Thursday July 11 2019, Weekly News Digest

Asset-backed securities

News Comments Today’s main news: Morningstar completes DBRS purchase. Figure issues $85M in loans per month. Zopa chief says banks are trying to put fintech lenders in a box. DBRS praises Funding Circle. Yirendai’s Q1 results. Octopus expands into Germany. Today’s main analysis: Over 60% of purchase borrowers received mortgage rates under 4.5% last week (A […]

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Asset-backed securities

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United Kingdom

China/Hong Kong

European Union

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News Summary

United States

Former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney’s New Blockchain Startup Is Issuing $ 85 Million In Loans A Month (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Since the streamlined HELOC Mike Cagney, the co-founder and former CEO of fintech unicorn Social Finance (SoFi), knows that it is essential to focus on customer experience to build a loyal client base. Today, he is using that knowledge to create a platform aimed at driving mainstream adoption of blockchain technology in the financial sector.

Over 60% of Purchase Borrowers Received Mortgage Rates Under 4.25% Last Week (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Mortgage Rate Distribution

  • For 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, approximately 60.1% of purchase borrowers received offers of 4.25% or less. That is up from 57% of borrowers the previous week. A year ago, 0.06% of offers were under 4.25%.
  • Across all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications on LendingTree, 4.125% was the most common interest rate. This rate was offered to 14.3% of borrowers.
  • Of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage refinance borrowers, 72.8% received offers of 4.25% or less, which is up from 70.4% the previous week. A year ago, no refinance offers were under 4.25%.
  • Across all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage refinance applications, the most common interest rate was 3.875%, offered to 18.9% of borrowers.

Mortgage Rate Competition Index

  • Across all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications on LendingTree, the index was 1.19, down from 1.22 the previous week.
  • How big of a deal is it to get a mortgage APR that’s 1.19 percentage points lower than the competition? Over 30 years, that could translate to $56,826 in savings on a $300,000 loan (see Mortgage Savings Tracker graphic below).
  • The index was wider in the refinance market at 1.35, up from 1.34 the previous week. Refinance borrowers could have saved $65,108 by shopping for the lowest rate.
Source: LendingTree

It’s Taking Less Time to Close on a Mortgage in 2019 (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • The time to close in new purchase transactions has been steadily declining, from 74 days in 2017 to 51 days in 2018 and just 40 days thus far in 2019.
  • For refinances, the decline has been less dramatic: from 55 days in 2017 to 43 days in 2018 and just 38 days so far in 2019.
  • Some of the decline can be attributed to lower mortgage volumes, as refinancings have been on a downward trend. But increased digitization is also playing a major role.
  • Closing times vary based on the characteristics of the mortgage type and borrower. Having a higher credit score can knock a few days off: Purchase borrowers with scores above 760 averaged 38 days in 2019 compared with 45 days for those below 720. Refinancings did not show much variation by credit score.
  • Loan-to-value ratios below 80% had shorter closing times for refinances, at 37 days compared with 42 days on mortgages with a ratio above 95% in 2019.
  • Loan amounts also affect closing times, with lower amounts, perhaps surprisingly, taking the most time. Loans under $150,000 averaged 47 days compared with 39 days for those above the conforming limit ($484,350 in 2019). Why? Higher loan amounts are typically being made to more credit-worthy borrowers. Lower-priced homes may be in some form of distress or have some type of damage; lenders thus may require more extensive appraisals to better estimate the home’s value and this adds time to the process.

Mortgage Fintech Innovation (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

In broad-brush strokes, mortgage innovation centers on:

  • Customer experience (Better, Roostify, Blend, HomeCaptain) solutions are re-inventing the onerous mortgage with a digital experience, speeding decision times and opening up the lending buy box in the process.
  • Intermediation (OpenDoor, HomeLight, Zillow) – Some platforms are stepping in between buyers and sellers to provide liquidity, capturing transaction fees in the process
  • Data (House Canary, Zillow, Atom Data) – are amassing large data sets to providing accurate, standardized pricing models for investment decisioning
  • Banking 2.0 (SoFi, ZeroDown) – seek to provide a range of banking or investing services to consumers
Source: PeerIQ

Guaranteed Rate Companies Breaks 15 Company Records with Exceptional June Production Volume (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Guaranteed Rate Companies, one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the nation, announces 15 new company milestones—breaking its monthly total locked volume for the fourth consecutive month in June.

Breaks its record of total locked volume with $5.31 Billion earned across more than 15,000 units

Can Commercial Real Estate Investment Truly Be Democratized? (Commercial Observer), Rated: AAA

Most real estate crowdfunding sites continue to highlight the equalizing benefits of the model. Fundrise provides “access to a once-unattainable investment class,” and Rich Uncles, which has a minimum of $5, wants to “level the playing field” for the average investor. The sites offer investments in funds that focus on income-producing assets, like single-tenant office, multifamily housing and convenience centers nationwide.

Jeff Holzmann, the former COO of crowdfunding site iintoo, says the definition of an accredited investor is very divisive: “You can have an economics degree, and if you make $199,000 a year, you can’t invest, but Kim Kardashian can walk right on up and buy a multifamily building for $200 million. Should our bar be set by how much money you make?”

Ryan Williams Is Bringing the ‘Proptech’ Revolution to Real Estate Investing (Fortune), Rated: A

Real estate is an industry notoriously stuck in its ways and slow to change. Cash-generating, bricks-and-mortar assets are at the very heart of the enterprise, and in many ways, business is conducted the same way it was 100 years ago. Until recently, real estate owners, investors and brokers had little patience for the kinds of technological advances that have swept through myriad other industries.

But that’s all changing now. Just as there’s fintech, medtech, edtech and regtech, so is there proptech—and there are few companies in the realm of real estate technology as closely watched as Cadre, led by a 31-year-old Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs alum named Ryan Williams.

7 Reasons Why Long Distance Investing Isn’t As Risky As You Think (Forbes), Rated: A

In 2019 we have many ways we can verify the information we are provided when we invest outside of our own market. These methods will be the focus of this article. By the time you’re done with this, I think you’ll have a much better understanding of how to conduct due diligence, why out out state investing isn’t as risky as you thought, and why I’m such a big proponent of it

1.The Internet

There is very little you can’t find out with a little online searching.

2. You Can Find Rent Estimates Easily

Websites like Rentometer and Craigslist make a preliminary rent search fast and easy.

7. You Can Find Comps Yourself Online

BlueVine Reaches $ 2 Billion In Total Funded Volume (Bluevine), Rated: A

This past month, BlueVine achieved a major milestone, having provided access to more than $2 billion in total working capital to businesses across the nation.

Finitive Announces $ 100 Million Credit Facility For Platinum Auto (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Finitive announced on Monday its client Platinum Auto of Tampa Bay secured a $100 million credit facility through its platform. Platinum notably purchases auto loan contracts from a network of over 300 auto dealers in the southeast region of the U.S.

Affirm lets you pay off a large online purchase over time — here are 35 stores that accept it (Business Insider), Rated: A

You can apply for a loan as you’re shopping at one of many Affirm’s partner stores, which include women’s and men’s fashion, furniture, sports and fitness, electronics, jewelry, and watch brands.

You can see which online retailers accept Affirm below.

They’re divided by category and we’ve also designated which ones offer loans starting at 0% APR with an asterisk.

Will Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Buy Now, Pay Later” Plan Lock in Gen Z Shoppers? (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) recently partnered with payment solutions provider Klarna to let U.S. shoppers split purchases into up to four interest-free payments over two months. A&F is aiming this “buy now, pay later” system — which its rival Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) has also adopted — at younger shoppers with less spending power.

But will “buy now, pay later” work?

Only a third of millennials have credit cards according to Bankrate. The average millennial in the U.S. also has a net worth of just $8,000 according to Deloitte, which gives them significantly less spending power than previous generations. Most Gen Z shoppers don’t have credit cards yet. They mostly use debit cards or linked payment apps, which restrict purchases to the amount of cash in their bank accounts.

rue21 is Totally on Trend with the Addition of Klarna (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Klarna, the global alternative payments provider, is getting trendy with the Millennial favorite fashion brand rue21. Customers can choose to pay with four equal payments collected bi-weekly – with no interest or fees. With Klarna, these cool customers get the ability to stay ahead of trends even faster with a smooth checkout and a payment option that boosts flexibility and purchase power.

The necessity for businesses to keep up with the customer is increasingly important considering that U.S. shoppers admit to buying clothes and accessories online an average of 10 times a year. For Gen Z shoppers, aged 16-24, this number increases to 18 times per year, with nearly a quarter (23%) of them admitting to shopping online 1-3 times per month. Millennials are shown to shop online 14 times per year and the 55+ age group, 8 times per year. Considering these Millennial and Gen Z demographics are credit card averse and debt conscious, Klarna delivers an appealing and accessible method for shoppers to take control of their finances in a manageable way.

Metro Denver businesses mostly seeing green, not red (Denver Post), Rated: A

Of 42,610 businesses in metro Denver, 29,560 or 69.4 percent reported turning a profit, according to an analysis from online lender LendingTree.

That placed fifth out of the 50 metro areas that LendingTree ranked based on Census Bureau data. Seattle had a business profitability rate of 70.9 percent, making it the leader nationally. The only other cities ahead of Denver were Louisville, Ky.; Indianapolis and Portland, Ore.

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Climbs on Bigger Credit Card Balances (Bloomberg), Rated: A

U.S. consumer debt climbed in May at about the same pace as a month earlier, led by the largest advance in revolving debt outstanding since October, suggesting Americans’ favorable economic outlook is underpinning continued spending.

Total credit rose $17.1 billion from the prior month, in line with the median estimate of economists, following a $17.5 billion gain in April, Federal Reserve figures showed Monday. While credit card and other revolving debt outstanding increased at a faster rate, non-revolving credit posted the smallest increase in almost a year.

Small Business Loan Approvals at Big Banks Hit Record Highs (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Approval rates for small business loan applications inched up to yet another record high of 27.6% at big banks ($10 billion+ in assets) in June, while the approval percentage also climbed at small banks, hitting 50% for the first time in 2019, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Indexreleased today.

Small bank approvals of small business loan applications climbed one-tenth of a percent from 49.9% in May to 50% in June.

Small business loan approval rates among alternative lenders dropped one-tenth of a percent to 57.0% in June, down a notch from 57.1% in May.

LendingTree Survey Finds 45% of Newlyweds Went into Debt for Their Wedding (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Approximately 45% of newlyweds between the ages of 18 and 53 went into debt to pay for their wedding. And once married, nearly half of the newlyweds who obtained wedding-related debt said money has caused them to consider divorce. On the flip side, only 9% of couples without wedding-related debt contemplate divorce.

LendingTree released its study on newlyweds and wedding expenses.

How Using Fintech Can Help Pay Off Student Loans (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Companies like SoFi, Laurel Road and Splash Financial are just a few of the fintech industry names that have made their way into the student lending world.

Credible. This is a platform that allows you to compare student loan refinance rates from eight different lenders.

LendKey. Similar to Credible, Lendkey is a platform that allows the borrower to compare refinance rates side by side.

CommonBond. CommonBond for Business offers a flex contribution program that includes an option to directly contribute to paying down employee student loans, or to work with employees on financial literacy techniques for reducing their debt.

Gradifi. Gradifi is another fintech offering refinance options, bundled with employee benefits packages called SLP, or “student loan paydown”.

Earnest. This fintech offers refinance options to individuals with a more limited credit history that may not qualify for other traditional options.

FutureFuel. FutureFuel uses behavioral economics, which is the study of human behavior to explain economic decisions people make.

3 Alternative Financing Options for Small Businesses in 2019 (Digital Journal), Rated: B

Online finance is a very popular option to emerge of late. A few click on the website can bring about quick processing and loan approval.

Another alternative financing option is that of merchant cash advance.

Crowdfunding is an innovative and extremely popular way to raise money for new ideas, concepts, prototypes and creative products.

New Study on Digital Identity Shows Changing Consumer Behaviors (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Today, according to Pew Research Center more than 50 million American adults are mobile-only consumers.

Each year, IDology publishes a Consumer Digital Identity Study aimed at giving businesses visibility into how consumer preferences and opinions related to identity and fraud are shifting. This year’s study confirms the continued movement toward mobile, finding that in the last 12 months, for the first time, consumers opened more new accounts online with their mobile devices than on computers. A closer look at the data shows that 50 million American consumers (20% of all online adults) registered for new accounts exclusively on a mobile phone, up 10% from last year. This growing number has implications for financial service providers as they strive to keep fraud out while giving consumers a seamless digital experience.

Online Lending Startup Tries To Push Usury Suit To Arbitration (Law360), Rated: B

Online lending startup MoneyLion told a North Carolina federal court Tuesday that a suit over alleged unlicensed payday lending belongs in arbitration, arguing the proposed class of borrowers had signed valid arbitration agreements when taking out their loans.

United Kingdom

Zopa boss Jaidev Janardana: big banks are trying to ‘put fintech lenders in a box’ (The Telegraph), Rated: AAA

In just a few months, a string of Zopa’s rivals in peer-to-peer lending have collapsed. Others have exited the sector altogether.

The latest company to fall into administration, Lendy, resulted in £165m of customer cash being put on the line and affected more than 20,000 investors.

Zopa survey finds Brits are more open about bank balance than Netflix password (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A survey of 2,000 adults by the peer-to-peer lender found that 47 per cent of respondents felt more comfortable revealing details about their bank accounts with their partner than their most intimate secret, while the same percentage would prefer to give an insight into their finances over their Netflix password.

Zopa looks to grow secured car finance offering (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

ZOPA is readying to launch its secured car finance product as a direct offer on its website, as it looks to expand this segment of the business.

Ratings agency backs Funding Circle strategy to tighten lending (AltFi), Rated: AAA

SME focused peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle was correct to proactively take the decision to tighten its lending criteria in pulling back from higher-yielding lower-quality loans, according to ratings agency DBRS.

Investor fintech demand drives record six months for Crowdcube (AltFi), Rated: A

Crowdcube saw revenues soar 39 per cent to £3.72m in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, with £103.4m pledged to companies through the platform.

NatWest-backed Esme hits £60m lending milestone (AltFi), Rated: A

Esme Loans said it has hit over £60m of lending to UK small businesses just two years after its launch.

The small business lender unit said its loans have leapt 20 per cent since the end of April.

Habito launches buy-to-let mortgages (Which), Rated: A

Online mortgage broker Habito has launched a comprehensive range of buy-to-let mortgages, as it makes its first foray into lending.

The brokers offers a range of two and five-year loans for landlords, as well as more niche three, seven and 10-year fixed terms.

FCA misconduct probes into retail financial services firms increase by a third (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE NUMBER of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) cases opened into misconduct in retail financial services has increased by 29 per cent in the past year.

The number of cases has increased to 101 for the 12 months ended 31 March, up from 78 the previous year, the FCA said in its annual report on Tuesday.

The regulator also said that the overall number of enforcement cases it is undertaking is up by 31 per cent over the past year – rising to 650 from 496 at the beginning of the year.

OakNorth lends £19.5m to Care Concern Group (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Klarna teams up with UK festival We Out Here (Retail Tech Innovation Hub), Rated: B

PayTech venture Klarna has announced a partnership with new jazz and electric festival We Out Here.

It will unveil a ‘Smoooth Sanctuary’ at the event, which will be held in Cambridgeshire in August.

China/Hong Kong

Yirendai Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results, Closing of Business Realignment Transactions with CreditEase (GlobeNewswire), Rated: AAA

First Quarter 2019 Operational Highlights

Consumer Credit—Yiren Credit

  • Total loan originations in the first quarter of 2019 reached RMB 10.9 billion (US$1.6 billion), representing a decrease of 45% from RMB 19.8 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Cumulative number of borrowers served reached 4,404,812, representing an increase of 15% from 3,824,341 in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Number of borrowers in the first quarter of 2019 was 149,715, representing a decrease of 48% from 287,166 in the first quarter of 2018.
  • The percentage of loan volume generated by repeat borrowers was 38.8% in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Total outstanding principal balance of loans reached RMB 63,213.8 million (US$9,419.2 million) as of March 31, 2019, representing a decrease of 16% from RMB 75,271.5 million March 31, 2018.

Reviewing China Rapid Finance Limited (XRF)’s and X Financial (NYSE:XYF)’s results (NBO News), Rated: A

This is a contrast between China Rapid Finance Limited (NYSE:XRF) and X Financial (NYSE:XYF) based on their analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, earnings and valuation. The two companies are Credit Services and they also compete with each other.

Earnings & Valuation

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
China Rapid Finance Limited 1 0.27 N/A -0.85 0.00
X Financial 5 0.00 N/A 0.85 6.34

Table 1 shows the top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation for China Rapid Finance Limited and X Financial.

Court Upholds Ruling That Sent Two Peer-to-Peer Lending Executives to Prison for Life (Caixin Global), Rated: AAA

Shanghai Kuailu Investment Group Co. Ltd., along with two affiliated companies, and 15 defendants were convicted of fraudulent fundraising or illegal fundraising or both, according to the final ruling (link in Chinese) made by the Shanghai High People’s Court on Tuesday.

Kuailu, along with its affiliates, illegally raised more than 43.4 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) from the public, causing 40,000 people to take financial losses, the court said.

Foreign Investment Restrictions in P2P Lending Intermediaries (Lexology), Rated: A

The Interim Administrative Measures for the Business Activities of Peer-to-Peer Lending Information Intermediaries define “peer-to-peer lending” as direct lending/borrowing realized between peers on an internet platform. Peers include natural persons, legal persons and other organizations.

Bitmain’s Affluent Co-Founder Establishes the New Crypto Startup Matrixport (All Stocks), Rated: A

With the hope of capitalizing on the recent rise of the Bitcoin price, the co-founder of the mining giant Bitmain, Wu Jihan, has organized a group to develop “Matrixport,” a financial services startup for cryptocurrencies. According to its CEO Ge Yuesheng, Matrixport will function as a one-stop-shop for not just safekeeping of digital assets but also for crypto lending and over-the-counter trading.

European Union

Online Lender October Pushes into Germany as it Continues Expansion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending platform October, which is based in France, has expanded in Germany, according to a blog post by CEO and founder Oliver Goy.

October has selected Thorsten Seeger, a Funding Circle veteran, as CEO of October Deutschland as its plots its ongoing expansion across Europe. October currently operates in France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Investors are putting £9bn to work in P2P Lending across Europe, UK still dominating (AltFi), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer lending market is now funding more than £9bn of loans across Europe each year with two thirds (67 per cent) of this funding coming through UK platforms.

Revolut brings the fintech battle to Berlin with a new hub (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

British fintech startup Revolut is opening a new European tech centre in Berlin, the home turf of its online-banking rival N26.

Lagan Investments takes 10% stake in Property Bridges (Irish Times), Rated: A

Lagan Investments, a fund founded by the North’s biggest house-builder, Kevin Lagan, has taken a 10 per cent stake in peer-to-peer lender Property Bridges and is to supply it with €5 million in lending capital.

International

Morningstar Names Detlef Scholz President of Expanded Credit Ratings Organization (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN) has named Detlef Scholz as president of its expanded, global ratings organization. The leadership announcement comes as Morningstar today completes its previously announced acquisition of DBRS, the world’s fourth largest credit ratings agency, for a purchase price of US$669 million.

Scholz will assume his new role Aug. 1, 2019 and report to Morningstar Chief Executive Officer Kunal Kapoor.

Source: Morningstar

View the Morningstar/DBRS overlapping ratings.

Deutsche Bank in partnership talks with SoftBank-backed OakNorth (Reuters), Rated: A

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is in talks with SoftBank-backed (9984.T) British fintech firm OakNorth to use the latter’s credit analysis and monitoring platform, a source with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters.

CoVEX Exchange — A Single Platform to Complete the Entire Crypto Lifecycle (Coinfomania), Rated: B

P2P loan: The CoVEX platform also implementing a decentralized p2p lending service. This allows users across the world to receive loans in lesser time and even reduces the repayment fee while at the same time protecting the interests of the lender.

Australia/New Zealand

An alternative loan scheme could help 2.1 million Australians in financial distress (UNSW Sydney), Rated: AAA

A social lending scheme could help bridge the gap between traditional lenders and government welfare for the 2.1 million Australians under high levels of financial stress.

Alexa Chung partners with Klarna challenger Laybuy (AltFi), Rated: A

Payments platform Laybuy has struck a new retail partnership with fashion brand of Alex Chung  – called ALEXACHUNG – allowing customers to spread the cost of purchases over six equal weekly payments.

New Zealand’s largest digital buy now, pay later app launched in March with its first partnership with Footasylum.

The true role of the SME broker (Australian Broker), Rated: A

Yet SMEs are being stiffed by traditional lending practices: 44% of small businesses have been knocked back for finance in the last 12 months. Put simply, SMEs are being underserved and ignored by the banks.

India

‘NiYO’ Raises US$ 35 Mn in Series B Round led by Horizons Ventures & Tencent (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Indian new-age digital banking start-up NiYO Solutions has raised US$ 35 million in Series B funding round from Horizons Ventures, Tencent and existing investor, JS Capital. NiYO is founded by banking veteran Vinay Bagri and technology veteran Virender Bisht. NiYO had previously raised US$ 14 million in funding rounds led by Prime Venture Partners. With the current round the total fund raised by NiYO is US$ 49 million.
Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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

Thursday May 2 2019, Weekly News Digest

fintech deals india china

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck publishes Q1 financial results. LendingClub to move 350 jobs out of San Francisco to Utah. Salary Finance picks SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin as CEO. Klarna rolls out payment plans for physical stores in UK. HeZhong International sets terms for IPO. India tops China as Asia’s top fintech funding source. Today’s […]

The post Thursday May 2 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

fintech deals india china

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United States

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United States

OnDeck Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced first quarter 2019 net income of $5.9 million, Adjusted Net Income of $8.3 million and gross revenue of $110.2 million.

Net income was $5.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, and decreased from the prior quarter’s net income of $14.0 million, 0.18 per diluted share, primarily due to higher loan loss provision, higher operating expenses and an accrual for income taxes.  Net income significantly improved from a loss of $1.9 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, in the year-ago period reflecting higher interest income from asset growth.

Adjusted Net Income was $8.3 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, and decreased from $15.9 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the prior quarter and increased from $6.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the year-ago period, reflecting the  aforementioned drivers.

Loans grew 3% sequentially and 19% from a year ago to $1.2 billion. Originations were $636 million, down from $658 million in the fourth quarter and up 8% from $591 million in the year-ago quarter.  The annual growth was broad-based with increases from both domestic and international operations as well as in both term loan and line of credit offerings. The average term loan size was unchanged sequentially at $53 thousand and was down from $58 thousand a year ago. Unit volume decreased 5% sequentially and increased 15% from the year-ago quarter.

Gross revenue was $110.2 million, essentially unchanged from the prior quarter, and up 22% from the year-ago quarter driven by higher interest income. Loan Yield of 35.6% decreased from 36.6% in the prior quarter reflecting a decline in portfolio performance while pricing was generally stable, and was unchanged from the year-ago quarter.

Interest expense of $11.3 million was essentially unchanged sequentially and decreased from a year ago despite a higher debt balance as borrowing rates improved. The Cost of Funds Rate continued to improve to 5.4%, a 20 basis point sequential improvement and a 140 basis point improvement from the year-ago quarter, as we refinanced debt at lower costs. First quarter financing activity included the extension and upsizing of four debt facilities aggregating to $595 million with improved terms.

Net Interest Margin was 29.5%, down from 30.0% the prior quarter as lower asset yields more than offset the impact from improved borrowing costs.  The increase in Net Interest Margin from 27.8% in the year-ago quarter was driven by improved borrowing costs.

Provision for loan losses increased to $43.3 million and the Provision Rate increased to 6.8%. The 15+ Day Delinquency Ratio increased 120 basis points sequentially to 8.7%.  Approximately half of the increase was in loans 15-89 days delinquent reflecting credit testing and economic trends, and the balance was in loans 90-days or more delinquent reflecting the change in our collection strategy for late-stage delinquencies. The Net Charge-off Rate increased to 12.2% and remains near the low end of our 12%-14% target range. The Reserve Ratio increased 30 basis points sequentially and 50 basis points from a year ago to 12.5%, reflecting portfolio quality trends and a higher proportion of 90-day plus delinquent loans, which have higher reserves.

Operating expenses increased from the comparable periods to $48.3 million, reflecting growth in the business and investments in our strategic initiatives, primarily technology and analytics. The Efficiency Ratio was 43.8%, up from 41.1% the prior quarter but improved from 49.3% in the year-ago quarter, while our Adjusted Efficiency Ratio* of 41.0% increased from 39.4% in the prior quarter and 40.1% in the year-ago quarter.

Provision for income taxes was $1.7 million compared to zero in 2018 when taxable income was completely offset by operating loss carryforwards. The effective tax rate was 24% and reflected a 21% U.S. federal rate, local and state income taxes, and losses in international subsidiaries.

Total assets increased 5% sequentially and 18% from a year ago to $1.2 billion primarily reflecting loan growth. Cash and cash equivalents was unchanged from year end at $60 million and decreased from $70 million a year ago. Other assets and other liabilities increased over the comparable periods as we recorded a net $28 million right-of-use asset in other assets and an equivalent increase in other liabilities stemming from the adoption of a new lease accounting standard. The 3% sequential increase in debt to $842 million was consistent with the growth in loans.

Total OnDeck stockholders’ equity of $309 million increased $10 million, or 3%, from year end and $45 million, or 17%, from a year ago.  Book value per diluted common share outstanding of $3.89 increased from $3.77 at year end and $3.40 a year ago.

Food Truck Satisfies as OnDeck Small Business of the Month (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

OnDeck today announced that Me So Hungry, a food truck business based in California, is its Small Business of the Month for April 2019. Owned by brothers Cory and Mike Ewing, Me So Hungry is the first food truck business to receive the OnDeck recognition.

LendingClub to slash San Francisco office, move 350 jobs to Utah (Mercury News), Rated: AAA

LendingClub, the online-loan marketplace, plans to wind down customer support operations in its home city of San Francisco and shift staff to Utah as it seeks to trim costs.

In an internal memo to staff reviewed by Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Scott Sanborn said LendingClub aims to have its teams completely out of San Francisco by December.

About 350 jobs will shift to Lehi, Utah, where LendingClub recently opened a new office.

SoFi Co-Founder Steps Back Onstage with Salary Finance (newKerala), Rated: AAA

Salary Finance announces SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin will be joining as CEO, Salary Finance Inc. (the US arm of the group).

Strong GDP Growth Continues (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

LendingTree Study Finds Tesla Drivers Have Highest Average Credit Scores (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released its study ranking car brands by their buyers’ average credit score. Tesla buyers have the highest with a score of 740. Chrysler buyers have the lowest scores, with an average score of 656.

Key findings

  • Luxury brand buyers occupied the top spots. TeslaPorsche and Lexus lead with average credit scores of 740, 727 and 699 respectively.
  • Chrysler buyers had the lowest average credit score at 656, but it’s worth noting that this still falls in the “fair” range. It’s also right around the average credit score for all used car purchases.
  • For most auto makes, a credit score in the good range (670-739) was enough to be approved for an auto loan. Of the 30 different makes analyzed, 22 had an average approved credit score fall into that range

Read the full report here.

Understanding Sequential Pay Structures (DBRS), Rated: AAA

In a January 2019 newsletter, DBRS discussed the Evolution of the Shifting Interest Structure in residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) transactions. Another common structure in RMBS transactions is the sequential pay structure.

The sequential pay structure is one of the most elementary and straight-forward structures in RMBS. Post-crisis, the sequential pay structure and its variations have been widely used in seasoned re-performing loan (RPL) and non-Qualified Mortgage (QM) transactions. Such structure largely benefits the senior classes in payment priorities over the subordinates.

Source: DBRS

Read the full report here.

Finitive Raises $ 6 Million Series Seed Round Led By Atomic Labs (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Finitive (www.finitive.com), a financial technology platform providing institutional investors with direct access to alternative lending investments, announced today that the firm raised approximately $6 million in a series seed financing. The round was led by Atomic Labs with participation from Ninepoint Partners – one of Canada’s leading private credit fund managers – as well as other investors and members of the management team.

Goldman Sachs, Regions help raise $ 55M for construction-lending fintech (American Banker), Rated: A

Built Technologies, a construction lending fintech platform, has raised $55 million in funding through Goldman Sachs and a handful of investors including Regions Financial, the company said Monday.

The Nashville, Tenn., company finished $31 million in series B funding through Goldman Sachs with the remainder amount raised by venture capitalists and Regions. The funding will help the 5-year-old fintech invest in research and development while building out its national client base, according to the firm’s CEO and co-founder, Chase Gilbert.

A busy month for fintech funding (American Banker), Rated: A

Novo, a challenger institution in the field of small-business banking, and the no-code platform provider Unqork held Series A funding rounds.

The online lender Upstart, which raised $50 million in a Series D round, says it can both lower loan loss rate and increase the number of customers underwritten.

Extend is building a platform to distribute digital cards by partnering with payment networks and card issuers. Another startup, MotoRefi, claims it can save consumers an average of $100 a month on vehicle refinancing by connecting them to trusted credit unions and community banks.

Moving Beyond Financial Literacy to Financial Empowerment (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Some of my thinking was prompted by this recent column in American Banker by Jennifer Tescher, the CEO of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).

There are several companies in this space doing great work in creating high quality products: EvenPayActivTrueConnect and HoneyBee all offer options to employers that help their employees who need access to quick financing. Even has a groundbreaking deal with Walmart that has resulted in 300,000 employees using their pay advance app.

MoneyLion has four million users and they are focused on ending financial stress for all Americans by taking a holistic approach and being proactive in providing help. Dave helps the 30 million people who are hit by overdraft fees each year by advancing $75 from their next paycheck. Tally is a fully automated debt manager to help consumers get out of credit card debt.

Inside Varo Money’s three-year quest for a bank charter (American Banker), Rated: A

Just ask Colin Walsh, the co-founder and CEO of Varo Money, who began discussions with regulators three years ago to charter a national bank. Though the fintech won approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last year to move forward, it is still waiting on an answer from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Cross River Teams Up With RS2 To Offer New Digital Banking Experience (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Cross River, a bank that delivers advanced financial and compliance products/services to the fintech industry, announced on Monday it has teamed up with RS2 to offer a new digital banking experience. Through the collaboration, Cross River and RS2 will provide merchants with a global payment experience for processing credit and debit card transactions, as well as digital banking for their workers and consumers.

Blend’s Erin Collard: Mortgages are the data superset of every other financial product (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Financial technology company Blend began building its platform by helping traditional institutions digitize mortgages, working with firms like Wells Fargo, US Bank and some regional banks and credit unions.

New York launches its own ‘mini CFPB’ (American Banker), Rated: A

New York has created a statewide financial protection division that will focus solely on corporate compliance and consumer issues, following similar efforts by New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The New York State Department of Financial Services on Monday named Katherine A. Lemire, a former assistant U.S. attorney, to be executive deputy superintendent of the agency’s newly created Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement division.

Think Finance to Pay CFPB $ 7 for Loan Violations (Bloomberg Law), Rated: A

A bankrupt payday lender will have to pay a $7 civil penalty to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over nearly $50 million in loans it issued in states where they were not legal, according to bankruptcy court filings.

Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana granted a stay in the CFPB’s litigation against Think Finance LLC on April 30, pending activity in the bankruptcy court.

Capital One drives auto finance deal with CarGurus (Finextra), Rated: A

CarGurus today announced a partnership with Capital One Auto Finance that will benefit both consumers and dealers.

The Most Powerful Women in Banking (American Banker), Rated: A

Camille Burckhart, Popular Inc.

Chief information and digital officer

Jacqueline Howard, Ally Financial

Senior director, corporate citizenship

Carrie Lichter, Fifth Third

Chief operational risk officer

Now you can pay for your flights in instalments with these booking companies (Lonely Planet), Rated: A

Online travel apps CheapOair and OneTravel will soon operate a new feature that allows customers to pay for their airfare in instalments. It means that customers don’t have to pay for the full cost of their flight upfront and can instead spread the cost out into more manageable payments that suit individual budgets, choosing between three-, six- or 12-month instalments. Fareportal, the company that operates CheapOair and OneTravel, said its partnering with online lender Affirm to introduce the new feature.

For example, a $300 (£230) purchase at 10% APR spread out over three months would cost $101.69 (£78) per month.

A recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed that Mississippi, Nebraska and Maine are the three states where small to medium businesses have grown the most year over year. This is according to sales in Amazon stores, specifically. More than half of the items sold in Amazon stores are from small to medium businesses.

The top 10 fastest-growing states breaks down as follows:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Nebraska
  3. Maine
  4. Texas
  5. Indiana
  6. Colorado
  7. North Dakota
  8. Vermont
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Missouri

The third-party physical product sales, which is what gets sold on Amazon stores primarily, passed $160 billion in 2018. Nearly 20% of rural small businesses generate 80% of their revenue by selling products online.

Unlocking the Digital Potential of Rural America (American Innovators), Rated: AAA

Unlocking the digital potential for rural small businesses across the country could add $47 billion to the U.S. GDP per year.

Increased adoption could grow annual revenues of rural small businesses by more than 21% over the next three years – the equivalent of $84.5 billion per year – with states in the South seeing the greatest benefit

Online tools and technology have the highest potential impact on rural small businesses with revenue under $100,000

Read the full report here.

Proof of Work: the slow but steady process of institutional adoption (The Block), Rated: A

Antonio from dYdX

dYdX is a decentralized exchange for margin trading, borrowing, lending, and eventually derivatives. dYdX allows traders to trustlessly short and get leverage on crypto assets.

  • DAI lending rate has been high due to strong demand to go leveraged long on ETH, peaking at over 77% APR returns for lenders over the weekend

Brendan from Dharma

Dharma is the easiest place to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies. It enables non-custodial peer-to-peer lending through smart contracts on Ethereum.

  • #ReFi with #DeFi continued in full force, leading to over 1.7m in borrow volume (nearly all Dai-denominated)

Lendio Franchise Opens in Erie to Expand Access to Capital for Local Businesses (Lendio), Rated: B

Lendio has announced the opening of a new Lendio franchise in Erie. Through the Lendio franchise program, John Fee, a local business owner himself, will help other entrepreneurs in the community apply for loans, review their options and secure funding, easing their financial hurdles.

Fundbox Selected By Brandwise To Power Net Terms For Suppliers, Agencies, And Retailers (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Today Fundbox announced that the sales technology leader Brandwise and Fundbox have entered into an exclusive agreement whereas Fundbox will be Brandwise’s business-to-business (B2B) trade financing partner.  Brandwise will leverage Fundbox’s business capital platform to power financing terms within the Brandwise ecosystem of 250,000 retailers.

White Oak Commercial Finance Adds to its ABL Originations Team (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

White Oak Commercial Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, announced today the appointment of Michael Goletz to Director of ABL Originations, covering the Midwest U.S. region. Mr. Goletz joins from WNB Specialty Finance, a division of Woodforest National Bank, where he was responsible for sourcing and structuring asset-based lending debt facilities ranging from $5 million to $25 million.

Urjanet Announces 2019 SPARK Award Winners (PR Web), Rated: B

Urjanet, the global leader in utility data aggregation, today announced the winners of its 2019 SPARK Awards: AvidXchange, Bright Power, SimpleBills and Guppy – four companies at the forefront of using utility bill data to better serve their customers, community partners, and the environment.

  • Most Innovative Use of Utility Data: SimpleBills. In addition to utility bill management, residents can use SimpleBills to report their utility bill payment history to credit bureaus through a unique opt-in service.
  • Leader in Financial Inclusion: Guppy. Through its partnership with Urjanet to acquire user-permissioned utility data, Guppy enables greater access to financial services for consumers, as well as background and ID checks for businesses, all while keeping the end user in control of their own data.
United Kingdom

Klarna gets physical: All UK payment methods now available in-store (Fintech Finance), Rated: AAA

Global payments provider Klarna has today announced that all its alternative payment options are available both in-store as well as online.

Klarna’s alternative payment options include:

  • Shoppers can pay later, up to 30 days after delivery of goods
  • Shoppers can pay for purchases in 3 equal instalments collected monthly
  • For higher-ticket items, consumers can use Klarna’s consumer finance in 6-36 month payment plans

£1bn debt fund launched for UK non-bank lenders (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

EUROPEAN Risk Capital (ERG) has launched a £1bn multi-client debt programme for UK-based, mid-market non-bank lenders.

The programme – titled ‘CreditStream’ – has a minimum deal target size of £10m, making it primarily suited to mid-sized lenders including bridging and development lenders, second charge mortgagees, consumer and SME funders, auto/equipment finance companies, and fintech lenders. The maximum deal size can be in excess of £100m.

Lendy execs launch wage advance firm (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Companies House documents show Brooke and Kelly, whosecurrent role at Lendy remains a mystery, set up a firm called Copious Capital in July 2018.

Copious Capital’s launch product is Pay Me Today, described as an “antidote to payday lending,” which lets companies approve and arrange salary advances for staff who need access to money before payday.

Lendy’s operations manager Pamela Guillamón owns between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of Pay Me Today, according to Companies House documents.

Woodford’s peer-to-peer exodus continues with VPC sale (Citywire), Rated: A

Fund manager Neil Woodford has followed his £88 million sale of his stake in peer-to-peer lending trust P2P Global Investments (P2P) by offloading his entire £40 million stake in rival VPC Specialty Lending (VSLV).

Relendex ‘very keen’ to get behind modular housing (Development Finance Today), Rated: A

Relendex is “very keen” to get behind modular housing, according to its chief operating officer Max Lehrain.
Development Finance Today recently reported on the difficulties lenders faced when funding modular builds, however Fintan explained some ways Relendex was able to feel comfortable with supporting such schemes.

OakNorth continues supporting British SMEs with senior lending hires (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – is bolstering its regional presence with the appointment of four senior team members in Manchester, the Midlands and the South West.

Christopher Swarbrick, who has 18 years’ banking experience, joins as a Senior Director, Debt Finance. 

Christopher Richards joins from RBS where he spent 11 years and most recently held the role of Senior Relationship Manager, managing a portfolio of 40 complex banking relationships.

Mother tells of ‘devastating’ impact caused by collapse of Eridge firm London Capital & Finance (Times Local News), Rated: B

THE mother of two sons, one of whom is autistic, has told of the impact on their lives brought about by the collapse of a Tunbridge Wells based investment firm.

Around 11,500 people are set to lose a total £237million following the demise of the company based at Eridge Park.

LCF were selling unregulated mini-bonds, offering investors an eight per cent return for money that was purportedly being lent to a range of businesses.

China

HeZhong International sets terms for $ 5 million US IPO (Nasdaq), Rated: AAA

HeZhong International Holding, which operates a peer-to-peer lending marketplace in China, announced terms for its US IPO on Wednesday.

The Shenzhen, China-based company plans to raise $5 million by offering 1.3 million shares at a price of $4. At $4, HeZhong International Holding would command a market value of $55 million.

European Union

Which digital banks have the best overdrafts? (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Starling Bank

The London-based challenger bank charges 15 per cent equivalent annual rate for arranged overdrafts.

Charges £2 a month for unarranged overdrafts as well as the standard rate of interest. Will waive charges if your monthly overdraft interest comes to less than 10p for the month. Operates a monthly fee cap of £2.

Runner up

Monzo

Customers with arranged overdrafts are charges a 50p charge every day your account is overdrawn by more than £20, up to a maximum charge of £15.50 a month.

The Rest

B

The digital lender, launched by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks in 2016, charges a 12.5 per cent equivalent annual rate on arranged overdrafts. On top of this it charges a fee of £6 a month. The bank charges £6 a day for unarranged overdrafts.

N26

The Berlin-based app-only bank, with more than 2 million customers in 24 countries, said it will launch an overdraft facility for its 200,000 UK account holders “soon.”

55 Investors Become the Co-Owners of a Building in Western Switzerland (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Foxstone (www.foxstone.ch) announces the acquisition, in crowdinvestment, of a residential building in Concise (VD) by 55 investors, of all ages and all backgrounds. They acquired a share of the building in co-ownership with a minimum amount of CHF 50’000.-

The total amount raised in co-ownership was CHF 3,250,000 for an acquisition price of the building of CHF 6,800,000, the remaining balance being financed by a mortgage. The net return on equity is 6.53%, which represents an annual return of CHF 3,265 for a CHF 50’000 investment. The Régie du Rhône takes care of the day-to-day management of the building.

How BBVA overhauled its mobile banking app (American Banker), Rated: A


International

Global fintech investment doubled in 2018 (HousingWire), Rated: AAA

Total global fintech investment increased from $50.8 billion in 2017 to a full $111.8 billion in 2018, according to KPMG’s The Pulse of Fintech, a biannual report that highlights key trends in fintech across the globe.

But the report showed something interesting when it comes to fintech – payments and lending continued to attract the most significant investment dollars globally.

China’s fintech funding dipped significantly in Q1 2019 (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Global fintech funding was down 13% from $7.3 billion in Q4 2018 to $6.3 billion in Q1 2019, according to a new report from CB Insights.

However, deal numbers increased from 427 in Q4 2018 to 445 in Q1 2019, despite early stage funding dipping, while mid- and late-stage funding increased. Moreover, funding actually ticked up 1.5% year-over-year (YoY) from $6.2 billion in Q1 2018.

P2P Industry is Likely to Shine Despite Troubles in China (Learn Bonds), Rated: A

According to a PWC report, the U.S. P2P market is likely to reach $150 billion by 2025. Another report from Allied Market Research indicates that Peer to Peer (P2P) market could grow at a CAGR of 51.5% from 2016 to 2022.

Efma White Paper Covers Potential of SME Ecosystem (Monitor Daily), Rated: A

Drawing insight from recent research, case studies and observations from bankers working closely with SMEs, this digest outlines the main challenges facing banks today when trying to attract SME customers, such as intense competition from new entrants like Alibaba-backed online lender MYbank and Tencent-backed WeBank in China. In other markets, like the UK, 63% of financial services players in 2018 didn’t exist a decade before.

Authors of the 2019 Geneva Report on the World Economy seek market participant input (Fintech Policy), Rated: B

The topic of this year’s Geneva Report on the World Economy will be “the future of banking.”

The authors of the report (Kathryn Petralia, Kabbage; Thomas Philippon, NYU Stern School of Business; Tara Rice, Bank for International Settlements and Nicolas Veron, Peterson Institute for International Economics and Bruegel) are asking for input from market participants.

Asia

India unseats China as Asia’s top fintech funding source (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

China’s massive fintech industry took a beating in recent months as the government continued to wind down online lending nationwide, rattling investor confidence.

Funding for fintech startups shrank 87.6 percent year-over-year to $192.1 million during the first quarter of 2019, a new reportfrom data provider CB Insights shows. India, which recorded $285.6 million raised for fintech startups in the period, overtook China to be Asia’s top fundraising hub for financial technology. Both countries clocked in 29 fintech deals, suggesting a cooling investor sentiment in China which saw its height of 76 deals just three quarters ago.

Source: CB Insights
India

Coming Together of Traditional Lenders and Fintech Players, Creating Better Opportunities (Entrepreneur), Rated: AAA

Fintech driven alternative lending is the second most funded and one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian fintech space. At last count, there were over 20 plus digital, alternative lending companies, each with their version of the truth, and probably another twenty in the stealth mode.

One thing common with most new age lending companies is that they rightly understand that they have a better chance of succeeding by collaborating with the existing lenders like Banks and NBFCs.

Canada

MOGO: A Rapidly Growing Canadian Fintech Provider (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Mogo (MOGO) is a rapidly growing Canadian fintech company with over 800K members that generates revenues from a series of innovative products to help consumers manage & control their financial health.

  • Mogo is a high growth disruptor. Was the company not fighting the headwinds of strategically exiting the short-term loan business that it phased out throughout 2018, it would have shown 71% revenue growth on what it calls “core revenues” or revenues of continuing operations. Core revenue, excludes the company’s legacy short term lending revenue which Mogo fully exited at the end of Q3 2018. In 2018, the company generated $61 million in total revenues representing 26% growth, spurred by a doubling of its subscription and services business to $27 million. In the most recently reported quarter, Q4 2018, Mogo’s core revenue increased 75% versus the same period in 2017 with Subscription & Services revenue having its fourth consecutive quarter of at least 100% year over year growth. In 2018, it added more than 210,000 new members to reach 756,000 members on December 31, 2018 (up 39%), and on March 21st it announced it has surpassed 800,000 members.
  • Based on a combined value of the company’s lending business and its subscription services and fee generation business we believe the company is worth $7.67 per share when compared with other companies in these spaces.
Africa

The Legal and Regulatory Framework Governing Financial Technology (Fintech) in Nigeria (Lexology), Rated: AAA

FinTech is also gaining traction in the areas of lending and alternative financing (such as peer-to-peer lending, business-to-consumer lending, and so on), as well as financial and insurance products.

Pursuant to the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Chapter B3 LFN 2004, an entity that wishes to provide marketplace lending may do so by registering as a bank or Other Financial Institution (“OFI”).

The use of airtime for the repayment of loans to a mobile lender could constitute a premium rated service, the provision of which requires the approval of the NCC.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday May 2 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday June 7 2018, Daily News Digest

Lending Tree Purchase APR by Month

News Comments Today’s main news: Circle seeks a banking license. Revolut has 2M users. Ping An looks beyond insurance. TransferWise partners with first big bank. Today’s main analysis: How microfinance is navigating the fintech revolution in Africa. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Where retail credit, charge cards are used the most. The case for a VRP strategy. A different type of Know Your […]

Lending Tree Purchase APR by Month

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Crypto Unicorn Circle Aims to Expand Into Regulated Banking (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Circle Internet Financial Ltd., one of the world’s most valuablecryptocurrency platforms, is looking to make a big leap into the highly regulated realm of U.S. banks and brokerages.

The venture, partly backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., plans to seek a federal banking license to provide more services to customers. It also intends to pursue registration as a brokerage and trading venue with the Securities and Exchange Commission, so it can help investors buy and sell tokens deemed to be securities.

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for May (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released its monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network. The purpose of the report is to empower consumers by providing additional information on how their credit profile affects their loan prospects.

Source: PRNewsfoto/LendingTree
  • May’s best rate offers for borrowers with the best credit profiles had an average APR of 4.35% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, up from 4.26% in April.
  • Refinance loan offers for borrowers with the best profiles were up 12 bps to 4.35%.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were up 10 bps to 5.02%. The loan note rate of 4.91% was also up 10 bps.

CompareCards Study Reveals Which Places Use the Most Retail Credit and Charge Cards (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

CompareCards by LendingTree today released the findings of its study on the places that use the most retail credit and charge cards. The study found that some metro areas are home to heavy users of retail cards while other locations have a population who use retail cards more sparingly.

Nationally, 61.3 percent of credit card owners have at least one retail card. Of those who have at least one retail card, 30.4 percent carry a balance on a retail card, representing 11.4 percent of outstanding balances. The average balance on a retail card in the U.S. is $2,699.

Highlights from the report:

  • Residents of McAllen, Texas are by far the highest users of retail credit and charge cards. The metro earned a final score of 87.2 and ranked first in these categories:
    • The number of people who have retail cards (72%)
    • The number of retail card owners who carry a balance on their retail cards (45%)
    • And the percentage of credit card debt carried on a retail card (17%)
  • People in Charleston, S.C. have this retail card claim to fame: They carry the highest balances on their retail cards among all 100 metros, with an average balance of $4,026and a median balance of $1,746. Meanwhile, Albany, N.Y. had the lowest average balance ($2,420).
  • Honolulu has the lowest retail card usage, with a final score of 9.4. Although it didn’t rank last in any individual category, it ranked extremely low in all.
Source: Benzinga and CompareCards

AQR MAKES THE CASE FOR A VRP STRATEGY (all About Alpha) Rated: AAA

AQR Capital Management, the Greenwich, CT-based global investment firm, has posted a new discussion of thevolatility risk premium and of the advantages of strategies based thereon.

In principle the premium would disappear if markets efficiently estimated the probability of significant losses. But it remains, because investors are risk averse and tend to overestimate the probability of substantial losses.

QR models an investor who was hypothetically long the S&P 500 from 1996 to 2016, while hedging his position with a continuously rolled one-month 5% out-of-the-money put. The hedged strategy will in fact lessen portfolio volatility as measured against simply being long in the S&P without the hedge. Vol falls from 16.1% in the latter case to 14.7% in the former.

But, as noted, this risk aversion comes at a hefty cost. Average portfolio returns decline from 5.1% to just 1.8%.

Unchained Capital Raises $ 3M To Lend Fiat To HODLers (Crunchbase News) Rated: A

Austin-based crypto-finance startup Unchained Capital has raised nearly $3 million in seed funding. Unchained’s first product is a crypto asset-backed loan, which is like borrowing against one’s home—except the company lends against digital assets such as bitcoin and ethereum.

The round includes $2.4 million in new capital and $595,000 of SAFE notes converting.

Court upholds sanctions against lawyers, KC firm in payday case (Kansas City Business Journal) Rated: A

A federal appeals court upheld $150,000 in sanctions levied against Stephen Sixand Austin Moore of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP in Kansas City, Darren Kaplan of the Darren Kaplan Law Firm PC in New York, and their respective law firms.

The plaintiff filed a class-action lawsuit that wasn’t against the online payday lending companies themselves, but against four nonlender financial institutions — Generations Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Four Oaks Bank & Trust Co. and Bay Cities Bank — that processed the debit transactions and were paid fees.

LoanNow Reviews: Beware Personal Loan Offers With Sky-High APRs (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

That’s where online lender LoanNow comes in. LoanNow reviews your application even if you don’t have strong credit.

Here are the ranges for APRs and repayment terms in the six states that LoanNow operates in as of June 6, 2018. Double-check the LoanNow website for the latest rates.

State Loan amount APR Repayment term
Alabama $2,500 – $5,000 29.00% – 229.00% 12 – 48 months
California $2,500 – $5,000 29.00% – 229.00% 12 – 48 months
Georgia $3,100 – $5,000 29.00% – 59.00% 12 – 48 months
Missouri $1,000 – $2,500 29.00% – 299.00% 9 – 24 months
New Mexico $2,600 – $5,000 29.00% – 229.00% 12 – 48 months
Utah $1,000 – $2,500 29.00% – 299.00% 9 – 24 months

Startup Aims to Disrupt High-Interest Payday Lending With Blockchain (Thirty K) Rated: A

Meje Tuyo thinks the payday loan industry is ripe for disruption and he wants to do it using blockchain technology. Specifically, Tuyo wants to deliver more equitable access to loans through Owo, a startup venture set to debut this fall. The company’s name means “money” in the West African language of Yoruba.

Tuyo, a native of Nigeria, is looking to, at first, address the challenges of African Americans, a population that relies more on payday loans than other groups. Another study from the Pew Charitable Trusts from 2012 found that 12 percent of African-Americans had taken out payday loans, compared with 4 percent of whites and 6 percent of Hispanics.

The company plans to launch an app called Pazimawhich will allow consumers to request loans that will be automatically repaid when they receive their paychecks.

Renovate America Named “Esoteric ABS Issuer of the Year” (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Renovate America, a leading provider of home improvement financing, has been recognized as “Esoteric ABS Issuer of the Year” in the 2018 U.S. Securitization Awards announced by GlobalCapitalmagazine. The award recognizes Renovate America’s position as a leader in the esoteric ABS market, which includes not only PACE, but also equipment leasing, containers, marketplace lending, whole business, solar, and cell tower deals, to name a handful.

Sallie Krawcheck thought she hated banking (Business Insider) Rated: A

  • Sallie Krawcheck spent years as a Wall Street exec, commonly called “the most powerful woman on Wall Street.”
  • But when she got her first investment banking job in her early 20s, she hated it, and even went back to business school to transition into her dream jobs in media.
  • It wasn’t until she asked herself what she loved about media that she could find in banking that she found a place in equity research, which launched her into a series of executive roles on Wall Street.

David Mitchell Joins White Oak Business Capital as Senior Vice President and Senior Business Development Officer (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

White Oak Business Capital, Inc. (“WOBC” or White Oak), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, today announced the appointment of David Mitchell to the role of Senior Vice President and Senior Business Development Officer, responsible for expanding business in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.

United Kingdom

UK fintech start-up Revolut reaches 2 million users (The Telegraph) Rated: AAA

London fintech start-up Revolut has announced that it has grown to 2m users following its launch in 2013.

Revolut said that it has now signed up 2m customers in Europe ahead of plans to launch in the US this year. Customers have also made over 100m transactions, the company said, with a monthly transaction volume of $2bn (£1.4bn).

Going tribal: A different type of ‘know your customer’ (Mortgage Finance Gazette) Rated: AAA

The fintech industry is coming of age. Global investments in the sector have grown from $20 billion in 2014 to $39 billion in 2017, according to Fintech Global. Fintechs like Transferwise, Nutmeg, Revolut, Starling Bank and Funding Circle in the UK have grown rapidly over the last five years. A large reason for this success is attributable to the way fintechs are able to develop deep relationships with their customers who rally around them in an almost tribe-like manner. Successful firms manage to convert isolated customers into communities and finally highly engaged ‘tribes’.

Fintechs that have successfully demonstrated that they can generate a sense of community within their customer base share the following six characteristics.

  1. Transparency-or at least the perception of it – is a great way to build trust and attract younger customers. Transferwise publishes its rate card in full on its website for instance.
  2. Reachability-In general, fintechs are much more in tune with what their customers want to be developed next. Revolut got this formula right from the start – this has helped them to grow to a $1.7 billion company in just 33 months.
  3. A sense of purpose-A large part of fintechs’ success in tribe-building is their ability to generate the sense of a greater purpose. Fintechs are typically focussed on achieving a specific goal which on its own, is mundane and something on the lines of – ‘help you transfer money cheaply’. However, this mundane goal is transformed into a grandiose vision when put into the intended context— ‘transfer money cheaply and beat the big banks at their game’. An origin story is the final touch required to transform this vision into a sense of purpose for the community – ‘transfer money cheaply, beat big banks and be a part of something meaningful’.

The growing popularity of bridging loans for investors (Property Week) Rated: A

This trend has only been exacerbated by Brexit as the ongoing uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the EU leaves borrowers, banks and new lenders without a clear picture of the next few years.

In light of this, bridging loans are increasingly popular as a short-term solution for investors and a way for high-net-worth individuals to see a return on capital.

Although the recent rise of bridging loans is associated with specialist lenders, particularly in the commercial space offering non-FCA regulated loans, the product originated as an option for property buyers to bridge a gap between exchanging contracts and completion of a sale where you needed to purchase a property in the interim but did not have the capital.

China

Chinese Giant Ping An Looks Beyond Insurance To A Fintech Future (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Global 2000 list — look beyond the stodgy insurance business and into the realm of high technology, whose tentacles reach into every aspect of commerce in China and eventually show up in the mobile handsets of Chinese consumers.

European Union

Klarna at Money 20/20: Banks are obsessed with themselves (Bobs Guide) Rated: A

In a presentation entitled ‘Banking on the CX factor’, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski spoke to a packed crowd under The Big Top at Money 20/20 EU, Amsterdam, today, taking the opportunity to open fire on the banks.

The audience heard insight from Klarna on customer experience, including the fact that, according to the Happiness Index, consumers are more stressed and unhappy than ever before.

Auto1 Joins Deutsche Bank, Allianz in Fintech Car Financing Push (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Auto1 Group GmbH is partnering with Deutsche Bank AG and Allianz SE as the German startup expands into fintech to ease financing for customers buying its used cars.

The three partners together own more than 50 percent in a new company called Auto1 Fintech, that will offer refinancing loans and insurance products to car dealerships buying SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Auto1’s vehicles, co-Chief Executive Officer Hakan Koc said Wednesday in an interview.

International

TransferWise just partnered with its first big bank (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

UK-based cross-border money transfer company TransferWise has announced a partnership with France’s second-largest bank, BPCE Groupe, that will take effect at the beginning of 2019. Under the partnership, TransferWise will provide international money transfer services for BPCE Groupe’s customers, enabling them to send money in different currencies with TransferWise’s low standard fees.

Source: Business Insider

StartUp Nation Ventures Announces the Israel-Florida Innovation Alliance’s First Call for Proposals (PR Newswire) Rated: A

StartUp Nation Ventures (“SUNV”) in partnership with the Israel Innovation Authority (“IIA”) is proud to announce the initial Call for Proposals through the Israel-Florida Innovation Alliance (“Innovation Alliance”).

The Innovation Alliance was created to support Israeli innovation companies in the discovery and selection of Florida as their destination to establish U.S. headquarters—a gateway for expansion into the U.S., and Latin America markets.

The joint collaboration between SUNV and the IIA establishes a scalable platform to support Israeli companies that have proven the feasibility of their technologies and have a minimal viable product or working prototypes for the U.S and Latin America markets in the following areas:

  • Financial Technologies (FinTech), Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Entertainment, Cryptocurrency, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs); and
  • Tech Innovation related to smart contracts, supply chain, asset verification, certification, identity, health and financial transactions, digital and mobile payments; capital markets & investing, banking & corporate finance, financial platforms, crowdfunding & peer-to-peer lending, and personal financial management.

How Fintech Is Disrupting the Personal Loans Market (The Market Mogul) Rated: A

Lending has experienced one of the biggest changes in the traditional banking marketplace with financial technology startups, or simply, fintechs, introducing disruptive products to consumers. Peer-to-peer lending platforms have been at the forefront in this space, but recent developments suggest more could be about to unfold over the coming years.

Startup lending companies have managed to gain a substantial chunk of the market over the last few years. According to credit analysts, this growth has been driven by personal loans. In a report published by TransUnion late last year, it was established that fintechs continue to disrupt the personal loans market at an alarming rate. In the report titled Fact versus Fiction, the TransUnion study found that fintechs have grown from a mere 1% of personal loan originations in 2010 to one-third of the entire personal loan market in 2017.

The 32% market share for fintechs in the personal loans market was more than the 29% for banks, 24% for credit unions, and 15% for traditional finance. This clearly shows that fintechs are on the path to dominate the entire lending market if the momentum can be maintained.

Here’s why robo-advisors won’t replace human financial advisors (CNBC) Rated: A

Robo-advisors give retail investors access to automated investment strategies, creating portfolios and coming up with an asset allocation that’s based on client data points, including time horizon and risk tolerance.

As convenient as it may be, this technology doesn’t make human financial advisors obsolete, said Joe Duran, founder and CEO of United Capital.

That’s because robo-advisors fail to account for the complexity of financial planning, he says.

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance Launches Global Research (Crowdfund insider) Rated: B

Having now tracked alternative finance for five years, and from this relatively short perspective, the Centre has noted an emerging industry that has progressed quickly. Where once there were only handful of early adopters and innovators in a given country, they now see an “altfin” landscape that is growing rapidly, with an exponential number of new platforms driving competition and introducing new products.

In many regions (the EU, UK, USA) the Centre is also seeing their first cases of consolidation, but with continued diversification of products and services to customers.

Africa

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “How Microfinance is Navigating the Fintech Revolution in Africa” (MicroCapital) Rated: AAA

We are also looking to provide insight for microfinance stakeholders into how MFIs can leverage Fintech solutions to remain competitive in the rapidly changing financial landscape in Africa. While it is still too early to present a definitive response to the opportunities and challenges of Fintech, we are
convinced that MFIs will need to adapt to succeed in this increasingly dynamic microfinancing environment in Africa.

Source: Triple Jump

Fintech is considered more as an enabler than as a disruptor.

  • The MFIs surveyed perceived Fintech more as an opportunity than as a threat to their business (see graph 3: 88% consider it as a (very) great opportunity, while only 35% see a moderate to high threat).
Source: Triple Jump
  • Few MFIs foresee increasing competition in the future from Fintech-based (B2C) companies. This is explained by the fact that most digital lenders enter relatively easy markets with a target audience that is tech savvy, literate and more urban and where data and technical infrastructure are already available. But to access more informal and rural client segments effectively, these Fintech players face a number of challenges, such as client acquisition, initial high write-offs and limited profitability.

Read the paper in full here.

Asia

The Trillion-Dollar Investment Trend You’ve Never Heard Of And How You Can Be A Part Of It (Indonesia Expat) Rated: AAA

You can support Indonesian micro businesses and help them grow and thrive by investing in their loans. A leading, Indonesia-based peer-to-peer lending platform lets you do just that in just a few simple steps. Mekar (PT Mekar Investama Sampoerna) connects you, the investors (also called ‘funders’ in Mekar) from all over the world, with micro businesses in many provinces in Indonesia that are in need of funding.

About 99% of the micro businesses that are seeking loans in Mekar are run by women. Loans in Mekar range from around Rp 2 million (US$ 140) to Rp 8 million. For the last couple of years 99.5% of these borrowers have repaid on time.

Source: Indonesia Expat

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday March 1 2018, Daily News Digest

JPMorgan

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter opens IFISA to new investors today. Amazon customers would bank with e-tailer. Zopa’s VC firm raises 500K GBP in 24 hours. Collateral goes off line. Auxmoney hits profitability. Credy raises $1.4M. Today’s main analysis: Is JPMorgan’s tech investment paying off? Today’s thought-provoking articles: Presenters at LendIt Fintech USA 2018. Klarna’s end-of-year report. Asia’s fintech investment drops. […]

JPMorgan

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

Many Amazon customers would welcome banking services (RetailDive), Rated: AAA

  • More than half of 1,000 U.S. Amazon customers recently surveyed said they would be willing to use an Amazon-created virtual currency for purchases, according to a survey conducted by student loan marketplace LendEDU.
  • Among other findings, the survey (which questioned consumers, including some Amazon Prime members, that made purchases on Amazon within the previous 30 days) found that 44.5% said they would also keep their primary bank account with Amazon if the e-commerce giant offered such a service.
  • Furthermore, about half of respondents said they would seek personal loans from Amazon if they were available, and roughly 45% said they would use an auto loan offering from the company. Another 30% claimed they would be ready to take out an Amazon-created mortgage.

Broad Mix of Thought Leaders to Present at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Lending

  • Jay Farner, CEO, Quicken Loans
  • Max Levchin, Co-Founder & CEO, Affirm
  • Anthony Noto, CEO, SoFi
  • Renaud Laplanche, CEO, Upgrade

Digital Banking

  • Yolande Piazza, CEO, Citi FinTech
  • Suresh Ramamurthi, Chairman & CTO, CBW Bank
  • Luvleen Sidhu President, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, BankMobile
  • Jeremy K. Balkin, Head of Innovation, HSBC Bank USA
  • Nicolas Kopp, U.S. CEO, N26 Inc.

Blockchain for Financial Services

For 2018 we looked at one of the biggest new trends in financial services, blockchain and decided to create an event within our event. We are debuting our new blockchain event Blockfin by LendIt.

  • Tim Draper Founder & Managing Director DFJ
  • Richard Craib, CEO, Numerai
  • Tom Ding, Co-founder & CEO, String Labs/Dfinity
  • Vincent Wang, Chief Innovation Officer, China Wanxiang Group
  • Kathleen Breitman, Co-Founder, Tezos
  • Catherine Wood, CEO/CIO, ARK INVEST

Will JPMorgan’s splashy tech investment pay off? (American Banker), Rated: AAA

“Retail distribution is like a muscle,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said in discussing the company’s recently announced plan to open 400 branches in up to 20 new markets. “You have to exercise it or it goes to waste.”

Nonetheless, the New York megabank raised eyebrows when it said it would invest an additional $1.4 billion in technology in 2018 — the driving factor in projections for noninterest expenses to rise 6% in the year ahead.

Fintech Platform Current Announces Strategic Investment from Fifth Third (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Current, the fintech platform that allows teens to connect their money with the people, brands and experiences they value, announced on Tuesday that Fifth Third Capital, a direct equity investment subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB), has joined the recently announced Series A funding, led by QED Investors.

Leasing App Honcker Plans Expansion With $ 23M Funding From IAC (Auto Finance News), Rated: A

Vehicle leasing startup Honcker secured $23 million in series A funding this week and is using the capital injection to expand nationwide and bring some added features to its app, founder and Chief Executive Nathan Hecht told Auto Finance News today.

InterActive Corp. (IAC) — the media investor behind Investopedia, Tinder, Vimeo, and many others — is making its foray into the vehicle marketplace with this funding round to take a minority stake in the company. Honcker partners with dealers and plugs into their existing lender network to provide an online leasing marketplace.

How Are Fintech And Proptech Changing The Real Estate Industry In 2018? (Forbes), Rated: A

2. Ability To Reach New Investors Online

The ability to raise capital online and reach new accredited investors through online portals is still in its infancy.

5. Data Analysis To Drive Investment Decisions

Really use data analysis to drive your investment decisions, don’t just look at the headlines. Utilize big data and predictive analytics to dig into what is responsible for the migration of renters, and what those renters are seeking in their new apartment.

7. Reduced Friction In Buying, Owning And Selling

We are constantly pushing to incorporate or develop technologies to improve our business and customer experience by reducing cost, friction and time, as well as improve transparency and security. Some of these we develop ourselves, like application of machine learning and AI to develop a national neighborhood rating system. Others we adopt, like animated 3D visualization software. –

LA tech startup InvestFar’s innovative platform spearheads globalization of real estate investing (Digital Journal), Rated: A

Rising LA startup InvestFar; recently launched its signature mobile app to help aspiring investors with informed investment decisions. Titled as “InvestFar”, the app is the first platform to boast all the tools and resources needed for successful investments in long-distance or local markets nationwide.

Built in LA, this real estate tech startup is on a path to innovating how real estate and investors in this industry scale and manage their investments beyond local markets, especially in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York – where we often see inflated housing prices and shrunken inventory given increasing foreign investment.

Small construction companies lukewarm on tech investment (ConstructionDive), Rated: A

  • A recent customer survey from small business funding siteKabbage revealed that fewer than 35% of small construction companies planned to make investments at some level this year in technologies that could help their businesses and further bring them into the digital age.
  • More than 65% of contractors who responded to the study did not have a plan to invest in tools like big data solutions or mobile technologies, and the same percentage was either neutral, against or not likely to spend more than 20% on social media advertising.
  • Kabbage also found that even with well-publicized cyber attacks and other computer-related crimes, not even 40% of small construction firms planned to invest in cybersecurity.

ACA International Responds to Misleading ACLU Report on Debt Collection Industry (ACA International), Rated: B

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a misguided and heavily misleading report accusing private debt collectors of using the criminal justice system to “punish” and “terrorize” consumers. This is absolutely false and undermines the commitment and integrity of the professional debt collection industry.

Legitimate debt collectors work with consumers to help recover outstanding debt on behalf of businesses, nonprofit organizations and governmental entities.

Tiny Kansas bank bets big on fintech (American Banker), Rated: B

Nbkc bank in Overland Park, Kan., is comfortable sitting at the same table as many of the banking industry’s biggest innovators.

The $632 million-asset bank, a unit of Ameri-National Corp., recently participated in a $16 million investment in Greenlight Financial Technology, which offers debit cards for kids that parents can control from their phones. Other investors included the Amazon Alexa Fund, SunTrust Bank and Ally Financial.

United Kingdom

RateSetter to open IFISA to new investors on Thursday (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER is opening up its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to new investors on Thursday, meaning that two out of the ‘big three’ lenders will be offering the tax wrapper outside of their existing customer base.

Industry onlookers argue that the IFISA will only begin to move into the mainstream once the largest P2P platforms offer the product to new investors.

VC firm behind Zopa raises £500,000 for fintech fund in just 24 hours (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

A FINTECH venture capital firm that has a stake in Zopa has surpassed a £500,000 fundraising target for a new investment company in the first 24 hours.

Augmentum Capital, which has a 7.4 per cent holding in peer-to-peer lender Zopa worth £18.5m, is looking to raise £100m through an initial public offering (IPO) alongside a crowdfunding listing on Seedrs.

What’s Up at Collateral? (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

A question concerned investors have been speculating on for over 36 hours now, since the website of UK p2p lending platform Collateral went down around 7pm two days ago and is showing a maintenance message. Investors criticize that there was no pre-announcement of this maintenance and worse that Collateral seemed to have ceased all communications to investors and did not react to any phone or email messages.

With no communications from the platform whatsoever investors wondered what to do. Some investors reported the incident to ActionFraud squad of the police while another contacted the FCA to voice his concern and seek advice.

1) How should a p2p lending platform communicate in a crisis?

In my view not communicating at all is the worst choice.

2) What can concerned investors actually do to react, if the platform is seemingly unreachable/unresponding over a longer period of time?

Collateral investors in limbo after lender shuts down site (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Meanwhile, it emerged that the three limited companies listed on the Financial Services Register that have traded under the name of Collateral have not had regulatory permission to operate as a consumer credit business for at least 11 months and have all now been dissolved.

Cash4Assets, which traded under the name Collateral, had cancelled its interim permissions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A permission end date is given of 23 March 2015.

Regal Pawnbroker, which also listed Collateral as one of its trading names, saw its interim permissions lapse on 31 March 2016.

And Goldmann and Sons saw its interim authorisation lapse on 31 March 2016.

Assetz Capital introduces manual lending Isa (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The P2P lender recently announced it had registered 2,000 investors for its Innovative Finance Isa(IFIsa) since it launched in December last year.

So far, Isa users have invested £14m, with one third coming from transfers from other Isa providers.

Funding for finance start-ups hits all-time high in threat to big banks (The Telegraph), Rated: A

Major fundraisings in the UK last year included digital insurance distributor BGL Group getting $900m, while payments venture TransferWise got $280m. Elsewhere Monzo raised £93m in two separate rounds, while Revolut got $66m.

Britain’s two biggest lenders, Lloyds and RBS, announced £5.5bn worth of investment programmes between them last week, with online banking a primary focus of their spending plans.

Banks scramble to be open as clients shrug (Royal News 24), Rated: A

Open banking, as this particular revolution is known, was introduced on the second weekend of January, forcing Britain’s biggest banks to provide third parties with access to the accounts of any customers who authorise it.

A Citigroup analysis published last week finds three reasons why disintermediation of the established order is likely to be delayed. One is slow consumer adoption. A second is the fragmentation of the market for new “open banking” services in early stages of the regime. The final one is the ability of established payment providers to adapt to the new rules.

European Union

Klarna year-end report January – December 2017 (Cision), Rated: AAA

July – December 2017
● Compared to last year, total sales volume grew by 43%
● Total operating revenues increased 32% to SEK 2,474m (1,868)
● Operating income for the period was SEK 203m (35)
● Net income for the period amounted to SEK 117m (17)

January – December 2017
● Year over year growth in total sales volumes was 42%
● Total operating revenues increased 27% to SEK 4,526m (3,561)
● Operating income amounted to SEK 524m (168)
● Net income for the year amounted to SEK 346m (113)
● 26,000 new merchants, Group total now 89,000
● 19 million new consumers used Klarna this year

Highlights from the year
● Bank license was obtained in June
● BillPay GmbH was acquired in September
● Additional tier 1 capital was raised in May and a senior unsecured bond was issued in September

German fintech lender auxmoney hit profitability in 2017 (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Its origination volumes rose by 75 per cent during the course of the year, with over 40,000 loans and €316 million funded. Auxmoney has now disbursed more than 100,000 loans in its history, with a cumulative funding total of around €700m.

BNI Europa eyeing up further P2P lending deals (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

BANCO BNI Europa is eyeing up further deals in the alternative finance space to diversify its portfolio and widen its product offering for clients.

The Portuguese online bank has announced several funding deals over the past year, including peer-to-peer lenders Funding Circle in Germany and Raize in Portugal, and UK P2P invoice finance platform MarketInvoice.

JSC VIA SMS Group interim twelve month report for year 2017 (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

The Group has closed the reporting period with a net turnover of EUR 20 141 087 that shows 21,5% increase in comparison with the same period in 2016. The largest net turnover was reached in Spain where the net turnover has increased by 63%; the second largest turnover was reached in Sweden – by 55%, the third – in Poland where net turnover increased by 17% in comparison with data reported to December 31, 2016.  Company’s EBITDA in 2017 has reached EUR 2 779 456 and has ensured the net profit of EUR 835 542.

International

Cerberus Capital Management to Acquire Bluestone Group’s Australasian Operations (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. today announced that one of its affiliates has entered into an agreement with Bluestone Group, the international financial services business based in the U.K., to acquire its Australasian mortgage lending and portfolio servicing operations (“Bluestone Holdings Australia”).

India

Credy raises US$ 1.4 million in seed round (Tech in Asia), Rated: AAA

The online lender secured the funding from Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, and Vy Capital, in addition to several Silicon Valley-based angel investors. It will use the capital to expand its loan book, build partnerships with institutional lenders, enhance its underwriting technology, and hire new team members.

Asia

ASIA SEES MASSIVE DROP IN FINTECH INVESTMENT AS CHINA LOSES MOMENTUM (CFO Innovation), Rated: AAA

Total fintech funding in Asia was US$3.85 billion in 2017—a massive drop-off from the more than US$10 billion invested in 2016 while the amount in Q4 2017 declined to US$748 million across 38 deals after a solid US$1 billion+ in Q3, said KPMG.

Decreased fintech investment in China accounted for much of the decrease in investment in Asia, KPMG explained. According to the firm, China saw just US$45.8 million in investment in Q4’17, while total investment in 2017 was US$1.33 billion.

The top five fintech deals in the region in Q4 are as follows:

  • WeLab (lending firm in Hong Kong): US$220 million, Series B
  • GoSwiff (payments/transactions firm in Singapore): US$100 million, M&A
  • BiWang Group (Institutional/B2B firm in Shenzhen, China): US$100 million, M&A
  • PolicyBazaar (Insurtech firm in Gurugram, India): US$77 million, Series E
  • Onlyou (Institutional/B2B firm in Shenzhen, China): US$45 million, late-stage VC
Canada

Katipult Named Among Industry Giants as Finalist for “Most Promising Partnership” Award (Cision), Rated: A

Katipult Technology Corp. (TSXV:FUND) is honoured to announce that it has been nominated, alongside Polymath Inc., for the Most Promising Partnership Award at the second annual Lendit Fintech Industry awards in April. The Katipult-Polymath partnership will be competing against some of the world’s finance and fintech giants including partnerships involving Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Group, Swedbank, and Lending Club.

National Bank CEO praises federal cybersecurity plan (Financial Post), Rated: A

The chief executive of National Bank of Canada said Wednesday that the federal government’s latest budget included “a big step forward” on cybersecurity.

The federal budget tabled on Tuesday proposed various cybersecurity-related commitments, including $155.2 million over five years so that the Communications Security Establishment could create a new “Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.”

Crypto KABN launches Blockchain-Enabled Biometric ID Validation (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Crypto KABN Holdings Inc. (‘Crypto KABN’ or the ‘Company’) an innovator in financial services, technologies and products for the blockchain industry, is pleased to announce that it is launching a revolutionary Blockchain-enabled biometric validation platform, called ID KABN, as the first component of its suite of financial and technology services, at the FFCON18: Velocity Conference in Toronto on March 5, 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday February 21 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club losses extend to Q4 2017. LendingClub to settle lawsuit for $125M. Groundfloor launches online public offering. Even Financial gets backing from American Express. LendInvest launches buy-to-let calculator online. Today’s main analysis: Lend Academy reviews LendingClub’s Q4 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Equity sharing and home ownership. How millennials move emerging markets. Why Australia needs […]

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Lending Club extends losses for fourth straight year (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Lending Club lost money for a fourth year in a row last year, as it wrote a big cheque to settle class-action lawsuits connected to its governance glitches of 2016.

The San Francisco-based company, the biggest listed online lender in America, said on Tuesday that net losses for the fourth quarter almost tripled from a year earlier, to $92m, as it agreed a $125m settlement to resolve civil suits stemming from the loan-mis-selling scandal that blew up almost two years ago. About $48m of the sum would be covered by insurance, the company said, with the remainder to be paid from liquid assets of about $650m.

The loss for the full year came to $154m, wider than the previous year’s $146m.

LendingClub agrees to settle shareholder litigation for 5M (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Under the agreement, which was announced Tuesday, the San Francisco-based online lender expects to pay $77.25 million. An additional $47.75 million is expected to be covered by LendingClub’s insurance, bringing the total payout to $125 million. The deal is subject to court approval.

LendingClub Corp (LC) Shares Sink on Q4 Earnings Miss (InvestorPlace), Rated: A

Lending Club also underwhelmed in its revenue as the company raked in $156.5 million during its fourth quarter, below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $157.6 million, according to FactSet. The figure did increase 20% compared to the year-ago quarter.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of a penny per share, compared to a loss of 2 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company also experienced a 23% annual growth in originations, which reached over $2.4 billion.

LendingClub Q4 2017 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

LendingClub delivered another record quarter of $156.5 million in revenue up slightly from their previous quarter. Originations were slightly down from the third quarter at $2.436 billion. They reported a GAAP net loss of $92.1 million in the fourth quarter which was affected by the class action litigation settlement expense.

Source: Lend Academy
Source: Lend Academy

LendingClub provided the below guidance for Q1 2018 and reaffirmed their guidance for 2018:

First Quarter 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $145 million to $155 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(25) million to $(20) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $5 million to $10 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $19 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $11 million

Full Year 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $680 million to $705 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(53) million to $(38) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $75 million to $90 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $77 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $51 million

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours (CNBC), Rated: B

LendingClub stock plunged 10 percent after the bell. The peer-to-peer lending company reported earnings and revenues that missed Wall Street estimates.

Groundfloor Launches Online Public Offering Amidst Increased Stock Market Volatility (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate based payment dependent notes that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has raised a total of $4.3 million from 687 participating investors in a combination of two recent financings, a private online bridge note closed late last year and an initial closing of its online public offering of equity. In each case, the company kicked off the invitation-only raises to customers and friends of the company with a $1M target, surpassing that in under 48 hours. Due to increased growth opportunities and strong demand, the company has today expanded the equity raise to the public.

Groundfloor is offering a total of up to 530,000 shares of Common Stock at $10 per share in its online public offering. Investor benefits include: no investor fees for life2; access to regular shareholder-only loan offerings; and invitations to attend annual Groundfloor shareholder events.

Recently increased expectations that the Fed may raise interest rates in the future has investors rebalancing their portfolios, with a shift out of equity into debt, as bond yields are expected to increase. Twelve-month bond yields have recently inched up to 1.97 percent.

By comparison, Groundfloor investors have earned an average of 13.6 percent per year over the past three years, which represents over 6x the yield of a current one year Treasury note, and over 1,000 percent more than they would have made if their money had been in a CD or savings account over this period.1 Groundfloor’s retail investors create their own portfolios of real estate debt investments in the fix and flip residential housing market, and the loans on which the investments are based are secured by a first lien position against the underlying real asset.

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding: A New Investment Opportunity for the Investors (EIN News), Rated: A

Talking in context of real estate, there are 3 ways to invest in a crowdfunded real-estate property:

• Equity crowdfunding
• Syndicated debt crowdfunding
• Platform-issued (‘pre-filled’) debt crowdfunding

Following are the pros and cons of going for equity crowdfunding in real estate:

Pros

• High yield potential
• Lower barrier to entry: Even if you have a very less amount of money, you can still invest even in large commercial real estate projects through equity crowdfunding and enjoy the benefits of the real estate i.e., strong returns and lower volatility.
• No self-employment taxes
• Higher returns

Cons

• The risks. An investor should know how to evaluate the risk factors like local economy volatility and chances of higher than expected construction costs. Due diligence is what is required.
• Liquidity constraint: These investments need to be held up for a period of five years or so, and hence one should go for this option if this much bandwidth is available, lack of liquidity is not there, and an investor is comfortable with the invested amount to be tied up for several years.
• It’s still an early option: It is still an early option to be considered as the performance track record and validation is still not complete and individual investors are still trying to figure it out.
• Lack of control: Since it is a passive investment, the investors are not involved in the day to day activities and therefore have limited ability and control over the operations required.

RealyInvest App Empowers Beginners to Invest in Commercial Real Estate (PR Newswire), Rated: A

In a rising tide of fintech apps, RealyInvest is emerging as a new way for beginning investors to access the high-priced world of premier commercial real estate right from their smartphones.

RealyInvestors can purchase fractional shares of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) for as little as $5. Investors can also own shares of commercial real estate NNN Assets, such as a building long-term leased to Starbucks, for as little as $20.

All investments, rental income and dividend earnings can be managed right on your smartphone. Fees range from $1 to $3 per month, depending on investment options.

Silicon Valley Explores a New Investment: Your Home (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A handful of companies, including those backed by marquee Silicon Valley names such as Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic organization, are experimenting with a product that essentially lets them take an ownership position in a house along with the homeowner. The agreements, called shared-equity contracts, provide a new way for investors to get exposure to rising home prices across the U.S.

Shared-equity products are aimed at new buyers who need help with a down payment, or current homeowners looking for an alternative to a cash-out mortgage refinancing or a home-equity loan. The first use has caught the attention of mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac ,which recently agreed to buy loans on properties where one firm,Unison Agreement Corp. , contributes to the down payment.

Landed Inc. offers these down-payment contracts to teachers and other educators. Last year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative , a philanthropy co-founded by Facebook Inc.’s chief executive, gave Landed $5 million to start a new fund.

The length of the contracts can vary from a few years to 30. Homeowners can repay early, including if they sell their house before the term ends. How much they end up owing depends on how the value of their home changes. Because the funds are equity, not a borrowing, they don’t require monthly payments.

Even Financial inks $ 3 mln (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA

Even Financial, the technology platform powering financial services online, has secured a strategic investment round totaling $3 million. The round includes an investment from American Express Ventures, the strategic investment unit of American Express, as well as Plug & Play and Arab Angels.

With this investment, Even Financial will expand its team and advance its proprietary technology, which allows financial institutions and other partners to scale customer acquisition and remain competitive in the growing online financial services industry.

Fundrise Reports 2017 Performance. Total Return for the Year Stands at 11.44% (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In brief, this is what Fundrise reported;

“In 2017, Fundrise investments earned an 11.44%* total return on investment, including over $16 million in dividends paid out to investors. Delivering attractive, consistent cash flow is a core part of our mission to offer you a better way to invest.”

Online SMB lending platform Yalber closes $ 20M senior credit facility (Bankless Times), Rated: A

SMB lending platform Yalber closed a $20 million senior credit facility this week, the company announced today.

Blinker Joins With Ally To Enhance The Auto Industry’s Only Peer-To-Peer E-Commerce Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: A

South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Award winner and 2018 LendIt Fintech Industry Award finalist Blinker, the only peer-to-peer e-commerce platform that provides an end-to-end solution for anyone buying, selling or financing cars, announced two major milestones for its business today:

  • Blinker is now available in the largest car markets in the US – Beginning today, Blinker is expanding its proprietary e-commerce and loan origination platform from Texas and Colorado to California and Florida, allowing millions of customers to buy, sell and finance vehicles easier, quicker and safer with other people. Thirty percent of vehicle sales across the US every year are between people, yet private-party marketplaces including Craigslist, Letgo, Autotrader, Cars.com and Facebook Marketplace don’t have services such as integrated financing or lien payoff support. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, Blinker customers get guidance and tools to complete the entire purchase process themselves, from instant vehicle valuation to real-time auto loan approval to e-signing documents to secure funds transfer, all for free within Blinker’s mobile app.
  • Blinker joins with Ally to offer best-in-class auto protection products – Blinker will now give customers the option to add Ally’s vehicle protection coverage, including Ally Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Ally Premier Protection vehicle service contracts, for their vehicle purchases in the app. GAP covers the difference between the cash value of a vehicle and what Blinker customers still owe on their loan if the vehicle is totaled or stolen. Ally vehicle service contracts cover the repair cost for over 7,400 mechanical, electrical, safety or digital components, as well as some related expenses like trip interruption, rental car coverage, towing and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Zelle users are finding out the hard way there’s no fraud protection (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Scammers have taken to Zelle, the Venmo alternative backed by U.S. banks, to defraud consumers who believe the service includes the same protections they’ve come to expect from PayPal. A number of customers report having lost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, over Zelle, when they used it for transactions with people they didn’t know – like tickets bought off a Craigslist posting, for example.

Cyberattacks took $ 56B from U.S. economy in ’16 (American Banker), Rated: A

Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House said Friday.

The estimate comes in a Council of Economic Advisers report on the impact of cyberattacks on U.S. government and industry. The report details the range of threats that U.S. entities face from actors including corporations and countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The council’s estimate represents between 0.31% and 0.58% of the 2016 U.S. gross domestic product. For comparison, the report cites a Center for Strategic and International Studies report that estimated the cost of malicious cyber activities against U.S. entities at $107 billion in 2013, 0.64% of GDP that year.

BlockFi Raises 1.55M in Seed Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

BlockFi, a New York-based fintech company whose first product is a loan for cryptoasset owners, raised $1.55m in seed funding.

Backers included ConsenSys Ventures, Kenetic Capital, PJC, SoFi, Purple Arch Ventures and Lumenary.

The 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies (Fast Company), Rated: A

03 Square

For extending the benefits of banking

19 Social Capital

For putting values into its ventures

26 Kakao Bank

For marrying social messaging with banking

31 Paytm

For pioneering the cashless economy

42 Stripe

For writing the new startup manual

47 CommonBond

For offering payback

‘Pinterest will get even bigger for us’ says fintech lender Elevate Credit (The Drum), Rated: A

Speaking to The Drum in the final instalment of a four-part video series with Falcon.io exploring social media strategies, she admitted that while it can be a challenge, using data to understand her audience’s wants and needs has helped her shape content which is likely to resonate.

Fox says she has been finding success on the unlikeliest of social media platforms – Pinterest.

“All our content is more lifestyle focused than finance focused,” she explained.

OpenClose Bolsters Software Integration and Support Teams (Send2Press), Rated: B

OpenClose, an industry-leading multi-channel loan origination system (LOS) and mortgage fintech provider, announced that it has added staff to its integration and customer support departments. The new hires will help enhance OpenClose’s existing software products, facilitate digital mortgage processes, produce fintech-level innovation and provide excellence in customer support. The company also recently added three senior software engineers to its development team.

3 Loans for Students You Should Avoid Like the Plague (Student Loan Hero), Rated: B

1. Payday loans

You usually have only a couple of weeks to repay the loan, and the typical APR is almost 400.00%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you can’t pay it back and have to take out a new payday loan to pay off the first, you could end up stuck in a vicious cycle of predatory debt.

What you should try instead: payday alternative loan (PAL).

2. Auto title loans

The reality is these short-term loans also have three-digit APRs, and you typically have between 15 and 30 days to repay the loan.

What you should try instead: A short-term campus loan.

$20 / $2,000 = 1%
1% x 365 days = 3.65
3.65 / 60 = 6.08% APR

3. Cash advances

This type of loan isn’t as costly as a payday loan or an auto title loan, but it’s not ideal for two reasons:

  1. Credit cards charge a fee, typically 5% of the advance amount. So, if you withdraw $500, you’ll have to pay $25 upfront.
  2. There’s no grace period with cash advances, so interest starts accruing immediately.

What you should try instead: A 0% APR promotion. Some credit cards offer a 0% APR promotion on new purchases for a period.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle to launch two new mobile apps this year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The business lender, which currently only has an iPhone app for investors to access, monitor and manage their accounts, is now advertising for a global mobile apps product manager and for an Android developer.

Both positions are based in the UK.

“We have an ambitious roadmap for this year and want to launch two new apps (Android and iOS) for our investors,” the job advert on the Funding Circle website said.

LendInvest Announces Launch of Buy-to-Let Online Calculator for Intermediaries (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, LendInvest announced the launch of its new buy-to-let (BTL) online calculator for intermediaries.

 

P2P business lending up 51% (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The value of P2P business lending grew by 51% during 2017, according to new research from the British Business Bank (BBB).

The report also found that the value of SME asset finance deals was up 12%.

Although net bank lending volumes remained positive (£700m in 2017), it was weaker than in both 2016 (£3bn) and 2015 (£2bn).

The BBB found that there had been a significant increase in both the value and number of SME equity deals, up 79% and 12% respectively.

Online lenders and banks may operate as ‘joint ventures’ (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ONLINE lending platforms may partner with banks to fund and market credit products in the future, even sharing the approval process and compliance, in one scenario outlined by global banking regulators.

A number of peer-to-peer lenders have already partnered with banks on a smaller scale. For example, Metro Bank has lent through Zopa’s platform and Santander has referred borrowers to Funding Circle. However, these tie-ups have not gone as far as the report’s scenario suggests in terms of becoming a joint venture.

Crowdfund sites ‘are not explaining the dangers’ (The Times), Rated: A

Square Pie, which started life as a stall in London’s Old Spitalfields Market, expanded with the help of a “pie bond” that promised 8% annual interest over four years. The bond was offered through one of Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platforms, Crowdcube.

A total of 324 investors signed up, lending more than £650,000 to fund Square Pie restaurants and its efforts to improve supermarket sales. Square Pie has gone into administration — the first failure of a business that issued a mini bond on a crowdfunding site.…

Crypto lending platform nears launch (AltFi), Rated: A

Lendingblock is one such business. The soon-to-launch platform is, in its founder Steve Swain’s words, “an open exchange for cryptocurrency loans”.

Lendingblock is in the middle of a three-stage Initial Coin Offering that will conclude in March. The first phase has already been completed, raising the equivalent of $500,000. The offering has a hard cap of $10m.

Number of farming building conversions falls 20 percent in a year (FarmingUK), Rated: B

The number of conversions of farm buildings into new homes dropped 20% in the last year, denting hopes that these conversions could help solve the rural housing crisis.

According to Lendy, one of Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lending platforms, only 1,511 agricultural-to-residential conversion applications were approved in 2016/17.

China

The New Year to Bring a New Flood of IPOs (CapitalWatch), Rated: A

Golden Bull Ltd., an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, plans to offer up to $9 million in shares on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DNJR.” The Shanghai-based company, which was founded in 2015, provides borrowers access to short-term loans.
European Union

Finnest Expands Online Financing to Larger Corporations, Adds Institutional Investors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finnest is an interesting online lender operating in the DACH countries. The peer to peer platform was launched to provide SME funding supported by individual investors but the company is now expanding by providing loans of €10 million and higher. Institutional investors such as insurance companies, funds, family offices and banks will now be able to invest in large SMEs on “FinnestPro.”

Why it’s OK that the majority of consumers don’t know about Open Banking – for now (AltFi), Rated: A

The new EU legislation on payment services – PSD2 – and the introduction of Open Banking in the UK seem to have passed the vast majority of people in the country by, according to an AltFi News article last month.

This referred to a report by Which saying that 92 per cent of consumers hadn’t even heard of Open Banking.

International

How Millennials are Moving Emerging Markets (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Millennials in advanced economies have come under pressure in recent years, thanks to stagnating wages, rising house prices and escalating student debt. But an altogether different trend is taking place in many emerging markets where millennials are seeing their prospects rapidly improve. This in turn is creating an investment opportunity, as millennials in these countries are becoming hugely influential on the prospects for emerging market equities.

Millennials will account for half of the global workforce by 2020, meaning they will be one of the most influential groups in shaping the economy and society, including consumption habits, policy and how companies may want to market and brand themselves. They are disrupting traditional industries and companies are having to adapt. This presents investment opportunities, but it also presents new investment risks.

Latest ICO Updates on VLR Token – Valorem Foundation ICO is LIVE! (TechBullion), Rated: A

Based on ERC-20, the multilayered cryptocurrency platform will host a marketplace that allows developmental phases. The first phase focuses on micro loans (small loans), rent payments, student loans and peer-to-peer payment processing.

As trust grows on the platform, phase 2 will be implemented to cater to sales distribution, global small business investing and global commercial and residential real estate crowdfunding while the third stage will serve charity and insurance. The final phase will be dedicated to maintenance and future developments that may include additional currency adoption, feature adding etc.

Valorem (VLR) is the token offered. The exchange rate stands at 1 ETH= 1000 VLR. There is a total supply of 200 million tokens of which 150 million are available during the ICO and 50 million will be kept in reserve. Valorem will not be mined.

Wealth managers must go digital (Raconteur), Rated: B

People born between roughly 1982 and 2002 are set to receive the biggest inheritance boom of any post-war generation. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) estimated the figure will be around $4 trillion in the UK, Canada and United States.

An Interview with Kirill Suslov – The CEO at Finom and TabTrader Founder (NewsBTC), Rated: B

NewsBTC: Now it seems that you have no experience with banking services yet. How do you plan to cover this area?

Now I can say we understand confidently how banking works and how it should work in the crypto industry. By 2020, we’re going to have a licensed bank and transform it into a crypto one with a network of crypto terminals.

A bit sooner, in 2018, we plan to release crypto e-wallets with linked debit cards. Miners will be able to use recently mined coins right away, transferring them to their wallets immediately. We’re also designing a platform for peer-to-peer lending.

Australia

Peer To Peer Lending Increasingly Popular In Australia (compare dinkum), Rated: AAA

Australian investors and borrowers are increasingly adopting peer to peer lending platforms according to the results of survey undertaken by ASIC. The results of the survey suggest that as much as $300 million of personal and business loans were underwritten by peer to peer lenders over the course of the last fiscal year. That represents a doubling in the amount that was lent on such platforms during the 2015/2016 financial year.

Why Australia needs a better system for credit scores (The Converstion), Rated: AAA

Australia’s credit rating system is failing both borrowers and lenders. Many borrowers are unaware of their own credit scores and our research shows they have trouble applying for suitable loans. Lenders are also struggling with too little information, causing them to extend loans to those they shouldn’t and restrict loans to worthy borrowers.

Upcoming changes to Australia’s credit reporting system could remedy these issues.

Under the new credit reporting regime, both lenders and borrowers will have access to more data, such as monthly payment histories on loans and credit cards.

More innovation ahead in mortgage lending

For higher-risk borrowers, novel techniques to assess credit risk (such as analysis of social media accounts) may be the answer to distinguish good borrowers from bad.

But prior experience from an over-reliance on credit scores in the United States shows that careful assessment of borrowers remains vital.

India

Refer to these fintech startups for range of medical loans (Business Standard), Rated: A

Among all the personal the medical loan is the most crucial one which is often required on an urgent basis by the applicants.

Recently a host of Financial technology(Fintech) and Non-financing related start-ups have been launched in providing a variety of medical to the clients.

Canada

They couldn’t get loans from their banks so turned to a legitimate-looking lender online (The Star), Rated: AAA

Unable to qualify for a loan from her bank, Johnston searched online for private lenders and found a website for what appeared to be a legitimate company calling itself North Clear Credit.

Everything about it — the variety of loans offered, the glowing testimonials, the company description — seemed professional. In fact, a customer who later reported North Clear Credit to police says an officer told her the website looked legitimate.

For Johnston and Mood, the terms were appealing. The money could be paid back monthly over five years at an interest rate substantially lower than what they would be charged elsewhere.

Johnston completed an online application and was approved for a $20,000 loan.

Within a few days, Johnston and Mood had lost $3,500, and two North Clear Credit “representatives” with whom Johnston had been corresponding had disappeared.

Blackchain Announces Private Placement (Stockhouse), Rated: A

Blackchain Solutions Inc. (the “Company” or “Blackchain”) (CSE: BIS), announces a private placement of up to 3,400,000 units at a price of $0.18 per unit, for gross proceeds of $612,000.  Each unit consists of one common share and one share purchase warrant.  Each warrant is exercisable at a price of $0.22 per share for a term of two years.

Proceeds generated from this financing will be used to initiate and support the filing of multiple patents and trademarks related to the Blackchain Crypto Credit Rating API and P2P Lending Platform.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday February 12 2018, Daily News Digest

credit immigrants

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi loan performance suffers, earnings projections missed. Ant Financial to pursue equity fundraising at potential $100B valuation. Elevate publishes FY 2017 results. Symphony, OpenFin join forces. Openwrks, Zopa, TrueLayer get into open banking. Rupeek raises $6.8M. Today’s main analysis: MPL securitizations comparison (SoFi 2018-A, MFT 2018-1, SCLP 2018-1). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Silicon Valley investors fund […]

credit immigrants

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Australia

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

SoFi Reports Disappointing Earnings as Loan Performance Suffers (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Customers of online lender Social Finance Inc. are missing their loan payments at an unexpectedly high rate, a misstep for a company that has boasted that its focus on high-earning individuals would yield better borrowers.

The privately held San Francisco-based company said it missed its internal fourth-quarter earnings projections, due in part to a markdown in the “value of certain personal loan assets due to lower-than-expected credit performance,” according to a letter to investors that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The company also cited increased hiring costs and expenses related to recent management changes.

You won’t believe how much grads from these top business schools rake in (Moneyish), Rated: A

SoFi examined 60,000 student loan refinancing applications to determine which MBA programs churn out the highest earners, and which produce grads who are mired in student debt.

According to SoFi, these are the top 10 business schools, ranked by average salary three years after graduation:

1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business): $224,034
2. Columbia University: $189,295
3. Stanford University: $186,534
4. Harvard University: $184,463
5. University of California, Berkeley: $171,270
6. Dartmouth College: $169,498
7. Northwestern University: $167,770
8. Cornell University: $167,544
9. University of Chicago: $166,215
10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $165,666

These 10 programs have the best salary-to-debt ratio in the US:

1. University of Wisconsin-Madison: Avg. salary = $122,532; avg. debt = $52,568
2. Brigham Young University: Avg. salary = $114,559; avg. debt = $50,224
3. Harvard University: Avg. salary = $184,463; avg. debt = $83,337
4. Stanford University: Avg. salary = $186,534; avg. debt = $85,443
5. Villanova University: Avg. salary = $136,464; avg. debt = $63,014
6. University of Pittsburgh: Avg. salary = $149,157; avg. debt = $71,471
7. Loyola University, Maryland: Avg. salary = $122,915; avg. debt = $59,029
8. North Carolina State University: Avg. salary = $92,184; avg. debt = $46,140
9. University of Florida: Avg. salary = $110,942; avg. debt = $56,035
10. University of Houston: Avg. salary = $105,476; avg. debt = $54,308

Elevate Announces Full Year 2017 Results (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Elevate’s  Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Highlights are the following:
  • Fourth quarter GAAP net loss due to federal tax law charge, but fourth consecutive quarter of net income on an adjusted basis: Fourth quarter 2017 net loss totaled $12.2 million, or $(0.29) per diluted share, reflecting a one-time $12.5 million charge associated with the change in the federal tax law resulting from the tax reform in 2017. Excluding the impact from the tax law change, net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 would have been $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $4.4 million, or $(0.34) per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016. The net loss for full-year 2017 totaled $6.9 million, or $(0.20) per diluted share. Excluding the impact of the federal tax law, net income for full year 2017 would have been $5.5 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $22.4 million, or $(1.74) per diluted share, for full-year 2016.
  • 16% year-over-year revenue growth: Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 14.5% from the fourth quarter of 2016 and were up 16.0% for full-year 2017 versus 2016. Revenues totaled $193.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $169.0 million for the prior-year period. Full-year 2017 revenues totaled $673.1 million compared to $580.4 million for full-year 2016.
  • More than 28% year-over-year growth in combined loans receivable – principal: Combined loans receivable – principal totaled $618.4 million, a 28.5% increase from $481.2 million for the prior-year period. The Rise installment loan and Elastic line of credit combined loans receivable – principal balances as of December 31, 2017 were up 19.6% and 47.4% over the prior year-end balances, respectively.
  • Adjusted EBITDA up 45% compared to prior year: 2017 Adjusted EBITDA totaled $87.5 million, up 44.7% from $60.4 million in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 13% for both the fourth quarter of 2017 and full-year 2017.
  • The ending combined loan loss reserve as a percentage of combined loans receivable was 14.3%, lower than the 16.1% reported for the prior-year period due to the improved credit quality and the continued maturation of the loan portfolio. Charge-offs as a percentage of originations for full-year 2017 continued to trend below previous years at less than 25% of principal originations.
  • The total number of new customers acquired during the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately 95,000 with an average customer acquisition cost of $231, below the targeted range of $250-$300. This represented a 34.6% increase over the approximately 70,000 new customers acquired in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Equity Market Volatility, GS Dialing Up M&A (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Volatility made an abrupt return to capital markets after a nearly 18 month hiatus. Equity markets dropped almost 10% from their peaks, as investors focused on rising US treasury yields. 10-year yields touched 2.88% – nearly a four-year high. Corporate bonds (CDX.IG spreads) widened 5bps this week to 60bps, while high-yield widened 16bps to 353bps.

US consumer credit grew by $18.4 Bn in December 2017, at an annualized growth rate of 7.7%. Revolving credit card debt increased by $5.1 Bn to $1.03 Tn, the highest on record. Consumer spending has boosted US GDP, although the increasing cost of leverage and rising rates could create a drag on growth.

GS M&A Accelerating

Source: PeerIQ

 

Source: PeerIQ

Taking a cut of student’s future paychecks has Silicon Valley investors funding education (Quartz), Rated: AAA

The model is attracting a new generation of startups, as well as investors, eager to bail out American students drowning in $1.3 trillion in student debt. The Brookings Institute estimates as much as 40% of students who entered college in the early 2000s may default on their loans by 2023, based on historical trends.

One of the first firms to enter the US market was the Chilean firm Lumni founded in 2002 (although it only came to the US in 2009) followed by 13th Avenue (2009), Cumulus Funding (2011), Upstart (2012), Pave (2012), and Vemo (2015). Not all are still signing ISAs, but current interest seems to be based on growing demand.

Are income-sharing arrangements a good deal for students?

The federal government already provides more than $200 billion (paywall) in grants, loans, and work-study assistance for students’ post-secondary education each year. Private lenders hand out about $8 billion in student loans annually, estimates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Parents and family contribute still more.

Almost 60% of college graduates in the US carry student debt, and about 57% of Americans regard it as a major problem, reports the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Yet many are not even confident their college educations are still the golden ticket they once were. A 2017 survey of 32,000 college students revealed only one-third felt prepared to enter the job market, while only half said their major will lead to a good job.

Four-year universities like Purdue are using them as a way to show their commitment to students as much as reduce their financial burden. The school’s program, Back a Boiler (an abbreviation of the nickname for the student body known as Boilermakers), is offering 175 students almost $2 million in ISA funding. Graduates with high income never pay more than 2.5 times their original ISA amount, while those earning less than $20,000 a year see their payments go to $0.

MissionU, a one-year training program in data analytics and business intelligence, offers students a blended online (80%) and in-person curriculum (20%), and work experience. It charges no tuition. After graduates earn at least $50,000, they pay back 15% of their income for the first three years.

 

2 startups are joining forces — and together they could pose a threat to Bloomberg (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Symphony, a messaging service that has gained some traction among Wall Street firms, has been integrated into OpenFin, an operating system built for financial-services, the two companies announced Thursday.

OpenFin hosts more than a hundred applications on its platform, and the integration means Symphony will be “interoperable” with those apps, the same way social media apps on your phone are able to talk with one another.

In total, Symphony has 230,000 users across 200 firms, whereas OpenFin can be found on more than 100,000 desktops across the Street.Symphony, a unicorn, announced a $63 million fundraise in May, bringing the total amount the company has raised to $234 million. OpenFin finished a $15 million round of venture funding backed by JPMorgan in February 2017. It has raised $22 million in total funding.

For new immigrants, buying a home or getting a cellphone is complicated and expensive. Even if they have financial identities and wealth in their home countries, they have no credit history in the U.S.

It’s a challenge for millions of people, and a handful of fintechs, including Nova Credit, CreditStacks, and Petal, see an opportunity to help with some creative solutions.

Others, like Deserve (formerly SelfScore) and Petal have been hoping to woo immigrants and other thin files with their own credit products, while still others like eCredable are crunching alternative data to help people build up their credit history.

And in January, CreditStacks announced a credit card product aimed at immigrant professionals who want to have a U.S. credit card in hand when they arrive in America.

San Francisco mortgage fintech Lenda expects growth spurt in 2018 (San Francisco Business Times), Rate: A

San Francisco mortgage fintech Lenda, which offers mortgages faster and at lower cost than traditional rivals, expects growth to accelerate this year as it expands into a dozen states and puts to work the $5.25 million it raised in its first venture round.

New Retail P2P Investment: The Worthy Bond (P2P Lending Expert), Rated: A

When I wrote my book on P2P Lending for the retail investor, P2P Investing 101 (the paperback version here), that came out in November, there were only 7 options for retail investors.  Those options were Lending Club and Prosper, as well as 5 options that take advantage of the adjustment to SEC Regulation A known as Reg A+.

We now have an 8th investment option.  The Worthy Bond, which uses Reg A+ and comes from Worthy Financial. By using Reg A+, the Worthy Bond is available to retail investors as a proxy savings account within the p2p lending landscape.

Prices up for January, Subaru 0-percent financing (Kelley Blue Book), Rated: A

While the average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles hit $36,270 in January, a whopping $1,360 or 3.9-percent gain over a year earlier, the ATP declined from December’s record, dropping $486 or 1.3 percent month over month.

Subaru 0-percent financing

Subaru, which has been setting sales records, typically runs tight inventories and keeps a close rein on incentives. However, through the rest of February it is offering 0-percent financing for 63 months on select models along with a couple of enticing fleet deals.

The 0-percent deal for 63 months is being extended on 2017/18 Legacy models, 2017/18 Outbacks and 2017 Foresters. On the 2018 Legacy, there’s also a $185 per month lease for three years with $2,595 down. The 2018 Outback is being offered on a 3-year lease deal for $239 per month with $1,739 down, while the 2018 Forester can be leased for 36 months at just $219 with $1,719 down.

Interest rates climb

According to Bankrate.com, the average 60-month new car loan is averaging 4.51 percent interest, a two-basis point increase over rates being offered at the end of November. Shorter 48-month loans are slightly cheaper, averaging 4.44 percent, again, two basis points higher than two months ago. On the used car side of the ledger, rates are closing in on the 5 percent level, averaging 4.97 percent on 3-year loans. That’s up from an average of 4.78 percent at the end of November.

Eyeing robo advisors, IBDs to launch new client portals (FinancialPlanning), Rated: A

Independent broker-dealers are rebuilding their online presences for a digital investing era, ushering in new client portals and offering automated investing for smaller accounts.

Advisors have pushed the firms to mimic the speed and look of digital investment platforms. Digital advice clients of all kinds will soar 844% to more than 17 million by 2021, according to a September study by Aite Group. In a nod to incumbents’ services, robos have also started offering human advisors to clients.

Narmi integrates top fintech companies into digital banking platform for credit unions (CUInsight), Rated: A

Narmi, a financial technology company, showcases two of its remarkable fintech integrations – Billshark and Lemonade.

Billshark – Helping Reduce Monthly Bills for Millions of Americans

Billshark helps consumers reduce monthly bills on cable, satellite TV, wireless phone, internet and many other categories. There are currently approximately 375 million monthly bills in America and roughly 80% can be negotiated. The average amount saved per bill is $280-300.

Lemonade – Reinventing Insurance Through Artificial Intelligence

Lemonade provides a mobile-first, artificial intelligence-infused way to obtain a home insurance policy. The company’s focus is on homeowners and renters insurance, and policies start at $25 a month and $5 a month, respectively.

When fintech lite is the right small-business lending strategy (American Banker), Rated: A

Adding a community touch to automation has proved a profitable lending strategy for one bank.

Marquette Bank in Chicago has been able to digitize its lending processes and improve its credit memo creation time by upwards of 25% using technology from the cloud-based loan origination software firm Baker Hill.

Small-business lending has long been a staple of community banking, but in recent years customers have turned to online lenders and other fintechs for credit, in large part due to the speed and digital aspect of the experience.

Zelle’s next phase takes shape at BNY Mellon (American Banker), Rated: A

The banks behind the Zelle network had more in mind than P-to-P payments between consumers, and BNY Mellon is beginning the network’s evolution by targeting the business payments market.

Zelle will help support tokenized digital payments for institutional and corporate clients in a market that is notoriously resistant to automation. BNY Mellon hopes corporates will see the Zelle network’s ability to increase control over cash flow through near-instant processing.

Webster Bank Offers Customers An Automated Digital Investment Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Webster Investments, a division of Webster Bank, N.A., now offers Guided Wealth Portfolios (GWP), an advisor-enhanced, digital investment platform designed to enhance customer experience by providing an additional option to manage their investments. The online investment platform was designed as an innovative option for clients seeking a technology-enabled investment solution combined with the opportunity to have a relationship with a financial advisor.

We’re partnering with SURE to bring you Small Business Insurance (Inc Authority Email), Rated: B

Small Business Insurance is an all-in-one policy that protects you and your growing business from critical risks. Your policy will cover:

  •   General liability
    • Get up to $2 Million of coverage in legal and litigation issues tied to 3rd party claims of property damage, and bodily injury and associated medical costs.
  •   Business personal property
    • Replace lost or damaged property owned by your business, such as computers, furniture, and machinery.
  •   Lost business income
    • Receive up to $250,000 in lost income if your business has to close due to a covered loss.
  •   And other coverage
    • Includes coverage for data breaches, litigious employees, non-business automobiles, and more.
United Kingdom

Openwrks, Zopa and TrueLayer get into Open Banking groove (Finextra), Rated: AAA

The UK’s major banks are being shown a clean pair of heels by non-bank competitors in the Open Banking space, with new announcements by TrueLayer in tandem with Zopa, and Openwrks demonstrating the determination of third party providers to open up access to consumer account data.

Zopa has worked with TrueLayer to create an income verification product which removes the need to manually upload documents to verify income – replacing it with Open Banking data.
Separately, Openwrks – which likewise enables providers of consumer and small business products and services to access consumer’s financial data – has become the first third party provider to successfully connect to all of the banks currently providing functional APIs (Lloyds, RBS, AIB, HSBC and Danske).

Elliott takes majority stake in new Welsh online bank (The Times), Rated: A

China

China’s Ant plans equity fundraising at potential $ 100 billion valuation – sources (Reuters), Rated: AAA

China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to $5 billion in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than $100 billion, people familiar with the move told Reuters.

The new round should start with a valuation of between $80 billion to $100 billion, the people said.

China Fintech Watchdog to Step Up ICO Oversight (CoinDesk), Rated: A

A self-regulatory association that draws support from China’s banking and securities sectors is vowing to increase its oversight over cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO) in 2018.

In its annual meeting held on Feb. 9, China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) revealed that while it has put special efforts into overseeing the sector in 2017, it expects this work to become a regular part of its 2018 agenda.
Australia

Loans.com.au slashes home loan rates for owner-occupiers, investors (mozo), Rated: AAA

Online lender, loans.com.au has today slashed rates for both owner-occupiers and investors on certain home loans, and is now offering some of the lowest mortgage rates in the market.

One of the changes was to cut the Essentials Variable 80 rate for owner-occupiers looking to make principal and interest repayments by 12 basis points, bringing it to a red hot 3.52% – the lowest rate for a loan of its kind in the Mozo database.

The rate on loans.com.au’s Offset Variable 80 for owner-occupiers making principal and interest repayments was also slashed by 12 basis points, bringing it down to a competitive 3.60%.

India

Online gold loan platform Rupeek gets $ 6.8 mn from Accel, Sequoia (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Bengaluru-based Rupeek, which operates an online marketplace for gold loans, has raised $6.83 million (Rs 44 crore) in a fresh funding round led by Accel Partners.

Eduvanz Financing raises funds from Blinc Advisors (livemint), Rated: A

Eduvanz Financing Pvt. Ltd, an education technology start-up that provides loans for skill development to students, has raised $500,000 in a round of funding led by Blinc Advisors, a venture capital fund, a senior executive at the start-up said.

Fintech start-up EarlySalary is making emergency loans more affordable (Business-Standard), Rated: A

Neha Kumari needed a new phone urgently after her old one was damaged during a Saturday night party. To add to her difficulties, it was the beginning of the last week of the month and the salary day was 10 days away. Missing client calls for more than a couple of days was out of the question and the weekend was expensive anyway.

Neha, who did not have a credit card, could have borrowed from friends, but most of them were as broke as she was then. And borrowing from the family was ruled out. The last time she had borrowed Rs 10,000 from a friend to book emergency tickets was three …

Preventive measures (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: A

This is with reference to reports on market volatility. Regulators must ensure that this trend does not end up promoting alternative investment avenues of an uncertain nature. Investor interests demand that risk-based P2P lending via online/social marketplaces be regulated. Peer lending has significantly grown and enabled borrowers with a sub-par credit history. P2P lending is highly prone to performance risks on account of a higher probability of a borrower-default, credit risks owing to poor loan-sanctioning decisions & lack of fund-monitoring post disbursal, cash drag risks because of a larger borrower-population than the available lenders, platform Risks driven by borrower insolvency or frauds or technology risks/cybersecurity breaches and market risks owing to interest rate fluctuations and unemployment risks leading to non-payments.

What’s Driving India’s Fintech Boom? (Wharton), Rated: A

With more than 200 million active users in India — the largest anywhere in the world — WhatsApp is expected to drive large volumes on peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and also become a popular platform for merchant payments. India is slated to be the first country globally to get the payments facility from WhatsApp.

Other global giants, too, are zeroing in on this space. For instance, Google has already launched its payments app Google Tez (“Tez” in Hindi means fast), while Samsung has launched Samsung Pay and Amazon has introduced Amazon Pay.

Paytm, India’s largest online payments and mobile wallet company, has invested Rs. 5,000 crore ($786 million) in mobile payments to date.

This was 13% less than $14.6 billion in 2015. On the other hand, fintech investments in Asia increased to $5.4 billion in 2016, up 12.5% from $4.8 billion in 2015.

Fintech Will Change How We Bank (Business-Standard), Rated: A

In the not too distant future, there may come a time, where we cease to interact with the as we know it. which were monolithic organization who created the products, sold it directly and owned the customers are being slowly ceding ground to so called new breed companies chipping away at the edges. While regulations and strict KYC/AML regulations still enable to continue to be in business, the power they once wielded is diminishing. As Niti Aayog Chairman, Amitabh Kant said “Debit cards, credit cards and ATMs might lose relevance in the next four years”.

Peer to peer lending picks pace (Telengana Today), Rated: B

According to the latest annual report of RBI, during Q1 of FY18, as against negative incremental rise in bank credit, the non-bank sources gained space in lending. The total flow of funds to the commercial sector from non-bank sources during the period increased to Rs 1,16,600 crore while the formal banking system trailed behind.

In terms of financial assets, NBFCs recorded a healthy growth — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% in the past few years — comprising 13% of the total credit and are expected to reach nearly 18% by 2018-19.

APAC

Asia-Pacific Fintech Market to reach US$ 72 billion by 2020, finds Frost & Sullivan (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Active support and initiatives by financial regulators such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank Negara Malaysia and Bank Indonesia has enabled the Asia-Pacific Fintech ecosystem to grow significantly in 2017.

The Fintech industry in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 72.5% from 2015 to 2020, reaching US$72 billion.

Future of Cashless Payments in Singapore

According to Ms Quah Mei Lee, Industry Principal, ICT, Asia-Pacific, the mobile payments market in Singapore was estimated to be worth US$1.4 billion in 2017. The market is still small but is growing fast. There are many supportive regional and local regulations and initiatives that will help Singapore move towards a cashless Society.

Fintech in Singapore’s SME Landscape

In the wake of the global Fintech boom, disruptive market innovations have forced a radical shift of business models in the Financial Services industry, notably within the P2P Lending segment. Frost & Sullivan believes that leading banks and financial institutions are driven to be lean and agile on multiple fronts, including but not limited to new digital services, elevated customer experiences and innovative technological solutions.

Online loan providers have recently begun targeting young adults here in their 20s and 30s in Korea in the name of “providing pocket money.” Other peer-to-peer lending platforms promote their services as an investment fund or shared wallet to relax young people’s vigilance toward the money lenders.

Blockchain spending surges in China and Asia (Shine), Rated: B

Blockchain spending in Asia Pacific excluding Japan will jump 91 percent in the five years until 2021, thanks to applications in finance and supply chain industries, said IDC in a report today.

China will see a five-year annual growth rate of 95 percent, compared with about 81 percent growth worldwide, said IDC in the report, the first blockchain report released by the company.

For example, PPDai, China’s first online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform listed in the US market, said in January it would invest 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) within three years to set up a new research institute.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday January 18 2018, Daily News Digest

mobile banking user growth

News Comments Today’s main news: Marcus passes the $2B loan origination mark. Varo Money secures $45M in Round B. Funding Circle’s fund announces Citibank deal. Qudian enters budget auto financing. PeerStreet intros 30-day notes. Today’s main analysis: Investing in Mintos’ secondary market. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Mobile banking is more important than ever. Credit score changes would force banks to help […]

mobile banking user growth

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

Goldman Sachs’ Online Lending Platform Marcus Has Originated Over $ 2 Billion in Loans, Deposits Rise to Over $ 5 Billion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Meeting a prediction from this past June set by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, online lending platform Marcus topped $2 billion in loan originations. Additionally, Marcus reported online deposits of over $5 billion. Deposits and consumer lending have now been combined under a single brand, thus, in reality, creating a challenger bank for the future.

Overall, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reported net revenues of $32.07 billion and net earnings of $4.29 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Diluted earnings per common share were $9.01 compared with $16.29 for the year ended December 31, 2016. Goldman reported a Q4 loss of $5.51 per share. The results were impacted by a tax related expense of $4.4 billion. Without this expense, Goldman said earnings per share would have been $5.68.

Varo Money Closes $ 45M Series B Financing Round (Varo Money Email), Rated: AAA

Mobile banking is more important than ever (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

As we’ve seen for the past few quarters, mobile banking is continuing to rise, but the rate of growth is decelerating as offerings mature.

  • JPMorgan Chase 

    How a 23-year-old Max Levchin got Peter Thiel to invest in PayPal in under 24 hours (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Levchin told Shontell, “I saw [Thiel’s] name on the pinboard, wandered into a class that was taught by him, which turned out to be more like seminar with six people in the room. So it was a very small group of people. One: I couldn’t sleep because it would be obvious, but two, he was actually pretty interesting. So I stayed awake and chatted him up afterwards.”

    That turned out to be a good move. Here’s Levchin:

    “In the inimitable Peter Thiel fashion, we basically spend about 20 minutes talking after his lecture, and he said, ‘Well, what are you doing in Silicon Valley?’ I said, ‘I just got here two weeks ago. Probably gonna start a company.’ He said, ‘Oh, great. We should meet for breakfast.’

    “We met the next day. He said, ‘All right, so what companies are you thinking of starting?’ I had two ideas that I was concurrently thinking about. I described No. 1., No. 2. He said, ‘No. 1 is better; you should do that.’ ‘OK.’ ‘I’d like to invest.’ It was less than 24 hours later. Peter was a committed investor in my new project.”

    Credit score changes would saddle banks with risk to help nonbanks (American Banker), Rated: AAA

    Recently, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has been evaluating whether to allow originators that sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use something other than the currently mandated FICO model. Specifically, the FHFA is evaluating whether originators can also use the VantageScore model offered by a company owned by the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

    VantageScore contends that its model will provide credit scores on more than 30 million additional consumers and make 7.6 million of these scores eligible for a loan sold to Fannie or Freddie because of the model’s supposed ability to more accurately assess blemished and dormant credit histories and accommodate thin credit files that most often effect younger consumers. VantageScore also argues that, since the model consolidates data from all three credit bureaus, it eliminates scoring differences caused by data discrepancies. The result, the company maintains, will be expanded home ownership, a more vibrant housing market, more consistent underwriting and faster economic growth.

    The major proponents of the alternative credit scoring model are large nonbank originators and credit reporting firms — companies that make their living from the quantity of loans they originate, not the quality. Their business models shield them from ongoing credit risk and require ever-increasing volumes to achieve scale economies. In short, nonbank originators generally don’t eat their own cooking — either in the form of loans or in the form of securities backed by the loans they originate. Therefore, they have everything to gain from this FHFA change, and very little to lose.

    PeerStreet Announces New Investment Product “30-Day Notes” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    On Wednesday, PeerStreet announced the launch of its new investment product, 30-Day Note, to provide increased liquidity for accredited investors at 30-day terms. According to the online lender, the 30-Day Notes product was launched quietly in October as a pilot program, is now offered monthly.

    Axial Members Surpass $ 25 Billion in Closed Middle Market Deals (Axial Email), Rated: A

    Axial, the deal network for the middle market, today announced its members have closed more than $25 billion in deals on 2,000-plus M&A and growth capital transactions since Axial’s launch in 2010. To facilitate these closed transactions, Axial arranged more than 2.1 million private member-to-member deal connections. Nearly one-third (650) of the total transactions closed in 2017.

    In 2017, the revenues of businesses that privately transacted using the Axial deal network ranged from $2.9 million to $610 million, with EBITDA ranging from negative $19 million to $223 million. Top sectors of deal flow activity include Business Services, SaaS, Healthcare IT, Distribution & Logistics, and Manufacturing. Notably, 24% of all growth capital transactions attempted in 2017 were in the Technology sector, more than doubling year-over-year from 10% in 2016.

    Worthy Peer Capital Receives SEC Qualification for 5% Money Market Alternative (Worthy Financial Email), Rated: A

    Worthy Financial, Inc., a modern personal finance company that delivers alternative investment products and digital savings solutions to a wide-range of retail investors, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Worthy Peer Capital, Inc. has been qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under Regulation A+, to bring a new liquid peer-debt product to the entire investing ecosystem.

    The new Worthy Bond offers all investors – including non-accredited investors – a 5% fixed return. Although the bonds have a 36 month term, they can be cashed in at any time for those with imminent liquidity needs, thereby serving more as an alternative to traditional money market products. Bonds may be purchased at .

    Democrats Add Momentum to G.O.P. Push to Loosen Banking Rules (The New York Times), Rated: A

    But unlike the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which passed along party lines, the effort to loosen the post-crisis rules is somewhat bipartisan. A group of Senate Democrats has joined Republicans to support legislation that would mark the first major revision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama that has been deemed “a disaster” by President Trump.

    The bill would allow hundreds of smaller banks to avoid certain elements of federal oversight, including stress tests, which measure a bank’s ability to withstand a severe economic downturn. Under current law, banks with assets of $50 billion or more are considered “systemically important financial institutions” and therefore governed by stricter rules. The bill would raise that threshold to institutions with assets of $250 billion or more, leaving fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to the stricter oversight.

    Banks with assets of $50 billion to $100 billion would be immediately freed from those requirements. Financial institutions with $100 billion to $250 billion in assets, such as BB&T and American Express, would no longer be subject to tougher rules after 18 months, although the Federal Reserve would retain the authority to periodically conduct stress tests on those firms.

     

    The One Big Reason It’s So Hard to Refinance Your Student Loans (Money), Rated: A

    More than half of borrowers who applied for refinancing in 2017 were turned down, according on a report released Wednesday by LendEDU, a student loan marketplace that tracked 32,000 applications to eight refinance companies.

    Using data from users of the LendEDU marketplace, the report found that 58% of 2017 refinance applicants were ultimately rejected. And those who passed muster had very high FICO credit scores—the average approved applicant had a score of 764. Nationally, the average credit scoreis 700 out of 850; anything above 720 qualifies as excellent.

    Refinancing companies are currently advertising fixed interest rates that start at about 3.5%. Yet the average on refinanced loans in 2017 was 5.56%, LendEDU found.

    Source: Money

    Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and it’s scary how accurate he was (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Gates’ prediction: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”

    No. 3: Instant payments and financing online 

    Gates’ prediction: “Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.”

    The Top Ten Fintech Predictions for 2018 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    10. Resurgence of Peer to Peer Lending and the Emergence of A New Asset Class

    We’ve seen coin-backed lending such as Salt Lending. There will be many more platforms that will attempt to solve solvency and liquidity issues with lending in fiat currency backed by coins.

    9. Alternative Internet

    The cost of a simple PayPal transaction might go up dramatically because it was routed through Comcast’s fiber. You may have to pay an additional $3.99 a month for an “Online Banking” package if you want to do online banking…

    8. Banks will rule again

    Most of the online platforms (payments or lending) plus secondary markets are at the mercy of banks. Without a bank charter, you are simply limited on growth.

    6. Baby Boomer Financial, Inc.

    The youngest baby boomers are approaching retirement age. The baby boomer generation is about 75 million people (on par with Millennials) in the US and represents a vast amount of wealth in this country. They want to transact, invest, bank and most importantly transfer their wealth in a responsible way. I predict that there will be Fintech startups specifically addressing the needs of this generation of folks.

    4. Mass Adoption of Zero Latency Payment Clearance/Credit.

    Over the past few decades, we went from a cash society and in-person / in-branch interviews to “same-day” ACH (direct deposit) and next day loan funding. I predict that in 2018, we will see instant credit approval and funding.

    3.  Social Networks Venture Into Credit.

    I am making another prediction that Facebook or Snapchat will venture into extending credit.

    2. Vertical Integration.

    WeWork will get into the Working Capital lending business. And dare I say Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn, will start lending money based on your resume and activities within your professional connections?!

    BlackRock makes impact a necessity for companies (ImpactAlpha), Rated: A

    Larry Fink flips social impact from a luxury to a necessity for every company. The chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $6 trillion under management, served notice on corporate CEOs their companies “must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” Fink made his point as clearly as possible: “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

    Would a bank payday loan be any safer? (Daily Journal of Commerce), Rated: A

    Thanks to a recent regulatory change, it now may be possible for banks to offer small, short-term loans that could be a lot less dangerous for borrowers. Whether banks will actually do so remains to be seen.

    Standard Chartered creates fintech investment unit (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

    Standard Chartered has established a new business unit, SC Ventures, to invest in fintechs and other start-ups.

    Christopher Blake Joins Cross River Bank Loan Team (Long Island Press), Rated: B

    Veteran loan officer Christopher Blake joined Cross River Bank, where he’ll serve clients in Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn in the lender’s Commercial and Multi-Family Real Estate division, the company announced Tuesday.

    Freefly has teamed up with three fantastic financing partners (Freefly), Rated: B

    AFFIRM FINANCING

    Ideal for individuals looking to finance their Freefly purchases.

    SCL EQUIPMENT FINANCE

    A flexible lender designed for U.S. business, sole proprietors, and independent contractors.

    GLOBAL FINANCE

    A creative lender with options for businesses in the U.S. and many countries across the globe.

    United Kingdom

    Funding Circle’s fund unveils Citibank deal (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    FUNDING Circle’s listed fund has inked a deal with Citibank, whereby the financial institution indirectly channels £50m to small businesses through the peer-to-peer lending platform.

    The transaction was announced by the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) on Wednesday.

    Under a rather complicated structured finance deal, Citibank’s London branch will advance a senior, floating rate loan of £50m through two Irish special purpose vehicles. The facility matures in December 2026.

    Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited (London South East), Rated: A

    The Board is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a formal agreement with Citibank, N.A. London Branch (“Citibank London”) to establish a funding transaction to make loans to ?UK small businesses through the Funding Circle platform?. The transaction will serve to support the Company’s target dividend yield of 6-7% per annum.

    Under the terms of the agreement Citibank London will provide �50 million of funding into the transaction, by entering into a senior, floating rate loan. The Company will contribute a portfolio of existing UK small business loans at par, and in return shall receive ?approximately �50 million of cash to be deployed in accordance with its investment policy, and junior notes.

    Fintech firms struggling to get a foothold with established lenders (The Irish Times), Rated: A

    Banks and other financial institutions remain extremely wary of working with fintech firms, particularly in Ireland where few are willing to give start-ups the endorsement they need to help secure business elsewhere.

    Andrew Patrick White, founder and chief executive of FundApps, a regtech firm that provides compliance and regulation monitoring services to asset managers and hedge funds, said many financial institutions were afraid of fintech solutions because of a fear that they would be used to replace staff.

    “Your grandmother probably has more sophisticated apps on her iPad than many banks have inhouse,” Mr White added.

    Your morning briefing (PaymentsSource), Rated: A

    ‘All-in-one’ cards get another shotCurve has debuted a card in the U.K. that allows consumers to switch a card used to fund a payment after they have left the store. Through the card’s “back in time” feature, card preferences can be changed for up to two weeks, a system the company is selling as a financial management tool. Curve, which is being offered for free with a $60 premium option with more rewards, works like a regular card and is usable anyplace that accepts Mastercard. While all-in-one cards have struggled to gain traction over the years, more than 100,000 people signed up during the card’s testing phase and spent more than $120 million, according to a release.

    OnePlus’ fraud hit: Electronic equipment company OnePlus became the latest to get hit with card fraud, with consumers reporting unauthorized transactions and the company disabling credit card payments but still allowing PayPal transactions. The company is doing a complete audit of its systems and is looking for alternative payment options.

    When we asked, which, if any, Isas have you used over the 2017/18 tax year, nearly a third (32%) said they’d only used a Stocks and Shares Isa.

    This was followed by nearly a quarter (24%) who’ve only used a Cash Isa, and 17% who use a mixture of different Isas.

    This decline in Cash Isa savings is likely to be attributed to poor cash savings rates and the introduction of the personal savings allowance in April 2017.

    Interestingly, Innovative Finance Isas – used for peer-to-peer lending – don’t appear to have taken off, with just 3% of those who voted in our poll only using this savings vehicle.

    Source: Moneywise

    Name Change for Funding Knight as GLI Finance Updates to Sancus Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

    As part of an ongoing strategic update, GLI Finance has renamed peer to peer lending platform FundingKnight to Sancus Funding Limited with immediate effect. GLI Finance, an AIM listed company, has also transferred ownership to Sancus BMS Group Limited.

    China

    Qudian is Moving into Budget Auto Financing (CapitalWatch), Rated: AAA

    The newly listed peer-to-peer lending company in China, Qudian (NYSE: QD), has moved into auto-purchase financing, a new business initiative called “Dabai Auto,” according to the company.

    Launched in late November 2017, Dabai Auto is currently targeting Qudian’s existing high quality users, who have been approved with credit lines, but have not actively transacted in small cash installments. The company also announced that it plans to spend around RMB 100 million ($15.5 million) to promote Dabai Auto through online and offline channels. The offline channels would include Qudian user engagement and delivery centers that are located in the shopping districts of over 100 cities across China.

    HNA-owned P2P lending platform doing business normally, executive says (Global Times), Rated: A

    Payments of investment products on jbh.com, an online peer-to-peer (P2P) platform owned by HNA Group, remain normal and there have not been any capital losses since the platform was set up three years ago, an executive of the company said on Wednesday.

    Payments for all maturing investment products on jbh.com are being made as normal, sina.com.cn reported Wednesday, citing Xia Aobi, president of jbh.com.

    International

    Funding Circle and Lufax: Two High Profile IPOs for 2018 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

    Neither IPO is a surprise as both companies have indicated their intentions before. But we now have a clearer indication on the timing. First off the rank will likely be Lufax. The South China Morning Post reported that Lufax is planning to do their IPO in Hong Kong in April at a possible valuation of US$60 billion. This would be more than three times the valuation of their previous funding round in 2016.

    The Funding Circle news actually broke just before the New Year with this article from Sky News. They reported that the company was preparing to hire advisors in the first steps towards an IPO. They are supposedly going to interview investment bankers this quarter with a possible listing in London in late fall which would put us in the latter part of the third quarter.

    A successful Funding Circle IPO, one where the valuation rises after it goes public will be very good for the marketplace lending industry in both the UK and the US. We have had little good news here in the last couple of years when it comes to the public markets and I would very much like to see a success story here.

    Investing on the Mintos Secondary Market – Hint One (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

    On the Mintos p2p lending marketplace the majority of investors invest on the primary market into loans, either manually or via autoinvest. But for the 29% of investors that do invest on the secondary market picking loans presents them with a huge choice of about 125,000 offers (no typo, really 125K loan parts on offer!).

    Source: P2P-Banking

    For the shown loans there is a very high probability that they will miss the payment and therefore run an additional 60 days until they are repaid under the buyback guarantee. If that happens the remaining actual loan duration would be 62 or 63 days and the impact of the 0.1% discount on the YTM would be much smaller. The resulting YTM would be somewhere around 11 to 13%. So they would not be a good buy and there are much better offers on the secondary market.

    Source: P2P-Banking

    With two weeks remaining the effective YTM for a buyer is not 36% but rather around 12%. Again there are offers with better YTMs on the secondary market.

    Chinese tech groups undermine banks’ dominance of finance (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

    The recent refusal by US regulators to sign off on Ant Financial’s $1.2bn acquisition of Dallas-based money transfer firm MoneyGram International does not signal the end of the Alibaba-affiliated payments group’s US financial ambitions.

    On one level, the scuppered deal suggests that Chinese companies, whether state-owned or otherwise, will have an ever harder time winning approval for US acquisitions. The move also confirms that the Americans now believe that the definition of national security — their basis for scrutinising overseas deals — embraces anything related to information and data.

    But Ant Financial’s attempted US play also shows how much technology is undermining the dominance of traditional global titans, especially in the financial sphere. It is especially noteworthy that many of the upstart challengers to banks and other legacy companies increasingly either have a Chinese face or Chinese capital behind them. That, in turn, underscores how some Chinese players have leapfrogged into prominence across the world.

    Blockchain is revolutionizing the loan industry – a look at Valorem… (Global Crypto Press), Rated: A

    Smart contracts are providing the solution to the trust issues that are usually the main concerns in the micro loan industry.  Whether it be student loans, cars, or any other kind of micro lending – blockchain technology provides what’s needed to move away from the banks, and towards a peer to peer lending model.

    Volerem Foundation is building the infrastructure to facilitate exactly this.

    India

    Govt should think of new ways to boost sectors like P2P lending: LenDenClub (India Info Online), Rated: A

    Additionally, we also expect the government should think of new ways to boost sectors like P2P lending. Eg.- Enable tax exemption for the lenders on P2P lending platforms, under section 80C. This will result in raising the trust bar and credibility, leading to more and more people investing in such platforms. It will also bring in a good enough capital infusion in the P2P lending space.

    Introducing Syndicates for India (Angel.co), Rated: A

    Today, we are announcing Syndicates for India, a new way for investors in India to invest alongside experienced angels and VC funds that invest in India’s vibrant tech ecosystem.

    To date, over 1,800 startups have raised more than $700M through Syndicates on the AngelList platform, receiving more than $6B in follow-on funding.

    APAC

    Gov’t urged to increase ceiling for individual investment in P2P lenders (Yonhap News Agency), Rated: AAA

    A business lobby of peer to peer (P2P) finance firms said Thursday it has asked financial regulators to raise the annual ceiling on individual investment in P2P lenders.

    The Korea P2P Finance Association has asked the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to increase the limit to 100 million won (US$93,632) per year from the current 10 million won, an association official said.

    ZorroSign Among Top 25 FinTech Companies (PR Newswire), Rated: B

    ZorroSign, Inc., today announced the company has been recognized among the top 25 FinTech companies in Asia-Pacific (APAC) by CIO Outlook. The honor spotlights organizations that are fundamentally disrupting the way companies in the global finance sector do business. ZorroSign offers unique secure eSignature, end-to-end Digital Transaction Management, and post-execution fraud protection solution. With security being on top of mind for financial services providers, ZorroSign Document 4n6 (Forensics) Token technology offers a major advantage to its customers.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

Friday August 25 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative investing

News Comments Today’s main news: Ellevest raises $32M to target women investors. eOriginal, Notarize close first digital mortgage closing. OFF3R launches SIPPS portal. Zopa reduces higher-risk lending. China issues draft rules on illegal fundraising. TWINO adds second Russian originator. African university to offer fintech degree. Today’s main analysis: Should P2P lending investors worry about default rates?Early-stage fintech investment in UK, Germany. Today’s […]

alternative investing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Wall Street alum Sallie Krawcheck just raised $ 32 million for her investing platform (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

But the uncertainty and risk that comes with the markets is very often a major deterrent, especially for women, who invest at a much lower rate than men in the US.

To combat this, former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck launched Ellevest in 2016, a digital investing platform that puts female investors’ money in low-cost ETFs based on a pick-and-choose set of goals, like starting a business, buying a home, having children, and retiring comfortably.

This week, the startup raised $32.5 million in its latest round of funding, according to CNBC. Tennis superstar Venus Williams, who is a champion of equal pay and opportunity for women both on and off the court, was among Ellevest’s first investors.

Just 28% of women are willing to take on high risk to get a good return on their investment, compared to 45% of men, according to a 2015 report by BlackRock.

Man finds it can be hard to return $ 6,000 (WoodTV), Rated: AAA

When 53-year-old Wyoming resident Duane La Varier found $6,180 had mysteriously appeared in his bank account, he never dreamed how hard it could be just trying to give money away.

He said he and his wife never filled out any applications and never sought any kind of loan.

The deposit a week ago had come from a company called LendingClub.

“I said, ‘I did not apply for this loan. Just take it back, just take it all out of my account.’ They said no.”

LendingClub is not the actual lender — it represents lenders — but Dudum said the company will take the hit for the $6,000 loan and its fees.

eOriginal and Notarize Make Digital Mortgage the New Reality (Broadway World), Rated: AAA

With its launch of Notarize for Mortgage, the company’s proprietary signing and remote notarization platform, Notarize recently completed the first-ever online mortgage closing. By integrating directly with eOriginal’s electronic vault, they enable lenders to leverage a joint solution that takes only a few short days to set up and launch before borrowers can start closing loans online. Together, Notarize and eOriginal allow lenders to quickly provide a seamless digital experience spanning the entire closing process all the way through registration with MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.) and sale into the secondary market.

Connecting lenders, title agents, borrowers and notaries online 24 x 7 to digitize the closing process, the Notarize for Mortgage platform is approved by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, underwritten by national title underwriters, and was launched with five lender customers and numerous warehouse lender and mortgage servicer partners. The platform is available to lenders online or via modern APIs that allow them to integrate an online closing process directly into their existing tools, automating their closing operations entirely.

eOriginal’s platform of integrated solutions delivers a fully digital mortgage and supports every type of digital closing strategy.

TRANSPARENCY IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTING (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

In February of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 200 senior asset managers and institutional investor executives to learn what factors are most important in the way they make their decisions. Several different types of institution were involved, including hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, and nonprofits.

New Business Models – and Transparency

The 2008 global financial crisis of course had a negative impact on the alternative investments industry.

New business models have arisen to supply demand across the spectrum of investors, including those investors eligible for and interested in alternatives. Publicly traded limited partners are one important example.

Who will win the robo advisor IPO race? (Financial-Planning), Rated: AAA

It’s been a decade since the launch of the industry’s leading independent digital advice platforms — Betterment, Wealthfront and Personal Capital.

The question that now remains for all three: who will cross the IPO finish line first?

In terms of assets, the trio has kept their positions in the market respectively, with Betterment leading all independents with over $10 billion in AUM, followed by Wealthfront’s $7.4 billion and Personal Capital’s $4.9 billion.

Collectively, the three count just over 420,000 clients and over 548,000 accounts, according to SEC filings and company statements.

Personal Capital, which always tailored its services for HNW clients before lowering its account minimums (and then raising them up again) claims its average client account size is roughly $380,000; users with more than $1 million in investable assets, the company says, comprise about 40% of its AUM.

Source: Financial-Planning.com

Online Lenders Featured in the Inc. 5000 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Every year Inc. pulls together a list of the top 5000 fastest growing private companies in the United States. This year there were around 250 companies that made it in the financial services category and there are several familiar names on the list.

Other lenders readers may recognize are Lighter Capital (634), FastPay (1653), National Funding (2030), and ZestFinance (2202).

How Debit Activity Can Benefit Lenders in a Cashless Society (Clarity Services), Rated: A

With nearly half the American population carrying a subprime credit score, rent-to-own companies, online installment, storefronts and others are embracing new tools to intelligently navigate a market that has been largely overlooked.

  • Cash is only 14 percent of the share of transactions by value of payments (The Federal Reserve System Cash Product Office).
  • While the average American spends roughly $100 per day – not counting the purchase of a home, motor vehicle or normal household bills (Gallop), half of us are walking around with less than $20 cash (Bankrate.com).
  • If given the choice between a cashless and cash-only shop, most consumers in the wealthiest countries prefer the cashless option (ING Group/eZonomics).
  • Nearly 40 percent of Americans said that they would be happy to go completely without cash. (ING Group/eZonomics).

The top 7 startups from Y Combinator S’17 Demo Day 2 (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Standard Cognition is using machine vision to build the checkout of the future. Called autonomous checkout, the technology will allow shoppers to grab what they want and walk out of a store without having to go to a cashier. Standard Cognition believes it tech will enable those companies to save money and reduce theft.

Dharma Labs is building what it calls the first “protocol for debt on blockchains.” Citing the popularity of ICOs, the startup believes there’s a “proven demand for cryptoassets that look and act much like equity.” So Dharma has built a mechanism for decentralized peer-to-peer lending. “Anyone in the world can borrow and anyone in the world can lend.”

Emailage Raises $ 10m in Growth Equity Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Emailage, a Chandler, AZ-based provider of global fraud prevention and identity verification using email address scoring, raised $10m in growth equity funding.

The round was led by Anthos Capital, with participation from Radian Capital, Wipro Ventures, Mucker Capital and Tallwave Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to expand existing partnerships, further advance its email address-based predictive scoring system, and accelerate growth in North America, EMEA, LATAM and other key markets.

How to Expand Your Business Online by Offering More Products or Services (Kabbage), Rated: A

Hopefully, increased revenues will help ease cash flow problems and in the end, improve profits. Other advantages of growing business may include the chance to bring in more qualified employees, acquiring more customers and improving credit scores.

Expand service areas

Companies that provide services to homes or other businesses may find that their hometown or neighborhood has a limited customer base.

Expanding to nearby locations is one of the most common ways that local businesses grow into regional businesses. This also allows the company to add some more geographic areas to a business website, directories, and social pages to show up in more local searches.

Expand services

Most small business owners have to work to manage cash flow, and this task is much tougher when revenues are only high for a few months but operational costs last all year.

These are some ways to expand services both offline and online:

  • One good way to promote this kind of service online could be through holding webinars with tax tips for small businesses or even individuals. Some tax preparers might also produce books or videos for sale to help startups and small businesses manage tax planning better.
  • Some of these plucky entrepreneurs have learned to keep business flowing by offering holiday specials for getaways. Others have opened their facilities up to host seminars or workshops for organizations.
  • He kept his local business website to attract repair customers, but he also added an online store to sell products to the DIY crowd all over the country. He promoted this online store by creating some how-to videos.

This credit card alternative could be bad for your wallet (WSBTV.com), Rated: B

The problem is that these instant loans encourage impulse spending — and it doesn’t have to be a pricey vacation! Affirm will spread payments over a period of 12 months for loans of $100 or more.

To put that in perspective, you could easily pay more than $15 in interest on just a $100 loan!

LENDINGCLUB INVESTOR REVIEW: THE BEST PEER TO PEER LENDING SOLUTION (The College Investor), Rated: B

Over the last 8 years, 150,000 investors have lent over $26 Billion in personal loans through the peer to peer LendingClub platfrom. On average, investors in the top grade loans earned 5-7% annualized with strong cash flow.

As an added bonus, LendingClub allows you to invest as little as $25 per note. That means it’s easy to spread your risk across dozens or even hundreds of loans.

First, you need to meet some strict investor requirements.

  •  Income requirements: Must earn $70,000 annually ($85,000 in California)
  • Net Worth Requirements: Must have a net worth (exclusive of your home value) of $70,000 ($85,000 in California). People with a $250,000 net worth do not have to abide by the income requirements ($200,000 in California).
  •  Kentucky residents must be accredited investors (earn $200,000 annually or have a net worth of $1 million)
  •  Residents of Alaska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania cannot invest in LendingClub
  •  No more than 10% of your net worth can be investing in lending club notes
  •  $1,000 minimum investment

LendingClub charges $100 per year for their self directed IRA accounts, but they waive that if you maintain $5,000 of investments in your first year or $10,000 in subsequent years.

Once you select your loans, LendingClub will help you evaluate the risk on your portfolio of loans. They will even provide a projected rate of returns based off of history.

Source: The College Investor

TD Auto Monitors Fintech Startups (Auto Finance News), Rated: B

TD Auto Finance is keeping a close eye on fintech startups as it evaluates “opportunities that might exist” for auto refinance and private-party transactions, President and Chief Executive Andrew Stuart told Auto Finance News.

TD Auto is already “in discussions” with several fintech players to evaluate “where that might go,” Stuart said.

5 Things To Know Before Taking A Loan Online (ValueWalk), Rated: B

If you’ve considered taking a personal loan online here’s what you need to know:

  1. More accessible – Smaller, newer financial firms have stepped in to fill the gaps left behind by traditional banks since the crisis.
  2. Tailored products – You can tailor the specifics of the loan, such as the timeline for payback and the purpose of the loan. Businesses can use everything from inventory to invoices without the need for a personal guarantee.
  3. Pricing Variety – Whether the payments are amortized monthly or weekly. Whether the effective annual rate is as attractive as you expected.
  4. Less Regulation – Alternative lenders and online loan providers are not regulated by the FDIC the same way as traditional banks.
  5. More awareness – The lack of regulation means alternative online lenders have more flexibility to provide custom lending solutions. They can be as innovative as they want with these financial products. However, you need to be more careful when dealing with an online lender. Look into their history, get assurances from the company, and do your best to educate yourself about their business.
United Kingdom

OFF3R launches new SIPPS portal (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

OFF3R has launched a new channel dedicated to Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), the tax-free vehicle for pension savings.

The investment aggregator’s SIPPs portal launched on Tuesday 22 August with an initial list of three pension providers: Hargreaves Lansdown, IG, and True Potential Investor. It details the various fees and investment thresholds of each platform, as well as information on the different management styles.

Zopa reduces higher-risk lending (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

Zopa has revealed it is taking steps to attract more lower-risk customers as it continues its reduction in higher-risk lending.

Zopa has reduced the amount of lending in its higher return D-E markets, which are included in its Plus product.

The Plus product was designed for investors who were willing to accept more risk for higher returns, with rates of between 6-7%.

Zopa expects that the lower-risk approach will mean the targeted returns for new investments in the Plus product will be 4.5%.

“For example, the proportion of D and E loans in the Plus product would go from 30% until now, to 10-15% in the future.”

Peer-to-peer lending: should you worry about default rates? (Your Money), Rated: AAA

Neil Faulkner, managing director of peer-to-peer research and ratings agency 4thWay, explains that investors should pay close attention to published bad-debt figures (which cover loan write-offs as well as simple defaults) of the different platforms.

Zopa

When a loan is approved, Zopa makes an assumption about its likelihood of falling into default over the lifetime of the loan, and then revises this default expectation over the lifetime of the loan.

Source: YourMoney.com

Zopa divides up investor money between many borrowers matching the risk profile specified at the outset by the investor, to spread the risk. If a borrower misses four months of repayments, then a recovery process begins.

RateSetter

The headline rate to note is that over its lifetime, 98.31% of loans are up-to-date – in order words, around 1.7% are in some form of arrears.

Funding Circle

Funding Circle is a little different in that you are lending to businesses rather than people. Over the lifetime of the site, it says that around 2% of loans have turned bad.

Lending Works

To date, Lending Works has an actual bad debt rate of 1.1%.

Assetz Capital Update: Investors Have Earned £25 Million to Date (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Assetz Capital has shared that investors in aggregate have earned gross returns of more than £25 million on their investments in approximately four years. Assetz Capital says lenders earned an average of 8% gross interest across all Assetz Capital loans since platform launch, before allowances for tax or any losses not covered by a provision fund.

Currently, Assetz Capital has about 20,000 registered and active investors. The returns since the launch of the platform were generated from over £309 million lent to UK businesses from a range of industries looking to raise funds, including SME, bridging and development sectors.

ThinCats plans staggered IFISA roll-out before end of 2017 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Earlier this month, ThinCats received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allowed the firm to apply for ISA manager status from the HMRC. While a launch date has not been officially set, Stewart Cazier, head of retail, told Peer2Peer Finance News: “I’m definitely thinking 2017. I’d be very disappointed if it didn’t happen this year.”

Innovate Finance CEO steps down (AltFi), Rated: B

After two and half years at the helm of the fintech member association, Innovate Finance, Lawrence Wintermeyer has stepped down.

Wintermeyer is leaving to pursue other opportunities, he said.

China

China issues draft rules in crackdown on illegal fundraising (Reuters), Rated: AAA

China issued draft rules targeting illegal fundraising on Thursday, as the authorities step up a campaign to crack down on risky and illicit behavior in the country’s financial sector.

The draft rules, issued by the law office of China’s State Council, call for participants engaged in illegal fundraising to cover the losses stemming from those activities.

Regulators will guide financial institutions and non-bank payment service providers on tightening up their supervision of suspicious fund flows, the draft rules said.

Financial institutions and non-bank payment service providers, if found to be negligent, will be subject to having their illegal income forfeited. They will also be subject to a fine of more than 1 time but less than five times of the illegal income, the draft rules said.

The executives responsible for the illegal activity will be removed and banned from entering the financial industry for a certain period of time and could be subject to fines of between 50,000 yuan and 500,000 yuan each ($7,507-$75,072), the rules said.

China Rapid Finance Posted a $ 13.5M Net Loss in Q2, but Very Close to Profitability (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, China Rapid Finance (NYSE:XRF) released an unaudited financial report for the second quarter of 2017. In the second quarter, the company reported a gross income of $24.5 million, up 59% from a year earlier, and their net income was $15.2 million, up 9 percent year on year. The company posted a net loss of $13.5 million in the second quarter, compared with $5.9 million in the same period last year, as the cost of including customer incentives increased.

However, the company still held the “Low and Grow” business strategy. Compared to the profitability, there are more concerned about gross income. Through analysis of the company’s financial and business data, we can find that some business data is changing and the potential for profit is increasing.

Better Buy: SINA vs. Weibo (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Chinese internet companies SINA (NASDAQ:SINA) and Weibo(NASDAQ:WB) are closely tied to each other. SINA holds a 46% stake in Weibo, deriving 72% of its top line from the Chinese Twitter clone (as Weibo is referred to by some).

Weibo’s greater gains have made it more expensive with a trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 132 as compared to SINA’s 30.

SINA relies on Weibo for 70% of its revenue, which means that investors can still enjoy the latter’s rapid growth via a stock with a lower valuation. Additionally, SINA’s non-Weibo business has started gaining some traction of late, with the company witnessing 8% year-over-year growth from this segment in the latest quarter.

While there is no denying that Weibo’s growth is still impressive — as the 28% year-over-year jump in its monthly active users boosted its advertising revenue by 72% last quarter — at the same time, there will be a limit to the company’s growth given its negligible presence outside China and the competition from the likes of Tencent‘s (NASDAQOTH:TCEHY) WeChat.

Fluid Wins LendIt Choice Award – Aug 2017 (FluidFi), Rated: B

Fluid, a California based FinTech & AdTech startup announces today that it received LendIt LangDi Fintech Choice Award from LendIt Conference in Shanghai, China.

European Union

Latvian P2P Lender TWINO Adds Second Russian Originator (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Latvian peer-to-peer lending platform TWINO has reportedly added a second Russian originator to its platform since its December 2016 launch.

According to P2P Finance News, over 40% of TWINO’s investors have funded Russian loans.

Early-Stage Fintech Investment In The UK & Germany Goes To Insurtech, Banking (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Year-to-date, European fintech companies have raised close to $2.6B across 295 deals, meaning that at the current run rate 2017 could see 500 deals and $4.5B in total funding by year end. For perspective, funding to European fintech companies is already 30% higher in 2017 YTD than the 2016 total.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

UK early-stage fintech financing has remained above 15 deals quarterly since Q2’14. Total disclosed funding has been a bit choppier: at $27M, Q4’16 was the lowest quarter since Q2’14, while the following quarter (Q1’17) saw the third-highest total funding at $81M and the largest number of deals at 33. Most recently, Q2’17 figures fell to $41M across 16 deals.

For example, Monese, which provides banking services for immigrants and expats, raised a $10M Series A in Q1’17, while Wirex, which allows for the holding of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies in a single account on its personal banking platform, raised a $3M Series A in the same quarter.

Insurance is trending up across Europe at large, with more than 20 early-stage deals closing for approximately $50M year-to-date.

GERMANY

Funding hit its peak in 2016 as well, at $135M, well above the previous high-water mark of $46M in 2013 and more than 4X the $31M total for 2015. 2017 is on pace to surpass 2016 early-stage fintech financing figures, with 22 deals and $83M year-to-date.

Germany has also seen an increase in early-stage deals to small business banking and API-focused mobile banking platforms. Financing rounds to this group have increased steadily since 2015, which saw 5 deals close for $17M and was followed by 7 deals in 2016 (for a much smaller $6M).

Klarna (Hortonworks), Rated: A

Klarna uses Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF) to help drive its deep data mining and AI, and to thus mitigate risk for buyers and sellers.

International

San Francisco and Berlin have new competition for the capital of ‘fintech’ (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Dubai has seen a surge of interest from fintech startups and banking assets over the last three years, according to the emirate’s financial center’s management body.

It’s fast becoming a destination for financial technology startups because of its location, private investment and innovation.

He told CNBC that the financial services industry contributes about 12 percent to Dubai’s total gross domestic product and it is expected to increase to 18 percent by 2024.

Increased appetite for fintech investment in Dubai from CNBC.

AXIS Capital Partners with Plug and Play Tech Center (BusinessWire), Rated: A

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited and its operating subsidiaries (“AXIS Capital”) (NYSE:AXS) today announced it has partnered with Plug and Play, a global digital startup innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley. By joining Plug and Play’s InsurTech platform, AXIS will gain access to world-class digital insurance startups and will provide mentorship and technical support, along with underwriting and actuarial expertise, to help turn their ideas into products or services.

To help address the rapid and transformative changes underway within the (re)insurance industry, AXIS will work with property and casualty, life/health and general InsurTech startups that have been accepted to Plug and Play’s InsurTech program. This 12-week program attracts applications from hundreds of startups from around the world that utilize technology, data and analytics to develop innovative new business models, products and services.

AXIS will focus on the areas of Insurance, Reinsurance, Health, IoT (Internet of Things), FinTech and Mobility, with leaders from different business areas serving as program mentors and technical advisors.

Australia

Digital advice embraced by all ages (Financial Standard), Rated: AAA

Superannuation fund member engagement via Decimal’s digital financial advice software increased 37% in the past year, latest quarterly statistics show.

Decimal’s digital insights report for the June quarter shows 2366 members in its superannuation client base decided to engage with super via the digital advice channel over a 12 month period, up from 1731 the year prior.

Total funds under advice increased to $8.4 billion, up 72% year-on-year, and Decimal Software chief executive Nick Pollock said compound growth is stimulating for the super sector.

“The insights show that 43% of all logins were by women, 28% of logins took place outside of business hours, with 31% of those logins happening between 10pm and 6am,” Pollock said.

Australian fintech launches industry census (AltFi), Rated: A

Australian fintech has launched an expanded industry census, which will seek to unpack key issues like how to expand overseas and gender diversity and help set lobbying and policy priorities.

Working on the census, consultancy firm EY, and industry group FinTech Australia, have asked Aussie fintechs to complete it by 3 September.

FinTech Australia Reveals Initial Speaker Line Up for Inaugural Fintech Fest (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

FinTech Australia and Next Money, along with the State Government of Victoria, a gearing up for their inaugural week long Fintech event –  Intersekt. The Fintech festival will be taking place in Melbourne, Australia from October 27 to November 3rd if you happen to be in Australia.

Confirmed speakers for Intersekt so far include:

  • Anthony Thomson, founder of the UK’s Metro and Atom Banks (and the current chairman of Atom Bank). Atom Bank is one of the leading UK Challenger banks.
  • Ron Suber, called the “godfather of Fintech” due to his globe-trotting reputation for promoting online lending and all things Fintech. Suber recently joined the leadership team at Credible, the multi-lender marketplace for student loans. Suber is also President Emeritus of Prosper Marketplace and holds a broad portfolio of Fintech investments.
  • Megan Caywood, chief platform officer for the UK’s mobile only Starling Bank, who has delivered a range of major customer experience improvements.
  • David Birch, an international thought leader in digital identity and digital money and author of “Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin”
  • Van Le, who is the co-founder of Xinja, which is on track to be Australia’s first independent, 100% digital bank made for mobile.
    Lucy Liu, co-founder and chief operating officer of Melbourne-based payments company Airwallex who was this year named as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30
  • Emma Weston, CEO and co-founder of AgriDigital, which provides a blockchain-enabled, integrated commodity management solution for the global grains industry
India

Over 40% Indians act on financial advice given by spouse, RBI report shows (Zeebiz), Rated: AAA

Key Highlights:

  • Over 50% Indians think that their children will take care of them financially after retirement
  • 44% Indians do not think they will ever retire from work 
  • An average of 66% of randomly selected adult household members have a bank account.
Source: Zeebiz

The report found that the average Indian household holds 84% of its wealth in real estate and other physical goods, 11% in gold and the residual 5% in financial assets.

Source: Zeebiz

The report said that 44% Indians have not thought of retirement as “people like me cannot retire from work,” they said.

Only 13% people surveyed were actively saving for their retirement while 33% had absolutely no planning for retirement.

Only around 5% people had money invested in financial assets for their retirement planning while gold formed nearly 10% of this fund.

India’s Domestic Workers Have A New Ally In This Innovative FinTech Startup (Forbes), Rated: A

The team at SERV’D has a simple but ambitious goal: to organize India’s unorganized domestic workforce. That means bringing financial inclusion to millions of unregistered workers via a mobile contract and payment app.

The lack of written contracts also makes it difficult for low-income domestic workers to build a financial history. Without that, they struggle to save money or obtain insurance, which all but guarantees they will remain in poverty. Exclusion from formal financial services bars people from accessing health insurance, bank accounts, and can even inhibit them from finding affordable housing.

SERV’D seeks to replace the verbal work agreements made between customers and their hired help. Instead of tenuous oral contracts, the fintech startup wants employers and employees to create digital agreements on the SERV’D app. The platform also allows them to make digital payment transfers so neither party has to worry about dealing with cash.

Most importantly, the online payment trail creates traceable income records for poor, unbanked workers. With enough proof of income built up, they will eventually be able to open bank accounts and access financial products that are currently beyond reach.

Ezetap’s fresh funds are the latest VC dollars flowing to Indian fintech (PitchBook), Rated: A

Mobile payments startup Ezetap is the latest Indian fintech company to pull in new equity financing. The company has raised $16 million from investors including JS Capital Management, Social Capital and Horizons Ventures.

Fintech NBFC “Prest Loans” Forays Its Operations In Rajasthan (BusinessWorld), Rated: B

Prest Loans the new age FinTech NBFC, providing online loans to small businesses and MSME segment has expanded its operations by opening new office in Rajasthan.

Asia

LATTICE80 & FINOLAB Sign MOU on Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LATTICE80, a Singapore based non profit Fintech hub backed by Marvelstone Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with FINOLAB in Japan to mutually boost their Fintech ecosystems and global networks. Marvelstone is a global VC group based in Singapore.

This Fintech bridge will seek to create a passporting system for Fintech’s in each country to expand into new markets.

PH startups urged: Aspire to be unicorns (Cebu Daily News), Rated: AAA

Aldo Carrascoso, founder and chief executive officer of GlycoProX Biosciences, Veem, and Jukin Media & Verego, said that focusing on becoming “unicorns” detracts the purpose of why people launch startups in the first place.

Lee argued that the first unicorns were founded in the 1990s, Google Inc. being the clear “super unicorn” of the group with a valuation of more than $100 billion. Many unicorns were also born in the 2000s, although Facebook Inc. is the decade’s only super unicorn.

Other prominent unicorns today include Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Spotify, Pinterest, and Lazada, to name a few.

Treading the path toward that level takes mindfulness of revenue, a good business model, addressable market, and a product-market fit, said Carrascoso.

Benjamin cited Xoom, a San Francisco-based digital money transfer or remittance provider, which traces its foundations to serving clients between the Philippines and the US.

Since then the company has expanded to India and Mexico, among others, and was bought by PayPal for $890 million. Today, they do $9.1 billion in money transmissions and are operating in 18 countries with a demand for money remittance services.

The search for a unicorn is on (Sunstar), Rated: A

THE Philippines may have its own “tech unicorns” or technology businesses valued at $1 billion in the future. But experts says more work and collaboration is needed to achieve this dream.

To date, no Philippine tech startup has managed to meet the goal of being a billion-dollar company.

Globally, the US and China lead in numbers, having produced the most number of unicorns like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb as well as Xiaomi and Alibaba. Meanwhile, Malaysia in Southeast Asia has produced two unicorns in Grab and the Lazada Group.

First, he said Philippine startups need to know how to be fundable. Instead of aiming to be a unicorn, he advised local startups to become a “cockroach” instead, one that characterizes strong survival skills, or a rhino, “big and realistic.”

Getting payments to pay off (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

“A key advantage of e-wallets is the low cost. You can make payments and transfer money at much cheaper rates than in conventional payment systems,” explains Gunther Zhen, the founder and CEO of iPayLinks Financial Information Service (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

For China, this is certainly the case. While incumbent payment systems that rely on Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay charge merchants an estimated 2.5% to 3% MDR (merchant discount rate), new rivals like Alipay charge between 0.7% and 1.2%.

In Malaysia, however, the landscape could be different as the current MDRs are already quite low. Bank Negara Malaysia’s Payment Card Reform Framework has slashed the MDR on debit and credit cards since July 2015 when it took effect.

Today, domestic debit cards have an MDR of only 0.56% while for international debit cards, it is 0.96%. Credit cards are still relatively expensive with an MDR of 1.35%, but that is expected to drop drastically by 2021 when Bank Negara will cap interchange fees (the largest component of MDR) at 0.48% — less than half the 1.1% ceiling imposed today.

Just look at Touch ’n Go Sdn Bhd, which booked RM15.3 million of interest income in 2015 on RM429.3 million worth of deposits in card balances. And this is merely from the relatively small balance in each card.

Alipay creation, Yu’E Bao, is one of China’s most popular internet-based funds. It had amassed RMB1.43 trillion as at end-June. By comparison, Bank of China, one of the four major commercial banks in the country, had total deposits of RMB1.6 trillion as at end-2016.

Pundi-Pundi Raises $ 4M in Pre-A Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Pundi-Pundi, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based mobile payments and micro-loan startup aiming to create a cashless environment in South East Asia, closed a $4M pre-A round of funding.

Africa

UCT to offer fintech-focused degree from 2018 (BusinessDay), Rated: AAA

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has become one of the first tertiary institutions in Africa to offer a degree specifically designed to equip students with the critical skills and knowledge to embrace the technological revolution in the financial services sector.

One of its key focus areas will be blockchain technology, or the distributed ledger system, that has given rise to new crypto-currencies such as bitcoin and ether.

The crypto-currency market is reportedly now worth more than $50bn and the use of virtual currencies is gaining traction in SA.

UCT has sought to tackle this problem by offering a new master’s degree in data science with a specialisation in financial technology, said Georg, who is also the course convener. The programme is due to commence in 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday May 25 2017, Daily News Digest

P2P global investments

News Comments Today’s main news: Investors pressure OnDeck to make bigger expense cuts. LendingClub celebrates 10 years in business. Zopa launches ISA. Earnest is not for sale, after all. Orca to launch new P2P rating service. Moody’ downgrades China on debt risk. The first ETF for ABS. Today’s main analysis: Orchard Platform reports Q1 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 10 years of excellence […]

P2P global investments

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

  • Moody’s downgrades China on debt risk. GP:”Unclear if this will have a real effect on the capital markets but it will certainly anger the Chinese government. If I were the Chinese government I would setup my own rating agency and build it into a real credible agency and not a government puppet so that the day when I need my own rating agency to maybe skew a little bit the ratings it will be credible enough.”
  • Chinese investors among majority of EB-5 visa recipients. AT: “It’s not surprising. One reason cited in this story is the harsh treatment offered to Christians by the Chinese government, so many of these families are using financial concerns as a cover up for religious oppression concerns. Both are legitimate.”

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Middle East

News Summary

United States

OnDeck under pressure to make bigger cuts to cost base (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Activist investors are turning up the heat on OnDeck, the online lender, which said this month it would curb originations and cut costs in an attempt to turn a profit by the end of the year.

The company still needed to think bigger, according to Mario Cibelli, managing partner at Marathon Partners Equity Management, who wrote to board members in April urging them to take an axe to the $194m annual cost base and explore a sale of the business. Net revenues, after loan-loss provisions and funding costs, came to $109m last year.

Pressure on OnDeck is likely to come from other quarters too. EJF Capital, an activist investor, has built a stake equivalent to about 9 per cent of the shares outstanding since the turn of the year, according to disclosures tallied by Bloomberg. In February the Arlington, Virginia-based group, which ranks as OnDeck’s second-largest shareholder with more than 9 per cent, said it may seek talks with management.

LendingClub Celebrates Ten Years of Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LendingClub (NYSE:LC), the largest marketplace lender in the US, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It is pretty hard to believe that LendingClub is now ten years old.

To paraphrase the LendingClub history:

  • Within the first 100 days of its existence, LendingClub originated its first $1 million in loan. The average interest rate, at that time, stood at 12.6%. By the end of 2007,  LendingClub had originated about 500 loans for a total of $3.5 million.
  • In 2010, LendingClub originated $10 million in a single month.
  • By 2012, LendingClub has originated $1 billion loans as institutional money becomes more interested in the Fintech platform. The following year, the first banks start investing on the LendingClub platform.
  • In 2014 Lending Club launched its IPO – the second largest for the year.
  • By 2017, LendingClub has originated more than $26 billion in loans as it enters the next decade of financial innovation.

10 Years of Excellence & Innovation (LendingClub), Rated: AAA

  • 2007 By August, the LendingClub website launches. By year’s end, approximately 500 loans worth over $3.5 million are made. 
  • 2008 The subprime mortgage crisis spreads; global markets sell off and the Great Recession takes hold. Despite the chaos and potential risk of halting its burgeoning business, LendingClub demonstrates its commitment to working with regulators, entering a six-month quiet period to register with the SEC and prepare to issue a security (the Note) that can be offered and sold to investors through its website.
  • 2009 LendingClub continues to stay focused on the opportunity to deliver investment alternatives to investors and introduces LendingClub IRAs to allow investors to use the platform to work toward their retirement goals.
  • 2010 Propelled by its SEC registered Notes and a robust investor base, LendingClub crosses $100 million in loans and 10,000 borrowers in the first quarter. By March, the company captures 79% of the U.S. marketplace lending market after facilitating $8,664,750 in monthly loan originations.
  • 2011 LendingClub continues to innovate on its borrower and investor offerings, surpassing $200 million in loans for borrowers at the beginning of the year. 
  • 2012 In 2012 alone, U.S. banks close 2,267 branches and approve a record-low 14.8% of small business loan requests. LendingClub is named to the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2012 list and originations top $1 billion.
  • 2013 LendingClub welcomes its first bank investor partners to the platform – Titan Bank and Congressional Bank.
  • 2014 A big year for tech IPOs, LendingClub is one of the biggest of the year, coming in second to Alibaba and listed on the NYSE alongside others, including Virgin America and GoPro.
  • 2015 Big banks continue to cut back on loans to small businesses, making it difficult for them to get access to credit. LendingClub becomes a founding member of the Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights and expands small business products to include a small business line of credit. 
  • 2016 LendingClub launches its auto refinance product, delivering a lower-cost alternative to car owners. 
  • 2017 LendingClub looks toward a new decade of financial innovation, leveraging the power of its marketplace model to deliver more value to both borrowers and investors. An investor mobile application is launched, making it easier than ever for retail investors to track their progress.

Thank you for 10 years (LendingClub Email), Rated: AAA

From the LendingClub newsletter:

Over the past 10 years, you have helped power the loans facilitated by LendingClub’s platform for borrowers looking to finance their financial lives. Together, we have helped nearly 2 million borrowers access affordable credit. That means we’ve helped finance debt consolidation, home improvement projects, medical expenses and weddings for millions of people in the United States.

  • More than 160,000 retail investors have gotten unprecedented access to invest in consumer credit through LendingClub’s platform
  • Nearly 2 million borrowers have gotten access to affordable credit through LendingClub’s marketplace
  • 98% of investors who invest in 100+ Notes of relatively equal size have seen positive returns
  • 1,700 loans are reviewed per day, and more than 50,800 loans per month
  • Loans receive full commitment in 3-4 days on average
  • Auto refinance customers saved an average of $1,500
  • Borrowers pay 24% lower in interest than they were paying on their outstanding debt or credit cards
  • 73% of borrowers experience a FICO score increase three months after obtaining their loan–with an average score increase of 28 points!

Consumer Unsecured Q1 2017 (Orchard Platform), Rated: AAA

Key Insights

  • Origination volume increased in Q1, continuing the trend that began last quarter. Q1 origination volume was up 4.6% from Q4, though still down 44% from Q4 2015, when the market reached its highest originations. Early indications in 2017 are that investor sentiment is improving, and we believe we’re likely to see increased investment over the next quarter.
  • 2014 and 2015 vintage charge-offs have increased more steeply than in prior years. We believe there are two main sources driving this increase. First, individual platforms have shown increasing charge-offs during these years. We do not have strong evidence of the reasons for this deterioration, but in recent months, some of the larger platforms have reworked their credit models which they believe should address the increases they have seen. Second, and also important to note, is that 2014 and 2015 vintages experienced substantial growth in subprime originations, which tend to charge-off at higher rates. The increase in subprime loans as a percentage of the overall market skews the results for recent years upward when compared with the originations from previous years that had a smaller percentage of subprime loans.
  • Borrower rates rose slightly in Q1, increasing 24bps from Q4 levels. The long-term trend over the last three years has been decreasing interest rates, in part driven by the decline of subprime originations in the past year. This will be an interesting statistic to monitor in the coming year as the Fed continues to raise interest rates in line with their tightening policy.
Source: Orchard Platform Quarterly Industry Report
Source: Orchard Platform Quarterly Industry Report
Source: Orchard Platform Quarterly Industry Report

With an Asset-Backed Debt ETF, the Bet Is If You Can Pay What You Owe (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

BlackRock Inc.’s planned iShares Consumer Asset-Backed Securities ETF will invest in notes supported by consumer loans, such as student debt and credit cards, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. If approved, it will be the first ETF to target the ABS market.

Consumer debt has ballooned in recent years as Americans ramp up borrowing and capitalize on historically low interest rates. Household debt topped $12.7 trillion in the first quarter, up 1.2 percent from the end of 2016. Signs of trouble are however brewing, with suspicions of fraud in some auto loan applications, a decline in credit-card recovery rates and an increase in late payments on private student loans.

The iShares MBS ETF has $10.6 billion under management while the iShares CMBS ETF oversees $240 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Futuristic Fintech, With a Female Focus (WSJ), Rated: A

SCOTT SAUNDERS, CEO of the online lending company Payoff, did not set out to build a personalized financial coaching app for women. In 2014, he began assembling a team that eventually included a cognitive neuroscientist, a marketer, an advertising executive and the data scientist behind eHarmony’s match algorithm. The goal: to build an app that used psychological testing to match users of both genders with artificially intelligent financial coaches. By focusing on the intersection of money and psychology, Saunders hoped to minimize financial stress and maximize the pleasure users get from spending and saving.

Earnest Not for Sale. Securitization is Moving Forward (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Last week, Crowdfund Insider referenced a report in Bloomberg that Earnest was looking for buyers as it struggled to raise new funds. A company representative has now stated that Earnest is not looking to sell the company.

Zibby Announces $ 13.5 Million Investment led by CURO Financial Technologies Corp. and MissionOG (LendIt), Rated: A

Zibby, the omnichannel lease‐to‐own payment option for online and in‐store shopping, today announced a $13.5 million investment led by CURO and MissionOG, with participation from Blumberg Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners and other institutional investors. This brings Zibby’stotal capital raised to more than $150 million. With the investment, Zibby will further expand its presence among retailers to offer non‐prime and near‐prime customers a monthly payment option for furniture, appliances, electronics and other consumer durables.

Baltimore fintech startup Blispay raises $ 12 million (Baltimore Sun), Rated: A

Blispay, a Baltimore-based financial technology company, has raised $12 million to accelerate the marketing and sales outreach for its financing platform.

The Series A round was led by FirstMark, Accomplice and NEA. New investors included Camden Partners and F-Prime Capital. The round brings the company’s total funding to just under $25 million.

Frost & Sullivan Commends AutoGravity for Transforming Automotive Financing Industry (Frost & Sullivan), Rated: A

Based on its recent analysis of the automotive financing industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes AutoGravity with the 2017 North American Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award. AutoGravity’s first-of-its-kind FinTech platform empowers car buyers to browse any new or used car, get multiple binding financing offers in minutes and select the deal and lender that’s right for them. Just months after launching its native mobile app in the summer of 2016, AutoGravity introduced new car leasing and used car loan features with the aim of transforming the auto financing industry.

While simplifying the financing process for customers, AutoGravity’s app also saves dealers the effort of educating customers on various models and financing options. Additionally, it saves time by eliminating the need to apply for financing at the dealership and process pages of paperwork. Most significantly, it supports dealers by providing them with qualified, enthusiastic car buyers.

Currently, AutoGravity has 60+ employees, and has recorded 350,000 app downloads in just one year. It has expanded to 48 states in the United States and has on-boarded many of the nation’s top-20 automotive lenders, as well as 1,500+ dealers. Due to these successes and its ability to break new ground in the auto financing industry, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present AutoGravity with the 2017 North American Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.

Fintech Tools That Can Change The World Of Finance (Forbes), Rated: A

According to an EY study last year, fintech is growing in popularity, with roughly 15.5% of digitally active consumers using financial tech products — a figure that was likely to double within 12 months. The United States had the second-highest adoption rate of fintech tools (16.5%), following Hong Kong with 29.1%.

  • 1. Artificial Intelligence – Fenergo deploys A.I. to analyze unstructured data, including social media, intracompany communication and linguistics in order to more effectively satisfy Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering requirements. – Jason LeeDailyPay
  • 2. Peer-To-Peer And Apple Pay 
  • 5. Riskalyze, RetireUp and Asset-Map – Riskalyze provides a user-friendly and client-facing software that allows us to tell the story of risk, which we believe is crucial for an investor to understand in order to have success. RetireUp, a user-friendly income planning tool, and Asset-Map offer very visual understandings to clients on where they stand when it comes to their finances. – Lance ScottBay Harbor Wealth Management
  • 7. PeerStreet And WorldRemit – Services like WorldRemit are empowering immigrants with better choice, security and transparency in sending money back home to their loved ones. – Binna KimVested
  • 8. Faster Payment Rails – Our old ACH network is improving. Instead of settling payments once per day, as it has for decades, it will start to settle multiple times per day. This will improve settlement success rates and prevent e-check kiting. Coming right behind this improvement are a number of real-time payment initiatives. – Charlie YouakimSezzle
  • 9. Decision Logic – I’m excited about Decision Logic because it provides lenders the ability to verify a borrower’s sensitive information and understand their borrower’s financial history. – Chad OtarExcel Capital Management, Inc.
  • 10. Peer-To-Peer Lending
  • 11. Robo-Advisers
  • 12. Greenlight – I just got my ten-year-old daughter a Greenlight card. It allows me to automate her allowance and potentially control the spaces where she spends money. – Matthew MayAcuity 

Fintech reinvents lottery bonds (Financial Times), Rated: A

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have a knack for taking old things and making them look new. The latest example of which is Long Game, which TechCrunch tells us is “a bank account, with a twist”:

The personal finance app allows users to play games and win cash prizes up to $1 million. It may sound like a gimmick, but these are FDIC-insured accounts backed by Blue Ridge Bank in Virginia.

[…]

In addition to the possibilities of cash rewards, users accrue .1 percent interest. She hopes that participants will take saving seriously and view the games as a bonus.

While Long Game touts the $1 million prize possibility, so far the largest check they’ve written is $1,000. Like the actual lottery, it’s an odds-based game and the chances of the app making you a millionaire are 1 in 227 million.

Here is the GAO Report on Fintech that was Delivered to Congress (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

This one falls under recently discovered. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on Financial Technology, or Fintech, for Congress this past April.

The GAO explained;

“You asked us to provide information on the fintech industry, including the marketplace lending subsector, such as its structure and development over the last several years, as well as how federal regulators supervise fintech firms. This report, the first in a series of planned reports on fintech, describes four commonly referenced subsectors of fintech: marketplace lending; mobile payments; digital wealth management; and distributed ledger technology and their regulatory oversight.”

Ann Fulmer Joins FormFree as Chief Strategy and Industry Relations Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FormFree today announced that it has hired mortgage loan quality subject matter expert and analyst Ann Fulmer as its chief strategy and industry relations officer. FormFree’s flagship product, AccountChek, is an asset verification app that streamlines the loan underwriting process for both borrowers and lenders, resulting in higher borrower satisfaction and shaving more than a week off the time it takes to close a loan.

In her role, Fulmer will drive FormFree’s strategic planning and implementation, manage the firm’s institutional relationships and interactions with federal and state regulators and oversee outreach to industry associations and advocacy groups. In addition, she will spearhead the firm’s long-term development of a comprehensive mortgage compliance solution.

New fiduciary rule for financial advisers expected to go into effect in June (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Rated: B

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta on Tuesday made it clear that the U.S. Department of Labor would not delay the implementation of the rule,  announcing the agency’s intentions in a Wall Street Journal opinion column.

Tuesday’s announcement that the rule is going forward may not be the end of the discussion.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Loyalty Programs (Kabbage), Rated: B

Almost all companies find that they have to spend less money to keep customers than they have to spend to attract new people through the door or to their shopping website. Some companies may access small business loans for their initial investment. They understand that they can benefit from this investment because it provides them with an efficient way to market. The extra profits will allow them to pay the loan back and keep more for themselves.

United Kingdom

Zopa announces ISA launch (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Zopa, the pioneering financial services company, announces today that it will launch its Innovative Finance ISAs in June (pending HMRC approval). With demand expected to be high, existing customers will be given priority access ahead of new customers.

In preparation for the Innovative Finance ISA, Zopa is also revamping its investor products by introducing Zopa Core and announcing the retirement of Zopa Access and Classic. Investors in Zopa Core will lend in the same risk markets as Access and Classic (A*-C) but will not be covered by the Safeguard fund. Zopa Core will offer a higher target return of 3.9% after fees and expected credit losses, as compared to 3.7% and 2.9% for Classic and Access.

The Innovative Finance ISA will be launched in four phases:
1. The first stage (from 15th June) will be focused on existing customers who want to open a new IFISA (limit of £20,000) and lend through Core and Plus.
2. The second stage (1st July 2017 to 31st July 2017) will enable existing customers to sell their current loans and re-purchase similar loans in an IFISA wrapper. This will allow investors to retain Safeguarded loans in the IFISA. Any investing through new lending, or relending as capital is returned, will be onto Plus or Core only.
3. The third stage (from August 2017, but dependent on meeting demand for new IFISAs) will allow existing customers to transfer existing ISA investments with other providers to Zopa.
4. And finally, once we have met demands of existing customers, we will welcome investments from new customers.

UK P2P Lending Market Researcher Orca Dives into P2P Provider Rating Services (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Orca, an independent data, research and analysis providers on the UK P2P lending market has announced its plans to launch its own four-factor rating service for individual P2P providers, the Orca Rating. The rating will be designed in partnership with Dublin City University’s Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce research team, to respond to the growth of the asset class and the demand for more independent analysis and information on P2P lending.

The Orca rating will individually analyze four factors — performance, liquidity, operator health and security — aiming to go beyond existing single platform ratings and enable advisers and investors to assess all fundamental criteria at once when comparing and choosing P2P lending platforms.

According to Orca data, the P2P market has now surpassed £9B cumulative total lent with 2016 alone seeing a 40% increase in investment in the asset class.

P2P lender ArchOver granted full FCA authorisation (Finextra), Rated: A

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, has secured full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a P2P lending platform (Article 36H).

Since launching in September 2014, ArchOver has facilitated over £35 million of investment over its platform, operating under interim permissions granted by the FCA. Full authorisation will support ArchOver in attracting new lenders to the platform and allow it to continue working with businesses to make access to funding as easy and simple as possible.

M&A hits Alternative Credit: MW Eaglewood to merge with Pollen Street Capital (AltFi), Rated: A

The respective managers of the £822m P2P Global Investments and the £200m HoneyComb investment trusts will merge, creating one of the largest specialist asset management  firms focused on non-bank lending.

MW Eaglewood and Pollen Street Capital, the respective two parties, are under discussion as to adjustments to their mandates but Lindsey McMurray, managing partner of Pollen Street, will become head of the new firm which will be called Pollen Street Capital.

P2P Global Investments is the largest closed-ended fund investing in non-bank lending in the UK, having launched three years ago. While, as its name suggests, it originally was a vehicle for exposure to the P2P and marketplace lending market it has moved more into niches within the alternative Credit spectrum in recent months.

Should more bridging lenders launch mobile apps? (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Moving to an app-based approach is something that many players in the bridging industry would like to do sooner rather than later, according to LendInvest.

The comments follow the news that bridging lender Henley Finance will be releasing its first app on 1st June in order to make applying for finance easier.

Are FinTech brands a real alternative to traditional banking? (The River Group), Rated: A

Now, mobile banking has been a ‘thing’ for more than a decade and, according to research by ING, 55 per cent of us in the UK are managing our finances this way, with a further rise of 12 per cent expected this year.

Atom pitches itself as so customer-centric that you can personalise the app and actually choose the colours of the logo and how the name of your bank appears on your phone. Its tone is highly conversational, quirky without seeming unprofessional.

Atom pitches itself as so customer-centric that you can personalise the app and actually choose the colours of the logo and how the name of your bank appears on your phone. Its tone is highly conversational, quirky without seeming unprofessional.

Whereas traditional banks are still perceived as slow, Monzo demonstrates the speed of its technology.

Both businesses are inviting collaboration to help develop their services – Monzo through sharing its API so customers can build apps using their own data, and Atom through inviting members to join its community.

China

China Hit by First Moody’s Downgrade Since 1989 on Debt Risk (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating on China’s debt for the first time since 1989, challenging the view that the nation’s leadership will be able to rein in leverage while maintaining the pace of economic growth.

Stocks and the yuan slipped in early trading after Moody’s reduced the rating to A1 from Aa3 on Wednesday, with markets paring losses in the afternoon. Moody’s cited the likelihood of a “material rise” in economy-wide debt and the burden that will place on the state’s finances, while also changing the outlook to stable from negative.

Total outstanding credit climbed to about 260 percent of GDP by the end of 2016, up from 160 percent in 2008, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. At the same time, China’s external debt is low by international standards, at around 12 percent of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund, meaning that a downgrade isn’t likely to be as disruptive as it would be for nations more reliant on international funding.

While China’s debt risks have been swelling for years, the cut by Moody’s comes as some of those pressures ease. Nominal economic growth in the first quarter rose at the fastest pace since 2012 — 11.8 percent in current-price terms — making the problem of excess leverage a little more manageable, while the return of factory price inflation is beefing up profits for indebted state-owned industries, helping them service and repay loans.

Moody’s lowered China’s credit-rating outlook to negative from stable in March 2016, citing rising debt, falling currency reserves and uncertainty over authorities’ ability to carry out reforms. About a month later, S&P Global Ratings also warned that rising local debt was pressuring the nation’s rating.

S&P currently rates China’s foreign and local-currency long-term debt at AA- with a negative outlook, and Fitch places an A+ rating on both foreign and local currency long-term debt with a stable outlook.

Chinese Investors Among Majority Of EB-5 Visa Recipients (NPR), Rated: A

The EB-5 visa grants permanent U.S. residence to anyone investing a half million dollars in a U.S.-based development project. Eighty percent of EB-5 recipients are Chinese.

WANG: (Through interpreter) Actually, everyone I know has applied for EB-5s. We’re just ordinary people. We’re not wealthy.

WANG: (Through interpreter) I’m only doing this for my son’s education. He is in a good local school, but all they do is study for tests. The Chinese education system turns everyone into the same type of person.

European Union

Narrow Escape for German RECF, Green Crowdinvesting Now in Legislator’s Crosshairs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Financial Committee therefore rejected the proposal to extend the prospectus exemption of crowdinvesting ‒which currently applies only to the suboptimal shareholder loans, to all securities, including equity shares. The committee also concluded against raising the threshold of fundraising requiring a prospectus from €2.5 million to €5 million, and in favor of keeping the crowdinvesting ceiling per project per retail investor at €1,000 (€10,000, if qualified investor).

On one issue, however, the German crowdfunding sector breathed a sigh of relief: the proposal made by credit institutions to exclude real estate crowdfunding from the KASG has been taken off the table.

The opponents to real estate crowdfunding had alleged that real estate should be excluded from the crowdfunding exemptions because real estate projects did not foster innovation, as projects in crowdfunding should, and because crowdfunding them could trigger to a real estate bubble. These arguments were successfully rebuffed.

Next to real estate, green Crowdinvesting is also a very successful branch of German crowdinvesting. Its most common form is the refinancing of existing renewable energy (photovoltaic, wind and bioenergy) plants through platforms such as fairzinsung, Greenvesting, GreenXmoney LeihDeinerUmweltGeld und Wiwin. The yield is guaranteed by feed-in tariffs. Other platforms, such as Bettervest, specialize in energy-efficiency projects. Several, such as ecoligo facilitate investments in renewable energy in developing countries. Many of the platforms are not only financial brokers between issuers and investors, they are also expert advisors, shareholders, or service operators for the issuers.

In the eyes of the legislator, human or capital ties between issuers and platforms pose a risk of conflict of interest and should be forbidden. According to the committee, a platform tied to an issuer would not be able to vet its projects with the necessary objectivity, hence would not properly defend the interests of the investors.

International

Ant Financial close to buying MoneyGram (New York Post), Rated: AAA

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial is moving closer to getting regulatory approval to buy MoneyGram, The Post has learned — despite concerns in Washington about money laundering.

“Ant and its advisers are working very constructively with [federal regulators]” to close the $1.2 billion MoneyGram acquisition, a source close to the situation said, referring to the Congressional Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which must approve the transaction as it involves a major foreign investment in a company in a key business sector.

Shareholders of Dallas-based MoneyGram, a money-transfer company, approved the sale to Ant for $18 a share on May 16.

How to Make it as a Woman in FinTech: “Don’t Wait to Become a Leader” (Finovate), Rated: A

Adding to our stellar line up of leading women in FinTech, we speak to Alex Foster about how she has become Head of Insurance & Finance Sector & Post Trade Services at BT, and what she would suggest if you were just starting out as a woman in tech.

What was your light bulb moment?

My light bulb moment came about four to five years ago, when I began working with bankers, some who were friends, leaving their traditional roles on the trading floor to create new and exciting FinTech, RegTech, and InsurTech companies. As we know, these start-ups are a growing source of innovation in the financial markets industry.  But their small size can create challenges around market adoption, delivery and meeting the stringent contractual or compliance expectations of large financial institutions. We started to work with these companies to help them scale-up to obtain a global reach. I realised the monumental impact that these technologies and FinTech firms could achieve when the right partnerships are in place.

Peter Leonidou Parts Ways with Leverate to Head Early-Stage Fintech Firm (Finance Magnates), Rated: B

Leverate, a technology provider specializing in brokerage solutions for the financial services industry, has parted ways with its Head of B2B Sales Peter Leonidou, who ends a two-year tenure with the technology provider, Finance Magnates has learned.

Peter leaves Leverate to join PROTECHFX LTD, a fintech startup, which according to its website is just starting out on its journey, or at best still operating in its early stages.

Australia

FinTechs Afterpay, Ratesetter and Society One pick up Finnie awards (Mozo), Rated: AAA

The winners of FinTech Australia’s inaugural Finnie Awards have been announced, with familiar names Afterpay, Ratesetter and SocietyOne among them.

The awards were handed out across 17 categories, including workplace diversity, insurtech and peer-to-peer lending, to recognise innovation and excellence in the FinTech space.

Online lender RateSetter was a finalist for the FinTech of the Year award, and also successfully took out two spots, for Excellence in both consumer and business lending. These awards were both focused on “outstanding B2B lending results through innovative yet stable, sustainable operations.”

SocietyOne, another online challenger to the big banks, won for Excellence in Peer-to-peer Lending. The award recognised a peer-to-peer platform that showed stringent security measures, a strong market reputation, ease of application and competitive interest rates and loan terms.

India

Startup Insurance Company Acko General Insurance Raises $ 30M (IndianWeb2), Rated: A

Set-up by Varun Dua, previously founder of Coverfox, Acko General Insurance  has received it’s in principle regulatory clearance to launch a General Insurance business in India.

In a regulated business, Acko has raised $30mn, which in effect makes it one of the largest seed rounds for a startup in India.

Asia

The first Internet life insurance company and Thai life opened (STCN), Rated: AAA

Recently, the first domestic Internet life insurance company and Thai life officially opened. It is understood that the original vice president of insurance and property insurance Li Yuquan in the life of the ceremony was held. In August 2016 the Insurance Regulatory Commission to the peace and life of the preparation and approval, the general manager is the former deputy general manager of the sea life Wang Hao.

In January this year, Hetai Life Insurance was approved by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. Registered capital of 1.5 billion yuan, registered in Jinan City, Shandong Province. The legal representative of the company Liu Xin.

Middle East

Dubai Regulator Launches Special Testing Licensing for Fintech Startups (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today released the details of its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) which allows fintech firms to go through a special testing stage prior to their approval as fully operational firms.

Fintech operators will be able to use the ITL licence to test their products for a period of 6 to 12 months, which could be extended upon DFSA’s discretion.

Successful applicants will then be required to obtain a full financial services licence to continue formally operating. By contrast, fintech firms that fail to meet the outcomes detailed in the regulatory test plan will have to cease activities.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday April 4 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club

News Comments Today’s main news: Invoice Cycle offers underwriting via API. LC hires JPMorgan’s head of new technologies. China Rapid Finance files for U.S. IPO. Today’s main analysis: Robinhood valued at $1.3B. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Zopa and Funding Circle disagree on becoming a bank. Banks no longer fear P2P lenders and robo-advice. United States Robinhood valued at $1.3B. […]

Lending Club

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

  • First lender/broker API goes live. GP:” Nearly every single company in our space uses Lending Club data to build their underwriting. Invoice Cycle goes even further and is offering underwriting as a service. I think this is a great product, great service and as long as it’s priced properly, I think they will do very well. I expect other firms should rather offer this service instead of trying to sell technology platforms as there are a dime a dozen already. ” AT: “I wonder why we haven’t seen more. Kudos to Invoice Cycle for breaking the ice.”
  • P2P lending bosses split on whether to become a bank. AT: “Zopa is taking the right path. Funding Circle may be too, for its own business model. But I’m in favor of digital-only banks. For those who get in now, the competitive playing field of the 21st century will treat them well. This is the time to start a digital bank if you’re going to do it. I see Zopa being a leader in banking soon.”
  • LendInvest launches pre-construction product.
  • Robots can do more, if we let them.
  • New members for the AABF. GP:” The creation of a new association in the UK.”

European Union

Australia

News Summary

 

United States

Robinhood stock trading app valued at $ 1.3 billion with big raise from DST (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Zero-fee stock trading app Robinhood is completing a huge fund raise to fuel its attack on old brokerage firms that charge around $7 to $10 per trade. According to sources, the round is led by Yuri Milner investment vehicle DST Global and values the company at $1.3 billion.

Last year, it launched its primary revenue stream, a $10 per month premium Robinhood Gold option. That allows users to skip the three-day waiting period for deposits and make trades instantly, as well as borrow up to double the amount of money in their account to trade on margin with leverage.

Earlier today, Fortune reported that Robinhood was seeking a round of financing valuing it at more than $1 billion. Sources tell us that the deal is essentially done, and was led by DST Global, which put in money at a $1.3 billion pre-money valuation.

Loan Validation Firm Global Debt Registry Adds Prosper to Network (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Global Debt Registry (GDR), a loan validation platform for institutional investors, has added leading online lending platform, Prosper Marketplace to its verification network. GDR says the partnership will enable Prosper investors access to their due diligence tools to ensure loan data integrity. Prosper successfully piloted GDR connectivity in 2016 and is now enabling investors to access GDR’s solutions as a turn-key autonomous solution.

JPMorgan’s Head of New Technologies Gets Hired by LendingClub (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: AAA

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of new technologies has been hired by LendingClub Corp. as the peer-to-peer lending pioneer seeks to rebuild business following a scandal over its corporate controls.

Santiago Suarez will join the San Francisco-based company as Head of Strategy and Mergers and Acquisitions, he said on Twitter.

China Rapid Finance Ltd files for U.S. IPO of $ 100 Mln (Reuters), Rated: AAA

  • China Rapid Finance Ltd files for U.S. IPO of $100 million – sec filing
  • China Rapid Finance Ltd says ADSS have been approved for listing on new york stock exchange under the symbol “XRF”
  • China Rapid Finance Ltd says Morgan Stanley. Credit Suisse, Jefferies are underwriters for the IPO

5 things to know about Elevate Credit before the subprime online lender’s IPO (MarketWatch), Rated: A

Now, following an opening of the IPO market and a possible easing of financial regulations, Elevate ELVT, +0.00% has set a $12 to $14 price range and plans to sell 7.7 million shares, which would raise up to $107.8 million. The company is expected to price its shares this week and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse and Jefferies are the lead underwriters on the offering.

  1. Rise and Sunny are both installment loans, commanding average percentage rates of 156% and 230% respectively. Elastic is a line of credit with an average interest rate of 91%. The company’s average APR was 146% for 2016, which the company notes is a drop from 2013, when the annualized premium was 251%.
  2. The company targets consumers with credit scores below 700, which is a sector Elevate calls the “New Middle Class” but most consider subprime. About 95% of loan applications are automated, without human review.
  3. Elevate recorded revenue of $580.4 million in 2016, up from $434 million in 2015, but net losses grew from $19.9 million in 2015 to $22.4 million in 2016.
  4. But President Donald Trump issued memorandums in January that could change Elevate’s risk level.
  5. Elevate receives debt financing for its Rise and Sunny loans from Victory Park Management, an affiliate of Victory Park Capital.

Fundbox Partners With Zoho To Solve Cash Flow Gaps (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Fundbox, the leading cash flow optimization platform for small businesses (SMBs), and Zoho, the leading cloud-based business operating system, today announced a partnership in which Zoho will offer Fundbox to its user base in the U.S. Under the partnership, Zoho will provide access to Fundbox’s technology to streamline and automate the business borrowing experience within the Zoho ecosystem.

Fundbox addresses one of the biggest pain points for small businesses and freelancers: cash flow. A recent Fundbox study revealed that 64 percent of small businesses are adversely affected by late payments. Over 80 percent of small business invoices are over 30 days due. This integration will allow Zoho customers approved for Fundbox Credit to advance funds tied up in their receivables so they can focus on business growth.

Fintech Firm Plaid Raises $ 44 Million (WSJ), Rated: A

Plaid Technologies Inc., whose software allows a variety of financial-technology startups to access their customers’ bank account information, has raised $44 million in a new round led by a fund at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The new funding is a boost for apps and websites that use Plaid, which has now raised about $60 million total, as they work to ensure access to customer data held by banks.

John Mack Joins Lantern Credit as Chairman (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Lantern Credit, a financial technology company working to solve systematic inefficiencies in the consumer credit industry, appoints esteemed banking industry veteran John Mack as Chairman of its Board of Advisors, joining current board members John Sculley, former chairman of Apple Computer, James Held, former president and CEO of the Home Shopping Network, Seth Johnson and Kevin Knight.

Mack brings vast leadership experience including Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, Co-CEO of Credit Suisse Group and CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston. Mack is actively serving on several boards including Lending Club, Glencore International AG and Bloomberg Family Foundation. Mack has accumulated 25 years of experience as chairman, serving on the boards of Morgan Stanley, Pequot Capital Management Inc. and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Lantern Credit’s white label platform for financial institutions draws personal financial data including credit data, account information and personal goals to provide customers with real-time information to make informed choices designed to improve their financial wellness. Financial Institutions providing the Lantern Interactive Credit Report™ to their customers benefit from more engaged consumers and are better equipped to provide relevant offers to their customers. Instead of the traditional static credit report, Lantern’s Interactive Credit Report delivers access to a free credit report and score, model the effects of financial actions, receive and accept offers directly from lenders, and make payments on existing accounts.

Ally debuts online auto financing market (Automotive News), Rated: A

Ally Financial Inc. is launching an online auto finance marketplace that connects lenders and consumers.

Clearlane, which launches today, derives from Ally’s third-quarter acquisition of BlueYield, an online auto-lender exchange.

The Clearlane network includes more than a dozen national, regional and local finance providers that will connect with consumers to finance or refinance their auto loans. Consumers can also speak with live agents and purchase Ally’s F&I products.

CFPB’s Cordray defends agency’s enforcement actions (American Banker), Rated: A

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defended the agency on Thursday from industry allegations that the CFPB engages in “regulation by enforcement.”

Financial inclusion rules tougher than CRA in OCC fintech charter (American Banker), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s proposal to require fintech charter applicants to draft and comply with a financial inclusion plan appears to have more teeth than similar Community Reinvestment Act requirements for banks.

The OCC has made it clear that it is not seeking to institute CRA requirements on nonbanks, in part because the 1970s-era law is widely considered outdated in how it promotes financial inclusion.

Fallen Stars: Lending Club (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

I believe that the tide is turning for Lending Club. I believe there are a number of factors that will contribute to its success going forward. I believe the company will leave negative PR in the dust, grow, and regain a positive EPS. Make no mistake, this is a high risk (potentially) high reward opportunity. This is not an investment for the faint of heart.

The company has a market cap of $2.2B. It has fallen nearly 80% since its IPO and currently has negative earnings per share.

Regarding full year 2017 guidance, Lending Club expects 17% growth, a GAAP net loss of $84 to $69m, and positive EBITDA. In my opinion the company will go positive again in 2018 if current trends continue.

The company’s balance sheet is a star among mud. Lending Club has no debt. It has $1.29 of cash per share and a total book value of $2.45 per share. I love a company that has no debt.

Lending Club is obviously at the mercy of the consumer credit cycle. It goes without saying that if borrowers can’t pay their loans, the company will suffer. If charge offs increase Lending Club may lose investors providing the capital for the loans. Lending Club may also have to increase its rates which would reduce its competitive advantage over traditional banks.

United Kingdom

First Lender/Broker API goes live (Invoice Cycle Email), Rated: AAA

Invoice Cycle – the UK SME lender – is excited to announce the release of a new API for partners. This development allows partners to interface directly with the Invoice Cycle proprietary risk algorithm and gain a pre-approval for an SME financing facility within seconds. The first partner to integrate this offering is FundingXchange – the cutting-edge business finance marketplace. This means that FundingXchange customers will be able to get an Invoice Cycle facility in place within hours of starting their funding search!

Gideon Shaw CEO of Invoice Cycle said of the development “One of our core principals is to provide the highest level service to our customers. In the fast paced world of business, decisions need to be made as soon as possible, we aim to turn an application around within 24 hours. This new API will help us meet these targets and allow us to provide a better service to both our client and partners. This release demonstrates how we strive to be at the forefront of technological innovation in the industry.”

Peer-to-peer lending bosses split on whether to become a bank (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle and Zopa don’t disagree on much. But when it comes to whether or not to launch a bank, CEOs Samir Desai (pictured above) and Jaidev Janardana have reached a divergence point.

“We at Funding Circle have no plans to launch a bank,” said Desai.

He went on to identify the three types of bank collaboration that have sprung up across the marketplace lending space: banks buying marketplace loans, banks referring customers to platforms and “co-branding” opportunities. He was critical of “lending-as-a-service” integrations, which broadly speaking entail platforms letting banks make use of their technology. Desai said there is “only one winner” in such arrangements.

Janardana confirmed in his speech that Zopa will be using deposits to fund loans through the marketplace.

LendInvest launches pre-construction product (Financial Reporter), Rated: A

LendInvest will offer a loan term of up to 18 months, and borrowers who then wish to apply for development finance with LendInvest after gaining planning permission will have their applications fast-tracked.

The pre-construction product has no exit fees and is available on loans between £75,000 and £5 million up to 65% LTV. Interest is charged at 1% – 1.50% per calendar month.

Robots can do more, if we let them (Actuarial Post), Rated: B

Ultimately the use of automated solutions will provide a more standardized service and increase the control the compliance department has on the quality of the service delivered. It will also help to reduce costs, thereby ultimately benefitting the customer by reducing the charges that need to be applied to the policy.

We should be looking at the arrival of robo-advice, not in terms of making huge changes but in terms of providing incremental improvements to our customer service levels, our ease of achieving our regulatory compliance and our ability to provide better value to life and pension customers. The impact of robots on the industry should be less like a technological disruption than a technology-supported evolution of service levels.

New Members for the AABF (Fintech.finance), Rated: B

Three new alternative lenders have joined the recently launched Association of Alternative Business Finance (AABF)  – Invoice Cycle, Merchant Money and Reward Finance Group.

The AABF was launched on 1 February this year with the major ambition of championing and promoting the best standards of industry practice.

The seven founding members, Capify UK, Catalyst Finance, Credit4, Fleximize, Liberis, The Just Loans Group and YesGrowth established  four clearly defined operating principles that members will be required to adhere to:

  • Transparency
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Security
European Union

Banks “no longer fear” marketplace and P2P lenders and robo advice, finds study (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit finds bank/fintech collaboration will be key to the survival of both ends of the market. 

While P2P and marketplace lenders as well as robo advice firms are increasing their market share, big banks are less concerned by their technology-enabled competitors than before. The report found PSD2 and open architecture framework is widely seen as a game changer between banks and fintechs.

Acquisition costs are often higher than expected, compliance costs are climbing and margins are already falling in P2P lending and robo advice, Freidman says.

Computer says . . . invest: the robo-advisers are coming (The Irish Times), Rated: A

Now London-based ETFmatic is targeting the Irish market along with 31 other European countries, hoping that investors will be attracted by annual management charges starting from 0.3 per cent.

The minimum initial investment for ETFmatic, for example, is just €100. Portfolios with less than €25,000 carry a management fee of 0.5 per cent, falling to 0.3 per cent for portfolios above €25,000.

Consequently, the all-inclusive fee for an ETFmatic portfolio ranges from 0.4 to 0.85 per cent.

For now, robo-advisers remain a niche option, accounting for less than 1 per cent of assets under management. However, the space is a rapidly-expanding one that may account for 10 per cent of global assets by 2020, according to a BI Intelligence report last year. Almost half of wealthy investors not currently using robo-services would consider using them in the future, according to a PwC report last year.

Robo-advice may be here to stay, but the beneficiaries may be the big players who are increasingly moving into the space rather than startups such as ETFmatic.

Australia

Today our experience shows most superannuation executives instinctively accept that digital advice will increase in importance as one means of delivering better service to all members. However, like any business investment, it needs a business case.

Retention of members is the number one priority for many superannuation providers. Decimal’s research shows it is also the area in which the greatest financial gains can be made.

Nevertheless, our data indicates that funds implementing digital advice that includes contribution related advice topics can reduce retention risk by approximately 15 per cent.

In the cases analysed, it was found 40 per cent of these passive members could be engaged with digital advice. Of that 40 per cent, 25 per cent moved through to actioning a Statement of Advice (SOA). That equates to 10 in every 100 passive members making some level of additional financial contribution.

In cases where members have had some level of engagement in the past but have never taken a real course of action, digital advice was found to be successful in re-engaging approximately 30 per cent.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor