Recent FinTech Woes Have Long-Term Public and Private Market Implications

Recent FinTech Woes Have Long-Term Public and Private Market Implications

With several fintech companies reporting earnings disappointments over the last two weeks and with FinTech Unicorn GreenSky, Inc. (GSKY) that IPO’d less than fifteen months ago now considering strategic alternatives, both public market and private equity investors have to consider the longer tail implications for the sector. Is the public market fairly valuing the underlying […]

The post Recent FinTech Woes Have Long-Term Public and Private Market Implications appeared first on Lending Times.

Recent FinTech Woes Have Long-Term Public and Private Market Implications

With several fintech companies reporting earnings disappointments over the last two weeks and with FinTech Unicorn GreenSky, Inc. (GSKY) that IPO’d less than fifteen months ago now considering strategic alternatives, both public market and private equity investors have to consider the longer tail implications for the sector. Is the public market fairly valuing the underlying business fundamentals and growth opportunities being pursued by fintech companies? Should GreenSky have stayed private? And given the GreenSky situation, will other FinTechs be able to gain access to much needed capital (both public and private) for further growth and value creation?

GreenSky has repeatedly under delivered relative to market expectations. The company reported second quarter earnings last week of $0.19 (versus consensus expectations of $0.23) due to weaker-than-expected lending volume. Not only were earnings short of expectations but transaction volumes grew 20% year-over-year when the company had indicated that it would deliver 30% growth. Add to these disappointing performance metrics the fact that one of GreenSky’s bank partners announced it would not renew its asset buying relationship with the company and GreenSky is now looking for alternative funding arrangements. All of this news was eclipsed by management announcing that it is considering “strategic alternatives”. The stock declined 37% on the day the quarter’s results were announced, driving its 21% underperformance for 2019 and adding to its 67% decline since its IPO just last May.

Public companies have nowhere to hide when things do not go as planned. When expectations are repeatedly not met and business models do not deliver the profits that technology-enabled business models suggest should be produced, recently minted public companies are punished severely. Public companies cannot contain the bad news to the board room where private equity investors complain loudly but their complaints lack the echo chamber of the public markets. GSKY cannot do a down round in private and has to take its lumps in public. There was similar news for OnDeck (ONDK) last week when it announced alongside its earnings that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was ending its loan origination partnership (ONDK shares declined 23% that day and is down 43% YTD, and off 83% since its IPO). The FinTech world was banking on these bell weather companies delivering strong, sustainable business models that would reshape the financial services landscape. So far, this is not what happened.

GSKY’s and ONDK’s woes are only the beginning for private fintech companies. Earlier stage FinTechs look to the public FinTechs as reference points and hope that they can replicate their IPOs and deliver sustainable growth. GreenSky could have been that shining success, but it appears to be example of what can go wrong when a FinTech goes public. Growth stage companies tell their private investors that if they grow fast enough and big enough, they can go public — like public companies GSKY and ONDK. But, when these companies underperform with significant market value erosion and talk about exiting the public market, it sends shudders down the backs of private lenders and the investors who back them.

What are the lessons that private companies can glean from the disappointing news coming from the public FinTechs? Under promising is a winning strategy. Fin-techs have to stop falling into the trap of setting expectations so high that they miss delivering against them. The public market has demonstrated that newly minted public companies will be severely punished for missing performance targets. And while founders want big valuations and private equity investors need big write ups to be viewed as successful, they would both be far better served setting expectations lower by accepting lower initial public valuations and thereby allowing themselves to set lower performance targets for the 12 to 24 months after they IPO. This sort of thinking may seem logical to observers of this market, but when you are neck deep in the FinTech market as an operator, investor or banker, it is hard to avoid overheating expectations and valuation. With each capital raise leading to quantum leaps in valuations, private companies have to set very heady goals for their IPOs and for the year post going public. After all, the IPO buyers need a big return too. And this dynamic has ended recently with a very disillusioned FinTech market. If we wish to see FinTech deliver on the promise of next-generation financial services with transformational value add, better economics, and broad adoption, we have to give these companies the time to grow into world beaters. It cannot happen overnight and promising such only leads to creating a cynical market that will think twice about investing in early-stage and later-stage FinTech innovators.

Author:

Andrew Marquardt is a partner at Middlemarch Partners, LLC, a merchant banking firm that advises and invests in financial services companies, with a particular focus on fintech and tech-enabled growth companies.

The post Recent FinTech Woes Have Long-Term Public and Private Market Implications appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday January 10 2019, Daily News Digest

Purchase APR

News Comments Today’s main news: P2P investors outperformed FTSE 100 in 2018. U.S. government shut down hurts SBA lending at banks. Monzo, Funding Circle put UK in tech investment lead. Robinhood closes in on UK launch. N26 valuation at $2.7B. Today’s main analysis: Mortgage offer report for December 2018. Today’s thought-provoking articles: New bank credit fell below 1%. Nexo publishes […]

The post Thursday January 10 2019, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Purchase APR

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Government Shutdown Hurts SBA Lending at Banks in December (AP News), Rated: AAA

With the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) closed for the past two weeks because of the partial government shutdown, SBA loan approvals dropped in December 2018 at banks and other institutions. Despite this setback, small business loan approval rates for big banks reached another record high (27%) in December 2018, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index released today.

Business loan approval rates dropped three-tenths of a percent at regional and community banks in December 2018. Small bank approvals slipped below the half-way mark to 49.9% following the month of November when 50.2% were approved.

Loan approval rates among alternative lenders dropped from 56.7% in November to 56.6% in December.

Strong Employment Report; PeerIQ’s Benchmarking Application (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Real new bank credit fell below 1% at the end of 2018. This is a mixed indicator of a recession as there have been 9 recessions since the 1950s after real new bank credit has fallen below 1%, but also about 6 false signals as well.

Source: Federal Reserve, BEA, PeerIQ

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for December (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

  • December’s best mortgage offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 4.35% for conforming 30-year, fixed-rate purchase loans, down from 4.66% in November. The APR on refinance loan offers also decreased from 4.63% in November to 4.34%. We consider people with the best credit profiles to be those in the 95th percentile of borrowers who received the best mortgage offers through the LendingTree marketplace, which allows users to compare offers from multiple mortgage lenders.
  • Mortgage rates vary depending upon parameters including credit score, loan-to-value ratio, income and property type.
  • For the average borrower, the purchase APR for conforming 30-year, fixed-rate purchase loans offered on LendingTree’s platform was 5.17%, down 18 basis points from November. The loan note rate of 5.05% was down 19 basis points from November. We prefer to emphasize the APR as lenders often make changes to other fees in response to changing interest rates.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+, representing the 65th percentile of borrowers) received an average APR of 4.98%, versus 5.33% for consumers with scores of 680 to 719. The APR spread of 65 basis points between these score ranges is higher than it was in November. For the average purchase loan amount of $224,609, the spread represents over $17,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30 years. The additional costs result from higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • For the average borrower, the APR for conforming 30-year, fixed-rate refinance loans decreased 24 basis points from November to 5.09%. At 4.93% and 5.21%, respectively, the spread between credit score brackets (760+ and 680-719) was 28 basis points. That amounts to nearly $13,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for borrowers with lower credit scores, given an average refinance loan of $239,329.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments fell to $54,217, a decline of nearly $6,000.
Source: LendingTree
Source: LendingTree

To view the Mortgage Offers Report, visit: www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage-offers-report-december-2018.

Minority Entrepreneurs Are Thriving in These 10 (Mostly Coastal) U.S. Cities (Inc), Rated: AAA

San Francisco and San Jose, California, are not only home to Big Tech’s all-stars, they’re also the top two spots where minority entrepreneurs are thriving.

Over 42 percent of all minority-owned companies in these cities make at least $500,000 in annual revenue and more than half have been in business for six years or more, according to a new report released Tuesday by LendingTree, an online loan marketplace based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The study uses Census data to gauge how minority business owners with employees fare in the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. It measures performance based on metrics including a company’s longevity, revenue, and whether a city’s minority population is proportionally represented in business ownership demographics, dubbed the “parity index.”

Source: LendingTree

Lending Startup Affirm to Test High-Interest Savings Accounts (Cheddar), Rated: A

Affirm is making good on its commitment to become a full-service bank. The lending startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin is introducing no-free savings accounts through a bank partner, initially with a 2 percent annual interest rate and no minimum balance, Cheddar has learned.

Kabbage Data Reveals One-Third of Successful Small Businesses Started with Less Than $ 5,000 (PRWeb), Rated: A

New data released today by Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, shows that the majority of successful entrepreneurs began their businesses with little cash flow and short run rates. Polling 600 thriving U.S. small business owners, the Kabbage survey found 58 percent of small businesses started with less than $25,000 and one-third started with less than $5,000.

Kabbage vs. Fundbox: Which Line of Credit is Best For Your Business? (Nav.com), Rated: A

Kabbage Pricing Example

Let’s say you borrow $25,000 and are approved for a 6 month loan with a fee of 3% (fees range from 1.5% to 10%). Using Kabbage’s calculator, you will pay $2750 in total fees if you repay the loan on schedule.

To translate that cost into an APR, you can use Nav’s free calculator and enter the loan amount plus the amount of the first two payments ($4917 each) and the amount of payments 3-6 ($4479 each). This results in an APR of 37.5%.

Fundbox

Let’s say you borrow $25,000 for 24 weeks and you are approved at their lowest fee of $4.66%. Using Fundbox’s calculator, your weekly payments will be $1135.31 and you’ll pay a total of $2247.50 in fees. This results in an APR of 39%.

LendingFront Raises $ 4 Million to Help Lenders Modernize Small Business Lending Operations (PR Web), Rated: A

LendingFront, a small business lending software provider, today announced it has raised a $4 million Series A funding round led by Information Venture Partners with participation from Newark Venture PartnersRevel PartnersContour Venture Partners and existing investors Struck CapitalValueStream Ventures and Las Olas VC.

The funding will be used to help deliver LendingFront’s end-to-end white label software platform to more banks and financial institutions, giving them access to the most sophisticated technology in the market for originating, underwriting and servicing small business credit – a $600b+ market, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Cross River, Stripe partnership targets marketplace economy (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Cross River, a provider of banking services for fintech companies, today announced a partnership with Stripe to help those in the marketplace economy—such as workers in ride sharing, food delivery, and other freelance occupations real-time access to earnings using push-to-card payments.

Fintech APIs Consolidate As Plaid Buys Quovo In $ 200M Deal (Benzinga), Rated: A

Fintech startup Plaid is negotiating a $200 million acquisition of rival Quovo, according to a Tuesday announcement. The merger would unite similar application programming interfaces connecting bank accounts to other fintech apps, such as Venmo, Coinbase and Robinhood.

The deal not only expands Plaid’s reach beyond its present 25 percent of U.S. financial accounts, but also positions the firm to penetrate the brokerage and wealth management spaces. Quovo’s traditional customers include Vanguard, Stifel Financial Corp SF 0.02%, John Hancock, Betterment and Wealthfront.

Top 7 Short Term Investment Ideas For Beginners (FX Daily Report), Rated: A

Often touted as direct lending, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has taken the financial industry by storm. Although this short term investment option has only been for the last one decade, it has already managed to create a reputation of its own with the flexibility and diversification options it brings for lenders. The idea of P2P lending is simple: it is a simple investment option that is designed to bring investors and borrowers together on a single lending platform. These platforms offer relatively higher returns because of their low operating costs. Additionally, they also get to make some profits every time a borrower makes their repayment.

YieldStreet’s Alternative Investment Marketplace Booms In Times Of Volatility (Forbes), Rated: B

When YieldStreet launched a $6.45 million offering on its marketplace, it expected a lot of investors to get in on the deal. After all, they had about seventy-two hours to digest all the important aspects of the company and the offering.

CAN Capital Has New CEO, Hires Edward Siciliano to Lead Online Lender (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

CAN Capital, an online lender providing financing to SMEs, has a new Chief Executive Officer. Announced in a release yesterday, the Atlanta based Fintech has appointed Edward J. Siciliano as CEO.

SS&C Releases Precision LM, Integrated Loan Servicing and Accounting Platform (SS&C), Rated: B

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSNC), today announced the release of Precision LM 4.0, the newest version of the company’s commercial/multifamily loan servicing solution.

United Kingdom

Zopa: P2P investors outperformed the FTSE 100 in 2018 (P2P Finance Newes), Rated: AAA

The consumer lending platform compared the returns from investing £15,000 equally across a FTSE 100 exchange traded fund (ETF), a cash ISA or a Zopa Plus account last year.

By investing £5,000 in Zopa Plus, investors could have grown their money by up to 5.2 per cent or £260 in 2018, 13.5 per cent more than if they’d invested in a product tracking the stock market, Zopa said.

Monzo and Funding Circle help put UK in lead for tech investment (Independent), Rated: AAA

Britain’s tech sector saw more venture capital investment and stock market flotations in 2018 than any other European country, as the likes of Monzo and Funding Circle took centre stage.

UK tech companies attracted £2.49 billion in venture capital investment last year – far more than Germany in second place with £1.38 billion and France in third place with £1.03 billion, according to data from London & Partners and PitchBook.

The figures also showed London was by far the UK hub for investment, accounting for £1.8 billion or 72% of the country’s venture capital raised in 2018.

UK online bank Monzo hires financial market veteran as chairman – source (Reuters), Rated: A

Robinhood is getting closer to a UK launch (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

US-based commission free trading app Robinhood has quietly begun recruiting for a new office in London in preparation for an eventual launch in the UK, reports TechCrunch.

The $5.6 billion fintech is hiring for multiple positions in the city, including recruitment, operations, and marketing, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by the outlet. It’s also reportedly seeking to fill compliance and product positions, suggesting the fintech’s strategy is focused on significant localization and product market fit for its UK expansion.

Source: Business Insider

Apps more popular than online banking in UK (Finextra), Rated: A

According to the study, which was commissioned by financial services review website Smart Money People, 39.2% of customers stated that their preferred means of dealing with banks is via apps, up from 30% in 2017.

In contrast, the preference for online banking has fallen from 45% in 2017 to 38.6% putting it below that of banking apps for the first time.

The survey also shows that the preference for digital channels (both mobile apps and online services) has grown slightly from 75% to 78% in the last year.

LendInvest partners with Mortgage Brain to bring BTL loans to wider market (Property Funds World), Rated: A

LendInvest, a specialist property finance lender, has partnered with mortgage technology expert, Mortgage Brain, to bring its Buy-to-Let (BTL) product to a wider audience of intermediaries.

This partnership follows recent changes to LendInvest’s BTL product in which it dropped its headline five-year fixed rate to 3.60 per cent with the ICR being assessed at the product pay rate, of 3.60 per cent. The lender also reduced its product fees to 1 per cent for all standard property and HMO mortgages.

Britain’s tech sector clocks up £2.5billion worth of new investment in 2018 as it comfortably tops the table of European countries (This is Money), Rated: A

UK based tech companies attracted £2.49billion in venture capital investment last year, according to data compiled by London & Partners and PitchBook.

This comfortably topped Germany in second place with £1.38billion and more than doubled third place France’s £1.03billion.

The data shows investment into the UK’s AI sector peaked at £736million in 2018, up a chunky 47 per cent on 2017.

China

China’s HNA touts assets for sale as funding crunch intensifies (Reuters), Rated: AAA

China’s indebted HNA Group met bankers on Tuesday to tout the latest assets that the sprawling conglomerate is putting on the block as it looks to raise funds and stave off an intensifying cash crunch.

The range of assets, spanning a hotel project in frozen Harbin and stakes in struggling online lender Dianrong, insurer Bohai Life and brokerage HNA Futures, underscores how the group is shedding almost all non-core businesses as it pares back an empire that once spread from Deutsche Bank to Hilton Worldwide.

China’s New Negative List Targets Unified Market Access (China Briefing), Rated: A

For example, ride hailing operations are under the ‘restricted’ category. Many claim that this is an official response to the 2018 Didi scandals, while illegal financial activities and internet-related business activities are likely designed to target the problems in peer-to-peer lending platforms that emerged earlier in 2018.

European Union

German mobile bank N26 joins Europe’s unicorn club with $ 2.7 billion valuation (CNBC), Rated: AAA

German fintech firm N26 said Thursday it has raised $300 million from investors in a round of funding — valuing the online lender at $2.7 billion.

That not only puts the company among the ranks of Europe’s unicorns — or private start-ups valued at more than $1 billion. It also makes it one of the most valuable unicorns in the continent.

TrueLayer launches data API in Germany (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of open banking (it was unleashed on 13 January 2018), TrueLayer says its data API will mean that businesses, especially fintechs, will be able to avoid “costly and time-consuming integrations of the dozens of fragmented banking APIs in Germany and across Europe”.

International

Nexo, the World’s Largest Crypto Lender, Publishes Interim Report (Sociable.co), Rated: AAA

Nexo is sharing the interim report detailing the dividend distribution of $912,071.00 to eligible NEXO Token Holders that occurred on December 15, 2018.

In just six months, Nexo’s crypto lending model has generated a net profit of $3,040,239.

Source: Nexo

Read the full report here.

Crypto Lenders Thriving Despite The Ongoing Bear Market (Use the Bitcoin), Rated: A

The ongoing crypto winter has meant that many businesses are struggling for funding. Some have resulted in shutting down while others lay off staff. However, one section of the industry is thriving; crypto lenders.

Crypto lenders that are focused on the crypto industry say that they are finding strong demand for their services from individuals that are not willing to sell their crypto coins at depressed prices. Also, there is demand from big investors that are eager to borrow coins for short selling.

Australia

Crypto-Lending Business Helio Lending Launches Regulated Investment Fund (Investment Revolution), Rated: AAA

Australian-based, government-regulated cryptocurrency lender, Helio Lending today confidently launched a new arm of its business, the Helio Secured Income Fund —  a regulated Managed Investment Scheme with an Australian Financial Services Licence — investors are now able to indirectly invest in cryptocurrency assets while targeting a return of 9.75% a year, net of all fees.

India

IndiaMoneyMart Receives NBFC-P2P Certification From RBI (The Week), Rated: AAA

The accreditation will enable IndiaMoneyMart to expand operations and target loan disbursals worth INR 100 Cr by FY 2018-19. It is an encouraging milestone to enable IndiaMoneyMart (IMM) gain traction among investors seeking for alternative asset class and boost their sentiments. The product offers an opportunity to earn steady cash flow every month to the lenders as well as compound their earnings by reinvesting.

Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s KinerjaPay gets US$ 200 million investment deal from local conglomerate (KrAsia), Rated: AAA

Indonesian mobile payments app KinerjaPay raised US$200 million investment from Wahana Group, a Surabaya-based conglomerate. The investment consists of a subscription of $100 million worth of shares in KinerjaPay’s Series F round and an additional $100 million in shares of the company’s Series G Convertible Preferred Stock. The company is listed on the US OTC market under the ticker KPAY.

Africa

#BizTrends2019: 6 trends in fintech and its regulation (Biz Community), Rated: AAA

In peer-to-peer lending, I think we will see growth beyond remittances and micro-donations to much larger-scale crowdfunding and insurance-type products, including short-term risk insurance products and co-investment structures (like mobile stokvels) on digital platforms. These types of products hold the promise (and risks) of consumers of financial services developing and administering such platforms themselves rather than the big, established players. Similarly, consumer development of payment systems is receiving a lot of attention in the international market and, increasingly, in South Africa. This is something to watch in 2019.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday January 10 2019, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday January 10 2019, Daily News Digest

Purchase APR

News Comments Today’s main news: P2P investors outperformed FTSE 100 in 2018. U.S. government shut down hurts SBA lending at banks. Monzo, Funding Circle put UK in tech investment lead. Robinhood closes in on UK launch. N26 valuation at $2.7B. Today’s main analysis: Mortgage offer report for December 2018. Today’s thought-provoking articles: New bank credit fell below 1%. Nexo publishes […]

The post Thursday January 10 2019, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Purchase APR

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Government Shutdown Hurts SBA Lending at Banks in December (AP News), Rated: AAA

With the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) closed for the past two weeks because of the partial government shutdown, SBA loan approvals dropped in December 2018 at banks and other institutions. Despite this setback, small business loan approval rates for big banks reached another record high (27%) in December 2018, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index released today.

Business loan approval rates dropped three-tenths of a percent at regional and community banks in December 2018. Small bank approvals slipped below the half-way mark to 49.9% following the month of November when 50.2% were approved.

Loan approval rates among alternative lenders dropped from 56.7% in November to 56.6% in December.

Strong Employment Report; PeerIQ’s Benchmarking Application (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Real new bank credit fell below 1% at the end of 2018. This is a mixed indicator of a recession as there have been 9 recessions since the 1950s after real new bank credit has fallen below 1%, but also about 6 false signals as well.

Source: Federal Reserve, BEA, PeerIQ

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for December (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

  • December’s best mortgage offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 4.35% for conforming 30-year, fixed-rate purchase loans, down from 4.66% in November. The APR on refinance loan offers also decreased from 4.63% in November to 4.34%. We consider people with the best credit profiles to be those in the 95th percentile of borrowers who received the best mortgage offers through the LendingTree marketplace, which allows users to compare offers from multiple mortgage lenders.
  • Mortgage rates vary depending upon parameters including credit score, loan-to-value ratio, income and property type.
  • For the average borrower, the purchase APR for conforming 30-year, fixed-rate purchase loans offered on LendingTree’s platform was 5.17%, down 18 basis points from November. The loan note rate of 5.05% was down 19 basis points from November. We prefer to emphasize the APR as lenders often make changes to other fees in response to changing interest rates.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+, representing the 65th percentile of borrowers) received an average APR of 4.98%, versus 5.33% for consumers with scores of 680 to 719. The APR spread of 65 basis points between these score ranges is higher than it was in November. For the average purchase loan amount of $224,609, the spread represents over $17,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30 years. The additional costs result from higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • For the average borrower, the APR for conforming 30-year, fixed-rate refinance loans decreased 24 basis points from November to 5.09%. At 4.93% and 5.21%, respectively, the spread between credit score brackets (760+ and 680-719) was 28 basis points. That amounts to nearly $13,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for borrowers with lower credit scores, given an average refinance loan of $239,329.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments fell to $54,217, a decline of nearly $6,000.
Source: LendingTree
Source: LendingTree

To view the Mortgage Offers Report, visit: www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage-offers-report-december-2018.

Minority Entrepreneurs Are Thriving in These 10 (Mostly Coastal) U.S. Cities (Inc), Rated: AAA

San Francisco and San Jose, California, are not only home to Big Tech’s all-stars, they’re also the top two spots where minority entrepreneurs are thriving.

Over 42 percent of all minority-owned companies in these cities make at least $500,000 in annual revenue and more than half have been in business for six years or more, according to a new report released Tuesday by LendingTree, an online loan marketplace based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The study uses Census data to gauge how minority business owners with employees fare in the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. It measures performance based on metrics including a company’s longevity, revenue, and whether a city’s minority population is proportionally represented in business ownership demographics, dubbed the “parity index.”

Source: LendingTree

Lending Startup Affirm to Test High-Interest Savings Accounts (Cheddar), Rated: A

Affirm is making good on its commitment to become a full-service bank. The lending startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin is introducing no-free savings accounts through a bank partner, initially with a 2 percent annual interest rate and no minimum balance, Cheddar has learned.

Kabbage Data Reveals One-Third of Successful Small Businesses Started with Less Than $ 5,000 (PRWeb), Rated: A

New data released today by Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, shows that the majority of successful entrepreneurs began their businesses with little cash flow and short run rates. Polling 600 thriving U.S. small business owners, the Kabbage survey found 58 percent of small businesses started with less than $25,000 and one-third started with less than $5,000.

Kabbage vs. Fundbox: Which Line of Credit is Best For Your Business? (Nav.com), Rated: A

Kabbage Pricing Example

Let’s say you borrow $25,000 and are approved for a 6 month loan with a fee of 3% (fees range from 1.5% to 10%). Using Kabbage’s calculator, you will pay $2750 in total fees if you repay the loan on schedule.

To translate that cost into an APR, you can use Nav’s free calculator and enter the loan amount plus the amount of the first two payments ($4917 each) and the amount of payments 3-6 ($4479 each). This results in an APR of 37.5%.

Fundbox

Let’s say you borrow $25,000 for 24 weeks and you are approved at their lowest fee of $4.66%. Using Fundbox’s calculator, your weekly payments will be $1135.31 and you’ll pay a total of $2247.50 in fees. This results in an APR of 39%.

LendingFront Raises $ 4 Million to Help Lenders Modernize Small Business Lending Operations (PR Web), Rated: A

LendingFront, a small business lending software provider, today announced it has raised a $4 million Series A funding round led by Information Venture Partners with participation from Newark Venture PartnersRevel PartnersContour Venture Partners and existing investors Struck CapitalValueStream Ventures and Las Olas VC.

The funding will be used to help deliver LendingFront’s end-to-end white label software platform to more banks and financial institutions, giving them access to the most sophisticated technology in the market for originating, underwriting and servicing small business credit – a $600b+ market, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Cross River, Stripe partnership targets marketplace economy (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Cross River, a provider of banking services for fintech companies, today announced a partnership with Stripe to help those in the marketplace economy—such as workers in ride sharing, food delivery, and other freelance occupations real-time access to earnings using push-to-card payments.

Fintech APIs Consolidate As Plaid Buys Quovo In $ 200M Deal (Benzinga), Rated: A

Fintech startup Plaid is negotiating a $200 million acquisition of rival Quovo, according to a Tuesday announcement. The merger would unite similar application programming interfaces connecting bank accounts to other fintech apps, such as Venmo, Coinbase and Robinhood.

The deal not only expands Plaid’s reach beyond its present 25 percent of U.S. financial accounts, but also positions the firm to penetrate the brokerage and wealth management spaces. Quovo’s traditional customers include Vanguard, Stifel Financial Corp SF 0.02%, John Hancock, Betterment and Wealthfront.

Top 7 Short Term Investment Ideas For Beginners (FX Daily Report), Rated: A

Often touted as direct lending, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has taken the financial industry by storm. Although this short term investment option has only been for the last one decade, it has already managed to create a reputation of its own with the flexibility and diversification options it brings for lenders. The idea of P2P lending is simple: it is a simple investment option that is designed to bring investors and borrowers together on a single lending platform. These platforms offer relatively higher returns because of their low operating costs. Additionally, they also get to make some profits every time a borrower makes their repayment.

YieldStreet’s Alternative Investment Marketplace Booms In Times Of Volatility (Forbes), Rated: B

When YieldStreet launched a $6.45 million offering on its marketplace, it expected a lot of investors to get in on the deal. After all, they had about seventy-two hours to digest all the important aspects of the company and the offering.

CAN Capital Has New CEO, Hires Edward Siciliano to Lead Online Lender (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

CAN Capital, an online lender providing financing to SMEs, has a new Chief Executive Officer. Announced in a release yesterday, the Atlanta based Fintech has appointed Edward J. Siciliano as CEO.

SS&C Releases Precision LM, Integrated Loan Servicing and Accounting Platform (SS&C), Rated: B

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSNC), today announced the release of Precision LM 4.0, the newest version of the company’s commercial/multifamily loan servicing solution.

United Kingdom

Zopa: P2P investors outperformed the FTSE 100 in 2018 (P2P Finance Newes), Rated: AAA

The consumer lending platform compared the returns from investing £15,000 equally across a FTSE 100 exchange traded fund (ETF), a cash ISA or a Zopa Plus account last year.

By investing £5,000 in Zopa Plus, investors could have grown their money by up to 5.2 per cent or £260 in 2018, 13.5 per cent more than if they’d invested in a product tracking the stock market, Zopa said.

Monzo and Funding Circle help put UK in lead for tech investment (Independent), Rated: AAA

Britain’s tech sector saw more venture capital investment and stock market flotations in 2018 than any other European country, as the likes of Monzo and Funding Circle took centre stage.

UK tech companies attracted £2.49 billion in venture capital investment last year – far more than Germany in second place with £1.38 billion and France in third place with £1.03 billion, according to data from London & Partners and PitchBook.

The figures also showed London was by far the UK hub for investment, accounting for £1.8 billion or 72% of the country’s venture capital raised in 2018.

UK online bank Monzo hires financial market veteran as chairman – source (Reuters), Rated: A

Robinhood is getting closer to a UK launch (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

US-based commission free trading app Robinhood has quietly begun recruiting for a new office in London in preparation for an eventual launch in the UK, reports TechCrunch.

The $5.6 billion fintech is hiring for multiple positions in the city, including recruitment, operations, and marketing, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by the outlet. It’s also reportedly seeking to fill compliance and product positions, suggesting the fintech’s strategy is focused on significant localization and product market fit for its UK expansion.

Source: Business Insider

Apps more popular than online banking in UK (Finextra), Rated: A

According to the study, which was commissioned by financial services review website Smart Money People, 39.2% of customers stated that their preferred means of dealing with banks is via apps, up from 30% in 2017.

In contrast, the preference for online banking has fallen from 45% in 2017 to 38.6% putting it below that of banking apps for the first time.

The survey also shows that the preference for digital channels (both mobile apps and online services) has grown slightly from 75% to 78% in the last year.

LendInvest partners with Mortgage Brain to bring BTL loans to wider market (Property Funds World), Rated: A

LendInvest, a specialist property finance lender, has partnered with mortgage technology expert, Mortgage Brain, to bring its Buy-to-Let (BTL) product to a wider audience of intermediaries.

This partnership follows recent changes to LendInvest’s BTL product in which it dropped its headline five-year fixed rate to 3.60 per cent with the ICR being assessed at the product pay rate, of 3.60 per cent. The lender also reduced its product fees to 1 per cent for all standard property and HMO mortgages.

Britain’s tech sector clocks up £2.5billion worth of new investment in 2018 as it comfortably tops the table of European countries (This is Money), Rated: A

UK based tech companies attracted £2.49billion in venture capital investment last year, according to data compiled by London & Partners and PitchBook.

This comfortably topped Germany in second place with £1.38billion and more than doubled third place France’s £1.03billion.

The data shows investment into the UK’s AI sector peaked at £736million in 2018, up a chunky 47 per cent on 2017.

China

China’s HNA touts assets for sale as funding crunch intensifies (Reuters), Rated: AAA

China’s indebted HNA Group met bankers on Tuesday to tout the latest assets that the sprawling conglomerate is putting on the block as it looks to raise funds and stave off an intensifying cash crunch.

The range of assets, spanning a hotel project in frozen Harbin and stakes in struggling online lender Dianrong, insurer Bohai Life and brokerage HNA Futures, underscores how the group is shedding almost all non-core businesses as it pares back an empire that once spread from Deutsche Bank to Hilton Worldwide.

China’s New Negative List Targets Unified Market Access (China Briefing), Rated: A

For example, ride hailing operations are under the ‘restricted’ category. Many claim that this is an official response to the 2018 Didi scandals, while illegal financial activities and internet-related business activities are likely designed to target the problems in peer-to-peer lending platforms that emerged earlier in 2018.

European Union

German mobile bank N26 joins Europe’s unicorn club with $ 2.7 billion valuation (CNBC), Rated: AAA

German fintech firm N26 said Thursday it has raised $300 million from investors in a round of funding — valuing the online lender at $2.7 billion.

That not only puts the company among the ranks of Europe’s unicorns — or private start-ups valued at more than $1 billion. It also makes it one of the most valuable unicorns in the continent.

TrueLayer launches data API in Germany (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of open banking (it was unleashed on 13 January 2018), TrueLayer says its data API will mean that businesses, especially fintechs, will be able to avoid “costly and time-consuming integrations of the dozens of fragmented banking APIs in Germany and across Europe”.

International

Nexo, the World’s Largest Crypto Lender, Publishes Interim Report (Sociable.co), Rated: AAA

Nexo is sharing the interim report detailing the dividend distribution of $912,071.00 to eligible NEXO Token Holders that occurred on December 15, 2018.

In just six months, Nexo’s crypto lending model has generated a net profit of $3,040,239.

Source: Nexo

Read the full report here.

Crypto Lenders Thriving Despite The Ongoing Bear Market (Use the Bitcoin), Rated: A

The ongoing crypto winter has meant that many businesses are struggling for funding. Some have resulted in shutting down while others lay off staff. However, one section of the industry is thriving; crypto lenders.

Crypto lenders that are focused on the crypto industry say that they are finding strong demand for their services from individuals that are not willing to sell their crypto coins at depressed prices. Also, there is demand from big investors that are eager to borrow coins for short selling.

Australia

Crypto-Lending Business Helio Lending Launches Regulated Investment Fund (Investment Revolution), Rated: AAA

Australian-based, government-regulated cryptocurrency lender, Helio Lending today confidently launched a new arm of its business, the Helio Secured Income Fund —  a regulated Managed Investment Scheme with an Australian Financial Services Licence — investors are now able to indirectly invest in cryptocurrency assets while targeting a return of 9.75% a year, net of all fees.

India

IndiaMoneyMart Receives NBFC-P2P Certification From RBI (The Week), Rated: AAA

The accreditation will enable IndiaMoneyMart to expand operations and target loan disbursals worth INR 100 Cr by FY 2018-19. It is an encouraging milestone to enable IndiaMoneyMart (IMM) gain traction among investors seeking for alternative asset class and boost their sentiments. The product offers an opportunity to earn steady cash flow every month to the lenders as well as compound their earnings by reinvesting.

Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s KinerjaPay gets US$ 200 million investment deal from local conglomerate (KrAsia), Rated: AAA

Indonesian mobile payments app KinerjaPay raised US$200 million investment from Wahana Group, a Surabaya-based conglomerate. The investment consists of a subscription of $100 million worth of shares in KinerjaPay’s Series F round and an additional $100 million in shares of the company’s Series G Convertible Preferred Stock. The company is listed on the US OTC market under the ticker KPAY.

Africa

#BizTrends2019: 6 trends in fintech and its regulation (Biz Community), Rated: AAA

In peer-to-peer lending, I think we will see growth beyond remittances and micro-donations to much larger-scale crowdfunding and insurance-type products, including short-term risk insurance products and co-investment structures (like mobile stokvels) on digital platforms. These types of products hold the promise (and risks) of consumers of financial services developing and administering such platforms themselves rather than the big, established players. Similarly, consumer development of payment systems is receiving a lot of attention in the international market and, increasingly, in South Africa. This is something to watch in 2019.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday January 10 2019, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Friday June 1 2018, Daily News Digest

Greensky financials

News Comments Today’s main news: One student saved $20K on a SoFi student loan. PayPal, Google deepen partnership. Zopa to hire a social media strategist. Ant Financial is a top 10 global bank. Today’s main analysis: Improved MPL pools are no guarantee of ABS performance. Today’s thought-provoking articles: A deeper look at GreenSky. Quants and fundamentalists. Ways to impress a lead investor. Helping […]

Greensky financials

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

India

Other

News Summary

United States

‘I’m saving over $ 20,000’: Why you should consider refinancing your student loans through SoFi (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Student debt is growing in the US and looming as a major ongoing issue. With a total of $1.48 trillion in student loan debt in the US, spread among 44 million borrowers, Americans now have more student loan debt than credit card debt, according to Student Loan Hero.

Interest rates, meanwhile, are punishing, even more so depending on the type of loan you get, and the level of education you’re paying for. According to data from the Department of Education, rates range from around 3.5% to as high as 8.5% — with most types of loans floating in the 5-7% range. That’s extraordinarily high when you consider that many auto loan rates and even mortgages are lower.

GreenSky: Clear Skies Ahead (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

The company offered 38.0 million shares to the public that priced at the upper end of the range at $23. The over allotment grant added another 5.7 million shares to the total offering. Selling shareholders offered all of the shares with gross proceeds of $1 billion.

GreenSky ended the day virtually unchanged at $23.26 at a time when most IPOs trade in more volatile ranges. The stock only had a range of $22.05 to $23.36 suggesting minimal initial interest by traders.

At the current price of $26.70, GreenSky has a market value of over $5.1 billion on 190 million shares outstanding (including the 5.7 million over-allotment option) with sales on pace to likely top $400 million this year.

The numbers though suggest anything but a boring company. Transaction volume jumped 47% to $1.0 billion during the March quarter and active merchants grew equally impressive at 52%. The fintech is even profitable.

Source: GreenSky Prospectus

PayPal and Google are deepening their partnership (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

PayPal and Google are extending their payments relationship across Google’s entire ecosystem, according to Finextra and TechCrunch. The two firms have worked together for awhile, as customers are able to integrate their PayPal accounts directly into Google Pay, Google’s mobile wallet.

But now, they’re taking the partnership a step further, allowing customers to enter their PayPal credentials once and then have them available for various types of payments, including bill pay and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, across Google offerings such as Gmail, Google Play, Google Store, and YouTube. The partnership is expected to roll out in full later this year.

Improved MPL pools no guarantee of ABS performance, says Fitch (Asset Securitization Report) Rated: AAA

Marketplace lenders such as LendingClub and Prosper have made strides in improving underwriting standards in the past year.

In a report issued Thursday, Fitch said investors should still be wary of assuming new-issue MPL securitizations are a step up in quality over previous ABS deals, even though firms such as LendingClub and Prosper have taken steps to tighten lending standards as well as pool greater concentrations of borrowers with higher credit scores into their recent ABS deals.

LendingClub (NYSE:LC), for instance, boosted the weighted average FICO of its most recent prime/near-prime consumer-loan securitizations in December to 703, compared with 692 in its first asset-backed transaction of 2017.

Source: Asset Securitization Report

LendingClub’s most recent self-sponsored transaction, Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-NP1, had its base-case loss range tightened to 13.25%-15.25% by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, compared with 14%-16% in its CLUB 2017-P2 transaction. (In December, LendingClub pooled a collection of subprime loans with credit scores below 660, with a base-case loss range of 19.65%-21.65%.)

QUANTS AND FUNDAMENTALISTS UNITE! (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

But the Bloomberg Professional Services Blog has run a piece recently on “quantamental” investing, indicating that a merger of the two approaches is underway. Darwinian pressures aren’t kind to presuppositions or to the purity of paradigms. And it is survival of the fittest that is at work here, because fitness requires on the one hand that the quants use good (human) judgment to monitor and adjust the investment process to the prevailing market conditions, while it also requires that any workable fundamental approach employ “promising aspects of technology … to reduce bias and random noise.”

“Alternative data” means what it sounds like it means: every sort of datum that one would not traditionally have expected to come up in a discussion of trades, investments, or portfolio allocations.

These sources can include (Bloomberg’s list), “social media posts, credit card accounts, online browsing activity, foot traffic and weather patterns.” Any and all of these can include clues to ongoing and future trends. The use of any such source, or any cross-referencing of sources that can produce patterns, may be novel this week, customary next week, and a bare minimum for survival in the trading jungle the week after that.

Millennials are leading an investment revolution — here’s what makes their generation different (Business Insider) Rated:AAA

Nuveen’s “Third Annual Responsible Investing Survey” of over 1,000 affluent investors found there was increased interest in working for, buying from, and investing in socially responsible companies. This is even more true among the millennials surveyed.

Some 92% of millennials agreed with the statement “I care more about having a positive impact on society than doing well financially” compared to 52% of nonmillennials.

Source: Business Insider

We interviewed a handful of millennials, asking them what makes their generation different. They answered: access to information, aligning themselves with brands on social media, and growing up in more comfortable economic circumstances than their parents and grandparents.

Source: Business Insider

New Report on the Impact of Online Lenders on Small Businesses (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Most of us are aware of the importance of small businesses in the US economy. Small businesses employ over half of private-sector workers in the US, so access to capital for small businesses is critical to their success. Fortunately, online lenders such as the ones mentioned in the report have focused on serving the needs of businesses and activity has picked up over the last few years. Both awareness of these alternative options and the amount lent on these platforms is increasing. Originations at five leading online small business lenders increased by 50% in three years, from $2.6 billion in 2015 to $3.9 billion in 2017.

Nearly $10 billion of funding was provided to 180,000 small businesses from 2015 to 2017 according to data which included leading platforms OnDeckKabbage and Lendio. This activity has generated $37.7 billion in gross output, created 358,911 jobs and $12.6 billion in wages.

Why Foreign Investors Love U.S. Commercial Real Estate, And Why More Will Follow (Forbes) Rated: A

Despite fears of trade wars and increased protectionism, foreign investment in the United States remains robust. In fact, the U.S. continues to be the single largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world: more than 

Better Get Your AI Game On (Prime Meridian Capital Management) Rated: A

The AI and algo game is nothing new really. A couple decades ago many called it neural networks and neural computing, and that has evolved into today’s version of AI. But what is different today and so disruptive are three elements that were not there in the early days of machine learning: computing power and cloud-based systems, a growing and global population of computer and data scientists and data. Lots of lots of data.

Those three are increasingly working together in the alternative investments markets space, enabling firms to make much more accurate, and potentially, more profitable investments. The AI topic, discussed at Lendit Fintech USA 2018 conference in San Francisco in April, revealed just how integrated it is already and where it is going in the coming months and years. Listen to the full recording HERE.

Former Amex chief backs immigrant credit score provider (Financial Times) Rated: A

The former American Express chief Ken Chenault is backing a start-up company that provides credit scores for immigrants who struggle to rent apartments and access other basic services upon their arrival in the US.

Workers on overseas postings, international students and other newcomers have long struggled to secure credit cards and other loans because American institutions hold no records on them.

Nova Credit, which is among a new breed of Silicon Valley companies seeking to shake up the financial system, aims to address the problem. It has secured funding from General Catalyst, the venture capital group that has stood behind companies including Snap, Stripe and Warby Parker.

OnDeck, Kabbage, Lendio Continue to Drive Up Their Share of Small Business Lending (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

For online lenders, small business lending continues to grow into big business. Online lenders continue to grow their originations of small business loans, according to a new study released today by Washington D.C.-based economic research firm NDP.

Emerge With An Alternative (Scotsman Guide) Rated: A

Alternative financing in the form of crowdfunding may be a trending topic, but it’s hardly new. Mozart used the idea in the 1780s to finance the composition of one of his early piano concertos, offering prospective backers copies of his manuscript in exchange for their financial support.

Why choose alternative financing? Because a lot of great deals may never get done without it. Many banks and other traditional lenders won’t finance transactions valued under $50 million because there’s simply not enough profit in it for them. And, because of the late stage of the current real estate cycle, many other lenders are feeling skittish or are simply tapped out. That leaves a big gap in the financing market — and a big opportunity for nontraditional sources of capital.

Layered Insight Snags Top CISOs As Advisors (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Layered Insight announced today that Tim McKnight, EVP & Chief Information Security Officer at Thomson Reuters, and Richard Seiersen, SVP & Chief Information Security Officer at Lending Club, have joined Layered Insight’s Advisory Board.

Renew Financial Elevates Financial Services Veteran Kirk Inglis to CEO (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Renew Financial, the inventor of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and a leading provider of financing for home improvements, today announced that Kirk Inglis, currently Renew Financial’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will succeed Cisco DeVries as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Mr. Inglis brings more than 20 years of experience in financial services and technology with a deep expertise in consumer lending. His career includes senior finance and operating roles with Calypso Technology, Prosper Marketplace and Providian Financial Corporation. Mr. DeVries will become the company’s Chief Innovation Officer to focus on key growth opportunities and to help innovate new financing tools for clean energy. DeVries will continue to serve on Renew Financial’s board of directors.

United Kingdom

Zopa to hire first social media executive to broaden customer focus (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA is hiring its first-ever social media executive in an effort to broaden its customer base.

The peer-to-peer lending platform is currently advertising for a person who can “translate the brand and social media strategy into tangible plans which encompass day to day content, product content and campaign content”.

The role will involve working with the wider marketing and product team, as well as analysing and optimising performance by channel.

LendInvest Debuts First Official BTL Legal Panel Six Months After Product Launch (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

LendInvest announced on Thursday it has named firms JMW Solicitors LLP and Lightfoots Solicitors as its first official panel of solicitors for its Buy-to-Let product. According to the online lender, JMW Solicitors is one of the North West’s leading full-service law firms, with significant experience in handling a range of real estate finance cases for both institutional and private lenders. Lightfoots are experts in complex property finance cases and have over 30 years experience providing legal services to mortgage lenders. Both firms are experienced in dealing with introducer-led business, offering dual representation and coverage across England and Wales.

Allianz leads £40m funding round in Moneyfarm (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Digital wealth manager Moneyfarm has got £40 million in a Series B funding round – meaning it has secured close to £60 million in capital so far.

Moneyfarm calls this the “largest funding round by a European digital wealth manager to date” and the company, which launched a personal pension (SIPP) in March this year, will use the capital to launch solutions and expand its investment strategy.

The round was led by Allianz Asset Management, the investment arm of global insurer Allianz, which first invested in Moneyfarm in September 2016.

SME funding platform partners with Hiscox (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

SWOOP, a new small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) funding platform, has partnered with Hiscox on the insurer’s business accelerator portal.

Swoop, which is a re-brand of BizFly, connects businesses in need of finance with over 400 lenders including peer-to-peer platforms such as Funding Circle and Growth Street.

Ashley Finance appoints bridging regional sales director (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: B

Ashley Finance has appointed Sam Cousins (pictured above) as a bridging regional sales director.

Sam began his career in finance in the P2P sector focusing on bridging and business loans.

He also spent two years at P2P lending platform Lendy, where he worked on bridging cases and building up a network.

China

Ant Financial is Now a Top 10 “Bank” Globally (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Source: Lend Academy

It had been rumored for some time now. Ant Financial, the Chinese financial behemoth, was raising a very large funding round that would value the company at $150 billion. It has been reported extensively today that this funding round has in fact closed. Ant Financial has raised $10 billion at a $150 billion valuation.

For a brief primer on Ant Financial there is a decent summary on their English language websitebut for a deeper understanding I recommend you read Chris Skinner’s new book, Digital Human (the Kindle version is available now). This has a 30,000 word case study that not only shares the history of Ant Financial but also why they are one of the world’s most forward thinking companies. And if you think they are just a Chinese story, think again. Ant Financial embodies the future of financial services and they will, in my opinion, shape the future of financial services more than any other fintech company on the planet.

Dianrong to land on distributed ledger Corda (Tech Node) Rated: A

Dianrong (点融), a leading Chinese online P2P lending service provider today announced cooperation with R3, a global platform specializing in distributed data technology. The Chinese fintech company’s supply chain finance solutions will land on Corda, R3’s open-source distributed ledger.

Dianrong hopes the cooperation will enable the company’s end-to-end service through a comprehensive supply chain and increase efficiency by ensuring transparency. The company’s initiative is to allow micro and small businesses to access credit and financial services.

Australia

Neo lender increases loan limits (Australian Broker) Rated: AAA

As of this week, Wisr will increase its personal loan limit from $35,000 up to $50,000, with a comparative interest rate up to 5% p.a. lower than the four major banks.

Loans will be available for any worthwhile purpose over three or five years, with a comparison rate of 9.36% p.a. for borrowers with a strong credit rating. The neo-lender also offers no early repayment or exit fees.

Analysis of new mortgage lending shows the slump in Auckland home sales has affected all types of buyers (Interest) Rated: A

The report analyses the number of mortgages taken out in the 12 month periods to the end of March from 2014 to March 2018, and breaks them into borrower types – first home buyers, investors, people moving house, those staying put but refinancing and those buying a second home.

According to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures, Auckland property sales peaked in their current cycle in the 12 months to March 2016, when 30,631 homes were sold.

That number has steadily declined and in the 12 months to March this year had slumped to 21,628, a decline of 29.4%.

India

Ways to Impress a Leading Investor for Your First Venture Capital Fund (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

Today’s investors are undoubtedly looking at technology-driven startups with a difference. The best illustration here is Flipkart which managed to introduce the right technology-driven models at a time when people had to wait endlessly to buy products of their choice. With Walmart now having acquired majority stakes in Flipkart, more technology-driven models could potentially come to the fore.

Mobikwik plans to turn around biz with UPI and loans: But is it too late? (EnTrackr) Rated: A

The digital wallet company finally integrated its platform with government-owned unified payment interface (UPI) last week. A week later, numbers related to UPI have popped up that has reached a 5 million mark via @ikwik handles, a VPA (Virtual payment address) handle for UPI, according to an ET report.

The platform is also planning to partner with NBFCs to disburse loans to small businesses in the range of Rs 20,000 up to Rs 5 lakh.

Asia

Helping SMEs build their business with P2P financing (Tech Wire) Rated: AAA

In Malaysia, regional P2P digital financing platform Funding Societies has announced an alliance with United Overseas Bank (UOB), to provide P2P lending to small businesses.

Using the Funding Societies platform, small businesses banking with UOB Malaysia can raise up to MYR500,000 (US$125,720) in capital directly from investors.

Funding Societies is the first P2P financing service introduced in Malaysia. Based in Singapore, the company also has a presence in Indonesia, where it’s known as Modalku.

Africa

Meet Piggybank.ng, The Nigerian FinTech Startup That Just Raised $ 1.1million (Forbes) Rated: AAA

A two-year old Nigerian fintech start-up this week announced that it has raised a $1.1M Seed Fundraise, to grow its online savings platform, 

SA’s Crossfin, Investec to back early-stage fintech startups (Disrupt Africa) Rated: A

South African investment fund Crossfin has concluded a deal with banking and asset management group Investec that will see the two companies identify early-stage fintech startups in which to invest through Crossfin’s angel funding arm Blue Garnet Investments.

The Crossfin fund, which has a particular focus on fintech startups, was formed in June of last year after South Africa-based private equity and venture capital firm Capital Eye and the Multiply Group signed a strategic investment partnership.

Capital Eye manages a portfolio of investments spread primarily across Sub-Saharan Africa, including South African fintech company wiGroup, which Investec has also invested in.

MENA

Fundbox Wins The Prestigious Israeli Atlas Award For Best Fintech Startup (The Virginian Pilot) Rated: A

Today, Fundbox, the small business growth company, announced that the company has won the coveted Israeli Atlas Award for Best Fintech Start-Up. For a third year in a row, the 2018 Israeli Atlas Award event was held in cooperation with the Ayn Rand Center, The Marker and such leading partners as, BDI, IVC, Bank Hapoalim and Israel Aerospace Industries. The prize is awarded to those Israeli startups that have created a technology, idea or product of exceptional value in Israel over the past year.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday May 2 2018, Daily News Digest

Wednesday May 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter overhauls Rolling Market product. Revolut to offer cash back in cryptocurrency. Kabbage hires new CTO. BlueVine raises $200M. iZettle expected to IPO. ETMoney launches CreditLine. Today’s main analysis: Are marketplace lenders, tech companies living up to the hype? Today’s thought-provoking articles: Revising the ICAPM to reflect effects of style investing. Cagney’s Figure to offer home […]

Wednesday May 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Kabbage Hires CTO to Lead Development of Future Data-First Solutions for Small Businesses (PRNewswire) Rated: AAA

Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, appoints James Chou as its chief technology officer (CTO). With more than 20 years of successfully leading technology innovations, Chou will oversee the development of the company’s next generation of data-driven financial products and services for small businesses.

Ex-SoFi CEO Mike Cagney Makes a Comeback With a New Blockchain-Focused Startup (Fortune) Rated: AAA

The new startup plans to offer three- to 10-year home equity loans and a buy-lease-back product, the report says. In other words, it will purchase retirees’ homes and then lease them back. Many banks cut down on these types of loans following the financial crisis, but they’re starting to gain traction again due to rising home prices.

 

Online Lender BlueVine Receives $ 200 Million Line of Credit from Credit Suisse (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Online lender BlueVine has secured a $200 million asset-backed revolving credit facility with Credit Suisse. Additionally, the SME focused platform said it has upped its business line of credit to $250,000. Earlier in 2018, BlueVine doubled its invoice factoring credit limit to $5 million. BlueVine’s total funded volume since founding is expected to top $1 billion in 2018.

To date, BlueVine has raised more than $400 million in equity and debt funding and is funded by Lightspeed Venture Partners, 83NORTH, Correlation Ventures, Citi Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Rakuten Fintech Fund and other private investors.

Senate should take up bill to help lenders see ‘credit invisibles’ (American Banker) Rated: A

The Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2017 would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to allow the reporting of certain positive consumer credit information, such as on-time payment histories, to consumer reporting agencies. In other words, the legislation would help consumers build up their credit history for something they’re already doing.

A New Crop of Fintech IPOs Will Face Skeptical Investors (Bloomberg) Rated: A

There are now close to 30 private fintech startups with valuations at or above $1 billion, according to data platform PitchBook. A few of them are increasingly cited as possible IPO candidates. Among the most closely watched are Pimco-backed GreenSky, which has already filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Dutch payments company Adyen BV, said to be considering IPO as soon as this year.

The question now is what happens to those billion-dollar-plus valuations when the public gets a look at the companies’ financials and growth projections. In the past, fintech companies haven’t fared too well. Square Inc., which is set to report earnings this week, is the exception.

BOK Financial Implements Partnership With Roostify to Streamline Mortgage Process (Business Wire) Rated: A

BOK Financial, a top-25 regional financial services company, has implemented a partnership with Roostify, a digital lending platform that gives customers more control of their home buying process while allowing loan officers to utilize the latest technology to more easily process loans.

The new digital platform is a tool that offers functionality and efficiency to customers including:

  • Customers can start an application, provide documentation and follow their loan’s progress online.
  • Applicants have a secure way to upload, send, and receive loan documents. Homebuyers can add other involved parties to transaction, such as the real estate agent.
  • Users don’t have to guess where they are in the process – they will receive timely loan status updates.

Inside a swanky New York party for graduates who paid off their student loans (Market Watch) Rated: A

Garrido also entered a competition to win a trip to New York furnished by SoFi, the company that’s made its name refinancing student loans, including one of her own. The occasion of the competition, which Garrido ultimately won: To join other SoFi customers—or “members” in the company’s parlance—who paid off their debt to celebrate at a rooftop bar and restaurant last Thursday in the swanky William Vale hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

On one side of the student debt story are those that our college finance system has truly crippled: Borrowers who leave school with debt and no degree or graduate with degrees worth little in the labor market, or benefit less from their degree simply because of where they came from. Many in the latter group struggle to repay the debt—and not necessarily due to lack of ambition. Despite the rebounding economy, levels of student-loan delinquency remain stubbornly high.

Mom, CFP: New Varo Money Survey Reveals That When Americans Need Financial Advice, They Come To Mama (Payment Week) Rated: A

Mobile banking company 

U.S. judge dismisses state regulators’ lawsuit over national ‘fintech’ charter (Reuters) Rated: A

A District of Columbia federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by state bank regulators against the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency over its proposal to offer charters that would let so-called fintech companies do business nationwide.

Since the OCC has not reached a final decision on the fintech charters, the claim of harm by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) was speculative, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote in her decision tossing out the case, issued late on Monday.

The future of lending is here, meet RAD Lending (TechBullion) Rated: A

Introducing the RAD Lendingplatform, a foundation for the financial products for the modern crypto economy, where a family of RAD credit products — personal and business loans, credit cards — will help filling the gap between crypto holdings and real-life fiat spending.

RAD Lending’s peer-to-peer (p2p) lending platform will use the benefits of the blockchain and smart contracts for its crypto secured credit products. The platform will connect fiat money investors looking for the predictable yield, with crypto-asset holders looking for loans in easily spendable fiat. By accepting crypto assets as a collateral against loans, and using the guardrails of the blockchain and smart contract technology, the platform will mitigate risks for both investors and lenders.

REVISING THE ICAPM TO REFLECT EFFECTS OF STYLE INVESTING (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

A recent paper by Michael Stutzer, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business, suggests that the intertemporal version of the capital asset pricing model (ICAPM) needs some revision in light of the market dominance of style investors.

A more full statement of that might be: it needs revision in light of the lack of empirical support for its foundations on the one hand, and in light of the dominance of style investors on the other: and that these two revisions turn out to be one and the same.

Read the full paper here.

5 Top Lenders You Should Consider for Tiny House Financing (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

 Upstart

  • Upstart personal loans come with an APR range of 7.73% to 29.99%
  • Borrow between $1,000 and $50,000
  • Repayment terms of three or five years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 620 or better

2. LendingClub

  • LendingClub personal loans come with an APR range of 5.99% to 35.89%
  • Borrow between $1,000 and $40,000
  • Repayment terms of three or five years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 600 or better

4. FreedomPlus

  • FreedomPlus personal loans come with an APR range of 4.99% to 29.99%
  • Borrow between $10,000 and $35,000
  • Repayment terms of two, three, four, or five years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 640 or better

5. SoFi

  • SoFi personal loans come with an APR range of 5.37% to 14.24%
  • Borrow between $5,000 and $100,000
  • Repayment terms of three, five, or seven years

Personal Capital links with employers to grow user base (Tearsheet) Rated: B

Digital wealth adviser Personal Capital is offering its financial advice platform to employers to grow its user base beyond its core group of investors.

The company last week inked an agreement with benefits provider Alight and investment firm AllianceBernstein to use Personal Capital’s tech platform to help participating employers select personalized 401(k) offerings for their staff members. Co-branding with Personal Capital exposes large swaths of new users to the platform.

PLI 23rd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, Chicago session (JDSupra) Rated: B

The second presentation of the 23rd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, will take place in Chicago on May 7-8, 2018.  I am co-chairing the event, as I have for the past 22 years.

New to the Institute this year will be a panel on the second day that I will moderate and that will discuss the rapidly changing landscape for marketplace lending and fintech.

United Kingdom

RateSetter overhauls Rolling Market product (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has unveiled a series of changes to its Rolling Market product, removing the ability for investors to set their own rate on reinvested funds and altering how returns are paid.

Currently investments in the Rolling Market are reinvested each month, meaning the interest rate can change, but from 6 June, investments will remain matched to the same borrower until the loan is repaid, so the return will remain the same.

The rate will only change when the money is reinvested.

UK Fintech Startup Revolut Will Give Cash Back In Cryptocurrencies (Forbes) Rated: AAA

In a bold bid to further tempt young, tech-minded customers, London-based fintech startup Revolut is going to launch a debit card that gives users 1% cash back in cryptocurrencies.

UK challenger banks braced for fresh wave of consolidation (Financial Times) Rated: A

Senior executives at several smaller lenders and established high street banks said they expect a pick-up in M&A activity, after last year’s £850m takeover of Shawbrook and FirstRand’s £1.1bn purchase of Aldermore put the sector on notice for a return to dealmaking.

Cryptocurrency lobby group calls for regulation based on P2P model (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

A GROUP of the UK’s leading cryptocurrency platforms want the regulator to use peer-to-peer finance legislation as a framework for their own sector.

CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association with eight members, has set out new plans for the Treasury to make cryptocurrency investment a regulated activity under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The plans are part of a written response by CryptoUK to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee inquiry into digital currencies, which is currently underway.

Do you live in a P2P property hotspot? (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

But as the P2P property market has expanded, a few clear trends have begun to emerge. In some parts of the country, P2P property lending is going strong. In fact, if you’re based in one of these P2P property hotspots, you may be living next door to one…

Walthamstow-Wellesley is currently offering investments in three new-build properties in E17, while Octopus Choice has loaned money on more than 30 properties in the E17, N17 and N15 areas. The Octopus platform is offering rates of between 4.49 per cent and 7.99 per cent of borrowers, with an average of four per cent in returns for investors.

Huddersfield-The West Yorkshire town of Huddersfield has been a surprising recipient of P2P property funding, largely thanks to property platform Lendy, which has financed several large property developments there. Its proximity to Manchester and Leeds means that it is likely to attract even more developer interest in the coming years.

Eastbourne-Landbay currently keeps 21 per cent of its property portfolio in the South East, with dozens of properties in and around Eastbourne.

YPO Innovation Week Unites Innovators for the Global Fintech Summit 2018 in London (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

As a part of its third annual YPO Innovation Week, YPO will host the Global Fintech Summit in London, United Kingdom, where the most dynamic global innovators will be together for a rare chance to network, overturn conventional thinking and leave inspired with the tools to infuse innovation in their companies and communities.

The Global Fintech Summit 2018 will explore the latest disruptive technologies and opportunities across the fintech landscape – including blockchain, bitcoin and robo-advice to online payments, crowdfunding, P2P lending and private equity while connecting YPO leaders from throughout Europe and across the world to share challenges, insights and needs.

China

China’s Biggest Tech Unicorns Stampede to Go Public (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

An unprecedented wave of Chinese technology companies is accelerating plans to raise money from the global capital markets, hoping to leverage investors’ optimism about the sector and lock in buoyant stock valuations.

In recent months, at least a dozen Chinese companies with collective private valuations of roughly $500 billion have been in talks with bankers and potential investors about initial public offerings in the second half of this year or in early 2019, according to people familiar with the discussions.

European Union

iZettle to announce IPO plan early next week (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

iZettle is gearing up to announce its intention to float as early next week in what would be the largest initial public offering by a European financial technology company.

The Swedish payments and ecommerce group has been in talks with potential investors and could seek a valuation of about SKr10bn ($1.1bn) when it is expected to launch its IPO process on Tuesday next week, according to people involved in the flotation.

International

Banks and Fintechs: Adversaries or Partners? (Wharton) Rated: AAA

Some fintechs will aggressively go it alone and challenge the legacy banks in their most lucrative markets. And recent rule changes in Europe, which force banks to transfer closely guarded customer information to fintechs upon customer request, will add new momentum to the upstarts.

Still, the drive towards collaboration is well underway, as the following on-the-ground examples suggest.

  • ICICI Bank, India’s largest private bank, and Paytm, the country’s largest digital payments platform, have jointly launched a digital credit account on the Paytm app. Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid gives customers access to instant micro-credit for everyday expenses — from bill payments to movie tickets. Its algorithm – from ICICI – is based on a customer’s financial and digital behavior and evaluates credit-worthiness in seconds.
  • Bocom International, the investment banking arm of China’s Bank of Communications, has partnered with Hong Kong fintech firm FDT-AI to develop intelligent, personalized investment research based on bank clients’ past transactions. The hope is to offer more tailor-made investment advice.
  • ING Group has partnered with Scalable Capital, a leading online wealth manager and robo-advice firm in Europe, to offer a fully digital investment solution to ING’s retail customers starting in Germany. Customers do a paperless registration in under 15 minutes. With a minimum investment of 10,000 euros they can monitor their portfolios on both Scalable Capital and ING mobile apps and online portals.
  • Kabbage, a U.S.-based leading online lender, has partnered with large players such as Scotiabank, for streamlining online lending; MasterCard, for business loans through MasterCard’s network of acquirers; ING, to provide capital to small businesses; and Santander Bank, for loans to small and medium enterprises.

Financial regulators turn their sights on banks’ use of cloud (Financial Times) Rated: A

Financial regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have turned their attention to the cloud, as concerns mount over how to supervise online storage services, which hold information from the world’s biggest banks.

Global financial institutions are becoming increasingly reliant on the cloud — using it to store customer-account data and their banking systems, leading supervisors to fret about what might happen if a bank collapses.

As well as cyber risk, regulators ‎are worried about concentrating so much information in the hands of Amazon, Google and Microsoft — the three big companies that dominate cloud provision — without the same level of supervisory oversight as banks, according to people familiar with regulatory discussions.

Chris Larsen: From Marketplace Lending Pioneer to Creating the New Internet of Value (Lend Academy) Rated: A

But Chris had an itch to start a new company, one that was based on this emerging blockchain technology.

Of course, this move proved to be prescient and his new company, which eventually became known at Ripple, has the potential to completely rewrite the rules of global commerce. In 2013 they introduced the XRP token as the vehicle to help them achieve this goal. XRP (as of this writing) is the third most valuable token with market cap of $32 billion. This is down considerably from its high in January when its market cap reached around $150 billion and briefly made Chris Larsen one of the wealthiest people in the world.

When you think about how far technology has come and the fact that information has flowed freely across borders now for 25 years it is just crazy that the way we move money internationally has barely changed since the 1980s. And while companies like Transferwise have made it more efficient and simple to send money internationally, it is still more expensive and much slower than the system that Chris Larsen envisions. He sees this new system as the second internet: the internet of value.

Living Up To The Hype (Or Not) (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Bitcoin, marketplace lending — pick your poison — they came to disrupt, but the jury is still out on whether they can ever achieve that goal. The global citizen and international nomad may change the nature of work around the world, but they need a “finabler” to help them do it.

And new EU regulations like GDPR may be a sea change in how business worldwide will get done, but no one seems to know if that change will come as an easy, rising tide or a tsunami of transformation.

Source: PYMNTS

BFEX: EMPOWERING THE WORLD WITH A BETTER FINANCIAL IDENTITY BY SHANKAR BISWAS (Bitcoinist) Rated: A

BFEX’s peer to peer lending platform is a financial market place with a difference: it is transparent, secure and credible and different from the banks with its proprietary; Decentralized Social Trust Credit Scoring that will provide millions with access money at fair rates with a new improved social identity. BFEX will create better indicators by making meaningful connections between traditional and nontraditional data where raw Credit scores are only a part of the story. Nontraditional data will allow us to look at trends in consumer behavior that completes the picture and tells a better story of the person.

India

ETMoney forays into lending with the launch of CreditLine (Medianama) Rated: AAA

Times Internet’s ETMoney has entered into the lending space with the launch of a new service called CreditLine on its platform, in partnership with RBL Bank.

ETMoney is a personal expense management app which allows users to invest in mutual funds, gold deposits, liquid funds etc, buy insurance, manage expenses and more. The company claims that the app has 4 million users so far and said that it has grown 20x in the last 12 months.

Competition

Paytm is reportedly trying to enter the lending space and is seeking a licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to become a peer-to-peer lending platform.

Mobikwik too is working on the launch of a lending product that will offer instant credit to customers directly from its app.  Other players in this segment are like Capital Float, NeoGrowth, Paytm-backed CreditMate, CASHe, LendingKart, MoneyTap, EasySalry, Faircent, LoanMeet amongst others.

Asia

New P2P lender snares key Asian backers (Financial Review) Rated: AAA

OurMoneyMarket has just closed a $4 million funding round which saw N2N Connect, a Malaysian stock exchange-listed financial information provider backed by Japan’s financial media giant, Nikkei Inc, emerge as a key shareholder. Singapore-based YK Capital, a tech company investor, also tipped into the raising.

Run by Adam Sutherland, formerly a securitisation banker at National Australia Bank, and chief operating officer Crystal Anderson, and chaired by John Barry, NAB’s former head of debt capital markets in Asia, OurMoneyMarket has been up and running for nine months and during that time has made $1.5 million in loans.

It’s taking things slowly; there have been $95 million in applications. It has delivered early investors a 13 per cent net return. Revenue is growing at 45 per cent month on month.

Singapore launches the “Fintech Fast Track” for new patents (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has announced the launch of a new initiative, dubbed the Fintech Fast Track initiative, which aims to grant patents for fintech innovations at a faster pace than before. While it can traditionally take up to 2 years for a patent to be granted, this new initiative will bring that down to 6 months for new fintech solutions. The initiative includes fintech innovations related to electronic payments, investment platforms, insurance technology, blockchain, banking, security, fraud, and authentication, among others.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday February 22 2018, Daily News Digest

Servicing portfolio recurring revenue

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub spared from sharing underwriting docs with investors. Wealthsimple raises $65M. Zopa warns investors of increased defaults. Raisin now operates in UK. RaboDirect to bow out of Ireland. Today’s main analysis: LendingClub’s Q4 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub’s CIO issues an update on Q4 results. LendingTree ranks best places for fresh start. Faster payments mean […]

Servicing portfolio recurring revenue

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Fourth Quarter 2017 Results (LendingClub), Rated: AAA

Source: LendingClub

View the reported Q4 2017 earnings results from LendingClub right here.

Q4 2017: An update from our CIO (Lending Club), Rated: AAA

A core strength of LendingClub’s marketplace model is the ability to incorporate data insights quickly in order to responsibly adapt for the benefit of borrowers and investors.

From 2009 to 2014, credit supply was tight, so consumer loans experienced better-than-average loss rates. Since then, credit supply has increased, and the industry has seen a return to long-term average delinquency rates and higher losses in higher risk populations.

As a result of cumulative actions taken, our loss forecast for newly originated loans remains unchanged in aggregate compared to last quarter.

Economic backdrop

U.S. economic growth remains slow but steady, with annual GDP growth rate increasing to 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. A primary driver of GDP growth since the financial crisis has been a historically low unemployment rate, which is down to 4.1% from its peak of 10% in 2009.

Updated pricing and return forecast

We continuously refine our methodology and recalibrate interest rates based on shifts in risk across the portfolio. This quarter, interest rates are increasing for certain subgrades in grades D and E.

Loss forecasts are remaining stable in aggregate for the platform relative to last quarter.

Platform Summary and Projections as of February 20, 2018

Source: LendingClub

Judge Nixes LendingClub Investor Bid For Underwriter Docs (Law360), Rated: AAA

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and the other underwriters of LendingClub Corp.’s $1 billion initial public offering for now don’t have to produce roughly a thousand documents sought by a class of investors suing the peer-to-peer lending company for alleged stock fraud, a California federal judge ruled Tuesday.

 

 

LendingTree Ranks Best Places for a Fresh Start in 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released the findings of its study on the best cities for those seeking a fresh start.

First, the study looked at eight elements to consider when going through a financial recovery, such as the local median income and rents, and if the state has laws to protect debtors from aggressive collections and penalties, in case methods like debt consolidation or refinancing to lower rates aren’t enough to manage liabilities.

Next, to determine what opportunities there might be for people seeking a solid job and income, the study looked at the percentage of people in these metros who are between the ages of 35 and 64, single, employed, have health insurance coverage and are currently enrolled in school.

Lastly, to get an idea of how well people in an area are recovering from financial calamity, LendingTree calculated how quickly credit scores are rising after a bankruptcy by using proprietary data on the average credit score, on a geographic basis, of LendingTree customers who declared bankruptcy between three to four years earlier.

1. Buffalo, N.Y. – 67.6
At $738Buffalo has the lowest median rent among the 50 cities reviewed, and 94 percent of adults over the age of 35 are insured (second highest). Residents who declare bankruptcy have an average credit score of 664 three years on, tied for the second highest score for the cities reviewed, suggesting that conditions are favorable for financial recovery. However, Buffalo ranks poorly in two metrics: at $52,303, median income is the seventh lowest, and only one other city has fewer students over the age the 35.

2. Minneapolis – 62.9
At just 3.7 percent, the exceedingly low unemployment rate for citizens in Minneapolis between the ages of 35 and 64 helps push the city to the No. 2 spot. Not only are most over-35s employed, but they also earn a median salary of $70,915, the eighth highest in the cities reviewed, 94 percent have health insurance and median rents are relatively low at $963.

3. Salt Lake City – 62.6
Only two other cities have more over-35s enrolled in school (Virginia Beach and Washington), and only five have more unmarried over-35s (New Orleans has the most). That could be due to the lowest unemployment rate for over-35s of any city reviewed (3.6%), and higher-than-average median income of $64,564 for that same group. That combines nicely with a moderate median rent of $967.

Source: LendingTree

The full report is available here: 

Why faster payments mean faster fraud (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Less than a month ago Early Warning Services, the network that powers peer-to-peer payments platform Zelle, touted $75 billion in funds moved through its bank-supported platform with plans to expand its member network. One member bank, however, also reported a fraud rate of 90 percent shortly after implementing Zelle last year, said someone familiar with the statistics who wished to remain anonymous.

Fraud detection in banks, however, is no longer just about building a wall to keep outsiders out; cybersecurity teams need to install a filter that can identify who can and should enter the system.

Bank of America will spend $600 million this year on cyber defense alone, its chief operations and technology officer Cathy Bessant recently told Tearsheet. In December Menlo Security, a company that provides malware isolation solutions, raised $40 million in Series C funding, bringing its total funding to $85 million. JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and American Express Ventures are among its investors.

Greenlight raises $ 16m for kids’ debit card (Finextra), Rated: A

Greenlight Financial Technology, the startup behind an app and debit card for kids and college students, has raised $16 million in a Series A funding round joined by SunTrust Bank, Ally Financial and the Amazon Alexa Fund.

 

7 COMPANIES REIMAGINING REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND FINANCE (Builder Online), Rated: A

Companies like Better Mortgage, Blend and LendingHome are reengineering the way mortgages are applied for and underwritten. While Cadre and Fundrise are moving real estate investments from Excel spreadsheets to the digital world.

GreenSky offers on-the-spot loans of up to $65,000 for home improvement projects with generous zero-interest promotional periods. Lemonade offers urban renters and homeowners insurance for as little as $5 and $25, respectively. LendingHome provides financing for house flippers, and more recently, homeowners.

Enodo delivers quantifiable insights for property investors (Realty Biz News), Rated: A

With the Enodo platform investors can cut to the chase with a platform that supports their decision-making through acquisition all the way to renovation, with features including rent price forecasting. In other words, Enodo is a real estate investing platform that provides quantifiable data, meaning investors no longer have to rely on hunches alone.

Enodo allows investors to carefully analyze any property in the country using basic physical and investment parameters. Users can also identify comparable properties, predict operating expenses and more. Parameters include things such as the year the home was built, number of units, amenities, market demographics and more.

Savings and Deposit Rates in a Rising Rate Environment (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This thread called Cash Parking on the Lend Academy Forum was created back in December 2016 and since then, forum members have discussed opportunities at banks and credit unions.

The discussion caught my eye when one user posted a 3% 5 year CD which happened to be offered by my local credit union.

Signing Up for a Savings Account at Marcus

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has been near the top of the list since I began checking. We last did a piece on savings account rates back in June 2017 when Goldman Sachs’ deposit accounts were still branded under GS Bank. Rates are now 30 basis points higher at 1.5% on Marcus accounts.

Their investment has paid off and it was recently reported that they had $17 billion of deposits. Since Goldman Sachs acquired GE Capital’s retail deposits, deposits have grown a whopping 90%.

 

Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia Talks Small Business Loans (LendEDU), Rated: A

She’s been hailed by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in the world, and TechCrunch recognized her for “crushing it” last year. Both sources refer to her success as a leader at Kabbage, Inc. which has financed over $4 billion to more than 130,000 businesses to date.

Q: What sets Kabbage apart from other online small business lenders?

A: Our focus on real-time access to third-party data and our ability to stay connected to our customer’s data all the time. This technology allows us to provide an automated experience.

Q: So, user experience seems to be a big advantage for non-traditional lending sources. While that’s an advantage, what disadvantages does a lender like Kabbage have against a traditional lender?

A: There are lots of things. First, traditional lenders like banks have well-known brands; they have access to really cheap capital. They have a lot of customers already. They already have access to a framework which they operate with the ability to move funds. 

The only thing they don’t have is the ability to serve the market, because it’s too expensive for them to serve our customers with the type of product they need.

Q: Was there a typical small business customer that you would lend to? Do you lend to certain business more often than others today?

A: Well, we got our start making loans to eBay sellers which you may or may not know. The reason we started there was because that’s where the first API was available, so we could get information on a business’ performance. Then as more APIs became available, we were able to expand our business. So for a long time, all of our customers were eCommerce businesses.

But about three years ago, we began expanding to service brick & mortar businesses, and today, about 85% of our customers are brick & mortar businesses. 

Q: Over the last 5 years, fintech lending has grown to take up more of the small business lending market. Where do you see the market share in 5 years? Where’s Kabbage in this equation?

A: If you’re talking about businesses seeking less than half or a quarter million dollars, I think it’ll stay the way it is with largely non-traditional players, like Kabbage, filling that space. And I think banks could serve that market through partnerships, but overall, I think it’s going to look much the same as it is now.

The Expanded Military Lending Act Regulations (The National Law Review), Rated: A

The Military Lending Act’s (“MLA”) lending restrictions are expanded to apply to consumer credit card issuers and unsecured consumer lenders. Compliance in most areas was mandatory as of October 3, 2016, but as to credit cards the mandatory compliance date is October 3, 2017.

The MLA applies to active-duty military personnel, active Reserve and National Guard personnel serving on Title 10 orders, and their dependents with a valid military identification card.

How to Invest in Private Loans (The Student Loan Report), Rated: A

The $1.45 trillion student loan market is made up of public and private student loans.

We now live in a world where crowdfunding and P2P investment opportunities are everywhere. The student loan market is no different. Companies like Sofi are shaking up what it looks like for both students and investors alike.

Sofi (short for Social Finance) has funded over $25 billion in student loans, with over 437,000 members around the country.

As challenger banks seek to enter the US, the business model still faces hurdles  (Tearsheet), Rated: A

European digital banks N26 and Revolut will launch in the U.S. later this year, and there are reports that U.K. challenger bank Monzo is mulling a move into the U.S. market. Meanwhile, three U.S. banking startups — Varo Money, Square and Moven — recently announced plans to apply for or acquire U.S. banking licenses.

For N26, winning means customers loving N26 like in Europe. U.K.-based Revolut, which plans to launch in the U.S. later this year with a multi-currency bank account, said winning means acquiring millions of customers, particularly those who travel often; and to San Francisco-based Chime, a win is to bring large numbers of customers away from traditional institutions.

Why BankMobile has launched an online magazine (Tearsheet), Rated: B

BankMobile has launched a content marketing website called Paradigm Money to help customers navigate personal finance.

The site, which launched this month, includes news, opinion pieces, interviews and advice.

BankMobile, which was born as the mobile-only offshoot of Customers Bank which sold it last year, has 1.8 million customers to date and opens about 300,000 new accounts each year.

WHAT FAMILY OFFICES WANT FROM ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT MANAGERS (All About Alpha), Rated: A

Competition within the alternatives sector for family office investments is at an all-time high, as these investors get more comfortable with the range of assets available to them and their general understanding of alternatives rises. Fund managers want to win these wealthy investors over, but often find they are unsure of how best to pursue them. The family office client is increasingly demanding a more tailored approach to wooing them over. Managers who can adapt their prospecting tactics stand a better chance of winning a partnership with these prized investors.

A Q4 2017 research study, “Single-Family Offices and Alternative Investments,” by Institutional Capital Network, provides a framework for the changing dynamics in family office activity within the alternatives space. Some of the research findings that stand out in particular include:

First-generation founders have a “stay-rich” mentality, while second-generation are more likely to have a “get-richer” perspective.

About 40% of second generation single-family offices are investing 15% or more of their total portfolios into alternatives, compared to 20% of first generation single-family offices that are investing at similar levels. In 2017, 71% increased their direct allocations relative to 2016, and 82% intend to do so in the future.

33% of Americans do not have more savings than credit card debt (KHOU), Rated: A

In the latest survey by personal finance site Bankrate.com, 33% of Americans say they do not have more emergency savings than credit card debt. That includes 21% who say their credit card debt exceeds their emergency savings and 12% who indicate they have no savings or credit card debt.

While one in three Americans are financially ill-equipped for an emergency, that is down from 41% in 2017 and 43% in 2016 and is the lowest level in the eight years of the survey.

Fifty-eight percent say their emergency savings fund exceeds their credit card debt, which is up from 52% in the last two years and ties 2015 as the best seen in eight years.

US Mobile Payment Market to Reach $ 3 Trillion by 2020, Fintech Stocks Lead the Way (Investing News), Rated: A

A new Market Research Reports Search Engine report states the US mobile payments will grow from $550 billion in 2015 to reach $2.8 trillion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.1 percent over the course of that period.

Marlette Funding Named a Finalist in Top Consumer Lending Platform in LendIt Fintech Industry Awards Competition (Business Wire), Rated: B

LendIt Fintech, the world’s leading event in financial services innovation, announced today that they have selected the Best Egg Personal Loan Platform provided by Marlette Funding, LLC, as a finalist in the Top Consumer Lending Platform category for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards. The Top Consumer Lending Platform finalists were selected from companies that demonstrate a combination of loan performance, volume, growth, product diversity and responsiveness to stakeholders.

Klarna North America to Highlight “Smoooth” Payment Products at eTail West 2018 (Klarna Email), Rated: B

Klarna, a global payments provider, is a sponsor of and will be exhibiting at next week’s eTail West 2018 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Carl Gish Joins Varo Money as Chief Marketing Officer (PRWeb), Rated: B

Mobile banking startup Varo Money, Inc. today announced the hire of Carl Gish as Chief Marketing Officer. Gish is a marketing and general management executive with more than 20 years of experience across well-known, high-growth consumer brands and e-commerce businesses, including Amazon, Unilever, Dyson, eBay and Affirm. He will lead all aspects of the company’s branding and marketing, and will work directly with CEO Colin Walsh to drive large growth in Varo’s customer base across multiple marketing channels and partnerships.

United Kingdom

Zopa warns over defaults as investor returns decline (Financial Times), Rated: AAA 

The UK’s oldest peer-to-peer service is warning investors that defaults on its recent loans will be running at a higher rate than during the financial crisis.

Fintech Raisin Crosses the Channel to Offer Services to UK Savers (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Savings marketplace Raisin has launched in the UK.

Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky on long hours and high staff turnover (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Over the past three years, and with the backing of Balderton Capital and Index Ventures, two European venture capital firms, Mr Storonsky’s company has raised about £60m and had a valuation of £300m last year.

How Startups Can Gain Traction In The Financial Services Market (Forbes), Rated: A

The United Kingdom’s financial technology sector attracted a record £1.34bn in venture capital  investment in 2017, with 90% of that money going to startup and early stage businesses based in London.

Those raising cash last year included peer2peer lending platform Funding Circle (£81.9m); payments company, Transferwise (£211m) and challenger bank, Monzo (£71m).

Last week I spoke to two fintech entrepreneurs – Ollie Purdue of online bank account provider, Loot and Jared Jesner, CEO of currency exchange, WeSwap – about their reasons for entering the fintech arena and how they hope to carve out a niche in a crowded market.

Lloyds Bank Marks $ 4.1B for Digital Strategy (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

British bank Lloyds has put aside £3 billion ($4.1 billion) for digital development and growth, the bank announced today.

The  £3 billion is a 40% increase on the spend Lloyd marked for its previous three-year expansion plan.

P2P lending to form part of inquiry into SME finance (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

POLITICIANS are going to consider the availability and uptake of peer-to-peer lending as part of an inquiry into finance for small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

 

Ultimate guide to Innovative Finance ISAs: Part two (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has soared in recent years. Members of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association have cumulatively lent a total of £5bn to businesses versus £3bn to individuals, as of the end of 2017.

Loans to SMEs tend to produce a higher rate of return than loans to consumers, but they can also be riskier in some cases. The average size of loan is also much higher.

How Short Term Lender Wonga Went Worldwide (Silicon India), Rated: A

Today the brand eclipses its competition, with many of its 400 failing to survive in 2016 as fresh price caps on loan and repayment charges came into action.

With UK-domination taken care of, the lender has been expanding rapidly overseas, starting its journey by launching in Canada, South Africa and Poland, before going on to purchase and assimilate a number of foreign short term lenders as part of its global growth.

To launch Wonga Spain, the lender purchased Spanish credit agency Credito Pocket in 2013, going on to purchase German “pay later” payment firm BillPay (with two million users to its name) and a stake in Indian firm Nahar Credits Private in October of the same year.

China

China tries to bring order to sprawling online finance sector (Asian Review), Rated: A

China’s 1.2 trillion yuan ($189 billion) internet finance industry has reached a turning point as regulators tighten regulations after one too many cases of bankruptcy and fraud.

European Union

RaboDirect to quit Irish market in May (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

RaboDirect Ireland, an online savings bank owned by the Dutch lender Rabobank, will quit the Irish market in May. The bank has up to 90,000 Irish customer accounts with a total of €3 billion on deposit.

The bank says it has decided to withdraw from the Irish market after 13 years following “moves by our parent, the Rabobank Group, to simplify its business model across the world and reduce costs”.

Bizarre Buybacks and Expensive Takeovers (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA

In November, Swiss fintech company Temenos Group AG spent 150 million Swiss francs ($160 million) buying back its shares at an average price of 122 francs each. Weeks later, with the stock at 115 francs, it’s preparing to sell shares to fund a $1.9 billion takeover of British rival Fidessa Group Plc.

The return on invested capital looks set to be just over 6 percent in 2020, based on the stated cost synergies plus Fidessa’s forecast operating performance. That’s well below the target’s 9 percent cost of capital.

Anyfin raises €4.8 million to refinance loans with a statement selfie (Finextra), Rated: A

Anyfin, a Swedish startup that offers to refinance consumer loans and credit card debt using a combination of artificial intelligence and a photo of the current statement and repayment terms, has bagged €4.8 million in Series A funding led by Accel and Northzone.

BNI Europa and Code for All partner to train new generation of IT developers (Finextra), Rated: A

BNI Europa, through Puzzle, its online credit brand, created a partnership with <Code for All_> to provide financial aid to anyone who wants to learn to become a IT developer.

This partnership provides an intensive code training program of 14 weeks supported by an online credit solution that offers special payment conditions to the program’s students.

International

What Is the Ripio Credit Network? (The Merkle), Rated: A

The Ripio Credit Network wants to offer a real global credit ecosystem which is more suitable than traditional solutions and even than similar peer-to-peer lending services. While that sounds like a tall order, the RCN protocol will connect lenders and borrowers all over the world via the native RCN token.

As is the case with any blockchain ecosystem, the Ripio Credit Network has its own native RCN token. It is the network’s payment channel first and foremost. Although credit transactions can be settled in any local currency, one does need RCN tokens to access the network and facilitate transactions.

Etherty launches blockchain-based, real estate trading platform (Construction Business News), Rated: A

A new investment portal, Etherty, has launched offering a real estate linked-crypto currency that enables investors to seize property investment opportunities all over the world, primarily in key markets such as Dubai, Mexico, and Australia.

500 Startups, Huobi Labs to Incubate Blockchain Projects (CoinDesk), Rated: B

500 Startups, the Silicon Valley startup accelerator, announced Tuesday it is partnering with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi’s incubator wing, Huobi Labs.

The two companies will support startups in various areas, including developing business plans, focusing on elements such as white papers, marketing strategies, community engagement and fundraising efforts, the accelerator said in a press release.

Australia/New Zealand

FMA opens applications for personalised digital advice (Scoop), Rated: AAA

The FMA is now open for applications from providers seeking to offer personalised financial advice to consumers through digital tools and platforms (so-called robo-advice).

India

P2P lending, payments platform JaldiCash to merge with parent firm Weizmann Forex (Financial Express), Rated: A

Weizmann Forex Limited (WFL), a foreign exchange and inward remittances platform, has approved the acquisition of its unit Weizmann Impex Enterprises Ltd (WISE). The proposed deal is supposed to take place on April 1st and will be done through a Scheme of Amalgamation, the company said in a press release. WISE is authorized by the Reserve bank of India to issue and operate semi-closed prepaid payment systems in India. The company owns ‘JaldiCash’, a payments platform that claims to have a network of more than 18,000 channel partners across 29 Indian states and more than 520 districts through their B2B model. JaldiCash works on a P2P model lending model, enabling loans for retailers, hotels and other services

APAC

ALAMI is on a journey to popularise sharia-based finance in Indonesia. (e27), Rated: A

Islamic banking assets is only 5.03 per cent of the total banking sector’s assets in the country, with a market share of IDR356.5 trillion (US$26.7 billion).

According to ALAMI CEO Bembi Juniar, this is due to the lack of infrastructure, support from key opinion leaders, and education on the benefits of sharia-based financial services.

So ALAMI offers a platform that serves as an aggregator for sharia-based financing for SMEs.

Canada

Wealthsimple raises $ 65 million in funding from Power Financial group of companies (Cision), Rated: AAA

Canada’s digital investor has raised a $65 million investment from the Power Financial group of companies, bringing their total investment in Wealthsimple to $165 million. Wealthsimple manages approximately $1.9 billion for over 65,000 clients in Canadathe United States, and the United KingdomMore than 80 per cent of people who use digital investing in Canada use Wealthsimple.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Tayl

Wednesday February 7 2018, Daily News Digest

MONEY-LAUNDERING-BY-ACTIVITY

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi named official sponsor of Big Ten. Equifax supports SME lending with new data sharing solution. UK fintech venture investment rises 150%. Klarna partners with London College of Fashion. Revolut ditches Wirecard, takes card issuances in-house. Today’s main analysis: The most wanted for anti-money laundering cases in Asia. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Banks close 1,700 […]

MONEY-LAUNDERING-BY-ACTIVITY

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

MENA

News Summary

United States

SoFi Named Official Presenting Sponsor of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament (BigTen.org), Rated: AAA

The Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Network announced a multi-year agreement naming SoFi as the presenting sponsor of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. SoFi, a modern finance company taking an unprecedented approach to lending and wealth management, will not only be the on-site tournament sponsor, but also present the on-air coverage of all 10 tournament games televised on BTN.

Equifax launches data sharing solution to support SME lending (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Information solutions company Equifax has launched a new solution that provides back up for the government’s Commercial Credit Data Sharing (CCDS) initiative, which is seeking to boost the economy by encouraging new entrants into the SME lending sector.

According to the platform, the new solution “gives lenders a comprehensive picture of a business’ financial health to facilitate faster and more informed lending decisions”.

Equifax was designated as a credit reference agency under the CCDS initiative, giving it access to new data sets from leading business banks, including cash flow activity and debit and credit turnover. The data will be provided to lenders through Equifax Business Insights.

Banks Shutter 1,700 Branches in Fastest Decline on Record (WSJ), Rated: AAA

The number of branches in the U.S. shrank by more than 1,700 in the 12 months ended in June 2017, the biggest decline on record, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Branch numbers fell again in the second half of 2017, according to related data submitted to bank regulators and reviewed by the Journal. That would add to the thousands of locations closed following the financial crisis, and is the longest stretch of closures since the Great Depression.

Many of the closings were in big cities and surrounding suburbs, where branches were consolidated largely because of falling foot traffic. Others were in rural areas, where some large regional lenders are leaving town altogether.

From mid-2012 to mid-2017, Capital One Financial Corp. cut 32% of its branches, SunTrust Banks Inc. 22% and Regions Financial Corp. 12%.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

What a scrappy Oklahoma bank can teach the industry about branch strategy (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Citizens Bank of Edmond is trying to get closer to small business customers by providing space, guidance and almost anything else they might need — besides, of course, a loan.

The one-branch community bank in Edmond, Oklahoma once had another branch, 12,000 square feet located one block away from the main space, with a drive-thru window and some executive offices. But recently the bank decided to consolidate it into a single location and has now turned it into a “business social” co-working environment, called Vault 405, for its small business customers that includes wireless charging stations, conference rooms and a podcast studio.

Ideally, by creating an environment that would bring customer and community relationship returns, as well as grow deposits and loan volume. Citizens currently charges monthly rates between $400 and $1,000 for offices and $175 to $275 for desks and shared spaces. It also offers day passes.

Citizens is also addressing cash pickups for small business customers, one of the most compelling cases for banks thinking of repurposing their branches, using as much readily available technology as possible.

Why Digit is over chatbots (American Banker), Rated: A

Now, Ethan Bloch, founder and CEO of the San Francisco startup, believes his company has been offering the wrong primary user interface. “We think [chatbots] haven’t lived up to their promise,” he said. “So we are done believing they will.”

While the premise of Digit is still the same — use the service to automatically transfer funds from checking to savings every few days in amounts its algorithms believe a person can afford — Bloch believed the chatbot model is terribly flawed in its inefficiency to find out information.

Lendio Franchise Announced in Seacoast Region (Lendio Email), Rated: B

6th Avenue Capital adds trio to executive ranks (Bankless Times), Rated: B

6th Avenue Capital, a provider of small business financing solutions, announced the appointment of three senior members to their business development team. Mitchell (Mitch) Levy, Marc Seidel and Gary Lockwood were named to lead the sales teams. The new hires follow last year’s appointments of Christine Chang as CEO and Darren Schulman as COO and a $60 million commitment in capital from a large institutional investor.

US states team up to streamline fintech licensing (Finextra), Rated: A

Currently, firms offering services such as money transfers and cryptocurrency trading have to apply individually to operate in each of the 50 US states.

Under the new compact, if one of Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington reviews key elements of licensing – IT, cybersecurity, business plan, background check and Bank Secrecy Act compliance – the other six will accept the findings.

Wela Partners with In-Fi to Bring AI-Powered Bot to Insurance Agency Platform Website (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Wela, a fintech company that blends artificial intelligence (AI) with human advisors, today announces a partnership with In-Fi, an insurance agency management company specifically for financial institutions. Wela’s AI-powered chatbot, personified as Benjamin, is now fully integrated into In-Fi’s website, with the function of creating a more cohesive and engaging experience for their customers. Integration into In-Fi’s website is a pivotal step for Wela, which aims to place Benjamin at the center of financial decisions for families by integrating across a variety of financial service providers.

How the payday lending industry shapes academic research (American Banker), Rated: A

The hotly contested question of how to regulate payday lending is partly about ideology. How far should the government go to save repeat borrowers from their own worst habits? Your answer will depend on your political beliefs.

But this debate, like a lot of fights involving financial regulation, is also about facts. Do payday customers indeed suffer economic harm when they get into a cycle of repeat borrowing? That is an empirical question that unbiased researchers should be able to answer.

Inside Aspiration’s ‘values-based’ marketing strategy (Tearsheet), Rated: A

SoFi, whose earliest ads told people, “Don’t Bank. SoFi” has softened its marketing efforts, realizing the smart thing is for it to become a bank itself. Transferwise once ran provocative anti-bank ads but now advertises its own borderless account. But Aspiration isn’t shy about ruffling the feathers of the big banks. When Bank of America yanked its “free” checking accounts last month, moving them to its core checking account product that comes with a monthly $12 fee, Aspiration used it as a rallying point to get customers to bring their business to Aspiration, offering a $12 credit if they did. It claims its marketing has influenced “tens of thousands” of customers to leave B of A for Aspiration. Bank of America declined to comment for this story.

A fruitful journey from the attic to an angel investor (domain-b.com), Rated: A

Pear venture capital has helped some aspiring entrepreneurs build their foundations from scratch. How did the idea behind Pear fructify and what is the significance behind its name?
We actually started out as an angel investor. Around 2009-2010, I felt that there was no institution to help founders from ground zero. Given my background and network, I thought I could build an institution, which would help founders in their early stages to work on their ideas, which would stay in the business for generations.

Today Pear is an early stage seed fund and we invest in founders who are building category defined companies and that which focus on solving a big problem in the market.

As a venture capitalist, how do you identify potential entrepreneurs before signing them a cheque? What sectors and businesses do you look at? Considering the humongous number of aspirants, how do you identify a viable idea and that which is worth your support and funding?
If I look back at the last 18 years, there are some traits which are quite common among exceptional founders. We like those individuals who are looking to solve big problems in the market. They should either be close to the problem that they are trying to solve or they should have lived through their problem.

We also like those who have ability to track talents, are paranoid in a healthy way, have a vision and tend to question themselves every day. I also like CEOs who are captains of the ship,. the ones who usually stay till the end when the ship is sinking. Overall, we also look at size of the market. It’s fine if things don’t work out today as long as it’s going to be massive when it works. If you look at our portfolio companies, some of them have started in the unconventional space. As VCs, you live for those moments where you want to break the rule and partner with outliers.

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for January (Guru Focus), Rated: A

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network. The purpose of the report is to empower consumers by providing additional information on how their credit profile affects their loan prospects.

Purchase Mortgage Offers by Credit Score

Purchase

FICO Range

Average APR

Average Down Payment

Average Loan Amount

Average LTV

Lifetime Interest Paid*

All Loans

4.55%

$63,411

$238,518

82%

$199,109

760+

4.41%

$84,354

$262,661

79%

$191,975

720-759

4.45%

$59,193

$239,111

83%

$194,007

680-719

4.70%

$39,883

$217,590

86%

$206,818

640-679

5.04%

$63,301

$203,176

76%

$224,533

620-639

5.12%

$57,566

$191,642

76%

$228,749

*To enable comparison, lifetime interest is calculated for the average loan amount for all loans using the rates for each credit score bucket.

Refinance Mortgage Offers by Credit Score

Refinance

FICO Range

Average APR

Average Down Payment

Average Loan Amount

Average LTV

Lifetime Interest Paid*

All Loans

4.46%

$2,739

$244,540

62%

$199,427

760+

4.33%

$4,014

$250,651

59%

$192,669

720-759

4.38%

$3,073

$249,678

64%

$195,262

680-719

4.58%

$1,294

$238,579

64%

$205,712

640-679

4.79%

$907

$223,812

60%

$216,814

620-639

4.89%

$212,813

59%

$222,147

*To enable comparison, lifetime interest is calculated for the average loan amount for all loans using the rates for each credit score bucket.

The hottest cities where it’s good to be a home seller but not so much a buyer (The Washington Post), Rated: A

LendingTree, an online loan marketplace, recently analyzed 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests that came in through its system from the 100 largest cities in 2017. The study identifies the locations where buyer competition is the toughest based on three criteria:

The top 10 cities with the most competitive buyers based on those criteria include:

  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Denver
  • San Diego
  • Ventura, Calif.
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Honolulu
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Sacramento

The three cities on the bottom of the list, where homes are more accessible to buyers and competition is less aggressive, are Youngstown, Ohio; McAllen, Tex.; and Scranton, Pa.

For the full report, click here.

CBC National Bank Among LendingTree’s Top 10 Highest Customer-Rated Mortgage Lenders in Fourth Quarter (PR Newswire), Rated: B

CBC National Bank, headquartered in Fernandina Beach and with branches in Fernandina BeachOcala and The Villages, Fla., and Beaufort and Port Royal, S.C., today announced that it has been named by LendingTree as among the Top 10 highest customer-rated mortgage lenders in the fourth quarter of 2017. It also achieved this prestigious designation in the first quarter of 2017.

rateGenius Awarded Top 3 in Auto Customer Satisfaction by LendingTree for 7th Consecutive Quarter (PR Newswire), Rated: B

rateGenius is pleased to announce that it has once again been named Top 3 in Auto Customer Satisfaction by LendingTree.

M Financial Group Partners with Plug and Play Insurtech to Enhance Client Experience in Life Insurance Space (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Plug and Play Insurtech welcomes M Financial as its 55th partner. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon and comprised of 155 Member Firms across the U.S., as well as the U.K. and U.A.E., M Financial is searching for startups to transform the life insurance industry for the clients they serve. Startups accepted into Plug and Play’s platform will have the opportunity to pilot their technology with M Financial and the other partners in the program. M Financial is the first Plug and Play partner that is both a distributor and reinsurer of life insurance products.

5 Passive Income Ideas That Still Work In 2018 (SavingAdvice), Rated: B

Peer to peer lending: The demand for credit is sure to continue for centuries to come. There is always someone in need of some quick business loan or a personal loan and this gives a quick opportunity if there is another person with the capital and risk appetite to back it up. With the current boom in crypto currency usage, you can take advantage and set up a peer-to-peer lending service. Alternative funding can very well give traditional banking a run for the money because some people need quick loans but cannot have the convenience of applying through the mainstream banking system. Peer-to-peer lending offers the keys to unlock instant liquidity to a wide online community and offers attractive rewards to those who supply the capital.

A great advantage to the lender is that once a peer to peer lending platform has been selected, the popularity of the wallet will ensure that there is exposure to a wider target of borrowers. Most banks often get restricted to lending to people within a certain country or state. Since peer-to-peer lending is blockchain-backed, anyone around the globe with access to the platform can lend money to another peer and start earning money over the duration of the loan contract.

United Kingdom

LendInvest completes £16m development deal in three weeks (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: AAA

Property finance lender LendInvest has completed a £16m financing deal with established development finance borrower, Yogo Group, in just three weeks.

Taking a Deeper Look into the Moving Average For Funding Circle Sme Income Fund Limited (Stock Press Daily), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle Sme Income Fund Limited (FCIF.L) are in focus today as the charts are revealing that the Mesa Adaptive Moving Average (MAMA) is holding steady above the FAMA, or Fractional Moving Average.  This environment typically indicates that there might be a buying opportunity aligning in technicals.  When there are crossovers between the FAMA and MAMA, the shares are often widely traded.  When the MAMA crosses above the FAMA, it means that the shares are likely to move higher.  Conversely the opposite occurs when the MAMA crosses below the FAMA.  The Mesa Moving Average was first mentioned by John Ehlers in a paper published in a 2001 edition of Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities Magazine.

Venture investment in UK fintech more than doubles (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Fintech companies, such as TransferWise and OakNorth, raised $1.8bn of venture capital investment last year, up more than 150 per cent from $704m in 2016, the year of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the data show.

The surge in UK funding contrasted with an 18 per cent drop in global fintech investments to $14.4bn, according to the report by Innovate Finance, the British fintech trade body.

The UK industry was boosted by handful of large fundraisings of more than $90m. The biggest was by TransferWise, a cross-border payments provider, which raised $280m. OakNorth, a digital lender to small businesses, raised $203m.

Banks divided on cryptocurrencies card purchases (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

British banks are debating whether to ban their customers from buying cryptocurrencies using their credit cards after Lloyds Banking Group and Virgin Money said they had imposed such a ban.

Barclays, the UK’s leading credit card issuer through its Barclaycard business, said it was “keeping this matter under close review” after holding a meeting to discuss whether to follow the lead of Lloyds on Monday.

Last week MasterCard said that cross-border volumes on its network were up 22 per cent, driven in part by customers using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies.

British banks are also shunning companies that handle cryptocurrencies by refusing to let them open bank accounts or closing their accounts, which has forced many of them to open accounts in Gibraltar, Poland and Bulgaria.

Lloyds Bank cutting 930 jobs (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

Lloyds is axing 930 jobs within its commercial banking, chief information office, community banking, insurance, and wealth and risk management.

Looking beyond traditional banks (Specialist Banking), Rated: A

I recently came across an article headlined: “8 in 10 SMEs still prefer traditional bank loans over alternative finance.”

It noted that 83% of financial directors preferred to go to their bank as their first port of call when seeking a loan, rather than finding an alternative, such as P2P lending or equity crowdfunding.

It claimed that a lack of understanding could be the reason for this, but pointed out that almost three-quarters of finance directors (74%) believed their knowledge of alternative finance was either “average or above average”.

Challenger Bank Tandem Partners with Cognitive Banking Company Personetics (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

UK Challenger bank Tandem has announced a partnership with cognitive banking company Personetics to provide users personalised insights on their spending across all of their bank accounts in one place, as well as warning people about unexpected fees and unusual activity on their accounts.

Are you holding too much cash in your ISA? (WhatInvestmen), Rated: A

In a survey of financial advisers by Octopus Investments, three-quarters of respondents said they believe their clients hold too much in their cash ISA relative to the rest of their portfolio.

The majority (83 per cent) feel their clients are put off investing in stock and shares due to the risk of losing money, followed by concerns of an overstretched (49 per cent) and volatile (46 per cent) market.

The Differences Between Short Term Loans and Payday Loans (SWNS.com), Rated: A

If you need to borrow money, a variety of options are available. Two of the most common short term borrowing options are payday loans and short-term personal loans, both of which provide immediate access to cash to help you pay bills, purchase items and run your financial life.

One of these borrowing options — payday lending — has been in the news a lot over the last few years, as new regulations make the industry more borrower friendly.

Short-Term Personal Loans

Most people use short-term loans for purchasing certain items or covering other major expenses.

From a borrower’s perspective, the advantages of short-term loans include lower overall costs than payday loans. However, the credit check process and approval period mean that loans of this type often aren’t instant enough to help borrowers deal with urgent financial needs.

Payday Loans

Most payday loans are for relatively small amounts of money, such as £200 to £500, and are aimed at providing cash until you get paid again.

Payday loans form a major part of the UK lending industry, with an estimated market value of approximately £2 billion.

Folk2Folk appoints chapter development manager (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

P2P lending platform Folk2Folk has appointed Claire Thayers as its chapter development manager.

In the newly created role, Claire will be responsible for raising Folk2Folk’s profile across the South West and Three Counties regions and improving awareness of its products to both borrowers and brokers.

China

The key to surviving in China’s P2P marketplace? Understanding regulations (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: AAA

China’s increasingly competitive peer-to-peer marketplace requires players to understand government regulations and align their strategies accordingly, said Kevin Guo, co-founder and co-chairman of Dianrong, which specializes in making small loans over the internet.

European Union

Klarna partners with London College of Fashion (LeapRate), Rated: AAA

European payments provider, Klarna, has announced a UK partnership with London College of Fashion, UAL, in an exciting initiative to support the next generation of talent at the intersection of fashion and technology.

Fashion is now the UK’s largest online retail market segment, worth around £10.1bn, and this growth is only set to continue. By 2020, fashion will represent 28.8% of UK online spend.

With Klarna research showing 94% of retailers are investing in new technology to meet the needs of younger customers, opportunity for innovation in the sector has never been greater.

German digital business bank Penta raises €2.2m in seed funding (AltFi), Rated: A

Penta, a German digital bank for start-ups and small businesses, has secured €2.2m in seed funding, led by the UK-based and fintech-focused Inception Venture Capital .

Founded in May last year, Penta moved out of its private beta in December to a waitlist of over 3,000 local businesses. The platform has now opened its waitlist up to new users, and hopes to reach 10,000 businesses by the end of 2018.

P2P investors risk losses by lending to just one borrower (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER analysis firm 4th Way is urging investors to diversify after stress testing revealed the odds of losing money in a severe recession can be 10 times higher in some cases when lending to just one borrower on a P2P platform.

The research, released on Tuesday, applied international banking stress tests to P2P platforms it assesses such as Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter, and found when lending to 100 borrowers, investors have just a 0.1 per cent chance of losing 20 per cent or more of their original money.

Acquisition of 85% of Telenor Banka fails to win Serbia’s c-bank approval (SeeNews), Rated: A

Serbian online lender Telenor Banka said on Tuesday that Bulgaria-based investment fund River Styxx Capital has not received the consent of Serbia’s central bank for the acquisition of 85% of its share capital from Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor.

Telenor will support any further step that will contribute to the positive closure of the transaction, Ingeborg Ofsthus, CEO of Telenor Serbia and chair of the Telenor Banka board of directors said in a statement issued by Telenor Banka.

International

Revolut ditches Wirecard for in-house card issuing (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

Revolut will no longer be relying on Wirecard for card issuing as it has now brought this function in-house.

Asia Most Wanted Top Ten AML Cases (Fintech News), Rated: AAA

Over the last decade, the quantity of money laundered has been steadily increasing. According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it is estimated that approximately USD $1.6 trillion or 2.7 percent of global GDP was laundered in 2009.

Even worse, less than 1 percent of this global illicit financial flow is ever seized and frozen, meaning that the criminals are winning.

Effective anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and processes are essential to countering such criminal activity. Yet due to tighter anti-money laundering regulations in the US and Europe, money laundering activity is moving into the Asia Pacific as a way to avoid detection.

Source: Fintech News

In December 2012, Standard Chartered was ordered to pay USD $330m to settle claims by United States government agencies that it had moved hundreds of billions of dollars on behalf of Iran. It was suggested that this practice exposed the international financial system to exploitation by to “terrorists” and “drug kingpins”.

Open banking role models: Fidor, Rabobank and BBVA (American Banker), Rated: A


Google accelerator focuses on emerging markets (IT Web), Rated: A

In its fifth year, Google Launchpad Accelerator is taking place in San Francisco this week. It focuses on start-ups that already have a product, with a good market fit, and are ready to scale.

OneFi has created Paylater, an online provider of digital financial services for the underbanked in West Africa.

Nubank is a financial technology company offering a fully digital and branchless experience, and Viva Real is an online real estate marketplace that connects buyers, sellers and renters with properties in Brazil. There is one other Brazilian start-up, Loggi, which creates new-wave logistics.

Kubo.financiero, a P2P lending platform, from Mexico.

Ayannah from the Philippines enables affordable and accessible digital financial services to be delivered to the world’s emerging middle-class.

Australia

Banks are exploiting loyal customers, warns Productivity Commission (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

The Australian financial system is uncompetitive, allowing banks and insurers to boost profits by exploiting loyal customers and adding up to $87 a month to the average mortgage repayment.

That is the conclusion of the Productivity Commission’s highly critical draft report into the sector, which finds it is “unquestionably strong” but calls for greater transparency to compare financial products and for regulators to gain powers to promote competition.

Australia gives regulator sweeping powers over bank bosses’ pay (Reuters), Rated: A

Australia has given its financial regulator sweeping powers to cap bank bosses’ pays, delay their bonuses and even ban them from the industry if found guilty of non-compliance, as it scrambles to restore trust in the scandal-hit sector.

MENA

ADGM is region’s 1st Fintech regulator, says Al Sayegh (WAM.ae), Rated: AAA

In the future, Fintech will be the most important aspect of financial services in the world, according to Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday January 24 2018, Daily News Digest

InsurTech

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi hires Noto to be CEO. StreetShares secures $23M in equity to reach military, veteran market. Zopa fills positions for bank launch. Dianrong raises $70M. Yirendai signs onto Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform. Tera Funding sets Korean fundraising record. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners publishes 2017 InsurTech Almanac (a must-read). Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

InsurTech

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

Lending Times News

News Summary

United States

SoFi Names Anthony Noto Chief Executive Officer (SoFi), Rated: AAA

SoFi today announced that its Board of Directors has named Anthony Noto as chief executive officer and a director, effective March 1.

Twittter executive leaves to run SoFi (SF Gate), Rated: A

In Noto, SoFi has chosen a fast-rising executive in the tech industry. Noto, 49, was one of the most respected bankers at Goldman Sachs before becoming the chief financial officer of the National Football League and then Twitter.

Twitter dips after a key executive leaves for online lending startup SoFi (Business Insider), Rated: A

  • Shares of Twitter slid on Tuesday morning after the online lending startup SoFi announced that Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief operating officer, will be joining the company as its new CEO, effective March 1. 
  • Twitter has suffered from several departures of key executives in the past two years as the company struggles to bring value to shareholders.
Source: Business Insider

SoFi’s Incoming CEO Brings IPO Experience to a Troubled FinTech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Noto, who worked on technology, media and telecom deals at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before joining Twitter in 2014, brings to the job a background in tech and finance. Beyond Twitter’s nascent revival, his turnaround abilities are largely untested. But given his history of taking companies public — including Twitter — a SoFi IPO is very much a possibility, according to people familiar with the situation. Furthermore, they say, it’ll be nice to have an adult in the room after all the recent turmoil.

SoFi Wealth, launched last year and harbored ambitions to quickly manage $100 million in assets, Bloomberg News reported in October. It grew slowly until last quarter, when it tripled its assets from September to $42.3 million as of Jan. 18, spokesman Jim Prosser said. The average account holds about $4,300. Other digital wealth startups have north of $10 billion under management.

FT Partners Research Publishes 2017 InsurTech Almanac (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

Highlights of the 2017 Almanac:

  • 2017 was a very active year for the InsurTech sector globally, with the most financings ever (over 200) and more than $2 billion in financing volume
  • While the total announced financing dollar volume for 2017 was lower than in the prior two years, when excluding rounds over $50 million, the volume reached a record high of approximately $1.3 billion
  • Of the four largest financings this year, two were in the Online Health Insurance space (Bright Health and Clover Health), one was in the Telematics space (Nauto) and one was in Online P&C Insurance (Lemonade)
  • 2017 also featured another wave of mid-range to larger financing rounds for InsurTech companies founded in the last several years, including Next Insurance’s $35 mm Series A, The Zebra’s $40 mm Series B, Health IQ’s $35 mm Series C, PolicyGenius’ $30 mm Series C and Trov’s $45 mm Series D
  • Europe had significant increases in financing activity, the largest out of any region this year — financing volume and deal count both grew by more than 2x; the region also recorded its largest InsurTech financing ever: BIMA’s $107 million raise led by Allianz X, which was the fifth largest financing globally in 2017
  • Among the cohort of InsurTech companies founded since 2010, this year marked two milestones:
    • First IPO: China-based ZhongAn (SEHK:6060) raised approximately $1.5 billion
    • Largest acquisition: Guidewire acquired Cyence for $275 million
Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

California Insurtech Hippo Secures $ 25 Million Through Series B Financing Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Hippo, the California-based insurtech company that is transforming home insurance for savvy homeowners, announced on Monday it secured $25 million in Series B funding round, which was led by Comcast Ventures and Fifth Wall. The investment comes less than two weeks after Hippo announced it formed a strategic partnership with Spinnaker Insurance Company.

OnDeck Announces Date of Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Conference Call (OnDeck), Rated: B

OnDeck (NYSE:ONDK), the leader in online lending for small business, will report its fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results on Tuesday, February 13, at approximately 7:00 a.m. EST. The company will host a conference call to discuss the results at 8:00 a.m. EST that same day.

The conference call will be webcast live on the company’s Investor Relations website or listeners can access the call toll free by dialing (833) 227-5836 for calls within the U.S., or by dialing (647) 689-4063 for international calls. The Conference ID passcode is 5468078.

StreetShares Secures $ 23 Million Equity Funding to Scale for the Military and Veteran Market (StreetShares Email), Rated: AAA

StreetShares, Inc., the leading small business funding and government contract financing company serving the military and veteran market, announced today it has completed its Series B funding round, raising $23 million in fresh equity capital. The Series B round was led by a $20 million investment from Rotunda Capital Partners, LLC, and included an additional $3 million from existing investors, including veteran-focused venture firm, Stony Lonesome Group.

AutoGravity Milestone: Exceeds $ 2 Billion in Finance Amount Request in 2017 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

AutoGravity, a California-based Fintech on a mission to transform car shopping and financing, announced last week it surpassed $2 billion in finance amount requested in 2017.

Central Pacific Bank adds Elevate Credit executive to board of directors (Pacific Business News), Rated: A

Honolulu-based Central Pacific Financial Corp. has appointed Christopher Lutes as director of the boards of CPF and Central Pacific Bank.

Lutes has been the chief financial officer of Elevate Credit Inc. and its predecessor company, which specializes in tech-enabled online credit solutions, since 2007.

LoanDepot to offer agent, contractor referrals to mortgage shoppers (The Orange County Register), Rated: A

Borrowers signing up for a mortgage through LoanDepot soon can get real estate agent referrals from the online lender as well.

And later this year, people getting home-improvement loans will be able to get the names of contractors, architects, roofers and other professionals.

loanDepot Expands mello Brand (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LD Holdings Group, LLC, parent company of loanDepot, the nation’s second largest non-bank consumer lender, today announced continued expansion beyond its profitable mortgage and personal loan businesses.  In Q1, a newly formed venture, mello Home, will connect pre-approved homebuyers with verified real estate agents in their local market, and help consumers find and hire home improvement and other pros.

Fintech startup wants to help advisers find and sell muni bonds (InvestmentNews), Rated: A

It’s like Zillow, but for bonds.

That’s the idea behind Bond Navigator, a cloud-based digital marketplace for advisers to find and evaluate municipal bonds, that launched Tuesday from startup 280 CapMarkets.

Amazon, PayPal to head to Vegas ABS bash (GlobalCapital), Rated: A

Amazon has already tapped the securitization markets as part of a plan to shift the risk of its business lending programme off its balance sheet.

Amazon has stated in previous quarterly reports that it intends to transfer more of the risk of its seller financing programme to third parties.

Similarly, PayPal has expressed interest in funding its credit portfolio through third parties, including bank lending, securitization, private equity and sovereign wealth funds, although the company told GlobalCapital in August that this would unlikely be a near term project.

Acorns wants to bring investing and education together (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Many financial services companies, both startups and incumbents, talk about the importance of customers’ financial education but how they integrate it into their own offerings often manifests as no more than a dedicated content marketing section or blog. Acorns itself has an online magazine called Grow that features news, financial how-tos and interviews with celebrities like Kevin Durant, Ian Kahn and Tony Robbins.

First Bank Goes Big into Peer To Peer Lending, Launches “Cent” (Business Insider), Rated: A

For personal banking customers of First Bank, the largest community bank headquartered in North Carolina, transferring money to family and friends is now as simple as hitting “Cent.”

On January 22, First Bank launched Cent, its new quick-money transfer tool, allowing personal banking users of the bank’s mobile banking application to send money to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the U.S., regardless of if the recipient banks with First Bank or not. And there are no fees.

Marketplace Lending In 2018: A DIY Mindset (mondaq), Rated: A

There is no doubt marketplace lending, by offering speed and flexibility not historically seen in traditional banking, has done its part to foster the “do it yourself” (DIY) era.

The industry’s rapid growth reflects in part the entry of more than 100 new players in the market in less than a decade.

6 Business Loan Scams and How to Spot Them (AllBusiness), Rated: A

1. The peer lending scam

Peer-to-peer lending has become one of the most important sources of online financing. Unfortunately, there are some shadowy operators out there, using Facebook Messenger and other less traditional avenues to hook in victims.

The scam works like this: You’ll be contacted out of the blue and offered peer-to-peer financing, then asked to pay an arrangement fee or fork out for background checks. You’ll never see the promised cash and you could lose quite a bit of money, as well as data that can be used for identity theft.

4. The credit repair scam

Most young businesses have an inadequate credit score. It’s a simple fact of life. However, there are plenty of predators out there who’ll be keen to convince you that they have the expertise and tools to transform your score—in return for a hefty fee, of course.

5. The loan broker scam

Loan brokers exist to identify the right products for your business, make introductions to lenders, and prepare the paperwork to ensure a smooth process. There are plenty of legitimate and professional brokers, who get paid a commission from lenders for arranging loans; unfortunately, there are also quite a few sharks, who charge upfront fees for the same service.

2018 Predictions and Pitfalls In Finance and Investing (AlleyWatch), Rated: A

Online and Alternative Investing Will Remain Strong: The amount of investors using online investing and alternative options will continue to remain strong, especially for both Baby Boomer and Millennial investors. Online investing exposes investors to a larger number of companies driving innovation, and, many online investors are starting to realize an ROI from their online investing activities. In spring 2017, the number of people who lived in a household that used an online investing/stock trading service within the last 12 months amounted to 15.79 million.

LendingTree Announces Top Customer-Rated Lenders by Loan Product for Q4 2017 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its quarterly list of the top customer-rated lenders on its network based on actual customer reviews for the fourth quarter of 2017. The list features the top lenders in multiple loan product categories, including Mortgages, Personal Loans, Business Loans and Auto Loans, all of which are included in LendingTree’s online loan marketplace.

Mortgage Category

#1 Winner:  LenderFi, Inc.

Personal Loans Category

#1 Winner: Upgrade

Business Loans Category

#1 Winner: Seek Capital

Auto Loans Category

#1 Winner: RefiJet

Don’t Let Payday Lenders Off the Hook (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Payday lending can be a useful service. A two-week loan of $500 at 400 percent annualized interest can make sense if, say, you need to fix your truck to get to work. Unfortunately, the industry has long made much of its money by trapping customers in a series of consecutive loans that can end up costing many times the amount borrowed. A patchwork of state laws has done little to combat such practices.

CFPB Drops Investigation Into Payday Lender That Contributed To Mick Mulvaney’s Campaigns (International Business Times), Rated: A

Payday lender World Acceptance Corporation announced in a press releaseMonday that it received a letter from the CFPB stating that the financial watchdog had closed its nearly four-year investigation into the company’s marketing and lending practices. The company, which is headquartered in South Carolina, has given at least $4,500 in campaign donations to Mulvaney, who represented South Carolina in the House for six years before becoming President Donald Trump’s budget director last year.

Bye, bye, boomers — banks are looking toward millennials (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Sorry, boomers, but the world of banking and insurance isn’t so interested in you anymore. You’re getting too old to buy insurance and too conservative with your investments. And your time horizons are too short to be very profitable to the investment world. The financial services industry is aiming at millennials now.

–Six in 10 millennials are hesitant to discuss their situation with friends because they are embarrassed that they make less money or are ashamed of poor financial decision in their past.

–Only 12 percent of millennials feel very prepared for their financial future.

–Only one-third of millennials feel like they make enough to pay for bills and also save for the future.

Todd Ruppert Joins Money360 Board of Advisors (Business Insider), Rated: B

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate loans, today announced that effective immediately, Todd Ruppert, former CEO and president of T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services, has joined the company’s Board of Advisors.

Ten Ways Young Can People Build A Strong Credit Record (Forbes), Rated: B

According to a report by WalletHub, young people struggle with low credit scores partially because they don’t have the time behind them to establish wealth and experience.

  1. Set Up Automatic Payments
  2. Get A Low-Limit Credit Card – Charging small items to a credit card and then paying it off in full every month builds credit in no time. You can find offers for these at creditcards.com and similar sites, with many offering cards with a $300 limit or so.
  3. Piggyback Off Of Others First – By becoming an authorized user on someone’s credit card, you can start building credit from their payments.
  4. Build A Credit History – It is not uncommon to get a 0% or 2% auto loan these days, and this way of building credit history is brilliant.
  5. Minimize Unsecured Debt
United Kingdom

Zopa expands executive team ahead of bank launch (Finextra), Rated: AAA

P2P lender Zopa has begun building the executive team for the launch of its new challenger bank later this year, appointing a CFO, chief risk officer and chief customer officer.

Chief financial officer Steve Hulme joins from Tandem Money where he was CFO for the last two years. Before Tandem, Hulme served as CFO for PayPal’s global credit business and as CFO for Capital One’s UK and Canadian business.

He will be joined by former TSB man Phillip Dransfield as chief risk officer. Dransfield has a 20-year track record in risk management taking in two of the counttry’s largest high street banks.

The left-field appointment of chief marketing officer goes to Clare Gambardella from health and fitness brand Virgin Active.

How UK fintech startups are preparing for open banking (ComputerWorldUK), Rated: AAA

Major banks are scrambling fast to not only comply with the regulation by opening up their APIs, but are also looking to leverage the new open landscape to separate themselves from their competitors and avoid being bitten by these fintech startups.

Take HSBC UK, which has proved itself to be an early mover when it comes to PSD2 by announcing a new beta app which will allow customers to see all of their accounts on one screen, even if they are with a rival bank.

However, UK challenger banks like Monzo and Starling, as well as some other fintech startups listed below, have been working towards the idea of open banking for some time now.

Monzo

According to a blog post by Simon Vans-Colina, an engineer at Monzo, the new API, which they are calling the AIS API, “will be made available to particular companies, that have been granted authorisation as AISPs.

Iwoca

As CEO Christoph Rieche explained to our sister site Techworld, real-time access to customers’ transactional data, which the banks have traditionally held onto for current accounts, is very valuable to his company.

Chip

“In a utopia consumers can start to grant affordability criteria to a lender, provide transaction data to a savings mechanism like Chip, or income data to a mortgage lender,” he said. “You can choose exactly which data you want which third parties to access, so it puts control into the customer’s hands.”

TrueLayer

Founder Francesco Simoneschi likes to compare TrueLayer to Twilio or Stripe, two companies that provide simple, secure and regulated access to core infrastructure (be it telco networks or payments infrastructure, respectively) through a core API.

So TrueLayer sits between the new breed of fintech companies looking to deliver value from newly opened customer financial data, and underlying banking infrastructure, charging a small fee for access to the API.

Emma

Cofounder Edoardo Moreni wrote in a blog post at the time: “Emma is currently building the banking app for millennials (iOS and Android), a mobile-only solution that helps consumers avoid overdrafts, find and cancel subscriptions, track debt and save money.

Debt tracker Emma integrates with Monzo (AltFi), Rated: A

After receiving its FCA approval last week as a Registered Account Information Services Provider (RAISP), subscriptions and debt tracking app Emma has now announced its first official integration with digital bank Monzo.

SME bosses aware of P2P lending but cautious about using it (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Research among 200 SMEs by recruitment specialist Tindall Perry found while 74 per cent of finance directors describe their knowledge of alternative finance as average or above, only a quarter suggested that they were comfortable with accessing crowdfunding, with P2P lending also scoring less than 50 per cent.

In contrast, 85 per cent of companies said that they understood how best to access asset-based lending, while invoice finance, trade finance and venture capital all saw a positive response rate of between 55 and 75 per cent.

Top bankers warn of financial stability threats amid the calm (City A.M.), Rated: B

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the global elite in the Swiss ski resort, she said: “We have far fewer tools to deal with any event that happens.” Richards predicted an upset could occur “somewhere where none of us are looking”, and highlighted peer-to-peer lending as an example.

Current financial conditions have echoes of the pre-crisis era, according to Jes Staley, chief executive of Barclays, speaking at the same event. While he said he believes banks are much less of a threat to stability than a decade ago, he warned that current benign conditions may not last.

China

Dianrong Increases Series D Round Funding by US$ 70 Million (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Dianrong today announced additional Series D round funding of US$70 million that was led by ORIX Asia Capital Limited, a wholly-owned investment vehicle of ORIX Corporation, and included CLSA, the overseas platform of CITIC Securities, China’s largest investment bank, which in turn is a part of CITIC Group, one of China’s largest conglomerates.

Japan’s Orix invests $ 60 mln in Chinese P2P lender Dianrong (Reuters), Rated: A

Orix Corp has invested $60 million in peer-to-peer lending platform Dianrong, in what is the Japanese financial firm’s first investment in a Chinese fintech venture as it looks to tap into the fast-expanding sector, sources said.

Yirendai Connects to NIFA’s Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE: YRD) (“Yirendai” or the “Company”), a fintech company in China, announced today that it has connected to the Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform (“the Platform”) established by the National Internet Finance Association of China (“NIFA”). The Platform was established to serve as an industry wide credit data sharing database in aims of reducing credit risk, improving the credit environment and promoting the healthy development of the internet finance industry. Currently, all leading online lending platforms are required to upload their operating credit data to the Platform’s database and members can only make manual inquiries on the Platform through its webpage. Yirendai has been selected by NIFA to participate in a pilot project to enable automatic queries and the Company expects to launch an automated query function in its system shortly.

European Union

Banks and Fintechs Are Duelling In a ‘War For Talent’ (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Payments company GoCardless Ltd., which employs 170 people in London, will open a Paris office in February, said chief product and technology officer Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas. Online lender LendInvest Ltd. said it will make a “concerted effort” to hire additional engineers in London this year, while Salesforce.com Inc.-backed software company Anaplan Inc. says hiring engineering talent is its current priority.

Faes said about 30 to 40 percent of its hires come from major financial institutions, adding that 100 percent of the team’s small risk and compliance team came from banks. For MarketInvoice Ltd., another British online lender, about three-quarters of its 85 employees — roughly a third of which are software engineers and data scientists — came from a large corporate in the financial services or accountancy space, said CEO and co-founder Anil Stocker.

Europe’s fintech industry, which includes challenger banks and online-only lenders, has rapidly expanded over the past 10 years. Traditional financial institutions have faced intense competition as a result, with former Barclays Plc CEO Antony Jenkins saying in July last year that banks could face obsolescence in five to 15 years.

How Adyen Became a $ 2.3bn Payments Company (Forbes), Rated: A

According to a report published in September last year by Innovate Finance and Magister Advisers, VCs poured around $8bn into fintech startups and early stage companies across the continent between 2010 and 2017 and over the course of that period, deal sizes rose significantly. In London – generally considered to be Europe’s Fintech Hub – figures published in January  by London and Partners found that the UK’s fintech sector attracted £1.24bn in 2017 alone.

Established in 2006,  the Amsterdam-based company is currently valued at around $2.3bn and has has built a portfolio of more than 4,000  clients, including Netflix, Facebook, Uber and Spotify, plus retailers such as River Island and Superdry.

International

Cross Border Funds Transfer (CBFT) using Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain (LinkedIn), Rated: AAA

Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned blockchain platform contributed by IBM and provides plug-and-play modular blockchain components. You can see the commit history visualization of fabric project. Fabric runs chaincode which is comparable to Ethereum’s smart contracts. The consensus protocol is pluggable.

Transaction Flow Let’s see how nodes work together to execute a transaction. For now, let’s assume that the chaincode is already installed on the Peers.

  • Step 1: Transaction requests are proposed by a client. The client must be connected to the required number of peers according to the endorsement policy. A proposed Transaction is forwarded to Peers for Endorsement.
  • Step 2: Each endorsing peer simulates and validates the transaction. Peers reply with their Endorsement and certificate if they agree that the transaction is permitted.
  • Step 3: The client receives results from different Peers and can thus verify agreement among the Peers. Upon verification, the client forwards the transaction to the OS.
  • Step 4: Determining a well-ordered sequence of transactions is the task of the Ordering Service (OS). The OS generates transaction blocks containing validated transactions in the order they are deemed to have occurred, writes them to the ledger and then broadcasts them to all peers that a new set of blocks are now available on the ledger.
Source: Raj M Shimpi

The disappointing arrival of Open Banking … and the optimistic future (The Finanser), Rated: A

All well and good but, in a move that I am fairly sure was carefully orchestrated by the banking community, nearly all of the mainstream media greeted the launch of Open Banking with fear and scaremongering.

Nevertheless, the FinTech community are far more advocates of the new regime:

Note that to find the positive spin on Open Banking, I’ve had to seek out more business or niche news channels than the doomsayers of the mainstream consumer media.

Nasdaq-listed Longfin to open up Ziddu smart contracts to P2P lending (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

GLOBAL fintech group Longfin Corp is planning to make its Ziddu cryptocurrency smart contracts available for peer-to-peer lending.

Ziddu.com provides smart contracts which are available on cryptocurrency Ethereum’s blockchain and can be used as alternative finance solutions within trade finance and FX markets, without the need for a middleman or underwriter.

Building the World’s Most Inclusive Banking Service (Medium), Rated: A

Currently, there are over 2 billion people worldwide who find it difficult to access traditional banking services, often because they are new to the country or do not qualify for credit. I, too, was one of those people. When I arrived in the UK, I didn’t have a proof of address and credit history required to open a bank account, and just like many others in a similar position, I was left in a ridiculous catch-22 situation. I needed a bank account to get a job and a place to live but, in order to get a bank account, I was required to have a place to live and a job.

Monese is laying the foundation of how banks will work in the future by bringing the accessibility and convenience to levels that weren’t possible just a few short years ago. You can now bank locally in 20 different countries, in a matter of a few minutes — all you need is a mobile phone and your passport. You can literally open an account in your home country or an international IBAN in another country whilst standing in a supermarket queue.

Over 270,000 people have signed up to Monese and every day 1,000 more are joining us.

Source: Monese

$ 10 million ICO Success Karma Announces P2P Lending Access, aExchange Listing of KRM Token (The Merkle), Rated: A

Fresh from the success of a well-received ICO that raised $10 million, blockchain start up Karma has now announced open access to its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform via the use of its native KRM token, which also began trading on CoinLink exchange on January 11th, 2018.

India

NeoGrowth Credit secures funding of Rs300cr from LeapFrog Investments and others (Medianama), Rated: A

NeoGrowth Credit, a lending startup focused at SMEs has secured Rs 300 crore of equity funding from LeapFrog Investments, and existing investors like Aspada Investment Company and Quona Capital through Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, reports The Economic Times. The report adds that as part of the investment, LeapFrog’s partner Michael Fernandes will join NeoGrowth’s board.

Asia

Tera Funding raised KRW 10 billion from Korean leading investors in Series A funding round (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Tera Funding, a real estate P2P lending company in Korea, announced that it has secured KRW10bn (approx. US$9.3M) through its series A funding round from Woori Bank, Atinum Investment, SBI Investment and Premier Partners on 8 January 2018.

It is the largest single series A investment for Korean P2P lending start-ups, and this comes as a pleasant surprise for the industry as such decision to invest in Tera Funding was made after a thorough due diligence amid general public’s increasing worries about the industry with rising defaults and arrears mainly incurred by late-comers who take riskier approach.

Blockchain will force banks to change their feudal mindset (e27), Rated: A

Having said that, the advent of cutting-edge technologies is pushing banks to change the way they operate. While they have been able to survive many revolutions in the past, they cannot remain aloof to blockchain, one of 21st century’s biggest revolutions.

Lending Times News

Check out our new daily news digest and website Blockchain Times. Be sure to subscribe to our daily newsletter for the best in Blockchain news.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Manage Different Shareholder Constituencies in the Private Company Sale

selling your alternative lending company

Looking to sell your private company in the alternative lending space? Check out this webcast: PANEL: Louis Vlahos, Tax Partner, Farrell Fritz, P.C. David Johanson, Partner, Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP Neil Morganbesser, President, DelMorgan & Co. MODERATOR: Alex Kasdan, Senior Managing Director, DelMorgan & Co. MAJOR TOPICS: Bargaining power at inception Shareholder, management […]

selling your alternative lending company

Looking to sell your private company in the alternative lending space? Check out this webcast:

PANEL:

  • Louis Vlahos, Tax Partner, Farrell Fritz, P.C.
  • David Johanson, Partner, Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP
  • Neil Morganbesser, President, DelMorgan & Co.

MODERATOR:

  • Alex Kasdan, Senior Managing Director, DelMorgan & Co.

MAJOR TOPICS:

  • Bargaining power at inception
  • Shareholder, management and other agreements
  • Importance of process – legal and investment banking
  • Reconciling goals of controlling shareholders with minority
  • ESOP as a sale strategy
  • Non-ESOP shareholder and management considerations
  • California short-form squeeze-out merger
  • Preparing for potential shareholder litigation
  • Shareholders v. management tension

When:

Jan 25, 2018; 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Click here to register for this webcast.

Thursday January 18 2018, Daily News Digest

mobile banking user growth

News Comments Today’s main news: Marcus passes the $2B loan origination mark. Varo Money secures $45M in Round B. Funding Circle’s fund announces Citibank deal. Qudian enters budget auto financing. PeerStreet intros 30-day notes. Today’s main analysis: Investing in Mintos’ secondary market. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Mobile banking is more important than ever. Credit score changes would force banks to help […]

mobile banking user growth

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United Kingdom

China

International

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

Goldman Sachs’ Online Lending Platform Marcus Has Originated Over $ 2 Billion in Loans, Deposits Rise to Over $ 5 Billion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Meeting a prediction from this past June set by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, online lending platform Marcus topped $2 billion in loan originations. Additionally, Marcus reported online deposits of over $5 billion. Deposits and consumer lending have now been combined under a single brand, thus, in reality, creating a challenger bank for the future.

Overall, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reported net revenues of $32.07 billion and net earnings of $4.29 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Diluted earnings per common share were $9.01 compared with $16.29 for the year ended December 31, 2016. Goldman reported a Q4 loss of $5.51 per share. The results were impacted by a tax related expense of $4.4 billion. Without this expense, Goldman said earnings per share would have been $5.68.

Varo Money Closes $ 45M Series B Financing Round (Varo Money Email), Rated: AAA

Mobile banking is more important than ever (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

As we’ve seen for the past few quarters, mobile banking is continuing to rise, but the rate of growth is decelerating as offerings mature.

  • JPMorgan Chase 

    How a 23-year-old Max Levchin got Peter Thiel to invest in PayPal in under 24 hours (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Levchin told Shontell, “I saw [Thiel’s] name on the pinboard, wandered into a class that was taught by him, which turned out to be more like seminar with six people in the room. So it was a very small group of people. One: I couldn’t sleep because it would be obvious, but two, he was actually pretty interesting. So I stayed awake and chatted him up afterwards.”

    That turned out to be a good move. Here’s Levchin:

    “In the inimitable Peter Thiel fashion, we basically spend about 20 minutes talking after his lecture, and he said, ‘Well, what are you doing in Silicon Valley?’ I said, ‘I just got here two weeks ago. Probably gonna start a company.’ He said, ‘Oh, great. We should meet for breakfast.’

    “We met the next day. He said, ‘All right, so what companies are you thinking of starting?’ I had two ideas that I was concurrently thinking about. I described No. 1., No. 2. He said, ‘No. 1 is better; you should do that.’ ‘OK.’ ‘I’d like to invest.’ It was less than 24 hours later. Peter was a committed investor in my new project.”

    Credit score changes would saddle banks with risk to help nonbanks (American Banker), Rated: AAA

    Recently, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has been evaluating whether to allow originators that sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use something other than the currently mandated FICO model. Specifically, the FHFA is evaluating whether originators can also use the VantageScore model offered by a company owned by the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

    VantageScore contends that its model will provide credit scores on more than 30 million additional consumers and make 7.6 million of these scores eligible for a loan sold to Fannie or Freddie because of the model’s supposed ability to more accurately assess blemished and dormant credit histories and accommodate thin credit files that most often effect younger consumers. VantageScore also argues that, since the model consolidates data from all three credit bureaus, it eliminates scoring differences caused by data discrepancies. The result, the company maintains, will be expanded home ownership, a more vibrant housing market, more consistent underwriting and faster economic growth.

    The major proponents of the alternative credit scoring model are large nonbank originators and credit reporting firms — companies that make their living from the quantity of loans they originate, not the quality. Their business models shield them from ongoing credit risk and require ever-increasing volumes to achieve scale economies. In short, nonbank originators generally don’t eat their own cooking — either in the form of loans or in the form of securities backed by the loans they originate. Therefore, they have everything to gain from this FHFA change, and very little to lose.

    PeerStreet Announces New Investment Product “30-Day Notes” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    On Wednesday, PeerStreet announced the launch of its new investment product, 30-Day Note, to provide increased liquidity for accredited investors at 30-day terms. According to the online lender, the 30-Day Notes product was launched quietly in October as a pilot program, is now offered monthly.

    Axial Members Surpass $ 25 Billion in Closed Middle Market Deals (Axial Email), Rated: A

    Axial, the deal network for the middle market, today announced its members have closed more than $25 billion in deals on 2,000-plus M&A and growth capital transactions since Axial’s launch in 2010. To facilitate these closed transactions, Axial arranged more than 2.1 million private member-to-member deal connections. Nearly one-third (650) of the total transactions closed in 2017.

    In 2017, the revenues of businesses that privately transacted using the Axial deal network ranged from $2.9 million to $610 million, with EBITDA ranging from negative $19 million to $223 million. Top sectors of deal flow activity include Business Services, SaaS, Healthcare IT, Distribution & Logistics, and Manufacturing. Notably, 24% of all growth capital transactions attempted in 2017 were in the Technology sector, more than doubling year-over-year from 10% in 2016.

    Worthy Peer Capital Receives SEC Qualification for 5% Money Market Alternative (Worthy Financial Email), Rated: A

    Worthy Financial, Inc., a modern personal finance company that delivers alternative investment products and digital savings solutions to a wide-range of retail investors, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Worthy Peer Capital, Inc. has been qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under Regulation A+, to bring a new liquid peer-debt product to the entire investing ecosystem.

    The new Worthy Bond offers all investors – including non-accredited investors – a 5% fixed return. Although the bonds have a 36 month term, they can be cashed in at any time for those with imminent liquidity needs, thereby serving more as an alternative to traditional money market products. Bonds may be purchased at .

    Democrats Add Momentum to G.O.P. Push to Loosen Banking Rules (The New York Times), Rated: A

    But unlike the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which passed along party lines, the effort to loosen the post-crisis rules is somewhat bipartisan. A group of Senate Democrats has joined Republicans to support legislation that would mark the first major revision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama that has been deemed “a disaster” by President Trump.

    The bill would allow hundreds of smaller banks to avoid certain elements of federal oversight, including stress tests, which measure a bank’s ability to withstand a severe economic downturn. Under current law, banks with assets of $50 billion or more are considered “systemically important financial institutions” and therefore governed by stricter rules. The bill would raise that threshold to institutions with assets of $250 billion or more, leaving fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to the stricter oversight.

    Banks with assets of $50 billion to $100 billion would be immediately freed from those requirements. Financial institutions with $100 billion to $250 billion in assets, such as BB&T and American Express, would no longer be subject to tougher rules after 18 months, although the Federal Reserve would retain the authority to periodically conduct stress tests on those firms.

     

    The One Big Reason It’s So Hard to Refinance Your Student Loans (Money), Rated: A

    More than half of borrowers who applied for refinancing in 2017 were turned down, according on a report released Wednesday by LendEDU, a student loan marketplace that tracked 32,000 applications to eight refinance companies.

    Using data from users of the LendEDU marketplace, the report found that 58% of 2017 refinance applicants were ultimately rejected. And those who passed muster had very high FICO credit scores—the average approved applicant had a score of 764. Nationally, the average credit scoreis 700 out of 850; anything above 720 qualifies as excellent.

    Refinancing companies are currently advertising fixed interest rates that start at about 3.5%. Yet the average on refinanced loans in 2017 was 5.56%, LendEDU found.

    Source: Money

    Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and it’s scary how accurate he was (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Gates’ prediction: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”

    No. 3: Instant payments and financing online 

    Gates’ prediction: “Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.”

    The Top Ten Fintech Predictions for 2018 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    10. Resurgence of Peer to Peer Lending and the Emergence of A New Asset Class

    We’ve seen coin-backed lending such as Salt Lending. There will be many more platforms that will attempt to solve solvency and liquidity issues with lending in fiat currency backed by coins.

    9. Alternative Internet

    The cost of a simple PayPal transaction might go up dramatically because it was routed through Comcast’s fiber. You may have to pay an additional $3.99 a month for an “Online Banking” package if you want to do online banking…

    8. Banks will rule again

    Most of the online platforms (payments or lending) plus secondary markets are at the mercy of banks. Without a bank charter, you are simply limited on growth.

    6. Baby Boomer Financial, Inc.

    The youngest baby boomers are approaching retirement age. The baby boomer generation is about 75 million people (on par with Millennials) in the US and represents a vast amount of wealth in this country. They want to transact, invest, bank and most importantly transfer their wealth in a responsible way. I predict that there will be Fintech startups specifically addressing the needs of this generation of folks.

    4. Mass Adoption of Zero Latency Payment Clearance/Credit.

    Over the past few decades, we went from a cash society and in-person / in-branch interviews to “same-day” ACH (direct deposit) and next day loan funding. I predict that in 2018, we will see instant credit approval and funding.

    3.  Social Networks Venture Into Credit.

    I am making another prediction that Facebook or Snapchat will venture into extending credit.

    2. Vertical Integration.

    WeWork will get into the Working Capital lending business. And dare I say Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn, will start lending money based on your resume and activities within your professional connections?!

    BlackRock makes impact a necessity for companies (ImpactAlpha), Rated: A

    Larry Fink flips social impact from a luxury to a necessity for every company. The chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $6 trillion under management, served notice on corporate CEOs their companies “must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” Fink made his point as clearly as possible: “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

    Would a bank payday loan be any safer? (Daily Journal of Commerce), Rated: A

    Thanks to a recent regulatory change, it now may be possible for banks to offer small, short-term loans that could be a lot less dangerous for borrowers. Whether banks will actually do so remains to be seen.

    Standard Chartered creates fintech investment unit (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

    Standard Chartered has established a new business unit, SC Ventures, to invest in fintechs and other start-ups.

    Christopher Blake Joins Cross River Bank Loan Team (Long Island Press), Rated: B

    Veteran loan officer Christopher Blake joined Cross River Bank, where he’ll serve clients in Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn in the lender’s Commercial and Multi-Family Real Estate division, the company announced Tuesday.

    Freefly has teamed up with three fantastic financing partners (Freefly), Rated: B

    AFFIRM FINANCING

    Ideal for individuals looking to finance their Freefly purchases.

    SCL EQUIPMENT FINANCE

    A flexible lender designed for U.S. business, sole proprietors, and independent contractors.

    GLOBAL FINANCE

    A creative lender with options for businesses in the U.S. and many countries across the globe.

    United Kingdom

    Funding Circle’s fund unveils Citibank deal (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    FUNDING Circle’s listed fund has inked a deal with Citibank, whereby the financial institution indirectly channels £50m to small businesses through the peer-to-peer lending platform.

    The transaction was announced by the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) on Wednesday.

    Under a rather complicated structured finance deal, Citibank’s London branch will advance a senior, floating rate loan of £50m through two Irish special purpose vehicles. The facility matures in December 2026.

    Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited (London South East), Rated: A

    The Board is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a formal agreement with Citibank, N.A. London Branch (“Citibank London”) to establish a funding transaction to make loans to ?UK small businesses through the Funding Circle platform?. The transaction will serve to support the Company’s target dividend yield of 6-7% per annum.

    Under the terms of the agreement Citibank London will provide �50 million of funding into the transaction, by entering into a senior, floating rate loan. The Company will contribute a portfolio of existing UK small business loans at par, and in return shall receive ?approximately �50 million of cash to be deployed in accordance with its investment policy, and junior notes.

    Fintech firms struggling to get a foothold with established lenders (The Irish Times), Rated: A

    Banks and other financial institutions remain extremely wary of working with fintech firms, particularly in Ireland where few are willing to give start-ups the endorsement they need to help secure business elsewhere.

    Andrew Patrick White, founder and chief executive of FundApps, a regtech firm that provides compliance and regulation monitoring services to asset managers and hedge funds, said many financial institutions were afraid of fintech solutions because of a fear that they would be used to replace staff.

    “Your grandmother probably has more sophisticated apps on her iPad than many banks have inhouse,” Mr White added.

    Your morning briefing (PaymentsSource), Rated: A

    ‘All-in-one’ cards get another shotCurve has debuted a card in the U.K. that allows consumers to switch a card used to fund a payment after they have left the store. Through the card’s “back in time” feature, card preferences can be changed for up to two weeks, a system the company is selling as a financial management tool. Curve, which is being offered for free with a $60 premium option with more rewards, works like a regular card and is usable anyplace that accepts Mastercard. While all-in-one cards have struggled to gain traction over the years, more than 100,000 people signed up during the card’s testing phase and spent more than $120 million, according to a release.

    OnePlus’ fraud hit: Electronic equipment company OnePlus became the latest to get hit with card fraud, with consumers reporting unauthorized transactions and the company disabling credit card payments but still allowing PayPal transactions. The company is doing a complete audit of its systems and is looking for alternative payment options.

    When we asked, which, if any, Isas have you used over the 2017/18 tax year, nearly a third (32%) said they’d only used a Stocks and Shares Isa.

    This was followed by nearly a quarter (24%) who’ve only used a Cash Isa, and 17% who use a mixture of different Isas.

    This decline in Cash Isa savings is likely to be attributed to poor cash savings rates and the introduction of the personal savings allowance in April 2017.

    Interestingly, Innovative Finance Isas – used for peer-to-peer lending – don’t appear to have taken off, with just 3% of those who voted in our poll only using this savings vehicle.

    Source: Moneywise

    Name Change for Funding Knight as GLI Finance Updates to Sancus Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

    As part of an ongoing strategic update, GLI Finance has renamed peer to peer lending platform FundingKnight to Sancus Funding Limited with immediate effect. GLI Finance, an AIM listed company, has also transferred ownership to Sancus BMS Group Limited.

    China

    Qudian is Moving into Budget Auto Financing (CapitalWatch), Rated: AAA

    The newly listed peer-to-peer lending company in China, Qudian (NYSE: QD), has moved into auto-purchase financing, a new business initiative called “Dabai Auto,” according to the company.

    Launched in late November 2017, Dabai Auto is currently targeting Qudian’s existing high quality users, who have been approved with credit lines, but have not actively transacted in small cash installments. The company also announced that it plans to spend around RMB 100 million ($15.5 million) to promote Dabai Auto through online and offline channels. The offline channels would include Qudian user engagement and delivery centers that are located in the shopping districts of over 100 cities across China.

    HNA-owned P2P lending platform doing business normally, executive says (Global Times), Rated: A

    Payments of investment products on jbh.com, an online peer-to-peer (P2P) platform owned by HNA Group, remain normal and there have not been any capital losses since the platform was set up three years ago, an executive of the company said on Wednesday.

    Payments for all maturing investment products on jbh.com are being made as normal, sina.com.cn reported Wednesday, citing Xia Aobi, president of jbh.com.

    International

    Funding Circle and Lufax: Two High Profile IPOs for 2018 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

    Neither IPO is a surprise as both companies have indicated their intentions before. But we now have a clearer indication on the timing. First off the rank will likely be Lufax. The South China Morning Post reported that Lufax is planning to do their IPO in Hong Kong in April at a possible valuation of US$60 billion. This would be more than three times the valuation of their previous funding round in 2016.

    The Funding Circle news actually broke just before the New Year with this article from Sky News. They reported that the company was preparing to hire advisors in the first steps towards an IPO. They are supposedly going to interview investment bankers this quarter with a possible listing in London in late fall which would put us in the latter part of the third quarter.

    A successful Funding Circle IPO, one where the valuation rises after it goes public will be very good for the marketplace lending industry in both the UK and the US. We have had little good news here in the last couple of years when it comes to the public markets and I would very much like to see a success story here.

    Investing on the Mintos Secondary Market – Hint One (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

    On the Mintos p2p lending marketplace the majority of investors invest on the primary market into loans, either manually or via autoinvest. But for the 29% of investors that do invest on the secondary market picking loans presents them with a huge choice of about 125,000 offers (no typo, really 125K loan parts on offer!).

    Source: P2P-Banking

    For the shown loans there is a very high probability that they will miss the payment and therefore run an additional 60 days until they are repaid under the buyback guarantee. If that happens the remaining actual loan duration would be 62 or 63 days and the impact of the 0.1% discount on the YTM would be much smaller. The resulting YTM would be somewhere around 11 to 13%. So they would not be a good buy and there are much better offers on the secondary market.

    Source: P2P-Banking

    With two weeks remaining the effective YTM for a buyer is not 36% but rather around 12%. Again there are offers with better YTMs on the secondary market.

    Chinese tech groups undermine banks’ dominance of finance (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

    The recent refusal by US regulators to sign off on Ant Financial’s $1.2bn acquisition of Dallas-based money transfer firm MoneyGram International does not signal the end of the Alibaba-affiliated payments group’s US financial ambitions.

    On one level, the scuppered deal suggests that Chinese companies, whether state-owned or otherwise, will have an ever harder time winning approval for US acquisitions. The move also confirms that the Americans now believe that the definition of national security — their basis for scrutinising overseas deals — embraces anything related to information and data.

    But Ant Financial’s attempted US play also shows how much technology is undermining the dominance of traditional global titans, especially in the financial sphere. It is especially noteworthy that many of the upstart challengers to banks and other legacy companies increasingly either have a Chinese face or Chinese capital behind them. That, in turn, underscores how some Chinese players have leapfrogged into prominence across the world.

    Blockchain is revolutionizing the loan industry – a look at Valorem… (Global Crypto Press), Rated: A

    Smart contracts are providing the solution to the trust issues that are usually the main concerns in the micro loan industry.  Whether it be student loans, cars, or any other kind of micro lending – blockchain technology provides what’s needed to move away from the banks, and towards a peer to peer lending model.

    Volerem Foundation is building the infrastructure to facilitate exactly this.

    India

    Govt should think of new ways to boost sectors like P2P lending: LenDenClub (India Info Online), Rated: A

    Additionally, we also expect the government should think of new ways to boost sectors like P2P lending. Eg.- Enable tax exemption for the lenders on P2P lending platforms, under section 80C. This will result in raising the trust bar and credibility, leading to more and more people investing in such platforms. It will also bring in a good enough capital infusion in the P2P lending space.

    Introducing Syndicates for India (Angel.co), Rated: A

    Today, we are announcing Syndicates for India, a new way for investors in India to invest alongside experienced angels and VC funds that invest in India’s vibrant tech ecosystem.

    To date, over 1,800 startups have raised more than $700M through Syndicates on the AngelList platform, receiving more than $6B in follow-on funding.

    APAC

    Gov’t urged to increase ceiling for individual investment in P2P lenders (Yonhap News Agency), Rated: AAA

    A business lobby of peer to peer (P2P) finance firms said Thursday it has asked financial regulators to raise the annual ceiling on individual investment in P2P lenders.

    The Korea P2P Finance Association has asked the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to increase the limit to 100 million won (US$93,632) per year from the current 10 million won, an association official said.

    ZorroSign Among Top 25 FinTech Companies (PR Newswire), Rated: B

    ZorroSign, Inc., today announced the company has been recognized among the top 25 FinTech companies in Asia-Pacific (APAC) by CIO Outlook. The honor spotlights organizations that are fundamentally disrupting the way companies in the global finance sector do business. ZorroSign offers unique secure eSignature, end-to-end Digital Transaction Management, and post-execution fraud protection solution. With security being on top of mind for financial services providers, ZorroSign Document 4n6 (Forensics) Token technology offers a major advantage to its customers.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor