Tuesday June 13 2017, Daily News Digest

credit card charge-offs

News Comments Today’s main news: KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Lending Club securitization. Ant Financial extends online credit service to retailers. Credit Peers secures 45 million GBP credit line. Today’s main analysis: A significant increase in US credit cards defaults. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 in 10 Brits are shunning savings. Why India’s fintech startups are flocking to the […]

credit card charge-offs

News Comments

United States

  • KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Lending Club securitization. GP:”The securitization volumes continue to increase. This is a package of near prime unsecured consumer loans.”
  • Lending Club markets first sponsored deal. GP:”This should be a teamplate for further securitizations. Why is this important? Because this further diversifies the sources of capital available to Lending Club and also probably makes their capital even cheaper. This should also perhaps enable Lending Club to increase their revenue by turning some profit on these securitizations. All in all, I think it’s a very bullish sign for Lending Club.”
  • Americans are suddenly defaulting on credit cards. GP:”The increase is still not out of the channel bounds we have seen since beginning 2014 for the average credit card company except for Capital One. The question is: Is Capital One ahead of the pack in noting defaults or are they a special case? Further analysis  seems to point that underwriting standards have recently degraded in fact. Would this be seen this quickly in the default performance? “AT:”Excellent analysis. Remember the mortgage crisis? The S&L crisis? Bank failure bailouts? The controversial CFPB was created to solve some of the problems associated with consumer financial management behavior. Could we be headed toward another political crisis? If it is perceived that banks are using poor risk assessment metrics or issuing credit card debt to people who shouldn’t have it, then we may see more headlines soon.”
  • CommonBond closes $231M securitization. GP:”Aa3 from Moody’s. CommonBond’s fourth and largest, and was more than three times oversubscribed by investors.”
  • Marketplace Lending: The Next 10 Years GP:”Most industries follow the same bell curve of solution and no problem, problem found, exponential increase, margin collapse, consolidation, new innovation. I don’t see why online lending is any different.”
  • The next industry Amazon could dominate. GP:”Amazon will probably dominate lending to Amazon vendors. That is not an industry, just a small and growing piece of it. Will Amazon dominate retail commerce in its entirety? I hope not, as in general, we don’t think that monopolies are good for society.” AT: “An overstatement. Amazon is a product retailer. While there may be a good business case for Amazon having a lending vertical, Amazon will never be a specialist in online lending, to small businesses or otherwise. But there are some good points made in this article, one of which is the cost of the loans themselves–not exactly competitive.”
  • Rubicon adds Bond Street for financing options. GP:”Growth through partnerships continues to be the  best way for good cost of customer acquisition which is one of the two pain points (together with cost of capital).”
  • Corporate America has lost control of your wallet. AT: Interesting comparison of PayPal and Bitcoin. All to say that banks may not be necessary, which is arguable despite Bill Gates’ prescient wisdom.”
  • PeerStreet offers new way to bet on housing. GP:”PeerStreet offers p2p investment in debt in real estate. Is the yield sufficient to justify it?”
  • The best way to beat robos: Be more human. GP:”In my experience in capital markets the robos work until the market type changes. And markets change types, due to the underlying source driving source changing, every few months. “AT: “I’m seeing more and more of this type of advice for financial advisors.”
  • Marketplace lending and the future of consumer bitcredit. AT: “Interesting podcast interview.”
  • Fundbox launching new product for SMBs. GP:”A line of credit”
  • SoFi has applied for a bank charter. GP:”Here is the application.”
  • Elevate launches analytics team in San Diego.
  • Lendio Pilots Online Lending Platform with Comcast Business Customers GP:”Growth through partnerships continues to be the  best way for good cost-of-customer-acquisition which is one of the two pain points (together with the cost of capital).”

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-NP1 (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-NP1 (“CLUB 2017-NP1”). This is a $279.388 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close June 22, 2017.

This transaction is LendingClub Corporation’s (“LendingClub” or the “Company”) first sponsored transaction and the second rated securitization of near prime unsecured consumer loans facilitated by LendingClub’s proprietary technology platform. All loans in this securitization are whole loans that were purchased through a pro-rata allocation of the near prime loans originated on the platform by seven third parties unaffiliated with LendingClub.

Lending Club markets first sponsored deal (Global Capital), Rated: A

San Francisco-based online platform Lending Club is sponsoring its first multi-seller securitization, which is backed by a portfolio of near-prime consumer loans.

“A club deal program enables Lending Club to drive standardisation in offering docs, covenants, structure, servicing, collateral consistency, and offering cadence,” wrote Ram Ahluwalia.

Americans are suddenly defaulting on their credit cards (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The American economy has looked pretty robust of late — unemployment just hit a 16-year low, and stocks recently reached an all-time high.

This makes it all the more curious that Americans have suddenly stopped paying off their credit-card bills at a rapid rate.

In the past two fiscal quarters, banks reported a steep rise in credit-card charge-offs — debt that companies can’t collect from their customers — according to a report from Moody’s.

The sharp increase, the largest since 2009, is especially unusual given how strong the US employment market has been, Moody’s noted. It suggests that American consumers haven’t fallen on hard times so much as banks have started to loosen their standards and issue credit more aggressively.

Charge-offs and unemployment tend to be related: When people lose their jobs, credit cards tend to be one of the first bills people stop paying, as compared with loans for a home or a car in which people risk losing those crucial assets.

CommonBond Closes $ 231M Securitization (CommonBond Email), Rated: A

Of the transaction, CEO David Klein said:

“Our highest-rated and largest deal yet clearly reflects both the growing investor and customer demand for CommonBond’s products. By maintaining maniacal focus on our category, and delivering the best possible experience for our members, we’ve been able to consistently provide investors with superior credit quality assets. We’re pleased to welcome a standout group of investors to this transaction. And as a programmatic issuer, we look forward to continuing to bring opportunities to market for investors over time.”

Highlights include:

  • The offering achieved AA ratings from Moody’s and DBRS – Aa3 and AA, respectively – which are our highest ratings to date.
  • The transaction was CommonBond’s fourth and largest, and was more than three times oversubscribed by investors.
  • CommonBond and Goldman Sachs acted as co-sponsors for the transaction. Goldman Sachs served as structuring agent, co-lead manager, and book-runner.
  • Barclays and Citi served as co-lead managers and book-runners on the transaction as well. Guggenheim Securities served as co-manager.
  • CommonBond’s inaugural securitization from 2015 was also recently upgraded by DBRS.

Marketplace Lending: The Next 10 Years (deBanked), Rated: A

The marketplace for consumer and small-business loans has come a long way over the last 10 years. Since the early days of peer-to-peer lending, there has been a great proliferation of new types of intermediaries creating new layers of distribution for the risk involved with the lending process. Now marketplace lending has reached an inflection point that will create a much different scenario with fewer players and more partnerships.

The linchpin holding this model all together is technology including machine learning, which is driving more efficient distribution. “Technology is what has made marketplace lending so rich and competitive. But technology firms must now compete within the market they’ve created. And typically technology – once it exists can be commoditized,” said Hadden, adding that technology will eliminate intermediaries, not create new ones.

Meanwhile, growth for the software providers will be through partnerships.

The Next Industry Amazon Could Dominate (Fortune), Rated: A

Amazon revealed last week that it loaned $1 billion to merchants on its marketplace in the past 12 months. Square and PayPal have adopted similarly successful models. As of November, Square’s two-year-old lending arm had lent $1 billion to businesses. PayPal’s small business lending is growing at a rate of $4.5 million a day.

These tech giants’ emergence and momentum in this burgeoning industry might be the boost online lending needs to become a mainstream option for small businesses.

They’re well positioned to succeed for a few reasons. First, the tech giants have massive, active customer bases; Amazon has 2 million potential lending customers already selling products on its own marketplace.

Second, while there are certainly well-known players inside the online lending space, from OnDeck to Lending Club, there’s no direct lender that’s a household name.

Third, companies like Amazon, Square, and PayPal know who they’re lending to. Since their core business model encompasses their customers’ business transactions, they know exactly how much money their customers are making and when that money comes into their business. This information makes the tech giants better prepared and more likely to underwrite loans for businesses that might have been denied elsewhere.

While Amazon’s pricing is particularly attractive, with estimated annual interest rates between 10.9 and 12.9%, PayPal’s annual percentage rate (APR) is estimated to be between 15 and 40% and Square’s is estimated between 30 and 35%. This pricing is competitive for short-term loans, but if business owners have larger, longer-term, or revolving credit needs, they could qualify for more cost-efficient options.

Rubicon adds Bond Street for financing options (Waste Today Magazine), Rated: A

Rubicon Global, Atlanta, has announced online lender Bond Street, New York, has joined as a partner in its RubiconPro consortium buying program. The program delivers fuel, equipment, maintenance and financial benefits for independent waste hauling companies and truckers across North America.

Rubicon says Bond Street is an affordable option for companies to finance growth investments such as hiring additional employees, purchasing inventory or equipment or refinancing a business credit card. An online lender, Bond Street provides one-year to three-year term loans that range from $25,000 to $ 1 million, with rates starting at 6 percent, according to the company.

These loans were created to help homeowners, but for some they did the opposite (Los Angeles Times), Rated: A

Now her mother, who receives $11,600 a year from Social Security and suffers from dementia, is struggling with a roughly $50,000 loan paid through a $5,500 annual tax assessment — an increasingly popular form of home-improvement financing known as PACE.

Edwards said the contractor explained that “a government program” would help the octogenarian afford the improvements, but never explained how the payments would work or warned them Hill could lose her house if payments were missed.

The total amount lent for residential PACE projects topped $1.5 billion in 2016, up from $350 million just two years earlier, according to trade group PACENation.

The loans are secured by a property lien and if unpaid a borrower can be foreclosed upon. Consumers put no money down and usually don’t pay anything for at least six months. Eligibility is largely based on home equity. Credit score and income are not a factor.

Many consumers simply know their loans as the HERO program, the name of the PACE program from the industry’s biggest lender, Renovate America in San Diego.

Critics say PACE can serve a worthy purpose, but worry too many consumers are agreeing to loans they don’t need or understand after being contacted by aggressive contractors, who often make cold calls or engage in door-to-door marketing.

According to lawsuits and interviews with borrowers and their advocates, some contractors are inflating the cost of their services and misrepresenting how much the loans cost or how they are paid back.

Contractors can get consumers approved on the spot, having them sign documents on a tablet computer — an experience advocates say can be confusing, particularly for elderly homeowners. Lenders then send final financing documents to homeowners for their signature, with the process taking a few hours to several days.

The three major private lenders — Renovate America, Renew Financial of Oakland and Ygrene Energy Fund of Petaluma, Calif., — say most of their customers come away happy and point to low default and delinquency rates as evidence the programs are working.

Across the nation, less than 1% of all securitized PACE loans that Kroll Bond Rating Agency tracks have defaulted, said Cecil Smart, a senior director at the company.

Renovate America said over the last five years, none of its clients have been foreclosed on for not paying their PACE loan, but nearly 80 homeowners with such financing, or 0.08% of the total, have been foreclosed upon after they didn’t pay their mortgage.

Corporate America Has Lost Control Of Your Wallet, Thanks To These Innovators (Huffington Post), Rated: A

For as long as there have been big banks, Wall Street has controlled your money. They’ve chosen who gets loans, how much they cost, who gets access – they’ve basically hand picked the economic winners and losers of the world. But not anymore, thanks to the rise of the sharing economy, financial technology, and the disruption of the traditional banking system.

The democratization of money starts with decentralizing control over that money. And that means more peer-to-peer payments, greater convenience, and a simple, easy-to-use electronic payments system working behind the scenes. Wirecard AG is a leader on all these fronts, helping consumers break free of big bank control.

We’ve had a pretty convenient way of sending money abroad, paying for odd jobs and transferring money online for goods and services for a while now. All by using an email address. PayPal came onto the scene breaking down the need for costly bank transfers and setting up recipients.

Like payment company, Square. Their convenient app, Square Cash, lets you send money from email to email.

Peer to peer lending companies like Lending Club, Prosper, and Upstart, now provide individual loans of up to $35k and business loans of up to $300k.

And for those of you comfortable with an unregulated, digital type of platform, now you can buy and sell in Bitcoin.

In fact, a report by Goldman Sachs found that one third of millennials don’t believe they’ll need or have a bank account within the next five years! And that makes Wall Street traders tremble.

PeerStreet Offers New Way to Bet on Housing (Investopedia), Rated: A

Whether he stills feels this way or not, Burry has placed a different bet on the U.S. housing market by taking a seat on the board of PeerStreet, a peer to peer marketplace that allows investors to buy into the debt of real estate investments. Think Lending Club, but for real estate, where investors can access prime traunches of real estate debt. It’s real estate loan securtization by any other name, but by investing in the debt of a real estate investment at low loan to value ratios, PeerStreet is offering what it calls a ‘safer type of real estate investment’. If things go sour, debt investors are paid off ahead of equity investors, thereby cushioning the risk. Furthermore, PeerStreet advertises 6-12% annualized returns, and the loan periods are as short as 6 months to a just a couple years, but only for accredited investors.

The best way to beat robos: Be more human (Financial-Planning), Rated: A

Anything in an adviser’s daily routine that can be automated should be outsourced to technological tools, says Alan Moore, co-founder of XY Planning Network. According to Bloomberg, 58% of an adviser’s role can be automated with artificial intelligence.

Fava agrees, suggesting that rather than trying to best robo advisers, advisers should shift their focus to aspects of their organization that requires a human touch.

Virtual meetings can take place anytime via video chat and chat bots can help answer routine questions. In his research McDermott says he’s found a growing number of advisers using video chat for initial consultations and their clients are satisfied with telephone consultations afterwards.

Another easy automation is password management software, McDermott says. Using that tool is simpler than trying to remember 70 passwords or having to input and look them up individually on a spreadsheet, he says.

Marketplace Lending and the Future of “Consumer Bitcredit” (American Bankruptcy Institute), Rated: A

A podcast interview with Profs Andrew Dawson and Christopher Odinet.

Marketplace Lending and the Future of “Consumer Bitcredit” – Episode 203

Fundbox Launching New Product for SMBs (Fundbox Email), Rated: B

Tomorrow, Fundbox, the leading cash flow optimization platform for small businesses will unveil its newest product, Direct Draw – a revolving line of credit (up to $100,000) that offers business owners instant access to working capital, without using personal credit scores and we wanted to give you an early look. The company will also reveal survey findings indicating the widespread industry need for the Direct Draw product; 65 percent of business owners don’t believe that FICO should be tied to business credit.

Direct Draw enables Fundbox to help the 18M SMBs in the U.S. that are underserved by existing funding options, most of which rely on personal credit, something that is unpopular with many SMBs. For Direct Draw, customers are approved using bank account data.

Would you like to see the embargoed release and / or speak with Eyal Shinar, Founder & CEO? Eyal has often said that he aims to be the next Visa, and they are on well on their way. Also, Direct Draw is possible because of the company’s deep investments in artificial intelligence and Eyal can speak to that as well.

SoFi has applied for a bank charter (Tech Crunch), Rated: B

In May, SoFi CEO Michael Cagney told TechCrunch the company would be applying for a bank charter “in the next month.” Well, it’s about a month later, and — surprise! — the company has actually done so.

On June 6, SoFi applied for a de novo (or “new”) bank charter, according to a filing notice on the FDIC website. There will be an open comment period on the application for the next month, which will close July 6. The company confirmed it submitted the application, which TechCrunch has received a copy of.

The company is applying for an industrial loan charter under the name SoFi Bank in Utah, listing a Salt Lake City location as its proposed depositary address.

Elevate Launches Analytics Team In San Diego (SocalTech), Rated: B

San Diego-based Elevate Credit, a fintech startup aimed at providing credit to non-prime customers, said it has launched a new “Advanced Analytics” center in San Diego. The company said the San Diego team has more than 35 data scientists, including more than 25 member with advanced degrees, and eight with PhDs.

Lendio Pilots Online Lending Platform with Comcast Business Customers, (Email), Lendio

Lendio, a marketplace for small business loans, today announced a pilot agreement with Comcast Business designed to provide its small business customers with quick and easy access to capital. Through the collaboration, Comcast Business customers will have more streamlined access to Lendio’s marketplace and network of more than 75 lenders, where they can get matched with the financing they need to help them start, grow and thrive.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are more than 28 million small businesses in America, accounting for 48 percent of U.S. employees. Many of these businesses face obstacles getting a loan, like researching an overwhelming number of potential lenders, soliciting financing offers, and determining what loan is right for them. The collaboration between Lendio and Comcast Business will seek to resolve these challenges by providing more direct access to capital through an established set of lenders offering a wide range of loan offerings, and personal attention from small business loan experts.

Comcast Business customers participating in the pilot will be able to choose from various loan products such as lines of credit, working capital loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, term loans, equipment loans, accounts receivable financing, and more.

United Kingdom

Four in 10 Brits shunning savings, RateSetter warns (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ALMOST four in 10 Brits failed to save a penny in the three months to April, RateSetter research has found, with the peer-to-peer lender warning that this could lead to financial difficulties down the line.

37 per cent of UK adults did not put any money away, and just 21 per cent expected to be able to save more over the next 12 months, data from the platform showed on Tuesday.

Almost half of respondents to a survey commissioned by RateSetter blamed the non-existent returns currently available on cash, with the higher rate of inflation compressing income opportunities.

Credit Peers Secures £45 million Credit Line (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Credit Peers, one of the first peer-to-business (P2B) secured property lending platforms in the UK, announced today that it has secured a credit line of £45 million from a European investment management firm.

The financing should allow Credit Peers to expand its growing business by providing fast-tracked debt funding to experienced property investors and developers on investment grade property transactions across the UK.

Earlier this year Credit Peers launched its loan-based P2B platform offering property transactions to the public that were previously only available to institutions and banks. Credit Peers aims to significantly speed up the process of property financing compared to the traditional model.

Fintech CEO on how to create Buzz in a start-up (CNBC), Rated: A

A fintech can effectively become a ‘concierge’ directing its customers to insurance, or any other financial service if they control the data. However, linking to established insurers or banks, which often have legacy IT systems and data silos that cannot interact with newer formats, messaging standards and more modern IT, can be problematic for any start-up looking to partner with a financial institution (FI). This may be an issue for BuzzGroup in the future as it attempts develop a data-centric ‘concierge’ business and scale up.

The spin-off BuzzVault insurtech digital inventory and app, which stores and protects belongings on the blockchain, takes a fee from insurers for its services, effectively acting a sales channel. But it offers insurance partners a fresh approach to customer acquisition and retention that they would not otherwise possess.

Many older fintech firms see insurance as another vertical in which they can use the same artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, big data analysis, blockchain or other technologies that they’ve already used in the investment or retail banking arena , to disrupt a new area. Other newer start-ups are focusing on insurtech as a standalone vertical because they believe the younger unploughed field has more scope for growth. BuzzGroup falls into this later group.

BuzzGroup has so far raised $9.2m in five rounds of equity fundraising from a mix of nine angel, seed and accelerator investors.

  • Wayra contributed €532,610 ($579,865) in February 2015, having been part of an earlier €597,129 ($650,000) BuzzGroup fundraising round in March 2014 that included Andrew Weisz, Justin Peters, Tom Singh and Avonmore Developments.
  • Wayra also contributed €60,000 ($65,000) at the birth of BuzzGroup in May 2013, alongside money from the founder.
  • The last round of investment in August 2016 raised £6 million ($7.75m) from White Mountains Insurance Group – the largest insurtech seed investment at that time in Europe – and emanated from the SBC InsurTech London.

One possible way around the recruitment challenge is to hire hungry youngsters who want to be part of an innovative new company and to perhaps offer them an equity stake in exceptional circumstances to help retain and motivate them.

As start-ups grow the ability to hand out equity stakes naturally diminishes, especially as angel and seed fund investors will be hungry for their cut.

Venture capitalists jamming on the brakes in 2017 (CNBC), Rated: A

The tidal wave of venture capital (VC) money that flowed into global financial technology (fintech) investments during 2016 has already shown signs of receding, according to the U.K.’s fintech chief.

Continuation of such momentum is critical given than once the U.K. has left the EU – with the clock already ticking down to a March 2019 deadline – the domestic fintech industry will lose access to the European Investment Fund. This EU body provides financing to small and medium sized enterprises and contributed around EUR 2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) to U.K. VC funds between 2011 and 2015.

Two institutional investors increasing stakes in Funding Circle and Honeycomb investment trusts (AltFi), Rated: A

Two newer entrants include the £405m Funding Circle SME Income fund, launched November 2015, and £300m Honeycomb, launched December 2015. The two portfolios differ greatly but both are products of the bank-deleveraging trend and have seen their assets grow as high investor demand has also prompted new issuance of shares.

The Railways Pension Trustee Company recently increased its stake in Funding Circle SME Income to fund to a 26.18 per cent of total share capital making their holding worth – according to today’s prices – more than £100m.

Invesco Perpetual, which backed Honeycomb since launch, recently increase its stake following an oversubscribed share issuance of more than £100m. It now has 37.8 per cent held in the fund, representing £113m at today’s share price.

China

Ant Financial extends online credit service to retailers (China Daily), Rated: AAA

Ant Financial Services Group, the online finance firm backed by billionaire Jack Ma, will extend its online consumer credit service to four million retail businesses across the country to boost sales and encourage spending-as China’s consumers increasingly feel more comfortable shopping with borrowed money.

iang, vice-president of Alipay Business Unit at Ant Financial, said that sales surged by an average 41 percent per client year-on-year from 2015 to 2016 after a number of retailers adopted Huabei, or Ant Check Later, a loan and installment service.

Credit score by Alibaba applicable for visa applications to Japan or Luxembourg (ECNS.com), Rated: A

Sesame Credit, a credibility scoring system used on Alibaba’s Ant Financial platforms, could be used as supporting documents for visa applications to Japan and Luxembourg, the People’s Daily reported on Thursday, citing the company’s announcement.

Ant Financial users with a score of at least 750 for Japan, or 700 for Luxembourg, on the scale which ranges from 350 to 900, will be “exempt from the normally required process of submitting bank records when applying through Alibaba’s travel-booking service provider for visas,” said the statement.

Interview with Co-founder and CEO of Monaco, Kris Marszalek (Urban Crypto), Rated: A

KM: We’ve certainly seen a number of people questioning this approach, I think it remains to be seen whether the decision was right or not. Our initial plan was to follow the advice of TokenMarket and launch in July, after at least a month of pre-marketing. We decided to go with an accelerated timeframe when we found out a competing project, that also does FX+Crypto was getting ready to launch their ICO in June.

UC: Can you tell us where are you guys based?

KM:  The only physical presence we have is in Hong Kong at the moment.

UC: What is the status of the Visa connection?

KM: We’re in the process of becoming a VISA program manager. Our card designs were not approved yet, so you can’t see any VISA logos on the website and apps. We’re just following the protocol here. Another reason we want to be extra careful is that TKN case showed VISA and other companies are not really keen on being associated with ICOs at this moment.

European Union

Revolut expands into business market (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Revolut, a financial technology (fintech) firm that offers foreign currency to consumers abroad at the interbank rate available on the financial markets is to expand into the business sector with claimed interest from large European corporations such as Virgin Atlantic.

Users of the new Revolut for Business app can set up an account within five minutes and hold, exchange or transfer money from 25 currencies, including British pounds, euros or U.S. dollars from this home bank account.

Three packages ranging from £25 up to £1,000 per month are available to business end users, who get additional features such as real-time spending notifications and data analysis alerts, plus dedicated customer support.

International

Real Estate & Alternative Investments in Bulgaria & Around the World (Novinite), Rated: A

The latest innovation in smart investing comes from stREITwise with their use of new legislation to provide one of the first crowdfunded office REITs. The idea behind their launch was to deliver private real estate crowdfunding into the hands of a younger group of investors who enjoy crowdfunding sites and would like to invest using the same technology.

Instead of relying on buying private REITs through financial advisors with hefty sales commissions and REIT fees added on, their new REIT keeps fees around 2% while avoiding joint venture deals that tend to add an additional layer of costs. New property deals are sourced directly to avoid outside consultants. Their first REIT specializes in acquiring and managing office space in central business districts and other neighborhoods in the U.S. where there is a need.

India

Why India’s Fintech Startups Are Flocking To Disrupt The UAE (Forbes), Rated: AAA

According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry in India (ASSOCHAM), India now stands third after the UK and USA in fostering the growth of technology startups.

Sandeep Jhingran, co-founder of cross-border payment start-up Remitr, says, “UAE has a high appetite for innovation. Investors here are ready to pay for creativity, and disruptive companies stand a fair chance to thrive.”

With more than 2.6 million members and a 30% population share, Indians constitute the largest expatriate community in the UAE. Specifically, there is a growing need for diverse financial services. While India’s fintech sector peaked in 2015, with investment reaching USD$2 billion, UAE’s fintech sector is showing signs of steady growth. A report titled State of Fintech by Wamda says that the number of fintech startups launched in the MENA region will reach 250 by 2020 from the current 105, and will be predominantly involved in offering payment solutions, P2P lending or raising capital. Notably, most of the startups surveyed in the report originated from the UAE.

India’s top court halts plan to link for biometric ID to tax (SMH), Rated: A

Indian citizens cannot be forced to enroll for a 12-digit unique identity number to be able file tax returns, the country’s top court said in a ruling that may be a hurdle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to move transactions online.

The Supreme Court partially stayed a law that made the Aadhaar card mandatory for filing returns or for obtaining a 10-digit alpha-numeric code the Income Tax Department issues to tax payers. The stay is needed till a question on the right to privacy under Indian laws is decided by a constitution bench of the top court with at least five judges, a two-judge panel ruled.

Asia

PT INVESTREE Radhika Jaya (Investree), a pioneer peer-to-peer lending (P2P) marketplace in Indonesia, officially registered with the Financial Services Authority (OJK) on May 31 with the registration number of S -2492 / NB.111 / 2017 as indicated on the “Investee Radhika Jaya Registered Evidence” letter from OJK.

Investree is registered as an Information-Technology-based Lending and Borrowing Service Provider under the Directorate of Institutional and Products of Non-Bank Finance Industry (IKNB) administration.

As of June 5, 2017, Investree had successfully disbursed loans amounting 148 billion rupiah with 592 total loans, a 17.5% average rate of yield, and no defaults.

3 Western Governments Partnering With Asian FinTech Intitatives (Edgy Labs), Rated: A

The OCC feels it is high time to create a regulatory framework for FinTech banking institutions as the number of FinTech companies in the U.S. has soared. Investment in FinTech companies has increased more than ten times in the last five years, currently around $24 billion USD worldwide.

Meanwhile, FinTech Investment in Other Parts of the World

According to Nikkei again, soon, 10 new cryptocurrency platforms will be in use in Japan. This is all building on top of Japan’s already significant FinTech investment. Both legally and financially, Japan laid the groundwork in the spring of 2016 when they passed bills to recognize cryptocurrencies as the digital equivalent of money.

Singapore has FinTech Investment deals with South Korea, the UAE, France, and Japan, and their unique position in Asia makes them an ideal partner for FinTech-friendly countries in other regions.

In an effort to make intellectual Fintech investment, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission signed an agreement with Indonesia in order to share information of FinTech market trends and regulatory developments.

Swift, operator of the global interbanking platform, recently chose Hyperledger Fabric as the core tech for its blockchain proof-of-concept.

Nostro accounts make international transactions for the global banking system possible. Simply put, banks put their money into nostro accounts that are closer to a transaction destination so that funds are available to make global transactions more efficient.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, DBS Bank, RBC Royal Bank and Wells Fargo will all be participating in testing the Swift PoC.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday February 7 2017, Daily News Digest

Prosper

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi among largest mortgage originators. SoFi Superbowl ad caused 100x in traffic. Prosper launches seventh-generation credit model. AssetAvenue stops originating. XOR Data Exchange raises $2mil Today’s main analysis: Comments on OCC National FinTech Charter Today’s thought-provoking articles: D+H launches auto lending platform. United States Fitch adds SoFi to originator assessment list. GP:” To me the interesting […]

Prosper

News Comments

United States

  • Fitch adds SoFi to originator assessment list. GP:” To me the interesting news here is that SoFi is among the top retail mortgage originators. One usually thinks of SoFi as a student loan company. Now we should think of them as a two-headed … rocket?” AT: “This signifies more than the alternative lending industry getting mainstreamed. It could actually be evidence that SoFi itself has crossed over into traditional finance.”
  • Proposed OCC charter comments & feedback. GP:” I believe most of the comment are encouraging and positive. This OCC charter is needed.” AT: “The comments from industry insiders and top influencers are instructive. It seems the alt lending climate is ripe for regulation, but the right kind of regulation.”
  • Prosper launches seventh-generation credit model. GP:” It is normal to see lenders modify and update their lending models. As the borrower population changes regularly as a function of the marketing channels the models also need to keep being updated.”
  • Wealthfront adds automated financial planning tool. AT: “This is interesting following the news of rival Betterment announcing it will add human advisors to its robo-advice model.”
  • Dead end for AssetAvenue? GP:” Finding lending capital and borrowers in a competitive space is difficult and one needs a real differentiation in product, team, market, technology, or something else.”
  • SoFi, et. al. bet on Super Bowl overtime ads. GP:” It sound to me like a free option from Fox. Why wouldn’t you buy this? Somebody at FOX messed up. ” AT: “This was a huge gamble that paid off for SoFi. I applaud their ‘thinking outside the dome’ aproach to mainstream advertising.”
  • James Hobson to lead Attune. GP:” Attune is apartnership of AIG , Two Sigma and Hamilton. He will be CEO. Impressive !
  • XOR Data Exchange closes $2M Series A extension round. GP:” It validates investor demand and therefore a perceived company value/opportunity. Congratulations to XOR Data Exchange.”
  • Philly Fed president says regulation is key to protecting FinTech innovation. AT: “Of course, he doesn’t have a hand in policy-making, so it’s just one voice in the wind.”

United Kingdom

Canada

Australia

Asia

United States

Fitch adds SoFi to its originator assessment list (HousingWire), Rated: AAA

Fitch Ratings added SoFi, also known as Social Finance, to its special report containing operational assessments of U.S. residential loan aggregators and originators, along with six other entities.

The update to the special report marks the first update since the report was last published in July 2016, bringing the total number of entities covered in the report to 31.

Fitch notes that because SoFi is now one of the largest online residential mortgage retailers, it deemed it prudent to expand its prime coverage by completing an operation risk review of the SoFi residential mortgage origination program.

The report added that as of Sept. 30, 2016, SoFi originated $7.9 billion in student loan refinancing, $3.3 billion in personal loans, and $900 million in prime jumbo mortgage loans.

Proposed OCC National Fintech Charter Comments & Feedback (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Last December, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – part of the Department of Treasury-  proposed a “National Bank Charter for Fintech Companies”. The exploration stirred up a hornet’s nest of public officials that were not too pleased the OCC would think outside the box about financial innovation.  The deadline for comments was January 15, 2017, and have been made publicly available here.

Below are some anecdotal excerpts from almost 100 comments posted online.

“We applaud the OCC for its work to support this responsible innovation. The proposed special purpose national bank charters present marketplace lending with an additional path to continue to grow and serve consumers and small businesses nationwide more efficiently, fairly, and affordably.”

Richard H. Neiman Head of Regulatory & Government Affairs Lending Club

“As OCC considers the issuance of a special purpose national bank charter, it should, no doubt, consider how the recipient addresses, or plans to address, financial inclusion. The financial inclusion topic is likely unfamiliar and new to many of the firms potentially examining the OCC chartering process. In that regard, firms new and old would benefit from additional guidance on OCC’s working definition of “financial inclusion,” how firms will be scored against OCC’s financial inclusion framework and what those firms should proactively focus on as they approach OCC for initial exploratory conversations.”

Frank Altman & Nick Elders, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA

“We believe that, from a public policy perspective, it is far better for financial services regulators to be active participants than onlookers. Protection of consumers, small businesses, and the financial system itself will be more effective if carried out by supervisors who are fully informed and knowledgeable.”

Prof. Cornelius Hurley, Director, Online Lending Policy Institute Inc.

“By encouraging the growth of responsible, compliant online lending platforms, such as Avant, regulatory agencies can help encourage beneficial competition in both the online and traditional lending industries generally. This will lead to more lending opportunities for borrowers and ultimately lower rates and better pricing for consumers.”

Albert Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer, Avant, Inc.

“As someone without a background in finance what struck me when I began learning about this industry was how inefficient it was. With 50 states, many of which have their own licensing, fee and interest rate requirements, there was no way for an online platform to operate in a uniform manner. With all the advances in technology, I would have thought that financial intermediation would have become many times more efficient.”

Peter Renton, Co-founder and Chairman, Founder and CEO, LendIt Conference LLC Lend Academy LLC

Prosper Launches Seventh-Generation Credit Model (Prosper Email), Rated: AAA

Prosper recently launched their seventh-generation credit model. The net return of the overall book has increased to an estimated 7.86% after the implementation.

Wealthfront Adds Automated Financial Planning Tool (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

While most of its rivals embrace the hybrid model of combining digital advice with human advisors, robo-advice pioneer Wealthfront is bucking the trend by offering even more automation, Reuters writes.

The company is introducing an automated financial planning tool that connects its clients’ outside accounts to track spending and savings to assist with retirement planning, according to the news service. Using a mobile app, clients can then get projections on what they’ll have to save to meet their retirement objectives, Reuters writes.

Dead End for AssetAvenue? (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Crowdfund Insider received a tip this past week that real estate crowdfunding platform AssetAvenue has stopped originating loans. Emails to the company have not been returned, and repeated attempts to contact AssetAvenue by phone have not been successful. Portions of the AssetAvenue site now generate a 404. AssetAvenue social accounts have not been updated in months.  A post on BiggerPockets from several months back indicated that a potential borrower had been told they were no doing any funding.

Four Advertisers Bet on Super Bowl Overtime and Won Big (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: A

Before the game, SoFi had inked a deal with Fox to run a Super Bowl ad if — and only if — the matchup went into overtime. No Super Bowl in NFL history had ever extended beyond regulation play.

SoFi said the ad option cost less than half of the roughly $5 million that Fox was charging for 30 seconds of commercial time during the game’s four quarters.

The way these deals work is that brands agree to authorize the ad buys, and Fox runs the ads if the game goes into overtime. If overtime never happens, no money ends up changing hands.

For SoFi, the ad bet caused traffic to spike “100X,” said Ms. Bradford. “It was amazing.

James Hobson To Lead Attune (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Attune, the data-enabled company established by American International Group, Inc. (AIG), Hamilton Insurance Group, Ltd. (“Hamilton”), and affiliates of Two Sigma Investments, LP (“Two Sigma”), today announced that James Hobson, Chief Operating Officer of OnDeck® (ONDK), has accepted an offer to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Hobson, who will step down from his role at on March 15, will be responsible for achieving Attune’s goal of using data science and advanced technology to streamline the submission and insurance underwriting process to meet the needs of small businesses in the US.

XOR Data Exchange closes $ 2M Series A Extension (XOR Data Exchange Email), Rated: A

This morning XOR Data Exchange closed a $2M extension of our Series A to support some big contracts and development work I’ll be announcing soon (some at LendIt). This extension is important to us because it represents the confidence of our investors in our business model and the work we’re doing. Here is a statement from our CEO regarding the close:

We’re grateful for the support of our investors as XOR continues to grow and address bigger industry challenges in 2017. The majority of this $2 million extension comes from our existing Series A investors, which speaks to their confidence in our business model and the innovative approach to data sharing we have employed with our clients and partners. This additional funding will allow XOR to distribute its fraud and credit risk models across the U.S. through strategic partners in order to bring security and accountability back to the companies that rely on our personal information. It’s going to be an exciting year for XOR Data Exchange and we’re thankful for the support of our community and the industries we serve.

Mike Cook, Founder and CEO, XOR Data Exchange

XOR Data Exchange raised $4.2M in its Series A round led by Fenway Summer Ventures. Details at Crunchbase.

Philadelphia Fed President Says Regulation is Key to Protecting Fintech Innovation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Patrick T. Harker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, delivered a speech today on Fintech innovation and the importance of regulation. Harker stated that regulation is not only about protecting consumers but it is important to protect innovators as well;

“It’s in their best interest to have an established framework in which to operate,” said Harker.

Recently there has been much discussion about emerging Fintech firms, more pointedly with online lenders and bank alternatives.

Mentioning online lending Harker said;

“Peer-to-peer lending has been going on since time immemorial. What makes Fintech different is that the scope of its ability to match people with one another is infinitely broader.”

United Kingdom

Credit Peers launches property finance P2P (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Credit Peers is today launching its innovative new business – an online lending platform which allows individuals to lend from £500 upwards for property transactions that were previously only available to institutions and banks.

Recent research undertaken by Credit Peers amongst 1,000 consumers found that 59% trust their bank less than they did a year ago. 44% of respondents are looking for the rate of return on their investment to be between 5-10%*.

UK consumers are extremely open to property as an investment option, with 65% stating that they would like lenders to invest their money into property or real estate, almost double the next most popular options – stocks and shares (33%) and commodities (33%)*.

Credit Peers only deals with professional real estate investors and developers as borrowers, and implements strict lending criteria.

Specialist fund manager with marketplace lending focus to expand into UK real estate (altfi), Rated: A

Fintex Capital has hired Alan Margolis to lead its new real estate lending strategy.

Fintex is a specialist fund manager with a focus on seamlessly channeling institutional funding into the alternative lending sector.

The firm’s sole origination partner at present is German marketplace lender Auxmoney, which has originated close to €370m in consumer loans to date, according to AltFi Data.

Peer-to-peer platform plans to treble lending (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Assetz Capital hopes to lend around a third of a billion pounds during 2017 as it looks to open its Innovative Finance Isa (IFIsa).

The lender revealed to Bridging & Commercial after lending £46m in Q4 2016 alone, it believes the growth target is achievable.

Assetz Capital announced at the start of the year it had lent £200m since launching in 2013 after lending £108m in 2016.

The FCA confirmed last year it was looking into the regulation of alternative finance platforms and Stuart believes that in 2017, existing regulation will be enforced more than it has been in the past as the FCA knows the industry better.

Canada

D+H Launches First Major Automotive Lender on Cloud-Based Search, Registry Solution (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

DH Corporation (DH) (“D+H”), a leading provider of technology solutions to financial institutions globally, today announced that it is onboarding its first major automotive captive client on CollateralGuard Enterprise (CGe). The client, which boasts significant market share in Canada, will use CGe as part of its standard lending due diligence process.

CGe, D+H’s next generation search and registration solution, is a risk management technology platform for lenders, which provides a single point of entry to registries across Canada, streamlining all search and registration transactions.

CGe is a scalable platform that leverages the Microsoft technology stack, a combination of tools including Azure, which enables testing, development and agility in a secure environment.

Australia

11 Fintech Companies in UK’s Trade Delegation to Australia & New Zealand (Cryptocoins News), Rated: B

The 11 UK companies that form the delegation include credit rating specialist Aire; Fintech data analytics firm Clarus; asset allocation consultant ClearMacro; compliance solutions firm FundApps; investor relations firm Ingage; financial lenders Iwoca and Neyber; blockchain-based data platform ObjectTech; identity verification platform Onfido; surveillance and compliance solutions provider Sybenetix and; bitcoin blockchain solutions provider Tradle.

The trade delegation will participate in a 5-day program. Held between March 20 -24, there will be number of events, workshops and meetings over the 5 days.

Asia

4 exits later, these serial entrepreneurs aim to save Japan with crowdfunding (TechinAsia), Rated: A

Consumer lending is very different in Japan. Loans to individuals only make up six percent of social lending, according to Crowdport’s research. It is easy to find a one to three percent loan from a bank so the prospect of crowdfunding is less appealing.

From 2015 to 2016, the total amount raised through social lending funds grew 71 percent from around US$300 million to well over US$500 million, according to completed fund data gathered by Crowdport from each lending platform.

Crowdport launched last week and currently is the only service in Japan which compares all 18 Japanese social lending services. Users can sort by company, investment genre, and availability of collateral, as well as filter funds by interest rate and payback period.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor