Thursday January 17 2019, Weekly News Digest

marketplace securitizations

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter surpasses 3B GBP in lending. SoFi Money bank-like offerings. LendingClub land on 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. HeZhong International to list on Nasdaq. Robo.cash doubles investors in 2018. Kabbage to provide point-of-sale loans to Alibaba shoppers. Today’s main analysis: Marketplace lending securitization slowed in Q4 2018. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Consumer credit continues to grow. Loan default […]

The post Thursday January 17 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

marketplace securitizations

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Offering Bank Like Services, But it is Still Not a Bank (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Today, SoFi is distributing more invites to their bank-like services – SoFi Money, a service announced last summer. SoFi is offering consumers the following:

  • No “freakin” fees, including annual, transactional, overdraft, or any other account fees.
  • Higher interest rates, a “whopping” 2.25% APY on your money.
  • Free ATM usage as SoFi will reimburse the fees.
  • Mobile first as your phone is your [bank] branch.
  • Secure – Accounts are FDIC insured up to $1.5 million.³

More MDs, fewer residents in SoFi’s next student loan securitization (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: A

Social Finance’s next student loan securitization features higher exposure to physicians, and fewer of them are still in a residency program, according to rating agency reports.

Borrowers with medical and dental degrees are considered to be good credits in part because they have some of best employment prospects. They account for 28.8% of borrowers in the pool of collateral who have medical degrees, up from 22% for SoFi’s previous student loan securitization, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

LendingClub Selected for 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (LendingClub), Rated: AAA

LendingClub Corporation (NYSE: LC), today announced that it is one of 230 companies selected for the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality. The index doubled in size from 2018 and includes firms from 10 sectors, headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Collectively, these firms have a combined market capitalization of USD 9 trillion and globally employ more than 15 million people, of which 7 million are women. Thirteen markets are represented for the first time this year, including Argentina, China, Israel, and South Africa.

Securitization in Marketplace Lending Slowed in Q4 2018 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Issuance totaled $2.6 billion, which is the slowest pace of issuance in 5 quarters and was related to market volatility according to PeerIQ. Volume decreased 44% from the prior year period and dropped 25% quarter over quarter. Total issuance in 2018 was $15.3 billion and included newer issuers Upgrade and Enova. PeerIQ expects that Upgrade and Enova will continue to participate in the securitization market going forward. While Q4 represented a drop in deals, cumulative issuance still stands at $44.5 billion across 142 deals which is a significant amount.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

We should also point out that LendingClub sold more than $1 billion in CLUB certficates in 2018 which likely reduced their securitization volume in 2018.

Source: Lend Academy

Fed Affirms Flexibility on Rate Hikes (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Consumer credit continues to grow. The Fed reported that consumer credit outstanding grew at an annualized rate of 6.7% in November to $3.98 Tn. This is the third month out of the past four that consumer credit grew more than $20 Bn, for the first time in four years.

Source: Federal Reserve, PeerIQ

Experian: Loan Default Rates Rose In Dec (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

According to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, which the companies said in a press release represent a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, the composite rate rose six basis points from December to 0.89 percent. The bank card default rate rose 25 basis points to 3.34 percent, while the auto loan default rate jumped 10 basis points to 1.03 percent. The default rate on first mortgages was three basis points higher at 0.67 percent.

What’s more, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian said that all five of the metropolitan statistical areas showed a higher default rate in December of 2018. In Miami, it increased 41 basis points to 1.93 percent, while New York saw a 13 basis-point increase to 0.96 percent and the Chicago default rate was up four basis points to 0.88 percent. In Dallas, the default rate ticked up three basis points to 0.85 percent, while in Los Angeles it was up two basis points to 0.52 percent.

Source: PRNewsfoto/S&P Dow Jones Indices

Fiserv to acquire First Data for $ 22bn (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

A giant will roam the fintech land as Fiserv will acquire First Data in an all-stock transaction of $22 billion.

LendingTree Ranks Most Competitive Housing Markets (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Key Findings:

Denver, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore., have the most competitive buyers in the country. Buyers in these areas have higher than average credit and the ability to put down a larger down payment.

Birmingham, Ala., Virginia Beach, Va., and Pittsburgh have the least competitive buyers in the country.Living in a less competitive market can be beneficial for buyers as it means that the path to homeownership is less challenging than it is in other parts of the country. For example, in these three areas, only 43% of mortgage shoppers had prime credit, compared to an average of 49% across the 50 largest metros in the U.S.

Roostify Enables Digital Mortgage Solution for Glacier Bancorp (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Roostify today announced that Glacier Bancorp, Inc. has launched a digital mortgage solution powered by Roostify. Glacier Bancorp, Inc. is a regional bank holding company providing commercial banking services in 104 communities through 164 banking offices in Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Arizona. The company holds total assets of $11.9 billion and shareholder equity of $1.5 billion.

Joust launches a digital bank for gig-economy workers (American Banker), Rated: A

The fintech startup Joust is launching a mobile banking app Tuesday designed for the 56.7 million Americans who rely on freelance income.

The product comes with a bank account, a merchant account, and a way to get quick credit. Behind it is a network of community banks that will gather the deposits the app brings in.

Snoop Dogg Invests In Klarna, Sweden’s $ 2.5 Billion Unicorn (Forbes), Rated: A

Klarna, the Swedish financial technology giant valued at $2.5 billion last year, has a new addition to its shareholder register from the most unlikely source.

Millionaire American rapper Snoop Dogg, aka Calvin Broadus, has today become a minority shareholder in the company which offers buy-now-pay-later services at 100,000 retailers in Europe and across the U.S.

2019 business: 5 trends that will dominate 2019 (Business Report), Rated: A

1. Consumers demand data control:  a Deloitte report shows 71% of purchased data is … inaccurate.

2. Alternative lending will surge: It makes sense that non-bank lending will continue to grow, not only was 2018 a big year for the industry but, more importantly, 80% of small business loans are rejected.

6 Personal Loan Lenders That Accept Cosigners (Credible), Rated: A

Not all personal loan lenders allow you to add a cosigner to your physical or online application, but there are some that do. Here are six lenders that allow cosigners on their applications.

  1. Freedom Plus
  2. Laurel Road
  3. Lending Club
  4. Lightstream
  5. OneMain Financial

What happens to robos in a downturn? (Financial Planning), Rated: A

As stocks soared to record highs over the past decade, robo advisors amassed billions of dollars in investable assets. But now with the onset of ominous market indicators and volatility, advisors say they are worried about how automated investment platforms will perform during a major market downturn and what that might mean for their bottom lines.

“It is a wild unknown,” says Josh Pace, president of the custodian TCA by E-Trade.

SMB BANKING: THE NEXT WAVE OF INNOVATION (LendIt), Rated: A

Key findings address:
  • How the largest banks, regional banks and community banks differ in their approaches to blending hi-tech and hi-touch customer interactions
  • Who are emerging SMB-focused fintech companies and partnerships to watch
  • What banking functions and features are most sought after by SMBs
  • How mobile apps are being designed specifically with SMB customers in mind
  • Why big data and artificial intelligence are key to integrated financial dashboard and advisory applications
White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”) today announced it acted as sole lender and administrative agent on the funding of a senior credit facility for GMF Capital (“GMF”) and Meridian Senior Living (“Meridian”). The funds were used to acquire assisted living/skilled nursing facilities located near Providence, Rhode Island.

FundThrough Engages 919 Marketing to Fuel U.S. Expansion (PRWeb), Rated: B

FundThrough, North America’s fastest growing automated, tech enabled invoice factoring company and a power player in the fintech SMB (small and midsized businesses) working capital space, has engaged 919 Marketing, a leading national franchise marketing agency offering content marketing and public relations services to all companies (franchise or non-franchise), to generate consistent brand awareness and accelerate expansion in the U.S. markets.

Fed not an impediment to fintechs’ charter ambitions (American Banker), Rated: B

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting on Wednesday downplayed concerns that applicants for the agency’s new fintech charter may face resistance from the Federal Reserve Board.

Some in the fintech industry are raising alarm that the Fed may balk at allowing holders of the new special-purpose charter into the payments system, which could reduce the overall value of the charter.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Milestone: Online Lender Surpasses £3 Billion in Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter announced on Tuesday it has surpassed £3 billion in online lending. RateSetter reported that the milestone follows a successful year, with the lender originating more than £700 million of new lending and active loans under management grew to £820 million.

RateSetter also revealed that more than 600,000 customers have used its lending platform to invest or borrow. To date, investors have lent £1.9 billion to individuals and £1.1 billion to businesses. A total of £2.2 billion has been repaid by borrowers, generating returns of £120 million for RateSetter investors, who have enjoyed an average annual interest rate of 4.4% per year since RateSetter’s launch in 2010.

Rapper Big Narstie named among celebrities joining Zopa hotline for a day (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

PEER-TO-PEER lender Zopa is making four celebrities honorary ‘Zopians’ for a day next week.

It has launched a “FeelGood Hotline” to banish the January blues that will be staffed by pop star and TV host Frankie Bridge, broadcaster Lauren Laverne and rapper Big Narstie (pictured) on 23 January.

Boxing icon Frank Bruno will also be on the hotline.

UK challenger bank Tandem eyes IPO (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

UK digital challenger bank Tandem has got its young beating heart set on an IPO within the next few years.

In a brief written and video update, it looks to the future and the past. For example, it cites its recent $15 million investment from Hong Kong for Asian market expansion plans.

Tide Collaborates With ClearBank to Transform UK SME Banking Market (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Tide, a UK-based SME challenger banking, announced on Monday it has formed a new partnership with ClearBank to help transform the UK SME banking market.

Tide reported that through its support, ClearBank has applied for a grant from Pool A of the Capability and Innovation Fund that forms part of the £775 million RBS Alternative Remedies Package, a government-backed competition. 

A quarter of UK consumers will have a neobank account within five years (Business Insider), Rated: A

Currently, 9% of Brits, equating to 4.5 million people, have opened an account with a digital-only bank, according to the study. By 2024, a further 16% of the population, or 8.5 million people, intend to do the same.

Source: Business Insider

ARBUTHNOT COMMERCIAL ASSET BASED LENDING LTD. SUPPORTS MBO OF PLUMBWORLD WITH £3.5M STOCK ONLY FACILITY (Arbuthnot Latham), Rated: A

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Ltd. (Arbuthnot Commercial ABL) is pleased to announce the completion of a bespoke £3.5m transaction to support the management buy-out of Online Home Retail Limited (trading as www.plumbworld.co.uk), one of the UK’s leading e-commerce retailer of bathroom related products, from Grafton Group PLC, an international distributor of building materials.

BBVA name dropped in Atom Bank takeover talks (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

BBVA is one of the names coming up in a potential takeover of the UK digital challenger Atom Bank.

Sky News has learnt that Atom is in talks to appoint Citi to advise its board on options for the business.

Accountants Look Out (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Two thirds (66%) of accountants surveyed said that they do recommend external finance providers to their clients. Whilst these recommendations will be based on the need of any given business, they also indicated their preferred source of funding. Half (50.8%) indicated that they would recommend their clients speak with a bank about their finance needs. Interestingly, more than a third (36.3%) are recommending an invoice finance provider ahead of a business loan provider (33.66%).

China

HeZhong International, Chinese P2P Lender, Seeks $ 5.8 Million Nasdaq Listing (Capital Watch), Rated: AAA

The Shenzhen company hopes to raise up to $5.8 million in New York under the symbol “HZ,” according to its prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On its online platform, HeZhong matches borrowers and investors, facilitating mostly consumer loans ranging from $437 to $2,200. It also issues car loans in the amounts ranging between $2,900 and $29,200.

HeZhong IPO: Tempting But Risky With 3,330% Revenue Growth (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

  • Based in Shenzhen, China, HeZhong offers an online peer-to-peer lending marketplace, providing consumer and automobile loans to the Chinese borrowers and risk-adjusted returns to the investors.
  • Certain investors will believe that the interest rates seem quite appealing. Annual interest rates are between 8% and 15%, and usual tenures are from 7 days to 360 days.
  • The year 2018 was also great in terms of profitability. The company went from reporting losses from operations of -$1.1 million to report operating profit of $5.6 million.
European Union

Robo.cash doubles new investors in 2018 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

LATVIAN peer-to-peer lending platform Robo.cash has reported that it doubled its investor base in 2018 as it expanded its product range and scaled up its lending.

The P2P payday lender said the total volume of investments on its platform hit €5m (£4.45m) after a strong year, representing 93 per cent growth. Meanwhile, it attracted 3,200 new investors, twice the number in 2017, with the majority coming from Germany.

Investment in European Companies Remains Steady but Deal Flow Dives (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Dow Jones has published their Q4 VentureSource report today and while investment in European companies “held steady” deal flow dropped.

The report indicates that the number of deals in Q4 stood at 729. In comparison to the prior quarter, it dipped slightly from 738. When you compare year over year quarters the discrepancy is greater as Q4 2017 delivered 865 separate deals.

In total amount raised, Q4 2018 came in at € 5.19 billion. This is a decline from Q3 at €4.98 billion. But year over year the amount was down as well as Q4 2017 saw € 5.6 billion raised.

Better systems can aid business of giving money to tackle poverty (Breaking News), Rated: A

On a visit to Ethiopia last week, the Taoiseach chose to visit one of the most impoverished areas of the world and witness, first hand, profound poverty.

While there, he was introduced to a woman who had bought four potentially life-saving sheep with a micro-loan provided by Irish Aid.

Irish Aid is operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is, effectively, managed on behalf of us citizens.

International

Kabbage to provide point-of-sale loans to Alibaba shoppers (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, an online lender to small businesses, is now providing point-of-sale loans to small businesses that buy things on Alibaba’s online shopping site, the two companies announced Monday.

Under the program, which is called Pay Later, small-business owners can get credit lines of up to $150,000 for their orders on the site.

White Oak Global Advisors Surpasses $ 2.5 Billion of Loan Originations (AP News), Rated: A

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it funded over $2.5 billion in loans in 2018.

Klarna links up with Daniel Wellington to allow shoppers to slice their purchase and pay over time (Klarna), Rated: B

Today, global payments provider, Klarna announced a new collaboration with Daniel Wellington, maker of classic and timeless watches. Loyal shoppers of Daniel Wellington will now benefit from Klarna’s newest payment option, which allows customers to pay for their watches and accessories in 4 equal interest-free installments collected bi-weekly from the shopper’s chosen debit or credit card.

India

Blockchain, AI providing traction to India’s crowdfunding platforms (Financial Express), Rated: AAA

Although crowdfunding in India is at a nascent stage, with only 15 notable crowdfunding platforms (CFPs), the concept holds immense potential for the country’s startup ecosystem.

A World Bank report states crowdfunding has emerged as a multi-billion dollar global industry, and is expected have a volume of $300 billion by 2030.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday January 17 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Predicting Default Rates for Online Lending

Clarity Services

According to data from Experian’s Clarity Services, online consumer lending has grown over 350 percent from 2013 to 2017. Funded single-pay volume rose 72 percent while installment loan volume went up nearly 500 percent. The single-pay loan volume actually shot up 106 percent through 2016 but fell slightly the following year. Still, these numbers indicate […]

Clarity Services

According to data from Experian’s Clarity Services, online consumer lending has grown over 350 percent from 2013 to 2017. Funded single-pay volume rose 72 percent while installment loan volume went up nearly 500 percent. The single-pay loan volume actually shot up 106 percent through 2016 but fell slightly the following year. Still, these numbers indicate a growth in online alternative finance lending, and with governments around the world cracking down on traditional payday lending, this spells a huge opportunity for further growth in the years to come.

In 2013, the average online installment loan amount was just below $800. In 2017, it was just over $1,400. And the average loan term rose from six months in 2013 to almost 10 months in 2017.

This growth may have something to do with how online installment loan providers are marketing their services. The number of lenders using direct marketing in 2015 was indexed to 100, but in 2018 (through July), that number was 275, representing growth on pace to reach 550 percent by year end. The number of pre-screened mailed names went up from an indexed amount of 100 in 2015 to 988 through July of this year.

Marketing isn’t the only factor affecting growth in this segment of online lending. There is also a growing number of lenders tapping into the market, and the fact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), several U.S. states, the United Kingdom, and other government entities are beginning to target traditional brick-and-mortar payday lenders is contributing to the growth of the online installment loan segment.

The growth of this segment highlights the importance of credit risk evaluation. The need for effective credit risk solutions that identify potential defaulters and is capable of separating the good borrowers from the bad is also growing.

The Importance of Predicting Defaults Before Issuing Online Loans

One of the most important tasks for any lender is predicting the likelihood of default. A higher than expected default rate can lead to huge losses. On the other hand, mitigating delinquencies can lead to greater profits and allow the lender to issue more loans. It is particularly important to predict whether a borrower will default on the first payment of an installment loan. After all, defaulting on the first installment means the lender will not recoup any of its investment, and defaulting on the first payment is a clear sign that the borrower should have been flagged as a high credit risk and will likely default on subsequent payments.

Alternative finance lending is inherently risky. Lenders must fight a higher default rate than banks (20 percent vs. 3 percent) right off the bat. That alone makes predictive credit risk modeling a necessity in today’s installment loan market.

In recent years, online lending leaders have seen greater than expected default rates, which means these online providers must be extra diligent about predicting delinquencies in order to watch their bottom lines. For this reason, the tools that lenders use to make such predictions must be carefully chosen so that default rates decline and profits increase over time.

3 Ways to Identify Good Credit Risks Before Issuing a Loan

Some defaults are to be expected. Profitable lenders understand that the interest on the good loans will pay for the losses on the bad loans. Nevertheless, mitigating those losses is paramount to maintaining solvency and being able to service future borrowers. An online installment loan lender can use credit risk scoring to decrease default rates and increase profits simply by identifying the good and bad credit risks. Here are three ways a lender can ensure they are focusing on the good credit risks:

  1. Prescreen your potential borrowers – Credit risk evaluation should begin before you make initial contact with potential borrowers. If you are involved in direct marketing, prescreen potential borrowers before sending them your marketing collateral. Not only can this lower your default rate, but it will also lower your marketing expenses.
  2. Use an effective credit risk scoring solution – Today’s lenders do not just rely on FICO scores and payment histories. They collect alternative data that identifies how potential borrowers spend their money and handle their debts. Much of this data is out of sight from traditional credit scoring agencies, but it is essential to getting a complete picture of the borrower.
  3. Make your offer based on the borrower’s credit risk profile – First, build a credit risk profile on the borrower and use the predictive score to make your loan offer. It is best when lenders are able to structure a loan based on a consumer’s risk level. For example, a higher risk customer might warrant a smaller loan amount to control the lender’s risk.

Assessing Credit Risk: The Perfect Solution for Online Installment Loan Providers

The most important factors in underwriting the subprime consumer involve credit risk assessment and fraud detection. New solutions that combine the largest visibility into the industry’s alternative credit data and traditional bureau data ensure lenders are fully equipped to assess and mitigate risks. These solutions are offered by Experian’s Clarity Services and Experian, and include:

  • Clear Credit Risk
  • Clear Advanced Attributes

These solutions are designed to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness or to determine credit eligibility. Lenders receive an actionable score with adverse action codes to help them determine whether a potential borrower is a solid credit risk and to help determine a reasonable loan structure.

Clear Credit Risk is Clarity’s trademarked credit risk product designed to predict the likelihood of a borrower’s default on the first payment. It includes an effective score and is built on data that has proven most predictive for subprime consumers.

Experian’s Clarity Services is a credit reporting agency founded in 2008 and acquired by Experian in 2017. As the leading alternative credit data provider, the company services a wide variety of alternative finance lenders such as auto finance companies, check cashing services, prepaid credit card issuers, short-term installment lenders, small-dollar credit lenders, telecommunications providers, and more.

Authors:

Allen Taylor

Friday February 23 2018, Daily News Digest

Marketing Lending Return

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub increases interest rates. LendingTree plunges 8.13%. P2P default forecasts are on the rise. 29% of Australian consumers believe comprehensive credit reporting changes how they manage finances. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree’s Q4 and full year 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Peter Renton shares personal quarterly marketplace lending results. 6 online personal loan lenders that […]

Marketing Lending Return

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia

News Summary

United States

LendingClub Increases Interest Rates on Loans, Files 8K on Change (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending platform LendingClub (NYSE:LC) has filed an 8K with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding interest rate changes.

The rate changes came into affect on February 20th with notable changes including of 0.38% for loan grade E1, 0.39% for loan grades D2-D4, 0.40% for loan grade D5, and 0.47% for loan grade E5.

LendingTree Inc. (TREE) Plunges 8.13% on February 22 (Equities), Rated: AAA

LendingTree Inc. (TREE) had a rough trading day for Thursday February 22 as shares tumbled 8.13%, or a loss of $-30.2 per share, to close at $341.05. After opening the day at $343.05, shares of LendingTree Inc. traded as high as $358.80 and as low as $326.61. Volume was 688,145 shares over 9,300 trades, against an average daily volume of 221,877 shares and a total float of 11.97 million.

LendingTree Reports 4Q & FY 2017 Results Above Guidance (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Fourth Quarter 2017 Business Highlights

  • Revenue from mortgage products of $67.7 million represents an increase of 22% over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Revenue from non-mortgage products of $93.3 million in the fourth quarter represents an increase of 106% over the fourth quarter 2016 and comprised 58% of total revenue.
  • Credit card revenue of $36.9 million. On a proforma basis, giving effect to the CompareCards and MagnifyMoney acquisitions as if they had occurred on January 1, 2016, credit cards revenue grew 35% over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Personal loan revenue of $25.3 million represents accelerated growth of 74% over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Home equity revenue continued its strong momentum, increasing 138% over fourth quarter 2016, and marking the ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth exceeding 100%.
  • More than 7.4 million consumers have now signed up for free credit scores and savings alerts through My LendingTree, and the revenue contribution from My LendingTree grew 109% in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year period.
Source: LendingTree

Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Highlights

  • Consolidated revenue of $161.0 million represents an increase of $60.2 million, or 60%, over revenue in the fourth quarter 2016.
  • GAAP Net Loss from Continuing Operations of $6.5 million, or $0.54 per share, was impacted by a $9.1 millioncharge related to the revaluation of deferred tax assets as a result of U.S. tax law changes and a one-time $10 million commitment to establish a charitable foundation.
  • Variable Marketing Margin of $56.1 million represents an increase of $19.3 million, or 52%, over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $29.6 million increased $10.7 million, or 57%, over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Adjusted Net Income per share of $0.84 represents an increase of $0.07, or 9%, over fourth quarter 2016.
  • On November 21, 2017, our wholly-owned subsidiary LendingTree, LLC entered into an amended and restated $250.0 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility which matures on November 21, 2022. Borrowings under the revolving credit facility can be used to finance working capital needs, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes, including permitted acquisitions. We do not currently have any borrowings outstanding under the revolving credit facility.
  • During fourth quarter 2017, the company repurchased 33 thousand shares of its stock at a weighted-average price per share of $331 for aggregate consideration of $11.0 million. In the first quarter 2018 to-date, the company has repurchased 30 thousand shares at a weighted-average price per share of $362 for aggregate consideration of $11.0 million.
  • On February 21, 2018, the Company’s Board of Directors approved an additional $100 million in share repurchase authorization. As of that date, $116.7 million in share repurchase authorization remained available.

Full-Year 2017 Financial Highlights

  • Record consolidated revenue of $617.7 million, an increase of $233.3 million or 61%, over revenue in full-year 2016.
  • Net Income from Continuing Operations of $19.4 million, or $1.42 per diluted share.
  • Record Variable Marketing Margin of $207 million, an increase of $65.8 million or 47%, over full-year 2016.
  • Record Adjusted EBITDA of $115.1 million, an increase of $45.3 million or 65%, over full-year 2016.
  • Adjusted Net Income per share of $3.78 increased $0.80, or 27%, over full-year 2016.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q4 2017 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The long decline in my returns has continued with 2017 by far my worst year since I began investing with LendingClub back in 2009. My overall TTM return  in Q4 2017 was 5.01% compared to 6.64% in Q3 2017 and 8.07% one year ago.

Source: Lend Academy

My main Prosper taxable account has had $50,000 of investments starting in 2010 and continuing until 2013. Since then I have just been reinvesting all earnings.

Source: Lend Academy

Lend Academy P2P Fund

While 5.04% is down considerably from where the fund has been it is still significantly better than the 2.77% I received at my six original marketplace lending accounts.

AlphaFlow

What I like about AlphaFlow is that you can quickly build a diversified portfolio of 75-100 properties.

Source: Lend Academy

7 Personal Loan Companies That Help You Pay Off Debt Quickly (Student Loan Hero), Rated: AAA

2. SoFi

The main advantage of SoFi is the fact that it’s the only personal loan company on this list that allows you to borrow up to $100,000 for debt consolidation. Additionally, SoFi doesn’t have a minimum FICO requirement, which makes it the best way to consolidate debt with bad credit. The minimum annual income is on the high side to make up for it, however.

3. Earnest

Earnest has a minimum credit score requirement, but it also has a flexible underwriting program that can take into account special circumstances. There’s no income requirement, so Earnest loans can be useful for entrepreneurs.

4. Payoff

Payoff is a personal loan company that offers loans specifically aimed at consolidating or refinancing your credit card balances. However, the maximum loan amount is on the low end for our list. If you have a smaller amount of debt to consolidate, Payoff might work for you.

5. Upstart

  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Minimum annual income: $12,000
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: three and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull for rate estimates
  • Fees: origination fee of 1% to 8%

6. LendingClub

  • Minimum FICO score: 600
  • Minimum annual income: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: three and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull to get a rate estimate
  • Fees: origination fee of 1% to 6%

7. Avant

If you’re concerned about your credit score, Avant might be able to help. Avant is known for its accessible debt consolidation loans.

Despite careful planning, TD Bank fumbles online banking upgrade (American Banker), Rated: A

It’s been more than a week since TD Bank first revealed that its long-planned update to its online and mobile banking systems had run into technical difficulties, and many customer are still unable to access their accounts.

A bank spokesman said Tuesday that while the company is making progress on fixing the glitch, he acknowledged that a number of its customers are still unable to use mobile or online platforms to check their accounts, transfer funds or pay bills.

Scott Sanborn Joins LendIt Fintech USA 2018 As Commencement Keynote Speaker (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LendIt Fintech, the world’s leading event in financial services innovation, announced today that Scott Sanborn, LendingClub (NYSE: LC) CEO, will open this year’s conference in San Francisco, the home of technology innovation, with a plea to refocus industry efforts on solving the financial problems of everyday Americans in an increasingly divided nation. From April 9-11, the world’s most prominent and emerging fintech CEOs will gather at Moscone Center to focus on the hot-button topics and issues exploring the future of finance.

Here’s another way Amazon and banks are collaborating (American Banker), Rated: A

SunTrust Banks, Ally Ventures — the strategic investment arm of Ally Financial — the Amazon Alexa Fund and others have raised $16 million in a new round of funding for Greenlight Financial Technology, which makes “smart” debit cards aimed at instilling sound financial habits in kids, teens and college students, the parties announced Wednesday.

ORDER UNDER SECTION 8(f) OF THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 DECLARING APPLICANT HAS CEASED TO BE AN INVESTMENT COMPANY (SEC), Rated: A

PROSPECT MARKETPLACE :
LENDING CORPORATION :
10 East 40th Street, 42d Floor :
New York, New York 10016

Above named applicant filed an application on January 4, 2018, and an amendment filed January11, 2018, requesting an order under section 8(f) of the Act declaring that it has ceased to be an investment company.

The matter has been considered and it is found, on the basis of the information set forth in the
application, as amended, that applicant has ceased to be an investment company.

Research shows first-time home buying in Sacramento is tough (ABC10), Rated: A

new study by LendingTree, a leading online loan marketplace, ranks the nation’s 100 largest cities to determine the best options for first-time homebuyers.

The worst cities for first-time homebuyers:

  1. Denver
  2. New York City
  3. San Francisco
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Las Vegas
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Oxnard, Calif.
  8. Boston
  9. Sacramento, Calif.
  10. Miami

The best cities for first-time homebuyers:

  1. Little Rock, Ark.
  2. Birmingham, Ala.
  3. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  4. Youngstown, Ohio
  5. Winston, N.C.
  6. Dayton, Ohio
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Scranton, PA
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Cincinnati

KBSDirect.com Launches $ 1 Billion No-Load Real Estate Fund on CrowdStreet Marketplace (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CrowdStreet, provider of the leading commercial real estate investment platform for investor acquisition and relationship management, today announced KBS, one of the largest and most respected commercial real estate companies in the United States, has launched a new $1 billion “no load” and no upfront commission growth and income properties fund on the CrowdStreet Marketplace. KBS is offering its new fund, the KBS Growth & Income Fund, through both the CrowdStreet Marketplace and its own direct-to-investor platform at KBSDirect.com, which is powered by CrowdStreet technology. KBS is taking this unique omnichannel marketing approach to provide access and engage a wider array of accredited investors seeking institutional-quality investment opportunities managed by leading professionals.

ArborCrowd Offers Investors Equity in New Multifamily Real Estate Deal (PR Newswire), Rated: B

ArborCrowd, an online commercial real estate crowdfunding company, announced the opportunity for investors to own equity interest in a multifamily property with tremendous upside potential. Tower on Ryan Park (the Property) is a 141-unit, high-rise property located in downtown Mobile, AL.

The total capitalization of the deal is $12.7 million, and ArborCrowd is raising $2.6 million of equity. The Property has a targeted 16 percent to 18 percent Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and a projected hold period of three to five years.

StraightUp launches platform for NYC real estate investing (Bankless Times), Rated: A

With the launch of StraightUp, access to high-potential, curated New York residential development projects is available to investors – those who are neither the well-connected and super-rich elite, nor large institutional investors – for the first time. The platform gives investors a new level of access, transparency and opportunity in the unbeatable, but previously unreachable world of New York City development.

NY Fed finds fintech mortgages quicker, less risky than bank loans (The Hill), Rated: A

Mortgage lenders that exclusively use online applications approve loans quicker, experience fewer defaults, encourage more refinancing and respond to demand shifts better than brick-and-mortar rivals, according to a New York Federal Reserve report released Thursday.

Fintech lending has grown annually by 30 percent from $34 billion to $161 billion, 8 percent of the market, in that time, it reported.

Small Business Loans for Women (LendEDU), Rated: A

Investment Opportunities for Women

1. Golden Seeds

If you’re looking for an angel investment firm that focuses on women, consider Golden Seeds, one of the largest and most active early-stage investment firms for women. They focus on B2B and B2C firms in tech, health care, consumer products, and service industries. They look for companies that have a scalable business model and at least one woman in the C-suite.

2. Belle Capital

This early-state angel investment fund focuses on companies in underserved markets. Belle Capital requires that you have at least one female founder in order to qualify and/or that you’re willing to recruit top female talent to your C-suite. They fund digital, mobile, internet, life sciences, medical devices, health IT, CleanTech, and other sectors.

3. Female Founders Fund

As an early-stage investment fund, Female Founders Fund aims to help companies founded by women. The companies must be based on innovative solutions that will better serve customers. The organization focuses on technology that connects buyers and sellers, e-commerce, web-enabled services, and disruptive communities.

4. Women’s Venture Capital Fund II

The Women’s VC Fund II looks to help boost women in business, making investments in early-stage, revenue-generating companies that have the potential for significant growth. It requires that companies are inclusive of women. It focuses on funding companies based on the West Coast that are working on enterprise SaaS, educational technology, and consumer internet solutions.

5. Women’s Startup Lab

If you’re looking for an accelerator to help you succeed, the Women’s Startup Lab can connect you to a group of mentors who are looking to help female-led businesses. The lab boasts a stellar track record with 90 alumnae and $50 million raised for their companies. In return for their assistance, they ask for 3 percent in equity to pay it forward.

U.S. House Passes Bill Supporting Triple-Digit Predatory Lending (South Florida Caribbean News), Rated: A

A bill passed the lower chamber that would render useless state laws in the majority of states, including the 15 states and the District of Columbia where state interest rate limits prevent payday lending. HR 3299, titled the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act, passed the House on a 245-171 floor vote.

If passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump, the measure will preempt state interest rate caps that now limit the annual percentage rates (APRs) on loans to no more than 36 percent. These respective rate caps now save consumers an estimated $2.2 billion in fees every year.

Payday lenders strip $ 50 million per year from Colorado economy (Craig Press), Rated: B

Payday lenders charge Coloradans an average of $119 in fees and interest to borrow $392, with an average annual percentage rate of 129 percent. This removes $50 million per year from the Colorado economy, according a new report released this week by the Center for Responsible Lending.

Sykes Rejoins Chapman, Expands Renewable Energy, Securitization Practices (Monitor Daily), Rated: B

David Sykes rejoined Chapman and Cutler earlier this month as a partner in the San Francisco office, adding to the firm’s renewable energy and securitization practices.

Sykes represents lenders, lessors, issuers and investors in renewable energy and fintech transactions. He has experience in matters involving debt and equity finance transactions (including tax equity transactions), securitizations, joint ventures, asset acquisitions and divestments.

New Castle Chamber to honor Boggs with community service award (Middletown Transcript), Rated: B

Boggs regularly interacts with U.S. financial regulators on matters pertaining to global and mobile payments, marketplace lending, crowdfunding and cryptocurrency. He also represents technology and innovation companies in their public sector outreach relating to data privacy and cybersecurity, e-government, public policy and regulatory compliance.

United Kingdom

P2P default forecasts are rising, but should investors worry? (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

Zopa figures show its expected default rate is now higher than at the start of the financial crisis in 2007, at 4.52 per cent for loans granted in 2017 against 2.74 a decade previously, but other platforms have similarly high forecasts.

Lending Works predicted default rates of 3.4 per cent for loans made in 2017, which is more than double the rate when it first started lending in 2014, and up from 3.2 per cent in 2016.

RateSetter (which originates consumer loans as well as business and property loans) indicated that its expected default rate is 3.18 per cent for 2018, the same as last year. This is down from 3.43 per cent in 2016 but its default rate was 1.4 per cent when it first started lending in 2011. It increased to 1.54 per cent in 2013 and 2.43 per cent in 2014 before hitting 3.02 per cent in 2015.

Landbay boss makes case for IFISA (AltFi), Rated: A

Buy-to-let mortgage lender Landbay first launched its ISA just in time for ISA season last year. Now, one year on, CEO John Goodall (pictured) has put forward five reasons for investing in the wrapper.

Those reasons are: it’s tax-free, it offers high interest rates, it offers an alternative means of investing, it offers access to a variety of asset classes, and it’s a source of regular income.

The balancing act in digital bank lending (AltFi), Rated: A

It’s for this reason that more or less every adult in the UK is forced to bin three or four letters a month from their bank offering them a loan or overdraft. In this day and age, users of online banking are just as likely to find themselves having to hide a not-so-surreptitious offer of a pre-approved loan of £20,000, wedged in among the payments on their online statement.

In the new world of digital banking, the want (/the need?) to lend is a source of great embarrassment. Credit is treated as a kind of dirty, best hushed up necessity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the launch of Tandem’s first major product: a credit card.

That card – available in four vibrant colours – carries an APR of 18.9 per cent.

And it’s not just Tandem. Monzo, Starling, Revolut, N26 – they’ve all launched or are thinking about launching a suite of loan options. Revolut partnered with peer-to-peer lender Lending Works to power its consumer credit offering. N26 has teamed up with auxmoney and Younited Credit. They’re all gearing up to lend money but they’re stuck in this weird position where they can’t speak plainly about wanting to lend.

Assetz Capital to host intermediary events (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

Assetz Capital has announced dates for its intermediary roadshow and smart lending intermediary event.

The intermediary roadshow will be held at Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield, on 21st March, while the smart lending intermediary event will take place at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, on 17th April.

UK Consumer Credit 2017: Forecasts and Future Opportunities (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Rate of growth in consumer credit gross advances, which picked up in 2015, has slowed and year-end figures for 2017 are expected to show growth of around 4.6%. Growth will remain moderate throughout the rest of the forecast period, meaning that gross advances are expected to total of around £329bn by 2021. On the supply side, high incidences of bad debt, tighter lending criteria, and a cautious approach towards unsecured lending among providers and regulators will check the rate of growth of credit supply over the forecast period.

Critical success factors include in this report –
– Retail finance specialists should identify which retail sectors offer the best opportunities for growth, whether due to rising levels of spending or lack of current finance options. Innovation from fintech companies will soon provide small retailers with new financing options, increasing competition in the market. Hence, they should tailor their propositions to meet the needs of customers.
– Partnerships with established firms that have a longstanding reputation will help achieve the much needed scale for P2P platforms to compete.

Moreover, these report offers insight into –
– The key macroeconomic, regulatory, and other factors that will drive the demand for, and supply of, consumer credit over the next five years.
– The outlook for total consumer credit including overdrafts, P2P, motor finance, payday lending, home credit, credit cards, and retail finance.

Scope
– Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending will see double-digit growth up to 2021. The sector will continue to enjoy rapid expansion due to increased consumer awareness and partnerships with other related sectors.
– The motor finance boom has started to decline, with growth falling to a lower level of 3.4% in 2017. New car sales are falling, and the excess of vehicles that will enter the used car market over the next few years will drive down prices. Both trends will dampen demand for credit.
– Payday lending has been severely curtailed by tougher regulation, including strict price caps and comprehensive affordability checks. These measures have significantly reduced the supply of credit and will depress gross lending.

Banks not saying how they’ll support businesses hit by Brexit (The National), Rated: A

Brexit and Scottish Business, from former MPs Michelle Thomson and Roger Mullin of consultancy firm Momentous Change, reveals the concerns of 236 of Scotland’s senior business figures about leaving the EU. The report comes against a backdrop of a collapse in bank net lending. In the final two quarters of 2017, net lending to SMEs across 30 UK banks – 75 per cent of the UK lending market – was dwarfed by that from peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle.

International

 

INVESTORS NEWLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT HEDGE FUNDS (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

Deustche Bank recently released its Alternative Investment Survey, the 16th annual.  This year the questionnaires received replies from 436 global hedge fund investors, with assets under management of $2.1 trillion, who shared their insights, sentiments, and allocation plans.

Over the year, the HF industry grew by 6.4%; assets under management reached the record figure $3.21 trillion at year’s end. In last year’s survey, investors’ predictions had fallen a bit short, holding that the year’s end figure would be $3.14 trillion.

For the year to come, respondents are predicting further expansion, and a year’s end AUM of $3.42 trillion.

Half of the respondents expect to increase their own allocation. Another 39% said they will maintain their allocation where it is, so that only 11% plan to reduce it. Last year, only 37% of survey respondents were saying they expected to enhance this sliced of their portfolio, 41% expected to hold to the status quo, and 22% planned to reduce.

Addressing Demand (Medium), Rated: A

While we’ve made industry-leading progress in issuing over $23m in blockchain-backed loans, there is still a demand of over $1.3b in loan requests that we are diligently working to address.

 

Australia

Brokers have ‘key role’ in communicating CCR changes (TheAdviser), Rated: AAA

RateSetter surveyed 1,000 Australian consumers earlier this year and found that 29 per cent of people believe that the comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) changes will affect the way they approach and manage their finances by way of positive behavioural changes such as making payments on time and paying more than the minimum amount on their credit card.

SMEs ‘over-reliant’ on banks, but gradually changing (MyBusiness), Rated: A

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a new report which found that, although banks still dominate in funding small businesses, new bank lending is declining in a number of countries.

The Scoreboard found a median year-on-year drop of 6.5 per cent in bankruptcies in 2016, following a drop of 6.9 per cent in 2014 and 9.1 per cent in 2015.

The OECD report noted that SMEs accounted for 99.8 per cent of all enterprises in Australia, at just over 2.1 million in 2015/16.

It found that SME loans accounted for around 30 per cent of all outstanding business loans in Australia in 2016 and added that the average interest rate charged to SMEs in Australia between 2013 and 2016 were between 5.1 to 6.5 per cent – nearer the higher end of rates when compared to other OECD countries.

 

 

Brokers urged to help combat fear about CCR (AustralianBroker), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter called on brokers to help combat misunderstanding and fear about changes to credit reporting. It said yesterday that its research found that only one-third of people have any knowledge of the impending changes to how credit records are shared.

The lender’s research shows that to achieve positive outcomes under comprehensive credit reporting, consumer awareness needs to be significantly improved, given that two-thirds of people (67%) are unaware of these changes.

Crowdfunded neobank receives credit licence (MortgageBusiness), Rated: B

Online lender Xinja is set to target mortgage borrowers in Australia’s capital cities after receiving its Australian credit licence.

The neobank, which launched its equity crowdfunding offer in January 2018, has been granted an Australian credit licence (ACL) from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which will allow it to use its digital portal to offer home loans to borrowers.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday August 25 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative investing

News Comments Today’s main news: Ellevest raises $32M to target women investors. eOriginal, Notarize close first digital mortgage closing. OFF3R launches SIPPS portal. Zopa reduces higher-risk lending. China issues draft rules on illegal fundraising. TWINO adds second Russian originator. African university to offer fintech degree. Today’s main analysis: Should P2P lending investors worry about default rates?Early-stage fintech investment in UK, Germany. Today’s […]

alternative investing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Wall Street alum Sallie Krawcheck just raised $ 32 million for her investing platform (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

But the uncertainty and risk that comes with the markets is very often a major deterrent, especially for women, who invest at a much lower rate than men in the US.

To combat this, former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck launched Ellevest in 2016, a digital investing platform that puts female investors’ money in low-cost ETFs based on a pick-and-choose set of goals, like starting a business, buying a home, having children, and retiring comfortably.

This week, the startup raised $32.5 million in its latest round of funding, according to CNBC. Tennis superstar Venus Williams, who is a champion of equal pay and opportunity for women both on and off the court, was among Ellevest’s first investors.

Just 28% of women are willing to take on high risk to get a good return on their investment, compared to 45% of men, according to a 2015 report by BlackRock.

Man finds it can be hard to return $ 6,000 (WoodTV), Rated: AAA

When 53-year-old Wyoming resident Duane La Varier found $6,180 had mysteriously appeared in his bank account, he never dreamed how hard it could be just trying to give money away.

He said he and his wife never filled out any applications and never sought any kind of loan.

The deposit a week ago had come from a company called LendingClub.

“I said, ‘I did not apply for this loan. Just take it back, just take it all out of my account.’ They said no.”

LendingClub is not the actual lender — it represents lenders — but Dudum said the company will take the hit for the $6,000 loan and its fees.

eOriginal and Notarize Make Digital Mortgage the New Reality (Broadway World), Rated: AAA

With its launch of Notarize for Mortgage, the company’s proprietary signing and remote notarization platform, Notarize recently completed the first-ever online mortgage closing. By integrating directly with eOriginal’s electronic vault, they enable lenders to leverage a joint solution that takes only a few short days to set up and launch before borrowers can start closing loans online. Together, Notarize and eOriginal allow lenders to quickly provide a seamless digital experience spanning the entire closing process all the way through registration with MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.) and sale into the secondary market.

Connecting lenders, title agents, borrowers and notaries online 24 x 7 to digitize the closing process, the Notarize for Mortgage platform is approved by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, underwritten by national title underwriters, and was launched with five lender customers and numerous warehouse lender and mortgage servicer partners. The platform is available to lenders online or via modern APIs that allow them to integrate an online closing process directly into their existing tools, automating their closing operations entirely.

eOriginal’s platform of integrated solutions delivers a fully digital mortgage and supports every type of digital closing strategy.

TRANSPARENCY IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTING (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

In February of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 200 senior asset managers and institutional investor executives to learn what factors are most important in the way they make their decisions. Several different types of institution were involved, including hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, and nonprofits.

New Business Models – and Transparency

The 2008 global financial crisis of course had a negative impact on the alternative investments industry.

New business models have arisen to supply demand across the spectrum of investors, including those investors eligible for and interested in alternatives. Publicly traded limited partners are one important example.

Who will win the robo advisor IPO race? (Financial-Planning), Rated: AAA

It’s been a decade since the launch of the industry’s leading independent digital advice platforms — Betterment, Wealthfront and Personal Capital.

The question that now remains for all three: who will cross the IPO finish line first?

In terms of assets, the trio has kept their positions in the market respectively, with Betterment leading all independents with over $10 billion in AUM, followed by Wealthfront’s $7.4 billion and Personal Capital’s $4.9 billion.

Collectively, the three count just over 420,000 clients and over 548,000 accounts, according to SEC filings and company statements.

Personal Capital, which always tailored its services for HNW clients before lowering its account minimums (and then raising them up again) claims its average client account size is roughly $380,000; users with more than $1 million in investable assets, the company says, comprise about 40% of its AUM.

Source: Financial-Planning.com

Online Lenders Featured in the Inc. 5000 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Every year Inc. pulls together a list of the top 5000 fastest growing private companies in the United States. This year there were around 250 companies that made it in the financial services category and there are several familiar names on the list.

Other lenders readers may recognize are Lighter Capital (634), FastPay (1653), National Funding (2030), and ZestFinance (2202).

How Debit Activity Can Benefit Lenders in a Cashless Society (Clarity Services), Rated: A

With nearly half the American population carrying a subprime credit score, rent-to-own companies, online installment, storefronts and others are embracing new tools to intelligently navigate a market that has been largely overlooked.

  • Cash is only 14 percent of the share of transactions by value of payments (The Federal Reserve System Cash Product Office).
  • While the average American spends roughly $100 per day – not counting the purchase of a home, motor vehicle or normal household bills (Gallop), half of us are walking around with less than $20 cash (Bankrate.com).
  • If given the choice between a cashless and cash-only shop, most consumers in the wealthiest countries prefer the cashless option (ING Group/eZonomics).
  • Nearly 40 percent of Americans said that they would be happy to go completely without cash. (ING Group/eZonomics).

The top 7 startups from Y Combinator S’17 Demo Day 2 (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Standard Cognition is using machine vision to build the checkout of the future. Called autonomous checkout, the technology will allow shoppers to grab what they want and walk out of a store without having to go to a cashier. Standard Cognition believes it tech will enable those companies to save money and reduce theft.

Dharma Labs is building what it calls the first “protocol for debt on blockchains.” Citing the popularity of ICOs, the startup believes there’s a “proven demand for cryptoassets that look and act much like equity.” So Dharma has built a mechanism for decentralized peer-to-peer lending. “Anyone in the world can borrow and anyone in the world can lend.”

Emailage Raises $ 10m in Growth Equity Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Emailage, a Chandler, AZ-based provider of global fraud prevention and identity verification using email address scoring, raised $10m in growth equity funding.

The round was led by Anthos Capital, with participation from Radian Capital, Wipro Ventures, Mucker Capital and Tallwave Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to expand existing partnerships, further advance its email address-based predictive scoring system, and accelerate growth in North America, EMEA, LATAM and other key markets.

How to Expand Your Business Online by Offering More Products or Services (Kabbage), Rated: A

Hopefully, increased revenues will help ease cash flow problems and in the end, improve profits. Other advantages of growing business may include the chance to bring in more qualified employees, acquiring more customers and improving credit scores.

Expand service areas

Companies that provide services to homes or other businesses may find that their hometown or neighborhood has a limited customer base.

Expanding to nearby locations is one of the most common ways that local businesses grow into regional businesses. This also allows the company to add some more geographic areas to a business website, directories, and social pages to show up in more local searches.

Expand services

Most small business owners have to work to manage cash flow, and this task is much tougher when revenues are only high for a few months but operational costs last all year.

These are some ways to expand services both offline and online:

  • One good way to promote this kind of service online could be through holding webinars with tax tips for small businesses or even individuals. Some tax preparers might also produce books or videos for sale to help startups and small businesses manage tax planning better.
  • Some of these plucky entrepreneurs have learned to keep business flowing by offering holiday specials for getaways. Others have opened their facilities up to host seminars or workshops for organizations.
  • He kept his local business website to attract repair customers, but he also added an online store to sell products to the DIY crowd all over the country. He promoted this online store by creating some how-to videos.

This credit card alternative could be bad for your wallet (WSBTV.com), Rated: B

The problem is that these instant loans encourage impulse spending — and it doesn’t have to be a pricey vacation! Affirm will spread payments over a period of 12 months for loans of $100 or more.

To put that in perspective, you could easily pay more than $15 in interest on just a $100 loan!

LENDINGCLUB INVESTOR REVIEW: THE BEST PEER TO PEER LENDING SOLUTION (The College Investor), Rated: B

Over the last 8 years, 150,000 investors have lent over $26 Billion in personal loans through the peer to peer LendingClub platfrom. On average, investors in the top grade loans earned 5-7% annualized with strong cash flow.

As an added bonus, LendingClub allows you to invest as little as $25 per note. That means it’s easy to spread your risk across dozens or even hundreds of loans.

First, you need to meet some strict investor requirements.

  •  Income requirements: Must earn $70,000 annually ($85,000 in California)
  • Net Worth Requirements: Must have a net worth (exclusive of your home value) of $70,000 ($85,000 in California). People with a $250,000 net worth do not have to abide by the income requirements ($200,000 in California).
  •  Kentucky residents must be accredited investors (earn $200,000 annually or have a net worth of $1 million)
  •  Residents of Alaska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania cannot invest in LendingClub
  •  No more than 10% of your net worth can be investing in lending club notes
  •  $1,000 minimum investment

LendingClub charges $100 per year for their self directed IRA accounts, but they waive that if you maintain $5,000 of investments in your first year or $10,000 in subsequent years.

Once you select your loans, LendingClub will help you evaluate the risk on your portfolio of loans. They will even provide a projected rate of returns based off of history.

Source: The College Investor

TD Auto Monitors Fintech Startups (Auto Finance News), Rated: B

TD Auto Finance is keeping a close eye on fintech startups as it evaluates “opportunities that might exist” for auto refinance and private-party transactions, President and Chief Executive Andrew Stuart told Auto Finance News.

TD Auto is already “in discussions” with several fintech players to evaluate “where that might go,” Stuart said.

5 Things To Know Before Taking A Loan Online (ValueWalk), Rated: B

If you’ve considered taking a personal loan online here’s what you need to know:

  1. More accessible – Smaller, newer financial firms have stepped in to fill the gaps left behind by traditional banks since the crisis.
  2. Tailored products – You can tailor the specifics of the loan, such as the timeline for payback and the purpose of the loan. Businesses can use everything from inventory to invoices without the need for a personal guarantee.
  3. Pricing Variety – Whether the payments are amortized monthly or weekly. Whether the effective annual rate is as attractive as you expected.
  4. Less Regulation – Alternative lenders and online loan providers are not regulated by the FDIC the same way as traditional banks.
  5. More awareness – The lack of regulation means alternative online lenders have more flexibility to provide custom lending solutions. They can be as innovative as they want with these financial products. However, you need to be more careful when dealing with an online lender. Look into their history, get assurances from the company, and do your best to educate yourself about their business.
United Kingdom

OFF3R launches new SIPPS portal (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

OFF3R has launched a new channel dedicated to Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), the tax-free vehicle for pension savings.

The investment aggregator’s SIPPs portal launched on Tuesday 22 August with an initial list of three pension providers: Hargreaves Lansdown, IG, and True Potential Investor. It details the various fees and investment thresholds of each platform, as well as information on the different management styles.

Zopa reduces higher-risk lending (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

Zopa has revealed it is taking steps to attract more lower-risk customers as it continues its reduction in higher-risk lending.

Zopa has reduced the amount of lending in its higher return D-E markets, which are included in its Plus product.

The Plus product was designed for investors who were willing to accept more risk for higher returns, with rates of between 6-7%.

Zopa expects that the lower-risk approach will mean the targeted returns for new investments in the Plus product will be 4.5%.

“For example, the proportion of D and E loans in the Plus product would go from 30% until now, to 10-15% in the future.”

Peer-to-peer lending: should you worry about default rates? (Your Money), Rated: AAA

Neil Faulkner, managing director of peer-to-peer research and ratings agency 4thWay, explains that investors should pay close attention to published bad-debt figures (which cover loan write-offs as well as simple defaults) of the different platforms.

Zopa

When a loan is approved, Zopa makes an assumption about its likelihood of falling into default over the lifetime of the loan, and then revises this default expectation over the lifetime of the loan.

Source: YourMoney.com

Zopa divides up investor money between many borrowers matching the risk profile specified at the outset by the investor, to spread the risk. If a borrower misses four months of repayments, then a recovery process begins.

RateSetter

The headline rate to note is that over its lifetime, 98.31% of loans are up-to-date – in order words, around 1.7% are in some form of arrears.

Funding Circle

Funding Circle is a little different in that you are lending to businesses rather than people. Over the lifetime of the site, it says that around 2% of loans have turned bad.

Lending Works

To date, Lending Works has an actual bad debt rate of 1.1%.

Assetz Capital Update: Investors Have Earned £25 Million to Date (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Assetz Capital has shared that investors in aggregate have earned gross returns of more than £25 million on their investments in approximately four years. Assetz Capital says lenders earned an average of 8% gross interest across all Assetz Capital loans since platform launch, before allowances for tax or any losses not covered by a provision fund.

Currently, Assetz Capital has about 20,000 registered and active investors. The returns since the launch of the platform were generated from over £309 million lent to UK businesses from a range of industries looking to raise funds, including SME, bridging and development sectors.

ThinCats plans staggered IFISA roll-out before end of 2017 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Earlier this month, ThinCats received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allowed the firm to apply for ISA manager status from the HMRC. While a launch date has not been officially set, Stewart Cazier, head of retail, told Peer2Peer Finance News: “I’m definitely thinking 2017. I’d be very disappointed if it didn’t happen this year.”

Innovate Finance CEO steps down (AltFi), Rated: B

After two and half years at the helm of the fintech member association, Innovate Finance, Lawrence Wintermeyer has stepped down.

Wintermeyer is leaving to pursue other opportunities, he said.

China

China issues draft rules in crackdown on illegal fundraising (Reuters), Rated: AAA

China issued draft rules targeting illegal fundraising on Thursday, as the authorities step up a campaign to crack down on risky and illicit behavior in the country’s financial sector.

The draft rules, issued by the law office of China’s State Council, call for participants engaged in illegal fundraising to cover the losses stemming from those activities.

Regulators will guide financial institutions and non-bank payment service providers on tightening up their supervision of suspicious fund flows, the draft rules said.

Financial institutions and non-bank payment service providers, if found to be negligent, will be subject to having their illegal income forfeited. They will also be subject to a fine of more than 1 time but less than five times of the illegal income, the draft rules said.

The executives responsible for the illegal activity will be removed and banned from entering the financial industry for a certain period of time and could be subject to fines of between 50,000 yuan and 500,000 yuan each ($7,507-$75,072), the rules said.

China Rapid Finance Posted a $ 13.5M Net Loss in Q2, but Very Close to Profitability (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, China Rapid Finance (NYSE:XRF) released an unaudited financial report for the second quarter of 2017. In the second quarter, the company reported a gross income of $24.5 million, up 59% from a year earlier, and their net income was $15.2 million, up 9 percent year on year. The company posted a net loss of $13.5 million in the second quarter, compared with $5.9 million in the same period last year, as the cost of including customer incentives increased.

However, the company still held the “Low and Grow” business strategy. Compared to the profitability, there are more concerned about gross income. Through analysis of the company’s financial and business data, we can find that some business data is changing and the potential for profit is increasing.

Better Buy: SINA vs. Weibo (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Chinese internet companies SINA (NASDAQ:SINA) and Weibo(NASDAQ:WB) are closely tied to each other. SINA holds a 46% stake in Weibo, deriving 72% of its top line from the Chinese Twitter clone (as Weibo is referred to by some).

Weibo’s greater gains have made it more expensive with a trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 132 as compared to SINA’s 30.

SINA relies on Weibo for 70% of its revenue, which means that investors can still enjoy the latter’s rapid growth via a stock with a lower valuation. Additionally, SINA’s non-Weibo business has started gaining some traction of late, with the company witnessing 8% year-over-year growth from this segment in the latest quarter.

While there is no denying that Weibo’s growth is still impressive — as the 28% year-over-year jump in its monthly active users boosted its advertising revenue by 72% last quarter — at the same time, there will be a limit to the company’s growth given its negligible presence outside China and the competition from the likes of Tencent‘s (NASDAQOTH:TCEHY) WeChat.

Fluid Wins LendIt Choice Award – Aug 2017 (FluidFi), Rated: B

Fluid, a California based FinTech & AdTech startup announces today that it received LendIt LangDi Fintech Choice Award from LendIt Conference in Shanghai, China.

European Union

Latvian P2P Lender TWINO Adds Second Russian Originator (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Latvian peer-to-peer lending platform TWINO has reportedly added a second Russian originator to its platform since its December 2016 launch.

According to P2P Finance News, over 40% of TWINO’s investors have funded Russian loans.

Early-Stage Fintech Investment In The UK & Germany Goes To Insurtech, Banking (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Year-to-date, European fintech companies have raised close to $2.6B across 295 deals, meaning that at the current run rate 2017 could see 500 deals and $4.5B in total funding by year end. For perspective, funding to European fintech companies is already 30% higher in 2017 YTD than the 2016 total.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

UK early-stage fintech financing has remained above 15 deals quarterly since Q2’14. Total disclosed funding has been a bit choppier: at $27M, Q4’16 was the lowest quarter since Q2’14, while the following quarter (Q1’17) saw the third-highest total funding at $81M and the largest number of deals at 33. Most recently, Q2’17 figures fell to $41M across 16 deals.

For example, Monese, which provides banking services for immigrants and expats, raised a $10M Series A in Q1’17, while Wirex, which allows for the holding of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies in a single account on its personal banking platform, raised a $3M Series A in the same quarter.

Insurance is trending up across Europe at large, with more than 20 early-stage deals closing for approximately $50M year-to-date.

GERMANY

Funding hit its peak in 2016 as well, at $135M, well above the previous high-water mark of $46M in 2013 and more than 4X the $31M total for 2015. 2017 is on pace to surpass 2016 early-stage fintech financing figures, with 22 deals and $83M year-to-date.

Germany has also seen an increase in early-stage deals to small business banking and API-focused mobile banking platforms. Financing rounds to this group have increased steadily since 2015, which saw 5 deals close for $17M and was followed by 7 deals in 2016 (for a much smaller $6M).

Klarna (Hortonworks), Rated: A

Klarna uses Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF) to help drive its deep data mining and AI, and to thus mitigate risk for buyers and sellers.

International

San Francisco and Berlin have new competition for the capital of ‘fintech’ (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Dubai has seen a surge of interest from fintech startups and banking assets over the last three years, according to the emirate’s financial center’s management body.

It’s fast becoming a destination for financial technology startups because of its location, private investment and innovation.

He told CNBC that the financial services industry contributes about 12 percent to Dubai’s total gross domestic product and it is expected to increase to 18 percent by 2024.

Increased appetite for fintech investment in Dubai from CNBC.

AXIS Capital Partners with Plug and Play Tech Center (BusinessWire), Rated: A

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited and its operating subsidiaries (“AXIS Capital”) (NYSE:AXS) today announced it has partnered with Plug and Play, a global digital startup innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley. By joining Plug and Play’s InsurTech platform, AXIS will gain access to world-class digital insurance startups and will provide mentorship and technical support, along with underwriting and actuarial expertise, to help turn their ideas into products or services.

To help address the rapid and transformative changes underway within the (re)insurance industry, AXIS will work with property and casualty, life/health and general InsurTech startups that have been accepted to Plug and Play’s InsurTech program. This 12-week program attracts applications from hundreds of startups from around the world that utilize technology, data and analytics to develop innovative new business models, products and services.

AXIS will focus on the areas of Insurance, Reinsurance, Health, IoT (Internet of Things), FinTech and Mobility, with leaders from different business areas serving as program mentors and technical advisors.

Australia

Digital advice embraced by all ages (Financial Standard), Rated: AAA

Superannuation fund member engagement via Decimal’s digital financial advice software increased 37% in the past year, latest quarterly statistics show.

Decimal’s digital insights report for the June quarter shows 2366 members in its superannuation client base decided to engage with super via the digital advice channel over a 12 month period, up from 1731 the year prior.

Total funds under advice increased to $8.4 billion, up 72% year-on-year, and Decimal Software chief executive Nick Pollock said compound growth is stimulating for the super sector.

“The insights show that 43% of all logins were by women, 28% of logins took place outside of business hours, with 31% of those logins happening between 10pm and 6am,” Pollock said.

Australian fintech launches industry census (AltFi), Rated: A

Australian fintech has launched an expanded industry census, which will seek to unpack key issues like how to expand overseas and gender diversity and help set lobbying and policy priorities.

Working on the census, consultancy firm EY, and industry group FinTech Australia, have asked Aussie fintechs to complete it by 3 September.

FinTech Australia Reveals Initial Speaker Line Up for Inaugural Fintech Fest (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

FinTech Australia and Next Money, along with the State Government of Victoria, a gearing up for their inaugural week long Fintech event –  Intersekt. The Fintech festival will be taking place in Melbourne, Australia from October 27 to November 3rd if you happen to be in Australia.

Confirmed speakers for Intersekt so far include:

  • Anthony Thomson, founder of the UK’s Metro and Atom Banks (and the current chairman of Atom Bank). Atom Bank is one of the leading UK Challenger banks.
  • Ron Suber, called the “godfather of Fintech” due to his globe-trotting reputation for promoting online lending and all things Fintech. Suber recently joined the leadership team at Credible, the multi-lender marketplace for student loans. Suber is also President Emeritus of Prosper Marketplace and holds a broad portfolio of Fintech investments.
  • Megan Caywood, chief platform officer for the UK’s mobile only Starling Bank, who has delivered a range of major customer experience improvements.
  • David Birch, an international thought leader in digital identity and digital money and author of “Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin”
  • Van Le, who is the co-founder of Xinja, which is on track to be Australia’s first independent, 100% digital bank made for mobile.
    Lucy Liu, co-founder and chief operating officer of Melbourne-based payments company Airwallex who was this year named as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30
  • Emma Weston, CEO and co-founder of AgriDigital, which provides a blockchain-enabled, integrated commodity management solution for the global grains industry
India

Over 40% Indians act on financial advice given by spouse, RBI report shows (Zeebiz), Rated: AAA

Key Highlights:

  • Over 50% Indians think that their children will take care of them financially after retirement
  • 44% Indians do not think they will ever retire from work 
  • An average of 66% of randomly selected adult household members have a bank account.
Source: Zeebiz

The report found that the average Indian household holds 84% of its wealth in real estate and other physical goods, 11% in gold and the residual 5% in financial assets.

Source: Zeebiz

The report said that 44% Indians have not thought of retirement as “people like me cannot retire from work,” they said.

Only 13% people surveyed were actively saving for their retirement while 33% had absolutely no planning for retirement.

Only around 5% people had money invested in financial assets for their retirement planning while gold formed nearly 10% of this fund.

India’s Domestic Workers Have A New Ally In This Innovative FinTech Startup (Forbes), Rated: A

The team at SERV’D has a simple but ambitious goal: to organize India’s unorganized domestic workforce. That means bringing financial inclusion to millions of unregistered workers via a mobile contract and payment app.

The lack of written contracts also makes it difficult for low-income domestic workers to build a financial history. Without that, they struggle to save money or obtain insurance, which all but guarantees they will remain in poverty. Exclusion from formal financial services bars people from accessing health insurance, bank accounts, and can even inhibit them from finding affordable housing.

SERV’D seeks to replace the verbal work agreements made between customers and their hired help. Instead of tenuous oral contracts, the fintech startup wants employers and employees to create digital agreements on the SERV’D app. The platform also allows them to make digital payment transfers so neither party has to worry about dealing with cash.

Most importantly, the online payment trail creates traceable income records for poor, unbanked workers. With enough proof of income built up, they will eventually be able to open bank accounts and access financial products that are currently beyond reach.

Ezetap’s fresh funds are the latest VC dollars flowing to Indian fintech (PitchBook), Rated: A

Mobile payments startup Ezetap is the latest Indian fintech company to pull in new equity financing. The company has raised $16 million from investors including JS Capital Management, Social Capital and Horizons Ventures.

Fintech NBFC “Prest Loans” Forays Its Operations In Rajasthan (BusinessWorld), Rated: B

Prest Loans the new age FinTech NBFC, providing online loans to small businesses and MSME segment has expanded its operations by opening new office in Rajasthan.

Asia

LATTICE80 & FINOLAB Sign MOU on Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LATTICE80, a Singapore based non profit Fintech hub backed by Marvelstone Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with FINOLAB in Japan to mutually boost their Fintech ecosystems and global networks. Marvelstone is a global VC group based in Singapore.

This Fintech bridge will seek to create a passporting system for Fintech’s in each country to expand into new markets.

PH startups urged: Aspire to be unicorns (Cebu Daily News), Rated: AAA

Aldo Carrascoso, founder and chief executive officer of GlycoProX Biosciences, Veem, and Jukin Media & Verego, said that focusing on becoming “unicorns” detracts the purpose of why people launch startups in the first place.

Lee argued that the first unicorns were founded in the 1990s, Google Inc. being the clear “super unicorn” of the group with a valuation of more than $100 billion. Many unicorns were also born in the 2000s, although Facebook Inc. is the decade’s only super unicorn.

Other prominent unicorns today include Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Spotify, Pinterest, and Lazada, to name a few.

Treading the path toward that level takes mindfulness of revenue, a good business model, addressable market, and a product-market fit, said Carrascoso.

Benjamin cited Xoom, a San Francisco-based digital money transfer or remittance provider, which traces its foundations to serving clients between the Philippines and the US.

Since then the company has expanded to India and Mexico, among others, and was bought by PayPal for $890 million. Today, they do $9.1 billion in money transmissions and are operating in 18 countries with a demand for money remittance services.

The search for a unicorn is on (Sunstar), Rated: A

THE Philippines may have its own “tech unicorns” or technology businesses valued at $1 billion in the future. But experts says more work and collaboration is needed to achieve this dream.

To date, no Philippine tech startup has managed to meet the goal of being a billion-dollar company.

Globally, the US and China lead in numbers, having produced the most number of unicorns like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb as well as Xiaomi and Alibaba. Meanwhile, Malaysia in Southeast Asia has produced two unicorns in Grab and the Lazada Group.

First, he said Philippine startups need to know how to be fundable. Instead of aiming to be a unicorn, he advised local startups to become a “cockroach” instead, one that characterizes strong survival skills, or a rhino, “big and realistic.”

Getting payments to pay off (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

“A key advantage of e-wallets is the low cost. You can make payments and transfer money at much cheaper rates than in conventional payment systems,” explains Gunther Zhen, the founder and CEO of iPayLinks Financial Information Service (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

For China, this is certainly the case. While incumbent payment systems that rely on Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay charge merchants an estimated 2.5% to 3% MDR (merchant discount rate), new rivals like Alipay charge between 0.7% and 1.2%.

In Malaysia, however, the landscape could be different as the current MDRs are already quite low. Bank Negara Malaysia’s Payment Card Reform Framework has slashed the MDR on debit and credit cards since July 2015 when it took effect.

Today, domestic debit cards have an MDR of only 0.56% while for international debit cards, it is 0.96%. Credit cards are still relatively expensive with an MDR of 1.35%, but that is expected to drop drastically by 2021 when Bank Negara will cap interchange fees (the largest component of MDR) at 0.48% — less than half the 1.1% ceiling imposed today.

Just look at Touch ’n Go Sdn Bhd, which booked RM15.3 million of interest income in 2015 on RM429.3 million worth of deposits in card balances. And this is merely from the relatively small balance in each card.

Alipay creation, Yu’E Bao, is one of China’s most popular internet-based funds. It had amassed RMB1.43 trillion as at end-June. By comparison, Bank of China, one of the four major commercial banks in the country, had total deposits of RMB1.6 trillion as at end-2016.

Pundi-Pundi Raises $ 4M in Pre-A Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Pundi-Pundi, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based mobile payments and micro-loan startup aiming to create a cashless environment in South East Asia, closed a $4M pre-A round of funding.

Africa

UCT to offer fintech-focused degree from 2018 (BusinessDay), Rated: AAA

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has become one of the first tertiary institutions in Africa to offer a degree specifically designed to equip students with the critical skills and knowledge to embrace the technological revolution in the financial services sector.

One of its key focus areas will be blockchain technology, or the distributed ledger system, that has given rise to new crypto-currencies such as bitcoin and ether.

The crypto-currency market is reportedly now worth more than $50bn and the use of virtual currencies is gaining traction in SA.

UCT has sought to tackle this problem by offering a new master’s degree in data science with a specialisation in financial technology, said Georg, who is also the course convener. The programme is due to commence in 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Peer-to-Peer Loans: Can Economically Intuitive Factors Improve Ability of Proprietary Algorithms to Predict Defaults?

LendingClub unemployment default rates

As compared to traditional lenders, peer-to-peer platforms (P2P) are supposed to use sophisticated data-intensive proprietary algorithms to assess a borrower’s credit risk. Since an increasing number of loans are now being underwritten by these algorithms, either directly through the platform or via partnerships with traditional banks, investors and regulators now need to understand how the […]

LendingClub unemployment default rates

As compared to traditional lenders, peer-to-peer platforms (P2P) are supposed to use sophisticated data-intensive proprietary algorithms to assess a borrower’s credit risk. Since an increasing number of loans are now being underwritten by these algorithms, either directly through the platform or via partnerships with traditional banks, investors and regulators now need to understand how the algorithms work in practice. In this post, we evaluate one aspect of the performance of these algorithms, namely, whether they make adequate use of predictors that economic theory suggests are drivers of credit risk. Specifically, we focus on unemployment rates in the area where the borrower resides. Using peer-to-peer consumer loans offered by LendingClub, we find that local unemployment rates can significantly improve the predictive power of their algorithm.

Our analysis is based on 600,000+ 36-month maturity loans originated between 2011 and 2015. The number and dollar amounts of loans issued over this period is shown in Figures 1 and 2.

Total number of loans issued between 2011 and 2015.
Total dollar value of loans originated between 2011 and 2015.

To examine whether unemployment can boost LendingClub’s algorithm, we compare the default rates of loans that have similar default risk according to LendingClub but were issued in areas with different unemployment rates. For each year of loan origination, we first categorize a loan according to LendingClub’s assessment of its credit risk. Specifically, we categorize a loan as “low risk”, “moderate risk,” or “high risk” based on its interest rate — which is set by LendingClub’s algorithm. Then, we categorize a loan as being in a low, moderate, or high unemployment area based on the unemployment rate in the zip-code where the borrower resides. Finally, we measure the unemployment rate effect as the difference in default rates for loans in the same risk category but different unemployment rate category.

The default rates for loans in different risk-unemployment categories is shown in Figure 3.

The average percentage of loan defaults in low and high-unemployment areas by three risk categories. Shadowed bars show default rate in low-unemployment areas and solid bars present default rates in high-unemployment area.

This figure plots the average default rates for each risk-unemployment category, averaged across the years of origination. Loans issued to borrowers who live in areas with high unemployment rates default at markedly higher rates. For example, for high-risk loans, the default rate in high unemployment areas is about two percentage points higher in that of low unemployment areas. Furthermore, loans in high unemployment areas default at a higher rate across all years. In Figure 4, we plot the differential in default rates for the high-risk loans for each year of origination.

The difference in loan default rate between high and low-unemployment areas for high risk loans.

As seen, the differential is positive across all years in the sample and is about 1.5% even for the most recent years.
Returns on the loans in the high-unemployment category have also been noticeably lower. In Figure 5, we compare annualized rates of return across loans from the different risk-unemployment categories. For example, for the high-risk loans, the returns differential is 60 basis points.

Annualized returns for loans. Shadowed bars show returns in loans originated in low-unemployment areas and solid bars show returns in loans originated in high-unemployment areas

Using a Cox proportional hazard model, an industry-standard framework for analyzing default risk, we confirmed that the unemployment effect described here is statistically significant.

Our analysis on drivers of credit risk for P2P loans is ongoing, and we will update you with our new findings in future posts.

Authors:

Written by Atay Kizilaslan and Aziz Lookman.

Tuesday March 14 2017, Daily News Digest

total debt balance

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi’s loan losses pile up as wealthy borrowers default. Charles Schwab launches hybrid human-robo financial advice. GDR adds Avant as verification network partner. Vista to acquire D+H to merge with Misys.  Today’s main analysis: Household debt edges up as auto, credit card, and student debt climb. The regulation of MPL. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Everything […]

total debt balance

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Canada

Asia

Middle East

News Summary

United States

SoFi’s Loan Losses Pile Up as Even Wealthy Borrowers Default (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Social Finance Inc.’s online borrowers are defaulting at higher rates than underwriters for one of its bond deals had expected, the latest sign that an industry that hoped to upend banking is now getting tripped up by bad loans.

Losses on the company’s personal loans were high enough to breach key levels known as “triggers” last month on a bond deal issued in 2015 and backed by the loans, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. If defaults keep rising, investors in bonds could end up missing out on expected interest payments.

Other online lenders have had similar trouble with defaults and triggers recently, which has broadly made it more expensive for the startups to fund their businesses. One pioneer in the business, CircleBack Lending Inc., stoppedmaking new loans as growing numbers of its borrowers defaulted.

Credit issues at Prosper Marketplace Inc. resulted in staff cuts at that company, and were largely the result of lending too much, too fast, and a “grow at all cost” attitude fueled by insatiable demand from investors, Prosper CEO David Kimball said at the New York conference last week.

Household Debt Edges Up as Auto, Credit Card, and Student Debt Climb (New York Fed), Rated: AAA

Aggregate household debt balances grew in the fourth quarter of 2016. As of December 31, 2016, total household indebtedness was $12.58 trillion, a $226 billion (1.8%) increase from the third quarter of 2016. Overall household debt is now 0.8% below its 2008Q3 peak of $12.68 trillion, and is 12.8% above the 2013Q2 trough.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, which stood at $8.48 trillion as of December 31, saw a $130 billion uptick from the third quarter of 2016.

Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were roughly flat, rising $1 billion to $473 billion.

Non-housing debt balances rose in the fourth quarter; with increases of $22 billion in auto loans, 32 billion in credit cards, and 31 billion in student loans.

Charles Schwab launches hybrid human-robo financial advice (WHTC), Rated: AAA

Brokerage Charles Schwab Corp on Tuesday launched a service that combines its automated investment management technology with human advisors, as financial institutions race to offer digital financial advice.

The service, called Schwab Intelligent Advisory, provides clients with a financial and investment plan, unlimited access to a human advisor via phone or video conference, and an investment portfolio of exchange-traded funds managed by computer algorithms.

The service, for clients with at least $25,000 to invest, includes an online platform that keeps track of financial goals and retirement plans, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement. It will charge a 0.28 percent fee on assets, with a quarterly maximum of $900.

The Regulation of Marketplace Lending: A Summary of the Principal Issues (Chapman and Cutler LLP), Rated: AAA

At the outset, it may be helpful for us to briefly discuss the scope of this paper and some of the terminology we use. There is no single or universally accepted definition of “marketplace lending.” In general, though, marketplace lenders can be viewed as companies engaged in an Internet-based lending business (other than payday lending) which are not banks or savings associations or otherwise regulated as financial institutions. They may offer a wide variety of financial products, including student loans, small business loans, and real estate loans, in addition to the unsecured installment consumer loans on which the industry initially focused. However, “marketplace lenders” may or may not actually be lenders. This term is a generic term to identify participants in marketing, originating, selling, and servicing loans. They also may fund their loans through a variety of means, including equity capital, commercial lines of credit, sales of whole loans to institutional investors, securitizations, and/or pass-through note programs. In this paper we focus on the consumer lenders since they are the most heavily regulated and have the highest loan volumes. However, much of the discussion herein—outside of matters pertaining directly to consumer lending regulation—will also apply to nonconsumer lenders.

Download “The Regulation of Marketplace Lending: A Summary of the Principal Issues” here.

Global Debt Registry Adds Avant as Verification Network Partner (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan data validation expertise, today announced it has added leading online lending platform Avant to its verification network.

Investors in loans through Avant now have turnkey access to enhanced loan due diligence services and can easily add new data insights onto portfolios of loans without having to touch sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) about borrowers.

GDR’s eValidationSM and eVerifySM asset certainty tools require no technology investment, using existing data structures and processes to streamline the flow of information from the lender to the investor. In addition to digital scanning for traditional document verification and data integrity, GDR securely analyzes the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to ensure borrower data can be independently confirmed in compliance with the investors representations and warranties.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2017-1 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2017-1 (MFT 2017-1). This is a $257.44 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on March 23, 2017. This transaction represents the third securitization collateralized by unsecured consumer loans originated by Cross River Bank, under the Marlette Best Egg Platform and sold to Marlette Funding, LLC (“Marlette”) or its affiliate.

Approximately $250 – $325 million of loans are originated through the Platform per quarter. Since March 2015, over $3 billion of loans have been originated though the Platform, and as of February 2017, Marlette has over $100 million of loans on its balance sheet.

The transaction has initial credit enhancement levels of 27.45% for the Class A Notes, 17.95% for the Class B Notes, and 9.10% for the Class C Notes. Credit enhancement consists of overcollateralization, subordination (in the case of the Class A and Class B Notes) and a reserve account funded at closing.

Traditional Advisor Business Model Will Not Last (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

Several developments are creating a “perfect storm” that will revolutionize the financial advice industry and leave many advisors behind, John Lohr writes in Seeking Alpha.

First Ascent still uses real humans on its investment committee, while an independent advisor serves the client, Lohr writes. That model isn’t likely going away: even robo-advice pioneers such as Betterment now offer upgraded services that give investors unlimited interaction with a licensed advisor, he writes.

But Betterment’s annual fee for unlimited calls with an advisor is just .50%, according to Lohr. That means high-fee advisors are on the way out, he writes.

Clarity Money Marks Continued Growth with 100,000 Customers and Senior Hires (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Clarity Money, a revolutionary personal finance app that acts as the “Champion of your Money,” has reached 100,000 customers since its launch in January 2017. The app has been a “featured” personal finance app on the Apple App Store since its launch. Clarity Money was created by venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Adam Dell.

To keep up with this growing demand, Clarity Money is pleased to announce three new additions to its team – Melissa Manne, Vice President of Product Management; Colin Kennedy, Chief Revenue Officer; and Marc Atiyeh, Chief Strategy Officer. The Clarity Money team already includes financial and technology veterans from Betterment, Google and IBM, as well as advisory board members Niall Ferguson, economic historian, and Dan Ariely, behavioral economist.

Clarity Money works by using data science and machine learning to provide personalized insights for customers. By utilizing a combination of techniques such as natural language processing, anomaly detection and spectral analysis, customers are able to take advantage of features such as: bill lowering, subscription cancellation, creating a savings accounts and providing tailored suggestions on things such as credit cards.

With the potential impact of financial deregulation and the weakening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumers need a financial advocate now more than ever. Banks and financial institutions already have powerful tools designed to sell, market and retain customers, but consumers don’t have an equally powerful tool to level the playing field and protect against hidden fees and recurring charges. Clarity Money empowers consumers to take control of their finances, providing them with transparency, organization and actionable insights.

PeerStreet Awarded ‘Top Emerging Real Estate Platform’ by LendIt (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, is pleased to announce that it has been named the Top Emerging Real Estate Platform in the LendIt 2017 Awards. PeerStreet is an Andreessen Horowitz-backed platform, focused on democratizing access to investments in real estate debt.

The Top Emerging Real Estate Platform category focused on younger companies that have demonstrated the greatest potential to impact the future of real estate investing. PeerStreet stood out as the top platform with its unique model, as it is not a direct lender and brings an innovative offering to investors.

RealtyMogul.com CEO Jilliene Helman Named Fintech Woman of the Year (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

RealtyMogul.com CEO Jilliene Helman was named Fintech Woman of the Year at the first annual LendIt Industry Awards. Helman was honored for her “outstanding leadership, integrity, performance, and team-building support within RealtyMogul, as well as her contributions to the advancement of the industry.”

The awards, which showcased leaders from across the fintech industry, were part of the annual LendIt USA Conference held in New York City March 6 and 7th. Helman was selected by a panel of 30 industry expert judges from among a field of six leading fintech pioneers.

New fintech conference focused on branded currency comes to Omaha (siliconprairienews), Rated: A

Flourish: The Growth of Branded Currency is a fintech conference launching in Omaha this April 10 -12. The conference is focused on branded currency, and is targeting a range of retailers from those with a national presence to smaller Midwest retailers and their technology service providers.

K+H Connection is the company hosting the event. K+H is a fintech consulting firm based in Chicago, IL that focuses specifically on helping fintech companies integrate with merchants.

HG: Branded currency is actually a relatively new term. In short, it is any sort of tender that is branded and used for a specific purpose or at a specific merchant or location. It could be a gift card, promotional value you earn through a referral or loyalty program, points earned through a credit card program, prepaid mall-branded gift cards, etc. These types of products are more than just a form of tender, they incentivize spend and behavior.

We’re also focusing heavily on fraud within branded currency. Fraud has been the number one thing that people have asked us to discuss, so we are going to have a huge session on it.

Podcast 93: John Donovan of Bizfi (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Industry pioneer John Donovan talks about why he is excited to be at the helm of one of the leaders in small business lending.

LendIt USA 2017: Sessions You May Have Missed (LendIt), Rated: B

Thanks to everyone who joined us at LendIt USA 2017. Our growth surpassed our expectations and we had close to 5,900 attendees at the two-day conference.

United Kingdom

NACFB offers members ‘unrestricted’ insurance cover for peer-to-peer (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has announced it will now offer members unrestricted insurance cover for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

Under the terms of NACFB membership, brokers must have professional indemnity insurance covering them against mis-selling claims from clients.

UK and Japanese regulators agree to cooperate on fintech (Out-Law.com), Rated: A

On Thursday, the FCA and JFSA agreed a mutual referral system which will see the regulators provide assistance to fintech businesses that wish to expand UK operations into Japan, or vice versa.

The collaboration, which was confirmed by an exchange of letters, will also facilitate information sharing between the regulators on emerging market trends and regulatory issues pertaining to fintech, as well as information concerning referrals.

European Union

CSI globalVCard Expands Globally (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

CSI globalVCard, a leading B2B payments company specializing in secure and rewarding payments, today announced that it has expanded services to Europe and has opened a London office, its first move in a planned worldwide expansion. The company plans to roll out its services across additional continents by year’s end. CSI will use the payment issuance capacity of PrePay Solutions (PPS), a subsidiary of Edenred (70% owned by Edenred and 30% by MasterCard), worldwide leader in prepaid corporate services. PPS will bring CSI its unique payment technology to issue and process all  CSI virtual cards and wire transfers in Europe.

Expansion outside of North America was sparked by CSI globalVCard’s growing demand from multi-national clients, their increased need for native currency payments, as well as customer service support across local time zones. The global payments market is estimated at $1.2 trillion, of which B2B payments account for $550 billion. Ten percent of organizations make between 20 and 50 percent of their payments to foreign suppliers, and organizations earning over $2 billion in revenue pay the largest percent of their payments to foreign suppliers.1

Canada

Vista to acquire D+H for fintech merger with Misys (Financial News), Rated: AAA

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has struck a deal to acquire D+H, a Canadian financial technology provider, with an eye to merging it with UK-based Misys to create a financial software company with $2.2 billion in revenues.

US-based Vista said in a statement today that it will pay C$25.50 per share in cash for D+H, including the assumption of debt, in a deal that values the Toronto-listed firm at 4.8 billion Canadian dollars.

Misys chief executive Nadeem Syed said the combination of the two companies gives them the opportunity to create a “global fintech powerhouse”.

That powerhouse would have about 10,000 employees and 9,000 customers, including 48 of the top 50 banks, the statement said.

Asia

Here’s Everything You Should Know About Alternative Lending In Asia (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the last 5-10 years, China, India, and Southeast Asia have leapfrogged from a cash-based society to one where mobile payments are common currency, skipping adoption of credit cards, savings accounts and other consumer financial products common in Western countries. The result: a population that’s smartphone-savvy but still largely unbanked, without the credit histories necessary to access traditional small business or personal loans. It’s a prime market for alternative lenders, who usually use alternative means to assess creditworthiness, foregoing traditional credit scores altogether.

Here is a brief taxonomy of the many types of alternative lenders currently operating in both Asia and the West.

According to Bloomberg, China has 2,200 P2P lenders alone, and its P2P lending market is valued at an estimated $100 billion.

Chinese tech giants have aggressively pursued synergies between different divisions of their sprawling businesses. For instance, Sesame Credit, Alibaba’s alternative credit scoring program, looks at the frequency and cost of a customer’s purchases on Alibaba’s mobile payments platform Alipay in order to determine creditworthiness.

Meanwhile, India’s alternative lending market is in a much earlier stage. Giant tech companies don’t yet dominate the scene, and so the balance-sheet lending landscape includes a large number of small specialists like EarlySalary (payday loans), ZestMoney (point of sale), and Buddy (targeted at students). There are only about 30 P2P lenders in the country, which is surprising for a country where nearly 40% of the population is unbanked, and therefore without access to traditional loans.

Southeast Asia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but the small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that make it up have more limited access to financial credit than the global average.

In Singapore, the financial center of the region, the major alternative finance players in Singapore are peer-to-company (P2C) lenders: specialized P2P lenders that only provide loans for SMEs. Market leader Capital Match was founded in 2014, but says it has already paid out more than S$32m (US$22.5m) in loans.

Malaysia is doing its part to meet P2P companies like Funding Societies in the middle, having recently updated its financial guidelines to include P2P lending. Thailand has done the same, issuing a consultation paper on regulations for P2P lending last fall.

German Challenger Bank SolarisBank Goes to Asia (Fintech News), Rated: AAA

The financial services subsidiary of the Bertelsmann Group, Arvato Financial Solutions, and the Japanese investor SBI Group will invest in solarisBank in a partnership that promises significant cooperation potential across international markets. In total, the Berlin-based bank raises EUR 26.3 million in the series A financing, meanwhile seed investors FinLeap, Hegus and yabeo Capital participate as well.

As the young bank steps up its internationalisation efforts, new executives are being added to its leadership team: Roland Folz will join the Management Board as CEO, while Gerrit Seidel will take over as Supervisory Board Chairman from HitFox Group and FinLeap founder Jan Beckers.

solarisBank intends to expand its activities in European and Asian countries over the coming years, and will establish joint venture companies with the SBI Group in order to develop businesses in Asia.

Middle East

The real estate property crowdfunder with an ethical conscience (Zawya), Rated: A

As key professional in the Qatar real estate industry gather for the annual Cityscape exhibition in Doha,  MercyCrowd, a brand new type of property crowdfunding platform, will offer for the first time to people in Qatar international real estate purchases through crowdfunding.

MercyCrowd  is part of the Elite International Asset Group, an established international company promoting real estate investment in Europe with a specialty in the French and UK market.  However, what makes MercyCrowd uniquely different is the company’s core belief that sustainable growth can only stem from real assets that generate real increments and tangible benefits to a society.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

How Online Lenders Can Reduce Default Rates, Increase Margins, and Remain Competitive

Paynet

In recent years, the SME lending ecosystem has evolved at a rapid pace. As more competitors entered the market, there has been an interest rate reduction across the board. After the 2008 financial meltdown, the market tilted toward a more conservative credit outlook causing default rates to fall and start-up rates to decline. SMEs employ […]

Paynet

In recent years, the SME lending ecosystem has evolved at a rapid pace. As more competitors entered the market, there has been an interest rate reduction across the board. After the 2008 financial meltdown, the market tilted toward a more conservative credit outlook causing default rates to fall and start-up rates to decline.

SMEs employ more than 50 percent of private sector employees and generate 65 percent of new private jobs. They also represent 98 percent of U.S. exporters and 34 percent of U.S. export revenue. When banks withdrew from the lending sector after the financial meltdown, alternative lenders stepped up to capture the $4.4 trillion dollar market. Still, there is latent demand for affordable pricing and a time-sensitive, hassle-free experience for business borrowers, leaving the market under-penetrated. PayNet rose to fill this need by helping lenders mitigate risk and leverage alternative credit data.

More than just a credit agency, PayNet measures the health of a business using sales, production, and other business data, provided mostly by lenders who in return gain access to an overview of global credit information.

Why It’s So Hard for Alternative Lenders to Compete

Banks have better access to customers due to regular deposits and other banking activities. Online lenders, however, must use innovative channels to reach their customers. Instead of cutthroat competition to steal each other’s business, online lenders look for creative ways to compete. One approach used involve aggregators, which act as middlemen for the lender and the borrower. Another approach is bank partnerships. For the market to grow, everyone needs a common view of the system. While there is enough business to go around, the most important thing is to build a robust system that will help the industry grow.

A slowing economy and a small secondary market are two other reasons it is hard for SMEs to access capital. A few marketplace lenders have joined the SEC, but not many. A lot of lending companies are struggling due to inability to compete at scale. Securitization is gaining momentum, but because there are so few players, it is still at a nascent stage. In recent years, the mortgage market has become more sophisticated and serves as a great opportunity for borrowers. But because of the emergence of new players, there is more standardization. It took lenders a few years to understand the importance of brand and consistency. As a result, they have now offer recognized products with more consistent terms. PayNet envisioned this long ago and developed products like the Small Business Lending Index and the Small Business Delinquency Index to help companies optimize the underwriting process.

How PayNet Solves the Problem for Lenders

PayNet has always been an advocate for equality and industry best practices. Hence, they are a member of a coalition formed by lenders in favor of transparency. PayNet intends to help the CFPB understand the small business market and lending industry disparity so the CFPB can create better regulations.

To stay true to its reputation, PayNet developed MasterScore for the alternative lending market, the first of its kind. Other companies are trying to replicate the model or make one of their own. MasterScore data was taken from FinTech companies in order to reduce the lender default rate.

Headquartered in Skokie, Ill., PayNet opened its doors in 1999. Founder Bill Phelan holds a CFA degree. Prior to starting PayNet, he managed fixed income securities for Trustmark Insurance Company. He also advised privately-held companies on acquisitions and valuations. Under Phelan’s leadership, PayNet has grown into a firm with the largest collection of commercial loan and lease payment histories. The company has collected data on more than 23 million privately held businesses in the U.S. and Canada including their cumulative GDP. Using a subscription-based model, PayNet has realized a 10x return on investment while transacting more than $200 billion in business.

Because Fintech offers quick accessibility to cash and lenders, all kinds of borrowers apply for credit. On the other hand, lenders want more loan applications. With PayNet, they can demystify borrower creditworthiness in a few minutes. All they need to do is enter a name, address, or business name and all the information they need is at their disposal.

With delinquencies on the rise and increasing default rates, there is a growing need for online lender vigilance and caution. Therefore, PayNet is a strategic product essential for lenders to ensure default rates do not destroy margins.

Written with Heena Dhir.

Author:

Allen Taylor