Thursday May 23 2019, Weekly News Digest

young credit card delinquents

News Comments Today’s main news: DBRS assigns provisional ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2019-3 Trust. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2019-3. Funding Circle seeds shareholder input on wind-down plans for investment trust. TransferWise valuation doubles to $3.5B. Today’s main analysis: High income, super prime borrowers take bigger share of […]

The post Thursday May 23 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

young credit card delinquents

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United States

United Kingdom

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News Summary

United States

DBRS Assigns Provisional Ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2019-3 Trust (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned provisional ratings to the following classes of notes (collectively, the Notes) to be issued by SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2019-3 Trust (SCLP 2019-3):

— $420,000,000 Class A Notes at AAA (sf)
— $31,100,000 Class B Notes at AA (sf)
— $62,500,000 Class C Notes at A (sf)
— $35,600,000 Class D Notes at BBB (sf)

View the full report here.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2019-3 (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of notes issued by Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust 2019-3 (PMIT 2019-3). This is a $380.99 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Class Rating Initial Class Principal
A A- (sf) $270,750,000
B BBB- (sf) $51,470,000
C BB- (sf) $39,720,000
D B- (sf) $19,050,000

Millennial DQs on the rise; GreenSky earnings; OCC on a fix for Madden? (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US consumer debt rose by 0.9% QoQ in 1Q to $13.7 Tn.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Mixed FinTech Earnings

FinTech issuers saw growth in revenues and loans. Pace of loan growth weakened slightly as originations fell at Enova and grew by less than 10% YoY at OnDeck and OneMain. Stock price performance post earnings was mixed. Enova saw its stock price increase by 18% post earnings while OnDeck’s stock price dropped by 16%.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

High Income and Super Prime Borrowers Taking Bigger Share of Personal Loans on LendingTree Marketplace (Lending Tree), Rated: AAA

Over the past 10 years, the amount of outstanding personal loan debt has increased by 75%.

Key findings

  • The share of personal loan inquiries from those with incomes over $108,000 increased by 77% between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2019, while the share of inquiries from people earning over $84,000 increased by 65%.
  • The share of personal loan inquiries from super prime borrowers (740 and higher) increased by 47% between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2019, and the increase in prime and super prime borrowers (680 and higher) rose by 36%.
  • The share of personal loans closed by borrowers with incomes over $108,000 on the LendingTree marketplace increased by 38% between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2019, and the share of borrowers earning over $84,000 increased by 26%.
  • The share of closed personal loans from super prime borrowers (740 and higher) increased by 37% between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2019, and the increase in prime borrowers (680 and higher) rose by 19%.
  • Borrowers with incomes up to $24,000 decreased their share of closed loans by 22%, and those with incomes up to $48,000 decreased their share by 17%.
  • The share of loans closed by borrowers with scores below 560 increased by 28%, but the share of closed loans from borrowers with scores between 560 and 619 dropped by 24%.
  • The share of inquiries from people with incomes up to $24,000 dropped by 27% during the same period, while inquires from those with incomes up to $48,000 dropped by 16%.
  • The share of loan inquiries by borrowers with scores below 560 decreased by 12%, and the share of closed loans from borrowers with scores below 620 decreased by 9.2%.

For example, in the SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-3 LLC, securities show that the average gross income of borrowers as of May 2017, was $141,780, with an average FICO score of 731, and an average VantageScore of 682. The most recent offering, reported in February 2019, showed borrowers had an average income of $151,144, an average 753 FICO score, and a 713 VantageScore.

Job Loss and Medical Expenses Leading Causes of Bad Credit (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Job loss and medical expenses are the leading factors causing Americans’ credit scores to drop, according to new research by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC).

According to the new report, 55% of respondents cited job loss or reduction in work hours as the reason why their credit score dipped below 700. Nearly a quarter (24%) cited medical bills as the primary cause. Following these leading factors, a variety of typical, seemingly innocuous expenses follow, including repairing a car (11%), leaving home for the first time (6%), and putting a child through college (5%).

Non-prime consumers are 86% more likely to experience multiple factors that negatively affect their credit score compared to just one. For example, of the 23% who mention a medical reason, about three-quarters (75%) also experienced an income drop, severely complicating their ability to manage and cover medical expenses.

Americans Use Short-Term Loans to Pay Off Debt (Lexington Law), Rated: A

American debt is at an all-time high. How did we manage to dig ourselves into a steep $13 trillion hole? Credit card debt alone accounts for $1 trillion of this debt, with the average balance over $6,000 per capita.

  • 33% of Americans are going into debt to pay off debt
  • Generation X is most likely to incur short-term debt to pay down long-term debt
  • Women who use debt to make other debt payments tend to do so multiple times

Bernardo Martinez of Funding Circle USA (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The knowledge that Bernardo brought with him from PayPal.
  • What he has learned in his first year on the job at Funding Circle.
  • The range of terms for their small business loans.
  • The types of investors they have on their platform today.
  • How and why 72% of their customers came to Funding Circle first.
  • How their offering compares to what is offered at banks today.
  • Who Bernardo sees as their biggest competitors.
  • How they view the SBA and their loan guarantee program.
  • How the LendingClub partnership came together.
  • Why no other online platform has reached significant scale in term loans for small business.
  • How they expanding their business into Canada.
  • Who they are hiring for their new Denver office.
  • How they are approaching their relationships with regulators in DC these days.
  • How they helped get SB-1235 passed in California.
  • How Funding Circle is monitoring their risk as it pertains to the economic cycle.
  • What is most exciting for Bernardo today at Funding Circle.

How a Silicon Valley startup is trying to rebrand payday loans (Vox), Rated: AAA

Once every few weeks, Myra Haq withdraws $100 or so from Earnin, an app that lets people borrow small sums of money.

The app lets her withdraw up to $100 a day, and never more than what she actually makes in a pay period, and then withdraws the money from her checking account once her direct deposit hits.

Unsurprisingly, payday lenders typically target low-income people — a 2013 Pew report found that 58 percent of people who use payday loans have trouble meeting monthly expenses at least half the time and usually borrow to deal with “persistent cash shortfalls rather than temporary emergencies.”

The average American household with student debt owes almost $48,000, and experts believe that student loan debt has held millennials back from major life milestones like marriage, homeownership, and having children.

How One Company Wants to Reduce or Even Eliminate Your Unpaid Medical Bills (Forbes), Rated: A

Relying on personal savings or insurance may not even be enough to pay off expensive medical bills. As a result, .

Earnin invited some community members to try HealthAid and was able to find savings for about 90% of people.

In one case, Earnin was able to get a patient’s $48,000 bill fully forgiven.

Figure Technologies loan platform secures $ 1B financing facility (CoinGeek), Rated: A

Figure Technologies looks to be profiting from increased interest in the cryptocurrency industry. Specifically, in a press release dated May 9, it was announced that the company had secured a $1 billion line of credit on the Provenance.io blockchain. The agreement also involves two other companies, Jefferies and WSFS Institutional Services, which will provide the line of credit.

LendKey’s Vince Passione on partnering with banks and credit unions and the future of lending as a service (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Vince joins us on the show to talk about his partnership model and the challenges and opportunities of working alongside banks and credit unions, which have deployed more than $2 billion in lending capital on the digital platform.

Small-business fintech launches lending platform for banks (American Banker), Rated: A

Spurred by bank interest, small-business lending platform Biz2Credit has unveiled a software-as-a-service version of its loan management, servicing and risk analytics product.

After HSBC and New York-based Popular Bank contracted with Biz2Credit to use the software, the company decided to launch the platform for all banks to use.

At a cramped desk on the 22nd floor of a downtown Manhattan office building, Gary Roth spotted a looming disaster.

An urban planner with two master’s degrees, Mr. Roth had a new job in 2010 analyzing taxi policy for the New York City government. But almost immediately, he noticed something disturbing: The price of a taxi medallion — the permit that lets a driver own a cab — had soared to nearly $700,000 from $200,000. In order to buy medallions, drivers were taking out loans they could not afford.

Prodigy Finance Aims to Bridge Healthcare Gap with New Loan Offering (University Business), Rated: A

Prodigy Finance today announces it will be supporting international students pursuing Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degrees, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees, as well as those enrolling in Advanced Standing Dental programs and Select Certificate Dentistry programs in the U.S.

Crypto Lending Startup BlockFi Slashing Interest Rates on Ether Deposits (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency lending startup BlockFi is almost halving the interest rates it offers on ether (ETH) deposits, while some bitcoin (BTC) rates will increase slightly.

From June 1, customers with 25–100 ETH balances in a BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) will see the interest rate drop from the current 6.2 percent annual percentage yield (APY) to 3.25 percent, the startup announced Tuesday. Those holding over 100 ETH balances will earn just 0.2 percent APY.

Some BTC balances, on the other hand, will see a slight interest rate increase – up to 2.15 percent from the current 2 percent – for deposits of over 25 BTC. Those holding 0.5–25 BTC will continue to earn 6.2 percent APY, BlockFi said.

Find the Right Loan Among 300+ Lending Partners for Credit Card Consolidation and More (CardRates), Rated: A

In a Nutshell: LoanStart helps consumers in search of a loan find a lender that suits their funding needs within just five minutes after submitting a simple, fee-free loan request form. Working securely with more than 300 trusted lending partners, including conveniently located storefront providers, the service makes finding a suitable lender easy. In today’s connected world where loan options abound, LoanStart cuts through the clutter to connect consumers in need of funds with lenders willing to provide financing.

Maxex Closes Series B Funding (FinSMEs), Rated: A

Maxex, LLC, an Atlanta, GA-based residential mortgage loan exchange, closed a Series B funding round of undisclosed amount.

CFPB Sues Debt-Collection Agency Over Deception Allegations (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said Friday (May 17) that it has filed a lawsuit in federal court against a debt-collection agency that, the agency said, violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The lawsuit targets Forster & Garbus, LLP, a debt-collection law firm based in New York.

Plaid gives digital banks and fintech a new tool to bypass traditional finance (CNBC), Rated: A

Start-up Plaid, recently valued at $2.7 billion, already connects bank accounts to fintech apps like Venmo, Robinhood, Coinbase and Acorns. It announced “Plaid Direct” on Wednesday, which lets users more easily connect to newer digital banks like Chime.

Capital Markets Veteran Joins PeerStreet to Manage Institutional Sales (BusinessWire), Rated: A

PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, has announced the appointment of Deepa Salastekar as the Vice President of Institutional Sales. Ms. Salastekar joins PeerStreet to expand the company’s relationship base of institutional partners across all investment types available through PeerStreet.

Dharma now supports peer-to-peer lending in USDC to attract mainstream investors to DeFi (The Block Crypto), Rated: B

Defi startup Dharma announced Wednesday that it will start to support peer-to-peer lending of USDC, in a push to engage mainstream investors.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle investment trust asks shareholders to approve wind-down plans (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle is set to begin a managed wind-down of its dedicated investment trust, the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF), once it gets the green light from shareholders.

The FTSE 250-listed peer-to-peer business lender said last month that shareholders had backed plans to stop investing in new assets and begin the process of returning capital to investors.

Funding Circle Sets Hard Limit To Incentive Pay For Senior Executives (Morningstar), Rated: A

Funding Circle Holdings PLC clarified its director pay policy Wednesday following “feedback from shareholder advisory bodies”.

The small and medium enterprise loan platform said the amount granted in each year for a three year period under the company’s long-term incentive plan to can now no longer exceed GBP2.0 million and GBP1.1 million for the company’s chief executive and chief financial officer, respectively.

Span A Higher Than Span B for Funding Circle Sme Income Fund Limited (FCIF.L) (Williams Business Review), Rated: B

After a recent indicator scan, we have noted that Span A is currently higher than Span B for shares of Funding Circle Sme Income Fund Limited (FCIF.L). Traders may be paying close attention as this signal may indicate a possible bullish move.

TransferWise doubles its valuation to $ 3.5bn (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

UK-based international payments fintech TransferWise has doubled its value to $3.5 billion after raising $292 million in secondary funding, Jane Connolly writes.

Call for ‘credit curfew’ to help late-night borrowers (The Times), Rated: A

Banning borrowers from accessing high-cost credit websites between 11pm and 7am would ease the numbers of people spiralling into debt as activity peaks during these hours, according to researchers at Newcastle University.

Monzo hits 2m customers, adding 1m in eight months (AltFi), Rated: A

Monzo has hit 2 million current account customers in just two years since getting a banking license, and just eight months after it hit 1 million accounts.

It launched its current accounts less than 18 months ago with customers having spent £10.7bn through Monzo so far.

Arbuthnot Specialist Finance reveals offering (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

Arbuthnot Latham & Co has officially launched its specialist finance division.

Arbuthnot Specialist Finance will offer short-term residential finance up to 70% of market value (MV), with rates from 0.65% per month.

For this product, it will offer loans between £30,000–£3m-plus.

For commercial properties, it will offer up to 65% of MV, including interest and fees (up to 85% of the 90-day MV, or 95% of the purchase price, whichever is the lower), with rates available from 0.75%.

New peer-to-peer lender targets 7.5% return with education loans (Your Money), Rated: A

Lendwise plans to offer borrowers loans of up to £100,000, with interest rates ranging from 7.5% to 12%. Pricing will be based on a range of factors, which the peer-to-peer lender said go beyond the applicant’s financial profile and credit record. They include the specific postgraduate or professional qualification course they are taking, the length of study and the repayment period.

Finastra’s open cloud platform drives collaboration and innovation in financial services (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

Today ahead of its FusionONE developer conference, co-hosted with Microsoft, Finastra unveiled the latest developments to its FusionFabric.cloudopen platform for innovation.

The 61 new open APIs (and more than 200 Endpoints) span many of Finastra’s solutions, including retail and corporate banking (both enterprise and North American community markets), consumer lending and mortgage, payments and treasury and capital markets. These are now available in the FusionFabric.cloud API catalog for developers to harness in building financial services applications. Some of these powerful APIs are already enabling:

China

A fintech revenue surge helped Tencent smash quarterly expectations (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Tencent posted record quarterly profits and smashed market expectations in Q1 2019, driven largely by surges in its fintech and cloud revenue, per Reuters.

Fintech and business services is now Tencent’s second largest division, responsible for a quarter of its revenue. This was the first time the tech giant broke out earnings for the unit, which brought in revenue of Rmb21.79bn ($3.2 billion), a 44% year-over-year (YoY) spike. Key in driving this growth is its payments wallet for WeChat, whose 1.11 billion users make it the largest social media platform in China, as well as its insurance services, which include a 20% stake in Aviva Hong Kong, and its cloud computing service.

Tencent’s online advertising grew 25% YoY, compared with 55% YoY in the same period last year, suggesting that China’s slowing economy and continued trade tensions with the US are hitting the firm.

Source: Business Insider Intelligence

DBS Bank Expects a Boost in Chinese P2P Lending Market from the Greater Bay Area (LearnBonds), Rated: A

Greater Bay Area could be the key to reviving the struggling P2P lending market in China, according to DBS Bank.

The Singaporean bank estimates that P2P lending will experience a 17% annual growth rate by 2030.

European Union

Identity technology and Dublin’s draw for fintech firms post-Brexit (Forbes), Rated: AAA

According to 

1 in 10 European banks to vanish by 2023 (AltFi), Rated: A

Bumper banking profits disguise an underlying weakness in traditional banks, as their per customer income has tumbled over the past decade.

That’s the finding of a report by consultants A.T. Kearney, which found data across 92 European banks revealed income per client had fallen 11% since 2008.

Australia/New Zealand

Commerce Commission’s court case against payday lender Ferratum scheduled for next year (Interest), Rated: AAA

A backlog of cases in the Auckland High Court means the next hearing in the Commerce Commission’s legal action against online payday lender Ferratum New Zealand won’t be held until June next year.

Asia

Indonesian fintech association sanctions lending platform that sets high interest rate (KrAsia), Rated: AAA

Two Indonesian lending platforms regulated under the country’s financial services authority (OJK) have been penalized by the ethics council of AFPI, the industry association for fintech lenders in Indonesia.

The organization revealed that one of the companies in question is P2P lender Do-It, which charged an interest fee rate of 1% per day.

Africa

Onefi is Expanding Carbon’s Digital Banking Services to Ghana (Technext), Rated: AAA

Nigerian digital financial platform, Carbon (formerly Paylater) is taking big steps to introduce its revamped financial services into Ghana. The online lender is looking to hire a new country manager for Ghana and this suggests the company is looking to introduce its new services like PayVest into Ghana.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday May 23 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday February 28 2019, Weekly News Digest

Annual fintech financing Singapore

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to roll out crypto trading with Coinbase. Walmart now offers Affirm loans. Funding Circle fund ups the ante on buyback strategy. Orca launches IFISA. LendDenClub cross 1 million borrowers, lenders milestone. Today’s main analysis: 2019 securitization update. How marketplace lending is a growing and dynamic global market. (A MUST-READ) Today’s thought-provoking articles: The 2009 […]

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

Annual fintech financing Singapore

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

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News Summary

United States

Fintech Startup SoFi to Roll Out Crypto Trading Via Partnership With Coinbase (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup SoFi — known for its online lending services — is partnering with major United States-based crypto exchange Coinbase to roll out crypto trading support, according to a CNBC report Feb. 26.

Millennial online lender SoFi to offer zero-fee ETFs, an unexpected rival for index fund giants Vanguard, iShares (CNBC), Rated: A

The race to zero-fee exchange-traded funds has found an unlikely competitor: Online lending and personal finance platform SoFi, which has filed for two index ETFs that will waive management fees for the first year. In making the move to zero-fee ETFs, the online lender is crashing an ETF party dominated by Vanguard and BlackRock‘s iShares.

FTC orders SoFi to stop misleading consumers (MPA Mag), Rated: B

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered online lender SoFi to stop lying about how much borrowers can save by refinancing with the company.

Digital lender founded by ex-SoFi CEO raises $ 65M to fuel expansion (American Banker), Rated: A

The new company founded by Mike Cagney, the former embattled chief executive of Social Finance, plans to announce a $65 million funding round on Wednesday, bolstering firm’s expansion into other financial services, including wealth management.

With the new venture, Cagney is using some of the strategies from his tenure at SoFi — like diversification into areas typically only occupied by traditional banks. However, the new company, Figure, is focusing on different customers, and it’s taking steps to avoid scandals similar to the ones that saw Cagney step down from the SoFi helm.

Walmart teams with Affirm to offer point-of-sale loans (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Walmart will offer its customers point-of-sale loans for the first time — both on its website and in nearly 4,000 U.S. stores — under a partnership with the Silicon Valley lender Affirm.

Under the deal, Walmart shoppers will be able to get Affirm loans of three, six or 12 months to finance purchases ranging from $150 to $2,000. The loans are already being offered in Walmart stores, and they will be available to Walmart’s online shoppers in the coming weeks.

Affirm’s latest partnership brings its alternative financing to Walmart’s US stores and website (TechCrunch), Rated: A

The companies announced this morning that Affirm’s financing options would be made available in more than 4,000 Walmart Supercenters across the U.S., and will roll out to Walmart.com in the weeks ahead.

The offering will go live across Walmart Supercenters nationwide, except in Iowa, West Virginia and Puerto Rico, and will be soon available on Walmart.com.

Loan app Affirm CEO breaks down new Walmart partnership (CNBC), Rated: A

Loan app Affirm CEO breaks down new Walmart partnership from CNBC.

ABS Vegas – 2019 Securitization Update; Square Charter Status (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

In regulatory news, Square’s ILC charter application has received opposition from 37 community groups. The groups are concerned about Square’s CRA activities and have asked the FDIC to bolster Square’s CRA requirements. Before this letter from community advocates, nearly all of the 15 letters the FDIC received were in favor of Square’s bid. Square is the furthest along the path to getting an ILC charter and its experience will determine whether other FinTechs follow its lead.

Structured Credit Investor magazine explores the challenges facing the maturing marketplace lending sector. Issuers need to distinguish between the borrower experience that they provide and manage liquidity. The article also makes the point that the sector is ripe for consolidation, although we haven’t seen any M&A yet.

2019 Securitization Update

The first two months of 2019 saw 5 securitization deals totaling $1.7 Bn in new issuance. The issuance volume represents a 23% drop over that seen in the first two months of 2018, as the market recovers from the volatility in equity and credit markets seen at the end of 2018. Total securitization issuance now stands at $46.2 Bn, with 147 deals issued to date.

Source: PeerIQ

The Housing Market’s 10 Year Challenge — Comparing The Housing Market of 2009 to Today (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

When the real estate bubble burst in late 2008, many Americans saw their home values fall drastically, but a lot has changed in the 10 years since — housing prices have rebounded from their lows during the Great Recession. And though prices are now starting to cool, in many cases, home values have even exceeded their 2006 highs.

On average, median home values have increased by nearly $50,000 across the 50 largest metros in the United States since 2009.

Metros where housing prices have recovered the most since 2009

San Jose, Calif.

Median home value 2009: $638,300
Median home value 2017: $957,700
Median home value change: $319,400
Median unemployment rate change: -6.4%
Median household income change: $32,991

San Francisco

Median home value 2009: $591,600
Median home value 2017: $849,500
Median home value change: $257,900
Median unemployment rate change: -5.4%
Median household income change: $27,889

Los Angeles

Median home value 2009: $463,600
Median home value 2017: $617,100
Median home value change: $153,500
Median unemployment rate change: -5.0%
Median household income change: $11,467

Source: LendingTree
Source: LendingTree

Gen Xers Carry the Biggest Auto Loan Burden; Study Finds (One World Herald), Rated: A

According to the loan comparison website, the median balance of Gen Xers who have auto loans is $18,741 is higher than other age groups. It is 9% more than baby boomers’ $17,185 median balance. This is higher than millennials’ $16,200 and 37 percent more than the lowest median balance of $13,666 held by Gen Z.

Personal Loan Interest Rates for February 2019 (Nerdwallet), Rated: AAA

Personal loan interest rates, whether you’re considering a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender, generally range from about 6% to 36%. The actual rate you receive depends on factors such as your credit score and history, annual income, existing debt and where you get the loan.

Online lenders offer the lowest starting interest rates on personal loans to borrowers with good to excellent credit.

Source: Nerdwallet

LightStream and Marcus both require a minimum credit score of 660. LightStream accepts joint applications, and one applicant can have a credit score lower than its minimum. SoFi has a slightly higher credit score requirement and requires at least $45,000 in annual income.

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Posts Earnings Results, Meets Expectations (Fairfield Current), Rated: A

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The company reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09, Bloomberg Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $207.29 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $212.42 million. Elevate Credit had a return on equity of 15.72% and a net margin of 1.59%. Elevate Credit updated its FY 2019 guidance to $0.55-0.65 EPS.

Source: Fairfield Current

Hunt Real Estate Capital buys RealtyMogul’s proprietary loan underwriting program (Housing Wire), Rated: A

Hunt Real Estate Capital, which offers financing for all types of commercial real estate, will soon have a new underwriting system to help it originate those loans, as the company is buying a proprietary loan underwriting system from RealtyMogul.

Elevate’s Joan Kuehl Named Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year (The Progress), Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”) today announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Joan Kuehl has been named the Large Enterprise CIO of the Year by the Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year Awards. The award honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership.

A Recession Coming? Small Business Lending Platform Kabbage Says It’s Prepared (Forbes), Rated: A

The world is bracing for a recession, with the latest data showing  in the U.S. expect it to occur by the end of 2021

If those predictions prove true, it will be the first major economic downturn for some of the nation’s leading fintechs. Born out of the ruins of the recession, these startups have enjoyed nearly a decade of success buoyed by strong economic growth, a bull run in the stock market and low unemployment.

Here’s more on the  AJC Top Workplaces midsize companies (AJC.com), Rated: B

Kabbage has been named to the list for five consecutive years and this is its first year in the top five. The private financial technology company, founded in 2009, has 489 global employes and 367 at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. Flexibility at work and perks, such as a daily catered lunch and snacks, are among reasons employees appreciate working for Kabbage. Wellness benefits include fitness classes, health equipment onsite, biweekly meditation classes, CPR training, an annual flu shot clinic and sponsoring sports clubs. It also fully pays health benefits for individuals and provides annual bonuses and a 401(k) match. Through its sabbatical program, employees of five years can receive six weeks of paid time off and an additional $6,000. In 2018, Kabbage participated in the Atlanta PRIDE parade and also took a stand against gun violence after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Workers in 2019 will build a Habitat for Humanity home as part of its Kabbage Kares program, which also has supported PAWS Atlanta, Easter Seals and the Epilepsy Foundation.

Diversifying a Self-Directed IRA Made Simple with New Offering from CrowdStreet (The Progress), Rated: A

CrowdStreet, an online marketplace for direct equity investment in commercial real estate (CRE), today launched a streamlined, investor-friendly approach to investing qualified retirement account funds into commercial real estate offerings. This new option makes it easier than ever for individuals to access CRE investments with their self-directed IRAs (SDIRA), thus reducing their investment exposure to a volatile stock market and achieving more independence in managing their investments.

Liquid P2P and Interest Radar Announce Strategic Partnership (Liquid P2P), Rated: A

Liquid P2P and Interest Radar are pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic partnership. The two third-party investing services for online peer-lending giant Lending Club will combine strengths under a single platform to deliver a more comprehensive automated tool with a patent-pending liquidity solution.

Direct Lending Investments Suspends Investor Withdrawals (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Earlier this month Brendan Ross, the CEO of Direct Lending Investments, Inc., sent a letter to investors notifying them that they have suspended withdrawals and redemptions effective February 8, 2019. Lend Academy was able to obtain a copy of this investor letter, dated February 11, that provides some color into what happened. The reason given was the delinquency of a large holding, VOIP Guardian, a telecom receivables factoring company.

Fintech deal will provide access to midsize businesses in U.S. (American Banker), Rated: A

Add HSBC to the list of banks partnering with commercial online lenders.

The bank on Tuesday announced a partnership with Neptune Financial, a San Francisco online lender that focuses on businesses with $10 million to $100 million in assets. The bank estimates that, with the access it will get to Neptune customers, the deal represents a $1.5 trillion opportunity.

Venmo debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored card (Business Insider), Rated: A

Venmo, the PayPal-owned peer-to-peer (P2P) giant, debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored version of its physical card product. The card will function the same as regular Venmo cards, allowing customers to pay wherever Mastercard is accepted, split costs and tips, withdraw funds from select ATMs, and manage their Venmo balance, but it will only be available for as long as supplies last, according to Venmo.

Source: Business Insider

Why digital identities will be so important in the next few years, according to Mastercard’s vice chairman (CNBC), Rated: A

The pace with which we are moving toward the internet of things is “very rapid” but we “can’t have the internet of everyone without the inclusion of everyone,” according to the vice chairman of payments giant Mastercard.

“You have to start focusing on how does the human get involved, and that’s going to be through having a digital identity,” Ann Cairns told CNBC’s Karen Tso on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Credit Karma’s Dana Marineau: ‘We want users to think of us as more than just free credit scores’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Today’s marketer on the hot seat is Dana Marineau, Credit Karma’s vice president of brand, creative and communications. People love Credit Karma for its free credit scores, but the company provides so many other free tools. Dana’s team is tasked with elevating the brand beyond just free credit scores, as a place to get help with financial decisions and achieve financial progress. She brings a 15 year experience at EA, working on many of the top sports games in the business.

Why this small bank created a separate, digital-first brand (American Banker), Rated: AAA

When Midwest BankCentre, a community bank in St. Louis, launched the digital-first Rising Bank in February, it joined the ranks of other financial companies —generally large players such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and MUFG Union Bank — that have created separate, digital-only brands. Unlike them, the $1.9 billion-asset Midwest hopes to keep a community bank feel at the internet-only unit.

The Future Is Plastic: Fintech Unicorn Brex Launches New Credit Card For E-Commerce Merchants (Forbes), Rated: A

Brex, a San Francisco credit card startup that reached a valuation of $1.1 billion late last year, 22 months after its founding, is launching its second product, a physical credit card for e-commerce companies. Its first card, targeted to venture-backed tech startups, has attracted more than 3,000 customers by providing higher spending limits and simplifying the application process.

YieldStreet raises $ 62M to democratise alternative investments in shipping, real estate and more (TechCrunch), Rated: A

YieldStreet — which provides a platform for making alternative investments in areas like real estate, marine/shipping, legal finance, commercial loans and other opportunities that in the past were only open to institutional investors — is today announcing that it has raised $62 million in a Series B round of funding.

Guaranteed Rate Leads Mortgage Executive Magazine’s List of Top Loan Originators in America (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

For the seventh consecutive year, Guaranteed Rate has the most loan originators of any lender on Mortgage Executive Magazine’s annual list of the “Top 200 Mortgage Originators in America,” including the number one originator.

Guaranteed Rate led the way with 36 originators ranking within Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 200, including three of the top five. Shant Banosian of Boston, Mass., was named the nation’s 2018 Top Originator by funding $536 Million in total loan volume.

Americans Focus On Debt Management But Lose Focus On Retirement Savings (Forbes), Rated: A

Our minds are wired to prioritize the near-term over the long-term. We shouldn’t be surprised that a new survey by 

U.S. banking regulator fights NY lawsuit over fintech charters (Reuters), Rated: A

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has asked a Manhattan federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by a New York financial regulator over its plan to issue banking charters to fintech companies, saying the lawsuit is premature.

Blockchain and data protection: the main concerns (JDSupra), Rated: A

Blockchain’s usage is no longer limited to digital crypto currencies, as blockchain databases may be deployed in innumerable circumstances and scenarios, including, for instance, within the financial services and insurance sectors for money transfer, peer-to-peer lending and transfer of securities, as well as automatic execution of contracts.

LoanStreet positions for growth with new hires (LoanStreet Email), Rated: B

After the launch of LoanStreet’s commercial lending product and the announcement of their $6.5 million funding round, LoanStreet – the first fully-integrated platform that streamlines the process of sharing, managing, and originating loans – has appointed three credit union industry veterans to support LoanStreet’s aggressive growth.

These new hires include Mike Doherty, Managing Director and Head of Credit Union Sales; Tony Harter, Business Development Director; and Joe Parvin, Business Development Director.

White Oak Business Capital Hires Carol Bader Apicella to Expand Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Markets (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Business Capital, Inc. (“WOBC”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, has announced that Carol Apicella has joined the firm as Senior Vice President and Senior Business Development Officer. Apicella will be responsible for expanding the firm’s markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle fund adds firepower for buyback strategy (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The portfolio, an investment trust, of loans originated by Funding Circle lowered its dividend expectations amid lower projected returns last year prompting a discount to its net asset value.

Following a move to a more than 10 per cent discount last year it started share buybacks in a bid to narrow its discount. It has now made additional capital available from its free cash flow to be deployed into share buybacks, the fund said yesterday.

Orca Innovative Finance ISA Launches, Enables Diversified P2P Investment (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Orca Money is finally launching its long-anticipated Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). Orca’s spin on the savings vehicle allows investors to spread their money across multiple peer-to-peer lenders (P2P) thus providing a heightened degree of diversification. Additionally, Orca Money conducts due diligence on behalf of IFISA investors.

Currently, the Orca IFISA allows access to 5 P2P platforms: Lending Works, Assetz Capital, Landbay, Octopus Choice and Lending Crowd.

Experian, ClearScore scrap merger plans (Reuters), Rated: A

Experian Plc, the world’s biggest credit data firm, said on Wednesday that it had agreed with rival ClearScore to abandon their proposed merger, after Britain’s competition watchdog indicated that it may block the deal.

NatWest launches account aggregation as Open Banking takes hold (AltFi), Rated: A

It’s been a long time coming, but Open Banking is finally spreading through the traditional banking industry, this week with the launch of account aggregation for NatWest customers.

The RBS subsidiary becomes the UK’s 4th bank to let customers connect rival current accounts.

Will Open Banking boom in 2019? (AltFi), Rated: A

It has been over a year since the Open Banking UK initiative under the Competition and Markets Authority order and Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) was launched and has become one of the industry’s biggest technology and regulatory shake ups in recent years. It is no surprise that the initiative’s first year has seen a relatively low consumer uptake. This has been coupled with reports that consumers’ knowledge of the scheme appears to be markedly low.

Aave Launches Platform to Pay Bills Using Crypto (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

In an attempt to bring crypto closer to the mainstream, the London-based fintech startup has announced the launch of Aave Pay.

The app will allow its users to pay their utility bills using digital coins by converting crypto into fiat in real-time using bank transfer facility. The company is claiming that the platform can be used to business expenses as well including employee salaries, income taxes, and other commercial or corporate expenses.

Investing in crowdfunded development projects – what you need to know (Property Investor Today), Rated: A

You can invest in peer to peer development loans for the short term or in an Innovative Finance ISA for a longer commitment period, but with the potential to earn tax free returns.

By comparison, a peer to peer lending platform with its own development company will have much more control over its projects and be able to give you more detailed and trustworthy updates.

Failed Lender Reaching ‘From Beyond The Grave,’ MPs Warn (Law360), Rated: A

Failed payday lender Wonga is damaging the finances of thousands of customers “from beyond the grave” because they cannot seek redress for allegedly missold loans as the company was not covered…

International

Some Bankers Are Doing Even Worse Than in 2009 (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA

It may not feel like it, but some corners of banking are suffering as badly as they did during the depths of the financial crisis. Global volumes of initial public offerings and share placings in January and February have been nearly 60 percent lower than in the same period last year. The numbers are worse than the first two months of 2009. If activity doesn’t pick up soon, it would be worrying evidence of the fragility of investor sentiment.

The hope is that the lull is temporary, and technical. The government shutdown in Washington has gummed up U.S. IPOs. Uncertainty over the U.K.’s future relationship with Europe just drags on. And the December stock-market wobble probably killed off deals that were being planned for the window that traditionally opens between January and the start of the full-year earnings season in late February.

Marketplace Lending – A Growing and Dynamic Global Market (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

I wanted to share with you a new joint report from our U.S. and European structured finance teams. The new report, attached to this email, analyzes the growth of the marketplace lending market around the globe.

The commentary includes the following topics:

— The evolution in finance, from traditional banking to FinTech.
— FinTech’s influence on marketplace lending around the globe.
— Growth hurdles.
— Securitization considerations.

Bank on it: How Enova’s software expands credit access worldwide (Built in Chicago), Rated: A

Not all credit histories are created equal.

That’s the case for a large part of the world’s population who can’t get access to a loan from a traditional credit provider — like a bank — creating a world in which the hardest working people don’t always get access to the credit they need. Enova, however, believes it has a solution. The fintech company draws on the power of machine learning and data to offer products that expand access to credit for consumers and small businesses.

Blossom Capital scores $ 85m from Robinhood and Funding Circle backers (AltFi), Rated: A

Blossom Capital, which has already backed five startups including rental marketplace Fat Lama, today raised $85m which it will use to lead Series A rounds of between $5m and $10m in Europe.

Eight Simple Ways to Earn Bitcoin Online Legally (The Crypto Updates), Rated: B

Earn Bitcoins as the interest payments: If you have earned some Bitcoins already, you can put the Bitcoins to earn for you. Lend them out at particular interest rate. You can lend the Bitcoins directly to someone known at a greed interest rate and repayment period. You need to assess trustworthiness of borrower. Peer to peer Bitcoin lending is another way to let the earned Bitcoins earn for you. There are many peer-to-peer lending websites where the borrowers post the borrowing requests. Over these websites, you can act as a lender. It is also possible to fund the small portion of numbers of loans to reduce the risk.

European Union

Grid Finance suspends taking investments below € 100,000 (Irish Times), Rated: AAA

One of the largest providers of peer-to-peer loans in the State has shut down a key part of its business aimed at smaller investors, blaming an absence of regulation in the crowdfunding space.

Grid Finance, which is backed by Enterprise Ireland, wrote to holders of its “Brick” accounts – that facilitate the investment of up to €100,000 – in recent days stating that it would withdraw the offering from the marketplace.

China

Dragon Victory International: Exposure To The Chinese Crowdfunding Market At A Regulatory-Driven Discount (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

In recent years as China winds down its industrial and manufacturing powerhouse growth, it’s looking to other developed nations to determine which platforms it should invest in and pave the way to sustained economic growth. As most other major developed nations have done over the past century, financial services and engineering have been a very profitable platform and companies in China are quick to launch their own services to capitalize on the triple-digit growth in online financial services exhibited since 2003.

Similar to Hexindai (HX), which I’ve previously covered as a leading online lender which is capitalizing on the middle class appetite for debt to finance their lives and vacations, Dragon Victory International Limited (LYL) is taking on the crowdfunding segment in the People’s Republic of China. Similar to countless other platforms around the world, the company’s services are around financing new companies and capitalizing entrepreneurs through public funding and they already have over 4.5M users who use their services, a number nearly doubling each year.

Source: Dragon Victory International F-1 filings

China Fintech Today: The P2P Boom Is Truly Over (SupChina), Rated: A

This year, the government has continued to lead a reorganization of the industry:

  • More companies will die: As of February 17, only 60 percent of online lending institutions had disclosed their operational information for January 2019, including five problematic platforms.
  • However, the current asset quality of the online lending industry has improved significantly according the data from firms that did report.
  • As of the end of January 2019, the accumulated amount of the online P2P online loan industry was about 7.78 trillion yuan ($1.16 trillion). The total loan amount in January was 91.4 billion yuan ($13.61 billion), down 55.1 percent year-on-year and down 1.3 percent from the previous month.
  • Further consolidation of industry players is certain. Some experts quoted in media reports predict that the scale of future online loans will continue to shrink because of regulation.
  • Some listed companies, such as Aoma Electric and Panda Financial Companies, have abandoned their P2P businesses.
  • Aoma Electric issued a letter of concern to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on February 14, attributing the decision to the broader economic slowdown, and a high number of overdue loans.
  • Panda Gold Control in 2018 was also dragged down by its P2P business, and expects a net loss of 41.16 million ($6.13 million) to 57.63 million yuan ($8.58  million) in 2018. Faced with the uncertainty of the P2P sector, Panda Gold Control chose to divest.

A Crypto Project That Raised $ 20 Million Is Caught Faking Its Founding Team (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Launched on Dec. 2, BHB claims to offer an ethereum-based solution for peer-to-peer lending, but by Jan. 18, local media reports were already accusing the project of operating an illegal pyramid scheme. Now, CoinDesk is able to reveal inconsistencies in the information provided about its founding team that further suggest something may be amiss at the China-based project.

However, the image of Bobby White used in BHB’s marketing materials is identical to that of an economics professor at China’s Tsinghua University named Alexander White. Meanwhile, the image of Gregory Moss is the same as one used by a philosophy professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, who is also named Gregory Moss.

Tencent-backed brokerage firm downsizes US IPO amid weak market demand (Technode), Rated: A

Tencent-backed online brokerage firm Futu Securities has set the terms for its US initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to $130 million, which will value the company at more than $1 billion. The company previously set its target at as high as $300 million when it filed for the US listing in December.

Chinese tech behemoth, Tencent, owns over 38% of the company, has shown interest in purchasing up to 25% of the new shares issued.

Australia

How should accountants talk to clients about fintechs? (In the Black), Rated: A

Like the ombudsman’s office, ASIC has also made information available to educate consumers and advisers, including on its MoneySmart Borrowing Basics and Peer-to-Peer Lending sites.

Is any flexibility possible, Shiel wonders, with a peer-to-peer lending model in which the borrower likely doesn’t know who is providing the funds?

India

LenDenClub crosses 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders milestone (News Barons), Rated: AAA

LenDenClub, one of India’s fastest growing peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, recently crossed an important landmark with more than 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders on its platform. The breakdown of borrowers to lenders is 83,300 and 16700, respectively. The company crossed this milestone by keeping up with latest market trends, and saw an increase in the use of its product InstaMoney, which was launched in June 2018.

Why Do Fintech Startups and Investors See a Huge Potential in Lending? (Entrepreneur), Rated: AAA

Today, thanks to the ongoing digitization, borrowing has become as easy as it can get in India. For contrast, all it takes now is the touch of a few buttons, answers to a few verification-related questions, and anyone can receive a loan in a matter of hours or days, if not minutes. And all of this is without any collateral and while enjoying the comfort of your home. Now, compare this with taking a day off to go to the bank, doing extensive paperwork, visiting frequently to check the progress of your loan application, and ultimately, getting your application rejected because of the loan officer’s misjudgement. All while wasting two months of time in the constant to and fro and taking multiple days off from your office.

It is beyond doubt that the advent of fintech startups has altered the game of lending in India. It has become both simpler and convenient to borrow using their revolutionary approaches driven by state-of-the-art technologies. Currently, more than 1,500 fintech startups (of all shapes and sizes) are catering to the Indian market, and more than half of these startups have been launched over the last 3 years. This gives us a clear picture of how lucrative the sector is becoming for our startup ecosystem. But what is essentially fuelling this trend? Let’s find out.

Banning of UDS to benefit P2P Lending Industry (Inventiva), Rated: A

The latest ordinance of the Banning of Unregulated Deposits (UDS) 2019, was passed by the government to provide a comprehensive mechanism to ban UDS as well as to protect the interest of depositors. This is in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on the NBFC-P2P sector, issued in October 2017 to regulate the unorganized lending business in the country.

Asia

Singapore fintech investments rose two-fold to US$ 365m in 2018 (SBR.com.sg), Rated: AAA

US$102.2m of the total funds raised went to lending fintech companies such as the homegrown Funding Societies.

Fintech investments in Singapore more than doubled to US$365m in 2018 from US$180m in 2017, putting the country amongst the top five fintech markets by funds raised last year in Asia Pacific, behind China, India, Australia and Japan, according to Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data. The number of deals in the country rose to 71 from 61 in 2017, making it the third busiest market in the region, behind only China and India.

Source:

Validus Capital raises $ 15m for SME financing (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Validus Capital, a Singapore-based SME financing platform, has raised SGD 20.5 million ($15.2 million) in a Series B funding round, led by FMO, a Dutch public-private development bank.

Latin America

PayPal expands its small business loans initiative to Mexico (Leaprate), Rated: AAA

Online payment giant PayPal launched its Working Capital initiative in 2013 as an alternative method for business to access working capital much faster than through traditional means. Many small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients embraced the program and since then the company has advanced more than $6 billion in loans to over 170,000 businesses in the UK, US, Germany and Australia.

PayPal also recently revealed that it has partnered with Konfio, a Mexican online lender that utilizes unconventional data sources to facilitate fast credit assessments, in a deal that will allow PayPal to extend its Business loan and working capital programs to Mexican businesses.

ID Finance eyes ‘pivotal moment’ for Latam fintech as revenue in region climbs 403% (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

ID Finance, the fintech company operating in Europe and Latin America, saw revenue of $49m in 2018. This represents growth of 236% for the business, which was formally separated from its operations in Russia and CIS region last year.

The company is enjoying particularly strong growth in Latam, one of the world’s fastest growing markets for fintech adoption thanks to high mobile penetration and a sizeable underbanked population – according to the World Bank 61% of Mexico’s population is excluded from the traditional banking system, while 40% of Brazil’s 207m population are blacklisted. The company now has 141 employees in Latam and saw revenue growth of 403% in the region last year.

Challenger bank N26 expands to Brazil (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Germany-based mobile challenger bank N26 is powering on yet again as it has revealed its plans to expand to Brazil.

Africa

How FinTech Companies Inspire Africa With Mobile Technology (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

With the potential for rapid growth and job creation, FinTech firms in Africa have caught the attention of global investors. According to the London Stock Exchange Group’s 2019 “Companies to Inspire Africa” report, which highlights these firms, the FinTech sector has the second highest growth rate representation of technology and telecoms as well as financial services. As it stands, companies in this space represent more than a quarter of 360 featured firms from 32 different countries. Pan-African payments firm Cellulant is among the companies that appeared in the first and second editions of the report.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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

Thurday December 7 2018, Daily News Digest

equity sector analysis

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

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

equity sector analysis

United States

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

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

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

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

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

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

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

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

1. Consumers will demand more control over their data.

2. Alternative lending will continue to grow.

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

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

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia

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

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

India

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

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

Asia

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

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

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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

Tuesday November 13 2018, Daily News Digest

Mixed Fintech Earnings

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi sees $12M loss in Q3. RealtyShares not seeking new deals, lays off employees. Nested raises 120M GBP. Nubank partners with Tencent. LendingClub sets up shop in Lehi. Today’s main analysis: Earnings recap for Enova, GreenSky, LendingClub, OneMain, and OnDeck. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingTree personal loan offers report for October 2018. Online lenders gain from […]

Mixed Fintech Earnings

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Other

News Summary

United States

Online Lender SoFi Sees $ 12M Loss In Q3 (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Online lender Social Finance (SoFi) continues to struggle, recording an adjusted loss of around $12 million during the third quarter before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The FinTech company has now recorded losses for the second consecutive quarter. In August, it posted a second quarter loss of about $200 million.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the earnings losses follow an adjusted profit of $56 million in Q3 of 2017. Loan volume has fallen for two straight quarters under Anthony Noto, who took over as CEO in March. In fact, the company revealed in an investor letter that it had extended around $2.5 billion in refinanced student, unsecured consumer and mortgage loans in the third quarter, falling nearly 30 percent from the same period a year ago.

RealtyShares Is the Latest Casualty of Real Estate Finance Disrupters (Propmondo) Rated: AAA

One of these companies was ReatlyShares. Started in 2013 they raised $58 million from leading venture capital firms and started connecting investors with projects with as little as a $1,000 investment minimum. Five years later the company is announcing that they are laying off most of their employees and are no longer seeking new deals. The exact reason for the demise is still uncertain but a few factors could have contributed.

FinTech Earnings Recap (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

We analyze the earnings of Enova (ENVA), GreenSky (GSKY), LendingClub (LC), OneMain (OMF) and OnDeck (ODK). All lenders delivered high-double digit revenue growth YoY. ENVA’s revenues grew 35% YoY, and GSKY’s revenue grew 29% YoY, albeit from a low base. Originations also grew by double digits YoY, with originations at GSKY growing by 33% YoY.

Lenders have raised their borrowing rates, although well below the rate of Fed Rate increases leading to margin compression. In the last 12 months, LendingClub, for instance, has raised interest rates across the credit spectrum by between 49 bps and 114 bps, while the Fed has raised short-end rates by 100 bps. The flattening yield curve is raising the cost of borrowing on lenders’ credit facilities which are benchmarked to short-term interest rates. Overall, lenders and investors are experiencing margin compression. By contrast, large banks continue to issue deposits at ultra-low rates (< 6 bps for large money center banks) and have benefitted from rising rates.

Source: PeerIQ

Stock price performance post earnings has been good in a relatively volatile market. Margin compression at GreenSky disappointed investors and the stock slid by over 35% after earnings. All other stocks gained post earnings with OnDeck up by nearly 33%.

Enova Earnings

  • Enova’s revenues grew by 35% YoY to $294 Mn and net income was $15 Mn, compared to a loss in Q3 2017.
  • Loans grew by 32% to $1 Bn, and originations grew by 23% YoY to $0.7 Bn driven by 28% YoY growth in the US subprime business. 31% of Enova’s new originations in the first nine months of 2018 came from new customers. This was the highest proportion of originations from new customers since 2004, demonstrating a large untapped market as Enova expands.
  • Loan loss reserves increased by 44% YoY to $0.2 Bn. Enova is seeing charge-off rates increase from near cycle lowsCharge-offs in Q3 were $141 Mn, up by 53% YoY. The company noted that charge-offs on new customers are roughly three times those on recurring customers, and the company evaluates every loan decision based on the lifetime expected value of that customer.
  • Enova had $164 Mn in cash and equivalents and $951 Mn in debt outstanding at the end of Q3. Enova issued $375 Mn of seven-year notes at 8.5%, which were used to retire existing 9.75% notes and added a new two-year $150 Mn secured facility points to grow the near prime installment product. The company also priced its inaugural $125 Mn NetCredit term securitization at a blended fixed cost of 6%.

GreenSky Earnings

  • GreenSky’s revenues grew by 29% YoY to $114 Mn and net income increased by 20% YoY to $46 Mn. It was GreenSky’s second quarter with more than $100 Mn in revenues and $50 Mn in EBITDA.
  • GSKY had record originations this quarter of $1.4 Bn, up by 33% YoY. GreenSky’s portfolio is focused on home-improvement borrowers and the company is looking to expand into elective healthcare and e-commerce financing.
  • 30+ day delinquencies decreased marginally to 1.44%.
  • GreenSky had $294 Mn of cash and cash equivalents and $387 Mn in term loans. Funding commitments from bank partners increased by $3.5 Bn QoQ to $11 Bn. GreenSky’s bank partners are charging higher funding spreads. GreenSky has not been able to completely offset this increase by passing on higher rates to borrowers.
  • The investor presentation is here.

LendingClub Earnings

  • LendingClub delivered another quarter of record revenue of $185 Mn, an increase of 20% YoY. LC’s net loss was $23 Mn, up from $7 Mn YoY.
  • LendingClub announced a partnership with Intuit to offer loans to TurboTax customers by directly accessing their tax records. It’s a smart deal. The partnership enables LendingClub to keep customer acquisition costs low and also use alternative data to underwrite borrowers.
  • Originations grew by 18% YoY to $2.9 Bn, the highest quarterly originations at LC. Net interest income was offset by fair value adjustments on loans of $20 Mn while the structured program generated revenues of $6.3 Mn, the highest to-date.
  • Over the last 12 months LC has continued to tighten credit to reduce portfolio charge-off rates. The table below shows the QoQ change in the return and charge-off estimates across grades. Projected returns for grade A increased by 91 bps QoQ.
    Source: Peer IQ and LendingClub

     

  • LendingClub ended the quarter with $514 Mn of cash and equivalents and no unsecured debt. LendingClub held about $459 Mn in loans on the balance sheet, most of which will be used future securitization programs. The CLUB Certificates program has raised more than $1 Bn in capital. LC issued a $270 Mn prime securitization this quarter.
  • The investor presentation is here.

OneMain Earnings

  • OneMain reported revenue growth of 15% YoY to $933 Mn and net income more than doubled YoY to $148 Mn.
  • Originations this quarter were $2.9 Bn, of which 54% were secured, and receivables grew by 10% YoY to $15.8 Bn. OMF generated interest income of $933 Mn, up from $808 Mn YoY. OMF’s receivables portfolio yielded 23.7%, up from 23.4% YoY.
  • 30 to 89-day delinquencies were 2.3% and 90+ delinquencies were 2.0%, near all-time lows. Provisions for loan losses increased by 5% YoY to $0.3 Bn and the total loss reserves increased by 1% to $0.7 Bn. The net charge-off rate dropped to an all-time low of 5.8%.
  • OMF had $1.2 Bn of cash and cash equivalents and revolving conduit facilities of $5.8 Bn at the end of Q3. 50% of the company’s debt is secured. In 3Q, OMF net issued $700 Mn in unsecured notes and $900 Mn in ABS. Moody’s revised One Main’s outlook to positive.
  • The investor presentation is here.

OnDeck Earnings

  • Revenues at OnDeck grew by 23% YoY to $103 Mn, the first time that quarterly revenue exceeded $100 Mn. OnDeck also delivered net income of $10 Mn.
  • OnDeck launched ODX, a Software-as-a-Service company, that will provide underwriting services to banks. ODX has already been working with JP Morgan and also announced a partnership with PNC. OnDeck is investing $15 Mn in strategic growth initiatives, two-thirds of which will be in ODX in 2019.
  • OnDeck’s originations grew by 22% YoY to an all-time high of $0.6 Bn and the loan book grew by 16% to $1.1 Bn. OnDeck has navigated the rise in interest rates well with the Effective Yield on its portfolio rising by 340 bps YoY to 36.5% and the NIM increasing by 400 bps to 33%.
  • OnDeck’s provision for loan losses decreased by 1% YoY to $40 Mn, while the loss reserve increased by 27% YoY to $134 Mn. Net charge-off rate decreased significantly from 16.9% to 11.1% YoY. The 15+ Day Delinquency Ratio dropped to an all-time low of 6.4% from 7.5% YoY.
  • ONDK’s total debt was $771 Mn and cash and cash equivalents were $71 Mn at the end of Q3. OnDeck’s cost of funds dropped by 40 bps YoY to 6%. OnDeck closed an additional $175 Mn in credit facilities.
  • The investor presentation is here.

LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report – October 2018 (LendingTree) Rated: AAA

Despite a rising rate environment, offered APRs ticked down for borrowers with lower scores, but are up for those with higher scores.  Rate and loan amount offers varied widely among consumers, depending on factors including, but not limited to, credit score, income, and current debt obligations.

Source: LendingTree

 

Source: LendingTree

 

Source: LendingTree

Online lending: US fintechs gain from behaving more like banks (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

When Noah Breslow rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in the week before Christmas 2014, it was a high point — perhaps the high point — for the fledgling online lending industry.

OnDeck’s peak-to-trough decline in its share price was 86 per cent; Lending Club’s was 90 per cent. However much the companies protested that slower top-line growth was actually a positive — implying that they were being more selective on lending — investors were unpersuaded.

Mr Breslow is happier with the investor mix now and how results are received. In the second quarter, for example, OnDeck reported a slight fall in loan originations, from $591m to $587m. But investors welcomed a relatively low net charge-off rate — a measure of bad debt — of 11.2 per cent, from 18.6 per cent a year earlier.

Silicon Valley company setting up shop in Silicon Slopes (Daily Herald) Rated: AAA

LendingClub, an online credit marketplace based in San Francisco, announced last week that it will expand outside of California and open a second corporate office in Lehi.

“This area was the clear No. 1 choice,” said Steve Allocca, LendingClub president. He explained that the area’s access to a skilled labor force and tech talent was important. “We love the area for its tech focus, and we’re excited to tap into that talent pool.”

Jason Brown of Tally (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The story behind the founding of Tally.
  • Why they thought 20 years out when starting Tally.
  • How their app works to help save people money on their credit card debt.
  • How their automated risk management works.
  • Why they built all of their technology from scratch.
  • How their new feature called Tally Advisor, the robo-advisor for debt, works.
  • Why Jason believes that debt consolidation loans do not solve the underlying problem.
  • The behavior they have seen with their customers.
  • How their business model works.
  • Why they decided to go with a more traditional underwriting model.
  • The amazing percentage of customers they retain every month.
  • Why they decided to go state by state when it comes to loan licenses.
  • Why the second generation of fintech is about true technology innovation.
  • How they are funding their lines of credit.
  • Who Jason views as the competitors of Tally.
  • What is next for Tally.

5 Business Loans you can get 24/7 (Nav) Rated: A

3. P2P Lenders –The term “peer to peer” is exactly what it seems. If you’re looking to apply for a loan completely online, you might want to consider any of the many lending groups available that specifically offer consumer-funded loans to any type of small business or sole proprietorship. Loan amounts vary from $2,000 to $500,00, and while many of the companies require at least two years of sales records, some (like Funding Circle) have low sales revenue requirements.

4. Invoice Financing – New to the business lending game is what is known as “instant invoice payments” or “invoice financing” services.

AFR Pays Agent Fees for VA Loans (PR Newswire) Rated: A

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) announces that beginning on Veterans Day it will pay any required VA agent fees for its brokers and correspondents on all AFR-related VA loan submissions.

The Veterans Administration generally requires an annual fee of $100 per third party originator for each entity that sponsors their origination. AFR will now pay this fee on behalf of its brokers and correspondents on AFR-related VA loans.

Elevate Appoints Company and Industry Veteran as Chief Credit Officer (Business Wire) Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) (“Elevate” or the “Company”), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced that it has appointed David Peterson as Chief Credit Officer, effective immediately.

Peterson’s background includes 15 years’ experience in financial services, primarily in credit risk. He joined the company in 2010 and has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility in areas including credit strategy, risk, portfolio management and fraud. Previously he was with Americredit Financial Services. He holds a BBA in Finance and an MBA from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.

Lending Platform Unchained Capital Boosts Security for Crypto Loans (BlockTelegraph) Rated: B

Unchained Capital, the crypto lending platform, is boosting security for crypto-backed loans. They have partnered with Citadel SPV, who provides governance, administration, and accounting solutions. The solution includes Multisig components. Multi-institution features will add to the security.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market is massive. Cision PR Newswire projects a US $897.85 billion P2P lending market by 2024 in a recent report. Can crypto startups make a splash in this burgeoning market?

Finitive Taps CEO Of First Associates As Strategic Advisor (SYS-CON Media) Rated: B

Finitive (www.finitive.com), a financial technology platform providing institutional investors with direct access to alternative lending investments, announced today that David Johnson, CEO of First Associates, has joined its advisory board.  First Associates is the fastest growing loan servicer in the country and a leader in the application of AI strategies in private credit markets. As an industry leader in the loan servicing and fintech sectors, Johnson will advise Finitive on artificial intelligence, strategic initiatives and operations.

United Kingdom

Nested, the online estate agent that makes home sellers “chain-free”, raises further £120M (TechCrunch) Rated: AAA

Nested, the London-based “data-driven” estate agency that provides a cash advance to help you buy a new home before you’ve sold your old one, has raised a further £120 million in funding. The new round is a mixture of equity and debt: £20 million and £100 million, respectively. Leading the equity round is Northzone, and Balderton Capital, while the debt finance comes from an unnamed institutional investor.

It is noteworthy that Balderton has only just invested in Nested  several rounds into the company’s existence, considering that the London-based venture capital firm typically invests earlier at Series A. Balderton is also a backer of GoCardless, the payments company previously co-founded by Nested founder Matt Robinson. That said, Balderton General Partner Tim Bunting did invest in Nested in a personal capacity very early on.

LendInvest Sees Opportunity in Buy to Let Outside London (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

LendInvest, an online marketplace for mortgages, has published the latest LendInvest Buy-to-Let Index report. The quarterly BTL Indes reviews 105 postcodes in England and Wales ranking four different characteristics: Rental Price Growth, Rental Yield, Transaction Volume, Capital Value Growth.

According to LendInvest, key findings for this most recent report indicate:

  • Colchester (#1) again tops the charts as number one spot for BTL investment
  • Stockport (#2) overtakes regional leader Manchester (#3), followed closely by Leeds at #11 signaling the increasing scope of investment opportunity in the North
  • Midlands and Central England postcodes continue to climb the table as Wolverhampton (#7) and Peterborough (#8) break into the Top 10
  • South Eastern cities lose momentum as long-term table topper Luton falls to #10 place
Source: Crowdfund Insider
Source: Crowdfund Insider

Starling Bank keeps you posted with Post Office (Fintech Future) Rated: A

Starling Bank, which is now offering Banking-as-a-Service and payment services white label offerings, has partnered with the Post Office to allow Starling current and business account customers to deposit and withdraw cash through the Post Office’s branches.

Starling has been a mobile-only bank so far, and has been renowned for that fact alone, compared to banks like Monzo and Revolut. This move, although still not offering full in-branch services, does set it apart by allowing cash deposits. It had already been announced earlier in the year.

China

Chinese government faces peer-to-peer lending scandals dilemma (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

In late 2015, investors in one of China’s largest peer-to-peer lending companies, Ezubao, found themselves unable to retrieve their deposits. By September the next year, 26 Ezubao employees had been sentenced for effectively running a Ponzi scheme and failing to repay as much as Rmb38bn ($5.5bn) to investors.

China’s P2P lending industry recorded transactions valued at $445bn in 2017, according to Online Lending Club, a data company.

Even this gentle regulation has started to take a toll on P2P lending platforms. Numbers have thinned from 2,205 platforms at the beginning of this year to 1,590 platforms as of this August, according to Online Lending Platform, a website that tracks P2P data. Since the beginning of this year, the iOS app store and certain Chinese Android app stores have begun culling the number of P2P platforms available for download.

Chinese Fintech Pintec Forms Partnership With Beijing Evercare For Installment Financing (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Chinese fintech Pintec Technology Holdings Limited (PINTEC) announced on Monday it has formed a new partnership with Beijing Evercare, a company that provides medical aesthetic treatments and health management service. Pintec reported that it will provide Beijing Evercare with an efficient and customized installment payment solution, enabling Beijing Evercare to better serve its consumers with installment options.

According to Pintec, Beijing Evercare offers its services to more than 200,000 consumers year, with the majority of its customers are white-collar workers aged 20 to 35, and females aged 36 to 50. Due to the relatively high price of such treatments, many consumers prefer installment payments to lower the financial burden. With Pintec’s customized installment payment solution, consumers of Beijing Evercare can easily apply for installment financing.

European Union

10 Reasons to Attend LendIt Fintech Europe 2018 (Lendit) Rated: A

Here are 10 solid reasons to attend LendIt Fintech Europe:

  1. Meet your new partner. Commercial and Regional bank execs come to identify the best potential fintech partners to help them remain competitive in this new customer-focused digital banking era.
  2. Find your new funding partner.
  3. Hear keynote Des McDaid, Head of UK for Marcus by Goldman Sachs. He’ll be speaking on how Goldman is targeting the masses, and leading innovation in banking.
  4. Expand your family office network and learn how four families and their advisors including are currently allocating into fintech.
  5. Find out what’s next for fintech unicorn Funding Circle from CEO, Samir Desai.
  6. Discover your next big investment opportunity.
  7. Explore the ins and outs of open banking.
  8. Understand how to bring assets to the blockchain with SoFi’s former CTO, June Ou, and take advantage of all the content that the inaugural Blockchain track has to offer.
  9. Source new cutting-edge solutions providers in our 2,500 square metre expo hall.
  10. Maximize your time at the show with our smart networking tools!
International

Nubank announces Tencent as new strategic partner and investor (Fintech Zoom) Rated: AAA

A leader in financial services technology in Latin America, Nubank has just raised a $ 90 million investment from Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”), China’s leading Internet services portal.

With this round, the company reaches about $ 420 million raised in seven rounds of investment since it was founded in 2013.

A leader in financial services technology in Latin America, Nubank has just raised a $ 90 million investment from Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”), China’s leading Internet services portal. With this round, the company reaches about $ 420 million raised in seven rounds of investment since it was founded in 2013.

Five ways banks are responding to the fintech threat (Financial Times) Rated: A

1. Digital attackers – Those in this group consider that the best form of defence is attack. Banks with the most advanced digital strategies, like DBS, have launched their own digital banks to enter new markets or defend their patch.

2. Acquisitions – Hampered by the vast cost and complexity of maintaining their old systems, sometimes banks find it easier to buy or invest in a start-up that has built a digital platform from scratch.

3. Partnerships – Bank bosses complain loudly of an uneven playing field that allows big technology groups to offer financial services without the burdensome regulation that traditional lenders face. That has not stopped some banks teaming up with Big Tech groups.

4. Diversification – While their core payments and lending businesses may be under pressure from digital competitors, some banks are using new technologies to move into new markets.

5. ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ – Sometimes banks decide that the threat from digital competition is so great that they just have to amend their business models.

Asia

Online fintech marketplace to launch at Singapore FinTech Festival (Channel News Asia) Rated: AAA

An online fintech marketplace, the API Exchange (APIX), will be launched on Wednesday (Nov 14) by the ASEAN Financial innovation Network (AFIN) in a bid to increase financial inclusion in hard-to-reach markets.

The AFIN is spearheaded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the ASEAN Bankers Association and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

There are about 1.7 billion adults globally who are unbanked, and one in three of them come from four countries in Asia – China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, said the managing director of MAS, Ravi Menon, at the opening of the third Singapore FinTech Festival 2018 on Monday.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday April 26 2018, Daily News Digest

Hong Kong IPO

News Comments Today’s main news: FTC says LendingClub misled customers on fees. Credit Karma expands ID theft monitoring to include dark web data. Two startup robos were top performers in Q1. Shanlin Finance leaders charged with operating Ponzi scheme. TransferWise launches borderless accounts in European nations. Today’s main analysis: Small-dollar loans. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Elevate’s safe credit. Hong Kong makes […]

Hong Kong IPO

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Lending Club misled customers about hidden fees, regulators say (CNN Money) Rated: AAA

The Federal Trade Commission said the company, which connects borrowers to investors without banks in the middle, “lures” customers with the promise of no hidden fees.

Instead, Lending Club deducts money up front — hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, the FTC said.

The FTC also accused Lending Club (LC) of falsely leading customers to believe they have been approved for a loan.

The FTC further accused Lending Club of withdrawing double payments from the accounts of its customers and charging customers who had canceled auto-payments or already paid off their loans.

LendingClub (LC) Said FTC Allegations are Unwarranted (Street Insider) Rated: A

Following an inquiry that began in May 2016, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought an action against LendingClub(NYSE: LC) earlier today in the Northern District of California alleging that certain LendingClub practices do not, or in the past did not, comply with the requirements of the FTC and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Acts.

LendingClub believes that the allegations in the FTC’s complaint are legally and factually unwarranted. The company is disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership and intends to oppose the claims and work towards an early resolution of the matter in Federal Court. Additional information about the complaint and LendingClub’s response are on its blog.

Why LendingClub Corp Stock Plunged Today (Motley Fool) Rated: B

Shares of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) are down by about 15% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT after the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with deceiving customers.

Elevate Provides Safe Credit To People Banks Can’t Serve With FICO (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Providing credit to 160 million Americans who are being ignored by banks sounds like a great business. And indeed, Elevate, which does just that, has been growing faster than Lending Club, SoFi, or OnDeck and is more profitable than any of them, said Ken Rees, the company’s CEO .

“Forty percent of Americans show monthly income swings of 30%. The majority of Americans need access to emergency credit but the banks have pulled back. Credit is particularly important because they have very low savings.”

Credit Karma expands its identity theft monitoring tool to include dark web data (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

After introducing a free identity monitoring tool for its users late last year, Credit Karma is widening the scope of its fraud-fighting scans to include data from the dark web.

Credit Karma’s  existing ID-monitoring tool searches 4.5 billion public breaches for a user’s personal data, but the improved service will scour additional breaches culled from the dark web. Added up, the tool will now search through 13 billion data breaches.

The company estimates that 65 percent of its users have experienced a data breach, whether they know it or not, so Credit Karma is well-positioned to issue a wake-up call about protecting identifying information online.

2 New Robo-Advisors Among the Top Performers in Q1 (ThinkAdvisor) Rated: AAA

Two relative newcomers to the robo-advisor space are among the industry’s top three performers in the first quarter, according to the latest Robo Report from BackEnd Benchmarking.

SoFi Wealth Management, which launched in May 2017 as an offshoot from the SoFi online lending platform, took first place; TIAA SRI, the socially responsible investment portfolio of its TIAA Personal Portfolio robo, placed third; and sandwiched between the two was Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

All three robos lost money in the first quarter in their taxable, balanced portfolios, split roughly 60/40 between stocks and bonds, but they performed better than other digital advisors and the overall stock market, which was down 0.76%, for the S&P 500. Their losses ranged from 0.14% for SoFi and 0.45% for TIAA SRI.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios excelled largely because of its fixed income allocation, which included high-yield bonds and international debt, according to the Robo Report. It placed first for fixed income performance not only for the first quarter of 2018 but for the one-year and two-year trailing periods.

Source: Think Advisor

Small-dollar loans (Lexology) Rated: AAA

The Trump Administration has also taken notable steps to ease the burden placed on the payday lending industry. These include terminating the Obama-era “Operation Choke Point,” which was designed to discourage banks from doing business with payday lenders,11 as well as removing payday-bank partnership restrictions for at least one payday lender.12 This signals a significant departure from regulatory constraints put in place a decade ago prohibiting affiliations between national banks and payday lenders that sought to circumvent state interest rate caps.13

In addition to established market participants targeting borrowers with high credit scores, new internet-based startups are offering small-dollar loans to non-prime borrowers, directly targeting the payday lenders’ customer base. Fintechs aim to compete with traditional payday lenders by marketing a more customer-centric approach, as well as flexible terms and lower fees. These new market entrants generally rely on the use of AI-driven scoring products and non-traditional data analytics to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition to fair lending considerations, these new online startups generally rely on mobile devices and related technology to host their software and undertake lending decisions, thereby raising privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

Source: Lexology

Navient reports higher earnings in first quarter (Delaware Business Now) Rated: A

Wilmington-based Navient reported higher earnings in the first quarter as the company expanded its segment reporting to reflect a broader array of businesses.

Results that included the origination of $500 million of private education refinance loans, a 43 percent decrease in private education loan charge-offs and a 32 percent increase in business processing fee revenue from the year-ago quarter.

For the first-quarter 2018, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) net income was $126 million compared with $88 million ($0.30 diluted earnings per share) for the year-ago quarter.

California merchant accuses lender of ‘rent-a-bank’ scheme (Rueters) Rated: A

Utah-based Celtic Bank and Georgia-based lender Kabbage Inc have been hit with a proposed class action accusing them of creating a “rent-a-bank” arrangement to issue high-interest loans to small businesses in California and evade the state’s usury laws.

The case was removed by Celtic Bank to federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday after being filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

How employees build and shape the rock-solid cultures at 5 local tech companies (Built In Chicago) Rated: A

What is the foundation of Enova’s culture?

If I may grossly generalize and speak for the majority of the millennial workforce, workplace culture is a big job-hunting factor. Of course, we want to make decent salaries and have access to good health insurance. We also want to be spending those 40 or more hours per week with people we enjoy working with, tackling independent and collaborative work, constantly learning new things, and developing our skills — all of which Enova does a great job of cultivating.

What is the foundation of Avant’s culture?

Avant’s culture is based a lot around letting the best idea win. No matter what part of the business someone is in, if they have an idea that really shines through and will resolve the issue at hand, they are heard. In my experience, even if you’re not in your domain, people will listen to you as long as you come in with a clear spec. If you ask for something and have a good explanation as to why it’s needed, you can get it.

 

 

CEO of student loan marketplace LendEDU admits the name of the founder of a partner site is fake (CNBC) Rated: A

A spokesman cited in publications, including a CNBC story in March about students using their financial aid money to invest in cryptocurrencies, is a fake, the CEO of a partner website has admitted.

Nate Matherson, CEO of student loan refinancing company, LendEDU, said he started The Student Loan Report — studentloans.net — in 2016.

 

Where to Get a Loan of $ 5,000 or Less (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

Many online lenders have personal loans that offer more flexibility. Some lenders set borrowing minimums as low as $1,000.

Pros: Some online lenders offer flexible repayment plans. For example, Avant allows you to make changes to your upcoming payments online, including the amount and date of your current or future payments. The company says it’s willing to work with you if you’re unable to make a payment, making it easier to repay your loan.

Kirsten Gillibrand Unveils A Public Option For Banking (Huffington Post) Rated: A

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation Wednesday that would require every U.S. post office to provide basic banking services, an ambitious step aimed at improving the lives of Americans with limited financial resources.

The postal system’s 30,000 locations touch every community. A majority ― 59 percent ― are in so-called banking deserts, or zip codes that have either no bank branches or just one.

Upgrade Personal Loans Review: Low Rates and Free Credit Monitoring (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

Upgrade is an online lender that primarily offers unsecured personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. You can use these loans for a variety of purposes, including home improvement, debt consolidation, or a big purchase.

As unsecured loans, these personal loans don’t require any collateral.

Source: Student Loan Hero

How to Cope With the High Costs of Infertility (US News) Rated: A

According to the National Survey of Family Growth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy and more than 85,000 women in the U.S. undergo in vitro fertilization each year.

According to a 2015 study about the sentiment, costs and financial impact of fertility treatments in the U.S. by Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, nearly half of those polled said that prices impacted the level of treatment they sought. Almost 34 percent of those women surveyed had to stop treatment due to the financial burden. Meanwhile, 70 percent of participants reported acquiring some degree of debt in their quest to conceive with more than 26 percent taking on over $30,000 of debt. The cost of treatments was also the single largest factor for those respondents who initially decided to delay fertility treatment at nearly 82 percent.

Washington Wants to Weaken Bank Rules. Not Every Regulator Agrees. (The New York Times) Rated: A

In recent weeks, federal banking regulators have proposed softening a requirement that puts a hard limit on how much the largest banks can borrow. The rule, known as the supplementary leverage ratio, requires that banks prepare for a disaster by maintaining a certain level of capital on their balance sheets based on their total size.

Banks have long complained that the rule is too restrictive and makes it harder for them to do business, including lending, in important markets. They have asserted that the ratio is too blunt of an instrument and often the strictest of the various capital requirements that were put in place after the crisis.

Which Is Best: REITs or Real Estate Crowdfunding? (US News) Rated: A

Who can invest in REITs and real estate crowdfunding? The best investors for REITs and real estate crowdfunding might not be the same. Joseph Hogue, chartered financial analyst and owner of Crowd 101, a crowdfunding website, says that although real estate crowdfunding is less work than direct investment in properties, it still involves more due diligence than REIT investing.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of REITs and real estate crowdfunding? For hands-on investors, who want to customize their real estate investing, crowdfunding fits the bill, says Javier Benson, senior vice president of strategy and implementation at crowdfunding site RealtyShares. RealtyShares specializes in funding commercial real estate projects valued at more than $50 million, certainly not a market for the individual investor.

Benson summarizes the benefits of real estate crowdfunding: “lower fee loads, increased transparency and the opportunity to select individual projects.”

Lenders reject 9% of CT loan applications (Hartford Business) Rated: A

Mortgage lenders rejected 9 percent of loan applications in recent years from Greater Hartford borrowers, which is the nation’s 10th worst denial rate, according to a recent study.

The study by national lending exchange marketplace Lending Tree said lenders denied mortgage shoppers in Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford at a high rate mainly due to insufficient debt-to-income ratios and collateral.

Hartford’s would-be borrowers ranked second in the nation for cities where collateral issues resulted in their mortgage denial, which amounts to 24 percent of its denials.

LendingTree and COMPLY2018 Announce the Kraken Innovation Award (PR Newswire) Rated: B

COMPLY2018 announces that LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, will award one company as The Most Innovative Company during the annual RegTech and Compliance Conference May 16-17 in New York City.

United Kingdom

Growth Street Celebrates Full FCA Authorization & New GrowthLine Lending Product: Need to Borrow £2M? (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK alternative finance firm Growth Street has been granted full FCA authorization,  a significant milestone for Growth Street, which had been operating as an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited since 2016.

Growth Street has simultaneously rolled out an update to its flagship business lending product, GrowthLine. The firm is now accepting applications from businesses looking to borrow up to £2M, a substantial increase from the previous maximum limit of £1M.

Borrowers unaware of how to check loan providers as scams increase (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

A THIRD of personal loan applicants have admitted they weren’t confident about how to check if their provider was legitimate, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed.

Research by the City watchdog found 36 per cent of those who took out a loan product in the past three years didn’t do any checks to ensure the legitimacy of their loan provider.

The FCA has revealed that more than £3.5m has been lost to loan fee fraud and said reports to its consumer helpline on this issue had increased by 44 per cent.

China

Eight charged in China over ‘Ponzi scheme posing as P2P lender’ that took US$ 9 billion (China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

Eight ringleaders of the Shanghai-based Shanlin Finance have been charged with illegally obtaining deposits and taken into custody, according to local public prosecutor the Shanghai Pudong district People’s Procuratorate, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The scheme was disguised as a peer-to-peer lending platform, police said. Shanlin’s online lending platforms and mobile apps have been suspended from service.

Big Bang Means Buyer Beware in Hong Kong IPOs (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. will allow innovative companies that use shares with weighted voting rights to apply for IPOs starting April 30, and will also admit unprofitable biotech firms. That’s a landmark departure from the exchange’s longstanding adherence to the one-share-one-vote principle and the requirement for a three-year profit track record.

China has also opened the door for companies listed on its National Equities Exchange and Quotations market – an over-the-counter trading venue that’s developed something of a reputation as a casino – to sell H shares in Hong Kong.

Looser entry rules will create a vastly different market.

The Fall of Peer-to-Peer Lending in China (Caixin Global) Rated: A

P2P lending, which was designed to bypass traditional lending by matching individual borrowers and lenders, began to flourish on the Chinese mainland in 2011 as the government encouraged the wider use of technology to expand financial services to small businesses and individuals. At P2P lending’s peak in late 2015, there were more than 3,300 platforms operating, according to Wandaizhijia, a portal site that tracks the sector.

However, due to the absence of unified regulations, a great proportion of P2P lenders began collecting cash from investors, offering high returns. A market worth more than 1 trillion yuan ($158 billion) quickly developed.

China’s online lenders reel from industry shake-out (Financial Times) Rated: A

A survey by FT Confidential Research shows the online lending industry in China continues to consolidate from new regulations; the days of significant growth and platform expansion have ended as the government looks to weed out the smaller players; since 2016 the government has capped borrowing limits, shut down secondary markets and forced platforms to file with local regulators

European Union

Fintech unicorn Transferwise launches a ‘borderless’ account in Sweden, Finland and Denmark (Business Insider Nordic) Rated: AAA

Transferwise is today rolling out a “borderless” consumer account and linked debit card, which will let people hold money in multiple currencies.

The service, which Transferwise says is the first one of its kind, has been openly trialed among a few thousand customers since January, and goes live globally including in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Norway will follow later on.

This means that people will be able to transfer and spend money abroad, with little or no exchange or mark-up fees. They will also be able to make withdrawals through a Mastercard debit card. The debit card will me made available for larger businesses later in 2018.

RBS plans to move 1m users to new challenger bank, says report (AltFi News) Rated: A

According to an insider at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the bank has set an internal target of switching more than 1m users from Natwest to its latest project, a “next generation mobile-only bank”, in time for its debut in the third quarter of 2018.

In another interesting move, the insider has said that RBS’ mobile-only bank will be pursuing a marketplace business model, aiming to forge third-party partnerships as its primary source of revenue over lending. This is a model that is now well-known in the digital banking sector, hailed by dominant players like Monzo and Starling Bank as the future of next generation banking.

GDPR and financial advice: Processing data on children (Professional Adviser) Rated: A

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes special mention of children and, for the purposes of the regulation, consent cannot be granted without parental approval by anyone under the age of 13. Upon their 13thbirthday, data subjects can freely consent to how their data is processed – in other words, they can sign up to newsletters and appropriate alerts.

Unlikely as it may be that a 13-year-old will be signing up for newsletters from financial advisers, advice firms will still be processing large amounts of data on under-13s. Taking Intelligent Office as an example, there are currently more than 75,000 records of people under the age of 13 and so it is important that appropriate checks are in place and that parental consent has been granted at the beginning of the process.

Deposit Solutions shows potential of open banking (Euromoney) Rated: A

However, don’t tell that to Deposit Solutions. The Hamburg-based provider of an open-banking platform that lets deposit-rich banks offer their account holders insured savings products from other banks is growing fast. It launched its own business-to-consumer marketplace Zinspilot in September 2015 and by the end of 2016 had transmitted $1 billion in deposits.

Deposit Solutions also has 50 banks in 16 European countries on its B2B platform. These include Deutsche Bank, FFB – the German subsidiary of Fidelity – and MünchenerHyp in Germany, and Atom Bank and Close Brothers in the UK.

So-called product banks, such as Atom, that are seeking funding, but don’t want to invest in a traditional deposit-gathering infrastructure, can offer terms to so-called client banks, such as Deutsche, with lots of customers, but already an excess of deposits.

International

Inside Santander’s plans to digitize money (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

The Spanish banking giant’s U.K. arm recently launched One Pay FX, a mobile payments service for its U.K. debit card holders that want to send payments to people in Euro Zone countries and the U.S. It’s the first market-ready product built on blockchain technology, Ripple’s xCurrent protocol, for retail customers. It had been running as a pilot for employees for the last 18 months.

Santander, one of the founding members of R3 CEV, a prominent consortium of banks investing in the company’s blockchain technology for financial applications, soon became one of the first members to exit the group as it concentrated on other payments-focused group work like the Utility Settlement Coin — “a tokenized version of central bank money,” in Faura’s words — and the Global Payments Steering Group.

Source: Tearsheet

This MBA Loan Provider Is Helping International Students Start New Careers Abroad (Business Because) Rated: A

According to BusinessBecause data, 90% of MBA applicants would consider studying abroad. At the same time, over 60% say they wouldn’t be able to pursue an MBA without financial aid.

Prodigy Finance has lent more than $505 million in loans to over 10,300 students globally. Those loans have enabled international students such as Alex Brack, originally from Brazil and a recent MBA graduate for The F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, to thrive.

ZPER Secures Crypto Mobile Wallet with Trustonic (Global Banking and Finance Review) Rated: B

Following an increase in incidents such as the January 2018 theft of $425 million from Coincheck Inc, ZPER, the decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P) financial ecosystem, is launching the most secure cryptocurrency wallet available. ZPER is achieving this by embedding advanced security solutions from app and device security leader, Trustonic, to provide best-in-class protection. This move is in response to growing concerns about the vulnerability of cryptocurrencies when stored in exchanges.

Australia

 

Instant cash loan machines may target most vulnerable with quick dollars, financial counsellor says (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Rated: A

The emergence of instant cash loan machines across parts of New South Wales has sparked fears about low-income families being potentially caught in a debt trap.

The machines, which look like ATMs, only require identification and bank details before users are approved for cash loans almost immediately.

Financial counsellors have expressed concern about the devices, which they say appear to be popping up in low socio-economic areas.

India

 

RentoMojo is using machine learning to create credit profiles of users (Tech Circle) Rated: AAA

It raised $10 million (Rs 64.3 crore) in a Series B round of funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and Renaud Laplanche, a French-American entrepreneur. The company had earlier raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round from Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India in November 2016.

Asia

Emerging Asian leaders in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to watch out (Finextra) Rated: A

Crowd-Genie, an Asia-wide cross-border lending platform, concluded its ICO on March 1, raising over $5.5 million. Under the stewardship of CEO and Co-Founder,Akshay Mehra, Genie is aiming to build a private capital hub using smart contracts to make borrowing safer, cheaper and more efficient. Mehra is certified in CMFAS by the MAS and has over 15 years industry experience. His goal of creating a tokenized lending platform puts him at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in Asia.

Under Mehra’s leadership, Crowd Genie’s goal is to develop a Business Loans Asset Exchange on which lenders can enhance their liquidity by transferring asset ownership. Crowd Genie Financial Services Pte. Ltd. is one of a handful of licensed platforms in Singapore to hold a ‘Dealing in Securities’ license by MAS and GenieICO’s token – CGC – was listed on the Cobinhood exchange on March 19.

Latin America

Brazilian bank IPO tests disruption potential of fintech firms (Reuters) Rated: AAA

The first initial public offering (IPO) by a Brazilian retail bank in nearly a decade, set to price on Thursday, will test if investors expect new technologies to give smaller lenders a fighting chance against Brazil’s dominant big four banks.

Banco Inter SA, a tiny mortgage lender that has reinvented itself as a purely online bank, is the first in a wave of feisty digital challengers planning to go public – and looking to trade at higher multiples than many of Brazil’s largest lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 2 2018, Daily News Digest

PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: Landbay raises 1.2M GBP on Seedrs. Yirendai issues quarterly earnings results. Betterment boosts human advice. Flender to raise 50M Euro. Cash Suvidha raisess $1M. Today’s main analysis: The VC and PE markets in Canada. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s credit facility management suite. Is community bank SMB lending eroding? Africa’s big blockchain potential. United States Betterment’s rise […]

PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Robo Pioneer Betterment Goes Upscale, Boosts Human Advice (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: AAA

Now with $13.5 billion in assets under management, the firm claims to be the largest independent online financial advisor. Indeed, its high-net-worth offering, or Prime Plan, has been embraced by investors with accounts ranging from $100,000 to many millions, according to Holeman.

Betterment, founded in 2008 as an automated digital-only advice platform, now has 340,000 customers, ranging from millennials to 85-year-olds, with an average age of 37 and an average balance just under $40,000.

How have your fees changed?

Before, we didn’t have the ability to talk with a human advisor; now we have certified financial planners. There are two levels of pricing: the basic digital plan [no minimum account size], which is 0.25% per year and our premium plan [$100,000 minimum account] for 0.4% per year to talk with a certified financial planner on an unlimited basis.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US GDP growth for the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%, capping an impressive 2017. Consumer spending has driven the bulk of GDP growth and it will be relevant to see if this trend continues given the weak retail sales in Q1 and softening in some leading economic indicators. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator rose 1.8% YoY in February. Personal spending rose 0.2% while incomes rose 0.4% MoM suggesting that Americans are saving more – a long-term positive for growth – although a short-term pressure on retail sales and consumer spending.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite

The Credit Facility Management Suite provides:

  • Dashboard overview of multiple facilities across various asset classes
  • Daily Covenant Calculation and Monitoring
  • Time Series Visualization and Projections
  • Automated Borrowing Base Report Generation
  • Collateral Cashflow Projections
  • Scenario Analysis
Source PeerIQ

 

Is community bank small business lending eroding? (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Quarles, speaking March 26 at a HOPE Global Forum, told of recent meetings he had had with owners of very small businesses. He noted that their comments jibed with trends the central bank has seen. A key one is that small businesses still face gaps in available credit although more than two-thirds of those studied by the Fed request less than $100,000 and many less than $25,000.

Who’s lending to small businesses?

“Large banks’ share of small business lending has grown,” said Quarles, “especially among the smallest loans. This represents a change from 20 years ago when small businesses relied more on a relationship with local community banks for access to credit.”

Quarles shared figures for loans under $100,000. He said that small banks of less than $1 billion hold 19% of such loans—versus 60% two decades ago. By contrast, he said, that 60% share is now held by banks with $50 billion or more in assets.

Quarles next discussed nonbank alternative lenders. This included fintech specialists as well as large technology firms that extend credit to merchants who are part of their customer bases. (Quarles did not mention names, but examples of the former would include online lender Kabbage and the former would include Amazon, which grants credit to small firms that are part of its base.)

Tech ever-widening domain for community banks (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Anybody who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves,” says James Beckwith, president and CEO at $972.8 million-assets Five Star Bank in Rocklin, Calif.

The attractiveness of tech-based marketplace lending, for example, is only going to increase, Beckwith says. Also, payments innovations, going on inside and outside banking, can’t be ignored by consumer or business bankers.

Marlin Secures $ 300,000,000 Forward Flow Agreement to Expand Equipment Financing for Small Businesses (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN) a leading provider of credit products and services to small businesses, today announced that it has entered into a forward flow sale agreement with Varadero Capital, L.P., a leading alternative asset management firm, to sell up to $300,000,000 in equipment leases and loans to be originated by Marlin.

Technology jobs in the Chicago area are up, but that’s not the whole story (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike at Enova, the overall number of technology jobs in the Chicago region grew at a modest pace last year, both at tech firms and in other industries.

Even before Chicago entered the cutthroat competition last fall to win Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, the city promoted the growth. Emanuel’s office issued at least eight news releases in 2017 on technology companies planning to hire. One of them named more than a dozen companies with hiring goals by the end of 2017.

Enova was on that list, with an aim to hire 75. Instead, it brought on 128 new people, raising its total employee count to 1,145.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at Enova last year.

 

LendIt Fintech USA 2018 Preview Show (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This year we have the LendIt Content Team on the show discussing all the different aspects of the event and how attendees can get the most out of their time at LendIt Fintech USA 2018.

 

United Kingdom

Landbay Returns to Seedrs & Quickly Raises £1.2 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay has launched another equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs and quickly secured more than £1.2 million in funding. This news comes less than a month after the online lending platform announced it hit its £100 million in lending milestone.

Deposit rates are a joke, so investors should consider peer-to-peer lending (The Times), Rated: A

Irish investors who want a regular return on their capital but are not happy to hand their money to the banks — where deposit rates are in the doldrums — have been exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

EasyMoney launches second IFISA with higher returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easy family of brands, has launched a second Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that offers higher returns than its first tax wrapper.

The recently-launched peer-to-peer lending platform said on Saturday that its ‘balanced’ IFISA allows individuals to invest in a broader range of property-backed loans, with a target interest rate of 7.28 per cent. Loans written for the ‘balanced’ IFISA are limited to 75% loan-to-value (LTV).

China

Yirendai (YRD) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (The Lincolnian Online), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The technology company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.25, Briefing.comreports. Yirendai had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 24.69%. The company had revenue of $280.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.27 million.

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated AAA

Thousands of online lenders could be facing extinction as China rolls out a new licensing framework, amid complaints about a lack of clarity on how the regime will work. The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

 

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender to announce €50m debt round (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Dublin-headquartered fintech start-up Flender, whose backers include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Mark Roden, is set to announce a €50 million debt financing round to fund its expansion.

Having secured more than £500,000 (€569,000) to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender announced plans to raise a £2 million (€2.2 million) funding round and £20 million (€22.7 million) in leveraged debt finance last August after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Dutch Startup Aims To Boost Earnings Of P2P Services (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Dutch Startup “BotBird” is launching a set of services that aims to bring together different aspects of the blockchain. While the services alone are well known amongst crypto investors the set combined might make a big difference in the scene altogether.

Lending

Crypto lending took a flight last year with lending programs popping up nearly every day. The promise was simple: Invest some bitcoin or Ethereum, get the counter value returned in alt coins minted by those lending programs and earn a certain percent of interest daily.

Escrow

Besides the fact that they actually focus on operating a sustainable service by offering a maximum of up to 10% monthly interest they also offer investment protection by 

International

Big banks on notice as tech groups ramp up pressure (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Technology companies are set to take a big chunk of customers from banks, as they intensify their challenge to traditional lenders across a range of mass-market financial services, say industry executives and analysts. Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

SALT: Leverage Your Blockchain Assets to Secure Cash Loans (SludgeFeed), Rated: A

One such project is SALT, a lending platform that was a built to facilitate the creation of lending agreements using blockchain assets as collateral. Through the SALT platform, individuals and businesses are able to access the largely illiquid value of their blockchain assets by putting these assets up as collateral in return for fiat loans. These lending agreements are secure, as their terms are automatically enforced through smart contracts and once a loan is repaid, crypto assets are returned to the borrower. Therefore, the SALT platform is designed for individuals and businesses that are needing immediate cash infusions but are unwilling or unable to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings.

Source SludgeFeed

It’s important to note that there are no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties on any fixed rate term loans arranged through the SALT platform, which is very different than traditional lending systems.

Why ZPER is a Smart Investment Choice (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Against this backdrop, P2P financing has now added a new twist with a decentralized P2P finance platform, ZPER. The platform has its basis on blockchain technology and will transcend borders and currency limitations, generating innovation in the global P2P market.

 

India

Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Raises $ 1 M in Pre-Series A Funding (Next Billion), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based online lending platform Cash Suvidha has raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Initia Holdings; Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others.

The company will use the funding to increase the loan books of the company and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

Peer to Peer Lending Market is Anticipated Significant Growth due to Earliest Adopters of Latest Technologies (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The ‘Global and Chinese Peer to Peer Lending Industry, 2013-2023 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Peer to Peer Lending industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Peer to Peer Lending manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2013-2018 market shares for each company.

Canada

THE VC AND PE MARKETS IN CANADA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has posted what it calls an “overview” of the VC and PE Markets in that country in 2017. It reports growth in both of those markets, although growth at distinct velocities.

In 2016 there were 542 deals in the PE space. In 2017 there were 603. In 2016 the total valuation of those deals was $13.8 billion. In 2017 nearly twice that, $26.3 billion.

Looking at exits, 2016 was a slump and 2017 was a recovery. In 2016 there were only 33 exits with a total value of $0.6 billion. In 2017, though, there were 39 exits with a total valuation of $1.7 billion. A little arithmetic indicates that the average value of one of those 2017 exits was about $43 million. The average value of one of the 2016 exits was about $18 million.

More about Private Equity

Breaking down the PE highlights by city, the paper tells us that 15% of the action (89 deals totaling $6.7 billion) went to Montreal-based companies. Companies based in Calgary and Montérègie each received a 9% share. This meant 54 deals for Calgary and 53 for Montérègie.

Breaking down the highlights by sector, 19% of the PE deals closed in industry/manufacturing. The next largest share was in information and communications technology (ICT), a 16% share. The report tells us that both of these two top sectors “have been receiving a steadily increasing share of PE deal flow since 2013 when industrial and manufacturing captured only a 14% share” and ICT got 10%.

Download the full report here.

Africa

Blockchain’s big potential in Africa (Venture Beat), Rated: AAA

At the beginning of March, some of the brightest minds from the blockchain world joined representatives from the financial, legal, and global technology industries to discuss widespread blockchain adoption. But the event wasn’t held in fintech hub London, or startup mecca San Francisco. It was in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the fourth edition of the Blockchain Africa conference hosted at the Microsoft HQ.

Emerging blockchain hubs

While still in their early growth stages compared to the crypto hubs in central and eastern Europe and Switzerland, blockchain communities in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan are growing steady.

BitHub Africa , based in Nairobi, is a blockchain accelerator for local startups founded in December 2015.

Tackling real problems

To date, blockchain adoption has been sporadic across Africa, but the emerging use cases are tackling real social, economic, and political problems affecting hundreds of millions of people every day:

Fighting corruption.

Combatting inflation.  In Zimbabwe, which has seen rapid inflation in recent years, Bitcoin sales have soared as locals rush to protect their savings before they devalue.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 2 2018, Daily News Digest

PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: Landbay raises 1.2M GBP on Seedrs. Yirendai issues quarterly earnings results. Betterment boosts human advice. Flender to raise 50M Euro. Cash Suvidha raisess $1M. Today’s main analysis: The VC and PE markets in Canada. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s credit facility management suite. Is community bank SMB lending eroding? Africa’s big blockchain potential. United States Betterment’s rise […]

PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Robo Pioneer Betterment Goes Upscale, Boosts Human Advice (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: AAA

Now with $13.5 billion in assets under management, the firm claims to be the largest independent online financial advisor. Indeed, its high-net-worth offering, or Prime Plan, has been embraced by investors with accounts ranging from $100,000 to many millions, according to Holeman.

Betterment, founded in 2008 as an automated digital-only advice platform, now has 340,000 customers, ranging from millennials to 85-year-olds, with an average age of 37 and an average balance just under $40,000.

How have your fees changed?

Before, we didn’t have the ability to talk with a human advisor; now we have certified financial planners. There are two levels of pricing: the basic digital plan [no minimum account size], which is 0.25% per year and our premium plan [$100,000 minimum account] for 0.4% per year to talk with a certified financial planner on an unlimited basis.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US GDP growth for the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%, capping an impressive 2017. Consumer spending has driven the bulk of GDP growth and it will be relevant to see if this trend continues given the weak retail sales in Q1 and softening in some leading economic indicators. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator rose 1.8% YoY in February. Personal spending rose 0.2% while incomes rose 0.4% MoM suggesting that Americans are saving more – a long-term positive for growth – although a short-term pressure on retail sales and consumer spending.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite

The Credit Facility Management Suite provides:

  • Dashboard overview of multiple facilities across various asset classes
  • Daily Covenant Calculation and Monitoring
  • Time Series Visualization and Projections
  • Automated Borrowing Base Report Generation
  • Collateral Cashflow Projections
  • Scenario Analysis
Source PeerIQ

 

Is community bank small business lending eroding? (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Quarles, speaking March 26 at a HOPE Global Forum, told of recent meetings he had had with owners of very small businesses. He noted that their comments jibed with trends the central bank has seen. A key one is that small businesses still face gaps in available credit although more than two-thirds of those studied by the Fed request less than $100,000 and many less than $25,000.

Who’s lending to small businesses?

“Large banks’ share of small business lending has grown,” said Quarles, “especially among the smallest loans. This represents a change from 20 years ago when small businesses relied more on a relationship with local community banks for access to credit.”

Quarles shared figures for loans under $100,000. He said that small banks of less than $1 billion hold 19% of such loans—versus 60% two decades ago. By contrast, he said, that 60% share is now held by banks with $50 billion or more in assets.

Quarles next discussed nonbank alternative lenders. This included fintech specialists as well as large technology firms that extend credit to merchants who are part of their customer bases. (Quarles did not mention names, but examples of the former would include online lender Kabbage and the former would include Amazon, which grants credit to small firms that are part of its base.)

Tech ever-widening domain for community banks (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Anybody who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves,” says James Beckwith, president and CEO at $972.8 million-assets Five Star Bank in Rocklin, Calif.

The attractiveness of tech-based marketplace lending, for example, is only going to increase, Beckwith says. Also, payments innovations, going on inside and outside banking, can’t be ignored by consumer or business bankers.

Marlin Secures $ 300,000,000 Forward Flow Agreement to Expand Equipment Financing for Small Businesses (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN) a leading provider of credit products and services to small businesses, today announced that it has entered into a forward flow sale agreement with Varadero Capital, L.P., a leading alternative asset management firm, to sell up to $300,000,000 in equipment leases and loans to be originated by Marlin.

Technology jobs in the Chicago area are up, but that’s not the whole story (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike at Enova, the overall number of technology jobs in the Chicago region grew at a modest pace last year, both at tech firms and in other industries.

Even before Chicago entered the cutthroat competition last fall to win Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, the city promoted the growth. Emanuel’s office issued at least eight news releases in 2017 on technology companies planning to hire. One of them named more than a dozen companies with hiring goals by the end of 2017.

Enova was on that list, with an aim to hire 75. Instead, it brought on 128 new people, raising its total employee count to 1,145.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at Enova last year.

 

LendIt Fintech USA 2018 Preview Show (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This year we have the LendIt Content Team on the show discussing all the different aspects of the event and how attendees can get the most out of their time at LendIt Fintech USA 2018.

 

United Kingdom

Landbay Returns to Seedrs & Quickly Raises £1.2 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay has launched another equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs and quickly secured more than £1.2 million in funding. This news comes less than a month after the online lending platform announced it hit its £100 million in lending milestone.

Deposit rates are a joke, so investors should consider peer-to-peer lending (The Times), Rated: A

Irish investors who want a regular return on their capital but are not happy to hand their money to the banks — where deposit rates are in the doldrums — have been exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

EasyMoney launches second IFISA with higher returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easy family of brands, has launched a second Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that offers higher returns than its first tax wrapper.

The recently-launched peer-to-peer lending platform said on Saturday that its ‘balanced’ IFISA allows individuals to invest in a broader range of property-backed loans, with a target interest rate of 7.28 per cent. Loans written for the ‘balanced’ IFISA are limited to 75% loan-to-value (LTV).

China

Yirendai (YRD) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (The Lincolnian Online), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The technology company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.25, Briefing.comreports. Yirendai had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 24.69%. The company had revenue of $280.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.27 million.

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated AAA

Thousands of online lenders could be facing extinction as China rolls out a new licensing framework, amid complaints about a lack of clarity on how the regime will work. The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

 

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender to announce €50m debt round (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Dublin-headquartered fintech start-up Flender, whose backers include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Mark Roden, is set to announce a €50 million debt financing round to fund its expansion.

Having secured more than £500,000 (€569,000) to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender announced plans to raise a £2 million (€2.2 million) funding round and £20 million (€22.7 million) in leveraged debt finance last August after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Dutch Startup Aims To Boost Earnings Of P2P Services (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Dutch Startup “BotBird” is launching a set of services that aims to bring together different aspects of the blockchain. While the services alone are well known amongst crypto investors the set combined might make a big difference in the scene altogether.

Lending

Crypto lending took a flight last year with lending programs popping up nearly every day. The promise was simple: Invest some bitcoin or Ethereum, get the counter value returned in alt coins minted by those lending programs and earn a certain percent of interest daily.

Escrow

Besides the fact that they actually focus on operating a sustainable service by offering a maximum of up to 10% monthly interest they also offer investment protection by 

International

Big banks on notice as tech groups ramp up pressure (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Technology companies are set to take a big chunk of customers from banks, as they intensify their challenge to traditional lenders across a range of mass-market financial services, say industry executives and analysts. Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

SALT: Leverage Your Blockchain Assets to Secure Cash Loans (SludgeFeed), Rated: A

One such project is SALT, a lending platform that was a built to facilitate the creation of lending agreements using blockchain assets as collateral. Through the SALT platform, individuals and businesses are able to access the largely illiquid value of their blockchain assets by putting these assets up as collateral in return for fiat loans. These lending agreements are secure, as their terms are automatically enforced through smart contracts and once a loan is repaid, crypto assets are returned to the borrower. Therefore, the SALT platform is designed for individuals and businesses that are needing immediate cash infusions but are unwilling or unable to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings.

Source SludgeFeed

It’s important to note that there are no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties on any fixed rate term loans arranged through the SALT platform, which is very different than traditional lending systems.

Why ZPER is a Smart Investment Choice (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Against this backdrop, P2P financing has now added a new twist with a decentralized P2P finance platform, ZPER. The platform has its basis on blockchain technology and will transcend borders and currency limitations, generating innovation in the global P2P market.

 

India

Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Raises $ 1 M in Pre-Series A Funding (Next Billion), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based online lending platform Cash Suvidha has raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Initia Holdings; Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others.

The company will use the funding to increase the loan books of the company and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

Peer to Peer Lending Market is Anticipated Significant Growth due to Earliest Adopters of Latest Technologies (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The ‘Global and Chinese Peer to Peer Lending Industry, 2013-2023 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Peer to Peer Lending industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Peer to Peer Lending manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2013-2018 market shares for each company.

Canada

THE VC AND PE MARKETS IN CANADA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has posted what it calls an “overview” of the VC and PE Markets in that country in 2017. It reports growth in both of those markets, although growth at distinct velocities.

In 2016 there were 542 deals in the PE space. In 2017 there were 603. In 2016 the total valuation of those deals was $13.8 billion. In 2017 nearly twice that, $26.3 billion.

Looking at exits, 2016 was a slump and 2017 was a recovery. In 2016 there were only 33 exits with a total value of $0.6 billion. In 2017, though, there were 39 exits with a total valuation of $1.7 billion. A little arithmetic indicates that the average value of one of those 2017 exits was about $43 million. The average value of one of the 2016 exits was about $18 million.

More about Private Equity

Breaking down the PE highlights by city, the paper tells us that 15% of the action (89 deals totaling $6.7 billion) went to Montreal-based companies. Companies based in Calgary and Montérègie each received a 9% share. This meant 54 deals for Calgary and 53 for Montérègie.

Breaking down the highlights by sector, 19% of the PE deals closed in industry/manufacturing. The next largest share was in information and communications technology (ICT), a 16% share. The report tells us that both of these two top sectors “have been receiving a steadily increasing share of PE deal flow since 2013 when industrial and manufacturing captured only a 14% share” and ICT got 10%.

Download the full report here.

Africa

Blockchain’s big potential in Africa (Venture Beat), Rated: AAA

At the beginning of March, some of the brightest minds from the blockchain world joined representatives from the financial, legal, and global technology industries to discuss widespread blockchain adoption. But the event wasn’t held in fintech hub London, or startup mecca San Francisco. It was in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the fourth edition of the Blockchain Africa conference hosted at the Microsoft HQ.

Emerging blockchain hubs

While still in their early growth stages compared to the crypto hubs in central and eastern Europe and Switzerland, blockchain communities in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan are growing steady.

BitHub Africa , based in Nairobi, is a blockchain accelerator for local startups founded in December 2015.

Tackling real problems

To date, blockchain adoption has been sporadic across Africa, but the emerging use cases are tackling real social, economic, and political problems affecting hundreds of millions of people every day:

Fighting corruption.

Combatting inflation.  In Zimbabwe, which has seen rapid inflation in recent years, Bitcoin sales have soared as locals rush to protect their savings before they devalue.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 2 2018, Daily News Digest

PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: Landbay raises 1.2M GBP on Seedrs. Yirendai issues quarterly earnings results. Betterment boosts human advice. Flender to raise 50M Euro. Cash Suvidha raisess $1M. Today’s main analysis: The VC and PE markets in Canada. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s credit facility management suite. Is community bank SMB lending eroding? Africa’s big blockchain potential. United States Betterment’s rise […]

PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Robo Pioneer Betterment Goes Upscale, Boosts Human Advice (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: AAA

Now with $13.5 billion in assets under management, the firm claims to be the largest independent online financial advisor. Indeed, its high-net-worth offering, or Prime Plan, has been embraced by investors with accounts ranging from $100,000 to many millions, according to Holeman.

Betterment, founded in 2008 as an automated digital-only advice platform, now has 340,000 customers, ranging from millennials to 85-year-olds, with an average age of 37 and an average balance just under $40,000.

How have your fees changed?

Before, we didn’t have the ability to talk with a human advisor; now we have certified financial planners. There are two levels of pricing: the basic digital plan [no minimum account size], which is 0.25% per year and our premium plan [$100,000 minimum account] for 0.4% per year to talk with a certified financial planner on an unlimited basis.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US GDP growth for the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%, capping an impressive 2017. Consumer spending has driven the bulk of GDP growth and it will be relevant to see if this trend continues given the weak retail sales in Q1 and softening in some leading economic indicators. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator rose 1.8% YoY in February. Personal spending rose 0.2% while incomes rose 0.4% MoM suggesting that Americans are saving more – a long-term positive for growth – although a short-term pressure on retail sales and consumer spending.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite

The Credit Facility Management Suite provides:

  • Dashboard overview of multiple facilities across various asset classes
  • Daily Covenant Calculation and Monitoring
  • Time Series Visualization and Projections
  • Automated Borrowing Base Report Generation
  • Collateral Cashflow Projections
  • Scenario Analysis
Source PeerIQ

 

Is community bank small business lending eroding? (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Quarles, speaking March 26 at a HOPE Global Forum, told of recent meetings he had had with owners of very small businesses. He noted that their comments jibed with trends the central bank has seen. A key one is that small businesses still face gaps in available credit although more than two-thirds of those studied by the Fed request less than $100,000 and many less than $25,000.

Who’s lending to small businesses?

“Large banks’ share of small business lending has grown,” said Quarles, “especially among the smallest loans. This represents a change from 20 years ago when small businesses relied more on a relationship with local community banks for access to credit.”

Quarles shared figures for loans under $100,000. He said that small banks of less than $1 billion hold 19% of such loans—versus 60% two decades ago. By contrast, he said, that 60% share is now held by banks with $50 billion or more in assets.

Quarles next discussed nonbank alternative lenders. This included fintech specialists as well as large technology firms that extend credit to merchants who are part of their customer bases. (Quarles did not mention names, but examples of the former would include online lender Kabbage and the former would include Amazon, which grants credit to small firms that are part of its base.)

Tech ever-widening domain for community banks (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Anybody who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves,” says James Beckwith, president and CEO at $972.8 million-assets Five Star Bank in Rocklin, Calif.

The attractiveness of tech-based marketplace lending, for example, is only going to increase, Beckwith says. Also, payments innovations, going on inside and outside banking, can’t be ignored by consumer or business bankers.

Marlin Secures $ 300,000,000 Forward Flow Agreement to Expand Equipment Financing for Small Businesses (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN) a leading provider of credit products and services to small businesses, today announced that it has entered into a forward flow sale agreement with Varadero Capital, L.P., a leading alternative asset management firm, to sell up to $300,000,000 in equipment leases and loans to be originated by Marlin.

Technology jobs in the Chicago area are up, but that’s not the whole story (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike at Enova, the overall number of technology jobs in the Chicago region grew at a modest pace last year, both at tech firms and in other industries.

Even before Chicago entered the cutthroat competition last fall to win Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, the city promoted the growth. Emanuel’s office issued at least eight news releases in 2017 on technology companies planning to hire. One of them named more than a dozen companies with hiring goals by the end of 2017.

Enova was on that list, with an aim to hire 75. Instead, it brought on 128 new people, raising its total employee count to 1,145.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at Enova last year.

 

LendIt Fintech USA 2018 Preview Show (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This year we have the LendIt Content Team on the show discussing all the different aspects of the event and how attendees can get the most out of their time at LendIt Fintech USA 2018.

 

United Kingdom

Landbay Returns to Seedrs & Quickly Raises £1.2 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay has launched another equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs and quickly secured more than £1.2 million in funding. This news comes less than a month after the online lending platform announced it hit its £100 million in lending milestone.

Deposit rates are a joke, so investors should consider peer-to-peer lending (The Times), Rated: A

Irish investors who want a regular return on their capital but are not happy to hand their money to the banks — where deposit rates are in the doldrums — have been exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

EasyMoney launches second IFISA with higher returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easy family of brands, has launched a second Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that offers higher returns than its first tax wrapper.

The recently-launched peer-to-peer lending platform said on Saturday that its ‘balanced’ IFISA allows individuals to invest in a broader range of property-backed loans, with a target interest rate of 7.28 per cent. Loans written for the ‘balanced’ IFISA are limited to 75% loan-to-value (LTV).

China

Yirendai (YRD) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (The Lincolnian Online), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The technology company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.25, Briefing.comreports. Yirendai had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 24.69%. The company had revenue of $280.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.27 million.

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated AAA

Thousands of online lenders could be facing extinction as China rolls out a new licensing framework, amid complaints about a lack of clarity on how the regime will work. The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

 

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender to announce €50m debt round (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Dublin-headquartered fintech start-up Flender, whose backers include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Mark Roden, is set to announce a €50 million debt financing round to fund its expansion.

Having secured more than £500,000 (€569,000) to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender announced plans to raise a £2 million (€2.2 million) funding round and £20 million (€22.7 million) in leveraged debt finance last August after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Dutch Startup Aims To Boost Earnings Of P2P Services (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Dutch Startup “BotBird” is launching a set of services that aims to bring together different aspects of the blockchain. While the services alone are well known amongst crypto investors the set combined might make a big difference in the scene altogether.

Lending

Crypto lending took a flight last year with lending programs popping up nearly every day. The promise was simple: Invest some bitcoin or Ethereum, get the counter value returned in alt coins minted by those lending programs and earn a certain percent of interest daily.

Escrow

Besides the fact that they actually focus on operating a sustainable service by offering a maximum of up to 10% monthly interest they also offer investment protection by 

International

Big banks on notice as tech groups ramp up pressure (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Technology companies are set to take a big chunk of customers from banks, as they intensify their challenge to traditional lenders across a range of mass-market financial services, say industry executives and analysts. Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

SALT: Leverage Your Blockchain Assets to Secure Cash Loans (SludgeFeed), Rated: A

One such project is SALT, a lending platform that was a built to facilitate the creation of lending agreements using blockchain assets as collateral. Through the SALT platform, individuals and businesses are able to access the largely illiquid value of their blockchain assets by putting these assets up as collateral in return for fiat loans. These lending agreements are secure, as their terms are automatically enforced through smart contracts and once a loan is repaid, crypto assets are returned to the borrower. Therefore, the SALT platform is designed for individuals and businesses that are needing immediate cash infusions but are unwilling or unable to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings.

Source SludgeFeed

It’s important to note that there are no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties on any fixed rate term loans arranged through the SALT platform, which is very different than traditional lending systems.

Why ZPER is a Smart Investment Choice (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Against this backdrop, P2P financing has now added a new twist with a decentralized P2P finance platform, ZPER. The platform has its basis on blockchain technology and will transcend borders and currency limitations, generating innovation in the global P2P market.

 

India

Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Raises $ 1 M in Pre-Series A Funding (Next Billion), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based online lending platform Cash Suvidha has raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Initia Holdings; Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others.

The company will use the funding to increase the loan books of the company and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

Peer to Peer Lending Market is Anticipated Significant Growth due to Earliest Adopters of Latest Technologies (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The ‘Global and Chinese Peer to Peer Lending Industry, 2013-2023 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Peer to Peer Lending industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Peer to Peer Lending manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2013-2018 market shares for each company.

Canada

THE VC AND PE MARKETS IN CANADA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has posted what it calls an “overview” of the VC and PE Markets in that country in 2017. It reports growth in both of those markets, although growth at distinct velocities.

In 2016 there were 542 deals in the PE space. In 2017 there were 603. In 2016 the total valuation of those deals was $13.8 billion. In 2017 nearly twice that, $26.3 billion.

Looking at exits, 2016 was a slump and 2017 was a recovery. In 2016 there were only 33 exits with a total value of $0.6 billion. In 2017, though, there were 39 exits with a total valuation of $1.7 billion. A little arithmetic indicates that the average value of one of those 2017 exits was about $43 million. The average value of one of the 2016 exits was about $18 million.

More about Private Equity

Breaking down the PE highlights by city, the paper tells us that 15% of the action (89 deals totaling $6.7 billion) went to Montreal-based companies. Companies based in Calgary and Montérègie each received a 9% share. This meant 54 deals for Calgary and 53 for Montérègie.

Breaking down the highlights by sector, 19% of the PE deals closed in industry/manufacturing. The next largest share was in information and communications technology (ICT), a 16% share. The report tells us that both of these two top sectors “have been receiving a steadily increasing share of PE deal flow since 2013 when industrial and manufacturing captured only a 14% share” and ICT got 10%.

Download the full report here.

Africa

Blockchain’s big potential in Africa (Venture Beat), Rated: AAA

At the beginning of March, some of the brightest minds from the blockchain world joined representatives from the financial, legal, and global technology industries to discuss widespread blockchain adoption. But the event wasn’t held in fintech hub London, or startup mecca San Francisco. It was in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the fourth edition of the Blockchain Africa conference hosted at the Microsoft HQ.

Emerging blockchain hubs

While still in their early growth stages compared to the crypto hubs in central and eastern Europe and Switzerland, blockchain communities in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan are growing steady.

BitHub Africa , based in Nairobi, is a blockchain accelerator for local startups founded in December 2015.

Tackling real problems

To date, blockchain adoption has been sporadic across Africa, but the emerging use cases are tackling real social, economic, and political problems affecting hundreds of millions of people every day:

Fighting corruption.

Combatting inflation.  In Zimbabwe, which has seen rapid inflation in recent years, Bitcoin sales have soared as locals rush to protect their savings before they devalue.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday February 5 2018, Daily News Digest

Nav financing

News Comments Today’s main news: Banco BNI starts lending through Fellow Finance. eBay drops PayPal for Adyen. Aviva exec backs robos. OneConnect secures $650M funding. Stripe sets up engineering hub in Dublin. EBANX gets $30M in funding from FTV Capital. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ Alternative Lending Market Analysis for January, and an interview with Nav CEO. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

Nav financing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

APAC

MENA

Latin America

News Summary

United States

eBay ditches PayPal for Adyen (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

What the good fintech can giveth, it can taketh away. eBay has given PayPal the boot and turned to Dutch firm Adyen as its primary processing partner.

Looking to sweeten this bitter pill, eBay says PayPal, a “long-time” partner, will be an option at the checkout for its buyers.

PayPal powers BofA Merrill digital payments (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofA Merrill) US-based commercial clients can now make payments in local currencies to payees who hold PayPal accounts.

Strong Job Gains, Marcus Acquihires, MLA Testimony (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Janet Yellen chaired her last Fed meeting as the committee kept interest rates on hold in January. Futures are pricing in a 93% probability of a rate hike in March and 3 rate hikes for 2018. The recent sell off on the long end of the curve has seen 10-year treasury yields edge past 2.85%, providing respite to banks who were seeing their loan margins compress as the curve flattened.

In securitization news, Marlette completed its largest securitization to date, with MFT 2018-1 coming in at $464 Mn. The deal was significantly over subscribed and eventually upsized continuing the trend of larger deal size that we pointed out in ourQ4 securitization trackerThe senior tranches were rated AA by Kroll. The collateral pool has 40,303 loans with an average loan balance of $12k, weighted average coupon of 14.3% and a FICO score of 703. All the loans were originated by Cross River Bank.

CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Levi King, Co-founder and CEO of Nav, which is a data aggregation platform and marketplace that bridges the gap between small businesses and financial institutions. In the interview, Levi discusses the motivation behind founding Nav and how the company solves the challenges small businesses face managing their credit and securing financing solutions, among other topics.

Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

Open banking’s early adopters bet on ‘tremendous gains in value’ (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Only a few banks have embraced open banking and offer APIs to almost anyone. But they are betting on having a head start on competitors, as trends in the industry, such as increased bank-fintech partnership and evolving regulation, will push the banking-as-a-platform movement toward reality.

Operating as BBVA Compass in the U.S. in Birmingham, Ala., in 2016 it named a head of open APIs, and has engaged in several data-sharing agreements with fintechs. It is one of a handful of U.S. banks engaged in open banking — Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Citi and CBW Bank in Weir, Kan., also have such programs.

Last May, BBVA opened up its API Marketplace and made commercially available eight APIs so companies, startups and developers would be able to build new products and services by accessing and integrating customer’s banking data — with their permission — into their applications.

Source: American Banker

Fiserv Has Largest U.S. Marketshare of Top Bank Core Processors (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

According to data gathered by FedFis.com, the top processor is Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv. With more than 37% of the market share, Fiserv is well ahead of its competitors. The second, Monett, Mo.-based Jack Henry & Associates, has just half Fiserv’s market share with 17.6%. Close behind JHA is Fidelity National Information Services Inc., better known as FIS.

Enova Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Enova International (NYSE: ENVA), a financial technology company offering consumer and small business loans and financing, today announced financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Summary

  • Total revenue of $243.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 20.4% from $202.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Gross profit margin was 47.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 51.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, driven by growth in the installment loan and receivables purchase agreement segment as well as a higher mix of new customers, which requires higher loan loss provisions.
  • Net income was $6.9 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to net income of $8.7 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Fourth quarter 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $38.1 million, a non-GAAP measure, increased from $35.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Adjusted net income of $8.9 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, a non-GAAP measure, in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased from adjusted net income of $8.5 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Full Year 2017 Summary

  • Total revenue of $843.7 million in 2017 increased 13.2% from $745.6 million in 2016.
  • Gross profit margin was 53.0% in 2017 compared to 56.0% in 2016.
  • Net income was $29.2 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, in 2017 compared to net income of $34.6 million, or $1.03per diluted share, in 2016.
  • Full year 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $157.8 million, a non-GAAP measure, increased from $142.3 million in 2016.
  • Adjusted net income of $46.9 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, a non-GAAP measure, in 2017 increased from adjusted net income of $37.5 million, or $1.12 per diluted share in 2016.

No Credit? No Problem! Microlender for Women Uses Novel Approach (WSJ), Rated: A

Daniela Morales’s lender is demanding. Every Friday morning, at 9:45 sharp, she has to visit a small apartment in Woodside, Queens, to make her weekly payment—currently $293 plus $17 interest on a $6,900 balance.

Ms. Morales’s lender is Grameen America, a nonprofit microlender for women entrepreneurs. To get a Grameen loan, you don’t need any collateral or credit history, just the support of a small group of Grameen loan recipients who can vouch for you. It is, essentially, a reputation-based loan.

There are other nonprofit microlenders operating in the city, including Accion and BOC Capital Corp. But Grameen America, modeled on a Bangladeshi microlender, is unique in its peer support and loan-approval model.

The loans, which start at $500 and command an interest rate of 18% on a declining balance, must be repaid in six months. The interest rate falls as the loan is repaid. Members who establish a good track record qualify for larger sums.

How This Founder Is Using Fintech To Give Women More Financial Control (Benzinga), Rated: A

Morty is an online mortgage broker. Our mission is to empower homebuyers to make smarter home financing decisions. With a modern tech stack and a marketplace of lenders, we offer customers the most options, great rates, and a transparent process.

What surprised you the most in the fintech industry in 2017?

That there wasn’t more innovation in the mortgage space. It’s the only lending vertical that hasn’t moved online- credit cards, student loans, small business loans, personal loans- all have a big online presence. There is still so much to be done in mortgage, it’s exciting.

Hackers Targeting Payroll Direct Deposit (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In an article penned for JD Supra by law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., experts warned of a type of payroll scam that sees fraudsters diverting direct deposits from employee accounts to criminal accounts.

According to the firm, fraudsters use a phishing scam by sending an email from an address similar to a legitimate company account.

Ogletree Deakins warned that not only does this scam result in lost funds, but it is ultimately a data breach, with scammers gaining access to corporate systems and data. The report also noted that scammers are targeting all types of businesses using all types of payroll providers.

Will Markets Ever Live Up to Our Expectations (Guru Focus), Rated: A

The fintech industry is the powerhouse behind the meteoric rise of the peer-to-peer lending market. After several platforms launched online payments, it was only a matter of time before new ones emerged offering lending services that are offered by and to registered members.

LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) has been one of the most notable players in this space and its popularity pushed it public in 2014. However, since then, the company has struggled to live up to expectations, reflecting the actual picture of the status of the peer-to-peer lending.

According to critics, while peer-to-peer lending is an attractive option for borrowers looking for alternative financing solutions, it appears to have growth limitations due to lack of funding for new products. Peer-to-peer lending platforms do not take deposits and this is a limiting factor, but analysts suggest that if they are to grow to the point of rivaling the mainstream lending market, then they may have to start taking customer deposits.

How to Win Man vs. Machine Advice Game (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: A

TD Ameritrade put the competitive pressures tied to robo-advisors and other technology left, right and center at its LINC 2018 RIA conference this week in Orlando. Industry leaders highlighted the power and threat of technology and how to address these trends in the advice business.

The dealmakers financing top adviser technology (InvestmentNews), Rated: A

It’s impossible to look at the landscape of modern adviser technology without seeing Steve Lockshin’s footprints.

As an early investor in Betterment, Mr. Lockshin, 41, was instrumental in encouraging the robo-adviser to pivot from competing against advisers to partnering with them.

Brad Bernstein could see the role of advisers was changing.

What was once an industry of investment managers and salespeople was shifting to financial planning. Driving the change was technology — automating and commoditizing many of the ways advisers traditionally added value for clients. Mr. Bernstein, 51, managing partner at growth equity firm FTV Capital, believed there was a demand for products that helped advisers better articulate their value to clients.

That’s what attracted Brooks Gibbins, 45, to the industry when he founded FinTech Collective with his partner, Gareth Jones, in 2012. The venture capital firm has been one of the most active early-stage fintech investors over the past five years, seeding some of the biggest names on the adviser fintech scene.

Seeing the opportunity for adviser fintech startups to get acquired by, or partner with, financial institutions, Ian Sheridan decided to draw on his more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry — working in wealth, retirement and investing in startups — to identify which technology would be part of the next wave of innovation.

Fidelity rocked the adviser fintech world in 2015 when it acquired eMoney, one of the most popular financial planning and client portal tools among independent advisers. The reported $250 million price tag proved there was money to be made in adviser fintech.

“Prior to that, there was good technology out there, but there wasn’t this stream of new business models, this new equity flowing in,” said Mike Durbin, 50, the president of Fidelity Institutional who spearheaded the deal. “The pace has clearly quickened.”

After a career that took him from E.F. Hutton to founding the Lockwood family of companies, Len Reinhart turned toward private investing in retirement.

American Association of Private Lenders Opposes Florida Mortgage Licensing Bills (PR Newswire), Rated: A

The Florida legislature kicked off its legislative session by introducing Florida Senate Bill 894 and House Bill 935, legislation that could cover private mortgage lenders. The bills, introduced by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Miami) and Rep. Jeanette Nunes (R-Miami), would eliminate a longstanding business purpose exemption for loans secured by a Dwelling.

On January 18, the bill passed the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee with a 13-1 vote. On January 24, the House Commerce Committee passed the bill on a unanimous vote. The Senate similarly passed the bill on a unanimous vote in the Senate Banking and Insurance committee on January 23.

American Association of Private Lenders’ (AAPL) position is that the proposed regulation would harm Florida residents, business and the state’s economic growth by consolidating power to a few licensed parties. Private lenders provide much needed capital to a marketplace which is underserved by large financial institutions. Professional business parties need to be able to work with each other without significant regulatory intervention. The proposed regulation would result in less market competition, translating to higher interest rates, a higher cost of credit and would force business out of Florida and into neighboring states including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, all of which exempt business purpose loans from licensing requirements.

Amy Johnson Named as Chief Operating Officer at dv01 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

dv01, the data management, reporting, and analytics platform that provides institutional investors insight into lending markets, today announced the appointment of Amy Johnson as Chief Operating Officer. Johnson will report to dv01 founder and CEO, Perry Rahbar.

As COO, Johnson will be responsible for dv01’s finance, legal, and sales efforts, including helping execute the company’s vision and scale its operations.

The 10 D.C. Area Startups That Raised Capital in January (DC Inno), Rated: B

Reston, Va.-based online lender StreetShares closed $23 million in equity funding on Jan. 24. The lender focuses on veteran-owned small businesses and relies on a peer-to-peer lending model. About $20 million of the new round is from Bethesda, Md.-based firm Rotunda Capital Partners. Previously, StreetShares had raised $8.3 million between three rounds.

United Kingdom

Aviva executive backs robo-advisers in call for financial advice shake-up (New World News), Rated: AAA

An Aviva executive has backed the rise of robo-advisers and called for a shake-up of financial advice to help open up the industry to the mass market.

Andy Briggs, chief executive of Aviva UK Insurance, said the current regime is freezing out large swathes of the population because only the upper echelons can afford the hefty fees.

Mr Briggs said robo-advisers could also be more powerful and beneficial to customers if the artificial intelligence did not have to carry out full financial assessments.

Treasury begins SME finance inquiry (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The Treasury committee has launched an inquiry into SME finance to look at the state of the market and the lessons to be learned from RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
The Treasury’s inquiry will look at the extent of competition in the market, the various sources of funding available to SMEs – including P2P lending and crowdfunding – and whether the current regulatory framework provides enough protection to SMEs when they borrow money.

The committee will also consider the regulation of SME lending and whether banks should be bound by a broader set of duties when dealing with SMEs.

The pros and cons of each of the six types of ISA on the market (Your Money), Rated: A

6) Innovative Finance ISA

An Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is a peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding product. In some instances, you can generate returns of around 8 – 9% by lending to private borrowers or by taking stakes in ‘crowdfunded’ investments. The IFISA is also subject to the same £20,000 annual ISA allowance so you can split your money between this ISA, as well as cash and stocks and shares.

While this is regulated by the FCA, peer-to-peer lending is not covered by the FSCS meaning your capital is at risk.

Things can only get better, says Christie & Co (The Caterer), Rated: B

Easily available debt from banks, financial institutions, peer-to-peer lending and even crowdfunding, together with forecasts of revpar growth of 2.4% in London and 2.3% in the regions, will help drive investments. Strong leisure business enjoyed by hotels last year – up 20% – is expected to continue to grow, depending on a continued weak pound.

Sainsbury’s and British Land chairmen join late payments start-up (Financial Times), Rated: B

A UK start-up that is aiming to end the culture of late payment that plagues British business has recruited two FTSE 100 chairmen as investors and advisers.

David Tyler, chairman of supermarket chain J Sainsbury, and John Gildersleeve, chairman of property group British Land, have joined the advisory board of Previse.

The London-based business pays supplier invoices instantly and collects the money from customers later. By analysing years of payment data it uses artificial intelligence to calculate the likelihood it can collect from the big customer. It has pilots running with two large corporations and is in talks with dozens more, Mr Gildersleeve told the Financial Times.

China

Ping An OneConnect fintech subsidiary raises $ 650 million in financing (Finextra), Rated: A

OneConnect is the only one-stop FinTech-empowered solutions provider in China. Financing of the three subsidiaries received positive responses, particularly from international institutional investors, including the SoftBank Vision Fund (which invested in Ping An Good Doctor and Ping An Healthcare Technology), International Digital Group (IDG) and SBI Group etc., proving that the capital market fully recognizes Ping An’s technological innovation, the business model for its technology as well as the growth potential and business value of the Group.

European Union

Banco BNI Europe Starts to Lend on Multiple P2P Lending Platforms (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Today Banco BNI Europe announced it will start lending on Fellow Finance.

‘Investing via Fellow Finance in consumer and SME loans offers us a great opportunity to easily expand our operations and we are very satisfied with the analytical and professional approach of Fellow Finance in credit intermediation’ echoes Pedro Pinto Coelho, Executive Chairman of Banco BNI Europa.

U.S. Fintech Stripe Picks Dublin for New Engineering Hub (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

U.S. payments firm Stripe said on Monday it would place its first engineering center outside its home market in the Irish capital Dublin, attracted by the city’s growing technology workforce and global outlook.

Robo Advisers Start to Take Hold in Europe (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Estimates differ, but according to TechFluence, a technology research firm with offices in Frankfurt and London, the European market had assets under management of about $3.5 billion at the end of 2017. That compares with an estimated $200 billion to $250 billion in the U.S., according to Burnmark, a fintech research firm. Estimates of the number of services range from 98 to 126 in Europe, compared with about 200 in the U.S.

The cost of entry is also much lower: generally €5,000 to €10,000 (about $6,200 to $12,400), versus hundreds of thousands at least for a discretionary service through a bank, says Timo Pfeiffer, head of research and business development at Solactive AG, an index provider that has researched the growth of robo advisers in Europe.

Popular with banks

This has led to a number of banking groups preparing robo-adviser offerings, Mr. Mellinghoff says. One example is Comdirect, a subsidiary of Commerzbank , CRZBY -3.17% which launched a robo-advisory platform in May. This service, called Cominvest, had gained assets of more than €200 million as of end of December and is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, says Sabine Schoon, head of corporate strategy and consulting at Comdirect.

The European market has also attracted interest from major U.S. providers; BlackRock Inc. BLK -2.98% announced in June 2017 that it was taking a minority stake in Scalable Capital, a robo-adviser specialist that operates mainly in the German and British markets.

BBVA’s digital push helps drive 20% profit rise (Financial Times), Rated: A

Spanish bank BBVA’s dash to get customers to buy products digitally rather than in branches helped it report a 20 per cent rise in underlying full-year profits, with results boosted by lower costs as well as higher revenues.

Top P2P Cryptocurrency Token Etherecash Gets Listed on QRYPTOS, Following Successful Crowdsale (The Daily Telescope), Rated: A

Top P2P cryptocurrency startup Etherecash has announced that its ECH token will be listed on popular cryptocurrency exchange QRYPTOS on 6th of February 2018, following a successful crowdsale in which the company raised over 40 million USD. This news comes as The Estonian-based lending startup saw a very successful Q4 to 2017 as it gears up for its token distribution in early 2018.

Crypto-lending ICO Etherecash recorded contributions of over 40 million USD and over 46000 new registrations.

GN Compass Creating More Liquidity for its Token, GNCT (PR Web), Rated: B

GN Compass is the first peer-to- peer lending platform for Cryptocurrency-Backed Loans.

All transactions are verified and distributed on the Ethereum Blockchain. GN Compass is joining an expanding group of pioneering projects integrating the Bancor Protocol to maximize the trading liquidity of GN Compass tokens.

Mifid tips balance against active funds in favour of ETFs (Financial Times), Rated: B

New business inflows almost doubled for Europe’s exchange traded fund industry in 2017, in the run-up to the EU’s introduction of rules designed to improve market transparency and strengthen investor protection.

Net inflows into European-listed ETFs reached a record $108bn last year, up from $55.7bn in 2016, according to ETFGI, a London-based consultancy.

International

Disruptive innovation in equity crowdfunding (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” studies the disruptive forces shaping the future of equity crowdfunding.

View the infographic here.

Disruptive innovation in digital banking (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” examines disruptive innovation in digital banking.

View the infographic here.

IdentityMind Global Introduces KYC and Anti-Money Laundering Plug-in for ICOs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

IdentityMind Global, Digital Identities You Can Trust, an SaaS platform that builds, maintains and analyzes digital identities worldwide, allowing companies to perform identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and to detect and prevent identity fraud, announced the immediate availability of its KYC Plug-in for ICOs which provides a turnkey solution for customer onboarding functionality and user experience to walk ICO participants through the know your customer (KYC) process to meet regulations worldwide.

BFB partners with US real estate fintech start-up (Trade Arabia), Rate: A

Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and the Fintech Consortium (FTC) have announced a strategic partnership with OffrBox, a New York City-based Fintech start-up that has developed an end-to-end real estate transaction platform on which one can buy and sell residential properties online.

India

How early-stage startups raise money (Times of India), Rated: A

The first ’round of funding’ Abhishek Latthe got when he was setting up his wearable device startup SenseGiz in 2013 was from his family and friends. The next year, he set up a crowdfunding page on Kickstarter and raised $47,000. Late in 2014, he took out a bank loan. It was only two years later in 2015, that he could convince Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund to back him with Rs 3 crore.

Banks do not back companies without collateral and since the business model is unproven, other investors too hesitate. So, funding options include getting help from friends and family, crowdfunding, or dipping into one’s savings, but how do founders decide on the path to take?

Gadkari says peer-to-peer lending and bridge funding, which fulfil a company’s short-term working capital needs, have also become popular. Choosing the best funding option depends on the company’s need. The next step for an entrepreneur is to negotiate the company’s valuation.

FinTech will revolutionise lending in India, says Faircent CEO (money control), Rated: A

Lending is one of the oldest professions in the world and is one of the pivotal reasons for the banking system to take shape.

There is evidence of lending activities dating back to 2,000 BC between merchants, farmers and traders.

However, up till now, lending as an activity has been largely limited to financial institutes such as banks and Non-banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

For instance, lenders on Faircent.com usually avail average gross returns of 18% to 26% per annum. This makes online P2P loans a lucrative alternative investment avenue for them.

What makes online P2P lending even more lucrative as an asset class for potential investors is the fact that it offers lenders the opportunity to diversify their investments across multiple risk buckets and loan requirements.

Source: money control

Everything you need to know as pressure mounts on cryptocurrencies (GK Men), Rated: B

Sapan Gupta a Practice-Head at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas said, “capitalising on the blockchain technology could open new ways of securing peer-to-peer lending transactions, boosting trade finance, fintech and information repository sectors”.

APAC

After a Successful Crowdsale Campaign, Karma (KRM) Begins Trading With Blockchain (Coin Idol), Rated: AAA

Decentralized p2p lending platform Karma has just announced trading as well as access to its platform and blockchain solutions. The project has now been backed by Danish fintech startup OpenLedger. Karma’s p2p lending platform can be used on the OpenLedger DEX platform and the Korean exchange CoinLink.

Why Blockchain’s Growing Pains Could Benefit Underbanked SMBs (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

According to a report released earlier this month by EY, 21 percent of people in the world — about 1.6 billion people — are underbanked. More than 200 million micro and SMBs fall into the underbanked category, too, with access to finance the largest hurdle for many of these firms.

EY pinpointed the APAC region as a particularly wide opportunity for financial services players to address this gap: Bank revenue in this market, researchers said, could reach $88 billion by 2020. If traditional banks don’t step in, alternative financial services firms will.

“A lot of smaller, private small businesses are under-funded,” Tran noted. “It’s not like here [in the U.S.], where we have an established financial and banking system. If you implement something like a decentralized blockchain, a P2P lending system, that would enable [SMBs] to get funded a lot easier than going through the normal banking system. With blockchain technology, you can put a platform together that is smart contract-based, allowing individual investors to participate in a growing economy. On the other hand, you allow [SMBs] to get funded very quickly.”

MENA

Top 20 Fintech Startups In The Middle East (Forbes), Rated: AAA

1 PayTabs
Online payment processing solutions

2 Souqalmal.com
Financial products comparison site

4 Beehive
SME focused peer2peer lending platform

5 Yallacompare
Financial products comparison site

8 liwwa
Peer-to-peer lending platform

StartAD launches on February 18 for fintech startups (Arabian Business), Rated: A

Innovation platform startAD will host a ten-day entrepreneurship programme, Venture Launchpad, at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), from February 18-27.

It will see ten fintech startups pitch their business ideas to investors. UAE-based early-stage startups are encouraged to apply by February 12, 2018, the application deadline.

The programme will equip them with the tools and knowledge to develop a scalable and capital efficient scheme. These include insights into crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain, algorithmic trading, credit scoring, cryptocurrency, payments, insurance tech and money transferrals.

Latin America

Brazilian Fintech EBANX Secures $ 30 Million Investment From FTV Capital (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Brazilian fintech EBANX announced on Wednesday it has secured a $30 million investment from FTV Capital.

EBANX also processes payments for major merchants from 50 different countries, including the U.S. and China. The company reported that just last year it processed $1.2 billion in cross-border transactions and achieved the milestone of helping more than 30 million users from the region gain full access to major international e-commerce merchants.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday January 19 2018, Daily News Digest

data breaches

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi Professional Loan Program hits $720M on first offering. Roofstock reaches $1B in transactions. When Zopa will open to new investors. PPDai to invest in research. Linked Finance sees profitability. Revolut launches geolocation-powered travel insurance. Harmoney partners with DataRobot. Today’s main analysis: The most and least competitive homebuyer markets. Fundrise or Vanguard: Which is the better investment? […]

data breaches

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

SoFi’s Professional Loan Program at $ 720 Million for First Offering (LendEDU), Rated: AAA

Social Finance’s Professional Loan Program 2018-A has reached $720.1 million, which is just a bit lower than the final deal it had in 2017.

In this latest program, three portions of senior Class A notes worth $677.3 million will be issued. Of that figure, one $55 million Class A-1 portion is mostly secured by floating-rate loans, and it has a variable-rate interest rate, which will be calculated based on one-month Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

Fixed-rate student loans will mostly back the $358.5 million in Class A-2A notes, as well as the $236.8 million in Class A-2 notes.

Why open banking and cybersecurity need each other (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

The industry’s desire for greater security and protection of customer data seems at odds with its desire for more open banking; by definition, open banking requires banks to share data with third party service providers.

In the U.S. banks are striving to get ahead of their own regulators by creating data exchange standards. API-based data sharing agreements like the deals Fincity signed with Wells Fargo and Chase last year are evidence of those efforts. But banks need to move beyond those one-on-one agreements if they’re going to create a full suite of financial services to offer customers through a true open banking platform.

Source: Tearsheet

PeerIQ CEO Ram Ahluwalia: 2017 Saw a Resurgence of Growth in Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ahluwalia told me;

“2017 has seen a resurgence in investor growth and confidence in online lending. ABS issuance is up about 83%.  Execution spreads have tightened substantially. This performance is all on the ABS loan side but has not translated yet into the equity valuations. “

He added that he expects to see continued attention on credit performance in 2018 as they are still seeing normalization of credit performance.

He expects 30% growth in ABS issuance for next year while adding that PeerIQ underestimated the growth for 2017.

LendingTree Ranks Most Competitive Homebuyer Markets (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, has released the findings of its study on where homebuyers will face the fiercest competition to achieve their dream of homeownership in 2018.

LendingTree looked at 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests that came through the LendingTree marketplace in the 100 largest cities in 2017. The study ranks cities using three criteria:

  • The share of buyers shopping for a mortgage before identifying the house they want. Buyers with financing in place are more appealing to sellers and can compete with cash buyers.
  • Average down payment percentage. Having a higher amount of money saved for a down payment can enable you to borrow more money or be offered a lower interest rate, allowing you to make a stronger offer.
  • Percentage of buyers who have prime credit (above 680). Borrowers with higher scores have more financing options to make more competitive offers. The cities/markets below are ranked for 2018 using the criteria noted above, including the relative data used to determine the ranking along with the market’s overall rank from the prior year.

California markets dominate the top 10.

Six of the top 10 most competitive housing markets are in CaliforniaSan Francisco and San Jose lead the rankings in 2018, with a vast number of credit-worthy and well-heeled borrowers making it one of the most challenging markets for prospective home shoppers.

Real Estate Marketplace Roofstock Hits $ 1 Billion in Transactions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Thursday, real estate marketplace Roofstock announced it has surpassed $1 billion in property transactions since the launching of its marketplace in 2016.

Roofstock Announces $ 7 Million In Additional Funding (Benzinga), Rated: A

Roofstock announced Thursday that the venture capital arm of Silicon Valley Bank had joined its latest funding round, bringing the property investing startup’s funding total to $42 million.

Gary Beasley, CEO: Roofstock is the first online marketplace created exclusively for buyers and sellers of cash-flowing, single-family rental homes that already have tenants.

Who are your investors, if any?

Roofstock has raised $68,250,000 to date, with a recent $35M Series C investment led by Canvas Ventures in October 2017. Other investors since Roofstock’s launch include Lightspeed Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Hone Capital, QED Investors, Nyca Partners, and several angel investors.

Vanguard vs. Fundrise: Which is the Better Investment Option? (Fundrise), Rated: AAA

We often get the question, “What makes a Fundrise eREIT worth investing in over the Vanguard REIT ETF?” It’s a fair question that we expected when we created the eREIT. The short answer is that Fundrise eREIT investments are lower in cost for investors than those of the Vanguard REIT ETF and also come with the potential for better returns — how our costs are lower than Vanguard requires a longer answer.

Source: Fundrise

Some of the largest REITs in which the Vanguard REIT ETF owns shares are Simon Property Group(shopping malls, worth approximately $50 billion), Equinix (office buildings, worth approximately $34 billion), and AvalonBay Communities (apartment buildings, worth $25 billion).

Vanguard charges no brokerage commissions and carries only a low investment advisory fee of 0.30%, which it reports to be lower than the industry standard of 1.02%. In addition to the advisory fee, Vanguard charges its REIT ETF investors an asset management fee of 0.11% as well as reimbursement of “expenses.”

The Fundrise Approach

Where public market investments rely on several financial organizations to perform various services from acquisition and development to offering diversified portfolios of REITs, Fundrise uses technology to consolidate these functions and reduce the number of intermediaries in the value chain.

Source: Fundrise

The real estate investment trust designation of the eREIT does not equate the services or value creation offered by the eREIT with that of a public REIT — it simply allows Fundrise to pass at least 90% of the eREIT’s earned income to investors without paying taxes at the corporate level.

Fundrise investors can invest directly into an eREIT and only pay an 0.85% asset management fee at the eREIT level. Investors who want to diversify across multiple Fundrise investments, including eFunds, can do so through one of the investment portfolios. For example, rather than choosing one eREIT or more, investors can invest in the Starter Portfolio with a minimum investment of $500. For this service, investors are charged an investment advisory fee.

Chase joins AutoFi platform (Asset Finance International), Rated: A

Chase, the US consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co, has become the first US national bank to partner with fintech company AutoFi to help customers select and finance vehicles through dealers’ websites.

The move comes after the bank’s research showed that nearly half of consumers would purchase and finance vehicles online if they had the opportunity.

ForUsAll Reaches $ 500m in Assets and Raises $ 21m in Venture Capital (Business Insider), Rated: A

ForUsAll, the technology-driven 401(k) advisor to small and mid-sized businesses, today announced it has reached $500m in retirement assets under management and secured $21 million in second round financing led by Ribbit Capital, a leading global investor in financial technology. Existing investor Foundation Capital joined the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $34 million. ForUsAll will use the funds to grow the company’s customer base, accelerate technology development and hire additional staff.

CFPB Signals Shift by Dropping Payday Lender Lawsuit (Bloomberg), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is dropping a lawsuit against a group of payday lenders associated with an American Indian tribe in a sign the regulator is changing direction under Mick Mulvaney, the acting director appointed by the Trump administration.

The agency had accused the lenders of deceiving consumers and failing to disclose the true cost of the loans, which carried interest rates as high as 950 percent a year. The agency asked for the case in federal court in Kansas to be dismissed in a court filing on Thursday, giving no details about its reasoning.

The CFPB lawsuit had targeted four companies owned by the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake tribe.

Foreign and Domestic Condo Buyers Tap $ 300 Million Fund To Close On New Condo Purchases (PRWeb), Rated: A

Three leading South Florida real estate-related companies with robust real estate experience, deep capital markets relationships, and a proven track record of originating and servicing end-user loans have joined forces to provide senior mortgage loans to non-traditional real estate buyers. The joint venture, named Pebb Yale Truss Lending, (“PYT Lending”) is comprised of Pebb Capital, GPC Truss, and Yale Mortgage. Already the enterprise has commenced loan closings for approximately 20% of the units at Echo Brickell, a luxury condominium development by Property Markets Group (“PMG”) in Miami, FL.

The First Blockchain ETFs Launched on Nasdaq, NYSE Today (coindesk), Rated: A

Reality Shares Advisors and Amplify Trust ETF launched the first blockchain-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange Arca today.

Both funds went live on their respective exchanges at 9:30 a.m. EST. Reality Shares’ Nasdaq NextGen Economy ETF (BLCN) opened at $24.20, while Amplify’s Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK) started closer to $20.

What are some of the crowdfunding basics you need to know about? (Born2Invest), Rated: A

Crowdfunding is the opposite approach to business finance.

Crowdfunding is defined as a way of raising capital with the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors.

While crowdfunding is the umbrella term for this new way of investing and doing business, there are several types of crowdfunding.

  • Reward-based crowdfunding
  • Peer-to-peer lending – People who are risking to lend out money to strangers can create loan portfolios.
  • Donation-based crowdfunding
  • Equity crowdfunding – Equity crowdfunding has the most room for change in terms of how people invest their money.
  • Real estate crowdfunding
  • Human capital – If investors want to put in money on top athletes, there are crowdfunding available for this purpose. For instance, Fantex said it would offer an IPO on investments that track the brand value of top sports stars. Another crowdfunding site named Upstart provides money for college without piling on debt.

AI, blockchain, enhanced encryption: The fintech trends Chicago’s top techies are watching (Built in Chicago), Rated: A

Here’s what Chicago’s fintech leaders are watching in 2018.

Morningstar

Which emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018?

Security technologies around encryption and voice will start to take shape. Investor and consumer trust in the markets, credit and technology suggest people aren’t satisfied with the norm. There aren’t enough heuristics used to encrypt data at rest and in transit, and the emergence of unique voice pattern activation — led by Amazon and Google — will start to drive changes in the industry.

Enova

Which emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018?

AI and machine learning continue to grab headlines, and for good reason: they have the potential to improve every aspect of business.

PEAK6 Investments

Which emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018?

Luke Peeler, software engineer: Blockchain technology.

The Future of Financial Services for the Underbanked: Tradition, Innovation, Regulation (LendIt), Rated: B

Traditional services used by the underbanked include check cashing, cash advance loans, and money transfers. Many view these services as overly expensive and behind the times, and an emerging ecosystem is leveraging fintech innovation to provide improved offerings. However, there’s a strong case made by industry researchers that the traditional, non-bank financial providers remain attractive to their customers, especially compared to the costs of a using a bank account.

  • Joe Coleman, CEO of RiteCheck
  • Rishi Kumar, Founder of Kashable
  • Cathy Mahon, President & CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
  • Lisa Servon, Professor of City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania

Guidewire Partners With Plug and Play to Foster Innovation in P&C Insurance (Business Insider), Rated: B

Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE: GWRE), a provider of software products to Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers, today announced it has joined Plug and Play’s ecosystem to advance P&C insurance innovation and collaboration. Plug and Play is a global startup ecosystem and venture fund specializing in the development of early-to-growth stage technology startups in 12 verticals. Guidewire joins as a Corporate Partner focused on the Insurance vertical.

VPC recruits Kushman as principal and capital markets head (PE Hub Network), Rated: B

Victory Park Capital (VPC), an investment firm focused on middle-market debt and equity investments, announced today that Todd Kushman joins as a principal and head of capital markets. Kushman is based in New York.

Kushman will lead the firm’s capital markets initiatives, which includes optimizing and identifying new alternative investment product offerings.

BB&T creates $ 50m fintech investment fund (Retail Banker), Rated: B

BB&T, a US-based bank holding company, has decided to set aside $50m to invest in or buy emerging digital technology firms as part of its strategy to boost its competitive profile and trim operational expenses.

United Kingdom

ZOPA LENDING QUEUE: WHEN WILL ZOPA RE-OPEN TO NEW INVESTORS? (Orca), Rated: AAA

There was extensive media coverage in October of last year surrounding Zopa, the largest consumer-focused peer to peer lender in the UK, and when it will re-open its doors to new investors who have been waiting in the Zopa lending queue – some since early 2017. It’s the turn of 2018, and some members in the queue may be seeing signs of promise.

There are 26,000 people in the Zopa “wait list” (as of 9th January). With approximately 60,000 active customers, this influx will represent a 43% increase in lenders at the platform; impressive, given the time it’s taken the platform which was founded in 2005 to acquire its existing customer-base.

U.K. Fintech Nuvo Launches Facebook Chatbot For Financial Advice on Mortgages (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

AI-powered fintech Nuvo today launched a Facebook chatbot that helps people find the best mortgage deal.

Network ROI completes employee buy-out thanks to ThinCats £1m funding (Insider.co.uk), Rated: A

A Midlothian-based IT firm has completed an employee buy-out after receiving £1m in funding from alternative finance specialist ThinCats.

Founded in 2003 by Sean Elliot, Network ROI employs 32 people providing managed IT and connectivity services to organisations throughout the UK.

Fintech to help first-time buyers with Rent Recognition Challenge for startups (City A.M.), Rated: A

A new competition has been launched to get innovative startups using technology to help renters use this payments history as a record of credit worthiness. The idea is that a tool or service can be used by lenders and credit reference agencies as part of an assessment for a mortgage.

First announced in the Autumn Budget, the Rent Recognition Challenge is now open for entries, with a potential prize of £2m for fintechs working on this idea.

Six proposals will get £100,000 each to get started on a prototype between March and October, after which that will be narrowed down to three by a panel of judges with more cash up for grabs.

 

IFA launches investment service for dormant clients (FT Adviser), Rated: A

IFA firm Symphony is offering a white-label version of provider FinchTech’s non-advised robo-service to allow its clients to invest through its website without having to pay for advice.

For a platform fee of 0.25 per cent, investors are given access to four mainstream investment portfolios and four socially responsible investment portfolios via FinchTech, with equity/non-equity weightings ranging from a ‘cautious’ 35/65 split to the ‘adventurous’ 85/15.

BUSINESS SHOWCASE : IGNITION WEALTH IRELAND (Irish Tech News), Rated: B

Ignition Wealth Ireland is the European subsidiary of Australia’s leading digital financial advice provider Ignition Wealth. We assist large financial institutions integrating new technology into their current processes and systems  and we help them to reimagine how their customers navigate the financial advice experience.

China

PPDai to invest in research institute (Shanghai Daily), Rated: AAA

PPDai, China’s first online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform listed in the US market, said yesterday that it will invest 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) within three years to set up a new research institute.

The money invested in the new PPDai Smart Finance Institute will be used to fund artificial intelligence, blockchain, finance cloud and Big Data sectors, said Zhang Jun, co-founder and chief executive of Shanghai-based PPDai.

European Union

Linked Finance eyes profitability as revenue and lending levels jump (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Linked Finance, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform which has signed over 1,200 loans for Irish businesses, has said it is on track to be profitable this year.

The company, which is seeking to become the biggest non-bank lender to SMEs in Ireland, recorded a €1.1 million net loss in the 12 months to the end of April 2017, compared to a €1.2 million loss in the previous year.

Shareholders’ deficit amounted to €2.7 million at the end of the reporting period, as against €1.7 million a year earlier as accumulated losses increased from €2.2 million to €3.3 million.

FinTech, Robo Advisers, and the Soul of Swiss Banking (Mises Institute), Rated: AAA

As one Swiss economics journal put it, the most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between “startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations and total disruption of established technology & processes”. That is to say:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks will always retain the cachet of security and stability. Online-only banks, however, are asserting themselves more aggressively in claiming to offer the same services with higher rates and lower fees.
  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful
  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Companies like Betterment feature robo-advisors offer lower fees and lower minimums; meanwhile, the larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of personalized attention for which high net worth clients are willing to pay quite generously.
  • Traditional Wealth Management vs. Automated Advice: a plethora of new software platforms and apps feature digital options, including mobile telephone payment services, automated wealth management advice, price comparison apps, tailored social media groups and crowdfunding systems. On the other side, the exclusivity of one-on-one attention is forever and very possibly will take on even more cachet as the somewhat sterile egalitarianism of digital banking erodes the cultural hierarchy of status.
  • Traditional Clearing Systems vs. Blockchain. This latter can store and distribute crypto-currencies (such as Bitcoin) and digital contracts (such as land deeds) without the need for banks or formal clearing systems. Proponents of Blockchain maintain that it promises “to reduce fees, improve security and bypass the volatility of central bank controlled fiat currencies”. Major technology firms such as Google, Amazon and Alibaba are also joining this trend.

CoinLoan ICO Reaches Major Milestones as it Launches MVP and Enables Direct Fiat Investment (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Peer to peer fintech startup, CoinLoan, recently rolled out the first version of their peer-to-peer lending platform. Investors were thrilled with the results (try it for yourself here, and are eagerly awaiting the end of the ICO and listing on exchanges soon after.

CoinLoan has also recently enabled direct fiat investment in their ICO. This unique option enables investments of $5,000 or more in USD or EUR in exchange for CLT tokens.

CoinLoan has created a system of secured peer-to-peer lending, where borrowers deposit various crypto assets for a loan in their preferred fiat currency.

International

Revolut launches geolocation-powered travel insurance (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup Revolut is launching international medical and dental insurance. You can subscribe using the company’s app for £1 per day or more depending on the options.

By default, insurance coverage costs £1 per day for medical and dental insurance. You can add an option for winter sports and you can also cover your friends and family.

Australia/New Zealand

AI helps Harmoney improve ability to assess credit risk (CIO), Rated: AAA

Harmoney is working with DataRobot to improve the performance of its credit risk assessment process.

“With our deployment of DataRobot, we’re now using artificial intelligence to reduce risk for our lenders,” says Brad Hagstrom, joint-CEO of Harmoney.

Nine launches financial advice website 9Saver.com.au (Mumbrella), Rated: A

9Saver.com.au will aggregate the cost of living and shopping segments run across Nine News, Today, Today Extra, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes every week.

India

Startup eco-system looks forward to the budget for addressing tax dilemma (ET Rise), Rated: A

The Indian startup eco-system is looking forward to the union budget eagerly for addressing the tax dilemma. With high-quality entrepreneurs, good ideas and the very important funding ecosystem, startups have become an integral part of the India’s economic growth and job creation.

Asia

Banks, regulators lack skills to cope with pace of fintech innovation (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: AAA

Both regulators and industry officials lack the right analytical and data skills to cope with the wave of disruption washing over the financial industry, according to the technology officers at leading financial companies at Thursday’s Nikkei Asia300 Summit in Singapore.

Jonathan Larsen, chief innovation officer of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, said there are “definitely no” people with up-to-date skills among the regulators, which is slowing down the pace of change for traditional institutions.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor