Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest

neobanks

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingPoint closes $178M personal loans securitization. OnDeck hits $879M in online financing in Texas alone. RateSetter adds three products. Funding Circle lenders face longer cash out waits. Yirendai files Form 6-K. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for August 2019. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Silicon Valley is building a social […]

The post Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

neobanks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

LendingPoint : Closes $ 178 Million Personal Loans Securitization (MarketScreener), Rated: AAA

LendingPoint, the company revolutionizing and democratizing commerce, announced today that it closed its inaugural securitization of consumer loans. LendingPoint Receivables Trust 2019-1 (“LDPT 2019-1”) issued $177.85 million of notes backed by a pool of $187.22 million of direct-to-consumer loans originated on the LendingPoint platform.

The LendingPoint Receivables Trust securitization was rated by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. and includes $117.76 million of Class A notes rated “A-“, $24.74 million of Class B notes rated “BBB-“, $23.68 million of Class C notes rated “BB-” and $10.67 million of Class D notes rated “B-.” The notes priced at a blended yield of 4.05% per annum and provided for a 95% advance rate. The transaction has a 5% overcollateralization Deposit and a 5% overcollateralization Target. The risk adjusted yield of the receivables securing the notes is expected to be 13.14% per annum.

TyMac Electric Powers Business Success with Online Financing from OnDeck (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced that TyMac Electric of Plano, Texas is its Small Business of the Month for August, 2019.  The 30-person company serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area with high-quality, professionally managed electrical services.

Over the last two years, OnDeck has provided additional financing to TyMac Electric as the business grew to meet demand in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial marketplace.

Overall, OnDeck has provided more than $879 million in financing online to small business owners in the State of Texas.

2019’s Best & Worst Places to Retire (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

Best Retirement Cities

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
City Total Score ‘Affordability’ Rank ‘Activities’ Rank ‘Quality of Life’ Rank ‘Health Care’ Rank
1 Orlando, FL 60.87 9 11 68 48
2 Tampa, FL 59.06 10 19 45 95
3 Scottsdale, AZ 58.35 98 22 3 58
4 Charleston, SC 58.30 42 21 56 51
5 Miami, FL 57.21 51 5 105 74
6 Denver, CO 57.08 113 17 43 17
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL 56.58 65 18 82 56
8 Cape Coral, FL 56.50 19 51 15 109
9 Minneapolis, MN 56.46 145 3 58 5
10 Cheyenne, WY 56.06 2 142 50 33

Source: WalletHub

Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system (Fast Company), Rated: AAA

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Fundrise Opportunity Zone Fund Has Raised Over $ 22 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Real estate investment platform Fundrise has raised over $22 million for their Opportunity Fund. The information was revealed in a recent Form D 5o6c filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Kabbage acquires Radius Intelligence, the marketing tech firm with a database of 20M small businesses (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Data is the new oil, as the saying goes, and today Kabbage — a fintech startup backed by SoftBank that has built a business around lending up to $250,000 to small and medium enterprises, using AI-based algorithms to help determine the terms of the loan — is picking up an asset to expand its own data trove as it looks to expand into further SMB financial services. The company has acquired Radius Intelligence, the marketing technology firm that has built a database of information on some 20 million small and medium businesses in the U.S.

Here is a list of the top nonbank and alternative lenders in 2019 (Business Insider), Rated: A

Nonbanks and alternative lenders have garnered attention in the banking industry due to their ability to partner with legacy banks and utilize technology to make financial transactions more efficient and convenient for users.

Source: Business Insider

Chime now has 5 million customers and introduces overdraft alternative (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Challenger bank Chime has reached 5 million customers in the U.S. The San Francisco-based startup is creating an FDIC-insured mobile bank without any physical branch. The company also promises fewer fees.

Back in March, Chime  said it had 3 million customers when it announced its $200 million Series D round. So that’s 2 million additional customers in roughly 5 months.

Zac Prince of BlockFi (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Even Financial raises $ 25 million to connect banks with channel partners (VentureBeat), Rated: A

Even Financial, a four-year-old New York-based provider of APIs for financial services search, acquisition, and monetization, today announced that it’s raised $25 million in a strategic round of investment co-led by Citi Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, with additional participation from LendingClub. Existing backers American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, and Goldman Sachs also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total raised to $50 million.

Credit Sesame, a platform for managing loans and credit scores, picks up $ 43M en route to IPO (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Credit Sesame — which lets consumers check their credit scores and evaluate options to rebalance existing debts and loans to improve that score and thus their overall “financial health,” in the words of CEO and founder Adrian Nazari — has raised $43 million. With the company already profitable and growing revenues 90% each year for the last five, Nazari said that this round is likely to be the last round the company raises before it goes public.

Household debt in the U.S. continues to rise and as of this year now stands at nearly $14 trillion.

Fintech startup CrowdBureau closes $ 1.1 million Series A equity funding with $ 9.7M valuation (Tech Startups), Rated: A

CrowdBureau Corporation, a fintech startup and index provider, has closed $1.1 million Series A equity funding to expand its series of benchmarks and launch a pilot program for its patent-pending regulatory technology product. The round, which values the company at $9.7 million, was led by Clydagh Limited, Estuary Holdings Ltd. and Alpama Limited along with existing investors.

Some Companies Offer a New Benefit: Payroll Advances and Loans (WSJ), Rated: A

A growing number of companies are helping workers gain access to payroll advances and loans, reflecting concern over the impact money problems are having on productivity levels and worker retention.

Employers including Walmart Inc. and Pima County, Ariz., have recently added these services. The aim is to help cash-strapped employees, many with damaged credit, cover unexpected expenses without resorting to high-cost debt.

Lendingblock Launches Institutional Crypto Lending Platform (Lendingblock), Rated: A

Lendingblock, the regulated, open exchange for institutional borrowing and lending of digital assets, today announces the launch of its institutional lending platform on September 3, 2019. The lending product, which is a reinvented version of securities lending from traditional capital markets, is the first exchange fully dedicated to pure crypto lending and aims to support the needs of the broader cryptocurrency market by providing a secure and liquid venue for lending and borrowing needs of institutional market participants.

Upon launch, Lendingblock platform users will be able to borrow and lend BTC, ETH, PAX and USDT on a fully collateralized basis, for loan terms of 1, 7, 14 and 30 days, with a minimum trade size of $100,000 equivalent of a specified digital asset.

How American Express uses machine learning to detect fraud (American Banker), Rated: A


A financial planner says there’s a ‘huge opportunity’ to build wealth during a recession (Business Insider), Rated: A

As long as you have a cash safety net to fall back on should you lose your job or face an unexpected expense, there’s little reason to panic, says Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal-finance company.

Are P2P Loans A Viable Investment for Your Portfolio? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Peer to peer (P2P) loans allow you to act as a bank, providing loans directly to other individuals or businesses in exchange for a return on your investment via interest payments. Investing in P2P loans, which are typically smaller than a traditional bank loan, has proven to be reliable no matter the economic climate.

Judge Rejects States’ Fintech Charter Challenge, Again (Bloomberg Law), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was able to beat back a challenge by state regulators to its proposed charter for financial technology firms for a second time, but the charter remains in limbo due to other litigation.

White Oak Global Advisors Announces Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC (“White Oak”) is pleased to announce the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (“CSCDA”) has named White Oak as a commercial PACE Program Administrator for the CSCDA’s Open PACE Program.  As a Program Administrator, White Oak will provide up to 100% financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and seismic retrofit projects on commercial real estate.

White Oak is seeking to fund projects ranging in size from $500,000 to $150 million.

United Kingdom

RateSetter revamps investment products (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER is rejigging its investment products, to boost liquidity and give the peer-to-peer lender more control over market rates.

The three new products, which will be available on 3 October, will be called Access, Plus and Max. Access will offer three per cent interest and no fees to access money; Plus will offer four per cent interest and cost 30 days’ interest to access money; and Max will offer a five per cent interest rate, with a fee of 90 days’ interest to access money.

Funding Circle Amateur Lenders Facing Longer Waits To Cash Out (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Amateur lenders on peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle Holdings PLC are facing waits of 100 days to cash out of their loans, it has emerged.

Investors who provide funding for small businesses through the platform can list old loans for resale to other investors if they wish to withdraw all their money.

But the PA news agency understands that the amount of time taken to re-sell the loan parts has risen from just a few days in January to up to three months in recent transactions.

Funding Circle reveals inclusion in FTSE4Good Index Series (Funding Circle), Rated: A

Funding Circle today reveals its inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index Series, which recognises companies that demonstrate the highest standards of corporate governance and sustainability.

Woodford trust is on the FTSE 250 casualty list (The Times), Rated: B

The investment trust, which focuses on early-stage companies, was one of six companies to be relegated from the second tier of quoted stocks.

Among them is Funding Circle, the online peer-to-peer lender aimed at small and medium-sized companies, which floated at 440p a year ago. Last night its shares closed at 110¼p.

P2PGI blames writedowns and Funding Circle bad debts for poor July (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

P2P GLOBAL Investments has blamed writedowns in the value of two equity stakes and bad debts from Funding Circle for a “disappointing” performance in July.

The alternative finance-focused investment trust delivered a 0.33 per cent NAV return for the month of July, down from 0.48 per cent the previous month. This brought the trust’s year to date return to 2.88 per cent, and 23.93 per cent since inception.

Investors ‘nearly’ double IFISA holdings (AltFi), Rated: A

Small investors have parked £588m across 40,400 accounts by the end of the second quarter of this year, according to trade body the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA).

The compares with around £300m invested in this product 12 months ago across major platforms such as Funding Circle, Ratesetter, Zopa, said the trade body.

Lending Works targets profitability and £10m turnover in 2019 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer consumer lender reported a loss of just over £2.1m for the year ended 31 December 2018, up from £1.41m the previous year, which chief executive Nick Harding (pictured) attributed to a larger wage bill.

There is no requirement for businesses to report revenues in small company accounts, but Harding revealed that the firm saw revenues rise to £6.2m last year and is targeting £10m this year.

Peer to Peer Lender Folk2Folk Tops £300 Million in Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, a peer-to-peer lender for local, rural and SME businesses, has now surpassed £300 million in lending, according to a company release. Folk2Folk notes that it is the 3rd largest P2P Lender to UK businesses in terms of money lent.

P2PFA boss Paul Smee: ‘Lendy was an outlier that should not have been authorised’ (AltFi), Rated: A

The collapse of Portsmouth-based property peer-to-peer firm Lendy, with outstanding loans of more than £160m, and some £90m in default, prompted the new rules from the FCA. The watchdog is also carrying out an in-depth report into the firm’s failure, which affected with some 21,500 investors. Critics argue that Lendy under competitive pressure wrote poor quality loans to swell its balance sheet, which then turned bad.

However, the Lendy crash, taken together with the poor float of the sector’s biggest firm Funding Circle last October, which languishes 75 per cent below its 440p float price at around 112p this week, has tarnished the sector.

UK Fintech Curve fastest startup ever to reach £4m Crowdfunding on Crowdcube (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Last month, Curve announced plans to launch a seven figure crowdfunding campaign for early September, with plans to raise £1million. However, just 42 Minutes after launching to pre-registered customers, Curve had raised four times that figure, breaking records in the process. The current overfunding amount stands at £5million.

China

Form 6-K Yirendai Ltd. For: Sep 30 (Street Insider), Rated: AAA

  • Cumulative number of investors served reached 2,185,513, representing an increase of 1% from 2,159,490 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 1,974,984 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Number of active investors in the second quarter of 2019 was 671,957, representing a decrease of 13% from 768,514 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 928,251 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Total assets under management (“AUM”) for Yiren Wealth was RMB 43,604.2 million (US$ 6,351.7 million) as of June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of 7% from RMB 46,663.1 million as of March 31, 2019. Average AUM per investor reached RMB 149,480 (US$ 21,774) as of June 30, 2019, representing an increase of 7% from RMB 139,473 as of March 31, 2019.
  • AUM of non-P2P products amounted to RMB 354.3 million (US$ 51.6 million) in the second quarter of 2019, representing a decrease of 23% from RMB 457.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to RMB 951.0 million in the second quarter of 2018. Non-P2P products include money market funds, mutual funds and insurance.

Consumer Credit—Yiren Credit

  • Total loan originations in the second quarter of 2019 reached RMB 9.7 billion (US$1.4 billion), representing a decrease of 12% from RMB 10.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to RMB 18.2 billion in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Cumulative number of borrowers served reached 4,491,466, representing an increase of 2% from 4,404,812 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 4,027,254 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Number of borrowers in the second quarter of 2019 was 135,246, representing a decrease of 10% from 149,715 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 267,628 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • The percentage of loan volume generated by repeat borrowers was 35.9% in the second quarter of 2019.
  • 52.5% of loan originations were generated online in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Remaining principal of performing loans reached RMB 58,071.3 million (US$8,459.0 million) as of June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of 8% from RMB 63,213.8 million as of March 31, 2019.

Yirendai Ltd. (YRD) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

As of September 2019, the line of credit we have obtained from our institutional partners has increased from RMB19 billion in Q1 2019 to close to RMB30 billion. We are now working with approximately 10 partners, including leading joint stock and city commercial banks. We expect loan origination funded by institutional partners to reach approximately 30% by the end of this year.

China Rapid Finance Retains China Merchants Bank New York and Pangaea Finance as Co-Financial Advisors for Recapitalization and Restructuring (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (XRF) (the “Company”) today announced that its Board of Directors has retained China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd., New York Branch (CMBNY), and Pangaea Finance as separate Co-Financial Advisors, and Pangaea Finance as Structuring Agent, to advise it for strategic alternatives, including but not limited to potential strategic partnerships, recapitalization of certain operating companies, and for a related reconfiguration of the Cayman company as a listed investment vehicle for China credit.

Central bank to include troubled P2P lending industry in credit system (Technode), Rated: A

China’s central bank will include the country’s troubled online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in its credit reference system as the clampdown on illegal financial services continues, Chinese state-run media reported on Wednesday.

China’s credit system to cover P2P lending in tightening regulation (Xinhua), Rated: A

P2P lending platforms in operation will provide certain information such as online lending interest rates to credit reference agencies such as operators of financial credit information basic databases and Baihang Credit, China’s only licensed and market-oriented personal credit agency, according to an official guideline.

China Central Bank’s Credit System to include P2P Lending Platforms amidst tightening regulations (China Knowledge), Rated: A

Credit information of P2P lending platforms will be collected, regardless of their operational status. New penalties will also be imposed on defaulting borrowers of P2P online lending. Some of the penalties include higher loan interest rates and restriction limits to loan and insurance services.

Chinese entrepreneur among 41 arrested over illegal P2P platform (CGTN), Rated: A

Property mogul and founder of a leading Shanghai contemporary art museum Dai Zhikang has turned himself into police following the collapse of a peer-to-peer lending platform, as China continues to crackdown on illegal online lending.

Shanghai police confirmed Monday that Dai, the founder and head of Zendai Group, was among 41 people being investigated over illegal fundraising through an online P2P platform called Laocaibao.

European Union

Revolut is looking to hire 400 customer support staff following compliance complaints (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Revolut is looking to hire up to 400 staff at a new base in Portugal, a move that will increase its employee headcount by almost a third.

Source: Business Insider

German online bank N26 expands to Switzerland (Verdict), Rated: A

German online bank N26 has launched its services in Switzerland, as it continues to build up its footprint across the globe.

Binance Crypto Lending Program expansion – a bad idea for traders (FX Street), Rated: A

Binance is one of the latest entries in launching its crypto lending platform on August 28. In the first phase, it began with a short period fixed return on Binance (BNB), USDT (Tether) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). It provides an annual return of 15%, 10%, and 7% respectively, beginning with a 14-Day fixed period. Binance starts with about $30 million in crypto-lending. Moreover, the annual interest offered is higher than the return from banks.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes August 2019 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Milestones in culumulative volume lent crossed this month:

  • Bondora: 250M EUR
  • Fellow Finance: 500M EUR
  • Mintos: 3000M EUR
  • Thincats: 500M GBP

The total volume for the reported marketplaces in the table adds up to 634 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets.

Source: P2P-Banking

Fall Conference Season for Fintech Kicks Into Gear This Month (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

ABS East

When: Sept 22-24, 2019
Where: Miami, FL
Link:  /> Discount code: LEND10

Lend360

When: Sept 25-27, 2019
Where: Dallas, TX
Link: 

LendIt Fintech Europe

When: Sept 26-27, 2019
Where: London, UK
Link: 
/> Discount code: LENDACADEMYVIP

Moneyconf

When: Nov 4-7, 2019
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
Link: 

Money2020 China

When: Dec 4-6, 2019
Where: Hangzhou, China
Link: 

I WISH I’D BOUGHT IT WITH KLARNA (The Drum), Rated: B

The Swedish ‘pay later’ service, Klarna has launched its first international campaign – ‘I wish I’d bought it with Klarna’ – with the internet sensation Celesta Barber as its leading lady.

Australia

Ethereum lossless lottery PoolTogether is still innately flawed despite updates (finder), Rated: A

How do you encourage people to practice responsible saving? Easy. You shake it up with a dose of randomness and call it a lottery instead. This is the basic principle behind Pool Together, a lossless lottery designed in such a way that there are no losers. The idea is that everyone always gets back the price of their ticket, but one lucky person walks away with a lot more than that.

Pool Together is built on Ethereum, and utilises the Dai stablecoin in combination with the Compound crypto lending system.

India

Online lender Namaste Credit launches digital-only bank (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Online lending marketplace Namaste Credit today said that it is launching its Neobanking solutions for MSMEs, becoming a full-fledged “Digital-Only Bank” with a foundational SaaS play.

IndiaMoneyMart opens the first East-India branch for NBFC-P2P Lending (United News of India), Rated: A

Making sense of regulatory sandbox for Fintech startups (Vantage Asia), Rated: A

Over the past few years India has seen rapid development in the financial technology sector and it has the second highest number of Fintech startups in the world. According to certain estimates, India’s Fintech sector added about 1,300 startups from 2015 to 2018. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, India’s Fintech market is expected to be worth US$2.4 billion by 2020.

India Government Panel Pushes for Fintech, Regtech Adoption (Regulation Asia), Rated: A

The panel has also proposed the development of a marketplace model for P2P lending, and the introduction of virtual banking in India.

Why fintech panel believes P2P platforms can ease credit supply (India Times), Rated: A

While the importance of P2P lending sector in India is understood by all stakeholders, and a lot has been done over the last few years to encourage the sector, a lot more needs to be done to accelerate its growth.

APAC

Leading Southeast Asian Peer to Peer Lender Funding Societies Revamps with New Executive Team (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Funding Societies, one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in Southeast Asia, has revamped its executive team with new hires.

Matt Lambie joins as the Chief Technical Officer, Dheeraj Chowdhry as the Chief Executive Officer and Jared Goldberg as the Chief Data Officer.

Top 10 APAC Startups Reigning the Future Finance Industry (Banking CIO Outlook), Rated: A

Africa

AlphaCode of South Africa Invests $ 1.5 Million in Three Domestic Fintech Startups (CryptoNewsZ), Rated: AAA

AlphaCode is the incubation and investment arm of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings, and in a new development, the company has decided to invest a combined $1.5 million in three separate Fintech startups in South Africa. The companies in question are Zande Africa, which is a platform meant for merchant finance, while the others are Bright On Capital, a peer to peer lending firm and Livestock Wealth, an agricultural investment startup. AlphaCode invested $655,000 each on Bright On Capital and Zande Africa, while Livestock Wealth got an injection of $131, 000.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday December 13 2018, Daily News Digest

unsecured personal loan balances

News Comments Today’s main news: FDIC opens comments on Special Purpose National Bank charters. Plaid raises $250M. P2PFA member lending exceeds 10B GBP. ThinCats raise 200M GBP. Bondora originates almost 8M euro in loans in November. Klarna joins Shopify Plus Partner Program. Nubank launches debit card. Today’s main analysis: Trends in credit card debt. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Consumer credit market poised […]

unsecured personal loan balances

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

FDIC Embraces FinTech (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Formation of new banks post-crisis is historically low. More banks have failed since 2009 than have new banks opened.This trend could leave some communities severely underbanked.

The FDIC wants to encourage new banks to startup and wants innovative FinTech firms to be part of that process. The agency wants to streamline its application process and is seeking comments on how that can be done.

The OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank (SPNB) charter allows FinTechs to operate as banks.

Fintech startup Plaid raises $ 250M at a $ 2.65B valuation (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

The company is today announcing a $250 million Series C investment led by famed venture capitalist and the author of the Internet Trends reportMary Meeker, who will join its board of directors as part of the deal. The funds were raised at a valuation of $2.65 billion, according to sources close to the company. Capital from Meeker’s investment came from Kleiner Perkins’ growth fund — where Meeker has been a partner since 2010 — not from the reported billion-dollar-plus solo fund she’s in the process of raising.

New investors Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Coatue Management also participated, as did existing investors Goldman Sachs, NEA and Spark Capital.

U.S. Consumer Credit Market Poised for More Growth in 2019 (TransUnion), Rated: AAA

Low unemployment rates and continued positive growth in both GDP and real disposable income are among the key drivers that will propel the U.S. consumer credit market in 2019. Partly due to the strong performance of these economic indicators, TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) 2019 consumer credit forecast found that originations and consumer balances are expected to increase for most credit products, while serious delinquency rates will likely decline or remain steady.

Source: Globe News Wire

A few outliers in the forecast come by way of serious credit card delinquency rates and originations as well as mortgage originations. Credit card delinquency rates are expected to rise from 1.94% in Q4 2018 to 2.04% in Q4 2019 as a shift toward more non-prime consumers with access to credit cards will likely negatively impact originations and consequently the serious delinquency rate.

Source: Globe News Wire

TransUnion Forecast: Top Consumer Credit Trends for ‘19

Trend #1: There’s Room for Growth in Personal Loans

Personal loans continue to display signs of strength, and total balances are expected to climb 20% to an all-time high of 156.3 billion by the end of 2019.

Trend #2: Affordability May Impact the Auto Industry

It’s also worth noting that the number of auto loan originations is expected to end 2018 at 28.5 million and grow to 29.4 million in 2019. This is a significant increase from recent years (27.5 million in 2017, 28.3 million in 2016, 28.0 million in 2015). This growth is expected to be driven from both ends of the risk spectrum. Yet as the growth continues, the serious delinquency rate is anticipated to remain muted, ticking up to 1.44% in Q4 2019, an increase from the expected 1.43% in Q4 2018 and the 1.43% mark observed in Q4 2017.

Trend #3: Homes Becoming More Expensive, but Home Equity Increases Could Be a Boon to Consumers

Mortgage originations have declined the past several quarters, a trend that is expected to continue into 2019.  Rising interest rates, increasing home prices, and supply constraints are driving lower origination numbers.  Average balances will continue to trend upward in 2019, growing from an anticipated $208,831 at the end of Q4 of this year to $218,490 by the end of Q4 2019, a 4.6% increase.

Trend #4: More Near Prime Consumers will Carry a Credit Card

Near prime consumers are expected to increase their origination share to 19.1% in 2019, up from 18.3% in 2018.

Credit Card Debt Study: Trends & Insights (Wallet Hub), Rated: AAA

Americans repaid $40.8 billion in credit card debt during Q1 2018 – the second-largest quarterly payoff ever. But we added almost $38 billion back to our tab in Q3 and Q2 2018. We also began the year owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt for the first time ever, after adding $87.3 billion to our tab in 2017.

Source: WalletHub

The $38 billion in credit card debt added during Q2 and Q3 2018 has nearly wiped out consumers’ large first quarter pay-down.

We ended 2017 with $87.3 billion in new credit card debt, and WalletHub projects a $70 billion increase in 2018 by the end of the year.

Source: WalletHub

Americans started 2018 with more than $1 trillion in outstanding credit card balances for the first time ever, and we are on pace to begin 2019 in even worse shape.

Cities with the Highest & Lowest Credit Card Debts

Percentile* City Median Credit Card Debt Cost to Pay off Months & Days Until Payoff
99 Colleyville, TX $5,593 $880 24 months and 28 days
99 Darien, CT $7,935 $1,167 23 months and 8 days
99 Park City, UT $5,376 $720 21 months and 5 days
99 Fairbanks, AK $4,655 $620 21 months and 2 days
99 Summit, NJ $4,953 $655 20 months and 29 days
99 Leawood, KS $4,857 $642 20 months and 29 days
99 The Woodlands, TX $5,088 $670 20 months and 27 days
99 Mill Valley, CA $5,110 $672 20 months and 26 days
99 Needham, MA $4,393 $577 20 months and 25 days
99 Sammamish, WA $4,386 $575 20 months and 24 days
99 Durango, CO $3,583 $466 20 months and 17 days
99 Lafayette, CO $3,600 $467 20 months and 16 days
99 Juneau, AK $4,166 $540 20 months and 16 days
99 Southlake, TX $5,988 $775 20 months and 14 days
99 Ridgewood, NJ $5,625 $727 20 months and 14 days
99 Hoboken, NJ $3,570 $456 20 months and 6 days
99 Westport, CT $6,112 $770 19 months and 30 days
99 Winchester, MA $4,618 $580 19 months and 28 days
99 Highland Park, IL $5,379 $672 19 months and 24 days
99 Bethesda, MD $4,599 $573 19 months and 22 days
99 Wasilla, AK $4,693 $584 19 months and 22 days
99 Monument, CO $4,157 $514 19 months and 17 days
99 Newton, MA $4,014 $494 19 months and 15 days
99 Lafayette, CA $5,028 $618 19 months and 13 days
99 Scarsdale, NY $5,231 $641 19 months and 11 days
99 Bloomfield Hills, MI $4,552 $557 19 months and 11 days
99 Deerfield, IL $4,698 $575 19 months and 10 days
99 Woodinville, WA $4,331 $528 19 months and 8 days
99 Brookhaven, GA $4,221 $513 19 months and 6 days
99 Hingham, MA $4,571 $554 19 months and 4 days
*99th Percentile = Least Sustainable Credit Card Debt

A Different Kind of Gender Gap: Homeownership Is More Common Among Single Women Than Single Men (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • Single women own considerably more homes than single men do. On average, single women own around 22% of homes, while single men own less than 13% of homes.
  • Oklahoma City was the metropolitan area where single men own the largest share of owner-occupied homes, at 16%. Even though single men own a greater proportion of homes in Oklahoma City than they do elsewhere in the country, they still own fewer homes than single women, who own 24% of residential properties in the area.
  • New Orleans was the metropolitan area where single women own the largest share of owner-occupied homes. In this area, single women own nearly twice as many homes than single men do: 27% compared with 15%.

OCC sees sharp drop in mortgages serviced by large banks (American Banker), Rated: A

The OCC’s quarterly metrics report, released Tuesday, showed continued improvements in credit quality of mortgage loans at banks. But it also noted that the report is based on $3.26 trillion in principal balances, representing 32% of all mortgages in the U.S. Ten years ago, that figure was $6.1 trillion in mortgage balances, representing 60% of all outstanding mortgages.

How Do Underwriters View Mortgage Lending? (Progress in Lending), Rated: A

Subprime personal loans will flourish in 2019 thanks to startups and Donald Trump (Quartz), Rated: AAA

Subprime personal loan balances have been climbing since 2014 and are forecast to increase 20% next year, to a record $156.3 billion, according to credit-scoring firm TransUnion. The last three months of this year will be the biggest quarter ever for origination, accounting for some 5 million loans.

San Francisco-based Affirm, founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is one of the leaders in point-of-sale loans and is available at more than 1,200 US retailers. The company says its lending process allows it to approve far more applicants across the credit spectrum than traditional lenders.

Payday lending has also increased. These days, this type of high-interest, short-term debt often takes place online through installment loans. San Francisco-based LendUp is an example of the new breed of payday lenders, charging annual percentage rates that can range from 30% to more than 1,300% depending on the type of loan, according to a report by NerdWallet.

Galaxy Digital Leads $ 30 Million Funding for Social-Crypto Startup Good Money (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Digital banking platform Good Money just raised $30 million in a Series A funding round to continue developing its app.

Led by Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital (via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund), participants in the funding round included Breyer Capital, Blocktower Capital, Boost VC, Ken Howery, BlockChange Ventures, Cross Culture Capital, Troy Carter, Mitch Kapor, Peter Diamandis Blake Mycoskie and Justin Rosenstein, among others.

Half of Americans think using sharing services is risky (Biz Journals), Rated: A

Personal safety is a real concern Americans have about the sharing economy, according to a new survey commissioned by insurance company Lloyd’s.

The sharing economy includes companies that use data and develop platforms to connect people, including ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, apartment and home lending sites like Airbnb and VRBO, as well as peer-to-peer lending, reselling, co-working, and freelancing sites, per Forbes.

The analysis showed that 60 percent of American consumers believe they are putting their personal safety at risk by using sharing services because it means interacting with strangers, and 58 percent think that the risks outweigh the benefits.

Investors’ Harbour Launches New Fund That Will Finance the Development of Hawaii’s Newest Master-Planned Community (Investors’ Harbour), Rated: B

Admiral Realty Capital’s new private placement, Fund V, is engaged in providing financing to Puainako Heights Land Investment, the master-developer of a subdivision on the Big Island with over 330 single-family homesites. The offering is featured on the Boston-based crowdfunding platform Investors’ Harbour.

Different than most existing crowdfunding platforms, Investors’ Harbour does not feature an avalanche of small “fix-and-flip” projects handled by real estate enthusiasts. With a very low acceptance rate, Harbour only hosts larger-scale construction programs, conducted by commercial development firms with admirable track record.

Dharma-based Crypto Lending Platform Bloqboard Launches New Feature to Empower Lenders (Crypto Coin Spy), Rated: B

Bloqboard – a non-custodial digital asset lending platform for collateralized loans originated, settled, serviced, and managed on the Ethereum network and powered by Dharma and Compound – has today announced the release of a new feature they call ‘Offers to Lend’. This provides lenders with the ability to offer prospective borrowers their cryptoassets for peer-to-peer loans issued on the Dharma protocol.

Wyre partners with bZx, the protocol that powers decentralized margin lending (Cryptoninjas), Rated: B

Blockchain enabled payments company Wyre today announced a partnership with bZx, the protocol that powers decentralized margin lending. bZx will incorporate Wyre’s KYC/AML solution for DEXs to offer compliant trading.

United Kingdom

P2PFA member lending exceeds £10bn (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

PEER-TO-PEER Finance Association (P2PFA) platforms have cumulatively lent out more than £10bn, according to the trade body’s latest data.

Peer-to-peer platform ThinCats secures £200m funding deal (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The money comes from BAE Systems Pensions and is the second significant loan funding deal struck by ThinCats in the last few months.

Iwoca adds Barclays and HSBC to Open Banking connections (Finextra), Rated: A

iwoca, the UK’s fastest growing small business lender, today announces it has connected to Barclays and HSBC banks under Open Banking.

Tide accounts for 1 per cent of UK’s SME banking market (AltFi), Rated: A

Digital business bank Tide has reached 56,000 SME customers, accounting for one per cent the UK’s 5.6m SMEs. The bank has more than doubled the number of customers using its services in the last 12 months.

UK recruiters say challenger banks and fintech businesses are now more appealing to candidates than traditional banks (Onrec), Rated: A

  • 55% of recruiters and HR managers have seen an increase in hiring rates over the last five years
  • Half of UK recruiters and HR managers have seen an increase in demand for AI, cryptocurrency and blockchain skills
  • 55% say the number of roles requiring these emerging tech skills has outstripped the number of available candidates
  • 32% of recruiters say traditional banks are the least appealing FS organisations to candidates, whilst cryptocurrency businesses are top

Sancus tightens credit processes amid no-deal Brexit fears (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

SANCUS BMS has prepared itself for a no-deal Brexit and tightened its credit processes to protect itself from a market slowdown, its chief executive has said.

Sancus BMS, which comprises the peer-to-peer lenders Sancus Finance and Sancus Funding, sent out an email to its community on Wednesday.

Starling Bank Adds Onedox to Its Marketplace (coverageR), Rated: B

Founded in 2015 with £1m in funding, Onedox helps people manage household bills and expenses by allowing them to connect their different accounts including gas, electric, internet, mobile, and insurance. The service – which is free of charge – allows users to stay on top of their bills while receiving personalized recommendations for saving money by switching to new providers.

China

China Lending Expands B2B Offerings With Supply Chain Service (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

China Lending Corporation has announced the launch of its new supply chain financing services, which include a business factoring program.

In addition, China Lending has acquired 98.04 percent equity interest in Hangzhou Zeshi Investment Partners, which will enable China Lending to launch its new supply chain financing services in the near future, including financing products design, related corporate financing solutions, investments and asset management, and more.

Best/Worst Bets In Chinese Fintech (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

China’s financial technology, or fintech, sector, has suffered this year due to a slowing economy and stricter financial regulation. In the peer to peer lending sector, hundreds of firms have shut down due to inability to comply with regulations or insolvency. So, what can we expect from this industry in the near future?

European Union

P2P Lender Bondora Reports Almost €8 Million in Originations for November (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending platform Bondora says loan originations almost hit €8 million during the month of November. This follows a record-breaking month of October

In November, Bondora issued €7,894,070 of new loans, just ahead of the record set for originations in the previous month of €7,802,163.

LendIt Fintech Europe 2018 Slide Presentations Now Live (LendIt.com), Rated: A

Thanks to everyone who joined us at LendIt Fintech Europe 2018. Below you will find all of the presentations from the event. You can also view the photos from LendIt Fintech Europe 2018.

Keynotes

  • Joel Perlman, OakNorth Holdings – The OakNorth Growth Story – from Startup to Profitable Unicorn
  • June Ou, Figure – Blockchain: Creating the Future of Financial Services
  • John Goodall, Landbay – Misconceptions of the UK Buy-to-Let Market Today

Get the full schedule here.

Spotcap increases credit lines to EUR 300M (Spotcap email), Rated: A

It’s been a busy and rewarding 12 months for us here at 

YouHodler – Top Crypto Lending Platform on the Market (NewsBTC), Rated: A

YouHodler is a crypto-backed loan service provider. This established blockchain platform allows users to acquire loans instantly, by leveraging their cryptocurrencies for EUR or USD.

The company offers the highest loan-to-value ratio in the entire industry – up to 80%. And, unlike its competitors, it accepts five of the top cryptocurrencies as collateral, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Short-term loans are available at a low interest rate of just 2.5%.

Alternative finance ‘becoming vital’ for SMEs in north (The Irish News), Rated: A

THE ability for small businesses in Northern Ireland to access alternative forms of finance has become a vital factor in their successful growth, the head of a Belfast accountancy firm insists.

Since the financial crash and credit crunch, the funding void left by traditional lenders has been filled by boutique funders and alternative finance, which can allow SMEs to access finance for a variety of different needs, from long term investment through to funding for short term working capital.

International

Klarna Joins Shopify Plus Partner Program To Power High-Growth Merchants (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Klarna announced today that they are among the first payment service providers to join the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program, focusing on high-growth and high-volume merchants. This integration will allow merchants in Germany, the UK and the US to easily implement Klarna’s smoooth payment suite and offer a superior customer experience and thereby unlock additional growth potential.

Cred Opens Crypto Corporate Lending Platform To Developers (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In a press release on Tuesday (Dec. 11), Cred revealed the rollout of its developer platform CredX (not to be confused with the new credit card accounts payable solution recently launched by Finexio). The Crypto-Lending-as-a-Service (CLaaS) solution enables other crypto companies — including exchanges, crypto wallets or mining services — to integrate Cred’s lending functionality into their own solutions. Its set of application program interfaces (APIs) enable businesses to use crypto as collateral to access corporate financing products.

Australia

Payday loan applicants asked to hand over bank passwords, inquiry hears (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

A new parliamentary inquiry has begun scrutinising the behaviour of payday lenders, buy-now-pay-later firms, and credit repair agencies.

Vulnerable Australians are agreeing to share their internet banking passwords so payday lenders can see their transaction history before lending them money, an inquiry has heard.

Asia

400 Online Lending Sites, Fintech Platforms Being Shut Down (Tempo.co), Rated: AAA

Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Minister Rudiantara said the ministry had shut down 400 financial technologies (fintech), consisted of sites and applications, related to fraud cases on online loan services that are recently rampant in Indonesia.

LBH Urged to Expose Identities of Violating Online Loan Services (Tempo.co), Rated: B

The Indonesian Fintech Joint Funding Association (AFPI) asked the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) to open the identities of 25 peer to peer (P2P) lending organizers or registered online loan services that are said to have made violation.

South Korea is getting its first fintech unicorn (Business Insider), Rated: A

South Korean fintech Toss has raised an $80 million funding round led by US-based firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, with participation from Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, PayPal, and Qualcomm Ventures, among others. This brings Toss’ valuation to $1.2 billion, making it the latest fintech unicorn globally, and Korea’s first.

Toss started out offering peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, but has since added other services —including insurance, investments, savings accounts, credit score management, and a financial dashboard that allows users to see all of their finances in one place — by partnering with third parties. Toss already has 10 million registered users, meaning it reaches around 20% of Korea’s population with its services.

Source: Business Insider

How these Amazon and Xiaomi alums are helping the unbanked with blockchain (Tech in Asia), Rated: A

“A lot of the traditional models are not applicable to onboard those people into financial systems,” says Sarah Zhang, co-founder of Singapore-based Points.

That’s where Points – also called PTS – picks up the slack. Founded last year, the blockchain-powered startup uses AI and big data to assess factors like an individual’s occupation, bill payments, and shopping activities to calculate a credit score.

Latin America

Brazilian Fintech Nubank Launches Debit Card To Reach 120M Clients (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Brazilian fintech Nubank has launched a debit function for its card offering as well as the ability to withdraw cash from ATMs, in a move that aims to extend its reach to as many as 120 million customers.

The startup created in 2013 and valued at over $4 billion 

Africa

Experian to acquire African credit info firm Compuscan for $ 263m (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

Experian is buying African credit information and analytics services firm Compuscan for ZAR 3.72 billion ($263 million) from markets investor Actis.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 15 2018, Daily News Digest

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper loan originations up 27% year-over-year, over $2B co-sponsored securitizations closed. Funding Circle launches new borrower referral incentive. Renren investors seek to block asset sales. PayMate acquires Z2P Technologies. Today’s main analysis: Singapore’s biggest bank vs. China’s tech giants. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 80% of startup money goes to three states. The Sharestates story: $1B […]

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper Loan Originations up 27% Year-over-Year; Over $ 2 Billion of Co-Sponsored Securitizations Closed (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Prosper today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2018. Loan originations increased 27% year-over-year to $744 million, driven by strong demand for the company’s personal loan product and stable funding.

Financial highlights include:

  • Total Net Revenue, which includes the non-cash impact related to warrants to purchase preferred stock, was flat year-over-year at $30.5 million in Q1 2018 compared to $30.8 million in Q1 2017.
  • Core Revenue(1), which excludes the non-cash impact related to warrants to purchase preferred stock, increased $11.6 million or 34% year-over-year to $45.7 million in Q1 2018 compared to $34.2 million in Q1 2017.
  • Net Loss decreased by $12.6 million to ($11.4) million in Q1 2018 compared to a Net Loss of ($24.0) million in Q1 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased $13.6 million to $4.5 million in Q1 2018 compared to ($9.0) million in Q1 2017, the fourth consecutive quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) generated by Prosper.
Key Operating and Financial Metrics (Unaudited)
(in thousands)
Three Months Ended March 31,
2018 2017
Loan Originations $ 744,127 $ 585,590
Transaction Fees, Net 31,354 26,869
Servicing Fees, Net 7,184 6,154
Total Net Revenue 30,450 30,845
Core Revenue (1) 45,729 34,152
Net Loss (11,401 ) (24,021 )
Adjusted EBITDA(1) 4,520 (9,039 )

80% of start-up money goes to three states — here’s what one visionary is doing to help spread the wealth (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Baird: And the microfinance industry is — $30 billion a year around the world is lent in $500 chunks to small businesses, near a 100% repayment rate.

Microfinance is a tool. All investing is a tool. Every microfinance bank, every bank is neither good nor bad, they’re amoral. It’s just what are people trying to do with it. I’ve seen microfinance banks that act in extractive ways and their primary goal is extract as much profit out of poor communities as possible. I’ve seen payday lenders do the same thing. I’ve also seen microfinance banks that are very good and say, “Our core goal is building wealth for the community and we’ve structured our business in a way that works for us.”

One percent of start-up investment goes to African-Americans. Two percent of start-up investment goes to women. There are a lot of people who are overlooked.  So roughly 80% of start-up investment goes to three states: New York, Massachusetts, California. If you’re in Ohio or Florida or Nairobi or Mumbai, it’s really hard to get your idea into the system.

The Story of Sharestates: From Startup to $ 1 Billion in 3 Years (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Now, just over a year later, they have announced they recently crossed the $1 billion mark in originations. The company did so in just over 3 years, having officially launched in February 2015, just before LendIt USA that year. They are the second company in the real estate crowdfunding space to do so and are on our list as one of the ten options available for accredited investors in the marketplace lending space.

Originations in the lending space is only one metric. Any lending company’s survival depends on the quality of the loans they are making. According to the Sharestates’ website, investors have earned an average 10.54 percent annualized return. They also report 0% loss of principal for their investors. As of last year when we checked in the company was profitable which sets them up for continued success going forward. We’ve seen very few companies in the marketplace lending space broadly achieve this goal.

BuildDirect Partners With Affirm (Globe Newswire) Rated: A

BuildDirect, the first technology platform for the home improvement industry, today announced its partnership with Affirm Inc., a financial technology company that provides transparent payment alternatives to traditional credit. Now, U.S.-based BuildDirect customers have easy access to flexible and transparent financing options to pay for home improvement and renovation materials over time. At the point of sale, shoppers will see exactly how much they’ll pay in fixed monthly installments over the term they choose.

Banks struggle to combat the cyber crime bad guys (Financial Times) Rated: A

Digital banking has been a big positive for the financial services industry, though it has opened companies to greater cyber risk; cyber criminals now have a lot more entry points when it comes to getting access to funds illicitly; banks have increased their spending on defense but it isn’t enough as they also need to construct better, more secure systems; the CEO of Standard Chartered writes in the FT that banks can better utilize the data they collect, design tech better and work more closely with governments to catch bad actors.

Blockchains Could Be the Answer to Fairer Lending Systems (Nasdaq) Rated: A

The advancement of blockchain technology, this is poised to change. Through the technology, anyone anywhere in the world can raise financing from peers without having to rely on the traditional credit scores and the often heavily bureaucratic conventional mortgage processes.

Blockchain solutions such as Homelend  are making it possible for borrowers to directly reach lenders without depending on any intermediary and with no paperwork. The whole process is safeguarded by smart contracts to ensure that all parties in the deal adhere to their part of the bargain. According to Aneeza Haleem , a senior account manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions, blockchain-powered peer-to-peer mortgage financing significantly reduces the costs involved in the mortgage process.

Will Wells Fargo hurt Zelle by improving on it? (Payments Source) Rated: A

The irony of the explosive growth of mobile P2P is this: As consumers get more comfortable with paying one another through mobile devices, they’re thinking of P2P less as a service that one should find within a bank’s app.

This is a problem for Early Warning’s Zelle, the bank-run P2P network whose main selling point is its integration with banks. It’s a sharp contrast to rivals such as Venmo, which styled itself on a social media app; and Facebook and Apple, which took their own messaging platforms and blended P2P payments into the interface.

Capital One buys digital identity start-up Confyrm (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Capital One has acquired San Francisco-based digital identity start-up Confyrm as it seeks to capture the market for consumer identity services.

Financial details were not disclosed, but as part of the deal Andrew Nash, founder and CEO of Confyrm, has become managing vice-president of Capital One’s consumer identity services. No word on what happens to the rest of the staff.

Confyrm was founded five years ago and offers help against online fraud.

Where Bank of America uses AI, and where its worries lie (American Banker) Rated: A

Bank of America spends $3 billion developing and buying technology every year, and about three times that on keeping its existing IT infrastructure going, says David Reilly, global banking and markets technology chief information officer.

As you might expect, some of that goes to artificial intelligence technology. The bank does not disclose how much.

An old-school fraud analytics program might see a customer using a card in a place they have never used a card before and block the transaction.

AI can do better.

The one area where banks and fintechs want more regulation (American Banker) Rated: A

Banks, fintech firms and data aggregators are asking regulators to provide more clarity on how to handle consumer data and who is responsible for leaks when it is shared between firms — a request that’s seemingly a reversal from the deregulatory approach the industry often takes.

The potential liability stemming from consumer data has become a critical concern for the financial industry as more data aggregators and fintech firms rapidly enter the space, seeking access to customers’ bank account information in order to offer loans and other products.

Could US Post Offices Become Banks? Here’s How The Plan Would Work (10 News) Rated: A

Now, there are a couple different ways Congress could build banking into the U.S. Postal Service. The first approach would just cover the basics.

That means offering low-dollar checking accounts and debit cards to low-income earners. That would at least offer basic financial services to all Americans, regardless of wealth. And it probably wouldn’t be too tough politically because the big banks typically aren’t interested in these customers.

But Gillibrand’s proposal would go further, allowing the postal service to also make loans of up to $1,000 with a super low interest rate around 2 percent, even to the poorest Americans. Because many of those loans would be at risk of not being paid back, some experts say the interest rate will have to be higher, maybe 25 percent. But that would still be a lot lower than rates from payday lenders, which often have people pay back three or four times what they borrowed.

Citizens Financial To Launch Online Consumer Bank (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Citizens Financial Group announced on Monday (May 14) plans to launch Citizens Access, a nationwide direct-to-consumer online bank.

In a press release, Citizens Financial said the digital platform will offer FDIC-insured deposits products aimed at serving people who want to save and want the flexibility of an online banking service. The company said it will provide digital deposit services at attractive rates and lower costs to help consumers save more for the future. The platform will be launched in the third quarter and will be available throughout the U.S.

 

Now Is the Time to Refinance Student Loans (Pharmacy Times) Rated: B

Refinancing your student loans from pharmacy school can potentially save you a significant amount of money while providing the convenience of making one payment a month. Keep in mind refinancing may not be for everyone. Individuals with a poor credit history, low salary from a pharmacy residency or fellowship, or those who want to keep the provisions in federal loans may want to closely consider their options before jumping right into refinancing their loans.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle launches new borrower referral incentive (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle is offering £1,500 in Amazon vouchers to anyone who refers a business that takes out a loan of £25,000 or more with the peer-to-peer lending platform.

The UK’s third-largest lender to small businesses said the borrowers may need the cash to grow, refurbish, buy stock or equipment, hire more staff or simply boost their cash flow.

HMRC updates crypto investors on tax confusion (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

However, a HMRC representative has told Peer2Peer Finance News that the tax office will deal with cryptocurrency related tax bills “on a case-by-case basis”.

The 2017-18 tax year saw huge volatility across the cryptocurrency sector, with Bitcoin reaching a high of £13,840 in mid-December before ending the tax year at approximately £4,750 per coin. This has led to confusion among retail investors regarding their tax liability, particularly if they sold out of the market at a high, then reinvested the profits only to see any gains wiped out.

Frederic Nze of Oakam (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • What was the catalyst that led to the founding of Oakam.
  • The loan products that Oakam offers.
  • The difference between small dollar loans in the US and the UK.
  • How Oakam is able to find their customers.
  • What percentage of their customers apply for a loan on a smartphone.
  • Why they still have physical stores where people can apply for loans in person.
  • How they have refined their underwriting models over the years.
  • How they are dealing with increased fraud via their online channels.
  • The interest rates they charge.
  • How their customers are able to reduce these rates for future loans.

Technology not size is key to banking success (Financial Times) Rated: A

Antony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclays and now head of 10x Future Technologies, writes in the FT that technology is key to the battle with banks; having technology that is more nimble and focused on the customer will help to better position challengers; UK challengers banks have found it hard to compete against the big names, even with recent consolidation; understanding what the customer needs most and allowing them to access services anytime and anywhere is what firms should focus on.

Fintech most popular sector for HNW investors (Investment International) Rated: B

Capitama’s current registered investors have a total annual investment capacity of £7.6bn. Of this total capacity, investors have expressed an annual investment capacity of £5bn into private equity opportunities, with £2.3bn total annual investment in Debt and Income opportunities. The interest of the registered investors in Philanthropic and Social Impact opportunities currently stands at £300m per year. This is an additional theme on Capitama given the rise in interest in these organisations from wealthy individuals and organisations.

69% of Capitama investors are interested in fintech investment opportunities and 67% want to see software and technology deals. Of the nine different investment types available on Capitama, Growth funding is the most popular, with 83% of Capitama registered Investors interested in this area, followed by Early stage investments (72%), Buy-outs (63%), and Real Estate (47%).

 

 

China

Renren Investors Seek to Block Asset Sales to Chief, SoftBank (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

A group of Renren Inc. investors are trying to block the private sale of company-owned assets to a consortium that includes its own top executive and major shareholder SoftBank Group Corp.

Renren announced the complex deal in April, which it said was necessary to address concerns that the SEC might deem it an investment company — forcing its delisting if it failed to obtain relevant licenses.

The letter accused management of trying to transfer the assets at values equal to or lower than their book value, neglecting their duty to smaller shareholders and misrepresenting certain financial statements. For example, it says the shares in SoFi — one of America’s biggest student loan refinancers — are being sold at a valuation of $269 million when they could be worth double that amount.

US online lending model is unproven, Eisman of The Big Short fame says in Hong Kong (South China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

Steven Eisman, famous for successfully shorting the US subprime market before the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, has said the online lending business model used in the United States is unsustainable, and that losses from Canadian mortgages could widen.

The one pocket of financial market anomaly in the US was online lending, where, he said, the underwriting of peer-to-peer credit was unproven, as selling a loan to investors such as hedge funds and other financial institutions was an unsustainable business model.

“The problem [with P2P lending] is that selling a loan [online] is not the same as selling a book. You buy a book on Amazon and that’s the end of the transaction. When you make a loan, that’s the beginning of a relationship. The question is how you manage that relationship,” said Eisman.

Soft Chinese Tech IPOs Test Next Wave of Listings (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

More than a dozen technology companies from China are rushing to go public abroad, in an enticing opportunity for investors but one that has generated poor returns recently.

Shares of most Asian tech companies that have listed in New York and Hong Kong since the start of 2017 have notched lackluster performances, with the bulk trading below their initial public offering prices after strong early gains.

European Union

Bondora Go & Grow – Bondora Rolling Out New Product (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Go & Grow is designed for the passive investors as hands off p2p lending. One of the main advantages is that Bondora says it is tax optimised.

The Bondora Go & Grow product features a target interest rate of 6.75% which will accrue daily. It runs completly on autoinvest. The investor just needs to join it and pay money into the Go & Grow account (or transfer it from the normal Bondora account). The Go & Grow account promises daily liquidity. There is a 1 EUR withdrawal fee making small withdrawals expensive but for portfolios of 1000 EUR or more and usual investment horizons this fee is negligible.

Three Year Old Fintech Mintos is Profitable (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Latvian Fintech Mintos is reporting a profit in its brief three year old history. According to the company, the global online marketplace for loans has seen their revenue increase more than four-fold in 2017 to € 2.1 million generating a net profit for the year of € 197,000. Mintos says it has experienced significant growth, making it the “peer-to-peer lending market leader for continental Europe” with a 38% market share.

In aggregate, Mintos has topped € 660 million in investments by investors and the company expects the amount of loans funded to reach EUR 1 billion before the end of this year. As of May 2018, Mintos claims more than 58,000 investors using the platform and this number is expected to surpass 100,000 at some point in 2017. Currently, investors may expect an average 12.1% rate of return.

International

The 30 most valuable VC-backed companies in the world (Pitch Book) Rated: AAA

Ridehailing giants Uber and Didi Chuxing, based in San Francisco and Beijing, respectively, lead the list of most valuable private companies around the globe. And moving down the rankings, the pattern set at the top continues. A total of five of the companies are in the ridehailing industry, and 26 of the 30 are based in either the US or China.

 

Source: Pitch Book

What is Libra Credit: Digital Assets as the Future for International Credit (Coin Central) Rated: AAA

Libra Credit is offering a decentralized lending Ethereum-based ecosystem that helps users get open access to credit anywhere and anytime.

As long as a user has digital assets, they will be able to borrow money from Libra Credit by using those digital assets as collateral. Additionally, these users will be able to build an international credit history – a concept that Libra Credit and its partners plan to push to be recognized globally.

Source: Coin Central

Libra Credit plans to charge a fixed 8% annual interest rate charged by Libra Credit, which is party enabled by its partnerships with traditional finance institutions. The rate is competitive with that of other peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Lending Club and Salt, but isn’t tied to the availability of a peer match.

Source: Coin Central

How Misbehaving Australian Banks Are Causing Global Pain (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Australia’s four biggest banks — Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp.National Australia Bank Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. — have been plagued by a string of scandals. The accusations run the gamut from giving misleading financial advice to trying to manipulate a benchmark interest rate. Simmering public resentment — stoked by a sense banks were gouging fees to fuel record profits and executive pay — boiled over last year when Commonwealth Bank was sued for systemically breaching anti-money laundering rules.

The government has announced tough new penalties for corporate wrongdoing and beefed up the regulator’s powers; analysts have trimmed earnings forecasts and speculate future legislation could force the biggest banks to sell off advice businesses.  All this comes at a time when bank profits are under pressure from a slowing housing market, rising costs and increased competition. Most of the banks are trying to simplify their operations and sell non-core operations.

Citi Inks $ 100 Million Trade Finance Deal With Asian Development Bank (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Global financial institution Citi is expanding its existing partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to share risk in trade finance transactions, reports in The Financial said Friday (May 11).

The ADB’s Trade Finance Program reached a deal worth $100 million with Citi that sees the financial institutions (FIs) sharing risk on trade finance transactions in an effort to bolster support for trade and access to finance across Asia.

 

Australia/New Zealand

FINNIES 2018: Here are all the finalists for Australia’s fintech industry awards (Business Insider) Rated: A

89 companies and individuals were chosen for Australia’s only industry-backed fintech awards, from a record field of more than 200 entries.

Excellence in Business Lending
● Finstro
● Prospa
● Spotcap Australia
● The Invoice Market – tim
● Trade Ledger

Excellence in Consumer Lending
● HashChing
● MoneyMe
● MoneyPlace
● RateSetter Australia
● SocietyOne

Robot financial adviser granted FMA exemption (Radio New Zealand News) Rated: A

The country has its first robot financial adviser after KiwiWealth was given an exemption by the Financial Markets Authority from the current law which requires humans to give financial and investment advice.

But Mr Bishop said it would still have human advisors offer detailed advice and have control of the robot.

India

PayMate Acquires Digital Lending Platform Z2P Technologies to Benefit SMEs (BW Disrupt) Rated: AAA

PayMate, an early pioneer in India’s payments industry and a leading player in electronic Business-to-Business (B2B) payments space, announced today the acquisition of Z2P (Zaitech Technology Pvt. Ltd.), a digital lending platform which provides hassle-free and real-time credit using social and banking data along with proprietary analytics and AI.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by May 2018 and it follows the announcement in February of this year by PayMate of its B2B partnership agreement with Visa.

As a result of the acquisition, PayMate acquires an innovative and proven lending solution in Z2P, which when combined with PayMate’s proprietary B2B payments platform will revolutionize the way businesses manage their payment operations, cashflow, and access to growth capital. PayMate plans to partner with banks and NBFCs to improve the flow of credit to SMEs.

Canada

Last week, Power Financial CEO Jeff Orr told reporters he plans to invest more money in fintech startups as the company looks to find technologies that can be incorporated into its business model and avoid disruptions that have hurt other sectors.

Widely known on the Street for its empire of financial advisers and investment products, Power Financial has spent $320-million in the fintech sector – with more than half the funds being allocated toward online robo-adviser Wealthsimple.

Asia

Singapore’s Biggest Bank Takes on China Giants in Fintech Battle (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

 

Almost 55% of customers say they would consider branchless digital-only bank

Source Bloomberg

Gupta credits his early recognition of the threat to his early days in Citigroup’s transaction banking division, unusual for a bank CEO, who tend to hail from the retail or investment banking arms of their institutions. That background taught him both the nuts and bolts of banking and the importance of technology, Gupta said. He also dabbled briefly but unsuccessfully in the startup world, when he quit Citigroup in 2001 to found an Internet portal in India, around the time the dotcom bubble was bursting.

Latin America

Morgan Stanley Goes After Brazilian FinTech Market (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Bloomberg, citing four people with direct knowledge of the matter, reported that Morgan Stanley purchased $14 million in local subordinated bonds from online consumer lender Geru Tecnologia e Servicos. The Geru bonds, which the company issued in December of 2017, have a four-year maturity and pay about 11.2 percent each year, noted the report.

The company is also reportedly in talks with international investors about raising $50 million via an equity round that QMS Capital is handling. QMS has a 10 percent stake in Geru. General Atlantic could also be an investor in the round of fundraising, noted the report.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday March 14 2018, Daily News Digest

equity factor returns

News Comments Today’s main news: H&R Block, LendingTree partner on credit score access. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to LendingClub’s CLUB Credit Trust 2018-NP1. Ant Financial consumer lending hits $95B. Non-Standard Finance buys guarantor loans business. EU rolls out new crowdfunding rules. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree’s mortgage savings tracker, mortgage rate competition index. Does strong economic growth equate to high factor […]

equity factor returns

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

H&R Block, LendingTree partner to empower clients to improve their financial well-being (Nasdaq), Rated: AAA

As part of continued efforts to help clients better understand their financial situation, H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) is partnering with LendingTree (NASDAQ:TREE) to provide clients convenient access to their credit score, LendingTree Academy and more. H&R Block clients can now seamlessly enter LendingTree via their MyBlockaccount, which is a private, secure, online portal clients can use year-round to access and add tax documents and personal information.

LendingTree Introduces New Mortgage Savings Tracker and Mortgage Rate Competition Index (PRNewswire), Rated AAA

LendingTree today announced the release of its Mortgage Savings Tracker and Mortgage Rate Competition Index. The LendingTree Mortgage Rate Competition Index is a new measure of the dispersion in mortgage pricing and will be released weekly. Built on top of the Mortgage Rate Competition Index, the Mortgage Savings Tracker will bring a new transparency to mortgage shopping by highlighting the significant savings that are available to potential borrowers for both purchase mortgages and refinancing.

Source: PRNewsfoto/LendingTree

 

Source: PRNewsfoto/LendingTree

Findings from the inaugural report:

  • Across all purchase loan requests on LendingTree (we looked at refinance loan requests separately) in 2017, we found an average Mortgage Rate Competition Index of 0.46 — this was the average spread between the lowest and highest APR offered by lenders.
  • It may not sound like much, but over 30 years translates to $21,000 in additional costs on a $300,000 loan.
  • The index was wider in the refinance market, averaging 0.55. Potential borrowers there could have saved an average of $26,000 had they shopped around to find the lowest rate.
  • Ringing in the new year, the index widened to 0.59 for potential purchase borrowers, translating to a potential savings of just over $27,000.
  • For potential refinance borrowers, again, the index was even higher at 0.63. That could result in a savings of almost $30,000. The savings increased because lenders are reacting differently to the overall uptick in rates.
  • The most recent data for the week ending 3/11/2018 showed potential savings of $26,780 for purchase and $27,616for refinancing.

See LendingTree white paper on the Mortgage Rate Competition Index here.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-NP1 (Business Wire), Rated AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-NP1 (“CLUB 2018-NP1”). This is a $301.727 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close March 21, 2018.

Source Business Wire

LendingClub trims CE on next near-prime consumer loan ABS (Asset Securitization Report) Rated: AAA

As in the past, LendingClub itself contributed only a small portion (7.55%) of the collateral for the Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-NP1 transaction from loans it held on balance sheet, but this time only three unaffiliated parties were invited to contribute the remainder of the collateral.

source American Banker

CLUB 2018-NP1 will issue three classes of notes totaling $301.727 million. Credit enhancement for the senior $180.7 million tranche of Class A notes is 49.5%, down 30 basis points from the senior tranche of the previous transaction, which carried the same A-rating. However, enhancement for the BBB-rated Class B tranche has risen by 5 basis points to 37.4% and enhancement for the BB-rated Class C tranche has risen by 35 basis points to 15.35%, per Kroll.

DOES STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH EQUATE TO HIGH FACTOR RETURNS? (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

In this research report we initially focus on the Value, Size and Momentum factors from Fama-French, which are constructed as dollar-neutral long-short portfolios based on the top and bottom 10% of the US stock market. The data includes companies with small market capitalisations, excludes transaction costs and is available since 1926. We expand the factor set by the Low Volatility, Quality, Growth and Dividend Yield factors based on our own data, which is available since 2000. These are created via long-short beta-neutral portfolios and only include stocks with a market capitalisation of larger than $1 billion. Portfolios are rebalanced monthly and each transaction occurs costs of 10 basis points.

EQUITY FACTORS & REAL GDP GROWTH: 1947 – 2017

The chart below shows the returns of the S&P 500 and three factors (long-short) since 1947 sorted by positive and negative quarters of real GDP growth.

It’s worth highlighting that there were only 7 quarters of negative real GDP growth since 2000, so the results have to be taken with caution.

DIVERSIFICATION FOR AN EQUITY-CENTRIC PORTFOLIO

New Media Announces Strategic Alliance with Kabbage (BusinessWire), Rated: B

New Media Investment Group Inc. (“New Media” or the “Company”, NYSE: NEWM), one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Kabbage, a pioneering financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses. This alliance is intended to bring awareness of simple access to working capital through Kabbage’s fully automated online lending platform to more than five million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) that do business in New Media’s markets.

AI as new tool in banks’ crime-fighting bag? (American Banker), Rated: A

But a funny thing has happened on the way to what should be an AI-led revolution — banks have been worrying what their regulators would say if they filed fewer suspicious activity reports, especially if their rivals continue to submit far more.

source: American Banker

“All the banks are worried that if they use machine learning, the number of SAR filings will go way down and the regulators will say, what happened?” Saleh said. “How come your SAR filings fell by 50%? Maybe there’s money laundering you’re not catching.”

Should Banks Become the New ‘Payday’ Lenders? (LendEDU), Rated: A

In early March, the Florida state legislature approved revamping regulations for payday loans, voting to allow payday lenders to make larger loans for a longer period of time.

The bill aims to allow alternative lenders to make installment-type loans up to $1,000, with a 60- to 90-day repayment period. The current law caps loans at $500 for a period of seven to 31 days.

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ proposal suggested that small banks could instead provide loans with payments capped at 5 percent of a borrower’s paycheck.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts’ research, the average payday loan customer borrows $375 over five months and pays $520 in fees, while banks and credit unions could profitably offer the same amount over the same period for less than $100.

Bank regulators vow more flexibility in vetting fintech partnerships (American Banker), Rated: B

Senior leaders at the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who all spoke at a banking conference in Orlando, Fla., said they have been working with examiners to be more understanding of the budding partnerships forming between banks and fintech firms — and how to examine those relationships going forward.

Clinc wants to solve financial institutions’ AI problems (Business Insider), Rated A

Clinc, a US-based provider of conversational AI technology for financial institutions (FIs),announced the launch of a new self-service platform, Spotlight, that enables FIs to train and deploy sophisticated conversational AI software in-house, independently of vendors.

source: Business Insider

Spotlight is available in over 80 languages, and can be integrated into any digital channel, including contact centers, mobile apps, and Alexa, Google, and Facebook Messenger, allowing FIs to create a consistent user experience. Spotlight is already being used by USAA and Isbank, one of Turkey’s largest banks.

MoneyLion Plus Takes An Innovative Approach to Encourage New Investors to Save (Lend Academy), Rated: A

As a nation we are chronically bad at saving and while the savings rate went up for a time after the financial crisis it is back down near 2005 levels now which was the all time low.

MoneyLion is trying to do something about this.

I interviewed CEO Dee Choubey on the Lend Academy Podcast just over a year ago but they have made some great strides since then. I caught up with him again recently to get an update. Today, over 2.2 million people have downloaded the MoneyLion app and 1.3 million people have connected their bank account.

Behavioral biometrics company BioCatch closes $ 30M round (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Behavioral biometrics provider BioCatch today announced it has closed a $30 million financing round led by Maverick Ventures with additional participation from American Express Ventures, NexStar Partners, Kreos Capital, CreditEase, OurCrowd, JANVEST Capital and other existing investors.

What Makes Warren Buffett Such an Influential Leader? (Industry Leaders), Rated: A

A data scientist at Orchard Platform, Michael Toth, who has also worked with BlackRock as portfolio analyst has evaluated Buffett’s shareholder letters annually at Berkshire Hathaway for personal growth as a sole investor. Using statistical computing, Toth quantified and highlighted Buffett’s positivity penchant for many years according to CBNC.
And results from the analysis revealed that Buffett has the ability to balance both realism and optimism. The dataset also taught Toth about the reasons why Buffett is a legendary investor and as well as an influential leader.
Only five of the forty shareholder letters analyzed showed a negative score of sentiment, and most interestingly, they all correspond perfectly to five periods of downturn in the economy.

What’s next for neobank Chime (Bankrate), Rated: B

Since its 2014 launch, the San Francisco-based startup has emerged as one of the leaders in the so-called neobank space. Earlier this year, it announced it has 750,000 accounts opened to date, and is now adding new accounts at a rate of 100,000 a month.

How Fintech Advances Are Creating New Opportunities for Micro-Businesses (NewsTimes), Rated: B

Those solutions benefit business owners, ranging from freelancers, to founders of startups, to leaders of burgeoning small businesses and other enterprises.

Lending is one of the most critical areas where fintech has filled a gap for small businesses. As smaller businesses often don’t need a considerable amount of money when they seek loans, they’ve struggled to get any financial assistance. That’s because banks and other lending institutions often don’t see any profit in providing loans of less than $100,000.

United Kingdom

 

Former RateSetter-backed lender ‘transforms’ new owner’s guarantor loans business (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: AAA

Non-Standard Finance bought the guarantor loan provider last August for £53.5m, which included a minority stake owned by RateSetter.

The London-listed firm said on Tuesday that the acquisition has “transformed” its guarantor loans business, helping that division’s loan book to grow by 35 per cent. It said the acquisition contributed to the group’s overall operating profit rising 497 per cent to £2.7m in its latest annual results.

Tandem Bank to buy Pariti in UK fintech tie-up (Financial Times), Rated: A

Digital bank Tandem has agreed to buy fellow British fintech group Pariti, as it looks to head off rising competition from established lenders taking advantage of new legislation that gives them greater access to customer data.

New rules that came into force in January allow companies such as Tandem and Pariti to access customer data from other lenders if the individuals give consent.

AltFi London Summit Preps for Event this Month as UK Alternative Finance Continues to Grow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The 5th Annual London Summit is scheduled to take place on March 26th during a time of significant change in the UK. Brexit jitters along with dramatic regulatory changes such as Open Banking and PSD2 has created a varied and dynamic environment. Yet alternative finance continues to grow with AltFi estimating that UK loan origination volumes increased by 41.9% to £14.1 billion in 2017. During 2018, this number is predicted to jump by £7 billion.

Speakers already confirmed include Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle, Ricky Knox, CEO and co-founder of Tandem and Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank.

 

Eight luxurious Holywood homes get £3m in funding from peer-to-peer lending firm (Belfast Telegraph), Rated: B

Eight luxury homes being built in the hills of Holywood have received £3m in peer-to-peer (P2P) funding.

Cobain Group, which is behind The Twisel Brae development, received the funding from lender Assetz Capital.

The eight detached properties, styled by designer Kris Turnbull, will range from 2,200 to 4,000 sq ft in size, and cost between £575,000 and £800,000.

China

Ant Financial Consumer Lending Reaches $ 95 Billion (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

From the start of 2017 until this month, Ant’s consumer lending has doubled via its Huabei and Jiebei units even as the government reduces quotas for new asset-backed securities that can underpin such loans, one of the people said, asking not to be named as the matter is private. The loans can incur annual interest rates as high as 15 percent, although they are normally less than that, another person said.

Controlled by Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Ant has become a financial giant that was said to be valued at $60 billion and currently has more outstanding consumer loans than China’s second-biggest bank.

China’s Financial Disintermediation And M2 (Trade Captain), Rated: A

The past few weeks have been deluged with important events in Asia, but we don’t want the data to be washed away in the flood. In particular, note that China’s liquidity conditions continue to tighten, pointing to a further slowdown in nominal GDP growth over the next two years. Granted, M2 growth bounced back in February, and should edge higher in coming months, due to favourable base effects. But it remains historically low. Moreover, growth in our broader gauge of liquidity likely will continue to slow.

WeChat: the real Beast from the East (The Finanser), Rated: A

 

Mobile payments is another area where Tencent is thriving. WeChat Pay, a mobile payment system integrated into the app, holds 40% of China’s whopping US$12.77 trillion mobile payment market. Kickstarted by China’s virtual red packets exchange that supplanted the tradition of giving monetary gifts during Chinese New Year, WeChat Pay has seen impressive growth since its launch in 2013. Its monthly offline commercial transactions jumped 280% year over year in 2017 while social payment transactions grew 23%. Along with Alibaba’s Alipay, the service is making cash and plastic obsolete in China.

European Union

New rules put forward to help crowdfunding platforms grow across EU (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: AAA

These proposals – which are part of the European Commission’s fintech action plan – will enable crowdfunding platforms to offer their services EU-wide and improve access to this form of finance for start-ups and SMEs.

At present, it is difficult for many crowdfunding platforms to expand into other EU countries, but once these proposals have been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the proposed regulation will allow platforms to apply for an EU label based on a single set of rules.

Future Finance Closes €40 million Investment Round (PR Newswire), Rated: A

  • Future Finance completed €40 million Series C round with existing investors.
  • Investors remain excited about Future Finance’s ability to disrupt the UK student lending market.
  • Equity injected will be used to fund loans and hire top talent in LondonDublin and Chicago.

Start-up to stardom, Bondora turns 10 years old (Bondora) Rated: B

In the height of the global financial crisis, Bondora was officially founded on 11.03.2008. While it may have seemed counter-intuitive to most to create a new financial platform at this time, there was a clear need to serve customers who had been failed by the banks and disrupt the wider financial ecosystem.

International

Higher yields driving marketplace lending uptake among institutions, finds study (AltFiNews), Rated: AAA

According to a new study, marketplace lending is here to stay. That’s among the major findings of the Greenwich Marketplace Lending research study, conducted August to October 2017. It is based on the fact that 52 per cent of institutions currently investing in the asset class believe that marketplace lending will be a significant part of the financial system in the next 10 years.

Greenwich Associates interviewed 74 investors from pension planners to asset managers to compile its results. These investors control more than $3.5 trillion in assets between them. When the research was conducted, 21 of the firms were investors in marketplace loans, while 53 were not.

Of those investing in the asset class, 67 per cent cited higher yield as their primary reason for investing. Diversification and low correlation (48 per cent), access to consumer or small business credit (43 per cent) and low volatility (33 per cent) were also cited as important drivers.

Australia

 

Why Smart Aussies Are Dumping Banks for Online Loans (Mozo), Rated: B

Everything is online these days – including some of the best value home loans around. In fact, Mozo has taken a look at our database, and found that 1 in 2 home loans with a rate under 4% are offered by online lenders.

And when we crunched the numbers, we found that by switching from the average big four bank variable rate to the best deal around from an online lender, a typical borrower with a $300,000 home loan could save as much as $2,596** every year!

Square Peg In $ 200m Round Hole (Channel News), Rated: A

Paul Bassat’s venture capital outfit Square Peg Capital is said to be looking to raise more than $200 million as it seeks to add more investments to its portfolio interests in graphic design group Canva and online lender Prospa. Melbourne-based Square Peg, which was backed in its early days by billionaire James Packer, invests across Australia, Israel and South-East Asia.

India

Faircent.com bolsters its leadership ranks with two key appointments (India Times), Rated: AAA

P2P lending major, Faircent.com on Wednesday said it is strengthening its leadership team with industry veterans Vikas Prasad and Mayank Bishnoi coming on board. Prasad has joined the company as Head – Planning, Processes & Control, while Bishnoi has taken over as Head – Customer Experience.

“As the largest player in the rapidly-growing P2P lending industry, Faircent.com is currently at a critical juncture of its growth journey. More and more Indians from across multiple geographies are associating with our platform, both as lenders and as borrowers,” said Rajat Gandhi, Founder & CEO – Faicent.com in a statement.

Regulations for fintech companies in India: A dire need (Qrius) Rated: A

FinTech small business lending is currently developing with promising potential to complement and emerge as a healthy alternative to brick and mortar banking. The number of small businesses turning to FinTechs or non-traditional lenders has exploded over the past couple of years with many economies reporting a sharp increase in the number of small businesses turning to marketplace lenders in 2017. Marketplace lending accounts for 0.08% of the $96 trillion global corporate and household outstanding debt. Growing at an average 123% a year since 2010, Morgan Stanley forecasts that it will reach $290 billion by 2020.

FinTech lenders are forced to pay a commission to introducers or brokers which goes up to 4% of the loan amount which is normally passed on to clients.

Asia

Grab to offer loans, insurance with new fintech platform Grab Financial (The Straits Times), Rated: AAA

Grab will now offer loans and insurance with its new fintech platform – Grab Financial – the ride-hailing company announced on Tuesday (March 13).

This new platform will encompass all of Grab’s fintech offerings, including payment services, rewards and loyalty services, and financial services, among others.

To provide loans to consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businessess across South-east Asia, Grab has embarked on a joint venture (JV) agreement with Credit Saison Co, one of Japan’s largest consumer financing companies.

Initial offerings include accident, hospitalisation and other critical insurance coverage to Grab’s 2.6 million drivers, accessible through the Grab driver app.

FintruX advisor Yash Mody explains the platform’s future plans (Finder), Rated: A

Basically, FintruX is building a truly global peer-to-peer lending platform, and it’s secure, it’s fast, it’s easy. Lenders and borrowers don’t have to worry because the platform does all the work for them. They basically set their criteria and then they don’t have to think about it. They don’t have to auction and they don’t, you know, it’s not a cumbersome process. So that’s why we think it’s a new way of doing business.

And obviously, there’s a lot of regulation in this area. So how scalable is it? Are you going to run into lots of different regulatory issues with, issues lending loans between countries?

Yeah, so we’ve taken great care to make sure that we’re within regulation. We have four lawyers on board and advisers and all that, and we’re very cognisant of what’s required. As a first stage, we’re not going to be doing cross-border lending. So let’s say, for example, we’re going to launch in Singapore and Canada, so it would be a loan that’s in Canada from a lender and a borrower in Canada.

Indonesia eyes fintech regulation to avoid ‘loan shark-like’ practices (Reuters), Rated: A

Indonesia’s financial regulator said it was considering setting a cap on interest rates and the size of loans offered by fintech firms, in a move aimed at minimizing the risk of defaults.

The emergence of these peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, offering loans ranging from as little as a few hundred dollars to several thousands, has so far been welcomed by Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy where tens of millions of people have little or no access to bank credit.

More than 300,000 people have borrowed from these firms, with total loan distribution reaching 3 trillion rupiah ($218 million) as of January, versus 247 billion in December 2016, according to data from the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

Venture financing investments in the software segment receiving highest attention in Japanese enterprise market (Global Data) Rated : A

In 2017, venture financing (VF) investments in the software segment constituted 46% of the total deal value in the Japanese enterprise market, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. On the other hand, 38% of the total number of VF deals in the country was in the software segment.

source Global Data

VF investments in the IT service segment constitute 38% of the total deal value in 2017. The IT service segment investments are primarily focused on consumer facing enterprises, such as online lending, social networking, online media publishing, e-commerce, and online dating, among others. As Japanese technological advancements are on the forefront of global market, VF companies are investing in Japanese technology enterprises in order to expand their operations and achieve business growth.

New Business Models, Emerging Tech Enabling FinTech Companies to Improve Financial Inclusion (PRNewswire), Rated: A

FinTech companies are making significant progress in promoting financial inclusion through innovative business models, products and increased use of emerging technologies such as digital identity, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, says a new report co-authored by CreditEase, IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, and Stanford Graduate School of Business. The report, “Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age,” was launched today during Money20/20 Asia in Singapore.

Over two billion unbanked adults in the world, representing 38 percent of all adults globally, do not have access to basic financial services and another 57 percent have basic accounts but do not have access to a full range of services that include diversified savings and investments, low-cost payments systems, insurance, or credit.

Peer to Peer lending increasingly popular in Vietnam (VietNamNet), Rated: A

In 2012, P2P outstanding loans worldwide totalled $1.2 billion, while the figure rose to $64 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025.

A big advantage of the P2P model is the high information security level based on BigData technology which encrypts, stores and controls customers’ information.

Analysts said with the advantages of the model, plus current conditions in Vietnam, P2P could replace black credit, or lending at very high interest rates, which is illegal in Vietnam.

According to the World Bank, 79 percent of the population in Vietnam cannot access official financial services.

Vietnamese P2P lending startup Tima seeks to close Series B round by June (Deal Street Asia), Rated: B

Tima claims to be the first P2P lending startup in Vietnam. Launched in 2015, the platform has seen cumulative money from its lender partners reach over $900 million. In 2016, Tima closed a seven-digit US dollar Series A funding from an undisclosed Singapore fund to accelerate its growth in the local market.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday November 24 2017, Daily News Digest

Lend Academy investment accounts

News Comments Today’s main news: Revolut sings 1 millionth customer. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Lending Club’s Consumer Loan Underlying Bond Credit Trust 2017-P2. Funding Circle to launch Isa. Orca is launching investment platform. Chinese regulators investigating potential Qudian data leak. China cracks down on shadow banking. China tells provincial goverments to halt microlender approvals. Swiss consortium adopts single digital identity for […]

Lend Academy investment accounts

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Africa

Canada

News Summary

United States

Goldman Sachs Faces Doubts About Loss Rates at New Online Lender (Newsmax Finance), Rated: AAA

As Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lends more money to Main Street, one question won’t go away: How many borrowers will pay them back?

A recent example it gave suggests the firm expects loan losses to be lower than what some rivals are seeing, and half of what many credit-card lenders experienced the last time the economy went south.

The bank is counting on its consumer push to deliver $1 billion in revenue growth over the next three years. While the firm looks to attract borrowers with better credit than many rivals, others think it may be underestimating the risks of a business where it’s the upstart.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q3 2017 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

If you have been reading these posts in the past year or so you will have noticed a steady decline in my returns, primarily caused by underperformance in my LendingClub accounts.

Earlier this year I adjusted my strategy and started investing across the entire risk spectrum but it is a bit like steering a battleship. Given my many thousands of notes it takes a while for any changes to show up in my portfolio returns.

My trailing 12 month returns for the year ended September 30, 2017 across all my accounts was 6.64%.

Source: Lend Academy

My main LendingClub account has performed poorly over the past 12 months. My TTM return is at a paltry 1.64%, my lowest return ever. All of my LendingClub accounts are below 5% and all have shown reduced returns over the past year.

Prosper continues to perform quite well. My three accounts are all returning between 7% and 8% which I consider quite respectable. My average interest rate of the loans I have invested in is just under 20% but returns have been quite consistent recently in the 7-8% range.

Source: Lend Academy

PeerStreet is a real estate platform focused on fix and flip properties. These are short term loans, typically between 6 and 24 months, and they are backed by the property. I use their automated investment tool to invest in only those loans that are paying 8% or more, up to a 75% LTV and a duration up to 24 months.

My first new entrant this quarter is AlphaFlow. They are a real estate platform that build diversified portfolios of fix and flip properties for you. What I like about AlphaFlow is that they deploy your money quickly, my entire investment was fully deployed in a matter of days. And they diversify across 75-100 properties, my own portfolio currently has 83 investments in 22 states with an average LTV of 68%.

Finally, as I do every quarter I want to end by highlighting the net interest number which for the last 12 months stands at $46,631.

Get the lowdown on the full range of Peter Renton investments here.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2 (“CLUB 2017-P2”). This is a $330.0 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close December 6, 2017.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2

Class Preliminary Rating Expected Initial Class Principal
A A- (sf) $239,400,000
B BBB (sf) $34,600,000
*C BB (sf) $56,000,000

This transaction is LendingClub Corporation’s (“LendingClub” or the “Company”) third rated sponsored securitization and the second sponsored securitization consisting of “prime” unsecured consumer loans facilitated by LendingClub’s proprietary technology platform supporting an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors by offering a variety of loan products originated by issuing banks through the platform, www.lendingclub.com (the “LendingClub Platform” or the “Platform”).

The transaction has initial credit enhancement levels of 35.45%, 26.05% and 10.83% for the Class A, Class B and Class C notes, respectively.

China War on Online Loans Makes Waves in New York: QuickTake Q&A (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s campaign to reduce risk in the financial system is being felt in New York. The assault on the sector threatens to stymie any new listings of such lenders on New York’s stock exchange — as well as spelling trouble for investors in the handful of companies that have already listed.

Joseph Otting Has a Lot on His Plate as the New Comptroller (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Joseph Otting, a former banker and CEO of OneWest Bank, was approved by the Senate in a party line vote last week to take over the helm at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

If Otting decides to stand up to the banking hyperbole it won’t be an easy task.

All of this begs the question: who will gain if Fintech is allowed to compete with banks?

One-Third of Small Business Owners Work Half of the Major Holidays (Small Business Trends), Rated: A

One-third of small business owners work at least three of the six major holidays in the US.

Kabbage’s new survey reveals several work/life balance issues related to the sacrifices small business owners are willing to make. The research involved surveying 400 small business owners, with 67 percent stating they expect to increase revenues by the end of the year. More than half of the small business owners interviewed said they anticipate an increase in revenue of 10 percent or higher.

The survey found that 60 percent of small business owners only take one full vacation a year, while 23 percent take less than two holidays off annually. Furthermore, when on holiday, 75 percent of small business owners continue working.

Consumers Say Hedge Fund Financed Illegal Tribal Lending (Law360), Rated: A

Vermont residents on Tuesday hit a hedge fund with a proposed class action in federal court alleging it helped concoct a sham tribal payday lending scheme meant to skirt laws preventing companies from charging consumers exorbitant interest rates while hiding behind tribal sovereign immunity.

Plaintiffs Jessica Gingras and Angela Given accused the firm, Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC, of striking a deal with payday lender Plain Green and the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation to use the tribe’s name in exchange for a small…

Payday Lenders Try Legislative Run Around State Laws, CFPB Regulation (Chicago Crusader), Rated: A

The same deception that hides the real cost of predatory, consumer loans is reflected in the title of pending legislation in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate. The Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017 (H.R. 3299 and S. 1624) would allow payday lenders, high-cost online lenders, and other predatory lenders to partner with banks to make loans that surpass existing state interest rate limits.

How the Fed Can Help Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Real Clear Markets), Rated: A

The next Chairman of the Federal Reserve System (Fed) confronts a deep and growing problem: rising inequality. A new Fed Chair could combat this problem in an unexpected way by implementing real-time payments. The few days between checks clearing are a major driver of why it is so expensive to be poor. They are also unnecessary given technology and easily removable with some regulatory will. Real-time payments could save billions of dollars for American families living paycheck to paycheck.

The check casher costs $20, but two overdrafts cost $70. Check cashing is a $2 billion a year business and represents yet another cost born by those who have less.

The technology for real-time payments has been around for a long time. The United Kingdom adopted real-time payments in 2008. Japan, Poland, Mexico and South Africa all have the technology in place today. Financial technology (FinTech) firms like PayPal are offering real-time payments for customers who exist on both ends of their system. But unless your employer will migrate to using a FinTech for payroll, you need the banking system to modernize.

Peer pressure (BreakingViews), Rated: A

The Federal Reserve’s eggheads are usually a pretty reliable bunch. So when researchers at the central bank’s Cleveland branch recently published a study asserting that peer-to-peer loans were defaulting at rates reminiscent of subprime mortgages a decade ago, it seemed to confirm the worst fears about the budding online-lending market. But industry critics and academics questioned the researchers’ data, forcing the Fed to pull the paper.

It’s not easy to come by good data for this nascent field of finance, which makes the botched study all the more regrettable.

SoFi Among Companies To Buy Six-Second Ads During Fox’ Thanksgiving Game (Sports Business Daily), Rated: B

Duracell and personal finance company SoFi have “snapped up” some of the six-second spots Fox has set aside for its Thanksgiving broadcast of Vikings-Lions, while Disney will “air a mini trailer for ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi,'” according to Anthony Crupi

United Kingdom

Fintech group Revolut signs up its millionth customer (Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Revolut, an app-based banking alternative which has over 50,000 customers in Ireland, has now signed up 1 million customers globally and claims it has saved users over £120 million (€134 million) in fees.

London-based Revolut said it is now signing up between 3,000 and 3,500 new users every day, an increase of 50 per cent growth from three months ago.

Users have now made over 42 million transactions since the company officially launched in July 2015 with a total transaction volume of $6.1 billion.

In an email to its customers seen by Moneywise and confirmed directly with Funding Circle, the provider says it will allow existing customers to invest in an Isa from Thursday 30 November.

It has yet to announce a launch date for new customers and says this is because it is anticipating strong demand for the product. For the same reason, customers will not be able to transfer existing Isas to Funding Circle when the product is launched.

Customers must deposit at least £1,000 to open an Isa.

Funding Circle borrowers back joining European Free Trade Agreement post-Brexit (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

MORE THAN half of small business owners want the UK to join the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) once Brexit is complete, Funding Circle research has found.

A survey of 1,254 borrowers on the peer-to-peer lending platform found 57 per cent would support EFTA, also known as the ‘Norway option,’ as it provides a regional free trade area comprising of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Orca to unveil diversified P2P portfolios for investors (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

PEER-TO-PEER analysis firm Orca is set to launch an investment platform.

The proposition will automatically build portfolios of P2P investments across more than 50 per cent of the market.

The portfolios would include major lenders across the consumer, business and property lending space such as Zopa, Funding Circle and Assetz Capital.

Digital wealth manager start-up Fountain secures seed investment (AltFi), Rated: A

Fountain, a digital wealth management platform aiming to “empower” investors to achieve their financial goals has secured seed round investment.

The cash, an undisclosed sum, came from a number of City figures led by Patrick Day, chairman of Day Cooper Day, a specialist pensions provider.

Peer to Peer Lender ThinCats to Rebrand as Next Phase of SME Funding in UK (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

ThinCats unveiled a new brand last week at an event attended by more than 100 business leaders. The gathering took place at the National Space Centre in Leicester but the new branding will not be officially launched until mid-December.

Robo-guidance or electric dreams? (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Effectively, FG17/8 is the new bible for everyone interested in developing a new automated (digital /robo /telephone-based) advice solution. Or it is a checklist for those who have already trodden down this well-worn path.

Do note though – as if you did not already know – the paper “contains general guidance and is not binding”, is not “exhaustive”, must not be read in isolation of the handbook, and does not address any potential changes that might arise from the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive. (Heaven forbid anyone would actually take any accountability for what is between the covers).

Two years. Two years. To pull together in one document the working practices that professional firms already follow with their eyes closed?

Three-quarters of advisers unthreatened by robo-advice (Financial Reporter), Rated: A

New research shows that 78% of financial advisers are confident robo-advice offers no threat to their business, despite nearly half expecting more demand for robo-advice over the next 12 months.

The research from Aegon found that the degree of concern felt by advisers correlates to the typical size of their client portfolios, with advisers whose client portfolios are at the lower end of the scale more alert to the threat from the lower cost option of robo-advice.

For advisers with client portfolios of more than £200k, 88% feel it offers no threat to their business, and even for portfolios of up to £100k, the figure remains high at 73%.

While the majority of advisers believe robo-advice is no threat to their business, a third (31%) do point to robo-advice and similar digital services as one of the top challenges to the wider industry over the coming two years, a little behind Brexit (40%).

China

China Regulators, Police Probe Qudian Client Data Leak (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Officials are probing allegations that data from more than a million students who are clients of Beijing-based Qudian was leaked and possibly sold online, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information.

The probe’s initial findings show that at least part of the leaked data match information clients had provided to Qudian, the people said. Investigators are checking whether the data came from Qudian, if the company was aware of the breach, and whether it took necessary measures to ensure the safety of personal information it collects.

China Commences Crackdown on Shadow Banking (The Epoch Times), Rated: AAA

Chinese regulators introduced major rules on Nov. 17—the scale of which has been compared to the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act—to unify regulations for the asset managementindustry and curtail shadow banking activities.

The rules are broad-based, covering China’s $15 trillion of asset management products issued by all financial institutions.

For example, the rules will prohibit asset managers from promising guaranteed rates of return to investors, and require issuers to set aside 10 percent of their fees from managing client assets in escrow, to serve as a buffer against losses.

For publicly offered funds, total assets cannot exceed 140 percent of the funds’ net asset value. The same ratio is set at 200 percent for privately offered funds.

China Urges Local Governments To Halt New Internet Microlender Approvals (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

China is regulating micro loans on the internet, with a high-level Chinese government agency issuing a notice urging provincial governments to halt approval of new web-based online lenders.

The firms are lending to consumers in China that have been turned down by Chinese banks. However, interest rates on these tiny loans can be very high — something borrowers don’t realize.

China’s Micro-Lender Assault Threatens Path to U.S. Listings (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

According to the International Financial News, China plans to purge the country’s 157 online micro-lenders, leaving only large state-owned companies and the biggest internet firms intact with licenses. Few of the existing lenders will survive, said the newspaper, which is managed by the official People’s Daily.

A comprehensive cleansing of the industry, which offers almost immediate unsecured loans over the Internet, often at high interest rates, would escalate earlier moves to crack down on the sector and its estimated $152 billion of loans. News that China has halted further approvals for online micro-lenders has already pummeled the New York shares of firms like Qudian Inc. and PPDAI Group Inc.

“It would seem to be an enormous, enormous risk to try an IPO with that hanging over your head,” said Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Peking University HSBC School of Business. “It would most likely put a halt to any IPO plans of these companies now.”

Source: Bloomberg

China Online Lender Qudian’s Fast Track From NYSE Darling To Dog (Forbes), Rated: AAA

The listing of online lender Qudian at the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 18 heralded the birth of a new China billionaire, 34-year-old chairman and CEO Luo Min. The stock rose by as much as 43% that day, giving Luo a fortune worth $2.2 billion amid optimism about industry prospects.

Five weeks later, more than half of Qudian’s value has been wiped out and he’s on the verge of dropping from the ranks of the world’s billionaires altogether. Qudian fell 16% last night and at yesterday’s closing price, Luo’s fortune (which he shares in a trust with family) was worth $1.02 billion. Investors in other China fintech stocks got socked yesterday, too.  Jingpu Technology plunged 12.9% to $5.75, way below it IPO price of $8 from last week.   China Rapid Finance fell 6% yesterday and PPDai fell a whopping 24%.

Debt: The secret sauce of Alibaba’s Singles Day success (Technode), Rated: A

One of most notable online lending players aptly named Huabei (花呗, Just Spend) comes from the company that invented Singles Day—Alibaba.

To help them give away money to uncle Jack Ma, as hand-choppers have joked, this year Huabei has raised its credit limit to almost 80 percent during the promotion activities before Singles Day, allowing users to spend an extra RMB 2200 on average.

Huabei is the credit card of millennials, it targets the young and the unbanked. According to a report published recently, 86% of Huabei users belong to the generations born after the 80s and 90s (in Chinese). The fact that the 60% of them never owned a credit card is a good illustrator why online lending has experienced such a meteoric rise in China.

According to Huabei data, 38% of users choose to repay their debt in 12 monthly installments (in Chinese).

Credit Suisse-Backed Online Lender to Plan $ 500 Million IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: A

WeLab Ltd. has picked banks to advise on a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $500 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The China-focused lender, whose backers also include billionaire Li Ka-shing, is aiming to list as soon as next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

An Overdone Payday Mayday (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Stop panicking about China’s online lenders. The real target of the crackdown is rogue local governments.

Financial News said government entities can’t issue new licenses for internet micro-lending beyond the 157 institutions that already have them. The consequences were immediate: Zhejiang Busen Garments Co., for one, said in a filing Thursday it’s terminating plans to set up an online lender.

As of September, there were 8,610 micro-lenders with 970 billion yuan ($147 billion) of loans outstanding. Many of those weren’t licensed by national regulators such as the People’s Bank of China or the China Banking Regulatory Commission, which have strict rules.

Rather, authorization was handed out by local governments, most of which have no fintech expertise, to companies claiming to be affiliated with state-owned enterprises.

Source: Bloomberg

Mobile payment users in China exceed 520m (GB Times), Rated: A

Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, has announced that China now has more than 520m mobile payment users, reports state-owned news agency Xinhua.

report released by the People’s Bank of China detailing the country’s payment system in the second quarter of 2017, notes that Chinese banks dealt with 8.6bn payments from mobile services during that period – up 33.84 percent from last year.

The combined value of mobile payments increased by 33.8 percent to 39.2tn yuan (around US$6tn).

How fintech companies create an alternative capital market in China (The Asset), Rated: A

IN China, an alternative capital market is taking shape with the rise of fintech companies, where fintechs are the intermediaries linking borrower and lenders. Moreover, fintechs are edging into the credit rating space, leveraging on their big data capabilities.

One core competence of fintech companies is their IT stability in the areas of payments and cloud computation. The strength of their IT infrastructure makes the technology players resilient under extreme conditions. During the recent Singles’ Day sale on November 11 – China’s online shopping bonanza equivalent to that of the US’ Black Friday – Alibaba’s Alipay processed a peak of 256,000 transactions per second and Alibaba Cloud processed as many as 42 million instructions per second.

European Union

Swiss Consortium Adopts Single Digital Identity For Online Purchases (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

A consortium of nine large companies — including UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Post, SIX, Raiffeisen, Swiss Railways, Zuercher Kantonalbank and Mobiliar — will enable Swiss consumers to use a single digital identity when making eCommerce purchases.

According to a report in Reuters, the idea behind the project is to get to a point where consumers can use one login to make purchases at shops, buy train tickets and engage in banking activities online. The group aims to create a joint venture in 2018.

Exclusive Interview with Lendoit CEO Ori Erez (Chipin), Rated: A

Lendoit is a Decentralized P2P lending platform, which connects borrowers and lenders from all over the world in a trusted, fast and easy way using the advantages of Smart Contracts and the Blockchain technology.

What do you think is the biggest problem Lendoit will solve and why is it important?

The lending industry is not efficient because it’s controlled by centralized financial organizations that set the interest rates according to their own interest. It’s not fair that honest borrower from Brazil is paying 60% interest rate while borrower from Japan pays around 1%.

Lendoit uses three types of scoring:

  1. Local rating provided by a local supplier from the borrower’s state. Lendoit is working to create cooperation with some entities in various countries to provide this service.
  2. International scoring providers that are using innovative methods such as scanning social networks and scanning the borrower’s e-mail.
    Lendoit is working to create cooperation with these International entities.We have already signed / in the process of signing with several companies in the scoring area, such as FriendlyScore, BLOOM, LENNO, and others, as noted in Lendoit’s WhitePaper.
  3. In the Lendoit eco-system platform, there is a special Smart Contract: a Reputation contract that retroactively checks each borrower who takes a loan, and set reputation score according to his or her historical activities within the platform

My P2P Lending Investment Portfolio at Bondora is now 5 Years Old (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

5 years have passed since I first started to invest into p2p lending at Bondora in October 2012. I still have 604 loans in my Bondora portfolio with an outstanding principal of 7,467 Euro at an average interest rate of 23.78%. Of these 2,746 Euro are in current loans, 778 Euro in overdue loans and 3,941 Euro in 60+ days overdue loans.

Bondora shows a net return of 19.0% for my portfolio. In my own calculations, using XIRR in Excel, assuming that 30% of my 60+days overdue and 15% of my overdue loans will not be recovered, my ROI calculations result in 17.2% return. Even if I assume total loss on all outstanding loans that are 60+days overdue my ROI calculation results in 15.6%.

Source: P2P-Banking

Finbee Expands into Czech Market (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

FinBee, a Lithuania based p2p lending platform, has started to expand internationally by launching in the Czech Republic. By 2020, FinBee plans to begin operations in another two European countries.

FinBee will provide personal lending services for residents of the Czech Republic as well as for investors from across the entire European Union.

International

Investors divide in peer-to-peer lending (Silicon Republic), Rated: AAA

Banks – local banks, in particular – have traditionally been the main and sometimes the only source of external capital for SMEs. However, increasing regulatory requirements have lowered the probability for SMEs to obtain access to bank financing.

P2P lending is part of the wider universe of crowdfunding. This is a bigger market than many people expect. For example, a 2016 paper for the European Commission reported that crowdfunding expanded by 167pc in 2014 and reached $16.2bn. North America remains the largest market ($9.5bn), followed by Asia ($3.4bn) and Europe ($3.3bn). While there are no accurate figures on the Irish market, Orca Money reports that the UK P2P market had £9.6bn cumulative lending since 2010, £1bn of which was in Q1 2017. In 2016, Orca Money reported that the UK P2P market comprised 177,000 retail investors with consumer (46pc), business (35pc) and property (19pc) borrowers.

P2P platforms have been very cautious about the loans they offer to investors, with most of them being classified as low-risk. This has resulted in low default rates and acceptable positive returns for investors. The potential for positive returns has attracted institutional and professional investors (eg investment banks, venture capitalist etc) into the game and created a disproportionate capital supply and demand. Such a trend is particularly visible in the US and UK, the two largest P2P markets, but it has recently emerged in smaller markets like Australia and New Zealand and is likely to occur, to a greater or lesser extent, in all regulated markets, including Ireland.

The lack of a clear regulation has arguably prevented the growth of the Irish P2P lending market by discouraging both investors and small businesses to participate. A clear regulatory framework is necessary to ensure transparency and to increase investors’ confidence in P2P lending markets.

Initial coin offerings: regulation and the risks (Lexology), Rated: AAA

On 12 September 2017, FCA published a consumer warning on initial coin offerings (ICOs), stating that they are ‘very high-risk, speculative investments’, and that ‘there is a good chance of losing your whole stake’ as a purchaser.

Earlier in September, the People’s Bank of China had denounced ICOs as ‘illegal fundraising’ and issued a ban that caused the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to plummet. The following day, Canadian regulators accepted a firm offering ICOs into its regulatory sandbox as part of its broad goal of supporting innovative fintech projects. The European Securities and Markets Authority has been the latest to denounce ICOs, echoing the FCA’s warning to consumers that ICOs are ‘very risky and highly speculative investments.’

By applying the conditions from SEC vs Howey, the US Supreme Court test for determining whether transactions qualify as investment contracts (and by extension, securities), the investigation found that the tokens emergent from the DAO’s ICO are securities and thus could fall within the US regulatory perimeter.

The SEC made the classification by fulfilling the following criteria from the Howey test:

  1. Investment of money
  2. Reasonable expectation of profits
  3. Derived from the managerial efforts of others
  4. Investor voting rights were limited

FintruX Network: Making Unsecured Loans Highly Secure (BTCManager), Rated: A

The FintruX Network has been established to transform unsecured loans to highly secured loan without any hurdles to borrowers and investors. The platform has unique blockchain approach of global P2P lending highways which proposed to raise $30 million by selling digital tokens.

 

 

The FintruX Network aims to enhance credit enhancements by introducing cascading levels which involves:

  •         Additional collateral
  •         A local third-party guarantor
  •         Cross-collateralization
  •         Fintrux ultimate protection reserve
Australia

Financial services industry to get its Groundhog Day commission of inquiry (Financial Review), Rated: A

But it was probably not as long as the minimum two years contemplated by O’Sullivan and the Greens for the proposed Banking and Financial Services Commission of Inquiry.

It should not be a problem if the three judges have no background or experience in fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, equity crowd funding and payment systems riding off messaging services such as those offered by WeChat, Facebook, Apple and Google.

After all, this is not about the future. This inquiry is about spending more than $200 million looking in the rear view mirror.

The age of algorithmic advice (Financial Standard), Rated: A

Futurist and chief executive of global consultancy firm Tomorrow, Mike Walsh, told the 2017 Financial Planning Association Professionals Congress that sweeping technological change driven by complex algorithms is nothing to fear as it’s simply “not unique.”

Walsh said financial planners’ fear-based thinking that technology will replace jobs must shift to ask how will jobs need to change.

India

YES Bank diversifies funding sources (The Asset), Rated: AAA

INDIA’s fifth-largest private sector bank, YES Bank, is raising a total of US$400 million in two transactions in the offshore syndicated loan markets as it further diversifies its funding sources.

The first transaction is a five-year loan amounting to US$250 million raised from a group of Taiwanese banks, led by CTBC Bank, Bank of Taiwan, Mega International Commercial Bank and Land Bank of Taiwan. The deal was upsized from the initial target of US$200 million as YES Bank exercised the green shoe option following an oversubscription of US$355 million from 13 other banks.

BankBazaar CEO Honored at India FinTech Awards 2017 (Finovate), Rated: B

Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar, was recognized by the India FinTech Awards 2017 earlier this month. Shetty was named Fintech Leader of the Year at the event, which featured more than 200 attendees, more than 40 speakers, and 20 shortlisted startups from six countries.

Africa

Millennials happy to take financial advice from robots (IOL), Rated: AAA

Millennials are not only developing a healthy appetite for financial advice, they are also more likely to trust digital advice from automated investment services than older generations.

  • Results from the study showed that in Europe 32% of online adults between the ages of 18 and 37 say they “rely on financial advice from professionals”, compared with 29% of older generations.
  • At least two-thirds of US Millennials were willing to share personal data in order to obtain better service from their financial institution.
  • Only 38% of US Millennials are confident that a bank or credit union will offer them valuable financial advice, compared with 46% of their older counterparts.
Canada

Upcoming ICO for Global Migrants and Their Unbanked Families (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

The migrant and their unbanked families in emerging and frontier markets have been suppressed for the longest time without any access to basic services, financial or otherwise. Approximately 2.4 billion people in poverty worldwide are often excluded from free movement or basic rights which often leads them to corruption and crime, including slavery, human trafficking and in extreme cases, death. Migrants far too often are denied basic financial tools.

LALA World (“LALA”) is a wholesome ecosystem for the unbanked, starting with the migrants and their families back home. The base of this ecosystem is the LALA Wallet platform. By creating a whole new peer-to-peer infrastructure, LALA aims to revolutionize the way individuals, small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs transact, make domestic and cross-border payments, borrow money and associated products like insurances, cards, wealth and other general banking products.

LALA World Products from their Ecosystem

LALA Transfer – A Peer-to-Peer local and global remittance backed by crypto as well as fiat.
LALA Bill Pay – Local and International bill payments for you and your family.
LALA Lends – Domestic and International peer-to-peer lending via crypto and fiat, individual and small businesses.
LALA Card – Crypto and Fiat card synced to your Wallet and usable at millions of PoS globally.
LALA Kit – Contains a mobile phone with pre-loaded LALA Wallet, LALA Insurance, LALA Card, partners’ products, etc.

ICO Pre-sale – Nov. 25-Dec. 15, 2017 (discounts available).
ICO – Jan. 5-Feb. 5, 2018

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday September 20 2017, Daily News Digest

low credit scores

News Comments Today’s main news: PayPal to fully integrate Swift Financial after closing acquisition.GoCardless raises $22.5M.Qudian poising for U.S. IPO.Varengold Bank AG to give $61M to MarketInvoice.Bondora hits 100M Euro milestone.Reserve Bank of India to treat P2P lenders as non-banking financial companies. Today’s main analysis: Public distrusts regulators as much as Wall Street.(a must-read) Today’s […]

low credit scores

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Latin America

Africa

News Summary

United States

PayPal will fully integrate Swift Financial ‘over the next year’ after loan provider acquisition closes (VentureBeat), Rated: AAA

A little over one month after revealing plans to acquire Swift Financial, PayPal has announced that the deal is now complete.

PayPal said that it plans to fully integrate Swift Financial into its payment service “over the course of the next year,” according to Darrell Esch, PayPal’s vice president and commercial officer of global credit, in a blog post.

PayPal has actually offered a working capital program for lending money to small businesses since 2013, and it has loaned more than $3 billion through the program to date. This compares to the $3 billion Amazon has loaned SMEs since the launch of Amazon Lending back in 2011, and the $1.5 billion in loans Square has doled out since launching Square Capital in 2014.

Public Distrusts Wall Street Regulators as Much as Wall Street (Cato.org), Rated: AAA

The new Cato Institute 2017 Financial Regulation national survey of 2,000 U.S. adults released today finds that Americans distrust government financial regulators as much as they distrust Wall Street. Nearly half (48%) have “hardly any confidence” in either.

Americans have a love-hate relationship with regulators. Most believe regulators are ineffective, selfish, and biased:

  • 74% of Americans believe regulations often fail to have their intended effect.
  • 75% believe government financial regulators care more about their own jobs and ambitions than about the well-being of Americans.
  • 80% think regulators allow political biases to impact their judgment.

But most also believe regulation can serve some important functions:

  • 59% believe regulations, at least in the past, have produced positive benefits.
  • 56% say regulations can help make businesses more responsive to people’s needs.

Americans want regulators to focus on preventing banks and financial institutions from committing fraud (65%) and ensuring banks and financial institutions fulfill their obligations to customers (56%).

  • 77% believe bankers would harm consumers if they thought they could make a lot of money doing so and get away with it.
  • 64% think Wall Street bankers “get paid huge amounts of money” for “essentially tricking people.”
  • Nearly half (49%) of Americans worry that corruption in the industry is “widespread” rather than limited to a few institutions.
Source: Cato Institute

Few Americans Want “More” Financial Regulations—They Want the Right Kinds of Regulations, Properly Enforced

Polls routinely find that a plurality or majority of Americans want more oversight of Wall Street banks and financial institutions. This survey is no different. A plurality (41%) of Americans think more oversight of the financial industry is needed. However, only 18% think the problem with federal oversight of the banking industry is that there are “too few” rules on Wall Street. Instead, 63% say the government either fails to “properly enforce existing rules” (40%) or enacts the “wrong kinds” of regulations on big banks (23%).

Despite Distrust of Wall Street, Americans Like Their Own Banks and Financial Institutions

  • 90% are satisfied with their personal bank; 76% believe their bank has given them good information about the rates and risks associated with their account.
  • 87% are satisfied with their credit card issuer; 81% believe their credit card issuer has given them good information about the rates, fees, and risks associated with their card.
  • 83% are satisfied with their mortgage lender.
  • Of those who have used payday or installment lenders in the past year, 63% believe the lender gave them good information about the fees and risks associated with the loan.
Source: Cato Institute

Democrats and Republicans Want a Bipartisan Commission to Run CFPB, Divided on CFPB Independence

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans think the CFPB should be run by a bipartisan commission of Democrats and Republicans, rather than by a single director. Support is post-partisan with 67% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans in favor of a bipartisan commission leading the agency.
  • A majority (54%) of Americans think that Congress should not set the CFPB’s budget and should only have limited oversight of the agency.
  • Few Americans (26%) believe the CFPB has achieved its mission to make the terms and conditions of credit cards and financial products easier to understand. Instead, 71% say that since the CFPB was created in 2011 credit card terms and conditions have not become easier to understand—including 54% who believe they have stayed the same and 17% who think they have become less clear.

Most Support Risk-Based Pricing for Loans, Say Low Credit Scores are Due to Irresponsibility

Nearly three-fourths of Americans (74%) say they’d be “unwilling” to pay more for their home mortgage, car loan, or student loan to help those with low credit scores access these loans.

Source: Cato Institute

PayPal Officially Adds Swift Financial to Fuel More Dreams (PayPal), Rated: A

The acquisition will expand PayPal’s ability to provide access to business financing options to the millions of small business owners who rely on PayPal and our partner platforms to run their businesses. As we’ve said before, increasing access to capital is vital to the success of small businesses and is a strategic offering for PayPal, which drives merchants’ sales growth, increases processing volume, and reduces merchant churn.

A Manifesto to All Men: We Have to Do Better (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Like many of you I was shocked and infuriated by the news out of SoFi last week. I think we all expected better from the company and its leaders. Some of the behavior that has been reported is reprehensible and it points to a much deeper problem that goes way beyond fintech. The problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is bigger than any one company, any one industry or even any one country. It is rampant throughout the globe.

Men: we cannot keep behaving this way.

I have been drinking at the bar late at night at enough conferences to know that many men believe it is still ok to treat women as objects. This kind of attitude has consequences in the workplace. And if the leaders of the company condone this behavior there will be a culture that is at best unwelcoming towards women and at worst so toxic it can endanger the very survival of the company.

Women in Fintech

People often complain to me about the lack of women in fintech. People say that LendIt does not have enough female speakers and there are not enough women in general at our events.

This article is the first step in what I expect will be a long journey towards making fintech a more welcoming place for women. I want to see us do better as an industry. We should do everything we can to make fintech an attractive career choice for young women. We have several initiatives around this that are in the planning stages that we hope to roll out at LendIt USA in San Francisco next year.

Today In Data: SoFi’s Woes (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In addition, there are rumors circulating that improperly funded SoFi loan products were sold to investors.

Here are the numbers:

  • $4 billion | Valuation of SoFi as of Sept. 15
  • $3.1 billion | Value of loans funded by SoFi in Q2 2017
  • $1.9 billion | Total venture capital funding raised by investors like Baseline Ventures, Discovery Capital and SoftBank
  • $134 million | SoFi revenue generated in Q2 2017
  • 350,000 | Number of borrowers who have used SoFi’s lending services, totaling more than $20 billion in loans
  • $75,000 | Settlement SoFi reached with a former executive assistant, as detailed by The New York Times
  • 30 | Number of employees who have leveled accusations against SoFi’s former CEO

Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevest just landed a big new round of funding (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Ellevest, a nearly three-year-old, New York-based digital investment platform built for women and led by former Wall Street titan Sallie Krawcheck, has raised $34.6 million in fresh funding.

It’s technically a Series A round, according to the company, which says a widely reported $10 million round that closed last year was seed capital.

The round — which was led by Rethink Impact, and includes participation from PSP Growth, Salesforce Ventures, CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, LH Holdings, SK Impact Fund, Morningstar, Khosla Ventures, Mellody Hobson, Ulu Ventures, Contour Venture Partners and Astia Angels — brings the company’s total funding to $44.6 million.

Ant Financial to try again for U.S. approval of MoneyGram deal (Reuters), Rated: A

Chinese payments company Ant Financial is planning to resubmit its application for U.S. review of its deal to buy MoneyGram International Inc (MGI.O) for $1.2 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Ant Financial and MoneyGram have already refiled for clearance from Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when they were unable to secure it within an assessment period after the first application, Reuters reported in July, citing sources.

Ant Financial’s latest attempt for approval would be its third as the maximum time of 75 days for assessing such applications nears completion.

JPMorgan Seeks to Banish Paper Payments With a Fintech Venture (Bloomberg), Rated: A

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is partnering with another fast-growing technology firm, this time to help business clients eradicate paper checks.

The bank is working with Bill.com, the largest U.S. business-to-business payments network, to enable customers to send and receive electronic payments and invoices, according to Stephen Markwell, a product strategy head for JPMorgan’s commercial bank. The New York-based lender will pilot the service in early 2018 and plans to offer it to more business and commercial clients later in that year, Markwell said.

While many consumers already are embracing digital tools for sending money, like PayPal Inc.’s Venmo or the banking industry’s Zelle, more than half of business payments are still via check, according to Markwell. Companies write 8 billion checks a year, each costing about $4 to print and handle, he said.

In an ongoing acquisition streak, LendingTree buys another online loan marketplace (Biz Journals), Rated: A

LendingTree Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE) has acquired an online loan platform for businesses called Snap Capital, known as SnapCap, in a potential $21 million deal. SnapCap is LendingTree’s fifth acquisition since June of 2016.

LendingTree says the acquisition has a potential value of $21 million. The online marketplace will pay $12 million in cash upfront and if SnapCap hits certain performance targets over time, it will receive contingent payments of up to $9 million.

Charlotte-based LendingTree has been diversifying its business over the last several years beyond mortgages. And its stock price has been on the rise as a result. LendingTree’s stock was up about 7% Tuesday afternoon after the acquisition announcement. The company’s shares were trading at $251 Tuesday afternoon, up from about $93 per share a year ago.

LendingPoint Closed On $ 500M Credit Facility In August (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Online lender LendingPoint announced Tuesday (Sept. 19) that it had closed an up to $500 million credit facility on Aug. 22.

In a press release, the company said the credit facility was arranged by Guggenheim Securities. LendingPoint noted it drew down $138.5 million of the facility at the closing, and it took an additional $32.7 million on Sept. 15. The proceeds are being earmarked to bankroll the growth of its consumer installment loan portfolio, a business element which has roughly doubled between August 2016 and August 2017.

According to the company, the up to $500 million credit facility is among the largest credit facilities raised in the online consumer lending market in 2017.

Pine River Capital Shutting $ 1 Billion Flagship Hedge Fund (WSJ), Rated: A

Pine River Capital Management is closing its $1 billion flagship hedge fund after clients asked to withdraw more money than the firm was expecting, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move will further shrink the Minnetonka, Minn.-based firm’s assets under management to $7.5 billion, half the roughly $15 billion it managed in 2015.

Don’t let court squander online lenders’ chance to reach underserved (American Banker), Rated: A

Most of the country has never heard of Madden v. Midland Funding and the common law doctrine of “valid-when-made,” but the impact of the misguided decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on consumers is far-reaching.

Rate exportation has been key to the rise of standardized nationwide financial products, like credit cards, allowing banks to lend to borrowers across state lines without necessarily establishing a physical presence in every state, giving consumers better choices.

Following the Madden decision, it is unclear in the 2nd Circuit whether certain bank loans transferred to a marketplace lending platform would be ruled valid or not. Are loans bound by the bank’s “home” state rate cap, or the borrower’s “host” state rate cap? No one knows for sure. This legal uncertainty has caused nonbank investors in these loans to pull back, which, in turn, has led to a reduction in responsible and affordable online lending. Borrowers who are still trying to build credit have lost better options. According to an August study by professors at the Columbia, Stanford and Fordham law schools, “the decision reduced credit availability for higher-risk borrowers in affected states.”

Reliant Funding and Merchants Capital Access to be known as Reliant Funding (PR Newswire), Rated: A

San Diego-based Reliant Funding and New York-based Merchants Capital Access are now joined as one under the Reliant Funding name.

Four Facts about Reliant Funding

  • Reliant Funding’s business model provides access to capital for businesses that traditional banking typically does not serve. With innovative pricing and cutting-edge risk management, it gives businesses the fuel they need to penetrate their market and grow.
  • Since its founding, Reliant has funded businesses over thirty thousand times, providing over $900 million in working capital to America’s small businesses.
  • Reliant Funding speaks directly with thousands of American small and medium sized businesses each month and services thousands more. The focus is always on the individual client, their business story and meeting their needs.
  • Reliant Funding’s Wholesale Division currently works with hundreds of partners, providing them with funding for their clients as if those clients were directly originated in-house. The key is a commitment to strategic alliances, ensuring the relationship lasts longer than a single transaction. It’s just one aspect of many which sets Reliant Funding apart from the competition.

Randstad Professionals addresses technology’s impact on finance and accounting (Business Insider), Rated: A

Cloud computing, big data and financial technologies have raised the stakes for finance and accounting professionals according to Randstad Professionals‘ new whitepaper, Technology’s Impact on Finance and Accounting.

There are three broad areas in which emerging technologies and digital tools are causing significant disruption to the way things are done:

 

  • Breaking down big data for strategy: Finance and accounting employees can use big data to their advantage by forecasting trends, pinpointing behavioral patterns and suggesting probable outcomes — all of which can tie into a company’s strategy and impact their bottom line.
  • Leaving repetitive work to the cloud: Cloud actions have the ability to handle inventory management, generate invoices and provide accurate financial data. The software also delivers convenience for employees who want to digitally share company finances among coworkers, financial advisors, customers and other key stakeholders at a moment’s notice.
  • Putting the functionality in finance: Finance is making its way into fixed markets that provide mobile phone applications and access on everyday devices. Over the years, we have revolutionized how we pay, view our bank statements and transfer money through start-ups such as Bitcoin and Linden Dollar. Technologies that also integrate peer-to-peer lending or personal loan requests allow for a frictionless experience for customers.

 

Opponents Ready For US Payday Loan Rule (America Now), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is expected in coming days to release a long-anticipated rule curbing payday lending, now that a final review by other regulatory agencies has concluded, three people familiar with the matter said.

The rule pits the country’s consumer financial watchdog against payday lenders who say the new regulation will wipe out much of their established industry, currently overseen by the states, and push poor and rural customers to use illegal loan sharks.

Because the loans can carry interest rates as high as 390 percent, borrowers can become trapped in devastating cycles of taking out new loans to pay outstanding ones, the CFPB said.

When The Payday Lending Rule Drops, Opponents Are Ready To Attack (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Payday and short-term lending is an approximately $6 billion-a-year industry, one that both critics and supporters of payday lending agree will take a major hit if the CFPB’s proposed rules on payday lending go through.

To make that block happen, Republicans in the House of Representatives added a “rider,” or amendment, to a spending bill banning the CFPB from regulating the payday loan industry.

The CFPB rules on payday lending have been in the works for some time and would require lenders to conduct background checks showing borrowers can afford the loans and to limit the number of loans made to a single borrower.

First Associates Loan Servicing Earns Morningstar’s Highest Ranking  (PR Web), Rated: B

First Associates Loan Servicing announced today the release of the Morningstar ranking report certifying their overall excellence in loan servicing. Morningstar awarded First Associates a MOR RV1 ranking of ‘stable’ which is the highest certification possible and deeply assesses risk management, call center performance, quality assurance, technology, security protocols, project management and disaster recovery protocols.

Low-cost loans help hurricane victims rebuild (TheStreet), Rated: B

Since the majority of consumers lacked insurance coverage for flood damage, the costs keep adding up from replacing furniture and appliances to renting another home or apartment until the costly repairs are completed.

The Small Business Administration offers both homeowners and renters disaster loans ranging from 1.75% to 3.5% of up to $40,000 for property damage such as furniture, clothing, cars and appliances and up to $200,000 for repairs to the house.

Using money from your IRA or 401(k) account is likely a better option than asking friends or family or seeking a loan from a payday lender.

RealtyShares Gives Investors Access To Real Estate With Just A Few Clicks (Benzinga), Rated: B

What makes it so diverse? The markets available or the types of real estate?

Amy Kirsch: All of the above. We’ve done deals in 39 states, we offer debt and equity, commercial and residential, and we’ve done basically every asset class.

Do you have a minimum for investment?

The lowest limit we have now is $5,000, but it varies on how large of a fundraise we’re completing.

What’s innovative about RealtyShares? The technology, or what it lets you access?
A combination of both—I’ve invested in real estate in the past, and it’s always come through people I knew, and it was concentrated to where I was living at the time. When you’re looking at middle-market opportunities or don’t have hundreds millions of dollars to invest, the opportunities become a little more rare. So access is definitely a differentiator here.

Prime-Ex Perpetual Launches Pre-ICO for Residential Real Estate Crowdfunding Effort (EIN News), Rated: B

On Monday, Prime-Ex Perpetual‘s real estate crowdfunding effort began in earnest with the launch of their PEX-Token cryptocurrency sale, aimed at generating $25,000,000 in USD equivalent cryptocurrencies. The PEX-Token is a dividend token in which the company will pay 80% of company profits back to the PEX-Token holders. Beginning Monday people purchasing PEX-Tokens will receive 15% bonus PEX-Tokens for purchasing PEX-Tokens early.

United Kingdom

GoCardless, a fintech that makes recurring payments easy for subscription businesses, raises $ 22.5M (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Once again, Accel, Balderton Capital, Notion, and Passion are backing GoCardless, this time to the tune of $22.5 million and on the back of what the startup says is record annual growth in the U.K. and strong, early traction in new markets. Outside of Blighty, the company operates its bank-to-bank payments network in the Eurozone and Sweden.

GoCardless isn’t disclosing revenue. Instead the company says it processes over $4bn worth of transactions across more than 30,000 organisations in the U.K. and Europe, working with small startups and large enterprises across a number of industries. It offers an API and off the shelf integrations with over 100 partners including Xero, Sage and Zuora. Customers include Sage, Thomas Cook, Box and The Guardian.

Artificial intelligence: the legal and regulatory challenges (Lexology), Rated: A

Artificial intelligence (AI) will soon be everywhere. The insurance industry is facing huge changes as AI steps boldly into every aspect of its internal operations and external relationships wearing the bright new clothes of InsurTech.

It has brought new players into the insurance market with some, like Lemonade, the world’s first peer-to-peer insurance carrier powered by AI and behavioural economics, experiencing phenomenal growth over a very short time.

It is estimated that around £1.32 billion was invested globally in the InsurTech arena in 2016, up 32% on the previous year. The lion’s share of this was in the United States but the UK and Europe are increasing their investment (see chart below).

Other innovations, such as fractional insurance where customers buy on a pay-as-you-go basis or peer-to-peer insurance, will have a deeper impact.

For Rutter, one of the key cultural challenges for the insurance industry is going to be its cautious approach to regulation.

he Financial Conduct Authority is the lead regulator in this area and it has been trying to engage the industry, setting up a ‘sandbox’ to encourage insurers to work with it to explore the impact of regulation on technological innovation. In particular, it will be aiming to test the boundaries of legislation such as the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).

There will be some InsurTech applications that get it wrong, predicts Rutter, potentially selling large numbers of policies to the very people underwriters don’t want on their books: “Insurers need to understand that once automated decisions have been made, you can’t pull back from them by cancelling policies. That is hardly treating customers fairly”.

Source: Lexology

Peer-to-peer lending: should you be worried about falling returns and the poorly-performing Innovative Finance ISA? (love money), Rated: A

Falling returns, big loans going bad and news that new Innovative Finance ISA has failed to attract investors is leaving questions hanging over the future of peer-to-peer lending.

The bad news began last month when RateSetter, one of the biggest peer-to-peer lenders, was forced to cough up nearly £9 million to stop customers losing money after a big loan went wrong.

It’s not just Ratesetter

At the same time, another peer-to-peer lender is coming under fire from its customers. Zopa is being criticised by customers who are seeing falling returns on their investments.

Paltry take up on the Innovative Finance ISA

Finally, interest in the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) has been disappointing. New stats from HMRC shows that just 2,000 IFISAs were opened in the 2016/17 tax year.

Abundance boss joins government’s Green Finance Taskforce (AltFi), Rated: B

Bruce Davis, co-founder and MD of green energy-focused P2P platform Abundance, has been appointed to the government’s Green Energy Taskforce. The group has been set up to help accelerate the growth of green finance and the UK’s low carbon economy.

Abundance is the UK’s biggest green energy-centric peer-to-peer site, with roughly £50m in finance facilitated for projects to date, according to AltFi Data. Its investors are able to invest in debentures for projects such as wind turbines and solar farms, and can hold those investments in an Innovative Finance ISA.

China

Online lender Qudian set for New York IPO (China Economic Review), Rated: AAA

Online consumer microlender Qudian said it plans to raise up to $750 million in a New York IPO, in the second of two major fintech deals this month which are expected to kick off a wave of similar listings by year-end. But a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Caixin the final fundraising amount is likely to exceed $1 billion, possibly making it the largest IPO by a Chinese company in the US this year.

European Union

German Bank Hands $ 61 Million to U.K. Online Lender Amid Brexit (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Uncertainty around Brexit may be mounting as political leaders from the U.K. and the European Union clash on the terms of separation, but that isn’t slowing down foreign investors from betting on Britain’s top peer-to-peer lenders.

Varengold Bank AG, a Hamburg-based private banking firm, will provide 45 million pounds ($61 million) in annual funding for loans to small businesses arranged by MarketInvoice Ltd., the British finance company said in an emailed statement.

28,639 investors have already invested EUR 102 million through Bondora and have received EUR 15 million in interest (Bondora), Rated: AAA

2017

Company reaches cash-flow profitability 100 million euro of loans issued.

Source: Bondora

Pan-European P2P Lender Younited Credit Raises €40 million from Historical Investors & the French Public Investment Bank (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Younited Credit, the Paris-headquartered consumer lender announced a capital increase of €40 million subscribed by a panel of the top of the crop growth investors in France. Next to its historical shareholders, EurazeoCrédit Mutuel Arkema, AG2R La Mondiale and Weber Investissements which are already very active in Fintech and alternative finance financing, the startup now takes on board new major investors: Bpifrance, Matmut Innovation, and Zencap Asset Management.

GoldMint, Provider of Gold-Backed Cryptoassets Launches ICO Today (The Merkle), Rated: A

Today, on the 20th of September, GoldMint is launching its ICO.

GoldMint is celebrating the beginning of its ICO by attending 3 major events on the same day the crowdsale kicks off.  One of these events is BlockchainLive in London  – Europe’s leading Blockchain conference bringing together over 75+ global experts in various fields.

Another one is Moscow’s ICO Event which this time mainly focuses on how legislation will impact the cryptocurrency space.

Today GoldMint is also present at the Global Blockchain Summit in Hong Kong gathering iconic speakers from various industries to discuss about the real-world applications of blockchain technology, as well as its potential benefits, risks, and regulatory concerns.

To spread the word about GoldMint in the USA  – GoldMint’s advisor and business developer Evgeniy Volfman has recently completed the official Northern American road trip representing the project in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

Simultaneously, GoldMint is opting to expand its campaign globally, with the Middle East & Singapore regions being the current primary focus.

International

Nominations open to global Women in Fintech Powerlist (Disrupt-Africa), Rated: A

Nominations are open to Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist, which recognises women shaping the future of fintech around the world.

UK-based membership organisation Innovate Finance compiles its Powerlist of Women in Fintech each year, with the aim of closing the fintech gender gap by showcasing the women driving the global fintech space.

SegWit2x, NYA Bitcoin Agreement Loses Another Signatory (Cryptocoins News), Rated: A

Bitcoin peer-to-peer lending platform Wayniloans has withdrawn its support for the SegWit2x bitcoin scaling proposal and the New York Agreement (NYA).

Wayniloans joins several other companies in withdrawing support for SegWit2x and the NYA. Banking and payment processor Bitwala announced last month it will only follow the SegWit2x blockchain if it receives support from Bitcoin Core, which does not appear likely.

Australia

FinTech loans and payments (Choice), Rated: A

FinTechs are certainly in competition with other FinTechs, but the real competition is the established financial service industry, epitomised by the big four banks. Consumer banking is where FinTechs aim to cause the most disruption – and many would say it’s an area where disruption is long overdue.

One recent startup, Spriggy, is out to grab its fair share of the kids’ bank accounts market, for instance.

Over the past 10 years, consumers have lost about $5.7 billion to financial advisers and financial services providers who put their own interests first. The scandals have included Opes Prime, Storm Financial, Timbercorp/Great Southern, Bridgecorp, Fincorp, Trio/Astarra, Westpoint and Commonwealth Financial Planning.

The size of the market in Australia has grown substantially year on year. In 2014, $9.45 million changed hands by way of P2P consumer lending platforms, for instance; in 2015, the P2P consumer lending figure stood at $43.15m.

And when it comes to money raised through crowdfunding, the figure jumped from $8.2m to $26m over the same time period.

At the moment, there are at least 86 FinTech tools operating in Australia through which you can borrow money, most of which are P2P lending services.

And there are at least 24 crowdfunding services on offer. It’s no surprise, then, that the biggest external challenge for FinTechs these days is finding customers.

Nine Australian FinTech companies made the 2016 list of the top 100 FinTech innovators around the world, an annual roundup compiled by the FinTech investment firm H2 Ventures and KPMG Fintech.

  • Prospa – Offers small business loans from $5000 to $250,000 with payback terms from three to 12 months, “for any business purpose”
  • Tyro – A payment system technology designed for businesses.
  • Society One – A P2P lender that says it provides “simple, investor funded personal loans with low rates based on your good credit history”.
  • Afterpay – Allows you to pay for goods in instalments direct debited from your credit card or other payment option.
  • Brighte – Offers 0% interest loans to approved homeowners for household energy efficiency improvement, such as solar panels or more efficient windows.
  • Data Republic – A customer data exchange service to help businesses better target their services to customers.
  • Identitii – Allows banks and other financial institutions to get more information about where and when payment transactions occur.
  • HashChing – An online home loan service that connects you with mortgage brokers.
  • Spriggy – Allows parents to manage kids’ bank accounts using digital tools.
India

RBI notifies P2P lending platforms as NBFCs: Agencies (India Times), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday notified that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms would be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), an agency reported. This suggests the lending interface will now come under the purview of RBIs regulation under the RBI Act.

Company Name : Rubique (Business Wire India), Rated: B

Rubique, India’s leading FinTech company, is now taking giant strides in enhancing the level of education and training in the FinTech domain in India. In view of the highly lucrative opportunities that await young professionals in the landscape, it is leveraging its expertise to co-certify courses in FinTech at the prestigious SP Jain School of Global Management.

Latin America

Fintech Startups Attract Capital In Latin America (Forbes), Rated: A

Many Latin Americans are hard pressed to obtain credit for their businesses or family needs, as 49% of adults do not have bank accounts.

The region’s fintech industry secured $186 million in venture capital investments last year, according to the Latin America Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) – with more than one-third going to startups. Deal count increased by 81%, with 38 transactions.

In Brazil, 160 million adults have some type of banking relationship, but only 55 million are borrowers, according to the country’s central bank. This, combined with more than 20 million unbanked people, turns Latin America’s largest economy into a fertile ground for fintechs, says Jose Prado, founder of Conexao Fintech, an online hub for fintech entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.

Creditas raised $19 million in a Series B funding round. The Sao Paulo-based firm provides asset-backed debt focused on auto and mortgage loans.

In Mexico, where 55.9% of adults have no access to any form of savings deposits, fintechs are offering digital, user-friendly alternatives to traditional banking products, according to Jorge Ortiz, founding president and CEO of non-profit organization Fintech Mexico.

Ripio Credit Network Announces ICO Pre-Sale, Crowd Sale Starts on October 17 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Ripio Credit Network, a company that has raised $5 million in funding from VC like Tim Draper, Pantera, DCG, Overstock (Medici Ventures) and others. Has launched their Initial Coin Offering pre-sale as they gear up for the crowd sale scheduled to launch on October 17th. This comes just as Ripio has received a nice recognition, along with a check, from the d10e Pitch competition.

Ripio, a prominent crypto-based company in Latin America, is building a global credit network solution that aims to enhance transparency and reliability in credit and lending. Ripio is designed to enable connections between lenders and borrowers located anywhere in the world, regardless of currency.

Africa

FMO and above & beyond launch Fintech platform for African Banks to accelerate financial inclusion (FMO), Rated: AAA

FMO together with Miami based Fintech and digital transformation strategists above & beyond (a&b),  launched “ FinForward”, a marketplace where Fintech companies, Financial Institutions (FIs) and Mobile Money Providers (MMPs) in Africa are matched.

The objective of the new platform is to accelerate the digitization of the financial industry in Africa by supporting innovation of the core business with digital solutions. The matching and integration tool will make global Fintech companies accessible and top-of-mind to African financial institutions in order to help them to reduce costs, innovate, add services, tap into new revenue streams and work towards open banking platforms. It will also enable them to service difficult to reach segments such as the bottom of the pyramid, women and small entrepreneurs.

The matching and integration tool will make global Fintech companies accessible and top-of-mind to African financial institutions in order to help them to reduce costs, innovate, add services, tap into new revenue streams and work towards open banking platforms. It will also enable them to service difficult to reach segments such as the bottom of the pyramid, women and small entrepreneurs.

How does it work?

  • Outreach  – Banks, Mobile Money Providers and Fintechs are invited to join
  • Fintech Opportunity Scan – Participating banks and mobile money providers define their problems and needs
  • Matching – Pairing of Fintechs based on problem definition
  • Acceleration & Integration – Testing of Fintech solutions in a sandbox and integrating the technology into the bank’s operations
  • Showcase – demonstrate success during showcase days

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday September 19 2017, Daily News Digest

Multifamily REITs

News Comments Today’s main news: Equifax cans two executives. Credit Karma to launch free ID monitoring tool. Funding Circle’s new lending options now in effect. Wealthsimple expands into the UK. HighRadius raises $50M. ID Finance launches Mexico operations. Today’s main analysis: Multifamily REITs reduce leverage, development pipelines. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The next crisis will start in Silicon Valley. RateSetter’s Rhydian Lewis […]

Multifamily REITs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

Africa

Latin America

News Summary

United States

Equifax hack claims two executives (American Banker), Rated: AAA

The Equifax data breach has claimed its first two executives. The company late Friday announced the immediate retirement of David Webb, its chief information officer, and Susan Mauldin, its head security officer. They will be replaced, respectively, by Mark Rohrwasser, who joined Equifax last year as head of the company’s International IT operations, and Russ Ayres, most recently vice president of IT.

Credit Karma to launch free ID monitoring following Equifax hack (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Credit Karma Inc is launching a new free service that will alert customers if their identity data has been compromised in hacks, the San Francisco-based fintech company said on Friday in the wake of massive breach at credit monitoring agency Equifax Inc(EFX.N).

The new ID monitoring service is being tested and will be available in October, the company said on Friday.

CreditKarma saw a 50 percent spike in sign-ups to its platform in the weekend after the hack, it said.

Multifamily REITs Reduce Leverage and Development Pipelines as Fundamentals Downshift and Supply Peaks (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Key takeaways:

  • Stronger credit profiles and balance sheets provide the multifamily REITs rated by Morningstar Credit Ratings, with flexibility to withstand substantial market disruptions.
  • New apartment supply is pressuring multifamily fundamentals, and REITs on average are lowering their exposure to new construction.
  • Morningstar expects net operating income among multifamily REITs to moderate after years of solid gains.
  • Since 2016, Net Operating Income (NOI) growth has slowed amid additional supply.
  • Multifamily REITs rated by Morningstar reduced their leverage and their exposure to new construction, positioning themselves for the impending completions and an environment where borrowing rates are expected to rise.
  • Rental growth among multifamily properties should be subdued for the next two years. While fundamentals remain sound, surplus inventory of new units likely will keep rent increases in check.
Source; Morningstar
Source: Morningstar

Read the full report here.

The Next Crisis Will Start in Silicon Valley (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

It has been 10 years since the last financial crisis, and some have already started to predict that the next one is near. But when it comes, it will likely have its roots in Silicon Valley, not Wall Street.

Since 2007, a tremendous wave of innovation has swept across the financial sector, affecting almost every aspect of finance. New robo-adviser startups like Betterment and Wealthfront have begun dispensing financial advice based on algorithmic calculations, with little to no human input. Crowdfunding firms like Kickstarter and Lending Club have created new ways for companies and individuals to raise money from dispersed networks of individuals. New virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have radically changed our understanding of how money can and should work.

But revolutions often end in destruction. And the fintech revolution has created an environment ripe for instability and disruption. It does so in three ways.

First, fintech companies are more vulnerable to rapid, adverse shocks than typical Wall Street banks.

Second, fintech companies are more difficult to monitor than conventional financial firms.

Third, fintech has not developed the set of unwritten norms and expectations that guide more traditional financial institutions.

Enova Announces $ 25 Million Share Repurchase Program (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Enova International (NYSE: ENVA), a financial technology company offering consumer and small business loans and financing, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan for up to $25 million of its common stock through December 31, 2019.

Prime Meridian Ranks High on the Prestigious INC5000 List as one of Fastest Growing Companies in America (PRWeb), Rated: A

Inc. magazine ranked Prime Meridian Capital Management 554 on its 2017 annual Inc. 5000, which ranks the fastest growing private US companies in all industries. Amongst asset managers in the finance industry, Prime Meridian ranks near the very top of the list. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

The 2017 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year average growth of 481%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years.

60-Second Market Review and Insights (Credit Chronometer), Rated: A

Regulatory uncertainty will continue to be a significant challenge going forward. Practices will be shaped by the standards imposed on fintech and other non-bank entities, which in turn, depends in part on the outcome of the tussle between the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which has begun offering a special purpose national charter, and state regulators who believe they are best suited to protect consumers.  The industry may soon also be impacted by legislation introduced recently in the Senate and the House that would overrule the 2nd Circuit’s Midland v. Madden decision denying purchasers of high-interest loans the benefit of preemption of state usury laws afforded their sellers under federal law.  Despite the ongoing debates, there appears to be momentum for more uniform and streamlined laws in the future that will provide greater certainty and, consequently, cost advantages for marketplace lenders.

dv01 Launches Cashflows for Securitizations (Business Insider), Rated: A

dv01, the data management, reporting, and analytics platform that offers institutional investors transparency and insight into lending markets, today announced the launch of a cashflow engine for securitizations, with full waterfall and collateral model support. dv01’s cashflow engine is available for a library of 30 consumer unsecured, student, and small business deals, covering over $10 billion of securitizations from originators including Avant, Lending Club, Marlette, Prosper, SoFi, and Upstart.

dv01’s cashflow engine is powered by deal waterfall models that operate on loan level data sourced directly from originators. All projections are performed at the loan level and tied out to trustee reports, ensuring accuracy across the entire waterfall, down to the residual.

Within the cashflow engine, investors have access to full deal structure models to generate tranche and residual cashflow projections. This includes a wide array of functionality, including cohort-level control over assumptions; price, yield, and spread re-computation directly from the results screen; and price-yield matrix calculations. The output computations include a projected paydown chart and cumulative prepay/loss plots, all of which show both historic actuals and projected values.

The cashflow engine is integrated directly into dv01’s Securitizations solution, which offers investors 24/7 access to a reporting and analytics portal populated with loan level securitization data. When analyzing a securitization, users have access to deal-specific detail, collateral, and performance pages, as well as the ability to download updated loan tapes to track the evolution of a pool over time. Additionally, users can use dv01’s Pool Explorer to construct curves using historical platform data.

Fintechs get another alternative to IPOs (Business Insider), Rated: A

US-based VC firm Social Capital — whose portfolio includes fintechs Wealthfront, CommonBond, Jetty, and Cover — has 

Source: Business Insider

Small Business Crowdlending Fund Offers Startups Loan Opportunities (WYSO), Rated: A

Mom and pop business owners often struggle to find enough capital to get their ideas off the ground and succeed, research shows. Kiva Dayton’s recently launched crowdlending platform aims to help solve this problem.

Now, the Downtown Dayton Partnership is offering to commit the first 20 percent of each Kiva loan to help potential business owners build buzz and raise more funds through the platform.

According to a study by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, inadequate capital is the major obstacle facing small businesses when it comes to growth, expansion and wealth creation.

All Kiva loans are zero percent interest and they’re small, with no loans over $10,000.

Younger Americans More Likely to Invest in Bitcoin (Coindesk), Rated: B

New survey data from online student loan marketplace LendEDU suggests that younger consumers in the United States are more interested in investing in bitcoin.

Of those between the ages of 18 and 24, 35.9% said they plan on investing in bitcoin, versus 43.5% who said no and 20.5% who weren’t sure. For the 25-34 age group, the “yes” figure grew to 40.4%, with 31.7% of respondents in that demographic saying no.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle New Lending Options Go Into Effect (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Less than a month after Funding Circle announced the new versions of its existing Autobid and Autosell lending tools, the online lender revealed the new changes have officially gone into effect.

As previously reported, as part of these changes, Funding Circle will be eliminating the option to manually choose which businesses an investor may lend to and which loan parts to sell will be withdrawn. This is a significant shift in operation of the peer to peer lending platform as it begins to operate more like a fund.

Wealthsimple Brings Simple, Accessible Investment Advice to the UK (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Wealthsimple, a digital wealth manager, continues to make smart investing accessible and low-cost to more people with today’s announcement of the company’s expansion to the United Kingdom. UK residents can now open an account and have access to diversified investment portfolios in less than five minutes on wealthsimple.com or by downloading the iOS or Android app.

At launch, clients are able to open ISAs (Individual Savings Account), JISAs (for children) and personal accounts with a 0.7% management fee.

The London-based team is led by Fintech entrepreneur Toby Triebel, the former CEO and co-founder of the global online lending platform Spotcap. Triebel joined the Wealthsimple team in September 2016, leading the company through regulatory approval and initial beta testing, which saw over five thousand people sign up for early access to Wealthsimple through an online waitlist.

In May, Wealthsimple raised an additional C$50 million from Power Financial group of companies, a strategic partner, bringing Power’s total investment to C$100 million thus far in support of Wealthsimple’s global ambitions.

Rhydian Lewis on ‘dinosaur’ banks and making RateSetter the ‘crowdsourced Libor’ (SpearsWMS.com), Rated: AAA

Since he and co-founder Peter Behrens set up the online exchange from a flat in 2010, it has handled the loans of £2 billion.

‘I’ve come to realise the importance of emotional intelligence to give other forms of intelligence the chance to come out right.’

It makes so much more sense for lending to be funded by investment as opposed to by an instrument called the deposit’ – not least because of the strictures imposed by regulators.

So far, 50,000 people have lent money through RateSetter, with £1.3 billion of loans repaid. Turnover this year should be £30 million; the headcount is 260. ‘Our ambition is that in due course the rates exchanged on RateSetter will be seen as benchmark rates,’ he says. And one day he would like peer-to-peer lending be ‘a crowd-sourced Libor’.

Clever Lending partners with LendInvest (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: A

Clever Lending has been made a strategic partner of bridging specialist LendInvest.

The firm will be able to distribute LendInvest’s specialist bridging and development finance products.

Brokers can now deal directly with Clever Lending to gain access to LendInvest’s range.

Pollen Street completes merger with MW Eaglewood (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

POLLEN Street Capital has completed its acquisition of a controlling stake in MW Eaglewood, creating one of Europe’s biggest alternative finance-focused investment managers.

The deal, first announced in May, sees Honeycomb Investment Trust manager Pollen Street become the majority shareholder of the combined group, which has assets of around £2bn.

Downing-backed report tackles ‘misconceptions’ over debt-based securities (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A REPORT has been published that aims to tackle advisers’ confusion and misunderstanding of debt-based securities (DBS), following their acceptance into the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) in 2016.

The CPD-accredited report, published by Intelligent Partnership, identifies some of the opportunities in the market and the role DBS can play in a diversified portfolio.

The term is used to describe a variety of different models for deploying capital, usually involving a borrower, lender and interest rate over an agreed period. DBS are increasingly arranged through crowdfunding platforms.

The report explains the investment types available, how to evaluate risks in varying market conditions, tax wrapper options, fees and returns, the difference between DBS and peer-to-peer lending, and due diligence issues.

‘Vital advisers understand debt-based securities’ – report (Professional Adviser), Rated: B

Alternative debt-based securities (DBS) will become more popular thanks to regulatory pressure and greater demand for diversification, therefore it is vital advisers understand the products, research provider Intelligent Partnership has said.

Time is running out to save this iconic Welsh pub from closure (Wales Online), Rated: A

A Welsh community has just weeks to raise enough money to save an iconic pub after the current owners set a deadline for when they intend to pull their last pints.

Despite raising £130,400 of an initial target of £300,000 so far – including £50,000 in the first few weeks of the campaign – time is now running out after a deadline was set of Saturday, October 28.

In a fresh attempt to raise more money, a Peer to Peer (P2P) lending scheme is being proposed whereby people can loan £5,000 to the scheme which, the group say, would generate a 4% gross interest return per annum.

China

Too Little, Too Late? China Can’t Seem to Get a Grip on Fintech Regulation (WSJ), Rated: AAA

In recent weeks, Chinese central bank officials, banking and securities regulators have tightened oversight of a range of investing and technology platforms used by individuals to trade virtual currencies, invest in online loans and rapidly shift cash in and out of mutual funds.

A surge of Chinese investment—possibly more than $600 billion in the past two years—has gone into these so-called retail products, according to data from online platforms, financial information aggregators and cryptocurrency research houses.

In August, regulators placed limits on the growth of mutual funds made wildly popular via China’s mobile-payment platforms.

More than 700 online-loan platforms, known as peer-to-peer lenders, closed in the last year ahead of new caps on their operations that take effect this month that dimmed their prospects for profitability.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

HK needs crowdfunding-friendly regulatory regime (EJ Insight), Rated: A

However, despite the fact that Hong Kong is one of the major global financial hubs, so far we still don’t have clear guidelines or any specific regulatory regime for crowdfunding, thereby hindering the development of our tech industry.

As far as equity crowdfunding and P2P lending are concerned, since they involve financial returns and yields, they are usually subject to legal regulation. Yet, in order to ride the global crowdfunding wave, major financial markets such as the US, Britain, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia have all eased restrictions on crowdfunding in recent years.

At present, Hong Kong doesn’t have a single and comprehensive piece of legislation that deals specifically with crowdfunding. Instead, it is regulated separately by different existing laws such as the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Money Lenders Ordinance as well as the Companies Ordinance.

Nevertheless, according to the same study, Hong Kong is lagging far behind other major financial centers when it comes to crowdfunding volume. In 2015, we raised a mere US$9.3 million (HK$72 million) through crowdfunding compared to US$28.4 billion, US$4.33 billion, US$360 million and US$240 million in the US, Britain, Japan and Australia, respectively.

As such, I suggest that the new regulatory framework for crowdfunding be more flexible. For example, the administration can consider exempting crowdfunding initiatives that involve less than HK$20 million from certain requirements that currently apply to public companies such as the need to submit a prospectus to the Securities and Futures Commission for scrutiny before launching any investment offering for sale to the public.

China hit by financial scam ‘epidemic’ (BBC), Rated: A

Li Wenxing was starting a new life. In May, the young university graduate left his home in rural China on the offer of work with a software company in the city of Tianjin.

But the job was a scam and Mr Li was swept into the web of a gang running a pyramid scheme.

Two months later he was dead.

The tragedy, which is being investigated, sparked national outrage and has illuminated the growing problem of financial fraud and its devastating impact on communities in China.

Pyramid schemes

Pyramid schemes are flourishing in parts of the country where education levels are low.

Peer-to-peer lending and virtual currencies have fuelled the spread of other investing scams, luring victims with little financial knowledge.

Government crackdown

As part of the crackdown, more than 100 arrests were made in southern China last month, targeting individuals over their suspected links to a 360m yuan (£42.3m) pyramid scheme.

Authorities had at least one major bust last year – breaking up a 50bn yuan online finance scam which was suspected of defrauding 900,000 investors.

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending: Information externalities, social networks, and loan substitution (VOXEU.org), Rated: AAA

The evaporation of trust in the banking system following the financial crisis fostered the growth of digital platforms offering peer-to-peer investment opportunities in the US, Europe, and China. In Europe, as the debate about the capital market union progresses (European Commission 2017), policymakers see the possibilities for the digital investment and lending industry to help foster a unified capital market, which has been missing for so long.

Data show instead that over the years, default rates in the platforms have decreased steadily and are much lower than those in the traditional banking system. Lending rates have gone down (though still remaining attractive for investors), and trade volumes have steadily increased.

Brexit Raises Doubts Over Britain’s Fintech Future (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Britain’s impending exit from the European Union has put a “question mark” over the country’s attractiveness to financial technology firms, according to the head of France’s biggest peer-to-peer lender.

The French firm, Younited Credit, has just raised an additional 40 million euros ($48 million) to finance its expansion into another seven European countries, only to postpone its decision on entering the U.K. until the economic consequences of Brexit become clearer.

Maiden PE ICO Light on the Blockchain (Invezz), Rated: A

A new private equity ICO resembles a typical PE fund structure more than it does any blockchain innovation. Ethereum-based FundCoin (FND), which was developed by Dutch fund of hedge fund manager Finles Capital, is scheduled to make its debut as the industry’s maiden private equity token ICO on Sept. 30.

FundCoin, which is targeting EUR 100 million in its ICO, describes itself as bridging the gap between the blockchain and private equity, but there’s one problem. FundCoin doesn’t appear to have attached itself to any blockchain innovation.

Citing a lack of clarity on the designation of digital tokens as securities, U.S., Singaporean and EU investors are excluded from the FundCoin crowdsale, as per the white paper. Finles Capital says the ban will be revisited as regulation takes shape.

Monthly origination summary for August 2017 (Bondora), Rated: B

Loans issued in August 2017 came in at €2,926,457. The figure is well above the running average for the year. August was the third strongest month for originations in 2017 outpaced by only January and March.

As usual Estonia was the leader on loans issued amounts. However, the total share of the country was slightly lower than many previous months. The country represented less than 60% of the total share reaching 59.91%. Meanwhile, Spain came in at 17.57% and Finland represented nearly a quarter of the total with 22.51%.

Source: Bondora

 

International

Alpha Payments Cloud rebrands as Alpha Fintech (Finextra), Rated: B

Alpha Payments Cloud is unveiling its comprehensive rebranding and new corporate identity as Alpha Fintech.

The rebrand aims to crystalize Alpha’s positioning as fintech‘s first end-to-end middleware, connecting the merchant buyer and vendor supplier across the entire payments, risk and commerce spectrum through a single API and UI.

India

HighRadius Raises $ 50 mn (YourStory), Rated: AAA

Hyderabad-based HighRadius, a player in cloud-based integrated receivables software space, announced that it had raised $50 million in growth funding from Susquehanna Growth Equity. Founded in 2006, this is the first external funding round that HighRadius has raised in its journey and the company aims to leverage it to grow its global footprint and also expand the team.

Fastforward to 2017, HighRadius works with hundreds of Global 2000 companies, including brands like Adidas, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Warner Bros. Their integrated receivables platform optimizes cash flow through automation of receivables and payments processes across 6 categories- credit, collections, cash application, deductions, electronic billing and payment processing.

HighRadius currently employs over 500 people across US, India, and Europe. Narahari explained that USA is currently their largest market, with about 90 percent of their business concentrated there and a small percentage in Europe.

Asia

China’s JD.com announces $ 500M e-commerce and fintech joint ventures in Thailand (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Following on from Alibaba’s $1 billion deal with Lazada and a $1.1 billion round in Tokopedia led by Alibaba, rival Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com has announced a $500 million investment that will create e-commerce and fintech businesses in Thailand.

Southeast Asia, a region of 600 million consumers, is forecast to see its internet economy grow to $200 billion by 2025 thanks to rising internet access. That potential has attracted investment dollars from Chinese giants lie Tencent and Alibaba, and now JD.com is upping its own efforts.

Africa

Fintech defines new trends in financial services offerings for farmers (AFGRI), Rated: A

For agriculture, the rise of Fintech means easier access to funds, new competitors in financial services and a global reach. Selling cattle or produce? Fintech and digital markets can now connect farmers directly to buyers on a mobile platform, doing away with the middleman. Important to note is that Fintech not only minimises the dependency on traditional banks as the middlemen, but increases the use of peer-to-peer lending, growing and strengthening the sharing economy model. Good examples are M-Pesa and FarmDrive in Kenya, where FarmDrive connects smallholder farmers to loans and financial management tools through their mobile phones.

In Mozambique, the Institute of Cereals of Mozambique (ICM), which is responsible for regulating and promoting agricultural production and commercialisation under the remit of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, recently joined forces with FinComEco to link agriculture to the latest financial technology.

Latin America

ID Finance grows footprint in Latin America with launch of Mexico operations (ID Finance Email), Rated: AAA

19th September 2017 – 

Mexico readies bill to regulate fast-growing fintech industry (Reuters), Rated: A

Mexico would regulate its fast-growing financial technology sector, including firms that use crypto-currencies like bitcoin, to protect consumers and spur competition, under a proposed bill seen by Reuters.

The proposed legislation, which Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said this month would be unveiled in the Senate before Sept. 20, seeks to ensure financial stability and defend against money laundering and financing of extremists.

Financial services firms envisage massive potential growth in Latin America’s No. 2 economy by reaching the more than 50 percent of Mexico’s roughly 120 million citizens without bank accounts.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday November 22, 2016 Daily News Digest

sme overdrafts uk

News Comments Today’s main news: Prodigy Finance funding foreign MBA students at U.S. colleges. Today’s main analysis : UK banks shift overdraft lending toward big businesses. Today’s thought-provoking articles: FinTech ideas banks are stealing. Credit rating agency questions rise of lending algorithms. Ways to mitigate P2P lending risk. United States Foreign MBA students get college loans through Prodigy […]

sme overdrafts uk

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Australia

China

India

Asia

International

News Summary

United States

Prodigy Finance Is Putting International Applicants Into Top-Ranked MBA Programs In The US (BusinessBecause), Rated: AAA

After several years working for Deloitte, Abhirath started looking at funding options to study an MBA abroad. But most local banks were unwilling to lend internationally and offered only high-interest loans, riddled with clauses and extra costs.

Instead, Abhirath applied for an international post-graduate loan from community lender, Prodigy Finance.

Prodigy Finance’s borderless, peer-to-peer lending model gives international students access to the loans they need to study abroad.

In September, Abhirath, along with Vyom Vats, was chosen for Prodigy Finance’s inaugural scholarship program. They both received $20,000 in additional funding.

Crowdsourced-Debt Financing is Growing (ValueWalk), Rated: A

The consumer online lending market is experiencing difficulty, with increasing delinquency and default. When questions were raised regarding the lack of due diligence in online loans, they were initially dismissed. What could go wrong? Now two years later the answer is clear as defaults are leading to business closures. Business lending for asset-based revolving lines of credit, however, has taken a different path.

Part of causation for the defaults is due to the race to grow, a trend that has reversed recently. Avant cut its monthly lending target in half while Circlebank Lending stopped making new loans entirely, Bloomberg reported. Shakeups have occurred in the C-Suite.  LendingClub CEO Renaud Laplanche resigned in May amid questions regarding faltering loans and Prosper Marketplace CEO Aaron Vermut recently resigned as it cut 25% of its staff, reported a $35 million second quarter loss and closed its secondary market for loans.

Krista Morgan, CEO of P2Binvestor, an online platform providing business lending for emerging companies businesses seeking revolving lines of credit, has taken a different approach.

The two-year-old company, which just received $7.7 million in a second round of angel financing, conducts due diligence on each loan and has skin in the game, investing alongside other investors.

The online lender currently works only with a small group of accredited investors connected to the firm, but plans to expand to offer the investment to a wider range of accredited investors shortly.  Investors can gain exposure to a large $10 million line of credit by only accepting as little as $1,000 of the risk exposure.

Crowd Valley at Cornell’s Fintech Hackathon in New York City (GrowVC Group), Rated: A

From Friday the 11th to 13th of November, Crowd Valley (a Grow VC Group company) joined professionals from EY, Capital One, Addepar and CoVenture as well as students from institutions such as Cornell, NYU Stern and Columbia for Cornell’s annual Fintech Hackathon held at their Cornell Tech location in New York City. The focus of the event was to promote the innovation of applications and technology for two verticals: Financial Inclusion and Anti Money Laundering (AML).

OnDeck To Present At The J.P. Morgan 2016 Fintech & Specialty Finance Forum (PR Newswire), Rated: B

OnDeck® (NYSE: ONDK), the leader in online lending for small business, announced today that Noah Breslow, Chief Executive Officer, and Howard Katzenberg, Chief Financial Officer, are scheduled to present at the J.P. Morgan 2016 Fintech & Specialty Finance Forum in New York on November 30, 2016 beginning at 12:30 p.m. E.T.

United Kingdom

Conrad Ford argues that UK SMEs are still under pressure as banks shift overdraft lending in favour of large businesses (Asset Finance International), Rated: AAA

SMEs remain under pressure as banks continue to shift overdraft lending away from them in favour of large businesses.

There has been a 37% fall in the value of overdrafts provided to SMEs over the last five years from £19 billion to £12 billion* (see graph), whilst overdrafts given to large businesses have increased by 25% over the same period from £19 billion to £24 billion.

SMEs, especially those within the retail and leisure sectors, can find the lead up to Christmas very challenging if they do not have access to overdrafts. This is because firms increase spending in order to stock up ahead of the crucial Christmas trading period but customers often delay invoice payments until the New Year.

Furthermore, salaries tend to be brought forward so staff can be paid before Christmas and overdrafts are often used to cover this cost.

SMEs face growing pressure and difficult choices as the value of overdrafts available to them continues to fall.

AU10TIX Announces Partnership With Startupbootcamp Fintech Accelerator Program (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

AU10TIX, a fully owned subsidiary of ICTS International N.V, announced on Monday it has formed a new partnership with the Startupbootcamp Fintech Accelerator Program as a way to help support fintech startups.

European Union

Weekly industry news roundup – November 21, 2016 (Bondora), Rated: AAA

The Hindu Business Line reported on data released from the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association which shared data indicating that worldwide P2P lending has grown from £2.2 million in 2012 to £4.4 billion in 2015.

For our German readership, Huffington Post released an article which details how P2P platform are the best alternatives for investors looking for higher investment returns and borrowers looking for cheaper credit options than current banking system offers them.

Sweden’s Klarna buys talent from troubled German fintech startup Cookies (Tech.eu), Rated: A

Swedish payment service provider Klarna has agreed to take on the team behind the insolvent Berlin fintech startup Cookies.

While the terms of the acquisition by Klarna were not disclosed, Swedish media reports that the sum is likely low and that it was essentially an “acquihire.”

Australia

Credit rating agency questions the rise of lending algorithms (Australian Financial Review), Rated: AAA

The increased use of algorithms to write consumer loans has been met with scepticism by rating agency experts who doubt the ability of computers to fully assess credit risk.

Speaking at the Australian Securitisation Forum, Moody’s US-based managing director Jim Ahern told the audience algorithms “work until they don’t” when it comes to approving loans.

Algorithms, he said, are only informed by past and recent data and may be unhelpful if there are meaningful changes in the environment.

We need plans for when robots are in driver’s seat (Australian Financial Review), Rated: A

Financial services companies, including technology-oriented fintech start-ups, are emerging to challenge the roles of banks and the large financial institutions. Fintechs are rapidly transforming and disrupting the marketplace by providing digital or “robo-advice” using highly sophisticated algorithms operating on mobile and web-based environments.

However, the rapid pace of ICT development — with A.T. Kearney predicting robo-advisers in the US will manage investment assets worth $2 trillion by 2020 — makes it critical that we plan for a world where technology is in the driver’s seat.

The ASIC position does not go as far as the one adopted by the EU, which provides an explicit “right to explain” and “right to challenge” on decisions made by algorithms. Nor does the ASIC guidance place an explicit onus on the algorithmic provider to explain, in simple terms, the logic behind an algorithmic decision. This might be intentional since algorithms may involve highly complex code and technical considerations well beyond the skill set expected from an average financial services adviser.

China

Mainland Chinese banks lag global rivals in digital investment, says McKinsey (South China Morning Post), Rated: AAA

Mainland Chinese banks are lagging far behind their global rivals in investing in the digital technology needed to compete in a challenging industry landscape with evolving client demand and fierce competition from fintech companies, an industry report said on Monday.

Many mainland banks devote less than 1 to 3 per cent of their income to technology and digitalisation, while leading global banks on average invested 17 to 20 per cent of pre-tax income to embrace the digital era, McKinsey & Company said in a banking report.

Han Feng, an associate partner at McKinsey, said the digital era for China’s banking industry has arrived.

India

P2P lending: the real benefits and ways to mitigate risk (YourStory), Rated: A

A few critical steps, if followed diligently by the P2P platform, can help minimise this risk for lenders. Traditional data like bank statements, salary slips, ITR etc. supported by digital data, online transaction data, and mobile and social data should be carefully evaluated and studied to understand the borrower’s ability, stability, and intention to repay the loan taken.

The CIBIL of the borrower is a must for the platform to be able to evaluate past performance. The identity verification process (physical or through technology) has to be done to eliminate fraudulent applications.

P2P lending platforms should allow lenders to diversify across many loans by factionalising an individual borrower. Diversification is a crucial step lenders must take to mitigate risk. As a lender, you need to check if the platform gives you a diversity of borrowers for investment. It’s always better to spread your  investment across a minimum of 100 loans of different types and risk grades viz. city, risk/returns, loan purpose, gender, caste/community, tenure, loan amount, etc.

Check how strong the risk team is. Who runs the risk department? If required, please speak/write to the CRO. Ideally, the risk team should be of people with a strong track record in risk management and practice. The data science team within the organisation should be responsible and producing analytical work to improve the quality of the decision-making. In India today, not many P2P lending players publish data and statistics about loan purpose, returns, and default ratio on their website. However, serious, long-term players will, because they realise that it’s critical to do so to bring transparency in the system and build lender confidence.

The agreement between the lender and the borrower is “I owe you”  and one can rest assured that the lender has the right to collect what is due to him at any point in the future when say, the country is out of recession or overcomes the impact of a natural disaster. The P2P platform should keep in touch with the borrower and get regular updates on his/her status. Having said that, India’s story looks very positive for the next 10 years.

Asia

Fintech ideas that banks are already stealing (The Middle Ground), Rated: AAA

On the one hand, some forms of Fintech – such as credit card comparison sites and home loan comparison sites – are mostly on the side of the banks. They make most of their money by directing the customers to the banks (more on this below). The banks, of course, tolerate them because they bring in customers.

On the other hand, some forms of Fintech threaten to replace entire segments of the banking business. The P2P lending websites, such as Capital Match and MoolahSense, could well replace banks in the area of small business loans. Most notably, Fintech companies such as Nutmeg have begun to pose a serious threat to the notion of private banking, by replacing the traditional relationship officer or private banker with online wealth management.

Recent developments though, suggest that big banks are taking a third alternative.

And now, Goldman Sachs has become the first bank to launch a P2P lending service. While Fintech lovers often claim that banks lack the innovation and flexibility to match Fintech counterparts, they seem to be forgetting that money is a sort of superpower. The cost of setting up a P2P lending website is peanuts to a bank, and they even have the sheer capital to guarantee loans that go bad.

If a bank launches a P2P site that’s also backed with its own guarantees, it will draw customers from smaller Fintech companies. And unlike those smaller companies, the bank can afford to fail repeatedly.

HSBC is already testing a transaction platform that uses blockchain technology. One of the underlying drivers of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain is (among other things) a method of verifying transactions.

With blockchain technology, multiple unrelated sources witness the transaction; and it’s not possible for any one party to fabricate it. Think of it as handing money to someone in a dark alley, versus handing money to someone in a well-lit area with 200 witnesses. The latter is fairer and safer.

Fintech sites are filling in many of the problems with traditional banking, but they might be a little overconfident regarding their edge. They might do well to remember second-mover advantage, and that what they’ve build over a decade the banks can pay enough to imitate within the year.

Fintech companies need to pursue that one great quality that banks can’t buy and copy – customer service, and a good relationship with their users. Because if there’s one thing banks – or anyone – can ever own, it’s good service.

Here are the Ten Fintech Firms that Singapore Just Gave S$ 1.15 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

As part of the first annual Fintech Festival, Singapore gifted S$1.15 million to ten different Fintech firms.

The 10 awardees are:

Award         Company Name Prize
ABS Global FinTech Award1 BioCatch S$150,000
MAS FinTech Awards (Singapore Open)2 1st place – fastacash Pte Ltd S$250,000
2nd place – M-DAQ Pte Ltd S$100,000
3rd place – Pole Star Space Applications Ltd S$50,000
MAS FinTech Awards (Singapore SME)3 1st place – Tookitaki S$150,000
2nd place – Turnkey Lender Pte Ltd S$100,000
3rd place – Funding Societies Pte Ltd S$50,000
MAS FinTech Awards (Singapore Founder)4 1st place – CashRun S$150,000
2nd place – Aimazing S$100,000
3rd place – FinChat Technology S$50,000
International

Capgemini launches global fintech initiative (Econotimes), Rated: A

Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing, announced that it is launching its global fintech initiative in order to fast-track fintech engagements with its global financial services clients.

The fintech initiative by Capgemini, is aimed to extend beyond the traditional incubator concept to encompass connection, curation, incubation, and investment stages. The initiative will elevate the company as an active participant in the process of validating and evolving the core value propositions of participating companies in collaboration with clients. It will also address challenges in integrating external innovation by bridging gaps in adoption including tech integration, data management, process changes, among others.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday October 25 2016, Daily News Digest

brexit investors

News Comments Today’s main news: ID Analytics, a new credit bureau created by Lending Club, Prosper, and Marlette. CFPB come out with a report to encourage fintechs. Today’s main analysis : The UK faces a huge test in the wake of Brexit. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How venture capitalists vet deals with crowdfunding. Canada gets its first FinTech […]

brexit investors

News Comments

United States

  • New online lending network promises to protect consumers and businesses. AT: “Following the news of OnDeck leading the way on price comparison and several online lenders cooperating to kick off a marketplace lending association, here is more evidence that online lending is trying hard to keep regulators off their backs. It’s another positive sign of growth and respectability for the industry. My only concern is that it could get out of hand with too many competing self-regulatory attempts.” GP : ” One needs to make the difference between SMART Box and ID Analytics clear : SMART box allows SME borrowers to compare the cost of capital between lenders with a standard method. ID Analytics is perhaps very close to being a credit bureau where Lending Club, Prosper, and Marlette contribute information to prevent loan stacking. If I were them I would certainly expect the regulators to name ID Analytics a credit bureau.”
  • CFPB assesses FinTech as positive. GP ” Like all regulators, CFPB has its detractors and its proponents. CFPB courageously came out encouraging “firms focused on giving credit to access the roughly 45 million consumers with little-or-no credit history by using alternative measures”. The agency also discourages “deceptive, harmful and discriminatory behavior”. It’s hard to disagree with that. While some behavior is clearly over the line, the main issue is to identify a clear method on what is close to the line. For example, if one offers auto loans, and most people buying cars are man, is that discriminatory ? I heard of a company who offers wedding loans, and most people taking them were of a certain ethnicity. Is that discriminatory ? Is that cultural ? Should we shut down that company ? Does it discriminate against people who are planning to never get married ? “
  • How venture capitalists use crowdfunding as a way to vet deals. AT: “Not only is it effective, but it should be encouraged. There’s got to be a way to narrow the prospects for the capital backers. Crowdfunding is a terrific vehicle.” GP: ” With one limitation. Crowdfunding works great for B2C products, not so much for B2B. Also, there is a large tendance to over promise, do an outstanding crowd sale, and make it impossible to deliver. The laws of physics seem to be hard to change no matter how much money one has. Also, and I learned a lot from Lampix and the Highway 1 accelerator, the hardware is slow and most crowdfunding sites are for hardware devices. “
  • Charlotte, NC has its own FinTech accelerator. AT: “If a city the size of Charlotte make the news for this kind of innovation, then who can argue that FinTech is destined to be a major wave of progression?”
  • BoA “hires” a robot to give financial advice. AT: “While I’m all for innovation in the banking sector, I can’t help but wonder how many consumers will actually want financial advice from a bot over the phone.”
  • Fundrise owes a lot to the success of its REITs to Title III of the JOBS Act. AT: “And not just Fundrise, the entire industry owes a debt of gratitude to the president for signing it.”
  • Lantern Credit goes after the underserved in lending. AT: “If there is any way to move the financial services industry forward, it’s wrapping our arms around the underserved.”
  • Bad debts drive CircleBack out of lending. AT: “How much more will follow? Perhaps the online lending sector needs to adopt better vetting practice for borrowers. This is why an online lending network is necessary.”
  • Bizfi gets a veteran payments administrator as CEO.

United Kingdom

Canada

European Union

Australia

India

Asia

News Summary

 

United States

ID Analytics Announces the Online Lending Network to Help Protect Consumers and Businesses (Yahoo! Sports), Rated: AAA

ID Analytics LLC, a company in consumer risk management, today announced the launch of the Online Lending Network, a new consortium formed to enhance responsible lending, help protect consumers and businesses, and address credit and fraud risks. Founding members include Lending Club, Prosper Marketplace, and Marlette Funding, as well as lenders representing online, marketplace, specialty finance and social lending. The network has achieved significant coverage of prime and sub-prime lending in only a few months, including over two-thirds of marketplace lending activity.

Through the Online Lending Network, lenders report when a consumer requests an offer for a loan product, submits a loan application, or when a loan is funded. In return, the lender receives information on whether that consumer has either requested other loan offers or applied for loans elsewhere in the days, hours or minutes before. The near real-time nature of the response makes high-velocity fraud, like loan stacking, very difficult. It also has the potential to protect authentic consumers from overextending their credit capacity to facilitate responsible lending.

The Online Lending Network will also provide access to tools to evaluate credit, including the detection of synthetic identities, and detection of potential identity theft, as online lenders are a target for fraudsters using stolen identities.

CFPB Gives Upbeat Assessment of Fintech in ‘Project Catalyst’ Report (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA

The federal consumer finance regulator released a report Monday on consumer-friendly financial-technology products, marking the agency’s first overview of the rapidly expanding industry.

The report covers the work the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done on its “Project Catalyst,” which aims to encourage the development of innovative consumer financial products that meet regulatory requirements.

The CFPB outlined in its report the types of fintech products and services that it would encourage. In particular, the agency is looking at firms focused on giving credit access to roughly 45 million consumers with little-or-no credit history by using alternative measures. The agency is also looking at firms that provide better technology for mortgage servicing, digital disclosures, credit reporting, and products that help consumers refinance student loans and manage cash flows through access to their wages.

The report also came with several broad warnings to fintech firms about creating products that are harmful, deceptive or discriminatory. The CFPB noted that both banks and nonbank fintech firms should be held to the same rules and oversight—a topic driving much debate among consumer groups, who want fintech firms to adhere to the same rules that apply to banks, and some in the industry who don’t want sweeping regulation.

How VCs are Using Crowdfunding to Vet Deals (VC-List), Rated: A

The crowdfunding industry is growing at an incredible rate, allowing startups and small businesses to launch more crowdfunding campaigns than ever before. Entrepreneurs from all types of industries have leveraged the opportunities that crowdfunding offers to raise much-needed capital for their companies. As such, some VCs have begun to embrace crowdfunding as a new source of deal flow that allows them to vet deals much quicker than in days past.

Crowdfunding platforms not only provide VCs with efficient instruments to review deals and maintain communication with entrepreneurs, it also provides them with the additional deal flow. It gives them the ability to look at more deals in more geographically disparate locations and invest. VCs can review business plans, proforma financials, disclosures and other documentation without having to listen to a glossy sales pitch. They are then able to ask crucial questions of the entrepreneur seeking funding.

Crowdfunding also helps the class of VCs and other investors that don’t have staff dedicated to sourcing projects, and when entrepreneurs approach this class of investor, they are more likely to get a more personal and direct response, rather than be vetted by staff that are not likely to be as knowledgeable as the investors who make the final decisions.

Crowdfunding, while still a relatively young industry, is proving itself as a valued partner to the VC community. As it continues to grow, we will likely see much more interaction between the two industries.

Queen City Fintech looks for 2017 class as Charlotte’s financial tech scene grows (Charlotte Business Journal), Rated: A

Queen City Fintech, the accelerator program based in uptown, is currently accepting applications for its 2017 cohort.

The program has gained support from major financial firms since launching in 2011. Companies including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Ally Bank, Synchrony Financial, BB&T, Barings and Ernst & Young see value in investing in an accelerator for the financial technology space.

Charlotte has also made strides in the fintech space as a city, which makes the program more appealing to entrepreneurs around the world.

Bank of America’s Bot Will Spout Financial Advice Through Your Phone (Fortune), Rated: B

Bank of America plans to provide customers with a chatty “virtual assistant” named Erica who will use artificial intelligence to make suggestions over mobile phones for improving their financial affairs.

Michelle Moore, head of digital banking for Bank of America, said in an interview on Monday that Erica will be smarter than a robot because she will bring up topics on her own, using predictive analytics as opposed to only answering questions customers ask.

Erica will be introduced to customers late next year, and will be able to converse by text as well as voice, said Moore.

How Title III of the JOBS Act helped Fundrise ‘democratize real estate’ (Technical.ly), Rated: A

When Dupont-based Fundrise first launched in 2012, the company’s mission was to “democratize” real estate investing — to “give everyone the opportunity to invest directly in high-quality real estate.”

The company’s tech-driven model allowed for a significant departure from the old school methods of real estate investing, but there was a rub — Fundrise’s democracy had imposed legal limits. That’s because, back in 2012, Fundrise couldn’t actually give “everyone” the same investment opportunity. Under the SEC rules of the time, any individual investing with Fundrise needed to be an “accredited investor” — an individual with a net worth of $1 million or $200,000 in annual income. That’s a pretty limited democracy.

But even back in 2012 this was starting to change. That year President Barack Obamasigned the JOBS Act, Title III of which opens up equity crowdfunding to non-accredited investors. And finally, on May 16, 2016, that section of the Act was implemented by the SEC.

There are still some limitations, though. For example, each Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT or eREIT as Fundrise calls them) that the company sets up has a $50 million cap. According to Davis, demand is much higher than this.

Lantern Credit CEO Chad Swensen on Enabling Lending to the Underserved Consumer at Money20/20 (Businesswire), Rated: A

Large segments of the US population are unable to access mainstream credit offer for various reasons. Lending to those underserved segments requires specialized credit risk assessment and management. As banks try to expand access to credit to underserved borrowers, they are turning to innovative technologies to meet the financial needs of more people.

Lantern Credit is using machine learning real-time credit modeling and education to enable consumers to gain better control over their finances and improve their credit wellness. The Company is partnering with lenders and retailers to predict credit worthiness of consumers with greater precision and to facilitate improved matching between credit products and interested customers.

Bad Debts Trigger Online Lender To Stop Dealing (iExpats), Rated: A

Ripples of fear are spreading across online peer to peer lending and crowdfunding platforms as more signs of failing investments become public.

The latest victim is the US online lending platform CircleBack.

The firm has ceased lending as cash from investors dried up on reports of borrowers defaulting on their loan repayments.

The business model was to borrow funds from equity investors that were then loaned to US consumers at interest rates ranging from 6.6% to 35%.

However, investors were concerned that losses were running at 13.5%.

Another concern is crowdfunding equity valuations.

Bizfi Appoints Alternative Finance and Payments Veteran John Donovan as CEO (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Bizfi (www.bizfi.com), a leading fintech company with a platform that combines aggregation, funding and a marketplace for small businesses, announced its board of directors has appointed John Donovan as the Company’s chief executive officer (CEO). Donovan is a 30-year veteran in the payments and alternative finance industry serving both small businesses and consumers.

United Kingdom

Brexit Confronts U.K.’s Online Lenders With Biggest Test Yet (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

British peer-to-peer lenders were preparing for serious trouble even before the Brexit vote rocked the U.K. on June 23.

Funding Circle Ltd., the No. 1 online lender to small and medium-sized businesses, carried out a stress test envisioning a three-year recession beginning in January 2017 that would crater the property market. If the U.K.’s split from the European Union wreaks that type of havoc, investors in the platform’s loans should still pocket a net return of 6.4 percent, says Jerome Le Luel, the firm’s chief risk officer. That’s not far off the 7.2 percent the loans should generate without a crisis.

The debate shows the tension at play as the industry, which accounts for just 3.6 percent of total lending to small businesses and consumers in Britain, tries to move into the mainstream. First developed 11 years ago by Zopa, the model has taken off around the world: Global peer-to-peer loan volume is projected to hit almost $350 billion this year, a 12-fold increase since 2013, according to research firm AltFi Data Ltd.

The fallout from the Brexit vote isn’t the only source of uncertainty facing the industry. After more than a year of review, the FCA has yet to clear the way for Funding Circle, Zopa, and other big platforms to tap a deep well of new customers: the government’s Individual Savings Account program. Millions of savers use so-called ISAs to manage assets worth 518 billion pounds.

Meanwhile, Philp, the member of Parliament, is pushing for changes that could upend the industry’s economics. He’s asked Andrew Bailey, the head of the FCA, to consider requiring peer-to-peer lenders to invest their own capital as a portion of every loan they arrange for investors.

Policy makers keen to stimulate economic growth are embracing the approach. The week of the EU referendum, the bloc’s European Investment Bank started distributing 100 million pounds in loans to British small businesses through Funding Circle’s platform. The firm was hopeful it would be the first tranche of a recurring program. Now, due to Brexit, it’s probably a one-off.

At first blush, Brexit hasn’t frightened off investors. In September, British platforms originated a record 364 million pounds in loans, a 30 percent jump over September 2015.

Brexit feeds into more European commercial real estate investment numbers (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: A

As £1.4bn has been pulled from UK property funds post Brexit, a new study from BrickVest says 21% of respondents both Dublin and Hamburg as top European cities; while 16% selected Frankfurt, highlighting a new trend towards German commercial real estate.

Some 40% of the top ten voted European cities were German, compared with 38% of institutional real estate investors who cite London as the top European city to invest in commercial real estate, ahead of Berlin (36%), Munich (31%) and Paris (22%).  Even so, real estate investment platform, BrickVest’s research showed that three in ten (30%) institutional investors believe Brexit will either increase or significantly increase European commercial real estate investment opportunities. A further one in four (23%) institutional investors believe that Brexit will have no impact on commercial real estate investment opportunities.

The research did, however, highlight some concern regarding the illiquidity of commercial real estate investing. Three-fifths (61%) of respondents do not believe that in light of £1.4bn being pulled from UK property funds post Brexit, real estate investors have enough access to a secondary property investment market.

In light of Brexit, which European cities are you currently looking at/planning to look at for commercial real estate investment? (survey with 96 investors)

 

London

38%
Berlin 36%
Munich 31%
Paris 22%
Dublin 21%
Hamburg 21%
Frankfurt 16%
Barcelona 11%
Zurich 11%
Amsterdam 10%
Brussels 10%
Copenhagen 10%
Warsaw 5%
Milan 4%
Madrid 3%
Stockholm

1%

Bruce Davis, MD of Abundance, Shares Insight & Perspective on FCA Regulatory Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The UK has been heralded as the gold-standard of regulatory policy regarding crowdfunding, peer to peer lending and Fintech in general. Many countries have studied the approach established by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before enacting rules of their own.

Today, the FCA is in the midst of a scheduled post-implementation review of the crowdfunding market and regulatory framework.  The agency has published a paper explaining their thoughts and perspective on how disruptive finance has evolved alongside some of their concerns.

Bruce Davis: The FCA made great efforts to consult the industry in the process of developing the regulatory framework for crowdfunding in 2014.

At an individual level, the sector is supervised by a flexible team within the FCA who cover issues as and when they arise. We believe that this level of supervision is sufficient for the risks within the industry although we would like to see a greater emphasis on enforcement of rules against businesses which are adjacent to our sector or operating under an exemption.

Bruce Davis: Aside from the odd ‘off the cuff’ comment, we have found the FCA takes its responsibilities to foster competition and innovation seriously. It could still do more to encourage innovations which will encourage more people to take control of their money and how it is invested.

Bruce Davis: I think that pound for pound the crowdfunding industry is perhaps the most supervised sector in the whole financial services industry. Our track record of customer satisfaction and low levels of complaints suggests that this could be scaled back and more focus put on enforcement of the rules against those who operate outside of our regulated sector (but who still offer investments to the public under exemptions or old assumptions about the permissions surrounding an offer of investments to the public).

Canada

OSC Launches Canada’s First Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech (Finance Magnates), Rated: AAA

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), one of the thirteen provincial financial regulators in Canada, today unveiled a new fintech-focused hub called LaunchPad which aims to help guide FinTech startups through the complexities of the regulatory framework.

LaunchPad will be staffed by a dedicated team who will work directly with fintech companies to help them navigate, and even potentially tailor, Ontario’s securities laws while ensuring investors remain protected.

The OSC will apply what it learns through the LaunchPad hub more broadly to modernize regulation for similar businesses. These include online advisory firms, peer-to-peer lending services, crowdfunding platforms and angel investor organizations.

The program has a dedicated website, which can be accessed through www.osclaunchpad.ca, and already accepting now requests for support from eligible fintech businesses.

Lending Loop reopens peer-to-peer lending after regulator OK (WHBL), Rated: A

Canadian financial technology startup Lending Loop said on Monday it was re-launching its online lending marketplace after receiving regulator approval to sell investment opportunities to lenders regardless of their wealth.

The company, which paused its unlicensed operation in March, said the Ontario Securities Commission has now granted it an exempt market dealer license, and that it can connect small businesses looking to raise capital to individual lenders seeking a return on capital everywhere in Canada except Quebec.

The approval, which follows a rival company’s green light last month, suggests Canadian regulators are coming to terms with the peer-to-peer lending model, which is already popular in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

The company will allow borrowers – typically small and medium-sized businesses – to seek loans of between C$5,000 and C$500,000 and over durations ranging from 3 months to 5 years.

Rival Lendified Holdings Inc and its Vault Circle Inc subsidiary secured an exempt market dealer license on Sept. 28. It plans to present lending opportunities only to accredited investors, who must have significant financial assets when it launches in the first quarter of 2017.

European Union

Post Brexit: Bondora Plans European Office in Germany Instead of London (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

Estonian p2p lending marketplace Bondora will open a new European office in Germany, saying that post Brexit London is no longer attractive as a Fintech hub. Bondora formerly planned to move to London but stopped the plan after the Brexit vote. ‘There is too much uncertainty, the UK lost its attractiveness as a fintech hub’ explains Bondora CEO Pärtel Tomberg the decision.

For the Bondora business model very good access to the European market is crucial says Tomberg. He sees uncertainty how long London might be able to provide this.

P2P Lending Won’t Displace Banks; Dealing with Credit Risk Management (Fintech News Switzerland), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending, which aims at shaking up the banking market and attacking one of the core profit-generating activities of banks, is not likely to displace banks from their core roles of lending to retail consumers, according to a report by Deloitte.
Despite the promising outlook, the P2P lending industry has recently come under fire as Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club, one of the leading platforms in the US, was forced to resigned after the company revealed that it had provided mis-assessed loans to Jefferies and Co., which was distributing the loans to institutional investors, reports the Wall Street Daily.

The skepticism over P2P lending has also been felt in China where loan sharks have been widely criticized for practicing aggressive debt recovery tactics, demanding, for instance, nude photos as collateral from female borrowers for blackmail if they fall behind on their repayments, reports the Financial Times. Other disturbing debt recovery tactics in China include property destruction and bodily injury.

While P2P lending has enabled the masses to gain access to credit and investment opportunities in China, the sector has nevertheless a Wild West aspect with lenders reportedly peeking in bathrooms in order to assess credit risks and borrowers settling payment obligations with bottles of spirits.

Yet, P2P lending remains a risky bet compared to other savings and investment options, according to Deloitte. However, it highly depends on the market. Switzerland seems to be a very attractive destination. The country is known to be very reliable and strict in credit-Risk Management and investors can get attractive yields with the likes of CreditGate24 and others.

Australia

Bravura Solutions chief: fintech doesn’t need to go abroad to be successful (Australian Financial Review), Rated: A

Bravura Solutions is proof that fintech is one of Australia’s unheralded export successes. At least that’s the view of chief executive Tony Klim, who says his company’s return to the ranks of the ASX will show it is possible to build an internationally successful fintech business based in Australia.

Bravura, which is in the midst of a $200 million, pre-Christmas share sale, provides software and technology services for superannuation, life insurance, and private wealth firms. It administers about $2.3 trillion of assets for clients including Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan, Mercer, Fidelity, and Citigroup.

The initial public offering for the company, backed by local private equity firm Ironbridge, is Bravura’s second attempt at life on the ASX, coming a decade after it first floated on the exchange as a two-year-old business focused on the British and Asian markets.

One of the biggest differences between then and now, Klim says, is that Australia is much more focused on technology, as the commodities boom that has powered the national economy for decades fades and the government attempts to identify and help develop other sectors that may one day take the place of mining.

While fintech firms operating in consumer niches such as peer-to-peer loans have captured the imagination of the media and investors alike, Klim proudly says Bravura has been profitable by focusing on less sexy stuff.

9 Australian companies have made it to the latest global Fintech 100 (Business Insider), Rated: B

Nine Australian companies are in the global 2016 Fintech 100.

The latest annual list, compiled by accelerator H2 Ventures and KPMG, includes Prospa (31), Tyro (43) and SocietyOne (50) among the leading 50 established fintech companies.

Another six are in the 50 emerging stars list: Afterpay, Brighte, Data Republic, Identitii, Hashching and Spriggy.

India

Our take: as Fintech firms allowed 100% FDI through automatic route, challenges for regulators (Medianama), Rated: A

Fintech companies classified under “other financial services” will now be permitted 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) through the automatic route, as opposed to the approval route earlier, according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification.

The RBI and other regulatory authorities have an uphill task of trying to figure out which fintech companies fall under whose purview. Regulators will have to spell out explicit rules and come out with more detailed classification. Fintech companies operate in areas where regulation in unclear, and regulators need to update themselves on their activities and specify  what a particular company can and cannot do.

A great example of this was the RBI’s consultation paper the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies which sought to regulate them as NBFCs. It added that it took into consideration SEBI’s guidelines on crowd funding, and clarified that since P2P lending it is not a transaction where equity or debt is exchanged, it would come under the RBI’s ambit.

The RBI’s review of guidelines for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) is welcome and it will be in the interest of everyone to understand new developments in the fintech space. Other regulators would be wise to issue or clarify rules for developments in their sectors.

Asia

P2P lending rises in Korea in Q3 (Korea Herald), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending in South Korea rapidly grew in the third quarter, reaching 188 billion won (US$166 million), according to the data compiled by industry tracker Crowd Institute.

Local banks shunned lending to such small businesses amid a protracted economic slowdown, but for investors hunting for high returns, P2P lending emerged as an alternative investment tool amid record low-interest rates in Asia‘s fourth-largest economy.

The alternative lending service has gained popularity in the past few years, with accumulated P2P loans reaching over 150 billion won as of June this year, and the figure is expected to top 300 billion won by the end of the year.

Overcoming challenges: Building a strong and sustainable fintech sector (Business Times), Rated: A

While fintech holds great promise for the society with key benefits being cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and exceptional user experience, it is still a fairly nascent sector. As with all industries that are developing rapidly, there are growing pains and issues to be ironed out, especially those surrounding corporate governance and regulatory requirements.

Singapore has been proactively addressing the subject with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) setting up a fintech and Innovation Group in 2015 to examine regulatory policies and sector development strategies.

Besides online lending, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have also had their fair share of issues. Bitcoin famously vouched to give a bank account to anyone without requiring identity verification. While the process becomes more seamless, the anonymity of it may expose it to vulnerabilities. In August this year, hackers stole US$65 million worth of bitcoins from bitcoin exchange Bitfinex and in 2014, US$460 million of bitcoins vanished from Mt Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange before it declared bankruptcy after the hack. Incidents such as these are a cause for concern, but it is important to keep in mind that they are rare and far between. These scandals expose the gaps in the sector and provide a valuable learning experience.

In Singapore, the MAS has set up a regulatory sandbox to allow startups to experiment with fintech solutions within a well-defined space and duration. For that period, the MAS will ease certain regulatory requirements and provide appropriate safeguards to contain the consequences of failure for customers. Other countries such as Thailand, Australia, the UK, and Malaysia are also implementing their own versions of a regulatory sandbox to develop a safe and conducive sector where innovation has the space to flourish.

As with every worthy endeavor, growing pains are an inevitable part of the process. With the government’s active involvement in the sector, Singapore is in a good position to learn from experience and embrace change instead of being hampered by short-term challenges.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday October 2016, Daily News Digest

bondora portfolio manager

News Comments Today’s main news: SMART Box, a cost of capital comparison tool, is live. Bondora shuts down manual investing, leaving only auto-investing and API. Today’s main analysis : Are online consumer loans replacing home equity loans ? Marketplace lending securitization increases. Today’s thought-provoking articles:  How hackathons make big banks more attractive. One UK FinTech firm is looking to […]

bondora portfolio manager

News Comments

United States

  • SMART Box, a cost of capital comparison tool, is live. This allows SME lenders to compare the cost of capital between all kind of sources. AT: “This is the first move of many to come for the online lending industry to regulate itself. It’s a bold move in the right direction.” GP : ” Having a standard tool to allow borrowers to compare the cost of capital from different sources is the key to make regulators comfortable. As a side effect, this will probably drive competition in pricing and reduce the lender’s margins over the years to come. “
  • Are online consumer loans replacing home equity loans?  AT: “The online consumer lending market is looking good, but it might be a while before it completely overtakes home equity lending. Perhaps a generation.” GP: ” This is great news for the online consumer lending as home equity lending is a large clear market for them to tackle.”
  • Marketplace lending securitization goes through the roof. AT: “It’s been a rough year for marketplace lending, but the future is still bright. With Millennials growing older, I’d suspect seeing a slow down in students loans at some point, but there will be a correlated increase in small business lending and real estate marketplace lending.” GP: ” Just a reminder that about 50% of the marketplace lending capital is coming from securitization at this time. However, securitization is very volatile and I hope lenders like SoFi have an alternative, if maybe more expensive, options for capital. Capital is the bloodline of online lending. “
  • Should consumers be allowed to determine what can be done with the financial data in their accounts? AT: “My question for Mr. Cordray is, To what extent should banks be allowed to make that determination?” GP: ” This debate on consumer financial data is also part of the overall debate on privacy and data. Who owns the data ? Why would a financial company decide what I can do with my own data ? Of course, there is a cost to providing the data and information, so that can be taken into account. But how is financial data different than health data for example ?”
  • RealtyMogul returns $50 million to investors. GP : ” A nice milestone. “
  • Insuretech attracts venture capital. AT: Insurance is poised to be the next competitive landscape for funding. Look for big things in this sector.”
  • Will big banks capitalize on hackathons? AT: “Now that banks are looking for partners in FinTech, hackathons and conferences might be the best places to find them.” GP :” The large banks are also trying all kind of innovation approaches : partnerships with accelerators like Techstars, partnerships with fintech startups, in-house innovation teams, hire consultants to help with innovation, etc. Most likely different ways will work for different companies. What is impressive is how hard large financial companies are trying to innovate and keep up. “
  • Elevate launches Center for the New Middle Class. GP : ” Innovate is known for their sub-prime lending, and their large revenue and volume. This will continue to help improving their image. Most companies who focus on very large APR and very sub-prime usually have a bad image. “
  • Canadian company wins prize and agrees to do business in Connecticut.
  • Can technology help companies be more compliant?
  • Crowdfunding is giving rise to new REITs. GP: ” These new RETs seem to be a fairly new strong direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn into a stand-alone industry. “
  • Weekly Online Lending Snapshot from Orchard. GP : ” Honestly, I continue to be unsure if weekly is a good frequency. In my eyes, not much happening week to week. Charts mostly show noise… Am I wrong ? Please let me know if I am wrong. “
  • Prosper’s Ron Suber says we’re in phase 3 of FinTech. AT: “His five lessons from 2016 are more prescient, I think.”
  • Now that big banks have discovered FinTech, regional and community banks are getting in. AT: “We’ll see a lot more of this in the near- and mid-term future.”
  • Altisource Origination Services rebrands.

Canada

United Kingdom

European Union

  • UK FinTech company is looking at Ireland in order to continue doing business across Europe. “Leaving the EU is one thing, completing shutting off Europe is another. The UK will need to figure out its FinTech sector can stay connected with the rest of the world as it severs ties with its neighbors.”
  • Bondora is removing Primary Market from UI. GP : ” To me this is the most important news of the day. Many p2p investors offer manual investing only. Some have put in place automatic investing based on criteria. I strongly believe that automatic investing is the only smart way as it forces diversification and prevent retail investors from making most of the criticla mistakes they sometimes do. The average retail investor can’t have the time to do a proper job at evaluating loans. On the other side if people really want to do advance loan picking based on their proprietary criteria, API is the way to go. And all platforms should have APIs as well. Bondora taking this courageous step forward should make everybody else think about it. “

Australia

China

Japan

Asia

India

Middle East

International

News Summary

 

United States

Nation’s Top Online Small Business Lending Platforms Unveil SMART Box™ (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

The Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA)—consisting of the nation’s three largest online small business lending platforms OnDeck® (NYSE: ONDK), Kabbage®, and CAN Capital—in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the leading advocate for microbusiness in the United States, today introduced the SMART (Straightforward Metrics Around Rate and Total cost) Box, a first-of-its-kind model pricing disclosure and comparison tool focused on empowering small businesses to better assess and compare finance options.

The SMART Box tool is a priority initiative for the ILPA, developed in response to a need for common verbiage and standardization in pricing disclosure in small business finance. The SMART Box presents small businesses with a table of standardized pricing comparison tools and explanations, including the total cost of capital (TCC) and annualized percentage rate (APR). The new model disclosure is the culmination of months of engagement with key small business stakeholders, including lending platforms, policymakers, not-for-profit organizations, small business owners, and small business advocates. The ILPA and AEO worked with these stakeholders to unite around a disclosure that includes a third-party validation mechanism (implemented by Navigant Consulting) and allows small businesses to make apples-to-apples comparisons of different finance options.

There are currently three versions of the SMART Box disclosure—for term loans, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances—that take into account the differences between the products, while still utilizing common pricing metrics and calculations, as well as standardized language.

The SMART Box disclosure features include:

  • The basic elements of the finance option under consideration, including the amount financed, the funds disbursed the total repayment amount, the expected term, and the frequency of payback (as applicable).
  • Four common pricing metrics, including TCC, APR (estimated for merchant cash advances), the average monthly payback, and the cents on the dollar cost of the financing option.

The TCC metric captures all interest and any other fees that are a condition of receiving capital. This metric states the total dollar cost of the finance option, a crucial source of information for a small business owner.

The APR metric provides the cost of capital—including fees that are a condition of receiving capital, when applicable—expressed as a yearly rate. Note that while APR can be used for comparison purposes, it is not the interest rate applied or used to calculate the total dollar cost of the financing option. Navigant Consulting will be responsible for validating that APR calculation methodologies are consistent with the principles of Regulation Z (implementing The Truth in Lending Act.)

The average monthly payment metric captures the average monthly cash flow impact of repaying the finance option under consideration. Regardless of whether the product requires daily, weekly, or monthly repayment, the average monthly payment provides a common benchmark for assessing monthly cost.

Have Online Consumer Loans Served as a Replacement For Home Equity Loans? (Debanked), Rated: AAA

At the late September Marketplace Lending and Investing Conference in New York City, loanDepot CEO Anthony Hsieh laid out his view on the state of the union.

“As a nonbank lender, you must be patient,” he preached. Hsieh knows something about patience. His company’s planned November 2015 IPO was canceled due to adverse market conditions and six months later, the scandal at Lending Club sent just about all marketplace lenders reeling.

One thing they noticed was that the credit and financial profiles of their borrowers were nearly identical whether they took a home loan or a personal loan, meaning that it’s all the same borrower base.

Both borrowers had a 724 FICO on average.

Home loan borrowers had an average age of 49 versus an age of 51 for personal loan borrowers.

Home loan borrowers had an average income of $82,500 versus an average income of $82,300 for personal loan borrowers.

Home loan borrowers had an average 100% home ownership rate versus a 94% home ownership rate for personal loan borrowers. But here’s where it gets different. The average home loan amount is $274,000 while personal loan sizes average only $16,076. The average coupon percentage is 3.88% for home loans versus 13.87% for personal loans.

The motivations for borrowing are also similar. 92% of personal loan borrowers claim to be using the funds either for debt consolidation or home improvement. So until home equity returns as a major source of consumer cash, which Hsieh believes it will, consumers will continue to seek all types of alternatives.

Led By Student Loans, Marketplace Lending Securitization Volume Soars (Forbes), Rated: AAA

2016 has been a challenging year for marketplace lenders. Increased regulatory scrutiny, investor discomfort, competition from Goldman Sachs (with the launch ofMarcus personal loans) and the resignation of Lending Club’s CEO have dominated the headlines. An industry that was meant to challenge traditional banking seemed dangerously close to implosion. However, a recent report from PeerIQ paints a different picture. Marketplace lending securitization volume has increased 86% compared to last year, with $5.4 billion already issued this year. The data indicates the emergence of a group of increasingly sophisticated marketplace lending champions. While some lenders have or will run out of money, the remaining champions have become increasingly potent long-term threats to traditional banks, even though some are now partnering more closely with banks in the short term.

  1. New Products: Consumer marketplace lending is focused on two products: refinancing student loans and personal loans. SoFi has created an industry, as you can see from comparison sites like MagnifyMoney and StudentLoanHero. The traditional personal loan market had almost disappeared from the US, because banks preferred the higher returns of credit cards and home equity lines of credit. Lending Club reintroduced personal loans to America as a rational way to refinance credit card debt and accelerate debt payoff.
  2. Cheaper Technology: The best banks have been taking credit card and loan applications online for years. But most banks have built modern front-end systems on top of expensive legacy back-end systems. Marketplace lenders have the opportunity to build both front and back-end infrastructure at a fraction of the costs of core banking legacy systems.
  3. Innovations in Risk: Many marketplace lenders have been guilty of exaggeration here. Abandoning FICO and focusing on cash flow is neither new nor innovative. It is actually an old-fashioned way of lending. But the emerging champions have found ways to innovate with new risk-splitting variables and automated verification processes.

Marketplace lending remains a threat to banks for three reasons: cost, customer preference, and new market segments.

Venture capital tends to travel in herds, and far too many marketplaces were funded in 2014 and 2015. Many of those companies have run out of capital and have disappeared. More will likely go out of business over the next twelve months. For example, a company called Vouch  tried to give better interest rates to people who get others to “vouch” for them. That business no longer exists, and other lenders have followed suit.

According to the PeerIQ report, SoFi now enjoys a 70-110 bps funding cost advantage compared to its peers in the student loan category and remains the largest marketplace lending issuer by a significant margin.

We are still in a benign credit environment. Until the country goes through a true credit cycle, the relative strength or weakness of marketplace underwriting models will not be apparent. However, even in a benign environment, there are differences between platforms. According to the PeerIQ data, some lenders have already had securitization deals breach triggers. For example, Circleback Lending already breached a delinquency trigger and is no longer accepting new loan applications.

The shrinking of the marketplace lending universe actually makes it easier for the survivors.

Some large traditional banks are now creating marketplace lending divisions of their own, as Goldman Sachs has done with Marcus. Goldman, which leads the league table for the securitization of marketplace lending assets, will now compete against its own clients. Traditional banks will need to fight off both sets of competitors. Banks that invest aggressively in digital infrastructure have the chance to compete. Banks that are afraid of disrupting their core business will likely find the next ten years incredibly challenging.

Head of Consumer Finance Agency Speaks Out on Fintech (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: A

The U.S.’s lead federal consumer finance regulator issued a warning Sunday to banks that consumers should be able to determine for themselves what to do with the financial data that underlies their accounts.

“Let me state the matter as clearly as I can here: We believe consumers should be able to access this information and give their permission for third-party companies to access this information as well,” said Richard Cordray at Money 20/20, one of the largest payments conferences in the nation.

The remarks were part of a broader speech in which Mr. Cordray noted the importance of regulators embracing new fintech products that provide greater credit access to consumers who didn’t previously have access to traditional banking. The CFPB plans to release a report Monday on its so-called “Project Catalyst” which is meant to help firms test consumer financial products under the oversight of the bureau.

RealtyMogul.com Has Returned over $ 50 Million to Investors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In a brief update, real estate crowdfunding platform RealtyMogul.com reported the platform has now returned over $50 million in principle and interest to investors. RealtyMogul.com called the accomplishment a “significant milestone for the company and the category.

RealtyMogul.com has facilitated over $220 million in both debt and equity for over 200 transactions. This places the real estate marketplace as the largest of its kind in the US.

Venture Capital Funding Floods Into Life Insurance (Investopedia), Rated: A

Online insurance startups have been drawing significant funds from venture capital firms as these investors look for the next area that will offer them compelling returns. (See also: Introduction To Insurance.)

VC firm Canaan Partners, one of the first outside investors in alternative lender LendingClub Corp. (LC), led funding rounds for startup companies Embroker and Ladder Financial Inc. in 2016. The funding round for Embroker, a cloud-based platform for property and casualty insurance, involved Nyca Partners and XL Innovate. Ladder, which offers term-life insurance policies to residents of California, raised $14 million in its funding round.

The VC industry’s seeming preference for insurance firms represents a sea change, as they used to focus on alternative lenders. However, these nontraditional financial institutions have been running into challenges as investors grow wary of their loan quality and the industry grows more saturated.

VC firms are scaling back their investments in online lenders since these firms are not differentiated enough, according to Nick Braun, who previously worked as a VC partner and now focuses on insurance entrepreneurship. Insurance, however, is a “$1 trillion market with some of the most archaic distribution systems still in existence.

Can Hackathons Give Big Banks the Fintech Edge? (Fast Company), Rated: A

Accelerators, hackathons, venture capital and private equity firms, and even fintech conferences such as Money20/20 and Fintech Ideas Festival are all becoming channels to find, influence, and guide development in the fintech community as well as in traditional banking.

ITIF found that $22.3 billion was invested in fintech startups worldwide in 2015, up 75% from the year before.

Dominic Venturo, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at U.S. Bank, says it is “very helpful” for the innovation team at U.S. Bank to engage with the fintech startup community. “There is a lot of benefit to diversity of thought and approach,” he says. “It causes us to think differently.”

The banking industry has changed more in the last two to three years than it has in the last 30 years, said Andy Cecere, president and CEO for U.S. Bancorp, the holding company for U.S. Bank, during a September 15 investor call. Cerere cited changing customer expectations and the desire to do more digitally as the drivers of these changes.

Many of these changes are being driven by the rise of fintech, says Dan Rosenbaum, head of corporate development, strategy, and innovation at Bank of the West. Fintech can offer enhanced experiences to customers with more functionality on mobile devices and different ways to engage them, he says. For instance, financial engagement apps can help customers visualize their savings account as an actual goal, such as saving money to buy a house or take a vacation, or enable consumers to analyze their budget by looking at their transaction history.

The ability to work with fintech allows banks to have more awareness of the trends and ideas being tested, Rosenbaum says.

U.S. Bank estimates it has met with more than 300 companies in the last two years through its relationships with Plug and Play, INV Fintech Accelerator, and others. Four times a year, Plug and Play sifts through more than 800 applications from fintech startups and invites 25 to 30 of them to participate in a 12-week accelerator program that connects the startups to decision makers at financial institutions, including U.S. Bank, Bank of the West, and Deloitte.

Connecting with startups early in the development stage is especially important, says Rosenbaum, because fintech is not a regulated industry like banks.

Participating in hackathons allows MasterCard and others to determine whether developers are able to use their technology to create products. “You can develop technology in a vacuum all day long,” Martin says, “but one of the best ways to know if it works is to be side by side with a developer.” MasterCard and U.S. Bank are opening up their technology to developers in the hopes that they will be able to use it to make a successful product, Martin says.

A byproduct of partnering with accelerators and the fintech community, says Rosenbaum, is that developers are becoming more comfortable working with banks. There are many talented people in the fintech community who don’t want a traditional job, says Venturo. There are also plenty of people who know how much work a startup is and how uncertain it can be, and who are looking to be more career-focused on a certain area of expertise.

Hackathons provide better insight into candidates than the traditional recruitment model, Kho says, because you see how someone performs under a compressed and difficult timeline.

Elevate Launches Center for the New Middle Class (Press Release), Rated: B

With a majority of Americans no longer able to simply go to a bank to meet their short-term credit needs, Elevate today announced it has launched The Center for the New Middle Class, a research-focused body developed to engage and educate the public about the growing needs of individuals who do not have access to traditional credit options – many of whom also do not have $400 in savings to cover short-term emergency credit needs.

The Center released its first research report on the effects of credit challenges of Americans who find themselves to be nonprime in the eyes of traditional credit providers and banks.

Results from the study showed that, compared to those who have prime credit scores, nonprime individuals are:

  • Nine times more likely to have been turned down for credit within the last 12 months
  • Six times more likely to have been denied a job because of low credit within the last 12 months
  • 12 times more likely to have been denied an apartment because of the lack of credit within the last 12 months
  • 10 times more likely to say they couldn’t “make financial progress” because of low credit within the last 12 months
  • Much more likely to be focused on building credit when borrowing
  • 52% more likely to deny themselves of comforts to save money
  • More likely to believe their finances will worsen
  • More likely to say their life is worse financially than when they grew up

Canadian fintech firm wins top VentureClash prize (Hartford Business), Rated: A

A Toronto-based financial technology upstart expects to bring jobs to Connecticut by early next year, after winning a $1.5 million equity investment Thursday night in Connecticut Innovations’ first-ever pitch competition.

The contest, dubbed VentureClash and hosted at Yale’s School of Management, resulted in upwards of $5 million in equity investments for six companies out of 11 finalists competing in front of a panel of six venture capitalists and innovation experts. All winners have agreed to locate operations in Connecticut in exchange for the capital.

How fintech aims to make DOL fiduciary rule manageable (Investment News), Rated: A

Fintech vendors are introducing software that helps advisers assess risk tolerance and establish investment policies around clients, picks investments they can show are best for clients, and monitors and documents all these tasks over time.

Among the newest tools aimed at DOL compliance, RiXtrema introduced software Wednesday to guide advisers through the post-rule process of rolling client assets from qualified retirement plans into individual retirement accounts overseen by the adviser.

Under the controversial DOL rule, which must be implemented by April 2017, advisers need to be able to demonstrate they’re acting as fiduciaries for clients when providing advice tied to retirement accounts, including IRAs.

The RiXtrema tool can convert the existing retirement investments into new portfolios of securities that have been approved by the advisory firm or broker-dealer. Whether an adviser just compares or compares and converts investments, it spits out a report that details why a rollover is in the best interest of the client, Mr. Satchkov said.

But financial services technology consultant Susan Gloverwarns that having tech tools doesn’t mean advisers can totally wash their hands of responsibility with the rule.

How Crowdfunding is Expanding the REIT Market (Investopedia), Rated: B

Fundrise, one of the pioneers of the online real estate crowdfunding industry, introduced this week, three new funds to their family of eREITs™, which essentially are a public but non-traded REIT. The additions are the Fundrise West Coast Opportunistic REIT, Fundrise Midland Opportunistic REIT, and Fundrise East Coast Opportunistic REIT. Until now, Fundrise managed two REITs, one being income-focused and other being focused on growth, that both made investments throughout the country. However, the new REITs will each target specific geographic locations in the U.S. Income and growth will be their main investment objectives.

Fundrise’s Growth eREIT™ investors are earning an approximate 8% annualized dividend, while Income eREIT™ investors earn approximately 11.25% gross annualized, Jordan Sale, director of marketing at Fundrise, told Investopedia.

RealtyMogul.com’s MogulREIT I is another crowdfunded REIT that was launched this year. Like Fundrise’s REITs, the MogulREIT makes debt and equity investments in various types of commercial property with an aim to distribute a steady stream of income. The REITs NAV is currently fixed until September 2017 at $10 per share, and its first dividend payout was distributed to investors earlier this month, which equates to an approximate 8% return on an annualized basis.

Equity crowdfunding has been on the rise ever since Regulation A+ was finalized and adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) early last year. It essentially exempts companies from the need to register certain small issues of securities, and also allows them to offer those securities to non-accredited investors, helping to attract funds.

Weekly Online Lending Snapshot – October 21, 2016 (Orchard Platform), Rated: AAA

Small business lending remains a focus of both online lenders and traditional lenders alike. Orchard announced an agreement with small business lender OnDeck to provide standardized data and analytics to investors transacting on the OnDeck Marketplace®. JPMorgan Chase countered Goldman Sachs’ launch of their consumer online lending platform Marcus with an announced partnership with LiftFund to launch a lending platform called LiftUP, designed to improve lending to women, minority, and veteran small business owners. Biz2Credit announced that small business loan approvals at big banks and institutional lenders had reached an all-time high according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™. On the regulatory front, as reported by Reuters, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) superintendent encouraged traditional banks in New York to explore opportunities in online lending at the New York Bankers Association conference.

For me, it feels like Phase 3 of Fintech (Ron Suber of Prosper, Email), Rated: B

Phase 1 was the beginning awareness and understanding. People looked at us and said, “Really? It can’t be done. You are wasting your time and money. Borrowing and lending on the internet sounds like a Ponzi scheme.” Phase 2 was early last year when all the banks sent their innovation teams and senior leadership to find out what and how we were doing everything. Phase 3 is now. They are all are trying to figure out how to partner with us or buy us and get involved given the scale, impact and progress we have made. Phase 4 will be rapid mergers, acquisitions and full adoption into the mainstream where people everywhere can’t believe “it” was done the old way.

Five observations and lessons from 2016:

  1. We all need to build trust, transparency, and best practices, and get advice from professionals in order to scale, work with banks and regulators.
  2.  You better have awesome partners.
  3. There are projects that looked and sounded cool, that someone championed, but that actually don’t fit,  aren’t needed nor wanted by customers. Find them, eliminate them and focus on what’s critical to improving KPIs, OKRs and your path to success.
  4. We all witnessed an important lesson earlier this year in FinTech. Our reputations take years to build and just a few minutes to tarnish.
  5. Victory goes to those who change and adjust.

The Fintech Revolution Comes to Regional and Community Banks (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Thousands of regional and community banks are turning to fintech in order to meet the needs of customers who demand services on their computers, tablets and phones, according to a new report by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Conducted in conjunction with Mergermarket, the report, “Growing Together: Collaboration Between Regional and Community Banks and Fintech,” is based on survey responses of senior executives from regional and community banks (50%), fintech companies (25%), and private equity firms, venture capital firms and investment banks (25%).

The survey reveals that executives are optimistic about future collaboration between the two industries, with 54% of bank respondents calling fintechs a potential partner and 89% believing that partnerships between the two will reign in the next decade. The benefits are clear to both sides. As banks seek to gain a competitive advantage, they see fintech as a way to offer online services to customers while decreasing technology costs and offering lower lending rates. Fintech firms also see the potential in working together (58%) as an advantage to gain access to the clients of midsized and smaller banks.

While the benefits of working together are unmistakable, adapting to the fintech revolution is not always smooth. Banks need to be prepared for the challenges of implementation, as well as possible security risks. As an executive of one Southeastern community bank put it, “We would have to restructure all our processes and push management and employees through training in order to get accustomed to the new technology. But we foresee a slowdown in our business if we do not find new solutions to implement. So currently I would say we are unprepared, but on the way to getting prepared, for the necessary changes.”

Here are four key takeaways that are useful to everyone in the banking and fintech sectors when approaching the challenges that come with collaboration:

  1. Banks are on board with fintech. At 81%, the overwhelming majority of regional and community banks are currently collaborating with fintechs. In addition, 86% of regional and community bank respondents said that working with fintechs is “absolutely essential” or “very important” for their institution’s success.
  2. Lower costs + a better brand = a win-win. For regional and community banks, enhanced mobile capabilities and lower capital and operating costs were highlighted as the benefits of collaborating with fintechs. Fintechs named market credibility and access to customers in regional markets as the main benefits to partnering with banks.
  3. Data security remains a challenge. Both banks and fintech companies are highly sensitive to the ways in which data is shared and secured. This means extra attention must be paid to cybersecurity when the two sides collaborate—especially given the cultural mismatch that can exist between them. Despite the optimism among banks for collaboration, preparedness is a large concern. Almost half of regional and community bank respondents said they are just “somewhat prepared” or even “somewhat unprepared” for this kind of partnership.
  4. Regulatory concerns remain paramount. For banks and fintech firms, structuring relationships that are regulatory compliant, including, if required, prior regulatory approval, is critical to ensuring success and the opportunity to change the way financial services are ultimately delivered.

Altisource Origination Services rebrands as Trelix (Housingwire), Rated: A

Altisource Origination Services, which spun off of Ocwen Financial in 2009, announced today that the company will rebrand as Trelix.

Altisource Origination Services, now Trelix, is a provider of real estate, mortgage and technology services.

The company was founded in 2009 as a spin off of Ocwen’s technology and business process outsourcing business line, referred to as Ocwen Solutions with Ocwen.

The company also said that it plans to launch a new technology platform during the first quarter of 2017, which the company expects to manage its regulatory obligations and help scale its businesses.

Canada

Canadian consumers loosening ties with banks (Finextra), Rated: A

Nearly one-third of Canadian consumers say they’re less dependent on their bank their primary financial services provider, according to EY’s 2016 Consumer Banking Survey, which polled over 2,000 consumers in Canada.
According to EY’s survey, decreased dependence on traditional banks translates to increased interest in Fintechs.

Canadian banks have been able to retain consumer trust for decades, and trust remains a key part of their brand. EY’s survey shows 96% of customers trust their bank to keep their money safe. However, that high level of trust isn’t reflected in all facets of their business. 19% of Canadians have little or no trust that banks will provide unbiased advice.

According to EY’s survey, only 15% of Canadians are both digitally and financially savvy, meaning they understand the financial products available to them, and they’re comfortable using digital channels. Looking at financial savviness alone – two thirds (41% and 26% combined) feel they don’t have sufficient knowledge of financial products and services available to them.

EY’s survey shows that while 77% of consumers go online first to research a product, 59% need to speak to someone to get advice or sign up for a new product. Similarly, 66% think having a digital presence is highly important, but 60% also think that having a physical presence is highly important.

EY’s survey confirms that non-bank entrants are providing an outstanding customer experience. Three of the top four reasons why customers would consider using a non-bank provider relate to customer experience factors: access to different products and services, ease of setting up an account, as well as better online experience and functionality.

Zensurance Wins $ 25,000 Prize at the Next Big Idea in Fintech Competition (Betakit), Rated: A

Toronto’s DMZ, North America’s top university incubator, along with BMO, have hosted the Next Big Idea in FinTech competition over the past four months, and just this week, revealed a winner.

After months of mentoring, pitching, adapting and changing, Zensurance was awarded first place and a $25,000 to help jumpstart their business plan.

Zensurance is a curated insurance package provider for startups and small businesses. The entire process can be managed through an online platform. He and his team are looking to use the $25,ooo as well as a nearly completed funding round to hire more developers, so they can ensure the best possible online experience for their customers.

The second-place and third-place winners came from entirely different industries. Dwello, second place, is a platform for landlords and property managers to automate the process of paying rent. FormHero, third place, replaces PDFs and paperwork with a customer-focused dialogue that finds and fills out the right forms.

When asked about his thoughts on the Canadian FinTech industry, Abdullah Snobar, the Executive Director of the DMZ, stated that while Canada is still behind, it won’t be for long.

Currently, the trend in Canadian FinTech leans towards early acquisition of startups by large companies.

United Kingdom

UK marketplace lending volumes are up again after a dip last quarter (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

UK marketplace lenders issued £700 million ($861 million) in new loans in Q3 2016, a 6% increase from £685 million ($843 million) in Q2, according to on Wednesday.
This uptick bucked the downward 

Monzo raises £4.8m (Finextra), Rated: A

Passion Capital is an existing investor in Monzo, which has already raised £9 million, of which £1 million was generated in a record-breaking one minute and 36 seconds on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

In August CEO Tom Blomfield said the startup was aiming to raise up to a maximum of £20 million – including a “significant” element of crowdfunding.

Monzo – which was recently forced to change its name from Mondo – is one of a breed of new digital challengers, alongside, Atom, Starling and Tandem, to have secured banking licenses over the last few months.

Despite only being formed last year, by this August it was claiming that 30,000 users had signed up to its mobile banking app in a public beta trial and that another 200,000 prospective users had joined a waiting list ahead of its planned launch in early 2017.

Building a more diversified online real estate investment platform (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

The real estate crowdfunding marketplaces have done a good job of starting to connect the fragmented real estate market to investors. But the system isn’t perfect yet. Most platforms deal with a single asset class, so investors trying to build a diverse real estate portfolio may find themselves investing on multiple crowdfunding sites. The pain of keeping track of investments across multiple platforms can be a confusing, time-wasting process.

But some platforms are taking on the task of offering a suite of real estate asset classes investors.

Diversification on the RealtyShares marketplace comes both in property type and ownership status. Most of the platform’s debt investments are centered on fix and flip, single family, short-term loans. A vast majority of equity investments are occupied commercial properties with a 3 to 5 year hold period, but the site occasionally has a development project available for investment. Some projects have a preferred return with little upside, while others have common equity with lower annual returns but higher upside potential.

The San Francisco-based marketplace has surpassed $200 million in financing through the platform and recent completed a $33 million debt financing and venture round.

Digital Wallets Are on the Rise, But Consumers Still Don’t See the Value (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

Digital wallets are becoming more and more prevalent in the fintech world, but according to a recent survey of 9,600 by Market Force Information, they are not gaining much ground with the average consumer.

“Consumers are actually questioning the value [of digital wallets],” said Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer for Market Force. “They want simple, easy, and digital wallets have become another thing they have to manage.”

Additionally, according to the study, more than half of the consumers polled don’t even know what a digital wallet is—a fact that would definitely put a damper on their popularity.

Fintech advisor David Gerbino, who serves as a member of the NYPAY Board among other things, said the lack of consumer enthusiasm could be due to a couple of factors, such as misunderstanding what digital wallets actually are.

If one considers Starbucks a digital wallet then, yes, a specific type of digital wallet has been wildly successful with consumers. When it comes to NFC or point-of-sale wallets, Gerbino points out, not so much; especially if they lack the kind of brand loyalty people associate with Starbucks and similar offerings.

Once you actually figure out what they are, consumers have to figure out how to pay with one—or, if they can pay with one.

According to the Market Force study, consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with mobile banking: 77% of study participants reported that they had downloaded their bank’s app, a huge leap forward from the 12% who said so just two years ago.

So what does this mean for digital wallets? Taking off the fintech goggles for a moment, will digital wallet products eventually gain ground with the consumer or will they fade into technological obscurity?

European Union

UK fintech firm reaches for Ireland Brexit escape hatch (The Register), Rated: A

A UK fin-tech firm will seek regulation in Ireland if the government doesn’t preserve financial services passporting rights in its EU exit talks.

Regulation in Ireland would allow LMAX Exchange, which describes itself as “one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms”, to keep doing business with other EU member states.

Passporting allows UK-regulated financial services firms to offer services to the EU’s 27 other member states without need for local re-regulation.

However, Theresa May’s government and her ministers have so far not indicated whether this would be a component of their Brexit talks with Brussels.

Another LMAX concern is uncertainty over continued access to EU workers and therefore the firms’ ability to attract top talent and protect existing staff.

LMAX Exchange is a trading platform for foreign exchange that gives customers the same access to rates as those of big players like JP Morgan.

Bondora Removes Primary Marketplace From User Interface (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

P2P lending marketplace Bondora announced that it will pull the primary marketplace from the user interface effective November 1st. This removes the chance for investors to manually invest on selected loans, leaving the options to either use the automated portfolio manager or to use the API.

Earlier this week Bondora provided this statistic showing that the majority of investments is done through the portfolio manager.

Bondora is removing the Primary Market from the UI because the speed of our popular automated option meets the investing and borrowing needs before manual investing can take effect. Our process improvements have created an environment where almost all loans are funded before they become visible in the UI. As a result, the Primary Market is most of the time empty.

This scarcity is due to the fact that when a loan enters the market it is open to bids for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes expire the loan is closed. Our internal analysis and reporting shows that almost 100% of loans are funded within this brief window of time. Therefore, there is little reason to hold loans open any longer, as doing so would create unnecessary delays.

Australia

Australia partners with Kenya for fintech development (ZDNet), Rated: AAA

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA) in a bid to boost financial services technology for both countries.

The agreement, signed in Hong Kong during a board meeting of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), establishes a framework for both parties that allows the sharing of information on their respective markets such as emerging trends as well as regulatory issues.

The Australian regulator has also recently consulted local parties including the Australian government on the establishment of its own regulatory sandbox that proposes an environment to allow startups to test concepts without a licence.

It was reported in April that ASIC was also working on a deal with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) that would see fintech startups in both countries work together to allow cross-border business.

China

China challenges London’s fintech lead (Financial Times), Rated: A

The UK is at risk of losing its reputation as the world’s leading fintech centre as the number of innovative companies in China is rising rapidly, according to a new report.

The annual study by advisory firm KPMG and investment company H2 Ventures shows that four of the top five global innovators in financial technology now come from China, reflecting the “indisputable” growth of fintech in the country.

Topping the list, which is determined by the amount of capital raised and the degree of traction with consumers, among other factors, is Hangzhou-based Ant Financial, an online payment service provider. Earlier this year, Ant Financial raised $4.5bn in a record fintech private placement.

Competition is heating up globally with 17 countries now making the top 50 established companies, up from 13 last year. The UK is still in second place to the US, which holds a quarter of the 100 spots on the list.

However, funding in the UK has come into question following the Brexit vote and intensifying competition elsewhere, especially in China.

Toby Heap, of H2 Ventures, said that although China was growing rapidly in this sector, there were a number of “exciting” fintech companies emerging globally, in countries such as India and the Philippines.

P2P has surged in China, which is dominated by large state-owned banks that prefer lending to state-owned industrial companies. Chinese platform Lufax, which was valued at $19bn earlier this year, is fourth on the KPMG list.

Japan

Mizuho to establish fintech innovation lab in Tokyo (EconoTimes), Rated: A

Mizuho Financial Group has announced plans about setting up an innovation lab within the Fintech Center of Tokyo ‘Finolab’, in order to create a fintech ecosystem and enhance customer services.

Finolab is jointly operated by Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd., Dentsu Inc., and Information Services International–Dentsu, Ltd. Mizuho said that the innovation lab will provide it with opportunities to work in close collaboration with fintech companies and the joint operators of Finolab to create an environment for cultivating open innovation and coming up with ideas for new financial services.

Asia

P2P lending on sharp rise (The Korea Herald), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending in South Korea grew at a fast pace in the third quarter of the year, as individuals with low credit ratings flocked to the burgeoning lending scheme and yield-hungry investors funneled more money into it, industry data showed Monday.

According to the data compiled by industry tracker Crowd Institute, P2P lending in the country was tallied at 188 billion won ($166 million) in the third quarter of the year, sharply rising from 104 billion won in the second quarter and 49.6 billion won in the first quarter.

FinAccel co-founders on why lending is different from the gaming business (e27), Rated: A

In June, fintech startup FinAccel announced that it has raised a seven-digit funding round led by Jungle Ventures, with participation from GMO Venture Partners, AlphaJWC Ventures, 500 Durians, and 500 Tuktuks.

Four months since the announcement, the company is strengthening its presence in the Indonesian market by launching its product, Kredivo, in Bandung and Surabaya, complemented with the launch of a 12-month instalment programme.

According to 2013 statistics from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, of the 80 million internet users in Indonesia, 7.6 per cent are based in Surabaya, while 4.6 per cent are based in Bandung. This makes the two cities the second and third biggest market for e-commerce in the country.

“Indonesia’s the most interesting for us just because this is the market with the biggest credit card penetration gap. One very interesting stat is that, if you look at the size of Indonesian economy, with nearly a trillion US Dollar in terms of GDP, there’s no country of this economic size where the credit to GDP ratio is so low. It’s literally the lowest,” he explained further.

“We are targetting three things. Transparency: get people access to credit based on their own credit needs. Convenience: we want to do it as convenient as possible, as opposed to waiting for 17 to 18 days and signing multiple docs. And the third is access: which not just about becoming your risk provider, but also as an end-to-end service, enabling you to buy whatever it is that you want to buy,” Garg said.

India

New FDI norms may open vaults for fintech companies (The Economic Times, India Times), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank of India’s move to allow up to 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in regulated financial services companies other than banks or insurance companies through the automatic route is likely to benefit several fintech startups as it is expected to ease equity funding norms, increase investor interest, and also help them expand into more financial services.

So far, activities of NBFCs such as underwriting, investment advisory and stock broking were among 18 categories under the 100% FDI automatic route regime. Startups that didn’t fall in these categories had to take the approval route. Now, all regulated financial services companies can take the automatic route.

While over $1 billion was invested in mobile payments in 2015, $200 million was invested in digital NBFCs.

As per the FIPB norms, for any foreign investment for anything below a 51% stake, the minimum capitalisation required for the company was $0.5 million; for up to a 75% stake, the minimum capitalisation was $5 million and for anything beyond 75%, the requirement was $50 million. Now that it is left to the regulatory agency and not the FIPB to stipulate the norms, minimum capital requirement will not be an onerous task for smaller companies looking to raise funds, according to fintech players.

Singapore Signs Cooperation Agreement with Southern India State of Andhara Pradesh (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has signed another cooperation agreement to help propel mutual interests in Fintech development.  MAS has signed an agreement to cooperate with the government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP), a state in India. The “Fintech Cooperation Agreement” between MAS and GoAP will jointly explore technologies such as digital payments and blockchain while collaborating on educational programs. The two governmental entities will also exchange views on regulatory issues surrounding innovations in the financial industry.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS,  described the arrangment as creating a marketplace in India for Fintech services developed in Singapore. Fintech startups launched in Singapore may use the relationship to expand into India.

Middle East

FinTech innovation alive and doing well (Khaleej Times), Rated: B

We were exhibiting at Gitex 2016 last week to show off our insurance comparison platform, which is a fair example of a piece of powerful FinTech to come out of the Middle East. I won’t go into too much detail on it, but we essentially had to build out an entirely new technology model to bring insurance comparison to the Middle East. We couldn’t do things the same way comparison sites in Europe or the US do things, due to the technological limitations in this region, so we had to come up with a workaround that provided the same user experience, but was completely different on the back end.

And at Gitex, there were plenty more examples of this from across the finance industry. Card manufacturers (the guys who actually make the credit cards your bank gives you) touted amazing new possibilities with cards based on contactless technology; government departments demonstrated new payment systems that will make payments on the go easier than ever; and banks described the incredible work being done behind the scenes to make sure that online and mobile banking can be conducted safely and securely.

One of my favourite exhibitors was Trriple, a company that aims to bring electronic banking to the unbanked. You may not know it, but there’s a sizeable chunk of the UAE population with no bank account whatsoever. These people deal in cash, and cash only, meaning they’re unable to take advantage of the fantastic innovations that FinTech has enabled for banked individuals. Trriple aims to fix that by offering a mobile wallet service that can be deposited into, withdrawn out of, and used to make electronic payments.

While it used to be the preserve of the Wolves of Wall Street, FinTech is now entering an era that will see benefits brought to everyone. And judging by what we saw at Gitex last week, it would appear that the Middle East is at the forefront of FinTech innovation geared towards making people’s lives better.

International

Three finalists announced for ADIB-Thomson Reuters ethical finance awards (CPI Financial), Rated: A

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Thomson Reuters have announced the three finalists for their Ethical Finance and Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA), with the shortlisted entries ranging from a Shari’ah-compliant real estate crowd funding platform, to a microfinance initiative for villagers in Indonesia.

The three finalists will present their entries at the fourth edition of the awards ceremony that will take place on 26th of October, 2016 at The Marriott Marquis, Dubai, where the first Muslim female UK Minister, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, will be the keynote speaker. The winner will be selected by a vote from the audience at the dinner.

The Ethical Finance Initiative Award carries a $100,000 prize, and is for innovative solutions or initiatives that promote ethical practice in the financial services industry. The three finalists shortlisted are:

  • EthisCrowd is the world’s first Islamic Real Estate Crowdfunding platform where Ethical and Islamic investors can find investment opportunities in real estate in line with their values. In two years, EthisCrowd has raised four million SGD towards the funding of 5000 homes and already has over 10,000 members.
  • LaunchGood is the world’s leading crowdfunding site for Islamic Finance, having raised over $11 million for 1000+ campaigns across 63 countries.
  • Islamic Finance Institute of Southern Africa’s micro finance initiative in Indonesia provides investors with a purely ethical, high impact social initiative. The villagers in the co-operative are empowered with modern skills and provided with incentives for delivering high quality of products and share in the profits without the pressure of debt.

Mahindra Finance launches global fintech challenge (Finextra), Rated: A

One of the leading Indian Financial Institutions, Mahindra Finance, is looking to evaluate innovative fintech solutions for its SME financing business through an innovation challenge.

The Mahindra Finance SME Fintech Challenge will launch on Wednesday 19 October 2016 and close for entries on Monday 14 November 2016 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). Eligible fintech solution providers can enter this challenge for free. The challenge is open to all firms around the world who have developed and built solutions that align to any of the following categories.

  • Category 1: Real Time Credit Risk Assessment
  • Category 2: SME Risk Monitoring
  • Category 3: SME Cash Flow Management

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor