Tuesday December 6 2016, Daily News Digest

soe by credit rating

News Comments Today’s main news: SmartBiz Loans ranked No. 1 among SBA7(a) loans under $ 350K. Orchard Platform partners with Sandra O’Neill. MoneyLion raises $ 22.5M Today’s main analysis: How China’s offshore bond market is changing fast. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How people become nonprime. IPF shines light on RECF. Morgan Stanley, Origin Capital sign deal. United States SmartBiz Loans ranked […]

soe by credit rating

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

  • Morgan Stanley signs deal with Origin Capital. AT: “This is a big deal. It could boost the alternative finance sector in the Republic of Ireland and might have a small effect on post-Brexit concerns in the UK, but not much.”

China

Asia

News Summary

United States

SmartBiz Loans Ranked Number One Provider of Traditional SBA 7(a) Loans Under $ 350,000 (Yahoo! Sports), Rated: AAA

SmartBiz Loans, the first SBA marketplace and bank-enabling technology platform, has ranked as the number one provider of non-Express, SBA 7(a) loans under $350,000 for the 2016 government fiscal year. SmartBiz also ranked number five among providers of under $350,000 traditional SBA 7(a) and Express 7(a) loans combined.

SmartBiz generated $200 million in funded SBA 7(a) loans through its bank lending partners, which helped them earn the top spot. The data used is based on SBA lending data released in November, reflecting its 2016 fiscal year which ended on Sept. 30. Wells Fargo Bank, which was ranked just below SmartBiz, generated $155 million in funded non-Express SBA 7(a) loans under $350,000. This is the first time a technology platform and marketplace has achieved the number one position in SBA’s ranking of 7(a) loans.

Sandler O’Neill to Partner with Orchard Platform to Provide Banking Clients with Online Lending Market Data and Analytics (Orchard Platform Email), Rated: AAA

Orchard Platform, the  technology and data provider for the online lending space, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., a full-service investment banking firm and broker-dealer focused on the financial services sector. Under the terms of the agreement, Sandler O’Neill will make Orchard’s full suite of products and services available to its broad group of bank and specialty finance relationships.

Orchard provides an integrated platform that empowers online loan originators and investors with access to a variety of web-enabled tools, including market data, benchmarking, investor reporting, portfolio analytics, and cash flow simulators, as well as capital markets software. Recently, banks have announced a variety of partnerships with fintech companies. By working together, Orchard and Sandler O’Neill will enable a broad range of depository institutions and specialty finance companies to evaluate and monitor the many opportunities in the online lending market today.

“Over the last 28 years, Sandler O’Neill has forged strong relationships with community banks, thrifts, and similar financial institutions by keeping them abreast of unique, compelling investment opportunities and innovative products to help them evaluate those opportunities,” said Jon Doyle, Senior Managing Principal of Sandler O’Neill. “We are excited to have the opportunity to offer our clients Orchard’s industry expertise and suite of products, which will provide them with an efficient way of evaluating the various methods of participating in online lending.”

“Partnering with Sandler O’Neill gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our unique capabilities to a broad range of depository institutions,” said Orchard’s Chief Commercial Officer Bill Ullman. “Banks are increasingly looking for ways to participate in online lending, but figuring out where to start can be a challenge. Our solutions offer a range of tools and services ideally suited to Sandler O’Neill’s clients.”

How Do People Become Nonprime? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Nonprime Americans are more likely to see their incomes fluctuate, have more people living in their households, and are more often focused on short-term financial planning than their prime counterparts, according to research released today by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class.

This latest study focuses on the factors that may lead to – or originate from – being nonprime in America, defined as having a credit score below 700. The Center concluded that one in three nonprime Americans experienced an income change by at least 25% within the last 12 months. Additional key findings include:

  • More than half of nonprime Americans report some month-to-month income volatility within the last 12 months
  • They also have more people in their households; nonprime Americans are 20% more likely to have three or more people in their households
  • They are almost twice as likely to have elderly parents in their households than prime
  • They are more than twice as likely (58% vs. 27%) to be focused on short-term financial matters than long-term ones
  • Nonprime Americans say they can go only four months with a drop in income vs. the eight months that prime respondents say they can go
  • Nonprime Americans are more likely than prime to have slipped on the economic ladder; one in three say they are worse off than when they grew up

“It’s important that policymakers, consumer advocates, media, academics and the public at large understand this group of consumers to help determine what will best serve their needs,” continued Walker. “Our hope, through research, is to shed light on unmet financial needs of The New Middle Class and provide thoughtful insights for everyone engaged.”

MoneyLion Secures $ 22.5 Million in Series A Funding Led by Edison Partners (BusinessWire), Rated: A

MoneyLion, the mobile personal finance platform that leverages machine learning analytics to enable smarter tools and credit products, today announced $22.5 million in Series A funding led by Edison Partners. The Series A financings, together with $650 million in existing debt facilities, will fuel MoneyLion’s growth and significantly expand its lending capacity. Existing investors, including FinTech Collective, Citizen.VC, Clocktower Ventures, Broadhaven Capital Partners, Montage Ventures, and prominent individual investors from the finance and technology industries, also participated in the funding round.

MoneyLion’s approach is unique in the $800 billion consumer lending industry. Personalized for each user, MoneyLion’s mobile app simplifies personal financial management, providing a single place to track spending, savings, and credit. At the heart of MoneyLion’s platform are analytical models that power recommendations to help users achieve their financial goals, ranging from building savings, improving credit health, or managing an unexpected expense with a personal loan.

MoneyLion’s loan business has been growing three-fold year-over-year in originations and volume, with over 150,000 loans originated. MoneyLion will deploy the funds from the equity round to continue investing in the technology and talent that will help the firm grow in new and existing markets.

RealtyShares Completes an Initial Close of Their Diversified Marketplace Equity Fund (Yahoo! Sports), Rated: A

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate crowdfunding, announced today that it has closed the initial round of a first-of-its-kind diversified marketplace equity fund. The unique fund should enable investors to access a diverse portfolio of real estate investments through a single contribution.

Managed by a team of experienced real estate investment managers, this fund was created for qualified investors and institutional partners, offering the opportunity to efficiently invest in middle market real estate. Each investment is to be a part of a portfolio of 10 to 20 properties selected by RealtyShares’ team of experts. Investors can also benefit from depreciation tax benefits, a feature that can be favorable to investors looking to reduce their taxable passive income.

The fund is mandated to invest in middle market real estate transactions that are typically $50 million and smaller, encompassing deals in opportunistic pockets within primary markets (e.g. San Francisco East Bay Area) and compelling secondary markets (e.g. Austin, Texas). The RealtyShares team intends to focus investments on value-add multifamily and commercial projects in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Money360 Closes $ 1.9 Million Permanent Loan for Ohio Property (Marketwired), Rated: A

Money360, the leading commercial real estate marketplace lending platform, announced today that it has provided financing for a single-tenant retail building located in Dayton, Ohio.

The building, which is currently 100 percent leased to Panera Bread, is located next to the Dayton Mall and within a heavily retail-based area with tenants such as Sears, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, DSW, Office Depot, Best Buy and TJ Maxx, among others.

The $1.9 million permanent loan allowed the borrower to recoup capital previously utilized in the acquisition of the property. Additionally, the longer loan term and prepayment structure outlined in the deal provided necessary flexibility in the financing.

The recourse loan is fixed for five years at an interest rate of 4.500%, utilizing a 25-year amortization schedule and a declining pre-payment penalty.

Betterment presses Trump to keep DOL rule (Fiduciary Focus), Rated: A

Robo-adviser Betterment is reaching out to President-elect Donald Trump to keep him from gutting the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule for retirement advice.

It ran a full-page ad in Monday’s Wall Street Journal directing Mr. Trump to “stand on the side of America’s 75 million retirement savers, not the firms with deep pockets who are lobbying” to protect their interests.

Fed Outlines Approach to Monitoring Fintech (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: A

The Federal Reserve offered early clues Monday on how it plans to monitor financial innovations such as blockchain when it published a long-awaited research paper on fintech.

The Fed said the long-term impact of the technology remains unclear, urging more study on the potential risks and rewards for financial markets.

While the U.S. central bank has no direct authority over companies operating in the rapidly evolving arena of financial technology, it regulates the flow of cash through electronic payment systems that banks use to move money and is scrutinizing the new technologies’ connections to banks.

The Fed’s research document contained no firm policy conclusions, but the central bank has been visiting fintech startups to ask about their business models and is looking to shape regulatory and industry discussions, according to people familiar with the talks.

The Fed also is probing the decisions banks make after engaging with fintech startups and assessing any potential for fraud, money laundering or collusion in the chain, these people added.

LendingUSA Appoints Manoj Mathew as its New Chief Technology Officer (Yahoo! Sports), Rated: B

LendingUSA, a leading provider of point of sale financing solutions, has announced Manoj Mathew as its new Chief Technology Officer.

His previous experience includes being the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of LendFoundry, a fintech accelerator platform for marketplace lending. He was also a co-founder and senior executive at Sigma Infosolutions, a leader in business and IT solutions for both large and small enterprises. During his time at Sigma, he was instrumental in the design and architecture of the origination platform for loanDepot, QuickBridge and the servicing system deployed for Rocketloans.

Trump Education Secretary Pick Has Indirect Stake in Student Lender (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: B

Betsy DeVos, tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to run the U.S. Department of Education, is an indirect investor in online-lending company Social Finance Inc., a startup whose fortunes hinge in part on policies crafted by the department Ms. DeVos would run.

Ms. DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos are investors in RPM Ventures, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based venture-capital firm that was one of SoFi’s earliest backers, according to the firms’ websites.

United Kingdom

IPF report shines light on real estate crowdfunding (Property Week), Rated: AAA

In 2015, property debt and equity crowdfunding totalled $7.8bn, whereas there was $760bn invested in commercial real estate.

Real estate accounts for 5% or less of the crowdfunding markets in China and the US but it accounts for more than 20% in the UK.

The UK real estate crowdfunding market is heavily weighted towards debt, which accounts for 88% of activity. At $0.93bn, debt crowdfunding represented about 1% of all lending in the wider UK commercial real estate market in 2015.

FCA authorises peer-to-peer bridging lender (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

The buy-to-let (BTL) and bridging loans marketplace was granted regulatory approval following a 24-month application process.

LandlordInvest has now applied to HM Revenue & Customs to become an Isa manager capable of offering the Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFIsa).

Only firms authorised by both regulators are permitted to offer the IFIsa product.

LandlordInvest expects to receive a green light from HMRC over the next few weeks and, if granted, will offer the IFIsa directly through its lending platform.

The firm will be looking to offer tax-free returns between 5-10% per annum.

Denheath Desserts Surpasses $ 300,000 Funding Target During PledgeMe Crowdlending Campaign (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Denheath Desserts, a custard square brand from South Canterbury, has successfully secured its initial $300,000 funding target through its crowdlending campaign on PledgeMe. The company launched the initiative in late October, seeking a max of $1.2 million to accelerate its self-proclaimed “World Custard Invasion,” grow distribution and New Zealand, and start expansion plans in Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York City. 

Growth Street Will Now Accept Retail Investors on P2P Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Growth Street is now an FCA registered Appointed Representative.  Growth Street will now be able to accept individual investors on its peer to peer lending platform. By expanding the range of investors, Growth Street seeks to provide more businesses with a GrowthLine, its business overdraft alternative. Growth Street has partnered with Resolution Compliance to expand its activities but stated it would continue with its own direct application with the FCA.

European Union

Morgan Stanley in Origin loan push (The Times), Rated: AAA

Origin Capital, a Dublin non-bank lender, has signed a funding deal with Morgan Stanley to offer finance to the Irish commercial property market.

The partnership with one of the world’s largest investment banks is expected to target the refinancing of the tens of billions’ worth of commercial property loans purchased by investment funds such as Cerberus and Lone Star from Irish banks and Nama.

Origin will act as an origination platform for Morgan Stanley. Apart from refinancing property loans out of the so-called vulture funds, chief executive Ross Metcalfe said Origin also expected to finance companies, currently leasing, to buy properties.

China

These Charts Show How One Part of China’s Offshore Bond Market Is Changing Fast (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

City-level borrowers are storming China’s international bond market.

The urban encroachment means that the country’s offshore bond market is moving down the credit ratings spectrum with a greater proportion of new issuance coming from junk-rated financing arms, according to data from CreditSights Inc.

City-level entities are less likely to garner investment-grade ratings due to their reliance on mere “implicit” support from the Chinese government. That means the share of junk-rated issuance has risen to 11 percent year-to-date from none in 2015, according to CreditSights.

This deterioration in the credit quality of bond issuers comes amid Beijing’s step-up in its efforts against central government support for local governments. China announced a contingency plan last month, ordering local authorities to repay their own debt and reiterating that Beijing won’t bail out regional governments.

Women in viral loan receipt nude pics mostly college students in small cities (Global Times), Rated: A

Women who used now-leaked nude pictures and intimate videos of themselves as collateral for online lending platforms are mostly college students, though the oldest is 47 years old, news site thepaper.cn reported on Monday.

Of the 161 women whose pictures and videos have spread online since November 30, the personal information of 144 has also been exposed, showing that around two-thirds are college students.

Most of the users are from third- or fourth-tier cities and live in villages. Less than 5 percent of them are from first-tier cities, said thepaper.cn.

Asia

Cradle’s private investment fund grows to RM190.2 mln (The Borneo Post), Rated: AAA

Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle) is on track to drive more private investment participation to boost the ecosystem for Malaysian technology startups with co-investment funds of RM190.2 million, up from RM161.2 million as of June this year.

Chief executive officer, Nazrin Hassan, said the co-investment programme was one of the company’s efforts to help reduce government-linked companies’ dependence on government funding.

Cradle yesterday signed partnership agreements with RHL Ventures, TinkBig Venture, Biz Angel Network, EIX Group, Segnel Ventures and PlatCom Ventures, which will take part to fund Malaysian startups totalling RM14.5 million.

With the new partners on board, the number of partners has grown to 32 with total committed funds of RM190.2 million.

Global participation banking assets reached US $ 924 billion in 2015: EY (Zawya), Rated: A

The GCC region’s share of participation banking increased to 72%, as the size of assets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries declined during 2015.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Malaysia are the three largest participation banking markets, in terms of assets, representing 34.2%, 17.2%, 13.3% of the global market share respectively.

In the GCC region, FinTech innovations have the ability to enhance market access and profitability of banks, dramatically. A starting point for participation banks is to activate a bold strategy for the finance function – inclusive of advanced data analytics, robotic process automation, the cloud, artificial intelligence and block-chain.

Some of the key areas of FinTech innovations that are relevant for participation banks include: SME and peer-to-peer lending platforms, payment related innovations such as person-to-person payments, digital authentication and digital wealth management.

If banks were to consolidate with Fintech companies, it could propel participation banks to become mainstream across 20 promising markets by 2021, up from five markets today, representing a jump from 100 million customers to 250 million customers over the same period.

Digital-only banking could become a significant client segment for participation banks. There is a case for participation banks to evaluate collaborative ventures with FinTech firms to launch digital-only banks in their respective countries.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

July 5th 2016, Daily News Digest

July 5th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments United States According to the bond market yield-curve there is 60% chance of recession. However, the equity market doesn’t agree. Interesting times. A short survey on the different US regulators’ interaction with the marketplace lending space. New Capital Rules likely to be imposed on wall street will likely push bank-dealers to shut down […]

July 5th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

  • According to the bond market yield-curve there is 60% chance of recession. However, the equity market doesn’t agree. Interesting times.
  • A short survey on the different US regulators’ interaction with the marketplace lending space.
  • New Capital Rules likely to be imposed on wall street will likely push bank-dealers to shut down trading units in debt-securitization due to insufficient return on equity. This change could have a huge impact on marketplace asset backed securitization.
  • Wells Fargo continues to push FastFlex, their own quick SME financing product competing with OnDeck, Kabbage, CAN Capital and all other SME marketplace lenders.
  • Morgan Stanley is pointing out all the positive data coming out of Lending Club: higher origination than predicted in Q2 2016 and much more.
  • Lending Club’s CIO unvailing the future plans for Lending Club : Point-of-Sales, offline and a cloud-base micro-services platform.
  • CFPB’s monthly report points out the most-complained-about companies in consumer loans. It would be interesting to plot company size vs number of complaints.
  • Square analysts believe that more regulation in marketplace lending will favor Square vs its competitors.
  • Last week news, worth a reminder after the long weekend: Avant is downsizing, again.
  • Boston, feeling left behind in fintech, is launching a fintech hub initiative supported by Fidelity, Putnam, Santander Bank, U.S. Bank and Boston Private Financial.

United Kingdom

  • An interesting way to leverage your p2p investments: buying discounted P2P public fund shares at the present 20% discount, and relying on stock buy-backs to bet on up side in yield + equity appreciation.
  • Brexit: in short, fintech firms fear for staff shortages and lost EU customer access.

European Union

  • Insurer Aviva France, in partnership with Eiffel Investment Group and AG2R La Mondiale launching a €100 million fund to invest in “crowdlending SME debt” in France and elsewhere.
  • A list, without any transparency on the inclusion criteria,  of the top 11 p2p lending platforms in Europe, (Pre-Brexit), per Fintechnews.ch. And a very interesting map of relative p2p lending market size in European countries.

Australia

  • Public p2p lender DirectMoney preparing a new share issuance to finance loans as loan demand outstrips funding.”DirectMoney chief Peter Beaumont yesterday defended the fintech company’s stockmarket listing and expressed disappointment over losses worn by shareholders.”
  • OnDeck Australia and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) receiving the Fintech-Bank Collaboration of the Year Award.

India

  • P2P players are moving towards institutional capital for growth. Following in the footsteps of their US cousins, we hope the Indian p2p lenders have learned their lessons from Prosper, Lendnig Club and Avant’s experiences with institutional capital.

China

  • P2P lenders exiting office space in Shanghai have brought office space vacancies supply to a 10-year-high level.

Korea

  • Interesting data and information on one of the 1st Korean p2p lending companies we learn about.

News Summary

Unites States

Bond Markets Have a Message About the Economy That Stock Investors Might Not Want to Hear, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

There’s a big disagreement brewing in global markets.

There’s 60 percent chance of recession, according to a Deutsche Bank model.

While risky assets including equities have surged following the U.K. electorate’s historic vote to leave the European Union, government bonds have also rallied; two things that ought to suggest different outlooks for economic growth. Soaring bond prices have sent yields on the perceived safe havens of government debt plumbing fresh lows, even while expectations of looser monetary policy produce a burst of animal spirits in stock markets.

The flight to safety has prompted some analysts to question the durability of the rally in equities, where the S&P 500 was up 3.5 percent last week and the FTSE 100 has erased its post-referendum dip — at least, in local-currency terms. Still others say that money is pouring into stocks as lower bond yields force investors to search for returns in alternative asset classes.

The spread between the yield on 10-year and two-year U.S. Treasury notes narrowed in the immediate aftermath of the June 23rd referendum, widened briefly, and is now shrinking again as investors continue to flock to the perceived safety of U.S. government debt. A model maintained by Deutsche Bank AG’s Steven Zeng, who adjusts the spread for historically low short-term interest rates, suggests the yield curve is now signaling a 60 percent chance of a U.S. recession in the next 12 months — up from a 55 percent probability as of mid-June, and the highest implied odds since August 2008.

“This relentless flattening of the curve is worrisome,” Deutsche analysts led by Dominic Konstam said in their note on the model. “Given the historical tendency of a very flat or inverted yield curve to precede a U.S. recession, the odds of the next economic downturn are rising.”

The 10-year yield is currently at 1.44 percent, making a recession just about 40 basis points away according to this particular interpretation of the bond market’s moves.

Rundown of Regulator Interest in Marketplace Lending, (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

U.S. Treasury

The Treasury first publicly showed interest in marketplace lending with a request for information(RFI) back in July 2015. Over 100 companies responded to the RFI and the Treasury reported on their findings in May 2016 where they shared their response in the form of a white paper. It did not provide any recommendations for new regulations and was generally quite positive on the industry.

Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

On March 31, the OCC released a white paper titled Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System: An OCC Perspective. More recently, the head of the OCC, Thomas Curry, reaffirmed his commitment to responsible innovation in a speech just last week. He brought up the idea of a “regulatory sandbox” – a place where fintech companies can have a conversation about what the rules of the road are for their new ideas. He also brought up the idea of a limited purpose charter for fintech firms as a possible way forward.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The FDIC first addressed marketplace lending in a paper titled Supervisory Insights. They are concerned about the impact on banks as well as the general risk to financial services.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Early this year, the CFPB made two announcements impacting marketplace lending. They said that they would begin accepting complaints directly from consumers about marketplace lending companies. Around the same time they issued a new No-Action letter policy that was designed to encourage innovation in financial services.

According to the Wall Street Journal the CFPB is planning to supervise marketplace lenders and will release a proposal some time in the fall. The CFPB has not commented publicly on this news so right now it is just a possibility but it makes sense.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

SEC involvement in marketplace lending goes back to the early days of Lending Club and Prosper. In 2008 the SEC decided that the notes issued by these companies were securities and should be registered as such. The result was Lending Club and Prosper filing a S-1 registration and becoming quasi public companies with quarterly financials being filed with the SEC.

Now that Lending Club is a public company it is has more responsibilities to both equity and debt investors both of which come under the purview of the SEC. The reality is while the SEC keeps a close eye on marketplace lending it is unlikely there will be much in the way of new developments here.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC recently hosted a financial technology forum on marketplace lending. The forum sought to look at consumer protections in marketplace lending and fintech more broadly. According to Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s consumer-protection bureau marketplace lenders haven’t done enough in borrower protection.

United States Congress

In May 2015, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing on Capital Hill.

In January, in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting tragedy, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on terrorism financing that included a discussion of marketplace lending. But no new initiatives have come yet from these hearings.

Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)

The FSOC most recently included their thoughts on marketplace lending in their annual report. Although the report highlights the lower cost and efficiencies of marketplace lenders they also discuss risks and concerns. One of the main concerns listed are the new and untested underwriting models used by platforms.

Conclusion

This list is only a start of the involvement we are likely to see from regulators as it pertains to marketplace lending. Due to the attention, we’ve seen many industry associations created to ensure a productive dialogue is being undertaken in Washington with all the organizations discussed here. We sincerely hope that any new regulation to come is thoughtful and comes from a well informed view of the industry.

Capital Rules Stifling Securitized-Debt Trading Profit: JPM, (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

New layers of regulatory capital expected to be imposed on Wall Street are likely to further pressure banks to exit trading of securitized-debt, JPMorgan analysts John Sim, Kaustub Samant, Carol Zhang wrote in client note Friday.

NOTE: Reports of dealers paring or shutting down trading units have grown; banks include Barclays, DB, MS, SocGen, Jefferies, RBS, Nomura, CS

  • There’s “no path to profitability” under current and recently released capital rules
  • JPM analysts calculated ROE (return on equity) for hypothetical RMBS portfolio based on impact from Basel’s Fundamental Review of the Trading Book
  • Concluded ROE of ~4%, “clearly not attractive enough to entice dealers to enter the space and make markets”
  • Adjusted model to various hypotheticals, such as reallocation, bid-ask, turnover rates
  • Concluded the “cumulative effect of all of these realistic and unrealistic changes would only increase the return to 7%, which is far short of our 10% to 15% ROE threshold”
  • “Running ROEs for hypothetical ABS and CMBS businesses would not result in markedly different results”
  • Primary market and business of underwriting new-issue securitizations can still be attractive, however, contingent  underwriting volumes
  • Revenue derived from underwriting fees without consuming much capital; when balanced with secondary trading, ROEs for the business can become attractive, depending on volumes
  • Liquidity will continue to be constrained for non-agency RMBS, particularly in legacy space where dealers have no commensurate underwriting
  • CRT deals will also suffer from limited trading activity relative to market size; expect limited liquidity for Jumbo RMBS and SFR deals

How Wells Fargo Aims to Satisfy ‘Need for Speed’ From Millennial Borrowers, (The Street), Rated: AAA

Known as FastFlex, the San Francisco-based bank’s product offers customers with a business checking account a one-year loan of up to $100,000. Wells Fargo is considering expanding the availability of the loan next year, Lisa Stevens, the company’s head of small business, said in an interview.

FastFlex is designed for businesses with under $5 million a year in revenue who have “quick short-term needs to do some type of expansion or cash management,” Stevens said.

Some 67% of millennials are willing to take some financial risks to grow their businesses, compared with just 54% of older owners.

The FastFlex loan is one effort to meet that demand, he said, by providing a digital service with a rapid turnaround, two of the qualities that millennials have said they value most highly in financial services products. “We wanted to design our own product that would compete well in the marketplace-lending environment,” Case said.

Lending Club Corp : Positive Updates from the Annual Meeting, (Morgan Stanley), Rated: AAA

2Q16 originations down ⅓ from 1Q equates to ~$1.8bn in originations or -4.4% YoY,vs. our $1.4bn (-25% YoY) estimate.Assuming volumes for the first five weeks in the quarter (prior to

Assuming volumes for the first five weeks in the quarter (prior to announcement of irregularities and CEO resignation) were consistent with the 1Q run rate, this suggests volumes over the remaining 8 weeks were down ~50% sequentially and 37% YoY.

LC has had dialog with hundreds of investors,and none have outrightly refused to come back as an investor on the platform. Most investors need to go through a due diligence process and LC appears confident in its ability to bring them back to prior levels of investment over the long term.

While investors from every category have returned to the platform, banks and large investors are taking longer with their audits, which is in-line with our expectations.It is unclear if 2Q represents the trough in terms of origination volumes, but management commentary on investor appetiteand conservativeapproach on origination expectations suggests 3Q and

It is unclear if 2Q represents the trough in terms of origination volumes, but management commentary on investor appetiteand conservativeapproach on origination expectations suggests 3Q and
4Q volumes should be similar to 2Q with potential for upward bias.

LC expects to incur $9mn of investor incentives (to be booked as contra-revenues) in 2Q , which are likely to continue in 3Q with a plan to eliminate these by 4Q.

LC expects to “resume revenue and EBITDA growth in 1H17” though it remains unclear to us if this comment suggests sequential or YoY growth.We expect LC to return to origination, revenue,and adjusted EBITDA growth by 2Q17, though we expect 1H17 to remain below 1H16 given tough comps on 1Q17e.

2016 Bay Area CIO of the Year Innovation/Transportation finalist: A conversation with LendingClub’s John MacIlwaine, (Silicon Valley Business Journal), Rated: AAA

How do you predict your company will be different in two years, and how do you see yourself shaping that change?

We’ll also have a wider set of financing products that will be accessible online, offline, and at point of sale, while expanding our partnerships with banks and other non-financial institutions. We’re enabling that change by building our cloud-based micro-services platform, which simplifies integration of our solution for our partners and allow us to quickly and efficiently scale our core business and expand our product set.

What do you feel has been your biggest impact/success at this company? My biggest impact on LendingClub has been building a world-class team of engineers, scaling our technology platform to support the company’s incredible growth (compound annual growth rate of 124 percent Q4 2009 to Q4 2015 and well over $16 billion in loan originations to date), and setting a clear vision for a technology platform that is flexible and adaptable enough to handle future loan origination growth, partnership integration, and regulatory compliance updates.

What are your top three priorities for 2016-2017?

  1. Transform our current technology platform into a suite of cloud-based micro-services;
  2. Move our platform hosting environments to AWS (Amazon Web Services);
  3. Double the size of our world-class technology team.

CFPB June 2016 complaint report highlights consumer loan complaints, complaints from Arkansas consumers, (JDSupra Business Advisor), Rated: AAA

The CFPB has issued its June 2016 complaint report which highlights complaints about consumer loans and complaints from consumers in Arkansas and the Little Rock metro area.

The report does not specifically identify any complaints as involving marketplace lending.  Unlike prior monthly complaint reports, the June 2016 report includes a “Sub Product spotlight” section that highlights auto lending.

  • The most-complained-about issue involved managing the loan, lease or line of credit.  Other complaint issues included problems arising when the consumer was unable to pay, such as issues relating to debt collection, bankruptcy, and default.
Source: CFPB June complaint report.

General findings include the following:

  • Complaints about student loans showed the greatest percentage increase based on a three-month average, increasing about 61 percent from the same time last year (March to May 2015 compared with March to May 2016).  As we noted in our blog posts about the April and May2016 complaint reports, rather than reflecting an increase in the number of borrowers making student loan complaints, the increase most likely reflects that in March 2016, the CFPB began accepting complaints about federal student loans.  Previously, such complaints were directed to the Department of Education.
  • Payday loan complaints showed the greatest percentage decrease based on a three-month average, decreasing about 15 percent from the same time last year (March to May 2015 compared with March to May 2016).  Complaints during those periods decreased from 479 complaints in 2015 to 405 complaints in 2016.  In the March, April, and May 2016 complaint reports, payday loan complaints also showed the greatest percentage decrease based on a three-month average.

Square Inc Better Risk Reflection Leads to Upgrade: Wedbush, (Bidness Etc), Rated: A

Helmed by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, the Square’s lending business encountered a substantial obstacle in May, in the form of new and strict scrutiny from regulatory authorities. In a comprehensive study, the US Department of Treasury along with several other government agencies put forward recommendations, to safeguard the access and growth to credit through the continued developments of online marketplace lending.

Wedbush analysts believe that regulatory scrutiny is likely to increase the company’s lending business.

For the 2Q, Square projects revenue to fall between $151–156 million. Wedbush expects the company to surpass its own expectations — reporting closer to the sell-side firm’s own $168 million estimates — but foresees considerable downside to the financial services company’s shares, if it reports within its given guidance range.

Interestingly enough, in a research note published yesterday, Morgan Stanley lowered its prices target on Square stock from $12 to $10, following a meeting with the company. The sell-side firm also raised its Stock-Based Comp estimates, in light of the company’s transition from private to a public entity and higher comp to select personnel vs. prior expectations.

Why Online Lender Avant Is Cutting Down Its Workforce Again, (Fortune), Rated: A

After also deciding to pull back in May from new verticals such as auto loans to concentrate on its core personal loans business, Avant is now cutting its lending target for that unit by 50% to about $100 million per month, Bloomberg reported.

Avant’s problem, like much of the so-called peer-to-peer lending market, isn’t a lack of demand from potential borrowers. Instead, the company and other online lenders are having increasing difficulty raising money to lend out as hedge funds and other investors outside the usual banking circles that backed the industry have grown wary.

The company had grown quickly for the past few years, reaching $3.5 billion in total loan volume. But with less access to capital, business has slowed recently, and loan volume declined 27% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter—the first such quarter-to-quarter drop since Avant started in 2012.

LendingClub’s Negative Press Blitz Continues, (Yahoo Finance), Rated: A

An $800 million LendingClub Corp (NYSE: LC) fund that invests in the company’s online consumer loans is expected to report its first monthly loss in the past 64 months in June. According to a letter to investors from LendingClub CEO Scott Sanborn, LendingClub’s Broad Based Consumer Credit (Q) Fund’s June return “is likely to be negative.”

The fund is LendingCub’s largest and has regularly returned around 0.5 percent per month throughout its five-year history. However, default rates on the fund’s loans have begun to rise in recent months and returns have dropped, prompting a number of investor redemption requests

The Wall Street Journal’s Peter Rudegeair reported that as of June 17, LendingClub had received $442 million in redemption requests representing about 58 percent of the value of the fund. In response to the large number of redemption requests, LendingClub announced it was placing restrictions on withdrawals and would be considering winding down the fund entirely.

Group led by State Street, Putnam launches fintech initiative, (Boston Business Journal), Rated: A

The Boston Financial Services Leadership Council and the business consulting group Mass Insight have created Financial Technology Boston, under which they will host networking events and possibly job fairs involving fintech professionals from the corporate, startup, government and higher-education worlds.

In addition to State Street (NYSE: STT), Fidelity and Putnam, the BFSLC includes Santander Bank, U.S. Bank and Boston Private Financial (Nasdaq: BPFH).

Boston is already home to fintech-focused incubators FinTech Sandbox and the DCU Center of Excellence in Financial Services, as well as a monthly meetup for fintech professionals.

United Kingdom

Why investors should scoop up discounted P2P funds before putting cash into platforms, (AltFi News), Rated: AAA

Analysis by AltFi Data shows loan origination has more or less been static across the UK P2P lending industry in 2016. This somewhat contrasts with the rapid growth seen in 2015 and 2014. Any number of explanations are given for this including a broad risk-off attitude from markets as well as the ongoing fiasco at the major US platform Lending Club.

However, for professional and private investors alike who are not dissuaded from the adverse headlines, and attracted by the high yields on offer from investing in the market, there is a clear argument to avoid investing directly on platforms. While this is the normal route for many, buying shares in the investment trusts offering exposure to loans originated from the platforms that are heavily discounted at present arguably makes more sense.

Over time in addition to the 7.4 per cent yield on offer, a narrowing of this discount or perhaps even a move to a premium could significantly bolster returns.

The table below shows what will happen to the share price following a 20 per cent return in net asset value alongside changes in the discount/premium. It clearly shows that buying at a premium massively adds to the total return.

Of course there is always the risk that the discount moves out further. This could be caused by investors going off the trusts even more. Or it could be broader negative sentiment towards equity markets that sees index level selling of the FTSE 250 – in the case of P2P GI – or FTSE All Share selling in the case of VPC Specialty Lending. This would add to weakness in both trusts’ share prices, and potentially widen the discount.

However, as AltFi reported last week P2P GI has started to defend its discount by buying up its shares using spare cash. Last week it bought £2m of its shares at an average price of 827p, says Monica Tepes, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

This did temporarily lower P2P GI’s discount to 17.5 per cent although it has since moved back to over 20 per cent.

Brexit: FinTech firms fear for staff shortages and lost EU customers, (Tech Republic), Rated: AAA

London is a major player in the international FinTech market, with startups in the UK capital securing more venture capital funding last year than their European counterparts.

That status won’t necessarily change after Britain leaves the EU but FinTech firms have said it will complicate the picture, particularly when it comes to their ability to sell services to Europe and attract new talent.

Controlling migration was the second most important reason for quitting the EU, according to those who voted Leave in last week’s referendum.

Access to the single market allows goods and finance to be moved between EU countries without tariffs. However, full access also requires free movement of workers between European countries, something many Leave voters oppose.

Nevertheless, for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform MarketInvoice, as for many other London-based FinTech firms, free movement of European labor is essential to meet its demands for skills.

“Here at MarketInvoice we have a super-diverse team from all corners of the globe. Most notably within our software-engineering and data-science teams. Many FinTech founders themselves come from outside the UK,” said Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice.

European Union

Insurer Aviva France to Lend €50 Million to SMEs Through Crowdlending Platforms, (Crowdfund Insider),Rated: AAA

Aviva France, together with two partners, alternative asset management firm Eiffel Investment Group and insurer AG2R La Mondiale, is launching an investment fund called “Prêtons Ensemble” (Lending together) dedicated to financing loans to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) provided through crowdlending platforms.

Starting with an initial endowment of €50 million from Aviva France and €20 million from AG2R La Mondiale, the fund is expected to quickly grow to €100 million by rallying other institutional investors around the project.

The goal is to invest in the French real economy by financing SME loans granted through regulated crowdfunding platforms. Eiffel Investment Group is a specialist with more than eight years of experience in investing on crowdlending platforms, notably in the more advanced UK and US markets. Eiffel Investment will be in charge of the due diligence on the platforms and their loan portfolios. Currently, they have identified around 100 platforms and have made contact with 50 of them. Eventually, in five years from now, the fund should be invested to 70% in lending to SMEs and minimum to 50% in France. At the onset, we’re starting with a dozen platforms, mostly, but not only from France as the market is still emerging here. The (soon-to-be published) list includes names such as Younited Credit, Finexkap and Lendix.

The fund will be diversified in terms of the platforms’ business model and of the type of credit provided to SMEs. This means that it will include both unsecured and secured loans, short-term invoice financing as well as mid-term loans. On average, the loans are expected to have a maturity of 2.5 years.

Our decision was made long before the Lending Club problems surfaced. Upon hearing about them, we conducted a thorough analysis of their actual causes and impact. We were quite reassured to find out that the scale of the financial issue was small, that it had been fixed, and that a subsequent audit did not uncover any other impropriety.

Europe’s Top 11 Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms, (Fintech News), Rated: A

Comment: As author chose to label the article Europe’s top 11, and includes UK companies, we chose to do the same.

In Europe today, although the vast majority of the P2P lending activity is concentrated in the UK – which accounts for over 84% of the whole European market –, Germany, France and Nordic countries are experiencing strong growth and development in the P2P lending space with a number of homegrown startups starting to emerge as regional leaders.

Australia

Fintech losses blamed on rerating, (The Australian Business Review), Rated: AAA

DirectMoney, which writes personal loans, slid to 4.5c a share after coming to market last year at 20c via a backdoor listing. On Friday, the company unveiled a $5.7m non-renounceable capital raising at 4.2c a share on a one-new-share-for-every-two-held basis.

The raising, underwritten by Bell Potter, opens on July 11.

It follows a mixed ride for investors, with the stock exchange in February querying its financial position and DirectMoney subsequently unveiling a deal with Macquarie, which bought $5m of the company’s personal loans and took shares in the company in exchange for advisory services.

In May, DirectMoney revealed loan demand was outstripping funding as the company slowly gained traction for its personal loan fund for retail investors. In the interim, the company turned to two “large financial institutions” for funding facilities, signing a non-binding term sheet with one for $20m.

Part of the cash from the $5.7m raising will be used as upfront collateral for the funding facilities. “We’ve proven our ability to originate loans; that is difficult for some organisations and what we are now doing is establishing committed funding programs of sufficient size so we can leverage the assets we’ve built,” Mr Beaumont said.

DirectMoney has written $17.6m of unsecured personal loans up to $35,000 for three to five years. Revenue in the financial year to the end of May was $1.19m, compared to $435,513 in the six months to December 31.

DirectMoney chief Peter Beaumont yesterday defended the fintech company’s stockmarket listing and expressed disappointment over losses worn by shareholders, arguing there were many benefits and the sector globally had suffered a de-rating.

“We’re disappointed there were investors that came in at higher prices and have had capital losses at this point, but marketplace lending globally has experienced a resetting of valuations, whether it’s LendingClub in the US or others, since last year,” he said.

The inaugural Australian Fintech Awards regonised innovation in the finance industry, with OnDeck Australia and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) receiving the Fintech-Bank Collaboration of the Year Award. OnDeck entered the Australian market last year with CBA and online accounting software provider, MYOB, as distribution partners.

India

P2P players bank on institutional lenders for growth, (Economic Times), Rated: AAA

I-lend has stitched a partnership with Hyderabad-based non-banking finance company Star Finserve, becoming the first peer-topeer online lending platform to join hands with an institutional lender while several other players including MicroGraam, Faircent and LenDenClub are in talks for similar pacts.

“The cost of loan origination is going up steadily for NBFCs and banks, the number of successful applications is declining and through these partnerships the institutional lenders can cut down on incurring origination of loan and administration costs,” said VVSB Shankar, founder of i-lend.

Shankar said the decline in the number of applications could be attributed to several factors such as competition among institutional lenders, quality of borrowers or involvement of non-performing assets. The company’s loan book size is about `1.5 crore and lenders on the platform can opt for borrowers who pay 18-21% interest.

Peer-to-peer platforms have reported an increase in the number of high net worth individuals or HNIs they have attracted over the past six months. “HNIs and family offices are showing interest in the peer-to-peer space. Since there is a criterion for lenders to have an income of over `10 lakh, this is bound to happen. Our top lenders have invested more than `40-50 lakh each, with the highest being around Rs 60 lakh,” said Rajat Gandhi, founder of Faircent, which has a loan book size of Rs 6.5 crore.

Smaller players including LenDen-Club said they have also seen increasing interest from HNIs, specifically from Maharashtra and Gujarat, spending about Rs 15 lakh individually. Since retail investors are central to how such platforms function, the companies aim to firm up a select few partnerships with institutional lenders over the next one year.

China

Exit of P2P lenders from Shanghai office market poses a challenge, (South China Morning Post),Rated: A

The recent collapse and exodus of numerous peer-to-peer lending (P2P) companies in China after a government crackdown on fraud has rattled the Shanghai CBD office market and may “pose a challenge for landlords”, experts say.

In the second quarter of the year, supply spiked to a 10-year high, according to real estate firm Colliers International, as overall vacancy rates in the area increased 3.2 per cent quarter on quarter to 7.2 per cent.

Korea

8PERCENT: Men in 30s Major P2P Investors, (The Korea Bizwire), Rated: A

8PERCENT, a P2P (peer-to-peer) lending company, revealed on July 4 that 30-something men who live in metropolitan areas are their primary investors.

As of June 30, top P2P lending company 8PERCENT’s total accrued loans summed up to 26.6 billion won ($23 million), with a total of 8,283 investors investing 3.21 million won ($2800) on average per person.

The average age of the investors was 34.3, and more than 90 percent of the investors were between the ages of 20 and 40. 8PERCENT also revealed that 77 percent of the investors lived in metropolitan areas, and that 67.5 percent were male and 32.5 percent, female.

The largest investment made so far was 453 million won ($395,000) diversified into 1,115 different bonds.

“Until last year, 90 percent of investors were from metropolitan areas, but the portion from non-metropolitan areas increased to 23 percent this year. Investment from women also increased from the low 20s to 30 percent, and we’re seeing growth in the number of investors in their 50s as well,” said Kang Seok-hwan, chief marking officer of 8PERCENT.

Small credit loans of 24.2 billion won ($21 million) comprise more than 90 percent of the total investments. Out of the total amount, 13.4 billion won ($11 million) was loaned to individuals, and 10.8 billion won ($9.4 million) to corporations.

Besides credit loans, borrowers also obtained real estate mortgage loans of 2.4 million won ($2 million).

 

Author:

George Popescu