Thursday September 26 2019, Weekly News Digest

LendingClub eligibility

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi intros crypto trading. Investors locked out of LendingClub in 4 states. Funding Circle asks US regulators to folow UK’s model. Fundbox raises $176M. Klarna surpasses 12M transactions per year. Today’s main analysis: U.S. subprime auto loan ABS recession scenarios (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Recession talk cooling. Consumers with […]

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United States

United Kingdom

European Union

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News Summary

United States

SoFi Introduces Crypto Trading With SoFi Invest (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today that it has added crypto trading to its fast-growing SoFi Invest platform, as a response to demand from its over 800,000 members. SoFi Invest is now the first platform to offer automated and active investing with stocks, ETFs, and crypto through a single app.

SoFi Adds Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum to Invest Platform (Cheddar), Rated: A

SoFi goes live with crypto trading service for its over 800K users (The Block), Rated: B

SoFi users can initially buy and sell three cryptocurrencies – bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC). The Block first reported the story last week, saying that the firm is beta testing the service in partnership with Coinbase.

SoFi CEO on what’s next for the company (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Sofi CEO Anthony Noto joins The First Trade to discuss what’s next for the company.

Watch the video here.

Charlie Lee {LTC} praises SoFi as crypto-investing with Litecoin kicks-off (Our Bitcoin News), Rated: A

Litecoin is ranked at #6 underneath Tether, as well as Bitcoin Cash, in the market. The price jumped up at a rate of 0.60% in the course of the past 24-hours. This led to LTC scaling all the way up to $57.03 where it presently rests. The trading volume recorded stands at roughly $2.957 billion, whereas the supply has 63,337,479 LTC coins included as part of circulation. The total market cap of Litecoin amounts to $3.612 billion which depicts a massive decline compared to the value attained a week back.

SoFi CEO: Start investing in your 20s (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses how his company’s consumers can now buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

SoFi Refunds Investors Hit By Capital Gains from Proprietary ETFs (ETF Trends), Rated: A

Financial technology company SoFi is offering refunds to investors hit by capital gains taxes following the change of replacing Vanguard funds with their proprietary ETFs in certain portfolios managed by their robo-adviser.

Some Investors Locked Out of Investing in LendingClub Loans (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Over the last 24 hours we’ve received several messages from Lend Academy readers alerting us that they have received information that they are no longer able to invest in LendingClub notes. There is is also an active discussion on the Lend Academy forum.

LendingClub state eligibility as of 9/24/2019. Source: Lend Academy

Funding Circle urges US regulators to follow UK model (P2p Financ News), Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle’s US division is urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to amend its restrictions on peer-to-peer retail investment.

The US financial regulator limits annual investment to five per cent of an investor’s annual income if their yearly income or net worth is under $107,000 (£86,075), rising to 10 per cent if the investor earns more than that.

Two Franchise Trends Aspiring Franchisees Should Look Out For (Forbes), Rated: A

Over the past 14 years, I’ve coached more than 1,500 people who were searching for the best franchise for their situation. I recently read the 2019 Small Business Trends 

Fintech Fundbox raises $ 176M to lend to business using AI (Information Management), Rated: AAA

Fintech Fundbox Inc. has raised $176 million in a new funding round from investors including Allianz SE and General Catalyst. The company planned to announce the funding along with a new $150 million credit facility.

A Fundbox spokesman said the new round valued the company at between $500 million and $1 billion, but would not disclose the exact valuation.

U.S. Subprime Auto Loan ABS: Evaluating Recession Scenarios (DBRS), Rated: AAA

Summary Highlights

  • Under the hypothetical Recession Scenarios, DBRS found that credit enhancement (excluding excess spread) coverage of remaining expected losses, as determined by a multiple calculation, decreased at the inception of the hypothetical recession for all of the Sample Transactions. The senior debt tranches experienced a swift deleveraging whereas some of the subordinated debt tranches could be at risk for a potential downgrade during the hypothetical Recession Scenarios.
  • After the initial decline in the multiple calculations at inception of the hypothetical Recession Scenarios, the deleveraging nature of the sequential pay structures of the transactions resulted in the calculated multiples for the analyzed debt tranches to move into the multiple range corresponding to the original rating of the debt tranche over varying lengths of time. The multiples for some of the debt tranches originally rated BB were weaker and moved into the BB range at a slower pace. As a result, those tranches would be more likely to be considered for a potential downgrade as compared to the more senior debt tranches where the structures delevered more quickly and the multiples reached the range corresponding to the original rating over a generally shorter period.
  • Over the life of the Sample Transactions, the credit enhancement multiples for all of the debt tranches analyzed, some on a delayed basis, ultimately moved into the AAA rating multiple range.
  • In each of the Recession Scenarios, the structure of each of the transactions provided sufficient credit enhancement for timely payment of interest and ultimate payment of principal of all debt tranches.
Source: DBRS

Read the full report here.

A Cooling in Recession Talk, Heat Up in Housing (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Lower rates, improved credit scores, and tighter housing inventory are improving the outlook for housing. Housing market achieved an 18-month high in housing starts and a record high in FICO scores.

The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index – a measure of actuals vs economist’s expectations – has also registered readings above the neutral baseline suggesting slowdown fears may be exaggerated.

Source: PeerIQ, CitiGroup

Consumers with Significant Liquidity Needs Often Access Alternative and Traditional Credit Markets Concurrently (GlobeNewswire), Rated: AAA

Many lenders believe that consumers who turn to the alternative credit market for liquidity do so because they have no other options. However, a TransUnion study presented today at the Lend360 conference found that these borrowers are frequently applying for and receiving traditional credit at the same time. While traditional subprime installment lenders and alternative lenders are competing over the same consumers, the study finds that the liquidity need is often not fully met in either market.

Source: TransUnion

Risk Levels Higher for Traditional and Alternative Loan Borrowers

Controlling for risk score, 8.5% of the alternative credit-active consumers had a serious delinquency in the first 12 months, vs. just over 2% for the control group. Bankcard performance was also worse. While these borrowers exhibited a preference for unsecured personal loans under $1,500 within 12 months of the alternative credit origination, they also originated auto and bankcard credit during that time.

Read the full report here.

Lendio to Double Sales Force, Expand Loan Product Offerings (Benzinga), Rated: A

Lendio today announced plans to double the sales force at its Lehi, Utah, and Woodbury, New York, offices. The company has hired 80 employees in 2019, and intends to add another 40 sales representatives by the end of the year, with plans to bring on another 40 in the first quarter of 2020. In addition to the expanding workforce, Lendio plans to bolster its selection of loan products for small businesses, with a 10% increase in the number of product offerings in the coming year.

Fintech lenders taking more market share from banks, survey finds (American Banker), Rated: A

Fintechs are continuing to siphon away customers for unsecured personal loans from traditional lenders, according to a study released Wednesday by Experian.

The study found that digital lenders more than doubled their market share in the past four years, with consumers across the credit spectrum increasingly turning to fintechs like Lending Club and Social Finance.

Fintechs now provide 49.4% of unsecured personal loans as of March compared to 22.4% in 2015, according to Experian.

Fintech Lenders Could Hold the Keys to Recession Recovery (Salon), Rated: A

Born out of the last recession, young fintech lenders have not yet been tested by a significant economic storm, and many in the industry are wrapped up in a dialogue of speculation about the industry’s ability to ride out an impending recession. It’s time to turn the conversation instead to focus on how fintech lenders can position themselves to play a critical role in recovery from the next downturn, whenever it may happen.

WeWork should ask SoFi CEO for advice on how to save the company (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

The two new guys running the slowly sinking ship known as once hot tech startup WeWork should give SoFi CEO Anthony Noto a holla on his Apple iPhone. Trust me, Noto has some good, timely advice for Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham.

Because the former Goldman Sachs banker and Twitter chief financial officer, now SoFi chief clearly gets how to rebuild a promising tech startup after a high-profile challenge or two. And then possibly, take it down the path of a successful initial public offering.

Generation Z’ers want more financial education – and innovative tools to help them learn (PR Newswire), Rated: A

As high school students return to school, they may see the benefits of new state laws across the country that require curriculums to offer a class about personal finance. This is great news for young adults as 76% of recent high school graduates agree it should be required, according to a national survey by Experian.

Many Gen Z’ers surveyed say innovative tools are the way to go when it comes to learning about credit (45%) and almost half (48%) would prefer to use tech-driven tools versus textbooks to learn more.

Survey respondents also say they are currently learning about finances mostly through their friends (28%), YouTube (27%) and some form of social media (24%).

D.C. Court Dismisses Challenge to OCC’s Fintech Charter (Manatt), Rated: A

In the latest battle over the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC’s) plan to issue special purpose national bank (SPNB) charters, a D.C. federal judge has for a second time dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS).

The decision creates the potential for circuit split, as a New York federal court reached the opposite conclusion in a nearly identical action filed by the state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS).

9 Ways To Build an Empire Without Lifting a Finger (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Another way to build your real estate empire is through real estate crowdfunding. As with investing in a REIT, real estate crowdfunding allows you to pool your money with other investors to invest in real estate. This could include multifamily units, commercial properties and bundles of single-family homes.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the top real estate crowdfunding platforms are ArborCrowd, RealCrowd, Groundfloor, CrowdStreet, PeerStreet, Small Change and RealtyMogul.

If you can afford the minimum investment — which is usually $25,000 — you can make big returns. Groundfloor boasts 10% returns for individual investors and CrowdStreet’s is even higher with 25.5% total average annual returns across all fully realized deals.

RealCrowd offers a breakdown of average annual income on a $1 million investment based on the property type: $78,000 for a suburban office, $72,000 for a retail space, $59,000 for a downtown office and $58,000 for a multifamily unit.

The Best And Worst MA Towns For Young Families (Patch), Rated: A

The online mortgage broker Lending Tree has tried to take some of the guess work out of that decision by ranking every community in Massachusetts with 5,000 or more residents based on their appeal to families with school-age children.

Hingham, under Lending Tree’s methodology, received a score of 72.5. Last-place Webster’s score was 31.9. Other towns in the top 10 included Winchester, Needham, Milton, Longmeadow, Wellesley, Cochituate, Pinehurst, Lexington and Nantucket.

JPMorgan donates $ 25M to get fintech in hands of underbanked (American Banker), Rated: A

JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday a $25 million commitment to the Financial Health Network’s Financial Solutions Lab, a program meant to focus on the creation of fintech tools to help consumers better manage their finances.

The Financial Health Network (formerly The Center for Financial Services Innovation) previously received a $30 million philanthropic donation from the bank that spanned the last five years.

Bitcoin and Ethereum dive deep, is Bakkt to blame? (Mashable), Rated: A

“The disappointing BAKKT opening signals to the crypto community that institutions are less ready to invest in BTC at scale than was supposed, which means the price was probably too high and due for a correction. What we’ve just seen is short sellers and momentum traders piling on to make things worse, and now here we are back at support,” Alex Mashinsky, CEO at crypto lending and depository company Celsius Network, told Mashable in an emailed statement.

STRATA Trust Company Reaches $ 2 Billion AUC Milestone (PR Newswire), Rated: A

STRATA Trust Company (“STRATA”), a custodian dedicated to the complexity of holding alternative investments in tax-advantaged, self-directed retirement accounts, announced today that the firm has surpassed $2 billion in assets under custody. STRATA offers access to a range of asset classes that include private equity, private debt, real estate, crowdfunding, structured settlements and more. Since 2008, STRATA has been committed to empowering investors and the investment community with wider diversification and alternative asset custody solutions in retirement portfolios by delivering industry-leading service, education and support.

Online Pawn Lending Goes Back Offline (Business Wire), Rated: A

Prominent online lender Borro Private Finance unexpectedly ceased its collateral-based lending program this summer after nearly ten years of business. The UK-US-based establishment specialized in online pawn loans against valuable assets, including fine art, jewelry, and watches. Borro’s discontinuation of its operations comes nearly two years after the company’s withdrawal from the bridge loan market in July 2017.

Eleventh Circuit Tosses Online Lender’s Forum Selection, Class Waiver Clauses (Lexology), Rated: A

Siding with six consumers who filed suit asserting violations of state usury laws against online lenders, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh…

Marqeta Hires Vidya Peters As First Chief Marketing Officer, as Company Continues to Build Out Expansive Global Vision (Business Wire), Rated: B

Marqeta, the first global modern card issuing platform, today announced the addition of Chief Marketing Officer Vidya Peters to its executive team.

White Oak Commercial Finance Acquires Veritas Financial Partners’ Asset-Based Loan Portfolio (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

White Oak Commercial Finance (“White Oak”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, announced today it has purchased a portfolio of asset-based loans from Veritas Financial Partners, a Boca Raton, FL based specialty finance company.

Alchemy Technology And Equifax Partner To Drive FinTech Innovation (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Alchemy Technology Inc. and  Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced a new partnership to drive FinTech innovation. The relationship is designed to help banks, specialty financing firms and FinTech startups accelerate their time to market with easily deployable white labeled lending solutions. The two companies will make the “tech” in FinTech available to organizations of all sizes with a powerful combination of the Alchemy Lending Operating System and Equifax data analytics, credit, identity and income verification solutions.

Ex-Goldman Sachs Managing Director Joins Lendingblock as Strategic Advisor (Lendingblock), Rated: B

Lendingblock, the regulated, open exchange for institutional borrowing and lending of digital assets, today announces the appointment of John Macpherson as a strategic advisor.

CoreLogic Credco Integrates its Three-Bureau PreQual Solution with eLEND Solutions (CoreLogic), Rated: B

CoreLogic, a global provider of property information, insight, analytics and data-enabled solutions, today announced that CoreLogic Credco integrated its Three-Bureau PreQual credit report and score solution on eLEND Solutions, an automotive technology company specializing in online and in-store credit and finance solutions. The integration of the prequalification solution gives CoreLogic Credco customers who use eLEND instant, single-source access to a consumer’s credit report and FICO score from all three national credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion or Equifax.

Tavant Named to 2019 IDC FinTech Rankings (Business Wire), Rated: B

Tavant, a Silicon Valley-based provider of AI-powered digital lending technologies, announced today it has been named to the 2019 IDC FinTech Rankings, the most comprehensive vendor ranking within the financial services industry.

United Kingdom

Klarna Surpasses 12M Transactions This Year (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

FinTech payments disruptor Klarna has announced the start of its “No drama, just Klarna” retail campaign in partnership with 13 brands in the U.K., the company said in a press release on Wednesday (Sept. 25).

Klarna offers “pay later” payment options and attracts 50,000 new users each week. The startup said that in the past year, it has processed 12 million transactions. In August, more than 100,000 U.K. shoppers downloaded the Klarna app.

Klarna reports surge in payments, merchant growth during first half of 2019 (Mobile Payments Today), Rated: A

Klarna, a London based installment financing provider and challenger bank, said it surpassed 3 million active users in the U.K. and 170,000 retail merchants worldwide.

Brits hit financial maturity at 31 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE age at which UK men and women finally feel secure in their finances is 31, according to Zopa.

The survey showed a clear split between age groups, with 21 to 25 year-olds believing 32 would be the age when they finally felt good about their finances, while those age 26 to 30 were less optimistic about the future, saying they would reach money maturity at 38.

OakNorth Bank completes £20m loan to specialist lending fund (London Loves Property), Rated: A

OakNorth Bank, the UK bank powered by OakNorth, has provided a £20m loan to the RAW Mortgage Fund, a specialist fund providing buy-to-let property loans against residential real estate in the UK.

Wonga borrowers have less than a week to submit payday loan reclaims (The Sun), Rated: A

Anyone who believes they have been mis-sold a Wonga loan is allowed to apply for compensation, but its administrators set a deadline of 11.59pm on September 30.

If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to apply anymore and you won’t get any compensation for mis-selling.

Nexo Now Accepts Tokenized Gold for Instant Credit Lines and Will Offer Interest-Bearing Accounts on Gold (Covington Journal), Rated: A

Nexo is adding the NYDFS-regulated PAX Gold as a collateral option for its signature , bringing gold-backed lending to the blockchain.

With PAX Gold, now offers gold investors instant access to their gold wealth in over 45 fiat currencies via same/next day transfers and across 200+ jurisdictions.

European Union

Kreditech Eyes Expansion After Securing EUR 20 Million in Equity Financing (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Kreditech is ready to scale globally in the near-prime customer segment – declares David Chan, Kreditech CEO. The Germany-based online direct lender and Point-of-Sale (POS) financing provider estimates its global target market at ca. EUR 300 bn in consumer credit issuance. It aims to reach EUR 1 bn in revenue by 2025, which will be driven by growth in existing markets where Kreditech is present, as well as expansion into new geographies. Kreditech currently operates in IndiaPolandRussia and Spain, and serves over one million customers. The company has raised EUR 20 million in its latest equity financing round.

You’ve heard of challenger banks, now meet the challenger lenders (sifted), Rated: AAA

For better or worse, it was Wonga that first put “challenger lenders” on the map. The UK payday lender’s meteoric rise saw it become a household name before its collapse last year after a string of irresponsible, inflated loans.

This month alone, large funding rounds were announced by Sweden’s Capcito and Lendify, as well as by UK’s Sonovate, an invoice lender for SMEs with over 750 active clients. Banks are also watching closely, with Goldman Sach’s equity arm being a notable funder in Lendable, recently ranked the UK’s sixth fastest-growing private tech company.

In the UK, the challenger-lender industry grew to £6.1 billion in 2017, according to a study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). The CCAF also estimated that 29% of all new loans issued to SMEs came from challenger lenders in 2017. PwC predicts that figure will rise to nearly 40% in the next decade.

Source: Financial Times
International

Marketplace Lenders Navigate The Choppy Waters Of Compliance (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Regulators the world over are beginning to take a closer look at the alternative and marketplace lending business model.

In June, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority announced plans to impose stricter restrictions on marketplace and peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders beginning this December following the watchdog’s decision to place P2P lending platform Lendy into administration — a result, the FCA said, of the industry’s lenient requirements to disclose governance arrangements and controls.

Also, in China, analysts at Yingcan Group pointed to the government’s P2P and marketplace lending crackdown as being likely to shrink the industry by as much as 70 percent this year.

This Fintech Safari Could Be a Wild Ride (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA

From ATMs to credit cards and PayPal, the West’s dominance of innovation in consumer finance appears to have exhausted itself.

At the top of the emergent new order is the fintech duo from China — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Next in line are Alphabet Inc. and Walmart Inc., whose highly localized smartphone payment rivalry is playing out between Google Pay and PhonePe in India. In Southeast Asia, two homegrown ride-hailing giants are aspiring to dominate commerce.

The rise of African mobile money is associated with M-Pesa, Kenya’s digital-wallet revolution. Now traditional lenders like Standard Chartered Plc, with a presence on the continent going back more than a century, are discovering that online banking can help them mobilize low-cost current and savings accounts more profitably than acquiring customers via physical branches.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney says the P2P lender has been ‘slowly moving to lending our own money’ since 2015 (interest), Rated: AAA

The founder of Harmoney, New Zealand’s biggest licensed peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, says he can’t see a viable P2P lending model in New Zealand which is why Harmoney has started lending its own money.

Neil Roberts and David Stevens of Harmoney (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Harmoney, the first peer to peer lender to be licensed in New Zealand, has originated more than NZ$1 billion in loans since launching five years ago.


Read the PDF transcript here.

India

Kreditech targets India after EUR20m funding boost (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Kreditech, a German-based online lender and POS financing provider focused on “near prime” borrowers, is looking to the Indian market after raising EUR20 million in funding.

The round was co-led by Runa Capital and unnamed German private investors, with participation from existing shareholders HPE Growth and Amadeus Capital Partners.
Southeast Asia

Accumulated P2P lending exceeds W6tr (The Investor), Rated: AAA

Accumulated peer-to-peer loans in South Korea have surpassed 6 trillion won ($5 billion), data showed on Sept. 26.

Outstanding P2P loans extended by 220 companies stood at 6.2 trillion won in June, compared with 4.7 trillion won at the end of last year, according to the data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service.

Indonesia’s Investree in talks to raise series C funding for regional expansion (Tech in Asia), Rated: A

Indonesia’s fintech peer-to-peer lending startup PT Investree Radhika Jaya is in talks with several investors to raise a series C funding as the firm looks to boost its expansion in Southeast Asia.

The Securities Commission Malaysia Approves EdgeProp as First Property Crowdfunding Platform in Malaysia (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has registered EdgeProp Sdn Bhd as the first “Recognised Market Operator” to establish and operate a property crowdfunding platform in Malaysia. EdgeProp was granted an approval in principle in September 2019.

FINTECH COMPANIES FACE TALENT SHORTAGE (StaffingIndustry.com), Rated: A

The majority, or 94%, of fintech companies in Singapore, say the country requires fintech talent, according to survey data from Michael Page Singapore.

The number of Singapore consumers adopting fintech products and services has drastically risen in the last two years, tripling from 23% in 2017 to 67% in 2019, according to Michael Page.

Bitcoin Daily (PYMNTS), Rated: B

And Singapore-based exchange Bitrue has announced the launch of a low-interest crypto lending platform, which goes live on September 30.

MENA

Qatar Boosts FinTech Focus (PYMNTS), Rated: A

As reported by Crowdfund Insider, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has expanded the number FinTech-related activities that will be awarded licenses. The additional support will come from the QFC platform.

The seven firms include DecisionLogic, which focuses on advanced bank verification that lets lenders qualify borrowers.

Africa

Proven ways you can make money in real estate (Daily Monitor), Rated: A

You can utilise a variety of methods that includes any of the following:
•Seller financing through lease options
•Trading fixed assets such as cars, jewellery and more
•Taking over someone else’s mortgage payments who might be in a distressed situation
•Bringing in an investment partner with cash
•Borrowing from a bank or getting a hard money loan
•Taking out a home equity line of credit
•Utilising a peer-to-peer lending network

Caribbean

Victoria Mutual acquires shares in Barbados-based FinTech Carilend (Jamaica Observer), Rated: AAA

Victoria Mutual Investment Limited (VMIL) has acquired a 30 per cent stake in Carilend, a Barbados-based financial technologies (FinTech) company, that is said to have revolutionised borrowing and lending in the Caribbean.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday September 26 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest

neobanks

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingPoint closes $178M personal loans securitization. OnDeck hits $879M in online financing in Texas alone. RateSetter adds three products. Funding Circle lenders face longer cash out waits. Yirendai files Form 6-K. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for August 2019. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Silicon Valley is building a social […]

The post Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

neobanks

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United States

United Kingdom

China

International

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United States

LendingPoint : Closes $ 178 Million Personal Loans Securitization (MarketScreener), Rated: AAA

LendingPoint, the company revolutionizing and democratizing commerce, announced today that it closed its inaugural securitization of consumer loans. LendingPoint Receivables Trust 2019-1 (“LDPT 2019-1”) issued $177.85 million of notes backed by a pool of $187.22 million of direct-to-consumer loans originated on the LendingPoint platform.

The LendingPoint Receivables Trust securitization was rated by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. and includes $117.76 million of Class A notes rated “A-“, $24.74 million of Class B notes rated “BBB-“, $23.68 million of Class C notes rated “BB-” and $10.67 million of Class D notes rated “B-.” The notes priced at a blended yield of 4.05% per annum and provided for a 95% advance rate. The transaction has a 5% overcollateralization Deposit and a 5% overcollateralization Target. The risk adjusted yield of the receivables securing the notes is expected to be 13.14% per annum.

TyMac Electric Powers Business Success with Online Financing from OnDeck (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced that TyMac Electric of Plano, Texas is its Small Business of the Month for August, 2019.  The 30-person company serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area with high-quality, professionally managed electrical services.

Over the last two years, OnDeck has provided additional financing to TyMac Electric as the business grew to meet demand in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial marketplace.

Overall, OnDeck has provided more than $879 million in financing online to small business owners in the State of Texas.

2019’s Best & Worst Places to Retire (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

Best Retirement Cities

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
City Total Score ‘Affordability’ Rank ‘Activities’ Rank ‘Quality of Life’ Rank ‘Health Care’ Rank
1 Orlando, FL 60.87 9 11 68 48
2 Tampa, FL 59.06 10 19 45 95
3 Scottsdale, AZ 58.35 98 22 3 58
4 Charleston, SC 58.30 42 21 56 51
5 Miami, FL 57.21 51 5 105 74
6 Denver, CO 57.08 113 17 43 17
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL 56.58 65 18 82 56
8 Cape Coral, FL 56.50 19 51 15 109
9 Minneapolis, MN 56.46 145 3 58 5
10 Cheyenne, WY 56.06 2 142 50 33

Source: WalletHub

Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system (Fast Company), Rated: AAA

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Fundrise Opportunity Zone Fund Has Raised Over $ 22 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Real estate investment platform Fundrise has raised over $22 million for their Opportunity Fund. The information was revealed in a recent Form D 5o6c filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Kabbage acquires Radius Intelligence, the marketing tech firm with a database of 20M small businesses (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Data is the new oil, as the saying goes, and today Kabbage — a fintech startup backed by SoftBank that has built a business around lending up to $250,000 to small and medium enterprises, using AI-based algorithms to help determine the terms of the loan — is picking up an asset to expand its own data trove as it looks to expand into further SMB financial services. The company has acquired Radius Intelligence, the marketing technology firm that has built a database of information on some 20 million small and medium businesses in the U.S.

Here is a list of the top nonbank and alternative lenders in 2019 (Business Insider), Rated: A

Nonbanks and alternative lenders have garnered attention in the banking industry due to their ability to partner with legacy banks and utilize technology to make financial transactions more efficient and convenient for users.

Source: Business Insider

Chime now has 5 million customers and introduces overdraft alternative (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Challenger bank Chime has reached 5 million customers in the U.S. The San Francisco-based startup is creating an FDIC-insured mobile bank without any physical branch. The company also promises fewer fees.

Back in March, Chime  said it had 3 million customers when it announced its $200 million Series D round. So that’s 2 million additional customers in roughly 5 months.

Zac Prince of BlockFi (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Even Financial raises $ 25 million to connect banks with channel partners (VentureBeat), Rated: A

Even Financial, a four-year-old New York-based provider of APIs for financial services search, acquisition, and monetization, today announced that it’s raised $25 million in a strategic round of investment co-led by Citi Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, with additional participation from LendingClub. Existing backers American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, and Goldman Sachs also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total raised to $50 million.

Credit Sesame, a platform for managing loans and credit scores, picks up $ 43M en route to IPO (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Credit Sesame — which lets consumers check their credit scores and evaluate options to rebalance existing debts and loans to improve that score and thus their overall “financial health,” in the words of CEO and founder Adrian Nazari — has raised $43 million. With the company already profitable and growing revenues 90% each year for the last five, Nazari said that this round is likely to be the last round the company raises before it goes public.

Household debt in the U.S. continues to rise and as of this year now stands at nearly $14 trillion.

Fintech startup CrowdBureau closes $ 1.1 million Series A equity funding with $ 9.7M valuation (Tech Startups), Rated: A

CrowdBureau Corporation, a fintech startup and index provider, has closed $1.1 million Series A equity funding to expand its series of benchmarks and launch a pilot program for its patent-pending regulatory technology product. The round, which values the company at $9.7 million, was led by Clydagh Limited, Estuary Holdings Ltd. and Alpama Limited along with existing investors.

Some Companies Offer a New Benefit: Payroll Advances and Loans (WSJ), Rated: A

A growing number of companies are helping workers gain access to payroll advances and loans, reflecting concern over the impact money problems are having on productivity levels and worker retention.

Employers including Walmart Inc. and Pima County, Ariz., have recently added these services. The aim is to help cash-strapped employees, many with damaged credit, cover unexpected expenses without resorting to high-cost debt.

Lendingblock Launches Institutional Crypto Lending Platform (Lendingblock), Rated: A

Lendingblock, the regulated, open exchange for institutional borrowing and lending of digital assets, today announces the launch of its institutional lending platform on September 3, 2019. The lending product, which is a reinvented version of securities lending from traditional capital markets, is the first exchange fully dedicated to pure crypto lending and aims to support the needs of the broader cryptocurrency market by providing a secure and liquid venue for lending and borrowing needs of institutional market participants.

Upon launch, Lendingblock platform users will be able to borrow and lend BTC, ETH, PAX and USDT on a fully collateralized basis, for loan terms of 1, 7, 14 and 30 days, with a minimum trade size of $100,000 equivalent of a specified digital asset.

How American Express uses machine learning to detect fraud (American Banker), Rated: A


A financial planner says there’s a ‘huge opportunity’ to build wealth during a recession (Business Insider), Rated: A

As long as you have a cash safety net to fall back on should you lose your job or face an unexpected expense, there’s little reason to panic, says Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal-finance company.

Are P2P Loans A Viable Investment for Your Portfolio? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Peer to peer (P2P) loans allow you to act as a bank, providing loans directly to other individuals or businesses in exchange for a return on your investment via interest payments. Investing in P2P loans, which are typically smaller than a traditional bank loan, has proven to be reliable no matter the economic climate.

Judge Rejects States’ Fintech Charter Challenge, Again (Bloomberg Law), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was able to beat back a challenge by state regulators to its proposed charter for financial technology firms for a second time, but the charter remains in limbo due to other litigation.

White Oak Global Advisors Announces Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC (“White Oak”) is pleased to announce the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (“CSCDA”) has named White Oak as a commercial PACE Program Administrator for the CSCDA’s Open PACE Program.  As a Program Administrator, White Oak will provide up to 100% financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and seismic retrofit projects on commercial real estate.

White Oak is seeking to fund projects ranging in size from $500,000 to $150 million.

United Kingdom

RateSetter revamps investment products (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER is rejigging its investment products, to boost liquidity and give the peer-to-peer lender more control over market rates.

The three new products, which will be available on 3 October, will be called Access, Plus and Max. Access will offer three per cent interest and no fees to access money; Plus will offer four per cent interest and cost 30 days’ interest to access money; and Max will offer a five per cent interest rate, with a fee of 90 days’ interest to access money.

Funding Circle Amateur Lenders Facing Longer Waits To Cash Out (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Amateur lenders on peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle Holdings PLC are facing waits of 100 days to cash out of their loans, it has emerged.

Investors who provide funding for small businesses through the platform can list old loans for resale to other investors if they wish to withdraw all their money.

But the PA news agency understands that the amount of time taken to re-sell the loan parts has risen from just a few days in January to up to three months in recent transactions.

Funding Circle reveals inclusion in FTSE4Good Index Series (Funding Circle), Rated: A

Funding Circle today reveals its inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index Series, which recognises companies that demonstrate the highest standards of corporate governance and sustainability.

Woodford trust is on the FTSE 250 casualty list (The Times), Rated: B

The investment trust, which focuses on early-stage companies, was one of six companies to be relegated from the second tier of quoted stocks.

Among them is Funding Circle, the online peer-to-peer lender aimed at small and medium-sized companies, which floated at 440p a year ago. Last night its shares closed at 110¼p.

P2PGI blames writedowns and Funding Circle bad debts for poor July (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

P2P GLOBAL Investments has blamed writedowns in the value of two equity stakes and bad debts from Funding Circle for a “disappointing” performance in July.

The alternative finance-focused investment trust delivered a 0.33 per cent NAV return for the month of July, down from 0.48 per cent the previous month. This brought the trust’s year to date return to 2.88 per cent, and 23.93 per cent since inception.

Investors ‘nearly’ double IFISA holdings (AltFi), Rated: A

Small investors have parked £588m across 40,400 accounts by the end of the second quarter of this year, according to trade body the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA).

The compares with around £300m invested in this product 12 months ago across major platforms such as Funding Circle, Ratesetter, Zopa, said the trade body.

Lending Works targets profitability and £10m turnover in 2019 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer consumer lender reported a loss of just over £2.1m for the year ended 31 December 2018, up from £1.41m the previous year, which chief executive Nick Harding (pictured) attributed to a larger wage bill.

There is no requirement for businesses to report revenues in small company accounts, but Harding revealed that the firm saw revenues rise to £6.2m last year and is targeting £10m this year.

Peer to Peer Lender Folk2Folk Tops £300 Million in Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, a peer-to-peer lender for local, rural and SME businesses, has now surpassed £300 million in lending, according to a company release. Folk2Folk notes that it is the 3rd largest P2P Lender to UK businesses in terms of money lent.

P2PFA boss Paul Smee: ‘Lendy was an outlier that should not have been authorised’ (AltFi), Rated: A

The collapse of Portsmouth-based property peer-to-peer firm Lendy, with outstanding loans of more than £160m, and some £90m in default, prompted the new rules from the FCA. The watchdog is also carrying out an in-depth report into the firm’s failure, which affected with some 21,500 investors. Critics argue that Lendy under competitive pressure wrote poor quality loans to swell its balance sheet, which then turned bad.

However, the Lendy crash, taken together with the poor float of the sector’s biggest firm Funding Circle last October, which languishes 75 per cent below its 440p float price at around 112p this week, has tarnished the sector.

UK Fintech Curve fastest startup ever to reach £4m Crowdfunding on Crowdcube (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Last month, Curve announced plans to launch a seven figure crowdfunding campaign for early September, with plans to raise £1million. However, just 42 Minutes after launching to pre-registered customers, Curve had raised four times that figure, breaking records in the process. The current overfunding amount stands at £5million.

China

Form 6-K Yirendai Ltd. For: Sep 30 (Street Insider), Rated: AAA

  • Cumulative number of investors served reached 2,185,513, representing an increase of 1% from 2,159,490 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 1,974,984 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Number of active investors in the second quarter of 2019 was 671,957, representing a decrease of 13% from 768,514 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 928,251 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Total assets under management (“AUM”) for Yiren Wealth was RMB 43,604.2 million (US$ 6,351.7 million) as of June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of 7% from RMB 46,663.1 million as of March 31, 2019. Average AUM per investor reached RMB 149,480 (US$ 21,774) as of June 30, 2019, representing an increase of 7% from RMB 139,473 as of March 31, 2019.
  • AUM of non-P2P products amounted to RMB 354.3 million (US$ 51.6 million) in the second quarter of 2019, representing a decrease of 23% from RMB 457.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to RMB 951.0 million in the second quarter of 2018. Non-P2P products include money market funds, mutual funds and insurance.

Consumer Credit—Yiren Credit

  • Total loan originations in the second quarter of 2019 reached RMB 9.7 billion (US$1.4 billion), representing a decrease of 12% from RMB 10.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to RMB 18.2 billion in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Cumulative number of borrowers served reached 4,491,466, representing an increase of 2% from 4,404,812 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 4,027,254 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Number of borrowers in the second quarter of 2019 was 135,246, representing a decrease of 10% from 149,715 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 267,628 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • The percentage of loan volume generated by repeat borrowers was 35.9% in the second quarter of 2019.
  • 52.5% of loan originations were generated online in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Remaining principal of performing loans reached RMB 58,071.3 million (US$8,459.0 million) as of June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of 8% from RMB 63,213.8 million as of March 31, 2019.

Yirendai Ltd. (YRD) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

As of September 2019, the line of credit we have obtained from our institutional partners has increased from RMB19 billion in Q1 2019 to close to RMB30 billion. We are now working with approximately 10 partners, including leading joint stock and city commercial banks. We expect loan origination funded by institutional partners to reach approximately 30% by the end of this year.

China Rapid Finance Retains China Merchants Bank New York and Pangaea Finance as Co-Financial Advisors for Recapitalization and Restructuring (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (XRF) (the “Company”) today announced that its Board of Directors has retained China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd., New York Branch (CMBNY), and Pangaea Finance as separate Co-Financial Advisors, and Pangaea Finance as Structuring Agent, to advise it for strategic alternatives, including but not limited to potential strategic partnerships, recapitalization of certain operating companies, and for a related reconfiguration of the Cayman company as a listed investment vehicle for China credit.

Central bank to include troubled P2P lending industry in credit system (Technode), Rated: A

China’s central bank will include the country’s troubled online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in its credit reference system as the clampdown on illegal financial services continues, Chinese state-run media reported on Wednesday.

China’s credit system to cover P2P lending in tightening regulation (Xinhua), Rated: A

P2P lending platforms in operation will provide certain information such as online lending interest rates to credit reference agencies such as operators of financial credit information basic databases and Baihang Credit, China’s only licensed and market-oriented personal credit agency, according to an official guideline.

China Central Bank’s Credit System to include P2P Lending Platforms amidst tightening regulations (China Knowledge), Rated: A

Credit information of P2P lending platforms will be collected, regardless of their operational status. New penalties will also be imposed on defaulting borrowers of P2P online lending. Some of the penalties include higher loan interest rates and restriction limits to loan and insurance services.

Chinese entrepreneur among 41 arrested over illegal P2P platform (CGTN), Rated: A

Property mogul and founder of a leading Shanghai contemporary art museum Dai Zhikang has turned himself into police following the collapse of a peer-to-peer lending platform, as China continues to crackdown on illegal online lending.

Shanghai police confirmed Monday that Dai, the founder and head of Zendai Group, was among 41 people being investigated over illegal fundraising through an online P2P platform called Laocaibao.

European Union

Revolut is looking to hire 400 customer support staff following compliance complaints (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Revolut is looking to hire up to 400 staff at a new base in Portugal, a move that will increase its employee headcount by almost a third.

Source: Business Insider

German online bank N26 expands to Switzerland (Verdict), Rated: A

German online bank N26 has launched its services in Switzerland, as it continues to build up its footprint across the globe.

Binance Crypto Lending Program expansion – a bad idea for traders (FX Street), Rated: A

Binance is one of the latest entries in launching its crypto lending platform on August 28. In the first phase, it began with a short period fixed return on Binance (BNB), USDT (Tether) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). It provides an annual return of 15%, 10%, and 7% respectively, beginning with a 14-Day fixed period. Binance starts with about $30 million in crypto-lending. Moreover, the annual interest offered is higher than the return from banks.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes August 2019 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Milestones in culumulative volume lent crossed this month:

  • Bondora: 250M EUR
  • Fellow Finance: 500M EUR
  • Mintos: 3000M EUR
  • Thincats: 500M GBP

The total volume for the reported marketplaces in the table adds up to 634 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets.

Source: P2P-Banking

Fall Conference Season for Fintech Kicks Into Gear This Month (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

ABS East

When: Sept 22-24, 2019
Where: Miami, FL
Link:  /> Discount code: LEND10

Lend360

When: Sept 25-27, 2019
Where: Dallas, TX
Link: 

LendIt Fintech Europe

When: Sept 26-27, 2019
Where: London, UK
Link: 
/> Discount code: LENDACADEMYVIP

Moneyconf

When: Nov 4-7, 2019
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
Link: 

Money2020 China

When: Dec 4-6, 2019
Where: Hangzhou, China
Link: 

I WISH I’D BOUGHT IT WITH KLARNA (The Drum), Rated: B

The Swedish ‘pay later’ service, Klarna has launched its first international campaign – ‘I wish I’d bought it with Klarna’ – with the internet sensation Celesta Barber as its leading lady.

Australia

Ethereum lossless lottery PoolTogether is still innately flawed despite updates (finder), Rated: A

How do you encourage people to practice responsible saving? Easy. You shake it up with a dose of randomness and call it a lottery instead. This is the basic principle behind Pool Together, a lossless lottery designed in such a way that there are no losers. The idea is that everyone always gets back the price of their ticket, but one lucky person walks away with a lot more than that.

Pool Together is built on Ethereum, and utilises the Dai stablecoin in combination with the Compound crypto lending system.

India

Online lender Namaste Credit launches digital-only bank (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Online lending marketplace Namaste Credit today said that it is launching its Neobanking solutions for MSMEs, becoming a full-fledged “Digital-Only Bank” with a foundational SaaS play.

IndiaMoneyMart opens the first East-India branch for NBFC-P2P Lending (United News of India), Rated: A

Making sense of regulatory sandbox for Fintech startups (Vantage Asia), Rated: A

Over the past few years India has seen rapid development in the financial technology sector and it has the second highest number of Fintech startups in the world. According to certain estimates, India’s Fintech sector added about 1,300 startups from 2015 to 2018. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, India’s Fintech market is expected to be worth US$2.4 billion by 2020.

India Government Panel Pushes for Fintech, Regtech Adoption (Regulation Asia), Rated: A

The panel has also proposed the development of a marketplace model for P2P lending, and the introduction of virtual banking in India.

Why fintech panel believes P2P platforms can ease credit supply (India Times), Rated: A

While the importance of P2P lending sector in India is understood by all stakeholders, and a lot has been done over the last few years to encourage the sector, a lot more needs to be done to accelerate its growth.

APAC

Leading Southeast Asian Peer to Peer Lender Funding Societies Revamps with New Executive Team (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Funding Societies, one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in Southeast Asia, has revamped its executive team with new hires.

Matt Lambie joins as the Chief Technical Officer, Dheeraj Chowdhry as the Chief Executive Officer and Jared Goldberg as the Chief Data Officer.

Top 10 APAC Startups Reigning the Future Finance Industry (Banking CIO Outlook), Rated: A

Africa

AlphaCode of South Africa Invests $ 1.5 Million in Three Domestic Fintech Startups (CryptoNewsZ), Rated: AAA

AlphaCode is the incubation and investment arm of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings, and in a new development, the company has decided to invest a combined $1.5 million in three separate Fintech startups in South Africa. The companies in question are Zande Africa, which is a platform meant for merchant finance, while the others are Bright On Capital, a peer to peer lending firm and Livestock Wealth, an agricultural investment startup. AlphaCode invested $655,000 each on Bright On Capital and Zande Africa, while Livestock Wealth got an injection of $131, 000.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday August 1 2019, Weekly News Digest

Consumption loans

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck, Chase divorce; OnDeck to pursue bank charter. DBRS assigns provisional ratings to Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2. RateSetter ISA passes 250M GBP in subscriptions. Iwoca doubles lending, turns first annual profit. Nubank raises $400M. Elevate Credit CEO resigns. Today’s main analysis: What the Fed rate cut means. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

The post Thursday August 1 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Consumption loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

OnDeck Pursuing Bank Charter, Loses Chase (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

OnDeck had some pretty interesting updates in their earnings release which took place earlier today (Editor: July 29).

Probably the biggest shock was that Chase is concluding their partnership with OnDeck.

Chase will stop originating loans through OnDeck and OnDeck will continue to service the loans for two years.

You can view OnDeck’s Q2 earnings press release here.

Source: Lend Academy

What’s next for OnDeck after breakup with JPMorgan? (American Banker), Rated: A

In retrospect, Jamie Dimon’s comment that his bank could duplicate the capabilities of online lenders might have served as a warning.

“Can we do something like that? Of course we can,” the JPMorgan Chase Chairman CEO 

OnDeck shares slide 22% (Biz2Credit Email), Rated: B

Shares of OnDeck (According to industry expert Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, OnDeck spent a lot of money marketing when they should have focused more on managing risk and developing technology – the two most important things in today’s small business lending environment.

“Their gross write-offs were 15%… and that is in an economy that is doing very well,” Arora said.

DBRS Assigns Provisional Ratings to Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned provisional ratings to the following classes of notes (collectively, the Notes) to be issued by Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (UPST 2019-2):

— $230,208,000 Class A Notes at A (low) (sf)
— $61,558,000 Class B Notes at BBB (low) (sf)

Source: DBRS

Read the DBRS Presale Report here.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (“UPST 2019-2”). This is a $358.4 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on August 7, 2019.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2

Class

Preliminary Rating

Expected Initial
Class Principal

A

A- (sf)

$230,208,000

B

BBB- (sf)

$61,558,000

C

BB- (sf)

$66,617,000

Europe’s startup banks are coming to America. Can they succeed? (CNN), Rated: AAA

Two of Europe’s most popular online banks are making a big push into the United States. But they may struggle to win over consumers.

Berlin-based N26 and its UK rival Monzo have signed up millions of young professionals in Europe by offering free accounts that can be opened in minutes via smartphones.
Critics say the startup European banks remind them of American online-only banks that sprang up and then disappeared during the dot-com boom.

Netflix for banking; Equifax settles (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

But first, in industry news, Equifax settled $700 million with state and federal authorities due to the 2017 security breach. Investors are looking past the incident. Equifax’s stock price is within earshot of an all-time high.

“Netflix” Model for Banking

MoneyLion’s “all-you-can-eat” membership pricing model has distinguished itself from the pack. MoneyLion provides customers access to financial advice, loans, and other banking service. Customer’s can enjoy the lion’s share of offerings all at a bundled rate $20/month.

The near-Unicorn FinTech announced a roaring $100 M funding round led by Edison Partners and Greenspring Associates, bringing PIC to ~$200M. MoneyLion is looking to invest in broker dealer, training, and stock-investing capabilities and further distance itself from potential copycats.

Series Money Raised Valuation Services Provided
MoneyLion C $200M ~$1B Financial advice, loans, integration of other bank accounts
Chime D $309M $1.5B Debit, checking, and savings accounts with no fees
Acorn E $270M $860M Rounds up purchases and invests the change, financial education
Betterment E $275M $800M Robo-advising, savings, checking (soon), debit cards

Source: PeerIQ

Here’s what that Fed rate cut means for you (CNBC), Rated: AAA

The Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates 25 basis points for the first time in over a decade marked a dramatic shift in monetary policy.

Now, interest rates are historically low, which leaves the central bank with little wiggle room in the event of a recession or if the economy stumbles. The current target range for its overnight lending rate is 2% to 2.25%.

In the past five years, the average interest rate charged on credit card debt has increased 35%.

Considering that the average household currently owes $8,390, credit card users would save roughly $1.5 billion in interest as a result of a quarter-point rate cut, a separate report by WalletHub found.

Elevate Credit CEO Resigns as Q2 Revenue Misses, Guidance Cut (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit (NYSE: ELVT) announced the exit of CEO Ken Rees today a Q2 earnings release missed on top-line numbers and the Fintech lowered guidance for Q3. Current COO Jason Harvison was selected to be interim CEO as the firm seeks a full-time replacement. Rees will remain on the Board of Directors.

Japanese Online Retailer Rakuten Seeks U.S. Bank Charter (WSJ), Rated: A

Japanese online merchant Rakuten Inc. wants to open a bank in Utah to offer loans, credit cards and other financial services to customers of its existing U.S. cashback-shopping business, the company said Friday.

“We’re going to focus on that customer base we already have,” said Lee Carter, the new head of banking development at Rakuten and a former UBS Group AG executive. “That’s really the community that we want to extend additional financial services to.”

My Company Surpassed $ 7 Billion in Business By Investing in This 1 Thing (Inc.),Rated: A

In the early days of my company, Kabbage, we struggled against requests from some potential partners. They wanted customers to be able to upload traditional loan paperwork like bank statements and tax returns.

By insisting on data connections, which in 2008 was usual, we lost some potential upfront revenue but prioritized a unique customer relationship and experience that would make us a more than $7 billion lending platform just a few years later.

Online bank Green Dot reveals savings account with a rate 30 times the national average (CNBC), Rated: A

Branchless bank Green Dot is launching the highest yielding bank account in the industry.

The Pasadena, California-based bank, which gained traction with prepaid cards in the dot-com era, launched a new bank account Tuesday with 3% annual interest on savings, and 3% cash back on all online debit card purchases. The average rate for savings accounts, according to Bankrate.com, is 0.1%.

The 3% rate on a savings account is the highest for any bank in the country, according to Bankrate.

The Story of Rocket Loans and the Rebirth of Detroit (Lend Academy), Rated: A

I was in Detroit recently at the invitation of Rocket Loans CEO, Bill Parker. I do visits to fintech companies quite regularly but usually in the big hubs of New York, San Francisco or London. This was my first visit to Detroit for a couple of decades so I was excited to see how the city had changed. And you can’t really tell the story of Rocket Loans without also talking about the city of Detroit.

Quicken Loans is the crown jewel of the financial component of Rock Ventures. It is now the largest mortgage lender in the country, bigger than even the largest banks. They seem to be slowly moving away from that brand, though, and moving to Rocket Mortgage which has a much more modern and innovative feel.

BofA terminates First Data partnership (Finextra), Rated: A

Bank of America is to terminate its merchant services partnership with First Data when the ten-year contract expires in June 2020.

The news came within hours of Fiserv acquiring control of First Data, sending its shares downward.

BofA says it expects to incur an impairment charge of about $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion in Q3 2019 due to the termination of the partnership, which started in 2009.

Open Banking Takes On Bad Rap Of Merchant Cash Advance (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The merchant cash advance is considered the payday loan for many in the small business lending market — and that’s not necessarily a good thing. While designed to connect small business owners to quick capital for a boost to their cash flow, the MCA has earned a reputation for some predatory behavior, like sky-high interest rates and fees.

Man Repeller and Klarna Collab on “Dream Closet” Pop-Up at Showfields (Sourcing Journal), Rated: A

Fashion and lifestyle blog Man Repeller is taking operations offline through a pop-up retail collaboration with Klarna. Opening at Showfields in New York on Monday, the “highly instagrammable” retail space was crafted to represent a shopper’s “dream closet,” Man Repeller said in a statement. Curated by the Man Repeller team, the temporary store includes offerings…

Visa pitches a program offering fintechs faster market access through an ecosystem of partners (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Visa is pitching a new way for startups in the fintech space to get to market faster by using its rails and a group of pre-approved partners.

Chiefly, the process makes it easier to integrate with Visa. It’s an attempt to put the payment processor’s network, VisaNet, at the center of a vast array of services ranging from payroll to business to business payments and online banking, online lending and even digital wallets.

The Most Exciting Piece Of Opportunity Zone Investing Is Still Being Defined (Benzinga), Rated: A

Despite the enthusiasm they have received from the private equity world and the billionaire hedge fund set, a majority of investors have been mostly shut out of the conversation surrounding the Opportunity Zones initiative included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Although there is already a flood of capital being funneled into qualified funds (upward of $40 billion according to the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ Opportunity Zone Fund Directory) Opportunity Zones remain an ongoing experiment in maximizing the benefit to both investors and the communities in which they invest.

According to Thomas McDonald, Investment Product and Portfolio Manager of the online real estate investing platform CrowdStreet, the new language is a critical move for the program.

Real estate lending platform Groundfloor raises $ 3 million through crowdfunding (Housingwire), Rated: A

Groundfloor, a real estate lending platform that raises its loan funds via crowdfunding from the public, announced Wednesday it raised $3 million from 1,580 investors, while also doubling its annual revenue in the second quarter of 2019.

Groundfloor is taking private real estate lending public (Groundfloor Email), Rated: B

As we close out the first half of the year, we’re excited to report accelerating growth and strong financial results for the quarter. Once again, GROUNDFLOOR more than doubled its year-over-year revenue for the quarter to $1.6 million, 1H revenue to $2.6 million and trailing 12-month revenue to $4.4 million.

OCC’s innovation pilot gets little love from banks (American Banker), Rated: A

The OCC received 19 comment letters on a pilot program announced in April meant to provide supervisory clarity as national banks pursue “novel activities” in which regulatory uncertainty is perceived to be a barrier to development.

Melissa Koide of FinRegLab (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Melissa Koide, the founder and CEO of FinRegLab. They have just published their first research report this week on the use of cash flow data in underwriting. It is the first independent research done on this topic and it is milestone for both FinRegLab and the fintech community.

Zerocard aims to reduce overspending with “debit-style” credit card and rewards (CNBC), Rated: A

Fin-tech company Zero announced on Tuesday, July 30, the public release of Zerocard, a credit card providing a “debit-style experience” issued by WebBank and backed by Mastercard.

Zerocard aims to be an alternative to credit cards from big banks that make money off cardholders who fall into debt.

Genesis Reports $ 746 in Crypto Lending/Borrowing Originations in Q2: Best Quarter Ever (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Genesis, a digital asset trading and lending platform that is also a broker-dealer registered with FINRA, and a BitLicense holder with the New York State Department of Financial Services, reports that its services are booming.

According to a release from last week, Genesis’ Q2 performance was the best over as it topped $746 million in loans/borrowing – a 48% quarter over quarter increase.

Genesis states that total active loans increased to $454 million – a 149% increase over Q1.

Northwest Community Credit Union Short-Term Loans, Powered by QCash Financial’s Platform  (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU) launched two new products earlier this year called Northwest Cash and Northwest Cash Plus, offering short-term loans from $150 to $700 and $701 to $4,000, respectively. Both products are designed to help their members deal with unexpected cash needs with an easy to use application process.

Using QCash Financial’s white-label, digital lending platform, NWCU automated the loan process using the member’s credit union relationship to make the lending decision rather than credit history.

Kony Secures $ 37 Million in Financing from BMO (Finovate), Rated: B

An infusion of $37 million in debt financing from BMO will help cloud-based digital banking and low-code platform company Kony “accelerate growth” in its two signature solutions: Kony DBX, the company’s digital banking technology, and Kony Quantum, its low-code development platform. The financing, courtesy of BMO’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, adds to the more than $115 million in funding Kony has raised to date.

White Oak Commercial Finance Responds to Increasing ABL Demand with New Key Hires (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Commercial Finance (“White Oak”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, announced today the addition of two new professional underwriters, further increasing the company’s originations presence across the United States. Mr. Sudhir Chaudhry joins White Oak’s Los Angeles office bringing nearly 25 years of structured finance and underwriting experience. Mr. Kevin Maitland joins White Oak in Boca Raton with over 14 years of asset-based lending and commercial banking experience.

FINICITY INTEGRATION WITH ELLIE MAE ENCOMPASS DIGITAL LENDING PLATFORM NOW LIVE  (Finicity), Rated: B

Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, and Ellie Mae, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, today announced that Finicity’s digital Verification of Assets (VoA) solution is now available through Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Lending Platform.

United Kingdom

RateSetter ISA passes £250m in subscriptions (LoveMoney), Rated: AAA

But by investing within a large, diverse portfolio of loans (RateSetter’s portfolio is currently £875 million with 250,000+ loans) investors get the stability of scale and this makes for steady and predictable returns.

And putting this inside the ISA tax-free wrapper, it’s no wonder that in less than 18 months since launch, RateSetter’s Innovative Finance ISA has attracted more than £250 million of investments from people looking to put their money to work.

Platforms may be forced to favour high net worths due to incoming 10pc rule (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RETAIL investors are at risk of being shut out of the peer-to-peer lending sector due to the so-called 10 per cent rule that will come into force this December.

However, a number of P2P lending platforms have a minimum investment of £1,000, which would mean that individuals must have at least £10,000 in total to invest across a variety of asset classes. Official statistics indicate that most UK adults do not have this amount of money to invest, which could effectively bar them from certain platforms.

P2P lenders such as Zopa, Funding Circle and ThinCats require a minimum investment of £1,000, but the FCA’s latest financial lives survey shows that 49 per cent of UK adults, equating to 25 million people, either have no such assets or have less than £10,000 in value.

Iwoca doubles lending, turns first annual profit (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Iwoca almost doubled its loans last year, leading to its first annual profit since the small business platform was founded eight years ago.

The London-based fintech, started by chief executive Christoph Rieche (pictured, centre) and James Dear in 2012, said loan originations jumped by 91 per cent to £325m, as its lending hit the equivalent of 12 per cent of the UK’s small business overdraft market over the last year.

Former RateSetter executive to launch new P2P platform (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

RATESETTER’S former chief technology officer John Gillespie is preparing to launch a “next generation” peer-to-peer consumer lending platform.

After raising money from family and friends, SquareDeal.Finance has opened pre-registration for a funding round on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Gillespie has described the platform as “the next generation P2P consumer lender”, although he said there would be scope to expand into other types of finance in the future.

Digital asset lending platform outlines new framework in a bid to resemble securities market (The Trade Crypto), Rated: A

A digital asset lending platform is looking to set new industry standards with the launch of a framework using master agreements typically seen from incumbent capital markets bodies.

The Global Digital Assets Lending Agreement (GDALA) was developed by Lendingblock, with legal counsel and support from Norton Rose Fulbright.

The platform, targeting institutional investors, will use master agreements framework similar to ISLA’s Global Master Securities Lending Agreements, ICMA/SIFMA’s Global Master Repurchase Agreements and ISDA’s Master Agreements.

What to Know About Alternative Lending (Nav), Rated: A

Alternative lending includes business lenders that exist outside of the traditional lending space. The different types of alternative lending these lenders provide include short-term business loans, medium-term business loans, lines of credit, invoice financing, equipment financing, merchant cash advances and more. They don’t typically include bank loans or SBA loans.

ARBUTHNOT SPECIALIST FINANCE STRENGTHENS TEAM WITH TWO NEW APPOINTMENTS (Arbuthnot Latham), Rated: B

Arbuthnot Specialist Finance (ASFL) announces the appointment of Chloe Skae and Molly Markey to the relationship management team.

OakNorth completes loan to Kexgill for latest student accommodation development at the University of Hull (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Fintechs invited to enter £2m affordable credit challenge (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

THE TREASURY and innovation foundation Nesta Challenges are offering £2m in prize money to encourage fintechs and community lenders to work together on affordable credit solutions.

Over 5.4 million high-cost short-term credit loans were made in the year to 30 June 2018, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s consumer credit data.

China

China’s Generation Z Is Hooked on Credit (Bloomberg Businessweek), Rated: AAA

At one point in June last year, Zeng Jinpeng was more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) in debt to a smartphone app.

Formal household borrowing rose to 54% of gross domestic product in the first quarter, up more than 4 percentage points in a year. China’s ratio is still lower than that of the U.S. (66%), Hong Kong (72%), or South Korea (100%), according to S&P Global.

Source: People’s Bank of China

Regulators last year launched a crackdown on peer-to-peer lending, which besides being a source of easy credit had also become a popular investment vehicle. The sector has shrunk to less than half its peak size as a result of forced shutdowns. Official data showed that almost 70% of China’s 50 million P2P investors were younger than 40.

New era of technological finance faces spectrum of challenges (Global Times), Rated: A

Online attacks against China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms have been rising. An industry report released on Wednesday shows that more than 10 million malicious attacks were encountered by the online financial sector in the first half of 2019, and gambling-related attacks accounted for over 56 percent.

China Lending Arranges Partnership With Zhong Lian in Consumer Financing (CapitalWatch), Rated: A

China Lending Corp. (Nasdaq: CLDC) announced Monday its five-year strategic partnership with Zhong Lian Jin An Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd. in the development of consumer financing and litigation guarantee business, sending its shares up 4 percent intraday to 88 cents apiece.

European Union

Is ‘Hodling’ the Future of Cryptocurrency Lending? (150sec), Rated: AAA

The nascent cryptocurrency sector is renowned for its volatility.  It’s very early days in the development of the industry and with that, various niches are emerging within its overall purview.  DeFi or decentralised financing is one such area.  Over many years, the world of retail and business sector lending has seen little in the way of disruption.  However, that may be in the process of changing.

Firms like Ripio Credit Network (RCN), Salt Lending, EthLend, and WeTrust are emerging, providing their unique twists on financing with blockchain as a basis to their respective propositions.  Within Europe too, the market is innovating. Hodl Finance is one such entity – which is harnessing this newly emerging economy to provide its unique take on financing.

Engaging shoppers is hard. Keeping them is harder. (Candy Industry), Rated: A

New research from Klarna, a Swedish firm that offers interest-free installment payments among other payment solutions, suggests shoppers will only tolerate such aggravations for so long.

Through a survey of 2,065 shoppers conducted in May and June, Klarna found 55 percent of consumers say one bad retail experience would stop them from returning to a brand. Nearly 30 percent of consumers said they don’t find shopping as fun as it used to be.

Klarna also noted 39 percent of the 250 retailers surveyed realize shopper loyalty isn’t just driven by rewards programs. Nearly 70 percent understand they have to do more to retain customers, but just over a third of retailers are struggling to keep up with changing consumer expectations because of outdated technology and a short-term emphasis on sales.

International

The Fintech Revolution: Who Are The New Competitors In Banking? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In Asia, Africa and Latin America, the percentage of unbanked people exceed 60% in all cases. However, people in this segment of the population do own a mobile device.

The massive use of mobile phones has allowed great successes, such as that of M-Pesa in Kenya and ten other African countries, which over the past decade has enabled more than 30 million users to transfer money, take out loans and make deposits using mobile phones, from the remotest rural areas.

The Pulse of Fintech H1 2019 (KPMG), Rated: A

Both the number of global fintech deals and the total global investment in fintech dropped in H1’19, raising $37.9 billion across 962 deals, driven by the lack of  mega deals seen in 2018.

Source: KPMG

Catching attention in marketing (Business Daily Africa), Rated: A

Kiva, with its African headquarters in Nairobi, thrives as a peer-to-peer lending website whereby millions of US dollars get lent from around the world at zero percent interest rates. In 2009, dozens of competitors of Kiva emerged based largely off their business model: get generous individuals to lend their money for a few months up to a few years all while earning no interest return as long as the funds go towards helping entrepreneurs.

Australia

4 small business tips to kickstart the 2019/20 financial year (Mozo), Rated: A

And Australian businesses have access to a number business loan sources including traditional banks and online lenders, although according to online lender OnDeck, some small businesses can have trouble securing funding from traditional sources.

New research from the lender found that nearly 25% of small to medium enterprises (SME’s) that have applied for business finance with a bank have been rejected – a figure that rises to 37% of SMEs which have been operating for less than five years.

India

P2P Lender Rupeecircle launches Affordable Credit Products for Rural Tamil Nadu (IndianWeb2), Rated: AAA

Digital lending marketplace RupeeCircle has set up a segment-wise model of credit disbursement through its P2P platform. Deserving Individuals and families belonging to certain communities who were hitherto declined loans from banks and NBFCs due to lack of sufficient credit history or lack of a proper bank account can now avail loans on the P2P platform.

Asia

Vietnam tech company NextTech pledges US$ 10M fund for early-stage startups (e27), Rated: AAA

Vietnam-based tech company NextTech announces a total of US$10 million injected into Next100, a fund dedicated for backing early-stage startups.

Recently, Next100 invested in VayMuon.vn, a P2P lending platform based in Vietnam, Heyu.asia, a startup that provides order consolidation and shipper services, and Teky.edu.vn, a tech academy for kids.

Latin America

Fintech decacorn Nubank raises $ 400M led by TCV (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Brazil-based Nubank, which offers a suite of banking and financial services for Brazilian consumers, announced today that it has raised a $400 million Series F round of venture capital led by Woody Marshall of TCV. The growth-stage fund is best known for its investment in Netflix but has also made fintech a high priority, with over $1.5 billion in investments in the space. According to Nubank, the company has now raised $820 million across seven venture rounds.

Shares in Brazil’s Banco Inter surge as it lures SoftBank (Business Recorder), Rated: A

Shares in Banco Inter SA surged more than 20% on Tuesday as the Brazilian online lender raised 1.25 billion reais ($329.73 million) in an offering largely sold to Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, boosting pressure on traditional banks.

Africa

Reaching the unbanked — MTN to shake up Nigeria’s fintech sector (the africa report), Rated: AAA

In the latest bullish development, OPay, founded by Norwegian browser company Opera and which includes lead investors such as Sequoia China, raised $50m to partly fund its expansion in Nigeria.

While sub-Saharan Africa’s number of adults with a bank or other financial account increased to 43% in 2017, up 9% from 2014, Nigeria’s banked population dropped to 40%, down 4% from 2014. Over half of Nigerian adults — 60 million people — lack access to financial services.

Under the new mobile-money framework, MTN will drive user acquisition with its large existing subscriber base and powerful agent network. With a 42% market share of Nigeria’s 163m active voice subscriber accounts, MTN has a huge pool of untapped demand as each voice subscriber represents a potential new mobile money account.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday August 1 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Friday July 5 2019, Weekly News Digest

Friday July 5 2019, Weekly News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage secures $200M. Funding Circle plummets 20%. Zopa to raise 200M GBP pre-IPO. RateSetter Isa attracts over 250M GBP in subscriptions. OakNorth doubles staff. Funding Societies tied up in SME financing. Today’s main analysis: Recession talk, global easing, and SoFi rated pass-thru innovation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 10 years of marketplace […]

The post Friday July 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Friday July 5 2019, Weekly News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Southeast Asia

Other

News Summary

United States

Kabbage secures 0M to fuel its AI-based loans platform for small businesses (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

Kabbage, the AI-based small business loans platform backed by SoftBank and others, is adding more firepower to its lending machine: the Atlanta-based startup has secured an additional $200 million in the form of a revolving credit facility from an unnamed subsidiary of a large life insurance company, managed and administered by 20 Gates Management, and Atalaya Capital Management.

The money comes on the heels of a $700 million securitization Kabbage secured just three months ago and it is notable not just for its size but its terms: it’s a four-year facility, a length of time that underscores a level of confidence in the company’s performance.

Recession Talk and Global Easing; SoFi Rated Pass-Thru Innovation (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

In FinTech financing news, Ocrolus, led by CEO Sam Bobley, successfully raised $24 million in their Series B led by Oak HC/FT.

Source: PeerIQ, Goldman Sachs

SoFi Pass Thru Security

SoFi this week secured a provisional A-rating from DBRS on a $200 MM pass-thru security consisting of student refi loans [ PSR and announcement ]. Notably, the structure is the first CUSIP that does not rely on over-collateralization or subordination to provide credit enhancement for investors. This is a promising innovation from the first FinTech to crack open the securitization market for student refi loans.

Ten Years of Investing in Marketplace Lending (Lending Academy) Rated: AAA

This month marks ten years since I made my first investment in what was then called peer to peer lending.

Ten Ways Marketplace Lending Has Changed Since 2009

  1. Scale
  2. The Rise of Institutional Investors
  3. The Rise of Automation

Home Affordability in the “13 Original Colonies” (DS News) Rated: A

To celebrate the Fourth of July, LendingTree, the nation’s largest online loan marketplace, has taken a look at the states that were present at the birth of the country,” said LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze.

New Hampshire is the most affordable of the original 13 states, with a median home value of $244,900 and a median salary of $71,305. New Hampshire capital Concord is also the most affordable capital, with a median home value of $212,600, and a median salary of $61,310.

The least affordable state is New York, with a median home value of $293,000, which is less than Massachuset’s median value of $352,600, but New York’s median income is slightly less, at $62,765, plus an affordability surplus of just $292.

Embracing The Digital Lending Revolution (Monja Blog) Rated: A

A recent report by McKinsey & Company pointed out that in the traditional lending process of most banks, the “time to decision” for small business loans is usually from three to five weeks, while the “time to cash” can take up to three months. Personal loans usually have shorter processing times but still, take days or even weeks.

Digital lending helps banks retain individual and business customers by making the process more convenient and faster. According to an extensive survey by the American Bankers Association in 2018, an overwhelming majority of banks agree that some level of digitalization is vital to keeping their loan customers from going elsewhere.

Funds raised for direct lending hit a fresh high this year, raising concerns the market could be running a little hot amid the deluge.

Capital One keeps closing branches, even as rivals open them (American Banker) Rated: A

The McLean, Va., company, with roughly $373 billion of assets, has shuttered more than half of its branches over the past decade, including nearly 50 in the second quarter alone, according to a recent analysis by Sandler O’Neill & Partners. It now has fewer than 500 branches in eight states and the District of Columbia.

Policing The Internet Is Critical To Protecting Online Lending Consumers (Forbes) Rated: A

In May, the United States Federal Reserve issued its “

How Two College Dropouts Made $ 860 Million by the Time They Were 23 (Fortune) Rated: A

They are the founders and top executives of Brex Inc. a fintech startup recently valued at $2.6 billion, with an unlikely origin story.

Brex, which launched its first product last year, has become a fintech darling, catapulting its founders into the ranks of the richest entrepreneurs — on paper at least. Today their stakes in the company are worth an estimated $430 million each, according to an analysis by EquityZen, a marketplace for shares of tech firms that haven’t yet gone public.

A ‘turtle bank’ plays catch-up in small-business lending (American Banker) Rated: B

Provident Financial in Iselin, N.J., has partnered with a fintech to become a stronger small-business lender.

The $9.8 billion-asset company is working with Fundation to offer unsecured small-dollar loans to commercial clients. While available in Provident’s more than 80 branches, applications for loans as big as $250,000 are also being accepted online.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle shocks the City, plummeting 20% after slashing growth forecasts thanks to Brexit (Evening Standard) Rated: AAA

The FTSE 250 company now expects 20% revenue growth this year, half its previous guidance of 40%, amid slumping demand for loans from small businesses.

The latest miserable update sent its shares down 20%, or 34p, to 129.6p and piles more pain on investors after a torrid nine months on the stock market. Since going public the shares have fallen 70% amid wider concerns about the peer-to-peer lending model.

Funding Circle bins the boasts as Brexit bites (Brinkwire) Rated: A

As if to show what’s possible, the online lending platform had itself valued at a remarkable £1.5bn in the flotation last year. Investors were invited to ignore current losses and feel the growth in revenues – up 55% to £142m in 2018, it turned out.

Few businesses, even fintech operators with smart kit and a big marketing budget, can sustain that pace, but Funding Circle still reckoned 40% was on the cards this year.

Companies & Markets show: Fintech’s big bang (Investors Chronicle) Rated: A

Digital editor Graeme Davies in discussion with James Norrington and Alex Newman on the latest problems for Funding Circle, Jupiter’s fund manager departure and the massive opportunities in the fin tech space both now and in the future.

Is Funding Circle the barometer for SME opinions on Brexit? (Daily Fintech) Rated: AAA

Loans under management on the platform are up 37% for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, currently sitting at £3.5 billion. Originations are up 14% on the prior corresponding period, at £1.2 billion. All healthy figures in their own right.

separate study by academics at St Andrew’s University found that in 2016, 25% of businesses viewed Brexit as a major obstacle to their success. This number had jumped from 16% in the year prior, when they were surveyed right after the referendum.

Zopa plans £200m fundraise ahead of bank launch and IPO (P2P Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA is reportedly looking to raise up to £200m as it gears up for its bank launch and a possible stockmarket flotation.

The peer-to-peer consumer lender is in talks with private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds about the fresh funding, which could be secured in the next few months, chief executive Jaidev Janardana (pictured) told Bloomberg.

RateSetter’s Isa attracts more than £250m in subscriptions (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: AAA

RateSetter has revealed that its Isa has attracted over £250m in subscriptions by the end of June.

The P2P lender’s RateSetter Isa — which was launched in February 2018 — received £50m of Isa inflows in the last three months alone.

More than 600,000 customers have used RateSetter to invest or borrow and it has originated £3.3bn of loans, which has generated over £135m in returns for investors to date.

FINTECH UNICORN OAKNORTH DOUBLES STAFF (Business Cloud) Rated: AAA

Challenger bank OakNorth has doubled its staff after securing more than $1 billion in funding.

The London-based unicorn has also signed a five-year deal to provide its technology platform, OakNorth Analytical Intelligence, to Dutch lender NIBC Bank.

With a valuation of $2.8bn, it has rapidly grown to become one of Europe’s most valuable companies, having raised more than $1bn, a record for a European FinTech, from the likes of Japan’s SoftBank Group.

Moneybox launches ISA partnership with OakNorth Bank (AltFi News) Rated: A

OakNorth’s growing role as the go-to ISA partner to the digital disruptors of UK fintech has been further cemented. The bank, which was briefly Europe’s most valuable fintech earlier this year, has today joined forces with Moneybox to offer the latter’s 200k-strong, and growing, user base a Cash Lifetime ISA.

The Moneybox Cash Lifetime ISA, with an interest rate of 1.4 per cent, is designed to help customers who are saving for their first home with its government-backed 25 per cent bonus up to £1,000 per year. Users can open an account with £1.

Nutmeg is another fintech offering the Lifetime ISA while, Skipton – the UK’s fourth largest building society – says it has had over 130,000 accounts opened to date.

OakNorth also powered tax-wrapped savings accounts for Monzo’s c.2m customers in March, although they were not Lifetime ISAs. OakNorth reported a 220 per cent increase in profits last year to £33.9m.

FIBA to publish default rates of lenders (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: A

Adam Tyler, executive chairman at FIBA, said the move followed concerns about the transparency of default rates in the industry, which was raised by members and lender partners.

Mark Posniak, managing director at Octane Capital, initiated the conversation about default interest last week via LinkedIn.

Growth Street rockets past £500m of matched loans (Business Love London) Rated: A

Growth Street, which is reinventing the business overdraft, has hit a big milestones in June. It has now matched over £500m worth of investor funds on its platform since launch in 2014.

LendingCrowd partners with Brismo for verified returns data (Fintech Finance) Rated: A

LendingCrowd, Scotland’s only fintech lending platform, has today announced that it is the latest leading marketplace to partner with Brismo to provide sophisticated and independently verified performance metrics for investors.

Brismo is a London-based provider of lending performance data that uses detailed loan information to analyse and verify returns, allowing investors to perform like-for-like analysis.

Purplebricks $ 5m US retreat shows startups need to slow down (Sifted) Rated: A

Britain’s online estate agent Purplebricks this week said it would pull out of the US to focus on its hometurf.

The peer-to-peer industry isn’t doing enough to protect investors (City AM) Rated: A

Many peer-to-peer lenders target unsophisticated retail investors, who can invest as little as £100. And yet, there is a relatively high cost to on-board small investors, because platforms have to handle customer calls, and anti-money laundering requirements.

There have been dozens of failures, but the closure of Lendy has shocked the industry. The high-profile peer-to-peer lender accrued more than £160m on its loan book, and by the time the administrators were called, £90m was believed to be in default.

Lendingblock partners with institutional crypto platform Caspian (Institutional Asset Manager), Rated: B

Lendingblock, a regulated, open exchange for institutional borrowing and lending of digital assets, has partnered with Caspian, the institutional crypto trading platform. 

This partnership enables essential market infrastructure for borrowing and lending digital assets to be scaled to institutions globally.

China

Breakneck growth in China’s credit-card debt since 2012 raises worries about a potential bust (South China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

Credit-card debt has grown more than sixfold in China since 2012, mirroring booms in other Asian markets that ended badly and raising concerns about the potential risks to Chinese banks, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings.

The credit rating agency said that unsecured consumer lending in the mainland is expected to increase at a rate of 20 per cent annually for the next two years, a slight slowdown, but reminiscent of problematic booms in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

Source: South China Morning Post

It is rash to expect a rerun of past stock market booms in China (Financial Times) Rated: A

One way to profit from Chinese equities is to play a familiar paradox. Market participants know that when economic growth ebbs significantly, Shanghai share prices tend to rally.

The key to this incongruity might be called the “Communist party put”. In the same way that Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, used to relax US monetary policy when dynamism stalled, a tactic known as the “Greenspan put”, China’s ruling party often steps in when commerce starts to wilt.

Regulators curb market irregularities (Ecna) Rated: A

China has spared no efforts to carry out supply-side reform and fight against financial market irregularities by better regulating high-risk institutions to make overall risk manageable, officials of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Thursday.

In the past two years, China reduced high-risk assets worth 13.74 trillion yuan ($2 trillion), restraining the flow of resources from the real economy — the part of the economy that produces goods and services — to the virtual economy, said Zhou Liang, vice-chairman of the CBIRC, at a news conference.

European Union

Fintech Lender creditshelf Doubles Loan Volume in First Half of 2019 (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft, a Germany based online lender, says it lending volume has more than doubled in volume during the first 6 months of 2019. In comparing the first half of 2019 versus the first six months of 2018,  creditshelf reports that the volume of arranged loans was  € 35.8 million or 132 % higher year-on-year (prior at € 15.4 million).

June 2019 was the strongest month in creditshelf’s history with arranged loans of € 12.2 million.

The company says the pipeline for the second half of the year is well filled.

PropertyBridges attracts first tranche of peer-to-peer loans for Limerick housing project in record time (Irish Examiner) Rated: A

A project to develop 16 houses in Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, is well on track to raise the €2.4m in funding that it pitched out to peer-to-peer investors just a few weeks ago, having very quickly raised the first tranche of €665,000.

PropertyBridges.com, who are leading the financial management of the project, will raise the remainder in three further tranches when the development progresses over the next 12 months.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes June 2019 (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Arboribus is listed for the last time, as the platform will cease to originate new loans.

Generic Looks to Launch Tokenized Peer to Peer Lending Platform (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Blockchain startup Generic wants to create a tokenized bridge for peer to peer lending/merchant cash advanced credit, according to a note from the company. While not live yet, Generic claims it will “create a direct bridge between users and companies looking for funds, without an intermediary.”

FinTech is ‘new normal’ as majority are regular users (FS Tech) Rated: B

A global survey of 883 consumers from the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australasia, by financial advisory company deVere Group found that 55 per cent were using FinTech services online or via mobile on a regular basis to access and manage their money.

Australia

Loans.com.au passes on the full rate cut, now offers mortgage rates as low as 3.03% (Mozo) Rated: AAA

This afternoon, however, loans.com.au will be bucking the trend. The online lender announced it will be passing on the cut in full to its variable home loan customers, effective immediately.

The changes will apply to both new and existing customers, and will see owner occupiers looking at rates as low as 3.03% (3.05% p.a. comparison rate*) – among the more impressive on the market. Below, we’ve compiled some stellar loans.com.au home loans for you to check out.

India

Expectations of the Fintech Industry From the Union Budget of 2019 (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

The online lending industry has emerged as a massive relief for both individuals and small businesses that have historically been facing a lack of funds and were rendered underserved by traditional financial institutions. But for the digital model to truly thrive, fintech lenders need to have ready access to the credit guarantee schemes being initiated by the government to build a supportive financial structure. For instance, recent government initiatives like that of SIDBI wherein loans can be provided in under an hour, or its subsidiary MUDRA have only been supporting banks, NBFCs, and micro-finance institutions. But their penetration levels are relatively low, because of which a substantial portion of these funds remain unutilized. Therefore, the fintech industry expects the government to extend credit and allow the players to participate in these recent initiatives and other measures being undertaken.

‘P2P model is a solution for many small businesses’ (Deccan Herald) Rated: A

P2P model is a solution for many small businesses that are struggling for funds. Digital lending has changed the face of many developing countries’ economies because of the transparent environment and paperless approvals.

So, from the perspective of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) industry in India, it has tremendous opportunities because this industry is still at a nascent stage and requires encouragement through tax benefits.

Canada

BMO LAUNCHES DIGITAL-ONLY LINE OF CREDIT SERVICE (Betakit) Rated: AAA

Bank of Montreal is launching a new digital-only lending solution, allowing customers to apply for a personal line of credit directly from their mobile devices.

Through the new solution, BMO said customers can apply for credit by taking a short application, receiving a decision on their loan within minutes. Customers will get a real-time decision on their application, as well as faster access to credit, allowing them to tap into their loans within 48 hours of approval.

Asia

Funding Societies in SME Financing Tie-Up (Finews) Rated: AAA

Funding Societies has entered into a partnership with Lazada Malaysia to offers merchants on the e-commerce marketplace short-term financing, Malaysian newspaper «The Star» reported on Thursday.

As part of the tie-up, the peer-to-peer lending platform will leverage alternative data from Lazada as part of its risk assessment, which will provide more opportunities for online businesses to get tailor-made financing products conveniently, the firm said in a joint press statement.

Helios P2P Sri Lanka’s First Peer-To-Peer Lending Platform Secures Second Round Funding (Daily Mirror) Rated: A

Helios P2P – Sri Lanka’s First Peer-To-Peer Lending Platform secured their second round of funding from John Keells X which is the corporate accelerator of John Keells Holdings PLC. Helios P2P were winners of the 2017 John Keells X accelerator programme and the first startup to receive funding for the second stage of the accelerator.

The peer-to –peer lending industry, valued globally at $64 billion in 2015, is growing at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 50%.

Budget Expectations 2019: P2P lending hopes for these policy changes (Banking & Finance) Rated: A

So what will it be – fiscal consolidation or a focus on growth? Getting the balance right is the key here. The top priority according to Abhishek Gandhi, Co-Founder & CFO, RupeeCircle from this budget is to tackle consumption slowdown and boost it by cutting taxes which will increase the spending power of the people, especially in rural areas and the lower income groups. The subliminal effect of this step will boost investments as well. This will especially be a shot in the arm for the Peer-to-peer (P2P) the lending landscape which has been affected by the sluggish pace of policy changes in the past several months (understandably due to the impending general elections of 2019).

Visa Indonesia opens applications for fintech innovation competition (Jakarta Post) Rated: B

Visa Indonesia, a subsidiary of California-based payment systems provider Visa, opened on Wednesday applications for its Visa Everywhere Initiative competition, which is designed to crowdsource financial inclusion solutions from local financial technology (fintech) start-ups.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Friday July 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

The Rise of Crypto Lending, a Natural Progression of Peer-to-Peer Financing

Nexo

The rise of new technologies often give rise to new business models. The peer-to-peer lending space is just over a decade old and still have much to grow into. However, not long after the first P2P lender–Zopa in 2005–opened its doors, a new technology that promises to challenge traditional ways to deliver financial services emerged. […]

Nexo

The rise of new technologies often give rise to new business models. The peer-to-peer lending space is just over a decade old and still have much to grow into. However, not long after the first P2P lender–Zopa in 2005–opened its doors, a new technology that promises to challenge traditional ways to deliver financial services emerged. That technology was the blockchain, a distributed ledger that underlies the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Since then, other blockchains have been created along with new business models to suit. As it stands in 2018, crypto lending has not made a big dent in P2P lending services, but the potential is there. This article will highlight some of the more significant blockchain-based P2P lenders, which we hope will inspire a new look at technological innovation in this space.

Think of crypto lending like you would the banking industry: Even if Capital One provided perfect products at every turn, there would still be plenty of room for JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America. There would still be room for the hundreds of other banks that compete for customers.

The companies listed here are not ranked in any manner. Rather, they=se are just some of the choices available for consumers in the market for cryptocurrency loans.

1. SALT (Secured Automated Lending Technology) Lending

One of the best benefits crypto-based lending has to offer is that a lessened importance on traditional credit scores as a factor for risk assessment. SALT Lending touts blockchain-based assets as “the perfect form of collateral.” The company is using this fact to “dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of the loan process.” SALT operates under Regulation D and, in lieu of credit checks, the company does AML and KYC verifications.

Offering three tiers of product, SALT’s loans start at $5,000 and go as high as $250 million. Loan percentages run between 12 and 22 percent APR, but the borrower retains the value of the collateral currency claiming any gains and losses that happen over the life of the loan. SALT accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin as collateral, and funds loans in USD.

One fact that could be a significant factor when deciding to use the SALT Lending platform is that loans are not transferable on the blockchain, but through existing financial channels. Thus, they become securities.

It’s not foolish to base a good bit of faith in a company that has proven players on its team. Founder Erik Voorhees was also involved in founding several other crypto websites prior to starting SALT Lending. Among these include Satoshi Dice, which he later sold, Coinapult, and ShapeShift.

2. ETHlend

Unlike SALT Lending, Estonia-based ETHlend is a fully decentralized P2P platform built on the Ethereum blockchain for lending Ether as tokens for collateral. Some insiders fear that platforms that allow their loans to become securities might run the risk of being swallowed up by banks.

ETHlend lends Ethereum, Bitcoin, their own LEND tokens, and DAI tokens, as well as 180+ other Ethereum-based tokens. The company offers address-to-address loans that are sent within minutes, with no middle men, assuring that no one, not even Ethlend, can stop one’s lending or borrowing. The company plans to expand beyond Ethereum to other distributed ledger platforms in Q3 of 2019.

The company’s interest rates range from .25 to five percent MPR, and all transactions are carried out on digital wallets. Borrowers that transact in the LEND token can get a no-fee loan.

Announced earlier this week, Aave is a tech-based company designed to expand on the offerings of centralized fintech companies like PayPal and Coinbase. Aave Pocket, Aave Gaming, and Aave Lending (SaaS) are among the offerings this expansion adds to the platform.

Unfortunately, the service is not yet available everywhere including a block to U.S. citizens.

3. Nexo

A new kid on this block is Nexo, and being a new kid means that they are doing things in a new manner. Founded in Zug, Switzerland—even more of an “EF Hutton” mention than Estonia—in 2017, Nexo promises the world’s first instant crypto-backed loans. Available worldwide, Nexo loans start at $1,000 and top out at $2 million.

The process is an easy one.

  • Log on to the website.
  • Verify your account
  • Deposit crypto assets into Nexo wallet
  • Withdraw loan to your bank account

There will be brief pauses while the borrower is verified—the company complies with the highest AML and KYC (provided by Onfido) standards—and while your deposit is confirmed on the blockchain. Overall, the Nexo process reads like a rather quick and seamless process.

The platform loans Euros, USD, and Tether while accepting Ether, bitcoin, Bincance coin (BNB), and Nexo as collateral currency. The interest rate is eight percent if the collateral currency is Nexo and 16 percent for all others. Nexo assets are stored in multi-signature wallets, more than one multiple cryptographic keys are necessary to gain access, and cold storage (wallets not connected to the Internet) at BitGo and PrimeTrust.

4. LendingBlock

LendingBlock predicts that, as digital assets grow as an asset class, demand for hedging, swaps, repurchases, and short selling will increase. The currency crypto market has more than $500 billion in assets circulating with less than one percent used as collateral. That leaves lots of room for growth.

Touted as the first cross-chain lending platform for the crypto economy, the company promises a product that will help its customers access secure, transparent, and fair crypto-to-crypto loans. Not a lender itself, LendingBlock provides the platform upon which parties can enter P2P contracts. The company acts as agent for both lender and borrower, as well as security trustee of the collateral. This ensures that the borrower doesn’t face any uncovered credit risk to the lender.

All collateral deposits are held in cold storage. Those who think regulation will be necessary before the crypto market can fully mature can take comfort in the fact that the company is focused on becoming a regulated business. They have submitted the full regulatory application to the country of Gibraltar and await the regulator’s response. They have also begun regulatory processes with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission in the United States.

Basing the platform on its own token (LND), which is used to make payments and receive interest on loans, allows the company to reduce the cost of exchange fees and makes it easier to manage interest payments. The use of smart contracts reduces expenses, risks, and complexity, which makes for lower costs for borrowers and higher returns for the lenders.

5. BlockFi

New York-based BlockFi might be the ideal platform for Americans who want to secure USD loans with Bitcoin and Ethereum, provided that said Americans live in any of the 44 states where the company is currently conducting business.

The attractive thing about the BlockFi platform is that it seems easy enough for a lay person to understand without any kind of financial advice. A borrower needs to meet only two requirements to qualify for a loan: They can have no liens or bankruptcies on their record, and they must have at least $15,000 of crypto assets between their Bitcoin and Ethereum portfolios.

If those criteria are met, the customer can borrow up to 35 percent of their crypto asset value, with loans ranging from $2,000 to $10 million. Interest rates go from 12 to 14 percent APR, and there is an added fee of one to four percent of the loan value. Borrowers can take a loan in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.

Unlike other crypto-based lenders on this list, BlockFi does not have its own coin or token.

6. Unchained Capital

Texas-based Unchained Capital could very well be the platform of choice for those who want to liquidate their Bitcoin while maintaining it and seeing it go to work in the world.

Not only is the team at Unchained Capital in the market to make money as a lender, they have an idealistic side as well. Noting that 60 percent of Bitcoin sits around and does nothing, they have a goal to circulate it and use it to strengthen the platform. The company was founded by people who believe cryptocurrencies can change the world only if they’re useful.

The Unchained Capital team has designed its personal loans to be ideal for people who are looking to make large purchases, who hope to avoid tax events, and who want to invest. Their commercial loans are geared to companies that want to free up capital, expand their businesses, buy expensive equipment, and balance their portfolios.

Unchained Capital does not have its own cryptocurrency.

7. Other Companies to Consider

The crypto lending space is expanding. New lenders seem to be popping up quite often, which means that some people in the cryptocurrency space, at least, see a market for crypto-backed lending. Despite the market having taken a downturn in 2018, rebounding from the bull run last year that catapulted Bitcoin to $20,000 in December, this space is expanding. Lately, Bitcoin has been holding around the $6,500 mark. Since the majority altcoins tend to follow Bitcoin’s price, that means the market as  whole is down, yet more crypto lenders are ambling to get in the door.

Some of the other companies in the crypto lending space that might be worth checking out include BitBond, Credible Friends, Bitfinex (a crypto exchange that facilitates crypto financing transactions between parties), Celsius, Poloniex (another cryptocurrency exchange that allows traders to lend to other users), CoinLoan, Nebeus, GetLine, and BTCpop.

Authors:

Written by Paul Keenan and Allen Taylor.

Allen Taylor

Monday May 21 2018 Daily News Digest

ICO red flags

News Comments Today’s main news: Prospa launches $146M IPO. Experian, HSBC UK partner on credit application solution. RateSetter Australia extends green deal. Student Loan Genius raises $3.5M. Australia court rules against Harmoney. Faircent gets certified for NBFC-P2P. Today’s main analysis: WSJ investigates ICO fraud. Today’s thought-provoking articles: One student explains her student loan turmoil. China’s foreign investment restrictions for P2P lending […]

ICO red flags

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia

India

Other

News Summary

United States

 

Wealthfront’s experiment in risk parity has a rocky start (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Our case here involves Wealthfront, an automated investing service founded by all-star venture capitalist Andy Rachleff. Boasting over $10.5bn under management, the platform offers a wide-range of thoughtful strategies to the casual investor, including indexes optimised to harvest tax-losses and a smart-beta product, overseen by Random Walk proselytiser Burton Malkiel.

Back to Wealthfront’s risk parity offering. In an attempt to lure investors, it backtested its new strategy versus its competitors at AQR and Bridgewater. Here are the results:

Source: Financial Times

I’ve Paid $ 18,000 To A $ 24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $ 24,000 (Bustle) Rated: AAA

The loan, ironically called a “Smart Option” loan, has a variable interest rate that fluctuates based on changes in the financial market — which may have been explained to me at the time (I truly don’t remember), but I know I didn’t fully grasp what that meant.

Source: Bustle

Now, eight years later, that loan — one of nine that left me $95,000 in debt upon graduation (because, yes, interest does accrue while you’re in school) — very clearly marks the exact moment when I lost control of my own financial destiny.

According to a February 2018 study published by the Levy Economic Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank at Bard College, there are 44.2 million Americans with student loans, which adds up to about $1.4 trillion in debt. There already exists a myriad of research-driven articles that wax on the impact of the student loan crisis on the future of this country (screwed), our economy (broken), and the weight of the loan crisis (crippling)

Student Loan Genius Raises $ 3.5M in Seed Series Prime Financing (Finsmes) Rated: AAA

Student Loan Genius (SLG), an Austin, Texas-based employee benefits platform, raised $3.5m in Seed Series Prime financing.

The round was led by Vestigo Ventures, with participation from CMFG Ventures, Prudential Financial and Rubicon Venture Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to support commercialization of its offering as well as to grow its technology, sales and marketing teams.

Cloudvirga Raises $ 50M in Series C Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

Cloudvirga, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of digital mortgage point-of-sale (POS) software provider, closed a $50m Series C funding round.

The round was led by Riverwood Capital with participation from Upfront Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Riverwood executives Scott Ransenberg and Jay Schneider will join Cloudvirga’s board of directors.

Under-the-radar Wilmington fintech companies burst onto consumer credit scene (Delaware Online) Rated: A

One is Fair Square Financial, which last week snagged a $100 million investment from Vikram Pandit, the former CEO of Citigroup.

It’s an infusion of cash that the online credit card company says will allow it to expand beyond its downtown co-working space this year while doubling its workforce to 100 employees during the next two years.

The expansion decision is the result of surprisingly strong customer demand for its online-serviced, low-fee Ollo cards, Fair Square CEO Rob Habgood said. The credit cards carry a variable interest rate that currently sits at a lofty 24.99 percent.

Fintech is disrupting big banks, but here’s what it still needs to learn from them (The Next Web) Rated: A

Much of the hype around fintech focuses on what traditional banks do wrong: they’re slow to adopt new technology; they don’t center the customer; they’re too big to respond nimbly to change. This narrative is part of why fintech continues to attract massive investment, with $31 billion total flowing into the sector last year, according to KPMG.

The truth is that there’s actually a lot that banks do right — things that fintech startups can struggle to replicate. I mean, there’s a reason why they’ve been successful.

Here are the three areas where I feel fintech’s needs and banks’ expertise overlap.

Will Consumers Take On Too Much Debt In 2018? (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The rate of new delinquencies on credit cards stood at 6.42 percent in Q1, up from 5.9 percent for the same period last year. According to Moody’s, the delinquency trend for the next year is for an “increase.” The Q1 credit card delinquency rate trails the 7.3 percent rate for auto loans but is higher than the 3.4 percent rate for residential mortgages.

Meanwhile, the rate of total new household debt delinquencies was about 4.5 percent in Q1 of 2018, “down slightly from a year ago,” Moody’s said. “Over the next year, we believe delinquencies will rise a bit as lenders modestly loosen underwriting standards.”

Direct Lending Partners Hires Industry Leader as Director of Originations and Capital Markets (PR.com) Rated: B

Dream Live Prosper (DLP), an award-winning family company led by Don Wenner (Founder and CEO), is excited to announce the appointment of Greg E Schecher as Director of Originations and Capital Markets.

Based out of the company’s Southeast headquarters in St. Augustine, Florida, Greg will lead the firm’s CRE bridge loan lending and marketplace lending platform.

United Kingdom

Equifax powers HSBC UK’s first live credit application solution (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

HSBC UK has created the “first live” use case of open banking for credit applications using the InterConnect cloud platform from Equifax.

According to Equifax, the solution will help quick affordability assessments by allowing individuals to submit their bank transaction information electronically, in less than five minutes, during an application for credit.

Each submission is presented directly to HSBC UK’s underwriting team in real-time, providing the bank with view of a customer’s affordability and offering faster lending decisions.

Peer-to-peer lending: beware the risks (The Times) Rated: A

About 150,000 Britons have lent nearly £10bn in this way over the past decade, earning around 4.5% interest on average. By contrast, the average interest rate on an easy access savings account is just 0.51%.

The bigger platforms, such as Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter, are therefore attractive alternatives for would-be savers.

The market was boosted by the launch in 2016 of innovative finance Isas, which allow people to invest £20,000 a year tax-free in P2P platforms and equity-based crowdfunding, where they buy stakes in companies.

The Disruptive Rise of FinTech (Technative) Rated: A

The fintech industry is one of the fastest growing areas of the British economy and is generating more than £20 billion annually. The sector continues to grow, it currently employs over 60,000 people and has produced more billion pound-valued start-ups than any other British economic sector.

 

P2P lender urges social media firms to allow crypto ads (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

A BAN on cryptocurrency adverts will do more harm than good, a crypto-backed peer-to-peer lender has warned.

Lendingblock, which lets individuals lend in a range of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, said rather than Google, Facebook and Twitter pursuing a current ban on cryptocurrency adverts to help clamp down on scams, they should help promote education and awareness.

Lendingblock warned a complete blackout on information may be “the easiest option” but warned that cryptocurrencies aren’t going anywhere so it would be better to partner with the industry and ensure consumers understand the market.

More funding for smes (Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine) Rated: A

The Manufacturer has partnered up with the alternative finance specialist ThinCats to make £100 million of funding available to UK manufacturers, as more and more investors are becoming increasingly keen to help fund SMEs.

The main issue for some SMEs is that they do not have the largest amounts of assets against which the banks are more willing to lend. As a result, many of them can’t invest in their growth, or delay investment until they reach the point they can fund it themselves. The wider knock-on effect of this problem is that the UK’s productivity and growth is being held back.

Crypto world gets most complete and secured crypto exchange with Bitmillex (The Cryptocurrency Analytics) Rated: A

What separates Bitmillex from other crypto exchanges is that the platform was developed out of the long-standing demand of a credible cryptocurrency exchange which will prioritize fund security and also will be able to extend a much wider range of investing and trading options than what is offered by current regular exchanges.  

Speaking further, Mr. Briton highlighted the other state of the art features of Bitmillex which keeps it ahead of other crypto exchanges-

  • Most advanced security and hosting protection through cloud hosted servers that are connected to custom hardware security modules and multiple protective layers to withstand any attack and hack attempts. In addition, 98% of all balances are to be stored in secure offline cold storage.
  • Multiple social trade offerings through Auto-Trade, Peer-to-Peer BTC market and Peer to Peer Lending & Borrowing opportunity. (use the term copy trading)
  • Bitmillex has introduced MTG trading software to ensure a ground-breaking multi-terminal and multi-platform trading experience  (MT4)
  • Traders have the flexibility to hold funds in fiat and trade major forex pairs when the crypto market is bearish
  • Bitmillex is offering its revolutionary Debit Card to users that will be linked to their wallets and will provide them immediate access to their balance at ATMs or POS in fiat currency worldwide

Fintech envoy for Northern Ireland appointed (Open Access Government) Rated: B

Georgina O’Leary, Director of Innovation, Research and Development at Allstate has been appointed as the government’s new fintech envoy for Northern Ireland.

China

Foreign investment restrictions in P2P lending intermediaries (China Business Law Review) Rated: AAA

Current regulations and policies on peer-to-peer lending do not directly restrict or prohibit foreign investment in P2P lending intermediaries.

Relying on a network, a P2P lending intermediary will generally charge a certain consulting fee, service fee, etc., once a lender and borrower that have been brought together establish a lending relationship.

Local financial service office recordal/registration. Article 5 of the measures specifies that, within 10 working days after collecting its business licence, a P2P lending intermediary, or one of its branches, that proposes to launch P2P lending information intermediary services is required to carry out, on the strength of relevant materials, recordal/registration with the local financial regulator of the place where it has its business registration. Once it has completed recordal/registration with the local regulator, the P2P lending intermediary is required to apply for the appropriate telecoms service operating permit in accordance with relevant regulations of the competent telecoms authority before it can launch its services.

European Union

Following the Paypal acquisition: iZettle’s founders are the latest Swedish tech billionaires (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson, Skype’s Niklas Zennström and Spotify’s founding duo Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon are Sweden’s richest people in tech today – all worth $1 billion or more.

Following Paypal’s announcement that it would buy the Swedish payments company iZettle for $2,2 billion (19 billion SEK), Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson – founders of iZettle – have joined the few dozen Swedish entrepreneurs worth 1 billion krona or more.

International

Hundreds of Bitcoin Wannabes Show Hallmarks of Fraud (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

In a review of documents produced for 1,450 digital coin offerings, The Wall Street Journal has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Data Centers Take Center Stage in Real-Estate Investing (Barron’s) Rated: AAA

“An autonomous car will need 40 times more bandwidth than the cars we use today,” says East. “The demand for data centers is growing 30% per year in the U.S. and 70% in China, but there are only six public companies in the supplier’s market.” They are: Equinix (EQIX), CoreSite Realty (COR), CyrusOne(CONE), Digital Realty Trust (DLR), QTS Realty Trust (QTS), and Switch (SWCH).

Data centers aren’t easy markets to enter. It’s not hard to purchase a piece of land to build the property, but the facility needs to be outfitted in fiber, equipped with interconnected networks, and wired for massive electric power and top-tier security devices. It takes about $1,000 to build one square foot of data center, said East, compared with the average cost of $300 for conventional real estate.

Capgemini And Efma Launch Innovative FinTech Portal (Payment Week) Rated: A

Capgemini and Efma today announced the launch of FinTechVisor, an innovative platform designed to bring FinTechs and financial institutions together to collaborate. The FinTechVisor portal offers a world-wide networking and collaborative community for FinTechs and financial institutions to become game-changers by co-creating the future of the financial services industry.

Launched today at the CCX Forum in London, the portal, which connects financial institutions and FinTechs, will have a feature that allows bankers and insurers to rate FinTechs and comment on their solutions, as well as a “matchmaker-like” personalized function for financial institutions to find a FinTech partner who complements their needs and interests.

InnerScope Hearing Technologies, Inc. Announces Klarna Bank as a Financing Partner (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

Hearing Technologies InnerScopeInc. (OTCQB:INND) announced today the complete integration of www.Klarna.com for a simple and easy one-click payment solutions for its online customers who shop at www.hearingbenefit.com and www.nohasslehearing.com websites.

InnerScope and Klarna have teamed up to offer a frictionless one-click checkout solution which gives customers a choice of 2 simple no-hassle payment options, Pay Now, or Slice It options.

  • The Pay Now option is for customers who want to pay in full at checkout can do it quickly and securely with a credit/debit card.
  • The Slice it option with its instant financing and a quick and simple credit application process allowing the customers to spread the cost of their purchases over a 6 to 24-month period at 0% annual percent rate (“APR”), depending on transaction value, giving them flexibility and increased purchasing power.
Australia

Online lender Prospa launches $ 146m IPO (News) Rated: AAA

Online lender Prospa has launched a $146 million initial public offering, offering shares at $3.64.

Prospa, which lends to small businesses, says the majority of funds raised in the IPO, which includes institutional, retail and employee offers, will be used to grow its existing business, add new products and expand into New Zealand.

RateSetter Australia extends green deal (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

RATESETTER Australia has announced an 18-month extension to its green loan marketplace.

The UK peer-to-peer lender’s Australian subsidiary is working with the Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to bring clean energy borrowers and investors together.

In its first year it helped more than 1,000 households and small businesses finance green energy products.

 

High Court backs Commerce Commission over Harmoney (Scoop News) Rated: AAA

The High Court has sided with the Commerce Commission on how to interpret peer-to-peer lender Harmoney’s platform fees, deeming them to be credit fees and falling under the regulator’s purview.

The commission, which oversees the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003, claimed Harmoney’s platform fees were an unreasonable credit fee and sought a declaration from the court backing up its interpretation.

Justice Patricia Courtney today backed the commission’s interpretation, saying Harmoney’s documents amounted to a credit contract and that the way the peer-to-peer lender was structured went “beyond mere matchmaking”, providing a nominal creditor to hold loans as a bare trustee for investors and undertaking the full administration of the transactions.

Fintech disruptor will benefit from Banking Royal Commission (Motley Fool) Rated: A

Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) provides online credit for consumers and businesses at point-of-sale through brands zipMoney and zipPay.

Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) provides a platform that allows retail merchants to offer consumers to ‘buy now, receive now, pay later’ without having to enter into a traditional loan agreement.

Money3 Corporation Limited (ASX: MNY) started out as a a payday lender, which it plans to exit in the next financial year. The company is predominantly involved in providing secured auto loans, which make up around 80% of its loan book.

Westpac made blind pensioner a guarantor without risk advice, inquiry hears (Reuters) Rated: A

Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp admitted on Monday to signing up a legally blind pensioner as loan guarantor for her daughter’s business without warning her of the risks, then threatened to evict her when the business failed.

The testimony, given to a powerful inquiry into the country’s financial sector, came as Australia’s “big four” lenders all admitted to misconduct in their submissions to a third round of public hearings that focuses on loans to small businesses.

Other transgressions included fraudulent loans and double-charging interest, the inquiry heard, a further hit to the sector’s reputation after previous rounds of hearings uncovered widespread abuses in Australia’s financial planning industry.

FinTech Australia announces new CEO (Fintech Australia) Rated: B

Brad Kitschke has been appointed as CEO of FinTech Australia.

 

India

Faircent Gets RBI Nod For NBFC-P2P Certification (Inc 42) Rated: AAA

Gurugram-based P2P lending startup Faircent has received its non-banking financial companies (NBFC)-Peer-to-Peer (P2P) certification from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India).

The accreditation makes Faircent the first P2P lending platform in the country to receive the certificate of registration as an NBFC-P2P by the national regulator.

FinTech firms assisting banks with customer acquisition (Business Standard News) Rated: A

MoneyTap

People earning more than Rs. 20,000 per month can utilise this app to borrow anywhere between Rs.3,000 to Rs.500,000. Offering flexible payback options, MoneyTap allows borrowers to select their own EMI plans.

CoinTribe

Endeavoring to fill the gaps in SME unsecured loan segment, CoinTribe as a loan marketplace makes it easier for banks to confidently enter the uncharted domains.

Lending on peer-to-peer platforms is fraught with higher risks (Business Standard) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer or P2P lending has emerged as an alternative option for investors who wish to earn higher rates of return than what traditional fixed-income instruments can offer. However, lending on these platforms also entails higher risk, which investors need to be aware of before venturing into this relatively new investment avenue.

6 investments with high return (The Economic Times) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a relatively recent option and is a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest by bringing together people who need to borrow, from those who want to invest. For the funds that you invest, the interest rate may be set by the P2P platform or mutual agreement between the borrower and lender.

Risks: Since this is an unsecured loan where there is no face-to-face interaction, a P2P lender, i.e., the investor needs to be aware of the risks involved such as default on the part of the borrowers.

Asia

Finance: RHB plans to win over SMEs with digital agenda (The Edge Markets) Rated: A

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can no longer avoid going digital if they want to stay relevant. And RHB Bank Bhd, which has a new five-year strategy, is looking to help them do just that.

Jeffrey Ng, the bank’s head of group business and transaction banking, says the digital economy is the biggest trend impacting SMEs, and many of them will require assistance to adopt the technology. Ng was previously head of RHB’s SME division.

For RHB, this means onboarding SMEs into its electronic financial supply chain platforms. Suppliers and buyers can perform payments for goods entirely on the bank’s platforms and receive payments instantly. SMEs that want to offer cashless payments can also do so with RHB’s solutions.

How Vietnam’s Fintech Market Could Reach Nearly $ 8 Billion By 2020 (Forbes) Rated: A

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday March 6 2018, Daily News Digest

credit card charge offs

News Comments Today’s main news: Is Amazon about to partner with JP Morgan Chase? Elevate saves customers $3B over payday loan alternatives. LendInvest hosts a roadshow. Folk2Folk lenders provide 200M GBP to UK rural businesses. China issues first personal credit rating license. Today’s main analysis: Credit card losses surge at small banks. Today’s thought-provoking articles: FT Partners’ CEO monthly […]

credit card charge offs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

News Summary

United States

Amazon wants to make it easier to shop its website without a credit card (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Amazon is in early talks with financial institutions including J.P. Morgan Chase to help launch checking account-like products, aimed at younger customers and those without bank accounts, The Wall Street Journalreported Monday.

More than a quarter of U.S. households have no or limited access to checking and savings accounts. Unbanked doesn’t necessarily mean unconnected, about 6 in 10 unbanked consumers have a smartphone, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

New prime subscriptions flattened in the third quarter of 2017, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Another survey by Piper Jaffray in June said that 82 percent of U.S. households with more than $112,000 in annual income are already Prime members. Its reach is the lowest among those that make less than $41,000 a year.

In November, it announced that shoppers at 7-Eleven stores nationwide could deposit as little as $15 and as much as $500 into an Amazon account through its “Amazon cash” program. Shoppers can then use that cash to shop on Amazon. Nearly one-half of the U.S. population lives within one mile of a 7-Eleven store.

Will Amazon Pitch Financial Advice To Millennials? (Financial Advisor), Rated: A

If Amazon is successful in creating a banking relationship with its vast customer base of millennials, can an investment advice platform be far behind?

Stich predicts that Amazon, a company with a $700 billion market cap, will offer three levels of investment accounts to millennials and interested customers: It could offer do-it-yourself accounts and robo-advisory accounts; and for those who want a personal advisor, Amazon could create and refer customers to a state-by-state network of select investment professionals.

Consumers interested in idea of Amazon-created cryptocurrency, survey reveals (The Block), Rated: A

More than half of consumers would be open to using an Amazon-created cryptocurrency, with Amazon Prime users even keener, according to poll findings from student loan marketplace LendEDU.

The study, which polled 1,000 consumers who had purchased a product from Amazon in the past 30 days, found 51.7% would be interested in an ‘Amazon Coin’, with the number increasing to 58.27% for Prime members, and only one in five (21.9%) saying no.

Only 17% of those polled said they would trust Amazon more than a traditional bank, compared with 23% who disagreed and 38% who said levels of trust would be about the same. Nine in 10 respondents however said that overall, they trusted Amazon to have their best interests in mind, with 52.49% answering ‘yes, very much so’ and 37.56% opting for ‘somewhat.’

Elevate Milestone: Customers Have Saved More Than $ 3 Billion Over PayDay Loan Alternatives (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (Elevate), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, announced on Monday its customers have saved more than $3 billion to date, versus what they would have paid for payday loans. $1.3 billion was saved in 2017 alone.

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

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Keith Smith, Co-founder and CEO of Payability, a platform that provides friction-free financing to sellers operating on digital marketplaces. In our conversation with Keith, he delves into the vision behind founding Payability and the unique opportunities and strategies of lending to online marketplace sellers.

M&A
Financings
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)

Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

A Dialogue with Peter Renton: Cryptocurrency and Beyond (deBanked), Rated: AAA

deBanked: Why did you decide to rebrand LendIt as LendItFintech?

Renton: The main reason is that we have moved beyond the online lending space.

deBanked: What about online lending? The industry has gone through a lot of changes in its relatively short history. How do you expect to see the competitive landscape change in the next year or so? What about farther out?

Renton: The online lending space has gone through a lot of changes in its short history. I feel like the biggest trend we’re seeing right now is banks launching their own platforms. Take Goldman Sachs with the Marcus online lending platform, for example. More than anything else that has happened in the history of online lending that is among the most telling for the future, I think.

deBanked: What do you see as the biggest risks for online lenders today? How can they best overcome these challenges?

Renton: As an industry, we have to focus on profitability.

Credit-Card Losses Surge at Small Banks (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Missed payments on credit cards at small banks have risen sharply over the past year, a sign that their cardholders are taking on more debt than they can handle. Their charge-off rate, or the share of outstanding card balances written off as a loss after consumers failed to pay, hit 7.2% in the fourth quarter, up from 4.5% a year ago, according to Federal Reserve data.

But they’ve especially surged at smaller banks, those outside the 100 largest by assets that have less than around $10.4 billion in assets. There, the average charge-off rate is near an eight-year high, while the 3.5% loss rate at large banks remains well below the 10.6% seen in 2010.

tZero Has Acquired VerifyInvestor for Million in Cash (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Buried within the tZero Offering Memorandum for its ongoing initial coin offering were several interesting items of note. The first was the fact the SEC was in the process of reviewing the offering. Another interesting bit of information was the fact tZero has acquired a majority stake in VerifyInvestor.

 

Gina Harman of Accion (Lend Academy), Rated: A

My next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Gina Harman, the CEO of the U.S. Network for Accion. They are a non-profit lender with 14 regional offices around the country focused on providing funding to underserved businesses. Accion has a very consultative approach to lending so their work often involves face to face meetings with the potential borrowers. But they are also serving the entire country through online means today.

LendingPoint Launches Merchant Solutions Platform (BusinessWire), Rated: A

LendingPoint, the company working to revolutionize access to consumer credit, today unveiled LendingPoint Merchant Solutions to provide merchants and other service providers a fully integrated one-stop retail financing platform to convert more consumers at the point of sale.

LendingPoint Merchant Solutions combines the LoanHero merchant onboarding, program management and reporting technology with LendingPoint’s industry-leading credit underwriting, risk management, and customer service expertise.

Grameen America eyes banks in ambitious push to expand microlending effort (American Banker), Rated: A

Grameen America is looking for banks and social impact investors to help fuel significant growth in its microlending effort.

The plan is to double the size of its loan portfolio, and lend a cumulative total of $2 billion, over the next five years, David Gough, its chief financial officer, said in an interview.

RICO suit filed against Great Plains Lending over allegations of predatory online lending scheme (Legal NewLine), Rated: A

Vanessa C. Grainger, Beverly Kristina Miller and Lilya J. McAtee, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against Great Plains Lending LLC, Kenneth E. Rees, Victory Part Capitol Advisors LLC, et al. over alleged violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

THE SEC’S ICO SUBPOENA EXPLAINED (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

“The SEC typically sends a subpoena for one of two reasons: you are either a direct target of a new or ongoing investigation or you are involved somehow with an entity or individual that is under investigation,” notes William Skelley, Co-founder of William Chris, a Dubai-based consulting firm founded by David Drake and Simon Cocking.

Clayton had stated that most ICOs need to register with SEC because, like other securities that the agency regulates, they trade coins in secondary markets. However, ICO companies have shown reluctance in subjecting themselves to SEC’s oversight despite the fact that up to $8.7 billion has been raised through ICOs, based on CoinDesk data.

How Stash Invest is trying to reach the underserved (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Stash is letting its customers invest in single stocks, the company’s latest major investment product launch beyond theme-based exchange-traded funds.

Stash lets customers buy portions of shares (called fractional shares) with a minimum balance of $5.

Core Upgrade Brings Orion’s Dynamic, Time-Saving Reporting to Private Assets (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), the premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors, today announced the release of its Alternative Investment Platform (“AIP”), a tool that lets Orion advisors show their clients’ private assets as easily as their public holdings at no additional cost.

AIP lets financial advisors track and maintain alternative investment data for client assets held in private equity, direct investments, venture capital, hedge funds, private real estate, REITs, and more, with ease and efficiency. AIP lets advisors aggregate and update committed capital amounts, total cash distributions, return of capital, and commitment amounts for alternative investments of all types into client reports alongside publicly-traded assets to create a cohesive picture of the client’s net worth.

Is there a sandbox in the US’s future? (Euromoney), Rated: A

The cooperation between the FCA and the CFTC will cover information sharing, referrals and learning from proofs of concept, trials or innovation competitions.

Various agencies – including the CFTC, SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) – oversee specific segments of the market, and for a US sandbox regime to be successful there would need to be substantial collaboration and coordination between all of these agencies.

Shinnecock Partners Publishes “How to” for Private Investors on Direct Lending (PRWeb), Rated: B

Direct lending is a new category that is reshaping the asset management and investment landscape, yet most investors see the arena as a “black box.” Shinnecock Partners, a 28-year old family office boutique with significant expertise in alternative finance and fintech, offers investors insights into the category with its recently published report: High Yield for Investors in Specialty Finance: Exploring Opportunities in Factoring and Merchant Cash Advance. Written and researched by the firm’s founding partner, Alan C. Snyder and co-author Marla Harkness, the 37-page report is a virtual blueprint for investors, RIAs, advisory firms and the new generation of innovators who have started alternative lending companies to serve a vacuum left by large banks and community banks that used to serve small and mid-size business pre-recession.

The paper covers:

  •     In-depth descriptions of both factoring and merchant cash advance (MCA) loan originators
  •     Insider lingo, so investors are up to speed when reviewing documents
  •     Regulatory history and framework
  •     Detailed investor evaluation checklists

You can access the report here: High Yield For Investors in Specialty Finance.

Fintech firms are gobbling up Manhattan office space (The Real Deal), Rated: B

Fintech firms and units of larger companies accounted for roughly 877,000 square feet of Manhattan office leasing last year, according to JLL data reported by the Wall Street Journal. That’s almost triple the sector’s total for 2014.

Venture capital funding for fintech firms has roughly doubled from 2014 to $2.2 billion in 2017, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Albuquerque ranks among 10 best places for new small businesses (Biz Journals), Rated: B

Albuquerque ranked No. 8 on LendingTree’s list of the best cities for new small businesses released Feb. 27.

United Kingdom

Roadshow Announcement (London South East), Rated: AAA

LendInvest Limited, the specialist mortgage provider, announces that it has mandated Peel Hunt to arrange a series of meetings with fixed income investors in the UK and Channel Islands, commencing the week of 5 March 2018, to discuss a possible second issue of sterling denominated bonds.

Folk2Folk Lenders Provide £200 Million to Rural Businesses in the UK (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Folk2Folk, a peer-to-peer (P2P0 lending platform for local and rural businesses, announced on Monday it has now lent £200 million, providing a valuable source of capital to hundreds of local businesses across the UK. According to the online lending, this milestone demonstrates the strong demand in the company’s Local Lending Movement as Lenders and Borrowers are attracted by Folk2Folk’s platform, providing a fair exchange that sees no difference between what Borrowers repay and Lenders receive on a monthly basis.

Folk2Folk’s lending milestone was reached thanks to a growing community of local Lenders who have placed £20,000 or above on the lender’s platform. The average lent per Lender now exceeds £65,000. Lenders receive 6.5%pa interest which is paid monthly, helping them achieve their financial goals, whether it be an additional income for retirement or funding a life event like a once in a lifetime holiday.

Exchange Platform LendingBlock Boosts the Development of the Crypto Sphere (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

Lendingblock is an outstanding representative of the “picks and shovel” business of the crypto economy. The recent announcement of an ICO by this company raises an important issue: can these followers of Gold Rush traditions achieve the same success?

Lendingblock is an open exchange platform for both borrowers and lenders of crypto currencies. The platform enables owners of digital assets to earn passive, low risk interest income, while borrowers get an opportunity get assets needed to support trading, hedging and working capital needs.

Tales of failed peer-to-peer lenders (AltFi), Rated: A

A little-known pawnbroking and property-backed peer-to-peer lending platform named Collateral has gone into administration, according to reports. Its investors are in limbo, unable to access their money or even view their accounts.

Be The Lender folded in August 2014. It was a tiny peer-to-peer platform with a focus on lending to small businesses.

GraduRates was a very small peer-to-peer lender specialising in loans to post-graduate students. In 2014, with a new regulatory regime for P2P firms looming, its founder Jonathan Webb decided to close down operations.

TrustBuddy was a peer-to-peer firm specialising in short-term loans for consumers. It is perhaps the best-known example of a P2P blow-up because it was the first big platform to go belly-up.

Finally, the complete comedy that was the Ezubao blow-up. There are many, many examples of failed Chinese P2P platforms, but Ezubao takes the biscuit.

FOS tells adviser to pay client over £30k loss through unsecured Sipp loan (Money Marketing), Rated: A

The Financial Ombudsman Service has told an adviser to compensate a client who they told to make an unsecured loan to a third party with money from their Sipp.

Mr H says O’Rourke Partnership recommended and arranged for him to make an unsecured loan of £29,325 to the third party from funds he held in his Sipp.

The loan was to be over a short-term at a high rate of interest but the loan has not been repaid and Mr H has lost his money.

An investigator reviewed the complaint, thought the advice was unsuitable and recommended that it should be upheld.

P2P lending “high  up the scale of respectability” for non-standard investments (AltFi), Rated: A

BondMason boss warns that recent FSCS fines are likely make SIPP providers extra cautious in reviewing non-standard investments.  

An estimated one million people are said to have taken up a SIPP (self-investment pension plan) since the wrapper was first introduced as part of the government’s Pension Freedom Reforms in April 2015. But squeezing non-standard investments into the still relatively-new tax wrapper hasn’t been easy.

Archover announces new non-exec director, nears profitability (AltFi), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer business lender is turning dissenters into directors with its latest hire, after hitting £60m in lending.

ArchOver, the p2p business lending platform, has announced it will be appointing Bill Johnston to its board as a non-executive director. Johnston previously was an outspoken critic of p2p lending and alternative finance in general, but says he has been swayed after seeing ArchOver succeed.

Beauty marketplace founder joins Blend Network management team (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A FORMER Morgan Stanley banker turned beauty marketplace founder is among two appointments to the board of a new peer-to-peer lending platform aiming to become the “Goldman Sachs of P2P”.

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, a former Morgan Stanley vice president and founder of Zeebba – which arranges at-home beauty services – has joined asset-backed property lender Blend Network as business development manager.

Metro Loans Presents Unsecured Business Start up Loans for Unemployed in UK (MENAFN), Rated: B

The UK based direct lending company has come up with unsecured business start up loans to build up new entrepreneurs.

China

China Issues its First Personal Credit Rating License (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On February 22, the People’s Bank of China published an announcement about setting up personal credit rating agencies. According to the document, Baihang Credit Rating Co., Ltd., was granted the first personal credit rating license in China, and the qualifications of its management team (including board member, supervisors and senior management) has all received approval.

A New Ransomware Virus Could Steal All Your Alipay Balance

Recently, a ransomware virus called “unicorn 2.1” raged online. It spreads through QQ and other Instant Messengers.

Once the virus hacks the computer, it will lock all the files in the computer and requires the victim to pay ¥3 yuan by scanning with his / her Alipay. As long as the victim scans the QR code, the hacker will be able to get access to the Alipay account and steal all the balance.

International

Marketplace lending platform Maliyya scores EUR1.3 million in seed funding (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Maliyya, a fintech company engaged in development of a P2P lending and borrowing platform, has just closed the first seed investment round of USD$1.3 million from Ground1 Ventures, a private investment firm based out of UK.

Targeting to become a primary P2P lending and borrowing platform for the Middle East, North African and Asian Region, Maliyya is working on to roll out its MVP in the coming months.

How can today’s generation of lenders fight global financial crime? (LendIt), Rated: AAA

What if you lent money to someone who used it to finance an act of terrorism? Or to disguise the proceeds of drug dealing. How would this make you feel and what would it mean for the reputation of your growing business?

Today’s generation of FinTechs however, face huge technology and operational challenges – they interface with banks and therefore need ‘bank-grade’ solutions for KYC/AML but existing technology solutions struggle to fit with their unique needs. Increasingly, they are looking to new technology to help them comply with global KYC/AML standards, maintain banking relationships and ultimately fight financial crime.

What are the financial crime risks for lenders and FinTechs?

Lenders spend billions of dollars a year on compliance solutions trying to combat their financial crime risk, which broadly fall into two categories: anti-money laundering / terrorist financing (AML/CTF) risk and fraud.

Crypto’s missing pieces: Building a sustainable financial ecosystem (International Business Times), Rated: AAA

Centralized, “off-chain” cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex and Poloniex, support margin-lending. Although limited to certain customer groups, and a limited number of assets, they generally fit the definition of money markets. The downside is that investors have to trust that the exchange won’t get hacked or abscond with assets. That’s a big risk. The recent $530 million heist from the Japanese exchange, Coincheck, isn’t likely to be the last, and many customers feel that the incremental returns aren’t worth the risk. That may change as exchanges move toward adoption by the existing financial system.

Peer to peer lending protocols, including ETHLend and Lendroid, eliminate the risk of centralization by allowing users to lend to each other directly. But to an outside observer, they hardly resemble money markets with a uniform interest rate.

Peer to peer lending protocols, including ETHLend and Lendroid, eliminate the risk of centralization by allowing users to lend to each other directly. But to an outside observer, they hardly resemble money markets with a uniform interest rate.

Profile Software’s innovative solutions for banking and wealth industry (Hubbis), Rated: B

The company today has a presence in Europe, the Middle East, America, Asia and Africa, throughout those regions delivering innovative solutions to both start-ups and established banking and finance institutions, through direct communication or a reliable partners network.

Profile’s leading platform, Axia is an omnichannel wealth management  platform covering all aspects of the investment operations that modularly, and with flexibility, embrace the whole spectrum of portfolio management, with continuous updates on client onboarding, online trading, compliance issues (such as MiFID II), instruments, custodian links and bank interfaces, financial planning, and so forth. The investment management solution also supports operations in insurance firms, private banking, custody, brokerage needs and more, with a successful track record.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday February 27 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingClub

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi’s new CEO wants to get the company ready to go public. Revolut’s transaction volumes increased 700%. China to crackdown on non-bank lending. Blender raises $16M. Today’s main analysis: Stay away from LendingClub’s notes and shares. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Legacy banks, digital startups see opportunity to go beyond storing money. LendingBlock aims to mainstream […]

LendingClub

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

Other

News Summary

United States

Anthony Noto’s Mission as SoFi CEO: Get the Startup Ready to Go Public (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Anthony Noto, the new chief executive officer of Social Finance Inc., is looking to steer the company out of crisis and get it in shape for a potential initial public offering.

The vision for SoFi outlined by Noto didn’t stray far from the one set by his predecessor Mike Cagney, who was ousted after accusations of sexual misconduct inside the company. Noto wants to create a broad online financial-service company, adding checking and savings accounts and wealth management to the main business of refinancing student loans.

SoFi’s new CEO says bank charter remains an option (American Banker), Rated: A

In an interview during his first day on the job, Anthony Noto did not promise any big course changes, though he did leave open the possibility that SoFi will revive its quest to get a banking license.

LendingClub’s Underwriting: Stay Away From The Notes And The Shares (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

I bought my first batch of $25 notes on April 22, 2016. Now, it is important to note that LendingClub is very clear in its advertising that “99% of portfolios with 100+ Notes have seen positive returns.” So I suppose I added a level of risk by not having a portfolio worth at least $2500. But even still, returns can be .1% annualized and count as ‘positive’, but that is not an acceptable return by anyone’s standards given the risks involved in lending to strangers.

My Portfolio

To date, I have received $436 in payments, $96 of which is interest. I have lost $100 on notes that have charged-off, meaning that there is zero expectation of future payment and LendingClub collectors have stopped attempting to reach the borrower. I also have a note that is late, and based on how things have gone so far, I fully expect that to charge-off too and will lose the $11.50 still owed. In short, I have already lost almost 20% of my initial investment, crossing my fingers that none of the 14 notes I still have that are current don’t enter a late status with more than a year to go before the oldest reaches full term. My results have been dismal.

Source: Seeking Alpha

LendingClub’s ratings are A-G, with A being the safest. As you can see, the vast majority of my portfolio sits in A-C, with one E and one G note (LendingClub did away with F and G notes last year).

Source: Seeking Alpha

Legacy Banks and Digital Startups See a Big Opportunity to Move Beyond Simply Storing Money (AdWeek), Rated: AAA

Change can be hard for the financial industry, which is dominated by decades of processes and internal systems. But with a slew of upstarts making their way into the trillion-dollar industry, the old guard is finding innovative ways to beat these challenger brands at their own game.

“A lot of these companies have what we call ‘technical debt’—very expensive mainframe systems that are very difficult to change, run [and are] expensive and obviously that limits their ability to innovate,” said Oliwia Berdak, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “The biggest challenge is often culture … In banks the attitude has always been to perfect [products] before it’s unleashed on customers and [technology] is a big change where you’re working with a certain degree of uncertainty and risk.”

According to data collected by Accenture, 90 percent of banking executives said that their companies needed to “innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to remain competitive,” but only 47.8 percent say that they are actually “investing comprehensively” in digital.

Another challenge: For all the talk about slick mobile banking apps and services, consumers—gasp—still like going to physical banks to manage financial decisions. Eighty-seven percent of customers enjoy going to a physical bank and prefer to interact with a human while there, per Accenture.

Source: AdWeek

Retail Banks Are Missing Opportunities to Give Digital Financial Advice (Wealth Management), Rated: A

Most customers who received face-to-face financial advice from their retail bank felt their needs were completely met (58 percent), but satisfaction drops when advice is delivered by other means, according to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Retail Banking Sales Practices & Advice Study. Only 45 percent of customers who received digital advice through their bank’s website or mobile app felt their needs were met and only 33 percent felt their needs were met via email.
The majority of customers surveyed for the study (58 percent) said they want to receive advice through their bank’s website and mobile app, but only 12 percent said they received advice in that manner.

Why neobanks need to find a niche offering (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Customers still aren’t excited about digital-only banks. Less than 10 percent of Americans looking to open a checking account would consider doing so at a digital bank, according to a new report by Cornerstone Advisors.

For example, San Francisco-based neobank Chime’s customers are mostly middle-income millennials, with a median age of 29 and incomes between $45,000 to $65,000. Chime says it caters to a gap in the market for younger customers who felt larger institutions weren’t meeting their needs.

Neobanks should focus on a “clear, differentiated value proposition” for the customer, but too many of them are just adding a little technology to a customer experience that’s not terribly different from what the big banks offer, said Satya Patel, a partner at Homebrew, a seed-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco and an investor in Chime.

How Capital One is rethinking its approach to products (Tearsheet), Rated: A

For the past year, Capital One has been rethinking how it can get out of the too-common approach of “innovating” by layering new technology on top of an old product — it’s realized it needs to entirely reconsider the customer’s interaction with it.

Are banks too blasé about mobile security? (American Banker), Rated: B

About a third of companies have knowingly sacrificed security for expediency or business performance, according to a newly published study, and researchers said that bankers’ responses were consistent with the group as a whole, which included health care and other sectors.

Bringing Credit Invisibles Into Focus with Alternative Financial Data (LendIt), Rated: A

Ten percent of the U.S. adult population do not have a credit score or history with any of the big three credit bureaus.

That’s 1 in 10, or roughly 26 million people who are considered “credit invisible.”

But the financial underserved market spends $173 billion in fees and interest to use $1.94 trillion in financial services, according to the 2017 Center for Financial services Innovation study.

There are four basic categories of people who fall under the credit invisibles umbrella:

  • Millennials: People between 18– 34 and have not yet borrowed money or gotten a credit card.
  • Low-Income: People who don’t make enough money to gain access to credit.
  • Recent immigrants: People who recently moved to the U.S. but haven’t established credit.
  • Mass-affluent: People who earn more than $100,000 per year and pay with cash instead of credit.

Mobile Payments In US To Reach $ 3 Trillion Within Two Years (Payment Week), Rated: A

in 2015, mobile payments in the US represented $550 billion. That’s good by most any standard, but the growth expected is staggering. By 2020, that number is projected to hit $2.8 trillion. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.1 percent, which is far beyond most any but the most unlikely investments.

China represents $5.5 trillion in mobile payments use as of right now, a combination of various societal factors like a comparative eschewing of the personal computer in favor of the mobile device, as well as a near-ubiquity of locations that accept the system.

BREAKFORM | RE Closes a Small Lot Subdivision Development in Record Time Via Crowdfunding (PRWeb), Rated: A

BREAKFORM | RE closed its latest small lot subdivision development project in the prime West Hollywood adjacent neighborhood in record time using Equity Multiple, one of the leading real estate crowdfunding platforms. The offering was 145% subscribed in 72 hours.

Credible Appoints Chris Bishko as Chief Financial Officer (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Credible, the consumer finance marketplace that helps consumers save money and make smarter financial decisions, today announced that it has appointed Chris Bishko as chief financial officer. Mr. Bishko will report to Credible’s founder and CEO Stephen Dash.

New York Lawmakers Open to Revisiting the BitLicense (CoinDesk), Rated: B

A bill to reform the regulation could be introduced “very soon,” State Senator David Carlucci told CoinDesk.

But what is likely to remain is the animosity toward the BitLicense, as evidenced by the small but dedicated protest gathering outside just before the roundtable began, not to mention the grievances aired by the two dozen or so attendees.

United Kingdom

Transaction volumes increase 700pc at fintech firm Revolut (Independent.ie), Rated: AAA

Fintech start-up Revolut has seen its monthly transaction volume increase by over 700pc in the last 12 months to $1.5bn (€1.2bn).

Lendingblock Aims to Popularize Crypto Lending in a Secure and Transparent Way (cryptovest), Rated: AAA

Lendingblock aims to become the first to build a marketplace where cryptocurrency lenders meet borrowers, and can exchange their assets across blockchains. The platform aims to bring securities lending to the crypto economy. The current estimates of the market paint a picture of enormous potential for development: in 2017, $2 trillion of assets on loan in traditional securities lending brought approximately $4 billion in revenue. Replicating this in crypto could generate up to $300 million within 3 years as the project notes in its white paper.

 

Britain’s big banks play catch up with fintech with new apps (Reuters), Rated: A

British retail banks are poised to introduce money management apps to compete with those already launched by financial technology start-ups, betting their trusted brands, broad client base and deep pockets will help them make up lost ground.

NatWest sets up network of fintech accelerator hubs (Finextra), Rated: B

The UK’s NatWest is launching four specialist fintech accelerators based in its Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Manchester sites.

China

Screws to tighten further on non-bank lending (The Standard), Rated: AAA

China will tighten its crackdown on illegal fundraising to fend off financial risks, according to an inter-agency meeting.

European Union

European Fintech Alliance raises bank API fears (Finextra), Rated: A

The European Fintech Alliance has fired another broadside in its tussle with the financial services establishment over PSD2, raising fears that banks will develop substandard APIs as a way to fend off competition.

Specifically, the alliance of 74 fintechs, challenger banks and fintech associations is unhappy that the Regulatory Technical Standards on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication under PSD2 allow banks the possibility to be exempted by their National Competent Authority from having to accommodate licensed Third Party Payment Services Providers (TPPs) to access accounts via the so called fallback option in case of malfunction of the API.

International

Marketplace lenders worldwide raised nearly bn last year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE GLOBAL marketplace lending sector saw nearly $9bn (£6.45bn) invested across 233 deals last year, marking a new funding record for the industry.

Consultancy firm Fintech Global, who compiled the data, found that equity investment in the sector rebounded to $8.9bn last year after a slowdown in 2016. The total was boosted by the top 10 deals, which raised a combined $4.4bn.

The second half of the year was strongest for funding, with the largest deal of the year closing in the fourth quarter when Shanghai-based peer-to-peer lender Lufax raised $1.2bn.

Online lender ID Finance bolsters security with beahvioural biometrics (Finextra), Rated: A

ID Finance, the emerging markets fintech company, is incorporating behavioural biometrics into its AI-based fraud scoring engine to eliminate fraud, boost loan approvals and reduce the incidence of non-performing loans.

The behavioural biometrics system studies the unique typing and behavioural patterns users display during the loan application process to capture a range of patterns. These include mouse movements, to how fingers interact with a keyboard. The biometrics record patterns such typing speed, typos, flight time between keys, keystroke depressions, as well as the patterns from actual input.

Celsius: Get Dollars When You Need Them or Get Paid to HODL (cryptovest), Rated: A

The global financial system is wobbling. Banks and other traditional financial institutions have so far managed to survive the crisis resulting entirely from their errors, greed, and arrogance. Now, many believe, they won’t live through the crypto revolution unless they embrace it.

Meet the Celsius Wallet – a combination of a digital wallet and a peer-to-peer lending platform where members can earn passive interest on their crypto holdings and use them as collateral to get loans in fiat currencies.

Australia

‘Essential’ brokers advising Xinja on mortgage strategy (TheAdviser), Rated: A

The chief executive of banking disruptor Xinja has revealed that mortgage brokers have been involved in the group’s home loan plans and will be “essential” to its strategy.

The crowdfunded online lender recently received an Australian credit license (ACL) from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and plans to utilise the broker channel to facilitate its digital home loan approval process.

Mortgage franchise sees decline in loan settlement (AustralianBroker), Rated: A

Mortgage franchise Yellow Brick Road posted a 2% decline to $7.74bn in loan settlement volume in the first half of FY18 over the previous period as it reduced its number of branches.

Overall, the company delivered 85% growth in profitability, with net profit before tax increasing to $0.53m in the first half of FY18 over the same period of FY17. It cited higher revenue – up by 5% – and lower costs – down by 4% – as drivers of its result.

The company also expects the addition of a small business lending product through its partner Prospa to provide additional revenue opportunities for its network and support growth in commercial lending.

India

P2P platforms as NBFCs gaining popularity in small cities, but there’s a catch (Financial Express), Rated: AAA

P Kanwal is from Punjab’s Bhatinda. He has a furniture business which mainly deals in cash, because of which it was difficult for him to get a secured loan from the formal banking system. For him, a Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform came as a rescue, which got him an unsecured loan for his kid’s education and expanding his business.

This not just the story of Mr Kanwal, but many more small entrepreneurs who are operating their businesses in Tier-1, Tier-2 cities and far-flung areas, some not even on Google map, who are getting financial support through P2P lending.

The pattern that emerges currently from the P2P lending is that borrowers from tier-2 and tier-3 cities comprised 20% and 17% of the total number of loans disbursed through the platform. The new-to-credit borrowers comprise 35% of fulfilled borrowers, while those with poor credit ratings accounted for 10% of the overall number.

MENA

Peer-to-Peer Lending Startup Blender Raises Million in Debt Financing and Equity (CTech), Rated: AAA

Israel-based peer-to-peer lending startup Blender P2P Israel Ltd. has raised $16 million in equity and debt financing, the company announced Monday.

Latin America

Airfox Launches Mobile App in Brazil, Giving Unbanked Access to Financial Services (PRWeb), Rated: A

Airfox, a mobile financial services company, today launched its free Android app in Brazil, giving millions of people unprecedented access to much-needed financing solutions.

More than 44 percent of Brazil’s population is unbanked, another 30-44 percent lack sufficient access to mainstream financial services, and those with credit cards face interest rates upwards of 200 percent (sources: World Bank, Bloomberg).

Canada

Big banks strive to give better digital financial advice (BNN), Rated: AAA

CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid discusses the Canadian banks’ quest to deliver quality online financial advice in an effort to catch up with the digital age.

Africa

PayJoy Partners With Vodacom & CBA to Bring Smartphone Financing to Tanzania (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

PayJoy, a San Francisco fintech startup, announced this week it has teamed up with Vodacom and CBA to bring smartphone financing to the country of Tanzania.

PayJoy Teams Up With Allied Mobile to Bring More Smartphones to Africans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

PayJoy, a San Francisco fintech startup, announced on Friday it has teamed up with mobile distributor Allied Mobile to bring affordable smartphone payment plans to markets across the continent of Africa. According to the duo, Allied Mobile will use PayJoy Checkout, an instant paperless finance system for customers without access to formal credit, and the patented PayJoy Lock which enables “pay-as-you-go” access to the phone. 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday February 21 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club losses extend to Q4 2017. LendingClub to settle lawsuit for $125M. Groundfloor launches online public offering. Even Financial gets backing from American Express. LendInvest launches buy-to-let calculator online. Today’s main analysis: Lend Academy reviews LendingClub’s Q4 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Equity sharing and home ownership. How millennials move emerging markets. Why Australia needs […]

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Lending Club extends losses for fourth straight year (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Lending Club lost money for a fourth year in a row last year, as it wrote a big cheque to settle class-action lawsuits connected to its governance glitches of 2016.

The San Francisco-based company, the biggest listed online lender in America, said on Tuesday that net losses for the fourth quarter almost tripled from a year earlier, to $92m, as it agreed a $125m settlement to resolve civil suits stemming from the loan-mis-selling scandal that blew up almost two years ago. About $48m of the sum would be covered by insurance, the company said, with the remainder to be paid from liquid assets of about $650m.

The loss for the full year came to $154m, wider than the previous year’s $146m.

LendingClub agrees to settle shareholder litigation for 5M (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Under the agreement, which was announced Tuesday, the San Francisco-based online lender expects to pay $77.25 million. An additional $47.75 million is expected to be covered by LendingClub’s insurance, bringing the total payout to $125 million. The deal is subject to court approval.

LendingClub Corp (LC) Shares Sink on Q4 Earnings Miss (InvestorPlace), Rated: A

Lending Club also underwhelmed in its revenue as the company raked in $156.5 million during its fourth quarter, below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $157.6 million, according to FactSet. The figure did increase 20% compared to the year-ago quarter.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of a penny per share, compared to a loss of 2 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company also experienced a 23% annual growth in originations, which reached over $2.4 billion.

LendingClub Q4 2017 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

LendingClub delivered another record quarter of $156.5 million in revenue up slightly from their previous quarter. Originations were slightly down from the third quarter at $2.436 billion. They reported a GAAP net loss of $92.1 million in the fourth quarter which was affected by the class action litigation settlement expense.

Source: Lend Academy
Source: Lend Academy

LendingClub provided the below guidance for Q1 2018 and reaffirmed their guidance for 2018:

First Quarter 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $145 million to $155 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(25) million to $(20) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $5 million to $10 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $19 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $11 million

Full Year 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $680 million to $705 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(53) million to $(38) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $75 million to $90 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $77 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $51 million

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours (CNBC), Rated: B

LendingClub stock plunged 10 percent after the bell. The peer-to-peer lending company reported earnings and revenues that missed Wall Street estimates.

Groundfloor Launches Online Public Offering Amidst Increased Stock Market Volatility (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate based payment dependent notes that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has raised a total of $4.3 million from 687 participating investors in a combination of two recent financings, a private online bridge note closed late last year and an initial closing of its online public offering of equity. In each case, the company kicked off the invitation-only raises to customers and friends of the company with a $1M target, surpassing that in under 48 hours. Due to increased growth opportunities and strong demand, the company has today expanded the equity raise to the public.

Groundfloor is offering a total of up to 530,000 shares of Common Stock at $10 per share in its online public offering. Investor benefits include: no investor fees for life2; access to regular shareholder-only loan offerings; and invitations to attend annual Groundfloor shareholder events.

Recently increased expectations that the Fed may raise interest rates in the future has investors rebalancing their portfolios, with a shift out of equity into debt, as bond yields are expected to increase. Twelve-month bond yields have recently inched up to 1.97 percent.

By comparison, Groundfloor investors have earned an average of 13.6 percent per year over the past three years, which represents over 6x the yield of a current one year Treasury note, and over 1,000 percent more than they would have made if their money had been in a CD or savings account over this period.1 Groundfloor’s retail investors create their own portfolios of real estate debt investments in the fix and flip residential housing market, and the loans on which the investments are based are secured by a first lien position against the underlying real asset.

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding: A New Investment Opportunity for the Investors (EIN News), Rated: A

Talking in context of real estate, there are 3 ways to invest in a crowdfunded real-estate property:

• Equity crowdfunding
• Syndicated debt crowdfunding
• Platform-issued (‘pre-filled’) debt crowdfunding

Following are the pros and cons of going for equity crowdfunding in real estate:

Pros

• High yield potential
• Lower barrier to entry: Even if you have a very less amount of money, you can still invest even in large commercial real estate projects through equity crowdfunding and enjoy the benefits of the real estate i.e., strong returns and lower volatility.
• No self-employment taxes
• Higher returns

Cons

• The risks. An investor should know how to evaluate the risk factors like local economy volatility and chances of higher than expected construction costs. Due diligence is what is required.
• Liquidity constraint: These investments need to be held up for a period of five years or so, and hence one should go for this option if this much bandwidth is available, lack of liquidity is not there, and an investor is comfortable with the invested amount to be tied up for several years.
• It’s still an early option: It is still an early option to be considered as the performance track record and validation is still not complete and individual investors are still trying to figure it out.
• Lack of control: Since it is a passive investment, the investors are not involved in the day to day activities and therefore have limited ability and control over the operations required.

RealyInvest App Empowers Beginners to Invest in Commercial Real Estate (PR Newswire), Rated: A

In a rising tide of fintech apps, RealyInvest is emerging as a new way for beginning investors to access the high-priced world of premier commercial real estate right from their smartphones.

RealyInvestors can purchase fractional shares of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) for as little as $5. Investors can also own shares of commercial real estate NNN Assets, such as a building long-term leased to Starbucks, for as little as $20.

All investments, rental income and dividend earnings can be managed right on your smartphone. Fees range from $1 to $3 per month, depending on investment options.

Silicon Valley Explores a New Investment: Your Home (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A handful of companies, including those backed by marquee Silicon Valley names such as Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic organization, are experimenting with a product that essentially lets them take an ownership position in a house along with the homeowner. The agreements, called shared-equity contracts, provide a new way for investors to get exposure to rising home prices across the U.S.

Shared-equity products are aimed at new buyers who need help with a down payment, or current homeowners looking for an alternative to a cash-out mortgage refinancing or a home-equity loan. The first use has caught the attention of mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac ,which recently agreed to buy loans on properties where one firm,Unison Agreement Corp. , contributes to the down payment.

Landed Inc. offers these down-payment contracts to teachers and other educators. Last year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative , a philanthropy co-founded by Facebook Inc.’s chief executive, gave Landed $5 million to start a new fund.

The length of the contracts can vary from a few years to 30. Homeowners can repay early, including if they sell their house before the term ends. How much they end up owing depends on how the value of their home changes. Because the funds are equity, not a borrowing, they don’t require monthly payments.

Even Financial inks $ 3 mln (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA

Even Financial, the technology platform powering financial services online, has secured a strategic investment round totaling $3 million. The round includes an investment from American Express Ventures, the strategic investment unit of American Express, as well as Plug & Play and Arab Angels.

With this investment, Even Financial will expand its team and advance its proprietary technology, which allows financial institutions and other partners to scale customer acquisition and remain competitive in the growing online financial services industry.

Fundrise Reports 2017 Performance. Total Return for the Year Stands at 11.44% (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In brief, this is what Fundrise reported;

“In 2017, Fundrise investments earned an 11.44%* total return on investment, including over $16 million in dividends paid out to investors. Delivering attractive, consistent cash flow is a core part of our mission to offer you a better way to invest.”

Online SMB lending platform Yalber closes $ 20M senior credit facility (Bankless Times), Rated: A

SMB lending platform Yalber closed a $20 million senior credit facility this week, the company announced today.

Blinker Joins With Ally To Enhance The Auto Industry’s Only Peer-To-Peer E-Commerce Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: A

South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Award winner and 2018 LendIt Fintech Industry Award finalist Blinker, the only peer-to-peer e-commerce platform that provides an end-to-end solution for anyone buying, selling or financing cars, announced two major milestones for its business today:

  • Blinker is now available in the largest car markets in the US – Beginning today, Blinker is expanding its proprietary e-commerce and loan origination platform from Texas and Colorado to California and Florida, allowing millions of customers to buy, sell and finance vehicles easier, quicker and safer with other people. Thirty percent of vehicle sales across the US every year are between people, yet private-party marketplaces including Craigslist, Letgo, Autotrader, Cars.com and Facebook Marketplace don’t have services such as integrated financing or lien payoff support. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, Blinker customers get guidance and tools to complete the entire purchase process themselves, from instant vehicle valuation to real-time auto loan approval to e-signing documents to secure funds transfer, all for free within Blinker’s mobile app.
  • Blinker joins with Ally to offer best-in-class auto protection products – Blinker will now give customers the option to add Ally’s vehicle protection coverage, including Ally Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Ally Premier Protection vehicle service contracts, for their vehicle purchases in the app. GAP covers the difference between the cash value of a vehicle and what Blinker customers still owe on their loan if the vehicle is totaled or stolen. Ally vehicle service contracts cover the repair cost for over 7,400 mechanical, electrical, safety or digital components, as well as some related expenses like trip interruption, rental car coverage, towing and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Zelle users are finding out the hard way there’s no fraud protection (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Scammers have taken to Zelle, the Venmo alternative backed by U.S. banks, to defraud consumers who believe the service includes the same protections they’ve come to expect from PayPal. A number of customers report having lost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, over Zelle, when they used it for transactions with people they didn’t know – like tickets bought off a Craigslist posting, for example.

Cyberattacks took $ 56B from U.S. economy in ’16 (American Banker), Rated: A

Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House said Friday.

The estimate comes in a Council of Economic Advisers report on the impact of cyberattacks on U.S. government and industry. The report details the range of threats that U.S. entities face from actors including corporations and countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The council’s estimate represents between 0.31% and 0.58% of the 2016 U.S. gross domestic product. For comparison, the report cites a Center for Strategic and International Studies report that estimated the cost of malicious cyber activities against U.S. entities at $107 billion in 2013, 0.64% of GDP that year.

BlockFi Raises 1.55M in Seed Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

BlockFi, a New York-based fintech company whose first product is a loan for cryptoasset owners, raised $1.55m in seed funding.

Backers included ConsenSys Ventures, Kenetic Capital, PJC, SoFi, Purple Arch Ventures and Lumenary.

The 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies (Fast Company), Rated: A

03 Square

For extending the benefits of banking

19 Social Capital

For putting values into its ventures

26 Kakao Bank

For marrying social messaging with banking

31 Paytm

For pioneering the cashless economy

42 Stripe

For writing the new startup manual

47 CommonBond

For offering payback

‘Pinterest will get even bigger for us’ says fintech lender Elevate Credit (The Drum), Rated: A

Speaking to The Drum in the final instalment of a four-part video series with Falcon.io exploring social media strategies, she admitted that while it can be a challenge, using data to understand her audience’s wants and needs has helped her shape content which is likely to resonate.

Fox says she has been finding success on the unlikeliest of social media platforms – Pinterest.

“All our content is more lifestyle focused than finance focused,” she explained.

OpenClose Bolsters Software Integration and Support Teams (Send2Press), Rated: B

OpenClose, an industry-leading multi-channel loan origination system (LOS) and mortgage fintech provider, announced that it has added staff to its integration and customer support departments. The new hires will help enhance OpenClose’s existing software products, facilitate digital mortgage processes, produce fintech-level innovation and provide excellence in customer support. The company also recently added three senior software engineers to its development team.

3 Loans for Students You Should Avoid Like the Plague (Student Loan Hero), Rated: B

1. Payday loans

You usually have only a couple of weeks to repay the loan, and the typical APR is almost 400.00%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you can’t pay it back and have to take out a new payday loan to pay off the first, you could end up stuck in a vicious cycle of predatory debt.

What you should try instead: payday alternative loan (PAL).

2. Auto title loans

The reality is these short-term loans also have three-digit APRs, and you typically have between 15 and 30 days to repay the loan.

What you should try instead: A short-term campus loan.

$20 / $2,000 = 1%
1% x 365 days = 3.65
3.65 / 60 = 6.08% APR

3. Cash advances

This type of loan isn’t as costly as a payday loan or an auto title loan, but it’s not ideal for two reasons:

  1. Credit cards charge a fee, typically 5% of the advance amount. So, if you withdraw $500, you’ll have to pay $25 upfront.
  2. There’s no grace period with cash advances, so interest starts accruing immediately.

What you should try instead: A 0% APR promotion. Some credit cards offer a 0% APR promotion on new purchases for a period.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle to launch two new mobile apps this year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The business lender, which currently only has an iPhone app for investors to access, monitor and manage their accounts, is now advertising for a global mobile apps product manager and for an Android developer.

Both positions are based in the UK.

“We have an ambitious roadmap for this year and want to launch two new apps (Android and iOS) for our investors,” the job advert on the Funding Circle website said.

LendInvest Announces Launch of Buy-to-Let Online Calculator for Intermediaries (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, LendInvest announced the launch of its new buy-to-let (BTL) online calculator for intermediaries.

 

P2P business lending up 51% (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The value of P2P business lending grew by 51% during 2017, according to new research from the British Business Bank (BBB).

The report also found that the value of SME asset finance deals was up 12%.

Although net bank lending volumes remained positive (£700m in 2017), it was weaker than in both 2016 (£3bn) and 2015 (£2bn).

The BBB found that there had been a significant increase in both the value and number of SME equity deals, up 79% and 12% respectively.

Online lenders and banks may operate as ‘joint ventures’ (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ONLINE lending platforms may partner with banks to fund and market credit products in the future, even sharing the approval process and compliance, in one scenario outlined by global banking regulators.

A number of peer-to-peer lenders have already partnered with banks on a smaller scale. For example, Metro Bank has lent through Zopa’s platform and Santander has referred borrowers to Funding Circle. However, these tie-ups have not gone as far as the report’s scenario suggests in terms of becoming a joint venture.

Crowdfund sites ‘are not explaining the dangers’ (The Times), Rated: A

Square Pie, which started life as a stall in London’s Old Spitalfields Market, expanded with the help of a “pie bond” that promised 8% annual interest over four years. The bond was offered through one of Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platforms, Crowdcube.

A total of 324 investors signed up, lending more than £650,000 to fund Square Pie restaurants and its efforts to improve supermarket sales. Square Pie has gone into administration — the first failure of a business that issued a mini bond on a crowdfunding site.…

Crypto lending platform nears launch (AltFi), Rated: A

Lendingblock is one such business. The soon-to-launch platform is, in its founder Steve Swain’s words, “an open exchange for cryptocurrency loans”.

Lendingblock is in the middle of a three-stage Initial Coin Offering that will conclude in March. The first phase has already been completed, raising the equivalent of $500,000. The offering has a hard cap of $10m.

Number of farming building conversions falls 20 percent in a year (FarmingUK), Rated: B

The number of conversions of farm buildings into new homes dropped 20% in the last year, denting hopes that these conversions could help solve the rural housing crisis.

According to Lendy, one of Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lending platforms, only 1,511 agricultural-to-residential conversion applications were approved in 2016/17.

China

The New Year to Bring a New Flood of IPOs (CapitalWatch), Rated: A

Golden Bull Ltd., an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, plans to offer up to $9 million in shares on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DNJR.” The Shanghai-based company, which was founded in 2015, provides borrowers access to short-term loans.
European Union

Finnest Expands Online Financing to Larger Corporations, Adds Institutional Investors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finnest is an interesting online lender operating in the DACH countries. The peer to peer platform was launched to provide SME funding supported by individual investors but the company is now expanding by providing loans of €10 million and higher. Institutional investors such as insurance companies, funds, family offices and banks will now be able to invest in large SMEs on “FinnestPro.”

Why it’s OK that the majority of consumers don’t know about Open Banking – for now (AltFi), Rated: A

The new EU legislation on payment services – PSD2 – and the introduction of Open Banking in the UK seem to have passed the vast majority of people in the country by, according to an AltFi News article last month.

This referred to a report by Which saying that 92 per cent of consumers hadn’t even heard of Open Banking.

International

How Millennials are Moving Emerging Markets (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Millennials in advanced economies have come under pressure in recent years, thanks to stagnating wages, rising house prices and escalating student debt. But an altogether different trend is taking place in many emerging markets where millennials are seeing their prospects rapidly improve. This in turn is creating an investment opportunity, as millennials in these countries are becoming hugely influential on the prospects for emerging market equities.

Millennials will account for half of the global workforce by 2020, meaning they will be one of the most influential groups in shaping the economy and society, including consumption habits, policy and how companies may want to market and brand themselves. They are disrupting traditional industries and companies are having to adapt. This presents investment opportunities, but it also presents new investment risks.

Latest ICO Updates on VLR Token – Valorem Foundation ICO is LIVE! (TechBullion), Rated: A

Based on ERC-20, the multilayered cryptocurrency platform will host a marketplace that allows developmental phases. The first phase focuses on micro loans (small loans), rent payments, student loans and peer-to-peer payment processing.

As trust grows on the platform, phase 2 will be implemented to cater to sales distribution, global small business investing and global commercial and residential real estate crowdfunding while the third stage will serve charity and insurance. The final phase will be dedicated to maintenance and future developments that may include additional currency adoption, feature adding etc.

Valorem (VLR) is the token offered. The exchange rate stands at 1 ETH= 1000 VLR. There is a total supply of 200 million tokens of which 150 million are available during the ICO and 50 million will be kept in reserve. Valorem will not be mined.

Wealth managers must go digital (Raconteur), Rated: B

People born between roughly 1982 and 2002 are set to receive the biggest inheritance boom of any post-war generation. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) estimated the figure will be around $4 trillion in the UK, Canada and United States.

An Interview with Kirill Suslov – The CEO at Finom and TabTrader Founder (NewsBTC), Rated: B

NewsBTC: Now it seems that you have no experience with banking services yet. How do you plan to cover this area?

Now I can say we understand confidently how banking works and how it should work in the crypto industry. By 2020, we’re going to have a licensed bank and transform it into a crypto one with a network of crypto terminals.

A bit sooner, in 2018, we plan to release crypto e-wallets with linked debit cards. Miners will be able to use recently mined coins right away, transferring them to their wallets immediately. We’re also designing a platform for peer-to-peer lending.

Australia

Peer To Peer Lending Increasingly Popular In Australia (compare dinkum), Rated: AAA

Australian investors and borrowers are increasingly adopting peer to peer lending platforms according to the results of survey undertaken by ASIC. The results of the survey suggest that as much as $300 million of personal and business loans were underwritten by peer to peer lenders over the course of the last fiscal year. That represents a doubling in the amount that was lent on such platforms during the 2015/2016 financial year.

Why Australia needs a better system for credit scores (The Converstion), Rated: AAA

Australia’s credit rating system is failing both borrowers and lenders. Many borrowers are unaware of their own credit scores and our research shows they have trouble applying for suitable loans. Lenders are also struggling with too little information, causing them to extend loans to those they shouldn’t and restrict loans to worthy borrowers.

Upcoming changes to Australia’s credit reporting system could remedy these issues.

Under the new credit reporting regime, both lenders and borrowers will have access to more data, such as monthly payment histories on loans and credit cards.

More innovation ahead in mortgage lending

For higher-risk borrowers, novel techniques to assess credit risk (such as analysis of social media accounts) may be the answer to distinguish good borrowers from bad.

But prior experience from an over-reliance on credit scores in the United States shows that careful assessment of borrowers remains vital.

India

Refer to these fintech startups for range of medical loans (Business Standard), Rated: A

Among all the personal the medical loan is the most crucial one which is often required on an urgent basis by the applicants.

Recently a host of Financial technology(Fintech) and Non-financing related start-ups have been launched in providing a variety of medical to the clients.

Canada

They couldn’t get loans from their banks so turned to a legitimate-looking lender online (The Star), Rated: AAA

Unable to qualify for a loan from her bank, Johnston searched online for private lenders and found a website for what appeared to be a legitimate company calling itself North Clear Credit.

Everything about it — the variety of loans offered, the glowing testimonials, the company description — seemed professional. In fact, a customer who later reported North Clear Credit to police says an officer told her the website looked legitimate.

For Johnston and Mood, the terms were appealing. The money could be paid back monthly over five years at an interest rate substantially lower than what they would be charged elsewhere.

Johnston completed an online application and was approved for a $20,000 loan.

Within a few days, Johnston and Mood had lost $3,500, and two North Clear Credit “representatives” with whom Johnston had been corresponding had disappeared.

Blackchain Announces Private Placement (Stockhouse), Rated: A

Blackchain Solutions Inc. (the “Company” or “Blackchain”) (CSE: BIS), announces a private placement of up to 3,400,000 units at a price of $0.18 per unit, for gross proceeds of $612,000.  Each unit consists of one common share and one share purchase warrant.  Each warrant is exercisable at a price of $0.22 per share for a term of two years.

Proceeds generated from this financing will be used to initiate and support the filing of multiple patents and trademarks related to the Blackchain Crypto Credit Rating API and P2P Lending Platform.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

6 Blockchain-Based Crypto Lenders Changing P2P Lending

ETHLend

The integration of blockchain technology into multiple facets of our world could greatly streamline many industries that affect our day-to-day lives, and financial lending is the ideal forum. A natural progression of P2P lending, blockchain application can make the entire lending process more seamless and greatly reduce the amount of time the process takes. Here […]

ETHLend

The integration of blockchain technology into multiple facets of our world could greatly streamline many industries that affect our day-to-day lives, and financial lending is the ideal forum. A natural progression of P2P lending, blockchain application can make the entire lending process more seamless and greatly reduce the amount of time the process takes.

Here are a few of the players in the early days of this promising technology.

SALT (Secured Automated Lending Technology)

According to its website, SALT is the only platform built to facilitate loans secured by blockchain assets.

“Distributed ledgers represent a paradigm shift in the storage and transfer of assets and, for the first time in history, there is a perfect form of collateral: blockchain assets,” the website reads.

Basing loans on blockchain assets makes creditworthiness no longer an issue. Writing for Forbes, Roger Aitken reported that SALT asserts that, by focusing on the borrower’s assets instead of their credit score, it is able to “dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of the loan process.” SALT seeks to streamline every step of the loan process, facilitating a new blockchain-backed lending market.

The investor retains the value of their holdings, with any earnings or losses that occur to the wealth during the process reverting completely to the borrower.

Among the potential assets to blockchain-based coin lending are that it is a realm where crypto wealth is recognized. Company CEO Shawn Owen, speaking with Forbes, said “if you’re a holder of blockchain assets, a lot of your financial wealth is not being recognized by lenders.” This technology is poised to open those funds to be leveraged and also break down geographic constraints while bringing the potential for the unbanked and underbanked into the financial world.

SALT offers three value tiers and products.

  1. The basic membership package affords one up to $10k in term financing, paid only in USD; terms go from three to 24 months
  2. The premier package offers up to $100K in term financing with a line of credit. This can be paid in USD, Euro, GBP, JPY, and RMB. Term lengths are anywhere from one hour to 36 months.
  3. The enterprise package provides access to over $1M of term financing and a line of credit to be paid in an ad hoc currency selection, dictated by metered terms. This package offers two benefits that the premier package doesn’t–API integration and cold storage enterprise wallets.

All three packages offer no pre-payment penalties, market data and educational resources, and loan management web portals. The premier package offers access to the SALT hardware wallet, customizable loan terms, and early access to new products. These are not offered with the basic membership package.

All member lenders are Regulation D accredited investors, and while credit checks are not done on borrowers, SALT undertakes full Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) verification checks.

The loans, which sport interest rates in the 10 to 15 percent range, are not transferable via the blockchain, as they become securities and are thus transferable through existing financial channels.

EthLend

EthLend is an Estonian-based fully decentralized P2P lending platform on the Ethereum blockchain for lending Ether as tokens for collateral. The platform uses any ERC20 token. All lending on the platform is facilitated through the use of smart contracts, a feature unique the Ethereum blockchain.

The company’s Twitter feed from January 3 reports that it has reached nearly $600K USD in lending volume. The company offers address-to-address loans that are sent within minutes, with no middle men, assuring that no one, not even EthLend, can stop one’s lending or borrowing.

With a roadmap that goes into Q4 2019, the company seems to have a well-plotted vision. Included in that roadmap are:

  • Q1 2018—Plans for a Decentralized Credit Rating (DCR), which will draw on Credit Tokens (CRE) and previous loans on EthLend to create a decentralized credit rating that can be used for other Decentralized Applications (DAPPs) as well
  • Q2 2018—The addition of bitcoin to the DAPP
  • Q2 2018—CRE from third party services, such as uPort and Civic, which can be used when the borrower doesn’t have enough previous loans
  • Q4 2018—the incorporation of the lending of other altcoins and tokens
  • Q3 2019—expansion beyond Ethereum to other distributed ledger networks

Rating the company, CrushCrypto.com says “use cases may seem limited for now, but we believe as tokenization of real assets becomes more prevalent, EthLend has a good chance to become a market lender in this space.”

A pre-ICO lasting from September 25th to October 25th of last year sold 62.5 million LEND available at a sale price of 1 ETH = 25K LEND. The ICO, which ran from November 25-30, saw the company raise $17.86M USD, essentially 100% of the $17.9M goal.

In Q4 2107, the company opened up to USD-based loans and installments.

The platform is not without some aspects that may cause concern for some industry insiders. Certain functions are only accessible with LEND tokens, such as featured loan listings and email marketing for new loan requests. Also, EthLend is currently only available through the Eidoo ICO search engine.

On the upside, only dealing with crypto-to-crypto borrowing means there will be fewer regulation restrictions when those start to be handed down. Also, some insiders fear that other blockchain lending platforms that deal in fiat currencies might be swallowed by the banks, as they do open their transactions to become securities.

ICO Bench rates EthLend at 4.4 out of 5.

Celsius

Celsius is a New York-based NPO based on the Ethereum blockchain, which extends instant credit through a decentralized P2P network. The network is akin to a membership organization that consists of both lenders and borrowers. Members must complete a Celsius profile to join.

Celsius touts itself as the “first crypto wallet that allows users to earn interest (7%) on their held coins” and allows borrowers to use cryptocurreny as collateral to gain access to USD loans. Using a token called a DEG, Celsius deals in BTC, ETH, and USD and uses smart technology to bind the lender/borrower relationship.

Borrower’s metrics are ascertained by using the Celsius Score, a digital credit score calculated by using various traditional metrics, such as FICO scores and mortgage history, as well as non-traditional ones such as Uber and Amazon histories. Lenders choose their borrowers using this score to determine risk.

An NPO acting in the best interests of its users through lower fees and no hidden fees, Celsius’s ultimate goal is to give credit to large blocks of the public who are underserved by banks.

ICO Bench rates Celsius at 2.8 out of 5. The central reason for the less than stellar mark centers around the company being long on marketing, but less so in technology terms.

Some Other Players

Fusion LenderComm

Seven banks, including BNP Paribas, HSBC, ING, BNY Mellon and State Street, have joined forces with R3 and Finastra to develop a blockchain-powered marketplace for syndicated loans. The first pilots have already been successfully completed.

With the early support of seven global banks (two of which do not yet wish to be named), the platform will cover 10% of the syndicated loan market when live next year.

Inspeer

An expansion under the Russian LightFin.ru brand, Inspeer deals in crypto and fiat. The company serves three million regional customers and processed 200,000 loans in its first year.

LendingBlock

For those who like to be in the know a little earlier, there is LendingBlock, a securities lending platform for crypto and digital assets. Users can lend and borrow cryptocurrencies against collateral of other cryptocurrencies in a completely decentralized and private manner. Watch for a Q1 token presale and a Q3 launch. LendingBlock is not currently working with fiat currencies.

 

Conclusion

The business of cryptocurrency lending is looking like the Wild West. There are some promising players to consider, and more if you look. SALT has Erik Voorhees associated with it, who founded Coinapult and gambling site SatoshiDice. He is a long-time cryptocurrency and blockchain advocate.

Do your own homework to make informed choices, but if crypto lending is in you future, start your research with these platforms.

Author:

Written with Paul Keenan.

Allen Taylor