Thursday March 28 2019, Weekly News Digest

structured debt

News Comments Today’s main news: Klarna launches open banking platform. SoFi re-engineers home loans. Apple’s new credit card. OakNorth secures guarantee of $133M. Qupital raises $15M to bumrush China. Today’s main analysis: Arbuthnot Banking Group audited final results for 2018. Today’s thought-provoking articles: U.S. yield curve, new fintech products. Cities with most overleveraged mortgage debtors. Household debt. Expanding access to credit […]

The post Thursday March 28 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

structured debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Refreshes Home Loans, Making Home Buying Painless and Paperless (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Today, SoFi announced the refresh of its mortgage offering as SoFi Home Loans, complete with a reengineered process that helps people buy or refinance a home with an online application, no hidden fees, or prepayment penalties.

SoFi Home Loans offer competitive rates including affordable down payments, with as little as 10% down on loans up to $3MM, with no hidden fees or prepayment penalties. SoFi allows applicants to choose between four different loan terms and fixed or adjustable rates. Those interested in refinancing can choose between traditional mortgage refinancing, cash-out refinancing, and student loan cash-out refinancing. If SoFi Home Loans isn’t able to handle a loan request, SoFi provides an easy option to digitally transfer member information to its affiliate partner who may be able to help.

Apple’s new credit card keeps advisors guessing (Financial Planning), Rated: AAA

The Apple credit card is the latest offering by a Silicon Valley tech giant looking for a ready-made avenue into the financial services’ sector. While the new card mostly benefits loyal users of Apple products, it’s also an unwelcome reminder of an ever present question on the minds of wealth managers: Will the FAANG companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet continue their land grab of services historically provided by the financial services industry — and at what cost to traditional RIAs?

Ominously, a majority of investors considering switching financial services providers said they would consider banking with a tech company like Facebook, Google or Amazon if they could, according to a recent survey by Novantis.

US Yield Curve Inverts; New Products from FinTechs (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

For the first time in 3,000 days, and with much anticipation, the 3-month and 10-year treasury curve inverted. The median time to a recession after this curve inverts is between 1 to 1.5 years. However, unprecedented interventions such as QE (and higher central bank holdings globally) make it difficult to draw hard and fast conclusions. Market participants are pricing in a 41% probability of an interest rate cut in the September meeting.

Source: PeerIQ; Bianco Research

New Products from FinTechs

FinTech innovation continues with new products from PeerStreet and Figure. PeerStreet has launched a 30-year loan to enable private investors to buy rental properties. Residential for Rent loans are targeted towards rental home operators. The rental market in the US has grown exponentially post-crisis people struggle to buy homes. The number of rental homes has grown from 36 Mn in 2006 to 43 Mn in 2017.

Source: FactTank, PeerIQ

2019’s Cities with the Most Overleveraged Mortgage Debtors (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

Buying a home represents an important milestone for most consumers. But for those who dive in to the deep end of real estate without a financial safety net, the decision could lead to buyer’s remorse in the long run. Mortgage rates are slowly falling after reaching their latest peak in November 2018, and are close to the lowest they’ve been in the past 3 decades. This makes 2019 a tempting time to buy a home. Some industry experts believe 2019 is friendlier toward buyers than sellers because of the lower rates.

Source: WalletHub

Household Debt – Mixed Signals (DBRS), Rated: AAA

The most recent Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (the Fed) and Equifax Inc. (Equifax) showed that household debt rose for the 18th consecutive period during Q4 2018 to $13.5 trillion, $869 billion higher than the peak reached in 2008. This represented the third-smallest increase (0.24%) over the 18 consecutive periods of growth, partly because of decreasing mortgage loan debt during Q4 2018 to $9.2 trillion from $9.4 trillion at the end of Q3 2018 and flat levels of auto loan debt at $1.3 trillion for both Q3 and Q4 2018.

Expanding Access to Credit in the Land of New “Halves” (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Credit is one of the largest, most powerful, lucrative and important industries in the world. It also is one of the best tools for wealth creation – home ownership, small business ownership and growth, and, leveraged investing.  This is readily accessible for prime consumers with more options now than ever before. But for the other half of the country that is non-prime, options are still limited and in many cases non-existent.

Early pioneers of securitizations like SoFi, the scaling of marketplace lending like Lending ClubProsper and Best Egg, and new distribution models like Greensky and Affirm have contributed towards increasing comfort of these “new asset classes” that were mostly locked up in bank’s balance sheets.

There are a lot of new “halves” in today’s world.

Amount Delivers Seamless Digital and Mobile Lending Platform to TD Bank (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Amount, a technology provider for financial institutions, today announced a strategic partnership with TD Bank. TD Bank, a top ten U.S. bank, is leveraging Amount’s platform to power the bank’s TD Fit Loan, which launched in August 2018. This initial offering allows consumers to consolidate higher-interest debt, while helping TD meet growing consumer demand for a seamless digital and mobile lending experience. Through this partnership, TD and Amount will roll out additional offerings, as well as standalone tools addressing fraud, verifications and decisioning.

5 Freebies With Your Student Loans (NerdWallet), Rated: A

1. Career coaching

Who offers it: SoFi.

SoFi members have received over 15,000 coaching sessions to date.

4. Referral bonuses

Who offers it: Multiple refinance lenders.

  • Education Loan Finance offers $400 for each successful referral, as well as $100 for the loan applicant.
  • Laurel Road lets you split its $400 bonus however you and your referral see fit.
  • Splash Financial provides $250 apiece for both parties.

5. Charitable work

Who offers it: CommonBond.

If you prefer freebies that help others, CommonBond has a one-for-one social impact mission. For each loan the lender issues, it donates an amount based on a formula that funds a child’s education in a developing country through the nonprofit Pencils of Promise. Those donations have totaled over $1 million to date.

CNote Launches Wisdom Fund to Close Lending Gap for Women (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Yet less than 5 percent of small business lending—only $1 in $23—goes to women. CNote aims to fix this disparity with the Wisdom Fund, a new impact investment opportunity launching today.

Investors in the Wisdom Fund will earn an estimated 4 percent annual return, over a 60-month term, on a loan portfolio that’s diversified across established CDFIs. Email wisdomfund@mycnote.com to learn how you can help fund more women-owned businesses today.

Women seeking loans should contact a participating CDFI. Partners in the Wisdom Fund’s first phase include:

  • Carolina Small Business Development Fund, which provides small business loans and financial training to startups, existing businesses and community organizations in North Carolina.
  • LiftFund, a Texas-based organization that empowers underserved entrepreneurs with capital and support services in 13 states.
  • TruFund, a national nonprofit organization that provides affordable capital to small businesses and nonprofits in AlabamaLouisiana and New York.

Study Finds 70% of Americans Would Share More Personal Data for Fairer Credit Decisions (PR Newswire), Rated: A

More than half (54%) of loan applicants don’t even have a clear understanding of why they receive the interest rate they do from a lender, while a majority (70%) say it is difficult finding lenders who will look at them as something other than their credit score.

  • 7 in 10 American adults (71%) wish there was another way to prove themselves to credit lenders outside of the standard credit score.
    • Hispanics (82%) and African Americans (81%) are more likely than Whites (67%) to want lenders to look at additional factors in lending decisions.
  • 77% believe more data is better when evaluating potential borrowers’ credit.
  • 71% would be willing to share more personal data with a lender if it resulted in a fairer credit decision. The motivation is even higher among middle-class earners. 79% of people making $50,000 to $75,000 would share more personal data to prove their creditworthiness, compared to 66% of people making over $100,000.
  • 84% think their bank should use modern technology to assess their creditworthiness.
    • Specifically, about half of loan applicants (53%) would like their ideal lender to use machine learning to make fairer credit decisions.
    • More than 2 in 5 (42%) would like their ideal lender to use machine learning to make the credit for homeownership more accessible to everyone.
    • Surprisingly, older generations want newer technology even more. Baby boomers and seniors (83% and 87%, respectively) wanted their banks to use new technologies to score them, compared to 79% for Millennials and Gen Zers.

Survey: Alternative Data Sharing (Urjanet), Rated: B

Urjanet surveyed more than 300 U.S.-based adults to assess consumer sentiment around alternative data sharing in the lending process. Key findings include:

  • A majority of consumers have multiple alternative sources of payment history
  • Alternative data sharing represents a huge opportunity for lenders to drive financial inclusion
  • Most consumers (59%) are willing to share utility and telecom data to boost chances of approval

SigFig launches platform to help retail banks sell financial products (Investment News), Rated: A

SigFig, the financial technology firm that developed digital advice platforms for several large financial institutions, wants to help banks automate more than investment management.

Technology to Play Crucial Role in Preparing ABS Professionals for Next Economic Cycle (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

An overwhelming majority (90 percent) of asset-backed securities (ABS) professionals feel that adopting new technologies will be important to preparing their businesses for the next economic cycle, according to Capital One’s sixth annual survey at SFIG Vegas 2019.

The survey also revealed that ABS professionals believe the biggest risks to their businesses are uncertainty around regulatory risk and increased credit risk, both at 29 percent. However, despite regulatory risk being a top concern, the industry’s apprehension has nearly cut in half over the last two years. In 2018, 48 percent noted regulations were the biggest risk to their businesses while 58 percent thought so in 2017. Additional top-of-mind concerns for 2019 include increases in interest rates (18 percent) and increased competition (17 percent).

TrustToken’s Stablecoin Now Available On Cred’s Crypto Earning Platform (BlockTribune), Rated: A

Asset tokenization platform TrustToken has announced a strategic partnership with crypto lending platform Cred.

Founded by former PayPal financial technology veterans, Cred is a decentralized global lending and borrowing platform that allows stablecoin issuers, exchanges and wallets to provide valuable earn and lending services worldwide.

Fintech in Brief: Update on Legal Challenges to OCC Fintech Charter (JDSupra), Rated: A

On March 19, 2019, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) filed a brief in opposition to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (“OCC”) motion to dismiss the NYDFS’ lawsuit challenging the OCC’s statutory authority to grant special purpose national bank charters to Fintechs (the “Fintech Charter”). The brief in opposition signals that the NYDFS will continue its opposition to the Fintech Charter under the leadership of Acting Superintendent Linda Lacewell, who replaced outgoing Superintendent Mari Vullo in February. In opposing the OCC’s motion to dismiss, the NYDFS argued that it has standing to challenge the Fintech Charter, the matter is ripe for judicial review, and its claims are not time-barred. The NYDFS also argued that the OCC’s interpretation of the “business of banking” is not entitled to Chevron deference and “should be invalidated in its entirety.”

Mortech Partners with Roostify for Enhanced Online Mortgage Experience (Business Wire), Rated: A

Today, Mortech, a Zillow Group business providing mortgage technology solutions for mortgage lenders and secondary market teams, announced a new partnership between Mortech’s product and pricing engine (PPE) and Roostify, a digital lending platform that gives customers more control of their home buying process while allowing loan officers to utilize the latest technology to more easily process loans. The strategic partnership will integrate two proven mortgage technology solutions to improve the digital mortgage experience for many industry-leading lenders.

Finastra brings community banking services outside the branch with the launch of Fusion Digital Front Office (Finastra), Rated: A

Finastra has launched Fusion Digital Front Office, an innovative tablet-based banking platform that enables community banks and credit unions to take services directly to the consumer, outside of the branch. The solution provides a simple gateway to manage account origination, sales and service, and transaction processing from any remote location.

Huobi’s US Arm Launches Institutional Group for OTC Crypto Trading (CoinDesk), Rated: A

“We’re entering the market now with a real institutional offering, we’re definitely going to be offering some new products and services,” such as token lending and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, in the coming months, he added.

Elevate Named as a Finalist for LendIt Fintech 2019’s Financial Inclusion Award (AP News), Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, has been named as one of six finalists in the “Excellence in Financial Inclusion” category for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards 2019. This award is given to the company that has made the biggest impact in expanding access to financial services in new and innovative ways.

J.D. Power ranks Regions among top alternative lenders for personal loans (Biz Journals), Rated: B

Birmingham’s largest bank has ranked among the top alternative lenders in the U.S. for providing personal loan satisfaction through digital applications.

United Kingdom

ARBUTHNOT BANKING GROUP (“Arbuthnot”, “the Group” or “ABG”) Audited Final Results for the year to 31 December 2018 (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

·      Profit Before Tax £6.8m (2017: £2.5m)

·      Underlying profit before tax £7.4m (2017: £3.2m)

·      Operating income increased by 24% to £67.9m (2017: £54.6m)

·      Negative earnings per share 134.5p (2017: positive 43.9p)*

·      Continuing earnings per share 38.0p (2017: 14.0p)

·      Underlying earnings per share 40.3p (2017: 17.6p)

·      Final dividend per share 20p (2017: 19p), an increase of 5%

·      Total full year dividend per share 35p (2017: 33p)

·      Bonus share issue to create new class of non-voting shares

·      Net assets £196m (2017: £236m)

·      Net assets per share 1283p (2017: 1547p)

·      Underlying return on deployed equity 5.6% (2017: 4.2%)

Consolidated statement of financial position

 

At 31 December

2018

2017

Note

£000

£000

ASSETS

Cash and balances at central banks

17

405,325

313,101

Loans and advances to banks

18

54,173

70,679

Debt securities at amortised cost / held-to-maturity

19

342,691

227,019

Assets classified as held for sale

20

8,002

2,915

Derivative financial instruments

21

1,846

2,551

Loans and advances to customers

22

1,224,656

1,049,269

Other assets

24

12,716

20,624

Financial investments

25

35,351

2,347

Deferred tax asset

26

1,490

1,527

Interests in associates

27

– 

83,804

Intangible assets

28

16,538

15,995

Property, plant and equipment

30

5,304

3,962

Investment property

31

67,081

59,439

Total assets

2,175,173

1,853,232

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

Equity attributable to owners of the parent

Share capital

37

153

153

Retained earnings

38

209,083

237,171

Other reserves

38

(13,280)

(949)

Total equity

195,956

236,375

LIABILITIES

Deposits from banks

32

232,675

195,097

Derivative financial instruments

21

188

931

Deposits from customers

33

1,714,286

1,390,781

Current tax liability

236

705

Other liabilities

34

18,549

16,239

Debt securities in issue

35

13,283

13,104

Total liabilities

1,979,217

1,616,857

Total equity and liabilities

2,175,173

1,853,232

Read the full report here.

Tech Nation Lists 10 Fintech Pioneers In Future Fifty 2019 Cohort (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Revolut, Monzo, Starling Bank, Currencycloud, Aire, Blockchain, MarketInvoice, Quantexa, Nested and Salary Finance were revealed to be among the 24 most dynamic and fast-growing late-stage technology companies to be chosen to join Future Fifty’s 2019 cohort.

Tech Nation and Dealroom data has also revealed that the U.K. has attracted a whopping $7.9 billion in funding in 2018 and closed the gap for exits of venture-backed companies with the U.S. As well as this U.K. sales, IPOs and mergers were worth $40 billion – ahead of every other European country – which points to the success of the tech sector as a whole in the country.

OAKNORTH ANNOUNCES BRITISH BUSINESS BANK ENABLE GUARANTEE OF £133M (Business Leader), Rated: AAA

OakNorth has today announced its participation in the ENABLE Guarantee programme, securing a guarantee of £133m from the British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank. OakNorth will use the guarantee to strengthen further its lending support to fast-growth businesses and established property developers and investors.

The ENABLE Guarantee programme is designed to encourage banks to increase their lending to smaller businesses by reducing the amount of capital required to be held against such lending. Under an ENABLE Guarantee, the UK Government takes on a portion of the lender’s risk on a portfolio of loans to smaller businesses, in return for a fee.

Inside OakNorth’s plan to take its lending technology global (Tearsheet), Rated: A

As a challenger bank, OakNorth charts a different course. While Revolut, Monzo, and N26 focus on putting their digital current accounts in the hands of millions, OakNorth doesn’t even offer a current account. While other challengers are racing to acquire banking licenses all over the world, OakNorth is happy with just a UK license.

OakNorth is also posting profits while other challengers aren’t.  The bank announced a £33.9m profit for 2018, up 220 percent from 2017.

OakNorth provides debt financing to entrepreneurs in growing businesses, lending £0.5M to £40M to profitable, scale-up, British businesses. To fund its underwriting, OakNorth offers digital savings accounts. It currently has 40,000 customers with digital savings accounts and has lend £3 billion in under four years.

Successful UK Payday Lender Western Circle Limited Begins Offering Personal Loans Online (Finger Lakes Times), Rated: A

Western Circle Limited has made a name for itself by offering responsible payday loans online. Their decision to branch out into the personal loans market through the new brand PersonalLoansNow.co.uk was well received by their customers.

Five last-minute IFISA ideas (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE END of the tax year is fast approaching, so if you haven’t yet taken full advantage of your £20,000 ISA allowance to make tax-free returns, now is the time. The peer-to-peer lending industry is expecting to see an uptick in inflows into Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISA) this year now that there is a much wider choice of products available and the potential for higher returns than cash with lower volatility than the stock market.

FINTECH LAUNCHES AI LOAN COMPARISON SERVICE (Business Cloud), Rated: A

Loan marketplace Monevo has launched a new platform to give consumers comparisons of pre-approved loans.

Based in Macclesfield, the business is a licensed credit broker for personal and business loans and is Europe’s largest personal loan marketplace.

An Alternative Approach (IFA Magazine), Rated: A

When it comes to asset allocation, advisers constantly face the challenge of finding real diversification in client portfolios. Sue Whitbread met with Matthew Ardron and Benedict Yung of Basset & Gold Group, to talk about their approach of offering fixed rate bonds that invest in alternative lending.

Half of Brits running out of cash before payday – pushing them to rogue lenders (Mirror), Rated: A

Exclusive research for Mirror Money shows by the end of this month, those turning to payday loans will have shelled out more than £214million – that works out at £28 per second

P2P to have strong presence at Innovate Finance Global Summit (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

FOUNDERS of the ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lenders are among the confirmed speakers at Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS), which takes place next month at London’s Guildhall.

Giles Andrews of Zopa, Samir Desai of Funding Circle and Rhydian Lewis of RateSetter are all participating in various sessions at the fintech industry trade body’s flagship conference on 29-30 April 2019, which marks the start of UK Fintech Week.

Other confirmed speakers from the P2P world include Zopa chief executive Jaidev Janardana, ArchOver’s Angus Dent, Ali Celiker from British Pearl and Roxana Mohammadian-Molina from Blend Network.

China/Hong Kong

Hong Kong SME financing platform raises $ 15m for China push (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Hong Kong-based online SME trade financing platform Qupital is targeting the mainland after closing a $15 million Series A funding round led by CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund.

Consumers hunger for loans, lenders popping up everywhere (Shine), Rated: AAA

Qin Shuifeng, 30, who lives in the suburban district of Jiading, went to a branch of the Postal Savings Bank of China in 2016 to seek a loan for home improvements.

The lender granted her and her husband a credit line of 1 million yuan (US$148,600), of which they drew 600,000 yuan, with an interest rate 10 percent higher than the benchmark rate.

Competition 

The central government has issued a series of policies favorable to consumer lending since the second half of 2018.

Still, risks remain. To realize sustainable development, players need to build strong operational and risk control capabilities, either by themselves or in partnership with financial technologies firms.

European Union

Klarna Launches Open Banking Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Today, Klarna, one of Europe’s leading payment providers and the global market leader in payment initiation services, announces the launch of its own Open Banking Platform. This platform will enable access to more than 4,300 European banks through a single Access to Account (XS2A) API in line with Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Klarna’s XS2A API is the most established and proven solution that has been developed at scale across markets for almost 15 years through the Klarna Group company Sofort.

This platform provides a fully proven and mature infrastructure, superior market coverage and connectivity, with access to 99% of online banking consumers currently across 14 European markets. By opening up its own advanced technology and capabilities, Klarna is simplifying and democratising access to APIs securely. Both established and newer banks and fintechs as well as other licensed businesses, will be able to build smart and personalised offerings that meet the evolving needs of consumers across Europe. Klarna has been one of the leading proponents of the PSD2 legislation and believes high-quality APIs will drive innovation and competition but most importantly will empower consumers across Europe with increased choice, control and clarity on their finances, and ability to access better products.

International

Has Alternative Lending Seen Its VC Peak? (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

U.S. FinTech funding reached its highest level in five years in 2018, according to CB Insights data published last month, hitting $11.89 billion. Yet at a time when analysts say VCs are focusing more on late-stage investment, alternative lenders are having a tougher time securing funding, particularly market newcomers in a crowded market.

But there is evidence that investors’ appetite for alternative lending startups is on the wane, even as overall FinTech funding continues to climb — and as the success of the alternative lending market grows, too.

eToro buys blockchain company Firmo (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Just weeks after launching in the US, trading and investment platform eToro announced plans to purchase Copenhagen-based blockchain firm Firmo, reports Julie Muhn  at Finovate

Founded in 2017, Firmo offers a programming language called FirmoLang that runs on a sidechain. Exchanges can leverage FirmoLang to create financial instruments such as P2P lending platforms or cryptocurrency derivatives with tokens. And Firmo is versatile, allowing the tokens to be run on any blockchain.

Battlestar Capital Earns 30% Returns For Holding Crypto (ChainBits), Rated: B

Battlestar Capital, which is a blockchain staking-as-a-service company, revealed that customers could potentially earn up to 30 percent on a yearly basis when it comes to their idle crypto holdings. Here is everything about the startup’s claims in a nutshell.

In an interview, the company said that it has teamed up with crypto lending startup called Celsius Network in an attempt to launch a large-scale service capable of offering potentially high returns.

Australia

APRA Proposes Stricter Credit Risk Management Standards (Regulation Asia), Rated: AAA

The revised prudential standard enhances board oversight of credit risk and requires more intensive credit checks on borrowers. APRA also highlights the risks of P2P originated loans.

India

New modes of lending, fund raising on cards (The Asian), Rated: AAA

In a bid to change the market dynamics of the banking and financial sectors, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon come up with alternative models of lending and capital raising for the sectors.

Asia

Bukalapak partners three P2P lenders to provide loans for offline businesses (Tech in Asia), Rated: AAA

Bukalapak is teaming up with Indonesian P2P lending startups Amartha, Modalku, and PohonDana to provide loan facilities in a program called Modal Mitra. The loans are available to offline vendors who are part of the company’s Mitra Bukalapak program.

The financing offered through Modal Mitra ranges between US$70 and US$700 and can be paid back in up to six months, with weekly installments starting from US$6. It can only be used for purchases in the Mitra Bukalapak app.

Eurasia

Russian fintech launches digital bank 131 (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Bank 131, a new digital bank focused on Russian companies and entrepreneurs that work for global internet companies and/or buy from global ecommerce companies with a Russia presence, announced today they have received their banking license from authorities – the first and only new bank to do so in four years.

Canada

Shadow banking has grown, but risks to financial systems are modest (Advisor’s Edge), Rated: AAA

Canada’s shadow banking sector has grown substantially in recent years, but the overall financial system has grown even faster, keeping risks in check, suggests a new report from the Bank of Canada.

In the report, the central bank details the results of its monitoring of so-called “non-bank financial intermediation” (NBFI), also known as shadow banking. Among other things, the report finds the Canadian NBFI sector has grown by 1.7 times since 2006, driven by strong growth in investment funds, securities financing transactions and private lending.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday March 28 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday February 21 2019, Weekly News Digest

household debt

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi launches SoFi Invest. LendingClub forecasts bigger-than-expected Q1 loss. RateSetter ISA exceeds first-year expectations. Zopa report reveals 1 in 3 brits don’t understand Cash ISA Rate. October surpasses 100M GBP in loan repayments. Today’s main analysis: LendingClub 2018 results and 2019 guidance. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The highest seriously delinquent auto loans ever. Personal loans could […]

The post Thursday February 21 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

household debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi launches SoFi Invest and eyes additional lending products (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

US-based online personal money management startup Social Finance (SoFi) has launched an investment product, dubbed SoFi Invest, offering both active and automated investing options at no fees, while it plans to offer additional lending products, perBloomberg, citing a company letter to investors.

SoFi Invest is already live, but the company aims to further grow and develop its related offerings this year.

Source: Business Insider Intelligence

SoFi Now Offering No-Fee Brokerage for Stock and ETF Trades (Think Advisor), Rated: A

According to Bloomberg, which obtained a copy of a letter CEO Anthony Noto wrote investors in the fourth quarter, SoFi Invest had “released an alpha version” of its new brokerage platform inviting employees and select members to “buy and sell individual stocks and ETFs with the tap of a button.”  That brokerage platform is now available to anyone using the app, for no fee.

Investors can currently trade only individual stocks and ETFs on the platform; individual bonds and mutual funds are expected to be added in the future.

LendingClub forecasts bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss (WSAU), Rated: AAA

Online lender LendingClub Corp forecast a bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss on Tuesday, and revenue that missed Wall Street estimates, sending its shares down 5 percent in after-market trading.

For the first quarter, the company expects net revenue between $162 million and $172 million, below analysts’ estimates of $181.2 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

LendingClub also forecast a first-quarter loss between $20 million and $15 million, compared to Wall Street estimates of a loss of $5.14 million.

LendingClub Reports 2018 Results and Guidance for 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Earnings season is in full swing and today LendingClub announced their results for the 2018 year. The numbers were quite strong in most areas with the company originating $10.9 billion in new loans in 2018, up 21% year over year and a new high water work in yearly originations. For Q4 loan originations were $2.87 billion down slightly from the previous quarter but up 18% year over year.

Source: LendingClub

They lost $128 million in 2018 with a $13 million loss in Q4.

Source: LendingClub

Brismo partners with LendingClub to create ‘industry standard’ performance metrics (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Brismo, the leading international provider of lending performance data, has today announced that standardized performance metrics are available representing the performance of loans made available through LendingClub*.

Lending Performance Analytics

Brismo’s analysis includes a complete historic track record in a format that is free from distortions relating to inconsistent facilitation growth rates or default profiles.

Functions available include:

  • Gross facilitation, net lending, change in outstanding principal
  • Outbound lending rates and loan term
  • Late payments including transition matrices, defaults, recoveries, recovery performance, and net loss
  • Historic PDs and LGDs
  • Net return, loss coverage and risk adjusted return
  • Cohort analysis including return projections
  • All analysis can be segmented by facilitator, risk band, asset type etc.

Highest Auto Delinquencies (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Fed’s latest report on Household Debt and Credit showed that total household debt increased by $32 Bn (0.2%) to $13.54 Tn in 4Q2018, marking the 18th consecutive quarter of growth. Total debt is now $869 Bn higher than its previous peak, although it remains below its peak on a per-capita basis.

The report also showed that more than 7 Mn auto loans are delinquent for more than 90 days. This is the highest number of seriously delinquent auto loans ever and is driven mainly by subprime borrowers. Over 8% of subprime borrowers are seriously delinquent on their auto loans, but this percentage is still well below its peak of 9.7% seen in 2010.

Source: PeerIQ

In FinTech financing news, Nav a small-business lending marketplace, raised $45 Mn from GS Principal Strategic Investments among others. Nav will use the funds to expand its platform and to support more funding partners.

CommonBond, an online student loan refinancer, has raised a $750 Mn credit line from GS, Citi among others. CommonBond will use this credit facility to expand its lending operations.

Personal Loans May Increase Credit Scores of Most Borrowers (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Americans are increasingly turning to personal loans as another option for their ongoing debt and credit needs. There are many uses for personal loans, and the most prominent are to consolidate existing debt and pay down credit cards, which often carry higher interest rates.

Key findings

  • About 62% of borrowers see their credit scores go up the month after they take out a personal loan.
  • After 12 months, around 45% of borrowers still have higher scores than they did in the month of loan origination.
  • People with lower scores are more likely to see a credit score bump: 68% of those who started with scores under 620 saw their scores increase in one month, 71% had higher scores after three and six months, and 58% had higher scores after a year.
  • People with scores under 620 saw a 20 point, or 3.4%, boost after one month. They also saw a 10 point, or 1.8%, boost after 12 months, on average.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, borrowers who started with higher scores are less likely to see a credit score bump. 57% of people with scores of 750 or higher see their scores increase after a month, and about 39% have higher scores after a year.

FinTechs Continue to Drive Personal Loan Growth (GlobeNewswire), Rated: AAA

The FinTech revolution has propelled unsecured personal loans to another record-breaking quarter. TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) Q4 2018 Industry Insights Reportfound that personal loan balances increased $21 billion in the last year to close 2018 at a record high of $138 billion. Much of this growth was driven by online loans originated by FinTechs.

FinTech loans now comprise 38% of all unsecured personal loan balances, the largest market share compared to banks, credit unions and traditional finance companies. Five years ago, FinTechs accounted for just 5% of outstanding balances. As a result of FinTech entry to the market, bank balance share decreased to 28% from 40% in 2013, while credit union share has declined from 31% to 21% during this time.

TransUnion also found that FinTechs are competitive with banks, with both lenders issuing loans averaging in the $10,000 range, compared to $5,300 for credit unions. Across all risk tiers and lender types, the average unsecured personal loan debt per borrower was $8,402 as of Q4 2018.

Source: TransUnion

Personal loan originations increased 22% during Q3 2018, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of 20%+ annual origination increases. While the subprime risk tier grew the fastest, prime and above originations (those with a VantageScore 3.0 of 661 or higher) represented 36% of all originations. More than 19 million consumers now have a personal loan ­product, an increase of two million from a year earlier in Q4 2017 and the highest level ever observed.

Source: TransUnion

LoanStreet’s New Commercial Lending Solution Combines Automation and Networking for Financial Institutions (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LoanStreet Inc., the first fully integrated platform that streamlines the process of sharing, managing and originating loans, now offers a new, powerful commercial loan origination and administration solution for any size financial institution, loan or deal volume. LoanStreet uniquely combines the power of networking financial institutions together with world-class lending technology that automates administrative tasks to drive growth, diversify risk, and enable lenders to better serve their customers.

Leading Small Business Lending into a Digital and Data Driven Age (LendIt), Rated: A

Small business lending contributed to 24% of the loans originated by US Banks in 2018, accounting for 600 billion last year. Small business lending by large banks remains in legacy mode with deeply entrenched manual processes, a siloed experience and a lack of customization to help meet the unique needs of small business owners.

How a $ 1.3 Billion Institution Launched Its Own Digital Bank (The Financial Brand), Rated: AAA

When IncredibleBank, the online banking division of Wisconsin-based River Valley Bank, made the list of “Top 10 Online Banks”  at GoBankingRates.com, it found itself in good company, right alongside Ally Bank, CIT Bank, Discover Bank, and Synchrony.

While not the only community bank on the list, it’s a significant accomplishment for an institution with only $1.3 billion in assets. And equally noteworthy, IncredibleBank is the only digital-first bank offering loans for luxury RVs. These motor coaches — the ones the size of a tour bus with slide-outs that turn them into 1,200 square foot homes — run upwards of $2 million.

The challenger banks catering to gig-economy workers (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Qwil

Reinsch’s startup, Qwil, focuses on providing working capital for the freelancer who has trouble, like he did, getting paid on time.

Source: American Banker

Qwil’s underwriting technology assesses the payor’s likelihood of paying. It captures information about the approval status of the invoice: Is it definitively approved, is it likely to be approved or is it simply booked and not approved? It conducts identity verification and fraud checks on each freelancer. Qwil charges a flat fee for the advance, such as 1% of the amount. No interest rate or late fees are charged. And it never goes after the freelancer or small- business person to collect.

Oxygen

Online lenders like OnDeck, Kabbage, Fundbox and Bluevine all look at accounting software data and bank account data to analyze the cash flow of and qualify small business applicants. But the freelancer graphic designer working in a Starbucks or contract copy writer can’t get this type of loan, Ahmed said.

Oxygen’s banking and lending services are bundled into a membership with a flat monthly fee of $29.99.

Ahmed wouldn’t say how many users Oxygen has. The company, which started in a Y Combinator incubator, has been in production since September has been growing users at an 80% monthly rate.

Cogni

Cogni will offer a checking account and debit card, as well as up to 12% cash back at restaurants and retailers. It will provide “curated financial and lifestyle services” in an app designed for millennials, freelancers and side hustlers.

Joust

This month, Joust started a partnership with the Freelancers Union, which has 425,000 members. In a survey, the union found that 71% of its members have trouble getting paid. It also announced an Android version of its app (it had only iOS before).

For a 1% fee it offers a guarantee the payment will be made within 30 days. For a 6% fee it will instantly fund the invoice. Users can also take out PayArmour loans when they are out of work. Eventually Joust plans to provide gap financing for those in-between times.

When Considering Banks, New Survey Finds That Millennials Prefer Technology To Human Touch (Marqeta Email), Rated: A

Millennials are unattached to traditional banks, with only 17% of them expressing firm commitment to their current banking provider,  according to new survey data from Marqeta, whose advanced payments infrastructure and open-API platform has pioneered a new standard for modern card issuing. In this research, Millennials (18-34 year olds) were 50% less likely than Baby Boomers (50-65 years old) to say that they couldn’t ever imagine wanting to change their banks.

Marqeta’s research found:

  • Only 1-in-6 Millennials said they couldn’t imagine ever wanting to change from their current bank.
  • 58% of Millennials would consider banking with Amazon, Facebook or Google if these tech giants enter the banking space.
  • 48% of Millennials said they’d consider moving to an independent digital-only bank.

Millennials Are Digital Banking Early Adopters

More than half of Americans aged 18-34 (53%) have used mobile wallets to complete a purchase in-store or on their mobile phone. That’s higher than Americans aged 35-50 (39%) and more than double those aged 51-65 (22%).

It’s also noteworthy that:

  • More than half of Millennials (52%) said they were comfortable using TouchID and FaceID to authorize mobile wallet payments — almost double the number of Baby Boomers (29%) who said the same.
  • More than twice as many Millennials (57%) than Baby Boomers (27%) said that they have used peer-to-peer banking apps like Square Cash or Venmo.
  • Millennials (49%) were twice as likely as Baby Boomers (20%) to pay someone back using a peer-to-peer banking app than a physical currency like cash or check.

Banking Apps Are More Valuable Than Tellers to Millennials

When asked about what the most important service their bank provided was, Millennials reflected much different attitudes than older Americans: Millennials were twice as likely as Baby Boomers to list a mobile app as most important (27% v 14 %), while Baby Boomers were twice as likely to list in person presence (20% v 11%).

Millennials are also abandoning old-fashioned payment methods like checks en masse, with almost half (48%) saying that they couldn’t remember the last time they wrote a check for something other than utilities and rent.

Banks Set To Invest In Legacy Systems To Combat Challenger Bank Threat (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

More than three-quarters (80%) of bankers believe challenger banks are an increased threat to their business, while almost one-third (30%) believe they will be the single most disruptive threat in 2019. The survey, commissioned by fintech provider Fraedom, found that in response the challenger bank threat, bankers expect their organisations to invest heavily in updating legacy systems (44%) and new technology (26%) in 2019.

With investing in new technology high on the agenda for commercial banks, the survey found that over half (53%) of respondents believe AI and Machine Learning will be the technologies to have the biggest impact on commercial banking in 2019.

Atlantic Capital Bank Launches Fintech Partnership with Self Lender (Nasdaq), Rated: A

Atlantic Capital (NASDAQ:ACBI) announces its partnership with Self Lender, a leading Fintech company offering consumers a way to build their credit while saving money. Atlantic Capital provides innovative financial technology companies a banking partner that has significant operational expertise and processing scale to meet the demands of a rapidly growing national client base.  The Self Lender and Atlantic Capital partnership helps efficiently deliver the credit builder account to thousands of consumers across the United States.

Impact of Intelligent Technologies on the Finance Industry (CIO Applications), Rated: A

Source: CIO Applications

Consolidated Analytics Taps Industry Finance Leader Mike Jones as Chief Financial Officer to Facilitate Aggressive Growth and Transformation (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Consolidated Analytics, a one-stop provider of property valuation, asset management, due diligence, fulfillment and advisory services for the real estate finance industry, today announced the appointment of Mike Jones as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, Jones will be responsible for developing and implementing financial strategies that will support the company’s overarching M&A integration strategy and drive corporate transformation initiatives.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Reported ISA Exceeded Expectation in First Year By Attracting £175 Million of Subscriptions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter recently announced its ISA has exceeded expectations in its first year, having attracted £175 million of subscriptions, and currently accounts for one-fifth of the platform’s £830 million funds under management. RateSetter unveiled its ISA in February 2018. It allows investments in peer-to-peer loans to be included in a tax-free ISA wrapper up to an investor’s £20,000 annual ISA allowance.

Zopa’s Latest Report Reveals 1 in 3 Brits in the Dark on Cash ISA Rate (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

According to Zopa, the research revealed that 1 in 3 British savers (30%) had no idea what interest they’re earning on their Cash ISA and there is a vast difference of knowledge by age with an alarming 42% of people aged between 25 to 44 being in the dark over the rate of interest they were earning on their Cash ISA, in contrast to 21% of over 55s. The research then noted that Generation Z’s were only slightly more aware than Millennials with 39% not knowing their rate of interest.

Is your money safe in an IFISA? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE INNOVATIVE Finance ISA (IFISA) is starting to take off after a slow start – in the last tax year, subscriptions rose more than 700 per cent – but potential investors may still be unsure about the risks involved.

Money put into peer-to-peer loans – with or without the IFISA wrapper – is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Revolut Launches New Business Mobile App (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Digital bank Revolut announced on Tuesday the launch of its new business mobile app. This news comes nearly one year after Revolut debuted its Revolut for Business. Revolut reported that through the mobile app, users may do the following:

  • Track corporate card spending in real-time
  • View card details and PIN on the go
  • Freeze or unfreeze card if it’s misplaced
  • Receive instant spending notifications after every card payment

Should bank-style stress tests for P2P lenders reassure investors? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Trade body the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) requires its platform members to carry out bank-style stress tests on their loan portfolios, but how much confidence should P2P investors  have in these models if  the cycle turns?

P2PFA member Funding Circle has claimed its loanbook would hold up in a recession, after subjecting itself to the toughest Bank of England stress tests. The P2P business lender has said it could still deliver a three to five per cent return to investors in a downturn.

Leasing Foundation to host asset finance technology debates (Verdict), Rated: B

The newly formed Innovation Initiative from the Leasing Foundation is holding a series of breakfast debates this year to explore the asset finance industry’s relationship to technology.

The first event will feature James Alexander, co-founder of P2P lending company Zopa, as keynote speaker and will take place on 13 March from 8am to 10am at Metro Bank in Holborn, London.

Strabane firm funding 55 new homes with £7m from peer-to-peer lender (Belfast Telegraph), Rated: B

The N&R Devine Group is in the process of building the properties, which will go on the market at prices between £105,000 and £189,000.

Twenty of the homes will be built in Cookstown, 25 in Coalisland and the remainder in Sion Mills.

The Strabane-based builder secured the funding for the developments from peer-to-peer lender Assetz Capital.

China

China’s online P2P lending industry is undergoing a massive shake out (technode), Rated: AAA

China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry is in turmoil. In recent months, authorities have ramped up regulatory oversight of the world’s largest P2P lending industry. Investors are losing confidence at their stakes and pulling their funds, diminishing operators’ liquidity; many of them are facing insolvency.

This week, Chinese police froze RMB 10 billion worth of assets owned by over 380 lenders in a large-scale investigation spanning 16 countries. Dubbed Operation Fox Hunt, the investigation has led to the arrest of 62 suspects implicated in P2P fraud since last June.

The total value of the loans managed by online crowdlenders has fallen to RMB 1 trillion. Prior to the clampdown, in 2015, the total P2P loan amount was RMB 1.25 trillion, according to Chinese media (in Chinese).

Source: wdzj.com

China’s Recession-Proof Economy Heads to a Stress Test (Bloomberg), Rated: A

The reason for the slowdown isn’t clear. Uncertainty over trade with the U.S. — including tariffs, but also export controls and investment restrictions –— could be a factor, especially as other countries show signs of wariness toward Chinese technology companies. Bad investments in real estate and infrastructure could be coming back to bite. A crash in the peer-to-peer lending industry might be contributing.

Source: Bloomberg
European Union

European Marketplace Lender October Surpasses €100 Million in Loan Repayment (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

October, the European lending marketplace formerly known as Lendix, announced on Wednesday it has surpassed €100 million in loan repayment.

The online lender reported that since its launch more than €250 million has been lent to European companies and nearly 40% of this amount has already been paid into the accounts of both individual and institutional lenders through monthly repayments. October then revealed that the lenders have already supported 570 projects for an average amount of €460,000.

Machine learning: Part of Europe’s consumer loans business (AltFi), Rated: A

Machine learning technologies are widely used to establish consumer credit scores in Europe, a new report confirmed.

Around 70 per cent of financial institutions across the continent say they already use these data technologies to build consumer score cards, which dictate lending, said a survey called, Credit Risk Management 2019 – How Do You Stack Up?

The average coverage rate of non-performing loans in Europe was 46 per cent in 2018, according to the survey.

5 Fashion E-commerce Trends Helping Retailers Build a Cult Following (Klarna), Rated: A

How can you get consumers as psyched about your brand as you are? Get inspired by these five fashion e-commerce trends that are powering more meaningful engagement.
International

UK-based GBG Acquires IDology in $ 300 Million All-Cash Deal (Finovate), Rated: AAA

Identity verification and fraud prevention specialist IDology has been acquired by U.K.-based identity data intelligence firm, GBG, for $300 million (£233 million) in cash.

The deal will give GBG broader reach into the North American market; in a statement, the company said 99% of IDology’s revenues come from the United States.

Are Peer-to-Peer Loans (P2P Loans) the Best Option for a Small Business? (ForexTV), Rated: A

One of the biggest issues that every entrepreneur will have to face at some point is finding financial backing. Money is going to be essential for your business launch, and there are a variety of methods for obtaining that much-needed financial support. One of the most popular solutions is Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P). This is a useful way of getting the money you need without going through the traditional route of obtaining interest only bank loans. Those banks loans can be slow and expensive, so does P2P offer a viable alternative option? Here’s the rundown of everything you need to know about P2P loans.

Australia

Payday loans increase as households pushed into risky credit from non-bank lenders (ABC.net), Rated: AAA

Debt-stressed home owners and renters are increasingly turning to alternative lenders offering so-called “payday” loans and consumer leases, as falling property prices plunge more households into negative equity and banks crack down on credit.

Asia

5 of Vietnam’s Top Funded Fintechs (Fintech News), Rated: AAA

Fintech development is accelerating in Vietnam with companies in the sector attracting US$117 million last year, the maximum funding in Vietnamese startups in 2018. Fintech surpassed e-commerce at US$104 million and other sectors, according to funding data by local accelerator Topica Founder Institute, showcasing the eagerness of investors to take part in Vietnam’s fintech opportunity.

Source: topicafi via Facebook

Tima – US$3M

Founded in 2015, Tima is a consumer financial marketplace and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform. The company has signed partnerships with financial institutions, including VietinBank and Nam A Bank, and claims to have disbursed about US$1.7 billion in loans to 2.8 million borrowers and over 30,000 lenders on its platform.

Tima claims to have raised a US$3 million Series B funding round in October at a near US$20 million valuation and recently began the process of raising a Series C investment round after hiring former LendingClub COO John Donovan to its board of directors.

Short Term Loans: For Your Quick Financial Concerns (US Updates), Rated: A

In such a case, availing instant Short Term loans from an online lender may help you in different ways.

No fear of bad credit scores – These loans are available irrespective of credit score status. The Short Term poor credit loans are in possible reach of the bad credit borrowers. You do not have to face rejections due to bad credits.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday February 21 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday February 14 2019, Weekly News Digest

OnDeck revenues

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi invests in Apex Clearing. Zopa chairman steps down. Ratesetter ISA tops 17M GBP in first year. Assetz Capital surpasses 700M GBP in lending. Revolut denies getting Lithuanian bank license to influence politics. Today’s main analysis: OnDeck’s Q4 earnings review. Today’s thought-provoking articles: What’s happening with auto loans. How Amazon controls small businesses with lending. Banks […]

The post Thursday February 14 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

OnDeck revenues

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi held talks to acquire a fintech company backing some of the hottest robo advisors as it eyes expansion beyond its lending roots (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

OnDeck Q4 2018 Earnings Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The company achieved much of what they set to do in 2018 and posted another solid quarter as they rounded out the year. Q4 2018 net income came in at $14 million on gross revenues of $109.5 million. The company ended the year with a total of $27.7 million in net income. Below is a snapshot of their Q4 and 2018 full year highlights.

As of Q4 2018 the company still had $246 million of excess debt capacity.

BB&T and SunTrust merger; Tech in Bank Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Fed’s January 2019 Senior Loan Officer Survey showed that banks tightened standards for commercial real estate (CRE) loans. Overall, banks tightened standards for credit card borrowers. However, lending standards for most categories of consumer loans and C&I loans remained unchanged. Banks also reported weaker demand for both business and household loans.

Source: Federal Reserve, PeerIQ

BB&T agreed to buy SunTrust for $28.2 Bn – the first major mega-bank deal in a decade. This deal will create the sixth-largest US retail bank. The M&A is supported by a constructive regulatory environment fostered by the OCC and CFPB, among others. The previous large acquisition was the JP Morgan acquisition of Bank One in 2004.

A major motivation for the deal was the ability of both banks to pool resources to build better digital offerings. SunTrust has a FinTech focused fund and has partnered with FinTech lenders to provide home improvement and small business loans. Banks are investing billions in digital tech spend to maintain relevance with customers that are increasingly eschewing bank branches for a seamless, online, full-service banking and wealth management customer experience.

Auto Loans in High Gear (Liberty Street Economics), Rated: AAA

Total household debt increased modestly, by $32 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. Although household debt balances have been rising since mid-2013, their sluggish growth in the fourth quarter was mainly due to a flattening in the growth of mortgage balances. Auto loans, which have been climbing at a steady clip since 2011, increased by $9 billion, boosted by historically strong levels of newly originated loans. In fact, 2018 marked the highest level in the nineteen-year history of the loan origination data, with $584 billion in new auto loans and leases appearing on credit reports, up in nominal terms from 2017’s $569 billion. In this post, we take a closer look at the composition and performance of outstanding auto loan debt using the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which is based on anonymized Equifax credit data and also the source for the Quarterly Report.

Amazon’s lending perpetuates the tech giant’s control over small businesses (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Amazon runs a marketplace with 2.5 million sellers, 24,000 of which had more than $1 million in sales on the platform in 2018. These sellers represent the potential customer base for the company’s lending model.

From this base of borrowers, Amazon has been able to reportedly lend over $1 billion in 2017, exceeding  $3 billion in total lending volume from its inception in 2011 to 2017. As for 2018, in its annual report, the company reported receivables outstanding from their lending program of $710 million, up from $692 million a year prior.

With access to detailed information and data on each seller, Amazon is able to mitigate lending risk substantially. Seller metrics only available to Amazon are utilized to determine a small business’s creditworthiness. Sales history, product offerings, customer service feedback, and shipping metrics enable Amazon’s lending business to have better insight into how to accurately issue loans. This allows Amazon to have an understanding of the health of each small business on its seller marketplace.

Goldman Sachs, Point72 and others invest $ 44 million in business credit startup Nav (Reuters), Rated: A

Nav, a startup that gives small businesses free access to their credit reports, said on Monday that it had raised $44 million from investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Point72 Ventures and Experian Ventures (EXPN.L).

Well Fargo Outage Points to Opportunity in Digital Banking (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Wells Fargo is still digging out from a PR disaster last week when the bank went offline for a large segment of customers due to a fire alarm triggered in a server facility in Minnesota. Customers could not access the mobile app, the website or ATMs. The incident has been used to highlight how big an opportunity there is for fintech firms or more nimble banks.

What the outage shows is that bank infrastructure is still stuck in the past, analysts rightly askedwhy Wells Fargo did not have the bank running on a cloud based system.

Digital bank Chime seemed to benefit from the news with more than 10,000 accounts being opened, a record 24 hour period for the startup.

new survey by Fraedom says 80 percent of banks believe challengers have impacted their business and 30 percent say they are their biggest threat.

Susan Ehrlich of Earnest (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Susan Ehrlich, the CEO of Earnest. They are one of the largest student loan refinancers in the country and they also offer personal loans. Back in 2017 Earnest was acquired by the student loan servicer Navient which was itself spun out from Sallie Mae in 2014.

Government Shutdown Slows SBA Lending Volume, Approval Percentage Dipped Slightly in January (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Business loan approval rates dropped three-tenths of a percent at regional and community banks in December 2018. Small bank approvals dropped a full percentage point from 49.9% in December 2018 to 48.9% in January.

Small business loan approval rates for big banks remained at a record high 27% in January 2019, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, which examines more than 1,000 small business credit applications made via its online lending platform.

Goldberg added that since reopening on January 28, her office has guaranteed more than 200 SBA loans worth $59.3 million.

Institutional lenders climbed up to 65.1 %, a jump of three-tenths of a percent from December’s mark of 64.8%.

Loan approval rates among alternative lenders rose from 56.6% in December to 57.3% in January, a jump of seven-tenths of a percent.

Citi rolls out new personal loan, online savings account (American Banker), Rated: A

Citigroup has launched a new consumer loan product and a new high-yielding savings-account as part of its rollout of its new digital bank.

The New York bank recently introduced Citi Flex Loan, which allows select existing Citi credit card customers to convert part of their credit lines to a loan with a fixed annual percentage rate, Mark Mason, Citigroup’s incoming chief financial officer, said Tuesday at an investor conference.

Square’s banking bid avoids backlash that doomed Walmart’s (American Banker), Rated: A

As Square seeks federal approval for a Utah industrial loan company, the fintech’s bid has so far avoided the kind of loud, public opposition that marred past ILC bids by higher-profile nonbanks.

Community banks still criticize the ILC charter as a banking loophole for non-financial firms, and the Independent Community Bankers of America opposes Square’s application.

Almost 60% of small business owners launch with less than $ 25,000 (CNBC), Rated: A

At least that’s according to entrepreneurs polled recently by Kabbage, a financial services and data platform serving small businesses. More than half of those polled, or 58 percent, started their businesses with less than $25,000. A third started with less than $5,000.

These numbers track with the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which found that the median cost to start or acquire a company is about $25,000. It did find fewer businesses that begin with less than $25,000, only 46 percent, though that could be due to its inclusion of new owners who purchase existing operations as well owner starting from scratch.

LoanStreet Adds Commercial Lending Features for Financial Institutions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LoanStreet, an online platform that enables traditional finance like banks credit unions and other direct lenders to streamline the process of sharing, managing, and originating loans, has added new features. The SaaS platform now offers commercial loan origination and administration solution for any size financial institution, loan or deal volume.

LoanStreet’s new lending features include:

  • Built-in collaboration tools offering the flexibility to originate the loan best suited to your borrowers’ needs without sacrificing the ability to invite other financial institutions into the deal.
  • Single access point allowing all parties, including borrowers, lenders, attorneys and auditors, continuous and secure access to the same information.
  • Integrated platform from origination to maturity avoids re-keying, duplication of efforts and eliminates transfer errors and other critical information loss that occurs over time.
  • Efficient process management enabling online, borrower self-service of key administrative tasks — including online payment acceptance — while improving internal controls and information flow.
  • Automated reporting facilitating completion of all applicable regulatory and financial entries for you and every investor.

Velocity Investments sues woman for breach of contract, seeks ,500 in damages (Louisiana Record), Rated: A

Velocity Investments LLC, assignee of Lending Club Corporation, filed a complaint against Heather Darling on Feb. 12 in the 24th Judicial District Court. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff states that the defendant has failed to pay off the balance of $22,495.23 plus interest on a contract between the parties. The defendant is accused of sums due on an open account and breach of contract.

Online Loan Companies Are No Easy Fix for Desperate Borrowers (Real Daily), Rated: A

Lending Club is currently the largest online lender in the world. By some estimates, Lending Club, which launched in 2007, facilitated anywhere between $35 billion and $55 billion in online loans in 2018.

Now as more financial institutions are beginning to extend loans, Americans are falling even deeper into debt again. Americans, as individuals and households, owed over $13 trillion dollars, collectively, in 2018.

Best News We’ve Heard All Day: More Single Women Own Homes Than Single Men (Pure Wow), Rated: A

Online loan marketplace LendingTree reports that on average, single women own around 22 percent of homes, while single men own less than 13 percent. The study states that the gender gap in housing across the country is particularly interesting “given the average woman in the U.S. only makes 80 percent of what the average man does.” Interesting, indeed. (We can think of another word for it.)

Thoma Bravo Is Buying Digital-Focused Mortgage Company (WSJ), Rated: A

Thoma Bravo LLC has agreed to buy mortgage software firm Ellie Mae Inc. for $3.7 billion, the latest indication that challenges in the home-lending market are spurring consolidation across the industry.

The transaction will give the private-equity firm control of a company whose technology has been used to help automate the closing of millions of home loans. Based in Pleasanton, Calif., Ellie Mae handles the technology that underpins the entire home-loan origination process, and its services are used in

INSIKT Changes Name to Aura (Business Wire), Rated: B

INSIKT, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced that it has changed its name to Aura to expand its focus on creating greater financial health, independence and economic stability for millions in America.

Roostify Expands Advisory Board with Investment Virtuoso (Roostify), Rated: B

Roostify, the San Francisco-based digital lending platform provider, announced today the addition of financial services consultant Marshall Lux to its advisory board. Lux, a distinguished consultant, advisor and educator, brings more than 30 years’ experience in private equity to the rapidly expanding business and reflects Roostify’s commitment to perfecting a scalable operational model and further developing an ecosystem of technology partners and strategic alliances.

LendIt Fintech USA 2019 (LendIt), Rated: B

April 8-9
Moscone West
San Francisco

HIGHLIGHTED KEYNOTES

Sallie Krawcheck
CEO & Co-Founder
Ellevest

Rob Frohwein
CEO & Co-Founder
Kabbage

Steven Streit
CEO
Green Dot

Mike Cagney
Co-Founder
Figure

United Kingdom

Zopa chairman Giles Andrew to step down after 15 years (Independent), Rated: AAA

Zopa’s co-founder Giles Andrew is to step down as chairman after 15 years at Britain’s oldest peer-to-peer lender.

Zopa appoints Virgin veteran McCallum as chairman (Finextra), Rated: A

P2P lender Zopa has appointed former Virgin Management CEO Gordon McCallum as chairman as it gears up for the forthcoming launch of its new banking venture.

Ratesetter ISA tops £175m in first year (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer lending platform said its ISA accounts for one-fifth of its £830m of funds under management.

Peer-to-peer lending platform Ratesetter said it has been “blown away” by the popularity of its first ISA product, which has hit £175m of subscriptions a year after launch.

Assetz Capital surpasses £700m lending mark (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

Assetz Capital has now lent over £700m to SMEs and property developers since launching in 2013.

The P2P lending platform has enjoyed significant progression, providing over £200m of funding in the eight months since it surpassed the £500m lending milestone in June 2018.

Former Assetz Capital founder launches fintech consultancy (AltFi), Rated: A

The co-founder of one of Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lenders has launched a fintech consultancy to help young firms “avoid some of the mistakes made by the early incumbents of the industry”.

Former Assetz Capital chief credit officer Andrew Holgate will lead a team of City veterans at consultancy Equitivo, which will help growing fintech firms raise cash, focus on strategy, trim operations and boost performance.

‘There is no magic bullet, people will get P2P over time’ (FT Adviser), Rated: A

The chief operating officer of peer-to-peer platform Relendex, Max Lehrain, has concerns about the Financial Conduct Authority’s crack down on P2P lenders and crowdfunding platforms.

UK challenger bank Starling secures £75m for European expansion (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Life is sweet for UK challenger bank Starling as it has raised £75 million in funding for its expansion plans in Europe.

It got £60 million in a Series C round led by Merian Global Investors, including the Merian Chrysalis Investment Company.

Monzo Launches First 100 Business Accounts (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

UK challenger bank Monzo announced on Monday the launch of its first 100 business accounts. This news comes just a few months after Monzo revealed it was considered business banking, with Founder and CEO, Tom Blomfield, stating 2019 plans included business accounts. Speaking about the new accounts, Monzo reported:

Main Street banks say fintechs like Monzo, N26 and Chime pose the biggest disruptive threat to their businesses (Business Insider), Rated: A

Main Street banks believe upstarts like Monzo, N26 and Chime, known as challenger banks, pose a significant threat to their business, according to a recent survey.

Fraedom, a credit card specialist who works with companies like Visa, SunTrust, and Bank of Montreal, surveyed bankers on what some of the biggest impacts to their business will be in 2019. The vast majority (80%) believe challenger banks have an increased impact to their business, and 30% pegged the new competitors as the biggest disruptive threat to their business in 2019.

Tandem Bank boss calls for rate cut to kick-start UK economy (AltFi), Rated: A

Ricky Knox, chief executive of app-only lender Tandem Bank called on the central bank to cut rates to kick-start growth, as currently savers are locking away cash in specialist higher interest accounts.

Peer-to-Peer Lending and Brexit (4th Way email), Rated: A

Shares plunged and the pound plummeted to a 31-year low when the UK voted to leave the EU. More recently chaotic Brexit negotiations indicate a disorderly exit that could see investors avoid traditional investments in the UK, but what does this mean for peer-for-peer lending and should lenders be worried?

Bank and P2P lending is far less volatile than equity investing, because:

  • It is short-term orientated.
  • Lenders easily diversify widely across thousands of investments – loans – as opposed to a typical stock investor who diversifies across hundreds of shares through share funds.
  • In P2P lending, buy/sell price swings, often fuelled by uncertainty, are usually irrelevant, since lenders hold loans for the full term.
  • Lenders are usually in a better place in the queue compared to equity investors when recovering losses is involved, which can mean smaller losses on individual investments (loans) that go wrong.
  • With lending being data driven, recession conditions are easier to plan for. A turbulent P2P Brexit would mean a tripling of defaulting loans in some kinds of lending and cut-price sales of borrowers’ assets. Interest rates and reserve funds are prepped for most disasters, leaving a very low chance of a sizeable overall loss on a well-diversified, low-risk lending portfolio.

Most investors in peer-to-peer lending are using platforms that are run by people with relevant banking experience. The banks, when we look at their bread-and-butter lending, have found it easy to maintain net profits even during multiple downturns over the past 20 years, which includes the Great Recession. This is across the spectrum of lending, from buy-to-let mortgages to personal loans and credit cards. Perhaps surprisingly, retail and small business lending combined was still profitable for the UK’s high street banks during the 2008 and 2009 crash.

Learn more about 4th Way here.

Mojo Mortgages secures £7million to revolutionise the UK mortgage experience (Manchester Digital), Rated: A

Mojo Mortgages, a fintech start up based in the North West has secured £7million in Series A funding to transform the mortgage experience.

Mortgage Brain boosts user numbers (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

Mortgage Brain welcomed over 2,000 new customers during 2018 with a host of national networks, corporate firms and individual adviser firms choosing to use one or more of its products and services.

A number of new customers – including Censeo, Intelligence Mortgage Solutions, Your Expert Group, Affinity Mortgages and Your Mortgage Solutions – as well as a number of contract renewals and user license increases, have all contributed to Mortgage Brain’s growth throughout 2018.

UK inflation below official target for first time in 2 years (Miami Herald), Rated: A

Lower energy costs as well as a waning impact from the pound’s sharp fall in the aftermath of the country’s Brexit vote have helped consumer price inflation in Britain fall below the Bank of England’s target of 2 percent for the first time in two years.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that consumer prices rose by 1.8 percent in the year to January, down from the 2.1 percent recorded in the previous month. Inflation has been consistently falling since August as the effects of the pound’s decline drop out of annual comparisons. The latest decline was further accentuated by a fall in the price of electricity, gas and other fuels.

Inflation is now at its lowest since January 2017, when inflation was also 1.8 percent.

Arbuthnot Commercial ABL delivers £12m refinancing facility (Bridging Loan Directory), Rated: B

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Ltd. is delighted to announce it has completed a £12m refinancing for L&C Limited, trading under Red 7 Marine (“R7M”), provider of nearshore access solutions to the UK marine construction and maintenance industry, and an investee company of Perwyn Private Equity (“Perwyn”).

European Union

UK fintech unicorn Revolut forced to deny links to Russia (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Unicorn challenger bank Revolut has strongly denied claims that its activities in securing a banking license in Lithuania are attempts to interfere in the country’s politics.

Revolut was granted a European Banking License in Lithuania in December but has since faced claims of interfering in the country’s political processes by Lithuanian Member of Parliament Stasys Jakeliūnas, chair of the Lithuanian parliament’s budget and finance committee.

German Lending Marketplace auxmoney Overtakes Midsize Banks in Consumer Loan Origination (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Düsseldorf-based Fintech auxmoney has surpassed its targets in 2018. Loan volume increased by 74 percent compared to 2017. Raffael Johnen, Founder and CEO of auxmoney, commented:

“While the major German banks are in crisis mode, the leading German fintechs are always setting new records. With our continuously strong growth, we managed to be the first credit marketplace to catch up with medium-sized banks in Germany.”

It issued new loans totaling €551 million last year.

Auxmoney Now Stands for 0.5% of the Market of German Consumer Loans (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

German p2p lending marketplace Auxmoney announced that it has facilitated 551M EUR in consumer loans in the year 2018. Up 74% compared to 2017. Approximately 73,000 loans were financed. That would mean Auxmoney now stands for a market share of roughly 0.5% of the market.

Gymshark teams up with Klarna to announce pay later service (RLI), Rated: B

Fitness wear brand Gymshark has announced the launch of a pay later service in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. The company is now in a partnership with Klarna, a payments provider which will offer Gymshark the new payment option. The payment service will allow online shoppers to try on items at home before paying for the order.

Instantor releases report on how machine learning is revolutionising credit risk management in Europe (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Instantor, the 3rd. fastest growing Swedish FinTech who makes tough calls easy within credit risk management presents “Credit Risk Management 2019 – How Do You Stack Up?”, a report based on a survey conducted by Instantor across Europe among top executives within leading financial organisations. The report reveals that two-thirds of these players are well underway to implementing machine learning (ML) and the majority benefits from its implementation within credit risk management.

International

30 Under 30 Europe: The Young Money Merchants Shaping Financial Markets In 2019 (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Finance is hardly known for its youthfulness, yet this year’s Finance 30 Under 30s are proving that an old industry can learn new tricks. These young venture capitalists, fintech entrepreneurs, crypto enthusiasts and Millennial bankers, with an average age of just 27, are reshaping the sector and transforming our relationship with money.

The Next Global Financial Meltdown Is Just Around the Corner (Equities.com), Rated: AAA

As Bloomberg reported last year:

Shadow banking in China has ballooned into a $10 trillion ecosystem which connects thousands of financial institutions with companies, local governments and hundreds of millions of households. The practice is now at the center of a Chinese government-led regulatory crackdown aimed at defusing financial risks that threaten the wider economy. Unlike in the U.S., traditional commercial banks drive shadow banking, or unregulated lending, in China. That’s because the banks have been able to keep shadow-banking assets off their balance sheets, thereby sidestepping regulatory constraints on lending.

About 169 million Chinese, or about 12 per cent of the population, have invested in wealth management products online, a rise of 66 per cent from two years ago, according to a Moody’s report published this month. Essentially, they are putting money into the shadow banking system.

“The picture is different in the European Union. Here, the shadow sector now accounts for perhaps 30–40% of total financial intermediation. But it is growing. Between 2012 and 2016, shadow banking as broadly measured expanded by almost 40% in the eurozone.

Atlanta-based IDology to Be Acquired by GBG for $ 300m (PR Newswire), Rated: A

GBG, the UK-headquartered Identity Data Intelligence specialist, today announces that it has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of IDology, a US-based provider of identity verification and fraud prevention services, for $300m (£233m) in an all-cash transaction.

Nexo lending to offer crypto-backed loans with Blockport exchange (Bankless Times), Rated: B

Blockport users will be able to use the Nexo platform to get crypto loans, offering them another alternative to selling their cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies. Instead of selling they cryptocurrency assets, Blockport users can now keep their crypto, with all potential upsides, and leverage them to get instant access to cash.

Australia

Next Growth Wave: Fintech (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

In this article we look at some fintech companies, beyond investor’s normal horizon of the United States. In Australia there is a small cluster of listed fintech companies that have started to explode. Some have made gains of 400% in a year and more than 1,000% on the back of strong revenue and turnover growth. Moreover because Australian companies lack access to large scale V.C. investments, technology companies often need to capital raise through a public listing.

Zip Co. (ASX: Z1P)

Zip Co. is quite similar to Afterpay and in some ways its closest competitor with an established market position. However in addition to payment splitting, it also offers interest based loans and is different in other ways.

  • Zip Co. is smaller with a market capitalization of $380 M AUD (about $266 M USD), but still has 12,600 retail partners including most of Australia’s largest retailers, however it hasn’t yet entered the U.S. or the U.K.
  • Zip Co. has Zip Pay, which provides a payment splitting application with no interest, but with more flexibility in length of time or repayment amount than Afterpay’s solution.
  • Zip Co. also has Zip Money also provides loans for purchases above $1,000 AUD, with a 3 month interest free period, but with an establishment fee of up to $99.
  • Source: Seeking Alpha

Labor’s negative gearing policies could hurt first-home buyers (Your Mortgage), Rated: A

“Despite Australia’s tight regulations on foreign investment, other overseas property markets are tighter – including China, Canada and New Zealand,” Driscoll said. “Unlike in Australia, the Chinese lack many appealing alternative investments at home and, due to government crackdowns on peer-to-peer lending, private equity funds and with the majority of their property being leasehold, many investors are forced to look elsewhere.”

India

India’s fintech future looks bright, but it needs to find its raison d’être (India Times), Rated: AAA

Yet there is more room for growth. The market in India is still small; far more deals are being done in China, and for far higher valuations. Last year alone, venture capital investments into Chinese fintechs were more than 10 times larger than those in India, with 75 percent more deals.

Although the value of investments in India declined by 21 percent in 2018 over the previous year, the number of deals actually rose 12 percent, making 2018 the most active year on record for fintech financing.

RBI may change Rs 10 lakh lending cap on P2P platforms, say P2P players (India Times), Rated: A

Peer to Peer or P2P players are hopeful that the comprehensive financial data sought by the Reserve Bank of India might help the regulator to take some major policy decisions concerning the industry.

Asia

Hundreds of unlicensed P2P lenders still operating in Indonesia (The Jakarta Post), Rated: AAA

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has found that 231 illegal peer-to-peer lending (P2P) providers, including those from other countries, have been operating in the country since January.

An Overview on Peer-To-Peer Lending in Indonesia (Legal Business Online), Rated: A

Two years following the enactment of Financial Service Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan/”OJK) Regulation No. 77/POJK.01/2016 of 2016 (POJK 77/2016), Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P Lending) has grown popular in Indonesia. Based on data from OJK per Oct. 2018, a total of 15,990,143,141,355 rupiah has been distributed to the borrowers in P2P Lending. It has grown 432.5% from Jan. 2018 until Oct. 2018. Until Dec. 2018, the number of P2P Lending Platform which has been registered and supervised by OJK has reached 88 companies, one of them has been given a license.

Canada

Finastra announces Siobhan Byron as new Head of Technology Enabled Managed Services (Finastra), Rated: A

Finastra has appointed Siobhan Byron as Senior Vice President and Head of Technology Enabled Managed Services (TEMS). In this role, she oversees planning and execution, sales and marketing, research and development and product management across four lines of business including Checks, Enhanced Services, Student Lending and Canadian Mortgage Technology, all in the Canadian market. She oversees more than 1,300 employees that make up Finastra’s TEMS business.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday February 14 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday November 29 2018, Daily News Digest

GlobalData

News Comments Today’s main news: MPOWER Financing raises $110M. Funding Circle, BBB partner on SME lending. Zopa sells batch of defaulted loans. Yirendai misses earnings estimates by .17 EPS. RateSetter aiming to be Australia’s biggest consumer loans provider. Revolut greenlighted to expand into Singapore, Japan. Today’s main analysis: Is UK headed for credit card crisis? Today’s thought-provoking articles: 37.4% of purchase […]

GlobalData

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Southeast Asia

Other

News Summary

United States

MPOWER Financing raises USD110 million in latest funding round (Private Equity Wire) Rated: AAA

MPOWER Financing, a fintech company providing educational loans to high-potential international and DACA students, has completed its largest funding round to-date with USD110 million in new financing for students enrolling in major US universities.

This latest round, led by Gray Matters Capital and Community Investment Management (CIM), will be used to support new product growth and technology enhancements as well as to finance MPOWER Financing’s expanding student loan portfolio.

“We co-created a unique type of debt with Community Investment Management’s leadership team. This USD100 million is just the beginning of MPOWER’s Capital Markets roadmap,” says Mike Davis, MPOWER Financing Chief Investment Officer and co-founder.

37.4% of Purchase Borrowers Received  Mortgage Rates Under 5% Last Week (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 37.4% of purchase borrowers received offers under 5%, up from 29.4% the prior week. A year ago, 98.1% of purchase offers were under 5%.
  • Across all 30-year fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications on LendingTree, the most common interest rate was 4.875%, offered to 21.3% of borrowers.
  • 27.9% of 30-year fixed-rate mortgage refinance borrowers received offers under 5%, up from 20.1% the prior week. A year ago, 98.1% of refinance offers were under 5%.
  • Across all 30-year fixed-rate mortgage refinance applications, the most common interest rate was 5.00%, offered to 22.3% of borrowers.


5 Technologies And Trends Changing The Credit Industry (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

New tools and advancements in the credit industry are transforming the way consumers borrow cash. Before, loan options were limited to government entities (Pag-IBIG and SSS), banks, credit cards, cash advance from credit cards, and loan sharks. These financial institutions (apart from loan sharks) are heavily regulated, but with a roster of new methods offered today, loaning has become more accessible and borrower-friendly.

The Future of Fintech Video Series: Intuit Consumer Group (ATM Marketplace), Rated: A

Intuit Consumer Group’s Varun Krishna gives some background on the company’s latest partnerships with Lending club and Wealthfront. This interview is part of a video series, “The Future of Fintech,” produced by Mobile Payments Today and powered by Galileo Processing.

MPL Loan Performance Monitor (as of August 2018) (PeerIQ), Rated: A

Highlights from the August 2018 MPL Loan Performance Monitor :

  • Our MPL Loan Performance Monitor tracks the delinquency rates, cumulative losses, cumulative prepays and transition matrices using public marketplace lending data that comprises unsecured consumer loans originated by Marketplace Lenders.
  • Delinquencies on the 2017 vintage in the first 18 months are lower than those on the 2015 and 2016 vintages with lenders having tightened underwriting standards.
  • Cumulative loss rates on the 2017 vintage are lower than those on the 2015 and 2016 vintages. Cumulative losses on the 2015-2017 vintages are outpacing those on earlier vintages.
  • Cumulative prepayments have picked up, with the 2017 vintage paying significantly faster than all prior vintages.

Lendio Recognized as a Great Place to Work for Third Consecutive Year (Lendio), Rated: A

Lendio was certified for the third consecutive year as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work. Lendio earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys. A summary of these ratings can be found at 

Four Major Fintech Trends In The Self-Directed IRA Industry (Forbes), Rated: A

Fintech has helped significantly increase the number of investment options available to self-directed IRA investments. From online crowdfunding platforms to peer-to-peer lending portals, as well as cryptocurrency and digital asset exchanges, new financial technology has helped self-directed IRA investors gain access to new and exciting investment opportunities in an efficient and secure investment environment.

There has never been a better time to find a bad credit mortgage (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

Research conducted by the Online Mortgage Adviser website has discovered that up to 70% of potential mortgage applicants fail to approach lenders or other service providers because they mistakenly believe that their personal circumstances or financial histories will preclude them from being considered.

The study, which was based upon a survey of over 2,000 people nationwide, found that almost 50% of respondents believed that a low credit score, or evidence of previous issues, would automatically disqualify their application. 33% and 15% (respectively) felt that a zero-hour contract or payday loan would prevent them from achieving a mortgage loan.

stREITwise Launches Invest for a Cause (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

stREITwise, an investment vehicle that makes commercial real estate investments accessible to everyone, is announcing the second annual Invest for a Cause holiday campaign. Through December 31st, their executive team will personally make a donation equal to 2% of any new investment to a non-profit of the investor’s choice.

2018’s Top Takeaways (Commercial Property Executive), Rated: A

But perhaps the biggest catchphrase of 2018 represents the rapidly evolving technologies that are benefiting—and some even say revolutionizing—the commercial real estate industry. So-called “proptech” includes a range of building performance solutions, along with financial benefits like the developing blockchain process protections and growth of the still fledging real estate crowdfunding business. (Our most recent discussions include our Mission: Success profile of MetaProp’s founders and the CFO Corner column “3 Ways to Leverage Fintech.”)

Small Banks Join Forces To Bring Fintech To Customers (Forbes), Rated: A

The move is driven in part by a desire to innovate and part survival. It comes as millennials are bypassing branches and traditional banking services for the fintech offerings at an increasing rate. Take Quicken Loans, the Detroit-based lender that operates Rocket Mortgage it’s completely digital platform, for one glaring example.

Stocks Hold Onto Gains Ahead of Powell Speech (Nasdaq) Rated: A

Counterstrike: The market looks like it might rise into the G-20 meeting that begins on Friday, so Jeremy thought this was a good time to pick up a couple names. Firstly, the editor added a 6% allocation in online marketplace Lending Tree (TREE), which has been halved from its 2018 highs. But it could be poised for a sharp move higher as a strong quarterly report has exposed its oversold position.

Online Lender Settles With FTC Over Refinancing Misrepresentations (Manatt), Rated: A

Issuing a warning to other lenders, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a deal with an online lender over charges the company violated the FTC Act by making false statements about student loan refinancing.

Velocity Commercial Capital Chooses SS&C for its Finance Transformation (SS&C), Rated: A

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSNC), a global provider of financial services software and software-enabled services, today announced that Velocity Commercial Capital, LLC (‘Velocity’) has signed a multi-year agreement with SS&C Primatics’ EVOLV platform. EVOLV will help Velocity transform their financial operations and capitalize on growth opportunities in a controlled environment. Velocity, a direct portfolio lender, provides investment property loans for residential 1-4, multi-family, mixed-use and small balance commercial properties.

Guaranteed Rate Expands Its Footprint in Hawaii (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

Guaranteed Rate, Inc. (“Guaranteed Rate”), one of the largest independent retail mortgage companies in the United States, today announced that it will acquire certain assets of Honolulu HomeLoans (HHL) and Hawaii Lending Alliance (HLA), growing its existing Guaranteed Rate presence in the Hawaii market and adding an experienced team of mortgage professionals.

BFS Capital Appoints Mark Ruddock as Chief Executive Officer (Citizen Tribune), Rated: B

BFS Capital announced today the appointment of Mark Ruddock as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He will also join the company’s Board of Directors.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle and BBB announce £150m SME lending partnership (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: AAA

The British Business Bank (BBB) has committed to lend up to £150m to UK small businesses through Funding Circle.

The transaction has been made under the bank’s ENABLE Funding programme and is expected to support the growth of over 2,000 UK companies.

The new facility will provide senior financing to a transaction with the Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited, the publicly traded fund that lends exclusively through Funding Circle.

Zopa sells batch of defaulted loans to boost investor returns (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA has sold a batch of defaulted loans to a debt collection agency, which it says will enable a faster and higher recovery for investors.

The peer-to-peer consumer lender informed its investors last week about the debt sale. It said that it has received upfront payment for the loans in question and will pass on the proceeds to investors within the next couple of weeks.

The UK could be headed for a credit card crisis (GlobalData Email), Rated: AAA

Almost three quarters of retail consumers in the UK (those with liquid assets between £0 and £3,918) do not pay off their credit card balances in full each month, says 

Britain’s creative industries break the £100 billion barrier (Gov.UK), Rated: A

The UK’s roaring creative industries made a record contribution to the economy in 2017, smashing through the £100 billion mark.

Its value of the creative industries to the UK is up from £94.8 billion in 2016 to £101.5 billion, and has grown at nearly twice the rate of the economy since 2010, according to figures published today by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).

It continues to perform highly and over the last two months British tech firms Monzo, Farfetch and Funding Circle have surpassed the $1 billion mark, meaning they are now so-called ‘unicorns’.

China

Yirendai (YRD) Posts Quarterly Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By $ 0.17 EPS (Fairfield Current), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Monday, November 12th. The technology company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by ($0.17), Briefing.com reports. The company had revenue of $163.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $179.48 million. Yirendai had a return on equity of 40.40% and a net margin of 18.56%. The company’s revenue was down 28.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.74 EPS.

Source: Fairfield Current

Senmiao Technology (AIHS) Acquires 60% Equity Interest in Chinese Automobile Financial Leasing (StreetInsider), Rated: AAA

Senmiao Technology Limited (NASDAQ: AIHS), an online lending platform in China connecting investors with individual and small-to-medium-sized enterprise borrowers and creditors, today announced that it entered into an Investment and Equity Transfer Agreement (the “Agreement”) to acquire a 60% equity interest in Hunan Ruixi Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (“Ruixi”), a Chinese licensed financial leasing company focusing on the auto industry with registered capital of $10 million. In exchange for the 60% equity interest in Ruixi from its three existing shareholders, Senmiao has agreed to contribute $6 million in registered capital to Ruixi. The acquisition closed on November 22, 2018.

Beyond The Sugar Rush: Strategic Stimulus For Chinese Stocks (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

Private companies and even individuals have taken full advantage of loose credit conditions. Rising corporate bond defaults and nonperforming loans, as well as the recent collapse of hundreds of peer-to-peer lending platforms, suggest that at least in some cases, the money came too easily. Concerned global equities investors are already applying a substantial discount to Chinese stocks because of debt issues.

European Union

‘Inconsistent and punitive’ employee ownership rules are damaging Europe’s start-ups, say tech bosses (Telegraph), Rated: AAA

A group of thirty European tech start-ups have warned that the European Union’s “inconsistent and often punitive rules” employee ownership rules are hindering their businesses.

The entrepreneurs, which include the founders and chief executives of iZettleTransferWise and Delivery Hero, stated that laws across the continent make it costly for employers to give out stock options to employees.

The warning to EU policymakers, in an open letter, comes as research by venture capitalists Index Ventures finds that employees own only 10 per cent of late-stage start-ups in Europe, because of limitations brought about by regulations.  However in the US it is 20 per cent.

Online Lender October Officially Launches in the Netherlands (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Online lender October (formerly Lendix) has launched in the Netherlands. Alongside this expansion, the Paris based October is providing SME financing in France, Spain, and Italy.

According to a note from October, SMEs may apply for loans ranging from €30,000 and up to €3.5 million.

Solactive Launches New Sharing Economy Index (Mondo Visione), Rated: B

Solactive is pleased to announce the launch of the Solactive Sharing Economy Index. It tracks companies active in the Sharing Economy, and other modern economies such as on-demand and subscription.

Formerly being attributed to open-source communities, the umbrella term “Sharing Economy“, nowadays reflects various economic activities such as peer-to-peer sharing of goods and services.

International

Zero Fees and Interest-free Loans in Decentralized Credit Networks (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

Money lending is the core principle of any functioning economy. Decentralized credit networks which have recently seen a rapid increase in popularity promise easy and global access to credit and loans for businesses and the public by immediately connecting borrowers and lenders on the platform. Users of IOU credit networks can even take advantage of interest-free loans and zero fees.

Australia

RateSetter putting pieces in place to be Australia’s biggest consumer loans provider (Finder), Rated: AAA

When RateSetter started operations in Australia four years ago, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry was in its infancy and its risk-based, investor-funded loan was seen as an alternative. But a lot can happen in four years. Today, major banks such as CommBank, HSBC and Citi use risk-based pricing, once only the domain of P2P lenders, while the formerly “alternative” RateSetter funded over $25 million in consumer loans this month.

Foggo said the lender has been “determined” to focus on specific products. One of its new ones is a renewable energy loan which it launched two and a half years ago.

India

Suspension of Aadhaar verification to hit lending of small fintech players (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: AAA

Fintech players, especially online lenders in the personal and consumer loans segment, are likely to face slowdown in business following the Supreme Court order that prevents private companies from seeking Aadhaar data for e-KYC and e-signatures.

Asia

Fintech firm Revolut gets green light to expand to Japan and Singapore (CNBC), Rated: AAA

British mobile bank Revolut has obtained licenses to operate in Japan and Singapore as it readies an expansion into Asia.

The London-based financial technology firm said Thursday that it had acquired a remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and full authorization from Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

It said Thursday that it intends to launch its platform in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the first quarter of 2019, and is looking to select Singapore to host its APAC headquarters.

Online lending platform Oriente announces 5m initial funding for Southeast Asia (kr-Asia), Rated: A

Hong Kong-based online lender Oriente today announced a US$105 million initial round of financing to scale its business across Southeast Asia. The fintech startup already runs lending platforms in the Philippines and Indonesia and will launch in Vietnam soon.

Tapping into digital economy (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

According to the latest survey by Google and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Indonesia’s digital economy is projected to triple to US$100 billion by 2025 from $27 billion this year, given the mushrooming of the country’s online marketplaces. The projection is not an exaggeration as indicated by the huge transaction values at a recent online shopping festival, dubbed a warm-up for the National Online Shopping Day in mid-December.

P2P lending transactions total Rp 13.8 trillion in first three quarters (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

According to Financial Services Authority (OJK) data, transactions through peer to peer (P2P) lending totaled Rp 13.8 trillion (US$951 million) in the first three quarters of 2018, with the non-performing loan (NPL) rate recorded at 1.2 percent.

P2P lending transactions in 2018 have increased drastically compared to the last two years, with the OJK recording Rp 284 billion in transactions in December 2016 and Rp 2.56 trillion in December 2017.

Who’s afraid of peer-to-peer lending? (Bangkok Post), Rated: A

The recent announcement by the Bank of Thailand on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending rules represents a significant paradigm shift. If all goes to plan, by early next year Thailand will be among the few Asian countries, most notably China and Indonesia, to legalise this match-making platform between lenders and borrowers.

Bukalapak eyes investment products, P2P lending to cash in on fintech opportunity (Deal Street Asia), Rated: B

Indonesia’s online marketplace unicorn Bukalapak is planning to cast a wider net in the country’s booming fintech market. The company is looking at launching new investment products and enter new verticles such as P2P lending and remittances, co-founder and president Muhamad Fajrin Rasyid told this portal.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday July 23 2018, Daily News Digest

securitization

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck completes two international credit facilities. Elevate launches prime credit card for non-prime customers. RateSetter backtracks on Rolling Market rate changes. China’s P2P lender are falling like dominoes. Banco BNI Europa invests in US consumer loans. Today’s main analysis: Deloitte’s survey on fintech lenders. Today’s thought-provoking articles: An inside look at SoFi-Promontory Interfinancial Network […]

securitization

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China/Hong Kong

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Elevate launches prime credit card for non-prime consumers (Bankless Times) Rated: AAA

Elevate and Capital Community Bank of Utah announced the launch of Today Card powered by Mastercard. As the first non-prime credit card with a full suite of prime features, Today Card will be issued by Capital Community Bank of Utah and will specifically help expand access to credit for members of the New Middle Class, the nearly 160 million non-prime Americans who are too often overlooked by mainstream financial institutions.

An Inside Look at Bank/Fintech Partnerships: Promontory Interfinancial Network and SoFi (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

The recent surge in financial innovation has caused many community banks to rethink how they are serving their customers and what they can do to improve that experience. I recently spoke with two community banks about their decision to buy SoFi loans using Promontory Interfinancial Network’s service.

I spoke with Brian Plum, CEO of Blue Ridge Bank, which is a Virginia based community bank with mortgage offices in North Carolina, and Nicole Austin, Chief Lending Officer of Pioneer Bank, which is a New Mexico-based community bank.

Both banks had experience in looking at fintech partnerships before moving ahead with their decision on the SoFi program. They both said that as lending and banking changed, they needed to better understand how new technology could help their businesses.

Lowest Jobless Claims since 1969, Strong Bank and Card Issuer Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Blackstone is launching a $10 Bn direct lending fund focused on middle-market corporate credit opportunities. The search for yield has pushed investors into higher-yielding middle-market lending, with direct lending funds raised $54 Bn in 2017. Consumer, small-business and middle-market lending have been a consistent theme among investors starved for yield by low global interest rates.

Deloitte’s Survey on Fintech Lenders

The main take-aways from the study:

1. 7% of respondents listed cost of funding as one of the top 3 concerns, with liquidity and an inability to diversify rounding out the top 3.

Source: Deloitte, PeerIQ

PeerIQ view: Securitization remains the cheapest source of large-scale financing. MPL bonds continue to go mainstream as credit spreads tighten vs comparable consumer credit issuers. Emerging issuers continue to take efforts to build a brand in the ABS markets via repeat issuance.

Source: Deloitte, PeerIQ

3. Investors remain interested in the online lending space with $11 Bn in equity capital expected to flow into the sector in 2018. The number of startups has decreased, suggesting a maturing market and some consolidation.

Why You Should Bank Without a Branch (US News) Rated: AAA

The first online banks hit the U.S. market more than 20 years ago, attracting customers with higher interest rates and lower fees. While some early innovators are no longer operating, others have evolved. Take ING Direct, for example, which was acquired by Capital One and transformed into Capital One 360 in 2012, or Ally Bank, which is one of the most dominant names in the online banking market.

Today, however, these banking institutions face competition from new direct banks as well as traditional banks that are looking to expand using the online-only model. For instance, Finn by Chase and Marcus by Goldman Sachs bring digital banking to areas in which the companies have no physical presence.

Long-Term Business Loans Available Today (LendEDU) Rated: A

Fortunately, some lenders offer long-term small business loans, which give borrowers the opportunity to repay the loan over a longer period of time (typically up to 25 years).

Long-term business loans certainly do exist but if you’re hoping to score one, you’ll need to have an established business (i.e., no startups or new businesses) and have good business credit.

There are a variety of lending institutions, both traditional and non-traditional, that offer long-term financing, so it’s always best to review all your options, including those offered by your chosen banking institution. However, there are a few lenders that consistently top the charts, and those that follow are known to offer competitive rates, flexible terms, quick access to funds, and positive customer feedback.

Compare Long-Term Business Loans

Loan Amounts

$5,000 – $300,000

$25,000 – $500,000

Term Lengths

Up to 60 months

Up to 60 months

APR Range

10% – 35.5%

4.99% – 26.99%

Walmart’s pay-advance app Even used by 200,000 employees (American Banker) Rated: A

Walmart’s experiment with offering Even.com’s money management and pay-advance app to employees appears to be off to a good start.

The retailer launched the app to employees in December. On Thursday, Walmart and its fintech partner announced that 200,000 Walmart employees are now using it. (The retailer employs 1.5 million people in the U.S.)

About 75% of associates use the app every week and 46% use it every day.

DFS Report Indicates Increased Level Of Online Lending In New York (Mondaq) Rated: A

The New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) found that online marketplace lending has increased dramatically since 2015. In the newly published report, DFS analyzed responses from a “New York Marketplace Lending Survey” along with comments from relevant stakeholders.

Based on data from 2017, DFS found that:

  • the total number of loans increased approximately 118% and the total dollar amount of all loans increased approximately 42% as compared to 2015 levels;
  • many more individuals were being served in this market than small businesses;
  • lenders generally charge a variety of fees (e.g. origination fees, closing fees, processing fees, maintenance fees, transactional fees, and penalty fees), with origination fees being the most common;
  • delinquent loans (both to individuals and businesses) represent approximately 11% of the total number of loans outstanding as of the end of 2017; and
  • respondents used “internal models with various inputs provided by the applicant such as employment history, business history, bank statements and tax records” to determine whether a borrower qualifies for a loan.

LendKey, Gradifi Help U.S. Employers Offer a Student Loan Refinance Benefit to Employees (Business Wire) Rated: A

Gradifi today said it is now offering access to LendKey’s nationwide network of lenders through Gradifi Refi, a student refinance program for employers seeking to help their employees save money or reduce the monthly payment on their student loans.

Gradifi Refi is one of three employee benefit solutions from Gradifi that enable employers to positively impact their employees’ financial well-being. Gradifi’s SLP Plan (Student Loan PayDown) benefit helps employees pay off their student loans faster through employer-sponsored contributions to their student loan provider. The College SaveUp benefit helps employees save for their children’s education and avoid further student debt through employer contributions to an employee’s 529 college savings plan account.

LendingTree Announces Top Customer-Rated Lenders by Loan Product for Q2 2018 (Markets Insider) Rated: B

Mortgage Category

#1 Winner:
loanDepot, LLC

Personal Loans Category

#1 Winner:
LendingClub

Home Equity Loans Category

#1 Winner:
First MidWest

P2Bi partners with Amalgamated Bank (Bankless Times) Rated: B

P2Binvestor (P2Bi), a marketplace lending platform offering crowdsourced, asset-secured lines of credit to growing companies, today announced a partnership with Amalgamated Bank, a socially responsible bank based in New York.

The P2Bi bank partnership program gives growing businesses a way to quickly access capital while allowing banks to increase their addressable market and improve their conversion rates. This particular alliance will enable Amalgamated Bank to continue to help fund emerging socially responsible businesses.

Colonial Partners with Roostify for Superior Online Mortgage Experience (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Starting today, Roostify’s online, mobile-friendly application and loan collaboration tools will be available to all of Colonial retail mortgage branches and its Home Loan Center national call center.

United Kingdom

RateSetter backtracks on Rolling Market rate changes (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has reversed its decision to stop investors setting their own rate for capital reinvesting on its Rolling Market.

The peer-to-peer lender implemented an overhaulof its popular Rolling Market product on 6 June, no longer allowing investors to set their own rate on reinvested money.

In an email to customers, the lender said feedback demonstrated how much investors valued the option to set their own rate for capital reinvesting.

Some challenger banks are challenging (The Finanser) Rated: AAA

The UK’s challenger banks are busy getting on with it. They’ve got their licences, they’ve deployed their services, they’re partnering with third parties and creating marketplaces. Much of this was cited in a report by CBInsights, comparing the features of the five most notable new ones: Atom, Starling, Monzo, Revolut and Tandem.

N26 were also included, but is not a UK start-up and their report builds on the one I blogged about last month from Optima. The thing I took from the CBInsights report is the massive numbers of users that Revolut and Monzo have already gained. At that time, it was 1.5 million for Revolut and 500,000 for Monzo.

Starling marketplace grows with Growth Street addition (FinTech Futures) Rated: A

Growth Street will be the first SME finance provider on Starling Bank’s in-app marketplace, giving users access to services like pensions, insurance and loyalty schemes.

This partnership is Growth Street’s first marketplace integration, and represents the first live use of its third-party API. The firm is a P2P platform that matches investors’ funds with growing SMEs.

MarketInvoice looks to bolster its financial crime prevention (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

MARKETINVOICE is looking to bolster its financial crime prevention with the appointment of dedicated anti-money laundering (AML) officer.

All regulated firms have to have someone in the business with responsibility for AML monitoring, with some choosing existing staff and others making it a dedicated role.

The peer-to-peer business finance platform is advertising for a AML/financial crime officer to sit within its legal unit.

The IFISA Phenomenon – The New Way to Invest (Dispatch Weekly) Rated: A

There are different types of ISAs including Cash ISAs and Stock & Shares ISAs but the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is fast becoming the new trend in the ISA market.

Source: The Weekly Dispatch

Home loans turned us into a hot property, says Christian Faes, founder of lendinvest (The Sunday Times) Rated: A

Christian Faes could hardly have picked a worse time to get into mortgage lending. It was 2008, financial markets were in free fall and most people were more concerned about putting food on the table than buying a house.

That did not deter Faes, a former lawyer who had moved to London from Australia’s Gold Coast 10 years earlier. He co-founded Montello Bridging Finance in a “windowless serviced office” in the City and set about cold-calling potential investors. “The idea was really sound, but it wasn’t the best moment to be setting up a mortgage lending company,” said Faes, 41.

China/Hong Kong

China’s Peer-to-Peer Lenders Are Falling Like Dominoes as Panic Spreads (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

The shakeout in China’s $192 billion peer-to-peer lending industry is accelerating at a rapid clip.

At least 118 platforms have failed this month through early Friday, according to Shanghai-based Yingcan Group, whose tally for July stood at 57 just three days ago. The number of failures, which includes platforms that have halted operations or come under police investigation, is already the highest in two years with more than a week left in the month.

China’s clampdown on financial risk has weighed on P2P platforms for the past two years, but the pressure has intensified in recent months after the country’s credit markets tightened and the banking regulator issued an unusual warning to savers that they should be prepared to lose all their money in high-yield products. While that has triggered bouts of panic among users of smaller P2P platforms, there’s little evidence that the turmoil has spread to more systemically important parts of China’s financial sector.
Source: Bloomberg

Chinese Investors Reel as Internet Lenders Close (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

A string of Chinese internet lenders have shut their doors in recent weeks, stranding investors as the economy slows and regulators tighten controls over an unruly side of the fintech sector.

Across China, more than 200 internet-based fund managers since late June have either shut down, closed parts of their operations or are reeling from cash crunches, missing executives and other problems, according to industry tracker Wangdaizhijia.

The tide began to turn against the sector as an end-of-June deadline for new stringent registration regulations approached. With a slowing economy making it difficult for some companies to pay back loans, some lenders decided to shut down, analysts said. Investors, already souring on the sector, began pulling out funds, further pinching the lending platforms.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Distributed Credit Chain wants to use blockchain to prevent the next financial crash (Tech World) Rated: A

Figures from Bloomberg Economics based on data from the People’s Bank of China indicated that three major assets of shadow banking – trust lending, entrusted loans and banks’ acceptances – increased by $555 million in 2017. Entrusted loans, for example, are when businesses loan money to each other, using banks as intermediaries. Meaning that larger (state owned) companies may lend money to smaller companies and make a profit from the differences in interest.

Micro-lending is another phenomenon that has ballooned in recent years, with a proliferation of online lending or peer-to-peer lending platforms springing up. Outstanding debts on these sites increased by 256 percent between October 2015 and October 2017, topping 1.2 trillion yuan (over $179 million).

These issues have been acknowledged by the Chinese government, with China’s top banking regulator, Guo Shuqing, promising the shadow banking industry will be ‘dismantled’.

Shanghai vows to ramp up enforcement of P2P lending platform regulations (Global Times) Rated: A

The Shanghai municipal government has announced it will soon launch a campaign to enforce compliance of financial regulations on the city’s peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platforms, according to a report by domestic website the Shanghai Observer, in a sign that local authorities will put order into China’s troubled fintech sector.

The Shanghai Office of the Leading Group for the Special Campaign against Internet Financial Risks said that it will  investigate the local online lending industry and severely punish those committing illegal fundraising and financial fraud, as well as fugitive owners. The authorities have reasserted their support of law-abiding firms in a bid to promote a more orderly internet finance industry.

In the last 50 days, up to 163 P2P lending platforms have essentially gone out of business, stopping cash withdrawals from customers, and many have seen their owners run away and declared fugitives,  chinanews.com reported.

Jim Rogers-backed ITF to miss August deadline for virtual bank licence in Hong Kong (South China Morning Post) Rated: B

ITF, a fintech company backed by US veteran investor Jim Rogers, plans to apply for a virtual bank licence in Hong Kong, but will not rush to meet the first application deadline on August 31.

The fintech firm would prefer to wait for more details about regulations, according to its adviser Ignious Yong.

European Union

Creditshelf raises €16.5m through landmark IPO (AltFI News) Rated: AAA

German mid-market lending platform Creditshelf has successfully closed its IPO, raising €16.5m at the fixed price €80.00 per share.

In the end, the company had no need of its €15m backstop order, provided by Hevella Capital GmbH & Co. KGaA, part of a group controlled by Rolf Elgeti. But Obotritia Capital KGaA, which is also part of the group, subscribed for an additional amount of €1.5m, underlining its support for the firm.

International

OnDeck Completes Two New International Credit Facilities (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

OnDeck (NYSE:ONDK) announced today the closing of an AUD75 million asset-backed revolving credit facility with Credit Suisse, and the closing of a CAD50 million asset-backed revolving credit facility with Crédit Agricole, to finance OnDeck originations in Australia and Canada, respectively.

The new Credit Suisse facility will be used to refinance OnDeck Australia’s current loan book at a significantly lower cost, as well as to fund future originations. The Crédit Agricole facility is the first for OnDeck Canada and provides the business with access to CAD25 million of committed capacity and an additional CAD25 million of capacity available at the discretion of the lenders.  Both facilities are floating rate and have an initial weighted average interest rate of approximately 5.6%. The Credit Suisse facility and Crédit Agricole facility are scheduled to mature in June 2020 and June 2021, respectively.

Banco BNI Europa invests in US consumer loans via Fintex and Upgrade, Inc (Fintech Finance) Rated: AAA

European challenger bank Banco BNI Europa and Fintex have entered into a strategic partnership to invest in Upgrade’s consumer loans and expand access to affordable credit to consumers in the United States. Banco BNI Europa, which is active across Europe, now invests in US consumer loans through Upgrade, one of the fastest growing platforms in the US. This loan purchase programme was implemented by Fintex Capital, which issued a bond to Banco BNI Europa backed by the portfolio and Fintex acts as asset manager for the underlying loans.

As part of the agreement, Banco BNI Europa committed an initial sum of USD 30 million. Banco BNI Europa has already invested in US consumer loans originated on platforms like Lending Club and Prosper through a third-party fund.

How the Blockchain is Helping Redefine Business Financing (Equities) Rated: A

In fact, one report by CB Insights found that about 29 percent of startups failed because they ran out of working capital, which speaks volumes about the morbid state of business financing for startups and budding businesses.

Consequently, business financing has become one of the many areas of fintech that could benefit immensely from blockchain, the decentralized ledger that has been disrupting industries for over a decade.

Here are a few ways that showcase why blockchain could change the way enterprises access funding.

Credit Rating Firm Backs $ 8 Million Fundraise for Crypto Alternative (CoinDesk) Rated: A

A startup looking to build a credit scoring protocol on top of the recently-launched Ontology blockchain has raised $8 million in seed funding.POINTS, founded in 2017, said it drew funding from a mix of traditional venture capitalists including Danhua Capital and Ceyuan Ventures, a backer of OKCoin. Other participants in the seed round include the Ontology Foundation as well as Zhong Cheng Xin Credit Technology, China’s first nationwide credit rating agency.The new capital will be used to expand the company’s engineering team in an effort to speed up its development of blockchain-based know-your-customer (KYC) and credit scoring applications. The idea is to build its protocol on top of a decentralized network and empower apps that can eliminate repetitive processes around identity.

Bitcoin Holds the Line, Salt Slumps, Dash Drives Onward (Blockonomi) Rated: A

The crypto lending platform Salt Lending just got a dose of some strange news when the company suddenly released an announcement stating the appointing of what they call an interim CEO. The former CEO ,who was essentially the face of the company and one of the cofounders, Shawn Owen, appears to have left the company.

But the circumstances under which he left are unclear.

Salt tokens (that run on Ethereum) have been on a strong downward slide for the last few months, and are currently sitting at just over one dollar each. The tokens entered the market at the three dollar range and so are down by more than 66% post ICO. It is also unclear as to whether or not Salt Lending is still operating or giving out new crypto-to-cash loans.

RAD Lending: The Future of Crypto-Assets Backed Lending (News BTC) Rated: A

The growing user base of cryptocurrency and related products has skyrocketed, with the highest number originating from countries like New Zealand, Denmark and Belgium. The community growth is expected to follow the upward trajectory to hit 100 million users soon.

RAD Lending platform might just be the push the market needs to fill the gap between crypto holdings and real-life fiat spending. The P2P lending platform from RAD will act as a matchmaker between loan requests and funding proposals.

India

Digital lending to become $ 1 tn opportunity in India over next 5 years (Money Control) Rated: AAA

A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report suggests that digital lending in India will become a $1 trillion opportunity in the next five years.

According to the report, four fundamental drivers that pushed the space are internet giants that changed the way consumers behave, rapid growth in technological advances including the proliferation of smartphones and consequent increase in the consumption of data. Also the digital market lending prospered under supportive regulatory conditions across the globe.

Funding in Indian startups this week (16 July-21 July) (EnTrackr) Rated: AAA

This week 16 startups received funding, of which 10 received a total sum of about $228.5 million. Among them, BookMyShow raised the highest investment of $100 million, followed by Cars24 which raised about $50 million.

Meanwhile, funding for six of the total funded startups remained undisclosed.

Source: EnTrackr

Lending platform LenDenClub gets NBFC-P2P certification from RBI (MediaNama) Rated: A

P2P lending platform LenDenClub has received its NBFC-P2P certification from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Economic Times said. The RBI issued those guidelines last October, to register and accredit P2P lending firms that resell loans from individuals who have money to invest.

RBI’s registry will help solve problem of credit shortage: iSpirt’s Sharad Sharma (Livemint) Rated: A

Out of the 8.8 million businesses in India that file taxes, at least 6.6 million businesses do not have access to the credit sources such as banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and upcoming online lenders. This is a problematic situation for both lenders, and for businesses (especially small businesses), looking for capital loans.

The problem of credit shortage for small businesses is daunting, but the regulators in India have already set things in motion to address the issue. According to Sharma, the revamped goods and services tax (GST) structure, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) new public credit registry (PCR) initiative, and UPI (Unified Payments Interface) 2.0 will solve the shortage of data for lenders.

Here’s a look at some brands that are making India artificially intelligent (Business Standard) Rated: A

The rise of promising tech-startups has been successful in ushering India into a dawn of technology.

While AI is believed to revolutionize the current modus operandi and bring about fast-paced automation and efficiencies, it still remains an abstract topic, palled by a lack of nuanced understanding amongst the general public.

Here are some enterprises that are integrating AI in everyday tasks:

Faircent: Making Lending more conducive with AI & Machine Learning

If you think AI is only limited to the IT industry, think once again. Faircent, India’s largest P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform, has been utilizing the technology to provide users with money during your financial crunch. Doing away with methodologies of conventional lenders (which can often prevent a creditworthy applicant from securing a loan,) the platform leverages Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to enhance the effectiveness of its credit profiling and assessment.

Ebix acquires enterprise lending software company Indus for $ 29 M (Your Story) Rated: A

Global on-demand software provider Ebix Inc on Friday announced the acquisition of Indus Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Indus), a global provider of enterprise lending software solutions to financial institutions, captive auto finance and telecom companies, for approximately $29 million, including $5 million of contingent earn-out.

Further to this acquisition, key Indus business executives will become a part of the combined EbixCash senior leadership. The acquisition will increase the employee strength of Ebix in India by 900, to approximately 7,200 employees.

Canada

Fintech OnDeck Canada lines up $ 50-million credit facility from Crédit Agricole (Financial Post) Rated: AAA

OnDeck Canada, the local online arm of the U.S. headquartered OnDeck now has a $50-million asset-backed credit facility, provided by Crédit Agricole, to fund its loans. According to a recent ranking of assets, the French bank is the world’s ninth largest. Its Montreal office offers commercial and investment banking services.This is the first time that OnDeck Canada — which has originated $180 million in small business loans since 2014, all made using a “wide spectrum of data, technology and analytics” — has arranged funding from a source other than its parent.There are two parts to the three-year facility that will finance loan originations created by OnDeck Canada: a $25-million committed facility and an extra $25 million that can be drawn if needed. OnDeck provides term loans up to $250,000 and revolving lines of credit of up to $50,000 to small business.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Loan Amounts

$5,000 – $300,000

$25,000 – $500,000

Term Lengths

Up to 60 months

Up to 60 months

APR Range

10% – 35.5%

4.99% – 26.99%

on LendingClub’s secure website

on Funding Circle’s secure website

Princeton Alternative Funding Gets a New Beginning

alternative lending fund

The 2008 financial crisis saw a lending freeze from traditional banks. Grabbing the opportunity, alternative lenders filled the space. Drawn by superior returns, sophisticated financial investors and funds sprung up to invest via these platforms to directly/indirectly lend to consumers and small businesses. Princeton Alternative Funding is one such player. But the company has had to […]

alternative lending fund

The 2008 financial crisis saw a lending freeze from traditional banks. Grabbing the opportunity, alternative lenders filled the space. Drawn by superior returns, sophisticated financial investors and funds sprung up to invest via these platforms to directly/indirectly lend to consumers and small businesses. Princeton Alternative Funding is one such player. But the company has had to face rough weather, with bankruptcy protection and multiple lawsuits hobbling its progress.

Princeton Alternative Funding’s Humble Beginnings

Jack Cook (CEO) founded Princeton Alternative Funding LLC (PAF), a fund management company on March 1, 2015. The company is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and helps accredited and institutional investors achieve strong positive returns in the alternative lending sector. Walt Wojciechowski is the CFO and Jeff Davner is the President of the company.

Princeton Alternative Funding LLC is the general partner of Princeton Alternative Income Fund (PAIF), a flexible 3(c)(7) hedge fund. The inspiration for PAF was the evolution of fintech. There were no online lenders 15 years ago, and it is the recent technology advancement that has made it possible for the alternative lender market to come into forefront.

Though the company started on a strong note, its relations soured with its biggest limited partner in late 2015.

The PAIF Bankruptcy Filing

Ranger Direct Lending Trust (RDLT) along with RSIF and its affiliate “Ranger,” invested indirectly in PAIF Offshore. PAIF Offshore is a British Virgins Island Offshore entity, which is a limited partner in PAIF. According to the company’s filings, Ranger’s actual motivation was not to be a limited partner but the owner of the fund. They had reflected to their own investors that they control and own PAIF, which was materially false, according to PAF spokesmen. Though the two parties had major disagreements, PAIF was churning great returns for Ranger.

In fact, in 2015, Ranger received cash payments of $2,299,070.00 in the form of returns from PAIF, but they again attempted to acquire an equity interest in PAF. This attempt was rejected by PAIF, which forced Ranger to look for other means, which in turn destabilized the fund operations. Its bankruptcy filing states that the company entered bankruptcy protection while continuing to fight Ranger and its unwanted advances.

The case has turned more complex with Argon Credit, PAIF’s largest finance company borrower filing a bankruptcy petition in December 2016, placing 60 percent of the company’s assets in the PAIF fund at risk. Shortly after, Bristlecone Holdings, another one of PAIF’s finance company borrowers, filed a bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada.

PAF’s Climb Back to the Top

2015 saw the company open its fund raising doors. In March, they received their first capital. From March 2015 to Feb 2016, Ranger put in a total of $62 million. The company received new management in March 2016 after it was discovered that certain executives colluded with Ranger. The next year, they added more than 13 limited partners. The fund is now focused on providing revolving lines of credit to finance companies.

The fund has purchased a total of 12 portfolios from LOC (line of credit) originators. Two of them have been paid off and the rest are being serviced. These loans mainly comprise of small-dollar short-term consumer loans. All of them are installment loans, and some fall under lease/rent-to-own categories. There are a total of 60,000 consumer loans in the entire portfolio.

The company has an exclusive partnership with Microbilt Inc., a Consumer Rating Agency that provides top of the line analysis and monitoring capabilities. It will have access to proprietary databases and scorecards of MB, which will allow it to analyze loan originators and their performance as well as evaluate borrower performance on a granular level. The proprietary technology software includes auto underwriting tools, statistical models, and software tools to determine the validity of each loan.

PAF is now primarily funded by Microbilt to the tune of almost $2.5 million.

Conclusion

The year-to-date audited adjusted returns have exceeded the fund’s performance targets since its creation.

  • 2015: 13.97% YTD return
  • 2016: 17.41% YTD return
  • 2017: 15.17% YTD return

Princeton Alternative Funding does not have many competitors. Even players like Victory Park Capital have exited the space. But Princeton Alternative Funding firmly believes the alternative lending sector and its niche is a growing market. Banks and financial institutions are not able to offer easy credit to the consumer market, which is where alternative lending facilities come into play. It is looking to become a force to reckon with in its niche of short-term small-dollar consumer loans.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Financing the $21 Billion Childcare Industry

childcare financing

Infants who receive high-quality child care and early education programs do better in school, have more developed social skills, and display fewer behavioral problems. Childcare can also help mothers get back to their careers, and it helps in the overall financial management of the household. But the issue is that there has been no lender […]

childcare financing

Infants who receive high-quality child care and early education programs do better in school, have more developed social skills, and display fewer behavioral problems. Childcare can also help mothers get back to their careers, and it helps in the overall financial management of the household. But the issue is that there has been no lender targeting childcare expenses. In an era where a TV can be bought on installments, it is amazing that somebody has missed targeting the $21 billion childcare industry. More importantly, the ROI is very easy to calculate for investment in childcare. Analysis shows that a mother dropping out of the workforce for just five years would lose over $1 million in lifetime earnings. For every single dollar invested in childcare, the household benefits by $12. BridgeCare Finance, a Seattle based alternative lender, is focused on solving this massive pain point for millions of young mothers. It is a consumer-lending platform offering childcare financing to reduce monthly childcare payments for professional parents. It provides consumer loans, which function similar to lines of credit for families burdened with high childcare costs.

How BridgeCare Works

BridgeCare provides a new loan product specifically for financing childcare and preschool fees. Their goal is to help parents provide the best quality care to their children by breaking the cost barriers. If parents are unable to afford the whole payment, BridgeCare gives them an option to pay in installments. The company has structured a flexible payment plan where parents can pay the childcare amount over a longer duration. For instance, instead of paying $800 per month for three years of childcare, BridgeCare gives the option of paying $400 per month for an additional five years or paying $480 per month for additional three years. This reduces the immediate cashflow burden and stretches the payment of childcare over a longer tenure.

Applying for a BridgeCare plan is simple and intuitive. To register, the customer visits BridgeCare’s website and completes the application form. Once submitted, it gets approval within 24 hours. After approval, the customer makes a partial payment to BridgeCare, and BridgeCare further makes the full payment to the childcare provider.

The company partners with childcare service providers and kindergarten players, onboarding them as associates. It’s a win-win relationship as the startup gets access to potential borrowers and providers don’t lose out on revenue just because parents couldn’t afford their services. The discussion for a loan option starts between the center and the parent as soon as a prospective child enters the center.

BridgeCare’s Technology

The company presently does not have a technology integration with the service providers, but they are looking to create API’s in the long run. Currently, BridgeCare have direct access to the borrower, which is helpful as it allows them to control the message, positioning, and pricing of the service.

The company is on a manual approval system but will soon transition into an automated system of credit decisioning. Its innovation is in product design and capturing an underserved market. The team is working hard to make sure the technology catches up to the business model.

BridgeCare has created a credit grid for approvals. Based on multiple factors like risk profile, tenure, and terms, the grid helps the company make an offer for minimum payment and other conditions for the loan facility.

The company has divided its target demographics into three tiers.

  1. The Lower Tier includes people in professional jobs (i.e. doctors, lawyers, etc.) who are highly educated and earning around $75,000 to $120,000. As they are in the early stage of their careers, they have competing needs for home savings and childcare.
  2. The Upper Tier comprises people with stable jobs and good earnings (i.e. around $100,000 to $175,000) and has less probability of default.
  3. The Third Tier includes rural areas that usually have borrowers with low income and high childcare costs as a percentage of income. In this category, the risk is comparatively higher than the other two categories.

BridgeCare also has the flexibility to follow the child to another child care provider and make arrangements with the new child care provider for the payment plan.

The founders believe there is no tangible competition in its niche. There are a couple of state government programs which provide subsidized installment loans to low-income families, but that is the extent of the competition.

The Bootstrap

Audra Jung and Jamee Herbert launched BridgeCare Finance in October 2016. Jung has a background in public funding while Herbert’s background is in women’s advocacy. They understand the issues at hand for young working mothers. Jonathan Kirst joined as a cofounder and is the CTO of the company. He was previously CTO at Roostify, a digital lending platform focused on mortgages.

Jung and Herbert were MBA classmates at Presidio Graduation School in Seattle. It was here they got the inspiration and the knowledge about the childcare and the finance industry. They developed the business idea in their MBA entrepreneurship class.

BridgeCare has raised a total of $200,000 from family, friends, and angel investors. The funding was vital for their working capital needs, getting licensed, for building out the product design and to meet legal requirements. They are currently registered to operate in Washington and looking to raise further funding for a national roll out.

Future Goals

BridgeCare is planning to enter into partnerships with early learning and the childcare industry for expansion. It is also looking to onboard associates who can help the company raise cheaper capital and/or expand to different states.

According to ChildCare Aware of America, in 2015, in 24 states, the cost of center-based child care exceeded housing costs for families with a mortgage. In 30 states, a year of center-based infant care was more expensive than a year of public university. BridgeCare has hit on an underserved multi-billion dollar niche. Its ability to expand aggressively would be important for it to capture the childcare financing segment.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Implementing an Online Lending Program: It’s Easy, It’s Quick—and It’s Necessary

online lending

We’ve all been there:  Wasting too much time navigating crowded malls and waiting on countless lines in search of that perfect gift. When online shopping became mainstream, many shoppers waved goodbye to the inconvenience associated with traditional brick-and-mortar retail, and elected to make purchases over the internet. Savvy shoppers found that they can buy the […]

online lending

We’ve all been there:  Wasting too much time navigating crowded malls and waiting on countless lines in search of that perfect gift. When online shopping became mainstream, many shoppers waved goodbye to the inconvenience associated with traditional brick-and-mortar retail, and elected to make purchases over the internet. Savvy shoppers found that they can buy the items they want—usually at better prices—without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

The dynamics that make online shopping a much more convenient and pleasurable experience are also impacting the way consumers apply for loans. Technology-savvy customers would prefer to avoid the hassle of driving to the branch and completing mountains of paper work when all these processes can easily be performed through a laptop, smartphone or tablet. New technology has inspired a whole universe of online lenders that are successfully tapping into consumer trends by offering easy access to consumer loans at attractive rates—all without the overhead of maintaining branches. It’s a reality that only continues to gain momentum. For example, American Banker reports that online lending grew a staggering 700 percent over the past five years. And, Chase Auto Finance just reported that 20 percent of consumers have already secured an auto loan online, and 47 percent indicated they would do so if the technology was available.

The choice is that stark. Online lending is not a trend, it is mainstream. Banks, credit unions, and finance companies face a simple choice in dealing with this competitive threat:  launch their own branded online lending solution to satisfy the changing demands of customers, or don’t, and watch their customer base evaporate.

Adding online lending capabilities—and creating an optimal experience for consumers—is a necessity for any traditional lender. Implementing a program is not complicated or expensive—if you chose the right solution. It shouldn’t detract from branch activities; in fact, online lending allows financial institutions to extend core value propositions into the digital marketplace. There are just three simple rules to follow:  flexibility, convenience, and security. For lenders, flexibility is essential. The freedom to change lending programs and rules in short order gives the financial institution the opportunity to aggressively compete in a crowded marketplace. Consumers, for their part, want convenience. This means expediency, simplicity, and accessibility from any device and any location. In their mind, the application is the means to an end. So, creating an online experience that enables customers to complete the application quickly and securely helps them achieve their objectives. And, all parties in the lending ecosystem require strong authentication and security tools to verify online applicants and to keep their data safe.

Lenders looking to successfully implement online lending programs must evaluate several criteria to choose the loan origination system that works best for their needs. These attributes include:

  • A configurable platform that allows the lender to create, change and manage all lending forms, rules, decisioning parameters and workflows, without having to resort to time-delaying IT resources
  • Auto-decisioning capabilities that expedite loan approval
  • Robust authentication technology (ID) that utilizes advanced algorithms and big data
    A responsive consumer portal that is optimized for mobile devices, and securely stores customer data
  • Auto-save features that securely store customer data so that customers can start an application on one device, save it, and complete it on another device when they’re ready
  • A single sign-on that is integrated with the lender’s database, enabling all pertinent personal information to automatically transfer directly into the loan application
    The ability to cross sell ancillary loan products during the approval process
  • Enabling consumers to open new accounts, such as a checking, within the loan application process
  • Facilitating upload of documents, images and other loan stipulations from scanners and camera phones

All these features and capabilities represent the bare minimum that a robust LOS platform should deliver—anything short of these will put the institution at a distinct disadvantage. On top of that, the LOS vendor should have a strong support team that is experienced in helping lenders make the transition into online lending.

There’s no better time than now for traditional financial institutions to offer their own online lending programs. The market trends are obvious; it’s time to regain market share. Online lending is straightforward, profitable, and most importantly, what the market demands.

This article was first published at TCI Credit.

Author:

As co-founder and president of Teledata Communications, Inc., Bill Nass is responsible for the company’s sales, marketing, product development and strategic third-party relationships. Bill has over 25 years of experience in the lending sector, and is actively involved with several industry associations. In addition, Bill serves on the American Financial Services Association’s (AFSA) Associate Advisory and E-Commerce Committee. Bill holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland.

What Investors Should Know About Non-Bank Lenders

nonbank lenders

Investors looking to add private debt and private equity to their portfolios may feel overwhelmed by all the choices. From peer-to-peer lending to crowdfunding, there are countless industry players across a wide range of alternative lending and financing models, serving everyone from individual borrowers to small and medium-sized businesses. Any funding model ultimately comes down […]

nonbank lenders

Investors looking to add private debt and private equity to their portfolios may feel overwhelmed by all the choices. From peer-to-peer lending to crowdfunding, there are countless industry players across a wide range of alternative lending and financing models, serving everyone from individual borrowers to small and medium-sized businesses.

Any funding model ultimately comes down to matching the needs of those who want capital with those who can supply capital. Typically, banks or other large financial institutions would act as the intermediary between investors and borrowers or entrepreneurs. But with many banks pulling back after the financial crisis, and the internet making it easier than ever to play matchmaker, the alternative finance universe is attracting more and more capital.

However, there is still broad-based confusion among both institutional and retail investors about the differences between the various alternative funding models. This confusion is exacerbated by how often the terminology is used interchangeably in the media and the larger financial community. The truth is that each funding model has distinct nuances, rewards and challenges, and it’s important for investors and their financial advisors to understand the differences before incorporating alternative lending or financing into an investment portfolio.

In general, these models can be broken down as either debt or equity investments, with a similar risk-reward profile as any other debt or equity investment.

DEBT (lower risk, lower reward)

Peer-to-peer lending

In a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending model, an individual or business borrows from an outside source or sources – a “peer” – rather than a bank. This process is facilitated through a third party, such as an online platform, which makes it easier to aggregate enough peers to fund the loan. These loans typically come with fixed terms and set repayment schedules. Many loans will also include details about the borrower—such as their income, credit score, occupation, and risk level—to help the “peers” (or lenders) determine whether to fund the loan and at what amount. Examples of peer-to-peer loans include consumer loans, student loans, small business loans, and fix and flip loans on single family homes.

Investors can get into the peer-to-peer lending market by purchasing the whole loan, a fractional interest in a loan or building a portfolio of fractional and/or whole loans. Investors then collect the proceeds of each loan payment, with the peer-to-peer lender taking a fee to cover the costs of running the platform. While even the most creditworthy borrowers may default on their loans, investors can mitigate this risk by building a diversified portfolio that includes multiple loans across different risk spectrums. Investors should also consider if the P2P loans they are investing in are unsecured or have some form of collateral securing the loan. Consumer and student loans tend to be unsecured, while small business and fix and flip loans tend to be secured.

Marketplace lending

Marketplace lending is another term used to further describe peer-to-peer lending. While the two terms are used interchangeably, an important differentiator is the source of capital. Whereas P2P lending platforms tend to rely on a group of small retail investors or large institutional investors to fund loans, marketplace lenders prefer to first pre-fund loans and then offer them to investors.

The marketplace lending model, therefore, offers qualified borrowers a guarantee that their loan will be funded within a specific timeframe, which may be an important consideration for some borrowers. For example, while a consumer borrower may be willing to wait until his loan is assessed and funded by multiple peers, a borrower looking to finance a real estate transaction has a closing date that must be met otherwise he will lose his down payment.

Direct lending/balance sheet business lending

In contrast to marketplace or peer-to-peer lending models, a direct lender will rely on its own balance sheet or proprietary access to funds as its primary source of capital. Instead of having to find enough retail and institutional investor capital to match the needs of borrowers, a direct lender can look to its unrestricted access of funds before making a lending decision.

The advantage of this approach is that the direct lender is better positioned to survive a potential downturn since each of the loans on its balance sheet represents a piece of collateral that can be used to offset any potential losses. Investors in these loans will therefore have a better opportunity to allocate capital in all market cycles. Many direct lenders may also manage a fund for accredited investors that consists of a portfolio of some, but not all, of the loans made by the lender.

EQUITY (higher risk, higher reward)

Crowdfunding

In the crowdfunding model, investors are given the opportunity to provide seed capital in up-and-coming products and businesses. Capital is provided in several forms including equity, preferred equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt . While equity stakes are typically small—often less than 1%—even a modest upfront investment can generate a large eventual payoff if the company is successful. This is particularly true of technology start-ups, which can grow quickly if their product or service is well received among customers.

This model is also popular in the arts and entertainment industries. For example, people might choose to fund an independently produced movie, music album or play in exchange for a small piece of revenues and/or additional perks like attending rehearsals and premiere parties, meeting the artist, or receiving a memento from the set. In real estate, crowdfunding is most typically used by developers seeking to raise money to fund development or redevelopment projects.

Investors should find out if the crowdfunder is providing equity and debt on the same project. This is critical should a recovery plan need to be put in place if the project does not go as expected. Typically, equity investors want to hold on and wait for an increase in value , while debt investors want to liquidate immediately in hopes of recovering their investment. A crowdfunder that is representing both equity and debt investors in the same project will have a conflict of interest. In addition, these investments also tend to be fairly illiquid, so investors should tread carefully. While these early stage equity investments could potentially pay off handsomely, there’s always the risk that the company or project is a flop.

Initial coin offerings

An initial coin offering, or ICO, is a brand-new type of funding model that is attracting many of the same types of companies that previously relied on crowdfunding. However, instead of acquiring an equity stake in the company, investors in ICOs receive cryptocurrency coins, like Bitcoin or Ether, which are redeemable for cash on certain exchanges. The idea is that as the company grows and becomes more valuable, the coins will also become more valuable.

Since ICOs are still loosely regulated, investors should take extra precautions when evaluating a crypto-related investment opportunity. While a business idea may sound great on paper, investors should look for growth signs like recurring revenues and a large potential market.

These five models only scrape the surface of the full universe of funding options for individuals and businesses. A company or a funding model doesn’t always fit neatly into a box either, and investors should take care to understand how each funding platform generates revenue and where its capital comes from.

When choosing which segment of the market to pursue, investors and advisors should also consider their risk tolerance, which will help determine whether a debt or equity investment is most appropriate, and at what scale.

Author:

Written by Evan Gentry, CEO of Money360.

Demystifying Securitization

growth of securitization

Mortgage Backed Securities (“MBS”), Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs), Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLO’s), Asset-backed Commercial Paper (“ABSCP”) and other types of securitized products are largely responsible for the Subprime Crises in 2008. These financial instruments created massive financial losses and large-scale damage to the economy overall. A great deal of negative press followed demonizing certain industry […]

growth of securitization

Mortgage Backed Securities (“MBS”), Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs), Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLO’s), Asset-backed Commercial Paper (“ABSCP”) and other types of securitized products are largely responsible for the Subprime Crises in 2008. These financial instruments created massive financial losses and large-scale damage to the economy overall. A great deal of negative press followed demonizing certain industry participants and the use of financial engineering. Best-selling books like Too Big to Fail and The Big Short along with countless congressional testimonies drew even more attention to the subject.

With all the media attention came a fair amount of misinformation. For decades now, securitizations funded large consumer purchases including automobiles and homes. It also fueled the credit card industry and the expansion of consumer credit. Securitizations fund the small to large businesses and countless other aspects of the United States and world economy. Yet, for many it is a relatively new phenomenon that they may not completely understand, or even mistrust.

More recently, internet lenders brought an entirely new buzz to the securitization market. Their more customer-centric model to lending resulted in explosive growth. So much so, the original peer-to-peer funding model was largely replaced by the efficiency of the securitization market. According to Bloomberg/Peer IQ, total securitization of marketplace loans is now close to $90 billion, up from less than $50 million at the end of 2013.

What is Securitization?

Securitizations, or, more specifically, asset-backed securities (“ABS”), are pools of loans such as residential and commercial mortgages, auto loans, consumer loans, leases, trade receivables, or other assets packaged in security form. The loan pools often separate into different securities with varying levels of risk and return.  Lower risk, lower interest tranches receive the loan payments first, with the holders of the higher-risk securities receiving payments thereafter. The securities sell as new issues and subsequently may trade in the secondary securities market. Public offerings of ABS require registration with the SEC.

Securitization is like secured lending in many ways. Secured lenders require borrowers to pledge specific assets as collateral for a loan. Cash flows from the borrower and the assets pledged as collateral back the loan in the case of default. In a similar way, the loan pool in the securitization trust acts as collateral for a security. In a securitization of secured loans, assets that collateralize the loans in the pool also flow through the trust in case of a loan loss and subsequent liquidation. The holder of the security has a rightful claim to the cash flows of the loan pool including principal and interest payments, loan sales and recoveries from any defaults.

Essentially, securitization is the process of taking a group of homogeneous assets and transforming them into a security. The assets are pooled together and repackaged into a single security, which is then sold to investors. The security entitles them to the incoming cash flows and other economic benefits generated by the asset pool.

A Simplified Overview of the Securitization Process

From FDIC.gov website

How did Securitization Begin?

The modern history of securitization began in 1970s when Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSE’s) including the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) issued the first residential mortgage-backed securities. These first issuers pooled residential mortgage loans and used them as collateral for securities. The market was significantly expanded by the Emergency Home Finance Act of 1970, which authorized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy and sell mortgages insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Along with credit enhancement of the government guarantee came an entire industry of creating newly issued bonds and trading securities in the secondary market. By 1977, Bank of America issued the first non-government sponsored security in the form of a private label (non-government backed) residential mortgage pass-through bond.

Securitization evolved over the decades, as different methods and products developed from the process. A critical component was the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The Tax Reform Act eliminated the double taxation of income earned at the corporate level by issuers and dividends paid to securities holders. It also allows for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs” or “Conduits”). A REMIC is an important distinction for balance sheet lenders as they were now permitted to structure a security offering as a sale of assets. The ability to package assets off-balance sheet offered regulatory capital relief for lenders and greatly increased capital available to fund growing consumer loan demand. Mortgage securitizations then led to new types of asset securitization including auto loans, credit card receivables and others. As the United States paved the way other advanced countries soon followed with their own ABS.

By the 1990s the securitization market exploded. New rules in the United States by the SEC along with REMIC legislation made the process more efficient. Global consumer culture clamoring for access to credit paired with the expansive growth of institutional managed money seeking new investment opportunities was the perfect combination. Consumer credit was now available to purchase everything from houses and cars to consumer electronics and higher education.

The need for business credit also expanded during this time. The 1990s saw the introduction of commercial mortgages backed securities (“CMBS”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), Franchise ABS, Equipment Leasing Securitizations and other structures designed to finance business.

Growth of Securitization (1970–2008)

Source: *Securitization and Fractional Reserve Banking Nov 12, 2009 Nikolay Gertchev

What are the Benefits of Securitization?

For the Issuer, Securitization is Cost Efficient. It allows a company to issue low cost senior debt independent of the company’s rating and fund itself less expensively than it could on an unsecured basis. The strategic use of securitization enables a company to grow its business and earnings without additional equity capital and/or enhance return on equity. These benefits derive primarily from the capital efficiency of securitization. Depending on the structure, securitized assets can be supported with less equity capital than on balance sheet assets primarily due to the transfer of asset-related risks to investors.

Securitization Transfers Asset-Related Risks. Firms that specialize in originating new loans and have difficulty funding existing loans may use securitization to access more liquid capital markets for funding loan production. In doing so, the originator or finance company also transfers risk. These risks generally include interest rate risk, basis risk, liquidity risk, prepayment risk and credit risk. While in some transactions the issuer may retain most of the economic credit risk associated with securitized assets, the credit risk of certain asset types may be small compared with these other risks. In addition, securitization can create opportunities for more efficient management of the asset ability duration mismatch generally associated with the funding of long-term loans, for example, with shorter term bank deposits.

Diversification for Investors. Investors seek diversification of investments for the benefit of their overall portfolio. Securitizations offer unique investment opportunities and attractive risk-return profiles compared to other asset classes such as government and corporate bonds. Securitization also allows the structuring of securities with differing maturity and credit risk profiles from a single pool of assets that appeal to a broad range of investors.

Risk Sharing and Liquidity. Securitized products allow institutional investors opportunities to participate in consumer and corporate assets that cannot be found elsewhere. With securitization, investors may invest in various consumer and business loans without having to develop in-house origination and servicing capabilities required to procure loans, collect payments and managed defaults and liquidations. In this way, investors benefit from the sourcing and servicing expertise of originators freeing money for more efficient capital deployment. Finally, the conversion of basically illiquid banking assets into tradeable capital market instruments often gives investors the opportunity to sell securities in the secondary market and obtain liquidity.

Securitization Provides Market Driven Pricing Discipline. Securitization can provide a market driven pricing discipline by highlighting the market price for risks transferred to investors and, thereby, providing pricing benchmarks to judge the profitability of a business.

How do the Regulators Look at Securitization Post-Crises?

Despite a major setback in 2008, securitization continues to be the primary alternative to bank financing. Securitizations transfers trillions of investment dollars into the economy. The regulatory authorities in the United States recognize the systematic importance of the capital markets to the real economy. In a report to Congress in 2010 by the Federal Reserve (“The Fed”), the Fed states, “the securitization markets are an important link in the chain of entities providing credit to U.S. households and businesses, and state and local governments. When properly structured, securitization provides economic benefits that can lower the cost of credit.” That exact phrase was reiterated in 2014 in a joint agency report by the US Treasury, SEC, OCC, HUD, The Fed, FHFA and FDIC regarding risk retention for securitizations.

Comments like this from the regulatory bodies lead most people to believe that securitization is here to stay. Transforming illiquid typical bank assets into tradable securities, is an important way to channel cash to borrowers and fund economic growth. While new regulation calls for increased scrutiny of deals it recognizes the importance securitization plays to the overall economy. New measures such as better documentation and risk retention are now in place. The rules call for issuers to retain and economic interest or so-called “skin-in-the-game” on deals they bring to market. This makes for a better alignment of interest, stronger transactions and increased transparency. In that way we are better than ever before.

Author:

Written by Phil Toth, managing director at Oberon Securities