Tuesday September 18 2018, Daily News Digest

Student Loan Balance by Servicer and Loan Status

News Comments Today’s main news: Funding Circle U.S. sees loan defaults go up. OnDeck sales expectations. LendInvest raises $39.5M. Zopa boosts target interest rates on all products. UnionPay launches European expansion. Qatar Investment Authority could invest in Lufax. Today’s main analysis: Navient, Nelnet and the student loan market. Today’s thought-provoking articles: This former Googler, Facebook employee is running with SoFi. What’s […]

Student Loan Balance by Servicer and Loan Status

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United States

Funding Circle Fund Sees US Loan Defaults Rise (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

In August, more corporate borrowers defaulted on their loans issued by Funding Circle‘s U.S. operations than they did previously in 2018. According to Peer2Peer (P2P) Finance News reports on Friday (Sept. 14), the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) revealed there were seven corporate loan defaults in during the month, up from the year’s average so far of six per month.

Still, the company noted, the value of those defaults has inched higher, too. Reports said the FCIF’s net asset value return for August dropped to 0.1 percent from 0.4 percent a month prior, with analysts citing rising impairment charges as a result of the U.S. loan defaults.

How This Former Google And Facebook Employee Is Helping People Reach Their Financial Goals (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Libby Leffler, vice president of membership at Social Finance (SoFi), negotiated with the tooth fairy as a child. “Looking back, I think this lighthearted family story speaks volumes about the way I think about negotiating or knowing one’s worth. Throughout my entire career, I’ve never been shy to ask for a raise or promotion – or both,” she says.

As an adult, Leffler continues to “lean in” and was even business lead to Sheryl Sandberg, the woman who started the Lean In movement. Leffler worked at Google and Facebook before attending Harvard Business School and working at SoFi, a San Francisco-based lending and wealth management company founded in 2011. Now the 

Brokerages Expect On Deck Capital Inc (ONDK) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $ 94.63 Million (Baseball Daily) Rated: AAA

Equities research analysts expect On Deck Capital Inc (NYSE:ONDK) to announce sales of $94.63 million for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have made estimates for On Deck Capital’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $83.41 million and the highest estimate coming in at $98.74 million. On Deck Capital reported sales of $83.67 million during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 13.1%. The firm is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 5th.

On average, analysts expect that On Deck Capital will report full year sales of $373.98 million for the current year, with estimates ranging from $331.20 million to $385.61 million. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $417.35 million per share, with estimates ranging from $361.41 million to $435.88 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for On Deck Capital.

Navient & Nelnet and the Student Loan Market, OnDeck milestone (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

As discussed in a recent piece in American Banker, Navient and Nelnet are increasing their role in the private student loan market. Both companies are big players in the market for servicing federally funded student loans. Together, they service $405 Bn with approximately 38% of the market share as of March 31, 2018. Nelnet, which currently focuses on servicing student loans, recently applied to for an industrial bank charter.

Source: Peer IQ

In April 2014, Navient was spun out of Sallie Mae, splitting the business in two. Sallie Mae continued its consumer banking business as well as origination of private student loans. Navient continued with loan management, servicing, and asset recovery. After the split, Navient kept 99% of the legacy company’s FFELP loans and 83% of the legacy company’s private loans. In October of last year, Navient acquired Earnest, a student, and personal loan lender, for $155 Mn in cash. The acquisition allowed Navient to begin originating student loans under the Earnest brand (as they were previously not allowed to make loans under any brand due to a non-compete with Sallie Mae). Starting in 2019, Navient will be allowed to compete directly with Sallie Mae under the Navient brand.

Lehman Brothers – What It Can Teach The Cryptocurrency Business About Lending (Block Tribune) Rated: A

It was all thanks to a niche security asset that had exploded in popularity: collateralized debt obligations (CDO), which packaged individual loans, such as credit card debt and mortgages, into a secondary market product for investors. In just six years, from 2000 to 2006, the CDO market exploded with sales multiplying from $69B to $500B.

Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the US, invested heavily into these securities, and enjoyed incredible profits as a result. In 2007, Lehman reported net income of $4.2B on $19.3B revenue.

The majority of CDOs were comprised of subprime mortgages. Rated triple-B, at the bottom of investment-grade bonds, these mortgages had been distributed to borrowers with higher-than-average credit risk. Computer models had packaged these CDOs into “tranches” based on interest rate and risk, making CDOs incredibly opaque and complex. These models also assumed that the housing market would continue its upward trajectory.

Property Genius Harnesses Big Data to Help Investors Capitalize on (oaoa) Rated: A

Property Genius announces the launch of its proprietary, end-to-end research and marketing platform which harnesses big data to streamline the entire process of finding and investing in Off-market and Wholesale real estate. Built specifically with the real estate professional and investor in mind, Property Genius aims to solve a long-standing problem for the industry by organizing extensive amounts of assessor data from numerous sources into one convenient and customizable dashboard to improve investment opportunities. The company’s initial launch utilizes property data in Colorado – with more states soon to follow – helping investors find, purchase, and reap the rewards on opportunistic properties including foreclosures, absentee owners, and other distressed properties.

The founder of LendingClub, ousted two years ago, pledges not to make the same mistakes with his new company (CNBC) Rated: A

More than two years after his ouster from LendingClub, Renaud Laplanche still owns millions of dollars worth of stock in the company he created, even though he’s since started a rival online lender that’s rapidly growing.

For his second act in financial services, Laplanche is focused on avoiding past mistakes. He was forced to resign suddenly from LendingClub in May 2016 for a convoluted set of events involving the questionable sale of certain loans by the company and a lack of transparency with the board.

Laplanche started his new company, Upgrade, in August 2016, three months after leaving LendingClub. His start-up passed $100 million in monthly loan originations in April. By way of comparison, LendingClub, founded in 2006, averaged almost $1 billion in monthly originations in the second quarter.

Charles Anderson of Currency (Lend Academy) Rated: A

One of the largest verticals in all of lending is equipment finance. There is $1.1 trillion worth of equipment financed each year and yet only a tiny fraction of this number is financed in an all digital process.

Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast has made it his mission to change that. Charles Anderson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Currency, the world’s first digital equipment finance platform. They are applying technology, often for the first time, to all phases of the equipment buying process.

CoreLogic Launches AutomatIQ Borrower (Corelogic) Rated: B

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) today announced AutomatIQ Borrower, phase one of a comprehensive new underwriting solution designed to help lenders streamline their current mortgage workflows by digitizing, standardizing and automating borrower analysis and verification. By pulling all of the disparate borrower verification tools together into one integrated solution delivered from one provider, AutomatIQ Borrower will help lenders:

  • Reduce underwriting costs and time to close
  • Improve overall loan quality and user experience
  • Increase trust at each step of the borrower underwriting workflow

Hurricane Florence / Lendr (Lendr Email) Rated: B

“All of our clients have been contacted or we will continue to try and get in contact with them and support them in any way we can. We will suspend payments for the rest of September for any client that is affected by Hurricane Florence. Most clients will come back on a reduced payment schedule for a short period of time. In the past we have provided additional funding for clients in need to help get their business back on track due to these types of natural disasters.”  – Tim Roach, CEO of Lendr. 

United Kingdom

LendInvest raises $ 39.5M to grow its P2P property finance platform (TechCrunch) Rated: AAA

Today, LendInvest, a peer-to-peer platform that connects property buyers in the UK with people willing to finance those purchases (bypassing traditional mortgage lending infrastructure in the process), announced that it has raised around $39.5 million (around £30.5 million) in a Series C round of funding led by existing investor Atomico, which participation also from GP Bullhound and Tiger Management (founded by hedge fund investor Julian Robertson).

The plan will be to use this funding to continue to develop its technology and grow business into more the traditional (and bigger) mortgage business. A spokesperson for the company says there are no plans to extend beyond the UK market for now.

LendInvest Is Gearing Up To Be London’s Second Peer-To-Peer IPO (Forbes) Rated: A

Just weeks after Funding Circle launched its $2 billion IPO plans, London’s next peer-to-peer lender is gearing up to follow suit.

LendInvest, the online platform, which matches investors and institutions with borrowers looking for property finance, today announced a “pre-IPO” funding round of $39.5 million.

Since launching in 2008, LendInvest has facilitated over $1.9 billion in loans to buy, build or renovate some 5,000 homes across the U.K., turning a profit consecutively over the last four years.

With fresh capital raised from existing backer Atomico, along with new investors GP Bullhound and Tiger Management, its management seems to be signaling that they’re finally ready to float the business.

Zopa boosts target interest rates across all products (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA has boosted its lender returns in response to the recent Bank of England interest rate rise.

The peer-to-peer lender is now offering target returns of 4.5 per cent on its Core product and 5.2 per cent for its Plus account, both of which can be held in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) wrapper.

Target returns were previously four per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

Church of England considers Wonga rescue (Charity Finance Week) Rated: A

The Church of England is considering bringing together a group of interested parties to buy the £400m loan book of collapsed company Wonga.

Payday loan company Wonga entered administration at the end of August, with Grant Thornton appointed to conduct an “orderly wind down” of the business and sale of assets.

In response to this announcement, Labour MP Frank Field wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, urging him to build a consortium of “people of good will” to buy the loan book “in a way which protects poorer people”.

Orca Money to Raise 500K via Equity Crowdfunding – Interview with CEO Iain Niblock (P2P Banking) Rated: A

Orca Money is currently running an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to raise 500K GBP at a premoney valuation of 1.7M GBP. Anybody can invest in Orca Money shares with a minimum investment amount of 10 GBP applicable. I interviewed the Orca CEO Iain Niblock

You are currently raising money. Who are you raising from and what do you plan to use the capital for?

Our investment is open to the public on the Seedrs equity crowdfunding platform. Investors across the EU can register and invest in the Orca business. The proceeds will allow us to expand our userbase, integrate with more lenders and to further develop the functionality of our platform.

Prior to launching the crowdfunding campaign, we secured a portion of this investment from two institutional funds based in Northern Ireland and a number of leading angel investors. It’s great to be combining these investors with crowd investors.

CTO on our doorstep: David Genn, CTO at Goji, on bridging the gap between the technology team and stakeholders (Information Age) Rated: A

When the regulator comes knocking, companies had better be ready. So it is with the peer-to-peer lending sector which was recently the subject of a 156-page review on the part of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which has proposed a new set of rules for the still formative P2P lending sector.

The issues being addressed by the FCA are as much a technology challenge as they are a regulatory one, particularly when the companies involved are very young and the technology they are utilising is quite new and innovative.

Lenders flock to Scotland as P2P sector takes off (Peer 2 Peer Finance) Rated: A

SCOTLAND looks set to become a peer-to-peer lending hotspot despite fears about the potential impact of Brexit and another independence referendum.

This year has seen lenders such as Assetz Capitaland The House Crowd expanding their presence in the country, while professional services firms Pinsent Masons and Deloitte have formed partnerships with Fintech Scotland to drive the financial technology sector’s growth. LendingCrowd already has its headquarters in Edinburgh, as does ShareIn, which provides a white label crowdfunding technology solution.

China

Platform registers 94 mln online loans (CGTN) Rated: AAA

Online loans worth 116 billion yuan (16.97 billion US dollars) had been registered by the end of August on a unified platform operated by an industry association in China, amid a nationwide campaign to reduce financial risks.

The volume was up 18 percent from a month ago, the National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) has said.

The platform, established in June 2017 had recorded 94.31 million lending deals submitted by 66 online agents, which involved a total of 3.6 million borrowers.

Online registration starts for victims of illegal fundraising cases (Infosurhoy) Rated: A

China’s Ministry of Public Security has started registering investors of 50 illegal fundraising cases involving online peer-to-peer lending platforms to better protect their legitimate interests.

Investors of these platforms can register their information and obtain the latest development of related cases at .

Public security authorities will ensure utmost transparency in their investigation and do their best to recover the losses of investors, an official with the ministry’s economic crime department said.

Registration will open for investors of more cases, the official added.

European Union

China UnionPay kicks off European expansion with UK launch (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

China UnionPay is the biggest payment card issuer in the world and is now launching their cards in the UK, the move will challenge Visa and MasterCard and is the first step in a planned European expansion. The company has struggled to compete with Alipay and WeChat Pay in China

Klarna Bank to acquire UK’s Close Brothers Retail Finance (Compelo) Rated: A

Payment provider Klarna Bank has agreed to acquire Close Brothers Retail Finance (CBRF) from UK merchant banking group Close Brothers Group for an undisclosed sum.

Klarna said that the acquisition of CBRF will enable the payments firm to expand its retail financing services for customers in the UK market.

Banks jump on to the fintech bandwagon (Financial Times) Rated: A

The Treasury Report on fintech released a few weeks ago talks about the promise of data sharing between big bank and technology. The author in the FT questions this enthusiasm, wondering if these tech companies can be trusted with financial data. The article points out that while the EU started allowing data sharing earlier this year it comes with several provisions to protect consumers.

International

Qatar Fund Is Near Investment in China’s Top Online Lender (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

The Qatar Investment Authority is in advanced talks about an investment in Lufax, China’s biggest online lender, as the sovereign wealth fund seeks to tap into the world’s second-largest economy, people familiar with the matter said.

QIA has been negotiating the potential purchase of a minority stake in Lufax, which is an arm of China’s Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., according to the people. It could spend about $500 million to $1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

A deal could be announced as soon as the next few weeks, the people said. Shanghai-based Lufax, which became profitable for the first time last year, completed a fundraising in 2016 that valued it at $18.5 billion.

What is happening in the IPO market? (Alpha Street) Rated: AAA

The IPO market is abuzz as usual, with many companies inching closer to public listing, while a few have backtracked from their plans. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect in the coming days.

Cloud-based financial planning company Anaplan Inc. intends to raise up to $100 million through an IPO to meet the working capital and fund operations. The company has roped in former Tesla (TSLA) CAO David Morton as its CFO. It is currently working with an exchange to list the shares under the “PLAN” ticker. It was founded in 2006 as a cloud-based business planning and performance management platform based on a single hub.

Funding Circle Holdings is inching closer to a public listing as the company plans to raise gross proceeds of about 300 million pounds. Shares will be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Funding Circle is a small and medium enterprise loans platform with operations in the UK, US, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Australia

ASIC warns all fintech business lenders over contracts (AFR) Rated: AAA

The corporate regulator wants all online business lenders to remove unfair terms from their contracts just like Prospa has done, indicating start-ups that want to compete against banks will be held to similar regulatory standards as community expectations lift following the royal commission.

In a letter sent last week to Brad Kitschke, CEO of industry lobby group FinTech Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission declared “action [is] required”.

Why this small business owner used a peer-to-peer personal loan for funds (Finder) Rated: A

One of these owners is Mel Flannagan, owner of software and design company Nook Studios. Flannagan’s work is project based and primarily with government departments, so cash flow needs to be managed carefully.

“Sometimes contracts just take a little bit of time to come through,” Flannagan says. But while Nook Studios is a unique business, she says their cash-flow situation is quite common, with the cyclical nature of waiting for invoices to be paid just being “the nature of having a small business”.

To ensure she had the funds to keep her business going, Flannagan didn’t even consider a traditional business loan because she knew she wouldn’t qualify.

Asia

Going international is nice on PowerPoint but difficult to execute, says Grab president Ming Maa (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

“I suspect going international is a nice thing on PowerPoint, but the actual execution of that is very difficult,” Grab president Ming Maa said in a fireside chat at DEALSTREETASIA‘s Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 last week.

Drawing parallels with Meituan-Dianping’s tumultuous ride-sharing journey, Maa said, “We saw that Meituan spent somewhere around $500 million in two different cities in China. In that process, they spent a tremendous amount of capital on subsidies. What that tells me is – for a company to spend so much on subsidies means there are natural barriers to entry for this business.”

E-Commerce Platform KinerjaPay Launches P2P Lending Platform “KFUND” (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

KinerjaPay Corp., (OTCQB: KPAY), a digital payment and e-commerce platform, announced on the launch of its new peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, KFUND. According to Kinerjapay, PT. Kinerja Simpan Pinjam has been officially registered and will manage KFUND brand as an online lender that focuses on micro-lending activities.

Kinerjapay reported that KFUND will mainly target consumer sectors to provide micro-lending facilities in the range of $100 to $1,000 on biweekly or monthly term loans.

Africa

The Digital Transformation of Banking – Driving Constructive Economic Outcomes from the FinTech Ecosystem in Africa (Global Banking and Finance) Rated: AAA

The hugely successful events in our Finnovation Africa Series in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa saw more than 800 thought leaders, FinTech pioneers and bankers representing the foremost financial institutions from across the continent gather to address how FinTech can contribute to the positive and profitable transformation of financial services in Africa. From banking powerhouses to start-up FinTech disruptors, Finnovation World sets the stage for the positive and profitable transformation of financial services –and Ethico Live! is now excited to announce the expansion of the conversation to Finnovation Ethiopia 2018for the 2nd year at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa on the 1st of November 2018. The event will seek to harness the FinTech revolution to boost strategic economic priorities such as financial inclusion and deepening – and how FinTech can make a positive and profitable difference in Africa.

With a focus on the most significant technologies driving the financial services paradigm shift, including Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, Open Banking & APIs, Payments innovation and Mobile Money, Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2018 also features a number of innovative sessions such as The Wolves’ Den, Sheba Valley: Harnessing Ethiopia’s FinTech boom, Inside the Investor’s Mind,and live-on-stage interviews with international Finnovators and African FinTech pioneers.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday February 26 2018, Daily News Digest

bank accounts

News Comments Today’s main news: Revolut breaks even, prepares for global expansion. RateSetter finances divorces. Which Isas pay 6% or more. Half of all employers offer financial advice. CoAssets increases revenue by 471% in half a year. Today’s main analysis: Do Americans really want a bank branch? Today’s thought-provoking articles: Ron Suber, Godfather of Fintech. Unscrupulous banks fueled the rise […]

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United States

How Helping Your Employees Improve Their Credit Helps Your Bottom Line (Forbes), Rated: AAA

One possible cause of an employee’s poor attitude is that he or she has looming debts or is attempting to climb out of a credit score canyon. Workers facing these challenges are often unable to completely focus on their job responsibilities. It’s no surprise that constant stress over meeting financial obligations leads to a loss of focus and time dedicated to work obligations. And because employees work for paychecks that go toward their debts, it makes sense that they begin to associate the two.

Defeating Debt-Fatigue

About 

Giving the middle class credit: New bill a step in right direction (The Hill), Rated: A

Consumers need access to credit, and bank-fintech partnerships are one way to meet their needs. Indeed, bank-fintech partnerships are good for both consumers and banks.

As I noted, consumers benefit because banks can use fintech to deliver safer, more transparent, lower-cost and more convenient financial products and services over the internet and mobile devices.

Banks benefit because fintech companies can leverage big data and technology, offering the infrastructure banks need to serve and welcome more people into the financial system.

An excellent example of community banks using fintech to compete with the Wall Street banks is Radius Bank, a $1-billion asset institution in Boston, which according to news reports is establishing “long-term relationships” with fintech providers, and is finding them to be “mutually beneficial.”

Ron Suber, the Godfather of Fintech (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Ron’s background and how he became interested in marketplace lending.
  • Why he saw a big opportunity for Prosper back in 2012.
  • What was behind Ron’s decision to leave Prosper last year.
  • What rewirement means to Ron and why it is important.
  • How the typical work week looks today for Ron.
  • Highlights of some of the trips he has taken recently.
  • What it was like doing the road show for the Credible IPO in Australia.
  • Details of the meeting Ron recently had with the Australian Treasurer.
  • What Ron is doing at Prosper these days.
  • Knowing what he knows now, what he would have done differently at Prosper.
  • What the marketplace lending industry still needs to improve upon today.
  • What inning the industry is in today.
  • What Ron looks for when he considers a new investment.
  • Why he pulled the trigger on some of his recent investments.
  • Ron’s view on Marcus and its impact on the online lending space.
  • What area of fintech Ron is most excited about today.
  • How he is able to maintain so many connections in fintech.
  • What is next for Ron Suber.

 

Chris Larsen Of Ripple (XRP) @Google (ValueWalk), Rated: A

Fed Minutes (PeerIQ), Rated: A

The Fed released the minutes of the January FOMC meeting and provided a bullish outlook to the economy with upside risks due to tax reform. The committee indicated that they were on track to raise interest rates in the March meeting, and market participants are expecting 3 rate hikes in 2018.

Meritize Raises $ 6.8M in Seed Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Meritize, a Frisco, Texas-based student lending platform, raised $6.8M in seed funding.

Colchis Capital, Chicago Ventures and Cube Financial Holdings led the investment round with participation from ECMC, College Loan Corporation, University Ventures, City Light Capital, PC Squared and Meritize management.

LendingPoint Co-founder Weighs in on Lending Club’s Earnings Report (deBanked), Rated: B

“In my view, [Lending Club’s] underlying problem is that they don’t have alignment of interest between their stakeholders,” Tavares said. “At LendingPoint, we have a different approach. We look at it really as a balance sheet model, which means that we put everything on our books. We use our own equity. We leverage other investors’ capital, but we’re not an origination platform…Lending Club’s model primarily is that they have to continue feeding the beast, so to speak, in order to continue making their revenues. They don’t have inventory to continue generating assets or to monetize going forward. That’s a significant shortcoming in their model,” he said.

Bay Area Man’s Opportunity Fund Giving Small Businesses A Leg Up (CBS Local), Rated: A

About 8,000 small business loans are denied every day in this country, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. It’s a story Alicia Villanueva knows all too well.

So in 1992, Weaver founded Opportunity Fund, launched with a consortium of 15 banks. But although the San Jose-based non-profit works with traditional lenders, its business practices are a bit different. Weaver says Opportunity Fund delves into an applicant’s financial picture and character.  And since it lends to people with bad or non-existent credit, a granted loan comes with an automatic offer of hands-on financial management support, and a hefty dose of financial responsibility.

Today, Opportunity Fund loans about $5 to $7 million a month to small business owners in California and 13 other states. The money comes from business and private donations. An average loan can range from $2,600 to $250,000. Under Weaver’s leadership, 6,200 businesses have received loans.

Opportunity Fund, along with other partners like Lending Club, is set to expand into other parts of the U.S. later this year.

A Look at CUneXus’ Strong Growth in 2017 (Finovate), Rated: A

Lending automation company CUneXus published some impressive growth stats today. Here’s a quick overview of a few of the California-based company’s success metrics:

  • Grew from 45 FI clients to 72 over the course of one year, from 2016 to 2017, a 60% year-over-year increase
  • Reaches more than 6.5 million potential end consumers across the U.S.
  • Averaging more than $6 million in new loan requests per day
  • Generated more than 140,000 loans totaling more than $2.5 billion with its 1-click borrowing solution

These and other FI clients have reported that CUneXus has helped contribute to their own success, including:

  • Loan processing times cut in half
  • A 110% increase in pre-approved lending activity
  • A 135% spike in funded loan amounts

3 Ways Technology is Bringing in New Real Estate Investors (Realty Biz News), Rated: A

Today, in addition to teaming up with development companies, many investors are using technology solutions to research options remotely. Here are the three trending ways technology is revolutionizing how new investors step into the real estate market space.

Mobile apps like Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) and Airbnb have become popular and more people are now looking to invest in such short-term rentals.

Big data is now a critical offering for the public, and the real estate niche is looking for ways of gathering and presenting the information for driving purchase behavior.

Following the success of the customer-centric applications, it’s clear to see that the industry holds a huge potential if technology is leveraged to bring in new investors. Real estate is the largest global economy asset with figures hinting at $217 trillion – surpassing the world’s GDP of $80 trillion! This is a clear indicator that there is a huge potential for financial freedom creating entrepreneurs looking to tap into the real estate market.

New York Federal Reserve: Fintech Has Improved the Mortgage Lending Market (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The New York Federal Reserve has published a staff report pertaining to “The Role of Technology in Mortgage Lending”.

While still relatively small, this segment of onlien lending has grown annually by 30% from $34 billion of total originations in 2010 or 2% of the market, to $161 billion in 2016 or 8% of the market.

The Fed research finds that Fintech lenders reduce mortgage processing time by about 10 days, or 20% of the average processing time.

Additionally, default rates tank by a whopping 25% indicating the credit process is superior to the antiquated analog method of traditional banks.

 

 

Do the Majority of Americans Really ‘Want’ to Use a Branch? (The Financial Brand), Rated: AAA

According to research conducted by Novantas, 60% of Americans said they would rather open a new checking account in person at a bank branch than on a phone, tablet or desktop computer. Reinforcing this finding is the reality that most consumers still only use digital channels for the most basic banking functions, such as checking account balances and transferring funds. For more complicated issues, like problems with an account or advice, most consumers prefer human contact.

The reliance on branches in North America is almost double other countries, where better digital offerings have been introduced. In fact, according to Novantas, 75% of consumers in Australia report visiting the branch less than once per month, or even less! The UK is very similar while, interestingly, only about half of US consumers exhibit the same behavior.


The banking industry has seen the closure of 1,700 branches in the 12 months ending in June 2017 – the largest one-year decline on record. Capital One Financial Corp. has cut 32% of its branches from mid-2012 to mid-2017, while SunTrust Banks Inc. cut 22% and Regions Financial Corp. has cut 12%.

U.S. Bank Offers New Online Tool to Help Consumers Get Fast, Convenient Car Loan Approvals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Working with financial technology startup AutoGravity, U.S Bank created a new platform on USBank.com that provides a simplified, streamlined loan application process for users that typically takes just minutes to receive a loan decision.

Car buyers using the new U.S. Bank tool simply:

1) Pick their car and select a dealership online

2) Apply for a pre-approval for a U.S. Bank loan online

3) Close the loan at the dealership and drive off in their new car

When Weak Bank Lending Is a Good Sign (WSJ), Rated: A

Total commercial and industrial loans extended by U.S. banks were up just 1% from a year earlier on Feb. 7, according to weekly Federal Reserve data. For the month of January, C&I loans were down an annualized 10.8% compared to December, according to calculations by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods.

Asked how demand for loans has changed over the past three months from large and medium-sized firms, 84% said it was “about the same” or “somewhat stronger,” while just 16% said it was “moderately weaker.” For small firms with annual sales of less than $50 million, 88% of bankers said loan demand was about the same or better, while only 12% said it was weaker.

Financial incumbents are starting to care about financial education (Tearsheet), Rated: A

On Wednesday, Greenlight Financial Technology — the creator of a smart debit card for kids, teens, and college students — closed $16 million in a Series A funding round. Its investors went beyond your traditional venture capital firm, including a disparate coalition of  financial services bigwigs like SunTrust Bank and Ally Financial as well as the Amazon Alexa Fund, among other VCs. Greenlight, whose mission is to help strengthen financial literacy among kids and give parents a platform to raise “financially smart kids,” will use the new funds to develop its products.

That coalition of Greenlight partners signals a renewed understanding of the reality of most Americans’ financial lives — 57 percent of Americans are financially unhealthy according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation — by legacy financial services companies coming to terms with the fact that they need to be in the business of financial health in order to keep customer relationships in tact over the long term.

Don’t be THAT credit union. Offer short-term loans to your members. (CUInsight), Rated: B

CashPlease is an innovative new short-term, small-dollar loan solution that allows credit unions to implement a consumer loan product efficiently and compliantly.  Here’s how:

  • No additional loan officers or other additional staff needed
  • Underwriting technology that is automated and proven
  • Assistance with compliance best practices
  • Data-driven marketing to educate consumers about the availability of lower-cost loans

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING OBTAINS FULL RESTITUTION FOR CUSTOMERS OF ONLINE LENDER (Virginia.gov), Rated: A

Attorney General Mark Herring announced today that his office has reached a settlement with eight affiliated online lenders and debt collectors to resolve allegations that the companies offered unlawful open-ended credit plan loans and engaged in unlawful debt collection practices including contacting borrowers’ employers and implementing wage garnishments. As a result of the settlement, borrowers will receive nearly $150,000 in restitution and forgiven debt.

The settlement includes the following key terms relating to loans made by the lenders during the period from January 2015 through June 19, 2017:

  • The Lenders agree to refund all interest and fees paid by consumers in excess of 12% of the loan amount, totaling approximately $85,000;
  • The Lenders agree to forgive all outstanding remaining debt of Virginia consumers, totaling over $63,000;
  • The Lenders agree to a permanent injunction against consumer lending activity in Virginia;
  • The Debt Collectors agree to a permanent injunction against all debt collection activity in Virginia;
  • The Lenders agree to pay $10,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 in attorneys’ fees;
  • The Debt Collectors agree to pay $75,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 in attorneys’ fees.

The companies include six lenders (Field Asset Service Team, LLC; VIM Holdings, LLC; MR Capital Group, LLC; Nascent Holdings, LLC; B Financial, LLC; and DTS Capital, LLC, collectively “the Lenders”) and two debt collectors (Bradley Goldberg & Miller, LLC and U Solutions Group, LLC, “the Debt Collectors”) that acted in concert to provide and collect open-end credit plan loans made over the Internet to Virginia consumers.

The Lenders offered open-end credit plan loans and imposed “service fees” as high as $160 per month. The Debt Collectors then emailed consumers in an effort to collect on these loans and contacted the consumers’ employers to implement wage assignments and collect money directly from the consumers’ paychecks.

CFPB Drops Lawsuit Against Payday Lender (JD Supra), Rated: B

The CFPB has dropped a recent lawsuit against a payday lender accused of charging up to 950% interest.

The case is CFPB v. Golden Valley Lending, Inc., et al., Case No. 17-cv-02521 (District of Kansas).

United Kingdom

Difficult divorce? RateSetter can help (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lender has been offering a family finance product for a number of months, whereby individuals can apply for a loan to pay for their divorce litigation.

The P2P platform offers personal loans ranging from £500 to £35,000, with terms between one year and five years, according to its website. Borrower rates range from 3.9 per cent to 29.9 per cent.

Unscrupulous banks have fuelled rise of alternative lenders (RealBusiness), Rated: AAA

Now it emerges that one bank was actively working against small businesses in its greed-fuelled quest for profits and bonuses. RBS has been exposed for making up fees, imposing punishingly high interest rates, acquiring equity and property from failed businesses – and pocketing huge bonuses off the back of it.

As a result, it is alternative lenders that are now the go-to for independent businesses in need of assistance when it comes to growth. Take, for example, the business cash advance, which is sometimes referred to as a merchant cash advance. This funding can be from as little as £500 up to £300,000 and is advanced to the business against future credit and debit card turnover.

These Isas pay 6% and more – but should you invest? (Which?), Rated: AAA

Last week, Ratesetter launched an Isa paying a top rate of 5.8%, while yesterday (24 February), Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou launched an tax-free account aiming to pay 4.05% per year.

Other innovative finance Isas are currently paying returns as high as 16% a year.

Zopa is currently paying between 4% and 4.6%. Zopa primarily lends to individuals, Ratesetter lends to both individuals and businesses whereas Funding Circle lends exclusively to small businesses. The latter’s innovative finance Isa is only available to existing customers, but is projecting an annual return of 7.5%.

EasyMoney launches Innovative Finance ISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s ‘easy’ family of brands, has launched in the UK with an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) offering a target rate of 4.05 per cent a year.

Jacob Rothschild-backed firm plans £100m float (Professional Adviser), Rated: A

Augmentum Fintech, which is preparing to float next month, has unveiled plans to issue a target of 100 million ordinary shares at a price of £1 each, with a maximum issue size of 125 million shares.

FCA seeks feedback on its ideas for a global sandbox (Mondaq), Rated: A

The FCA’s new webpage contains its ideas for a global sandbox [14.02.02]. Its current sandbox only allows firms to test their ideas in the UK.

It highlights three areas:

  • addressing “pre-identified challenges” in areas known for “regulatory problems that cross jurisdictional boundaries” e.g. AML and KYC on-boarding.;
  • enabling firms wishing to expand in different markets to “bring their ideas to market more quickly and easily, creating more effective competition.” The FCA asks for firms who could benefit from testing out their ideas in a number of markets to get in touch; and
  • policy and regulatory challenges – the FCA suggests the sandbox could be used to convene “joint events and papers on emerging trends and challenges” using the experiences of the range of firms and regulators taking part to develop “consistent approaches”.

Brexit to shut the door on lengthy London house price boom (Euronews), Rated: A

British inflation will outstrip gains in house prices this year and next, particularly in the capital, as uncertainty over Brexit and weak consumer spending power hits demand, a Reuters poll found on Friday.

Next year, house prices will rise 0.9 percent in London and 2.0 nationally, still both below the 2.1 percent expected inflation rate. In 2020, London prices will increase 2.0 percent and by 2.3 percent nationally.

“Quite simply, with loan-to-income ratios for first time buyers sitting at around four times, average salaries of 33,000 pounds ($46,000), and your average flat in London costing over 500,000 pounds, it’s extremely difficult to see how London can be viewed as anything but very expensive,” LendInvest’s Lockhart said.

China

Hang Seng Bank deploys fintech to simplify mobile banking, mulls use of facial recognition at ATMs (SCMP), Rated: A

Hang Seng Bank plans to expand the use of fintech to mobile banking services and is also toying with the idea of incorporating facial recognition, after initial success with iPhone X, to allow customers to withdraw cash from its ATMs across the city, according to its chief executive.

The global facial recognition market is forecast to be worth US$6.5 billion by 2021, up from US$2.3 billion in 2016, according to estimates from research company Technavio.

European Union

Klarna Bank AB appoints Niklas Savander to Board of Directors (LeapRate), Rated: B

Klarna Bank AB has announce the appointment of Niklas Savander to the Board of Directors with effect from Thursday 22nd of February 2018. Niklas Savander will replace Niklas Adalberth.

International

Digital banking start-up Revolut breaks even as it prepares global expansion (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Revolut said Monday that it had broken even for the first time in December, and that its monthly transaction volume surged to $1.5 billion, an increase of over 700 percent in the last 12 months.

The start-up has signed up a total of 1.5 million users to its mobile app, up 50 percent from a figure it achieved in November.

Cryptocurrency A Risk Factor, Bank Of America Says In Annual SEC Filing (International Business Times), Rated: A

The 10-K filing referred to cryptocurrencies, without naming any specific one, three times under a subsection titled “Risk Factors” and described three different ways in which they could pose problems for the bank’s business.

The first reference was under geopolitical risks, with the bank talking about international money-laundering.

The third reference was along similar lines, with BoA saying: “The widespread adoption of new technologies, including internet services, cryptocurrencies and payment systems, could require substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our existing products and services as we grow and develop our internet banking and mobile banking channel strategies in addition to remote connectivity solutions,” adding it “might not be successful in developing or introducing” competing products at lower prices.

 

Australia

SPOTCAP AWARDS SCHOLARSHIP TO ASPIRING FINTECH ENTREPRENEUR (Global Banking & Finance), Rated: A

Spotcap today announced Vishal Uppal as the winner ofthe Fintech Scholarship 2017. The first of its kind in Australia, the scholarship awards one aspiring graduate with an interest in fintech $10,000 towards the cost of their tuition.

India

Guide to smart banking: Why P2P lending is an ‘interest’ing idea (Business Line), Rated: AAA

P2P lending, on the other hand, is a completely tech-driven investment, which gives a net annualised return of 18-22 per cent to lenders, who start earning their principal and interest back from the very first month. The returns are higher because you can lend directly to the borrower and the intermediary costs are drastically reduced.

A majority of investors on these platforms are salaried professionals aged between 20 and 35 years looking for additional sources of income.

On Faircent.com lenders can invest as low as 750 per loan size or choose tech-enabled processes like auto-invest to save time. These features are a major attraction for millennials and, in fact, according to the last Research and Analytics report on P2P lending published by Faircent.com, 64 per cent of lenders are below 35 years of age.

Retirement plan: How real estate investment can help millennials secure their future (Financial Express), Rated: A

A growing number of millennials are also opting for investments into commercial real estate, as opposed to investments into residential properties made by their parents.

Commercial real estate: better yields for better financial security

Leases on these properties are usually taken out for multiple years by blue-chip companies, thus ensuring that steady rental income is assured for a specific duration of time. With India’s rise as a prominent international business destination, the sector is also witnessing remarkable growth; the country’s 537 million square feet of rent-generating commercial real estate inventory is currently estimated to be worth nearly $70 billion.

How technology is enabling millennials to make high-value real estate investments

The investments can start as low as Rs 5 lakh, making the entire process extremely affordable for millennial buyers whilst also allowing them to make multiple investments to diversify their portfolio, increase rental incomes, and minimise risk. Average rental returns to the tune of 7%-8% are quite common, while the overall returns can be as high as 22%.

India is projected to become the youngest country in the world by 2020, with a median age of 29.

Movers And Shakers Of The Week [19-24 Feb 2018] (Inc42), Rated: B

BigWin Infotech, a government recognized fintech startup has appointed Suneel Mohnot a the Director on its board.

BigWin Infotech is a self-funded startup who has recently forayed into P2P lending business through its solely owned market place PaisaDukan.com post revised RBI guidelines for NBFC-P2P and one of the strong contenders for NBFC-P2P license.

APAC

CoAssets Reports Half-Year Results With 471% Increase In Revenue (AsiaOne), Rated: AAA

CoAssets Limited (“CoAssets” or the “Group”) (ASX: CA8), a leading crowdfunding platform and Fintech lender specialising in facilitating funding for businesses reported its financial and operating results for the half year ended 31 December 2017, together with an update on the Group’s growth and capital strategy to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on 22 February 2018.

Total reported revenue increased by 471% from S$446,040 in 2016 to S$2,547,554 in 2017. Group’s profits in year 2017 was S$2,046,013, from a loss of S$3,899,325 in 2016. This increase in profits was due to business activities as well as investment gains. Operating expenses decreased from S$3,570,287 in 2016 to S$2,577,013 in 2017. This represents about S$1million or 28% in cost savings. Registered investor base reached 433,805 as at 31 December 2017. This represents an 88.17% increase from 30 June 2017.

Singapore — CoAssets Pte Ltd (“CAPL”)

After receiving the Capital Market Services (CMS) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in June 2017, the company crowdfunded more than S$5.11million worth of deals from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017.

Singapore — CoAssets International Pte Ltd (“CAI”)

The company disbursed more than S$6.65million worth of loans over the last 6-months, with its loan book growing to more than S$16.21million as at 31 December 2017.

China — CoAssets China

This represents the Group’s fastest growing market, achieving remarkable growth in registered user base of more than 117% (from 173,000 to more than 375,000 members) from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017. The CoAssets platform in China funded more than RMB28.15million (S$5.94million) worth of crowdfunding projects over the last 6-months in 2017.

Hong Kong — Fintech Pte Ltd

In April 2017, the Group acquired Fintech Pte Ltd, an online corporate cash management platform called “PiggieBank ” in Hong Kong.  Since then, PiggieBank has successfully managed funds flow of more than S$21. 39million as at 9 February 2018.

Hong Kong — Brighten Finance Limited (“BFL”)

As at 31 December 2017, BFL’s loan book was worth HK$36.91million (S$6.27million).

EF, KoinWorks Serve Online Loans for Courses (netral english), Rated: A

English First, an English Education Institute signed a joint venture with KoinWorks – a Indonesian Peer to Peer Lending Platform – that serves investments and online loans without collateral for various productive loans.

Africa

Blockchain and financial services disruption (Punch), Rated: AAA

Key areas of the financial services that are most likely to be affected by blockchain include transfers, payment and lending. We have seen different start-ups such as OneFi, Inspire, Upstart, and Funding Circle, playing critical roles in peer- to -peer lending and services to individuals.

The closest we have seen so far is what VoguePay, a leading online payment start-up, has done.

It recently launched a multi-currency payment platform to enable businesses to send and receive payment from local and international customers, allowing merchants to accept payment in dollars, Euros, Rands, Cedis, Naira and Bitcoin payment.

The average Nigerian bank pays about five per cent interest rate on fixed deposits while requesting for two-digit interest rates on loans from customers. Economically, this does not make much sense because the margin is too wide when compared to what they offer for holding customers’ fund. Many people are tired of the highly monopolistic nature of banking.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor