Tuesday January 9 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingTree purchase APR

News Comments Today’s main news: IEG Holdings wants to turn Lending Club into a balance sheet lender. Groundfloor launches nationwide. Crowd2Fund launches 30M GBP fundraise. China may get a second consumer credit bureau. Klarna expands e-commerce footprint. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree releases mortgage offer report for December. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Are corporations posting fake comments on government regulatory websites? History […]

LendingTree purchase APR

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United States

IEG HOLDINGS (IEGH) LAUNCHES TENDER OFFER FOR UP TO 4.99% OF LENDINGCLUB (LC) (Zacks.com), Rated: AAA

On January 5, 2017, IEG Holdings (OTC:IEGH) launched a tender offer for up to 4.99% of LendingClub (NYSE:LC).
– Management believes it can convert LendingClub from a broker of loans into a balance sheet lender

Groundfloor Expands Historic Qualification Under Regulation A To Launch Nationwide (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Non-accredited and accredited investors in all 50 states can now participate in real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities with Groundfloor. Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate debt investments via Regulation A that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has received qualification as an issuer under Tier 2 of Regulation A. The qualification allows over 150 million additional investors to access real estate investment opportunities that have been previously unavailable to them, tripling Groundfloor’s addressable market.

In 2017, Groundfloor saw tremendous growth of over 380% in origination volume and 786% in revenue, prior to announcing a partnership with its first institutional investor, Direct Access Capital (DAC).2 Groundfloor lends in 27 states, and has self-originated over $50 million in loans for 398 real estate projects earning individual investor portfolios average annualized returns of 11.74 percent to date. Groundfloor has also raised $9.1M in venture capital from leading fintech VCs and angel investors.

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

LendingTree®, the online loan marketplace, 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: Purchase APR by Credit Score Range (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)
  • December’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.80% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, up from 3.75% in November. Refinance loan offers were up 1 bps to 3.70%.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were up 12 bps to 4.42%, the highest since July 2016. The loan note rate hit the highest since March 2016 at 4.32% and was up 14 bps from November.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.26% in December, vs 4.56% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 30 bps between these score ranges was 3 bps wider than in November and the widest since this data series began in April 2016. The spread represents nearly $15,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $233,586. The additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were up 7 bps to 4.31%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 24 from 20 bps, amounting to $12,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $241,973.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments have been rising for 8 months and reached $63,740.
Source: Purchase Mortgage Offers by Credit Score (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)

Many Comments Critical of ‘Fiduciary’ Rule Are Fake (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A significant number of fake comments appear among thousands criticizing a proposed federal rule meant to prevent conflicts of interest in retirement advice, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Consider the experience of Robert Schubert, a Devon, Pa., salesperson. A comment posted in his name on the Labor Department website opposed the rule, saying: “I do not need, do not want and object to any federal interference in my retirement planning.”

In an interview, Mr. Schubert said the comment was a fraud. He didn’t post it and doesn’t agree with it. “I am disgusted that people can post comments using my name,” Mr. Schubert said.

Mr. Schubert is among 50 people who responded to a survey last week conducted by research firm Mercury Analytics for The Journal—40%, or 20 of whom said they didn’t post the comment listed under their name, address, phone number and email.

The Journal previously found fraudulent postings under names and email addresses at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. The Journal’s findings were cited by calls from Congress to delay the repeal of the FCC’s net-neutrality rule.

Corporate Powers Are Stealing Online Identities, Posting Fake Comments to Push for Consumer Law Repeals (Alternet), Rated: A

A pattern of cyber deception is appearing across the federal government in the nooks and crannies of the process where White House directives or Congress’ laws are turned into the rules Americans must abide by—or in the Trump era, are repealed.

Hundreds of thousands of comments, purportedly made by Americans, have come in over the electronic transom to at least five different federal agencies calling for an end to Obama-era consumer protections and other regulations that impede profits, a series of investigative reports by the Wall Street Journal found. Except, the people who supposedly sent these comments never did.

Wrapping up 2017 (PeerIQ), Rated: A

The US economy added 148k jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. The jobs number was below economists’ estimates of 190k, but average hourly earnings rose 2.5%, a strong increase, and a metric that market participants are watching as a precursor to higher inflation.

In regulatory news, Indiana is planning legislation that would cap the interest rate on personal loans at 36%, down from the current cap of 391% on payday loans. If passed, this legislation would affect the payday lending industry and some experts have expressed concerns that this may crimp credit availability to the neediest individuals. The US government is also considering updating the credit scoring methodology used in evaluating mortgage applications, to use competitors to FICO score like VantageScore, with the hope that the new scores would expand mortgage credit access to borrowers.

Apollo Global Management and Värde Partners have agreed to acquire a 40.5% stake in OneMain Financial, the non-prime lender spun off by Citigroup after the financial crisis, from Fortress Investment Group.

 

 

Edison Partners makes $ 15M investment in fintech (ROI-NJ), Rated: A

Growth equity investment firm Edison Partners has invested $15 million into MoneyLion, a digital personal finance platform based in New York City.

Student Loan Startup Frank Secures $ 10 Million During Series A Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Frank, a New York-based student loan startup, announced this week that it has secured $10 million through its Series A  Funding Round, which was led by Apollo Global Management, with participation from Reach Capital, and Aleph. This funding round brought its total funding amount to $15.5 million.

Digital financial advice startup SuperEd raises $ 5 million from key investors and staff (Smart Company), Rated: A

Digital superannuation advice startup SuperEd has completed a $5 million capital raise from both external investors and staff members to ramp up its expansion, with the 2012-founded company betting on digital advice being a big deal for fund managers going forward.

Credit Karma Teams with American Express to Offer Advance Tax Refund (Finovate), Rated: A

Earlybird Advance is a no-fee, no-interest loan from MetaBank that allows users who file through Credit Karma to claim from $500 to $1,000 of their tax refund as soon as 24 hours after the IRS accepts their tax return. This is a step up from the three-to-four week time period it generally takes for taxpayers to receive their funds.

Testimonial Tree Partners With J4 Mortgage Solutions to Offer Online Review Software to Mortgage Lenders and Title Companies (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Testimonial Tree announces its new alliance with J4 Mortgage Solutions, LLC, a mortgage technology consulting firm, to add online reviews and automated feedback to its suite of tech services.

The Future Of Financial Advice Requires AI With A Human Touch (FA-Magazine), Rated: A

“Digital leaders report an 8.6 percent increase in revenue, an 11.3 percent rise in productivity, and a 6.3 percent improvement in market share. Advanced firms now generate 32 percent of their revenue through digital channels, and expect that amount to rise to 48 percent by 2022,” the study pointed out.

Digital leaders acknowledge what will be the growing importance of AI in the digital transformation of industry from the front office to the back office over the next five years. According to the study, while more than half of the digital leaders are already using AI to increase productivity, some 40 percent are extending AI applications to investment management as well.

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA and U.S. Bank Partner to Expand Access to Credit for Small Businesses (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) – a mission-driven non-profit lender dedicated to improving communities and transforming lives – announced today that it has partnered with U.S. Bank to deliver a new solution for connecting small business borrowers with responsible lending options from community-based lenders across the country.

There are approximately 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S., accounting for more than 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2013. However, the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2016 Small Business Credit Surveyfound the most common challenge facing small businesses was “credit availability or securing funds for expansion.”

Predicting Comptroller Otting’s Impact on Fintech (Lend360), Rated: A

Second, Comptroller Otting may be helpful to Fintech companies in addressing important issues such as the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding and the so-called “true lender” issue.  For example, the OCC could adopt a rule or issue interpretative guidance: (1) providing that loans funded by a bank in its own name as creditor are fully subject to Section 85 and other provisions of the National Bank Act for their entire term; and (2) emphasizing that banks that make loans are expected to manage and supervise the lending process in accordance with OCC guidance and will be subject to regulatory consequences if and to the extent that loan programs are unsafe or unsound or fail to comply with applicable law.  (The rule should apply in the same way to federal savings banks and their governing statute, the Home Owners’ Loan Act.)  In other words, it is the origination of the loan by a supervised bank (and the attendant legal consequences if the loans are improperly originated), and not whether the bank retains the predominant economic interest in the loan, that should govern the regulatory treatment of the loan under federal law.

 

Consider Alternative Funds to Hedge Against a Market Downturn (NASDAQ), Rated: A

To ease your anxiety, you might consider adding a small dose of alternative investments–things that zig when the stock market zags–to your portfolio, even if it means giving up some potential returns.

Wells Fargo Investment Institute, the research and strategy arm of the giant bank, recommends a 23% allotment to various alternative investments for moderate-risk investors, for example, up from 16% two years ago. At Altfest Personal Wealth Management, in New York, 15% of client assets are invested in alternatives, up from 10% last year.

Market-neutral funds. If your goal is to invest in an asset that doesn’t move in sync with the S&P 500, consider a market-neutral fund, such as a merger-arbitrage fund.

Options-based funds allow you to maintain your stock exposure–or even put new money in the market–with some degree of safety.

Long-short stock funds. These funds bet on some stocks and against others with the goal of delivering respectable returns with low volatility. The funds have been 15% to 25% less volatile than an S&P 500-stock index fund over the past decade.

CLSA Top Three Books For 2018 (ValueWalk), Rated: A

What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.

“The Unbanking of America”

Why I Joined MetaProp As An EIR (LinkedIn), Rated: A

I recently left RealtyShares, the online marketplace for real estate investing, as CEO after founding the company in my living room back in 2013.

When Zach realized I was leaving the CEO role at RealtyShares, he reached out and asked if I wanted to get involved with MetaProp, the first real estate technology incubator based out of NYC.

This opportunity would give me a chance to pursue my passion in real estate technology through a different lens while mentoring startup founders and CEOs and helping them as they embark on the same journey I embarked on four years ago.

AlphaFlow Appoints Chris Woida As Co-Chief Investment Officer (AlphaFlow), Rated: A

AlphaFlow, the first automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today that Chris Woida has joined the company as co-Chief Investment Officer. Woida will serve as co-CIO alongside the firm’s CEO Ray Sturm, who will act as both CEO and co-CIO.

Woida brings over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously helping build BlackRock’s smart beta and factor-based platforms and serving as the lead investment strategist for its flagship style-factor hedge fund during his seven years with the company. Most recently, he served as Managing Director, Head of Index Solutions at Axioma, a provider of enterprise market risk and portfolio analytics solutions. In this role, Woida helped the index business expand into derivatives, fixed income and alternative data sources, including AI and ESG.

MPOWER Financing Hires Lutz Braum, Fintech and Higher Ed Marketing Veteran (Cleveland19), Rated: B

MPOWER Financing, a public benefit corporation focused on removing financial barriers to higher education in the U.S., has appointed Lutz Braum as its vice president of marketing and business development.

Finova Financial’s New Fundraising Process Leverages Cryptocurrency to Serve Non-Accredited Investors (Finovate), Rated: B

Alternative lender Finova Financial introduced a new product this week that will offer non-accredited investors access to regulated public securities offerings.

The new offering is called the JOBS Crypto Offering (JCO) and will allow investors to use cryptocurrency to invest in equity ownership of previously privately-held companies.

Read more about Finova’s JCO offering here.

Is it possible to land a car loan with no down payment? (Bankrate), Rated: B

Buying a car is a significant investment, with the average new car costing $34,968 in 2017.

The average down payment for a used car is generally 10 percent of the purchase price; if you’re buying a new car, you can expect to pay slightly more, probably between 12 and 20 percent.

LENDINGTREE, LEADSCON ANNOUNCE $ 25,000 INNOVATION CHALLENGE IN LAS VEGAS (Business Insider), Rated: B

LendingTree®, the online loan marketplace, and Access Intelligence, a business information and marketing company, today announced a new initiative to showcase the top innovations in financial technology (fintech) lead generation at LeadsCon Las Vegas this March.

Startups and established businesses from around the world can apply today for a chance to receive exposure, bragging rights and $25,000 in cash.

United Kingdom

IFISA first-mover Crowd2Fund kicks off £30m fundraise, eyes £1bn valuation by 2022 (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Crowd2Fund has embarked on an ambitious series of fundraises that it hopes will see £30m raised within the next 24 months.

The peer-to-peer lender, one of the first to launch an Innovative Finance ISA, has already raised £1.5m from 113 of its own investors (all of whom are either sophisticated or high net worth individuals). More shares were made available after demand exceeded the initial target of £1m. These investors have bought shares in the company at a valuation of £33m. The capital is being raised through Crowd2Fund’s platform.

UK consumer lending not driven by subprime borrowers, regulators say (Daily Mail), Rated: A

Rapid growth in Britain’s consumer credit has been driven by borrowing by people with good credit scores, not subprime lending, according to research from regulators on Monday.

Unsecured consumer lending grew at near double-digit rates in 2016 and 2017, and concern that lenders had overestimated their borrowers’ creditworthiness led the Bank of England to tell them in September to hold 10 billion pounds ($13.54 billion) of extra capital.

However, research jointly published by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and a BoE blog showed that two-thirds of outstanding lending as of November 2016 was held by borrowers with credit scores in the top 30 percent.

Here’s everything you need to know about business finance (UKTech.news), Rated: A

Wherever you are on your life cycle, knowing the financing options available to you is a crucial part of growing and running your business.

Equity Funding

Equity finance can be used at various stages of your business life cycle and giving up equity can be a big decision.

Private equity

Private equity focuses on more medium to long term investment and will usually involve the development of the product and a new management structure to improve the performance of the business.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding aims to connect businesses with a large number of potential investors via a shared online platform.

Debt Funding

Debt finance is usually used as a means of long term investment or funding working capital.

Peer to Peer (P2P) lending

P2P lending brings individual borrowers and lenders together via an online platform by by-passing traditional banks with the aim of achieving better rates for all.

Asset finance

Assets can be purchased via leasing or hire purchase agreements which can assist the cash flow of the business. The asset is not fully paid for upfront but over a fixed period of time and the lease or hire purchase agreement is secured on the asset being financed.

Debt factoring

A debt factor will take on the sales ledger of the business and chase money owed by your customers. The factor will advance most of the value of the outstanding sales invoices to the business with the balance being paid once the customers have fully repaid their debt.

China

China Fintech: 2nd consumer credit bureau in sight now (EJ Insight), Rated: AAA

Last week, on January 4, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) accepted a license application for consumer credit bureau led by the National Internet Finance Association of China. As of now, the Credit Reference Center of the central bank is the only consumer credit bureau in China.

Consumer loan securitization boom put on hold as China clamps down on leverage (Reuters), Rated: A

A boom in asset-backed securities issued by micro-lenders aiming to expand in China’s fast-growing online credit market looks set to slow this year amid growing regulatory scrutiny.

Rules announced on Dec. 1 limited the amount of lending backed by the products the companies can make. They were also required to consolidate them on their balance sheets.

Ant Financial is the largest issuer of consumer loan securities, accounting for 60 percent of all issues in 2017, according to Reuters calculations based on data from China Securitisation Analytics.

Its two Chongqing-based micro-loan companies had total net capital of 10.6 billion yuan, but issued 265.1 billion yuan in loans by the end of June, according to CIB Research, a unit of Industrial Bank Co (601166.SS). Outstanding loan securities issued by the two units have exceeded 250 billion yuan, it said.

Growth in China’s financial technology has only just begun, CEO says (CNBC), Rated: A

China’s burgeoning financial technology industry went through plenty of ups and downs last year, but growing pains experienced in the sector aren’t fazing one local player.

But increased competition in the space doesn’t suggest the sector is overcrowded, according to David Ye, the co-founder and CEO of Jianpu Technology.

“In China, we have close to 9,000 microfinance companies, we have close to 2,000 peer-to-peer companies. Only four of them got listed … It’s just a tiny drop of water in the big blue ocean,” he said.

This firm’s fintech play is connecting financial services in China from CNBC.

European Union

Klarna Payments Expands eCommerce Footprint with ACI Worldwide (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced an extended partnership with Klarna, leveraging ACI’s UP eCommerce Payments solution. This will enable online businesses in 10 major markets, including the U.S. and U.K., to easily integrate Klarna’s payment products, and offer shoppers a fast and frictionless checkout process that can improve conversion rates immediately.

International

History of Ripple (BuyRipple.com), Rated: AAA

Source: BuyRipple.com

Cryptocurrency markets: Top 10 coins with greatest 24-hour change 8 Jan 2018 (finder), Rated: A

3. ETHLend (LEND) +32%

The peer to peer lending platform has seen a decent spike after it featured heavily across exchange Coinspot’s Facebook page as they look too soon be listed on the exchange. That exposure has also highlighted the achievements the Estonian company has made recently, including launching its fiat based loans at the end of 2017.

Crypto cards just suffered a major setback (Financial Times), Rated: A

Strict terms and conditions usually govern the circumstances in which prepay cards can be issued by unlicensed (non-bank) institutions due to their popularity with the unbanked or low-credit community as well as their propensity to be taken advantage of for money laundering reasons. These T&Cs tend to be jurisdiction dependent, and can in some cases restrict the types of funds that can be loaded onto cards by source (for example the source of funds might be restricted to welfare payments and/or employer compensation for services rendered).

Take as an example the following condition attached to a card brought to market by an outfit called TenX:

LOADING FUNDS TO YOUR ACCOUNT

Five.1 Your Card is a payout card tied to an account directly or indirectly established by an employer or other such corporate payor (each, a “Payor”) on behalf of a consumer to which electronic funds transfers of the consumer’s wages or other compensation are made on a recurring basis, whether the account is operated or managed by the employer, a third party payout processor, or a depository institution. Only funds from a Payor may be loaded to your Account In case of errors or questions about the funds loaded to your Account, contact your payout provider.

How will lenders meet identity verification challenges in 2018? (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Online lenders will start to move away from the social security number (SSN) as a personal identifier.

Big data and machine learning will take centre stage in the drive for better identity verification.

Larger online lenders will bring more of their fraud-fighting efforts in-house.

Online financial institutions will begin to adopt blockchain.

Cybersecurity startups raked in $ 7.6 billion in VC money in 2017 — twice as much as the year before (Business Insider), Rated: B

Globally, venture investors put $7.6 billion in cybersecurity companies last year, which was up from $3.8 billion in 2016, according to the research firm. The number of cybersecurity-related investments jumped to 548 in 2017 from 467 deals the year before.

Global spending on cybersecurity was estimated to reach $83.5 billion in 2017, and that number could hit $119.9 billion in 2021, according to an IDC report from October.

India

FinTech Trends That Will Shape The Industry In 2018 (BW Disrupt), Rated: A

Banks will increasingly start looking at startups in the FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech space as their extended innovation arms with a view to collaborate with them.

The BharatQR code, a unique interoperable payment acceptance solution developed by the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), Mastercard and Visa will enable point of sale (POS) transactions to be made more seamlessly. Along with banks, payment wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik will continue to make huge investments to leverage this new standard.

Startups in this space are likely to well as adoption by banks and other financial institutions rises in AI, ML, NLP (Natural Language Processing) and NLG (Natural Language Generation).

Asia

How one woman beat the odds to start-up success (Myanmar Times), Rated: AAA

In credit-scarce Myanmar, obstacles abound for budding entrepreneurs with bright ideas, big potential and dry pockets. With banks reluctant to lend to individuals without appropriate collateral and proven track records, many small businesses ultimately fail.

Ma Khin Yadana is among those with a success story behind her garment business, which she started from scratch around five years ago.

To get back on her feet, Ma Khin Yadana sought help from a small business group on Facebook, where she met with other garment shop owners across Myanmar who were willing to invest in start-up businesses like hers by extending credit via a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system. In return, the funds would be paid back with interest within 15 days.

However, the constant pressure of having to repay loans has begun to take a toll on the young entrepreneur. “Most of the loans from investors are on six-month terms. So far, I have 70 investors to whom I must repay K100 million in total.

When the loans are due, I have to repay in full plus interest. The main problem is the 15pc interest rate, which is too high,” she said.

In mid-2017, with higher levels of debt coming due, Ma Khin Yadana negotiated with investors for lower interest rates of 10pc.

Canada

CIBC Innovation Banking unit launched to help grow startups (Finextra), Rated: A

Today, CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) introduced CIBC Innovation Banking, a full-service business that delivers strategic advice and funding to North American technology and innovation clients at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday July 13 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative lending deal tracker

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi aims for 12 ABS deals in 2017. Funding Circle’s business boomed after Brexit. Dianrong acquires Quark Finance asset-origination operations. Mambu recognized as European growth excellence leader. Santander invests in three fintechs. Today’s main analysis: Europe’s alt finance market hits $9.1B in Q1. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How non-prime millennials struggle. Top 40 payments trailblazers. United […]

alternative lending deal tracker

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United States

SoFi preps new deal, aims for 12 in 2017 (Global Capital), Rated: AAA

Online lender SoFi is on track to sell its eighth ABS this month and is said to be looking to bring as many as 12 deals through year end across student loan refinancing and consumer loan platforms.

Money Management by Non-Prime Millennials: How They Struggle and Worry More Than Their Peers (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Young people have always struggled with money, but for non-prime Millennials today, managing their personal finances is especially hard, according to the final two studies in a series of Millennial-focused reports by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class.

According to the research, 58 percent of non-prime Millennials – those with credit scores below 700 – find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck and 41 percent run out of money every other month, or more often.

Additional key findings include:

  • 13 percent of non-prime Millennials admit that it is difficult to predict their month-to-month income
  • 13 percent regularly overdraft their savings or checking accounts
  • 64 percent say that they have too much debt right now, twice as likely as prime
  • Only 37 percent of non-prime Millennials express any confidence that they could come up with $1,200 for an emergency expense in a month
  • Non-prime Millennials are 71 percent less likely to turn to credit cards if they needed to come up with $1,200, compared to their prime counterparts
  • Are more likely to experience unexpected car repairs or non-routine medical expenses
  • Are 45 percent less likely than prime Millennials to maintain a monthly budget
  • Are 58 percent less likely than prime Millennials to put aside money for savings

Invesco co-launches robo-advice platform for financial advisers (AltFi), Rated: A

The U.S. platform will provide a digital space for financial advisers to open new accounts.

Investment management giant Invesco is continuing its foray into digital wealth management.

The company is co-launching a U.S.-based platform for financial advisers through its wealth management solution company, Jemsteps. The site is for financial advisors affiliated with Advisor Group, an American network of independent financial advisory firms.

Funding Circle Names New Chief Compliance Officer for US (Corporate Counsel), Rated: A

Funding Circle Ltd. has named Richard Stephenson as its U.S. chief compliance officer. He joins the San Francisco-based small business lending platform after working in financial services for three decades, most recently as the CCO of Silicon Valley Bank.

Stephenson has also held various senior roles with financial institutions and in private practice, including at Bank of America, Union Bank, Washington Mutual Bank and Mechanics Bank.

For a fintech company, particularly one that partakes in lending, Hodges said it has been important to prioritize compliance, given all of the uncertainties in the regulatory space.

Sindeo is back in the mortgage business after acquisition (Inman), Rated: A

“Renren, one of Sindeo’s investors, has acquired Sindeo and all of its assets,” Nick Stamos, one of Sindeo’s co-founders, told Inman in a statement. “We are excited to work closely with the Renren team to execute on our original mission of offering homebuyers a straightforward path to home ownership and refinancing.” He did not disclose the terms or the sum of the acquisition.

Ex-Merrill Lynch FAs with $ 1B in Assets Go Indie (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

A team of Merrill Lynch financial advisors has jumped ship to launch a new independent wealth management practice, according to a press release from Dynasty Financial Partners, with whom the team has partnered.

Celenza, who’s been an advisor for close to 20 years and with Merrill Lynch for six of them, says the decision to go independent was prompted in part by the ability to access “a greatly expanded selection of investment capabilities, lending platforms, sophisticated insurance products, planning resources, capital market solutions, and alternative manager opportunities.”

Treasury quietly looking at revamping CRA (American Banker), Rated: A

The Treasury Department is embarking on an effort to revise the implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act, a law many community groups say is out of step with modern banking practices and that institutions say has devolved into a compliance exercise.

Tucked away in Treasury Department’s regulatory reform report released last month was a nascent effort to reform the way regulators implement the CRA — a law intended to compel banks to offer loans and financial services to low- and moderate-income areas.

Backed by Israeli Bond Funds, Moinian Capital Partners Rides the Nonbank Lending Wave (Commercial Observer), Rated: A

When the Moinian Group tapped Morgan Stanley and UBS alumnus Jonathan Chassin to lead its newly formed real estate lending platform, Moinian Capital Partners, in February, it was a testament to the Joseph Moinian-led firm’s ambitions to become the latest developer to expand its business into the realm of financing.

Thus far, Moinian Capital Partners has sought to focus its energies on “smaller, $50 million to $100 million development deals where we can quote the whole loan,” Chassin said—the sorts of projects that often have greater difficulty securing funds from more established debt lenders.

The operation is also finding success in the market for mezzanine debt, where its flexibility as a nonbank means it can provide “additional terms that other lenders don’t,” Chassin said. “Where banks and traditional mezz funds are doing five-year deals as a rule, we can quote six- or seven-[year terms]. We can do bridge deals because we understand the basis and understand the market.”

Coinsource Launches Five Bitcoin ATMs in Phoenix (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Coinsource, a bitcoin ATM network, announced on Monday it launched five new machines in Phoenix Metropolitan Area, marking its first venture into Arizona. According to the company, the bulk installation caps off a strong first and second quarter, with it installing 50 machines so far this year, now with a portfolio of 116 machines across 10 states. The five new Bitcoin ATMs have been installed in Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa.

CrediFi enables real time streaming of real estate deal and client data directly into Salesforce (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CrediFi Corp., the market intelligence and deal discovery engine for commercial real estate (CRE) finance, has announced the launch of a new solution that seamlessly streams CrediFi data into the Salesforce® CRM platform with the click of a button.

CrediFi simplifies the work of CRE dealmakers by serving as the one-stop-shop for data and analytics on commercial properties and loans as well as CRE owners and lenders. Now, CrediFi enables users to sync its vast repository of CRE data seamlessly and directly into Salesforce.

The launch of CrediFi for Salesforce® follows the April launch of CredifX, an online marketplace for CRE financing, and CrediFi recently secured $13 million for its Series B funding.  Michael Helpern has joined CrediFi’s team as Head of Strategy, and will oversee further innovation of solutions for this market. Mr. Helpern brings with him over a decade of experience in commercial real estate brokerage, at firms including Marcus & Millichap and CBRE.

Thales provides database encryption solution for Beyond Platform’s peer-to-peer lending service (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Thales announces internet-based financial services technology company Beyond Platform has adopted Vormetric Transparent Encryption from Thales to deliver a secure credit evaluation model for its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.

Beyond Platform wanted to implement a data security system that offered a security level required by the major banks in order to comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in South Korea. In addition, the solution needed to pass a security review by NongHyup Bank (an agricultural and retail bank in South Korea)  with whom Beyond Platform was developing a joint P2P lending service. Beyond Platform adopted Vormetric Transparent Encryption from Thales to encrypt structured and unstructured data in an enterprise system. As a result, it met the database encryption requirements and passed the bank security review, opening the floodgate for developing and launching P2P services. In addition, the company has built a reputation among customers as a reliable and safe P2P provider.

Vormetric Transparent Encryption is a kernel-level encryption solution that encrypts all file types including logs and images as well as database data, so there is no need for enterprises to purchase a separate encryption solution for database encryption and unstructured data encryption.

EPHESOFT SECURES $ 15M SERIES A FUNDING FROM MERCATO PARTNERS (Ephesoft), Rated: A

Ephesoft Inc., the developer of document capture and analytics solutions that extract meaning from unstructured content, today announced that it has completed a $15 million Series A financing round. Mercato Partners, a trusted growth capital partner, is the exclusive investor in this round. The investment will be used to accelerate Ephesoft’s product development while expanding operations, market presence and sales channels. Joe Kaiser of Mercato Partners will join the Ephesoft Board of Directors as part of the investment.

Founded in 2010, Ephesoft has developed advanced machine learning solutions that capture, extract and analyze unstructured content. The company has over 500 customers globally ranging from financial services, Federal government, insurance, mortgage and healthcare sectors.

Why Chicago is the best city to launch a fintech company (Crain’s Chicago Business), Rated: A

Chicago was recently ranked among the top five global fintech hubs by Deloitte and the Global FinTech Hubs Federation, thanks in part to FinTEx Chicago’s strong advocacy. Further, fintech and financial services companies even account for 14 percent of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the region, according to Crain’s 2017 Fast 50.

And most important, the financial sector is driving real job growth in the city. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of March, year-over-year employment in Chicago’s financial sector grew 3.6 percent—more than double gains in the next-highest industry. That also trounces growth of 2.2 percent in the financial sector nationally.

AlphaFlow Launches “Tax Implications of Crowdfunding” eBook (Benzinga), Rated: B

To help investors more effectively evaluate real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities and their potential tax implications, AlphaFlow has released its inaugural eBook: “Tax Implications Of Crowdfunding.” This 23-page eBook, written by AlphaFlow and Sundin & Fish, CPA, closely examines the top tax issues investors must consider as they invest across the real estate crowdfunding industry.

  • A few of the topics discussed in this eBook include:
  • Types of crowdfunding platforms
  • Differences between debt and equity deals
  • Federal and state tax issues
  • Pros and cons of using self-directed IRAs
  • Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI)
  • Tax planning and strategies

Ballard Spahr closes San Diego office (Bloomberg Law), Rated: B

Ballard Spahr, which recently lost two partners to Dinsmore & Shohl, said it has closed its office in San Diego, transferring other lawyers from the city to its Los Angeles office. (Legal Intelligencer)

United Kingdom

Funding Circle CEO Says Business Boomed After Brexit (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

ThinCats teams up with Alderburn Finance to fund Scottish marine trainer (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THINCATS has sealed a deal with commercial finance broker Alderburn Finance and Stream Marine Training (SMT) to help the latter step up its cost efficiency and growth plans.

The peer-to-peer lending platform, which channels funds to small- and medium-sized enterprises, will help the Scottish training specialist cut time and overall costs as it plan to boost its consultancy services to the global maritime, oil and gas, renewables and construction sectors.

Edinburgh-based Alderburn Finance acted as a loan sponsor, as it vetted the borrower’s funding application and assisted ThinCats in the origination process.

Navigating a complex market (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Despite being around for many years, direct lending, which also encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, has only recently been recognised as a mainstream asset class.

There are several fundamental things to consider if you are thinking about direct lending as an addition to your investment portfolio.

  • Your objectives: Be clear about your objectives and your appetite for risk. Why are you investing?
  • Timing: Investing in direct lending can be more effective if you keep your money invested for at least 12 months.
  • Diversification: Diversification is also an effective tactic.
  • Loan opportunities: A good rule of thumb is to use the RADAR principle: reason, assets, duration, amount, repayment.
  • Investing for Capital Growth or Income: The concept of compounding applies to direct lending in the same way as other investments.
  • Taking control: Finally, it’s good to stay pro-active.

 

China

Dianrong Acquires Asset-Origination Operations of Quark Finance (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Dianrong today announced the acquisition of Quark Finance’s asset-origination operations, including the new Credit Studio platform. This transaction will significantly expand and strengthen Dianrong’s existing asset-generation capabilities across China.

Quark Finance operates 71 borrower service centers in 47 Chinese cities. These centers provide comprehensive loan underwriting data collection and servicing. Dianrong already operates 28 technology-enabled borrower service centers in 27 cities in China.

Additionally, Quark Finance owns and operates Credit Studio, a platform that provides data analysis through automated and human interactions to achieve mass-production credit evaluations and processing. Credit Studio leverages Dianrong’s technology to minimize manual activities and lower operational risks, expenses and processing time. Marketplace-lending assets generated by Credit Studio are available to Dianrong and Quark Finance lenders.

By combining Quark Finance’s borrower network with Dianrong’s existing local footprint and fintech capabilities, Dianrong is adding significant scale to its overall asset-generation capabilities. The combination also adds new distribution channels for Dianrong’s borrower lending products and services.

Wang Zhengyu: It will take more time to make profit for China Rapid Finance (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, China Rapid Finance held a media briefing on IPO issues and Q1 financial report. Just before the meeting, Wang Zhengyu, the CEO of China Rapid Finance, revealed that the company currently is still in the loss. Although, it doesn’t mean a bad management for the company, it’s just a problem of time to make money.

In Q1 2017, China Rapid Finance’s net loss is $149 million, decresed by 46 percent on the basis of the earlier time. The net revenue is $10.5 million, declined by 20 percent compared with the beginning of the year. In fact, China Rapid Finance has been being losed for two consecutive years, the loss amount in 2016 and 2017 were $33.366 million and $3002.6 million respectively. In 2014, the profit was only $131,000.

European Union

MAMBU RECOGNISED AS EUROPEAN GROWTH EXCELLENCE LEADER (Financial IT), Rated: AAA

Mambu, the SaaS banking engine powering innovative loan and deposit products, today announced that they have been named the European Growth Excellence Leader for Native Cloud SaaS Banking and Lending by research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan’s global team of analysts and consultants research a wide range of markets across multiple sectors and geographies identifying companies that maintain consistently high standards for delivering customer value, which translates into growth above the industry average.  The award recognises the company which excelled in driving growth and is best-in-class in three key areas: meeting customer demand, fostering brand loyalty and carving out a unique, sustainable market niche.

Santander Buys Stakes in Three Startups as Botin Pushes Into Fintech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest lender, bought minority stakes in three financial-technology firms as Chairman Ana Botin makes machine learning a hallmark of her growth plan.

Pixoneye’s algorithms can build a profile of a consumer from photographs stored on his or her smartphone or other device, while Gridspace utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze the sentiments of people on phone calls with customer service representatives.

Europe’s alternative finance market hits $ 9.1 billion in first quarter (Consultancy.uk), Rated: AAA

The alternative finance economy for mid-market players across Europe hit $9.1 billion in closed deals across the first quarter of 2017. Deal activity in the relatively new segment hit more than a 1000 accumulative deals this year, with the UK remaining out ahead in terms of closed deals – at almost 400. Fundraising for buyouts remains the driving force for turning to alternative lending platforms.

In response to demand, marketplace lenders (MPLs) have sprung up – usually as online platforms – which, through a range of new mechanisms, offer an easy means for peer-to-peer lending across a range of segments – with low returns on other forms of assets continuing to entice investors to the market.

Source: Consultancy.uk

In total around 1011 deals were completed in the past 18 quarters across the burgeoning market, with 612 of those in Europe and 399 in the UK – making the UK by far the largest contributor in terms of activity.

In the UK the most deals took place in the technology, media & communications segment, at 19% of all deals, followed by the business, infrastructure & professional services segments, at 18%. Human capital represented 6% of deals in the UK, while financial services firms accounted for 10% of closures.

Source: Consultancy.uk

ECN Reminder to Complete Cross Border Crowdfunding Survey (Crowddfund Insider), Rated: A

The European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) is reminding alternative finance industry types to complete the survey on cross-border crowdfunding and online lending (IE P2P lending, marketplace lending etc.).  The survey deadline is 12 Noon this Friday, July 14th.

The survey focuses only on crowdfunding models that entail a financial return, notably:

  • investment-based crowdfunding (where companies issue equity or debt instruments to crowd-investors through a platform) and
  • lending-based crowdfunding (where companies or individuals seek to obtain funds from the public through platforms in the form of a loan agreement)

Paycock Enters Russian Fintech Market with Its Convenient Mobile Payment Service (MarketWatch), Rated: A

The K-ICT Born2Global Centre, a major Korean government agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), announced that Paycock, one of its member companies, has signed a business MOU with AEB IT, a Russian financial IT corporation. As a result, Paycock will now begin commercializing its mobile payment solution to satisfy the needs of the Russian financial market, which is expected to undergo rapid growth in the near future.

Paycock Check is a mobile payment service that does not require a card-reading device, as the entire payment process is conducted using only a smartphone camera and near field communication (NFC) technology.

Fintech lender strikes partnership with major Italian bank (AltFi), Rated: A

iwoca has announced a strategic partnership with Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo. The fintech lending platform will now sell its credit products into the Italian banking group’s SME client-base.

Intesa Sanpaolo is one of the biggest banking groups in Europe, with a market capitalisation of €42.7bn. The company boasts over 11.1 million customers in Italy alone, but is also active across Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

International

Top 40 Payments Functions Trailblazers (Everest Group), Rated: AAA

Australia

Why a majority of Australians don’t know about peer-to-peer lending (news.com.au), Rated: A

New research by Finder.com.au has found despite the sector growing from one to eight lenders since it launched in Australia in 2012, 65 per cent of consumers don’t know about it and women are less likely than men to understand and use it.

Finder’s research found that only 8 per cent of women would consider using a P2P lender, compared with 20 per cent of men, and three-quarters of women do not know what it is.

Finder’s data shows 63 per cent growth in P2P users in the past six months, while data from some providers shows 195 per cent growth last financial year.

India

Accel-backed Good Methods Global acqui-hires fintech startup Save Your Money (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Save Your Money (SYM), a fintech startup that offers an automated micro-saving platform, has been acqui-hired by health-tech startup Good Methods Global (GMG), a company statement said.

What is LoanAdda doing to make itself profitable in a crowded market? (Your Story), Rated: A

But all this was far from the mind of Anshuman Mishra (39), when he set up LoanAdda in 2015 to make loans available to large sections of people left out from the purview of the informal and formal banking channels.

As someone who was responsible for managing ICICI Bank’s priority sector lending business, he was acutely aware of the limited access to credit for unbanked customers and poor guidance in facilitating loans.

Today, 78 percent of LoanAdda’s customers are first-time loan takers. Moreover, LoanAdda’s technology algorithm follows its own logic while measuring the eligibility of a certain customer to take loans and throws up the best possible product to the consumer.

Currently, LoanAdda has tie-ups with more than 42 banks to provide home, business, personal, gold and collateral loans on its platform. Through a partnership with India Infoline, an NBFC, the company also gives out its own loans.

Anshuman says that 50-60 percent of LoanAdda’s customers are salaried people with a monthly salary of less than Rs 40,000. The average ticket size is Rs 3.39 lakh for unsecured loans and Rs 34 lakh for secured loans. However, 70-75 percent of all loan takers on the platform get loans of less than Rs 30 lakh.

Why Indians Should Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending (BW Disrupt), Rated: B

Online peer-to-peer lending as a prospective investment class offers many unique propositions.

  • Net Returns and Interest Yields

While savings accounts or fixed deposits usually yield interest rates of 6% to 8% on average, Mutual funds on the other hand, offer returns averaging at 9% to 13%, with some funds yielding up to 15% p.a. Compare this to online P2P loans, which can generate average net returns of 18% to 22% p.a for lenders.

  • No Lock-in period, enjoy benefits of compounding interest
  • Risk Mitigation

As with any debt-based investment, there is a risk of default in online P2P lending as well. But since the premise on which P2P lending is based is similar to that of debt instruments, the capital risk is lower, and there are ways to mitigate it. One of these is diversification.

Asia

Singapore and Thailand Central Banks Unite in FinTech Deal (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have entered a FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) to further develop and enhance the existing financial ecosystem in the ASEAN region.

The agreement aims to “develop a richer financial ecosystem” in both countries and South-East Asia, an announcement revealed. As per the agreement, both central banks will also share information on new and emerging market trends in an era of micro-financing and digitization as well as their impact on traditional regulatory practices.

Vertex Ventures invests $ 2m in Turnkey Lender (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Turnkey Lender, a cloud- based loan management system, has raised $2 million venture investment from Vertex Ventures. The venture offers a SaaS solution that employs machine learning and data analysis to understand potential loan applicants, ranging from small scale to large scale loans.

Turnkey Lender has previously received seed funding from SMRK VC Fund. The initial development for the company was done in the Ukraine, where it has its roots. It is currently headquartered in Singapore, where the team believes that can have greater flexibility in approaching the different financial needs of their international clients.

Investment proceeds will be used to engage in expanding business operations across the region, product development and talent acquisition. The company told DEALSTREETASIA that the primary growth markets it if focusing on are Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

Bank Mandiri invests in cashless payment startup (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: A

The venture capital unit of Indonesia’s largest lender by assets, Bank Mandiri, on Wednesday said it is leading a $2 million funding round for local financial technology startup Cashlez, which claims to offer a portable, more user-friendly alternative to electronic data capture machines.

Cashlez’s “mobile point of sales” system runs on a slim card-reader device operated with a smartphone application.

Canada

John D. Orr, Senior Banker and Investor, Joins FutureVault as Chief Executive Officer and a Significant Investor (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FutureVault, a personal and business information management company, has named banking executive, lawyer, entrepreneur and investment professional John D. Orr as Chief Executive Officer. In addition to joining the management team, Mr. Orr has made a significant personal investment in the Company for a material ownership position.

Launched commercially in North America in late 2016 after two years of development, FutureVault has created an advanced cloud-based information management platform with patents pending. In an increasingly digital world, characterized by volume, complexity and risk, FutureVault’s secure platform provides both individuals and businesses with the tools and intelligence to select, retain and optimize all their information. The platform represents a new category: an intelligent, secure, encrypted, auditable repository for all the information in one’s life or business. FutureVault’s product suite and feature set accommodate a broad range of customer information management needs, from a relatively straightforward individual’s requirements to those of a multi-jurisdictional business or a large family office.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday July 11 2017, Daily News Digest

cumulative volume asset class securitizations

News Comments Today’s main news: CFPB bans banks from barring class action suits. Ballard Spahr’s response. Seedrs, Nutmeg partner with Fidor Bank on fintech marketplace. China Rapid Finance facilitates 20M cumulative loans. Auxmoney passes half-billion Euro mark. Today’s main analysis: Lend Academy looks at PeerIQ’s securitization report. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Which advisers do robos threaten? Global and regional M&A report. Faircent […]

cumulative volume asset class securitizations

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

CFPB bans mandatory arbitration clauses, allows class action against banks (Housingwire), Rated: AAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed its new rule to ban companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses, allowing consumers to participate in class action lawsuits.

The new rule mainly pertains to consumer financial products like credit cards and bank accounts that have arbitration clauses in their contracts that prevent consumers from joining together to sue their bank or financial company for wrongdoing.

However, the new rule is not applicable to mortgage finance.

So for who the rule does apply to, according to the CFPB, it applies to the major markets for consumer financial products and services overseen by the bureau, including those that lend money, store money, and move or exchange money.

Under the rule, companies can still include arbitration clauses in their contracts, but companies subject to the rule may not use arbitration clauses to stop consumers from being part of a group action.

CFPB issues final rule prohibiting class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements; Ballard Spahr to hold July 20 webinar (Consumer Finance Monitor), Rated: AAA

The CFPB announced today that it has issued a final rule that prohibits covered providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using an agreement with a consumer that provides for arbitration of any future dispute between the parties to bar the consumer from filing or participating in a class action with respect to the covered consumer financial product or service.

On July 20, 2017, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET., Ballard Spahr attorneys will hold a webinar: The CFPB’s Final Rule Prohibiting Class Action Waivers: What You Need to Know.  The webinar registration form is available here.

Our analysis of the CFPB’s proposed rule and arbitration study found that the CFPB’s own data confirmed that arbitration is a faster, less expensive, and far more effective way for consumers to resolve disputes with companies than class action litigation.  The CFPB’s study showed that consumers who prevailed in an individual arbitration recovered an average of $5,389.  By contrast, the study showed that the average class action settlement for consumers who received cash payments was only $32.35.  And those consumers often had to wait as long as two years to receive the payment.  Class counsel, however, recovered a staggering $424,495,451.

Consumers who prevailed in individual arbitration thus received 166 times as much as the average putative class member.

The final rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will apply to agreements entered into more than 180 days after that.

Ballard Spahr’s Comment on Arbitration Rule (Ballard Spahr), Rated: A

The rule is expected to cost the roughly 53,000 financial services companies who currently use arbitration agreements between $2.62 billion and $5.23 billion over the next five years to defend an additional 6,042 class actions that will be brought by plaintiffs. The CFPB expects those numbers to be repeated every five years after that.

CFPB’s long-awaited arbitration rule may be a short-lived victory for consumers (LA Times), Rated: A

It’s all but certain that Republican lawmakers in control of the House and Senate will move quickly to overturn the rule as part of their ongoing efforts to cripple the consumer-watchdog agency and create a more business-friendly regulatory landscape.

PeerIQ Reports on Q2 2017 Marketplace Lending Securitizations (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Q2 2017 was no exception with nine securitizations taking place totaling $3 billion, a 76% growth over the second quarter of 2016. This is in line with Q1 2017 where issuance was the same, but there were only seven deals. Total issuance is now $21.9 billion across 92 deals.

Other highlights provided by PeerIQ include:

  • Multi-seller club deals and self-sponsored deals have emerged at several leading platforms.
  • Dealer and rating agency participation continues to intensify.
  • New issuance spreads continued to tighten and flatten—a credit friendly environment for securitization.
  • Delinquency rates have continued to increase across several verticals—such as subprime auto, student, and personal loans—due to exposure to riskier borrowers, a re-leveraging of consumer balance sheets, “loan stacking,” and shifting payment priority trends.
  • Initial pricing is near record tight levels.


Millennial Money Study (Fully Vested), Rated: AAA

Are Millennials really so different than their Boomer and X’er counterparts?

Given that even the oldest Millennial is a Digital Native—potentially more connected than any prior generation in history— how does this inform their financial lives? What is their relationship to money? Their relationship to earning and saving? To legacy and innovative banking products? Do they prefer “cloud banking” (banks without physical branches or ATM’s) to “terra banks” (brick and m ortar ? ltraditional branches)?

Of course, any generational cohort that is so unwieldy in size contains a multitude of opinions and approaches—in fact, Millennials are now the largest living generation, according to Pew. In this survey, we show that there are substantive differences between the mindsets of the youngest (20–24) and oldest (30–35) Millennials.

Q: Which institutions do you trust the most?

  • Among the four institutions we queried, Big Tech was the most trusted at 34%.
  • The government is the next most trusted at 25%.
  • The press is only trusted by 21% of those polled.
  • Coming in at last is the Big Banks at 20%.

Q: What institutions do you trust the least?

  • The press and the government are in a tie for least trusted at 34%, with 41% of our youngest Millennials distrusting the press.
  • Big Banks are only trusted by 24% of those surveyed.
  • Big Tech is only found to be “least trustworthy” by 8% of our sample.

Read the full report here.

Millennial Men Trust Trump on Finance; Women Don’t (BusinessWire), Rated: A

  • Millennials between 18 and 22 years of age say the Great Recession did not impact them, while those at the other end of the age bracket very greatly felt, and continue to feel, negative impact.
  • Female Millennials are significantly less likely to take a credit card than their male counterparts.
  • Having a high income, being male, and living in a city are predictive of high levels of interest in cloud banking, or banks without physical branches.

Comptroller Concerned About Banks And FinTech Partnerships (PYMNTS), Rated: A

FinTech firms — which, in many cases, appeared on the landscape as banks’ competitors because of their ability to offer faster, easier access to financial services like online credit or money transfers — are now evolving into bank partners. That is a scenario, the OCC warns, that should have banks showing particular caution.

FinTech firms and their products are still new and require greater care by banks, according to the OCC’s warning, particularly when it comes to underwriting loans for consumers and small businesses.

Why Your Phone Will Be the Key to ATMs of the Future (WSJ), Rated: A

Over the past year, lenders such as Wells Fargo & Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. have started to roll out new ATMs that can link to customers’ mobile devices. Customers will sign in through their phones, potentially using a fingerprint, and then transmit a code to the ATM.

Other banks have shared similar difficulties with how to approach biometric data. A survey by the U.K.’s University of Oxford andMastercard Inc. published in June found that while nine out of 10 bankers wanted to take advantage of biometrics, only about a third reported a good experience so far using the technology.

Meanwhile, the need for next-generation ATMs is urgent. For one, card fraud is rising despite new security measures such as chip-enabled cards. Fair Isaac Corp. , a credit-data provider, has said it detected a 70% uptick in compromised cards being used at ATMs and merchants in 2016.

In their quest to use smartphones for biometrics, banks are relying on processes that are already well established. A customer using a phone at an ATM would authenticate her identify, using, say, a fingerprint as is the case with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Apple Pay.

That means banks wouldn’t have to protect treasure troves of genetic templates from hackers. This is because the biometric data would be stored on individual devices, not in a central location.

That approach does shift more of the security burden to the user.

Is Realty Mogul the Easiest Way to Invest in Commercial Real Estate? (DoughRoller), Rated: A

Is it possible to get involved in large-scale real estate projects without actually buying property outright on your own? Realty Mogul proves it is.

Realty Mogul has actually succeeded at financing the first crowdfunded hotel in the country. The company famously raised $1.5 million to build the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, California, easily selling out of its offered shares in the campaign.

Accredited, non-accredited, and institutional investors can all use the tool. It actually offers tailored tools and features for all three types of investors. Users can also choose to invest in real estate loans or equity investments.

To date, users have invested over $265 million through RealtyMogul.com. Investors have used this money to successfully finance more than 350 properties. The combined value of investments is over $700 million.

ETHLend.io White Paper – Democratizing Lending (Github), Rated: A

Abstract: ETHLend.io introduces decentralized lending on Ethereum network by using ERC-20 compatible tokens or Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains as a collateral.

Read the white paper here.

Betterment Yearns to be Amazon of FAs. Does Amazon? (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

The CEO of robo-advice pioneer Betterment believes his firm can turn into the Amazon of financial services, he tells Business Insider. But if Amazon itself entered the game, it could drastically alter the wealth management industry forever, financial planners tell InvestmentNews.

But Amazon itself could get into wealth management, considering that it’s already doing $1 billion in small business lending and brisk business in payments and credit cards, InvestmentNews writes.

Now, what if Amazon partnered with Betterment?

Nearly a Third of Millennials Say They’ve Used This App to Pay For Drugs (Fortune), Rated: A

Venmo’s a handy app for those times when you need to split a check or pay a buddy back a round of beers—but according to a new survey, some Venmo devotees are using it to settle a different kind of debt: the one they owe their drug dealers.

A survey of more than 1,200 millennials by student loan marketplace LendEDU found that nearly one-third of them admitted to using the payment app to buy drugs. Notably, that’s more than the 21% who said they’ve used the app for gambling purposes.

Daniel Gorfine Appointed as Director of CFTC’s Fintech Sandbox LabCFTC (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has appointed Daniel Gorfine to serve as Director of LabCFTC and Chief Innovation Officer. Launched in May, LabCFTC is the CFTC’s sandbox type environment for Fintech innovation.

Gorfine is well known in the Fintech and alternative lending space due to his previous roles at both OnDeck and the Milken Institute. In this role, Gorfine will be responsible for coordinating with international regulatory bodies, other US regulators, and Capitol Hill to discuss best practices around implementing digital and agile regulatory frameworks and approaches for the CFTC.

LendingTree Announces New Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Wilson (Cision), Rated: B

LendingTree® (NASDAQ: TREE), the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced that Brad Wilson has joined the company as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Effective immediately, Wilson will oversee LendingTree’s brand strategy, marketing operations and consumer engagement as the company continues to expand into new financial service categories.

United Kingdom

Seedrs & Nutmeg Partner with Fidor Bank on Fintech Marketplace (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Seedrs has announced that it will be the sole equity finance provider in a new partnership with Fidor Bank, a challenger bank that launched in the UK back in 2015. Nutmeg, an online wealth manager, will also be joining Seedrs on Fidor’s new marketplace. The two platforms are the inaugural partners with additional partners expected to be announced in the coming months. The marketplace is expected to include a number of debt based peer-to-peer lending platforms as well.

Government urged to boost British Business Bank’s P2P resources (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE FEDERATION of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to boost the resources it gives to the British Business Bank so firms can access better information on alternative sources of finance such as peer-to-peer lending.

The report warns that many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remain unaware or wary of alternative finance options, with respondents expressing concerns that P2P lending has not been tested through the economic cycle and that the sector remains “worryingly unregulated.”

FinTech Disruption: TransferWise Case Study (The Market Mogul), Rated: A

Gone are the days when many assumed that big banks were the only options consumers had in banking, savings and foreign exchange.

They offer this fast service at a cheap price, with amounts to around £400, costing a flat fee of £2 after that, with a fee of 0.5% on the amount sent. This proves to be transparent, easy and straight-forward, especially as TransferWise communicates with users on every step of the process.

Automatic saving bots harness artificial intelligence, data science and algorithms to challenge traditional banking with what many consider inflexible, untailored, and rather boring personal finance.

Millennials are at ease; they can simply open Facebook to manage their finances, or sit back and let the machines save for them.

For example, there are a number of neo-banks and challenger banks who directly challenge the larger banks.

Monzo bank, for example, offers this new banking outlook. It offers instant balance updates and notification on spending for transparency, with handy insights, such as why a transaction was declined.

Mergermarket Group rebrands as ‘Acuris’ (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Mergermarket Group, the provider of business intelligence and research for fixed income, transactions, infrastructure, compliance and equities, today announced that it has re-launched under the brand name Acuris.

Folk2Folk launches “locaI” ISA (Business Cornwall), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, Peer-to-Peer lending platform for local and rural business today announces the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), giving investors the opportunity to support British businesses within their local area whilst earning tax-free interest on their Folk2Folk loans.

Launch of AlgoMe Set to Disrupt Asset Management and Fintech (Cision), Rated: B

AlgoMe, the London-based start-up using intelligent technology for career development and job placement, has announced its official launch today. AlgoMe is a unique and compelling proposition for professionals and companies. It is designed with the user in mind, specifically the Asset Management and Fintech professional and company.

China

China Rapid Finance: 20 Million in Cumulative Loans Facilitated (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance announced on Monday it has exceeded 20 million cumulative loans facilitated since its marketplace lending platform launch. According to the lender, this new milestone demonstrates accelerating the growth of its consumer marketplace due to the fact that the number of facilitated loans has nearly doubled within the past six months from 10.7 million cumulative loans as of the end of 2016.

The news of the 20 million cumulative loan facilitated milestone comes less than two months after China Rapid Finance released its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2017, which revealed the following:

  • Total gross billings on transaction and service fees: Increased by 13.1% to US$16.8 million from US$14.8 million in the prior year period.
  • Gross billings from consumption loans: Increased by 336.8% to US$6.7 million in the first quarter of 2017 from US$1.5 million in the prior year period. 
  • Gross billings from lifestyle loans: Totaled to US$10.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, as compared with US$13.3 million in the prior year period. 

China Rapid Finance Exceeds 20 Million Cumulative Loan Milestone (PR Newswire), Rated: A

This milestone demonstrates accelerating growth of China Rapid Finance’s consumer lending marketplace, as the total number of facilitated loans has nearly doubled within only the past six months from 10.7 million cumulative loans as of the end of 2016. On a year-over-year basis, second quarter facilitated loans jumped by over 350% to more than 5 million, up from approximately 1.1 million loans in the same quarter of last year.

China Rapid Finance also continues to achieve a high rate of customer retention. Approximately 73% of borrowers on its marketplace were repeat borrowers as of March 31, 2017. The Company expects that its lower cost of acquiring borrowers, higher customer retention rate, and larger loan sizes for repeat customers will contribute to its long-term sustainable growth.

China’s estimated population of 500 million EMMA, who have no credit histories and substantial difficulty borrowing money from traditional banks, constitutes one of the world’s largest untapped consumer credit market opportunities.

European Union

German Consumer Lender Auxmoney Passes the Half-Billion-Euro Mark (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

German online consumer lending marketplace auxmoney announced that it has crossed a new milestone: the marketplace has granted more than 70,000 loans worth more than €500 million in cumulated volume.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Moneypark Buys Rival Fintech (FiNews), Rated: B

Moneypark has agreed to buy DL Conseils en financement immobilier (DL), based in Lausanne, the company said in a statement today.

Moneypark’s owner, Helvetia insurance company, financed the acquisition.

Moneypark didn’t say how much it paid for Lausanne-based DL, which has been active as a business for ten years.

International

Which advisers profits are under threat from robo-advice? (FT Adviser), Rated: AAA

The highest-margin part of the financial advice business is safe from being carried out by automated services because customers value the personal touch most in these areas, a global survey has suggested.

These include creating a comprehensive financial plan, where 64 per cent thought human participation was beneficial, buying a pension, where 61 per cent thought it was beneficial, and looking to reduce a tax bill, where 58 per cent felt personal was better.

However, those advisers who focus more on fund and stock-picking face a greater threat from the march of robo-advice.

Despite perceptions that Millennials, or so-called ‘digital natives’ were less interested in interacting with people, more than half of those in this age group agreed with putting personal customer service over tech  – 53 per cent versus 65 per cent for the Baby Boomer generation.

Among the 60 per cent who believe that technology can’t replace personalised customer service, the belief is held more strongly by investors in the US and Europe, where 76 per cent and 64 per cent respectively agreed, than in Asia Pacific, where just 52 per cent agreed.

Women were more likely to agree, with 65 per cent of women agreeing that robots cannot replace advisers, against 55 per cent of men.

Global and regional M&A: H1 2017 (Mergermarket), Rated: AAA

Global M&A in the first half of 2017 has seen a 8.4% increase by value despite 1,117 fewer deals on the same period last year. H1 2017 recorded US$ 1.49tn across 8,052 deals, compared to US$ 1.38tn with 9,169 deals. Companies have been looking at ‘future-proofing’ in the wake of rapid changes to technology and politics to keep ahead of rivals. There have been 17 megadeals (> US$ 10bn) announced since the beginning of the year, versus 14 such deals in H1 2016.

As faith in the market continues to grow, European M&A has surged ahead, securing a 32.3% share of the global value. Both the US (US$ 602.6bn, 2,446 deals) and Asia Pacific (exc. Japan) (US$ 272.9bn, 1,585 deals) saw their share drop to 40.4% and 18.3% from 42.8% and 21.3% respectively. Following political uncertainty across the continent earlier in the year, European activity rose by 28.7% in Q2 to US$ 271.2bn (1,450 deals) compared to Q1 2017 (US$ 210.7bn, 1,641 deals). With 3,091 announcements in H1 2017, dealmakers generated a substantial US$ 481.9bn-worth of deals in Europe representing a 30.1% increase on the same point in 2016 (US$ 370.5bn 3,732 deals).

See the full report here.

A bizarre co-working scheme and the global rise of online real estate fraud (The Real Deal), Rated: A

An Australian in New York, Cindy, who like many other victims only spoke to The Real Deal on the condition that her name be changed, is one of more than a hundred investors from around the globe who lost their savings to what appears to be a bizarre fraud.

In reality, however, the space, along with other Bar Works locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami and Istanbul, looks to have served as a front for Renwick Robert Haddow, a British career fraudster. Through a labyrinth of agents and websites, of emails and social media ads, Haddow and his associates orchestrated a global fraud scheme, sources said.

In the world of scams, Bar Works is relatively small. But it is a perfect example of why real estate investment fraud is on the rise around the globe, bolstered by the spread of e-commerce and social media, the lack of an international enforcement authority, the complex nature of development projects, and investors’ thirst for outsized returns.

For Ruth*, a British retiree, it began with a “very slick” Facebook ad by an investment agency called Heron Global Partners.

Prosecutors claim he raised more than $36 million from Bar Works investors and wired $16 million to foreign bank accounts that were likely tied to him or his associates. They also allege he ran a separate scheme, Bitcoin Store, that promised high returns from investments in the virtual currency.

Endeavor Company, NovoPayment, Takes Major Global Fintech Honor (Crossroads Today), Rated: B

NovoPayment, a leading financial technology service provider and member of the Endeavor network, has earned the honor of the 2017 PayAwards Best in Category in the Outstanding White-Label Platform classification. PayAwards has conferred the most prestigious recognition of excellence in payments technology worldwide for 11 years. The awards are presented annually by Paybefore, whose publications are the leading source of industry information for payments executives.

Australia

As temperatures dip and winter energy bills soar, Australian homeowners are borrowing an average of $13,230 to make their homes more energy efficient according to an analysis of thousands of RateSetter’s personal loan customers. The peer-to-peer lender says that almost one in five (18%) home improvement loans are now taken out for green renovations that will reduce their energy bills.

The analysis of RateSetter data also shows that amongst all renovators, 89% see the use of energy efficient and environmentally friendly options as important or somewhat important to their project; selecting options such as energy efficient lighting, alternative power sources and low toxicity products in their renovation.

RateSetter’s survey of loan customers also found that around four in ten (41%) current home improvement borrowers indicated that they would make additional green changes to their home over the next 12 months.

Fintech companies are unlikely to completely replace the more conventional sectors of the financial services industry as they are mostly inexperienced in financial sector operations, according to a CFA report.

The report also found that blockchain technology would bring the most significant change to the financial services industry at 40 per cent, followed by robo-advisers (22 per cent), mobile payment (19 per cent), P2P lending (eight per cent), crowdfunding (seven per cent), and other (three per cent).

Fintechs pose disintermediation threat (Financial Standard), Rated: A

The latest CFA Institute report shows fintechs specialising in blockchain, robo-advice, mobile payments and peer-to-peer lending have the highest potential to disintermediate the financial services industry.

CFA Society Sydney president Anthony Serhan said innovation in these areas will likely disrupt financial institutions together with artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security – albeit with “limited discussion.”

India

Clocking an average of Rs 3 crore a month in lending, says Faircent’s CEO (Moneycontrol), Rated: AAA

In an interview with Moneycontrol, Rajat Gandhi, CEO and Founder of peer-to-peer lender Faircent, said that lenders can analyse the credit risk of borrowers by looking at their bank statement, income tax filings and physical verification of the borrower at the residence and at the office.

“One loan does not get funded by one lender, we have a rule that no lender can fund more than 20 percent of any borrowers requirement,” Gandhi said.

Speaking about Faircent’s financial performance, Gandhi said that around Rs 20 crore worth of loans have been disbursed over the platform till now and they are clocking an average of Rs 3 crore a month in lending.

With funding from Chinese investors, LoanMeet is trying to build a loan book of Rs 100cr (YourStory), Rated: A

At present, LoanMeet provides ultra-short-term loans of (15, 20, and 30 days) to retailers to buy inventory and repay them. But while being purely in inventory financing, there are two verticals for distribution.

The first entails giving the loan directly to the retailer who buys inventory and repays the loan after selling the goods. The second model revolves around tying up with distributors from whom retailers procure their goods. This helps bring in even more retailers as consumers of loans.

LoanMeet has a retailer (consumer) app which allows businesses to upload their Aadhaar number, business registration proof, PAN number as well as bank statement for the last three months.

Asia

CB INSIGHTS, a private research company on the startup industry, has named Modalku to the Fintech 250, a group of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology.

Modalku, the pioneering fintech (financial technology) peer-to-peer lending company operating in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, is the only peer-to-peer lending company from Southeast Asia selected to be on the list.

Africa

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

How MPLs Can Fight The Regulatory Burden

MPL legal compliance regulation

CFPB, along with the state regulators, are cracking the whip on FinTech companies. California has advanced a lot of enforcement actions and investigatory measures. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is one such regulation under which a lot of companies have come under scrutiny. Regulators have tightened the screws and the ripple effect has been […]

MPL legal compliance regulation

CFPB, along with the state regulators, are cracking the whip on FinTech companies. California has advanced a lot of enforcement actions and investigatory measures. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is one such regulation under which a lot of companies have come under scrutiny.

Regulators have tightened the screws and the ripple effect has been felt by all players, big and small. To cope with the chaos, marketplace lenders (MPL) are hiring law firms to manage regulatory actions and ensure compliance. One such law firm is Ballard Spahr, one of the biggest law firms dealing with banking regulations.

What’s Going On With Marketplace Lending?

MPL have witnessed some crucial developments of great interest to Ballard Spahr.

  • The industry has witnessed a substantial upsurge in regulations. The respected financial newspaper American Banker has hit hard at the lack of regulation in marketplace lending. Most importantly, MPLs were themselves pointing fingers at each other. This has solidified the perception that the industry is not regulated.
  • The case of Madden v. Midland Funding, and the Lending Club fiasco, made matters worse. These events triggered an overreaction from regulators, and the market as a whole. This led to investors abandoning MPL-generated loans, which caused further operational disruptions.

TCPA restricts telephonic solicitations and the use of automated telephonic equipment. If someone is telemarketing without permission, there is a $500 per call statutory penalty. But companies have found a loophole by leveraging offshore call centers who impersonate hotel chains for extracting personal client information. This is then further sold as a lead to the lending industry. Pearson and his team ensure their clients are approved for telemarketing and are operating within the boundaries of the law.

How Ballard Spahr Helps MPLs Stay Compliant

Ballard Spahr’s list of clientele ranges from high profile commercial banks like Chase, Goldman, and BofA, PE and hedge funds, payday lenders, auto title lenders, and others who primarily focus on finance and debt collection.

Based in Philadelphia, Ballard Spahr has more than 500 lawyers across the United States specializing in litigation, business, finance, intellectual property, public finance, and real estate law. Scott Pearson heads the division concentrated on marketplace lending.

Pearson is widely regarded as an expert on the unique issues faced by this industry. He specializes in defending clients against the regulatory actions from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state authorities. Since the inception of CFPB, the regulatory compliance burden has increased manifold. Coupled with credit crisis of 2008, the workload for Pearson and his law firm has increased drastically. His clients not only seek his representation and legal advice, but they also want his firm to make sure their companies comply with CFPB regulations. Over the years, Pearson’s face off with regulatory authorities has helped him to understand what is required by regulators and on what points the prosecutors/class action lawyers are going to attack. This insight is extremely valuable for his clients.

What tilted Pearson’s interest in MPL were two major litigations in which he defended merchant cash advance (MCA). One was for Rewards Network and another was for AdvanceMe, which later became Capital Access Network (CAN). As a result of these two path-breaking cases, he gained a lot of insight into key compliance issues.

There’s also a lot of confusion surrounding the scope and definition MCA. According to Pearson, MCA is not a loan if structured properly, and if the originator complies with regulations, there’s no reason to face scrutiny. A prime example is AdvanceMe. It started as an MCA but now is a leading SME lender; Pearson and the General Council did all the consumer agreements for the company to provide an extra layer of security.

With so much happening, it’s hard for Pearson to predict how the MCA space will shape up in the future. He believes the current trend of companies entering and exiting the space will continue.

There’s a lot of demand for capital by the SME segment. But regulations and compliance issues have made some companies afraid to take the plunge. Therefore, being able to structure the product properly, and per the highest legal standards, is extremely important for survival. With the FinTech industry and the attendant regulations evolving, having a competent law firm is a necessity. Ballard Spahr have the expertise and the experience to be a valuable partner for MPLs.

Authors:

Written with Heena Dhir.

Allen Taylor