Tuesday March 14 2017, Daily News Digest

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News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi’s loan losses pile up as wealthy borrowers default. Charles Schwab launches hybrid human-robo financial advice. GDR adds Avant as verification network partner. Vista to acquire D+H to merge with Misys.  Today’s main analysis: Household debt edges up as auto, credit card, and student debt climb. The regulation of MPL. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Everything […]

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News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Canada

Asia

Middle East

News Summary

United States

SoFi’s Loan Losses Pile Up as Even Wealthy Borrowers Default (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Social Finance Inc.’s online borrowers are defaulting at higher rates than underwriters for one of its bond deals had expected, the latest sign that an industry that hoped to upend banking is now getting tripped up by bad loans.

Losses on the company’s personal loans were high enough to breach key levels known as “triggers” last month on a bond deal issued in 2015 and backed by the loans, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. If defaults keep rising, investors in bonds could end up missing out on expected interest payments.

Other online lenders have had similar trouble with defaults and triggers recently, which has broadly made it more expensive for the startups to fund their businesses. One pioneer in the business, CircleBack Lending Inc., stoppedmaking new loans as growing numbers of its borrowers defaulted.

Credit issues at Prosper Marketplace Inc. resulted in staff cuts at that company, and were largely the result of lending too much, too fast, and a “grow at all cost” attitude fueled by insatiable demand from investors, Prosper CEO David Kimball said at the New York conference last week.

Household Debt Edges Up as Auto, Credit Card, and Student Debt Climb (New York Fed), Rated: AAA

Aggregate household debt balances grew in the fourth quarter of 2016. As of December 31, 2016, total household indebtedness was $12.58 trillion, a $226 billion (1.8%) increase from the third quarter of 2016. Overall household debt is now 0.8% below its 2008Q3 peak of $12.68 trillion, and is 12.8% above the 2013Q2 trough.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, which stood at $8.48 trillion as of December 31, saw a $130 billion uptick from the third quarter of 2016.

Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were roughly flat, rising $1 billion to $473 billion.

Non-housing debt balances rose in the fourth quarter; with increases of $22 billion in auto loans, 32 billion in credit cards, and 31 billion in student loans.

Charles Schwab launches hybrid human-robo financial advice (WHTC), Rated: AAA

Brokerage Charles Schwab Corp on Tuesday launched a service that combines its automated investment management technology with human advisors, as financial institutions race to offer digital financial advice.

The service, called Schwab Intelligent Advisory, provides clients with a financial and investment plan, unlimited access to a human advisor via phone or video conference, and an investment portfolio of exchange-traded funds managed by computer algorithms.

The service, for clients with at least $25,000 to invest, includes an online platform that keeps track of financial goals and retirement plans, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement. It will charge a 0.28 percent fee on assets, with a quarterly maximum of $900.

The Regulation of Marketplace Lending: A Summary of the Principal Issues (Chapman and Cutler LLP), Rated: AAA

At the outset, it may be helpful for us to briefly discuss the scope of this paper and some of the terminology we use. There is no single or universally accepted definition of “marketplace lending.” In general, though, marketplace lenders can be viewed as companies engaged in an Internet-based lending business (other than payday lending) which are not banks or savings associations or otherwise regulated as financial institutions. They may offer a wide variety of financial products, including student loans, small business loans, and real estate loans, in addition to the unsecured installment consumer loans on which the industry initially focused. However, “marketplace lenders” may or may not actually be lenders. This term is a generic term to identify participants in marketing, originating, selling, and servicing loans. They also may fund their loans through a variety of means, including equity capital, commercial lines of credit, sales of whole loans to institutional investors, securitizations, and/or pass-through note programs. In this paper we focus on the consumer lenders since they are the most heavily regulated and have the highest loan volumes. However, much of the discussion herein—outside of matters pertaining directly to consumer lending regulation—will also apply to nonconsumer lenders.

Download “The Regulation of Marketplace Lending: A Summary of the Principal Issues” here.

Global Debt Registry Adds Avant as Verification Network Partner (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan data validation expertise, today announced it has added leading online lending platform Avant to its verification network.

Investors in loans through Avant now have turnkey access to enhanced loan due diligence services and can easily add new data insights onto portfolios of loans without having to touch sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) about borrowers.

GDR’s eValidationSM and eVerifySM asset certainty tools require no technology investment, using existing data structures and processes to streamline the flow of information from the lender to the investor. In addition to digital scanning for traditional document verification and data integrity, GDR securely analyzes the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to ensure borrower data can be independently confirmed in compliance with the investors representations and warranties.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2017-1 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2017-1 (MFT 2017-1). This is a $257.44 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on March 23, 2017. This transaction represents the third securitization collateralized by unsecured consumer loans originated by Cross River Bank, under the Marlette Best Egg Platform and sold to Marlette Funding, LLC (“Marlette”) or its affiliate.

Approximately $250 – $325 million of loans are originated through the Platform per quarter. Since March 2015, over $3 billion of loans have been originated though the Platform, and as of February 2017, Marlette has over $100 million of loans on its balance sheet.

The transaction has initial credit enhancement levels of 27.45% for the Class A Notes, 17.95% for the Class B Notes, and 9.10% for the Class C Notes. Credit enhancement consists of overcollateralization, subordination (in the case of the Class A and Class B Notes) and a reserve account funded at closing.

Traditional Advisor Business Model Will Not Last (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

Several developments are creating a “perfect storm” that will revolutionize the financial advice industry and leave many advisors behind, John Lohr writes in Seeking Alpha.

First Ascent still uses real humans on its investment committee, while an independent advisor serves the client, Lohr writes. That model isn’t likely going away: even robo-advice pioneers such as Betterment now offer upgraded services that give investors unlimited interaction with a licensed advisor, he writes.

But Betterment’s annual fee for unlimited calls with an advisor is just .50%, according to Lohr. That means high-fee advisors are on the way out, he writes.

Clarity Money Marks Continued Growth with 100,000 Customers and Senior Hires (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Clarity Money, a revolutionary personal finance app that acts as the “Champion of your Money,” has reached 100,000 customers since its launch in January 2017. The app has been a “featured” personal finance app on the Apple App Store since its launch. Clarity Money was created by venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Adam Dell.

To keep up with this growing demand, Clarity Money is pleased to announce three new additions to its team – Melissa Manne, Vice President of Product Management; Colin Kennedy, Chief Revenue Officer; and Marc Atiyeh, Chief Strategy Officer. The Clarity Money team already includes financial and technology veterans from Betterment, Google and IBM, as well as advisory board members Niall Ferguson, economic historian, and Dan Ariely, behavioral economist.

Clarity Money works by using data science and machine learning to provide personalized insights for customers. By utilizing a combination of techniques such as natural language processing, anomaly detection and spectral analysis, customers are able to take advantage of features such as: bill lowering, subscription cancellation, creating a savings accounts and providing tailored suggestions on things such as credit cards.

With the potential impact of financial deregulation and the weakening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumers need a financial advocate now more than ever. Banks and financial institutions already have powerful tools designed to sell, market and retain customers, but consumers don’t have an equally powerful tool to level the playing field and protect against hidden fees and recurring charges. Clarity Money empowers consumers to take control of their finances, providing them with transparency, organization and actionable insights.

PeerStreet Awarded ‘Top Emerging Real Estate Platform’ by LendIt (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, is pleased to announce that it has been named the Top Emerging Real Estate Platform in the LendIt 2017 Awards. PeerStreet is an Andreessen Horowitz-backed platform, focused on democratizing access to investments in real estate debt.

The Top Emerging Real Estate Platform category focused on younger companies that have demonstrated the greatest potential to impact the future of real estate investing. PeerStreet stood out as the top platform with its unique model, as it is not a direct lender and brings an innovative offering to investors.

RealtyMogul.com CEO Jilliene Helman Named Fintech Woman of the Year (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

RealtyMogul.com CEO Jilliene Helman was named Fintech Woman of the Year at the first annual LendIt Industry Awards. Helman was honored for her “outstanding leadership, integrity, performance, and team-building support within RealtyMogul, as well as her contributions to the advancement of the industry.”

The awards, which showcased leaders from across the fintech industry, were part of the annual LendIt USA Conference held in New York City March 6 and 7th. Helman was selected by a panel of 30 industry expert judges from among a field of six leading fintech pioneers.

New fintech conference focused on branded currency comes to Omaha (siliconprairienews), Rated: A

Flourish: The Growth of Branded Currency is a fintech conference launching in Omaha this April 10 -12. The conference is focused on branded currency, and is targeting a range of retailers from those with a national presence to smaller Midwest retailers and their technology service providers.

K+H Connection is the company hosting the event. K+H is a fintech consulting firm based in Chicago, IL that focuses specifically on helping fintech companies integrate with merchants.

HG: Branded currency is actually a relatively new term. In short, it is any sort of tender that is branded and used for a specific purpose or at a specific merchant or location. It could be a gift card, promotional value you earn through a referral or loyalty program, points earned through a credit card program, prepaid mall-branded gift cards, etc. These types of products are more than just a form of tender, they incentivize spend and behavior.

We’re also focusing heavily on fraud within branded currency. Fraud has been the number one thing that people have asked us to discuss, so we are going to have a huge session on it.

Podcast 93: John Donovan of Bizfi (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Industry pioneer John Donovan talks about why he is excited to be at the helm of one of the leaders in small business lending.

LendIt USA 2017: Sessions You May Have Missed (LendIt), Rated: B

Thanks to everyone who joined us at LendIt USA 2017. Our growth surpassed our expectations and we had close to 5,900 attendees at the two-day conference.

United Kingdom

NACFB offers members ‘unrestricted’ insurance cover for peer-to-peer (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has announced it will now offer members unrestricted insurance cover for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

Under the terms of NACFB membership, brokers must have professional indemnity insurance covering them against mis-selling claims from clients.

UK and Japanese regulators agree to cooperate on fintech (Out-Law.com), Rated: A

On Thursday, the FCA and JFSA agreed a mutual referral system which will see the regulators provide assistance to fintech businesses that wish to expand UK operations into Japan, or vice versa.

The collaboration, which was confirmed by an exchange of letters, will also facilitate information sharing between the regulators on emerging market trends and regulatory issues pertaining to fintech, as well as information concerning referrals.

European Union

CSI globalVCard Expands Globally (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

CSI globalVCard, a leading B2B payments company specializing in secure and rewarding payments, today announced that it has expanded services to Europe and has opened a London office, its first move in a planned worldwide expansion. The company plans to roll out its services across additional continents by year’s end. CSI will use the payment issuance capacity of PrePay Solutions (PPS), a subsidiary of Edenred (70% owned by Edenred and 30% by MasterCard), worldwide leader in prepaid corporate services. PPS will bring CSI its unique payment technology to issue and process all  CSI virtual cards and wire transfers in Europe.

Expansion outside of North America was sparked by CSI globalVCard’s growing demand from multi-national clients, their increased need for native currency payments, as well as customer service support across local time zones. The global payments market is estimated at $1.2 trillion, of which B2B payments account for $550 billion. Ten percent of organizations make between 20 and 50 percent of their payments to foreign suppliers, and organizations earning over $2 billion in revenue pay the largest percent of their payments to foreign suppliers.1

Canada

Vista to acquire D+H for fintech merger with Misys (Financial News), Rated: AAA

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has struck a deal to acquire D+H, a Canadian financial technology provider, with an eye to merging it with UK-based Misys to create a financial software company with $2.2 billion in revenues.

US-based Vista said in a statement today that it will pay C$25.50 per share in cash for D+H, including the assumption of debt, in a deal that values the Toronto-listed firm at 4.8 billion Canadian dollars.

Misys chief executive Nadeem Syed said the combination of the two companies gives them the opportunity to create a “global fintech powerhouse”.

That powerhouse would have about 10,000 employees and 9,000 customers, including 48 of the top 50 banks, the statement said.

Asia

Here’s Everything You Should Know About Alternative Lending In Asia (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the last 5-10 years, China, India, and Southeast Asia have leapfrogged from a cash-based society to one where mobile payments are common currency, skipping adoption of credit cards, savings accounts and other consumer financial products common in Western countries. The result: a population that’s smartphone-savvy but still largely unbanked, without the credit histories necessary to access traditional small business or personal loans. It’s a prime market for alternative lenders, who usually use alternative means to assess creditworthiness, foregoing traditional credit scores altogether.

Here is a brief taxonomy of the many types of alternative lenders currently operating in both Asia and the West.

According to Bloomberg, China has 2,200 P2P lenders alone, and its P2P lending market is valued at an estimated $100 billion.

Chinese tech giants have aggressively pursued synergies between different divisions of their sprawling businesses. For instance, Sesame Credit, Alibaba’s alternative credit scoring program, looks at the frequency and cost of a customer’s purchases on Alibaba’s mobile payments platform Alipay in order to determine creditworthiness.

Meanwhile, India’s alternative lending market is in a much earlier stage. Giant tech companies don’t yet dominate the scene, and so the balance-sheet lending landscape includes a large number of small specialists like EarlySalary (payday loans), ZestMoney (point of sale), and Buddy (targeted at students). There are only about 30 P2P lenders in the country, which is surprising for a country where nearly 40% of the population is unbanked, and therefore without access to traditional loans.

Southeast Asia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but the small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that make it up have more limited access to financial credit than the global average.

In Singapore, the financial center of the region, the major alternative finance players in Singapore are peer-to-company (P2C) lenders: specialized P2P lenders that only provide loans for SMEs. Market leader Capital Match was founded in 2014, but says it has already paid out more than S$32m (US$22.5m) in loans.

Malaysia is doing its part to meet P2P companies like Funding Societies in the middle, having recently updated its financial guidelines to include P2P lending. Thailand has done the same, issuing a consultation paper on regulations for P2P lending last fall.

German Challenger Bank SolarisBank Goes to Asia (Fintech News), Rated: AAA

The financial services subsidiary of the Bertelsmann Group, Arvato Financial Solutions, and the Japanese investor SBI Group will invest in solarisBank in a partnership that promises significant cooperation potential across international markets. In total, the Berlin-based bank raises EUR 26.3 million in the series A financing, meanwhile seed investors FinLeap, Hegus and yabeo Capital participate as well.

As the young bank steps up its internationalisation efforts, new executives are being added to its leadership team: Roland Folz will join the Management Board as CEO, while Gerrit Seidel will take over as Supervisory Board Chairman from HitFox Group and FinLeap founder Jan Beckers.

solarisBank intends to expand its activities in European and Asian countries over the coming years, and will establish joint venture companies with the SBI Group in order to develop businesses in Asia.

Middle East

The real estate property crowdfunder with an ethical conscience (Zawya), Rated: A

As key professional in the Qatar real estate industry gather for the annual Cityscape exhibition in Doha,  MercyCrowd, a brand new type of property crowdfunding platform, will offer for the first time to people in Qatar international real estate purchases through crowdfunding.

MercyCrowd  is part of the Elite International Asset Group, an established international company promoting real estate investment in Europe with a specialty in the French and UK market.  However, what makes MercyCrowd uniquely different is the company’s core belief that sustainable growth can only stem from real assets that generate real increments and tangible benefits to a society.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday March 9 2017, Daily News Digest

Thursday March 9 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage’s prices $525M securitization. LendIt announces industry award winners. AlphaFlow launches automated real estate investing platform. Zhong An to sell 5-10% stake ahead of IPO. Ant Financial invests in Mynt. Atom Bank raises $102M for mobile-only bank. Today’s main analysis: Is the short-term credit cycle ready to roll over? TU bolsters fraud prevention exchange. Today’s thought-provoking […]

Thursday March 9 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

  • LendIt Awards winners and PitchIt competition. GP:”In my eyes, Scott Sanborn winning best executive of the year is the award that stands out the most. The second award that was interesting is for Zopa winning best consumer lender award while also being the oldest (started in 2005!). Note: Zopa was also nominated among the most innovative platforms. Being the oldest, the one that stands out and among the most innovating is outstanding and certainly worthy of an award. A healthy industry that is growing also needs its celebrations. Having awards is a great way to bond the industry together and make it into an industry celebration. ”  AT: “Congratulations to all awards winners.”
  • Kabbage prices $525M securitization. GP:” ABS on small and medium business loans are less usual than on unsecured person. This securitization seem quite hot. Senior are anticipated to be rated A by Kroll. Expected to close arond March 20. Significantly oversubscribed. We can conclude that the SME securitization market is looking strong. We should look at the next OnDeck securitization with this in mind and hopefully be able to differentiate the market trends vs the company effect in that securitization. “
  • AlphaFlow launches new automated real estate investing platform.
  • Second sign in as many days that the short-term credit cycle will turn over. GP:” The articles on AlphaFlow are a mixed bag. One should critically evaluate the contents beyond the title. The defaults in auto and p2p are inching up as TransUnion showed recently. But very little and I wonder if it’s really significative. In p2p the defaults had inched up last year but it seemed to have been due to companies focused on growth too much. Recently OnDeck’s reserves for losses had to more then triple, however we haven’t seen this in their competitors. Perhaps not yet. I would conclude that we should watch what is going on but not panic, yet. “
  • TU bolsters fraud prevention exchange. AT: “As the number of consumers with personal loans rises the potential for fraud increases. This should be an area of concern for all lenders.”
  • Data aggregation for lending decisions.
  • CreditEase addresses top FinTech trends at LendIt.
  • Election years can disrupt Fintech too. AT: “Regulation is going to be a big discussion for the industry this year and next.”
  • StreetShares partners with Nor-Cal FDC.
  • Qapital raises $12M to expand Fintech app to more areas.

United Kingdom

European Union

China

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

Kabbage prices $ 525m securitisation (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, a pioneering financial services, technology and data platform, today announced that on March 7, 2017, it priced $525 million of fixed-rate, asset-backed notes in a private securitization transaction.

The facility is expandable to $1.5 billion. The notes will be issued in four classes by Kabbage Asset Securitization LLC, a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Kabbage Inc. The senior class of notes is anticipated to be rated “A(sf)” on the closing date by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA). Guggenheim Securities is serving as sole structuring advisor and initial purchaser of the notes. The securitization is expected to close on or about March 20, 2017, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

The securitization was significantly oversubscribed with interest from top-tier institutional investors. This represents the largest asset-backed securitization of small business loans in the online lending industry, next to Kabbage’s prior, expandable, ABS note issuance in March 2014.

LendIt Names PitchIt Competition And LendIt Industry Award Winners (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendIt, the world’s largest show in lending and fintech, today announced the startup winner for its fifth PitchIt competition and 18 winners for its first LendIt Industry Awards in various categories including Innovator of the Year, FinTech Woman of the Year and Executive of the Year.

PitchIt is a leading global competition for fintech startups to earn mentorship, endorsement and exposure to institutions, investors and broad visibility. Out of eight PitchIt finalists, the judges winner as well as the audience winner was awarded to Nova Credit, the world’s first cross-border credit reporting agency. Nova Credit is fundamentally changing the way immigrants secure loans by enabling individuals to transfer their overseas data.

  • Best Journalist Coverage – George Popescu, Editor in Chief, Lending Times
  • Emerging Real Estate Platform – PeerStreet
  • Top Fund Manager – Prime Meridian Capital Management
  • International Innovator of the Year – Trulioo
  • Top Law Firm – Chapman and Cutler
  • Top Accounting Firm – Deloitte
  • Top Fintech Equity Investor – QED Investors
  • Most Innovative Bank – Cross River Bank
  • Top Service Provider – First Associates Loan Servicing
  • Best in Show – Deloitte – awarded to the best exhibitor at LendIt, judged on booth design and impression as well as staff conviction and enthusiasm.

AlphaFlow Launches New Investment Platform to Bring Automated Investing to Real Estate (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

AlphaFlow, the leader in passive online real estate investment, today announced it has launched AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios. The company will build, manage, and rebalance a portfolio of 75-100 real estate loans for investors. This marks the first automated real estate investment service of its kind.

AlphaFlow provides clients with a first-of-its-kind set it and forget it automated service to build and manage a real estate portfolio. The company’s founders have been at the forefront of the disruption in real estate investing. In 2013, Sturm co-founded RealtyShares, one of the largest real estate crowdfunding platforms. Three years later, AlphaFlow was the first to offer funds that allowed investors to participate in loans across multiple real estate crowdfunding platforms with a single investment. AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios bring similarly innovative benefits to investors, including daily portfolio rebalancing that automatically reviews portfolios on a daily basis for opportunities to reallocate investments in order to increase diversification.

While many investors have embraced online equity investing, the real estate industry has traditionally been slow to change. As a result, the options available today are fairly limited for passive investors. AlphaFlow believes that in the next ten years, everyone will have some type of real estate in their investment portfolio.

The Second Sign In As Many Days That The Market Is Ready To Roll Over (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

It has now been widely known that there is a bubble in the United States automobile market and recent exposes about subprime financing and recent commentary from dealerships about heavily discounted and incentivize selling have led us to this conclusion in a relatively straightforward fashion.

We also believe that the first loan default cracks would show in peer-to-peer lending, a riskier and lower credit worthy form of lending that exists in the spot where bankers simply used to not lend. Just days ago, we saw Lending Club, arguably the most popular peer-to-peer lender, report that delinquencies had risen significantly.

More importantly, this news pushes us further into our thesis that the short term credit cycle is likely about to turn over.

This was always a two pronged thesis: peer to peer lending and the auto market. With the second piece now falling into the puzzle, we think this is a great time to reiterate our notion that the market has hit its peak and that we think this is a great time to get hedged. In addition to having about 60% of our portfolio long and about 40% short at this time, we have also added some short-term S&P 500 puts to further hedge our long positions.

TransUnion Bolsters Fraud Prevention Exchange as Online Fraudsters Continue to Impact Personal Loan Delinquency Rates (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Newly released TransUnion (TRU) data found that as personal loan delinquency rates rise, online fraud, which includes loan stacking, continues to make significant contributions to these increases. Serious delinquency rates (90+ days past due) at the conclusion of 2016 for personal loans originated in 2015 rose to 6.22%, up nearly 3% from the year-end 2015 delinquency rate of 6.05% for loans originated in 2014.*

Serious delinquency rates (90+ days past due) for personal loans with characteristics of online fraud stood at 11.02% at the end of 2016 for loans originated in 2015. Online fraud includes fraudulent loan stacking, which involves attempting to secure multiple loans from one or more lenders within a short period of time. While down from the 11.81% rate at the conclusion of 2015 for loans originated in 2014, it represents even more borrowers because of the continued growth in the personal loan space.

To combat online fraud, TransUnion has further expanded its Fraud Prevention Exchange to offer insights from the entire network of available TransUnion customer data — not just from Exchange members. These newest updates were unveiled today at LendIt USA 2017, a lending and FinTech conference.

The Exchange enables lenders to:

  • Reduce fraud losses without impacting the consumer experience and lending timelines.
  • Receive real-time alerts (within seconds) to mitigate instances where lenders don’t discover problematic accounts until days or weeks have passed and losses may have been incubating unknowingly inside live loans.
  • Utilize TransUnion’s vast network of customers inside and outside of the Exchange for more insight into originations fraud.
  • Quickly adjust and adapt to evolving fraud threats and trends.

Data aggregation’s new frontier: Lending decisions (American Banker), Rated: A

Financial data aggregation, long used to power digital personal financial management tools, has found a more moneymaking role — speeding up underwriting decisions.

Rather than faxing in documents or submitting PDFs of data downloaded from multiple websites, consumers and small-business owners are granting online lenders permission to use aggregation technology to grab their financial transaction data.

So long as the technology is working as intended, lenders will gain something they may have not been privy to before — years’ worth of transaction data, such as cash flows that aggregators think lenders should crunch as part of their credit analysis in addition to credit history data. And sure, banks may already count some applicants as customers and have access to their financial transactions. However, most consumers have multiple bank accounts that lenders would also need to mine.

Lenders in other countries like Australia and Europe appear to be further along than U.S. banks — especially in building open application programming interfaces to simplify the flow of data among apps.

CreditEase Addresses Top FinTech Trends at LendIt USA 2017 Conference in New York (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

CreditEase, China’s leading fintech company announced today that its subsidiary company, Yirendai (YRD), an leading online digital consumer financial service platform, together with CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and CreditEase Offshore Private Credit Fund (“OPCF”) delivered a series of keynote speeches at the 2017 LendIt USA conference in New York from March 6 to 7.  LendIt annual conferences are recognized as one of the largest global fintech industry events dedicated to connecting the global fintech and lending communities.

On the main stage, Yirendai executives delivered a keynote speech named From Big to Strong: China FinTech Entering a New Era. Yihan Fang and Yang Cao of Yirendai shared with the audience the latest fintech industry trends in China, regulatory environment of online marketplace lending in China, and industry’s current challenges. In addition, Yirendai announced the launch of Yirendai Enabling Platform (“YEP”), a technology platform that enables partner companies to utilize Yirendai’s data acquisition, anti-fraud technology, as well as customer acquisition capabilities, to help optimize industry’s efficiency and enhance customer experience.

Anju Patwardhan, Senior Partner of CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and member of Investment Committee delivered a keynote speech on financial inclusion issues for the middle class and also discussed the latest trends in fintech globally. CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, launched in December 2015, is a venture fund investing in growth-stage fintech companies globally. The Fund has an equivalent of USD 1 billion in total committed capital.

LendIt: Election years can disrupt fintech, too (Housingwire), Rated: A

Congressman Patrick McHenry, a representative of North Carolina’s 10th congressional district and a member of the Republican Party, gave one of the first major speeches on the topic. Congressman McHenry has been a vocal proponent of fintech regulation overhaul and he discussed his priorities, beginning with the modernization of infrastructure underlying the IRS income verification form (4506T), which is used by lenders to make underwriting decisions (the form is currently manually handled by the IRS and takes 2- 8 business days for processing).

A counter-point to this speech was provided by Amias Gerety, who served in the U.S. Treasury during President Obama’s time in office. He outlined the ways in which the Treasury Department currently engages with emerging fintech companies through discussions, white papers and, eventually, changes in policy.

He addressed some of the popular requests of fintech companies including the demands for a “regulatory sandbox” for startups to innovate without the shackles of regulation.

Lastly, he discussed the shadow of the crisis on regulators’ minds as it relates to financial innovation, since many of the products that caused the 2008 recession were considered  “innovative” at the time. He encouraged companies to think about innovating across the whole spectrum of the customer value chain of acquisition, user experience, underwriting, funding and servicing / collections, since the last two stages of funding and servicing / collections tended to get overlooked during a growth cycle but tend to result in “immense bad behavior” during a downturn.

The third notable speech for the day was delivered by Thomas Curry, the Comptroller of Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He highlighted the power of  “responsible innovation” by fintech companies to expand financial inclusion.

He confirmed that the OCC has the necessary authority and highlighted their capabilities, including “…experienced examiners who specialize in banking technology, have expert knowledge of payment systems, credit, and consumer protection, and know where companies can face pitfalls.”

He confirmed that the OCC has the necessary authority and highlighted their capabilities, including “…experienced examiners who specialize in banking technology, have expert knowledge of payment systems, credit, and consumer protection, and know where companies can face pitfalls.”

StreetShares Partners with Nor-Cal FDC to Serve California Veteran, Small Business Owners and Government Contractors (PR Newswire), Rated: A

As part of the statewide California bizWin™ and VetBizWin™ Initiatives, StreetShares has partnered with Nor-Cal FDC (Northern California Financial Development Corporation) to provide contract financing and small business lending solutions to California small and veteran-owned businesses.

As a Nor-Cal FDC premium partner, StreetShares will work with the Nor-Cal FDC Small Business Finance Support Team to assist small business and veteran business owners in obtaining funding needed to win new opportunities.

Qapital Raises $ 12M To Expand Its Fintech App Into More Areas (PYMNTS.com), Rated: A

Qapital, the FinTech startup, raised $12 million in venture funding to expand its app that enables users to make goals and save money to reach those goals.

With the app, users can integrate their checking, savings and credit card accounts, so in addition to setting financial goals, they can stay on top of their finances.

By including debit cards into the product, the report noted that it gives the startup a new revenue stream, because it can make money from the interchange fees.

United Kingdom

Zopa bags top consumer lender award (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA reaffirmed its leading position in the peer-to-peer consumer space last night as it won the accolade of top consumer lending platform at LendIt’s awards in New York.

The world’s oldest P2P lender fended off competition from US consumer-finance heavyweights such as SoFi and Avant, bagging top scores on loan performance, volume, growth, and product diversity from a panel of 30 industry experts.

The new award caps off a bumper month for the platform, which posted record lending figures for February. It originated more than £81m of new loans last month – £24m more than the same month last year.

Forming new partnerships will be a key strategy going forward, according to Zopa’s chief product officer Andrew Lawson.

The P2P platform, which has so far focused exclusively on unsecured lending, is also looking to expand its range of loans and maturities. As Peer-to-Peer Finance News previously reported, this may include a move into the secured auto finance space.

Atom Bank raises $ 102M at $ 320M valuation for a mobile-only bank for millennials (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Atom Bank, a startup out of the U.K. that has built a mobile-only bank targeting consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, has raised another £83 million ($102 million) in funding led by BBVA, the Spanish bank and owner of Simple in the U.S. The funding gives Atom a post-money valuation of £261 million ($320 million), TechCrunch has confirmed with the company. BBVA also led Atom’s previous $128 million round in November 2015.

Robo-advice case study: Munnypot (Banking Technology), Rated: A

Munnypot looks like the archetypal disruptor. It is a sophisticated robo-advice service that allows consumers to manage their savings digitally. The platform makes straightforward and easy to understand financial advice available to everyone, at a fraction of the cost of most financial advisors or wealth managers.

First, from 2012, regulatory changes were introduced to provide much greater transparency to consumers, particularly around pricing. These changes have, however, made advice less affordable for people without large savings pots. This has contributed to the “advice gap” of 16 million people in the UK who could take advantage of financial advice if it were simpler and cheaper.

Second, the UK’s simplified tax rules similarly paved the way for providing advice to consumers on a range of more straightforward financial products.

Third, changing customer behaviour means most people are now comfortable with using technology for more and more purchases, whether via websites or apps.

Alternative lenders berate Chancellor for ineffective first budget (AltFi), Rated: A

Stuart Law, CEO and co-founder of secured business lending platform Assetz Capital, has berated Philip Hammond for delivering no news of any import for small businesses – “or indeed their lenders” – in his first budget as Chancellor.

Law said that Hammond has missed a chance to remove a “fatal flaw” from the Innovative Finance ISA tax wrapper, which allows investors to shelter peer-to-peer investments from income tax. The existing rules do not allow investors to spread their annual ISA allowance across multiple peer-to-peer platforms, which Law believes is making diversification “very difficult”.

Ex-ING Direct boss joins RateSetter board (Investor Daily), Rated: B

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has appointed former ING Direct chief executive Vaughn Richtor to its Australian board of directors.

European Union

PAYPAL FUNDS FINTECH PROF ROLE (Delano), Rated: AAA

The FNR Pearl chair in fintech will be jointly funded over five years by online payment giant PayPal and the National Research Fund (FNR), the government said in a press release following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on 6 March.

The chair will be established at the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT).

Personetics to Present Its Cognitive Banking Applications at Fintech 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Personetics, the leading provider of cognitive applications for the financial services sector, will present at Fintech 2017, Switzerland’s most influential fintech conference, which will take place in Zurich 9 March.

Personetics will be presenting a session entitled “Personalized Guidance: Turning Customer Data into a Delightful Customer Experience” at 10:50.

China

Zhong An plans to sell 5-10 percent stake ahead of IPO (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance plans to sell 5-10 percent of the company to a couple of strategic investors, to raise up to 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion), ahead of a planned initial public offering in mainland China, according to four people with direct knowledge of the matter.

China’s first internet-only insurer, whose current major shareholders include two of China’s largest Internet companies – Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial affiliate with 16 percent and Tencent Holdings Ltd with 12 percent – is in early talks with potential investors, according to the sources who declined to be named.

China’s Biggest Blockchain Backer Launches Startup Accelerator (CoinDesk), Rated: A

A blockchain venture backed by Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang Group has launched a new startup accelerator.

The kick-off, which formally took place on 22nd February, comes soon after Wanxiang pledged to spend as much as $30bn on a smart cities initiative, set to be invested over a seven-year period. As part of that plan, Wanxiang, best known as the country’s biggest makers of automotive parts, said it would look to fund blockchain entrepreneurs.

The investors would be expected to commit at least 1 billion yuan each and the new funds would be used by Zhong An to expand its business and buy time before securing a green light from regulators for the IPO, one of the people said.

India

No misuse of Aadhaar biometrics, says UIDAI (The Indian Express), Rated: A

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which maintains the database of Aadhaar numbers, said on Sunday that there was no misuse of Aadhaar biometrics, which allegedly led to identity theft and financial loss.

Furthermore, with reference to the incident of misuse of biometrics reported in a newspaper, the UIDAI said it was an isolated case of an employee working with a bank’s business correspondent’s company making an attempt to misuse biometrics, which was detected by the authority’s internal security system and subsequently actions were initiated under the Aadhaar Act.

Asia

Ant Financial invests in Globe Telecom’s Mynt (Telecomasia.net), Rated: AAA

Alibaba’s Ant Financial is making its first foray into the Philippines via partnership with Ayala and an investment into Globe Telecom’s Fintech business unit Mynt.

Alibaba’s Ant Financial is making its first foray into the Philippines via partnership with Ayala and an investment into Globe Telecom’s Fintech business unit Mynt.

The flowering field of fintech (Infographic) (Tech in Asia), Rated: AAA

So, why are fintech firms so popular? What makes them better than other finance companies? One of the key reasons is that they have very stable and predictable business models, making people feel safe about their products and/or services. Investors are also attracted to businesses with predictable business models, as the risk is lower. Fintech companies are also low-cost yet deliver exceptional service.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday March 8 2017, Daily News Digest

Wednesday March 8 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Ron Suber offers 5 ways alt lenders can work with banks to prosper. OCC comptroller fires back at FinTech charter critics. Zopa has record lending month. RateSetter returns fall due to high demand. Today’s main analysis: Corporate credit spread tightens following Trump’s address to Congress. Today’s thought-provoking articles: China consumer finance needs high tech solution. […]

Wednesday March 8 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

MENA

Asia

News Summary

 

United States

Prosper CEO’s Ron Suber’s Keynote Address at LendIt (YouTube), Rated: AAA

 

 

Corporate credit spreads tighten following Trump’s address to Congress (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

While the markets pulled back slightly in the latter half of the week, risk assets remained near their highs after a significant boost Wednesday following President Donald Trump’s address to Congress. The average spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index, our proxy for the investment-grade bond market, tightened 5 basis points to +118 last week. In the high-yield market, the credit spread of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch High Yield Master Index tightened 24 basis points to +360.

Comptroller Curry hits back at critics of fintech charter plans (Finextra), Rated: AAA

In a speech to the LendIT conference in New York, Curry offered a stout defence to charges laid by banking trade bodies and state regulators over its plans.

“To be clear, the National Bank Act does give the OCC the legal authority to grant national bank charters to companies engaged in the business of banking,” Curry told the conference. “That authority includes granting charters to companies that limit their business models to certain aspects of banking, and it is not circumscribed just because a company delivers banking services in new ways with innovative technology.”

Kabbage nabs $ 500M for small business loans (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Kabbage, a billion-dollar startup that combines machine learning algorithms, data from public profiles on the internet and other factors to rate and then loan people money for their small businesses, is today announcing another big step up in its ambitions. The company has secured over $500 million in fixed-rate, asset-backed notes, money that it will use to expand the amount, payback terms and size of loans it makes to SMBs over the next three years. To date, Kabbage has loaned over $2.7 billion to SMBs since being founded in 2009.

Kabbage said the securitization was oversubscribed.

As part of this closing, Kabbage is forming a new subsidiary,Kabbage Asset Securitization, to issue the notes in four classes. Kabbage said that the senior class of notes is “anticipated to be rated ‘A(sf)’ on the closing date by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA).”

Kabbage notes that this is an upgrade on its previous rating.

Lantern Credit boosts machine learning engine through ARC library acquisition (Finextra), Rated: A

Lantern Credit, a financial technology company working to solve systematic inefficiencies in the consumer credit industry, is enhancing its proprietary machine learning engine, Beam AI, with the acquisition of the Abstract Regression-Classification (ARC) Machine Learning Library.

The machine learning library enables Lantern Credit to use a human-machine hybrid learning approach that incorporates human guidance in the machine learning training process to produce more reliable outputs.

Lantern Credit’s Beam AI will use the symbolic regression technology to ensure that credit offers presented to consumers are actionable and timely.

RealtyShares Raises $ 32.9M for Midwest Real Estate Projects Through Crowdfunding (BusinessWire), Rated: A

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, has released new data showing the extent of crowdfunded investments in several Midwest real estate markets.

Developers, sponsors and borrowers in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois have raised $32.9 million to date from RealtyShares’ network of investors, offering a source of financing for real estate projects by leveraging technology to connect potential investors with expertly vetted real estate deals.

Thus far 114 deals have been funded in the region through RealtyShares, with an average deal price of $288,000. Deals of up to $1.5 million have been financed in both Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago, Ill. Anchoring RealtyShares’ position in the region, $14 million has been raised for 53 deals in Illinois, with several investors targeting properties in and around Chicago. Buckeyes are also showing a significant level of activity, with $12.25 million raised for 30 deals in Ohio, concentrating around the Cincinnati and Cleveland areas.

Patch of Land Hires Chief Investment Product Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Patch of Land, a leading online real estate marketplace lender and crowdfunding platform, announces the addition of Matthew Zall as Chief Investment Product Officer as the firm prepares to expand into the single-family rental market with longer term, permanent financing products. The number of non-owner occupied single-family properties in the U.S. including townhomes, condos, and 2-4 unit properties grew to almost 24 million units valued at over $6 trillion in 2016, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Zall brings to Patch of Land more than 12 years of real estate and mortgage experience, as well as expertise in financing and product development. He pioneered three of the industry’s first-ever multi-borrower single-family rental securitizations, helping to build Blackstone Group subsidiary, B2R Finance, (now known as Finance of America Holdings, LLC) from start up to a multibillion dollar lender in only a few years. Prior to joining B2R, Matt was a Commercial Real Estate (CRE) trader at J.P. Morgan and Bear Stearns. At Patch of Land, Zall will execute strategies to enable the expansion of the firm’s position as a marketplace lender by offering both accredited and institutional investors additional opportunities to invest in this asset class.

Fintech Startup Current Announces $ 3.6 mil Raise With Eye on Injecting “Cs” Into Payments and Banking Space (Huffington Post), Rated: A

Today “stagnating banking industry,” announced a seed round venture capital raise of some $3.6 million backed by

THE FINTECH PARADOX IN ONLINE BUSINESS LENDING – March 2017 (IOU Financial), Rated: A

However, not all Fintech business models have yet matured into profitability, key to the definition of success. A structural element of future success for new entrants resides in their ability to access cheaper funding and quality customers. Who can offer these things?  With that in mind, Banks, especially small ones, should feel confident they can monetize their position to bring down their cost of innovation.  By working with innovative companies in financial technology, they can quickly benefit from new and very cost efficient ways to grow revenues. Online lending could be the first expertise to explore in order to welcome small business back and help them grow.

It is true that technology has enabled new entrants to offer innovative services not available at banks, either as a product offering or at a more competitive price.  It is also true that banks have been slow at embracing technology as a growth engine, mostly due to lack of capital to fund innovation. This is especially the case for smaller banks who tend to lack financial and human capital to invest heavily in R&D and innovate. Large banks with deep pockets have found ways to either build or partner and grow their presence in areas where technology offer a clear competitive edge. Large banks have in fact recognized the win-win rationale for partnering with Fintech, an opportunity also open to small banks. Large banks love Fintech because they can afford it. Small banks can as well.

How will the paradox divide disappear between banks and Fintech Alternative Lenders?  It will dissipate with the online lender taking time to educate banks about their efficient loan platforms and how they can help banks reach new customers, develop new funding sources and grow revenues, especially non-recourse fee income.  Banks should also be curious and consult with online lenders to better define how they can benefit from their technology and expertise in lending small.

StackSource Announces Lending Marketplace at LendIt Conference (CRE.Tech), Rated: B

Today was a big day for Tim Milazzo, his company StackSource and possibly commercial real estate lending as whole. Tim had been selected as a pitch finalist for the LendIt conference in New York.

But, Tim had an extra surprise in store for this big day. His company StackSource has been a tool for property lenders to centralize workflow. While they are a new company, emerging from the TechStars accelerator program late last year, they have already helped property owners process over $1B of loan offers on the platform. But, this was never the end game for Tim and his co-founder Nathan. They started the company with the idea of creating a marketplace for commercial real estate borrowers. Today, they not only pitched at LendIt, they also went live with the marketplace that they originally envisioned.

United Kingdom

Zopa reports record month of lending (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Zopa has recorded its second consecutive month of record lending.

The peer-to-peer platform revealed that it lent more than £81m during February 2017 as it approved nearly 12,000 borrowers.

This was £24m more than for the same period last year.

The platform celebrated a record year of lending during 2016 as it passed the £2bn milestone and back in November it announced plans to launch a bank.

P2P Lender RateSetter Partners with Mortgage Aggregator Connective (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

P2P lender RateSetter announced a partnership with national mortgage aggregator Connective which aims to give accredited brokers access to their personal loan products.

The move is part of RateSetter’s ongoing focus on the broker channel to continue its growth in consumer and business lending. By joining Connective’s lending panel, RateSetter plans to help brokers improve client’s financial wellbeing in areas outside of the traditional mortgage offerings.

RateSetter returns fall as market demand rises (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RETURNS on RateSetter’s shorter-term accounts have fallen slightly due to changes in market demand.

The platform’s rolling market product was at 3.3 per cent last week and is now offering three per cent, its one year fix is now 2.9 per cent, down from three per cent, while its five year fix has actually increased slightly from 4.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent.

The rates are set by market demand on the RateSetter platform, but as of the end of March 2016 they were at 3.4 per cent for one month, 3.7 per cent for one year, 4.8 per cent for three years and 6.1 per cent for five years.

BondMason to increase bridging funding appetite (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) service provider BondMason aims to expand its lending through bridging lenders in 2017, with over half of investment expected to be through non-P2P platforms.
The news follows a surge in demand for bridging finance in the final quarter of 2016, with the total lending figure for the year standing at £2.83bn.
Stephen added that while the bridging market has seen more competition from P2P lenders, it was mostly “around the edges”.

Misys backs gamification to educate next generation on money management (Zawya), Rated: A

Misys is making gamification an integral part of its Misys FusionBanking Essence Digital platform to help banks educate the next generation on better money management. Integrating Moroku’s GameSystem directly into the Essence Digital architecture enables banks to inject some fun into personal financial management (PFM) and help consumers achieve their savings goals.

With research research forecasting the mobile gaming market in MENA to be worth up to US$400m by 2021, the case for gamification in helping banks to attract, engage and retain customers is compelling. Banks stand to benefit from building greater trust with consumers and capturing market share. Gamification can also deliver a significant boost to customer experience. FusionBanking Essence Digital brings points, leaderboards and rewards to standard banking activity, to educate and also support savings and spend management.

China

China Consumer Finance Challenge Needs High-Tech Solution, China Rapid Finance CEO Tells LendIt (Broadway World), Rated: AAA

The challenge of expanding consumer finance to China’s vast population can only be effectively tackled with a high-tech solution that enables low-cost customer acquisition, Dr. Zhengyu (Zane) Wang, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of China Rapid Finance Limited (“CRF” or “the company”), told the LendIt USA 2017 conference.

Over the past two decades, China has emerged from being a market that in 2000 featured essentially no credit bureau, decision science, or consumer finance, Dr. Wang said in a March 7 keynote address at LendIt USA 2017, which was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. China’s consumer finance market today boasts many of the same elements as the U.S. China now has a central bureau for credit reporting that covers 800 million people, while credit cards serve about 300 million people, he said.

Still, China’s consumer finance market has a long way to go, in a nation where non-mortgage credit is only 2 percent of GDP, Dr. Wang told the LendIt audience. Only about 16 percent of Chinese consumers have credit cards, compared with about 60 percent in the U.S.

MENA

Iran Launches a FinTech Association to Push for Development (Crypocoins News), Rated: AAA

Iranian financial technology companies have banded together to create Iran’s FinTech Association, several months after the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) suggested the idea, reports the Financial Tribune.

Known as FinTech A, the Iran FinTech Association is designed to bring industry players under a single area so that solutions can be found to their problems and improvements can be made between innovators and regulatory bodies.

Nasser Hakimi, director of CBI’s IT Department, said to the Financial Tribune, that he had proposed that FinTech companies develop a forum to figure out the challenges involved, identity key questions, as well as reach out to the regulator for solutions.

Last February, it was reported that while economic sanctions had been lifted against Iran, screening rules were still in place when trading with Iran, putting barriers in place for those within the U.S. and the EU who wanted to conduct bitcoin transactions within the country.

Asia

Indonesian P2P lending platform Amartha raises Series A, aims to disburse US $ 30M by end of year (e27), Rated: AAA

Indonesian P2P lending platform for unbankable society Amartha today announced that it has raised “seven digit” US Dollar in Series A round led by Mandiri Capital Indonesia (MCI).

Amartha plans to use the new funding to expand their coverage by creating mini-branch across Java and Bali, which they aim to complete by end of 2017.

Having had disbursed “more than” IDR68 billion (US$5 million) to 30,000 women who owns small businesses, the startup aims to disburse US$30 million to 100,000 borrowers by end of the year, with 10,000 active lenders on board.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday March 7 2017, Daily News Digest

p2p industry growth

News Comments Today’s main news: Ron Suber’s updates on MPL. Amazon’s history points the way for online lending. Best Egg exceeds $3B in personal loans.eOriginal to lead Fannie Mae’s next-gen electric vault. Experian joins MLA. First FinTech fund for inclusion of the underserved raises $141 mil. Trillion Fund up for sale. Today’s main analysis: How to join the P2P lending […]

p2p industry growth

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Israel

Asia

News Summary

United States

Amazon’s history points the way for online lending: Lending Club CEO (American Banker), Rated: AAA

As the online lending sector seeks to rebound from a wrenching year, it should look to Amazon for inspiration, the CEO of industry bellwether Lending Club said.

In many ways where online lending is in 2017 parallels the early days of online retail, Scott Sanborn said at the LendIt conference in New York on Monday. In that situation, new entrants disrupted an established industry, before going through a period of pain and change themselves during the dot-com bubble.

The original online retailers that survived and thrived after that period reinvented and expanded what they did, Sanborn said, citing Amazon as the prime example.

Much like how Amazon went from selling books to selling cloud services, Sanborn predicted online lenders that succeed well into the future will change how they do business.

eOriginal to Lead Fannie Mae’s Next Generation Electronic Vault (PRWeb), Rated: AAA

eOriginal, Inc., the trusted expert in digital transaction management, has been selected as the technology solution provider for the Fannie Mae next generation electronic vault (eVault). Fannie Mae is committed to enhancing the digital mortgage revolution and removing obstacles to eMortgage adoption through a modern, secure, and scalable platform. eOriginal’s hosted platform enables the secure management of electronically signed assets (eNotes) throughout their post-execution lifecycle.

By utilizing eOriginal’s hosted solution, Fannie Mae will accelerate deployment and greatly reduce costs for ongoing support efforts. The movement to cloud-based/vendor-hosted solutions is an industry best-practice that the lending community is embracing.

How To Join The P2P Lending Revolution And Earn +10% Yields (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In 1999, I was a partner in launching one of the world’s first pure online banks. At the time, the idea was controversial to say the least.

Since launching our online bank, the industry has, in fits and starts, adopted the technologies necessary to provide some form of online banking to their clients.

While earning fees on deposits, overdrawn checks, and so forth are an important component of the typical bank’s revenue statement, the real juice comes from lending.

And that’s where the banks have a real problem.

With the credit freeze locking out many ordinary Americans, the door opened wide for Peer-to-Peer lending platforms. A radical new approach to lending, P2P platforms act as intermediaries between borrowers and investors, bypassing the traditional gatekeepers of credit… the banks.

In 10 short years, P2P lending has facilitated over $35 billion of loans in the US.

Loans made through P2P platforms currently account for just 3% of the total unsecured consumer loans in the US.

Given the positives, the P2P share of unsecured consumer loans is projected to enjoy a compounded annual growth rate of 47%, rising to 8.4% of the market by 2020.

With P2P investing thriving in the sub $250k space, banks are beginning to take note. As a senior banker friend of ours commented, the bankers are now paying very close attention to the rising competition.

Unlike the Boomers, Millennials have no loyalty or connection with banks. That’s why they are twice as likely to switch banks. Over 94% consumers under the age of 35 are active users of online banking.

Already about one-third of 18-to 34-year-olds have used P2P lending, with the average age for Lending Club users just 30.

Prosper President Ron Suber Updates on Marketplace Lending Industry (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ron Suber, the President of Prosper and a perennial keynote speaker at the annual LendIt conference, delivered a rousing update on the status of marketplace lending.

The previous 12 months have been tough on the online lending sector, funding dried up as institutional money panicked leaving platforms gasping for cash. Platforms were compelled to revisit operating models looking for efficiencies while honing the credit process. Yet the platforms that have survived stand to benefit and grow from the new resilience and confidence created from shared survival.

The key to future success included the following foundational elements: loan performance, data transparency, platform profitability, customer acquisition, and automation.

 

Ron Suber LendItUSA 2017 Presentation by CrowdfundInsider on Scribd

Experian joins Marketplace Lending Association (Finextra), Rated: AAA

As part of our commitment to driving responsible financial innovation, Experian has joined the Marketplace Lending Association as an associate member.

Now more than ever, the financial industry is seeking new and innovative ways to provide valuable financial services to consumers and businesses. Experian has been at the forefront, and is leading this charge by focusing on combining technology with the power of data to help drive an economy that is continually changing. This is critical, especially in the marketplace lending sector, which has brought many innovations to the market over the last decade.

Experian is already an active partner with many of the nation’s leading marketplace lenders, providing powerful data, analytics and consulting services to consumer and small-business lenders. We are uniquely positioned to help marketplace lenders attract more consumers to our platform, reduce fraud risk and navigate the complex world of regulatory and compliance.

First FinTech Fund for Inclusion of the Underserved Raises $ 141 Million (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund closed with $141 million in capital contributions. This is a global non-profit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. It is managed by Quona Capital, which invests in entrepreneurs and growth-oriented businesses seeking to change how financial services are delivered in emerging markets.

Altisource launches mortgage trading platform (Housingwire), Rated: A

Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a provider of real estate, mortgage and technology services, announced the launch of its new mortgage trading platform – noteXchange.

noteXchange is a secondary market trading platform that brings buyers and sellers together. It enables communication, shorter sales cycles and automated processes, according to the company.

The platform creates a uniform, compliant, secure and efficient technology solution in the mortgage trading market. It is designed to replace the current system of transacting through spreadsheets and email.

This move comes as no surprise to HousingWire readers, who read in the March magazine about mortgage companies increasing their securityafter a record number of hacks.

Credit Cards, Friends and Family and Savings Aren’t Helping Nonprime Americans (BusinessWire), Rated: A

It’s no secret that nonprime (subprime) Americans have limited personal resources to weather unexpected expenses – but new data from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class reveals that informal, relationship-based options for emergency loans are largely unavailable as well. According to research released today by the Center, which researches and reports on the realities of being nonprime in America, almost 70 percent of nonprime Americans couldn’t cover an urgent expense of $500 or more with their savings and 64 percent wouldn’t be able to borrow that amount from friends and family. These findings complement the Federal Reserve Board’s 2016 finding that 46 percent of Americans do not have $400 in savings to cover an emergency expense.

This latest study focuses on how nonprime Americans – defined as those having a credit score below 700 – borrow money as they are largely barred from traditional prime products, like personal loans from banks or even loans from new online lending companies that are focused on prime consumers.

Additional key findings include:

  • 71 percent would not be able to borrow $2,000 from family or friends if an urgent need arose
  • 72 percent of nonprime Americans would not be able to put $500 on a credit card
  • 80 percent would not be able to put $2,000 on a credit card
  • 59 percent said they “regularly” carry a credit card balance
  • Only 1 in 5 nonprime Americans have borrowed from friends or family in the last 12 months
  • 7 percent use overdraft protection strategically, using it to cover expenses for which they did not have money

ID Analytics’ Online Lending Network Helps Members Reduce Fraud (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

ID Analytics LLC, a leader in consumer risk management, today announced that the company’s Online Lending Network has helped reduce fraud for members. The Online Lending Network is a consortium formed to enhance responsible lending, help protect consumers and businesses, and address credit and fraud risks. Early research shows that 1.5 percent of online loan applicants were seen applying at or seeking offers from other lenders within six hours of submitting their application, and this group was found to be twice as risky as the average online loan applicant.

PeerStreet Integrates with Betterment via Quovo to Provide More Detailed Investment Overview (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

PeerStreet, an award-winning platform for investing in real estate backed loans, has announced an integration with Betterment, the largest independent online investment advisor. Using account aggregation through Quovo, customers of both Betterment and PeerStreet can view their PeerStreet positions within the context of their investment portfolio on the Betterment dashboard.

Customers of both services are increasingly seeking an easy way to see their all of their investments in one place, even across multiple investment platforms. Integrations with Betterment and similar financial services have become one of the top requests from PeerStreet users. Both PeerStreet and Betterment were able to quickly respond to their clients’ needs using Quovo, the industry leader in financial account connectivity, to aggregate and integrate consumer financial data.

This integration is another example of both PeerStreet and Betterment using technology to help provide greater transparency, ease of use and control. It stems from a core philosophy of listening to customers and being responsive to requests that fundamentally improve the user experience, even across multiple platforms.

LendIt keynote: Online lending is an industry built to last (Housingwire), Rated: A

At first look, it seemed to be an unlikely crowd for a conference involving technology-focused disruptors, but perhaps the formality of the event was indicative of the startups in attendance – growing companies beginning to rub shoulders with the establishment.

Prosper and its peers Lending Club and OnDeck are part of the “older guard” of fintech companies, and find themselves at the front lines of conversations with regulators, banks, venture capitalists and private equity firms.

Looking to the future, Mr. Suber is convinced that in order to grow sustainably and in order to be “built to last”, the next evolution of online lenders involves partnering with banks to find long-term capital and achieve profitability. He believes there are five ways for banks to engage with online lending:

  • Loan Sales: Banks purchase loans through online lending platforms to diversify asset base and gain access to assets they don’t directly underwrite
  • Lenders as a Service: Banks utilize lending platforms created by startups for origination and servicing that can be leveraged in discussions with regulators
  • Vendor relationships: Banks can leverage, securitize, custody cash, and serve as trustees for online lenders
  • M&A advisory: Banks can help fulfill every entrepreneurs’ dream of an exit
  • Greenfield operations: Some banks build their own online platforms while taking advantage of their low cost of capital

Best Egg Exceeds Billion in Personal Loans with Focus on Debt Consolidation (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Best Egg announced today its loan origination has surpassed $3 billion as it reaches its third year in business. With its A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Best Egg is a personal loan product that leverages technology to simplify and speed the process for getting a loan.

Online personal loans have surged over the past three years. Consumers were underserved by the options available from the incumbent banks and credit unions, which are many times saddled with slow processes, small loan amounts, and lack of product innovation. TransUnion’s February 2017 Quarterly Industry Insights Report highlights significant growth in personal loan uptake over the last few years.

AlphaFlow Announces New Investment Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On Monday, AlphaFlow announced the launch of its new investment platform, AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios.

Sturm claimed that he, along with co-founder and CTO of AlphaFlow, Bogdan Cirlig, launched the industry’s first multi-platform funds.

The AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios platform will do the following:

  • Build, monitor, and automatically rebalance a portfolio of 75-100 real estate loans for investors
  • AlphaFlow Advanced Analytics drive every investment decision
  • Investors earn 8-10% with the protection of real estate collateral
  • Simple 1% AUM fee, with no additional hidden costs

Fidelity’s New Robo Ups Ante for Advisors (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

After launching its robo for retail investors last summer, Fidelity Investments is forging ahead on a revamped technology platform for advisors. By mid-year, the asset manager and financial services custodian expects to offer its 3,000-plus customer base of RIAs and brokerages a whole new set of online tools to manage client portfolios.

But Fidelity isn’t the only industry heavyweight trying to develop robo technologies for advisors, says Sean McDermott, an analyst with Corporate Insight in New York.

SigFig, which includes backing by UBS and Eaton Vance, is one such rival listed by the veteran robo analyst as already making significant inroads.

Another established player in U.S. wealth management is FutureAdvisor, McDermott adds. FutureAdvisor is owned by asset manager BlackRock.

EULER HERMES DIGITAL AGENCY, FLOWCAST PARTNER: CREDIT INSURANCE BENEFITS FROM AI (Euler Hermes), Rated: A

Euler Hermes, the world’s leading trade credit insurer, today announced a pioneering partnership between its Digital Agency and Flowcast, a fintech company focused on revolutionizing trade and supply chain finance with artificial intelligence (AI). The announcement was made as the partners attended LendIt USA, a major lending and fintech conference in New York this week.

Euler Hermes provides trade credit insurance solutions to protect companies against non-payment of accounts receivables by customers. Its Digital Agency recently launched its first breakthrough product – Single Invoice Cover – which protects B2B companies from non-payment, transaction by transaction, while optimizing end-to-end supply chains by extending the optimal credit terms to buyers. Based on a proprietary API (application program interface), it creates a seamless process for businesses, while facilitating a comprehensive and granular management of credit exposure.

Flowcast will use its strength in analyzing transaction data to significantly evolve the concept by developing smart algorithms to create the foundation of an innovative underwriting solution within Single Invoice Cover. Benefits include improved working capital and financing along the supply chain.

Based on invoice-level data, Flowcast has developed smart algorithms that predict a range of risk parameters, such as the probabilities of default or expected timing of invoice payment – critical factors for business. The process applies sophisticated machine learning techniques that significantly outperform more traditional models. EHDA and Flowcast are working together to extend the scope and the performance of these models to “reinvent” trade credit insurance and risk management offerings, particularly at the transaction and Single Invoice Cover levels.

Innovative Lending Platform Association and Coalition for Responsible Business Finance Join Forces (PR Newswire), Rated: B

The Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) and the Coalition for Responsible Business Finance (CRBF) today announced they are joining forces and will now operate as the ILPA – the leading trade organization representing a diverse group of online lending and service companies serving small businesses. Joining ILPA’s existing members, OnDeck® (NYSE: ONDK), Kabbage® and CAN Capital, are CRBF member companies Breakout Capital, Enova International’s The Business Backer™, PayNet and Orion First Financial. United by a shared commitment to the health and success of small businesses in America, the newly expanded ILPA is dedicated to advancing best practices and standards that support responsible innovation and access to capital for small businesses.

In addition, leading national small business organizations that formerly served as the CRBF Advisory Board will now represent small business customers as formal advisors to the ILPA. The Advisory Board includes individuals from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Small Business Association (NSBA), the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and new representatives from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). These small business organizations have provided key input into the collective group’s best practices and standards initiatives over the past year, ensuring that the needs of their small business constituents are addressed.

United Kingdom

Trillion Fund P2P & Crowdfunding Platform Up for Sale (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Trillion Fund, a peer to peer lending and crowdfunding platform that also offers white label services is up for sale. The company announced today that it was putting all assets on the auction block. Trillion Fund initially launched as a renewable energy investment platform but struggled to gain traction as the market for renewable energy projects shifted in the UK – in part due to changes in governmental support. Trillion Fund is now inviting offers from businesses looking to enter the P2P lending sector.

Burton expects the purchase opportunity to be of interest to firms considering an entry into the P2P sector as the platform is fully operational and approved by the UK government.

LendInvest: “The UK Risks Losing Another Generation of Property Entrepreneurs” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LendInvest, an online property finance marketplace, is demanding the government to revise its treatment of small and medium-sized property investment and development companies. Noting that four in five SMEhouse builders have disappeared since last housebuilding boom, LendInvest is calling on the government to recognize the positive contribution they can make to resolving the UK’s deep-rooted housing crisis.

In a new report entitled Starting Small To Build More Homes: a blueprint for better policymaking for property SME market LendInvest shares industry evidence to examine the root cause – and subsequent impact – of challenges faced by property SMEs such as constrained access to finance and distorted policy around regulation, taxation and access to land.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Four in five housebuilders have gone out of business since the last housebuilding boom
    By returning to the same level of market plurality as in 2007, we could build 25,000 more homes every year
  • Small housebuilders were responsible for 3 in 8 of the UK’s new homes before 1990, today they only deliver 1 in 8
  • The British Business Bank has yet to allocate funding for property firms
  • The Homes & Communities Agency must lend a weighty £56m a month to achieve its target to supply £3 billion of housebuilding finance by March 2021

LendInvest Start Small to Build More Homes by CrowdfundInsider on Scribd

Assetz Capital CEO Stuart Law Predicts Boost for P2P Sector in Upcoming Budget (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Stuart Law, CEO and co-founder of P2P lender Assetz Capital, expects a boost for the peer to peer lending sector in the upcoming budget. Specifically, Law believes a small business tax rise and IFISA rule change could boost the online lending sector.

Law said that businesses and investors remain in limbo since the Brexit vote.

Technology: The power of crowdfunding (IPE), Rated: A

BrickVest has deals worth £250m (€294m) in its platform at the moment, and estimates that figure will increase by £50m-70m at the end of the first quarter of this year.

Institutional investment through credit lines and co-investments is underpinning the industry, making up 73% of the market, according to O’Roarty. In the UK, retail investors account for 75% of the funds raised – although regulatory concerns about the suitability of retail investors could change the landscape in the future.

PropertyCrowd is finalising its first deal, a gross loan of £1.28m, with participation through PropertyCrowd standing at £432,000 (the firm will take on a maximum 50% debt participation).

Its first non-exchange-traded e-REIT, offered to both accredited and non-accredited investors, was oversubscribed by 403% in four hours when it launched in December 2015. In February, Rise Companies Corporation, which owns Fundrise, raised more than $14m in equity online, offering investors the ability to own a share in the platform itself.

As with all new markets, crowdfunding real estate platforms will inevitably experience their share of growing pains. They will also have to get larger. In 2015, the sector totalled only $600m – the total commercial real estate market stands at $704bn.

Millennial Money Matters podcast: Episode 3, Funding Circle (AltFi), Rated: A

In episode 3 of Millennial Money Matters, we look at Funding Circle, one of the leading lights of financial technology in the UK.

Israel

Property Investment In Israel Is Evolving To Offer Ample and Flexible Opportunities (Haaretz), Rated: AAA

There are several conditions in Israel’s economy that are driving an interest in investment properties. The most obvious is the increasingly high sale prices. The average price of owner-occupied residencies in Israel rose by 4.01% during the year to Q1 2016, to ILS1,423,000 (US$369,107), from annual price rises of 6% in Q4 2015, 5.2% to Q3, and 7.3% to Q2, and 7.6% to Q1, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The main reason for the continued rise in house prices is the supply shortage, due to low construction volumes.

One of the more innovative programs to enter the property investment market is the crowd-funding method that a number of leading companies are taking ownership of. Crowdfunding, adopted by high-tech startups as an alternative means to raise funds, was limited in Israel by Israel’s Securities Law until 2016. Section 15 of the law dictated that any offer or sale of shares to the public (i.e. to more than 35 potential investors) requires the issuance of a prospectus approved by the Securities Authority; a timely and costly endeavor, formerly rendering crowdfunding prohibitive in Israel.

Although Crowdfunding for real estate is a relatively new space, crowdfunding for real estate platforms were responsible for raising over $100 million in 2015 alone for hundreds of real estate properties across the U.S.  Real Estate crowdfunding platforms in Israel offer an opportunity for virtually any pocket and the way it works is very simple.

Asia

Bank Mandiri bets on peer-to-peer lender (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: AAA

The venture capital arm of Bank Mandiri, Indonesia’s largest state-owned bank by assets, on Tuesday said it has acquired a stake in peer-to-peer lending startup Amartha Mikro Fintek.

Amartha Mikro develops credit-scoring technology that evaluates small businesses that conventional banks have deemed too risky to lend to. It then connects them with individual lenders over a website.

It specializes in loans under 10 million rupiah ($750) and has a network of agents in Java that helps potential customers submit online applications.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday March 2 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Funding Circle raises $100M . Upstart Raises $32.5M. Lendio offers MPL franchise program. Proplend gains FCA approval.  Monexo to start 1 min loan approval process. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alt Lending Market Analysis. Today’s thought-provoking articles: International P2p lending statistics. China to regulate P2P lending platforms. United States FC receives extra $100M from […]

alternative lending

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China

India

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United States

Funding Circle Receives Additional $ 100 Million From CIM Through U.S. Business Multi-Year Agreement (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

SME lender Funding Circle announced on Wednesday that Community Investment Management (CIM), an investment firm focused on marketplace lending, will finance an additional $100 million in loans to businesses originated through Funding Circle in the U.S. According to the online lending platform, the multi-year agreement will allow it to provide further injection of capital into the country’s small business sector.

Since its launch in 2010, investors on Funding Circle, which includes 60,000 individuals, financial institutions, government, and the listed Funding Circle SME Income Fund, have helped more than 25,000 businesses globally access $3 billion in transparent and affordable financing.

Lendio Announces First-of-Its-Kind Marketplace Lending Franchise Program (Benzinga), Rated: AAA

Lendio, the nation’s leading marketplace for small business loans, today announced it is expanding the reach and availability of its small business lending options with the launch of a new franchise program.

The Lendio franchise program complements the company’s core value of helping small business owners fuel the American Dream. Through this program, franchise owners across the country can ease the financial hurdles for small businesses in their local community. Lendio franchisees get access to Lendio’s marketplace and technology, comprehensive training, branded marketing tools and national advertising, partnerships, and access to Lendio’s franchise support team to help coach small business owners through the lending process.

Lendio currently has franchisees in five territories, with significant interest in many others. Partners Kyle Bohrer and Bryan Gealy, in Erie, Pennsylvania, joined Lendio as the first franchise owners. Bohrer has been in the small/mid-sized business marketplace for over 10 years. Located in the Great Lakes region, Bohrer has been working on saving Erie small business owners money on their shipping.

FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis (March ’17) (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, FT Partners announced one of the largest deals in 2017, Prosper’s $5 billion loan purchasing agreement with a consortium of investors that includes affiliates of Third Point, New Residential Investment and Soros, among others. This highly strategic transaction for Prosper aligns investor interest by including an equity structure tied to loan purchasing volumes. The transaction highlights FT Partners’ continued strong track record in advising on the most significant and complex deals across the FinTech ecosystem.

Introducing the First SaaS Lending Platform (Upstart Email), Rated: AAA

by Jeff Keltner, Head of Business Development, Upstart

Those that know my history at Google will understand why I’m excited to tell you about Powered by Upstart, a Software-as-a-Service offering derived from Upstart’s top-rated consumer lending platform. From rate requests through servicing and collections, this new service brings modern technology and data science to the entire lending lifecycle.

Our beginnings

Anna, Paul, and I founded Upstart to bring the best of Google to consumer lending. Upstart was the first platform to leverage modern data science and technology to power credit decisions, automate verification, and deliver a superior borrower experience. In 2014, we were first to launch next-day funding . As of today, more than 20% of our loans are fully automated and we expect this percentage to increase significantly through 2017. With more than 50,000 Upstart loans originated, we have the highest consumer ratings in the industry and have delivered industry-leading returns to loan investors. With Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in excess of 80, we’re excited about the impact we’re having.

Technology partner

FinTech is disrupting all areas of financial services. As a leading tech platform in marketplace lending, Upstart aims to partner with financial institutions rather than compete with them. Given the pace of change in lending, technology partnerships will be critical in the years to come, and Upstart aims to be a partner the industry can rely on.

But Powered by Upstart is not just software – it’s a turnkey solution that provides all necessary document review, verification phone calls, fraud analysis, and (optionally) customer service, loan servicing and collections.

Software-as-a-Service in lending

SaaS has grown exponentially in the last decade because of its obvious virtues: rather than buying, installing, configuring, hosting, and supporting software yourself, the software is delivered over the cloud. It’s more reliable and always up to date. Delivering cloud software can be challenging in any industry. Usability, reliability, and performance are the minimum to play, and effective change management is critical to success. As the team that delivered Google’s SaaS platform before it was called cloud, we understand these challenges.

Of course, the regulatory environment in lending raises the bar even higher. We’ve long demonstrated our commitment to trustful and compliant lending, and we’re likewise committed to delivering robust and compliant lending software. We’ll be at the LendIt show in New York City next week, so please come visit our booth to learn more about Powered by Upstart!

Klarna: Financing Better Customer Experiences (PYMNTS.com), Rated: A

Swedish payment processor Klarna has recently made news when it expanded the options and the channels that it makes its point of sale financing options available to.

Billingsley explained that in the case of GhostBed, the revolving credit product provided by Klarna helps turn a one-time mattress sale to its customers into a customer who comes back to purchase accessories.

According to Billingsley, that’s possible because it enables eligible consumers to make additional purchases with that same retailer without having to sign up for another loan or go through the financing process all over again for each subsequent transaction made.

Either the new purchases can be added to their existing credit account or they can simply use a different form of payment for the transaction.

Billingsley noted that the financing solution also works without any redirect to an external URL, so the consumer remains on the merchant site and within the brand experience when signing up.

Depending on the customer segment and even the merchant itself, utilizing Klarna’s full checkout solution isn’t exactly what they need. Which is why, Billingsley noted, the company is pushing its payment APIs, which allow merchants to add Klarna’s proprietary payment solutions directly into their existing checkout.

As for Klarna’s power users, the two biggest consumer populations are millennials and females in their mid-30s who are usually in charge of their family’s purchases.

Billingsley pointed out that many millennials today either don’t have a credit card or don’t like using one — their affinity for credit card brands and status is much different from previous generations. This makes millennials much more willing to use a payment option that allows them to break up payments over time for major purchases.

In the case of the young mother who manages her household’s income, also known as the Household CFO, she typically sees it as more convenient to make payments over time on a big purchase rather than putting a transaction on her debit or credit card.

Upstart Raises $ 32.5M (Upstart Email), Rated: A

It’s been three years since we launched the Upstart lending platform, and today we’re pleased to announce we’ve raised $32.5M to take our business to the next level. The funding round was lead by Rakuten, a global leader in internet services and global innovation headquartered in Japan, and by a large US-based asset manager. Existing investors Third Point Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and First Round Capital also participated. We’re particularly excited to have Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Oskar Miel, Managing Partner of the Rakuten FinTech Fund join Upstart’s Board of Directors.

With more than 50,000 loans originated, Upstart has the highest consumer ratings in the industry, has Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in excess of 80, and has delivered industry-leading returns to loan investors.

Prominent Fintech Investor & Prosper President Ron Suber Invests in Money360, Joins as Strategic Advisor (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Ron Suber, Prosper Marketplace President and prominent Fintech investor, has taken a stake in Money360 – a fast growing real estate investment marketplace.  Suber will also play an active role as a Strategic Advisor to Money360 to help boost platform growth.

Suber explained;

“I have been investing in the loans from Money 360 for my personal family office for many months. I have enjoyed the risk-adjusted returns, investment structure and liquidity options. Upon completing additional due diligence, I have decided to personally buy equity in the company and become a strategic advisor to the management team/Board of Directors. 

Labor Dept proposes delaying new rule for financial advisers (Reuters), Rated: A

The U.S. Labor Department has taken a first step toward possible derailment or dilution of its controversial rule on retirement advice as it begins to re-examine it at the directive of President Donald Trump, according to a notice made public on Wednesday.

The department proposed a 60-day delay of the fiduciary rule, which requires retirement advisers to put the interests of clients ahead of their own. It was slated to take effect on April 10, but Trump asked the department to review the rule one more time for its impact on investors.

The proposed delay should have a “calming” effect on the marketplace, which had been “hanging in limbo” ahead of the April 10 effective date, said Denise Valentine, a senior analyst with Aite Group, which advises the financial services industry on regulatory issues.

California Hedge Fund Association (CHFA) Announces Rebrand to California Alternative Investments Association (CalALTs) (PRWeb), Rated: A

The California Hedge Fund Association (CHFA) announced that it has adopted CalALTs as its new brand name. The 1,200 member organization, which focuses on fostering growth and advancing the development of California’s alternative investment community, rebranded in response to the strong demand from a broader group of alternative investment managers and a new focus on bringing together and serving a wide range of alternative investment managers across the state of California and beyond.

The alternative investment community in California currently includes over 1,000 firms with approximately $1 trillion in assets under management.

Monroe Capital Selected as the 2016 Lower Mid-Market Lender of the Year by Private Debt Investor (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Monroe Capital LLC was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Lower Mid-Market Lender of the Year Award in the Americas region by Private Debt Investor, a global independent publication based in London covering the private debt and private equity industries. This is the fourth consecutive year that Monroe has been recognized by the Private Debt Investor Awards as a leader in the Lower Mid-Market, Unitranche and Senior Lender categories.

Monroe Capital provides “one-stop” financing solutions for buyout, recapitalization, growth, and refinance transactions in the form of senior and junior loans and equity co-investments, supporting both private equity sponsored and non-sponsored transactions and privately owned businesses. The Private Debt Investor Awards recognize firms in three geographic regions: the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific. Winners were selected by eligible voters among the private debt, private equity and institutional investor communities.

United Kingdom

Proplend gains FCA approval (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

COMMERCIAL property peer-to-peer lender Proplend is the latest platform to receive full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Brian Bartaby, chief executive of Proplend, said the firm would now apply for ISA manager status from HMRC but said it was unlikely to have an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) ready this tax year.

The lowest risk is tranche A at zero to 50 per cent LTV, tranche B is 51 to 65 per cent LTV and tranche C is 66 to 75 per cent LTV.

Returns on the platform  currently range from five to 12 per cent and borrowers can access loans of between £250,000 to £5,000,000 for up to five years on an interest-only basis. The platform has funded £11.5m of loans so far and has recorded zero defaults.

LandBay, Proplend, & FundingSecure Named Top Three UK Property P2P Lending Platforms (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, 4thWay writer, Matthew Howard released his very own assessment on the top three property P2P lending platforms are in the UK. The three he selected were LandBay, Proplend, and FundingSecure.

In his selection, Howard ranked the lenders based on their features and opportunities each platform can provide. He selected LandBay as his first pick because the lender has done over £10 million in P2P loans.

Proplend was selected as Howard’s second pick. He chose the lender due to the lender’s interest rates are even in the lowest-risk “tranche A” range from 5.5% to 7%; more than £10 million has been lent through Proplend; and users may easily identify loans that are for just 50% or less of the property valuation.

FundingSecure was Howard’s third pick. His selection was based on the lender’s record of doing around £100 million in P2P lending, more than half being property loans; offers bridging and property development loans; uses the current valuation, even on development loans; interest rate lenders earn is 12% on all these loans; the minimum that may be lent on each loan is £25.

Fintech startup Yielders becomes first to receive Sharia Compliance Certification in UK (EconoTimes), Rated: A

UK-based fintech startup Yielders announced that it has successfully completed independent Sharia Certification that was conducted by UKIFC and overseen by prominent scholars in the fintech sector.

Britain wants you to be banker, but are you ready for the risk? (The Memo), Rated: A

Plans to bring the risk and returns of peer-to-peer lending into one of Britain’s most popular investment products might provide some welcome relief for entrepreneurs … and some sleepless nights for those taking the plunge.

Following up on a Budget pledge, the government has now published a consultation on including peer-to-peer lending in individual savings accounts (ISAs).

Some 23m people in the UK have ISAs, which make the return from your savings and investments completely (or mainly) tax-free. But 16m people opt to hold just the safer version, cash ISAs, which are tax-free savings accounts with banks, building societies and National Savings & Investments.

Meanwhile, UK households, who hold around 60% of their financial wealth in cash, have borne the brunt of the Bank of England’s low-interest-rate policy. Before the financial crisis, in mid-2007, you could get a return of over 6% a year from a best-buy cash ISA. Today, the best is little over 2%.

However, peer-to-peer lending is more risky than putting your savings in a bank.

This is borne out by a recent poll. peer-to-peer firm Wellesley found that 47% of people surveyed said they would increase their investment in peer-to-peer lending if it could be included in an ISA and 44% if it offered better interest rates than traditional banks.

Another survey, by Opinium in 2012, found 49% of the population would be open to peer-to-peer lending as an alternative to traditional banking.

Advisers’ Robo Face Off (FT Adviser), Rated: B

So last week’s revelation that almost 6,000 people have used LV’s full automated financial advice service since it was launched in summer 2015, maybe shouldn’t be greeted with too much concern by advisers.

Also LV said it was “unable” to reveal how many of the 6,000 customers who paid the £199 for a full statement of advice went on to pay £499 to execute the statement of advice.

That is as maybe, but if our trip to the world of Back to the Future is anything to go by, human beings will – unless they become robotic themselves – still need face-to-face advice.

European Union

International P2P Lending Statistics February 2017 (P2P Banking), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle continues to lead ahead of Zopa and Ratesetter. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 408 million Euro.

  • Funding Circle reaches 2 billion GBP in originations since launch
  • Fellow Finance crosses 100 million EUR since inception
  • Geldvoorelkaar hits 100 million EUR since inception

China

China looks to better regulate online P2P lending platforms (Technode), Rated: AAA

To help regulate the online P2P lending industry plagued by fraud and embezzlement, the China Banking Regulatory Commission published the Guidelines on Depositing and Managing Online Lending Capital (in Chinese, Guidelines for short) on February 24. In January this year, 1.8 million registered users were unable to withdraw their funds from platform operated by Qiyuan (short for 北京起源财富网络科技有限公司 or “Beijing Qiyuan Wealth Online Technology Limited” in English). The owner of the company, Fang Fan, embezzled the funds invested in the company’s eight different online lending platforms.

The Guidelines is the latest effort by the government to regulate the online P2P lending market which handled RMB 204 billion worth of transactions this February alone. It sets out three major basic principles regarding the safekeeping of the capital gained from P2P lending platforms. The first is that funds invested into the platforms by users must be deposited into commercial banks. The second stipulates that any transaction and reconciliation of the invested funds must be expressly approved and verified by both the debtor and creditor. Lastly, banks and online lending companies must carry out daily reconciliations and keep clear records of the transactions.

India

P2P market place Monexo to start 1 min loan approval process (India times), Rated: AAA

Lending marketplace Monexo has become the first peer-to-peer lending company in India to introduce a 1-minute loan approval process.

The company will leverage its proprietary, self-learning analytics platform as well as its tie-up with CRIF to access credit scores and other relevant financial data to aid in the loan disbursement decision making process, Monexo said in a release.

The borrowers can avail a loan of Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for tenure of 6 months to 60 months. There is no origination fee or prepayment fee. But the borrower must just pay a success fee of 2.5 per cent if the loan to him is approved and he decides to avail it.

The potential of blockchain technology to eliminate physical currency by ushering in virtual currencies like Bitcoin might be overstated, said Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor R. Gandhi.

While speaking about currencies, the central banker pointed out that to be effective, a currency needs to uphold concepts of confidence and anonymity at all times. However, after the initial rounds of usage, these concepts cannot be sustained in virtual currencies.

Talking about another major innovation in the financial technology space, marketplace lending or crowdfunding, the central banker noted that after the first few rounds of funding and successes, as a larger number of people get attracted to the concept, the system is likely to collapse. This makes marketplace lending unsustainable for a large number of people or amounts.

Asia

Tera Funding loans grow to top 100 bln won in 2 yrs (Yonhap News Agency), Rated: AAA

The chief of Tera Funding, a peer-to-peer (P2P) property financial service provider, said Thursday that the company’s accumulated loans have surpassed 100 billion won (US$87.6 million) since its launch two years ago.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday February 22 2017, Daily News Digest

Marcus

News Comments Today’s main news: OCC addresses risk management for bank-MPL relationships. IFISAs dogged by further delays. Radial integrates with Klarna. Bitbond raises $1.2 mil. Today’s main analysis: Marcus marks the end of traditional banking. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 3 upcoming changes to private student lending. The Pulse of FinTech infographics. United States OCC establishes risk management expectations for bank-MPL […]

Marcus

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United States

OCC’s Third-Party Risk Management Expectations for Bank Relationships with MPLs (Pepper Hamilton LLP), Rated: AAA

On January 24, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a new bulletin, OCC Bulletin 2017-07 (Supplemental Examination Procedures for Risk Management of Third-Party Relationships). The stated purpose of the bulletin is to assist bank examiners in evaluating the third-party risk management practices of national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks). For the most part, Bulletin 2017-7 reinforces existing OCC supervisory expectations. In several notable respects, however, the bulletin breaks new ground, including by addressing relationships with marketplace lenders.

In establishing risk management expectations for relationships between banks and marketplace lenders in its new bulletin, the OCC is following the lead of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which issued its own supervisory expectations for these relationships in late 2015. As in the case of the FDIC’s guidance, the OCC bulletin broadly defines the term “marketplace lender” to include any “companies engaged in Internet-based lending businesses (other than payday lending).”2 Specific examples of marketplace lenders stated in the OCC Bulletin include online companies that make small business loans, consumer loans, student loans and real estate loans.3

If a bank plans to contract with a marketplace lender to “perform some, if not all operational functions, including processing, underwriting, closing, funding, delivering, and servicing of loans,” OCC Bulletin 2017-7 requires the bank to have sufficient support “systems, controls, and personnel [in place] to adequately support the volume of planned loan origination, servicing, or collection activities.”4 In addition, if the bank is considering contracting with a marketplace lender to originate or purchase loans, the bank must determine whether the lender’s underwriting methods are “new, nontraditional, or different from the bank’s underwriting standards.”5 Finally, if the bank will be investing directly or indirectly in, or will be providing warehouse lines or other credit facilities to, any third-party lender, including a marketplace lender, the bank must determine whether the third-party lender’s underwriting standards are consistent with the bank’s own underwriting standards.6

Goldman Sachs’ Recent Move Marks The End Of Traditional Banking (Newsmax), Rated: AAA

At the end of 2016, Goldman Sachs launched a new online lending platform called Marcus. The move into online lending by one of the most successful investment banks in the world is a telling move for two reasons.

First, it’s a good indicator of the post-financial crisis banking industry.

Second, rising compliance costs—combined with over seven years of zero-interest rate policy from the Fed—was a bad environment for bankers.

Peer-to-peer lending has grown from nothing a decade ago to be a $26 billion industry in 2015. However, it still only accounts for 2% of the market for unsecured consumer credit.

Goldman Sachs is using Finacle, a software program owned by Infosys, to run the Marcus lending platform. With this software, Marcus customers will be able to fully customize their loan parameters within guidelines set by the bank.

Gone are the days of negotiating with a banker on loan terms. The Finacle software is fully automated and will process the transactions in real time. It’s a fully operational “bank within a bank” that only relies on approximately 200 Goldman employees, according to Bloomberg.

Marcus is not a peer-to-peer lending platform. Instead, Goldman will be making loans against its own balance sheet. This will give the bank more flexibility with setting competitive loan terms and fees.

According to a Morgan Stanley report published in 2015, the effective annual interest on the peer-to-peer lending platforms analyzed was on average 6.8% lower than those offered by banks.

All the while, P2P lending platforms have historical net annualized returns between 5% and 10%. Compare that to investing in a 5-year US Treasury note that yields less than 2% today, below the reported rate of inflation, and can you see why Goldman Sachs got involved with online lending.

3 Upcoming Changes in Private Student Lending (US News), Rated: AAA

In fact, the day after Trump was elected to office, the stock price for Sallie Mae Corp., a large student loan lender, shot up nearly double from $7.10 per share on Election Day to $12.47 on Feb. 15.

For prospective private student loan borrowers, here are a few expectations that experts say consumers may see in the next year or two as a result of changes at the federal level.

1. More lenders entering the private student loan market: Matherson says easing of lending restrictions will lead to more lenders entering the marketplace over the next two years.

Experts say large commercial banks that left the private student lending market after the 2008 financial crises may also return.

2. Interest rate hikes for both variable and fixed-rate private loans:The Federal Reserve is signaling that it’s on course to raise the short-term interest rate this year.

Lending experts say they expect to see a 1 percent rise in interest rates for private student loans over the next two years. Those increases, they say, will affect both variable and fixed-term rates on private education loans.

3. A growing number of start-ups offering income-shared agreements: Under an income-shared agreement or ISA, students use funds from an investor to pay for college and in turn agree to make payments based on a percentage of their income for a set period of time after they graduate.

Casey Jennings, chief operating officer at nonprofit 13th Avenue Funding, which works with low-income students, says clarification of the legislation will make it much easier for financial and educational institutions to enter this space.

Prosper Marketplace President Ron Suber Joins Unison as an Investor and Strategic Advisor (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Unison Home Ownership Investors, the leading provider of home ownership investments, announced today that Ron Suber, president of Prosper Marketplace, has become an investor in the company and has taken on a significant advisory role as the company is experiencing a period of unparalleled growth, opportunity and availability.

A financial services industry veteran, Suber brings to Unison a wealth of experience across multiple disciplines. As an influencer in the financial technology space, Suber will look to grow the home ownership investment category through his relationships with marketplace lenders, mortgage companies, realtor groups and banks.

LendIt Announces 2017 PitchIt Finalists (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LendIt, the world’s largest show in lending and fintech, today announced eight finalists for its fifth PitchIt @ LendIt competition. In partnership for the first time with 500 Startups, the world’s leader in investing and mentoring, and sponsored by Marqeta, PitchIt is a leading global competition for fintech startups to earn mentorship, endorsement and exposure to institutions, investors and broad visibility.

This year’s finalists were chosen from nearly 300 high caliber applicants covering all areas of fintech including insurtech, blockchain, payments, online lending, credit and artificial intelligence.

The eight 2017 PitchIt finalists are:

  • Nova Credit
  • StackSource
  • Alloy.co
  • Qwil
  • Aella Credit
  • Real Atom
  • Float Credit
  • WeTrust Platform

The finalists will pitch their concepts at LendIt USA 2017 on March 7 to a panel of judges from the venture capital community including: David Teten, ff Venture Capital; Kareem Zaki, Thrive Capital; Ben Malka, F-Prime; and Joel Monegro, Union Square Ventures.

Kabbage preps small business loan deal (Global Capital), Rated: A

Online small business lender Kabbage is marketing a $500m securitization of loans to small and medium sized businesses which will be used to refinance an existing deal from 2014.

Guggenheim is the sole lead of the $500m deal, which is expected to officially begin marketing to investors in the week of March 6.

Kroll Bond Ratings has assigned an A rating to the $370.37m ‘A’ notes, and BBB to the $79.37m ‘B’ notes.

Marketplace deals readied, with innovations (Structured Credit Investor), Rated: A

Kabbage is marketing its first marketplace loan ABS of the year and its second since inception. Meanwhile, SoFi is in the market with its second consumer loan ABS – SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-2 – backed by US$343m of consumer loans and comprising several elements that differ from its previous securitisation.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Arcadia Receivables Credit Trust 2017-1 (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to two classes of notes issued by Arcadia Receivables Credit Trust 2017-1 (“ARCT 2017-1”). This is a $213.137 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close March 6, 2017.

This transaction is the first rated securitization of prime unsecured consumer loans facilitated by LendingClub Corporation’s (“Lending Club” or the “Company”) proprietary technology platform supporting an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors by offering a variety of loan products originated by issuing banks through the platform, www.lendingclub.com(the “Lending Club Platform” or the “Platform”).

Why big banks are helping financial tech startups (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

Finlab, short for Financial Solutions Lab, is an 8-month startup accelerator program funded by JPMorgan Chase and run by the Center for Financial Services Innovation. It just sent out its third call for applications from financial technology startups working on tools for underserved populations. It’s an example of how banks are now partnering rather than competing with startups — a trend that’s grown quickly over the past couple of years.

Finlab began two years ago, and winners get $250,000 of capital, one-on-one mentorship and networking opportunities. About eight or nine winners are picked each round. Winners participate in a series of workshops across the country on how to grow their businesses, including a session on regulation.

Big banks are likely to keep supporting these programs — not only for relationship building, but also because startups are working on areas major banks aren’t addressing, said Gilbert.

4 Real Estate Crowdfunding Trends You Should Be Watching (Forbes), Rated: A

Real estate is one of the fastest growing markets to take on the concept of crowdfunding and apply it in a new way.

Here are four emerging trends in real estate crowdfunding to watch this year.

  1. Regulation Brings Crowdfunding to Maturity. Today, crowdfunding has matured and investors are more intrigued than they are skeptical. This is due, in large part, to the JOBS Act and the enactment of Regulation A+. It legitimized the industry and it has been growing ever since.
  2. Foreign Investment in Real Estate Is Booming. According to The Guardian, a recent U.S. real estate study showed that Chinese investors have poured $110 billion dollars into the U.S. market in the last 5 years (both commercial and residential). This investment is set to double in the next 5 years. Because of foreign investment expansion in the U.S., it’s relatively safe to assume that a portion of those dollars will go into alternative funding options like real estate crowdfunding.
  3. Wealthy Millennials Are Investing Their Money Differently. However, with the influx of unicorn technology companies and the increase of millennial millionaires, the need to put their money somewhere is still very much on their minds. Real estate crowdfunding has the potential to help them share the wealth while staying true to their sensibilities.
  4. Crowdfunding for Retirement. Those considering real estate investing, especially through crowdfunding platforms, could potentially improve their rate of return with tax efficient strategies, more specifically IRA’s. Real estate crowdfunding platforms allow those saving for retirement to invest in real estate right from the golf course, with just a few clicks on their phone or tablet.

PeerStreet’s CEO Brew Johnson Talks Real Estate Crowdfunding Market (Forbes), Rated: A

The company was founded by former Google executive Brett Crosby and real estate attorney Brew Johnson. By the end of 2016, the company originated more than $200 million.

Johnson: The biggest differentiators between PeerStreet and other players are pretty simple: (i) our platform is very focused on one asset – first-lien debt. We think creating this focus at the outset is important in delivering value to users. And most importantly, (ii) we don’t originate loans directly to borrowers, but rather we aggregate loans from a distributed network of lenders, curate those loans, and then make it easy for investors to invest in them.

Johnson: We exceeded $200 million in origination volume by the end of 2016. Our KPIs are based on loan volume and quality.

Johnson: We maintain focused on our core asset: short-term, first position lien loans. Our data continue to show that this asset provides favorable risk-return profiles for investors, so 2017 is about growing our loan volume in order to serve even more investors.

Johnson: I think there are opportunities of various sizes across the industry. That said, a couple that I find particularly interesting are the potential implications for a more robust rating and credit scoring of alternative lending investments across platforms and those of creating a truly efficient secondary market or exchange that enables investors to seamlessly trade in and out of positions.

Misys Targets Offerings for P2P Lending (Intralinks), Rated: B

Traditionally focused on treasury and capital markets solutions, Misys revised its focus to include solutions that would allow banks to branch into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, as well as an offering for machine learning that would detect anomalies in trading patterns.

Altisource’s Premium Title Announces Integration with LendingQB’s Loan Origination System (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Premium Title, a national provider of title and escrow services, announced today its integration with LendingQB’s end-to-end, browser-based loan origination system (LOS). The integration can help provide customers with the ability to obtain title and settlement quotes faster, place orders with Premium Title and receive a title fee certificate guaranteeing fees for 30 days, all without leaving the LendingQB platform.

This integration, gives Premium Title clients the capability to experience a seamless and more efficient process within the LendingQB LOS platform. Lenders using LendingQB can receive an automated quote for title services and a title fee certificate guaranteeing title fees, which auto-populates into the LOS. LendingQB can also maintain the loan estimate and any adjustments in fees associated with the loan, assisting with TRID compliance and faster disclosure timelines.

United Kingdom

Innovative Finance Isas dogged by further delays (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

The Innovative Finance Isa was officially launched by former chancellor George Osborne in July 2015, putting peer-to-peer lending platforms — where individual investors are matched with interest-paying borrowers — on a level playing field with traditional savings and investment products which can be held within an Isa wrapper.

A year on, the FCA has still yet to grant the bulk of peer-to-peer lenders, including the three largest — Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter — the authorisation they need to launch an Innovative Finance Isa in time for the new tax year in April.

These three peer-to-peer platforms account for more than 40 per cent of the UK’s market share by loan origination, according to AltFi data, having lent nearly £6bn combined.

Chatbot savings app Plum partners P2P lender Ratesetter (Finextra), Rated: AAA

British AI-powered savings Facebook Messenger chatbot Plum is to start steering users that are willing to take on risk in exchange for higher interest rates to P2P lender Ratesetter.

According to Moneyfacts, the average UK rate on easy-access accounts is 0.15%, while the average return earned by RateSetter investors to date is 4.7%.

The money goes into users’ Plum savings account but the Ratesetter deal means that people can also now choose to earn a better rate – if they are willing to take on the associated risk.

Zopa Named Best Personal Loan Provider & Best Alternative Finance Provider at the 2017 British Bank Awards (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Zopa, the UK’s very first peer to peer lending platform, announced on Monday it was named Best Personal Loan Provider & Best Alternative Finance Provider at the 2017 British Bank Awards.

This news comes just a few weeks after Zopa was named Personal Loan Provider of the Year at the Consume MoneyFacts Awards for the fourth year in a row.

Zopa recently announced it topped £2 billion in lending.  According to information provided by the online lending platform, as of today, the lender matched over 246,000 borrowers to 75,000 investors to provide access to capital in the form of loans.

RateSetter Borrowers Have Paid Back £1 Billion, Investors Have Earned £63 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Online lender RateSetter has said it has now collected £1 billion in capital repayments from borrowers since its first loan back in 2010. Overall, RateSetter has originated approximately £1.75 billion in loans while paying out £63 million in interest.  The average interest rate ranged between 3.1% on the Rolling market and 6.0% for the 5 Year market. In 2016, total lending was pegged at £668 million.

Awareness of P2P drops north of London (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

AWARENESS of peer-to-peer finance products among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is at its lowest in the Midlands and the north of England, the British Business Bank (BBB) has revealed.

The figures, revealed in its latest annual Small Business Finance Markets report, showed fewer than 40 per cent of firms in the Midlands were aware of P2P lending, compared with almost 60 per cent in London.

Around half of firms in the south of England were aware of P2P, while just 40 per cent of firms in the north had come across it.

Despite the varying levels of awareness, the report found annual lending through P2P platforms increased by 34 per cent to £3.9bn in 2016. Business lending made up £1.3bn of that amount.

SME Loan Fund plans break with GLI in bid for scale (Citywire), Rated: A

The SME Loan Fund (SMEF +), the small directing lending investment trust set up by GLI Finance, plans to break ties with its founder in a bid to gain scale.

The trust launched in 2015 amid a boom in peer-to-peer lending launches, yet was able to raise just £12.4 million capital. Assets currently stand at £53 million, mostly from an initial portfolio of loans transferred by GLI Finance (GLIF +) as part of the launch.

The SME Loan Fund said that GLI had agreed to sell its 48% stake in the trust through a placing. Should the placing prove successful, the SME trust will switch management from Amberton Asset Management, 50% owned by GLI. If it is not, the board will propose the wind-up of the trust.

GLI Finance, an investment trust in its own right, said it would use the money from a share sale to repay a £14.9 million loan to strengthen its balance sheet.

Most board members of P2P trusts have skin in the game (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE MAJORITY of board members of peer-to-peer investment trusts have “skin in the game”, research has revealed.

Canaccord Genuity research has assessed the pay and investments of board members of investment trusts. The analysis included funds focused on the P2P sector.

It showed that the highest annual pay packet among P2P investment trusts is £50,000, taken by the chairmen of the Funding Circle SME Income Fund and Victory Park Capital (VPC) Specialty Lending.

Samir Desai, co-founder of the Funding Circle platform, who sits on the investment trust’s board, has put £152,775 into the fund.

This is the highest among its board members, followed by £110,349 invested by non executive director Frederic Hervouet. The Funding Circle SME Income Fund board chairman Richard Boleat takes the highest annual fee on the board at £50,000 and has invested £5,157.

The trust’s board members Jonathan Bridel and Richard Burwood, both non-executive directors, have also invested £5,157 and their annual fee is £40,000 and £30,000 respectively.

Desai does not take a fee and Hervouet has an annual fee of £35,000.

European Union

Radial payments platform integrates with Klarna (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Klarna, one of Europe’s leading payments providers, and Radial, the leader in omnichannel commerce technology and operations, today announced a new partnership to further expand Radial’s payment options.

The integration of Klarna with Radial’s Payment platform enables clients and prospects to offer a financing option at checkout to give customers more choice and could give retailers a 58 percent higher order value.

Financing a purchase over time has historically been optimized for brick and mortar stores. The online equivalent, however, can often be an ordeal, with redirects, lengthy forms and unclear information. Klarna’s process only requires a few fields of information, and lets customers know instantly if they qualify for the financing solution.

International

Bitbond raises $ 1.2 million to grow SME lending platform (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Global SME lending platform Bitbond today announced the closing of an equity funding round of $1.2 million (€1.1 million).

This round brings Bitbond’s raised equity capital to a total of $2.3 million.

Led by mobilike founder Şekip Can Gökalp, a number of business angels contributed to the round. Among them were Fyber founders Janis Zech and Andreas Bodczek as well as Kreditech co-founder & CEO Alexander Graubner-Müller.

Bitbond will use the additional funds for further product development and to grow its user base in markets which are underserved by traditional lenders. Over 1,600 loans worth $1.2 million were originated on Bitbond since its launch. 76,000 users from 120 countries registered with the service to date.

Infographics – The Pulse of Fintech – Q4 2016 (KPMG), Rated: AAA

According to The Pulse of Fintech, after 2015’s record-setting $46.7 billion in global funding to fintech companies, 2016 brought reality back to the market with an almost 50 percent slide in fintech investment.

Australia

Australia weathers fintech slump (The Australian), Rated: A

Global investment in fintech companies almost halved last year as “froth” comes out of the burgeoning industry and investors wait to see if they can successfully disrupt incumbents such as banks and insurers, according to a new report.

Fintech investment funding declined to $US24.7 billion ($32.17bn) last year from a bumper $US46.7bn in 2015, driven by fewer merger and acquisitions, and private equity investments, KPMG found.

However, the less mature Australian fintech industry bucked the trend as investment soared to a record high of $626 million last year, up from $185m in 2015 and $461m in 2014.

In contrast, corporate venture capital arms — those owned by banks and other incumbents — played a bigger role in the market, expanding investment to $US8.5bn from $US4.9bn. Australia’s institutions, including National Australia Bank, are increasingly investing in fintech via internal VC arms.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday January 16 2017, Daily News Digest

Monday January 16 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: OCC must tap breaks on FinTech charter plans. White House publishes framework for FinTech. Today’s main analysis: The key to successful P2P investing. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Shanghai office vacancies rise. Did India’s online lenders reap the benefit of a note ban? The rise of digital lending in Indonesia. United States PeerIQ highlights […]

Monday January 16 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

India

Asia

United States

Weekly Industry Update (Part 1): January 14, 2017 (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

The FASB Fair Value Hierarchy in ASC 820 categorizes assets across three levels based on inputs to valuation techniques used:

  • Level 1 assets have actively traded markets; and valuation inputs are direct quoted prices for identical assets or liabilities.
  • Level 2 assets include valuation inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset, either directly or indirectly.
  • Level 3 is the most unobservable level and requires many assumptions and estimates. Since a two-way market is not available, fair value is often based on models in which there are few, if any, external observations.

Under ASC 820 guidelines, the fair value of an asset reflects the exit price that would occur in an orderly market.

Current Alternative Pricing and Valuation Approach

Asset managers employ a number of informal approaches to valuation – several of which have limitations.

Amortized Cost: This approach values a loan at its outstanding balance at purchase price plus accrued interest. It may overstate loan price during the early period of the loan’s life, as it does not account for loan status (e.g., delinquency).

Haircut Matrix: Loans are valued at outstanding balance plus accrued interest, with haircuts applied to loans based on their stage in the delinquency queue. The size of the haircut is calibrated to historical loan performance. The haircut-matrix approach improves on an amortized cost approach by incorporating loan status, yet still suffers from major deficiencies ignoring A) changes in a borrower’s credit profile at loan level, B) seasonality of loans, and C) credit spread and interest rate risk premium, and D) a forward-looking view on cashflows.

Loan Loss Provisions: Banks holding loans in the hold-to-maturity book create a provision or accrued liability based on expected losses on the pool.

Asset managers can no longer rely on informal processes to value illiquid securities. A consistent and transparent valuation framework is necessary to promote investor confidence, market integrity, improve comparability of returns, and meet fiduciary and regulatory obligations.

The Key To Success In Investing In P2P Loans — With Useful Tools (Forbes), Rated: AAA

P2P loans have less volatility, a low correlation, and yield much higher returns compared to other fixed-yield investments. Median adjusted returns average 7% on a 36-month loan.

The P2P lending nature means that you must build a portfolio of hundreds of loans where each loan is a fraction of the total portfolio.

Lending Club, Prosper, and Funding Circle have all released statistics that show diversified portfolios give the greatest return and minimize risk.

Prosper also has statistics that show since July 2009, every portfolio of 100 notes or more has had positive returns.

With the recent influx of institutional money, MPL has become much more competitive. The best-quality loans can be snapped up within minutes of being posted.

Loan filtering can help investors consistently outperform the market. Based on back testing from NSR, the most effective filters are: loan grade, credit inquiries in the last six months, and loan purpose.

In the next table, you see how the annual income filter can affect returns on D- to HR-rated loans on Prosper.

Another great tool is LendingRobot, a registered investment advisor offering fully automated MPL investing for individuals.

OCC must tap breaks in trying to grant charters to FinTech lenders (The Hill), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of Currency’s desire to add financial technology firms to its regulatory repertoire, if implemented without a sufficient foundation, could stall the U.S. financial system’s path to innovation and set it back by decades.

Currently, FinTech companies must work with governments on the state level to serve their customers and stay in business. Seeing how operating on a state-by-state basis could cause discrepancies, it seems putting all FinTech companies under the supervision of one federal regulator, as the OCC is suggesting, would streamline rulemakings and enforcement.

The goal of modernizing the OCC is well received, but the agency must take a more deliberative approach before deciding the future of a very complex and still developing industry.

From what we know right now, unless the OCC takes time to fully understand and address the complexities of the FinTech sector, as well as its current weaknesses and strengths, their hasty decision to bring FinTech companies under the same umbrella as banks could trigger unintended consequences for consumers and the U.S. financial system – something the U.S. economy cannot afford.

White House publishes Framework for FinTech (IBS Intelligence), Rated: A

The White House has released a whitepaper, A Framework for FinTech, which “expresses the forward-leaning posture of this Administration to innovation and entrepreneurship, generally, and FinTech in particular.”

The document lays out 10 principles, which, for example, encourage stakeholders to start with the consumer in mind, promote safe financial inclusion and financial health, build in cybersecurity, data security and privacy protections and protect financial security.

Online lenders seek more influence under Trump (The Salt Lake Tribune), Rated: A

The companies increasingly are joining lobbying groups that want laws changed to make it easier for them to attract new borrowers and investors as they look for ways to grow and limit future regulatory scrutiny.

The ability of the lenders to get what they want in Washington likely will have a significant impact on the future of the industry.

The desire to influence U.S. policy comes as regulators and lawmakers step up their scrutiny of marketplace lending. Online U.S. loan volume is expected to reach $120 billion by the end of the decade, up from $20 billion in 2015, according to Morgan Stanley research.

The State of Real Estate Crowdfunding (Lazy Man and Money), Rated: A

The road hasn’t always been easy. While a handful of companies have grown impressively, many others have fallen by the wayside, as many investors and real estate companies have been cautious in pursuing real estate crowdfunding. Those without the requisite experience in tech and real estate have struggled to find scale. Still, the young industry continues to grow impressively year over year.

While growth slowed somewhat in 2016 (likely in response to top-of-market trepidation) the 40% figure is still robust, and the U.S. accounted for a large share of the $1bn of overall industry growth this year.

The trend of division and specialization among real estate crowdfunding platforms is likely to continue, with the potential for consolidation in the advent of a dip in the market.

Deadline Nears for Comments on Proposed OCC Fintech Charter (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is still accepting comments on the proposed Fintech Charter for financial firms looking to operate with a federal charter. The deadline was initially set for January 15th but one report says the OCC has pushed the date back to January 17th to accommodate the long weekend.

The Fintech Charter has the potential to be a powerful tool for aspiring innovative financial firms that seek to compete on the national level.  But opposition is mounting from traditional financial firms that have become comfortable with the sizeable regulatory moat that has blocked most competition.

Fitch Ratings posited that a Fintech Charter could harm agility and add cost to innovators.  Moody’s took the other side of the argument stating a Fintech charter may aid marketplace lending platforms.

LendIt Forums are mini conferences (Bankless Times), Rated: B

A prominent lending and fintech conference is offering mini conferences to people interested in leaning more about the space.
LendIt Forums are free learning events for asset managers, real estate investors, financial advisors, commercial bankers, lending innovators, and venture capitalists.
The first LendIt Forum, Ask Us About…Marketplace Lending 101 takes place on Wed., Jan. 18 at 2 pm ET. Participants can ask questions to LendIt chairman and CEO Peter Rention and Crowdfund Insider founder and CEO Andrew Dix.
United Kingdom

WorldPay Founder Nick Ogden to Launch Fintech-Focused Challenger Bank (Finance Magnates), Rated: AAA

Nick Ogden, the founder of payments provider WorldPay, is gearing up to launch a new challenger bank in the UK after receiving approval by financial regulators, according to a Financial Times report today.

Ogden is planning to launch ClearBank in the coming months and will serve as chairman, according to filings with the Financial Conduct Authority. Former Royal Bank of Scotland senior manager Charles McManus will be chief executive.

Peer-to-peer lending set for growth in 2017 (Moneywise), Rated: A

“We expect a second explosion in the number of people lending and the amount lent in 2017, due to IF Isas [Innovative Finance Isas],” says Neil Faulkner, co-founder and managing director.

But while returns of “3%-7%,” and even “12%, [which] have been possible through short-term, asset back loans,” 4th Way expects to see these rates fall in 2017, “benefiting borrowers at the expense of lenders”.

China

Shanghai Office Vacancies Rise as P2P Lending Declines (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Apparently, the slowdown and consolidation of the Chinese peer to peer lending industry is having an impact on the real estate market. Colliers International is reporting that Shanghai Grade A office space experienced a rise in average vacancy due to the widespread withdrawal from peer to peer lending platforms.

Combined with increasing inventory, office space in Shanghai experienced the highest full year supply in five years. The drop in demand also constrained the annual rental growth rate. The correction was said to be strongest in Puxi, where P2P tenants have clustered in the past two years.

Overall, the Shanghai office sector remained the most active investment market in China during 2016. Thirty-eight large-scale transactions totaling more than RMB 70.6 billion were completed during the year.

The China P2P Lending Market is Finally Slowing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Today with stricter rules coming and Chinese officials becoming more vigilant against bogus online lenders, the industry is finally slowing.  One of the rules requires online lenders to work with custodians for investor funds.  According to an article in China News, at the end of 2016, 184 of the 2300 P2P lenders had established such a relationship. Another 122 were in the process of signing a custodial agreement but the majority still have not complied with the law. According to an article in China News, transaction volume dropped by almost half in 2016.

China Rapid Finance Adds to Awards Haul with Hurun Honor (BusinessWire), Rated: B

China Rapid Finance Limited (“CRF” or “the company”), China’s largest consumer lending marketplace in terms of number of loans facilitated, added to its recent haul of awards and recognitions by being named to Hurun Report’s “2017 China New Finance Top 50.”

India

Did online lenders really reap the benefit of note ban? (BusinessToday), Rated: A

Online credit providers such as pay day loan companies and peer to peer (P2P) lending platforms are growing at a rapid pace and are reaching, where formal finance is unable to reach. While three years ago there were only two P2P lending platforms in the country, as of April 2016 the number had risen to 30, as notified by the RBI.

These platforms are reporting healthy double digit growth rates in disbursals as well as registrations month after month. The monthly average cumulative lending of P2P lenders has shot up from Rs 20-30 lakh to Rs 5-6 crore in just 3 years’ time. 

However, this is bright side of the story. While, number of loan seekers shot up, job losses and delay in salary payments have been the cause of concern for the lenders. Post the event, lenders have become cautious of the credibility of the borrowers, who might come across more hurdles before getting a loan.

Asia

Outlook 2017: Rise of Digital Lending in Indonesia (JakartaGlobe), Rated: AAA

Digital lending firms anticipate rapid growth this year, banking on a new regulation on information technology-based lending by the Financial Services Authority, or OJK, that will give these companies a firm legal basis to operate in Indonesia.

Lending through services such as Investree, Kredivo, UangTeman and Doctor Rupiah to name a few, could reach Rp 1 trillion ($75 million) this year, which represents a nearly seven-fold increase from last year according to an OJK estimation. While this amount is still small compared to the nearly Rp 4,200 trillion in outstanding loans held by conventional banks, the authority sees potential in these digital services that could fill a gap in small business financing, currently under-served by banks and financing companies.

By regulating how digital firms handle and store customers’ data, the OJK addresses confidentiality issues that are central to any lending business.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday September 29th 2016, Daily News Digest

Thursday September 29th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Mail bag, from our community 1) I think far fewer people will read your content if you have to get it from a website rather than reading an email. For example, I read it on the underground when I can’t access the web. Why did you change it?” Lending Times answer: We have […]

Thursday September 29th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

Mail bag, from our community

  • 1) I think far fewer people will read your content if you have to get it from a website rather than reading an email. For example, I read it on the underground when I can’t access the web. Why did you change it?”
  • Lending Times answer: We have not made any changes that we are aware of lately. All the content should be in the email. If people are having issues please let us know and we will tackle it.
  • “2) You say on September 28th that the content on the Zopa securitization is only a “B” as it had been so well covered before. Until today most of the coverage, except the Fitch report, has been uninformed rubbish, such as the Business Insider piece. The really interesting stuff, like the pricing, which is at record low spreads, only came out that day but you didn’t cover it, or at least not that we saw. “
  • Our reader is entirely right and I apologize. Indeed  I had not seen the interesting data our reader is mentioning here. I did search for it and found nothing. Please, when important content comes out do not hesitate to point it out to us. We will make sure to cover it. And in the meantime we are redoubling our efforts to cover Zopa’s securitization data today.

The Rush Summary

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European Union

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Hong Kong

India

News Summary

United States

Goldman Says It Can Beat Fintech Ventures With Online Loan Terms, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the Wall Street investment bank pushing into online consumer lending, expects it can make loans on more competitive terms than Silicon Valley upstarts that pioneered and dominate the business.

Using deposits to fund loans — rather than drawing on outside investors — will give the firm more leeway when setting terms and fees, Stephen Scherr, head of the company’s banking operations, told an industry conference in New York on Tuesday.

“We view this as a balance-sheet activity,” he said. “That will avail us of a certain flexibility in the design of the product.”

In April, it completed the purchase of General Electric Co.’s online bank, adding $16 billion of deposits. The securities firm has since started a website where customers can open an account with as little as $1.

Its lending platform plans to make unsecured loans online to consumers with strong credit histories for purposes such as debt consolidation, a person familiar with the matter said last month.

RiverNorth Launches U.S. Pure Play Marketplace Lending Closed-End Interval Fund, (Business Wire), Rated: A

RiverNorth Capital Management, LLC (“RiverNorth”), a boutique investment management firm specializing in opportunistic strategies, today announced the launch of RiverNorth Marketplace Lending Corporation (NASDAQ:RMPLX) (the “Fund”), a registered 1940 Act closed-end interval fund dedicated to the rapidly growing marketplace lending (“online lending”) asset class.

The Fund will invest in a diverse mix of marketplace lending sectors, including unsecured consumer, small business, and specialty finance loan segments. The Fund’s investment objective is to seek a high level of current income.

RiverNorth Capital Management, LLC is an investment management firm founded in 2000. With approximately $3.4 billion in assets under management, RiverNorth specializes in opportunistic investment strategies in niche markets where the potential to exploit inefficiencies is greatest. RiverNorth is the investment manager to multiple registered and private funds.

Pursuant to Rule 23c-3 of the 1940 Act, the Fund must make a quarterly repurchase offer of at least 5% of the Fund’s outstanding shares. The Fund’s Board of Directors will set the actual level of the quarterly repurchase offers. It is possible that a repurchase offer may be oversubscribed, in which case shareholders may only have a portion of their shares repurchased.

IMC’s Berring Prepping New Structured Credit Hedge Fund, (Fin Alternatives), Rated: A

Former IMC Asset Management portfolio manager Simon Berring is launching a new structured credit hedge fund that will focus on securitized consumer and residential credit assets in esoteric, and under-invested segments of the structured credit market.

Berring will look to take advantage of technical weaknesses in credit niches where strong fundamentals and weak prices have created investment opportunities, according to information provided to FINalternatives by a person familiar with the matter. The fund’s opportunity set is further driven by declining participation from major dealers and missteps/retrenchment among several of the larger hedge funds that were focused on less liquid credit markets.

Berring reached an agreement to lift the credit strategy team, IP and track record out of Chicago-based IMC Asset Management earlier this year, the source said.

The new company is currently investing $40 million of initial anchor capital into its strategy, and hopes to raise an additional $100 million for its flagship Ayin Credit Opportunities Fund, the person added.

Ayin plans to launch the new fund in the fourth quarter of this year. While at IMC, Berring’s IMC Credit Fund booked annualized returns of 13% with relatively low volatility of 5% since 2009, and was up 4.4% last year.

Inside Capital One’s new retirement product for SMBs, Spark 401k, (Tradestreaming), Rated: AAA

The company rolled out Spark 401k, the evolved version of its online product for SMBs, ShareBuilder 401k, in August 2016.

“We knew that ShareBuilder 401k was not a website that would be mobile-responsive for some time,” explained Robertson. “We knew we needed to be there.”

Small business owners have some deep-seated fears when it comes to implementing a 401(k) plans for their employees. These preconceptions translate into problematic retirement savings statistics for SMB employees. Only 45 percent of companies with fewer than 100 employees had 401(k)s in March 2016.

What has changed over the past decade, however, is financial technology, and it’s shaking up the slumbering SMB 401(k) industry.

The upcoming DOL fiduciary rule will have a major impact on how companies of all sizes interact with their financial advisors, and companies founded with this ruling in mind could have an edge over more traditional 401(k) providers.

“The good news for SMBs is that [some] fintech players … have been built from the ground up to provide the level of fiduciary coverage that the DOL is mandating,” said David Ramirez, chief information officer at ForUsAll, an online 401(k) platform for SMBs.

Capital One found that no matter how simple or intuitive its technology is, SMB owners still want to speak to a human before they buy.

AltFi Global Summit 2016 – Opening Keynote, (Video), Rated: AAA

 

How Private Bank of Buckhead brings a human face to banking, (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

“We are small enough that we can make decisions customer by customer,” said Charlie Crawford, president and CEO of Private Bankshares, the parent company of the Private Bank of Buckhead. “There is a role in our industry for megabanks and a nice role for banks like ours that can be smaller, nimbler and more customized for the clients.”

“The role of the branch for us is more a place to house our employees and give a launching point to go out and take care of customers in their places of business and homes,” Crawford said.

Relationship banking is usually understood as a marketing tactic meant to increase cross-selling to customers. In the case of the Private Bank of Buckhead, relationships are strategic, rather than tactical.

Community banks have taken a hit in recent years, and consolidation trends continue to increase since the financial crisis. Market share for small banks  fell since 2010. They now hold 22 percent of the commercial and industrial lending market, 8 percent in the individual lending market, and 2 percent in the small business lending market, according to a Council of Economic Advisors paper from last August.

How Consumer Sentiment Has Changed the Dynamic of Financial Disruption, (Crowdvalley), Rated: A

“In the U.S., 33 percent of millennials (ages 15-34) believe that within next five years they will not even need a bank”. – McKinsey & Company. Global Payments 2015: A Healthy Industry Confronts Disruption.

It is difficult to conceive a reality where banks stand redundant and, while the probability of such a happening is highly unlikely, a large number of individuals globally are adopting a new set of expectations for the infrastructure that supports their pecuniary activities on a p2p, p2b level, e-commerce, or for cross border transactions.

In terms of advice from financial services firms, consumers don’t want to talk face to face with an advisor but they want to feel special & have the ability to switch seamlessly between personal and hands-off options.

While the focus seems to be on convenience, professionals in the sector indicate that the fundamental driver in consumer behavior is, in fact, cost.

It is in this quality and security that Matos sees the continuity of the physical bank: “People do recognize, as a setback, the time it takes to go to the branch or to use traditional banking channels, however many of them still think that’s the more secure way to do it.” 

Irfan Khan, CEO of UK based real estate investing portal, Yielders, talks about how it’s no longer about ‘Fin’ but about ‘Fintech’ in addressing how Yielders addresses the demands of clients and partners on providing fast, secure and transparent transacting infrastructure.

Essentially, the traditional banking channels are finding it difficult to keep up with the current pace of disruption.

While banks have always faced attackers, history is a testament to the idea that most startups will never gain solid footing. During the dot.com boom of 1997 to 2000, fewer than 10 of more than 450 payments startups survived, with PayPal being the most notable.

To succeed, financial institutions will need to dramatically increase their customer insights and understanding allowing for a tailored and unique experience for each customer interaction.

Online Lending’s Rapidly Changing Future to be Main Focus at LendIt USA 2017, (Email from Lendit), Rate: A

LendIt USA will be the world’s biggest show in online lending and fintech with more than 5,000 expected attendees and will be held in New York at the Javits Center from March 6 – 7, 2017. The conference will focus on the rapidly changing online lending industry, including the state of the industry to date and factors that will affect the industry going forward.

“Online lending as we know it is going through an evolution, shifting considerably since LendIt USA 2016,”

A featured addition to this year’s conference will be an industry awards event which will celebrate and recognize leading companies, emerging innovators and top executives within alternative lending and fintech. The awards dinner and ceremony, to take place on March 7, will be judged by a distinguished panel of 20 industry experts, representing a diverse cross-section of the industry. Confirmed judges include Don Potts – Senior Vice President at Capital One; Brian Korn – Partner at Manatt; Manish Gupta – Executive Vice President at American Express, Angela Ceresnie – Chief Operating Officer at Climb Credit and George Popescu – Editor-in-Chief of Lending Times.

CMBS Surveillance: Delinquency Report – August, (Morning Star Email), Rated: A

The delinquency rate for CMBS loans remained steady at 2.95%, down 1 basis point from July. While the delinquent unpaid balance declined just $200.6 million, the UPB of outstanding CMBS fell by $3.45 billion.

Liquidations fell to $792.9 million from $1.03 billion in July; however, August’s weighted average loss severity jumped to 51.4% after falling below 30% last month.

By collateral type, weakness has been concentrated in office and retail, both of which continue to underperform with delinquency rates of more than 5% of each property type’s balance.

Open Energy monthly newsletter, focus on the solar energy debt market, (Email), Rated: A

First-Ever SEC Fintech Forum, (JD Supra), Rated: AAA

On the SEC announced it will host a public forum to discuss financial technology (Fintech) innovation in the financial services industry.

The press release notes that the forum is designed to foster greater collaboration and understanding among regulators, entrepreneurs and industry experts into Fintech innovation and evaluate how the current regulatory environment can most effectively address these new technologies.

The panels will discuss issues such as blockchain technology, automated investment advice or robo-advisors, online marketplace lending and crowdfunding, and how they may impact investors. The forum will be on November 14, 2016. See more information here.

Crowdfunding ‘bridges’ the gap between real estate lenders and borrowers, (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

Patch of Land, an LA-based crowdfunding platform, is one of the few [Comment: Lending Times ecosystem database contains about 30 platforms focuses on the same or similar markets, not a few] platforms focused on bridge loans. Founded in 2013, POL has loaned out over $180 million to developers. Real estate crowdfunding platforms are a dime a dozen, but POL has found a twist to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market through their pre-funding process.

“If a loan doesn’t get fully funded, it still remains on the site,” said AdaPia d’Errico, chief marketing officer of Patch of Land. “We’re not like traditional crowdfunders where borrowers need to wait for full funding to get their money.

Choosing to focus on the debt side of investments is also a unique way to approach real estate crowdfunding. Underwriting a bridge loan isn’t as sexy as providing equity to build a project that includes higher upside. But loan terms are easier to understand, something d’Errico feels is important for investors.

Investing in debt may be easier to understand, but it’s still not without its risks.

Another issue is the nature of development. Rehabbing is an art, not a science, and all sorts of issues can slow up projects.

Yield Street crosses $ 9mil in principal and interest payments distributed to investors, (Email), Rated: A

Comment: Yield Street is interesting because they offer some unusual cash flow investments like fleet car leases, pre-settlement litigation portfolios, as well as real-estate.

With this occasion Yield Street quarterly investor updates:  the status of closed offerings will be sent at the end of each quarter.

United Kingdom

MOCA gets away, senior tranche priced 75bps better than SBOLT, (Alt Fi), Rated: AAA

MOCA 2016-1, the inaugural securitisation of Zopa loans, has priced. The pricing makes Fitch’s landmark rating of AA official, while also confirming Moody’s Aa3 rating. The complete breakdown of the pricing is available below.

Funding Circle pulled off the UK’s first securitisation, SBOLT 2016-1, in April of this year. Moody’s again assigned the senior tranche a rating of Aa3, while S&P rated the same tranche BBB.

The disparity in pricing between the UK marketplace lending sector’s debut securitisation and its second (SBOLT and MOCA respectively), notwithstanding the differences in underlying collateral, could suggest that European ABS investors are gradually becoming more comfortable with marketplace loans as an investable asset class.

Simon Champ, CEO of MW Eaglewood Europe, the manager of P2P GI – the original investor in the securitised Zopa loans, also weighed in:“This transaction marks a positive step in enabling us to deliver on our objective to both diversify the sources and reduce the cost of our funding. The funds raised by the issue will now be progressively deployed in line with the investment strategy and our intention remains to steadily increase our leverage ratio to 100%.”

Speaking exclusively to AltFi, Champ added that there was “very strong demand” for the deal, as is reflected in the pricing. “I think this a watershed moment in terms of opening up the asset class to European institutions who don’t necessarily want to buy P2PGI,” said Champ.“Hopefully this will further institutional adoption and lower the cost of leverage.” 

Three firms withdraw from P2P authorisation process, (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

A freedom of information request submitted by Bridging & Commercial to the FCA has uncovered that no peer-to-peer lenders have had their authorisation applications declined to date.

In March, the industry watchdog reported that eight P2P firms had been fully authorised. The FCA has since confirmed that a further four firms have been authorised, bringing the total to just 12.

Last month, data from the Peer to Peer Finance Association, which represents over 90% of the market, revealed that new P2P lending had taken a hit in Q2, with some lenders blaming it on economic uncertainty and the battle to gain full regulatory authorisation.

Earlier this week, Jonathan Davidson, director of supervision – retail and authorisations at the FCA, stated that it was assessing 85 additional applications, with 39 of those operating under interim permission.

LendingClub Founder Renaud Laplanche featured on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London, (TechCrunch), Rated: A

In December at our Disrupt London event, Laplanche will make his first public appearance since leaving the company to talk about the past year, and what the future may hold for both him and LendingClub.

European Union

The Rise of the German Fintech Ecosystem, (Crowd Valley), Rated: A

The UK paid for uncertainties of the Referendum vote, which now represents a challenge and an opportunity for the whole European market. We agree with Anna Scally Partner, Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, and Fintech Leader, at KPMG in Ireland, when she says that: “Market access and the ability to passport services across the EU are hugely important for fintechs, regardless of their origin or stage of development. Post-Brexit, maintaining a pro-business approach in Europe is critical and these issues will likely feature strongly in discussions between the EU and UK.”

It’s interesting to note that in Germany it’s not just Berlin that does well with technology, Munich plays also an important part, as well as Hamburg, that is where Finanzcheck, one of the fastest growing fintech company in Germany, is located, and Frankfurt, home of the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse (Frankfurt Stock Exchange), the world’s 10th largest stock exchange by market capitalization, and that is now growing as the country’s fintech hub.

here were no mega rounds of financing in Europe, in both the first and the second quarter, but we have anyway seen some considerable investments, including:

  • $46  million in a Series C round, raised by Finanzcheck, a consumer loans marketplace,
  • $40 million in a Series B round, raised by N26 (previously known as Number26), a mobile online bank,
  • $34.1 million through Private Equity, raised by AEVI, a cashless payments solutions provider.

These were the three biggest rounds of financing in Europe, and all the companies mentioned are based in Germany (see the image below).

Another interesting aspect is the increase of corporate participation in fintech investments. Corporations participated in 28% of the deals conducted, a percentage that’s much higher than the 12% registered in the same period of 2015.

The industry is now growing and evolving, not just in Europe but all over the world. Germany is building up what it seems to be a solid financial technology ecosystem, with the appetite to involve key cities and not just a single location, and it is now well positioned to play a bigger role in the financial technology industry in the future.

Deutsche in deep trouble, but a collapse is not on cards, (The Australian), Rated: A

The good news about the Deutsche Bank crisis is that the world has learnt its lesson from the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, so it won’t allow a disorderly failure of the German banking colossus.

This is a bank tagged by the International Monetary Fund last June as the most significant contributor to global systemic risk, ahead of HSBC and Credit Suisse.

It’s a counterparty to almost every bank of meaningful size, far more so than Lehman, so it simply doesn’t bear thinking that governments and regulators would invite a prolonged nuclear winter by closing the bank’s doors.

While Deutsche has never really recovered from its 2008 losses, the latest round of volatility causing the share price to sink to its lowest level in decades followed news two weeks ago that the US Justice Department wanted $US14 billion ($18bn) to settle allegations of mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

Deutsche has said it has “no intention” of handing over anything like that amount. The penalty almost matches the bank’s $US16bn market capitalisation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out state aid for Deutsche, and Cryan said overnight he hadn’t asked for it.

Canada

Lendified subsidiary Vault Circle receives exempt market dealer license from OSC, (Betakit), Rated: A

Small business loan provider Lendified announced today that its subsidiary Vault Circle has received regulatory approval for marketplace lending from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

“The OSC approval represents a historic leap forward for Canada’s FinTech sector,” said Marcel Schroder, the managing director and chief compliance officer of Vault Circle. “Once launched, our platform will provide accredited investors with access to an exciting alternative investment option not available in Canada today.”

Lendified’s announcement also comes shortly after the OSC’s announcement of a LaunchPad Hub to help FinTech startups navigate the provinces’ regulatory framework. The cooperative approach taken by the OSC might be considered a good signal for fellow Canadian FinTech startup Lending Loop, which voluntarily halted new loan requests on its platform after questions of compliance with the Ontario Securities Act.

While the OSC approval applies to Ontario only, Lendified is planning to expand into other markets in the future. The announcement comes shortly after Lendified announced that it secured $24 million in funding for its online lending activities. The company also recently announced an increase in its lending capacity from $35,000 per loan to a maximum of $150,000 per loan for small business owners.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Creates a Fintech Sandbox for Banks, (Crowd Valley), Rated: A

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) last week announced the launch of a financial technology sandbox, to allow banks to test new innovative products that do not yet meet compliance standards. The new regime is valid as of September 6.

The announcement comes a few months following similar action by various governments around the world, including the UK, Singapore, Australia and France, but more recently also in other countries in the area, including Malaysia, Thailand and last but not least Japan.

Within the Sandbox, banks can try out their new Fintech products without the need to achieve full compliance with the HKMA’s usual supervisory requirements.

The full speech of Norman Chan is available on the HKMA website

India

P2P firms in talks with NPCI for better integration with UPI, (Livemint), Rated: A

UPI is an interoperable system launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and NPCI, which will allow peer-to-peer and peer-to-entity payments by unifying the mobile number, Aadhaar number and the bank account number. The threshold of a single UPI transaction, which is currently Rs.1 lakh will also be a limiting factor for the P2P lending space as the loan amounts required are of higher values.

The newly launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) may not currently be useful for peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platforms like Peerlend, Faircent and I-lend, but this may soon change.

At present, even if lenders and borrowers transact with each other through UPI , the required information is not disseminated to these third-party platforms.

These companies are in talks with the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) so that these platforms can be integrated into the system.

The Need for Facilitating Electronic Payments in the Peer To Peer Lending Sector, (Barandbench), Rated: A

In order to facilitate the use of electronic modes of payment in P2P lending transactions, the following structure may be considered for the purpose of the Regulations to ensure such transactions are not in violation of the Money Lending Acts.

a) The P2P lenders would transfer monies that they intend to loan to borrowers firstly to the P2P Platforms (“Investment Amounts”) as investments into the P2P Platforms (“Investments”), and the Investment Amounts would be utilized by the P2P Platforms to grant loans to borrowers. The amounts received by the P2P Platforms from the borrowers (towards repayment of the loans granted) would be transferred to the lenders as repayment for the Investments. This structure would in effect render the P2P Platforms as ‘lenders’ to the borrowers. The reason we are suggesting this structure is because, if the P2P Platforms are regarded as ‘lenders’ (and since they are to be classified as NBFCs as stated above), then the Money Lending Acts would not be applicable ab initio in respect of the P2P lenders and hence would facilitate the use of electronic modes of payment in the P2P Lending Transactions.

b) Further, to avoid risk of mismanagement/diversion of the amounts payable to/receivable by the lenders and the borrowers as part of the P2P lending transactions (“P2P Amounts”), it can be stipulated that the P2P Amounts would be routed through a specific bank account (“Account”) in the name of the P2P Platforms.

c) Additionally, in this structure, the P2P Platforms’ role is to be limited to aggregating the transactions between lenders and borrowers, conducting KYC checks on the borrowers and the lenders, facilitating the execution of the transaction documents for the P2P lending transactions and transferring the monies received in the Account inter se between the lenders and borrowers.

d) In terms of documentation for this structure, there can be two options that can be considered:

i) the P2P Platforms would execute investment agreements with each of the lenders in terms of which the lenders would make the Investments, and the P2P Platforms would execute loan agreements with each of borrowers in terms of which the P2P Platforms grant loans to the borrowers using the Investment Amounts; OR

ii) the P2P Platforms would execute tripartite agreements with the lenders and the borrowers, in terms of which the lenders would make the Investments and the P2P Platforms would grant loans (using the Investment Amounts) to the borrowers.

Author:

George Popescu