in-store across the UK.

OakNorth Bank provides £3.7m loan to Clearview Developments (London Loves Property), Rated: A

OakNorth Bank the UK bank powered by OakNorth has provided a £3.7m loan to Clearview Developments for a new residential development in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Smarterly and OakNorth Bank partner to offer new Notice Cash ISA range to Smarterly customers (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

The product range includes five Cash ISA Notice accounts, exclusive to Smarterly, ranging from 35 days at 1.05% to one year at 1.25%; Customers will not be able to apply for these products with OakNorth directly;

These five Cash ISAs Notice Accounts are:

  • 35 days – 1.05%
  • Three months – 1.10%
  • Six months – 1.15%
  • Nine months – 1.20%
  • One year – 1.25%
China/Hong Kong

Coming Soon: ‘Social Credit’ for Companies, Too (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A key target of China’s coming “social credit” system, which among Westerners usually triggers visions of “1984”-style monitoring of people, is actually misbehaving businesses.

Corporate America needs to prepare.

About 80% of information on the main data-sharing platform relates to companies rather than individuals, according to China consulting…

Hexindai Reports Unaudited First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results (PR Newswire), Rated: A

First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 Operational Highlights

  • Total loan volume facilitated[1] was US$ 28.2 million (RMB192.3 million) during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a decrease of 93.5% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Gross billing amount (net of VAT)[2] was US$4.7 million during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a decrease of 90.7% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Gross billing ratio (net of VAT)[3] for credit loans was 16.7% during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, an increase from 11.7% during the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Number of borrowers[4] was 18,546 during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a decrease of 36.0% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Number of investors[5] was 9,534 during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a decrease of 85.9% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 Unaudited Financial Highlights

  • Net revenue was US$4.9 million during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a decrease of 90.5% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Operating costs and expenses were US$12.6 million during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, a decrease of 18.9% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Net loss was US$7.2 million during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, compared to net income of US$29.7 million in first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Basic loss per ordinary shares in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 was US$0.15, compared to basic earnings per ordinary shares (“EPS”) of US$0.62 in first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Diluted loss per ordinary shares in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 was US$0.15, compared to diluted EPS of US$0.56 in first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Adjusted net loss attributable to Hexindai Inc.’s shareholders (Non-GAAP) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 was US$7.0 million, compared to adjusted net income attributable to Hexindai Inc.’s shareholders (Non-GAAP) of US$29.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Adjusted EBIT (Non-GAAP) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 was (US$5.8) million, compared to US$36.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Zhang Yue, senior vice president at CreditEase, discusses the demand for credit in China, write downs in her portfolio, P2P lending, their wealth management business and their expansion plans.

Securing privacy concerns in FinTech in Hong Kong (Lexology), Rated: A

Hong Kong has built a strong environment for fostering innovation and financial technology or FinTech. With its large financial sector and its strategic role with Mainland China and gateway to the rest of Asia and the world, Hong Kong has the potential to take on an important role in being a leader in FinTech. In March 2019, for example, Hong Kong issued its first virtual banking licences, which will likely increase adoption of FinTech in the financial services sector.

Emerging technologies used in Fintech services and operations come in different forms, and include:

  • data analytics that support the operations of financial institutions (for example, credit scoring, loan processing);
  • peer-to-peer (P2P) financing (such as P2P lending and crowdfunding platforms);
  • distributed ledger technology, such as cryptocurrency, bitcoin transactions and smart contract applications, as well as blockchain services to help reduce fraud by keeping provenance data on the blockchain; and
  • financial investments, such as stock trading apps, robo-advisors and algorithmic trading and budgeting apps.
European Union

Binance Announces Phase Five of Crypto Lending Featuring Privacy Coins XMR, ZEC, and DASH (Crypto-Economy), Rated: AAA

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced its launch of the fifth phase of its cryptocurrency lending product in which it customers subscribe to an allocation to lend other users their funds for interest rates as high as 15% Apr.

the 15% interest rate was only available to Binance’s native coin lenders in the first phase. On Tuesday, the exchange revealed three coins that will be included in the crypto lending product including only privacy-centric coins Monero [XMR], Zcash [ZEC] and Dash [DASH]. Their annualized interest rates will be a constant 3.5% but the lending period is only two weeks starting from this Friday September 20th through October 4th.

P2P Lender creditshelf to Acquire SME Finance Provider Valendo (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft has signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of all shares in Valendo – part of the finleap Fintech ecosystem.

According to a company release, the purchase price was in the “low seven-digit amount.” Payment will take place in two separate tranches. creditshelf has the option of settling both tranches in the course of two capital increases via a contribution in kind.

International

How MAS propelled Singapore to the top of the class (Euromoney), Rated: AAA

Today, Singapore sits proudly atop the Euromoney Country Risk (ECR) rankings. Based on ECR’s blend of financial and economic data, combined with the views of leading economists, no country in the world today has a stronger financial position.

When MAS said in July 2019 that it planned to issue five new digital banking licences, analysts soon spotted that three of them were wholesale licences, open to banks and non-banks alike.

Winners will be encouraged to lend, using digital means, to small and medium-sized enterprises and other non-retail segments – further evidence that corporate banking will be the next segment to feel the hot breath of disruption on its neck.

Source: Euromoney County Risk

Goldman Leads Trulioo’s $ 70M Raise To Expand Global Digital ID (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Trulioo, the global identity verification provider, has raised $70 million in new funding, eyeing growth in its core digital identification efforts, the company announced Tuesday (Sept. 17).

The company said in a release that the funding includes $60 million in a Series C round that was led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. Other participants included Citi VenturesSantander InnoVentures and existing investor American Express Ventures. The remaining $10 million came as unannounced follow-on financing from early investors, including BDC Capital and Blumberg Capital.

Equifax Continues Leadership In Alternative Data With Worldwide Urjanet Partnership (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) and Urjanet today announced a global partnership that empowers consumers and businesses to share their payment data from thousands of utility, telecom and cable providers worldwide for a more complete picture of individual payment history, easier identity verification and the potential for better access to credit. This partnership builds on Equifax’s leadership in alternative data, using the Urjanet Utility Data Platform to incorporate consumer-permissioned data into the Equifax differentiated data approach.

5 Reasons Investors Should Consider Tokenized Assets (Benzinga), Rated: A

According to Deloitte, we shouldn’t view DLT as just a new type of “database ” but rather as a new way to organize the security value chain from issuance to custody. But what exactly can be transmitted through this chain?

Fractional ownership – take as much as you want

Digitizing shares makes them highly divisible, meaning that investors can buy very small percentages of tokenized assets.

So long, intermediaries! 

Security tokens have a simpler investment structure and lower fees.

On the way to maximum liquidity

Cherry on top

A security token is basically a digital signature connected with a smart contract responsible for facilitation and verification of ownership rights transactions.

India

Ribbit leads Series B funding in online investment platform Groww (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Groww, an online investment platform that sells mutual fund products, has raised $21.4 million (Rs 152.5 crore at current exchange rate) in a Series B funding round led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Ribbit Capital.

Groww said existing investors Sequoia India and Y Combinator also participated in the funding round.

RBI looking at how NBFCs, HFCs set their lending rates (livemint), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is studying how non-bank lenders and home financiers price their loans, close on the heels of directing commercial banks to link their loan rates to external benchmarks.

Source: livemint

RBI restricts access to credit data of consumers (Economic Times), Rated: A

The Reserve Bank of India has ordered commercial banks and non-banking lenders to stop providing unregulated entities access to consumer data held by credit bureaus, dealing a blow to scores of fintech startups that have based their business models on such information.

Source: India Times

RBI not in favour of ‘teaser’ loans, examines rate-setting mechanism of NBFCs, HFCs (CNBCTV18), Rated: B

The banking regulator is not in favour of hybrid loan products or ‘teaser loans’, a senior Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official today clarified. The remark gains significance in the light of State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar’s recent comment that SBI would seek the regulator’s view on whether banks can introduce fixed-cum-floating rate products.

No dearth of demand on credit side, disbursed credit worth INR 5 billion: Flexiloans Co-founder (IBS Intelligence), Rated: A

FlexiLoans.com, an online lender for MSMEs in India, said that it has crossed a milestone number of disbursing over INR 5 billion of unsecured business loans across the country with its unique digital-only model. The Mumbai-based company, which has disbursed over 16000 loans across 1000 cities and towns in the country, says that there is no dearth of demand on the credit side. The company caters primarily to micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

How has the online lending market shaped up in the last few years?

Digital Lending market is currently at about USD 2 billion, up from about USD 1 billion in 2016. Significant traction and market niches discovered by various FinTech startups across the country have made this space very exciting, holistic and game-changing.

Online SME lender Cash Suvidha plans to raise upto $ 10 million (IBS Intelligence), Rated: B

The online lender for business and personal loans, Cash Suvidha, is planning to raise $5 million -$10 million equity funds in the next six months.

Asia

Terafunding Closes US$ 18M Series B Financing Round (FINSMES), Rated: AAA

Terafunding, a Seoul, South Korea-based Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platform, raised US$18M in Series B funding.

Backers included KB Investment, Hana Ventures, IBK Industrial Bank and Woomi Construction.

Julo raises $ 10M to expand its P2P lending platform (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Julo, a peer-to-peer lending platform in Indonesia, said on Wednesday it has extended its $5 million Series A raise to $15 million as it looks to scale its business in the key Southeast Asian market.

The $10 million Series A2 round for the Jakarta-headquartered startup was led by Quona Capital,  with Skystar, East Ventures,  Provident, Gobi Partners and Convergence participating.

Chinese P2P Firms Seeks Business in Vietnamese Market (W7 News), Rated: A

The declining demand for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in China has prompted firms to find business elsewhere. LearnBonds report that Chinese P2P companies are eyeing Vietnam, which alarmed local lending companies.

MENA

Now Money offers alternative for Gulf’s unbanked expats (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

About 70 per cent of the population in the Middle East and north Africa do not have access to banking services, says Ian Dillon, co-founder of Now Money, a Dubai-based financial technology group.

The GCC recorded outbound remittances of $120bn in 2017, according to World Bank data. However, Gulf banks tend to exclude workers earning less than $1,400 a month, leaving most of them reliant on exchange houses to remit cash home.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday September 19 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday July 25 2019, Weekly News Digest

marketplace lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Equifax to pay up to $700M in data breach settlement. MoneyLion raises $160M. Monzo, Starling win top rankings among banking apps. Harmoney makes maiden profit. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s quarterly MPL results – Q1 2019 (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Metro areas with the biggest jump in private million-dollar […]

The post Thursday July 25 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

marketplace lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Internationnal

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Equifax will pay up to $ 700 million to settle data breach lawsuits (CBS News), Rated: AAA

Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and others over the massive 2017 data breach that exposed the private data of nearly 150 million people. Consumers are eligible to claim as much as $20,000 in cash payments, the FTC said.

The proposed settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if approved by the federal district court Northern District of Georgia, will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers, a $100 million civil money penalty, and other relief.

MoneyLion Announces $ 160M in Funding  (Finanzen), Rated: AAA

MoneyLion today announced $160 million in funding — $60 million in previously unannounced financing and a $100 million Series C funding round.

The round was co-led by Edison Partners and Greenspring Associates and included strategic investment from Capital One, a diversified bank that offers a broad array of financial products and services to over 45 million consumers. The round also included investment from MetaBank and FinTech Collective. Upon completion of the Series C round, the company will have raised over $200 million in equity financing.

OnDeck Taps Bank Veteran to Lead ODX Sales and Strategy (OnDeck), Rated: A

OnDeck today announced the appointment of Lonnie Hayes as the Head of Sales and Strategy for ODX, a wholly owned subsidiary of OnDeck that assists banks with streamlining and digitizing small business credit origination.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q1 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

My overall returns for the twelve months ending March 31, 2019 was 6.09%. This is up from 5.35% that I reported in Q4 and 4.77% in Q3. My original six LendingClub and Prosper accounts had another full percentage point jump. Last quarter I reported the returns on those six accounts had jumped from 3.19% in Q3 to 4.16% in Q4. We see this quarter they are at 5.18%. This is quite a remarkable turnaround and while I still think 5% is not a high enough return for unsecured consumer lending, it is certainly moving in the right direction.

Source: Lend Academy

Metros With the Biggest Jump in Private Million-Dollar Businesses (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • Austin, Texas topped the list with a 15.1% increase in privately held companies surpassing $1 million in revenue between 2014 and 2016. The number of Austin firms in that category rose by 1,857.
  • Jacksonville, Fla. and Riverside, Calif. came in a nose behind, with an increase just under 15%. The number of firms rose by 963 and 2,359, respectively.
  • Buffalo, N.Y. was the only metro on our list to lose businesses with seven figure revenues: The city in upstate New York was down by four such firms, a reduction of 0.1%.
  • Baltimore and Oklahoma City made the smallest gains, at just over 1%, or 187 and 117 businesses, respectively.
  • Los Angeles had the largest number of firms to pass the million-dollar mark – 6,664 – followed closely by New York at 6,568. Those large numbers represent increases of almost 8% and 5.2%, respectively, leaving them in the 16th and 29th spots on the list.

Lendio Marries SMB Loan Management With Accounting (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Small business loan marketplace Lendio has announced the acquisition of bookkeeping software provider Billy.

press release Tuesday (July 23) said Lendio is rebranding Billy to Sunrise, a small business bookkeeping solution that integrates accounting, cash flow management, loan management and credit data into a single solution.

How AI can advance the cause of fair lending (American Banker), Rated: A

The rightful prohibition of ZIP codes in underwriting is one example of how financial regulators ensure fairness by protecting against discriminatory lending. But the increasing reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning, or “automated insights” as I prefer to call it, has made testing a wide variety of inputs for specific outcomes a sophisticated, scientific process carried out by companies. Lawmakers should consider these varied new data options when they evaluate machine learning during a hearing later this week.

Aura Closes $ 28.7 Million Expansion Loan from Angel Island Capital (Business Wire), Rated: A

Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced it has closed $28.7 million in residual debt financing from Angel Island Capital (“AIC”) to help the company grow and keep pace with the demand for its loans.

Drip Capital raises $ 25 mn from Accel, Sequoia (IBS Intelligence), Rated:
A

Drip Capital, a technology-enabled cross border trade financier, has raised $25 million in Series B funding from investors led by Accel Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Wing VC and Y Combinator also participated in the round.

More options to save on student loans at Credible (Credible), Rated: A

With Ascent and MEFA on board, Credible’s student loan marketplace now provides access to eight lenders, including traditional banks, online lenders, and state student loan authorities.

This is how fintech solutions are speeding up mortgage closing times (Housingwire), Rated: A

Financial technology is transforming the mortgage industry by making the origination process more convenient and secure for borrowers.

In 2018, BOK began leveraging Roostify’s digital platform to provide its customers a secure way to upload, send and receive loan documents remotely.

Financial services newcomer Cross River blurs line between fintech, banking (ROI), Rated: A

Few would expect it was a good idea to start a bank right as the recession raged a decade ago.

Fewer still would say any bankers eager to do that, as Cross River Bank did, would go on to become one of the state’s most impressive growth stories.

Fitch Ratings: Questions Increase Around Fringe Players in U.S. ABS (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

While U.S. core ABS performance remains strong due largely to low unemployment, many investors are zeroing in their questions on some of the sector’s non-core assets, according to Fitch Ratings in its 2019 Virtual Investor Video Series for structured finance.

Should fintechs be regulated like banks? (BAI.org), Rated: A

According to the U.S. Treasury report, more than 3,330 new technology-based financial services industry were founded from 2010 to the third quarter of 2017, creating industry investment worth more than $22 billion: a thirteen-fold increase since 2010. Lending by these firms now makes up more than 36 percent of all U.S. personal loans, up from less than 1 percent in 2010.

Examples of Financial Services Business Ideas (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

If you’re financially savvy, you can start your own peer-to-peer lending business. This is when you give small amounts of money to a business or private person, while collecting interest on the returns. Before you start lending out money, here is a successful business you can learn some strategies from:

Business Name: RainFin

Website: 

Established date: 2012

About the business:

RainFin offers an online marketplace that enables borrowers to access affordable debt capital and investors to access new asset classes. RainFin is a registered credit provider and aims to remove traditional costs and barriers for borrowers and investors through innovative technology, designed to create a transparent and fair marketplace.

NASAA Warning on Initial Loan Procurements: “Crowdfunding Meets Blockchain” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

NASAA describes initial loan procurements as a crowdfunding method that allows borrowers and creditors to enter into loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts stored on the blockchain.

To quote NASAA:

“Companies using blockchain technology need to raise capital just like any other company. One way these companies accomplish that is through initial coin offerings (ICOs), which require the new company to create tokens that can be sold to investors and used for the development of new projects. An alternative fundraising method is catching the interest of investors. Initial loan procurements allow companies to raise capital without the added burden of creating tokens.”

Examples of Online Business Ideas (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

Online real estate investing platforms now exist, and they enable anyone to invest a percentage into a property instead of the whole amount. If you have the right skills, you can start your own online business.

Before you launch your business, learn a few strategies from this example of an online business:

Business Name: Real Estate Crowdfunding

Website: 

About the business:

Real Estate Crowdfunding offers its clients lower fees, the option to invest in a development nearby and transparency, which enables their customers to find out more about projects before investing.

Mynd Property Management Acquires HomeUnion, a Real Estate Investing Portal (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Mynd Property Management, a modern property management company powered by on-the-ground experts and technology, has acquired HomeUnion, a company that enables investing in small residential properties in 20 U.S. markets. The acquisition comes on the heels of Mynd’s recent merger with RentVest, which doubled Mynd’s property management footprint to more than 8,000 small residential rental units in a total of 16 markets.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a settlement with Think Finance, a payday lender that has targeted nearly 80,000 Pennsylvanians.
United Kingdom

Monzo and Starling took first and second place in a ranking of banking apps (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based Monzo has taken the top spot in a ranking of bank apps by MoneySavingExpert.com, beating out both peers and incumbents, The Irish News reports. Seventy-eight percent of the consumers surveyed said the neobank’s app had plenty of features and strong usability.

Competing neobank Starling picked up second place, with 70% of consumers approving of its app’s features and usability. The rest of the top five was rounded out by Barclays (57%), Lloyds Bank (49%), and NatWest (47%).

Source: Business Insider

Lord Myners heaps further pressure on FCA over Lendy failings (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FORMER City minister Lord Myners is keeping the pressure on the Financial Conduct Authority over its decision to authorise now-collapsed peer-to-peer lending platform Lendy.

A series of written parliamentary questions show Lord Myners is seeking answers on whether better regulation is needed and the creditor status of Lendy investors.

Lessons from Lendy (Brismo), Rated: A

– History of troubled lender shows the importance of independent verification of credit performance
– This is not a function the regulator can reasonably be expected to undertake
– Marketplace lending will fail to access deep pools of funding until these lessons are learned

Innovate Finance expands national network with three regions added (ComputerWeekly), Rated: A

Last week Innovate Finance announced the addition of Fintech Northern Ireland, Fintech Wales and Fintech West to the national network.

Growth Street pledges £75m overdraft funding for East Anglia (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

GROWTH Street has pledged to commit £75m of overdraft-style financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Anglia.

The peer-to-peer business lender, which provides a revolving credit facility for borrowers, said it is already 10 per cent towards its target having lent £7.5m in the region.

Is Short-Term Financing Right For Your Business? (Nav), Rated: A

If you need a short-term capital boost, there are a number of options available to you. Here are a few short-term financing examples that you may want to consider.

Superdry collaborating with Klarna (Fibre2Fashion), Rated: B

British contemporary fashion brand Superdry and leading payments provider Klarna have entered into a collaboration, enabled by Adyen. Superdry customers can now use the Pay later or Pay in 3 in the UK, and later this month will be able to Pay in 4 in the US. This will make everything from jackets to jeans more accessible to Superdry customers globally.

OakNorth completes £11.4m loan to Ocea for major new residential development in Redhill, Surrey (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

LendInvest boosts business development team with new hires (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

Nigel Robbins has joined LendInvest from specialist mortgage lender Magellan to source deals across the South West of England.

European Union

In-house marketing at Klarna: Interview with Elin Svahn (BannerFlow), Rated: AAA

In-house marketing is transforming the industry. It is a movement rising in popularity year on year, with over 91% of European decision-makers moving operations in-house.

How do you structure your in-house marketing at Klarna?

When I started, Klarna was in the process of a complete restructuring of their in-house operations. The brand was divided into many separate domains, with different teams having different priorities, and ‘issues’ to solve.

Today, we have four marketing domains: Branding, Merchant Aquisition and Growth, Communications and PR, Consumer Growth and Loyalty. Within each of these domains, we have different competencies. So for example, within the Branding domain, we have a mix of marketers, designers, and copywriters.

AdviceRobo has launched an open banking capability for lenders (Business Insider), Rated: A

AdviceRobo focuses on offering credit risk management solutions, and its latest API product enables lenders to categorize transactional data and predict defaults to make sound credit decisions.

The Netherlands-based fintech’s new API, dubbed CatRobo, is powered by PSD2 — a regulation that came into effect in January 2018 forcing banks to open up their data to third-parties.

Here’s what it means: The API will help lenders make better use of their data, better compete with alt lenders, and lend out more cash to underserved consumers.

Source: Business Insider
International

Justin Sun denied reports that he had postponed a charity lunch with the investing guru after attracting regulatory scrutiny. In China, where executives sometimes vanish, such reports are not unusual.

Embedded finance, or why fintech mega VC rounds have become so common (TechCrunch), Rated: A

This morning, it was personalized banking app MoneyLion,  which raised $100 million at a near unicorn valuation. Last week, it was N26, which raised another $170 million on top of its $300 million round earlier this yearBrex raised another $100 million last month on top of its $125 million Series C from late last year. Meanwhile, companies like payments platform Stripesavings and investment platform Raisintraveler lender Uplift, mortgage backers Blend and Better, and savings depositor Acorns have also raised massive new rounds this year.

Cryptocurrency loan site YouHodler exposed unencrypted user credit cards and transactions (TechCrunch), Rated: A

A cryptocurrency loan startup exposed reams of customer credit cards and user transactions for almost a month — because it forgot to protect the server with a password.

Security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar found the database belonging to YouHodler, a lending platform designed for cryptocurrency, which claims to have processed $10 million in loans to more than 3,500 customers.

The database contained 86 million lines of daily updating records of the lending platform, containing streams of logs and computer commands based on users’ interactions on the front-end website. That also included sensitive information such as every time a transaction or a loan went through.

Source: TechCrunch

Crypto Lending Market ‘Continues to Experience Sustained Growth’ (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

In the Q2 2019 edition of its quarterly ‘Digital Asset Lending Snapshot’ report, Genesis Capital made several interesting observations:

  • At the end of Q2 2019, the total value of “active loans outstanding” was $452 million versus $181 million in Q1 2019, i.e. a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase of 149%.
  • Originations went up 48% QoQ, which means that Genesis Capital has just experienced its fifth straight quarter of “strong growth.”
  • Genesis Capital has originated over $2.3 billion in “loans and borrows” since the business was launched in March 2018.
Source: CryptoGlobe

What Is DeFi? (Bitcoin Market Journal), Rated: A

DeFi platforms leverage smart contract technology to provide decentralized financial solutions, such as digital currency-based peer-to-peer lending, dollar-pegged stablecoins, or investable tokenized asset baskets. The existing DeFi market is still at an early stage so we can expect more decentralized financial services that operate on a permissionless, transparent, and efficient manner on the blockchain to materialize soon.

Decentralised Finance in a centralised world (Business Times), Rated: A

THE growth of global financial markets has created enormous wealth, especially benefitting a few players who are closely connected to the world’s main financial centres.

The centralised nature of the industry has enabled these powerful intermediaries to position themselves in the middle of the system and thus extract rents from other participants.

This oligopolistic structure has stifled competition and decreased efficiency, while increasing the cost of financial services.

Time for a rethink? (Securities Lending Times), Rated: A

David Lewis of FIS discusses the dip in the securities finance industry’s global revenues and explains the factors changing the dynamics of the industry

Finacity Facilitates the Addition of UK Entities to USD $ 115 Million Receivables Securitization (Virtual Strategy Magazine), Rated: A

Finacity Corporation (“Finacity”), a member of the Greensill family of companies, and DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank (“DZ Bank”) announces the addition of Volt Information Sciences, Inc. (“Volt”) United Kingdom subsidiaries as sellers of receivables to Volt’s existing trade receivables securitization. The 2-year facility supported by Volt’s US and UK receivables allows for up to USD $115 million in funding with a $35 million sublimit for letters of credit.

Australia

Harmoney makes maiden profit (MSN), Rated: AAA

The company, which is partly owned by Heartland Bank (17 percent share) and Trade Me (15 percent), made a net profit of $7.2 million in the year ended in March, compared with a loss of $1.8m the year earlier.

Its revenue was up 25 percent to $32.9m, with net interest income of $728,000 – nearly 10 times more than the year before.

Why bank hybrids are far too expensive (Cuffelinks), Rated: AAA

Yield chasing has spilled into nearly every asset class, with Australian listed bank hybrids no exception. The current average margin of bank bills at +2.40% is close to the lowest level for at least seven years.

Source: Cuffelinks

Alternatives to bank hybrids

2. Marketplace lending

Institutional and retail investors can both access marketplace lending (also known as peer-to-peer lending) via a growing number of online platforms. There’s a mixture of residential and commercial property secured loans available, as well as unsecured business and personal loans. For more conservative investors, loans backed by residential property with an LVR of 60% or less typically yield 5-7%. Commercial property loans, business loans and personal loans usually come with higher yields. Investors in riskier loans should be expecting to lose a portion of their total return when some of the borrowers default and should set their return expectations accordingly.

India

India’s FinTech Cube Wealth expands asset management biz in UK, Hong Kong (IBS Intelligence), Rated: AAA

Cube Wealth, an Indian FinTech start-up for financial planning and wealth management, is entering the global markets in this quarter (July-September) of 2019. The plan is to set up a tech-enabled asset management company in the UK, Hong Kong and Switzerland to start with so that customers in those markets can get an access to some leading fund managers in the emerging markets, including India.

Southeast Asia

Hedge Funds Help Fuel Southeast Asia Consumer Lending Boom (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

A small but rising number of hedge funds are being established to help finance the boom in online and peer-to-peer lending across Southeast Asia.

Pilgrim Asia Consumer Finance Fund, founded by Brian Yonghui Tan and Paul Sheng, aims to raise up to $20 million in its first year and generate a return for investors of around 8% per annum. It will charge a 2% management fee.

OJK Condemns Fintech Lender over Indecent Post of Debtor (Tempo), Rated: A

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) condemns fintech lender Incash for posting a photo of one of its debtors online, with captions saying she was willing to have sex for money so she could pay her debts to the online lender.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday July 25 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday April 11 2019, Weekly News Digest

china p2p lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club loans $159M in the past week. OnDeck offers same-day funding. Kabbage secures $700M in funding. RateSetter ISA passes 200M GBP in subscriptions. Funding Circle CEO pocketed 4M GBP last year. Klarna launches global customer authentication platform. Today’s main analysis: Drivers of global growth in FSB’s shadow banking. (A […]

The post Thursday April 11 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

china p2p lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

China

Other

News Summary

United States

Need a loan for Tax Day? According to Lending Club data, you’re not aloan… er, alone (Thinknum), Rated: AAA

As seen in data from Lending Club ($NYSE:LC), there is a cyclical spike in the number of loans, as well as the money needed by those needing loans, right around the end of tax season. While this finding may seem pretty clear without any data, it essentially confirms an adage in the lending industry.

RIght now, there was only $21.5 million loaned out to lendees from April 8 to today. This past week, there was about $159 million worth of all sorts of loans — personal, mortgage, etc. — loaned out by the platform.

Lending Club Total Principal Loaned (Weekly)

ONDECK OFFERS SAME DAY FUNDING TO EMPOWER SMALL BUSINESS (OnDeck), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced that it will offer to fund and debit customer bank accounts with Same Day ACH transfers, eliminating a decades long pain point for small business owners accustomed to the traditional ACH transfer process, which can take multiple days and lacks certainty on when the transactions will hit bank accounts.

Same Day ACH transfers from OnDeck provide qualified OnDeck Term Loan and Line of Credit customers with funds up to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) cap of $25,000 by 5:00 pm local time on the same business day the customer books or makes a draw on their line of credit.* Qualified customers are also debited via the same day ACH service, providing them additional predictability in transaction clearing times and offering better clarity around day-to-day cash flow management.

Highlights from Jamie Dimon’s Annual Letter (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US payrolls rose by 196 k in March and the unemployment rate remained at 3.8%.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Highlights from Jamie Dimon’s Letter to Shareholders

Jamie Dimon published his annual letter to shareholders. We look at some highlights below:

  • The banking system, and JPM in particular, is over-capitalized – Under the Fed’s most extreme stress-testing scenario, where 35 of the largest American banks bear extreme losses (as if each were the worst bank in the system), the combined losses are about 6% of the total loss absorbing resources of those 35 banks.
Source: JPM, PeerIQ

PM is investing billions in technology to compete – the cloud, AI, ML and digital banking

  • JPM customers can now open a bank account online in under 5 minutes and can reduce their mortgage closing times to 3 weeks.
  • The bank now has 49 Mn active digital customers, including 33 Mn active mobile customers
  • JPM is looking at fintechs in the US and in China as not just opportunities but also looming competition.

Online lender Kabbage rakes in 0m funding (Verdict), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, an online lender for small businesses, has fetched $700m in asset-backed securitisation (ABS) funding.

With the securitisation, the company’s debt funding increases to $940m.

Real-time data was Kabbage’s secret sauce, its first investor says (American Banker), Rated: A

The firm started life as a small, scrappy fintech startup in Atlanta in 2008, but has grown rapidly. It made $2 billion worth of loans in 2018 and more than $600 million in the first quarter of 2019. It also recently agreed to provide financing at the point of sale on Alibaba.com as part of a program called Pay Later.

Upstart Raises $ 50 Million and Announces New Bank Partners (Lend Academy), Rated: A

One of the big announcements on day one of LendIt Fintech USA 2019 is from consumer lender Upstart. They have announced a $50 million equity raise as well as three new partners for their “Powered by Upstart” banking as a service program. Oh, and they are getting into credit cards.

PeerStreet Lowers Minimum Real Estate Investment to $ 100 (Think Reality), Rated: A

The burgeoning peer-to-peer lending platform PeerStreet has unveiled product updates that enable investments of only $100.

The company recently announced it’s lowered the minimum investment to $100 for “small balance reinvestments” when using its automated investing product. The upgrade also expands the investment types available for automated investing to include cash offer loans and 30-day notes, which offer shorter terms than typical bridge loan investment options, the company said.

Sharestates Wins Top Real Estate Platform Award at LendIt Fintech USA 2019 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Sharestates, a marketplace lending platform that connects real estate developers with investors, was crowned Top Real Estate Platform at LendIt Fintech USA2019 in San Francisco, California on April 9, 2019. The Top Real Estate Platform award is based on performance, volume, growth, product diversity, and responsiveness to stakeholders.

Now operating in 46 states, Sharestates offers diversified asset classes including residential, multi-family, mixed-use, commercial properties, and land acquisitions.

Since launching in 2015, Sharestates has closed on over $1.7 billion in total loan volume and returned over $675 million in principal to investors. Average annualized returns have exceeded 10% every year. As a result of its strong performance and valued relationships, 82% of Sharestates loan volume has come from repeat borrowers and 81% of its investors are repeat investors.

The stREITwise Platform Brings Real Estate Investment to All (Realty Biz News), Rated: B

The company has just announced a new acquisition to its investment portfolio, a $32 million mixed-use building in Carmel, Indiana, one of the most affluent suburbs of Indianapolis. The 140,000-square foot Allied Solutions Building, already around 87 percent leased, stands poised to increase dramatically in value thanks to its location in the heart of downtown Carmel in the heart of a busy mixed-use development surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, fast-casual dining, service-oriented retail, and the locally renownedSun King distillery and food hall right next door.

13 cities where renting is cheaper than buying a home (AOL), Rated: A

Americans’ homeownership rate is 64.8%, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Following are the 13 metros where renting is cheaper by more than $150 a month, beginning with cities with a smaller advantage for renters.

BlueVine Adds Term Loan to Suite of Online Working Capital Solutions to Fuel Small Business Growth (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

BlueVine, which provides small- and medium-sized businesses with access to fast and simple online financing, announced that it is making term loan financing available for business owners through its suite of online financing solutions. The BlueVine Term Loan provides small- and medium-sized business owners with fast and simple access to financing to grow their businesses through BlueVine’s advanced online platform. More than 59 percent of businesses are looking for funds to grow their business, according to the 2017 Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey Report on Employer Firms. With a BlueVine Term Loan, business owners can quickly pursue larger projects and investments to bring their businesses to new heights.

Aura Approves 350,000th Affordable Loan (Bakersfield.com), Rated: A

Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, this week approved its 350,000 th loan.

Since its launch in 2014, Aura has provided more than $437 million in credit-building loans to borrowers at approximately 1,200 partner locations using technology that enables local businesses to administer loan applications. Currently, Aura’s average loan size is around $1,600.

In total, Aura has raised over $403 million in social bonds across 21 bond issuances. The most recent issuance was in March for $50 million.

What Kind of Collateral Do I Need for a Business Loan? (Nav), Rated: A

Before you can qualify for a commercial loan, you’ll need to prove that doing business with your company is a good risk. This means you’ll need to pass successfully through a lender’s qualification process.

Next Wave of Personal Loan Growth May be Driven by Prime and Above Consumers (MarketWatch), Rated: A

The prime and above risk tiers have become a greater focus for lenders in recent years. Nearly two-thirds of unsecured personal loan balances originated in the first three quarters of 2018 were lent to prime and above consumers. FinTechs drove this shift as originations for prime and above grew to 62% in 2018, up from 52% in 2013. While still less conservative than banks, FinTechs’ overall risk profile for originations now aligns tightly with credit unions. At the end of 2018, FinTechs held the majority share of personal loan balances with 39%, while banks and credit unions followed with 28% and 21%, respectively.

Student Debt Isn’t Just An Employee Problem — It’s Also An Employer Problem (Killer Startups), Rated: A

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported in its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the fourth quarter of 2018 that outstanding student loan debt increased to $1.46 trillion, which is $15 billion more than the previous quarter. It also reported that student loan debt rose by $79 billion in 2018.

The student debt load isn’t just impacting the individual students who enter the workforce, hoping they can find a job that enables them to make those monthly payments. I’s also slowing economic growth. A January 2019 Federal Reserve paper noted that young adults report their student loan debt is the reason they’re unable to buy a home. The same report also cited other research concluding that 20 percent of the decline in homeownership among young adults relates to student loan debt that’s been rising since 2005.

Amount Announces Cloud-Based Account Verification Platform (Kake), Rated: A

Amount today announced AmountVerify, a cloud-based platform for risk management across financial products. AmountVerify marks the first time industry leading fintech provider Avant is making a component of its cutting edge online lending platform available to financial service companies as a standalone product through Amount.

Onfido raises $ 50M to create the Identity Verification Standard for Businesses Globally (Markets Insider), Rated: A

Onfido, the global identity verification provider, today announced it has raised $50M in funding, bringing the total investment in the company to over $100M. The round was led by SBI Investment and Salesforce Ventures, with support from M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), FinVC and others, including existing investors.

Forward Financing Expands Capital Base with $ 90 Million Credit Facility (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Forward Financing has closed on a $90 million credit facility, consisting of a $60 million senior revolving credit facility and a $30 million junior term loan. AloStar Capital Finance (“AloStar”), a division of Cadence Bank, N.A., served as the Agent on the senior facility.

Credibly Announces Investment Grade Senior Debt Offering (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Today, Credibly announces the next phase in its balance sheet growth strategy with a $10 million Investment Grade-rated senior debt offering. The transaction closed on March 28, 2019.

Mitek Expands Auto-Capture User Experience Across All Digital Channels with the Addition of Desktop (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Mitek today announced it has upgraded its desktop browser experience to support auto-capture so customers can rapidly verify the identity of applicants across all digital channels: desktop browsers, mobile web and native applications.

According to Javelin Research, today only one third of users (34 percent) still complete the entire account opening process on their desktop.

MiSnap delivers a superior auto-capture experience for desktop and across mobile devices through:

  • Guided commands:  Real-time commands such as where to place a document in relation to the camera or detection of glare on the ID document are some of the conditions evaluated in order to help the user capture an optimal image, which improves image acceptance rates and reduces capture retries.
  • Advanced image analysis: Once MiSnap has achieved an optimal capture of the ID document, the software then further analyzes the image and makes the necessary adjustments in order to process all images consistently and accurately.
  • Modern architecture: Because MiSnap uses WebAssembly, it can perform at native speeds and is easy to integrate into customers’ web-based apps and requires minimal footprint.

58% of lenders will use AI in next two years (AI Foundry Email), Rated: A

Fannie Mae recently put out a 

  • Nearly two-thirds of lenders are familiar with AI
  • But, only 27% are using it in their businesses now, and…
  • Only half of that group are currently using it with customers (the rest are doing trials)
  • However, looking ahead two years – 58% of lenders expect to use AI/ML in their mortgage business.
  • Of the rest:
      • 22% predict they’ll be investigating AI
      • 19% foresee being in a “wait and see” mode

    These data points show us that “prime time” is coming soon for AI/ML in mortgages. 

    Fintech alone won’t be enough to boost credit union mortgage volumes (Credit Union Journal), Rated: A

    How can credit unions, especially small institutions, compete with Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage “Push button, get mortgage” campaign?

    They can’t – and, sources said, they shouldn’t try.

    GROUNDFLOOR Wins 2 FinTech Awards (Groundfloor Email), Rated: B

    GROUNDFLOOR was named Best Crowdfunding Platform by the 

    Pulte Mortgage and Finicity Partner to Combat the Home Loan Paper Chase (MarketWatch), Rated: B

    Pulte Mortgage announced today it is partnering with Finicity — a leading provider of real-time financial data access and insights, to provide its borrowers with a faster, simpler and more secure way to navigate the home financing process.

    Hudson Data and LendingPoint partner to prevent Synthetic ID fraud (Finanzen), Rated: B

    Hudson Data and LendingPoint announced that they are partnering to create an industry solution to prevent synthetic identity fraud using powerful graph machine learning.

    Dharma crypto lending platform officially goes live (CoinGeek), Rated: B

    Dharma Labs completed a Series A funding round earlier this year to support its cryptocurrency lending platform project. The San Francisco-based company raised $7 million from companies such as Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures and others and, if there was any concern about the platform not going live, those concerns are now extinguished. Dharma announced this past Monday in a Medium post that the platform is now live.

    United Kingdom

    RateSetter ISA Milestone: Passes £200 Million in Subscriptions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    UK-based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter recently announced its ISA has now passed the milestone of attracting £200 million in subscriptions.

    “Investors have enjoyed an average annualised return of 4.5%, tax-free of course, since the RateSetter ISA launched in February 2018. The average RateSetter ISA balance stands at £11,000.”

    Funding Circle boss pocketed more than £4m last year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    FUNDING Circle founder Samir Desai (pictured) earned more than £4m last year, having cashed in some of his shares at the time of the peer-to-peer lender’s stock market flotation.

    Desai took home a salary of £210,000 last year, according to Funding Circle’s annual report, a four per cent increase from his salary of £202,000 in 2017.

    The majority of his total remuneration of £4.081m came from cashing in share options.

    Zopa rewrites outdated money idioms (The London Economic), Rated: AAA

    Each future-looking idiom challenges the status quo. For example, according to Zopa, the ‘signing for the bill’ gesture will be redundant soon. Instead, when people have finished their meal, people will be more likely to signal facial or iris recognition to the waiter. Jonesy gives his take and takes it one step further by illustrating a customer displaying his eyeball to request the bill.

    Source: The London Economic

    Fintech unicorns are leading job creation in London (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

    In 2018, there was a 61% increase in fintech job creation within London from the previous year, per a new report by Robert Walters, making it the fastest growing sector for vacancies in the city.

    The UK houses 25% of all fintech unicorns and their growth plans call for more talent. There are 29 fintech unicorns worldwide, seven of which are based in the UK, making the UK second only to San Francisco, which is home to nine.

    Over 30% of jobs in the UK’s fintech industry are for IT-related roles, compared with 24% in 2017. And fintech unicorns’ hiring for IT professionals increased 74% year-over-year (YoY).

    Source: Business Insider

    London to take San Francisco’s fintech unicorn crown (The Innovation Enterprise), Rated: A

    However, the report has predicted that London could take the lead as early as this year, as the city receives 39% of European fintech venture capital funding, with the runner-up, Berlin, taking just 21% of the total investment.

    With 50% against a global average of 33%, the UK also enjoys the highest rate of consumer fintech adoption of any Western country, only beaten by India and China, the report found.

    LendInvest gains £200m HSBC funding as it seeks home loan market entry (Verdict), Rated: A

    LendInvest, which operates an online marketplace for mortgages, has received an investment of £200m ($261m) from HSBC UK to support its foray into the regulated home loan sector.

    Peer-to-peer scheme for first-time buyers launches (FT Advisor), Rated: A

    Start-up company Stepladder is promoting a new way for first-time buyers to save for a house deposit.

    Arbuthnot Latham launches Arbuthnot Direct for those seeking long-term interest returns (Arbuthnot Email), Rated: B

    Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited (“Arbuthnot Latham”) is pleased to announce the launch of its new platform under the trading name of Arbuthnot Direct. Arbuthnot Direct offers fixed term deposits online, targeting retail customers who are seeking interest returns on their money over the longer term. The platform held a successful soft launch in February 2019 and has already met with a positive reception.

    China

    The rise and fall of P2P lending in China (Finextra), Rated: AAA

    It is worth mentioning that the size of China’s P2P industry is larger than that of the rest of the world combined, with outstanding loans of US$217.96BN.

    China’s online P2P lending industry grew rapidly between 2011 to 2015, with the number of P2P lenders growing from 50 to nearly 3,500 respectively.

    Trouble started brewing in China back in 2016, when statistics released by the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission showed that about 40% of P2P lending platforms were in fact Ponzi schemes.

    This triggered the shutdown of P2P lending platforms; over 900 closed by the end of 2016. For 2018, only 1,021 providers remained in place.

    Source: Bloomberg News

    Shenzhen police arrest Zhang Wei, calling China Create Capital a ‘mafia-like gang’ (SCMP), Rated: A

    China Create Capital Limited, the investment holding company headed by the 46-year-old Heilongjiang native is a “mafia-style gang” involved in illegal fundraising, harassment, blackmail, illegal detention of people and the possession of firearms, the Shenzhen police said in a notice. The whereabouts of Zhang, who was arrested with 43 other executives of China Create, could not be ascertained.

    The arrests are the latest in the Chinese government’s crackdown on crime and corruption in the country’s financial system and capital markets, where 1,129 “mafia-like” syndicates were broken up across 10 provinces last year, with 4.94 billion yuan (US$737 million) of assets seized, according to the police. A number of Chinese oligarchs including Anbang Group’s

    former chairman Wu Xiaohui

    , CEFC Group’s founder Ye Jianming and financier Xiao Jianhua had fallen from grace since 2017.

    $ 60 Million and Rising: China’s Crypto Funds Try Lending to Beat Bear Market (CoinDesk), Rated: A

    These new crypto lenders include such notable names as Bixin Capital, FBG Capital and DGroup, founded by Dong Zhao, who made a name by operating one of the longest-running over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks in China. Along with a startup called Babelbank, these investors have originated a combined $60 million worth of loans over the last five months, denominated in cryptocurrencies or, in one firm’s case, Chinese yuan.

    European Union

    Klarna launches global customer authentication platform (Klarna), Rated: AAA

    Klarna today announced the launch of its global authentication platform — an aggregator with multiple global and local authentication solutions. The platform allows multinational businesses, including merchants and other banks, to provide a simple, secure and personalised customer authentication experience irrespective of market, through a one-time integration.

    Klarna Sees Payments as Evolving From Function to Engagement (WWD), Rated: A

    Klarna’s Hannah Bravo says customers chose brands based on payment options.

    This New Tool Is Helping Retailers Build Consumer Trust During Online Checkouts (Footwear News), Rated: B

    The Klarna platform enables businesses to choose from a range of global and local authentication methods so that they can find one that works best for their customer. Whether using SMS verification or emailed one-time passwords, brands and retailers can verify their customers’ identities with minimal interruption to the consumer’s shopping journey.

    International

    Drivers of Global Growth in FSB’s Shadow Banking (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

    DBRS sees significant risks stemming from continued growth in shadow banking globally. Assets are now at $52 trillion globally, up from $30 trillion in 2010, according to the FSB. The U.S. has the largest concentration with 29% of global shadow banking assets. But, this is down from 48% in 2010, as other regions are growing faster.

    Summary highlights of the commentary include:

    • Shadow banking is still growing. This narrow, but rapidly growing, subset of nonbanks had assets of $52 trillion in 2017, up 75% from $30 trillion in 2010.
    • Since 2010, assets of nonbanks are also growing, up 61% to $185 trillion. That is 49% of the $378 trillion in total global assets in all financial institutions at the end of 2017, up significantly from 44% in 2010.
    • The key driver of this growth in nonbank assets is the expansion of OFIs. These OFIs are defined as all financial institutions that are NOT central banks, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, public financial institutions, or financial auxiliaries. Assets at these OFIs grew 71% since 2010 to a record $117 trillion in 2017, or just over 30% of assets in financial institutions globally.
    • By far, the largest segment of shadow banking globally is collective investment vehicles, which are subject to runs. These include fixed income funds, mixed funds, MMFs and hedge funds. Since 2010, this segment has grown by 130% to $36.7 trillion in assets. By contrast, growth in other segments has been less than $1 trillion, or even negative.

    Read the full report here.

    Crypto Lending Platform Salt Adds Support for Dash as Collateral (Crypto-Economy), Rated: A

    Cryptocurrency lending platform Salt will now be allowing its users to collateralize their Dash holdings including their Masternode staking coins to access loan facilities.

    India

    RentoMojo in talks to raise $ 40 million from GMO, others (livemint), Rated: A

    For RentoMojo, the latest fundraise comes almost two years after it raised $10 million in July 2017 from Bain Capital, Accel and Chiratae Ventures. Renauld Laplanche, chief executive of US-based Lending Club, also took part in his personal capacity.

    Asia

    Housing sector remains major source of complaints: BPKN (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

    The BPKN received 154 complaints in the first quarter, most originating from the housing sector. BPKN communications and education coordinator Arief Safari said the agency had received 129 complaints on the housing sector in the first quarter, followed by six complaints on online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, three on banking and the remainder on various sectors, including travel and e-commerce.

    Batumbu to help finance SMEs (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

    PT Berdayakan Usaha Indonesia has announced that it aims to help small and medium enterprises (SME) access financial capital through a partnership program with its digital platform Batumbu.

    MENA

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

    The post Thursday April 11 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

    Thursday February 14 2019, Weekly News Digest

    OnDeck revenues

    News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi invests in Apex Clearing. Zopa chairman steps down. Ratesetter ISA tops 17M GBP in first year. Assetz Capital surpasses 700M GBP in lending. Revolut denies getting Lithuanian bank license to influence politics. Today’s main analysis: OnDeck’s Q4 earnings review. Today’s thought-provoking articles: What’s happening with auto loans. How Amazon controls small businesses with lending. Banks […]

    The post Thursday February 14 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

    OnDeck revenues

    News Comments

    United States

    United Kingdom

    European Union

    International

    Other

    News Summary

    United States

    SoFi held talks to acquire a fintech company backing some of the hottest robo advisors as it eyes expansion beyond its lending roots (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

    OnDeck Q4 2018 Earnings Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

    The company achieved much of what they set to do in 2018 and posted another solid quarter as they rounded out the year. Q4 2018 net income came in at $14 million on gross revenues of $109.5 million. The company ended the year with a total of $27.7 million in net income. Below is a snapshot of their Q4 and 2018 full year highlights.

    As of Q4 2018 the company still had $246 million of excess debt capacity.

    BB&T and SunTrust merger; Tech in Bank Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

    The Fed’s January 2019 Senior Loan Officer Survey showed that banks tightened standards for commercial real estate (CRE) loans. Overall, banks tightened standards for credit card borrowers. However, lending standards for most categories of consumer loans and C&I loans remained unchanged. Banks also reported weaker demand for both business and household loans.

    Source: Federal Reserve, PeerIQ

    BB&T agreed to buy SunTrust for $28.2 Bn – the first major mega-bank deal in a decade. This deal will create the sixth-largest US retail bank. The M&A is supported by a constructive regulatory environment fostered by the OCC and CFPB, among others. The previous large acquisition was the JP Morgan acquisition of Bank One in 2004.

    A major motivation for the deal was the ability of both banks to pool resources to build better digital offerings. SunTrust has a FinTech focused fund and has partnered with FinTech lenders to provide home improvement and small business loans. Banks are investing billions in digital tech spend to maintain relevance with customers that are increasingly eschewing bank branches for a seamless, online, full-service banking and wealth management customer experience.

    Auto Loans in High Gear (Liberty Street Economics), Rated: AAA

    Total household debt increased modestly, by $32 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. Although household debt balances have been rising since mid-2013, their sluggish growth in the fourth quarter was mainly due to a flattening in the growth of mortgage balances. Auto loans, which have been climbing at a steady clip since 2011, increased by $9 billion, boosted by historically strong levels of newly originated loans. In fact, 2018 marked the highest level in the nineteen-year history of the loan origination data, with $584 billion in new auto loans and leases appearing on credit reports, up in nominal terms from 2017’s $569 billion. In this post, we take a closer look at the composition and performance of outstanding auto loan debt using the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which is based on anonymized Equifax credit data and also the source for the Quarterly Report.

    Amazon’s lending perpetuates the tech giant’s control over small businesses (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

    Amazon runs a marketplace with 2.5 million sellers, 24,000 of which had more than $1 million in sales on the platform in 2018. These sellers represent the potential customer base for the company’s lending model.

    From this base of borrowers, Amazon has been able to reportedly lend over $1 billion in 2017, exceeding  $3 billion in total lending volume from its inception in 2011 to 2017. As for 2018, in its annual report, the company reported receivables outstanding from their lending program of $710 million, up from $692 million a year prior.

    With access to detailed information and data on each seller, Amazon is able to mitigate lending risk substantially. Seller metrics only available to Amazon are utilized to determine a small business’s creditworthiness. Sales history, product offerings, customer service feedback, and shipping metrics enable Amazon’s lending business to have better insight into how to accurately issue loans. This allows Amazon to have an understanding of the health of each small business on its seller marketplace.

    Goldman Sachs, Point72 and others invest $ 44 million in business credit startup Nav (Reuters), Rated: A

    Nav, a startup that gives small businesses free access to their credit reports, said on Monday that it had raised $44 million from investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Point72 Ventures and Experian Ventures (EXPN.L).

    Well Fargo Outage Points to Opportunity in Digital Banking (Lend Academy), Rated: A

    Wells Fargo is still digging out from a PR disaster last week when the bank went offline for a large segment of customers due to a fire alarm triggered in a server facility in Minnesota. Customers could not access the mobile app, the website or ATMs. The incident has been used to highlight how big an opportunity there is for fintech firms or more nimble banks.

    What the outage shows is that bank infrastructure is still stuck in the past, analysts rightly askedwhy Wells Fargo did not have the bank running on a cloud based system.

    Digital bank Chime seemed to benefit from the news with more than 10,000 accounts being opened, a record 24 hour period for the startup.

    new survey by Fraedom says 80 percent of banks believe challengers have impacted their business and 30 percent say they are their biggest threat.

    Susan Ehrlich of Earnest (Lend Academy), Rated: A

    Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Susan Ehrlich, the CEO of Earnest. They are one of the largest student loan refinancers in the country and they also offer personal loans. Back in 2017 Earnest was acquired by the student loan servicer Navient which was itself spun out from Sallie Mae in 2014.

    Government Shutdown Slows SBA Lending Volume, Approval Percentage Dipped Slightly in January (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

    Business loan approval rates dropped three-tenths of a percent at regional and community banks in December 2018. Small bank approvals dropped a full percentage point from 49.9% in December 2018 to 48.9% in January.

    Small business loan approval rates for big banks remained at a record high 27% in January 2019, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, which examines more than 1,000 small business credit applications made via its online lending platform.

    Goldberg added that since reopening on January 28, her office has guaranteed more than 200 SBA loans worth $59.3 million.

    Institutional lenders climbed up to 65.1 %, a jump of three-tenths of a percent from December’s mark of 64.8%.

    Loan approval rates among alternative lenders rose from 56.6% in December to 57.3% in January, a jump of seven-tenths of a percent.

    Citi rolls out new personal loan, online savings account (American Banker), Rated: A

    Citigroup has launched a new consumer loan product and a new high-yielding savings-account as part of its rollout of its new digital bank.

    The New York bank recently introduced Citi Flex Loan, which allows select existing Citi credit card customers to convert part of their credit lines to a loan with a fixed annual percentage rate, Mark Mason, Citigroup’s incoming chief financial officer, said Tuesday at an investor conference.

    Square’s banking bid avoids backlash that doomed Walmart’s (American Banker), Rated: A

    As Square seeks federal approval for a Utah industrial loan company, the fintech’s bid has so far avoided the kind of loud, public opposition that marred past ILC bids by higher-profile nonbanks.

    Community banks still criticize the ILC charter as a banking loophole for non-financial firms, and the Independent Community Bankers of America opposes Square’s application.

    Almost 60% of small business owners launch with less than $ 25,000 (CNBC), Rated: A

    At least that’s according to entrepreneurs polled recently by Kabbage, a financial services and data platform serving small businesses. More than half of those polled, or 58 percent, started their businesses with less than $25,000. A third started with less than $5,000.

    These numbers track with the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which found that the median cost to start or acquire a company is about $25,000. It did find fewer businesses that begin with less than $25,000, only 46 percent, though that could be due to its inclusion of new owners who purchase existing operations as well owner starting from scratch.

    LoanStreet Adds Commercial Lending Features for Financial Institutions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    LoanStreet, an online platform that enables traditional finance like banks credit unions and other direct lenders to streamline the process of sharing, managing, and originating loans, has added new features. The SaaS platform now offers commercial loan origination and administration solution for any size financial institution, loan or deal volume.

    LoanStreet’s new lending features include:

    • Built-in collaboration tools offering the flexibility to originate the loan best suited to your borrowers’ needs without sacrificing the ability to invite other financial institutions into the deal.
    • Single access point allowing all parties, including borrowers, lenders, attorneys and auditors, continuous and secure access to the same information.
    • Integrated platform from origination to maturity avoids re-keying, duplication of efforts and eliminates transfer errors and other critical information loss that occurs over time.
    • Efficient process management enabling online, borrower self-service of key administrative tasks — including online payment acceptance — while improving internal controls and information flow.
    • Automated reporting facilitating completion of all applicable regulatory and financial entries for you and every investor.

    Velocity Investments sues woman for breach of contract, seeks ,500 in damages (Louisiana Record), Rated: A

    Velocity Investments LLC, assignee of Lending Club Corporation, filed a complaint against Heather Darling on Feb. 12 in the 24th Judicial District Court. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff states that the defendant has failed to pay off the balance of $22,495.23 plus interest on a contract between the parties. The defendant is accused of sums due on an open account and breach of contract.

    Online Loan Companies Are No Easy Fix for Desperate Borrowers (Real Daily), Rated: A

    Lending Club is currently the largest online lender in the world. By some estimates, Lending Club, which launched in 2007, facilitated anywhere between $35 billion and $55 billion in online loans in 2018.

    Now as more financial institutions are beginning to extend loans, Americans are falling even deeper into debt again. Americans, as individuals and households, owed over $13 trillion dollars, collectively, in 2018.

    Best News We’ve Heard All Day: More Single Women Own Homes Than Single Men (Pure Wow), Rated: A

    Online loan marketplace LendingTree reports that on average, single women own around 22 percent of homes, while single men own less than 13 percent. The study states that the gender gap in housing across the country is particularly interesting “given the average woman in the U.S. only makes 80 percent of what the average man does.” Interesting, indeed. (We can think of another word for it.)

    Thoma Bravo Is Buying Digital-Focused Mortgage Company (WSJ), Rated: A

    Thoma Bravo LLC has agreed to buy mortgage software firm Ellie Mae Inc. for $3.7 billion, the latest indication that challenges in the home-lending market are spurring consolidation across the industry.

    The transaction will give the private-equity firm control of a company whose technology has been used to help automate the closing of millions of home loans. Based in Pleasanton, Calif., Ellie Mae handles the technology that underpins the entire home-loan origination process, and its services are used in

    INSIKT Changes Name to Aura (Business Wire), Rated: B

    INSIKT, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced that it has changed its name to Aura to expand its focus on creating greater financial health, independence and economic stability for millions in America.

    Roostify Expands Advisory Board with Investment Virtuoso (Roostify), Rated: B

    Roostify, the San Francisco-based digital lending platform provider, announced today the addition of financial services consultant Marshall Lux to its advisory board. Lux, a distinguished consultant, advisor and educator, brings more than 30 years’ experience in private equity to the rapidly expanding business and reflects Roostify’s commitment to perfecting a scalable operational model and further developing an ecosystem of technology partners and strategic alliances.

    LendIt Fintech USA 2019 (LendIt), Rated: B

    April 8-9
    Moscone West
    San Francisco

    HIGHLIGHTED KEYNOTES

    Sallie Krawcheck
    CEO & Co-Founder
    Ellevest

    Rob Frohwein
    CEO & Co-Founder
    Kabbage

    Steven Streit
    CEO
    Green Dot

    Mike Cagney
    Co-Founder
    Figure

    United Kingdom

    Zopa chairman Giles Andrew to step down after 15 years (Independent), Rated: AAA

    Zopa’s co-founder Giles Andrew is to step down as chairman after 15 years at Britain’s oldest peer-to-peer lender.

    Zopa appoints Virgin veteran McCallum as chairman (Finextra), Rated: A

    P2P lender Zopa has appointed former Virgin Management CEO Gordon McCallum as chairman as it gears up for the forthcoming launch of its new banking venture.

    Ratesetter ISA tops £175m in first year (AltFi), Rated: AAA

    The peer-to-peer lending platform said its ISA accounts for one-fifth of its £830m of funds under management.

    Peer-to-peer lending platform Ratesetter said it has been “blown away” by the popularity of its first ISA product, which has hit £175m of subscriptions a year after launch.

    Assetz Capital surpasses £700m lending mark (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

    Assetz Capital has now lent over £700m to SMEs and property developers since launching in 2013.

    The P2P lending platform has enjoyed significant progression, providing over £200m of funding in the eight months since it surpassed the £500m lending milestone in June 2018.

    Former Assetz Capital founder launches fintech consultancy (AltFi), Rated: A

    The co-founder of one of Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lenders has launched a fintech consultancy to help young firms “avoid some of the mistakes made by the early incumbents of the industry”.

    Former Assetz Capital chief credit officer Andrew Holgate will lead a team of City veterans at consultancy Equitivo, which will help growing fintech firms raise cash, focus on strategy, trim operations and boost performance.

    ‘There is no magic bullet, people will get P2P over time’ (FT Adviser), Rated: A

    The chief operating officer of peer-to-peer platform Relendex, Max Lehrain, has concerns about the Financial Conduct Authority’s crack down on P2P lenders and crowdfunding platforms.

    UK challenger bank Starling secures £75m for European expansion (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

    Life is sweet for UK challenger bank Starling as it has raised £75 million in funding for its expansion plans in Europe.

    It got £60 million in a Series C round led by Merian Global Investors, including the Merian Chrysalis Investment Company.

    Monzo Launches First 100 Business Accounts (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    UK challenger bank Monzo announced on Monday the launch of its first 100 business accounts. This news comes just a few months after Monzo revealed it was considered business banking, with Founder and CEO, Tom Blomfield, stating 2019 plans included business accounts. Speaking about the new accounts, Monzo reported:

    Main Street banks say fintechs like Monzo, N26 and Chime pose the biggest disruptive threat to their businesses (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Main Street banks believe upstarts like Monzo, N26 and Chime, known as challenger banks, pose a significant threat to their business, according to a recent survey.

    Fraedom, a credit card specialist who works with companies like Visa, SunTrust, and Bank of Montreal, surveyed bankers on what some of the biggest impacts to their business will be in 2019. The vast majority (80%) believe challenger banks have an increased impact to their business, and 30% pegged the new competitors as the biggest disruptive threat to their business in 2019.

    Tandem Bank boss calls for rate cut to kick-start UK economy (AltFi), Rated: A

    Ricky Knox, chief executive of app-only lender Tandem Bank called on the central bank to cut rates to kick-start growth, as currently savers are locking away cash in specialist higher interest accounts.

    Peer-to-Peer Lending and Brexit (4th Way email), Rated: A

    Shares plunged and the pound plummeted to a 31-year low when the UK voted to leave the EU. More recently chaotic Brexit negotiations indicate a disorderly exit that could see investors avoid traditional investments in the UK, but what does this mean for peer-for-peer lending and should lenders be worried?

    Bank and P2P lending is far less volatile than equity investing, because:

    • It is short-term orientated.
    • Lenders easily diversify widely across thousands of investments – loans – as opposed to a typical stock investor who diversifies across hundreds of shares through share funds.
    • In P2P lending, buy/sell price swings, often fuelled by uncertainty, are usually irrelevant, since lenders hold loans for the full term.
    • Lenders are usually in a better place in the queue compared to equity investors when recovering losses is involved, which can mean smaller losses on individual investments (loans) that go wrong.
    • With lending being data driven, recession conditions are easier to plan for. A turbulent P2P Brexit would mean a tripling of defaulting loans in some kinds of lending and cut-price sales of borrowers’ assets. Interest rates and reserve funds are prepped for most disasters, leaving a very low chance of a sizeable overall loss on a well-diversified, low-risk lending portfolio.

    Most investors in peer-to-peer lending are using platforms that are run by people with relevant banking experience. The banks, when we look at their bread-and-butter lending, have found it easy to maintain net profits even during multiple downturns over the past 20 years, which includes the Great Recession. This is across the spectrum of lending, from buy-to-let mortgages to personal loans and credit cards. Perhaps surprisingly, retail and small business lending combined was still profitable for the UK’s high street banks during the 2008 and 2009 crash.

    Learn more about 4th Way here.

    Mojo Mortgages secures £7million to revolutionise the UK mortgage experience (Manchester Digital), Rated: A

    Mojo Mortgages, a fintech start up based in the North West has secured £7million in Series A funding to transform the mortgage experience.

    Mortgage Brain boosts user numbers (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

    Mortgage Brain welcomed over 2,000 new customers during 2018 with a host of national networks, corporate firms and individual adviser firms choosing to use one or more of its products and services.

    A number of new customers – including Censeo, Intelligence Mortgage Solutions, Your Expert Group, Affinity Mortgages and Your Mortgage Solutions – as well as a number of contract renewals and user license increases, have all contributed to Mortgage Brain’s growth throughout 2018.

    UK inflation below official target for first time in 2 years (Miami Herald), Rated: A

    Lower energy costs as well as a waning impact from the pound’s sharp fall in the aftermath of the country’s Brexit vote have helped consumer price inflation in Britain fall below the Bank of England’s target of 2 percent for the first time in two years.

    The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that consumer prices rose by 1.8 percent in the year to January, down from the 2.1 percent recorded in the previous month. Inflation has been consistently falling since August as the effects of the pound’s decline drop out of annual comparisons. The latest decline was further accentuated by a fall in the price of electricity, gas and other fuels.

    Inflation is now at its lowest since January 2017, when inflation was also 1.8 percent.

    Arbuthnot Commercial ABL delivers £12m refinancing facility (Bridging Loan Directory), Rated: B

    Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Ltd. is delighted to announce it has completed a £12m refinancing for L&C Limited, trading under Red 7 Marine (“R7M”), provider of nearshore access solutions to the UK marine construction and maintenance industry, and an investee company of Perwyn Private Equity (“Perwyn”).

    European Union

    UK fintech unicorn Revolut forced to deny links to Russia (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

    Unicorn challenger bank Revolut has strongly denied claims that its activities in securing a banking license in Lithuania are attempts to interfere in the country’s politics.

    Revolut was granted a European Banking License in Lithuania in December but has since faced claims of interfering in the country’s political processes by Lithuanian Member of Parliament Stasys Jakeliūnas, chair of the Lithuanian parliament’s budget and finance committee.

    German Lending Marketplace auxmoney Overtakes Midsize Banks in Consumer Loan Origination (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    Düsseldorf-based Fintech auxmoney has surpassed its targets in 2018. Loan volume increased by 74 percent compared to 2017. Raffael Johnen, Founder and CEO of auxmoney, commented:

    “While the major German banks are in crisis mode, the leading German fintechs are always setting new records. With our continuously strong growth, we managed to be the first credit marketplace to catch up with medium-sized banks in Germany.”

    It issued new loans totaling €551 million last year.

    Auxmoney Now Stands for 0.5% of the Market of German Consumer Loans (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

    German p2p lending marketplace Auxmoney announced that it has facilitated 551M EUR in consumer loans in the year 2018. Up 74% compared to 2017. Approximately 73,000 loans were financed. That would mean Auxmoney now stands for a market share of roughly 0.5% of the market.

    Gymshark teams up with Klarna to announce pay later service (RLI), Rated: B

    Fitness wear brand Gymshark has announced the launch of a pay later service in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. The company is now in a partnership with Klarna, a payments provider which will offer Gymshark the new payment option. The payment service will allow online shoppers to try on items at home before paying for the order.

    Instantor releases report on how machine learning is revolutionising credit risk management in Europe (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

    Instantor, the 3rd. fastest growing Swedish FinTech who makes tough calls easy within credit risk management presents “Credit Risk Management 2019 – How Do You Stack Up?”, a report based on a survey conducted by Instantor across Europe among top executives within leading financial organisations. The report reveals that two-thirds of these players are well underway to implementing machine learning (ML) and the majority benefits from its implementation within credit risk management.

    International

    30 Under 30 Europe: The Young Money Merchants Shaping Financial Markets In 2019 (Forbes), Rated: AAA

    Finance is hardly known for its youthfulness, yet this year’s Finance 30 Under 30s are proving that an old industry can learn new tricks. These young venture capitalists, fintech entrepreneurs, crypto enthusiasts and Millennial bankers, with an average age of just 27, are reshaping the sector and transforming our relationship with money.

    The Next Global Financial Meltdown Is Just Around the Corner (Equities.com), Rated: AAA

    As Bloomberg reported last year:

    Shadow banking in China has ballooned into a $10 trillion ecosystem which connects thousands of financial institutions with companies, local governments and hundreds of millions of households. The practice is now at the center of a Chinese government-led regulatory crackdown aimed at defusing financial risks that threaten the wider economy. Unlike in the U.S., traditional commercial banks drive shadow banking, or unregulated lending, in China. That’s because the banks have been able to keep shadow-banking assets off their balance sheets, thereby sidestepping regulatory constraints on lending.

    About 169 million Chinese, or about 12 per cent of the population, have invested in wealth management products online, a rise of 66 per cent from two years ago, according to a Moody’s report published this month. Essentially, they are putting money into the shadow banking system.

    “The picture is different in the European Union. Here, the shadow sector now accounts for perhaps 30–40% of total financial intermediation. But it is growing. Between 2012 and 2016, shadow banking as broadly measured expanded by almost 40% in the eurozone.

    Atlanta-based IDology to Be Acquired by GBG for $ 300m (PR Newswire), Rated: A

    GBG, the UK-headquartered Identity Data Intelligence specialist, today announces that it has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of IDology, a US-based provider of identity verification and fraud prevention services, for $300m (£233m) in an all-cash transaction.

    Nexo lending to offer crypto-backed loans with Blockport exchange (Bankless Times), Rated: B

    Blockport users will be able to use the Nexo platform to get crypto loans, offering them another alternative to selling their cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies. Instead of selling they cryptocurrency assets, Blockport users can now keep their crypto, with all potential upsides, and leverage them to get instant access to cash.

    Australia

    Next Growth Wave: Fintech (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

    In this article we look at some fintech companies, beyond investor’s normal horizon of the United States. In Australia there is a small cluster of listed fintech companies that have started to explode. Some have made gains of 400% in a year and more than 1,000% on the back of strong revenue and turnover growth. Moreover because Australian companies lack access to large scale V.C. investments, technology companies often need to capital raise through a public listing.

    Zip Co. (ASX: Z1P)

    Zip Co. is quite similar to Afterpay and in some ways its closest competitor with an established market position. However in addition to payment splitting, it also offers interest based loans and is different in other ways.

    • Zip Co. is smaller with a market capitalization of $380 M AUD (about $266 M USD), but still has 12,600 retail partners including most of Australia’s largest retailers, however it hasn’t yet entered the U.S. or the U.K.
    • Zip Co. has Zip Pay, which provides a payment splitting application with no interest, but with more flexibility in length of time or repayment amount than Afterpay’s solution.
    • Zip Co. also has Zip Money also provides loans for purchases above $1,000 AUD, with a 3 month interest free period, but with an establishment fee of up to $99.
    • Source: Seeking Alpha

    Labor’s negative gearing policies could hurt first-home buyers (Your Mortgage), Rated: A

    “Despite Australia’s tight regulations on foreign investment, other overseas property markets are tighter – including China, Canada and New Zealand,” Driscoll said. “Unlike in Australia, the Chinese lack many appealing alternative investments at home and, due to government crackdowns on peer-to-peer lending, private equity funds and with the majority of their property being leasehold, many investors are forced to look elsewhere.”

    India

    India’s fintech future looks bright, but it needs to find its raison d’être (India Times), Rated: AAA

    Yet there is more room for growth. The market in India is still small; far more deals are being done in China, and for far higher valuations. Last year alone, venture capital investments into Chinese fintechs were more than 10 times larger than those in India, with 75 percent more deals.

    Although the value of investments in India declined by 21 percent in 2018 over the previous year, the number of deals actually rose 12 percent, making 2018 the most active year on record for fintech financing.

    RBI may change Rs 10 lakh lending cap on P2P platforms, say P2P players (India Times), Rated: A

    Peer to Peer or P2P players are hopeful that the comprehensive financial data sought by the Reserve Bank of India might help the regulator to take some major policy decisions concerning the industry.

    Asia

    Hundreds of unlicensed P2P lenders still operating in Indonesia (The Jakarta Post), Rated: AAA

    The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has found that 231 illegal peer-to-peer lending (P2P) providers, including those from other countries, have been operating in the country since January.

    An Overview on Peer-To-Peer Lending in Indonesia (Legal Business Online), Rated: A

    Two years following the enactment of Financial Service Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan/”OJK) Regulation No. 77/POJK.01/2016 of 2016 (POJK 77/2016), Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P Lending) has grown popular in Indonesia. Based on data from OJK per Oct. 2018, a total of 15,990,143,141,355 rupiah has been distributed to the borrowers in P2P Lending. It has grown 432.5% from Jan. 2018 until Oct. 2018. Until Dec. 2018, the number of P2P Lending Platform which has been registered and supervised by OJK has reached 88 companies, one of them has been given a license.

    Canada

    Finastra announces Siobhan Byron as new Head of Technology Enabled Managed Services (Finastra), Rated: A

    Finastra has appointed Siobhan Byron as Senior Vice President and Head of Technology Enabled Managed Services (TEMS). In this role, she oversees planning and execution, sales and marketing, research and development and product management across four lines of business including Checks, Enhanced Services, Student Lending and Canadian Mortgage Technology, all in the Canadian market. She oversees more than 1,300 employees that make up Finastra’s TEMS business.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

    The post Thursday February 14 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.