Thurday December 7 2018, Daily News Digest

equity sector analysis

News Comments Today’s main news: Google gets EU eMoney license. JD launches online P2P lending service in China. Hexindai partners with Kunming Aotous. Today’s main analysis: Equity sector analysis. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Internet finance in a state of flux in China. P2P lending looking for a fresh start. Wonga collapse clears way for US payday lenders in UK. United […]

The post Thurday December 7 2018, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

equity sector analysis

United States

Fed Raises Rates; Sector Analysis; Loan Performance (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

In regulatory news, Square will refile its Industrial Loan Charter application with the FDIC.

Credit card master trust data showed that net charge-offs dropped by 8 bps YoY, decreasing for the second month in a row.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Affirm – Launch pitch at Phocuswright 2018 (PhocusWire), Rated: A

We have identified a $377 billion addressable U.S. online travel market. Millennials, the largest consumer group in the U.S., are shifting their spending from products to experiences.

We’ve also found that 55% of people are avoiding credit cards at checkout when paying for travel. 67% are looking for options to pay over time.

5 Business Trends That Will Continue to Rise in 2019 (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

1. Consumers will demand more control over their data.

2. Alternative lending will continue to grow.

Given that around 80 percent of small business loan applications are rejected, startup founders are increasingly looking to nontraditional financiers for capital.

Since 2006, P2P lending has skyrocketed by 110 percent per year.

United Kingdom

Wonga collapse clears decks for US payday loan firms in UK market (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

Chicago-based Enova, which also operates Pounds to Pocket and On Stride, saw UK revenue jump 20% to $36.6m (£29m). Texas-headquartered Elevate Credit operates in the UK under the Sunny loans brand, and saw its own UK revenue jump 23% to $32m, as new customer loans for Sunny rose 45% to $26,671.

Curo, which is behind WageDayAdvance, saw UK revenue jump 27.1% to $13.5m, while underlying earnings nearly halved from $8.1m to $4.2m. It was helped by a “high percentage of new customers”.

Collapse of ethical lenders stokes fears over access to credit (Financial Times), Rated: A

Ethical lenders that have been touted as alternatives to high-cost firms such as Wonga and BrightHouse are going out of business at the fastest rate in years, fuelling concerns that less well-off customers are in danger of losing access to credit.

The figures mark the worst year since at least 2010, as the sector battles against rising regulatory and technology costs.

Eight UK Credit Unions Went Out Of Business In 2018 (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Eight credit unions closed in 2018, and they affected an estimated 14,000 people with a collective £25 million in savings. Even some of the more successful CUs have had to curtail lending. Credit unions cap rates at 3 percent a month.

Despite initial reports of the feature’s disappearance, Hefeng Online Lending was still available until 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Previously, all products were labeled as being “sold out” after it was removed from the app’s main page. It has subsequently been completely removed.

China

JD launches P2P online lending products (en.ce.cn), Rated: AAA

E-commerce giant JD.com has become the first Chinese tech tycoon to launch peer-to-peer online lending products, CHNFUND.com reported on Sunday.

“Hefeng online lending” or literally “Hefeng Wangdai”, a platform providing information service on P2P online lending under JD.com, sold out all the products within seconds after it started operation on Sunday.

JD Finance removes second P2P lending feature from its app (Technode), Rated: A

JD Finance has removed its second peer-to-peer (P2P) lending feature from its app after it had been online for less than 10 days, highlighting difficulties in China’s P2P loans sector.

Chinese P2P Lender Hexindai Announces Funding Sources Partnership With Kunming Aotous (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Hexindai (NASDAQ: HX) announced on Wednesday it has formed a funding sources partnership with Kunming Aotou Economic Information Consulting Co., Ltd. (Kunming Aotou). 

Hexindai reported that through this agreement it will assess borrowers that are using its risk management and credit assessment capabilities before referring them to Kunming Aotou which will facilitate the loans through a trust fund. 

Internet finance in a state of flux with regulators stepping in to bring some stability and direction (Global Times), Rated: AAA

Recently, the Beijing-based Chang An Property Casualty Insurance Co was reported to have compensated nearly 2 billion yuan ($290 million) for its joint business with a number of domestic peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platforms, according to a report of the Time Weekly.

The Lengjing reported that so far 220 P2P platforms had submitted their self-investigation reports to the government.

European Union

Google Gets EU eMoney License (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Google Payment Lithuania, a unit of Alphabet’s Google, was granted an electronic money institution license by The Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

The Lithuanian FinTech initiative now covers more than 100 licensed companies, with most of them involved in payments, electronic money and peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding.

International

Peer-to-peer lending looks for fresh start as interest wanes (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

But even P2P Global Investments, the first investment fund dedicated to the sector when it launched in 2014, admits the initial “frenzy” of interest has died down.

It is considering changing its name because it no longer accurately reflects the fund’s interests.

Mike Bristow, chief executive of property lender CrowdProperty, suggested that some companies have tried to take advantage of the hype around peer-to-peer without making effective business plans.

Top ten banking tech case studies in 2018 (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Micro-lending: Mynt
Philippine fintech, Mynt, talks about the business case and technology behind its current micro-lending efforts and where it is planning to head with other financial services, leveraging the customers and data of its majority shareholder, the country’s largest Telco.

Robocash – fintech crossing the borders
In 2017, peer-to-peer (P2P) platform Robocash started its operations in the European Union (EU). Since then, it attracted more than €4 million

Live Oak Bank and Finxact – riding the second wave
The US, in particular, is in urgent need of new core offerings to support next generation digital banking.

Home Credit – to its credit
In an exclusive tour of Home Credit’s (HC) operations in Prague, we met seven staff members and learned about its retail challenger Air Bank, P2P lender Zonky and Home Credit Venture Capital (HCVC).

Mobile banking: RBC – farewell friction
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has been proactive with its digitisation strategy.

Australia

Mums and Dads turn to commercial real estate as resi slows in Australia (The Investor), Rated: A

They are also navigating their way around banks’ lending restrictions through peer-to-peer lending, further boosting their investment prospects.

India

Various fees charged by P2P platforms (India Times), Rated: A

Every loan involves a cost. From the time of signing up to delay in repaying the loan, here’s a list of charges a borrower needs to pay while taking a loan from a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.

Asia

UMG Idealab has started its venture journey in Indonesia with 11 portfolios to date.

UMG Idealab  is looking for startups in IoT, Big Data, Voice Recognition (VR), and Artificial Intelligent (AI). He aims to invest in 20 startups next year.

Central bank warns of P2P lending (Vietnam News), Rated: B

The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) has warned local people and firms to consider carefully and be cautious before taking part in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as there are many potential risks related to the service.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thurday December 7 2018, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday September 6 2018, Daily News Digest

Purchase APR by Credit Score Range

News Comments Today’s main news: Varo Money gets preliminary approval for bank charter. SynapseFI raises $17M for banking platform. RateSetter ISA gets 130M GBP inflow in 8 months. Ex-Lloyds Banking boss set to make 3.3M GBP from Funding Circle float. LendInvest hits 1B GBP total lending. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for August 2018. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

Purchase APR by Credit Score Range

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Asia

Other

News Summary

United States

Varo Money wins preliminary approval for US national bank charter (FinExtra) Rated: AAA

San Francisco-based fintech startup Varo Money has been granted preliminary approval for a national bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), paving the way for the creation of the first fully-licensed mobile-only bank in the US.

Co-founded by former Wells Fargo executive Colin Walsh, Varo Money has raised $79 million in funding over the past two years and currently provides a range of savings, loans and account-based services through a relationship with The Bancorp Bank.

The approval for a Federal banking charter will enable the firm to expand its portfolio of millennial-friendly financial products on a national scale, providing a wider range of services in all 50 states.

Four Things for FinTechs to Consider Before Filing a Bank Charter Application, says Auriemma Consulting Group (PR Web) Rated: A

Each FinTech now finds itself at a regulatory Rubicon: To either take control of its destiny by embracing one of the available bank charters, with all of the attendant compliance and regulatory challenges; or to remain a non-bank technology company, dependent on a bank partner or subject to multi-state laws.

Here are four of the most important factors for FinTechs to consider now:

  1. Determine the importance of interest rate exportation to your business.
  2. Consider the need for deposit funding.
  3. Consider the requirements of equity investors – now and in the future.
  4. Weigh the risk represented by a Bank Partner.

3 best pieces of career advice for young people from ex NFL and Twitter exec (NBC) Rated: AAA

Anthony Noto has had a star-studded corporate career.

He has been the chief operating officer of Twitter, the co-head of telecommunications, media and technology investment banking at Goldman Sachs and the executive vice president and chief financial officer of the National Football League. And currently, he is the chief executive officer at the online personal finance company SoFi, short for Social Finance.

  1. Fix problems, don’t pass the buck
  2. ‘Be a truth seeker’ so you can make the best decisions possible
  3. Focus on making your whole team better

SynapseFI raises $ 17M to develop its fintech and banking platform (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

SynapseFI, a startup that helps banks and fintech companies work together to develop technology, has announced that it raised a $17 million Series A funding round.

The funding actually closed at the back end of last year, but CEO Sankaet Pathak said the company has been so busy developing new products, hiring and more than that it is only getting around to disclosing the deal now. The investment was led by Trinity Ventures and Core Innovation Capital, with participation from other unnamed backers.

The San Francisco-based startup has sat under the radar for a while now despite starting up in 2014. Its core product is a platform that helps banks and developers work together. That involves developer-facing APIs that allow companies to connect with banks to offer services, and also bank-facing APIs that allow banks to automate and extend back-end operations.

The LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report contains data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders.

  • APR: Actual APR offers to borrowers on our platform
  • Down Payment: Though analogous to the LTV, we find that borrowers identify more closely with the down payment. Academic studies have also found that the down payment is the primary concern for homebuyers and one of the main impediments to entering the home buying market.
  • LTV: Actual LTV offered to borrowers on our platform
  • Loan Amount: The average loan amount borrowers are offered
  • Lifetime Interest Paid: This is the total cost a borrower incurs for the loan, inclusive of fees.
Source: Lending Tree

Credit unions split on potential threat posed by OCC’s fintech charter (Credit Union Journal) Rated: A

With the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency having approved a national bank charter for fintechs this summer, a host of insiders have weighed in on potential pros and cons, and how OCC’s move might ultimately impact credit unions.

“The threat to any financial institution, including credit unions, would be around the prospect of a fintech with compelling, modern technology and innovative approaches to traditional banking services becoming regulated and competing with CUs and banks,” said Michael Carter, EVP of digital practice for the Memphis-based Strategic Resource Management (SRM).

Ted Bilke, president of Symitar and VP of Jack Henry & Associates, said one charter “negative” could be enabling large players like Walmart and Amazon to “provide traditional depository and lending services” that compete directly with traditional credit union business.

Should You Take Out a Loan for Payroll? (NAV) Rated: A

When cash flow slows, becomes stagnant, or is otherwise disrupted (large purchases, overdue accounts, etc.), business owners can become vulnerable to a variety of financial woes. Bills can go unpaid, vendor relationships can become strained, and, if the problems persist, your credit can take a quick slide downward. Unfortunately, cash flow problems can also impact another essential part of your business – payroll.

Aside from leaving employees disgruntled, failure to meet your payroll obligations is considered a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which can result in penalties handed down from the Department of Labor.

Why can’t you make payroll? 

Though the exact reason for payroll problems can vary from business to business, there are typically two primary circumstances that leave business owners frantically trying to make good on this obligation:  changes in cash flow or unexpected expenses.

Americans Are Planning to Spend Less on Fashion This Fall; Many Are Embracing Alternatives to Cash or Credit Cards (Business Wire) Rated: A

Affirm, Inc., the company founded by entrepreneur Max Levchin to provide fair and honest alternatives to traditional credit, today announced the “Shop with Affirm” fall fashion campaign and released the findings of a new survey revealing how Americans plan to shop and pay for apparel purchases this fall.

Starting in September, Affirm will feature fashion and apparel brands that partner with Affirm across Instagram and Affirm.com, showing consumers where they can buy now and pay for purchases over time with Affirm. Many fashion brands now give customers the option to use Affirm to buy items with no interest, repaid in three easy monthly installments.

The campaign was designed to make great brands accessible to more customers, offering a transparent payment option that better aligns with shoppers’ cash flows and helps them budget for fall purchases.

White Oak Healthcare Finance Closes $ 20 Million Financing For Fox Rehabilitation (Business Wire) Rated: B

White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it acted as sole lender and administrative agent on the funding of a $20 million asset based senior credit facility for Fox Rehabilitation, Inc. (“Fox”). The funds were primarily used to refinance existing indebtedness and support continued growth.

Fox provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services to help geriatric patients regain a better quality of life. “We are excited to partner with a practice that is so highly focused on clinical outcomes. By investing in people and processes, Fox has demonstrated the unique ability to maintain continuity of care while expanding throughout the country,” said Ross Eldridge, Managing Director at White Oak.

United Kingdom

RateSetter ISA sees £130m inflows in eight months (Altfi News) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has seen a inflows of more than £130m into its Innovative Finance ISA in just eight months.

The firm, one of the three largest P2P lending platforms in the UK, launched its IFISA to existing customers in February and new customers in March. Like its peers Funding Circle and Zopa, the platform was fully regulated and therefore able to launch an IFISA later than many of its smaller peers.

John Battersby, head of communications at the firm, says that demand has been higher than expected for Ratesetter’s ISA.

Disgraced ex Lloyds Banking boss set to make £3.3m when web-based lender Funding Circle floats (This is Money) Rated: AAA

The disgraced former boss of Lloyds Banking Group could make millions of pounds when fintech darling Funding Circle lists on the stock market in the coming weeks.

Eric Daniels, who orchestrated Lloyds’ disastrous takeover of rival HBOS during the financial crisis which left the bank in need of a £20billion taxpayer bailout, is an investor and director at the peer-to-peer lender.

He owns a 0.2 per cent stake in the business, which looks set to be worth £3.3million when it joins the stock market.

Funding Circle “Go further” by Lucky Generals (Campaign) Rated: A

Funding Circle, the small business loans platform, breaks the functional conventions of most financial services advertising in its second TV campaign.

 

LendInvest’s Total Lending Capital Hits £1 Billion as Fintech Raises £150 Million in Residential Development Funding in New JV (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

LendInvest, an online property finance platform, reports it has secured £150 million of “initial funding” in a new joint venture with Nomura, a global investment bank,  and Magnetar, an alternative investment manager. This new capital infusion now places LendInvest’s total capital for lending at around £1 billion. The JV with LendInvest will see the funding used for residential development finance.

Nomura is a Japan headquartered financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries. Magnetar, based in the US, is a $13.7 billion investment manager that seeks to achieve stable risk-adjusted returns by opportunistically employing a wide range of fixed income, energy, quantitative and fundamental investment strategies.

Proposed investor restrictions threaten P2P sector’s growth (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

THE PEER-TO-PEER lending industry has blasted the City watchdog’s proposed investor restrictions as unfair, costly and damaging to the sector’s future.

P2P platforms have been busy digesting the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) long-awaited post-implementation review of the sector – released over the summer – and while most are happy with plans for heightened transparency and loanbook disclosure, there are concerns over proposed marketing restrictions and appropriateness tests  for investors.

These proposals would make P2P lending platforms become the preserve of sophisticated, high-net-worth or ‘restricted’ investors, akin to crowd bond providers like Abundance and alternative investment firms such as Goji.

WELENDUS LAUNCHES INDUSTRY-FIRST 15% RETURN ISA PRODUCT (Fintech Finance) Rated: A

Welendus, the FCA-approved Peer-to-Peer (“P2P”) lender, today announces the launch of an industry-first; it’s HMRC-approved Innovative Finance ISA (“IF-ISA”), which will allow investors to invest their annual ISA allowance in a flexible high return investment product, with no income tax on the interest earnings. This product will be the first ISA product on the market with up to a 15% return.

The UK’s short-term lending market is now worth £3.7 billion per year[1], however new innovative products have been few and far between, leaving great opportunity for disruption and innovation. In addition, the UK’s P2P lending market is expected to exceed £10 billion this year, and up to £19 billion by 2020.

Buy to let Britain: A divided nation sell or stay? (Property Reporter) Rated: A

Britain’s buy-to-let landlords are divided over their future, in light of tax and market changes – according to latest research from property-backed P2P lending product, Octopus Choice.

While three in five buy to let investors (56%) want to keep or buy more rental properties, two in five (44%) are looking to sell. The majority of UK landlords still view it as a money-making asset class but think it will be on the decline in the future. As the market consolidates, buy to let owners are polarized across the country, with tough decisions to make on whether to stay or leave the sector.

For those looking to exit the market, nearly a quarter blame falling yields (24%) and tax changes (23%), while a fifth blame cooling house prices (19%). Three in five (60%) say that property management had become a burden and 61% undervalued the costs involved.

Charlotte Rogers: The demise of Wonga shows toxic brands will always fail (Marketing Week) Rated: A

At one point Wonga was the UK’s biggest payday lender and tipped for a $1bn listing on the New York Stock Exchange, but it collapsed under the weight of compensation claims from customers who had been mis-sold loans and has not done enough to repair the damage.

Some 200,000 customers who owe an estimated £400m in short-term loans are still being asked to make repayments to the company, despite the fact compensation claimants are unlikely to ever receive a full pay-out.

The current reality is a world away from 2008, the year Wonga launched. The company positioned itself as a flexible digital alternative to banks and as an option for people looking online for a financial fix in 15 minutes.

Taking a cheeky and brash tone, the loans firm invested heavily in marketing to raise its brand awareness. Wonga’s advertising spend rocketed from £22,000 in 2009 to £16m by 2011, according to estimates by analysts AC Nielson MMS.

In 2010, Wonga made its first high profile move into sponsorship, teaming up with Transport for London to sponsor five hours of free late-night travel on New Year’s Eve. That same year the company made its first foray into the world of sports through a shirt sponsorship deal with Blackpool FC, which it would continue until 2015.

The PRS in a divided Nation – 44% say sell and 56% stay (Property 118) Rated: A

Britain’s buy-to-let landlords are divided over their future, in light of tax and market changes with 56% buy to let investors wanting to keep or buy more rental properties, and 44% are looking to sell. This is according to latest research from property-backed P2P lending product, Octopus Choice.

The majority of UK landlords still view it as a money-making asset class, but think it will be on the decline in the future. As the market consolidates, buy to let owners are polarized across the country, with tough decisions to make on whether to stay or leave the sector.

Meet the Wonga wannabees: Britain cheered when its biggest payday lender went bust last week… But beware its rivals still out there (This is Money) Rated: A

Wonga is no more — but there are still dozens of other payday loan firms out there.

So who are the Wonga wannabes?

SUNNY LOANS

Borrowers can apply for a loan of between £100 and £2,500.

The standard representative APR is 1,293 per cent, with risky borrowers charged up to 1,617 per cent.

QUICKQUID

Owned by parent firm Cash- EuroNet UK, QuickQuid has been trading since 2007 and offers loans up to £1,000 for new customers — £1,500 to those returning.

PEACHY

It offers loans of between £100 and £1,000 for between one and 12 months.

MR LENDER

It offers loans of between £200 and £1,000 over a term of six months.

Its typical APR is 1,256 per cent and maximum is 1,462 per cent. Borrow £1,000 over six months at the standard rate and you would repay a total of £1,815.

MYJAR

Based in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, Myjar launched a decade ago and offers loans of between £100 and £7,200 over three, six, 12 or 24 months, with a maximum interest rate of 1,326 per cent.

China

Slow-Motion Crash Sees Chinese Auto Stocks Skid 40% This Year (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

A plan by Great Wall Motor Co. GWLLY -4.12% to offer discounts of between 11% and 27% on its cars has helped trigger a round of selling this week, according to analysts at Deutsche Bank.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Dongfeng Motor Group Co. DNFGY 8.84% Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. GELYY -0.90% andGuangzhou Automobile Group Co. 2238 -2.97%—among the largest Chinese auto makers listed in Hong Kong—have each dropped by between 4% and 7% in the last two days of trading.

Combined, the trio have lost nearly 194 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$24.8 billion) in market capitalization this year, Datastream shows, while a Thomson Reuters index of Hong Kong-listed auto and truck manufacturers is down 39%.

Vehicle purchases are on the decline: In July, new car sales were 5.5% lower than in the same month last year. Sales of insurance policies are also falling. Peer-to-peer lending for car purchases had become increasingly popular, but after a series of lending scandals the government has cracked down.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes August 2018 (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Source P2P Banking

Startup Influx into Fintech: Is There Still Space for Growth? (Equities) Rated: AAA

We need to understand that the fintech industry is extremely broad, and the user base does not fit into a single category. Therefore, the applications of financial technology will find relevance in many spheres. This is one of the factors that have accounted for a massive growth in the number of fintech startups across the world. It is estimated that the number of startups in the fintech space has increased 8-fold; from an estimated 1000 companies in 2005 to more than 8000 companies in 2016.

Source: Equities

The fintech industry is still in a growth phase and therefore there is every possibility that we will continue to see an increase in the number of startups jumping into the fintech space. However, the emerging markets will see more of the increase in the number of startups due to the underserved nature of these markets.

ACORN OakNorth Holdings closes $ 100m round as business continues to grow ahead of plan (Fintech Finance) Rated: A

ACORN OakNorth Holdings has today announced that it has secured $100m from the EDBI of Singapore, NIBC Bank, Clermont Group, GIC, and Coltrane Asset Management. The $100m represented 4.3% of the company. The capital will be used to accelerate the growth of ACORN machine and enable OakNorth to continue scaling its lending efforts in the UK.

Meanwhile, ACORN machine has opened offices in New York and Singapore to service clients across multiple continents and will have over $5bn of assets under service on its platform by year end. NIBC Bank is the platform’s first client in the Netherlands. ACORN machine’s team now consists of almost 100 people and in the short term expects to add another 50 people across growth and operations, engineering, machine learning and data science.

Biz2Credit Launches New Virtual CFO for Small Businesses (Crowfund Insider) Rated: A

Biz2Credit announced on Wednesday the launch of its BizAnalyzer Virtual CFO, which is described as an advanced software tool that enables business owners to make smarter financial decisions about their companies. According to Biz2Credit, the virtual CFO software is available to clients of Paychex Promise, a subscription-based service from Paychex, a provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services.

Australia

Lender produces guide to business loans (Broker News) Rated: A

An online lender has released a free eBook to help brokers move into writing unsecured online business loans.

The ‘Guide to Online Business Loans’ is the first comprehensive guide to alternative lending produced by a fintech lender in Australia.

It was created to overcome barriers such as a lack of education and knowledge of the industry, to help brokers diversify.

India

P2P lending: How the Rs 10 lakh cap will affect small businesses? (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

If you are salaried and earn up to Rs 20,000 every month, cold calls and emails from banks for pre-approved personal loans is a regular thing. But for someone planning to open a franchise store or start a catering business, getting an unsecured loan is not easy. Banks and NBFCs are reluctant to fund businesses or expansion plans of MSMEs/SMEs or proprietors.

This could be due to factors like lack of credit data, remote location or poor education. Banks and financial institutions require an individual to display established source of income, thus leaving about 80 percent of the population with no access to credit.

The Peer-to-peer (P2P) online platform aims to bridge the gap between people who can lend and those who want to borrow without any security. The P2P industry took its first baby step in October in the form of RBI regulations which allows high-end investors to lend their money to low-end borrowers.

Asia

The evolution of sme financing (The Business Times) Rated: AAA

This gap in payments in certain industries can be up to several months, such as in the construction sector. When unexpected crises hit, such as late payments by customers or budget overruns during projects, businesses without adequate financing can be left high and dry.

With so much at stake, SMEs need to ask themselves if their current financing facilities are adequate for their needs and future expansion.

While the SME Financing Survey suggests that SMEs do not have a serious problem with getting external debt financing as 90 per cent of SMEs were successful in securing loans in 2017, other SME surveys indicate that financing is still a top concern by this particular segment. In a separate SME Development Survey 2017 by DP Info, 35 per cent of SMEs cited facing financing concerns – up from 22 per cent in 2016 and 14 per cent in 2015.

Kristine Ng: Fundaztic’s SME Lifeline to Plug the RM80 Billion Funding Gap (Awani Review) Rated: A

Kristine Ng understands very well the struggles SMEs go through to obtain financing. She spent a decade in the banking sector – five with Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC), which was set up with the sole objective to help SMEs obtain credit facilities by providing guarantee schemes.

Recognising the need to plug the funding gap, particularly among smaller and micro enterprises. Kristine left her corporate career to start to start peer-to-peer (P2P) platform Fundaztic with a team of senior level ex-bankers.

Hard cash (Business Times) Rated: A

Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company GO-JEK is expanding its financial technology services through partnerships with three peer-to-peer (P2P) lending firms: Findaya, Dana Cita and Aktivaku.

GO-JEK’s payment system GO-PAY launched last year, accounting for more than half of the startup’s transactions. The company integrated GO-PAY into the GO-JEK app, enabling customers to store money on their mobile phones — similar to a digital debit card. Adding to the GO-PAY account can be done from a bank account or ATM. If customers don’t have a bank account, they can hand cash over to GO-JEK’s drivers, and it will be transferred immediately to their account.

MENA

New Report Trails the Rise of Israeli Fintech (C Tech) Rated: AAA

Over the last 18 months, 16 multinational financial firms started operating in the Israeli tech system, or increased their local footprint through strategic partnerships and investments, according to a new report by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), a nonprofit working to promote Israeli tech.

Newcomers include French insurance firm AXA SA, Bank of Montreal, Fosun, TD Bank, AmTrust, and Mastercard.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday August 6 2018, Daily News Digest

China alternative assets

News Comments Today’s main news: Barclays buys stake in MarketInvoice. N26, Revolut are coming to America. Zopa raises 44M GBP for new bank. China private equity funds suffer. Linked Finance ink 10M Euro in loans in Q2. Today’s main analysis: The states where payday lending charges almost 700 percent interest. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s MPL Securitization Tracker. Debut of the […]

China alternative assets

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Will Europe’s fintech banks conquer North America? (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Revolut and N26 will be launching in the US soon, but what sort of market will they be entering? How are local banks adapting their offerings to suit younger users? And what will be the impact of the newly-announced bank charters for fintechs?

PeerIQ’s MPL Securitization Tracker for 2Q2018 (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

  • Twelve marketplace lending securitizations priced this quarter totaling $5.0 Bn, the highest level of quarterly issuance, representing 36% growth YoY.  To date, cumulative issuance equals $38.4 Bn across 126 deals.
  • We observed spreads widening and yields rising on new issuance. Weighted average all-in yields on consumer deals increased from 2.9% to 4.2% QoQ, and on student deals from 3.0% to 4.5% QoQ.
  • All deals issued this quarter except SoFi’s student loan passthrough securitizations were rated.   
  • Tranches continue to get upgraded. So far, ratings’ agencies have upgraded 51 consumer MPL tranches and 67 student MPL tranches that are outstanding.
  • Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse continue to top the issuance league tables with 54% of MPL ABS transaction volume.
  • Freedom Financial issued its inaugural deal and OnDeck returned to the market. SoFi issued over $2 Bn in student loan passthrough securitizations.
Source: PeerIQ

Debut of the OCC’s FinTech Charter + Supervisory Standards (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The US economy added 157k jobs in July and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%. Wage growth came in strong at 2.7%, potentially fueling inflation down the road and keeping the Fed on its stated rate hike path.

OCC Asserts its Authority and is Open to Accepting SPNB Charters

Immediately following the report, Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency, announced that the OCC would start accepting applications from “fintech companies that are engaged in the business of banking but do not take deposits.”

An SPNB can engage in a limited range of banking or fiduciary activities like credit card operations, taking deposits, paying checks, lending money, community development, or cash management activities. The policy is a significant development as companies with the Fintech charter would be able to perform banking activities like lending and payment processing nationally.

Who are the Likely Winners and Losers?

The long-term winner of the charter is the US consumer who will benefit from greater competition, innovation, and access to credit. Payments companies that seek to compete with Visa/Mastercard also stand to benefit. Lenders that qualify for the charter may also have a competitive advantage. Payments arms of firms like Google, Apple, Amazon and PayPal would fit the profile, as well as large non-bank lenders that can demonstrate sustainable profitability de-risked their business models. Fintechs that have liquidity, funding, or going-concern risks will struggle to obtain charters.

Less is more for OCC’s fintech financial inclusion plans (American Banker), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is threading a tricky needle.

It has affirmed that it plans to evaluate fintech charter applicants based on their fair lending efforts, but it’s pulled back on specifics for how that process might work. That has made some consumer groups nervous.

The OCC published an updated version of its licensing manual supplement for fintechs on July 31, in connection with an announcement that it’s begun accepting applications for fintech charters.

Fintech charter: Be wary of innovating into another crisis (The Hill), Rated: A

But before we allow fintech firms to bound over the regulatory mound, it’s important to take a hard look at why we regulate the financial services sector so thoroughly to begin with.

Many also claim that fintech will bank the unbanked and lead to financial inclusion. The only thing standing in the way of all of this change and disruption, many claim, is overbearing government regulation.

With OCC’s door officially open, will fintechs enter? (American Banker), Rated: A

Fintech companies now have the federal option they have long sought after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency green-lighted firms to apply for a special-purpose bank charter. But winning OCC approval on charter bids will not be a walk in the park.

One day after the OCC announcement, some fintech firms signaled clear interest in the charter. But the agency’s decision also prompted a slew of additional questions, including whether firms would be able to meet the regulator’s tough criteria, and whether state regulators would continue to fight

Does a Bank Charter for Square Still Make Sense? CEO Jack Dorsey Thinks So (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

POS payments provider Square is still interested in pursuing a bank charter, but how? It may be more challenging given that the company will be paying more attention to its customer-facing prepaid products like Square Cash and its Cash Card, according to CEO Jack Dorsey in the company’s earnings call yesterday.

This map shows the states where payday loans charge nearly 700 percent interest (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Some short-term loans cost over 20 times more in interest than the average credit card. And yet one in 10 Americans have used them.

In the U.S. today, these loans are a $9 billion business. In the past two years, 11 percent of U.S. adults say they’ve taken out a payday loan, according to a recent survey of approximately 3,700 Americans that CNBC Make Itperformed in conjunction with Morning Consult.

Source: CNBC

This Rebrand Is Not Barking Up The Wrong Tree (Forbes), Rated: AAA

For 

$ 203.49 Million in Sales Expected for Elevate Credit Inc (ELVT) This Quarter (Fairfield Current), Rated: A

Equities analysts expect Elevate Credit Inc (NYSE:ELVT) to announce sales of $203.49 million for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Elevate Credit’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $201.00 million and the highest estimate coming in at $205.97 million. Elevate Credit reported sales of $172.85 million in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 17.7%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Monday, October 29th.

NCUA’s Proposed Payday Alternative Loans Unattractive to CUs: Trades (CU Times), Rated: A

A new payday alternative program proposed by the NCUA is unlikely to convince many more credit unions to offer short-term loans because the loan terms are too prescriptive, credit union trade groups said.

Why Real Estate Deals, Not Startups are the Big Success Story of Equity Crowdfunding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In the year after Title III went into effect, startups received only $38 million in equity crowdfunding, according to Bloomberg—an amount that amounted to “a rounding error” in the larger system.

Before the JOBS Act, there were three formidable barriers to widespread individual investment in commercial real estate.

  1. Limited access to deal flow
  2. Inconvenience
  3. High minimums

Online crowdfunding has eliminated all three barriers

To begin with, the process is far more transparent and accessible, with minimum investments dropping to as low as $10,000.

ICBA calls for a new FDIC moratorium on industrial loan charter applications (American Banker), Rated: A

Renewing longstanding opposition to industrial loan charters, the Independent Community Bankers of America urged the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to impose a two-year moratorium on such applications.

The trade group also pressed the FDIC to reject an application from the student loan servicer Nelnet for an industrial loan charter.

Lenders One Names Michael Kuentz as Chief Executive Officer (Altisource), Rated: A

Lenders One Cooperative, a national alliance of independent  mortgage bankers, announced that Michael Kuentz has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Lenders One by its Board of Directors. Mr. Kuentz previously held the title of President. In his new role, he will assume responsibility for Lenders One’s day-to-day operations and strategic execution as well as continue to lead and manage the cooperative’s sales effort.

United Kingdom

Barclays takes stake in SME lender MarketInvoice (Banking Tech), Rated: AAA

Barclays has taken a “significant” minority stake in UK-based SME lending platform MarketInvoice.

Details were not disclosed, because we live in the age of secrecy, but the bank says the deal is a key part of its plans to invest in new business models for growth, and MarketInvoice’s ambition to broaden its reach across the UK.

P2P lender Zopa raises £44m to fund new bank (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Zopa has raised £44m in a new funding round to aid its expansion into traditional banking as its traditional peer to peer business comes under pressure from regulators.

Wonga investors inject £10M so cash-strapped payday lender can fund claims (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Yesterday Sky News reported that those same two, Accel Partners and Balderton Capital, are among a group of Wonga investors that have agreed to inject a further £10M (~$13M) into the business to help fund compensation claims related to its past censured practices.

Can this new breed of robo-advisers help you take control of your money? (The Telegraph), Rated: A

Savers have historically been forced to choose between picking and managing their own investments, paying for financial advice, or, recently, handing their money over to a “robo adviser” to do it for them.

China

China private equity funds suffer wave of closures (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Chinese alternative asset managers have become the latest casualty of the country’s crackdown on debt and financial risk, with a record number of private equity and hedge funds dissolving in recent months as new regulations limit their fundraising.

In the first six months of this year, the Asset Management Association of China (Amac) — a government-controlled industry body — “lost contact” with 163 private fund institutions, more than 70 per cent of the total for which contact was lost for 2017.

Source: Financial Times

Chinese P2P chief Yao Kunjie makes the Forbes high achievers list while under investigation (SCMP), Rated: A

Yao Kunjie, 28, is the CEO of peer-to-peer lending platform Beimi Wallet and was named on the financial sector list on Thursday.

Forbes magazine puts out regional lists of high achievers born after January 1, 1988, in 20 sectors every year.

The announcement came just a week after Shanghai police said Yao had been detained on July 13 on suspicion of “illegally absorbing public funds”, without elaborating, in a statement last Saturday.

Qudian Tries to Distance Itself from Other P2P Lenders (Capital Watch), Rated: A

Qudian Inc. (NYSE: QD) defended its business model Friday, saying that it is not undergoing the same “[volatility] and uncertainty” suffered by China’s broader peer-to-peer industry.

The announcement sent the company’s stock up nearly 5 percent mid-afternoon to $7.59 per American depositary share.

Source: Capital Watch

China lends trillions to SMEs, farmers as part of inclusive finance push (Global Times), Rated: A

For example, banks’ balance of loans to farmers stood at 30.95 trillion yuan ($4.53 trillion) as of the end of 2017, up 48.2 percent from 2013. The balance of lending to small and micro-sized businesses stood at 34.74 trillion yuan in 2017, up 73.1 percent from 2013, according to Feng.

European Union

€10m loans mark record quarter for Linked Finance (Independent), Rated: AAA

Linked Finance, an Irish peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, recorded its strongest quarter to date in the three months to the end of June, facilitating over €10.1m to Irish SMEs.

This followed on from a strong start to 2018, with total lending for the year now more than €18.7m, up 65pc on the same period in the previous year.

The increase in lending is down to both the volume and size of loans. The number of loans that went live on the platform rose by 39pc in the period to 335, with average loan size up 19pc to almost €56,000.

BANCO BNI EUROPA LAUNCHES EQUITY RELEASE IN SPAIN WITH ÓPTIMA MAYORES (Fintech.Finance), Rated: A

Banco BNI Europa launches equity release in Spain in partnership with Óptima Mayores, the Spain’s leading financial advisor specialized in this segment.

Altisource Names Justin Vedder as Chief Operating Officer of Origination Solutions (Altisource), Rated: B

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (“Altisource” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ASPS), a leading provider of services and technologies to the mortgage and real estate industries, today announced the appointment of Justin Vedder as Chief Operating Officer, Origination Solutions.

International

How Fintex Capital Enabled the $ 30M Banco BNI Europa Investment in Upgrade Loans (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Last month we learned about the new $30 million investment received by Upgrade from the Portuguese digital bank Banco BNI Europa.

In reality BNI Europa did not actually purchase Upgrade loans, they invested in a privately placed bond that was backed by Upgrade loans. This bond was issued by Fintex Capital.

India

Regulations Shrink India’s Peer-To-Peer Lending Industry (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: AAA

When the Reserve Bank of India first brought out a discussion paper on peer-to-peer lending in April 2016, it said that there were 30 such start-ups in the country. It then proceeded to fashion a set of rules for the nascent but fast growing sector and came out with regulations in October 2017. Key among them was a requirement that peer-to-peer lenders register with the RBI.

Nine months since, only five of these lenders are registered in the ‘NBFC-P2P’ category, according to RBI data available until June 30, 2018.

This includes:

  • Fairassets Technologies India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Fincquare Fintech Pvt. Ltd.
  • Bridge Fintech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  • Bigwin Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
  • OHMY Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Cashkumar foresees huge potential in online lending for short-term credit (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company Cashkumar, which offers short-term credit to borrowers, foresees huge potential to lend in the online space.

At present, the company services around 200 loans a month . It is targeting to service about 80 loans a day in the next six months, besides expanding operations to 20 cities by next year.

Asia

Japan’s Samurai Asset Finance Offers Loans Collateralized by Digital Assets (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

A Japanese firm listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange recently unveiled loans that can be collateralized by three digital assets, namely BitcoinBitcoin Cash and Ethereum. As of now, the maximum amount borrowable is capped at 300 million yen (approximately $2.7 million).

Currently, the loan limits range from a minimum of 20 million yen ($180,000) to a maximum of 300 million yen ($2.7 million). The default repayment period is twelve months, although there are provision for extensions. The interest rates for these loans start from 7% to 155 annually, inclusive of commissions and extensions charges. If a lender fails to repay the loan in time, they will liable to a delinquency charge of 20% per year.

Crypto for real estate (Business Times), Rated: A

WE believe, in time, all real estate assets will reside on the blockchain – this is the grand vision of real estate entrepreneurs Julian Kwan and Alice Chen. The married couple – who co-founded Singapore-based real estate crowdfunding platform InvestaCrowd – has created a new product: RealFuel,

IMDEX ICO (IMDX Token): Decentralized Exchange & Crypto Banking Platform? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

It’s difficult to ascertain much information about the people behind IMDEX. The company appears to have some connection to a Korean company called Techton Soft that was established in 2016. The Techton Soft website indicates that the company specializes in investment trading solutions, peer-to-peer lending, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency exchange. The Techton site states that the company has 10 employees, making it a rather small operation, and lists a man named SangHyun Kim as the CEO.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday July 9 2018, Daily News Digest

GreenSky credit marketplace lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Square pulls bank license application. Lendio facilitates 5K loans for California small businesses. Crowdfunding.de pass 500M Euro mark. Wisr doubles personal loan originations. Today’s main analysis: Deep dive into GreenSky. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How Kabbage’s president is shaking things up. Online lenders expected to increase exposure to ABS. Interview with PolicyBazaar CEO. United States Square […]

GreenSky credit marketplace lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia

Other

News Summary

United States

Square Pulls Banking Application (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Though Square has reportedly withdrawn its application to create a deposit-taking bank, the payments processor intends to file the application again in the future. The firm had applied for an “industrial loan company (ILC)” license with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Reuters reported.

The news comes as it was reported in September that Square intended to submit an application to form a wholly owned and operated bank in Utah. That business unit would be called Square Financial Services Inc. and would be designed to offer loans and deposit accounts to small businesses. The bank would be capitalized with around $56 million in cash.

Kathryn Petralia, Kabbage President, Is Shaking Things Up In FinTech (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Kathryn Petralia is not your typical FinTech founder. She’s a woman, she lives in Atlanta, she’s an English major, and her Twitter handle is 

Fed Studies FinTech Lending, GreenSky Deep-Dive (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

KBRA released its latest consumer loan indices report that showed net losses ticking up on high quality Tier 1 loans, however losses are lower on Tiers 2 and 3 loans.

A study by the New York Fed found that online lenders reduced mortgage processing time and experienced lower overall delinquencies. The study found that mortgages offered by fintech companies closed about 20% faster and showed that default rates were 38% lower for purchase loans and 29% lower for refinance loans.

GreenSky Company Profile

GreenSky, headquartered in Atlanta, is led by CEO David Zalik. GreenSky has a $4 Bn market cap, 2017 revenues of $326 MM, and employs ~900 employees.

GreenSky has funded over $12 Bn in loans for over 1.7 Mn customers. The company funded $1 Bn in loans in Q1 2018.

GreenSky has shown impressive growth in its sales YoY. As seen in the charts below, GSKY had net income of $139 Mn in 2017, up from $124 Mn in 2016, while sales grew by 24% YoY to $326 Mn.

Source: GreenSky IPO prospectus

Does GreenSky Get Credit for Marketplace Lending?

Source: Bloomberg

Lendio Facilitates More Than 5,000 Loans For California Small Businesses (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Online small business lender Lendio announced on Thursday it has helped facilitate nearly $120 million in growth capital through more than 5,0000 to small businesses in the state of California. The lending platform has reportedly funded more loans in California than in any other state and the funding milestone comes just after a 169% increase in loans originated through Lendio’s platform in California during the last fiscal year.

Lendio also reported that according to a Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland report, nearly half of small businesses need additional funding each year; however, since 2008, it’s been a challenge for small business owners to access financial capital. The lender noted that continued growth and innovation in online lending platforms is transforming the funding landscape. Lendio helps California small businesses get loans fast, with 70 percent of businesses getting loan offers within three days of submitting an application.

Auto lending is booming. Here’s why that might be a problem for CUs (Credit Union Journal) Rated: A

Credit unions love an auto lending boom – what’s not to like? According to one analyst, however, there could be more happening than meets the eye.

Vehicle sales continue to hover around the 17 million mark, according to the latest Credit Union Trends Report from CUNA Mutual Group, and CU auto loans amounted to more than $354 billion as of April 2018 – an increase of nearly $80 billion from just two years prior. Auto lending at credit unions has grown by double digits (as a percentage) for the last two years.

United Kingdom

City investors expect online lenders to drive growth in asset-backed securities (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

A survey of 57 institutional investors by Managing Partners Group, released on Friday, found 60 per cent expect their exposure to ABS to rise over the next three years.

25 per cent of respondents said strong growth in fintech companies, including alternative lenders that prefer to raise capital via ABS, was a factor driving increased supply.

Rating agencies predicted a boom in P2P securitisations, but the only activity in 2017 was a £208.9m Zopa deal, led by investment trust P2P Global Investments.

Moody’s recently told Peer2Peer Finance News it expects more securitisations this year, while fellow ratings agency S&P Global has predicted a 30 per cent increase in securitisations from marketplace lenders during 2018.

How Fintech Startups Are Transforming Financial Services – and Improving the World (Equities) Rated: A

Fintech is changing the financial services landscape. It is improving customer service, increasing financial inclusion and making banking just plain simpler, easier and more accessible.

Traditional banks around the world have been fearing the inevitable for quite a while now – and although some of them are starting to invest and acquire startups, many smaller, agile companies are still stealing a lead on the financial megaliths.

One of the most dynamic and innovative markets for fintech is the UK. And here are six companies that are radically disrupting financial services – and making life easier for us in the process.

China

China Report: More P2P Lenders Collapse as Regulatory Environment Tightens (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

China is home to the largest P2P industry in the world – an accomplishment that was aided by the fact that at the beginning, few rules were in place to regulate the online lending industry. But during the past year, Chinese authorities have tightened the rules pertaining to platforms who operate P2P sites.

As recently as last month, two P2P lenders, lianbijr.com and txslicai.com.cn, were investigated by Chinese authorities.

P2P lender Yilongcaifu reportedly collapsed with its parent company Fuxing Group shut down as it fell under a police investigation.

Xzgjf.com, another struggling online lender, promised returns of 8% to 14%. Since June 19, investors have been “finding it hard to withdraw money” as borrowers are not paying back their loans.

European Union

German SME Crowdfunding Passes the €500 Million Mark (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Early-days monitor of the German crowdfunding market, Crowdfunding.de announced in its latest quarterly report that Germany passed the half billion-euro mark in cumulated in SME crowdfunding at the end of June 2018.

The report monitors only equity crowdfunding and crowdlending on marketplaces open to German retail investors such as Exporo, Funding Circle and Companisto. It does not include private platforms such as SME lender Creditshelf.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Real estate accounts for more than half of the SME crowdfunding market (53,3%). It is the fastest growing segment, set to more than double in size this year, after having tripled in size in 2017.

Enterprise funding represents 42.6% of the market. Renewable energy project crowdfunding remains small at 3.8%.

Kleros partners with MARKET Protocol for decentralized derivatives trading (Market Protocol) Rated: B

Kleros, a new decentralized dispute resolution ‘layer’ for virtually any transaction, has partnered with MARKET Protocol, a company building an open source foundation for decentralized derivatives markets, an industry worth over 500 trillion.

International

Finastra positioned as Category Leader in Chartis’ Credit Risk Solution Quadrants (Finastra) Rated: A

The rankings are featured in a recent report published by Chartis, titled Technology Solutions for Credit Risk 2.0, 2018, which assesses the technologies that are addressing the speed, flexibility and risk profile of the lending market.

According to Chartis, there has been a structural shift in the way that credit is provided, consumed, and analyzed in recent years. Now, following the impact of Basel II on the way financial institutions systemized their credit assessment and analysis, a digital revolution is once again transforming the credit risk market. Chartis is calling this new normal ‘Credit Risk 2.0.’ In the wake of this transformation, new operational issues and challenges are impacting liquidity management. Financial institutions must reassess how vendors are able to meet their needs and demands. Based on specific credit risk capabilities, including data management and stress testing, Finastra earned Category Leader status for both the banking book and the trading book.

5 Ways to Accelerate Financial Inclusion Through Technology (NullTX) Rated: A

Financial inclusion probably won’t narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. In fact, some of the greatest inequalities exist in some of the wealthiest countries. But it can give the poor a means of building a better life and taking advantage of the social and economic benefitsthat access to banking brings.

So how can we accelerate financial inclusion through technology? Here are the top 5 ways.

  1. Mobile Payments
  2. Cryptocurrency
  3. Crowdfunding for Lending
  4. Serving the Underbanked
  5. Digital Identity

Here’s How Social Media Can Impact Your Chances To Raise Venture Capital (Forbes) Rated: A

According to a new 

Australia

Lender sees personal loan originations double (The Adviser) Rated: AAA

ASX-listed lender Wisr (formerly known as DirectMoney) has revealed that the overall value of loan originations in the second half of the 2018 financial year increased by 136 per cent compared to the first half, while the number of new customers rose by 118 per cent over the half.

Further, the lender achieved a 66 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth in loan origination value and 40 per cent QoQ growth in loan origination volume in Q4 FY2018. This is up from the 42 per cent QoQ growth in originated loans recorded in Q3 FY2018.

Wisr said that its average loan amount also rose by 17 per cent QoQ to $22,670 by the end of Q4 FY2018.

How an Idea Born in Greece Transformed Australia’s Loans Market (Greek Reporter) Rated: A

Lodex, co-founded by Agrinio native Bill Kalpouzanis who is now its co-CEO alongside Mic Phillipou, uses sophisticated technology to get customized quotes for their customers who are looking for a loan.

It was Australia which presented an opportunity to put his model into practice, with banks showing growth for 15 years and the regulatory environment being kind to the kind of business Lodex wanted to become.

AFL’s Ted Richards and the human side of robo-investing (Bisbane Times) Rated: A

However, despite these tailwinds, the take up of digital advice in Australia has been relatively modest. This compares to the United States where a significant proportion of investors are embracing technology-enabled advice solutions, such as Betterment and Wealthfront.

Home-grown Australian providers, such as Clover and Stockspot, have made inroads with their low cost, automated investment offerings. The challenge remains for consumers to create a human connection with digital investment advice. That is what makes the story of former Essendon and Sydney Swans premiership player Ted Richards and his collaboration with robo adviser Six Park so interesting.

Forget Hayne, here’s four ways technology will remake financial advice (Australian Financial Review) Rated: B

So what’s accelerating the pace of digitisation of financial advice? Four key themes come to mind:

First, providers realise the current advice offering does not resonate with customers. It’s a poor “experience”. Stats suggest only one in five Australians gets financial advice.

Second, the royal commission into financial services has made it abundantly clear the dominant advice model has too many conflicts of interest.

Third, ironically, is the exit of big banks from manufacturing wealth products.

Last, and probably most powerfully, is the trend towards liberation of customer data.

India

No IPO for next 18 months, focus is on new healthcare venture: Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar (Your Story) Rated: AAA

With $100 million earmarked for DocPrime for the next two years, Yashish Dahiya, Co-founder and CEO of PolicyBazaar, speaks about the architecture of the new venture and how they plan to cross-leverage product from their existing companies.

And fuelling this ambition was Softbank’s Vision Fund, which along with parent Softbank, has invested overall $8 billion in the Indian internet ecosystem over the last five years. Softbank wasn’t alone in leading this Series F round of $200+ million. The Japanese conglomerate was joined by existing investor InfoEdge, which runs Naukri.com and reportedly invested close to $45 million in the deal.

Millennials weigh online P2P lending (My Digital FC) Rated: A

With traditional investments like savings and fixed deposits she found that returns were just too low. To invest in real estate, she needed upfront and large amount of capital and investment in gold was not yielding returns like it used to. While she dabbled in mutual funds and SIPs (systematic investment plans) she realised that to earn 12-15 per cent returns, she had to be invested for 3-4 years, if not more.

Asia

Japan’s top peer-to-peer lending platform faces penalties (Nikkei Asian Review) Rated: AAA

Tokyo-based Maneo Market overlooked misuse of funds that a client collected from investors, according to regulators.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission recommended on Friday that the Financial Services Agency impose administrative penalties on Maneo Market.

On behalf of a client named Green Infra Lending, Maneo Market raised roughly 13 billion yen ($117 million) from 3,084 investors to finance projects inside and outside Japan, promising annual returns of 11% to 14%.

Securities Commission Malaysia Invites Applications for Crowdfunding and Peer to Peer Lending Operators (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is inviting interested parties to apply to operate investment crowdfunding platforms and peer to peer lending sites. SC states that applicants may submit their applications for registration now with a deadline of September 7th, 2018.

MENA

Benson Oak Sets Up Dedicated Investment Fund for Israeli Market (Ctech) Rated: A

Prague-headquartered investment banking firm Benson Oak is setting up a dedicated investment fund for the Israeli market, the firm announced Sunday. The fund, which will focus on blockchain and consumer-facing companies, has already raised $25 million with the intention of raising a total of $100 million by the end of the year.

Benson Oak’s capital comes from private investors, strategic companies, and family offices, and the firm does not partner with institutional investors. The new fund will target seed-stage companies and is expected to announce two portfolio companies in the upcoming days.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

How Community Development Creates Savings Opportunities for Investors

CNote

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are financial institutions focusing on channeling the savings of investors in community development projects including development of women entrepreneurs, affordable housing, helping underserved communities in wealth creation, and small & mid-sized businesses. Funds in such institutions are structured through investment from government, banks, non-banking financial institutions, foundations, and individuals. Though […]

CNote

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are financial institutions focusing on channeling the savings of investors in community development projects including development of women entrepreneurs, affordable housing, helping underserved communities in wealth creation, and small & mid-sized businesses. Funds in such institutions are structured through investment from government, banks, non-banking financial institutions, foundations, and individuals.

Though CDFIs are profitable, they are more focused on the community they serve. So the only aim is not to please shareholders by profit maximization. The four sectors of the CDFI Industry are Community Development Banks, Community Development Credit Unions, Community Development Loan Funds, and Community Development VC Funds. The industry has been a backwater for individual savings due to multiple legal and technical reasons till now. This has led to a gap in the market with no options for individuals looking to invest and generate decent fixed income returns and simultaneously positively impacting local communities with their investments.

CNote is the bridge that is looking to transform the savings space by offering “smart savings technology” and new savings products to earn good savers 40x more.

About CNote

The company invests in CDFI lenders for fixed yields and offers attractive returns (as compared to a saving account) to its investors. Co-founders Catherine Berman and Yuliya Tarasava launched CNote in 2015 with the aim solving the pain points that individual investors have, and to better serve the community.

Berman is a serial entrepreneur. CNote is her third venture. Her previous startup, Global Brigades, is the largest student development firm in the world. She was also a managing director at Charles Schwab and has experience at marque names like Deloitte.

Yuliya has over a decade of Wall Street experience, and in creating financial products. At Charles Schwab, she oversaw a $30 trillion wealth transfer from baby boomers to the next generation, and saw that financial and saving products have not evolved to serve today’s market. This is what led to her to design CNote.

CNote started as a bootstrapped company and recently raised $60,000 from Pipeline Angels. The company is also in discussions with investors for a future round.

CNote’s Business Model

CNote positions itself as an alternative savings product. It shipped out the first product in 2016 with the aim to reinvent boring financial savings products. It interviewed over 200 persons in its target market to get the right product market fit. They opened to the mass market by getting SEC qualification in 2017. This allowed retail investors to trust the company with its savings products and ensures that all compliance is met to the most stringent level. The company charges no fees but pockets any difference above returns starting at 2.5%.

The savings alternative offered by the company is different from that offered by traditional institutions and banks. Cash locked in traditional savings accounts offer a nominal interest, normally at a rate below 1%. This is not enough to even keep up with inflation. On the other hand, CNote’s savings offer draws interest at an estimated 2.5% (compounded) without the need to incur any upfront cost or minimum account balance. The user-friendly website provides an easy online access for investors helping them to register in just three minutes.

The revenue model and operating cycle of CNote is just like that of a financial lender or a bank. They charge interest for lending out money to community lenders and providing a return in the form of interest to individual investors.

The company’s platform has over $12 million already committed. In addition to earning a competitive return, CNote tracks the usage of funds lent to the community lenders so that it can measure the impact on society at large. According to Berman, the company has helped in creating over 1,000 jobs in the United States.

CNote’s platform attracts both retail and institutional investors. Women under the age of 45 are its typical individual investor whereas institutional customers include wealth management platforms and wealth managers. Investors consider CNotes a cash alternative, impact investment, and/or a competitive fixed income instrument.

The CDFI Opportunity

CDFIs are not new to the market and have a history of over 20 years. They are well established and certified by the US Treasury. Though CDFIs are not federally insured, the last recession saw CDFIs outperforming FDICs (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Still, 99% of Americans have never heard of them.

There are multiple reasons for this lack of awareness. Absence of standardized due diligence techniques for accessing the financial position of lenders is a hurdle faced by many CDFIs. Investors also find it difficult to compare the financial products offered by different institutions. Most of the products offered by these institutions are not geared for non-accredited investors because of a high investment amount threshold.

CNote savings provides access to this high performance asset class services to ordinary Americans. CNote broke all these barriers by introducing scalable products, which are designed specifically according to the needs of individual investors.

Future Offerings

CNote has identified a gap in the $100 billion impact investment industry by offering a product that is suitable for retail investors looking to earn positive fixed returns. The upside is that the investment is also doing social good by investing in backward communities, minority and women entrepreneurs, and other underserved markets. The company has no visible peer in the industry that is leveraging CDFIs as a retail investment opportunity. With strategic funding, the company can quickly capture major market share in this multi-billion dollar industry.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Monday June 18 2018, Daily News Digest

funding circle

News Comments Today’s main news: Opendoor secures $325M in financing. RateSetter IFISA tops 100M GBP. China Rapid Finance’s earnings call slides. Alior Bank, solarisBank, Raisin, Mastercard partner on European digital bank. Harmoney to lend through its own platform. Amazon launches lending platform in India. Today’s main analysis: Rising interest rates and inflation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Is P2P lending dying? The economic […]

funding circle

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Opendoor now has $ 325 million more. SoftBank could come next. (Recode) Rated: AAA

Opendoor has already taken out $1.5 billion in loans for home buying. And the company now says it has accepted another $325 million in new financing that values it at more than $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Opendoor will expand to 50 cities with the $325 million round. But SoftBank, with its huge $100 billion checkbook, could help Opendoor expand to even more as soon as later this year. The Japanese investor typically invests hundreds of millions of dollars into private companies, and that sort of check would be expected here, though some of the money tends to buy out existing investors.

Rising Rates and Inflation (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Fed raised interest rates for the 2nd time in 2018 and the target Federal Funds Rate now stands at 1.75% – 2%. The committee indicated that it would raise rates twice more in 2018, a departure from the previous stance of 3 rate hikes in 2018.

The Fed summarizes member views using the “dot-plot”. The dot plot consolidates every committee member’s estimates of rates at the end of 2018, 2019, 2020 and the for long-term. The green line shows the median estimate indicating that most Fed members expect rates to be between 2.25% – 2.5% at the end of 2018, and between 3% – 3.25% at the end of 2019.

Source: Federal Reserve, Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Forward Rates – Where do we go from here?

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Braviant Holdings Announces $ 50 Million Credit Facility with Keystone National Group (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Braviant Holdings, a provider of tech-enabled credit solutions for underserved Americans, has entered into a $50 million senior secured credit facility with institutional investment firm Keystone National Group.

The Keystone debt facility allows Braviant to expand its newly launched near prime lending platform, Chorus Credit. Chorus is Braviant’s latest offering in support of the company’s mission to promote financial inclusion for 51 million adults considered underbanked by the FDIC. While the FDIC estimates that these adults make up 19.9% of U.S. households, data from the Fair Isaac Corporation, better known as FICO, suggests that 43% of U.S. consumers have below 700 credit scores. In the traditional banking sector, a lower than average FICO score severely limits access to credit for almost half of the nation’s population. Chorus aims to close the credit gap for middle America by offering $2,500 to $10,000 personal loans that are repaid in small, affordable installments.

Is P2PLending Dying? (P2P Lending Expert) Rated: AAA

Seriously. I’m asking. Is p2plending dying? Returns have sucked the last couple of years for all investors, but especially us retail investors since the 2015 and 2016 vintages have performed so poorly. My own returns are 400-500 basis points lower than my returns on my 2013 and 2014 vintage loans were and I know some colleagues and friends who have lost money on these investments.

But can the industry survive?

Source: P2P Lending Expert

How Will the Fed’s Interest Rate Hike Impact the Average Joe? (Dough Roller) Rated: A

On Wednesday, The Federal Reserve decided it was going to increase the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, from 1.75% to 2%. This is the second rate increase already this year. In March, new chairman Jerome Powell and the Fed increased the federal funds rate from 1.5% to 1.75%. The Fed also indicated that they’d be targeting two more increases this year alone.

As I said before, when the Fed increases rates, it usually means something is going well for the economy. And all signs are pointing to that being the case. Unemployment is currently at 3.8%. In the last 50 years, unemployment has only been this low two times. That’s significant, and it means that more people are finding jobs. It may also signify a strengthening job market for you. The Fed projects unemployment will drop to 3.6 percent by the end of the year, too.

Zelle is on track to be more popular than Venmo in 2018 (Business Insider) Rated: A

Zelle is a year-old service that lets you instantly transfer money to someone else, much like Venmo or Square Cash.

But Zelle differs from either service in a major way: because it was built by seven of the largest US banks, it’s often able to integrate more seamlessly with your bank’s mobile app. While other services make you wait a few days for the money you received from friends to show up in your bank account, Zelle can transfer the money almost instantly.

For those reasons, analysts at eMarketer expect Zelle to “leapfrog” other payments services before the end of the year.

Credit Union SMB Loan Approvals Hit Record Lows (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The latest data from the monthly Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index suggests a slump in small business lending among U.S. credit unions.

press release issued on Wednesday (June 13) detailed the May Index’s latest findings, which found that large banks with more than $10 billion in assets are approving of nearly 30 percent of small business loan applications, a two-tenths of a percent increase from April levels. That figure is also a new high for post-recession big bank lending to small businesses.

Digital-only banks grapple with integrating ‘human’ interaction into their products (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Digital-only banks cater to younger customers who don’t want to talk to bankers at brick-and-mortar branches — or bother visiting a branch at all. Or so they think.

Recent customer surveys indicate otherwise, according to research findings released this month from Celent, commissioned by Samsung. It revealed that customers want some kind of human interaction for complex issues. The study found that about half of U.S. banking customers aged 18 to 44 said they banked digitally, but prefer to resolve some matters in-person. Overall, most customers surveyed preferred dealing with humans on matters like setting up financial goals or getting investment advice. To respond to fraud, a lost or stolen card, or identity theft, a majority of those surveyed across age categories preferred to phone the contact center or address it in a physical branch.

Source: Tearsheet

Real Estate Finance Is Changing, Thanks to ‘Fintech’ Startups (The Bridge) Rated: A

If your student loan debt is larger than your salary, investing in real estate might sound like a joke. But it’s doable, said Dave Conroy of the startup Meridio, a website in beta testing that lets users invest amounts of money that you might have in your wallet right now–even $20–into specific properties. Using blockchain technology keeps each transaction cost low, said Conroy, whose company is an offshoot of Bushwick-based ConsenSys, which is building myriad applications based on the Ethereum platform.

For investors, the service would reduce transactions costs and make a real-estate portfolio more liquid. For owners, it would unlock more capital and streamline transactions. While Meridio won’t provide market intelligence about properties to invest in, prospective investors can call on their own experience, says Conroy, who previously worked for the National Association of Realtors.

Why digital banking and robo advice are pairing up (Financial Planning) Rated: A

Banks and digital wealth startups are headed toward the same goal from different starting points.

Each side is increasingly seeking to package automated investment advice with checking because customers are expressing an interest in getting both services from one provider.

Fifth Third Bancorp’s securities unit teamed up with Fidelity recently to offer automated advice, while the microinvesting app Acorns rolled out a debit card called Spend and opened up 50,000 checking accounts in two days.

Wells Fargo simplifies payments pricing to compete with Square (Payments Source) Rated: A

Wells Fargo will simplify the prices it charges small businesses to accept credit and debit card transactions as the bank responds to pressure from startups such as Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc.

The changes, which are tailored for small businesses that process $100,000 a year or less, eliminate many of the complicated pricing policies that varied from client to client, according to Danny Peltz, who leads treasury management and merchant services at the company. Business customers will also be able to apply online for payment processing capabilities with Wells Fargo, Peltz said.

New Technologies and New Customer Experiences Drive Banking Today (Lend Academy) Rated: A

American Banker’s Penny Crosman sat with Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Bank of America to discuss the bank’s use of AI.  She described how the bank has inventors all over the world in their distributed innovation model.

Peer to Peer Micro-Credit Site Puddle Shuts Down (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Puddle, an online lender that provided micro-credit in a peer to peer platform, is shutting down.

In an email circulated by the company, Puddle founders stated that after five years of operation the businesses model was “unsustainable.”

RealtyMogul, Comunidad Realty Partners Sell Dallas Area Investment Property (Herald Courier) Rated: B

RealtyMogul, a pioneer in providing private real estate to discerning investors, announced that it has sold an investment property in partnership with Comunidad Realty Partners at greater than 1.5 times its purchase price.

The property, Lodge at Main, a 208-unit multifamily apartment complex in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area was acquired in 2015.

California may force online business lenders to disclose rates (American Banker) Rated: AAA

A bill pending in California aims to tame the disorderly, confusing and largely unregulated world of online small-business lending by mandating that borrowers receive standard price disclosures.

The bill, which passed the Senate without a vote to spare and has failed to garner much support from either the online lending industry or its critics, still faces a tough fight in the state Assembly. But if the measure does get enacted in California, it could serve as a blueprint for other states.

The legislation tackles the question of whether commercial lenders should be required to disclose the price of financing in a way that enables borrowers to compare multiple offers. Just as nettlesome is the question of how any such comparison metric should be calculated.

Source: American Banker

The bill would apply to small businesses that borrow $500,000 or less.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Reports IFISA Tops £100 Million in Record Time (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter is reporting that subscriptions to its IFISA have surpassed £100 million. This milestone took four months to reach and, according to RateSetter, faster than any other P2P lender. To date, RateSetter has originated over £2.5 billion in online loans to both businesses and individuals.  RateSetter states that more than 10,000 IFISA accounts have now been opened.  The average annual return received by investors stands at 4.4% with more than £100 million in interest having been paid.

Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter to raise £30m as London float looms (City A.M.) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending business Ratesetter is working on a £30m fundraising which is expected to be a prelude to a London float.

According to Sky News Ra

tesetter is working with investment bank Lazard and broker Peel Hunt to raise £30m from investors.

The funding round would value Ratesetter at about £280m.

The fundraising is expected to be a precursor to a stock market flotation which could take place as early as next year.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF LENDING THROUGH FUNDING CIRCLE (Funding Circle) Rated: AAA

In the UK, where Funding Circle has been established the longest, the platform is now competing directly with banks in the small business lending market – with net lending through the platform exceeding that of the entire UK banking system for two successive quarters at the end of 2017. A survey of Funding Circle’s customers undertaken for the study suggests 89 percent of the platform’s UK small business customers would approach
Funding Circle first again in future, rather than going to a bank.

Source: Funding Circle

Read the full report here.

Funding Circle CEO on the Fintech Frenzy in Europe (Yahoo Finance) Rated: A

How the big three shaped P2P (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ALTHOUGH we still tend to think of peer-to-peer lending as a young sector, it is now 13 years since Zopa became the first lender in the market. It was joined five years later by Funding Circle and RateSetter and since then the big three have dominated the P2P market.

Here are some of the key moments in their journeys.

London Block Exchange To Strike Deal With UK Bank (Crypto Daily) Rated: A

London Block Exchange, a UK based crypto provider is alleged to be pairing up with a new UK based bank, ClearBank.

If this news is indeed true, this will mark the first time a lender has struck a deal with a cryptocurrency-based entity.

The UK proves its tech chops, Google’s massive diversity gap and Brexit cause business tensions (Elite Business) Rated: A

Out of Europe’s 34 unicorns, the UK has produced 13. These have a combined value of $23bn, equal to 38% of the European total. This puts the UK ahead of Germany  and France, which have six and three scaleups valued over $1bn respectively. Given the nation has already spawned success stories like Deliveroo and Funding Circle, it’s hardly surprising that VC investment is also booming in the UK. Last year British startups raised $7.9bn compared to Germany’s $3.2bn and France‘s $2.8bn.

Brexit has made UK SMEs worry about talent

Having polled companies in 11 countries, researchers revealed that UK entrepreneurs were much less confident about the conscious uncoupling than those in the EU. Overall, 57% of respondents felt that their biggest challenge was that they had too little time and that they were doing everything themselves. This was double the 24% who thought hiring the right people were their biggest worry.

Alternative finance funds see mixed success (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

Over the past year, P2P Global Investments (P2PGI), VPC Specialty Lending Investments and Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) have moved away from pure P2P to boost returns and narrow their discounts, while the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) has remained true to its roots, all with varying outcomes.

The FCIF investment trust solely backs loans originated via the Funding Circle platform and saw its net asset value (NAV) return 6.9 per cent last year, while trading on a healthy premium.

In comparison, RDL – which has recently announced its intention to close – returned 5.4 per cent, VPC – which has shifted from P2P towards balance sheet lenders – saw its NAV total return grow by 3.07 per cent, while P2PGI – which last year merged its manager MW Eaglewood with Pollen Street Capital and is focusing more on asset-backed alternative lenders – reported a NAV return of 3.03 per cent during 2017. RDL and P2PGI are both trading at double-digit discounts to NAV.

Updated Crowd2Fund app includes IFISA management tools (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER-TO-PEER platform Crowd2Fund has relaunched its app to include Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) management features via their smartphones.

Digital Challenger Redwood Bank Raises £9.8 Million (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Redwood is targeting the SME market. Products include mortgages for business owners and professional landlords, as well as a range of savings accounts. Redwood seeks to offer British businesses fast, simple, transparent loans and savings accounts, coupled with superlative service. They also promise that money is being invested back into British business and into the communities they are a part of. Warrington Borough Council has a 33% stake in the firm that was pegged at £30 million.

BIS wants tighter rules for funds offering credit, fintech (Reuters) Rated: A

Regulations introduced after the financial crisis a decade ago to smooth out banking booms and busts should be extended to funds that provide credit, or shadow banks, and fintech firms, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said on Sunday.

The introduction of “macroprudential” policy requiring banks to build up separate “countercyclical” buffers of capital if credit markets become frothy was a core crisis-era innovation.

The buffers can be released if loans begin turning sour and maintain resilience of the financial system to shocks – a departure from the traditional “microprudential” focus on the stability of individual banks.

China

China Rapid Finance 2018 Q1 – Results – Earnings Call Slides (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Source: Seeking Alpha
Source: Seeking Alpha

Chinese P2P giant Lufax dodges valuation bullet (Nasdaq) Rated: A

Lufax is wisely trying to grow up in private. The Chinese financial technology giant, which focuses on peer-to-peer lending and wealth management, plans to raise more than $1 billion at a $40 billion valuation ahead of a delayed Hong Kong flotation, says Reuters. That makes sense. Listing now could upset Beijing, and might only be achievable at a discounted price. Abundant venture capital allows the Ping An-backed startup to keep growing without a distracting market debut.

European Union

Alior Bank, solarisBank, Raisin and Mastercard to unveil European digital bank (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

Poland’s Alior Bank has teamed with solarisBankRaisin and Mastercard to unleash a pan-European digital bank.

The new offering, which is planned to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2018, will be built on the “strengths of all partners”.

Alior Bank will deliver multicurrency accounts with international transfers and deposits.

solarisBank will add the banking infrastructure with its technological, compliance and regulatory framework.

Raisin through its network of partner banks, is adding various savings and investment possibilities to the offering.

N26 launches a revised metal card (Tech Crunch) Rated: A

Fintech startup N26 is updating its N26  Metal product and launching it tomorrow. You might remember that the company first announced its premium card at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in December 2017. Shortly after the conference, the card was available in early access for existing N26 Black customers.

But the company had to go back to the drawing board and update the card design. N26 Metal customers had some complaints about the design of the card in particular.

International

Fintechs are staring down the future of banking (Financial Post) Rated: A

For instance, U.S.-based Lending Club, which has been around since 2007 and which is public, has arranged US$35 billion in consumer loans for its two million borrowers. The average loan — and it originates about US$2.4 billion a quarter — is about US$14,000.

Those themes were on full display this week in Toronto at an event organized by the KiWi Private Credit Fund, which raises capital from investors and purchases unsecured consumer loans and secured small business loans originated by established U.S.-based lending marketplaces.

“But they are not good at pricing a 9 per cent or 12 per cent risk,” he added, all of which allows entities such as his, to meet that need. It has US$27 million in assets; an average loan of almost US$14,000 and targets a return in the six- to eight-per-cent range.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney is to begin lending money through its own online platform (Interest) Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending facilitator Harmoney Corp is making a number of tweaks to its operation, which will include the ability to lend its own money through its own platform.

The company has also renamed its ‘platform fee’ – recently the subject of Commerce Commission court action – as an ‘establishment fee’ and dropped the fee by $50 to $450. The company has also tweaked some of its interest rates higher (see below tables).

Harmoney will now be operating two different markets within its platform; the existing P2P facility and a new ‘wholesale market’ operated through a new subsidiary Harmoney Nominee.

Australian regulator sues Westpac for staffer’s poor financial advice (Reuters) Rated: A

An Australian regulator filed a lawsuit against No. 2 lender Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) over a financial planner it alleges gave poor advice for years, upping its scrutiny of a sector already under fire amid an embarrassing public inquiry.

Australia’s A$5 billion ($3.7 billion) financial planning sector has provided some of the most damning evidence at an inquiry into finance sector misconduct, ordered by the government after a string of banking scandals including fraud.

P2P lender cuts rates (Good Returns) Rated: A

Peer to peer lender Lending Crowd has cut its borrower interest rates for all new business and personal loan applications including vehicle purchases and debt consolidations.

A1 grade personal borrowers will have a market leading rate of 6.89% pa and SME businesses will have rates available from 7.98%. Interest rates across all loan grades will range from a low of 6.89%
to a high of 18.96% (previously 7.90% to 19.75%).

Parents giving $ 10k towards kid’s first car (Finder) Rated: A

Survey shows 60% of parents are giving kids $10,594 to buy their first car.

According to research conducted by RateSetter, parents are stumping up $10k to get their child their first set of wheels.

RateSetter found that among parents who bought their child a car, 15% chose a new model, 71% opted for a used one and 14% donated their own vehicle. The majority of families could afford a car under $10,000, while 26% spent between $10,000 and $20,000. A lucky 12% of kids were gifted over $20,000 towards their ride. Parents in Victoria spend the most on their child, up to $13,386. In NSW, the average outlay was $10,404.

India

P2P lending companies change tack in bid to become NBFCs (Business Standard) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies are changing their business model as they migrate to becoming (NBFCs).

RBI had created a special category called NBFC-P2P, in view of the proliferation of entities. While mandating Rs 20 million as minimum net worth, RBI had also imposed a Rs 1-mn cap for individual lending on such platforms.

So far, a couple of these entities have got an NBFC licence from RBI. Faircent says it got the licence about 20 days earlier.

Amazon launches lending platform for sellers (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

Amazon India has launched a platform for lenders and sellers wherein sellers can choose from competitive rates and loan offers. It will also open its APIs to lenders to plug in and lend to the sellers as part of the new programme, called the seller lending network.

India will be the first geography for Amazon where it has launched such a seller platform.

Fiscal 2015 World Bank Lending Report highlights India as one of the biggest Loan Beneficiary (Digital Journal) Rated: AAA

Fintechs offer loans to individuals with low credit scores as well. For instance, in the case of Qbera, individuals with a minimum credit score of 600 can qualify for personal finance. This is not quite so in the case of private banks – individuals need to have a minimum credit score of 750 to be eligible.

Aye Finance Secures $ 21.5M in Series C Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

Aye Finance, a Gurgaon, India-based provider of financial services to micro and small businesses, secured $21.5m in Series C funding.

Backers included CapitalG, SAIF Partners and LFT.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate business growth.

P2P lending: Can India replicate the UK experience to achieve Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas? (Economic Times) Rated: A

India is still struggling with a huge credit gap that is holding back the economy. Getting a bank loan is an extremely cumbersome and long-drawn process for salaried individuals and small businesses, alike. According to a study conducted jointly by ASSOCHAM and EY, around 19% of India’s population remains unserved by the traditional banking sector.

Several million MSMEs that lack a tangible financial record are thus not eligible for credit from legacy financial institutions who still use traditional credit and financial data to evaluate eligibility. For the Indian economy to achieve the next level of growth, the current gap of nearly $200 billion in credit supply to MSMEs and significant under-banked population of India needs to be addressed immediately.

Asia

FSC reins in P2P firms (Korea Joongang Daily) Rated: AAA

In Korea, P2P firms, which directly connect borrowers with investors through online platforms, are not under the direct supervision or management of financial authorities. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) only indirectly supervises them by requiring registration of P2P firms’ lending subsidiaries, which most P2P firms use to carry out the process of lending money to borrowers.

But this safeguard also has many loopholes. TheHighOneFunding, for example, had uploaded the name of a different person as CEO when it registered its lending subsidiary with government regulators.

With more investors attracted to the idea of making easy money through high interest rates on P2P lending, the cumulative amount of loans on such platforms has dramatically increased, from 37.3 billion won in late 2015 to 3.50 trillion won as of May.

MENA

Where’s the money, honey? (Gulf News) Rated: AAA

According to the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, nearly 50 to 70 per cent of loan applications made by SMEs in the UAE are declined by traditional banks, while loans to SMEs account for around four to five per cent of the outstanding bank credit in the UAE.

Enter peer-to-peer lending.

Over the years, such platforms have become big business: In 2016, the size of the peer-to-peer lending market in the US, UK, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand was estimated to be more than $72 billion, according to AltFi. In China, loan originations in 2015 were estimated at $101 billion.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday May 25 2018, Daily News Digest

The likelihood that business would choose fintech over banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper qualifies borrowers up to $40K. GreenSky completes largest fintech IPO of the year. RateSetter hits $2.5B in lending. Lebashe increases RainFin stakes to 75%. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s quarterly MPL results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Alternative loan customers may perform well on traditional credit products. Banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders. How Ashton Kutcher […]

The likelihood that business would choose fintech over banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

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News Summary

United States

Prosper Introduces Loans Up To $ 40,000 For Borrowers (Prosper Blog) Rated: AAA

Today we’re pleased to announce that Prosper now offers qualified borrowers access to loans up to $40,000.

GreenSky Completes Largest Fintech IPO of the Year (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

There is a lot that sets GreenSky apart from many of the fintech companies that exist today. The biggest differentiator is that the company is profitable and runs a high margin business. In fact, the company has been profitable for the last five years. They reported $139 million in net income on revenues of $326 million last year. They also have a highly differentiated, boots on the ground model to originating loans, empowering contractors to offer financing to homeowners at the point of sale. They also partner with other types of merchants to offer financing. GreenSky only holds a small portion of loans on their own balance sheet with most loans being funded through around 15 bank partners.

Segment of Population Using Alternative Loans May Perform Well on Traditional Credit Products (Globe Newswire) Rated: AAA

Two-thirds of consumers active in the alternative loan market fall in the subprime risk category, the riskiest of all credit tiers. Yet, a new TransUnion (NYSE:TRUstudy found that many of these consumers perform well when opening traditional credit products such as credit cards, auto and personal loans.

TransUnion studied over five million consumers who originated a traditional credit product between Q2 2015 and Q1 2016 and measured their performance 12 months after originating the loan. Of the over five million consumers, approximately 450,000 (or 8%) were present in TransUnion’s alternative lending database. TransUnion then compared the performance of the alternative loan population to those consumers who were not seeking or did not possess an alternative loan product.

The study corroborated that many alternative loan borrowers do present greater risks on traditional loans. However, there is a material subset of this population that would present reasonable risks on an auto loan or credit card, among other traditional products.

For instance, in the near prime risk tier (consumers with a VantageScore 3.0 credit score of 601-660):

  • Approximately 14% of those borrowers who possessed only one short-term loan went 90 or more days past due on a traditional account 12 months later.
  • The delinquency level declined to less than 12% when a consumer possessed two alternative loans.
  • The delinquency figure dropped even further to around 9% when a consumer had eight or more alternative loans over the course of seven years.

Near Prime Consumers with Strong Alternative Loan Payment History Perform Better on Traditional Loans

Number of
Satisfactory
Alternative
Loan
Accounts
0 1 2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 11+
Ever 90+
Days Past
Due in 12
Months on
Traditional
Loans
18 % 11 % 11 % 11 % 10 % 9 % 8 % 8 %

Comparing Origination Activity of Alternative Loan Borrowers to the Rest of the Population

Approximately 26% of alternative loan borrowers who originated a traditional loan product in the study opened an auto loan and 50% took out either a personal loan or auto loan. This latter statistic compares favorably to the 37% origination rate for the rest of the population in the study.

From a supply perspective, traditional finance companies are providing by far the most loans to alternative lending consumers, with a market share of 59%. However, credit unions (9%) and FinTechs (3%) supply about 12% of such loans to this credit population.

Five Banks and Credit Unions Rocking The Small Business Market (The Financial Brand) Rated: AAA

FIS found that more than one-quarter (27%) of small businesses in the U.S. are using alternative lenders like these. Among Millennial business owners, that percentage is double (48%). And yet only 7% say they are using these platforms for lower interest rates; in most cases, banks and credit unions offer better rates. FIS also found that small businesses have been turning to non-bank financial apps to make B2B payments.

In research conducted by ath Power Consulting, two-thirds of small business owners said they would consider switching to a competing banking provider if it offered products and services to help them better manage and grow their business, and over half (54%) would consider switching to a non-bank alternative for the same reasons.

Source: The Financial Times

Digital Federal Credit Union and offers a service to small businesses to raise capital and give its members an opportunity to invest in community business. The credit union has partnered with GrowthFountain, a funding portal of crowdfunding solutions. Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union has also done the same thing.

San Francisco startup Seed is a free mobile-only banking service for small businesses, who can get a checking account and a debit card through Seed’s partnership with The Bancorp and have access to bill payment, mobile check deposit and ACH and wire transfers. Seed is sort of like Mint and QuickBooks except that Seed directly partners with a FDIC-insured bank (like how Simple started out). There’s not a physical checkbook in sight.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q1 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

My preliminary return of 4.70% is close to where it was last quarter but still down. I don’t expect my final Lend Academy P2P Fund return to increase this number so I am still stuck in the downward trend of returns.

My six original accounts at Lending Club and Prosper have all been open for at least six years so they are very mature accounts that have experienced several turns of capital as I have kept reinvesting over the years. The returns for the past year are still bad at 2.34% as I continue to pay for poor underwriting performance in 2015 and 2016 at both companies. When you see today that you can get 3% on a 10-year Treasury Note a sub 3% return is just not acceptable for an unsecured consumer loan.

Source: Lend Academy

SoFi finds new downtown San Francisco office a talent magnet as it expands services (San Francisco Business Times) Rated: A

San Francisco-based SoFi said a downtown San Francisco office it picked up this year through an acquisition is paying an unexpected dividend: greater interest from engineers that the fintech wants to hire.

SoFi has 44 engineers at the company’s downtown San Francisco office at 222 Sutter St, consisting of almost 15,000 square feet on one floor. Another 40 or so employees float between SoFi’s downtown office and Presidio headquarters.

How [and why] I invest in startups (TechCrunch) Rated: AAA

A lot of venture funds try to optimize for returns. They run complex ratio economic models to determine what their diluted value will be at the end of the life cycle of the optimal and non-optimal case of every given company.

What I look for in founders

I don’t have a magic formula, but there are four important factors that must all check out for me to invest in a founder.

  1. Domain Expertise
  2. Grit
  3. Purpose
  4. Charisma

Amazon’s Finance Ambitions Are Drawing Attention From the Fed (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles, the U.S.’s most influential banking watchdog, is monitoring the potential for disruption to the industry and has expressed concern about how tech companies could provide financial services outside of regulators’ oversight, according to people who’ve spoken with him privately. Quarles hasn’t yet made any moves to intervene and the Fed’s influence would be limited.
Should the Fed get involved in the debate, it could be welcome news for traditional banks, who view Amazon and other technology companies as potential threats that enjoy fewer regulatory constraints. The companies are increasingly encroaching on lenders’ business, as evidenced by Amazon’s recent interest in offering a product akin to checking accounts.

Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book Team with LendingTree to Empower Shoppers with Auto Lending Options (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Securing vehicle financing in advance can save car buyers both time and money on their car-shopping journey. With this in mind, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, both Cox Automotive companies, have teamed with LendingTree. LendingTree’s auto finance marketplace provides each site’s visitors simple and easy online financing that can be used for new and used cars and trucks, anywhere in the United States.

Plenty of payday loan customers have good credit: TransUnion (American Banker) Rated: A

When Liz Pagel and Matt Komos began analyzing a slew of alternative credit data gathered by FactorTrust, an alternative credit bureau TransUnion acquired last year, they sought to understand the behavior of consumers who use payday loans, pawnshop loans, auto title loans, rent-to-own arrangements and “buy here, pay here” credit.

But 12% turned out to be prime and super prime. Only 3% were unscored.

The researchers then looked at what other credit these short-term borrowers have and found 75% have traditional credit, too.

Developers could make bank from Dodd-Frank rollback (The Real Deal) Rated: B

New legislation passed by the House of Representatives would relax restrictions on thousands of smaller lenders, potentially opening up the spigot for developers seeking commercial loans. The bill, which is awaiting President Trump’s signature, would remove provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that many community and regional banks had deemed too costly and unfairly burdensome.

14 Chicago tech companies made Inc.’s 2018 Best Workplaces list (Built In Chicago) Rated: B

OppLoans is an online lender that uses a data-driven credit-scoring algorithm to provide loans to consumers who can’t access credit from traditional institutions. OppLoans is one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Chicago and has been named to the Inc. 500 two years in a row.

 

 

Fundbox Named “Best Overall Business Lending Company” In 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Annual Awards Program (PR Newswire) Rated: B

 Today Fundbox,  a leader in credit and payments for small businesses serving other businesses (SMB2B), announced that it has been selected as winner of the “Best Overall Business Lending Company” award by FinTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global FinTech market today.

“We are delighted to recognize Fundbox for one of our program’s marquee awards, the Best Overall Business Lending Company award, an uber-competitive award category for our program with many compelling companies nominated,” said James Johnson, Managing Director, FinTech Breakthrough. “Fundbox stood out from the competition with its artificial intelligence-based underwriting platform. By fully automating the underwriting process with a data-driven risk model, Fundbox promises to underwrite faster, more cost-effectively and with greater accuracy than many other lenders – opening up lending possibilities for more customers. Congratulations to the entire Fundbox team for their industry recognition with our 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Award distinction.”

United Kingdom

RateSetter hits £2.5bn of lending (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer lender, which launched in 2010, said 65,000 people have RateSetter investment accounts, financing more than 460,000 borrowers.

Investors have lent more than £1.55bn to individuals and almost £950m to businesses and have earned an average annual return of 4.4 per cent.

ArchOver launches Innovative Finance ISA to UK investors (Global Banking & Finance) Rated: A

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, is helping British investors make the most of their annual tax-free allowance with the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). ArchOver’s IFISA service offers investors premium credit control and security, proven by ArchOver’s no-loss rate. It allows investors to invest directly in successful businesses, earning tax-free interest of up to 10% p.a. – far more than the average return on a cash ISA.

OakNorth: Brexit creates opportunity to reform banking regulation (AltFi News) Rated: A

OakNorth has called on the Treasury to use Brexit as an opportunity for regulatory reform in banking.

Responding to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry on SME finance, the bank said that there should be more proportionality between challenger banks and incumbents.

Mayo-based Doherty Menswear successfully raises €45,000 in peer-to-peer loans (Mayo Advertiser) Rated: B

To date, €1,012,000 has been raised through Linked Finance’s online lending platform (www.linkedfinance.com ) to facilitate business growth in Mayo, for 29 businesses.

Two more hires for ThinCats amid company growth (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER-TO-PEER lending platform ThinCats has appointed two new sales and marketing executives, as its hiring spree continues.

The alternative finance specialist has named Tony Smedley (pictured) as head of sales operations, and Richard Wilson as head of marketing, as part of a new push to “ramp up the provision of vital funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

China

China Rapid Finance Announces Preliminary First Quarter 2018 Results (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE:XRF), operator of one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, today disclosed preliminary financial results for the first quarter of 2018.

The Company expects to report a net loss in the range of $25 to $30 million, the majority of which consists of approximately $16 million of one-time expenses: 1) non-recurring expenses associated with preparing for registration; 2) write-offs related to receivables and amortizations; 3) non-cash accounting charges related to adoption of the new GAAP standard for revenue recognition (ASC 606); and 4) one-time costs associated with a pilot funding program that was discontinued due to regulatory changes.

Yirendai Reports First Quarter 2018 Financial Results (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

In the first quarter of 2018, Yirendai facilitated RMB11,956.7 million (US$1,906.2 million) of loans to 174,128 qualified individual borrowers through its online marketplace, representing a year-over-year growth of 65%; 23.1% of loan volume were generated by repeat borrowers who have successfully borrowed on Yirendai’s platform before; 72.5% of the borrowers were acquired from online channels;  100% of the loan volume originated from online channels was facilitated through mobile.

In the first quarter of 2018, Yirendai facilitated 214,231 investors with total investment amount of RMB11,427.6 million(US$1,821.8 million), 100% of which was facilitated through its online platform and 95% of which was facilitated through its mobile application.

In the first quarter of 2018, total net revenue was RMB1,592.7 million (US$253.9 million), an increase of 56% from prior year; net income was RMB278.9 million (US$44.5 million), a decrease of 21% from prior year and adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2018 was RMB668.5 million (US$106.6 million), an increase of 91% from prior year.

The fuse that could light China’s debt bomb (Financial Review) Rated: A

A financial planning manager in a major Shanghai bank branch points to a flickering computer screen displaying a list of wealth management products for customers wanting a higher yield to normal deposits.

For a deposit of 100,000 yuan ($20,600), he recommends a “low risk” product with an interest rate of 4.25 per cent over one year. Alternatively, the customer can opt for a riskier 4.75 per cent yield but there is no guarantee they will get any of their money bank. The customer is advised to act fast as yields are falling rapidly following closer government scrutiny of China’s savings products since March.

European Union

New Robo.cash P2P Lending & Millennials Research & 4M€ Milestone (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Robo.cash’s research shows that Millennials are steadily taking over the leading position from the older generation of investors. Six months ago, the average age of investors of the platform was 38 years, and the age groups were distributed as follows: Silent generation (73-90) — 0.8%; Baby boomers (54-72) — 9.5%; Generation X (38-53) — 38.6%; Millennials (22-37) — 50.3% and Generation Z (18-21) — 0.8%. Today, the typical investor has grown younger to 37 years old due to the increased share of Millennials — 53.9% and Generation Z — 1.8%.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Dublin-founded Future Finance agrees £100m debt facility (Irish Times) Rated: A

Future Finance, a Dublin-founded student loan specialist that recently secured €40 million in funding, has signed a £100 million (€114 million) debt facility.

The deal with alternative asset management firm, Waterfall Asset Management, which includes an option to participate in a further £150 million (€171 million) extension, will enable the company to grow its student lending business further.

International

What the Blockchain Means for the Future of Small Business Funding (Business.com) Rated: AAA

Business financing has always been a thorny issue for many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and is often cited as one of the reasons behind the morbid failure rates for new businesses. One report found that about 29 percent of failed businesses identified the lack of working capital as a major reason for failure, second only to the lack of market demand for their products or services.

Here are a few specific ways the blockchain can be used to bolster funding for SMBs.

1. P2P lending

The blossoming crypto market is also helping fan the flames of disruption for P2P business lending. Earlier this month, Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, XRP, announced plans to push the use of XRP into other industry segments outside of P2P payments and banking, including the P2P lending industry.

2. Using blockchain and big data to improve existing systems

Wish Finance, a blockchain-based lending platform for SMBs, is using the blockchain to help improve traditional risk scoring systems while providing a simple platform for repayments.

3. ICOs and SMB funding

But as investors become wiser and as trust becomes a permanent feature of the blockchain, there’s a growing opportunity for SMBs with solid business models to cash in.

Africa

Budding SA bank buys peer-to-peer lending firm RainFin (Business Tech) Rated: AAA

Johannesburg-based Lebashe will boost its holdings in RainFin by 24% to 75% for an undisclosed sum, the company said in an emailed statement on Thursday. RainFin, the largest peer-to-peer lender in South Africa, bought back the 49% held by Barclays’s South African unit, with Lebashe acquiring its 51% stake in February last year.

Asia

Singapore’s GIC emerges as most active Asian PE investor in Q1 (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC completed at least 11 private equity deals in the first quarter of this year, making the $344-billion fund the most active Asian PE investor during the period.

GIC joined other investors in sealing two of the biggest investments of the quarter, according to a PitchBook report. It participated in the $5.5-billion buyout of Denmark’s Nets A/S by partnering with private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, and in the $2.5-billion investment in FirstEnergy in January.

Canada

IOU Financial Inc. Releases Financial Results for the Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2018 (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV:IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), announced today its results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2018.

  • Net earnings on an IFRS basis and adjusted net earnings amounted to $0.8 million in Q1 2018, the second consecutive quarter with positive earnings for the Company.
  • Loan originations increased 11.2% to $24.5 million compared to the same period in 2017.
  • Provision for loan losses decreased 50.6% to $0.9 million in Q1 2018 driven by measures taken to reduce defaults.
  • Opex decreased 23.1% to $1.9 million for the first quarter of 2018

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday May 4 2018, Daily News Digest

Square Q1 2018 results

News Comments Today’s main news: Law firm files class action against Lending Club. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2018-2. Funding Circle’s securitization priced at tighter spread than expected. Klarna intros new consumer app. Today’s main analysis: Square’s Q1 2018 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: More light shed on Lending Club’s hidden fees. Fintech funding at $127B. Financial inclusion […]

Square Q1 2018 results

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

New Securities Fraud Class Action Against Lending Club (LC) Has Been Filed (Markets Insider) Rated: AAA

Block & Leviton LLP (www.blockesq.com), a securities litigation firm representing investors nationwide, announces that a new class action lawsuit has been filed against Lending Club Corp. (“Lending Club” or the “Company”) (NYSE: LC) and certain of its officers and directors alleging violations of the federal and securities laws. Class members interested in serving as lead plaintiff are reminded of the July 2, 2018 lead plaintiff deadline.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (No. 3:18-cv-02599), alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and/or misleading statements when they stated that Lending Club customers would receive a loan with “no hidden fees.” On April 25, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a complaint alleging that Lending Club knowingly charged consumers hidden fees, contrary to their public disclosures.

The FTC Shines the Light on Hidden Fees and Hidden Disclosures: A Cautionary Tale for Advertisers (the National Law Review) Rated: AAA

Lending Club was fully aware that thousands of consumers applied for loans with no knowledge of the obscure origination fee. In fact, Lending Club received “[a]t least tens of thousands”12 of complaints directly from consumers about the hidden fees.  Indeed, Lending Club’s own training materials for customer service representatives listed “I didn’t receive the full loan amount” as one of the two most common complaints that representatives were trained to address.13 Consumers “frequently complained that they only discovered the fee after [Lending Club] disbursed their loan proceeds, when they noticed that the amounts disbursed were smaller than they were expecting.”14 Once consumers became aware of the fee, many elected to cancel their loans, often “preferring a loan from a competitor or no loan at all.”15

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2018-2 (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2018-2 (MFT 2018-2). This is a $310.1 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Marlette Funding Trust 2018-2

Class Preliminary Rating Class Principal
A AA (sf) $216,125,000
B A (sf) $45,592,000
C BBB- (sf) $48,375,000

Square Announces First Quarter 2018 Results (SquareUp) Rated: AAA

Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) has posted its financial results for the first quarter of 2018 on the Financial Information section of its Investor Relations website at square.com/investors.

From the shareholder letter:

We continue to accelerate growth at scale, expanding our ecosystem for sellers and individuals. In the first quarter of 2018, total net revenue was $669 million, up 45% year over year, and Adjusted Revenue was $307 million, up 51% year over year. This is an increase from the fourth quarter of 2017, when total net revenue and Adjusted Revenue grew 36% and 47%, respectively, year over year. Gross Payment Volume (GPV) was $17.8 billion, up 31% year over year. Net loss in the first quarter was $24 million, which is an increase of $9 million from a net loss of $15 million in the first quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA was $36 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $27 million in the first quarter of 2017. We achieved an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 12%, which reflects our reinvestment in the business to drive long-term growth.

Source: SquareUp.com

Read the full shareholder letter here.

Goldman CEO pledges caution in consumer lending (Financial Times) Rated: A

Goldman’s Marcus has scaled extraordinarily fast having provided $2.4 billion in consumer loans; some analysts have expressed concerns on the credit quality of the loans Marcus has been making; Blankfein on Wednesday noted that a poor credit environment could bring new risks but he isn’t concerned with their timing into the market; the bank has a long-term view on their consumer focused business and believes they can manage it through the ups and downs.

Trusted Key Solutions Raises $ 3M in Seed Funding (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Trusted Key Solutions Inc., a Seattle, WA-based blockchain-based secure digital identity company, raised $3m as part of a seed funding round.

The round was led by Founders Co-Op, with participation from Pithia, Inc., the venture capital company of The RChain Cooperative.

 

Private Lenders Eye Graduate Loan Market (Inside Higher Ed) Rated: A

Private lenders hold just a fraction of the outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. — about 7.7 percent as of last year. But those companies have plans to grow their student loan holdings.

The PROSPER Act, House Republicans’ opening bid to update the Higher Education Act, would raise undergraduate lending limits and add new annual limits for graduate student borrowing. Those students would have their total annual borrowing capped at $28,500 annually. Currently, graduate students can borrow up to the cost of attendance.

Graduate loans also offer a higher loan volume for private lenders. As Quinlan noted to investors, grad students make up 16 percent of the borrower market but hold 40 percent of student loan debt. So the average borrower holds more debt, they’re older, and they’re better educated, too, making it more likely that they will pay off their loan.

Promise Financial No Longer Offers Personal Loans (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

The recent end of Promise Financial personal loans leaves brides- and grooms-to-be with one less borrowing option. The company, which focused solely on financing weddings through unsecured personal loans, stopped funding new loans in January 2017, reported Bloomberg.

Group aims to form first new bank in Mass. in decade (American Banker) Rated: A

A group in Springfield, Mass., has applied to form a new bank. The group hopes to raise $25 million to $30 million in initial capital. If it opens, Green Apple would become the first new bank in Massachusetts since 2008, according to the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

The application notes that Green Apple, which aims to open by the end of this year, would focus on small-business banking, commercial real estate lending, personal banking, renewable energy, local agriculture businesses and the food security sector.

Confessions of a former trader: Incentives at banks are misaligned (Tear Sheet) Rated: A

Banks like to call themselves technology companies. And most large ones are currently focused on fighting — and winning — the war for talent against Silicon Valley.

The problem is, they have issues when it comes to incentivizing their many tech employees to create great products.

Big tech firms have a plan…do you? (CU Insights) Rated: A

Credit unions aren’t paving the way.  Nor are they pioneering the ability to serve the underbanked.  Seriously.  Many are doing great things, that’s for sure, yet the fundamental change is originating from tech firms.  And they’re not doing it alone (more on that later).

4 Facts You Need to Know About Personal Loan APRs (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

Although CreditCards.com lists the national average APR on a credit card at 16.38% as of January 2018, the rates on three-year unsecured loans are only 9.22% for credit unions and 10.09% for banks as of March 2018, according to the National Credit Union Association.

An online lender might provide an even lower personal loan APR, with FreedomPlus offering rates starting at 4.99% and SoFi at 5.37%.

Virginia sues, accusing major online lender of violating consumer protection laws (Daily Press) Rated: A

Virginia alleges one of the nation’s largest online lenders made more than $47 million of illegal, high-interest-rate loans that put Virginians on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in interest and fees.

The state is suing Net Credit, which sells personal loans for up to $10,000 and charges interest rates of as much as 155 percent, for violating the state’s consumer protection laws.

The lawsuit also alleges that Net Credit has lied to Virginians about the legality of its loan terms and that it has continued to automatically debit money from customers’ bank accounts after they’ve filed bankruptcy and won a court-ordered freeze on debt collections.

Online Lending Policy Institute (OLPI) And Benzinga Partner For The 2018 BZ Awards Gala in NYC (Benzinga) Rated: B

The Online Lending Policy Institute (OLPI) today announced that it will partner with Detroit-based financial media outlet Benzinga for the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards Gala (BZ Awards) in NYC on May 15, 2018.

United Kingdom

 

European Investment Fund and KfW back Funding Circle securitisation (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle’s latest securitisation has been priced at a tighter spread than its first with backers including the European Investment Fund (EIF) and German development bank KfW.

The £207m portfolio is issued by investment trust P2P Global Investments and has been priced at 75 basis points, compared with 220 basis points on the tranches issued in 2016.

NatWest outlines plans to grow digital lending offshoot Esme (Finextra) Rated: A

NatWest has outlined plans to scale and grow its digital lending platform Esme Loans following a successful pilot phase.

Esme Loans was developed by the bank at its innovation unit with fintech firm Ezbob as a direct response to the emergence of specialist direct and P2P lending platforms.

Overfunding: Real Estate Source Platform Infabode Secures £750,000 Funding Target on Seedrs (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Real estate source platform, Infabode, has successfully secured its initial £750,000 funding target on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs from more than 150 investors. Founded in 2013, Infabode reported that it connects its community of users with industry information from the real estate sector on one customizable online platform. Infabode’s platform has more than 450 content providers and over 17,000 members.

Financial inclusion in the rich world (The Economist) Rated: AAA

The council identifies only 36% of the population as “white British”. Dalston Junction, a now-trendy part of the borough, buzzes with a down-at-heel sort of cosmopolitanism: a Caribbean bakery; the Halal Dixy Chicken shop; the Afro World wig-and-extensions parlour; dozens of outlets for Lycamobile (“call the world for less”) and for money-transfer firms.

Competing with this last group is a branch of Oakam, a British lender set up in 2006. It advertises itself as an “alternative to doorstep lenders”, the traditional financiers for those beneath the bar set by mainstream banks. Originally aimed at recent immigrants, it extended its reach to the rest of those “lacking access to basic financial services”—a group it puts at 12m across Britain. A report published in March 2017 by a House of Lords committee estimated that 1.7m adult British residents have no bank account; 40% of the working-age population have less than £100 ($140) in cash savings; and 31% show signs of financial distress.

Profits jump 86% at City broker Numis on M&A advice boom (Financial Times) Rated: A

Revenues jumped 41 per cent in the six months ending in March to £74.1m compared with £52.4m over the same period of the prior year. Pre-tax profits rose 86 per cent to £19.5m.

Corporate broking and advisory revenues were up 76 per cent year on year to £50.9m, boosted in part by a growth in fees from M&A advisory work, a growing sector for some City brokers. However this compared with a weak comparative period, and fell 10 per cent below a record performance in the second half of last year.

Majority of savers misunderstand benefits of IFISAs (Global Banking and Finance) Rated: A

61% of UK savers acknowledge possibility of higher returns and better interest rates with IFISAs, but majority still don’t understand the service 

Over a third (36%) of UK savers would place their money in an IFISA if they had the money available.

While a large proportion acknowledge the prospect of higher returns (61%) alongside the allure of the tax-free wrapper and greater diversification, the IFISA is still a hard sell, according to research undertaken by P2P lending service ArchOver. In truth, the majority of UK savers (57%) still don’t fully understand the service.

 

European Union

Klarna escalates its war on banks with a new consumer app – and upcoming payment card (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

  • The $2,5 billion e-invoicing company is today launching its first pure consumer app, which gives users an overview of their Klarna transactions in addition to a host of other features.
  • It’s essentially a remake of Klarna’s existing app and serves as a meeting place between merchants and their end customers.
  • The app is first rolled out across the Nordics and continental Europe, with UK and US launches planned for later this year.

Zopa’s Giles Andrews named Kreditech advisory board chairman (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

ZOPA co-founder Giles Andrews OBE has been named as chairman of German alternative consumer lender Kreditech’s advisory board.

The fintech firm provides loans and credit cards for the under-banked and those with poor or little credit history and operates in Mexico, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland and Russia.

International

Fintech funding hits $ 127bn (AltFiNews) Rated: AAA

More than $127bn has been invested in fintech companies globally since 2014, with funding topping $40bn last year, according to data gathered by Fintech Global.

Last year this number declined to just over 1800 but with an increased in the average deal size to $22.4m in 2017.

Source: AltFiNews; Fintech Global

 

RCN launches Ripio engine to bring blockchain and smart contracts to loans (Venture Beat) Rated: A

Ripio Credit Network (RCN) — a global credit network based on cosigned smart contracts — has released an entirely new version of its NanoLoanEngine, the driving mechanism behind its protocol. The upgrade, which is called Basalt, includes significant improvements that will offer lenders and borrowers more flexibility. The company also claims that the new engine lowers costs.

Basalt changes how interest is applied to the network’s loans and eliminates nearly all maintenance fees associated with those transactions.

 

HOLD Platform plans on surpassing SALT as a “Crypto as a Collateral for a Cash Advance” (Tech Newsletter) Rated: A

What HOLD (HOLD) allows you to do is simple, if you don’t want to sell your crypto or you want to “HODL” but at the same time you need cash, then HOLD is the platform for you. By creating an escrow that will lock up your funds as a collateral, HOLD will then send you a credit card of that amount in fiat, which means that you can have liquidity without selling your crypto assets.

How HOLD (HOLD) can have major advantages over SALT

What you might be thinking is that SALT already provides these types of services but the major advantage of HOLD platform is the almost instant credit card that will be issued for you to use in any store making adoption of crypto as payment a closer reality. This is a very important middle step towards businesses accepting crypto as payment.

Hellas Direct and Revolut Join Forces (Coverager) Rated: B

Athens-based digital-first insurer Hellas Direct  has teamed up with banking alternative Revolut  to build “microinsurance, by-the-day products.”

Also, according to the press release, “the partnership will allow Revolut and Hellas Direct to push their offering into new markets and enable them to leapfrog some of the traditional barriers of growth and expansion by using the core competencies of each partner.

Profile Software ports core banking platform to the cloud (Finextra) Rated: B

Profile Software, an international, award-winning banking solutions provider, announced today that FMS.next, its leading Core Digital Banking platform, is now available in the cloud.

 

Australia

Major Bank Loses 12 Million Customers’ Data in the Most Embarrassing Way Possible (Gizmodo) Rated: A

BuzzFeed reports that the Commonwealth Bank lost 12 million customers’ data after magnetic tape backups containing their personal financial history from 2004 to 2014 went missing. It just lost them. They may have literally fallen off a truck. And the bank didn’t even bother telling its customers about the incident.

While said losing-of-data was only publicly revealed this week, it took place back in 2016, when the Commonwealth Bank hired a subcontractor to destroy the backup tapes while decommissioning a data center. After it didn’t get a receipt of the tapes’ destruction, the bank investigated and discovered that the tapes were nowhere to be found.

Cryptocurrency for the rest of us (PHYS.ORG) Rated: B

Enter Bamboo, a West Australian startup whose mission is to make a cryptocurrency investment platform for the rest of us.

Bamboo brings together two new ideas. One complicated (cryptocurrency) and one a bit more simple (microinvesting). As platform Raiz (previously Acorns Australia) describes on their site, microinvesting works by transferring “spare change automatically from everyday purchases into a diversified portfolio”. For example, if you were to buy a coffee for $4.80, Raiz would round the sale up to $5.00 and then invest the $0.20 for you.

India

OYE! Loans Receives $ 2.25 Mn in Funding from UK’s GAIN Credit (Indian Web 2) Rated: AAA

Noida-based OYE Fintech, which operates a consumer-focused lending platform called OYE! Loans, has raised $2.25 million (about ₹15 crore) from GAIN Credit, Inc. OYE! Loans currently serves new-to-credit and new-to-workforce consumers with simple, timely and affordable One Year EMI loans (hence the brand OYE!), with ticket-sizes ranging between 10K and 1L INR.

The company leverages alternative data to assess risk on customers who have thin or non-existent footprints on the credit bureau. The loan application to disbursal process is largely online, enabling for quick turn-around times of less than 2 business days – an attribute that has strengthened its growing reputation as a lender-of-choice within its target markets.

Bigger Gains (Business Today) Rated: A

Interest rates on bank deposits are at a decade low, and those on small savings schemes are close to a 40-year low. This has forced people to look for alternatives, one of which is peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending.

 

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 16 2018 Daily News Digest

yield curve

News Comments Today’s main news: Goldman buys Clarity Services. Zopa to receive 400M GBP valuation. Lending Works surpasses 100M GBP in online lending. ETHLend expands into fiat lending. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ’s valuation report. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Why you’re not making much on your bank account. The impact of Brexit. Adjusting to new digital demands. UK venture funding takes a breather. […]

yield curve

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

Goldman Sachs Comes to the App Store (The Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bought personal-finance app Clarity Money, acquiring a mobile storefront for its growing consumer bank.

The deal closed on Friday for Clarity Money, whose backers include Soros Capital and Citigroup Inc.’s venture-capital arm. Adam Dell—brother of Michael Dell, the personal-computer pioneer—founded Clarity Money and will join Goldman as a partner, a title rarely given to outsiders.

Strong Bank Earnings, LendIt Update, PeerIQ’s Valuation Report (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Wells Fargo’s earnings also beat analyst expectations, but the bank cautioned that these results could change due to the ongoing CFPB investigations. Consumer loans decreased $9.5 Bn QoQ – more than LendingClub or SoFi originate in a year – driven by a $3.8 Bn decline in auto loans, $1.9 Bn seasonal decline in credit card balances, and a $1.8 Bn decline in the junior lien mortgage portfolio.

 

Source: PeerIQ

PeerIQ’s Valuation Report 

Source: PeerIQ
Source: PeerIQ

Why You’re Still Not Making Much on Your Bank Account (The New York Times), Rated: AAA

After a decade of being near zero, short-term interest rates have risen sharply in recent months. Typically, these rates — three-month T-billsLiborcommercial paper — move together because they reflect the same basic economic reality.

Source: The New York Times

Slow but solid growth in the United States since the Great Recession has finally altered the balance between borrowers and lenders. Higher rates mean those with cash to spare now have the upper hand and can demand a higher price to part with it.

That’s how it’s supposed to work. But as any saver can tell you, some short-term rates have barely budged.

Adjusting to new digital demands goes beyond technology (American Banker) Rated: AAA

One of the dominant themes at the recent Oracle Industry Connect conference was that banking customers are not in a state of transition to digital anymore — they are all digital now.

But whether an institution is drawing up plans on how to respond to big tech firms entering the banking market, or engaged in an effort to overhaul legacy systems, Suber said, the guiding emotion shouldn’t be fear. Instead, he said, bankers should embrace a “golden age of fintech.”

Key’s goal is to use digital to enable self-service when appropriate, while gearing the branch towards serving customers with issues best suited for a one-on-one request.

Regions Bank Announces Partnership With Fintech Mortgage & Consumer Digital Lending Tech Platform Lender Price (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Regions Bank announced on Thursday it has invested in and formed a partnership with fintech mortgage and consumer digital lending technology platform provider, Lender Price. According to the bank, the duo will focus on streamlining Regions’ digital process and simplify interaction between banks, borrowers, and bank.

LendingTree considers moving headquarters to Pineville (WBTV Chorlotte) Rated: A

Online loan marketplace LendingTree is considering moving its headquarters from SouthPark in Charlotte to the Cone Mill site in Pineville.

The company released a statement Thursday concerning the possible move.

In the statement the company said that given its considerable growth since the 2016 purchase of two buildings in SouthPark, their headcount projections have expanded significantly, so they are evaluating alternatives, including Pineville.

Wells Fargo could face $ 1 billion penalty for auto and mortgage abuses (CNN) Rated: A

The beleaguered bank warned on Friday that it may revise its first quarter earnings results because of the fine. The bank says that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have offered to resolve their investigations for that amount.

Wells Fargo (WFC) apologized last year for charging as many as 570,000 clients for car insurance they didn’t need.

An internal review by Wells Fargo found that about 20,000 of those customers may have defaulted on their car loans and had their vehicles repossessed in part because of those unnecessary insurance costs.

DiversyFund Launches New $ 50 Million Growth Fund for Multifamily and Commercial Real Estate Deals (PR Newswire) Rated: A

DiversyFund, a crowdfunding platform that is revolutionizing real estate investing, has launched its Commercial and Multifamily Real Estate Growth Fund. Investors in this fund will own shares of a variety of real estate investments, with 80% of the fund dedicated to commercial and multifamily properties.

Projected returns are between 15% and 20% per year. The minimum investment is $5,000.

Nonprofit Credit Unions Provide Alternatives to Payday Loans (Nonprofit Quarterly) Rated: A

According to the latest factsheet by the Center For Responsible Lending, over four out of every five payday loans are taken out within the same month of the borrower’s prior loan. In other words, the impetus behind making unaffordable loans is to create demand for additional loans based on deceitful lending practices. As the market for payday lending has grown to $40 billion, the profits from these businesses are directly stripped from low-income consumers with few alternatives. While some legislative efforts have reduced the growth of this market, there are still 12 million US households that use payday loans annually, spending an average of $520 on fees to borrow $375, according to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2017.

Senate Banking Committee Probes Mulvaney’s Leadership at the CFPB (National Law Review) Rated: A

On April 12, 2018, Mick Mulvaney, the Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs regarding the Bureau’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress.  The Senate Hearing comes the day after Democrats in the House Financial Services Committee questioned Mulvaney about his leadership at the Bureau.  A copy of his written testimony is here.

  • Increased Congressional Oversight. Throughout the hearing, Mulvaney stressed his recommendations for greater oversight to hold the Bureau accountable.
  • Payday Lending. Mulvaney noted, however, that he has the discretion to reach a different conclusion about the payday lending rules than his predecessor, Richard Cordray.
  • Data Security.  While data security was an issue that spanned both sides of the aisle, Republican senators focused on the Bureau’s handling of consumer data while their Democratic colleagues focused on Mulvaney’s position on the Equifax data breach.

As to the Bureau’s handling of data, Mulvaney explained that he has instituted a data freeze and commissioned a report about the Bureau’s data collection and protection.  While the data freeze does not apply to enforcement actions, the Bureau plans “to limit data that we take possession of.  . . . instead of having them send it to us electronically, we are going to look at it.”  Mulvaney acknowledged that “everything that we keep is subject to being lost.”  When Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) asked what data had been lost, Mulvaney declined to publicly comment.

 

Some companies are turning their noses up at Softbank’s huge cash offers (CNBC) Rated: A

SoftBank’s massive Vision Fund said in 2017 that its minimum check size is $100 million. But in the financial-technology market, the number appears to be twice as big.

Executives at a half-dozen fintech companies said the Vision Fund has told them it’s looking to do deals where it can put at least $200 million to work over one or multiple investment rounds. These people asked not to be named because their talks with SoftBank are confidential.

Young Consumers Want Financial Advice (Credit Union Times) Rated: A

Analysts from LIMRA and Life Happens have reported that finding in summaries of results from a joint online survey of 2,082 US. adults

Only 7% of the boomers said they were looking for financial advisors; 41% said they already had advisors and were happy with their advisors.

But 18% of the millennials polled, and 19% of the members of Generation X, said they would like to have advisors and were searching.

Fintechs aiming AI at advisers (Investment News) Rated: B

Dream Forward deploys AI chatbots in its automated 401(k) platform, and is now beta testing a mobile-only version that can answer client questions via text message without requiring customers to log into their accounts.

Laserfiche develops automated workflows for advisers and later this year plans to go one step further with “robotic processes” that will automate even more of advisers’ manual, repetitive front- and back-office tasks.

United Kingdom

Zopa to receive GBP 400mn valuation in new fundraising plans: Sky News (Zephyre) Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Zopa is in advanced negotiations with potential investors to seek around GBP 50.00 million in funding, helping advance the company to one of the largest financial technology (fintech) businesses in the country, Sky News reported.

Citing sources close to the matter, the broadcaster observed the simple loans and smart investment firm could be valued at GBP 400.00 million as a result of the deal, expected to be led by existing shareholders Wadhawan Global Capital.

In the loop: the continuous woes of traditional retailers (Elite Business) Rated: A

Lender Zopa reportedly targets £400m valuation with new fundraising round

Zopa, the peer-to-peer lender, is planning to raise a £125m round, according to Sky News. This will push the company’s valuation to a soaring £400m and is rumoured to serve as a pre-IPO funding round.

UK VC investment dropped in Q1

Worryingly, it seems as if Brexit has left investors clutching their chequebooks tighter in the first quarter of 2018, according to KPMG Enterprise.

Former P2PFA chair joins Zopa (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: B

Zopa has appointed the former Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) chair Christine Farnish (pictured above) as chair of its P2P board.

Lending Works Surpasses £100 Million in Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Lending Works announced this week it surpassed £100 million in online lending. According to Lending Works, the milestone comes just a little over a year after the platform surpassed £50 million. The lender also reported that 20,000 customers (over 16,000 borrowers and nearly 4,000 lenders) have used its platform.

2018 Venture Capital investment in UK takes a breather after a bumper 2017 (Business East Midlands) Rated: AAA

Following a blockbuster year of over 8 billion USD invested within the UK bolstered significantly by multiple mega-rounds, – 2018 still managed to achieve a healthy start, with one $100 million round pushing the nation’s tally over 1 billion USD. The UK played host to seven of the top 10 European deals in the last quarter of 2017, but managed to scrape just one of the 10 in the first quarter of 2018. Four of the ten biggest European deals done in the first three months of 2018 were located in Germany.

What happens when fintech valuations come back down to Earth? (Financial Times) Rated: A

No tech subsector has reached stratospheric valuations as consistently as financial technology, or fintech. The heady combination of huge markets, a radical platform shift to mobile, and newly vulnerable incumbent dinosaurs (be they banks, wealth managers, or insurers) has attracted over $30bn of annual investment. After a decade of evolution, 2018 looks set to be the first year we’ll see a herd of fintech firms go public. At least ten have filed or talked about an impending listing this year, including TransferWise, Credit Karma, Adyen and Funding Circle.

 

 

‘YOU KICK IT’ AND THE ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT INDUSTRY (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

The Alternative Investment Management Association, the London-based organization representing the interests of the world’s alternative investment industry, has issued a new whitepaper about the impact of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The United Kingdom has the largest alternative assets industry in Europe, so AIMA is unsurprisingly interested in the consequences of such an exit.

Read the full report here.

Fintech recruits ahead of open banking ‘tsunami’ (Insider) Rated: A

Scottish fintech business The ID Co is on a recruitment drive ahead of an expected ‘tsunami’ with the advent of so-called open banking.

The Edinburgh-based company helps banks make lending decisions by analysing live financial data including online bank statements, cashflow and credit agency records – and was one of the first agitators for open banking.

 

 

 

Time to think outside the bank? (Love Money) Rated: A

Savers subscribed to 8.5 million Cash ISAs in the tax year ending 5 April 2017, down from 10.1 million the previous year, while the total amount saved tumbled by a third to £39.2 billion.

LendingCrowd’s original IFISA product, the Growth ISA, is designed for those who want a quick and simple way of creating a diversified portfolio of secured business loans.

By automatically reinvesting their interest and capital repayments, the Growth ISA has actually delivered an average return for investors of 8.5% – more than three times the rate of inflation – as shown in the chart below.

Source: Love Money

 

China

 

 

Technology and eCommerce Are Now Driving China’s Small Businesses’ to Success (eSeller Cafe) Rated: B

According to the recent survey, Mainland China’s small businesses are the top users of fintech application and in digital payment technologies. More than 84 percent of the survey’s respondents say that at least 10 percent of their overall revenue came via these platforms. Businesses also use fintech to access funds from crowd-sourced funding and peer-to-peer lending.

 

European Union

EU Banks Losing Profits, Lending Ability Because Of Reforms, Report Says (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The Association for Financial Markets (AFME) in Europe wants regulators to curb the development of aggressive bank regulation, according to Reuters reports on Thursday (April 12).

The bank lobby has released a study aimed at reducing regulators’ heavy hand in the financial services market that the group said has made it more difficult for banks in Europe to support the broader economy in the wake of the financial crisis.

The AFME released a report along with PwC which surveyed 13 international banks, accounting for a combined 70 percent of capital market activity around the world, reports said. Analysis found the annual cost of regulation costs $37 billion for 13 banks combined, amounting to 39 percent of total capital markets expenses in 2016.

International

ETHLend Expands to FIAT Lending, Initiating Licensing Process (Finance Magnates) Rated: AAA

ETHLend, a crypto-to-crypto lending platform, has started a process to obtain a license on lending activities in over thirty countries in the European Economic Area (EEA). ETHlend’s initiative will also include other countries as well with its helping expand its current business model (crypto-to-crypto lending) to provide financing in FIAT currencies such as EUR, USD, and GBP against cryptocurrency holdings.

 

Everything You Need To Know About What’s Coming ‘Round The Corner (PYMNTS) Rated: A

In payments and commerce, it’s an eternity. Too long, according to ZestFinance, a company that believes credit needs a machine learning upgrade. Trulioo thinks verification needs to step up so financial institutions can actually “know their customer.” Global cross-border payments between businesses need a major boost to support the trillion dollars worth of transactions they’ve have to support in five years.

Source: PYMNTS

12 Selected Finalists at the 2017 Seedstars World Prize (Tech in Africa) Rated: B

RedCapital from Chile is a crowdfunding P2P lending startup. It offers a platform through which investors get attractive returns at low risk. Furthermore, the SMEs acquire loans at favorable rates. The startup has a risk predictor that allows its investors to realize zero default.

Australia

 

Latitude Financial pledges to grow lending responsibly and profitably (Australia Financial Review) Rated: AAA

Unsecured personal lender and ASX-aspirant Latitude Financial is targeting up to $5 billion of new loans over the next few years as its chief executive Sean Morrissey insists it can grow responsibly amid heightened scrutiny on lending standards.

During a “non-deal roadshow” over the past month, Latitude has met with around 100 fund managers ahead of what is expected to be the biggest ASX initial public offering since Medibank Private in 2014. Latitude’s three shareholders, KKR & Co, Varde Partners and Deutsche Bank, have not yet made a decision on timing for the float, which could value the equity in the group at around $5 billion.

N2N Connect expanding into P2P lending (The Edge Markets) Rated: A

Maintain outperform with an unchanged target price (TP) of RM1.53: N2N announced plans to acquire a 28% interest in Australian-based OurMoneyMarket Holdings Pty Ltd (OMM) through a subscription of new shares for a cash consideration of A$2.8 million (RM8.43 million).

India

Aye Finance receives 30 cr debt funding from Swiss investor (Business Line) Rated: AAA

Online lender from micro businesses Aye Finance said that it has received Rs 30 crore debt funding from from Swiss-based impact investor, BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. The funds would help the MSME lender to further diversify its lending portfolio, reaching out to the long trail of MSMEs in India.

Fintech company Cash Suvidhakeen to enter microfinance biz (Business Line) Rated: A

Cash Suvidha, a start-up fintech company that extends business loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, is looking to foray into microfinance business.

According to Rajesh Gupta, founder, Cash Suvidha, the company is exploring the possibility of either acquiring an existing microfinance institution (MFI) or setting up a separate vertical for its MFI business in the next two-to-three years.

“Rural lending is one area which excites me the most,” Gupta told BusinessLine.

Asia

After rounding off 2017 at a remarkable high bolstered by megadeals, Asia continued to see large deals in Q1 2018. These include two US$1 billion+ megadeals which were struck outside China, with Singapore-based Grab’s Series G financing and Go-Jek in Indonesia’s Series E round.

“Singapore saw a record US$2.68 billion of VC investment in Q1 2018, despite a relatively muted level of activity. It is testament to the maturing of Singapore’s ecosystem that a business such as Grab could be built here to tackle the regional market. In addition, the top deals in Singapore also span across diverse sectors, from logistics, internet retail to biotechnology,” said Chia Tek Yew, head of Financial Services Advisory, KPMG in Singapore.

UOB, China fintech Pintec team up to offer credit services in South-east Asia (Straits Times) Rated: A

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has entered into an agreement with Beijing-based financial technology firm Pintec Technology Holdings to set up a joint venture company, Avatec.ai.

UOB will have a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture, the bank said in a regulatory filing on Monday (April 16).

Avatec will have an issued and paid-up capital of up to S$10 million and will be a subsidiary of UOB.

Alternative finance the option for millennials (Financial Standard) Rated: A

Speaking at the AltFi Australasia Summit in Sydney today, OnDeck chief executive Noah Breslow said he can see the Australian alternative finance industry working with $2 billion in new loan volumes by 2020. He expects the industry to oversee about $700 million in new loans this year.

“Compared to five years ago, 70% of small business owners perceive there are more small business lending options today than there were in 2013. It shows how mainstream this type of financing is becoming,” Breslow said.

Equifax group managing director Asia Pacific, Mike Cutter, said 54% of online lending enquiries come from Australians 35-years-old and under. And Queensland is leading the charge, he said.

Singapore Weary Of Forcing Open Banking On FinServ Market (Pymnts) Rated: A

Singapore is ready for open banking, but regulators don’t want to force it on the financial services market, according to reports in Bloomberg.

Bloomberg highlighted how Singapore’s approach differs from open banking initiatives in Europe and Japan, where regulators have imposed requirements for banks and other financial institutions to support the movement of data between their systems and those of third-party financial service providers. Such was the aim of PSD2 in Europe and Open Banking in the U.K.

Singapore fintech startup Silot raises almost US$ 3m in pre-Series A funding (Business Times) Rated: A

SINGAPORE-headquartered fintech company Silot has raised some US$2.87 million from investors Arbor Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures with the completion of its pre-series A funding.

Arbor Ventures is a global early-stage venture capital firm, while Eight Roads Ventures is the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International.

OJK to relax muscles in next fintech regulation (The Jakarta Post) Rated: B

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has adopted a more relaxed view toward the financial technology (fintech) industry, believing that rigid policies may only make them obsolete in the face of fast-growing businesses in the digital sector.The financial regulator already has a policy, called OJK Regulation (POJK) No. 77/2016, which governs peer-to-peer (P2P) lending fintech companies.

Flat loan growth positive for banks (The Edge Markets) Rated: A

After missing loan growth targets in 2017, several Malaysian banks have kept expectations more conservative this year, even as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) data indicated a moderation in the total outstanding financing growth of 4.1% in 2017 compared with 5.6% in 2016.

 

 

Almost 50 peer-to-peer lending businesses licensed with OJK (The Jakarta Post) Rated: A

OJK deputy commissioner Sukarela Batunanggar said as of April, there were 44 P2P lending businesses that had been granted operational permits by the authority. This figure, he said, was a considerable increase from just 30 P2P lending businesses in January, indicating robust growth in the industry.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday April 6, 2018 Daily News Digest

Friday April 6, 2018 Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to roll out deposit accounts, debit cards next month. PeerStreet raises $29.5M. Welendus loanbook hits 100K GBP in 3 months. Weidai plans $400M IPO. Instamojo to expand into SME lending. Today’s main analysis: Banks slow fintech investment, revert to their own digital infrastructure plans. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Credit bureaus aren’t going anywhere yet. Blockchain […]

Friday April 6, 2018 Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Plans to Start Rolling Out Deposit Accounts Next Month (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Social Finance Inc. said it will start offering deposit accounts and debit cards to some customers next month, the first major new product under Chief Executive Officer Anthony Noto.

The San Francisco-based company is looking to branch into various financial services as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ratchets up pressure on SoFi’s profitable center of personal loans. The startup unveiled a banking-like product, called SoFi Money, in January and began accepting applications to a waiting list.

Majority of Millennial Women Have Money to Invest, But Fear Holds Them Back (Markets Insider), Rated: A

The biggest driver of the investment gap between men and women isn’t knowledge or other financial obligations, but fear, according to a new study by SoFi and professional networking site Levo League (Levo).

However, while millennial women are extremely active in managing their financial status, and over 50%+ have the means to invest each month, the study found the majority of millennial women do not to invest due to fear (56%). Furthermore, the study results indicated the top two reasons why millennial women do not invest is because they don’t know where to start (25%+) and because they are paying down their debt (25%+).

Credit bureaus aren’t going anywhere. For now (American Banker), Rated: AAA

The breach of personal data on more than 143 million customers Equifax revealed in September was followed in mid-March by the news that an executive insider-traded stock before the public was notified about the breach. This week, Equifax acknowledged it had sent erroneous breach notification letters to an undisclosed number of people.

 

 

LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report – March 2018 (Lending Tree), Rated: AAA

Lenders offered personal loan borrowers less money than they did last month, while offered APRs were mixed. Rate and loan amount offers varied widely among consumers, depending on factors including, but not limited to, credit score, income, and current debt obligations.

Excellent credit (760+ score): Offered APRs to consumers with a credit score of 760+ averaged 7.42% in March.

  • The average best APR offered to all borrowers with credit scores of 760 or above was 7.42%, a decrease of 2 basis points from the prior month, and down 22 basis points from the same period one year ago.
  • At $22,644, the average loan amounts offered with the best APRs to all borrowers with a score of 760 and above was down 4.61% ($1,045) from February, but up over 17.60% ($3,986) from the same period one year ago.
  • The top 10% of offers, presented to borrowers with the best profiles within this group, had offered APRs of 4.87% on average, and loan amounts of $35,669. A borrower with this APR and loan amount would save $3,021 by consolidating debt with a 10% APR over a three-year term.

Good credit (680 – 719 score): Offered APRs to consumers with a credit score between 680 and 719 averaged 15.89% in March.

  • The average best APR for all borrowers with credit scores of 680 – 719 was 15.89%, up 20 basis points from last month and 139 basis points from a year earlier.
  • At $15,993, borrowers with scores of 680 – 719 saw the amounts offered with the best APRs decrease by 175 basis points ($279) in the last month, but increased by 242 basis points ($386) from March 2017.
  • The top 10% of offers, presented to borrowers with the best profiles within the 680 – 719 credit score range, had an average best APR of 7.00%, offered with an average loan amount of $23,822. A borrower with this APR and loan amount would save $3,250 by consolidating debt from a 15% APR over a three-year term.

The most common reasons for seeking a personal loan are credit card refinancing and debt consolidation. These two categories comprise 63% of all loan inquiries.

Source: Lending Tree
Source: Lending Tree

LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report – March 2018 (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • March’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 4.25% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, up from 4.22% in February. Refinance loan offers were up 11 bps to 4.24%. Mortgage rates vary dependent upon parameters including credit score, loan-to-value, income and property type.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were up 5 bps to 4.85%. The loan note rate hit the highest since March 2016 at 4.75% and was also up 5 bps from February. We prefer to emphasize the APR as lenders often make changes to other fees in response to changing interest rates.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.72% in March, vs 4.99% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 27 bps between these score ranges was unchanged from February and still near the widest since this data series began in April 2016. The spread represents over $14,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30 years for the average purchase loan amount of $238,593. The additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were up 6 bps to 4.83%. The credit score bracket spread remained at 24 bps, amounting to nearly $13,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $239,668.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments were little changed at $62,758.
Source: Lending Tree

PeerStreet Raises $ 29.5 Million to Further Transform Real Estate Investing (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

PeerStreet today announced the close of a Series B funding round of $29.5 million to continue driving the company’s mission of democratizing access to real estate debt.

The Series B round was led by World Innovation Lab. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Thomvest, Colchis Capital, Felicis Ventures, and others participated along with new investors Solon Mack and Navitas Capital. The raise will accelerate PeerStreet’s growth. Specifically, PeerStreet will be broadening the type of real estate loans it cultivates from its network of lenders and hiring more world-class talent.

RealtyMogul Closes $ 2.75 Million Equity Investment in Plano Multifamily Portfolio (Business Wire), Rated: A

RealtyMogul announced that it has completed an investment in a $11.9 million multifamily apartment portfolio in Plano, Texas, consisting of 156 units.

The property was acquired through a partnership with Comunidad Realty Partners, a dynamic real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily apartment communities in densely-populated Hispanic neighborhoods. Comunidad reports to have owned and managed over $600 million in multifamily assets overall, comprised of approximately 8,200 units. RealtyMogul has invested with Comunidad Realty Partners on five previous transactions.

Stripe launches a new billing tool to tap demand from online businesses (Tech Crunch), Rated: A

Stripe  has made its name by providing developers with a simpler way to start charging customers and handling transactions, but today they hope to take another step by launching a billing product for online businesses. That’ll allow them to handle subscription recurring revenue, as well as invoicing, within the Stripe platform and get everything all in the same place. The goal was to replace a previously hand-built setup, whether using analog methods for invoicing or painstakingly putting together a set of subscription tools, and make that experience as seamless as charging for products on Stripe.

While this is a tool that’s a natural fit for something like Stripe, it’s certainly one that’s created a substantial business opportunity. Last month, Zuora — an enterprise subscription services company — filed to go public amid a fresh wave of enterprise IPOs that included Dropbox and Zscaler (and also, to a certain extent, Salesforce’s big acquisition of Mulesoft). Zuora’s subscription services revenue continues to grow, showing that Stripe will certainly have competition here, but also that there’s a large market opportunity.

Enhancing the Business Value of Loan Pricing Systems (Loan Pricing Pro), Rated: AAA

Today, FinTech companies, marketplace lenders, traditional banking institutions and many other types of innovative new lending platforms are using loan pricing systems to sharpen their focus on balancing shareholder returns with customer pricing sensitivities and market demands.

The lending landscape is changing, but the need to achieve an adequate rate of return while delivering fair and accurate pricing, remains a constant.

Source: LoanPricingPro

Read the white paper in full here.

Five Ways for FinTech Lenders to Achieve ROI on a Loan Pricing System Investment (ProBank), Rated: A

There are a variety of strategies to consider ensuring attaining a reasonable return on your investment in a loan pricing system. We’ll cover each of these in the form of short case studies that we’ve taken from one or more of our existing clients’ actual experiences.

  1. Enhanced Loan Yield Quantitative analysis can be easily used to measure the effectiveness of the loan pricing system implementation on a pre-test / post-test basis. The technique used relies on the same Funds Transfer Pricing (FTP) methodology which a robust loan pricing system uses to calculate loan profitability. To illustrate this, we’ll use a recent client implementation of LoanPricingPRO at a $1 billion lender.
    Source: Probank Report
  2. Increased Collection of Loan Fees In today’s highly competitive environment with historically low rates and generally weak loan demand, loan fees are often sacrificed, or at least underutilized as a tool for increasing profitability. As a general rule, the shorter the loan term, the more powerful the impact of loan fees on loan profitability and ROE.
  3. Decline in Lost Opportunities-Lenders using LoanPricingPRO® usually have a higher batting average when measuring the number of new loan clients against the total number of requests received or applications taken.
  4. Active Portfolio Management-When implementing a loan pricing system with an interface to the organization’s core data systems, significant new reporting capabilities are attained. Lenders are able to receive reports on and track trends in loan officers’ portfolios.
  5. Improved Discipline, Accuracy & Pricing Consistency-As has been shown, it is possible for senior management teams and lenders working
    together and aided by an accurate and appropriately calibrated loan pricing system, to significantly improve the return performance and growth rate of the lending client base.

Read the full report here.

 

A Third of Americans Would Forfeit Their Voting Rights For a 10% Pay Raise, Says Study (Time), Rated: A

More than a third of Americans would give up their right to vote for a 10% annual pay raise, according to a new survey.

The peculiar findings come from a survey conducted by LendEDU, an online student loan marketplace, that polled 1,238 working Americans. In exchange for the hypothetical pay bump, about 35% of these employees said they would sacrifice their voting rights for life. In addition, just over 9% of respondents said they would give up their children’s (or future children’s) right to vote for life for the make-believe raise.

But those aren’t the only big sacrifices the respondents would make for a 10% annual salary increase. More than 12% said they would break up with their partners, and nearly 19% said they would give up their health insurance for the next five years. Forty percent would forfeit their dental care for five years for a raise, and nearly 18% would say goodbye to their Social Security benefits.

Source: Lend EDU

DepositAccounts.com Releases 2018 Top 200 Healthiest Banks and Credit Unions in America (Benzinga), Rated: A

DepositAccounts.com, a subsidiary of LendingTree, today released its list of the 2018 Top 200 Healthiest Banks and Credit Unions in America.

Source: Deposit accounts

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them — How Banks, Fintech And Tech Players Can Win Together (Forbes) Rated: A

As tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and WeChat set out on their quest to be all things to all people, eroding the boundaries between industries, banks that want to maintain and grow their market share need to rethink the rules of competition.

While a growing number of banks have acquired fintechs to avoid fading into the background (

12 Best Bank of America Personal Loan Alternatives (Student Loan Hero), Rated: A

Bank of America offers various loans — but not personal loans

Bank of America’s loans, however, are limited to two specific types:

Some online lenders with competitive interest rates on personal loans include:

LendingClub and Prosper, for example, are both in the peer-to-peer lending space. LendingClub has fixed personal loan rates ranging from 5.99% – 35.89%. You’ll need to check your rate with Prosper directly since it varies depending on your credit and borrower profile.

Marlette Funding Welcomes a New Advisor with a Focus on Innovation (LendEDU), Rated: B

Marlette Funding, LLC, recently appointed Marshall Lux as an advisor to its board of directors and company. Marlette Funding is the parent company of Best Egg, which is a lending platform that offers unsecured personal loans.

Jeffrey Meiler, chief executive officer of Marlette Funding, said Lux’s considerable experience in financial services and his expertise in the consumer market make him a good fit for the company.

FinTech Veteran Ethan Schwarzbach Joins inFactor To Head inFactorIQ Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: B

inFactor Corp, an integrated financial technology company providing liquidity solutions across the spectrum of non-bank lending, has announced today that Ethan Schwarzbach has joined the company to head up the company’s new inFactorIQ platform.

Mr. Schwarzbach joins inFactor from Orchard Platform where he most recently served as a Manager on the Business Development team. Orchard Platform is the leading provider of data, technology, and software to the online lending industry.

SOLO FUNDS ALLOWS YOU TO SEAMLESSLY BORROW FROM YOUR PEERS (Black Enterprise), Rated: B

According to a recent statement, SoLo’s founders uniquely understood the plight that American workers were facing every day because they too were once in their shoes. It is not uncommon to seek a small loan from friends and family, but the founders were not seeing a quick and easy lending solution to help facilitate the process.

Traditional banks don’t lend small dollars, and payday lenders charge excessively high interest rates that for many in emergency situations are almost impossible to pay back. There was simply no affordable way to get a small dollar loan. The team thought that the limited resources for small-dollar loans only plagued the minority communities like the ones they were raised in, but that was wrong; they discovered a more mainstream problem. According to the statement, 78% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck and 47% of the country can’t cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing from someone else or selling a personal asset.

Liquid FSI Adds Key Board Member (deBank), Rated: B

Liquid FSI, a direct lender and creator of the Convert2Pay platform, which provides on-demand payment for medical invoices, added Barry Blecherman to its Board of Advisors.

While a few recent graduates of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering were helping the Liquid FSI team with some algorithms for their technology platform, they mentioned Blecherman, a professor of Finance and Risk Engineering at the Tandon School.

United Kingdom

Welendus loanbook hits £100,000 in just three months (Peer2Peer Finance News), Rated: AAA

WELENDUS investors have funded £100,000 of short-term loans in just three months of its beta stage, the platform has announced.

Nadeem Siam (pictured), founder of the platform, says a full launch of the product is planned soon but Welendus has already built up more than 4,000 users.

Klarna: 53% of retailers say “always on” sales are damaging profits (Tamebay), Rated: A

Research by payments provider Klarna shows that discounting is no longer confined to the traditional winter and summer sales. The new rules of retail mean discounting has become a fluid and unpredictable phenomenon with over half (57%) of consumers expecting regular sales.

The research of 500 British retailers highlighted the negative impact this can have on the bottom line of merchants. Over half of retailers surveyed (53%) say the “always on” nature of sales is having a negative impact on profits – 11% said discounting cost them over £25,000 throughout 2017. This isn’t felt just by smaller retailers, but merchants of all sizes – in fact, it’s those with 100-239 employees that feel the burden most with 66% saying constant discounts are impacting profits.

Investing Show: What you need to know about crowdfunding, peer to peer, and Innovative Finance Isas (This is Money), Rated: A

Stewart Cazier, of alternative lending platform Thincats, details what investors need to know about peer to peer, crowdfunding and Innovative Finance Isas on the Investing Show.

He explains to Simon Lambert, of This is Money, and Richard Hunter, of Interactive Investor, how alternative lending works, what investors need to consider, how to diversify and why it’s important not to consider it risk-free or put all your eggs in one basket.

Five questions for: Samantha Bamert, CEO of AskIf (Money Week), Rated: A

Ask Inclusive Finance (AskIf) is a commercial enterprise with an ambitious social mission – to close the sizeable funding gap for loans to financeable small companies unable to secure funding from banks. Smaller estimates suggest this funding gap could be upwards of £2.2bn per year.

Other research estimates much larger numbers. AskIf is a platform lender bringing together funders, a network of lending partners and the borrowers themselves. By providing support and funding to small companies, we’ll enable job creation, economic value and opportunity in many communities across the UK.

JP Jenkins – Continued New Initiatives (PR Newswire), Rated: B

JP Jenkins reports that its co-owner, Peterhouse Corporate Finance, has closed its 200th capital raise in the past three years, with a total funding of circa £200m for smaller growth companies.

Significant new capital has recently been provided by Malcolm Burne, a substantial shareholder and Executive Director, to expand the JPJ franchise further. The Company has also entered into partnership & collaborative agreements with US Capital Partners, private placements, Equidate a US private companies Stock Market, and Primary Markets an International Unlisted Exchange.

China

Chinese Online Lender Weidai Plans $ 400 Million IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Chinese peer-to-peer lender Weidai Hangzhou Financial Information Service Co. is planning an initial public offering that could raise about $400 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

There hasn’t been a major listing of a Chinese financial technology company in the U.S. or Hong Kong since LexinFintech Holdings Ltd., which raised $124 million in a downsized U.S. IPO in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Qudian Inc., which completed a $1 billion IPO in October, has since fallen 52 percent from its offer price.

European Union

Insurance and the Open Banking wave: seven use cases (Holland Fintech), Rated: A

Source: Holland Fintech

INNOPAY has defined a first set of use cases for insurance companies. The use cases have been mapped on the most important value levers for insurance to capture relevancy and see where exactly the use cases drive value. The mapping is presented in figure 1 and a first description of the cases is given below.

  1. New (cyber)insurance product for a new client segment: insure TPPs in PSD2 landscape: data sharing through third parties implies new (cyber) risks and thus accountability in case of data breaches.
  2. Better deal engines: PSD2 provides third parties access to payment account information data (AIS). This data can be mined and relevant insights on customer behaviour can be extracted. This behaviour can then be for example spending on insurance to see if a better offer can be made to the customer or looking for patterns which can imply a better risk profile and thus better pricing on insurance products for the customer.
  3. Improve personalised advice: next to mining, the data can be used to improve personalized advice. Although TPPs are by law only allowed to present the account information of customers, insurance companies can use that information to give advice about their financial situation.
  4. Optimise claims management: together with other data sources, account information that is shared by customers’ banks can be used to create new data sets that could be used to improve reconciliation and reimburse the right amount to customers and gain better insights on possible fraud (by looking at for example customer spending patterns).
  5. Up to date customer records: although there is no Open Banking standard yet and all banks are developing their own view and strategy on opening up data beyond PSD2 compliance, there are already good examples insurance companies can build upon.
  6. Expanding service proposition to providing accounts: with the possibility to execute a transaction (PIS) on behalf of the customer or to check available funds (CAF) the functional scope of PSD2 is limited.
  7. Digital identity verification: banks can help in identifying a person during a digital onboarding or digital identity verification process. This functionality is for example already operated by the banks in The Netherlands under the iDIN scheme.

Swiss Crowdlender Banks on Blockchain (Finews), Rated: B

A Swiss crowd-lending platform is using the blockchain technology to improve the way it brokers loans to companies. It will also introduce tokens as a currency of valuation.

Swisspeers, a Winterthur-based platform specialized in loans to small- and medium-sized companies is registering transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. The company is going to use the so-called Smart Contract developed specifically for its purposes, Swisspeers said on Thursday.

International

Not just dumb pipes: Fintech investment slows as banks try to gain back control (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Banks’ investment in fintech companies is slowing down as they refocus on improving core banking infrastructure, according to a report by CB Insights.

The Banks in Fintech report, released this week, found that banks have been foregoing big investments and partnerships over the past five quarters with a preference for building products in house — particularly in lending, payments and personal financial management. In both the U.S. and Europe banks spent more of their architecture investment dollars on capital markets software companies than blockchain startups.

Source: CBInsights

KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech report for the fourth quarter of 2017 noted that while deal activity among venture capital and private equity firms remained steady compared to 2016, the earliest stage of VC financing could see fewer deals and a volume decline in particular segments like online lending in the coming year. It’s a sign of the industry’s maturity; banks are showing their efforts to “fight fintech with fintech,” Lindsay Davis, an intelligence analyst at CB Insights, said in a presentation.

Source: Tearsheet

Blockchain Integration Is Leading to a Revolution in Global Trade (The Market Mogul), Rated: AAA

In every step of the trade financing process, blockchain technology seems to offer an efficiency boost in commodity transactions and the global supply chains. From contract generation level, which includes time-consuming reviews of the operation by the Letter of Credit issuing bank, to the settlement level, which often proves problematic due to payment platform incompatibility, fintech offers smart solutions.

Although credit fintech is on the rise, blockchain was mostly used for peer-to-peer lending and that the trade financing gap persists, according to the Asian Development Bank. 70% of financial institutions which responded to the survey claimed that the technology would allow for greater exposure to SME risk, mostly because of significant cost reduction in compliance and due diligence.

Mambu unleashes digital marketplace (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) banking engine provider Mambu has launched its digital marketplace to offer cloud-enabled apps, products and tools for banking and lending.

Mambu Marketplace offers a choice of global and localised solutions which can be integrated with the SaaS engine. Its offerings are based on an API-driven architecture.

Will fintech realize its potential for financial inclusion? (LinkedIn), Rated: A

But it’s increasingly clear that many of the financially underserved are also technologically underserved. The GSMA’s Mobile Economy 2018 reports that nearly 40% of the world’s 5 billion mobile subscribers have no internet access; most of the offline, live in the low- and middle-income countries that could benefit the most from digital financial services. Many mobile subscribers live outside of 3G or 4G signal range, which slows service or limits what they can do with their devices. Many unconnected users must contend with poor network performance, high connectivity and handset costs, poor digital literacy, or a lack of locally relevant content.

Digital lending innovations: Small businesses face a $5 trillion financing gap. Inefficiencies in customer acquisition and analysis prevent lenders from making reliable lending decisions and entrepreneurs from getting the financing that they need. But new technologies and data sources can help small businesses: Mexico’s Konfio analyzes thousands of data points – including biographic information, financial history, electronic invoicing, and social media usage – to make lending decisions quickly and inexpensively.

India

Instamojo plans to expand into SME lending, logistics: CEO Sampad Swain (Livemint), Rated: AAA

Online payment solution provider Instamojo Technologies Pvt. Ltd plans to expand into business loans, logistics and advertising services for small merchants, as more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) turn to digital means to sell and market their product, a top company executive told Mint.

Bengaluru-based Instamojo, which focuses primarily on SMEs, currently has 400,000 SMEs using its payment service, and it is also targeting to onboard at least 1 million SME customers by the end of FY19, the company’s chief executive Sampad Swain said in an interview.

Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending – a Niche in the Financial Ecosystem (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Investment avenues are available either in the form of instruments per se (e.g. equity stocks, bonds, etc.) or as vehicles for participating in the instruments e.g. Mutual Funds, Portfolio Management Services, Alternate Investment Funds, etc. Some of the vehicles are available in small ticket sizes, e.g. Mutual Funds, whereas some require a sizable ticket e.g. PMS (Rs 25 lakh) or AIF (Rs 1 crore). There is a differentiated investment avenue, which is neither a tradable instrument nor a structured vehicle, but a facilitator for retail investors. This is called Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending where there is an online intermediary, which brings the lender and borrower together to facilitate direct lending by the lender to the borrower on mutually agreed terms. This is an online marketplace where the digital platforms like e.g. IndiaMoneyMart would conduct due diligence and credit assessment of the borrower and connect the two individuals.

Asia

Outsmarting the traditional experts with the aid of AI (Asia Asset Management), Rated: A

FinEX Asia offers Asian investors access to US consumer credit assets

Asian institutional investors often find it difficult to gain exposure to US consumer credit assets because of the diverse array of such products and a lack of investment channels.
Canada

Canadian Fintech PayBright Announces  E-Commerce Financing Solution is Now Available on IBM Websphere (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Canadian fintech lender PayBright announced on Thursday its e-commerce financing solution is now available for merchants operating the IBM Websphere Commerce platform.

According to PayBright, the e-commerce solution integrates with merchant’s e-commerce platforms and provides Canadian customers with an additional payment option at checkout. Upon selecting PayBright as a payment method, customers can finalize their purchases in a matter of seconds. Merchants then receive their funds directly from PayBright the next business day with no credit risk. Customers then pay for their purchases in affordable monthly installments over time, with interest rates as low as 0%. 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor