Thursday October 24 2019, Weekly News Digest

P2P lending tax rates

News Comments Today’s main news: Judge says OCC cannot issue fintech charters. Kabbage ends Q3 with nearly $100M in revenue. Funding Circle shares up over 10% while loans under management up over 30%. Balboa competes $409M securitization. FundingSecure enters administration. Today’s main analysis: Q3 bank earnings. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 2019 financial fears infographic. Why there […]

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P2P lending tax rates

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United States

United Kingdom

China

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News Summary

United States

Fintech unicorn Kabbage ends Q3 with nearly 0 million in revenue amid loan growth (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

Financial technology unicorn Kabbage finished the third quarter with just shy of $100 million in revenue as the company continued to grow its small-business lending platform.

The decade-old company told MarketWatch that it generated $99.4 million in third-quarter revenue as loan originations ticked up 43% on a year-over-year basis. The company said it extended $715 million in loans to customers during the quarter.

US fintech Kabbage launches new payment service to help small businesses get paid quicker (AltFi), Rated: B

Kabbage, a US fintech backed by Softbank which uses AI-based algorithms to help work out the terms of small business lending, is launching a payments service which it says will cut the time it takes small businesses to get paid from 90 days to 24 hours.

Judge Rules OCC Unable to Issue Fintech Charters (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the OCC does not have the legal authority to issue bank charters to non-banks. Judge Victor Marrero ruled on the fact that a clause in the National Bank Act’s business of banking requires that only firms which take deposits can receive a national bank charter.

Banking charter remains a long way off for fintechs after court ruling (American Banker), Rated: A

Fintech firms continue to face a murky path into the banking system after a federal court ruling that threw out the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s special-purpose charter, observers said.

The charter has already been on unsteady ground. No firm has yet applied with the OCC facing legal challenges. But the decision Monday out of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York shines an even brighter light on potential alternatives for fintech companies seeking a national licensing solution.

Is This the End for the OCC Fintech Charter? (Payments Journal), Rated: B

The story isn’t over yet. The OCC has said it will appeal the decision.

New Jersey bank partners with On Deck Capital (Biz Journals), Rated: A

Marketplace Lending Update #7: This and That (The National Law Review), Rated: A

In striking down the OCC’s interpretation of Section 5.20(e)(1), Judge Marrero reasoned that the National Bank Act “unambiguously requires that, absent a statutory provision to the contrary, only depository institutions are eligible to receive national bank charters from the OCC.”

Kabbage Heads to Court (Again)

Non-bank marketplace lender Kabbage joins the growing number of online lenders who are defending Madden and “true lender” claims in New York’s federal courts. Unlike prior lawsuits, such as those recently filed against Capital One and Chase Bank,2 the putative class action against Kabbage targets small business loans, not credit card or other consumer loans.

Q3 Bank Earnings, Venmo & AmEx Card Launch (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

PayPal is launching a Venmo credit card (expected 2H 2020). Venmo’s credit card launch follows a flurry of launches from Avant, Upgrade, Ollo, Brex and others in recent years. PayPal has a unique edge – the breadth of customers on its payment network. Relatedly, PayPal and Synchrony extending their overall 15-year consumer credit relationship.

Bank Earnings Season Underway

JPM

  • Industry leading ROE of 18% driven by consumer banking ROE 30%+ [!!]
Source: PeerIQ, JPMorgan Chase & Co

Citi

  • Strongest 35% YTD share price gain in KBW index (stock trading below book value)
  • 66% of new deposits coming from areas where they do not have branches

GS

  • ROE in the 12% range, profit drops 26%. ROE will be low for the foreseeable future while GS pours billions in investing in building a consumer franchise
  • CEO David Solomon: “In three short years, we have raised $55 billion in deposits on the Marcus platform, generated $5 billion in loans, and built a new credit-card platform and launched Apple Card,” adding “which we believe is the most successful credit card launch ever.”

Bank of America

  • Profits up 8% YOY; NIM robust at 244 bps just shy of recent peak of 251 bps
  • #1 in mobile banking and online banking. Digital banking users have increased by 5% over the past year and number of active mobile users has increased by almost 11%. – Number of branches has decreased by 1.9

Balboa Completes Largest Securitization in Company History at $ 409MM (Monitor Daily), Rated: AAA

Online lender Balboa Capital successfully completed a $409 million asset-backed securitization (ABS) of small and mid-ticket equipment loans and leases, its sixth and largest transaction to date.

ABS Professionals Look to New Financial Partners Amidst Changing Economic Landscape, Capital One (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

Capital One survey conducted at ABS East 2019, a conference convening professionals from across the asset-backed securities (ABS) industry, found more than one-third (38 percent) of professionals plan to engage with new financial partners and implement new technologies, over the next 12 months, to prepare for the changing economic landscape. Additionally, 34 percent of respondents plan on reviewing or reshaping their credit and underwriting risks over the next 12 months.

Of the various challenges facing the industry, ABS professionals elected that regulatory uncertainty (22 percent), increased credit risk (18 percent) and increased competition (18 percent) pose the greatest challenges for their businesses over the next 12 months. Fluctuations in interest rates was listed as the greatest challenge for 15 percent of respondents.

2019 Financial Fears Survey (Wallet Hub), Rated: AAA

Current Mortgage Rates in Iowa (Benzinga), Rated: A

Quick Look: Best Mortgage Lenders in Iowa

  1. Academy Mortgage Corporation: Best Overall
  2. Quicken Loans: Best for Online Lending
  3. Wells Fargo: Best for First-time Home Buyers
  4. Bank Iowa: Best for Customer Service
  5. US Bank: Best for Competetive Rates

1. Best Overall: Academy Mortgage Corporation

You can get in-person service and online loan assistance for conventional, FHA, VA and refinance loans, as well as first-time homebuyer education.

IIRR Management Services Discusses RealtyShares Acquisition (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

IIRR Management Services (IRM) claims to be one of the largest crowdfunded real estate investment firms in the world. IRM is owned by RREAF Holdings and iintoo Investments. The company recently took over management of Realtyshares’​ portfolio – once a prominent entrant in the real estate crowdfunding sector that unexpectedly collapsed in 2018 stunning the industry. Today, IRM claims over $1.5 billion in combined assets salvaged from RealtyShares.

CrowdStreet: A Platform that Democratizes Real Estate Investment Opportunities While Diversifying Portfolios (CardRates), Rated: A

CrowdStreet indicates a total average annual return rate of 25.5% across all fully realized deals, according to the company website. The company believes markets are stronger when they are more accessible, transparent, and efficient.

Since CrowdStreet launched in 2014, the company has posted over 360 projects on its Marketplace and has raised more than $800 million from thousands of investors, he said.

The platform allows accredited investors to diversify their portfolios by investing in individual projects or funds for as little as $25,000.

Finitive Receives $ 2M in Venture Debt from Silicon Valley Bank (FINSMES), Rated: A

Finitive, a NYC-based financial technology platform providing institutional investors with direct access to alternative lending investments, closed a $2m venture debt.

Bitcoin IRA to Launch Interest-Earning Crypto Accounts (Altcoin Buzz), Rated: A

Bitcoin IRA has partnered with the leading crypto trading and lending firm Genesis Capital to launch interest-earning cryptocurrency accounts.

The crypto trading firm will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and ZCASH.

Crypto-powered foundation Rippleworks expands its reach (Devex), Rated: A

Galen and Larsen, who built the online lender E-Loan together, are both interested in broadening the perspectives of Silicon Valley executives who might otherwise be detached from ways to make an impact on the rest of the world.

Fintech Innovator Fundbox Named to Prestigious IDC FinTech Rankings by IDC Financial Insights (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Fundbox, the B2B payments and credit network designed to facilitate and accelerate B2B commerce at scale, announced that the company ranked #92 on the 2019 IDC FinTech Rankings.

Beware Online Loan Calculators (WSJ), Rated: B

According to a study published online in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance in June, borrowers unconsciously could be manipulated into choosing a more expensive loan, depending on the calculator’s default settings.

United Kingdom

Shares in Funding Circle up over 10 per cent, after loans under management jump by more than 30 per cent (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Shares in peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle climbed over 10 percent after its loans under management soared 31 percent to £3.7bn, but the company cautioned of “an uncertain economic environment”.

It said loans under management had grown to £3.7bn compared to £2.8bn the year previous.

Funding Circle reported that loan originations were up from £1.6bn in 2018 to £1.8bn in 2019.

FundingSecure goes into administration (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

FUNDINGSECURE, the peer-to-peer pawnbroker and property lender, has gone into administration.

FundingSecure administration not a ‘reflection of P2P as a whole’, claims major platform (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

Jonathan Avery-Gee, Edward Avery-Gee and Daniel Richardson at CG & Co have been appointed administrators of the company and are working closely with the FCA.

Stuart Law, CEO at Assetz Capital, claimed that smaller P2P lenders were “clearly struggling to keep up”.

Assetz chief rules out purchase of FundingSecure loanbook

Industry raises concerns as Funding Secure enters administration (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

The collapse of the P2P firm has left around 3,500 investors facing an unclear future as the administrator works their way through the loans.

Starling Bank Raises £30 Million to Fund its Expansion as it Approaches its Millionth Account (The Fintech Times), Rated: A

Starling Bank, the UK digital bank, has raised £30 million in a new funding round. Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited is leading the round with an investment of £20 million, while Starling’s existing investor, JTC, has added a further £10 million.

Andrew Lawson joins Oodle Car Finance as chief product officer (Asset Finance International), Rated: A

Oodle Car Finance has appointed Andrew Lawson as chief product officer.

He joins from Zopa, the world’s first peer-to-peer lender, where he spent five years as chief product officer responsible for business growth during a period of expansion that saw the brand become the UK’s largest online open market lender.

Celsius Network Now Supports Tether At 12% Interest (CryptoBriefing), Rated: A

Celsius Network will begin supporting Tether (USDT), the largest stablecoin in the market, in its interest-earning wallet. That will enable users to leverage their holdings in order to receive a passive income.

Wayfair, Klarna bring flexible payments to UK shoppers (The Paypers), Rated: A

Klarna’s range of flexible payments are available to shoppers online at Wayfair.co.uk, with additional new features on Wayfair.de. Joining Klarna’s partner list, Wayfair customers across the UK now have control over how and when they pay for their purchases, with payments options such as Pay later and Pay in 3.

Six bids made for stricken reseller (Channel Web), Rated: B

Six offers have been made for welsh education reseller Gaia, which fell into administration earlier this year.

A number of lenders were also revealed to be owed hundreds of thousands of pounds, with White Oak UK and Funding Circle owed £703,000 and £500,000 respectively. HMRC is owed £866,148.

Capitalise.com launches partnership with iwoca and a high street bank to enable instant funding quotes for SMEs (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Capitalise.com, the business funding platform for accountants, has today announced a partnership with small business lender, iwoca, and a high street bank, to launch Instant Offers. The partnership enables accountants to receive instant quotes on funding applications for their clients. Accountants benefit from offering their clients exceptional customer service with instant quotations and eligibility on suitable financial products whilst lenders can onboard high credit quality businesses, faster.

China

The Meteoric Rise and Spectacular Fall of Peer to Peer Lending in China (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

I first wrote about the Chinese p2p lending industry later that year and introduced the west to CreditEase, the company that was the largest p2p lending platform in the world. Over the next couple of years the industry thrived with thousands of platforms launching and the total loan volume skyrocketing to over $150 billion in 2015, which was four times the loan volume of 2014.

China’s Biggest Ever Financial Scandal

We got the first inkling that something was not quite right when China was rocked by the biggest financial scandal in its history. Ezubao, one of China’s largest p2p lending platforms, collapsed as it was revealed the business was nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Around 900,000 investors collectively lost $7.6 billion in what was the second largest Ponzi scheme the world had ever seen (Madoff being the largest).

There Will Be No LendIt China in 2019

We have held LendIt China every year since 2016 in Shanghai and I am sad to report that in 2019 there will be no event. While we have expanded beyond online lending it still represented a significant part of our business in 2018 but given the recent challenges we expect no lending companies will be interested in speaking, sponsoring or even attending this year. So, we made the difficult decision to cancel the event. We will regroup in 2020 and hopefully will be able to bring our unique event back to China.

Chinese Regulators Forcing More P2P Platform Closures With Stricter Rules (Business Times), Rated: A

The newly imposed rules by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) will mainly be targeting online P2P lending companies. These companies often entail high-risk lending activities that result in massive defaults, suicide, deaths, and illegal debt collections.

Since 2017, the country has had an estimated $692.8 billion in bad loans. The sector has tried to dispose of these bad loans as best they can through different methods.

China’s Incredible Shrinking P2P Lending Industry (Caixin Global), Rated: A

The draconian cleanup campaign of China’s scandal-ridden peer-to-peer (P2P) industry has led to a three-year implosion that has put the sector almost back to where it was in 2014.

The number of functioning P2P lending platforms fell to 646 in September, a decline of nine compared with August and the lowest since early 2014 when the industry was booming, data compiled by Wangdaizhijia, an online lending research portal, show. The scale of the drop has been dramatic — at its peak in November 2015, the sector had more than 3,600 platforms.

European Union

Digital lending platform Roostify plots expansion with new investment from Santander (Housingwire), Rated: AAA

Roostify, which powers the digital mortgage platforms of JPMorgan ChaseTD BankGuild MortgageHSBC Bank USA and more, is plotting an expansion in the U.S. and internationally thanks to a new injection of funding from Santander Group and others.

International

Tax Rates on P2P Lending – Low versus High (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

In the countries colored in black the income tax rate is applied on interest earned on p2p lending investments. That means the individual rate of taxation depends on the other and overall income of the investor. For example in the UK the tax bands are 20%, 40% and 45% dependent on overall income. In Ireland tax bands are 20% and 40%.

Source: P2P-Banking

Banks That Can’t Keep Pace With Fintech Firms Risk $ 88 Billion Revenue Loss (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Days after it was announced that banks across the world are currently in a ‘do-or-die dilemma,’ Accenture’s 2019 Global Payments Survey reveals that 60 percent of the participants believe they will lose up to 15 percent of payments revenue – $88 billion – in the next three years after being displaced by emerging, competing financial services players.

38 percent of respondents said that big technology companies pose a competitive threat and 32 percent of those surveyed feel the same about fintech firms, which makes sense with the latter attracting nearly $11 billion through over 800 deals between 2016 and 2018.

Asia

Fintech companies need strict law to protect consumers, ensure fair business (The Jakarta Post), Rated: AAA

Indonesia’s growing financial technology (fintech) companies have called on the government and legislators to issue a new law to ensure fair business for and better protection of both the industry and consumers. The Indonesian Fintech Lenders Association (AFPI) said that fintech companies, especially those involved in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending or online lending, needed a stricter regulation to ensure that all the stakeholders, such as borrowers and investors, would receive better protection.

The Explosion of FinTech in Indonesia and how Companies like Gojek and Weyland Tech, Inc. are Winning (Investor Ideas), Rated: A

According to one recent report, “Indonesia’s fintech industry is in the midst of a period of significant growth. P2P lending recorded a triple-digit increase in 2018, while e-payment services have grown more than six-fold since 2012, prompting a surge of new foreign investment into a vibrant and increasingly diverse start-up community.”

Canada

Luge Capital raises $ 85M to invest in Canadian fintech startups (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

There are 831 financial technology startups headquartered in or operating in Canada, according to data collected by Fintech Growth Syndicate, yet only a handful of venture capital funds specializing in the region and sector.

Luge Capital, a fintech and AI-focused venture capital fund headquartered in Montreal and Toronto, is looking to close that gap. The firm has raised $85 million for its debut fund and plans to make seed investments as small as $150,000 and as large as $2 million.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday October 24 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Friday August 25 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative investing

News Comments Today’s main news: Ellevest raises $32M to target women investors. eOriginal, Notarize close first digital mortgage closing. OFF3R launches SIPPS portal. Zopa reduces higher-risk lending. China issues draft rules on illegal fundraising. TWINO adds second Russian originator. African university to offer fintech degree. Today’s main analysis: Should P2P lending investors worry about default rates?Early-stage fintech investment in UK, Germany. Today’s […]

alternative investing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Wall Street alum Sallie Krawcheck just raised $ 32 million for her investing platform (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

But the uncertainty and risk that comes with the markets is very often a major deterrent, especially for women, who invest at a much lower rate than men in the US.

To combat this, former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck launched Ellevest in 2016, a digital investing platform that puts female investors’ money in low-cost ETFs based on a pick-and-choose set of goals, like starting a business, buying a home, having children, and retiring comfortably.

This week, the startup raised $32.5 million in its latest round of funding, according to CNBC. Tennis superstar Venus Williams, who is a champion of equal pay and opportunity for women both on and off the court, was among Ellevest’s first investors.

Just 28% of women are willing to take on high risk to get a good return on their investment, compared to 45% of men, according to a 2015 report by BlackRock.

Man finds it can be hard to return $ 6,000 (WoodTV), Rated: AAA

When 53-year-old Wyoming resident Duane La Varier found $6,180 had mysteriously appeared in his bank account, he never dreamed how hard it could be just trying to give money away.

He said he and his wife never filled out any applications and never sought any kind of loan.

The deposit a week ago had come from a company called LendingClub.

“I said, ‘I did not apply for this loan. Just take it back, just take it all out of my account.’ They said no.”

LendingClub is not the actual lender — it represents lenders — but Dudum said the company will take the hit for the $6,000 loan and its fees.

eOriginal and Notarize Make Digital Mortgage the New Reality (Broadway World), Rated: AAA

With its launch of Notarize for Mortgage, the company’s proprietary signing and remote notarization platform, Notarize recently completed the first-ever online mortgage closing. By integrating directly with eOriginal’s electronic vault, they enable lenders to leverage a joint solution that takes only a few short days to set up and launch before borrowers can start closing loans online. Together, Notarize and eOriginal allow lenders to quickly provide a seamless digital experience spanning the entire closing process all the way through registration with MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.) and sale into the secondary market.

Connecting lenders, title agents, borrowers and notaries online 24 x 7 to digitize the closing process, the Notarize for Mortgage platform is approved by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, underwritten by national title underwriters, and was launched with five lender customers and numerous warehouse lender and mortgage servicer partners. The platform is available to lenders online or via modern APIs that allow them to integrate an online closing process directly into their existing tools, automating their closing operations entirely.

eOriginal’s platform of integrated solutions delivers a fully digital mortgage and supports every type of digital closing strategy.

TRANSPARENCY IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTING (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

In February of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 200 senior asset managers and institutional investor executives to learn what factors are most important in the way they make their decisions. Several different types of institution were involved, including hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, and nonprofits.

New Business Models – and Transparency

The 2008 global financial crisis of course had a negative impact on the alternative investments industry.

New business models have arisen to supply demand across the spectrum of investors, including those investors eligible for and interested in alternatives. Publicly traded limited partners are one important example.

Who will win the robo advisor IPO race? (Financial-Planning), Rated: AAA

It’s been a decade since the launch of the industry’s leading independent digital advice platforms — Betterment, Wealthfront and Personal Capital.

The question that now remains for all three: who will cross the IPO finish line first?

In terms of assets, the trio has kept their positions in the market respectively, with Betterment leading all independents with over $10 billion in AUM, followed by Wealthfront’s $7.4 billion and Personal Capital’s $4.9 billion.

Collectively, the three count just over 420,000 clients and over 548,000 accounts, according to SEC filings and company statements.

Personal Capital, which always tailored its services for HNW clients before lowering its account minimums (and then raising them up again) claims its average client account size is roughly $380,000; users with more than $1 million in investable assets, the company says, comprise about 40% of its AUM.

Source: Financial-Planning.com

Online Lenders Featured in the Inc. 5000 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Every year Inc. pulls together a list of the top 5000 fastest growing private companies in the United States. This year there were around 250 companies that made it in the financial services category and there are several familiar names on the list.

Other lenders readers may recognize are Lighter Capital (634), FastPay (1653), National Funding (2030), and ZestFinance (2202).

How Debit Activity Can Benefit Lenders in a Cashless Society (Clarity Services), Rated: A

With nearly half the American population carrying a subprime credit score, rent-to-own companies, online installment, storefronts and others are embracing new tools to intelligently navigate a market that has been largely overlooked.

  • Cash is only 14 percent of the share of transactions by value of payments (The Federal Reserve System Cash Product Office).
  • While the average American spends roughly $100 per day – not counting the purchase of a home, motor vehicle or normal household bills (Gallop), half of us are walking around with less than $20 cash (Bankrate.com).
  • If given the choice between a cashless and cash-only shop, most consumers in the wealthiest countries prefer the cashless option (ING Group/eZonomics).
  • Nearly 40 percent of Americans said that they would be happy to go completely without cash. (ING Group/eZonomics).

The top 7 startups from Y Combinator S’17 Demo Day 2 (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Standard Cognition is using machine vision to build the checkout of the future. Called autonomous checkout, the technology will allow shoppers to grab what they want and walk out of a store without having to go to a cashier. Standard Cognition believes it tech will enable those companies to save money and reduce theft.

Dharma Labs is building what it calls the first “protocol for debt on blockchains.” Citing the popularity of ICOs, the startup believes there’s a “proven demand for cryptoassets that look and act much like equity.” So Dharma has built a mechanism for decentralized peer-to-peer lending. “Anyone in the world can borrow and anyone in the world can lend.”

Emailage Raises $ 10m in Growth Equity Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Emailage, a Chandler, AZ-based provider of global fraud prevention and identity verification using email address scoring, raised $10m in growth equity funding.

The round was led by Anthos Capital, with participation from Radian Capital, Wipro Ventures, Mucker Capital and Tallwave Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to expand existing partnerships, further advance its email address-based predictive scoring system, and accelerate growth in North America, EMEA, LATAM and other key markets.

How to Expand Your Business Online by Offering More Products or Services (Kabbage), Rated: A

Hopefully, increased revenues will help ease cash flow problems and in the end, improve profits. Other advantages of growing business may include the chance to bring in more qualified employees, acquiring more customers and improving credit scores.

Expand service areas

Companies that provide services to homes or other businesses may find that their hometown or neighborhood has a limited customer base.

Expanding to nearby locations is one of the most common ways that local businesses grow into regional businesses. This also allows the company to add some more geographic areas to a business website, directories, and social pages to show up in more local searches.

Expand services

Most small business owners have to work to manage cash flow, and this task is much tougher when revenues are only high for a few months but operational costs last all year.

These are some ways to expand services both offline and online:

  • One good way to promote this kind of service online could be through holding webinars with tax tips for small businesses or even individuals. Some tax preparers might also produce books or videos for sale to help startups and small businesses manage tax planning better.
  • Some of these plucky entrepreneurs have learned to keep business flowing by offering holiday specials for getaways. Others have opened their facilities up to host seminars or workshops for organizations.
  • He kept his local business website to attract repair customers, but he also added an online store to sell products to the DIY crowd all over the country. He promoted this online store by creating some how-to videos.

This credit card alternative could be bad for your wallet (WSBTV.com), Rated: B

The problem is that these instant loans encourage impulse spending — and it doesn’t have to be a pricey vacation! Affirm will spread payments over a period of 12 months for loans of $100 or more.

To put that in perspective, you could easily pay more than $15 in interest on just a $100 loan!

LENDINGCLUB INVESTOR REVIEW: THE BEST PEER TO PEER LENDING SOLUTION (The College Investor), Rated: B

Over the last 8 years, 150,000 investors have lent over $26 Billion in personal loans through the peer to peer LendingClub platfrom. On average, investors in the top grade loans earned 5-7% annualized with strong cash flow.

As an added bonus, LendingClub allows you to invest as little as $25 per note. That means it’s easy to spread your risk across dozens or even hundreds of loans.

First, you need to meet some strict investor requirements.

  •  Income requirements: Must earn $70,000 annually ($85,000 in California)
  • Net Worth Requirements: Must have a net worth (exclusive of your home value) of $70,000 ($85,000 in California). People with a $250,000 net worth do not have to abide by the income requirements ($200,000 in California).
  •  Kentucky residents must be accredited investors (earn $200,000 annually or have a net worth of $1 million)
  •  Residents of Alaska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania cannot invest in LendingClub
  •  No more than 10% of your net worth can be investing in lending club notes
  •  $1,000 minimum investment

LendingClub charges $100 per year for their self directed IRA accounts, but they waive that if you maintain $5,000 of investments in your first year or $10,000 in subsequent years.

Once you select your loans, LendingClub will help you evaluate the risk on your portfolio of loans. They will even provide a projected rate of returns based off of history.

Source: The College Investor

TD Auto Monitors Fintech Startups (Auto Finance News), Rated: B

TD Auto Finance is keeping a close eye on fintech startups as it evaluates “opportunities that might exist” for auto refinance and private-party transactions, President and Chief Executive Andrew Stuart told Auto Finance News.

TD Auto is already “in discussions” with several fintech players to evaluate “where that might go,” Stuart said.

5 Things To Know Before Taking A Loan Online (ValueWalk), Rated: B

If you’ve considered taking a personal loan online here’s what you need to know:

  1. More accessible – Smaller, newer financial firms have stepped in to fill the gaps left behind by traditional banks since the crisis.
  2. Tailored products – You can tailor the specifics of the loan, such as the timeline for payback and the purpose of the loan. Businesses can use everything from inventory to invoices without the need for a personal guarantee.
  3. Pricing Variety – Whether the payments are amortized monthly or weekly. Whether the effective annual rate is as attractive as you expected.
  4. Less Regulation – Alternative lenders and online loan providers are not regulated by the FDIC the same way as traditional banks.
  5. More awareness – The lack of regulation means alternative online lenders have more flexibility to provide custom lending solutions. They can be as innovative as they want with these financial products. However, you need to be more careful when dealing with an online lender. Look into their history, get assurances from the company, and do your best to educate yourself about their business.
United Kingdom

OFF3R launches new SIPPS portal (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

OFF3R has launched a new channel dedicated to Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), the tax-free vehicle for pension savings.

The investment aggregator’s SIPPs portal launched on Tuesday 22 August with an initial list of three pension providers: Hargreaves Lansdown, IG, and True Potential Investor. It details the various fees and investment thresholds of each platform, as well as information on the different management styles.

Zopa reduces higher-risk lending (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

Zopa has revealed it is taking steps to attract more lower-risk customers as it continues its reduction in higher-risk lending.

Zopa has reduced the amount of lending in its higher return D-E markets, which are included in its Plus product.

The Plus product was designed for investors who were willing to accept more risk for higher returns, with rates of between 6-7%.

Zopa expects that the lower-risk approach will mean the targeted returns for new investments in the Plus product will be 4.5%.

“For example, the proportion of D and E loans in the Plus product would go from 30% until now, to 10-15% in the future.”

Peer-to-peer lending: should you worry about default rates? (Your Money), Rated: AAA

Neil Faulkner, managing director of peer-to-peer research and ratings agency 4thWay, explains that investors should pay close attention to published bad-debt figures (which cover loan write-offs as well as simple defaults) of the different platforms.

Zopa

When a loan is approved, Zopa makes an assumption about its likelihood of falling into default over the lifetime of the loan, and then revises this default expectation over the lifetime of the loan.

Source: YourMoney.com

Zopa divides up investor money between many borrowers matching the risk profile specified at the outset by the investor, to spread the risk. If a borrower misses four months of repayments, then a recovery process begins.

RateSetter

The headline rate to note is that over its lifetime, 98.31% of loans are up-to-date – in order words, around 1.7% are in some form of arrears.

Funding Circle

Funding Circle is a little different in that you are lending to businesses rather than people. Over the lifetime of the site, it says that around 2% of loans have turned bad.

Lending Works

To date, Lending Works has an actual bad debt rate of 1.1%.

Assetz Capital Update: Investors Have Earned £25 Million to Date (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Assetz Capital has shared that investors in aggregate have earned gross returns of more than £25 million on their investments in approximately four years. Assetz Capital says lenders earned an average of 8% gross interest across all Assetz Capital loans since platform launch, before allowances for tax or any losses not covered by a provision fund.

Currently, Assetz Capital has about 20,000 registered and active investors. The returns since the launch of the platform were generated from over £309 million lent to UK businesses from a range of industries looking to raise funds, including SME, bridging and development sectors.

ThinCats plans staggered IFISA roll-out before end of 2017 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Earlier this month, ThinCats received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allowed the firm to apply for ISA manager status from the HMRC. While a launch date has not been officially set, Stewart Cazier, head of retail, told Peer2Peer Finance News: “I’m definitely thinking 2017. I’d be very disappointed if it didn’t happen this year.”

Innovate Finance CEO steps down (AltFi), Rated: B

After two and half years at the helm of the fintech member association, Innovate Finance, Lawrence Wintermeyer has stepped down.

Wintermeyer is leaving to pursue other opportunities, he said.

China

China issues draft rules in crackdown on illegal fundraising (Reuters), Rated: AAA

China issued draft rules targeting illegal fundraising on Thursday, as the authorities step up a campaign to crack down on risky and illicit behavior in the country’s financial sector.

The draft rules, issued by the law office of China’s State Council, call for participants engaged in illegal fundraising to cover the losses stemming from those activities.

Regulators will guide financial institutions and non-bank payment service providers on tightening up their supervision of suspicious fund flows, the draft rules said.

Financial institutions and non-bank payment service providers, if found to be negligent, will be subject to having their illegal income forfeited. They will also be subject to a fine of more than 1 time but less than five times of the illegal income, the draft rules said.

The executives responsible for the illegal activity will be removed and banned from entering the financial industry for a certain period of time and could be subject to fines of between 50,000 yuan and 500,000 yuan each ($7,507-$75,072), the rules said.

China Rapid Finance Posted a $ 13.5M Net Loss in Q2, but Very Close to Profitability (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, China Rapid Finance (NYSE:XRF) released an unaudited financial report for the second quarter of 2017. In the second quarter, the company reported a gross income of $24.5 million, up 59% from a year earlier, and their net income was $15.2 million, up 9 percent year on year. The company posted a net loss of $13.5 million in the second quarter, compared with $5.9 million in the same period last year, as the cost of including customer incentives increased.

However, the company still held the “Low and Grow” business strategy. Compared to the profitability, there are more concerned about gross income. Through analysis of the company’s financial and business data, we can find that some business data is changing and the potential for profit is increasing.

Better Buy: SINA vs. Weibo (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Chinese internet companies SINA (NASDAQ:SINA) and Weibo(NASDAQ:WB) are closely tied to each other. SINA holds a 46% stake in Weibo, deriving 72% of its top line from the Chinese Twitter clone (as Weibo is referred to by some).

Weibo’s greater gains have made it more expensive with a trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 132 as compared to SINA’s 30.

SINA relies on Weibo for 70% of its revenue, which means that investors can still enjoy the latter’s rapid growth via a stock with a lower valuation. Additionally, SINA’s non-Weibo business has started gaining some traction of late, with the company witnessing 8% year-over-year growth from this segment in the latest quarter.

While there is no denying that Weibo’s growth is still impressive — as the 28% year-over-year jump in its monthly active users boosted its advertising revenue by 72% last quarter — at the same time, there will be a limit to the company’s growth given its negligible presence outside China and the competition from the likes of Tencent‘s (NASDAQOTH:TCEHY) WeChat.

Fluid Wins LendIt Choice Award – Aug 2017 (FluidFi), Rated: B

Fluid, a California based FinTech & AdTech startup announces today that it received LendIt LangDi Fintech Choice Award from LendIt Conference in Shanghai, China.

European Union

Latvian P2P Lender TWINO Adds Second Russian Originator (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Latvian peer-to-peer lending platform TWINO has reportedly added a second Russian originator to its platform since its December 2016 launch.

According to P2P Finance News, over 40% of TWINO’s investors have funded Russian loans.

Early-Stage Fintech Investment In The UK & Germany Goes To Insurtech, Banking (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Year-to-date, European fintech companies have raised close to $2.6B across 295 deals, meaning that at the current run rate 2017 could see 500 deals and $4.5B in total funding by year end. For perspective, funding to European fintech companies is already 30% higher in 2017 YTD than the 2016 total.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

UK early-stage fintech financing has remained above 15 deals quarterly since Q2’14. Total disclosed funding has been a bit choppier: at $27M, Q4’16 was the lowest quarter since Q2’14, while the following quarter (Q1’17) saw the third-highest total funding at $81M and the largest number of deals at 33. Most recently, Q2’17 figures fell to $41M across 16 deals.

For example, Monese, which provides banking services for immigrants and expats, raised a $10M Series A in Q1’17, while Wirex, which allows for the holding of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies in a single account on its personal banking platform, raised a $3M Series A in the same quarter.

Insurance is trending up across Europe at large, with more than 20 early-stage deals closing for approximately $50M year-to-date.

GERMANY

Funding hit its peak in 2016 as well, at $135M, well above the previous high-water mark of $46M in 2013 and more than 4X the $31M total for 2015. 2017 is on pace to surpass 2016 early-stage fintech financing figures, with 22 deals and $83M year-to-date.

Germany has also seen an increase in early-stage deals to small business banking and API-focused mobile banking platforms. Financing rounds to this group have increased steadily since 2015, which saw 5 deals close for $17M and was followed by 7 deals in 2016 (for a much smaller $6M).

Klarna (Hortonworks), Rated: A

Klarna uses Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF) to help drive its deep data mining and AI, and to thus mitigate risk for buyers and sellers.

International

San Francisco and Berlin have new competition for the capital of ‘fintech’ (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Dubai has seen a surge of interest from fintech startups and banking assets over the last three years, according to the emirate’s financial center’s management body.

It’s fast becoming a destination for financial technology startups because of its location, private investment and innovation.

He told CNBC that the financial services industry contributes about 12 percent to Dubai’s total gross domestic product and it is expected to increase to 18 percent by 2024.

Increased appetite for fintech investment in Dubai from CNBC.

AXIS Capital Partners with Plug and Play Tech Center (BusinessWire), Rated: A

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited and its operating subsidiaries (“AXIS Capital”) (NYSE:AXS) today announced it has partnered with Plug and Play, a global digital startup innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley. By joining Plug and Play’s InsurTech platform, AXIS will gain access to world-class digital insurance startups and will provide mentorship and technical support, along with underwriting and actuarial expertise, to help turn their ideas into products or services.

To help address the rapid and transformative changes underway within the (re)insurance industry, AXIS will work with property and casualty, life/health and general InsurTech startups that have been accepted to Plug and Play’s InsurTech program. This 12-week program attracts applications from hundreds of startups from around the world that utilize technology, data and analytics to develop innovative new business models, products and services.

AXIS will focus on the areas of Insurance, Reinsurance, Health, IoT (Internet of Things), FinTech and Mobility, with leaders from different business areas serving as program mentors and technical advisors.

Australia

Digital advice embraced by all ages (Financial Standard), Rated: AAA

Superannuation fund member engagement via Decimal’s digital financial advice software increased 37% in the past year, latest quarterly statistics show.

Decimal’s digital insights report for the June quarter shows 2366 members in its superannuation client base decided to engage with super via the digital advice channel over a 12 month period, up from 1731 the year prior.

Total funds under advice increased to $8.4 billion, up 72% year-on-year, and Decimal Software chief executive Nick Pollock said compound growth is stimulating for the super sector.

“The insights show that 43% of all logins were by women, 28% of logins took place outside of business hours, with 31% of those logins happening between 10pm and 6am,” Pollock said.

Australian fintech launches industry census (AltFi), Rated: A

Australian fintech has launched an expanded industry census, which will seek to unpack key issues like how to expand overseas and gender diversity and help set lobbying and policy priorities.

Working on the census, consultancy firm EY, and industry group FinTech Australia, have asked Aussie fintechs to complete it by 3 September.

FinTech Australia Reveals Initial Speaker Line Up for Inaugural Fintech Fest (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

FinTech Australia and Next Money, along with the State Government of Victoria, a gearing up for their inaugural week long Fintech event –  Intersekt. The Fintech festival will be taking place in Melbourne, Australia from October 27 to November 3rd if you happen to be in Australia.

Confirmed speakers for Intersekt so far include:

  • Anthony Thomson, founder of the UK’s Metro and Atom Banks (and the current chairman of Atom Bank). Atom Bank is one of the leading UK Challenger banks.
  • Ron Suber, called the “godfather of Fintech” due to his globe-trotting reputation for promoting online lending and all things Fintech. Suber recently joined the leadership team at Credible, the multi-lender marketplace for student loans. Suber is also President Emeritus of Prosper Marketplace and holds a broad portfolio of Fintech investments.
  • Megan Caywood, chief platform officer for the UK’s mobile only Starling Bank, who has delivered a range of major customer experience improvements.
  • David Birch, an international thought leader in digital identity and digital money and author of “Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin”
  • Van Le, who is the co-founder of Xinja, which is on track to be Australia’s first independent, 100% digital bank made for mobile.
    Lucy Liu, co-founder and chief operating officer of Melbourne-based payments company Airwallex who was this year named as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30
  • Emma Weston, CEO and co-founder of AgriDigital, which provides a blockchain-enabled, integrated commodity management solution for the global grains industry
India

Over 40% Indians act on financial advice given by spouse, RBI report shows (Zeebiz), Rated: AAA

Key Highlights:

  • Over 50% Indians think that their children will take care of them financially after retirement
  • 44% Indians do not think they will ever retire from work 
  • An average of 66% of randomly selected adult household members have a bank account.
Source: Zeebiz

The report found that the average Indian household holds 84% of its wealth in real estate and other physical goods, 11% in gold and the residual 5% in financial assets.

Source: Zeebiz

The report said that 44% Indians have not thought of retirement as “people like me cannot retire from work,” they said.

Only 13% people surveyed were actively saving for their retirement while 33% had absolutely no planning for retirement.

Only around 5% people had money invested in financial assets for their retirement planning while gold formed nearly 10% of this fund.

India’s Domestic Workers Have A New Ally In This Innovative FinTech Startup (Forbes), Rated: A

The team at SERV’D has a simple but ambitious goal: to organize India’s unorganized domestic workforce. That means bringing financial inclusion to millions of unregistered workers via a mobile contract and payment app.

The lack of written contracts also makes it difficult for low-income domestic workers to build a financial history. Without that, they struggle to save money or obtain insurance, which all but guarantees they will remain in poverty. Exclusion from formal financial services bars people from accessing health insurance, bank accounts, and can even inhibit them from finding affordable housing.

SERV’D seeks to replace the verbal work agreements made between customers and their hired help. Instead of tenuous oral contracts, the fintech startup wants employers and employees to create digital agreements on the SERV’D app. The platform also allows them to make digital payment transfers so neither party has to worry about dealing with cash.

Most importantly, the online payment trail creates traceable income records for poor, unbanked workers. With enough proof of income built up, they will eventually be able to open bank accounts and access financial products that are currently beyond reach.

Ezetap’s fresh funds are the latest VC dollars flowing to Indian fintech (PitchBook), Rated: A

Mobile payments startup Ezetap is the latest Indian fintech company to pull in new equity financing. The company has raised $16 million from investors including JS Capital Management, Social Capital and Horizons Ventures.

Fintech NBFC “Prest Loans” Forays Its Operations In Rajasthan (BusinessWorld), Rated: B

Prest Loans the new age FinTech NBFC, providing online loans to small businesses and MSME segment has expanded its operations by opening new office in Rajasthan.

Asia

LATTICE80 & FINOLAB Sign MOU on Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LATTICE80, a Singapore based non profit Fintech hub backed by Marvelstone Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with FINOLAB in Japan to mutually boost their Fintech ecosystems and global networks. Marvelstone is a global VC group based in Singapore.

This Fintech bridge will seek to create a passporting system for Fintech’s in each country to expand into new markets.

PH startups urged: Aspire to be unicorns (Cebu Daily News), Rated: AAA

Aldo Carrascoso, founder and chief executive officer of GlycoProX Biosciences, Veem, and Jukin Media & Verego, said that focusing on becoming “unicorns” detracts the purpose of why people launch startups in the first place.

Lee argued that the first unicorns were founded in the 1990s, Google Inc. being the clear “super unicorn” of the group with a valuation of more than $100 billion. Many unicorns were also born in the 2000s, although Facebook Inc. is the decade’s only super unicorn.

Other prominent unicorns today include Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Spotify, Pinterest, and Lazada, to name a few.

Treading the path toward that level takes mindfulness of revenue, a good business model, addressable market, and a product-market fit, said Carrascoso.

Benjamin cited Xoom, a San Francisco-based digital money transfer or remittance provider, which traces its foundations to serving clients between the Philippines and the US.

Since then the company has expanded to India and Mexico, among others, and was bought by PayPal for $890 million. Today, they do $9.1 billion in money transmissions and are operating in 18 countries with a demand for money remittance services.

The search for a unicorn is on (Sunstar), Rated: A

THE Philippines may have its own “tech unicorns” or technology businesses valued at $1 billion in the future. But experts says more work and collaboration is needed to achieve this dream.

To date, no Philippine tech startup has managed to meet the goal of being a billion-dollar company.

Globally, the US and China lead in numbers, having produced the most number of unicorns like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb as well as Xiaomi and Alibaba. Meanwhile, Malaysia in Southeast Asia has produced two unicorns in Grab and the Lazada Group.

First, he said Philippine startups need to know how to be fundable. Instead of aiming to be a unicorn, he advised local startups to become a “cockroach” instead, one that characterizes strong survival skills, or a rhino, “big and realistic.”

Getting payments to pay off (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

“A key advantage of e-wallets is the low cost. You can make payments and transfer money at much cheaper rates than in conventional payment systems,” explains Gunther Zhen, the founder and CEO of iPayLinks Financial Information Service (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

For China, this is certainly the case. While incumbent payment systems that rely on Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay charge merchants an estimated 2.5% to 3% MDR (merchant discount rate), new rivals like Alipay charge between 0.7% and 1.2%.

In Malaysia, however, the landscape could be different as the current MDRs are already quite low. Bank Negara Malaysia’s Payment Card Reform Framework has slashed the MDR on debit and credit cards since July 2015 when it took effect.

Today, domestic debit cards have an MDR of only 0.56% while for international debit cards, it is 0.96%. Credit cards are still relatively expensive with an MDR of 1.35%, but that is expected to drop drastically by 2021 when Bank Negara will cap interchange fees (the largest component of MDR) at 0.48% — less than half the 1.1% ceiling imposed today.

Just look at Touch ’n Go Sdn Bhd, which booked RM15.3 million of interest income in 2015 on RM429.3 million worth of deposits in card balances. And this is merely from the relatively small balance in each card.

Alipay creation, Yu’E Bao, is one of China’s most popular internet-based funds. It had amassed RMB1.43 trillion as at end-June. By comparison, Bank of China, one of the four major commercial banks in the country, had total deposits of RMB1.6 trillion as at end-2016.

Pundi-Pundi Raises $ 4M in Pre-A Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Pundi-Pundi, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based mobile payments and micro-loan startup aiming to create a cashless environment in South East Asia, closed a $4M pre-A round of funding.

Africa

UCT to offer fintech-focused degree from 2018 (BusinessDay), Rated: AAA

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has become one of the first tertiary institutions in Africa to offer a degree specifically designed to equip students with the critical skills and knowledge to embrace the technological revolution in the financial services sector.

One of its key focus areas will be blockchain technology, or the distributed ledger system, that has given rise to new crypto-currencies such as bitcoin and ether.

The crypto-currency market is reportedly now worth more than $50bn and the use of virtual currencies is gaining traction in SA.

UCT has sought to tackle this problem by offering a new master’s degree in data science with a specialisation in financial technology, said Georg, who is also the course convener. The programme is due to commence in 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday July 17 2017, Daily News Digest

FICO score

News Comments Today’s main news: CreditEase Wealth Management approved by SEC to be RIA. RateSetter sees decline in net lending volumes. Fluid expands into 32 states with no-interest student loans. Landbay loans achieve AAA rating. Funding Circle fund on track despite Brexit risks. BBVA rated best mobile banking service in the world. Today’s main analysis: Squaring all-time high credit scores […]

FICO score

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Africa

Middle East

News Summary

United States

CreditEase Wealth Management Became an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

CreditEase Wealth Management has recently been approved by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a registered investment advisor (RIA). At its first stop overseas, the firm can start providing advice to investors in the U.S., representing a globalization milestone to better serve especially Chinese investors around the world.

Squaring All-Time High Credit Scores With Higher Delinquencies (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo reported Q2 bank earnings last week as earnings season kicked off. All three banks beat analyst expectations for earnings, but also posted declines in trading revenue:

 

Source: WSJ, PeerIQ

J.P. Morgan reported better than expected second quarter earnings, beating on the top and bottom line due to the company’s strong loan growth, partly due to the success of Chase Sapphire Reserve product.

In this week’s newsletter, we illustrate the flaw of FICO as a forward-looking credit score.

Below is a histogram showing the distribution of FICO credit scores for Avant’s 2017 deal:

Source: PeerIQ

The distribution is relatively similar across historical ABS deals suggesting the credit risk across deals is similar. However, Avant has substantially tightened and improve credit quality in recent vintages. The FICO credit score is not able to capture this. For instance, as compared to AVNT 2016-C, the collateral in the AVNT 2017-A contains loans made to borrowers with a much smaller balance ($5,348 vs $6,589) and a shorter weighted-average remaining term of 33 months vs. 40 months in AVNT 2016-C. Also, AVNT 2017-A has 93.9% of loans under 36 month term, a significantly different collateral pool mix than that of AVNT 2016-C, which has only 47% 36-month loans. Shorter term 36-month loans carry less credit risk than 60-month loans all things being equal.

PayPal Holdings Invests in LendUp — What Investors Need to Know (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

On LendUp’s website, the company states that more than half of the U.S. population has a credit score under 680, meaning they cannot be approved for credit at most financial institutions. The site explains that consumers in this segment will pay more than $250,000 over the course of their lifetimes for basic financial services. LendUp believes it can make a profit by offering affordable financial products to these consumers, which will simultaneously help them build their credit.

Regular users of PayPal probably know that PayPal offers credit to its customers through its PayPal Credit platform. PayPal normally offers credit to customers at checkout, offering account holders no-interest payments on purchases greater than $99 if the loan is paid off within six months. PayPal also offers credit to small- and medium-sized businesses through its PayPal Working Capital program, which is then paid back through small amounts from each transaction going back to PayPal. Schulman believes both services are important to PayPal’s future.

In its most recently reported quarter, PayPal CFO John Rainey stated that loan losses for its consumer and retailer credit programs totaled $129 million, or approximately 4.3% of revenue. The net charge-off rate was 6.9%.

Fluid Expands into 32 States Providing No Interest Credit to Students (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Fluid, a Fintech and Adtech startup has expanded its service to US students into 32 different states. The App based lender is available on iTunes allowing up to $500 in credit without any additional interest payments.  The description on iTunes explains it is exclusively designed for 22 million college students in the United States.  Fluid not only allows for an interest free loan but it empowers uses to build a credit profile. Fluid’s target market is Generation Zs (Age 7 to 21 as of 2017. Fluid notes there are 75 million and 1.8 billion Generation Zs that will start shaping this world in the coming years.

How To Find The Best Student Loan Refinancing Options (Forbes), Rated: A

Student loan debt now stands at a whopping $1.3 trillion. There are more than 44 million borrowers. And we’re coming up on the season when many recent graduates start paying down their student loans.

1. SoFi – SoFi only refinances loans for graduates with at least a Bachelor’s degree from a Title IV accredited university or program. Its credit and income requirements are also fairly strict, putting SoFi refinancing out of reach for many recent graduates.

2. CommonBond – CommonBond offers somewhat broader refinancing services since it refinances student loans and Parent PLUS Loans. It also offers borrowing services, if you’re considering consolidating your undergraduate loans and then going to graduate school.

Like SoFi, CommonBond expects borrowers to have a fairly high credit score (here are ways to check your score for free). Borrowers have a median income in the low six figures, as well.

3. Earnest – Earnest has a unique way of qualifying borrowers. Instead of looking at your income and credit score solely, it looks at how easily you can afford your expenses, how regularly you save, and whether you have a retirement account. It also allows you to choose your own monthly payment, and then it builds your interest rate and terms around that.

6. Purefy – Purefy allows married couples to refinance their loans together, which may or may not be a good idea for you. But if you decide to go this route, it will use the higher of your two credit scores to determine the interest rate.

Laurence Kotlikoff: Conventional banking is not the only game in town (Denton Record-Chronicle), Rated: A

Where do we see LPB taking hold? For starters, consider Bitcoin and other electronic currency vaults. They are essentially LPB cash mutual funds — mutual funds that hold only cash. They provide a safe payment system that can never collapse, barring technical disasters. Next, consider peer-to-peer lending. These are closed-end mutual funds that purchase the loans of small- to medium-sized enterprises. The investors have equity stakes and they can go online and check out their investments in real time. That’s a form of disclosure you will never get from, say, JPMorgan Chase.

What about mortgage lending? LPB mortgage mutual funds could materialize overnight, via either peer-to-peer lending or by slightly transforming the centuries-old Northern European covered-bond market by forcing investors to take on the default risk of the mortgages that cover the bonds.

In the information age, we don’t need trust-me banks that take our money and give us no clue where it’s invested. In this Bitcoin era, we don’t need trust-me banks to guarantee our holdings of cash. In this block chain world, we don’t need trust-me banks to assure us they will square up our bets. And we don’t need an enormous army of government bureaucrats to watch over trust-me banks gambling at the taxpayer’s expense.

LendingTree announces senior appointment (Mortgage Professional America), Rated: B

LendingTree has announced Brad Wilson as its new chief marketing officer. He will oversee the company’s brand strategy, marketing operations and consumer engagement as LendingTree continues to expand into new financial service categories.

Hybrid Advice Priced at 25 to 50 Basis Points (Insurancenewsnet.com), Rated: A

Nearly half – 48 percent – of managed account sponsors price their hybrid advice at between 25 and 50 basis points, or between $250 and $500 on a $100,000 account, according to a recent survey conducted by Cerulli Associates.

Another 28 percent of sponsors believe an internet algorithm backed by a flesh-and-blood advisor should be priced at between 50 and 75 basis points, or between $500 and $750 on a $100,000 account, the survey found.

‘New York doesn’t allow that’: Maria Vullo stares down fintechs, OCC (American Banker), Rated: A

Maria Vullo, the head of the New York State Department of Financial Services, is a skeptic of the so-called fintech revolution.

While some policymakers are eager to accommodate online lenders with regulatory oversight that is looser than what applies to banks, Vullo believes the word “fintech” is misleading.

TOP 10 CONSIDERATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS INVESTING IN U.S. MARKETPLACE LENDING (dv01), Rated: B

We are now starting to see large inflows and investments into the leading U.S. based marketplace lenders. This growth has been driven primarily by investors from Asia, Europe, and Middle East (primarily Israel) who have started to provide their clients with more options to invest in MPL assets outside their home countries.

What are best practices for investing in the MPL asset class in the U.S.?

Jeremy has compiled his answers into this free report.

United Kingdom

P2P lender RateSetter sees decline in net lending volumes (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Two of the UK’s “big three” peer-to-peer lenders are authorised, and will soon launch their Innovative Finance ISAs. The other, RateSetter, is not yet authorised, and has had to make a few changes to suit the requirements of the regulator in recent months. Mostly notably it has had to put a stop to its wholesale lending business.

Whether or not RateSetter continues to make changes at the behest of the regulator is unclear. But what is clear, using the latest figures from AltFi Data, is that its lending is slowing down significantly. RateSetter posted its first negative month of net lending (new loans net of repayments and defaults) in April, and continued in the same direction in May, with a net lending figure of around -£5m for the month. In June, its net lending fell to almost -£15m.

UK peer-to-peer loans score AAA securitization (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Landbay originated loans have been included in a highly rated pool of mortgages. 

More than £30m of loans originated by UK peer-to-peer platform Landbay have been included in a larger securitization of buy-to-let loans awarded an AAA rating.

UK fintech shrugging off Brexit in 3 charts (AltFi), Rated: AAA

While the unfolding Brexit process has added to a list of summer worries for UK investors, those with a stake in the disruptive end of financial services have more reasons to cheer.

The rapidly growing sector is seeing resilient growth, according to data provider Fintech Global, who has found that growth is robust.

The firm’s research found UK fintech had seen growth of CAGR of 18.1 per cent between 2014 and 2016. In 2017 this trend has continued with fintech firms receiving funding of £769m.

Funding Circle fund on track but warns of Brexit risks (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle’s listed fund performed in line with expectations in its first full year of operation, which saw its net asset value increase by 11 per cent to £164.8m.

The Funding Circle SME Income Fund, which is quoted on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, launched in November 2015 to give a wider range of investors access to the peer-to-peer platform’s loans.

In its annual report for the year to 31 March 2017, released on Friday, it said that investors received dividends of 6.5p per share over the last four quarters, in line with the target of 6-7p per share.

Why I’m backing peer-to-peer lending (RateSetter), Rated: A

In finance we tend to seek an edge, a marginal advantage that inches a company ahead of its competitors.

What attracts me to RateSetter is the simplicity of the business. The primary function of finance is to connect those who want to invest money with those who can put that money to productive use. The peer-to-peer sector is solving this age-old challenge in a refreshingly simple and innovative way. A good example of this innovation is the Provision Fund, which spreads risk across the entire portfolio and allows even the smallest investor to achieve diversification.

FundingKnight, Part of GLI Finance, Receives Full FCA Authorisation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

GLI Finance (AIM: GLIF) has announced that FundingKnight has been granted full Authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). FundingKnight is an online / P2P Lender providing access to capital for UK SMEs. FundingKnight has been operating under interim permissions since 2014, when the FCA commenced the process of regulating the peer-to-peer lending industry.

A new altfin investment aggregator has launched (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A NEW platform connecting investors with alternative finance opportunities from around the world has launched.

Amsterdam-based Yieldport acts as a community and search engine, crawling the web for new projects using a custom search algorithm. It currently offers more than 2,000 opportunities – such as business loans, mini-bonds and equity start-up investments – from 30 different countries.

UK Marketplace Lender Growth Street CEO Greg Carter Talks Transparency, Brexit and Fintech Innovation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Growth Street, an FCA-authorized UK business finance platform focusing on SME loans, has aimed to become a flexible working capital solution since launching in 2014. Greg Carter founded Growth Street while still working at Arts Alliance Ventures, a venture capital firm that was founded in 1996 and has since backed over 40 companies, including Growth Street, which it incubated. Carter recently became the CEO of the platform.

Erin: Could you please share Growth Street stats? Milestones?

Greg: I’m very proud of the fact that six months since launching our first product for individual investors, we now have over 1,000 lenders signed up to use our platform. This includes small businesses, who are also taking advantage of our platform to lend themselves. Another key milestone was attaining Appointed Representative status, allowing us to accept individual investors; the next goal for us is to be fully regulated ourselves.

Erin: Please talk about Growth Street’s How to Improve Cash Flow tool.  How is it addressing UK SME cash flow ‘pain points’? Which other tools set Growth Street apart from its peers?

Many businesses could optimise cash flow better, but the tactics and strategies often vary from business to business. So, our How to Improve Cash Flow tool asks a series of questions to diagnose any cash flow problems within the business: respondents then get a bespoke, tailored assessment of their position from Growth Street, for free. How to Improve Cash Flow is the first in a series of tools we’ll be launching in the coming months to give businesses more data about their cash flow, helping them make better decisions and hopefully improving their access to capital.

Erin: What are your thoughts on transparency in the sector?  How much is too little, too much? Or is there ever enough?

Greg: I believe the most important goal for the sector is to achieve clarity for our customers about the risks and returns of marketplace lending. Transparency is important, but the way information is presented matters a great deal. I don’t think it is enough, for example, to just publish loan book statistics; we also need to explain in plain language how we use this data to manage risk. As the industry matures and looks to grow beyond a base of early adopters, I believe a focus on clarity will best help us to attract new investors.

One to One: John Goodall, chief executive, Landbay (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: A

Is Landbay ready for the PRA underwriting standards coming in from October?

Yes, we are. We introduced our broker portal in Q4 2016. It was built with PRA changes in mind and was designed to capture the additional information this would require from day one.

The buy-to-let sector has been buffeted by significant regulatory winds recently. What are the prospects for the sector?What have been some of your biggest professional challenges?

We are seeing a big uptick in applications from limited companies and we expect this to grow further from 1 October.

What have been some of your biggest professional challenges?

For investors, one of the key things that we needed to do was build trust. As a start-up lender with no record, you cannot do that overnight, so getting the credit function right was crucial. Now that we have been lending for three years, I think we have reassured investors and built that trust.

Which one change would you like to see in the market overall?

A greater focus on technology to improve the service for brokers and borrowers.

Emotional intelligence needed to win over next generation of shoppers (Internet Retailing), Rated: A

Payment company Klarna questioned 2,000 UK consumers, in a survey carried out by Censuswide, and found that members of the millennial generation, aged between 16 and 34, were three times more likely to feel excitement while adding items to their online basket, compared to older shoppers. Millennials are also more likely (68%) than shoppers aged 55 and over (24%) to feel anxiety and guilt at the point of payment.

Klarna suggests that allowing shoppers to try before they buy would be an easy way to build brand loyalty. Deferred payment options would also reduce anxiety among 20% of millenials, making one in five more likely to finish their purchase.

The consumer research judges a myth the idea that items added to a basket show a clear intention to purchase. It found that a significant 89% of millennials used the basket as a tool to review costs, while more than three quarters used their basket as a wishlist, compared with only 29% of over-55s. Meanwhile, nearly three quarters (74%) admit to “buzz browsing” – adding items to a basket with no clear intention to buy.

Selling to silver surfers: how e-tailers can develop emotional intelligence to appeal to an older demographic (Net Imperative), Rated: A

Luke Griffiths, General Manager at Klarna UK, looks at the psychological factors that come into play when older consumers embark on the online shopping journey.

The flip side of this excitement is lows caused by anxiety and guilt, with 52% of millennials saying that they worry that they can’t afford the purchase during checkout. That’s compared to 16% of over 55s, who in many cases will have more disposable income than their younger counterparts – showing there’s a sizeable prize for retailers who get the customer experience for older generations right.

While the millennial customer journey is full of twists and pitfalls, baby boomers are patient, calm, and rational shoppers. They experience low emotional responses, with only 3% of those surveyed feeling guilty when adding things to their basket, and only 5% feeling impatient.

The over 55s buy things because they need them – only 21% are more likely to make a spontaneous purchase online because they deserve a treat – so tapping into necessity is key. And over half (52%) of those surveyed said they would reconsider an online purchase due to high delivery charge, so retailers with costly fees should reconsider their charges or face losing custom.

Just Eat and fintech startup Funding Circle are partnering on a recipe for takeaway success (City A.M.), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer lender will offer the nearly 30,000 restaurants which use Just Eat to get takeaways into people’s laps a deal on loans.

“Our partners Just Eat directed us to Funding Circle who arranged the loan for us in a matter of days. By not spending months speaking with the banks I was able to get the finance I needed and focus on running the business and planning for the future.”

Gas fires firm lost £300k to online hack before going bust (Leicester Mercury), Rated: B

Gas Superstore lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in an online hack prior to going into administration, new documents reveal.

The Leicestershire retailer – which sold electrical goods and gas fires to the public – collapsed in April with debts of about £2.7 million.

FRP said trade creditors were owed more than £1.2 million when the business went bust – including the Google Adwords service, which was owed almost £50,000, and peer-to-peer business loan company Funding Circle, which was owed £275,000.

China

Blockchain sharpens Dianrong’s edge in P2P lending to small businesses (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Blockchains, the distributed databases conceptualised in 2008 as core components of the digital currency bitcoin, are increasingly finding their way into financial technology and helping to redefine the boundaries of traditional banking. They can be used as open, distributed digital ledger systems that can record transactions efficiently.

Dianrong and Foxconn are currently working together to apply the Chained Platform for Foxconn’s suppliers.

Dianrong is expanding its team in preparation for the increase in supply chain finance loans through Chained Finance. The company has plans to hire 500 more staff in Shenzhen in addition to the 60 they already employ, Htite said.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

By 2020, 60% of systems in China’s banking industry will be deployed in the cloud, most with the approval of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. According to the report, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has been seeking to partner with 19 Chinese banks to establish a Fintech cloud stack, and the investment amount of each bank should not be less than CNY 20 million.

Online Market Lender Dashu Finance Raises CNY 800 million for Series C Round

On July 7th, Dashu Finance, a Shenzhen-based provider of online small and micro loan services, received CNY 800 million (USD 118 million) for its Series C financing round.

China’s Central Bank Issues Report on Financial Stability

On July 4th, The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank of China, released a financial stability report, warning China should redouble its efforts to regulate key risk (such as Bitcoin) in the financial sector to ensure financial stability.

China’s P2P Lending Industry Financing Drastically Decreases in the First Half of 2017

Statistics show, by the end of June, only 15 P2P online lending platforms received financing in China, and the total amount was just about CNY 4 billion (USD 5,987.1 million). Tuandaiwang.com completed the largest round of financing with CNY 1.8 billion, followed by xiaoying.com’s CNY 1 billion.

Alipay Makes Tuition Payments Easier

Thanks to a new cooperative effort between Hangzhou-based Alipay and other 30 banking financial institutions, Chinese students enrolled in primary and secondary schools are now able to pay their tuition online.

China’s Online Insurance Company Zhong An Introduces Flight Delay Insurance

Last week, Zhong An Insurance launched a WeChat-based fight delay insurance. Passengers can just buy the insurance on the Wechat platform 15 minutes before fights take off, rather than one day before departure as termed by the traditional delay insurance. The insurance pays a traveler RMB 10 if a departing or connecting flight is delayed by half an hour, and the compensation is up to RMB 120.

2017 LendIt Summit China was Held in Shanghai  (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

On 15th July, LendIt, the world’s largest and most high-profile summit of fintech was held at Kerry Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai. Including keynote speech, seminar and group discussion, the summit covered all the frontier topics of internet finance. Fintech, online lending, block chain, bank & technology, inclusive finance, Asia-pacific and global vision are the fileds discussed.

LendIt is known as the largest fintech summit around the world. It was founded in 2013 by Bo Brustkern, Jason Jones and Peter Renton. The original intention of the summit was to provide social networking and communicating opportunities for the entire online lending and financial technology community. So far, the annual summit has been held for several times in the US, Europe and China, and it is the second time for LendIt held in China.

Over 2000 elites from global fintech and traditional finance participated in the summit, including decision makers, institutional investors, and regulators. It worth mentioning that both Dr. Yang Li, the CEO of Xeenho and CSO of Xing Ping She, and Sherry Yang, the vice president of Xeenho, were invited to attend LendIt China, discussing the development and trend of global internet finance. On April 2017, Xeenho and Xing Ping She have officially reached strategic cooperation with LendIt.

LendIt China July 9th 2017 – Journal Entry: AMTD + LendIt: Fintech, The 4th Industrial Revolution. (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

AMTD-LendIt Conference officially kicked off today in one of the most metropolitan cities in the world, Hong Kong, China.

The 2nd annual AMTD and LendIt FinTech Summit is well attended by heads of state from PwC, FuTu Securities (Wealth Management and Robo Advisor), AMTD and many of the leading industry heavyweights giving the audience a preview of what’s to come.

PwC Global FinTech Survey

PwC unveiled their latest Fintech survey from hundreds of financial institution’s CEO and found that more than 60% of the CEOs are making investments into Fintech and some have dedicated 15% of their top line revenue into Fintech R&D.

Futu Securities

I was most impressed with Futu Securities Robo advisor chatbot. Leveraging artificial intelligence, Futu’s clients can pose a question to the A.I. assistant on what’s causing a particular stock in their portfolio to fall. The A.I. algorithm then mines social media sites, news sites and the internet, in general, trying to establish whether there was a press release, news articles that may have caused the drop in stock price.

European Union

BBVA, the best mobile banking service in the world (BBVA Compass), Rated: AAA

BBVA has the best mobile banking app in the world, according to Forrester Research’s latest report “2017 Global Mobile Banking Benchmark.” The study, which was published today, analyzed 53 apps from large retail banks in 18 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., FranceBrazilTurkeyChina and Australia.

BBVA Spain’s mobile banking services received a final score of 87 out of 100 – the highest score since Forrester began the global rankings in 2013.

Digital banks must diversify or die (VentureBeat), Rated: AAA

Across Europe the 10 largest digital bank financings have totalled $500 million so far, with Atom alone raising more than half that amount.

However, look more closely and it’s clear the era of digital-only challenger banks may actually be coming to a close. Systemic difficulties in turning profits with pure digital-only banking will drive more businesses to adopt a broad-based approach focusing on digital financial services, of which banking is part.

Customer acquisition costs (CAC) for pure digital banking businesses are rising – fast. The fundamental problem, in Europe as well as in the U.S., is one of demographics: Dozens of fintechs are chasing a small, well-defined target customer base. These customers need to have enough disposable income, be digitally-savvy, and usually live in key urban areas. It can easily cost $100-250 to acquire customers in certain segments, and it takes an awful lot of $5-10 transaction fees for single-use services to generate a return on these customers. It boils down to a supply and demand issue: The number of high-value prospects is static, but there is a glut of well-funded and aggressive fintechs chasing them.

 

International

Study says women are better at crowdfunding (Reuters), Rated: A

Consultancy firm PwC, together with The Crowdfunding Center, analyzed 450,000 crowdfunding campaigns across the globe over the past two years and found that those led by women were 32 percent more successful at reaching their target than those carried out by men.

The results of the study, which were published on Thursday, also found that female-led projects are able to attract an average $87 pledge per funder, while men received $83 on average.

IFSB view on Islamic Crowdfunding (Islamic Finance), Rated: A

To identify relevant crowdfunding platforms with a focus on equity- and loan-based platforms located in the Muslim world, the database of Crowdsurfer was consulted. It lists in 32 of the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) a total of 108 crowdfunding platforms.

The findings were somewhat surprising:

  • The platform that was characterised in its Crowdsurfer profile as a “Sharīʻah-compliant equity platform for SMEs and start-ups in Malaysia” (AtaPlus) did not mention the Sharīʻah compliance on its website. The only hint of Sharīʻah compliance was the list of activities in which a fund-seeking entrepreneur must not be involved.
  • Only one loan-based crowdfunding platform – Liwwa (Lebanon) – outlines the importance of Sharīʻah compliance and gives a brief explanation of its business model (based primarily on murābaḥah) in the FAQ section of its website.
  • A loan-based platform in the UAE – Beehive – applies a dual approach: it offers both conventional as well as Sharīʻah-compliant lending techniques. The Islamic option is explained in a rather detailed manner on the website.
  • One of the oldest equity crowdfunding platforms in Egypt – Shekra – quotes several previous Islamic awards on its website. It does not explain how it assures Sharīʻah compliance, but the founders have propagated their approach in journals and conference papers. The platform operates as a “closed investors network”, which is quite unusual for a crowdfunding platform.
  • Finally, an Indonesian platform for student loans – Danadidik – applies a profit- (or income-) sharing model to calculate the returns for investors. Although this is vaguely reminiscent of Islamic financing techniques and the platform claims to adhere to Islamic principles, the Sharīʻah compliance is uncertain.
Australia/New Zealand

Rivalry between banks expected to ramp up after launch of new reforms (Mozo), Rated: AAA

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has today announced new banking reforms that will allow credit unions and building societies to legally call themselves banks, in a move aimed at increasing competition between home loan providers.

Morrison and MP Kelly O’Dwyer said in a joint statement that the government will axe the restrictions deposit-taking institutions currently face, which mean they can only attain “bank” status with $50 million or more worth in capital.

Nearmap hires VP of marketing to support rapid growth (CMO.com.au), Rated: A

Aussie aerial mapping business, Nearmap, has appointed a new VP of marketing among two senior executive hires aimed at driving its next phase of international growth.

Silvia Arrigoni will be Nearmap’s new VP of marketing and Shane Preston will be vice-president of sales.

Arrigoni, who previously held positions as head of brand marketing at online lender, SocietyOne, and as group business director for marketing agencies such as Havas and Arnold Furnace, brings decades of experience to Nearmap.

India

YES Bank hunts for global partnership to develop fintech landscape (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: AAA

YES Bank, which runs a start-up accelerator programme called Yes Fintech, is looking at exclusive global exchange programme partnerships to help Indian start-ups gain access to developed markets in terms of business and investments.

Towards this end, the bank has already tied up with MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center), a Malaysian government initiative. It is also looking for similar partnerships with the US, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, the UK and Israel over the next few years.

Funding dreams: Get a collateral-free education loan with just a click of a button (The News Minute), Rated: B

The cost of education has skyrocketed over the past decade by 160%, be it colleges or even elementary and secondary school. This has become a major setback for middle class families in India to provide their children with quality education.

Quiklo offers collateral-free loans to students with relatively smaller ticket size. Its biggest USP is that the loan is approved in a day and the amount is disbursed in the next few days

It runs on both a B2B and B2C model.

Quiklo offers collateral-free loans to students with relatively smaller ticket size. Its biggest USP is that the loan is approved in a day and the amount is disbursed in the next few days

It runs on both a B2B and B2C model.

Under the B2C model, parents can go to its website or download the app, enter their details, the student’s details, their financial problems, the course fees and submit the application. There is an algorithm that runs to check their credit worthiness depending on a few parameters like salary, etc.

Under the B2B model, Quiklo ties up with colleges and test prep companies. When a student goes there for admission, the college pitches Quiklo to them in case they are in the need of financing.

How new age investors are opting for alternative investment (Daily News & Analysis), Rated: A

Fixed Deposits, investment in gold, and many other traditional options are losing grounds when trying to woo the new age investors.

Digital gold currencies are issued by a number of companies like now Paytm as well, each of which provides a system that enables users to pay each other in units that hold the same value as gold bullion.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in India currently gives a net return of 18-22 percent to lenders.

Asia

Online-only Chinese retail investment platform to launch in Singapore in third quarter (The Straits Times), Rated: AAA

An online-only platform for retail investors will launch here in the third quarter, China’s Ping An Group announced on Monday (July 17).

Lu International (Singapore) Financial Asset Exchange, a spin-off from the Shanghai-based Lufax, has received an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for its capital markets services (CMS) licence.

The company, which will offer investments via mobile devices with no face-to-face encounters, hopes to attract customers who may have less wealth than those served by private banks.

ANGIN’s startup-investor site Connector.id to launch full version soon (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

Connector – powered by Indonesian angel investor network (ANGIN) and the UNDP – has garnered over 400 startup applications since its beta version was introduced two weeks ago.

The idea is to help startup founders find the right investors for their ventures. Often, founders waste resources chasing the wrong investors, or even don’t have the channels nor the experience to source funding.

So far, Connector team has received more than 420 applicants, of which 70 per cent are technology companies. About 50 per cent have requested further connection (eg. pitch deck, call or meeting). Most applicants (38 per cent) are looking for equity, while the rest are looking for grants (14 per cent), collateralised loan (13 per cent), bridge loan (9 per cent), non-collateral loan (7 per cent), trade financing (5 per cent), and invoice financing (3 per cent).

Read more at:

Modalku launches new app (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

P2P lending platform Modalku has announced that it will launch a new app next week. The app will be a “new innovation for lenders and debtors alike”, and is hoped to further bolster Modalku’s mission to support the small and medium enterprises in Indonesia.

Africa

SA fintech startup Yoco announces it has hit 10 000 SMEs users milestone (Ventureburn), Rated: AAA

South African payments company Yoco today announced that it now has 10 000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) clients in South Africa using its point-of-sale payments platform to accept card payments.

Maphai said the company is adding over 1 000 new SMEs to its base every month. This makes it the largest independent mobile point-of-sale player in South Africa by number of merchants, he claimed.

Yoco has in the past two years of operation, raised $7-million in funding from international investors and employs over 70 people in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Middle East

Central Bank to Finalize Fintech Regulations (Financial Tribune), Rated: AAA

In light of the importance of regulating fintech firms to prevent any problem in the monetary market, the Center for E-Commerce Development’s deputy has announced that the Central Bank of Iran will define the framework of fintech operations by the end of summer.

According to CBI regulations, innovative financial services are allowed to operate as long as they are not involved in money creation, currency exchange and offering payment tools (like cards) and attract deposits.

Payment aggregators allow sellers to quickly launch a payment gateway on their website, without getting involved in the demanding process imposed by banks and other PSPs.

According to Oskouei, currently 50 fintech firms have announced their commitment to continue their operations until CBI regulations are ready for implementation.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday June 6 2017, Daily News Digest

u.s. FICO scores

News Comments Today’s main news: Proposed U.S. REIT credit rating methodology. Tisa group pushes for P2P lending in Sipps. Dumiao issues first digital lending ABS on Shanghai exchange. Today’s main analysis: Borrowers accelerating paydowns on six-figure student loan debt. Top 10 P2P lending platforms by volume and loan balance in China. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Millions of Americans just got […]

u.s. FICO scores

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

  • Dumiao issues first digital lender ABS in Shanghai. GP:”ABS offering on Shanghai Stock Exchange. In general investors see the Shanghai Stock Exchange as being particularly prone to insider trading and not many international investors participate in the market. Despite this there is a need for Chinese ABS and there will be, with or without international investors, a Chinese ABS bond market due to the needs of local insurance, private equity, banks and other participants.”
  • Top 10 P2P lending platforms. GP:”A very useful list.”AT: “Interesting, Yirendai, #2 by loan balance, isn’t on the volume list.”
  • Renaud Laplanche to keynote at LendIt’s Lang Di Fintech conference. GP:”I think his return to the public speaking circuit in our industry in China will not receive as much visibility as expected. Renaud should speak in the US again.”

International

Australia

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

Proposed U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust Credit Rating Methodology (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

The four key components that drive MCR’s credit rating methodology for REITs are:

  1. Our Business Risk encompasses various measures of a REIT’s business risk.
  2. Our Cash Flow Cushion ScoreTM is an evaluation of a REIT’s ability to cover debt maturities, interest, and other debt-like obligations.
  3. Our Solvency ScoreTM is a predictor of default based on four key metrics.
  4. Our Distance to Default Score is based on a REIT’s likelihood of financial distress using market-based inputs.

Two separate component scores converge to form our final Business Risk assessment: Country Risk and Company Risk. Once we assign these two component scores, we weight them as follows to determine the overall Business Risk assessment for each REIT:

  • Country Risk: 10%
  • Company Risk: 90%

We believe EBITDA is the best measure of size for REITs and assign points for size according to the following scale:

Source: Morningstar

The distance to default metric is a market-based measure of financial health. Both inputs, equity volatility, and the ratio of enterprise value to market capitalization, are calculated using daily updated market data. This allows us to incorporate new information faster through the distance to default calculation compared with accounting-based measures of financial health. As a result, our credit ratings can be more responsive to early signs of financial distress.

  • Step 1: Calculate annualized trailing 300-day equity total return volatility (EQVOL).
  • Step 2: Calculate current enterprise value/market cap ratio (EVMV).
  • Step 3: Transform EQVOL into a percentile [0, 1] by ranking it relative to all other stocks in the calculable universe (EQVOLP). 1 represents high equity volatility, 0 represents low equity volatility.
  • Step 4: Transform EVMV into a percentile [0, 1] by ranking it relative to all other stocks in the calculable universe (EVMVP). 1 represents high leverage companies, 0 represents low leverage companies.
  • Step 5: Calculate new raw DTD = 1-(EQVOLP + EVMVP + EQVOLP*EVMVP)/3
  • Step 6: Transform new raw DTD into a decile [1, 10] by ranking it relative to all calculable U.S.-domiciled stocks. 10 represents poor financial health while 1 represents strong financial health.

Request for Comment (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC (MCR) will accept comments on this Request for Comment until 5 p.m. Eastern Time on July 5, 2017.

Comments should be submitted by the deadline date and time via email to NRSROconsultations@morningstar.com. Comments should contain your name, your title (if writing on behalf of an organization), your organization (if applicable), address, phone number, and email address.

Millions Of Americans Just Got An Artificial Boost To Their Credit Score (Zero Hedge), Rated: AAA

Stated simply, the definition of the all important FICO score, the most important number at the base of every mortgage application, was set for a series of “adjustments” which would push it higher for millions of Americans.

Now, as the Wall Street Journal points out today, efforts to rig the FICO scoring process seems to be bearing some fruit.  The average credit score nationwide hit 700 in April, according to new data from Fair Isaac Corp., which is the highest since at least 2005.

Meanwhile, the share of consumers deemed to be riskiest, with a score below 600, hit a new low of roughly 40 million, or 20% of U.S. adults who have FICO scores, according to Fair Isaac. That is down from 20.5% in October and a peak of 25.5% in 2010.

Extreme refinancing: Borrowers accelerating paydowns on six-figure student loan debt (Credible), Rated: AAA

A growing number of Americans who have student loan debt are enrolling in repayment plans that ease the burden of their monthly payments by stretching them out over a longer time period. Some borrowers pursuing this strategy may qualify to have their remaining debt forgiven after 10, 20, or 25 years of payments. Others will rack up thousands of dollars in additional interest rate charges without qualifying for loan forgiveness.

Credible’s analysis found most borrowers who have refinanced more than $100,000 in educational debt are taking the opposite approach. Most are on track to dispatch their loans in 10 years or less — saving tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments in the process. Many who have refinanced six-figure educational debt at lower rates will pay it off in just 5 years, Credible found.

Read the full report here.

June Legislative Update (Experian Email), Rated: A

Highlights include:

  • On May 19 Experian submitted comments in response to the CFPB’s Request for Information (RFI) on the use of alternative credit data and alternative credit scoring models. The CFPB sought comments on the types of information that should be considered alternative data and how it could be used to improve financial inclusion.
  • On May 18, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act of 2017 (H.R. 2520). Blackburn is joined by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Bill Flores (R-TX) as original co-sponsors of the bill. The legislation seeks to bring internet service providers and edge service providers under the same privacy regime, by designating the FTC as the nation’s sole online privacy enforcement agency.
  • On May 8, Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) introduced H.R. 2359, the FCRA Liability Harmonization Act. The bill seeks to bring consistency to national consumer financial protection laws by capping class action damages and eliminating punitive damages to align the Fair Credit Reporting Act with other consumer financial protection laws.
  • In New York, S.B. 5601 amends the state’s breach law by adding biometric data to the definition of personal information and permitting email notification unless the breach includes access credentials for an email account. Notification would instead be provided in real time by providing clear and conspicuous notice when the consumer is accessing the account from their usual location.

Read the update here.

Marketplace ABS evolving (Structured Credit Investor), Rated: A

At the upcoming SCI Marketplace Lending Securitisation Seminar in New York on 22 June, panellists will discuss the structuring and evolution of marketplace loan ABS. The fact that deals are increasingly incorporating features to reduce risk is one area that is expected to be covered.

This trend is supported by the recent US$495m Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust Series 2017-1 – the first ABS launched by Prosper via its own branded shelf, when previous deals had been issued by Citi on the CHAI shelf. Rated by KBRA and Fitch, the deal comprises US$311m A/A- class A notes and US$70.67m BBB/BBB- class B notes. KBRA rated the US$113m class C notes single B-plus, but these are unrated by Fitch.

Plaid Is Powering the Future of Banking and Finance (Inc.), Rated: A

Plaid co-founders William Hockey and Zachary Perret noticed the need for something simpler, a system that would do the heavy lifting for other companies aiming to work with real financial data. The pair developed APIs that can ingest the mass volumes of financial data on the backend, transform it into a useable format, and then build a service on top – in other words, a platform.

As developers themselves, they focused on building a platform that was developer-friendly and for building integrations. Due to this focus, they quickly saw growing demand from developers and the emerging fintech industry to help build new applications for financial services.

Hockey and Perret’s goal is to drive innovation in financial services. Instead of attempting to serve consumers directly, the pair believed it was a smarter move to build a business- and developer-facing platform, one that would power the entire fintech ecosystem for consumers indirectly.

Moving forward, Plaid will focus on scaling this year. Its main goal is to continue to grow the platform that is seeing a lot of demand — which also means recruiting more people to join the team. Although the team currently numbers around 90, the leadership hopes to grow the team to somewhere around 120 by the end of the year, hiring across all departments.

How this Ohio mutual is getting an edge in tech (American Banker), Rated: A

Recently, First Federal was one of the founders of an Ohio-based fintech accelerator. It’s also invested in Numerated Growth Technologies — a commercial lending technology that lets banks make lending decisions in as little as five minutes.

“Why can’t a group of 10 community banks figure out how to make investments in an innovative platform down the road?” he said. “Or a group of banks being part of a development fund to steer a variety of tech initiatives?”

With the accelerator, First Federal is teaming up with larger banks. Its partners in the accelerator include Fifth Third Bancorp, Huntington Bancshares, KeyCorp and the insurer Progressive. JPMorgan Chase and Silicon Valley Bank are also part of the initiative.

Sweden’s Klarna looks to fuel US growth with e-commerce financing products (451 Research), Rated: A

The vendor has grown from a niche Nordic payments specialist to a global player with operations in 18 markets in little more than a decade. Recently launching in the US, Klarna has chosen to orient its primary go-to-market efforts around an alternative financing offering for e-commerce purchases.

Sequoia raises $ 2 bln for global growth fund, additional capital for China, India funds (PE Hub), Rated: A

Sequoia Capital said it has raised more than $4 billion for venture and growth funds in the United States, China, India and elsewhere in the world, according to filings with the SEC.

The Silicon Valley-based firm said it raised nearly $2 billion ($1.9995 billion) for its Sequoia Capital Global Growth Fund II, according to the filings. The firm had unveiled the fund in 2015 but without a target. Commitments came from 104 LPs.

What is Nevada’s Pro-blockchain Bill? (The Merkle), Rated: A

The state of Nevada has proven to be quite open-minded when it comes to blockchains and cryptocurrencies these days. In fact, the State Legislature approved a bill preventing local governmental entities from taxing any blockchain transaction.

Senate Bill 398 was first introduced in March of this year and is now presented by Governor Brian Sandoval to be signed. Governmental entities can’t impose any tax or fee on the use blockchains by both individuals and entities alike. Moreover, they can’t require these users obtain a license or permission to use blockchain technology either.

Is Marketplace Lending a Safer Investment Than the Stock Market? (National Real Estate Investor), Rated: B

While equities are often thought to yield high returns with fairly low risk, it takes time for them to fully develop and come to fruition. Alternative investment vehicles are coming into the market that are becoming particularly attractive when investing with a low appetite for risk.

With consistency and diligence, the stock market can make for a profitable long-term strategy. According to Credit Suisse, as of February 2017, the U.S. averaged 6.4 percent in inflation-adjusted equity return.

Marketplace lending, on the other hand, has consistent returns with lower volatility. Investopedia names marketplace lending as one of the best investments for high return rates.

Essentially, the main risk associated with marketplace lending is that you are loaning to people who may not have been able to get approved through traditional outlets.

United Kingdom

Tisa group pushes for P2P lending in Sipps (Citywire), Rated: AAA

A working group run by the Tax Incentivised Savings Association (Tisa) is gathering advisers’ views on the use of alternative finance products such as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in Sipps.

The group, which consists of the heads of several P2P and crowdfunding firms along with consultants and Tisa technical policy director Jeffrey Mushens, first met on 19 January.

It has highlighted tax regulation as a key barrier, as well as wider concerns about non-standard assets being held in Sipps.

Despite the industry body helping to push P2P into the mainstream, advisers may take some convincing, with many hesitant until the market has ‘matured’.

The survey is available here.

Most investors not expecting to beat cash, says peer-to-peer lender (AltFi), Rated: A

Major peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has unveiled the findings of a new survey of 2,000 people, of whom more than 500 invest their money via products like equities, bonds or peer-to-peer loans. The findings suggest that most of these investors expect their portfolios to be outperformed by cash over the next 12 months.

The average return on cash currently stands at a meagre 0.15 per cent, according to Bank of England data.

LendInvest launches new three-year bridge (Financial Reporter), Rated: A

LendInvest has launched a new three-year bridge product with 110% ICR as a funding alternative to a conventional buy-to-let loan.

The product is available on loans between £100,000 and £2 million with a maxmimum LTV of 70% on day 1, rising to 75% as interest on the loan is deferred and rolled up.

China

PINTEC Subsidiary Dumiao is First Digital Lending Tech Provider to Issue ABS on Shanghai Exchange (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

PINTEC Group, China’s leading financial technology provider, announced that its wholly owned digital lending technology subsidiary Dumiao successfully issued RMB245 million worth of asset-backed securities (ABS) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in the first such issue by a digital lending technology provider.

The underlying assets of the ABS are receivables facilitated by Dumiao on Qunar’s “Naquhua” installment payment service. Qunar, a leading online travel agency in China, is supporting the ABS program, ensuring the asset formation and stable service operation. Dumiao, a leading digital consumer lending technology provider, supplies Qunar with a digital lending technology solution and offers consumers flexible and efficient financial service.

The Dumiao offering represents the first internet consumer finance ABS sponsored by a third-party digital lending technology provider. Prior to the listing of Dumiao’s ABS on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, ABS offerings from the internet finance sector had been dominated by e-commerce companies.

Top 10 P2P Lending Platforms (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: AAA

By the end of May 2017, the total loan balance of P2P lending platforms in China reached to $1146.30 billion, and the total volume reached to $366.05 billion. According to the ranking list issued by Online Lending House, we picked out the top 10 P2P lenders per Loan Balance and Volume.

Top10 P2P Lending Platform per Loan Balance in May 2017
Rank Lending Platform Location Loan Balance

(Billion dollars)

Growth of loan balance (%) Overall yield Rate(%) Loan term (Month)
1 Lufax Shanghai 19.48 4.34 7.9 31.01
2 Yirendai Beijing 4.90 5.12 11.56 30.68
3 JBH Beijing 4.18 1.37 7.45 5.39
4 Eloancn Beijing 4.10 -5.12 9.1 10.32
5 PPDAI Shanghai 3.28 12.49 17.22 11.24
6 Xiaoying.com Guangdong 3.06 21.35 7.34 8.4
7 IQianJin Beijing 2.82 13.31 10.96 30.17
8 Hongling Capital Guangdong 2.56 1.68 7.67 2.66
9 Niwodai Shanghai 2.49 -0.02 10.73 16.98
10 Renrendai Beijing 2.35 5.08 10.19 35.07

 

Top10 P2P Lending Platform per Volume in May 2017
Rank Lending Platform Location Volume

(Billion dollars)

Growth of loan balance (%) Overall yield Rate(%) Loan term (Month)
1 Lufax Shanghai 1.65 -0.68 7.9 31.01
2 Xinhehui.com Zhejiang 1.60 8.34 7.13 0.75
3 Hongling Capital Guangdong 1.30 2.22 7.67 2.66
4 Wei Dai Network Zhejiang 1.09 -7.70 7.62 2.81
5 Xiaoying.com Guangdong 1.02 52.99 7.34 8.40
6 Tuandai Network Guangdong 0.73 24.64 9.05 3.59
7 IQianJin Beijing 0.68 42.77 10.96 30.17
8 PPDAI Shanghai 0.61 -7.52 17.22 11.24
9 Yidai.com Sichuan 0.57 53.67 11.70 7.57
10 PPmoney Guangdong 0.52 185.77 9.50 6.35

Renaud Laplanche Joins LendIt’s Lang Di Fintech as Keynote Speaker (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Now Laplanche is returning to the public stage as a keynote speaker roster for Lang Di Fintech 2017, LendIt’s Chinese conference. Lang Di Fintech, said to be the largest Fintech conference in China, marks Laplanche’s first public speaking role since founding Upgrade. His presentation is said to focus on the concept of online lending 2.0, including how new technologies such as Blockchain are increasingly incorporated into a Fintech company’s technology architecture.

International

Singapore fintech hub LATTICE80 launches initiative to connect Asia and Nordic fintech ecosystems (e27), Rated: AAA

Singapore-based fintech hub LATTICE80 has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Nordic Finance Innovation (NFI), an independent Nordic executive network for the finance industry.

The partnership will raise awareness of fintech’s potential between Asia and the Nordics; office space sharing; events collaboration; in-country exclusivity; exchange programs for members; and the leveraging of mutual contacts and networks.

Meanwhile, 42 per cent of Nordic financial institutions surveyed want to expand their existing partnerships with fintech firms. 42 per cent of Nordic banks surveyed also intend to set up fintech incubators.

Tommaso Zanobini to Lead Fintech at Deutsche Bank (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Deutsche Bank has hired Tommaso Zanobini as Managing Director and Global Head of Financial Technology (Fintech), a joint venture between Deutsche Bank’s FIG and TMT banking team.

SAIL Capital Awarded Most Innovative Sustainable Investment Firm, Recognised Leader in Global Resource Investing (PRWeb), Rated: B

Wealth & Finance magazine have announced the winners of the 2017 Alternative Investment Awards. SAIL Capital of Newport Beach, CA has been awarded Most Innovative Sustainable Investment Firm 2017 (Energy & Water) & Recognised Leader in Global Resource Investing 2017.

SAIL Capital has been a pioneer and thought leader in impact/alternative investing since the early 2000’s under the leadership of Founder and CEO Walter Schindler.

Now in its fourth year, the 2017 Alternative Investment Awards casts a light on the individuals, firms and departments from across all sectors that have played a part in shaping this dynamic and imitable industry.

Australia

How peer-to-peer lending could hit big bank profits (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

For example ANZ pays 2.4% annual interest on its one-year term deposit, and charges 13.95% annual interest on its personal loan.

Direct banks usually offer slightly higher interest rates on deposit accounts, lower loan costs, and reduced fees because they do away with the costs and inefficiencies (and arguably some of the service) of the traditional banks.

For example, the direct bank ME pays 2.85% annual interest on its term deposit, and charges 12.49% annual interest on its personal loan, making for a spread of 9.64%. Compare this to ANZ’s spread of 11.55% and you’ll note that ME’s more bare bones set up allows it to better cater to the more cost-conscious customers.

For example, the P2P lender DirectMoney Ltd (ASX: DM1) pays the investor around a 7.50% annual return for their personal loan fund, and charges the borrower around 9.50% annual interest on their personal loan. The spread is just 2.0% – a fraction of the banks with ANZ at 11.55% and ME at 9.64%.

Big BankANZ Direct BankME P2P LenderDirectMoney
Lender (Personal Loan) 13.95% 12.49% 9.5%
Borrower (Term Deposit) 2.4% 2.85% 7.5%
Net interest spread 11.55% 9.64% 2.0%

* All rate as of 2/6/17

Australia’s ASIC Proposes Next Steps on RegTech (The National Law Review), Rated: A

On Friday 26 May 2017, ASIC released its Report 523 titled “ASIC’s Innovation Hub and our approach to regulatory technology”. This report gives an update on the work of ASIC’s Innovation Hub and outlines ASIC’s current and proposed future approach to RegTech.

The report proposes that ASIC increase its focus on supporting RegTech developers, including by:

  • establishing a new RegTech liaison group comprising industry, technology firms, academics, consultancies, regulators and consumer bodies to enable networking, discussion of RegTech developments and collaboration opportunities that promote positive applications of RegTech;

  • continuing to hold RegTech trials and sharing knowledge about those trials with the market to promote wider use of technologies that promote good consumer and market integrity outcomes; and

  • hosting a problem-solving event (“hackathon”) later in 2017 to stimulate thinking and approaches to deal with problems of regulation commonly faced by the financial services sector.

India

Sundaram Finance backs online education loans marketplace GyanDhan (VC Circle), Rated: A

GyanDhan, an online marketplace for education loans operated by Delhi-based Senbonzakura Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, has secured an undisclosed amount from Sundaram Finance Holdings, a subsidiary of Chennai-based Sundaram Finance Ltd, it said in a statement.

The platform had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs and Harvard Angels in July last year .

It had earlier received angel funding from Satyen Kothari, founder of Cube and Citrus Pay.

Fintech platform MaxMyWealth raises funds from two UK firms (VC Circle), Rated: A

London- and India-based Heathwalk Advisors Pvt. Ltd, which runs financial technology platform MaxMyWealth, has raised an undisclosed amount from two UK-based firms, it said in a statement.

The firm will use the funds to build the team, enhance its offering and grow its customer base.

Asia

Top 10 Fintech Companies South Korea (TechBullion), Rated: A

According to Statista, the Transaction Value in the fintech market amounts to US$43,032m in 2017.

Developed by Samsung electronics, Samsung Pay allows users to make payments using compatible phones and other Samsung-produced devices.

Founded in 2013, Viva Republica is a fintech company that offers innovative peer-to-peer money transfer services via a mobile app called “Toss”.

8percent is a leading start-up that brings together savvy investors and creditworthy borrowers together so that both can benefit financially.

Founded in 2012, Rainist offers financial products recommendation based on individual’s life patterns and purchase behaviour.

DAYLI Financial Group is a leading financial technology platform consisting of innovative technologies such as machine learning, payment solutions, big data analytics, bitcoin exchange, and blockchain solutions.

‘Stocks Plus for Kakao’  enables users to check their stock quotes in real-time via Kakaotalk, a multi-platform messaging app.

Founded in 2011, Newsystock is a Robo-Portfolio platform that provides accurate analysis and equity purchase recommendations in the stock market.

Infosonic is the start-up that produces Sonic Pass as mobile authentication and payment app.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 17 2017, Daily News Digest

Monday April 17 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Republicans propose drastic overhaul of CFPB.  BOE chief sees no need for tougher FinTech regulation. CBRC assistant chair reported ‘out of contact’. Today’s main analysis: Transparency remains a sticking point for online lenders. The India FinTech Market Map. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How this FinTech CEO plans to prosper. Interview with Scott Sanborn. International regtechs […]

Monday April 17 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

  • Republicans propose drastic overhaul of CFPB, Dodd-Frank. GP:” This is just a proposal and it will likely change a lot by the time, if and when, it gets adopted into law. In all cases, the theme here seems to be more control and less power for the agencies.”  AT: “We saw this one coming. I didn’t expect a name change, but I think that’s interesting, especially the use of the word ‘opportunity,’ which puzzles me. Why would a regulatory agency include that word in its name? Another thing I find interesting is the deputy director holding the job at the will of the president, which I expected. However, it makes the agency serve at the whim of the winds of the political climate, like all other executive agencies. What makes that interesting is it goes against the initial conception of the agency, which was intended to be independent of the chief executive. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, good or bad either way, but we can expect the Democrats to fight this hard.”
  • How this FinTech CEO plans to prosper in 2017. GP:”The key is customer satisfaction, which itself relies on a good product, fair pricing, ease of use whom themselves depend on the cost of financing, employee satisfaction, technology quality and an infinite list of other items.”
  • Transparency remains a sticking point for online lenders. GP:”This is very interesting data. If the online lenders build a reputation of being expensive, regardless if it’s true or not, it will hurt their customer acquisition costs significantly. This has to be fought and this perception is very dangerous. In general consumers, especially opinion leaders, are not stupid. I think a good way to fight for transparency and to fight the high rate and unfavorable terms opinion is by actually releasing actual verifiable data that offers more transparency and demonstrates the rate and term points. ” AT: “It’s important that online lenders not simply claim to be transparent. Most consumers, millennials, in particular, are well aware that technology is not inherently transparent. It can be used to set up walls of opaqueness as easily as see-through curtains, or blinds. If you’re going to call yourself ‘transparent’, you’ve got to be transparent.”
  • Chatting P2P marketplaces with LendingClub’s CEO. GP:” Lending Club is really turning into a large company, run as a large company, on values and brand and letting every department alone to do what they can with controls in place. I am curious how it will defer from a large bank in two or three years.” AT: “Scott Sandborn shares some interesting insights into marketplace lending in general and LendingClub in particular.”

United Kingdom

  • BOE chief sees no need for tougher FinTech regulation. GP:”I am pleasantly surprised, and once again I understand how the UK, despite being a small market, continues to be the point of reference in finance in the entire world and has been for hundreds of years. I am yet to see a single US regulator who says even once: there is no need for more regulation.” AT: “This is a sign of maturity. In the U.S., when legacy institutions sense up-and-coming competitors, the first thing they want to do is use regulation as a protectionist scheme. Competition is good–for the goose and the gander.”
  • Researcher showcases unauthorized NFC payments with cloned Android device. AT: “This is interesting. We must all understand there’s no such thing as fail-safe security in the cyber world. Every device is a potential entry point for bad actors. In fact, every app on every device is a potential entryway for hackers and other bad actors. The key goal for security experts is to stay ahead of them. This hole needs to be plugged quickly.”

European Union

International

China

India

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

Republicans propose drastic overhaul of Dodd-Frank and CFPB (Housingwire), Rated: AAA

According to the summary of bill changes, the original CHOICE Act would restructure the FHFA and OCC as bipartisan commissions. The FDIC would be reorganized as a bipartisan commission with all five commissioners appointed by the president, and both the Comptroller of the Currency and the CFPB director would be removed from the FDIC board. Also, NCUA board of directors would be increased from three members to five.

The new CHOICE Act 2.0 cuts a lot of those proposed changes, and instead, the FHFA director would be removable at will by the president, with no changes to the current law regarding OCC and NCUA. The FDIC structure would stay the same as proposed in CHOICE 1.0.

The original CHOICE Act replaced the director of the CFPB with a Consumer Financial Opportunity Commission, a bipartisan independent Commission serving staggered terms.

Instead, in the newest version, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be changed to the Consumer Financial Opportunity Agency, an executive agency with a sole director removable at will. The deputy director would also be appointed and removed by the president.

While the original CHOICE Act established a CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council, the updated one removed it because the bill eliminates mandatory CFPB advisory committees.

How This FinTech CEO Plans To Prosper In 2017 (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Along with FinTech industry guru Ron Suber, Prosper’s president, Kimball is intent on growing loan volumes, offering lower average rates compared to traditional lenders, delivering higher returns to investors and returning Prosper to profitability.

Prosper, which is the original online peer-to-peer marketplace, has originated over $9 billion in consumer loans over the past decade.

Since being appointed CEO of Prosper Marketplace late last year, Kimball has stepped outside his former financial role as Prosper’s CFO to take on a more operational-driven strategy.

David Kimball: Ultimately, the long-term success of platforms will be dependent on their ability to deliver a great product and a consistent experience. The success of the partnerships will depend on the ability for the two companies to communicate and understand each other (language, transparency, and culture), and it will depend on how well objectives remain compatible.

David Kimball: Last year, the industry did a lot to lay the foundation for a successful 2017, and we’re seeing that work pay off. The [recently announced loan purchase deal] gives us the funding stability we need to continue to grow, while at the same time giving us some great long-term partners that are invested in our business and its success.

David Kimball: A successful CFO is one who partners with the business instead of playing the finance sheriff. That requires a willingness to understand the business, to think holistically, to work with peers who jointly own the results. The CFO is the finance subject matter expert, but should be able to consider other disciplines, just as a CTO should be able to understand the financial implications of engineering decisions.

As CEO, I continue to think holistically and I now have an opportunity to flex into other areas of the business.

Transparency remains a sticking point for online lenders (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

A small business credit survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found 46 percent customer satisfaction at online lenders like Lending Club and OnDeck Capital with a 19 percent rate of dissatisfied customers – compared with large banks’ 61 percent of customers who indicated they were satisfied with their small business loan process and 15 percent of whom expressed dissatisfaction. Almost half of all customers specified that their dissatisfaction came from a “lack of transparency.”

Online lending customers are also dissatisfied with higher interest rates and unfavorable repayment terms, two common issues for the growing industry, which continues to have a higher cost of capital and for customer acquisitions.

Chatting P2P marketplaces with LendingClub CEO, Scott Sanborn (Simple Innovative Change), Rated: AAA

CL: The LendingClub story is a fascinating one and one that I’ve followed from the early days. So how does it feel to sit here and realize that so much of what is here today and the proliferation of all these different lending platforms is really because of this company and this team and what you have been able to build?

SB: I think it is exciting. It’s very gratifying to see how the initial idea has gained traction and how that has spawned new players who are bringing new energy and new ideas to different segments of the market. I think the clearest benefit is looking at how much value we’ve driven to consumers and investors.

For example, the personal loan market was actually shrinking when we first started. It shrank like 57% from 2007 to 2010, and yet we were still able to giveCL: There’s this great photo from the day of the IPO back in 2014 in which you can see just how elated you were. At the time you were the CMO and it was a very happy day, but when you stepped into the CEO role recently it wasn’t necessarily under the happiest of conditions. So, how have you handled the ups and downs of being a part of the Lending Club team, and how are do you lead the team through these challenging periods?

CL: That’s the answer you want to hear, by all means. Since becoming CEO at LendingClub, what have you learned about your own management style and how are you navigating the transition to this role?

SB: So much is swirling and changing in real-time, which means you need to keep everyone in the loop. In those early days after I stepped into the CEO role, I can’t tell you how many times we pulled all 1,500 employees together and marched them across the street to a hotel, to fit them into one room and explain, “Here’s what’s happening. Here’s what we know. Here’s what comes next.” That was certainly critical.

Lastly, we have focused tirelessly on assembling the right team. When a business is growing 80% to 100% a year for so many years it’s hard for the organization to keep up, and this was an opportunity to say, “Okay, new reality. Let’s look at what the right foundation is for the next decade of Lending Club.”

CL: One of the other reasons that I wanted to speak with you is because I often speak with seed and series A Fintech startups that’ll eventually face the challenges of being a larger organization if successful. So, what do you think are the challenges associated with trying to be an innovator while also being a larger organization?

SB: Literally, I left that conversation, and sat down with several team members in a room and said, “Okay, what are our values?” It was remarkably easy, actually, to identify what our values were. We put those down on paper and we revisit them, probably annually, maybe every 18 months or so and say, “Do they still resonate? Are they still right for this stage of the company?” Essentially all of our initial values have remained intact and we’ve added one or two as we’ve grown to reflect the new stage of the company.

Since then we have remained crisp on what our values are, and we have made sure we’re hiring to those values, and that our performance reviews reflect those values as well. That’s how you keep the essence of a company and that integrity of the company as you grow. The reality is, as you get bigger and layers get introduced and processes get introduced maintaining that value system will help the company stay, essentially, intact and stay functioning well.

CL: As we look to the vision of the future loan markets, do you think that startups will increasingly become the sourcing mechanisms of loans with financial institutions acting more as the wholesale banking providers?

SB: I think we’re not done seeing the different types of models that could emerge and how they could participate, and I think that’s part of what’s exciting. Not all of them will be great ideas, and not all of them will work, but some will.

If you look at our model, banks provide between a quarter and 30% of our funding and they have a very low cost of capital. When you combine their low cost of capital with our low operating cost it allows us to give, especially that super-prime customer, an incredible value that they couldn’t get at these institutions directly.

United Kingdom

Bank of England Chief Sees No Need for Tougher Fintech Regulation (Corporate Counsel), Rated: AAA

Fintech could pose a threat to traditional banks in the United Kingdom, according to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. But that doesn’t mean he thinks they should be subject to tougher regulation.

The Bank of England created a New Bank Start-up Unit last year, which advises companies trying to become new banks. Carney said in his speech that four mobile banks have been authorized as a result of the new division.

Some of the questions that he said need to be answered, moving forward are: “Which fintech activities constitute traditional banking activities by another name and should be regulated as such? How could developments change the safety and soundness of existing regulated firms? How could developments change potential macroeconomic and macrofinancial dynamics including disruptions to systemically important markets? And what could be the implications for the level of cyber and operational risks faced by regulated firms and the financial system as a whole?”

Researcher Showcases Unauthorized NFC Payments With Cloned Android Device (The Merkle), Rated: A

While this concept sounds ridiculous to most people, they should not underestimate the power of root malware on Android devices. By using this type of malicious software, it is possible to abuse the host card emulation protocol. Google introduced this feature in Android 4,4, as it allows for NFC payments by keeping the Android device next to a payment terminal. Unfortunately, it appears this protocol can also be used to make fraudulent purchases.

Thankfully, this exploit has been discovered by a security researcher who notified both Google and all of the applications he successfully “abused” about this vulnerability.

European Union

Aegon Leaves Legacy Behind With Ohpen’s Cloud Finserv Platform (Forbes), Rated: A

Ohpen, a banking technology company based in Amsterdam,has announced that it will partner with Aegon to develop a new platform for Aegon’s Dutch services, from banking to investments. It will also support multiple labels including Aegon’s Knab (bank spelled backwards) an entirely digital bank.

Aegon, a global financial conglomerate whose American holdings include Pimco, will replace multiple individual systems for pensions, savings, current accounts and wealth management with a single Ohpen platform running in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Aegon will plug into Ohpen’s platform through a flexible, 100% API-based interface.

Multiple companies under one corporate umbrella do many of the same things and have their own infrastructure and staff. Ohpen lets them merge all those activities onto a single cloud-based back end and then put an API on top so any application or Web site can get to it.

International

Keeping the banks honest: meet the regtech rule-obeyers (Wired UK), Rated: AAA

Under mounting pressure to become more transparent and accountable, banks and financial institutions are turning to regtech: technology that automates regulatory compliance.

London-based FundApps alerts financial institutions when regulations change, and gives them software to help compliance. Launched in 2010, it covers 88 jurisdictions.

Legislation in Europe requires companies to “know your customer” to make sure they’re not money laundering. That’s what Trulioo does.

Qumram records, retains and allows on-demand replays of digital activity across web, social and mobile.

US accounting rules require banks to store historical loan data to predict future repayment. “This is what we help them do,” says Vivek Subramanyam, CEO of Fintellix. Launched in 2006, it recently launched a website targeting US community banks and credit unions that are grappling with accounting regulations.

KYC3 (“Know Your Customer, Counterparty and Competition”) automates due diligence, so companies can screen potential clients.

How the World’s Richest Companies Can Help Its Poorest Citizens (Time), Rated: AAA

From Kenya and Tanzania, to Jordan and Peru, digital technology and simple mobile phones are opening up opportunities for millions of people by helping them to safely save and manage their money.

From Kenya and Tanzania, to Jordan and Peru, digital technology and simple mobile phones are opening up opportunities for millions of people by helping them to safely save and manage their money.

Four of the world’s largest telco system manufacturers — Sweden’s Ericsson, China’s Huawei, Canada’s Telepin and India’s Mahindra Comviva — have put aside their fierce competition and agreed to collaborate, not out of altruism but in order to better compete. Announced at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who works to bring competitors together to meaningfully address financial inclusion for the poor, these companies are developing a set of “application programming interfaces,” or in plain English, ways of making computers talk to each other. These APIs will create open-source standards for the development of digital financial services that are automatically compatible with each other, lowering costs for providers and increasing the utility of digital financial services for customers overall.

By governing how different digital accounts send and receive money, the APIs can be the basis for a new “internet of payments,” across which individuals, banks, merchants, employers, and governments seamlessly transact. The APIs are still under development, but when they’re complete they will be released as a global public good, available to anyone who wants to invent.

AI In Fintech: 100+ Companies Using AI Algorithms To Improve The Fin Services Industry (CB Insights), Rated: B

Funding to AI startups reached record highs in 2016 and applications for artificial intelligence technologies exist across nearly the entire spectrum of business. Highlighted here are the top 100 AI startups selected by CB Insights operating across numerous industry verticals.

China

Assistant chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, Yang Jiacai, reported to be ‘out of contact’ (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Fifty-six-year-old Yang Jiacai, assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) was reported to be “out of contact” since Tuesday, April 11, by Chinese media Caixin and Caijing.

Caixin reported Yang had transferred all his responsibilities to his colleague, the commission’s vice-chairman Cao Yu.

Yang made his last public appearance a week ago during a press conference for the CBRC, during which he introduced some heavy-handed regulatory moves planned by the commission.

Podcast 97: Yihan Fang of Yirendai (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The origins of Yirendai and how it was incubated inside CreditEase.
  • When and why Yirendai was spun-off from CreditEase.
  • Some background on all the divisions inside CreditEase.
  • The typical borrower who comes to Yirendai for a loan.
  • How Yirendai has broken new ground in China.
  • The different channels they use to obtain borrowers.
  • The typical size, rate and term of their consumer loans.
  • How these borrowers use their loan proceeds.
  • How Yirendai differentiates themselves from their competitors.
  • Who the typical investors are who participate on their platform.
  • The average amount each of their 200,000 investors deploy on their platform.
  • How their investor product works and details of their risk protection fund.
  • How their business model works as far as revenue.
  • A breakdown of their institutional investor interest.
  • Why they decided to do an IPO in New York rather than Shanghai or Hong Kong.
  • The impact of the new marketplace lending regulations in China.
  • Yihan’s perspective on the fraud that has happened in China.
  • Details of their new Yirendai Enabling Platform that they launched at LendIt.
  • What areas Yirendai will focus on in the coming years.

China is Cracking Down on Unscrupulous Financial Services (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In a series of reports, ChinaNews is pointing to the increasing scrutiny of the Chinese government regarding financial fraud and over-all malpractice.

Now the China Banking Regulatory Commission has published measures to address risks in the financial and banking sectors. According to ChinaNews, CBRC highlighted 10 areas for improving risk control in both traditional and internet finance – which includes peer to peer lending.

All of this is taking place with the back-drop of Xian Junbo, Chairman of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), being placed under investigation for “disciplinary violations.” He will be the most senior government financial regulator to be investigated in several years.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Big Data Company Wecash raised $ 80 million in series C funding led by China Merchants Capital, Fore Bright Capital and SIG. Two new investors – Dongfang Hongdao Asset Management and Lingfeng Capital joined the existing investors in this round.

On April 10, China Banking Regulatory Commission released “Guidelines on risk prevention and control in banking industry” to make the P2P online lending market standard by perfecting the in-out mechanisms, paying more attention to the supervision and perfecting the governance of online lending companies.

According to the PwC Global FinTech Survey China Summary 2017 released on April 6, the three main areas to be disrupted by FinTech in China over the next five years will be consumer banking, investment & wealth management, and fund transfers & payments. E-retailers, large technology companies and financial institutions will be the biggest sources of disruption.

Compared with developed countries, the market-penetration level of auto finance in China is much lower. However, it also indicates that China has a tremendous room to develop and grow.

US

Australia

China

Market-penetration

80% – 85%

70%

Less than 30%

On April 6, second-hand car online trading platform Souche closed on $180 million in Series D Funding led by Warburg Pincus. Other participants in the round included VMS Investment Group, ClearVue Partners, Haitong International, CreditEase and Morningside Capital. Notably, Souche just finished Series C Funding led by Ant Financial in the last November. In the past five months, Souche has raised a total of $280 million.

 

India

The India Fintech Market Map: 72 Startups Working Across Lending, Payments, Insurance & Banking (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Looking at Indian fintech specifically, funding to private companies in the sector boomed from about $175M in 2014 to a high of $2B in 2015 (buoyed by mega-rounds to Paytm) and then slid to $530M in 2016. Still, 2016′s total funding was more than 200% higher than total funding in 2014. A host of global corporations and their venture arms have entered the fray, eager to reach India’s mostly unbanked population and profit from the country’s tech-friendly regulatory environment.

‘Free’ credit reports from fintech portals (livemint), Rated: A

Apart from bureaus, online financial marketplaces are also offering free credit scores and reports. These reports are not counted against the free reports you can get from credit bureaus directly.

On the four fintech platforms we went to, it took no more than a few minutes to log on, authorise the fintech to access our credit report, and get it on the screen or in email. And it was also simpler to get a report here than from a bureau’s website.

On Bankbazaar, we got the report on its website and in email. Paisabazaar displays the report on its website. Both sites provided reports from Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd.

FinTech: To Regulate Or Not To Regulate? Former RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi Explains (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: A

In lending, peer-to-peer lenders and online SME (small and medium enterprises) lenders are targeting clients considered too risky by banks. They claim to use technologies that can assess credit worthiness in smarter ways than the traditional income statements used by banks. In payments, wallet companies have taken the lead in retail payments forcing banks to up their game.

One gripe that banks have is that these fintech firms are getting away unregulated, which gives them a lot more flexibility in how they do business.

That’s true for now, said R Gandhi, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) who retired after a 37-year stint at the central bank earlier this month. The dilemma for the regulator is to decide when to regulate and how to regulate so as to ensure that innovative business models get a fair chance, Gandhi explained in an interview with BloombergQuint on Tuesday.

Is India ready for Peer-to-Peer lending industry? (Faircent), Rated: A

What we are trying to do is to create a P2P (Peer to peer) lending industry. Fundamentally we are providing an alternative to banking and other financial institutions.

Karun: Investors whom we call lenders can get returns up to 18% to 20% per annum which is much better than other options today. As a borrower you can avail unsecured loans at much cheaper interest rates. What we feel is that the banks make huge margins in terms of the rates that they offering customers on their savings and the rates they are lending it out to people at, in the form of loans. By reducing the margin, with Faircent as the match maker, we are able to pass value to both sides of the table, to borrowers as well as lenders.

Karun: We are purely a digital entity.   We are trying to use technology so that there is minimal offline intervention.

We’ve done a lot of marketing technology interventions, like we have a CRM which is built on top of our platform, which is a custom made CRM. We have integrated it with our lead gen channels. We have an email marketing platform using which we nurture our customers and also do promotional activities with potential customers. We have done a lot of work in trying to become Omni-channel. Three main channels which we use are email, SMS and Voice.

Karun: We are using a lot of the off- the- shelf products. But the challenge for us is really how do we integrate them with our platform. So hence we have to be much more careful about which option we choose. We are using Octane and Amazon for email. Octane is basically a mix of email and SMS which we are predominantly using for marketing.

Karun: Yes, we have a mobile app which is available on the Android and iOS platform. Right now, our focus has been more to enable our customers to access our platform on the mobile device. So for example if there is an investor who wants to invest in loans on the fly he can do it using our app. At present we’re not really focused on the app to acquire more borrowers or acquire more investors and lenders.

Razorpay plans overseas foray (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: B

Razorpay, a payment gateway solution provider focused on online merchants, plans to go international. It is looking to enter South East Asia and West Asia markets in 2018-19, Harshil Mathur, co-founder, has said.

The fintech startup, which started its journey in mid-2014, is in talks with local and global (banking) players in these markets, Mathur said.

Razorpay, which had raised Series A funding of $11.5 million, is not worried about funding for the next two years, according to Mathur.

Asia

ORIX Launches New Online Lending Business for Japanese Small Businesses (Orix), Rated: AAA

ORIX Corporation (“ORIX”) and Yayoi Co., Ltd. (“Yayoi”), an ORIX Group company, announced today that they are launching a new online lending business, a new FinTech service utilizing accounting big data and proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) based credit model.

The business will provide Internet-based lending to small businesses in Japan. A new credit model is under development, utilizing ORIX’s credit expertise, Yayoi’s accounting big data, and cutting edge AI technology by ORIX’s partner company, d.a.t. Inc. Most existing credit models in the market to date relied solely on static data such as financial reports; by utilizing dynamic data, such as day-to-day journal data and other transactional data, the new credit model is expected to offer much better predictive power than before.

ALT plans to start offering lending services on a trial basis to the approximately 600,000 companies, who are existing users of Yayoi’s online services1 in October 2017. Customers will be able to apply online, during which process they grant permission to access their accounting data.

According to a survey of 7,609 Yayoi customers, 85.0% of small corporations have a need for short-term financing, but 36.5% of those have been shying away from obtaining traditional loans, due in part to the excessive amount of time and efforts required for approval of short-term financing. With respect to sole proprietors, just 16.4% of them have obtained short-term traditional loans. Utilizing online lending can reduce complex administrative procedures, including the need to submit financial reports and other paperwork and to visit financial institutions in person, and can also shorten the time needed to obtain much needed cash, making simpler, more flexible financing possible.

AN INDONESIAN peer to peer (P2P) lending startup, KoinWorks is supporting small and medium enterprises (SME) and education by launching an art exhibition, ARTificial Intelligence which will run from April 13 to April 30 at Pacific Place, Jakarta.

Benedicto also says that KoinWorks mainly focuses on SMEs that conduct their sales and marketing activities online. He also believes that by connecting SMEs to lenders, it will bring benefits to both sides.

Benefits for lenders are through net gained interest from their investment which can be up to 19.8% annually depending on the risk level. The service also fulfils social needs by helping businesses to grow.

Users may invest in KoinWorks with a minimum deposit of US$7.50 (100,000 rupiah). The funding will be deposited in real-time at a virtual bank account. Users only need to scan and upload information from their identity card, fill in the form, and deposit the money.

LendIt China Event, Lang Di Fintech, Updates on PitchIt Competition (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LendIt, the global lending and Fintech conference, has announced the official launch of the Asian edition of their Fintech startup competition, PitchIt, in association with JadeValue, a Shanghai-based Fintech incubator. The competition is for all early stage Fintech startups in Asia-Pacific.

PitchIt will take place at the Lang Di Fintech conference, China’s largest global Fintech conference in Shanghai in July.

The 8 Finalists Will Receive:

  • Opportunity to secure investment and partners by meeting investors
  • Have your pitch heard by the international fintech community in front of an audience of international and local attendees across APAC.
  • Gain valuable exposure through global PR
  • Up to $1,000 for travel to Lang Di Fintech
  • Year-round exposure through press and brand visibility and the chance to gain mentorship from Global VCs on pitching and product positioning prior to the event.

The Winner Will Receive:

  • Mentorship, co-working space for 6 months and guaranteed investment of $150,000 from JadeValue
  • 2 free passes to LendIt USA 2018, roundtrip airfare and accommodations
  • Curated meetings for investment purposes in the US during LendIt USA 2018 (April, 2018, San Francisco)
  • Complimentary sponsorship at LendIt USA 2018
MENA

The future of digital money (Gulf News), Rated: A

At a time when the consumer relationship with cash is more virtualiser and abstract, and where use of physical cash continues to decline in many markets, the next phase of digital money offers undiscovered potential for a new period of expansive growth in transactions, beyond the limits of national borders.

The region’s e-commerce marketplace is thriving too, but it depends more on cash on delivery than on electronic payments. At the same time, a relatively low share of adults have bank accounts, while mobile money accounts have had limited success. That could be about to change. New Fintech entrants are playing their part in helping drive payment digitisation.

Furthermore, developments in payments technology are making it easier for us all to transact. Egypt’s Payfort recently has successfully helped smaller merchants accept electronic payments, and offers instalment payment options to help merchants improve sales. We’re also seeing global providers such as Apple Pay, Google Pay becoming more active in the region after a slow start and more global players are coming, for example Samsung, with Samsung Pay about to deploy payment services that are promising to be easier, faster and more secure using your Samsung smart phone.

Africa

VoguePay Wins Best Fintech Startup Award (This Day Live), Rated: B

VoguePay.com, a secure payment gateway has won the “Best Fintech Startup” at the 6th edition of the Cashless Africa Awards 2017, organised by Mobile Money Africa in Lagos recently.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday January 18 2017, Daily News Digest

Morningstar

News Comments Today’s main news: PRA resets FSCS limit at 85K BP. SoFi double downs on mortgages. Today’s main analysis: High-yield bonds outperform investment grade. Today’s thought-provoking articles: ApplePie podcast on franchise financing in MPL. Dianrong hits year-on-year increase of 148%. FinTech lending opening opps for SMEs in Indonesia. United States Mortgages take center stage at SoFi. AT: “It’s unclear […]

Morningstar

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Asia

News Summary

United States

Mortgages Taking Center Stage at Online Lender SoFi (National Mortgage News), Rated: AAA

Social Finance, the online lender that made its name refinancing student loans for high-earning millennials, is doubling down on mortgages as rising interest rates are expected to make originations scarcer.

The company says it has endured by eschewing the strategy of some of its competitors in favor of product diversification and building up capital.

With interest rates expected to rise in 2017, loans to purchase homes will find stronger demand than mortgage refinancings. SoFi says it’s well suited to compete in such an environment — roughly two-thirds of its mortgage originations are purchase loans.

Beyond product offerings, SoFi is exploring the potential applications in mortgages of new technologies such as blockchains — the distributed, auditable, cryptographically secured ledgers that underpin bitcoin and other digital currencies. The company is among several groups studying whether these systems offer a better way to track ownership of real-world assets — in this case, real estate.

SoFi will seek growth in mortgages partly by entering new markets. It began marketing to consumers in San Francisco, where its earliest student loan product customers were.

Now, it is picking new markets based on demand for its primary jumbo product.

So far, SoFi has received licenses in 27 states with the addition of New York.

Next on its list is Massachusetts — eventually the company wants to be licensed in all 50 states.

Morningstar Corporate Credit Research Highlights (Morningstar Email), Rated: AAA

Since the beginning of the year, the average corporate credit spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index, our proxy for the investment-grade bond market, has tightened 1 basis point, whereas in the high-yield market, the credit spread of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch High Yield Master Index has tightened 19 basis points. Between tightening credit spreads and a slight rebound in Treasury bonds, fixed-income securities have performed well. Year to date, the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index has risen 0.53% and the high-yield index has risen 1.08%. However, risk assets with higher betas have risen even higher; for example, the S&P 500 has risen 1.6% over the same period.

At these levels, both investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds are trading much tighter than their long-term averages, and the S&P 500 is only slightly below its all-time high. Currently, the average spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index is +127, which is 41 basis points tighter than its longterm average of +168 since the end of 1998. The average spread of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch High Yield Master Index is currently +402, which is 178 basis points tighter than its long-term average of +580 basis points since the end of 1996. As a point of reference, the tightest that the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index has ever traded was +80 in February 2007, and the tightest the high-yield index registered was +241 in June 2007.

Denise Thomas of ApplePie Capital (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

So it’s very important that the brand know how to select operators.

The second is that they know how to select and carve out the United States’ for territories because if you think about the number of people that need to support and purchase goods and services in an area, you have to know that that business is located in a spot where that’s going to be a positive unit economic situation because that’s how franchisees make money. When the franchisee makes money so does the parent franchisor because they’re paid in royalty fees off of the revenues of those units. So it’s very, very important that they get those two things right and there’s aligned incentives in that.

The third thing they have to do is franchisors have to support their franchisees in many ways; training, the blueprint for how to start that business, how to market in the area, advertising dollars for national marketing or local marketing. They have to provide a lot of ongoing support to make that franchisee successful and so we interview, we have a very multi-dimensional screening process for the franchisor and then they in turn screen their potential operators and many franchise businesses like to have an operator that opens more than one unit because they’re not training someone twice and they’re really getting leverage. We like those too because they’ve already shown that they can succeed in one location. So it’s a very interesting model because of the leverage points you get all the way through the system.

Listen to the full podcast.

SoFi officially licensed to lend in New York (Housingwire), Rated: A

State estimated to be future No. 2 market for SoFi

After roughly a year to get finalized, SoFi officially received its license to lend in New York, which is one of the most difficult states to acquire a license in, Michael Tannenbaum, SoFi’s chief revenue officer, said in an interview.

After roughly a year to get finalized, SoFi officially received its license to lend in New York, which is one of the most difficult states to acquire a license in, Michael Tannenbaum, SoFi’s chief revenue officer, said in an interview.

However, he noted that there are a lot of nuances to New York licensing and not too many out of state lenders receive approval.

It’s a very concentrated market that already has an awareness of SoFi and will likely be as large as California in business, which is SoFi’s No. 1 market, he noted. Washington State is slated as SoFi’s No. 2 market right now. SoFi is currently licensed in 29 states, also jumping into Montana recently.

From here, Tannenbaum said Massachusetts would be the last remaining big state that SoFi needs to jump into, pointing out the potential Boston could bring, especially since SoFi already has a solid student loan base there.

Rust Belt City Gets Rated Highest Yield for Single Family Rental Market (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

HomeUnion, a new online real estate management platform that helps landlords invest in property and then rent it out, has published their list of top Single Family Rental (SFR) markets in terms of yield. Cleveland is the best market, according to HomeUnion with yields of 10.9%. Meanwhile, hot metropolitan markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles are at the bottom of the yield barrel (Orange County is at the very bottom).

Alternatives firms get gobbled up (Pensions & Investments), Rated: A

Alternative investment consultant acquisitions in the past 12 months include:

nGeneral consulting firm Pavilion Financial Corp. acquired alternative investment consulting firm Altius Holdings Ltd. in September. Pavilion already purchased Sacramento, Calif.-based private equity consultant LP Capital in 2014. Pavilion now has $60 billion in alternative assets under advisement.

nSeattle-based consultant Verus Advisory Inc. closed its acquisition of San Francisco-based private equity consulting firm Strategic Investment Solutions on Dec. 31, 2015. The combined firm has responsibility for more than $380 billion in assets under advisement. Eight months earlier, Verus started bulking up its alternative investment capability when it contracted with hedge fund and private credit consulting firm Aksia LLC to gain access to its hedge fund investment team and due diligence reviews.

OnDeck strikes agreement with WEX to offer financing to small business customers (SNL), Rated: B

Online lender On Deck Capital will provide business financing to small business customers of payment solutions provider WEX.

2017 Cloud Lending Summit & Expo to Feature Larry Chiavaro (Benzinga), Rated: B

Larry Chiavaro, Executive Vice President of First Associates Loan Servicing will be moderating two panels at the iiBIG Marketplace Cloud Lending Summit and Expo on Thursday, January 19th.

The Funding & Liquidity in Marketplace Cloud Lending session will feature Chiavaro and other industry leaders, providing insights into securitization, working with institutional investors, crowdfunding, secondary markets and more. The Loan Origination, Servicing & Collection Solutions for Cloud-based Marketplace Lenders session will delve into the latest developments and best practices to increase efficiency and maximize portfolio performance.

United Kingdom

FSCS limit reset to £85k, but what’s the impact for P2P? (altfi), Rated: AAA

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has announced its intention to raise the level of coverage provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. In a newly published policy statement, after factoring in feedback from interest parties, the PRA has proposed to reset the deposit protection limit to £85k as of 30 January 2017.

When the scheme’s limit was lowered to £75k in July, RateSetter CEO Rhydian Lewis said that it only strengthened the case to “refresh the FSCS”. But is the resetting of the limit to £85k bad news for peer-to-peer lending?

The Bank of England dropped the base rate to the historic low of 0.25 per cent in August. The peer-to-peer lending industry was overwhelmingly positive in reacting to the move, however a number have since been forced to adjust their own rates in the context of increasingly competitive credit markets in the UK.

Meet the P2P lender that wants to take the awkwardness out of lending money to your mates (BDaily), Rated: A

Flender has been in development for the last two years and is built around harnessing the power of social networks, both online and offline, to help individuals and businesses raise capital.

He said: “We were really shocked to discover how big that was. We surveyed the size of the friends lending market across the UK and when you translate that into value, we almost fell off our chairs.”

Using the example of someone trying to fund an MBA, Cavanagh explained that while people could theoretically do a whip around of friends and family, asking to borrow £500 to £1000 from 10 to 15 people, no one does due to the inherent complications and awkwardness associated with such lending.

Using the example of someone trying to fund an MBA, Cavanagh explained that while people could theoretically do a whip around of friends and family, asking to borrow £500 to £1000 from 10 to 15 people, no one does due to the inherent complications and awkwardness associated with such lending.

Cavanagh disagrees and argues that by making it both more formal and so easy to do, Flender’s solution is actually a lot less awkward than lending £500 to a mate, which is then never paid back.

“It’s going to maintain friendships more than anything,” he argued. “[Informal lending] is already going on to the value of £2.9bn a year, and that’s creating problems because it’s not formalised.

“It’s going to maintain friendships more than anything,” he argued. “[Informal lending] is already going on to the value of £2.9bn a year, and that’s creating problems because it’s not formalised.

P2P lender Saving Stream reaches £250m milestone (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending platform Saving Stream has raised £250m in capital from property investors since its launch in 2012.

The platform, which is owned by bridging and development finance provider Lendy Finance, provides loans up to 70% loan-to-value and has attracted 13,000 registered users.

The amount invested has increased by £150m to £250m in the last 12 months, with investors making an annual return of up to 12%.

Orca Money is one of the leading research and comparison facilities for P2P lending in the UK (Invezz), Rated: B

With the Orca Money comparison engine, IFISA investors are encouraged to research and compare thoroughly before they invest, as the rules are different to other ISA products. Orca research materials translate the guidelines governing the Innovative Finance ISA into simple, consumable and easy-to-understand content. Retail investors can get a quick overview of IFISA providers or dig into greater detail about the IFISA and/or the P2P lending platforms who offer them.

China

Dianrong Announces a Year-on-Year Increase of 148% (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Dianrong, a Chinese P2P lending pioneer and technology leader announces that 2016 loan originations reached approximately 16.23 Billion RMB, representing a 148% increase over 2015. Growth in loans issued was funded by an astonishing 3.62 million investors, illustrating the breadth and scope of Dianrong’s business model.

During the year, Dianrong was named one of China’s top three online lenders by the renowned rating website, Wdzj.com, and Yingcan Consulting Company in their “Development Index Rating of the Top 100 Online Lending Platforms for October 2016”.

Last year marked the fourth consecutive year of strong growth in origination for Dianrong, hitting approximately RMB 60 million, RMB 790 million, RMB 6.55 billion and RMB 16.23 billion in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Harneys wins two Deal of the Year awards in China (Cayman Compass), Rated: A

Offshore law firm Harneys has won two Deal of the Year awards from China Business Law Journal for its work on the Kaisa Group’s debt restructuring and HengXinLi’s launch of the first global real estate crowdfunding platform in China. Award winners were announced on Jan. 13.

The first global real estate crowdfunding platform in China is designed to provide Chinese investors with access to real estate in major international cities. The platform is aimed at middle-class Chinese nationals who want to invest in real estate in countries such as the U.K. and the U.S.

Innovation economy is next for China: Sky9 Capital founder (Asia Times), Rated: A

How many investment projects do you usually review, and how many do you typically invest in?

We look at over 1,000 opportunities a year, of which we typically do something like five to six projects. I am pretty sure that China will have the world’s biggest companies in fintech, robotics, and areas like cloud computing and software.

If you have to pick one, which start-up in China looks the most promising to you?

Hard to pick a winner, but in my portfolio, I am very excited about the prospects of Tujia, the Airbnb of China; FangDD, the largest online/offline real estate transaction platform; and PPDai, the largest pure-play peer-to-peer lending platform. These all have the opportunities to become decacorns.

LendIt China Launches LendIt News on WeChat (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

LendIt, the world’s biggest show in lending and fintech, made several major announcements today related to China.  First, LendIt announced the official launch of Lang Di Fintech 2017, its 2nd annual Chinese fintech conference held on July 15-16 at the Kerry Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai. Second, LendIt announced its partnership with JadeValue Fintech, a leading Chinese fintech incubator, to co-host the 2nd annual Chinese edition of the PitchIt@LendIt startup competition.  Finally, LendIt officially launched its daily fintech news channel called LendIt News on its brand new Lang Di WeChat channel.

This daily news brief is curated by the LendIt content staff to highlight the most important fintech news stories from around the world. This is the first launch of LendIt News, which rolls out in the U.S. in the coming months.  You can find LendIt News at or at WeChat account langdifintech.

Asia

Fintech lending opens up opportunities for SMEs (The Jakarta Post), Rated: AAA

According to the World Bank, only 36 percent of Indonesians have access to banking services and merely 13 percent borrow from formal financial institutions. While there are almost 60 million MSMEs, which provide over 100 million jobs in the country. Most of them cannot get the financing they need to expand.

Fintech-based lending can potentially fill the country’s existing financing gap of almost Rp 1 quadrillion (US$75 billion). In addition, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding fintech particularly can tap into the MSMEs, of which only 20 percent are currently bankable. Giving them access to initial or additional funding will definitely enable them to launch or to expand their business.

OJK issues regulations to regulate peer-to-peer lending (Lexology), Rated: B

The IT-Based Lending Regulation is the most developed articulation we have seen of a set of basic rules for the conduct of marketplace lending in Indonesia, although the regulation provides that further details regarding many detailed operational aspects will be regulated in further OJK Circular Letters.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

July 20st 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments United States A very interesting risk that has not been clearly described so far: the risk that small SMB loans end up being regulated like personal loans. A fascinating read on politics and regulators. Goldman announcing their p2p lender will be live in the fall with $16bil in lending capital from depositors. Goldman […]

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

India

Singapore

China

  • The take away from Lendit China per Orchard and Lendit Organizer Jason Jones :
    • There continues to be strong interest from Chinese Wealth Management firms to invest in US Online Lending loans
    • Investor interest is focused on making strategic equity investments in all types of global FinTech firms within Online Lending
    • Chinese Marketplace Lenders continue to increase their focus on offering more diversified products to clients including wealth management, insurance, and other financial services
    • Implementing a robust operational infrastructure is widely understood as a necessity required to successfully invest in the US Online Lending industry
United States

Small-Biz Online Lenders Aim to Dodge Consumer-Loan ‘Nightmare’, (Bloomberg DNA), Rated: AAA

Online marketplace lenders would face significantly higher regulatory hurdles if most of their loans to small businesses were reclassified as consumer loans, as the Treasury Department has recommended, an industry representative and a legal expert told Bloomberg BNA.

Officials discussed the need for greater transparency and noted that small-business loans under $100,000 “share common characteristics with consumer loans, yet do not enjoy the same consumer protections.”

The industry is pushing hard to head off the suggestion.

“They’re very smart in being concerned about that,” said Richard Eckman, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP in Wilmington, Del. “There are a whole host of consumer laws that apply to loans that are for personal, family and household purposes; that’s sort of the definition of a consumer loan.”

The federal consumer protection law that ranks as the biggest concern of marketplace lenders such as CAN Capital, which cater exclusively to small businesses, is the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).

“TILA, in particular, is onerous,” Eckman, a specialist in marketplace-lending law, said in an e-mail.

On May 3, 16 members of the committee’s Republican majority and three of its minority Democrats, along with House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sounding themes that foreshadowed Sanz’s testimony. The Treasury Department at that time was preparing its report on marketplace lending, and the House members wrote that they wished “to raise concerns with recent comments by public officials that seem to indicate a preference to regulate lending to small businesses and consumers similarly.”

“[W]e believe it is important for the Department to carefully study and understand key distinctions between commercial and consumer lending markets,” the letter said. “Mistaken efforts to conflate these categories would restrict the availability of capital to small business owners.”

“There’s no reason why small businesses shouldn’t have the same protection as consumers,” Lauren Saunders, associate director of the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center, in Washington, told Bloomberg BNA.

“The research has shown that these small-business owners who borrow smaller loans, under $100,000, are not that sophisticated and at times they really don’t understand the fine print, the hidden terms and conditions that we see in the typical fintech loans to small businesses,” she said. “These contracts are very opaque. The fees and terms are hidden in a way that really makes it impossible for the borrower to do any kind of comparison shopping.”

Goldman’s Shot Across LendingClub’s Bow, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

There wasn’t a ton to get excited about in Goldman Sachs’searnings report on Tuesday.

Sure, per-share earnings beat analysts’ estimates, but how excited can you get over beating an estimate that dropped like this?

However, there was a tantalizing detail or two offered on the conference call by Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz about the firm’s intriguing efforts to tap into the Main Street customer base. Schwartz said that the bank would roll out its consumer lending platform this fall after surveying thousands of consumers on what they would look for in such a thing. The bank developed one product involving unsecured loans, Schwartz said as way of teaser, telling analysts to standby for more information in the fall.

This may not end up being a big enough business alone to return Goldman’s revenue to record highs, at least not in the short term. Rather, the intrigue lies in its potential to disrupt the disruptors — the online startups that have pioneered the brave new world of peer-to-peer or marketplace lending.

With 20,000 customers opening up new savings accounts on top of the $16 billion in deposits it acquired from General Electric’s online bank in the second quarter, Goldman theoretically should be able to fill in the gaps easily at times when investor demand gets skittish.

Will deposit accounts be the next wave of fintech innovation?, (DailyFintech), Rated: AAA

There’s one sector of finance that really doesn’t get a lot of airtime when it comes to fintech – deposits. Checking accounts, savings accounts, transaction accounts – while they’re the bread and butter of banking, they’ve been relatively untouched since they were first invented. You put money in, and, if you’re lucky, earn a little interest before you take the money out.

Is there an opportunity here for a fintech startup to slice away this part of a bank’s core business, by adding a little flavour to the whole deposit experience?

Serial fintech investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel certainly thinks there are opportunity in deposits. In January of this year he invested €1M into a German fintech startup Deposit Solutions.

Deposit Solutions is the first open architecture platform for retail deposits in Europe. Among many things, it solves one of the central problems for account holders related to accessing great deposit products – it eliminates the need to switch banks. Instead, a saver requires just one master account with Deposit Solutions and can then pick and choose their deposit product of choice from the Deposit Solutions marketplace.

There are a number of other fintech startups playing in this space, either building the deposits piece from scratch or interfacing into an existing authorized deposit-taking institution. Digit,SmartyPig and Qapital are a notable few. With lending having taken most of the glory to date, opportunities here are getting thin on the ground. Maybe the humble bank account is the next big fintech play.

Bridging the Great Divide: Collaboration Considerations for Banks and Marketplace Lenders, (Lexology), Rated: A

Online Platforms as Chartered Banks

The increasingly close relationship between banks and marketplace-lending platforms, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the “rent-a-charter” model to avoid state usury limits described above, have led to speculation that marketplace lenders may ultimately obtain bank charters. A fundamental issue is whether the equity and institutional investment markets will provide a stable long-term source of funding for the industry. This issue has garnered attention in recent months as leading marketplace-lending platforms have experienced steep declines in their stock prices and as questions have been raised about how lending platforms interact with fund investors and about weak secondary-market trading of asset-backed securities. The question may acquire renewed urgency in light of the governance issues at a leading marketplace lender that recently made headlines, along with its disclosure that the DOJ is now investigating. [5]

An important prudential regulatory concern with acquisitions of bank charters by marketplace lenders is a desire to avoid making the marketplace-lending industry an attractive supplier of brokered deposits, which are an unstable source of capital and may be particularly risky where a bank has inadequate anti-money-laundering controls or is undercapitalized. Regulators also anticipate grappling with the activities of many lending platforms that may be incompatible with partner banks that have charters limiting their activities to those activities that are considered “incidental to the business of banking”—typically insurance and securities work. The edgy innovations of marketplace-lending platforms that use technology in creative ways to marry finance with social media offerings are a particular challenge in this regard.

Will Madden v Midland Disrupt Loan Sales and Platform Lending?, ( National Law Review), Rated: AAA

Although Madden v. Midland applies directly only to cases where a national bank is selling or assigning a loan, the policy underlying the decision to limit the exporting authority under the NBA might also be applied to a state bank’s rate exportation powers under Section 27 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (the state bank equivalent to section 85 of the National Bank Act). Secondary market participants and marketplace lenders now wait for the decision from the District Court on remand.  If the court upholds the Delaware choice of law provision, market participants may manage the impact of the Madden v. Midlanddecision by electing a favorable choice of law provision in the underlying debt contract.  That at least will provide an option for continuing to work with national banks despite the Madden case.

Unfortunately, that solution will not work for buyers and sellers of existing loans, although presumably such parties are not too inconvenienced by a limit on the post-assignment interest that can be charged on a loan after substantial interest has already accrued, particularly if they have purchased the debt at a substantial discount.   Other lenders may continue to rely on the state banks’ ability to export interest rates.  In that situation, lenders should choose state banks whose state has a generous interest rate cap and is outside the Second Circuit.

The group impacted most by the Madden v. Midland decision appear to be marketplace lenders who acquire a loan shortly after origination and therefore have essentially all accruing interest at risk of challenge.  One alternative option  adopted by one on-line marketplace lender picking up on the “substantial interest” distinction in the Madden decision, is to require the bank loan originator to maintain an on-going economic interest in all loans after sale and receive certain payments on the loans only when borrowers made payments.

What remains following the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Madden v. Midland is an outlier Second Circuit on the issue of the “valid-when-made” rule, and the blueprint for how to apply preemption under the National Bank Act as provided by the Solicitor General in its brief, a brief that as noted above clearly considers theMadden v. Midland decision to be wrong.  Unfortunately, until such time as the right case comes along, market participants will have to make adjustments to accommodate the decision as necessary to address its impact on their particular situation.

The Outlook for Fixed Income: Stagnant Prices, Tighter Money, (Enterprising Investor), Rated: AAA

The start of a new credit cycle means that income investors will have to adjust to stagnant bond prices, and new opportunities in credit markets from peer-to-peer lending will be tested by tighter monetary policy, according to David Schawel, CFA.

Returns for fixed-income investors consist of the coupon; the shortening of the bond, known as the roll; and price appreciation. Since the 1980s, falling interest rates have caused existing bonds to appreciate, as their prices increased to match the yields of bonds issued at lower interest rates. Schawel, a portfolio manager for New River Investments, thinks interest rates are nearing a lower bound.

“Most likely we’re not going to be in a 30-year bull market for interest rates falling again,” Schawel told Will Ortel during a recent Take 15 interview.

Schawel cautions fixed-income investors against assuming that bonds will continue to appreciate. Instead, the coupon and the roll will drive returns from bonds. With the roll becoming more important, investors need to pay close attention to the yield curve. Much of the return from bonds will come from the roll while the bond is on the steep part of the curve. Recently, the curve has flattened, reducing the yield premium, as the US Federal Reserve moved to tighten monetary policy.

Schawel sees the rise of marketplace or peer-to-peer lending as indicative of inefficiencies in yield.

30 Best Workplaces sin Finance and Insurance, (Fortune), Rated: B

#23: OnDeck Capital

# of work sites 3
U.S. employees 625
Global employees 638

United Kingdom

Fintech MarketInvoice Attracts m In First ‘P2P Lender’ Major Fundraise Post Brexit, (Forbes), Rated: AAA

MarketInvoice, a 100-strong firm based on the edge of The City in the confines of London’s Silicon Roundabout, has just announced a multi-million investment totalling £7.2 million (c.$9.5m) led by MCI.TechVentures Fund of MCI Capital, a listed Polish private equity group. Sylwester Janik, a senior partner of MCI Capital, a multi-stage private equity group based in Warsaw with nearly two decades of expertise of investing in digital economy companies, has at the same time joined MarketInvoice’s board.

To date the platform has provided £850m (c.$1.11bn at current exchange rate) worth of funding to UK businesses, and the firm is set on path to reach the £1bn mark before the end of 2016. At present the firm provides over £1.5m (c.$2m) per day in cash flow finance to UK businesses via its platform. At present MarketInvoice has a current market share of around 13% in its P2P alternative financing segment.

MarketInvoice, which has seem 100% year-on-year growth over the last three years, typically charges between 2%-3% on invoices handled for clients depending on the amount of the invoice. Businesses can select those invoices they want to finance, unlocking tied-up cash in 24 hours.

“In the wake of Brexit, we think the coming months present a big opportunity for MarketInvoice. Recent intervention by the Bank of England suggests that we might see significant reductions in bank lending.”

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Raises GBP14.5 Million In Placing, (London South East), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Ltd on Wednesday said it has raised GBP14.5 million via a share placing.

The London-listed closed-ended fund, set up to invest in loans originated through peer-to-peer lending marketplace Funding Circle, said it had issued 14.3 million shares at 101.53 pence per share.

Shares in Funding Circle SME were untraded on Wednesday, having last traded at 98.00p.

The new funds from the share placing will be used to back investment plans.

Can it really be “business as usual”, (Alt Fi), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle co-founder James Meekings said “the process of leaving the European Union will take two years and there will be no immediate change to Funding Circle’s day to day operations”.

A few weeks ago, AltFi Data cut its projection for 2016 UK origination by 14%, after the £840m originated in Q2 2016 became the first quarterly volume figure ever to fail to eclipse the sum originated in the preceding quarter.

Matthias Knecht quit Funding Circle Continental Europe at the end of June. Knecht was a member of Funding Circle’s global leadership team and a former co-founder of Zencap, a peer-to-peer lending outfit which Funding Circle acquired in October 2015. An article in Gründerszene suggested that a conflict had arisen between Knecht and Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai over the allocation of resources.

LendInvest, the UK’s largest marketplace for real estate loans, has also been making changes. In the immediate aftermath of the Leave vote, LendInvest tightened its lending criteria for loans worth more than £3m, adjusting the cap on LTVs for these loans to 65%. The company has also temporarily paused lending on new second charge applications.

Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai described 2015 as the year in which “it looked like we were turning water into wine”. He described 2016, by contrast, as a year for getting heads down, and for getting on with building business.

Lately the Wall Street Journal has been set to attack mode. Its coverage of the US marketplace lending sector has become almost exclusively cynical. The Times, The Telegraph and This is Money covered the recent insolvency and subsequent acquisition of the business lender FundingKnight. How many other news items in the history of the peer-to-peer lending industry have enjoyed that level of attention in the national press? Not many!

Ben McLannahan, US Banking Editor at the FT, aptly summed the whole thing up when he posted on Twitter saying “#LendingClub = have we hit the trough of disillusionment?” He was referring to something called the Gartner Hype Cycle, which is an attempt to chart the typical growth trajectory of disruptive technology companies.

UK firm claims largest ever P2P loan, (Finextra), Rated: A

UK-based Nucleus Commercial Finance claims it has made the largest ever P2P loan to date following a £14.5 million financing facility offered to UK steel stockholder Industrial Metal Services (IMS). The company has lent more than £400m to date and Shah claims that 90% of this has already been pad back with just £5,800 incurred in bad debts.

P2P lender launches new website, (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

The new BridgeCrowd website features a fully online view of the current live and historic loan book, a loan performance update system and an E-Wallet, where investors can place capital into loans and manage their account and interest.

The BridgeCrowd has launched a new website with added features following strong growth over the last 18 months.

Bridge Crowd offers 68% LTVs across residential owner occupied and buy-to-let properties.

Zopa names Ronen Benchetrit CTO, (Finextra), Rated: B

The UK’s oldest peer-to-peer lending service Zopa, has today announced that Ronen Benchetrit will become the company’s new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in a strategic hire for the fintech business.

Most recently, Ronen served as CTO for leading online gaming operator PokerStars. In this role, Ronen was responsible for the provision of the areas of technology and for management of the company’s product roadmap, ensuring the quality, reliability and security of external and internal systems, networks and platforms.

India

LenDenClub Launches Automated P2P Lending Platform Adhering to Proposed RBI Guidelines, (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LenDenClub has launched its new version of P2P lending platform with features such as end-to-end automation of lender-borrower transaction cycle right from registration, document verification, credit analysis, transaction matching to report generation. An algorithmic-based program, built based on artificial intelligence, will be used for reviewing borrower’s creditworthiness. For the company, the upgradation of P2P platform will accomplish a major milestone and prepare them for payment and digital signature automation to bring 100% automation in lending process through right technology for borrower identification, data collection, digital signature usage, payment automation, etc.
The company had successfully raised seed funding recently.

Singapore

Overview of the Regulatory Framework for P2P Lending and Equity-based Crowdfunding in Singapore, ( P2P Banking), Rated: AAA

From the document published by the MAS on Lending-based Crowdfunding – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)[11], generally, the operation of P2P lending is restricted by MAS under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) (SFA) and the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) (FFA).

Specifically, the P2P lending business needs to prepare and register a prospectus with MAS in accordance with Section 239(3) of the SFA. In addition, not only the registration of the prospectus but also the P2P lending platform need to follow the licensing requirements, particularly, the P2P lending business which fall within the scope provided by MAS needs to hold a Capital Market Services (CMS) license.

From the document, MAS states in paragraph 10 that “ …Platform operators should now ensure that the participants on their platforms are aware that each lender has to lend at least $100,000 if the borrower is to fall within the Promissory Note Exclusion. Offers of consolidated promissory notes commenced after the date of these FAQs must comply with the Prospectus Requirements” This means, that the P2P lending platforms, which previously used a single promissory note issued by the borrowers, need to apply for a license, if they still want to proceed their lending business; however, as provided in the MAS document, the removal of the Promissory Note Exclusion will be effected after the amendment of SFA.

This will affect many of existing P2P lending platforms such as MoolahSense and Capital Match which have the main function to help businesses to find loan from investors because some of P2P lending platforms are using a promissory note exemption without a Capital Market Services (CMS) license; however, MAS will make it easier for licensed P2P platforms. Therefore, a small offer exemption in accordance with the aforementioned law might be used by many P2P lending platforms.

China

Orchard Platform’s Jeremy Todd Shares Lang Di Fintech Experience Highlights, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

  • There continues to be strong interest from Chinese Wealth Management firms to invest in US Online Lending loans
  • Investor interest is focused on making strategic equity investments in all types of global FinTech firms within Online Lending
  • Chinese Marketplace Lenders continue to increase their focus on offering more diversified products to clients including wealth management, insurance, and other financial services
  • Implementing a robust operational infrastructure is widely understood as a necessity required to successfully invest in the US Online Lending industry

Increased interest in US Online Lenders from Chinese investors and notable US-Chinese partnerships such as those between DriveWealth and CreditEase, Robinhood and Baidu, and Saxo Bank and Lufax — that further emphasize the importance of this series of events.

Author:

George Popescu
George Popescu