Thursday October 11 2018, Daily News Digest

marketplace lending securitization

News Comments Today’s main news: Marcus may reign in new loans, but not SoFi, LendingClub. Fellow Finance goes public. Aereal Bank invests in BrickVest. Aussie borrowers dump banks for P2P lenders. Figure launches HELOCs on blockchain. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ’s Q3 2018 marketplace lending securitization tracker. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How every day can be payday. Older Americans are most creditworthy. Corporate […]

marketplace lending securitization

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United Kingdom

European Union

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News Summary

United States

Goldman’s Marcus May Rein In New Loans Next Year But Rivals Aren’t Worried (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Nearly two years after exploding on the online personal lending market scene, Marcus, the unit of Goldman Sachs, is reportedly retreating, reigning in its loan origination target for 2019.

That’s according to 

PeerIQ’s Q3 2018 Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

A total of eight marketplace lending securitizations were issued in the third quarter, totaling $3.5 billion. This is the fifth highest level of quarterly issuance which is noteworthy given that the summer is typically a slower period for issuance. This is an increase of 35% from the prior year period.  It’s hard to believe that total marketplace lending issuance to date stands at $41.9 billion across 134 deals.

There has been a shift with spreads tightening and yields falling on new deals, a reversal from prior quarters. PeerIQ noted that all-in yields on consumer deals decreased 2 basis points from 3.72% to 3.7% and student deals decreased 100 basis points from 4.5% to 3.5% over the previous quarter.

Economic Growth is Solid, Lending Securitization Strong, but are Storm Clouds Gathering? (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

PeerIQ states:

“Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse continue to top the issuance league tables with 57% of MPL ABS transaction volume. Citi and CS are increasing their activity in the Fintech space, with CS also offering risk retention solutions on securitizations.”

The end of the two-week pay cycle: How every day can be payday (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

Teresa Long, an assistant manager at a Walmart near Dallas, is like many Americans: She sometimes struggles to pay her monthly bills on time, especially when her biweekly paycheck fluctuates.

Occasionally, when she was not able to budget correctly for the month, she would default on a bill, miss a payment or send in a check late. Sometimes Long would take out a payday loan, but the fees were crippling. “You’re taking a $300 loan, and, by the time you pay it off, it’s probably $1,000 or $1,500,” said the 40-year-old mother of four. “It’s extra money you could have been saving.”

So when she saw information on an internal Walmart website about a new service from an Oakland, Calif.-based company called Even, Long was intrigued. It promised to pay her up to half her wages in advance, on demand, for an average $6 monthly subscription fee.

Sources: Pew Charitable Trusts, Center for Financial Services Innovation

LendingTree Study Finds Older Generations Most Creditworthy (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released its study on Americans’ credit scores by generation that found that the older someone is, the better their credit tends to be. On average, members of the silent generation (the oldest cohort) have credit scores 100 points higher than those of millennials.

Key takeaways

  • Millennials and Gen Xers have, on average, “fair” credit scores.
  • Baby boomers have “good” scores.
  • Members of the silent generation have “very good” scores.
Source: PR Newswire

Why older people have higher credit scores

One possible reason for higher scores among older people is cultural. In general, they may use credit less and may be more disciplined savers and spenders, said Kali McFadden, senior research analyst at LendingTree.

Another reason is that older Americans are more settled financially, with lower monthly costs. In general, the older someone is, the lower their mortgage payments and student loan debts are (or they don’t have such payments at all). Older Americans may also not need new furniture or have child care costs. That means they are less likely to have urgent financial costs that can result in delinquencies, which can hurt credit scores.

Millennials and Gen Xers may have to pay more for loans

Banks, credit card issuers and other lenders make lending decisions based on a borrower’s creditworthiness. They offer much better rates to borrowers with higher scores.

Source: PR Newswire

Boomers aren’t much better off

While the higher credit score of baby boomers (average credit score: 696) is a sign of better financial stability than the younger generations, there’s still room for improvement. The average boomer score trails that of the elder generation by 38 points.

The CEO of Robinhood sets out his vision after announcing another move to compete with major brokerages (Markets Insider), Rated: A

Robinhood, the zero-fee stock trading app that helped kickstart a race to the bottom in brokerage fees, has a new weapon in its arsenal as it fights to become the Amazon of personal finance: an in-house clearing system.

The $5.6 billion startup announced Wednesday that it has completed a two-year effort to build and launch its own in-house clearing provider that will allow it to save money and improve trading for its 6 million customers, cofounder and CEO Vlad Tenev told Business Insider.

Mike Cagney’s Figure Launches Blockchain-Powered Online Home Equity Loans (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Figure rolled out the first of those products yesterday: a digitally processed home equity loan that it claims can cut approval time to five minutes. According to Cagney, those Figure loans can range between $15,000 and $100,000, with funds made available to users in five days — down from the 45 days that such products usually take.

Learn more about Figure’s business model here.

Online Investing in Real Estate through Crowdfunding Expected to Grow (Urban Land Institute), Rated: A

Crowdfunding has captured the imagination—and money—of investors throughout the United States. While it is used for everything from charitable campaigns to launching startup businesses or paying legal fees, commercial real estate may be the largest online investment opportunity for crowdfunding to date, according to a panel at the 2018 ULI Fall Meeting in Boston.

“This $14 trillion market is the nation’s third-largest investment asset class behind stocks and bonds. Crowdfunding allows real estate firms to reach beyond friends and family to investors anywhere,” he said.

Toward a more inclusive fintech industry (American Banker), Rated: A

I worked for seven years in a company run exclusively by men — no women on the leadership team at all. The executive suite was physically walled off, a literal boys’ club, and no matter how valuable my performance, I wasn’t going to be a “cultural fit” for the all-male back room. Even now, 84% of venture-backed companies lack even a single female founder.

Significantrigorous research proves women in leadership make companies more profitable, and diverse leadership teams make better business decisions.

Direct lending platform Goji hits £100m in assets (AltFi), Rated: A

Goji has reached over £100 million in assets under management on its platform, the firm has said.

This latest milestone coincides with Goji becoming a partner of adviser-support network SimplyBiz.

Jake Wombwell-Povey, CEO of Goji says the firm has doubled the assets on the platform in a little over six months.

Roostify Announces Bidirectional Integration with Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Mortgage Solution (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Roostify, a digital lending solution, announced that its platform now offers a bidirectional integration with Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage lending platform. The seamless integration allows lenders to easily pass information between the two systems, driving quality and efficiency in the loan origination process.

States’ response to OCC fintech charter ‘disappointing,’ top Treasury official says (American Banker), Rated: B

A senior Treasury Department official said he was disheartened by state regulators’ negative response to its fintech report, which supported the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s plans to create a national fintech charter.

United Kingdom

Fintech startup Wagestream wants to tackle Britain’s ‘poverty premium’ (TechWorld), Rated: AAA

The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service claims to have received 10,979 complaints about payday loans between April and June 2018, according to figures from its annual review for 2017/18.

The figures came just weeks after what was the UK’s biggest payday lender, Wonga, went into administration.

But London-based Fintech startup, Wagestream, has emerged to put an end to the misery of ‘poverty premium’ as it makes a stand to ‘destroy payday loans’.

Savers Offered 8% By ISA Bond That Fights for Justice (OA Online), Rated: A

INVESTORS seeking a higher rate of return – and who want to use their money to help victims of things like professional negligence – will be interested in a new bond by Just, held through an Innovative Finance ISA called Just ISA.

Launched in summer 2018, the Just ISA offers tax-free returns of 8% by investing in a bond that is ultimately used to fund legal cases on behalf of people who are seeking redress from things such as professional negligence by individuals and corporations.

London’s most influential people 2018 (Evening Standard), Rated: B

Tom Blomfield   – Chief executive of Monzo

The Oxford graduate has made carrying the ubiquitous orange payment card a mark of cool as its cult status continues to grow.

Samir Desai – Chief executive and co-founder of Funding Circle

The former management consultant has been at the helm for eight years of the leading peer-to-peer lender to small businesses.

Jaidev Janardana – Chief executive of Zopa

The former Capital One man is boss of the world’s first peer-to-peer lending company which is launching a bank.

China

Overheard in the Long Room: corporate China (FT Alphaville), Rated: AAA

Two diverging trends here. China, on a national level, is requiring more and more cash to service its debts. Not good news for those concerned about the Republic’s burgeoning debt burden, estimated to be anywhere between 300 to 350 per cent of GDP, depending on who you ask and what mood they’re in.

Source: Financial Times

This hasn’t deterred bond buyers however, as the IMF recorded a circa $40bn flow into yuan-denominated bonds over the second quarter of this year, according to Brad Setser at the CFR:

Source Financial Times
European Union

Fellow Finance goes public (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The platform is expected to raise approximately €10m. With a valuation of €55m at the close of the IPO on Tuesday, the platform anticipates rapid growth. The IPO saw 1.3 million new shares in the company on offer for an 18.3 per cent stake in the company. The offer was 2.2 times oversubscribed.

In addition to the new shares on offer, just under 1.3 million in existing shares in the company will go on sale too.

Nasdaq Helsinki welcomes Fellow Finance to Nasdaq First North Finland (Nasdaq), Rated: A

Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announce that trading in Fellow Finance Plc shares (short name: FELLOW) commence today on Nasdaq First North Finland. The company belongs to the Financials sector. Fellow Finance is the 61st company to be admitted to trading on Nasdaq’s Nordic markets* in 2018, and it represents the 9th listing on Nasdaq Helsinki in 2018.

German Blockchain Banking Group Bitwala Teams Up With solarisBank to launch Cryptobank Services (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On Tuesday, German blockchain banking group Bitwala announced it has teamed up with solarisBank to launch its new cryptobanking services. According to Bitwala, nearly 35,000 customers have already pre-registered to be among the first to get access to new service, which helps customers to manage cryptocurrencies with unprecedented convenience and benefit from the high level of security and deposit protection commanded by German banking laws.

International

Germany’s Aareal Bank invests in UK real estate platform BrickVest (Banking Tech), Rated: AAA

Germany’s Aareal Bank says it plans to acquire a stake in BrickVest, the London-based online platform for commercial real estate investments.

SALT Coin Hits Retracement Target After 55% Gains (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

The announcement by SALT coin to accept Litecoin (LTC)as collateral in their blockchain lending platform led to an explosion in the price of their ERC-20 token. In a 24 hour shake-up that rocked the altcoin market just before the weekend, this crypto-lending favorite rose over US $0.82 on Friday morning. SALT (SALT) shot up 55% overnight while the rest of the market stagnated in a prolonged malaise.

The platform now offers USD loans at a 5.99% interest rate(for loans less than US$75,000) and has removed the cap on maximum loan amounts.

Nexo (NEXO) Overview: We might have gotten the first legit crypto lending platform (Captain Altcoin), Rated: A

After a prolonged period of sideways movement throughout the month of September, staying just below $0.050, the currency started growing around 21st. The slow rise lasted until 30th, when the daily trade volume sharply dropped off from $984,935 to $230,742. The same way it dropped, the volume soared back up on October 1st. NEXO price followed suit and grew to$0.0933 on a daily trade volume of $1,765,517. After a short correction of both parameters, the price and volume spiked up once again on the 5th, this time reaching $0.1143 and $1,936,530 respectively.

Source: Captain Altcoin

Crowdfunding firm aims for rapid global growth (BusinessDay), Rated: A

Finnish crowdfunding platform Fellow Finance is targeting fast international growth after a successful initial public offering (IPO) in Helsinki, its CEO says.

Founded back in 2013, the company was valued at €55m by the IPO, which closed on Tuesday and was more than two times oversubscribed.

Australia

More Aussie borrowers are dumping banks for peer-to-peer lenders, CommSec reveals (mozo), Rated: AAA

According a recent CommSec Economic Insights Report, the number of Aussies borrowing from non-bank financial institutions rose by 10.3% over the year to August.

“Banks are facing greater competition from non-banks. At the same time bank deposits are only lifting at a 2.5% annual rate, putting greater reliance on external funding. It is clearly a competitive and challenging environment for financial institutions,” said CommSec chief economist, Craig James.

Latin America

Goldman Sachs has joined George Soros and Steve Cohen in backing an Argentinian mobile banking startup (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Ualá, the one-year-old mobile banking startup, raised $34 million in its series B round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, along with existing investors including a private fund managed by Soros Fund Management, Jefferies, the venture arm of Steve Cohen’s Point72, and entrepreneur Kevin Ryan, according to an announcement seen by Business Insider.

Over 50% of people in Argentina had never had a card before and are only operating in cash, so the company aims to provide these people financial inclusion by giving them access to financial system, he added.

What’s happening with crypto in Latin America? (Crypto Insider), Rated: A

Latin America is undergoing somewhat of a transformation in the world of global finance. With the state of the banking industry in many countries in the region, people are turning to one another to solve their problems. From neighborhood initiatives to cross-border peer-to-peer lending platforms and online-only independent banking solutions, Latin America is exploring new ways to approach their personal finances.

APAC

Borrowers and Lenders Discover a Reputable Financial Conduit with FundKo (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

As the world becomes ever more interconnected, as does the financial system. Borrowers and lenders are no longer confined by the parameters of a localized system. In fact, many lenders are branching out to the internet, through online companies such as FundKo.

FundKo is a peer to peer lending company in the Philippines.

No customer may invest 100% of their money on a single loan: in fact, the largest sum of money they may invest is 10% of a loan. This guideline ensures that lenders never suffer a catastrophic loss.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday June 19 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club default rates

News Comments Today’s main news: Finastra inks agreement with IBM. One number Elevate Credit shareholders are worried about. Zopa makes IFISA available to existing customers. Yirendai ready to include wealth management. Klarna wins Europe’s biggest fintech banking license. Today’s main analysis: Online lenders do a good job of identifying fraud. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Bloomberg report is critical of online […]

Lending Club default rates

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United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

One Number Elevate Credit Shareholders Are Worried About (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE:ELVT) the newly public subprime fintech lender, delivered its first quarterly earnings report as a public company on May 8, and the results were impressive. Loan originations grew almost 40%, while revenue grew by a smaller 20%, due to the lowering of interest rates on Elevate’s high-rate loan products. Elevate’s IPO was unusual — most tech IPOs sport high growth rates but negative earnings. In the first quarter, Elevate actually delivered a net profit of $1.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded to 16%, above the 10% margin posted in 2016 and the 4% in 2015.

The big blemish on the quarter was a high net charge-off rate  as a percentage of revenues. Net charge-offs measure the amount of principal and interest more than 60 days past due, minus recoveries from prior periods. That number shot up to 59% in the quarter, above the company’s target range of 45-55%,  and up 600 basis points year over year. While the company was still profitable, the $1.7 million in net earnings was down from $6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Management explained that the rise in loan loss provisions was partially related to a new credit score the company tested on lots of new customers at the end of 2016. As is the case with many financial companies, when new customers increase, there is often an initial uptick in defaults or loss ratios.

Bloomberg Report is Critical of Online Lenders (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

A report from Bloomberg this week takes certain online lending platforms to task regarding the fact that some online lenders are not verifying income status.  The report also says that even if there are errors in loan applications the loan may still be approved. More specifically, apparently Prosper does not verify income and employment in about a quarter of the loans. Lending Club is said to verify income in about one third of the loans.

Risk is always part of the investment equation and Orchard Platform perhaps provides the best perspective into affiliated risk of investing in loans originated online.

Online Lenders are doing a good job of identifying the frauds (even without hard income verification) (Croudify), Rated: AAA

Recently there was an article in Bloomberg (Article Link) that talked about how online lenders are not always verifying the basic borrower information like Income.

We at Croudify have been analyzing the loan data for more than 2 years and wanted to shed some light on the article and show that while the headline is true the devil is in the details and actually the platforms have been doing a very good job in identifying the fraud.

Once we had concluded that the non-verified loans are not growing as percent of population the logical next step was to check if these loans are performing worse than before. Is there a possibility that the loans without income verification have deteriorated over time and hence the red flag.

This points to a very important finding that the preliminary indicators that Lending Club is using in identifying the fraudulent behavior is not only working it is working great and is providing a performance lift to loans.

Pricey ‘fintech’ lenders put the squeeze on cash-strapped small businesses (L.A. Times), Rated: A

So Newman, 61, turned instead to an online lending company called OnDeck. After submitting a handful of bank statements, he was quickly approved for a $65,000 loan, which allowed Newman to cover his wine shipments and keep his business running.

“These loans are predatory by nature,” he told me. Think payday loans for small businesses, he said, with interest rates well over 30%.

And there’s something to that. Loans with a higher degree of risk would naturally come with higher interest rates. The question is whether such loans are being marketed honestly and fairly, and whether customers are able to make informed decisions about financial obligations.

Fairness in lending means clear and straightforward disclosure of terms and conditions. On that score, OnDeck seems to come up short.

For example, the company’s website boasts that term loans of up to $500,000 can be obtained with annual interest rates as low as 5.99%. Newman said that when he contacted OnDeck, he was hoping to get a loan at such a rate. But it didn’t work out that way.

What he got was a 12-month, $65,000 loan, plus nearly $17,500 in interest and an origination fee of $1,625. That translated to an annual percentage rate of 55%.

In fact, OnDeck told me its average annual interest rate for term loans, excluding fees, is 38%. If that’s the case, I asked why the rate most prominently displayed on their website is 5.99%.

China Merchants Bank is considered the largest industry player currently, but still its assets under management in its private banking division are worth just 1.66 trillion yuan.

Assessing the future of the financial advice industry (InvestmentNews), Rated: A

First: There will be fewer advisers, possibly many fewer. The trend line points down, and there’s nothing in the three- to five-year outlook to change that.

The future leaders of this profession see advisers serving far more clients with a greater assist from technology, as well as more reliance on outsourcing.

But those requiring expert financial advice will undoubtedly seek a more complete look at all areas where money touches their lives — and how those areas intersect. Who will need it most? A large population that isn’t necessarily today’s prime prospect pool, at least for advisers paid based on a percentage of assets: the HENRYs (high-earner, not rich yet). As investment advisers move beyond mere investments, and the field becomes a profession, compensation surely will evolve to ensure those who most need advice can get it and those giving advice can still run a profitable business.

In financial advice this will take the form of a planning quarterback who strategizes the entire financial game plan and keeps clients on track largely through automated accountability programs.

If you find this hard to believe, just wait until Google or Amazon moves full throttle into the asset management business.

Offer B2B Fintech Solutions To Help Clients Grow Their Sales (Forbes), Rated: A

In April, 2017, Pew Charitable Trusts published the results of a national survey of payday loan borrowers. The top three responses to what is most important to these borrowers in choosing where to get a payday loan were:

  • 76% – How quickly they can get the money
  • 74% – The fee charged
  • 73% – The certainty that they would be approved for the loan

The survey reveals other important consumer attitudes about payday loans. Most respondents believe that there should be more regulation of lenders, and lower interest charges. They would also prefer almost any other borrowing option or loan type to the payday solution.

Chuck Wait Tire, located in the small rural community of Mowrystown, Ohio, had never cleared more than $100,000 in monthly revenue, until they implemented Acima. The next month, they not only beat the $100,000 threshold, they killed it with a 33% monthly increase in sales from $90,000 to $120,000.

Podcast 105: Robert Morgan of the American Bankers Association (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The core purpose of the ABA.
  • What is in the ABA Fintech Playbook and why they published it.
  • How the bank of  the future will be different to today.
  • How the ABA select their Endorsed Solutions providers.
  • The attitude of banks today regarding partnering with fintech platforms.
  • How large banks differ to small banks when it comes to partnering.
  • The needs of banks today when it comes to new technologies.
  • The official stance of the ABA on the OCC Fintech Charter.
  • The ABA’s view on the data sharing initiatives taking hold in Europe.
  • How banks, data aggregators and fintech companies are working together on data sharing.
  • How open banking could work in a similar way to Facebook logins.
  • Some of the other new technologies that are on Rob’s radar.
  • How banks of the future will be similar to banks of today.

ArborCrowd Now Offering $ 69.7 Million Commercial Real Estate Deal to Investors in Miami (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Online commercial real estate company ArborCrowd announced on Thursday it is now offering a new $69.7 million commercial real estate deal to investors. The Lago Paradiso property is described as a multifamily complex located in Miami, Florida. 

According to ArborCrowd, investors now have the opportunity to own a piece of a $4 million stake in Lago Paradiso. The property now has a targeted 13 percent to 17 percent Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and a projected hold period of four to seven years.

United Kingdom

Zopa Announcement: IFISA Is Now Available to Existing Customers (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Zopa announced on Thursday its IFISA is now available for all existing Zopa customers. Along with the IFISA, the online lender unveiled its latest peer-to-peer investment product, Zopa Core.

Zopa then explained that the Zopa Core product has a target return of 3.9% and by December will replace its products, Access and Classic, without Safeguard coverage. IFISA and Zopa Core features include:

Funding Circle SME Income fund holds steady on dividend (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The £406m Funding Circle SME Income fund has paid out its fifth dividend, the fourth consecutive quarter at the same 1.625p level, holding pay-outs in line with targets.

OFF3R Wants to Become “Money Supermarket” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

At last count OFF3R hosts offers from 36 different UK platforms. Today in a report on P2PFinanceNews, OFF3R is revealing it is raising £5 million to become the “Money Supermarket” for investments. Essentially OFF3R wants to integrate today’s alternative investments with yesterday’s more traditional types.

Fiserv to buy UK mobile payments pioneer Monitise for 70 million pounds (Reuters), Rated: A

U.S. financial technology provider Fiserv said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy British financial services technology firm Monitise Plc for about 70 million pounds ($88.72 million).

AIM-listed Monetise, worth about 2 billion pounds at its peak in early 2014, blazed a trail by linking banks and mobile operators to build a business capable of handling billions of dollars in mobile payments, purchases and money transfers.

The SME’s guide to P2P (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

“The key thing is making sure that you’re looking for the right type of finance,” explains Paul Marston, managing director of commercial finance at peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter.

A survey by the British Business Bank for 2015/16 found that 100,00 small businesses were rejected for loans by mainstream lenders – equating to £4bn of potential finance.

“If you’re an SME and go to the bank for an unsecured loan, there’s a cap of around £50,000, whereas Funding Circle will offer up to £350,000.

Funding Circle explains that it offers four key benefits for SME borrowers: speed, flexibility, efficiency and transparency.

As P2P platforms are purely online, busy business owners can apply for finance outside of working hours. “More than 50 per cent of loan applications are made outside of working hours, when a bank branch would be closed,” says Funding Circle.

While criteria varies from platform to platform, P2P loans are often more suitable for businesses that are slightly more established. For example, RateSetter offers loans to businesses that have been trading for at least three years and has at least two years of either audited accounts or formally prepared management accounts. And Funding Circle only lends to businesses that have been trading for more than two years, have a turnover of more than £50,000 and are a UK limited company.

However, there are still options for start-ups. Crowd2Fund has recently launched a ‘venture debt’ product which enables early-stage companies that are not cash-flow positive to access debt finance. Crowd2Fund argues that this can be simpler than raising equity and enables founders to keep control of their company.

Funding Xchange claims that a business using its platform can expect an average saving of £2,000 by comparing pricing from multiple providers – representing 10 per cent of the value of the average loan.

LendInvest hires second Northern BDM (Financial Reporter), Rated: B

LendInvest has appointed its second BDM for Northern England to satisfy growing demand in the region.

Sophie Mitchell-Charman joins the team from Mint where she worked as a Bridging BDM. Based in York, she will travel extensively throughout northern England, with a particular focus on deals in the North East.

China

P2P platform Yirendai ready to move up a financial league or two, including into wealth management (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Yirendai, China’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, is looking to raise its profile even higher, with an expanded product offering, the company’s chief executive Fang Yihan has told the South China Morning Post, shrugging off any worries about a regulation-induced slowdown in the industry.

New rules governing the industry will come into force in August, and according to available drafts, these will impose a limit of 200 000 yuan (US$29,400) on lending to individual borrowers, require the lenders to carry out stricter background checks on all clients, and establish strong contractual relations with custodian banks.

Double digit returns for investors were commonplace last year, but will become harder to find.

But with its scale, larger players such as Yirendai that will be the most likely to gain a competitive advantage from the tighter rules.

China’s retail wealth management market was worth 120 trillion yuan last year, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group, which expects growth of 12 per cent annually for the next five years.

China Merchants Bank is considered the largest industry player currently, but still its assets under management in its private banking division are worth just 1.66 trillion yuan.

Yirendai is also experimenting with allowing partners to sell services other lending services via its platforms.

Yirendai Recognized as Best P2P Lending Platform in China at the Future of Finance Summit (IT Business Net), Rated: A

Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE: YRD) (“Yirendai” or the “Company”), a leading online consumer finance marketplace in China, today announced that it was awarded the Best P2P Lending Platform in China Award at The Future of Finance Summit (the “Summit”) held in Singapore on June 8-9, 2017. Yirendai is the first FinTech company in China to receive this prestigious reward.

China’s P2P Lending business volume of May reached to $ 53billion, keeping another new record. (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: A

According to a latest monthly report issued by P2P001.com, the total volume of P2P lending in China hit a new record to $53billion on May, with the month-on-month growth of 11.32%.

On May, the average annual interest rate for P2P loans was 8.34%, which has been slowly rising for three months in a row. However, the financial “deleveraging” and tighter monetary policy are still undergoing, it is unlikely that P2P lending rates will continue to rise.

By the end of May, the accumulated P2P loan balance in China has reached to $213billion, with the month-on-month growth of 6.72%. Among them, the loans outstanding on P2P loans of more than $29,850 reached to $152 billion, accounting for 71.46% of the total; the loans outstanding on P2P loans of more than $149,253 reached to $101billion, accounting for 47.43%.

In addition, there are 672 P2P lending institutions assigned depository agreement with banks up to the late May, involving 59 banks and 28 provincial and municipal lending platforms, and 286 of them have been already launched online.

China Banking Regulatory Commission issued a standard campus loan requirements (01Caijing), Rated: A

Recently, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued the Notice on Further Strengthening the Management of Campus Credit.

It is pointed out that commercial banks and policy banks should provide customized products for college students, training, consumption and entrepreneurship under the premise of risk control while strengthening the rectification of campus loan problems. And the standardization of financial services, together set the credit line and interest rates.

Beijing and Shenzhen drive Chinese fintech (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

Ning Tang, CEO and founder of Chinese fintech major Creditease, believes that the current landscape will require players in the finance sector to evolve their approach amid a highly disruptive technology landscape with substantial opportunity.

What’re the assets under management and the role of the Singapore office?

Every year we help clients deploy over $100 billion of capital and the idea of coming to Singapore in 2014 was that this city was one of the bases for our internationalisation strategy.

You’ve got different entrepreneurial hubs in China – Hangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing – which is the fintech capital of China? 

I’d like to say Beijing because that’s Creditease’s base. But in terms of technology innovation, not just in financial services, I think Beijing and Shenzhen are the leading cities, while some say Hangzhou as well.

Why do so many Chinese firms want to list in New York when Chinese entrepreneurs have access to very liquid stock markets in cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong? 

In our experience, the US capital markets are more advanced in terms of welcoming innovative business models and companies at the growth stage despite being a pre-profit stock.

Recently, Beijing has been implementing capital controls and kerbing capital outflows from China. How has this affected Creditease’s business?  

We’re largely unaffected by these controls, as many of our wealth management clients have assets outside of China, and we help them manage those. However, with our Creditease Fintech Investment Fund,  we had some of our partners who were able to invest overseas.

There’s been a lot of movement in the Bitcoin and Ethereum markets. What’s the view of Creditease on digital currencies as an asset class and its use in marketplace lending? 

We remain interested but it’s too early at this stage. The regulatory framework and security issues around such models…I think we’d like to see more things get worked out before this asset class becomes appealing to our investor base. We help our investors do asset allocation and any asset class going into the portfolio should be a major asset class. Otherwise, it’s quite speculative and not helpful to our investors

Looking at the future of fintech in China, you have Beijing where the regulators are based. With all these centres like Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, what is the future of all these different ecosystems? 

Quite interestingly, you’re talking about cities. I’m thinking about nations.

So different cities and nations have to assess the unique attributes they work and work on refining and enhancing those. I’m quite hopeful that Beijing will continue to be the fintech hub and with Creditease, we’ve got a presence in various places like Israel, Singapore, New York and Hong Kong, so we can access this innovation everywhere!

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

As the plan summaries, from 2011 to 2015, over 96 regulations and guidelines for the financial sector have been issued. In the next five years, another 110 regulatory updates or new regulations or guidelines will be released.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited hosted an Investor Day on June 8-9 at Alibaba Xixi Headquarters. Speakers included Jack Ma (Executive Chairman), Daniel Zhang (CEO) and other members of the senior management team.

To safeguard the interests and property rights of college students and maintain financial stability for P2P online lending market, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security have jointly issued a paper to regulate the student loans market. The paper encourages commercial banks and policy banks to develop student loans business and provide standardized financial services to college students.

Ant Financial’s virtual credit card service Ant Check Later (also known as “Huabei” in Mandarin) is eyeing to link up to 4 million online and offline merchants to help them grow businesses and attract consumers who have little access to physical credit cards.

At present, third party payment service license has become an essential equipment for any Chinese company who wants to expand into financial services. On June 7, GOME Finance announced to acquire a payment service company Easy Bonus Card. GOME Finance paid up to CNY 720 million, mainly for the license, which could make the company complement the payment capabilities and accelerate the process of technological innovation.

European Union

Sweden’s Klarna wins Europe’s biggest fintech banking licence (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Klarna has become the largest European fintech company to get a banking licence, with the Swedish group saying it wants to become the Ryanair of the sector, attacking lenders across the continent.

Valued at more than $2bn, Klarna has already captured much of the market for online payments in the Nordics and Germany, and on Monday received a banking licence from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority 20 months after filing for one.

The Swedish group – which had revenues of SKr3.6bn last year and was valued at $2.25bn in a fundraising in 2015 – is looking at offering customers across Europe services such as bank cards and salary accounts as well as eyeing the US for future expansion.

Crowdfunding Platform BrickVest Makes First Exit At 31% Return (Bisnow), Rated: A

BrickVest, the real estate investment crowdfunding platform, has announced that some of its investors have exited an investment for the first time, at a sizzling return.

BrickVest, the real estate investment crowdfunding platform, has announced that some of its investors have exited an investment for the first time, at a sizzling return.

The BrickVest fund invested in a portfolio of 23 retail assets in a joint venture alongside Corestate Capital.

Russian Fintech And Their Fight Against Geopolitics (Forbes), Rated: A

According to EY’s Fintech Adoption Index report last year, although Russian online adoption is lower in comparison to major financial centers like London, New York or Hong Kong, the market in this area is growing at a rapid rate. Online payments and money transfers are booming Russia, as are Moscow and St Petersburg are becoming hubs for this form of technology.

David Waroquier, Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners also highlighted that access to funding in Russia is more limited. ‘This means Russian fintech companies must have a tighter control on costs and be very efficient operationally.’

As said before, one of the trends that has exploded in Russia is mobile payments, as the EY report states that 57.6% of Russians used this service in comparison to the 17.6% globally. There are currently 56 million online mobile users over 16 in the country and according to Gfk, 53% of online users in Russia made at least one mobile payment in the last 6 months, as Dunaev said.

European Crowdfunding Network Launches Survey on Cross-border Crowdfunding & Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) has launched a survey dedicated to addressing the challenges of cross border transactions in the investment space. More specifically, the ECN is seeking input on cross border crowdfunding and online lending, including peer to peer / marketplace lending.

The ECN explains:

We will focus solely on crowdfunding models that entail a financial return, notably:

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

The survey is available here. 

International

Newly Formed Finastra Signs Agreement with IBM on Banking Technology, Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finastra, created by the merging of Misys and D+H, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have reached an agreement to explore how Finastra can transform their banking operations with IBM Cloud and Cognitive technologies. The two companies plan to bring IBM technology into the Finastra open architecture to enrich the digital retail banking experience and bring new innovations to market.

WorldRemit adds Android Pay as secure option for migrant remittances (Reuters), Rated: A

Cross-border money transfer service WorldRemit is enabling its immigrant customer base to send money home using Android Pay, making it the first international remittance firm to run on the Google payments system, the company said on Tuesday.

Connecting with Android Pay will enable WorldRemit customers in developed markets like Europe or North America to make instant international money transfers to reach the 112 million accounts available via WorldRemit’s network of payment channels.

London-based WorldRemit says it handles about three-quarters of mobile phone-based international money transfers, a small but fast-growing segment of the global $575 billion worldwide remittance market. Recipients using WorldRemit can up pick cash or deposit money in banks or mobile money accounts or top up mobile accounts.

Traydstream launches fintech solution for paperless trade (Global Trade Review), Rated: B

New fintech player, Traydstream, has launched a solution to digitalise trade documents and automate regulatory compliance screening using artificial intelligence.

In short, Traydstream’s new solution digitalises the whole trade transaction – from invoice to Swift – and is targeted at banks as well as corporates.

Australia

Big banks and fintech start-ups face up to Jack Ma’s mobile payments juggernaut Ant Financial (abc.net.au), Rated: A

While Ant Financial says it wants to work with our banks, not against them, some are warning disruption from a global digital giant is inevitable, even if it doesn’t come from China.

Former Challenger exec Paul Rogan makes robo-advice play (Australian Financial Review), Rated: A

Paul Rogan, the former chief executive of distribution, marketing and research who stepped out of the role in February after 12 years at Australia’s largest annuities providers, is now readying to launch Retirement Essentials, an online platform that educates and assists those who are already in retirement on how to manage their money.

Mr Rogan has invested an undisclosed sum in SuperEd, the the robo-adviser co-founded in 2012 by Vanguard Australia founder Jeremy Duffield and Westpac executive and technology entrepreneur Hugh Morrow.

India

Wadhawans opens UK unit, buys stake in Zopa (India Times), Rated: AAA

Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC), which owns 38% of DHFL and is the controlling lever for the group’s financial businesses, has set up a London unit that opened its account through undisclosed -but sizeable-investments in 12-year-old Zopa.

What the future holds for the P2P lending market in India and the world (My Big Plunge), Rated: A

While the overall internet-based alternative finance industry registered transactions worth more than $57 million between 2013 and 2015, online peer-to-peer or marketplace lending saw loans with a cumulative value of over $2 million disbursed during the same period. The total loan value in the corresponding two years has grown by around $2 million, with an estimated $4.5 million worth of loans disbursed through online peer-to-peer lending platforms by the end of 2016.

But even as industry projections predict the market for peer-to-peer loans to be worth $4-5 billion by the end of 2023, this promising segment is still a long way off from achieving its true potential as a highly viable alternative investment class.

The launch of India’s Digital Stack that includes Aadhar, eKYC and digital payments is paving the way for the country’s shift towards a cashless economy.

The year 2017 is expected to be the year of financial technology, with alternative lending and investment products like peer-to-peer lending set to be driving forces for the latest iteration of the fintech revolution in India.

Faircent.com, for example, has consistently delivered net returns upwards of 18% per annum to its majority of lenders.

Asia

InvestaCrowd Updates on Real Estate Crowdfunding in Asia (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

About a year ago, Crowdfund Insider connected with Julian Kwan, CEO and co-founder of Investacrowd, a real estate crowdfunding platform that was established in Singapore. Kwan was born in Australia but has spent the last 17 years in Asia – most recently Singapore. Having founded multiple companies, Kwan is a longtime real estate investor, developer, and manager.  InvestaCrowd was envisioned as a vehicle to provide access to real estate investments in select markets like New York City, Sydney or London.  As with many real estate platforms, by using technology much of the process may be completed online.

A report by Cushman & Wakefield from earlier this year highlighted this fact. In a publication, Cushman & Wakefield explained;

“Compared to other countries, China ranked No. 1 among foreign investors in commercial real estate within the U.S. in 2016. China inbound investment deal volumes have grown rapidly, reaching $19.2 billion USD in 2016, a record high. Sixty-two percent of the investments, which equated to $11.9 billion USD, were deals over $1 billion USD. The five largest Chinese investment transactions were among the top ten largest transactions in the U.S. in 2016.”

Kwan told us InvestaCrowd was in the process of obtaining a capital markets license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) – now a requirement.

But current investors are turning into repeat investors. InvestaCrowd does not focus on Southeast Asian real estate which brings better quality deals but adds a different challenge to the mix. While he likes the Singapore market it is in a bit of a pause. On the other side, he is very cautious on deals in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia or China – a country where he spent many years in the real estate sector.

Kwan said they are looking to set up a line of credit too, so as to be able to pre-fund deals.

Meet Anna Haotanto, The Fintech Queen of Singapore (IB Times), Rated: A

Singapore is one of the leading hotspots for financial tech thanks to flexible regulation plus national initiatives to fund startups and integrate blockchain innovation into the local economy. American venture capitalists at the Ethereal Summit in New York praised Singapore as a ripe market, teeming with collaboration between entrepreneurs, regulators, banks and investors. The small island nation wants more than a high-tech economy: Singapore aims to become a global fintech hub.

Haotanto is a self-made millionaire determined to make fintech more accessible for Asian women. Her online media startup, the New Savvy, targets women investors by providing 30,000 Asian subscribers with finance and career guidance. This is no ordinary women’s publication. Forbes reported her team partners with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Far East Organization to produce pragmatic content.

So her company organized the Future Is Female conference in April, along with SGX, attended by 250 women.

Africa

P2P Cash Launches Money Transfer Service to Nigeria With No Transfer Fees (Press Release Rocket), Rated: A

P2P Cash, a Georgia-based digital financial services company, has opened a new money transfer service from the US states of Georgia and South Carolina to Nigeria. P2P Cash now offers cross-border money transfers at competitive exchange rates without any transfer fees. Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans in Georgia and South Carolina can find this new service at . Customers may also download the mobile app from the Google Play or Apple Stores.

P2P Cash’s aggressive no-fee pricing position is possible because of its proprietary Smart Token technology and global disbursement network.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor