Thursday December 13 2018, Daily News Digest

unsecured personal loan balances

News Comments Today’s main news: FDIC opens comments on Special Purpose National Bank charters. Plaid raises $250M. P2PFA member lending exceeds 10B GBP. ThinCats raise 200M GBP. Bondora originates almost 8M euro in loans in November. Klarna joins Shopify Plus Partner Program. Nubank launches debit card. Today’s main analysis: Trends in credit card debt. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Consumer credit market poised […]

unsecured personal loan balances

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News Summary

United States

FDIC Embraces FinTech (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Formation of new banks post-crisis is historically low. More banks have failed since 2009 than have new banks opened.This trend could leave some communities severely underbanked.

The FDIC wants to encourage new banks to startup and wants innovative FinTech firms to be part of that process. The agency wants to streamline its application process and is seeking comments on how that can be done.

The OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank (SPNB) charter allows FinTechs to operate as banks.

Fintech startup Plaid raises $ 250M at a $ 2.65B valuation (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

The company is today announcing a $250 million Series C investment led by famed venture capitalist and the author of the Internet Trends reportMary Meeker, who will join its board of directors as part of the deal. The funds were raised at a valuation of $2.65 billion, according to sources close to the company. Capital from Meeker’s investment came from Kleiner Perkins’ growth fund — where Meeker has been a partner since 2010 — not from the reported billion-dollar-plus solo fund she’s in the process of raising.

New investors Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Coatue Management also participated, as did existing investors Goldman Sachs, NEA and Spark Capital.

U.S. Consumer Credit Market Poised for More Growth in 2019 (TransUnion), Rated: AAA

Low unemployment rates and continued positive growth in both GDP and real disposable income are among the key drivers that will propel the U.S. consumer credit market in 2019. Partly due to the strong performance of these economic indicators, TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) 2019 consumer credit forecast found that originations and consumer balances are expected to increase for most credit products, while serious delinquency rates will likely decline or remain steady.

Source: Globe News Wire

A few outliers in the forecast come by way of serious credit card delinquency rates and originations as well as mortgage originations. Credit card delinquency rates are expected to rise from 1.94% in Q4 2018 to 2.04% in Q4 2019 as a shift toward more non-prime consumers with access to credit cards will likely negatively impact originations and consequently the serious delinquency rate.

Source: Globe News Wire

TransUnion Forecast: Top Consumer Credit Trends for ‘19

Trend #1: There’s Room for Growth in Personal Loans

Personal loans continue to display signs of strength, and total balances are expected to climb 20% to an all-time high of 156.3 billion by the end of 2019.

Trend #2: Affordability May Impact the Auto Industry

It’s also worth noting that the number of auto loan originations is expected to end 2018 at 28.5 million and grow to 29.4 million in 2019. This is a significant increase from recent years (27.5 million in 2017, 28.3 million in 2016, 28.0 million in 2015). This growth is expected to be driven from both ends of the risk spectrum. Yet as the growth continues, the serious delinquency rate is anticipated to remain muted, ticking up to 1.44% in Q4 2019, an increase from the expected 1.43% in Q4 2018 and the 1.43% mark observed in Q4 2017.

Trend #3: Homes Becoming More Expensive, but Home Equity Increases Could Be a Boon to Consumers

Mortgage originations have declined the past several quarters, a trend that is expected to continue into 2019.  Rising interest rates, increasing home prices, and supply constraints are driving lower origination numbers.  Average balances will continue to trend upward in 2019, growing from an anticipated $208,831 at the end of Q4 of this year to $218,490 by the end of Q4 2019, a 4.6% increase.

Trend #4: More Near Prime Consumers will Carry a Credit Card

Near prime consumers are expected to increase their origination share to 19.1% in 2019, up from 18.3% in 2018.

Credit Card Debt Study: Trends & Insights (Wallet Hub), Rated: AAA

Americans repaid $40.8 billion in credit card debt during Q1 2018 – the second-largest quarterly payoff ever. But we added almost $38 billion back to our tab in Q3 and Q2 2018. We also began the year owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt for the first time ever, after adding $87.3 billion to our tab in 2017.

Source: WalletHub

The $38 billion in credit card debt added during Q2 and Q3 2018 has nearly wiped out consumers’ large first quarter pay-down.

We ended 2017 with $87.3 billion in new credit card debt, and WalletHub projects a $70 billion increase in 2018 by the end of the year.

Source: WalletHub

Americans started 2018 with more than $1 trillion in outstanding credit card balances for the first time ever, and we are on pace to begin 2019 in even worse shape.

Cities with the Highest & Lowest Credit Card Debts

Percentile* City Median Credit Card Debt Cost to Pay off Months & Days Until Payoff
99 Colleyville, TX $5,593 $880 24 months and 28 days
99 Darien, CT $7,935 $1,167 23 months and 8 days
99 Park City, UT $5,376 $720 21 months and 5 days
99 Fairbanks, AK $4,655 $620 21 months and 2 days
99 Summit, NJ $4,953 $655 20 months and 29 days
99 Leawood, KS $4,857 $642 20 months and 29 days
99 The Woodlands, TX $5,088 $670 20 months and 27 days
99 Mill Valley, CA $5,110 $672 20 months and 26 days
99 Needham, MA $4,393 $577 20 months and 25 days
99 Sammamish, WA $4,386 $575 20 months and 24 days
99 Durango, CO $3,583 $466 20 months and 17 days
99 Lafayette, CO $3,600 $467 20 months and 16 days
99 Juneau, AK $4,166 $540 20 months and 16 days
99 Southlake, TX $5,988 $775 20 months and 14 days
99 Ridgewood, NJ $5,625 $727 20 months and 14 days
99 Hoboken, NJ $3,570 $456 20 months and 6 days
99 Westport, CT $6,112 $770 19 months and 30 days
99 Winchester, MA $4,618 $580 19 months and 28 days
99 Highland Park, IL $5,379 $672 19 months and 24 days
99 Bethesda, MD $4,599 $573 19 months and 22 days
99 Wasilla, AK $4,693 $584 19 months and 22 days
99 Monument, CO $4,157 $514 19 months and 17 days
99 Newton, MA $4,014 $494 19 months and 15 days
99 Lafayette, CA $5,028 $618 19 months and 13 days
99 Scarsdale, NY $5,231 $641 19 months and 11 days
99 Bloomfield Hills, MI $4,552 $557 19 months and 11 days
99 Deerfield, IL $4,698 $575 19 months and 10 days
99 Woodinville, WA $4,331 $528 19 months and 8 days
99 Brookhaven, GA $4,221 $513 19 months and 6 days
99 Hingham, MA $4,571 $554 19 months and 4 days
*99th Percentile = Least Sustainable Credit Card Debt

A Different Kind of Gender Gap: Homeownership Is More Common Among Single Women Than Single Men (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • Single women own considerably more homes than single men do. On average, single women own around 22% of homes, while single men own less than 13% of homes.
  • Oklahoma City was the metropolitan area where single men own the largest share of owner-occupied homes, at 16%. Even though single men own a greater proportion of homes in Oklahoma City than they do elsewhere in the country, they still own fewer homes than single women, who own 24% of residential properties in the area.
  • New Orleans was the metropolitan area where single women own the largest share of owner-occupied homes. In this area, single women own nearly twice as many homes than single men do: 27% compared with 15%.

OCC sees sharp drop in mortgages serviced by large banks (American Banker), Rated: A

The OCC’s quarterly metrics report, released Tuesday, showed continued improvements in credit quality of mortgage loans at banks. But it also noted that the report is based on $3.26 trillion in principal balances, representing 32% of all mortgages in the U.S. Ten years ago, that figure was $6.1 trillion in mortgage balances, representing 60% of all outstanding mortgages.

How Do Underwriters View Mortgage Lending? (Progress in Lending), Rated: A

Subprime personal loans will flourish in 2019 thanks to startups and Donald Trump (Quartz), Rated: AAA

Subprime personal loan balances have been climbing since 2014 and are forecast to increase 20% next year, to a record $156.3 billion, according to credit-scoring firm TransUnion. The last three months of this year will be the biggest quarter ever for origination, accounting for some 5 million loans.

San Francisco-based Affirm, founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is one of the leaders in point-of-sale loans and is available at more than 1,200 US retailers. The company says its lending process allows it to approve far more applicants across the credit spectrum than traditional lenders.

Payday lending has also increased. These days, this type of high-interest, short-term debt often takes place online through installment loans. San Francisco-based LendUp is an example of the new breed of payday lenders, charging annual percentage rates that can range from 30% to more than 1,300% depending on the type of loan, according to a report by NerdWallet.

Galaxy Digital Leads $ 30 Million Funding for Social-Crypto Startup Good Money (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Digital banking platform Good Money just raised $30 million in a Series A funding round to continue developing its app.

Led by Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital (via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund), participants in the funding round included Breyer Capital, Blocktower Capital, Boost VC, Ken Howery, BlockChange Ventures, Cross Culture Capital, Troy Carter, Mitch Kapor, Peter Diamandis Blake Mycoskie and Justin Rosenstein, among others.

Half of Americans think using sharing services is risky (Biz Journals), Rated: A

Personal safety is a real concern Americans have about the sharing economy, according to a new survey commissioned by insurance company Lloyd’s.

The sharing economy includes companies that use data and develop platforms to connect people, including ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, apartment and home lending sites like Airbnb and VRBO, as well as peer-to-peer lending, reselling, co-working, and freelancing sites, per Forbes.

The analysis showed that 60 percent of American consumers believe they are putting their personal safety at risk by using sharing services because it means interacting with strangers, and 58 percent think that the risks outweigh the benefits.

Investors’ Harbour Launches New Fund That Will Finance the Development of Hawaii’s Newest Master-Planned Community (Investors’ Harbour), Rated: B

Admiral Realty Capital’s new private placement, Fund V, is engaged in providing financing to Puainako Heights Land Investment, the master-developer of a subdivision on the Big Island with over 330 single-family homesites. The offering is featured on the Boston-based crowdfunding platform Investors’ Harbour.

Different than most existing crowdfunding platforms, Investors’ Harbour does not feature an avalanche of small “fix-and-flip” projects handled by real estate enthusiasts. With a very low acceptance rate, Harbour only hosts larger-scale construction programs, conducted by commercial development firms with admirable track record.

Dharma-based Crypto Lending Platform Bloqboard Launches New Feature to Empower Lenders (Crypto Coin Spy), Rated: B

Bloqboard – a non-custodial digital asset lending platform for collateralized loans originated, settled, serviced, and managed on the Ethereum network and powered by Dharma and Compound – has today announced the release of a new feature they call ‘Offers to Lend’. This provides lenders with the ability to offer prospective borrowers their cryptoassets for peer-to-peer loans issued on the Dharma protocol.

Wyre partners with bZx, the protocol that powers decentralized margin lending (Cryptoninjas), Rated: B

Blockchain enabled payments company Wyre today announced a partnership with bZx, the protocol that powers decentralized margin lending. bZx will incorporate Wyre’s KYC/AML solution for DEXs to offer compliant trading.

United Kingdom

P2PFA member lending exceeds £10bn (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

PEER-TO-PEER Finance Association (P2PFA) platforms have cumulatively lent out more than £10bn, according to the trade body’s latest data.

Peer-to-peer platform ThinCats secures £200m funding deal (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The money comes from BAE Systems Pensions and is the second significant loan funding deal struck by ThinCats in the last few months.

Iwoca adds Barclays and HSBC to Open Banking connections (Finextra), Rated: A

iwoca, the UK’s fastest growing small business lender, today announces it has connected to Barclays and HSBC banks under Open Banking.

Tide accounts for 1 per cent of UK’s SME banking market (AltFi), Rated: A

Digital business bank Tide has reached 56,000 SME customers, accounting for one per cent the UK’s 5.6m SMEs. The bank has more than doubled the number of customers using its services in the last 12 months.

UK recruiters say challenger banks and fintech businesses are now more appealing to candidates than traditional banks (Onrec), Rated: A

  • 55% of recruiters and HR managers have seen an increase in hiring rates over the last five years
  • Half of UK recruiters and HR managers have seen an increase in demand for AI, cryptocurrency and blockchain skills
  • 55% say the number of roles requiring these emerging tech skills has outstripped the number of available candidates
  • 32% of recruiters say traditional banks are the least appealing FS organisations to candidates, whilst cryptocurrency businesses are top

Sancus tightens credit processes amid no-deal Brexit fears (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

SANCUS BMS has prepared itself for a no-deal Brexit and tightened its credit processes to protect itself from a market slowdown, its chief executive has said.

Sancus BMS, which comprises the peer-to-peer lenders Sancus Finance and Sancus Funding, sent out an email to its community on Wednesday.

Starling Bank Adds Onedox to Its Marketplace (coverageR), Rated: B

Founded in 2015 with £1m in funding, Onedox helps people manage household bills and expenses by allowing them to connect their different accounts including gas, electric, internet, mobile, and insurance. The service – which is free of charge – allows users to stay on top of their bills while receiving personalized recommendations for saving money by switching to new providers.

China

China Lending Expands B2B Offerings With Supply Chain Service (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

China Lending Corporation has announced the launch of its new supply chain financing services, which include a business factoring program.

In addition, China Lending has acquired 98.04 percent equity interest in Hangzhou Zeshi Investment Partners, which will enable China Lending to launch its new supply chain financing services in the near future, including financing products design, related corporate financing solutions, investments and asset management, and more.

Best/Worst Bets In Chinese Fintech (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

China’s financial technology, or fintech, sector, has suffered this year due to a slowing economy and stricter financial regulation. In the peer to peer lending sector, hundreds of firms have shut down due to inability to comply with regulations or insolvency. So, what can we expect from this industry in the near future?

European Union

P2P Lender Bondora Reports Almost €8 Million in Originations for November (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending platform Bondora says loan originations almost hit €8 million during the month of November. This follows a record-breaking month of October

In November, Bondora issued €7,894,070 of new loans, just ahead of the record set for originations in the previous month of €7,802,163.

LendIt Fintech Europe 2018 Slide Presentations Now Live (LendIt.com), Rated: A

Thanks to everyone who joined us at LendIt Fintech Europe 2018. Below you will find all of the presentations from the event. You can also view the photos from LendIt Fintech Europe 2018.

Keynotes

  • Joel Perlman, OakNorth Holdings – The OakNorth Growth Story – from Startup to Profitable Unicorn
  • June Ou, Figure – Blockchain: Creating the Future of Financial Services
  • John Goodall, Landbay – Misconceptions of the UK Buy-to-Let Market Today

Get the full schedule here.

Spotcap increases credit lines to EUR 300M (Spotcap email), Rated: A

It’s been a busy and rewarding 12 months for us here at 

YouHodler – Top Crypto Lending Platform on the Market (NewsBTC), Rated: A

YouHodler is a crypto-backed loan service provider. This established blockchain platform allows users to acquire loans instantly, by leveraging their cryptocurrencies for EUR or USD.

The company offers the highest loan-to-value ratio in the entire industry – up to 80%. And, unlike its competitors, it accepts five of the top cryptocurrencies as collateral, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Short-term loans are available at a low interest rate of just 2.5%.

Alternative finance ‘becoming vital’ for SMEs in north (The Irish News), Rated: A

THE ability for small businesses in Northern Ireland to access alternative forms of finance has become a vital factor in their successful growth, the head of a Belfast accountancy firm insists.

Since the financial crash and credit crunch, the funding void left by traditional lenders has been filled by boutique funders and alternative finance, which can allow SMEs to access finance for a variety of different needs, from long term investment through to funding for short term working capital.

International

Klarna Joins Shopify Plus Partner Program To Power High-Growth Merchants (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Klarna announced today that they are among the first payment service providers to join the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program, focusing on high-growth and high-volume merchants. This integration will allow merchants in Germany, the UK and the US to easily implement Klarna’s smoooth payment suite and offer a superior customer experience and thereby unlock additional growth potential.

Cred Opens Crypto Corporate Lending Platform To Developers (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In a press release on Tuesday (Dec. 11), Cred revealed the rollout of its developer platform CredX (not to be confused with the new credit card accounts payable solution recently launched by Finexio). The Crypto-Lending-as-a-Service (CLaaS) solution enables other crypto companies — including exchanges, crypto wallets or mining services — to integrate Cred’s lending functionality into their own solutions. Its set of application program interfaces (APIs) enable businesses to use crypto as collateral to access corporate financing products.

Australia

Payday loan applicants asked to hand over bank passwords, inquiry hears (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

A new parliamentary inquiry has begun scrutinising the behaviour of payday lenders, buy-now-pay-later firms, and credit repair agencies.

Vulnerable Australians are agreeing to share their internet banking passwords so payday lenders can see their transaction history before lending them money, an inquiry has heard.

Asia

400 Online Lending Sites, Fintech Platforms Being Shut Down (Tempo.co), Rated: AAA

Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Minister Rudiantara said the ministry had shut down 400 financial technologies (fintech), consisted of sites and applications, related to fraud cases on online loan services that are recently rampant in Indonesia.

LBH Urged to Expose Identities of Violating Online Loan Services (Tempo.co), Rated: B

The Indonesian Fintech Joint Funding Association (AFPI) asked the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) to open the identities of 25 peer to peer (P2P) lending organizers or registered online loan services that are said to have made violation.

South Korea is getting its first fintech unicorn (Business Insider), Rated: A

South Korean fintech Toss has raised an $80 million funding round led by US-based firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, with participation from Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, PayPal, and Qualcomm Ventures, among others. This brings Toss’ valuation to $1.2 billion, making it the latest fintech unicorn globally, and Korea’s first.

Toss started out offering peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, but has since added other services —including insurance, investments, savings accounts, credit score management, and a financial dashboard that allows users to see all of their finances in one place — by partnering with third parties. Toss already has 10 million registered users, meaning it reaches around 20% of Korea’s population with its services.

Source: Business Insider

How these Amazon and Xiaomi alums are helping the unbanked with blockchain (Tech in Asia), Rated: A

“A lot of the traditional models are not applicable to onboard those people into financial systems,” says Sarah Zhang, co-founder of Singapore-based Points.

That’s where Points – also called PTS – picks up the slack. Founded last year, the blockchain-powered startup uses AI and big data to assess factors like an individual’s occupation, bill payments, and shopping activities to calculate a credit score.

Latin America

Brazilian Fintech Nubank Launches Debit Card To Reach 120M Clients (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Brazilian fintech Nubank has launched a debit function for its card offering as well as the ability to withdraw cash from ATMs, in a move that aims to extend its reach to as many as 120 million customers.

The startup created in 2013 and valued at over $4 billion 

Africa

Experian to acquire African credit info firm Compuscan for $ 263m (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

Experian is buying African credit information and analytics services firm Compuscan for ZAR 3.72 billion ($263 million) from markets investor Actis.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Cross River Bank to Offer Depositor Whitelabels to Online Lenders?

Cross River Bank

Cross River Bank (CRB), with its cutting edge technology and state of the art platform, provides a world-class back-end infrastructure to fintech companies. It is trying to untangle the banking services for the fintech industry by providing services like loan approval, origination, and payments, but with a more simplistic-holistic approach. The company also executes direct […]

Cross River Bank

Cross River Bank (CRB), with its cutting edge technology and state of the art platform, provides a world-class back-end infrastructure to fintech companies. It is trying to untangle the banking services for the fintech industry by providing services like loan approval, origination, and payments, but with a more simplistic-holistic approach. The company also executes direct lending in the tri-state area with a focus on commercial real estate.

We believe CRB’s next step will be the offering of depositor services to fintechs. This will allow online lenders to offer Cerficates of Deposits in the 1%-3% range and lend that capital back out. This new service would allow online lenders to compete with banks on cost of capital, as well. It will revolutionize their business capabilities and will allow for faster growth and more flexibility in the cost of customer acquisition. Additionally, it will make fintechs more competitive with banks.

Of course, we expect regulators will need a long time before getting comfortable with this. In the meantime, we hope they’ll be willing to monitor and observe in order for all participants to understand the best way to regulate such a critical and important step for fintechs.

The Birth of Banking as a Service

Cross River Bank is a pioneer in the “banking-as-a-service” (BaaSniche. What stops other banks from venturing into this vertical is the regulatory environment, and most banks outsource their core processes to third parties. Thus, they lack the expertise to develop a product or platform for the alternative lending industry. CRB took a gamble by spending big on infrastructure, but it is now reaping rich benefits and has the numbers to prove it. Last year, the company notched up $3 billion in loan originations for companies like Affirm and Upstart. All total,  850,000 loan applications were approved. This year, the bank plans to go accept 1.2 million loan applications and cross the $4 billion mark in lending.

Founded in 2008, CRB is headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The company recently created a stir by securing $28 million VC funding from three well-regarded investors in the startup community (Battery Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Ribbit Capital).

Battery Ventures has a history of making phenomenal investments in highly regulated industries like Insurance and Stock Exchange; it has for the first time ventured into the banking industry by investing in CRB. This gives it additional street cred in the startup community. This funding round will help solidify CRB capital and accelerate the expansion of its asset base. Founder, CEO, and Chairman Gilles Gade worked as CFO at First Meridian Mortgage prior to starting CRB. He was also the co-founder of  Chela Technology Partners.

Partnerships with CRB can be fruitful for both parties as fintech players can take care of the front end (marketing and customer acquisition) of business as CRB, through its API, can tie the back end to the front end in a seamless way. Diversification is the new buzzword in the financial services space as companies venture into new verticals to scale. Lending Club is entering the auto lending space and SoFi is getting into mortgages. This indicates that companies are better off leaving the back end to a specialist like CRB.

The majority of loan originations are unsecured consumer loans, but by lending to a small business lending platform (franchise-focused ApplePie Capital), CRB is trying to nose into the small business lending space. Considering it has the infrastructure and the expertise, it seems to be the next logical step forward, and the space offers a lot of growth potential.

BaaS and Regulation

CRB is FDIC regulated. Considering the uniqueness of its services and products, the bank is in talks with regulators to help them understand its business model but also to assure them that consumer interests are not compromised in any way. FIL-50, which the FDIC is seeking comments on, has been implemented in full by the company despite the proposed legislation being nothing more than an early stage proposal.

Another recent development in the fintech ecosystem is the OCC FinTech Charter. CRB completely backs the vision of the charter, which is to advance the process of banking innovation. CRB wants to be hands-on available to help the OCC learn more about the shortcomings in the industry.

CRB strives to be a bank that provides the services of a regular bank, charges minimal fees, and gives access to cheaper lending capital. Being FDIC-insured is the cherry on the cake. The company has stitched multiple partnerships in the lending and payments space to ensure it has the full bouquet of services for its clients; its collaboration with Ripple for real-time international payments being a case in point. There’s no denying that the BaaS model launched by CRB is quite unique, and over the years it has been able to establish its own niche in the highly competitive financial industry. With the fintech industry evolving under the hawk eye of FDIC and CFPB, it’s quite likely more and more players in the industry will look to outsource the operations and regulatory headache to CRB.

Authors:

Written with Heena Dhir.

George Popescu

Tuesday March 21 2017, Daily News Digest

southeast asia fintech

News Comments Today’s main news: U.S. justice dept. seeks to restructure CFPB. LC increases borrower rates on riskiest loans. Goldman building robo-advisor. Funding Circle closes funding round, valued at $1B. Today’s main analysis: Southeast Asia Fintech deals hit new record. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Happy 1st birthday, Zopa Plus. First Lithuanian P2P lender. WeiyengX Fintech Review. United States U.S. justice department […]

southeast asia fintech

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Australia

China

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Justice Department Fires Salvo at Consumer Watchdog (WSJ), Rated: AAA

The Trump administration took aim at a consumer finance regulator created after the 2008 financial crisis, backing a legal effort to have the structure of the Obama-era agency declared unconstitutional.

The Justice Department, now under Trump administration leadership, filed court papers on Friday opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent regulator, asking a federal appeals court to order the restructuring of the agency.

The CFPB is fighting to keep its current setup, which gives its director protection from political interference from the White House. The administration in February said that President Donald Trump believes the bureau as currently organized is unaccountable to the public.

The Justice Department said the CFPB’s structure creates separation-of-powers problems under the Constitution because the bureau director isn’t sufficiently answerable to the president.

Lending Club increases borrowing rates on riskiest loans (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

LENDING Club has made its largest borrowing rate increases on its riskiest loans, with further hikes expected in line with the US Federal Reserve.

The US peer-to-peer lender – the world’s largest with over £20bn of funds channelled to date – has increased the cost of borrowing most significantly for loans in the E, F and G grades, following interest rate hikes by the central bank.

Rival platform Prosper has increased borrowing rates at a “mild” pace in comparison and more evenly across risk grades, according US alternative lending research firm PeerIQ’s latest quarterly performance monitor.

Goldman building robo-adviser to give investment advice to the masses (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), known for advising the world’s richest and most powerful, is building a so-called robo-adviser geared to mass affluent customers, according to a job listing posted Monday on the bank’s website.

The robo platform would sit within the bank’s rapidly growing investment management division, according to the ad. The unit, which Goldman has been trying to build out in recent years to diversify its revenue, posted a record $1.38 trillion in assets under supervision at the end of 2016.

Goldman has for years grappled with how to tap into the mass affluent segment, broadly defined as those with less than $1 million in investable assets, without diluting the brand of its private wealth business which is considered a jewel within the bank, according to people familiar with the matter. Goldman’s U.S. private wealth business typically advises clients with an account size of around $50 million.

Citi FinTech CEO Yolande Piazza: We’re not too big to change (Tearsheet), Rated: A

You’ve been at Citi almost 30 years and now you’re leading Citi FinTech. How has “fintech” evolved?
There’s a common misconception that large banking organizations aren’t able to operate like a startup, that they don’t have that mentality, that they’re too big too change. The word fintech without a doubt applies to startups in the space but a lot of that is how you pull in these startup-type organizations with the big banks to create a set of financial services that are orientated to the customer.

What has that blend of different talent and experience done for your work culture?
We’ve spent a lot of time creating a nontraditional banking culture. We operate in a very agile manner with the product, development, design teams so they work together and are completely integrated. They do their work through stand-up meetings on a daily basis, we don’t have offices – I do not have an office, I sit on the floor. We celebrate failure – if someone makes a mistake they actually win prizes for sharing that, all they have to do is demonstrate they learned something from it – to really create an environment of creativity and ambition for the product and how we serve our product.

The Developer Hub also sort of brings those different talents together.
[The Developer Hub] actually covers 85 percent of the core services a customer performs. We wanted to expose many of our APIs to a much larger community, to be exposed to the services they’re working on and give them the opportunity to come to Citi to uncover and unveil where those hidden gems are, those additional opportunities.

Former Morgan Stanley COO Jim Rosenthal Joining OnDeck Board of Directors (PR Newswire), Rated: A

OnDeck® (NYSE: ONDK), the leader in online lending for small business, announced today that it will be adding Jim Rosenthal, the former chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley, to its board of directors, effective April 3, 2017.

During his tenure at Morgan Stanley, Rosenthal served in a variety of roles, including as COO of the company from 2011 to 2016 and as chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley’s approximately $130 billion national bank. In his role as COO, Mr. Rosenthal was responsible for overseeing firm-wide technology and operations, Morgan Stanley’s wealth management digital business, corporate strategy, re-engineering and expense management, technology company relations, and cybersecurity. He remains a senior advisor to Morgan Stanley.

Rosenthal has more than two decades of experience across a wide spectrum of financial services. He joined Morgan Stanley in March 2008 from the global real estate company, Tishman Speyer, where he served as chief financial officer. Prior to that, he worked at Lehman Brothers, serving as head of corporate strategy and execution and as a member of the firm’s management committee. Rosenthal began his career with McKinsey & Company, where he was a senior partner, specializing in financial institutions.

Podcast 94: Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Why Congressman McHenry decided to enter politics.
  • The responsibilities of the House Financial Services Committee.
  • Why he is focused on fintech as part of his work in Congress.
  • Why entrepreneurship has been declining in small towns.
  • How fintech can help reverse this trend.
  • The legislation he is working on today to promote fintech innovation.
  • Details of his proposed Financial Services Innovation Act and why it is important.
  • Why fintech innovation has a decidedly British accent today.
  • Why regulators need to be pushed to adapt and change.
  • His thoughts on the OCC Fintech Charter and why he feels legislation will also be needed.
  • Where Congressman McHenry stands on the use of alternative data in lending.
  • What he thinks will be able to actually get done in the next four years regarding financial innovation.

Fintech banks and a rise in consumer authentication: Wepay’s Week in Payments (Wepay), Rated: B

Two developments, one in the US and one in the UK, signaled a potential shift in the banking world and Fintech.

Chris Skinner wrote about a new national bank charter in the US issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency which opens the way for all kinds of organizations to try to set up banks, including big consumer brands like Walmart and Apple. Essentially they have just shown the way for these kinds of organizations (as well as payments companies like Square, WePay or Stripe) to apply for a banking license.

Meanwhile in the UK, Forbes writes about the launch of ClearBank, the first new clearing bank in the UK in over 250 years.

PYMNTS.com also has a research report out about how mobile technology may be able to help financial institutions with their AML (anti-money laundering) solutions.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle close further funding round, valued at billion (the investment observer), Rated: AAA

Investor interest in the peer-to-peer lending industry shows no sign of slowing; British site Funding Circle have just closed another round of funding, taking their total raise to $300 million.

Funding Circle recently closed another round of venture capital funding to the tune of $150 million, valuing the company at $1 billion. The new round was led by DST Global, BlackRock, and Temasek, a fund backed by the Singaporean government.

Happy 1st birthday Plus! (Zopa), Rated: AAA

A year to the month after we launched Plus, our higher return and higher risk investment offering, investors have lent out more than £100 million. That’s nearly 9,000 people investing on average £12,000.

Plus is performing in line with expectations. Individual investors will have different individual experiences, however, 73% of investors invested for an average of at least 6 months, with no loan sales, have achieved actual returns of at least 6% to date.

Classic cars, booze and planes: FCA gives investors in HNW Lending tax-free status (City A.M.), Rated: A

A peer-to-peer lender offering a high-net-worth pawnbroking service has been given the green light by regulators to market a specialist type of Isa to investors.

National IFA moves £253m to DFM after suitability review (Citywire), Rated: A

AIM-listed IFA Frenkel Topping has completed a suitability review which has seen £253 million of client assets transferred to its own in-house discretionary fund management (DFM) offering.

In May last year the national advice firm received discretionary permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning it could transfer clients to its new investment company which acts as a DFM.

This review has seen £253 million of clients assets transferred to its in-house offering. The firm had £745 million of assets under advice at the end of 2016.

Lack of education hampering efforts to deliver more homes (Development Finance Today), Rated: A

It’s no secret that we aren’t building enough homes in this country.

There are a host of reasons for this, from an over reliance on large builders to a paucity of funding. The second-class status of property SMEs – compared to SMEs in other industries – is also a huge rod for housebuilders’ backs, and it’s an issue LendInvest has been keen to highlight.

But there is also a fundamental issue – often overlooked – which is serving to hamper efforts to deliver more homes. To quote Tony Blair: education, education, education.

That’s why last year LendInvest launched the Developer Academy, a two-day course for those with some property experience allowing them to hear from – and build contacts with – experts across everything from planning permission to marketing the finished properties. We have now held two separate academies in London, with further sessions planned this year: four in London and four across the regions. So far 50 prospective developers have benefitted from these courses.

European Union

First P2P Business Lender launches in Lithuania on Madiston’s Peer to Peer Lending software platform (PRWeb), Rated: AAA

With limited access to funding, small businesses in Lithuania have struggled to expand, limiting the growth of the economy. Recognising this, the Lithuanian government recently established the legislation needed to allow Peer to Peer Lenders to provide business finance loans and FinBee played an active role in its development.

Laimonas Noreika, CEO of FinBee, explained: “We were delighted to be the first P2P platform to receive our licence to help small businesses borrow to finance their growth. Our technology helped us to achieve this. When we first launched consumer lending, we chose Madiston’s software because it was ready to go with what we needed but also gave us the ability to add functionality as we grow. The first step in our expansion plan was to add business lending and the technology was there for us, Madiston has been a supportive partner throughout.”

Fintech And France’s Post-Brexit Allure (Forbes), Rated: A

It was announced today that Article 50 will be triggered on March 29th. I recently wrote about Berlin’s potential to become fintech capital of the world after Brexit, but with French officials in London scouting finance and technology companies, Paris could become the hotspot for startups.

Without passporting rights, many businesses may have to set up subsidiaries in other European countries, which is why last month, French senior lobbyists and politicians started to woo companies in the same way Nasrou is, according to Business Insider.

At the start of this year, French digital minister Axelle Lemaire did the same and in a recent interview with Business Insider, she highlighted how although British startup investment fell, investment in French technology has soared by 71% from January to September in 2016. “In the third quarter of 2016 alone, funding obtained by French startups reached €857 million ($921 million), double the amount invested in Germany and almost equaling the €919 million ($988 million) invested in the UK,” Lemaire said.

French fintech Lemon Way is going after Stripe in the e-commerce payments arena with the launch of the payments service across France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Benelux region.

Real time electronic payments provider ACI Worldwide also announced at the end of last month that French company PSP would be targeting the SME market with the ACI PAY.ON Payments Gateway, with the goal of expanding internationally.

It is important to note how interesting all of this action is being taken so close to the time Brexit was in the process of being triggered.

Australia

New deal brings more technology to financial planners (Money Management), Rated: A

Financial compliance education and training programmes provider, Mentor Education has entered into an alliance with Suitebox in order to help financial planners become more ‘tech savvy’.

Stage 3 would provide an education portal available to students, the financial planning community and educators to promote and engage the development of new initiatives in financial services education.

China

WeiyengX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The highlights of the press conference included:

  • The central bank highly encourages and supports the development of Fintech. At the press conference, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan stressed that China has made great achievements on financial technology, and the central bank was actively working on digital currency and new technologies such as blockchain, which would promote the development of the whole finance market.

In particular, he emphasized that the development of technology would boost the payment industry by providing more payment channels.

UnionPay Launches Blockchain-Based Credit Integration and Sharing System

On March 8, China UnionPay Data Services and Gingkoo jointly launched a blockchain based credit integration and sharing system.

The system uses blockchain technology to improve inter-bank credit card points management, and it enables clients to redeem points across banks.

The system is built on Gingkoo’s Xingchain, which replaces the original credit card points management system.

CBRC to Regulate Micro-Credit Companies

China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) is formulating new regulations to strengthen the supervision towards micro-credit companies.

NEXTDATA raises $10 million in Series A Funding from multiple investors

Big data company NEXTDATA has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Shunwei Capital, Crystal Stream Capital, Baidu Ventures. Previous investor 360.com also invested in this round.

The founder of NEXTDATA Tang Huijun said the fund would be used for product development, technological innovation, market development and talent introduction.

Auto Fintech Platform Daikuan Raises 20 Billion Yuan from Zhongtai Securities

On March 8, Auto Fintech platform Daikuan.com and Zhongtai Securities reached a strategic partnership. The two sides signed a strategic framework agreement involving 20 billion yuan, and they would jointly develop a batch of financing projects as asset securitization, bond issues, and structural financing.

Asia

Southeast Asia Fintech Deals Hit A New Record (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

In 2016, 831 investments went to VC-backed fintech startups, only slightly down from 2015′s record of 848 investments. And while overall investment pace slowed last year, Southeast Asia saw the greatest number of fintech deals to the region to-date.

Deals to venture-backed fintech companies in Southeast Asia — specifically Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — rose 29% last year, from 55 in 2015 to 71 in 2016. Meanwhile, dollars fell 12%, from $177M in 2015 to $158M in 2016 as deal growth was largely driven by seed/angel stage investments.

In terms of funding dollars, 2016 averaged about $40M per quarter, down from $44M in 2015. The largest deal of 2016 went to Vietnam-based mobile payments platform MoMo, in a $28M Series B that included Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered as investors. Other deals included a $17.5M investment to Thailand-based payments enabler Omise, a $2M investment to Singapore payments provide Coda Payments, and a $3M investment to Malaysia-based financial comparison startup Jirnexu.

 

Looking at deal share by country, over half of all Southeast Asian fintech deals went to Singapore-based companies, which is not especially surprising given the city-state’s position as a global financial hub.

Funding Societies, a P2P lending platform for small and medium enterprises, received one of the country’s larger 2016 rounds: a Q3’16 $7.5M Series A that included Sequoia Capital India and Alpha JWC Ventures as investors.

After Singapore, the Philippines took the next greatest share of deals at 14%.

 

Bank Negara to seek fintech ideas from the public (The Star), Rated: A

Bank Negara Malaysia plans to engage the public to get their ideas or wish list on what aspects of the financial services that can be improved using technology.

The bank’s Financial Technology Enabler Group (FTEG) chairman Aznan Abdul Aziz said it was initiating a call for participation known as “Fintech Hacks”.

Last year, Bank Negara issued the Financial Technology Regulatory Sandbox Framework for financial institutions and fintech players to experiment with new solutions in a live, contained environment within specified parameters and timeframes. The framework came into effect on Oct 18, 2016.

Africa

CiTi, FinTech Circle to launch ‘FinTech Academy Africa’ in SA (Ventureburn), Rated: A

The FinTech Academy Africa, a joint initiative by FinTech Circle and Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), will set to launch in SA on 24 and 25 April, in Johannesburg.

The academy is geared toward CEOs and the like who have a limited amount of time on their hands, but who still would like a deeper understanding of best practices in fintech.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor