Thursday September 22nd 2016, Daily News Digest

Thursday September 22nd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa’s securitization ; SoFi’s new life insurance product; New true lender decision in California. Today’s main analysis: 4 charts about emerging markets; Today’s thought-provoking : Ant Financial is worth more than Goldman Sachs. Are you paying attention yet ? ; Lemonade’s charity model to reduce fraud. United States SoFi is about to […]

Thursday September 22nd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

New Zealand

Australia

China

News Summary

 

United States

SoFi Plans to Offer Life Insurance by End of Year, (Bloomberg Technology), Rated: AAA

The San Francisco company will soon start selling term life insurance to its base of mostly millennial customers, said people familiar with the matter. SoFi expects to roll out the product, which pays out a benefit if a customer dies during the period of time covered by the plan, before the end of the year or as soon as next month.

SoftBank Group Corp. led a $1 billion investment in the startup last year, valuing it at $4 billion, and it’s now seeking to sell an equity stake of about $500 million to help fund its rapid growth, people familiar with the matter said this month. Last year, the company issued $5 billion in loans and is on pace to double that this year, two of the people said.

SoFi could take a slice of the $159 billion in U.S. life insurance premium revenue generated last year, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a trade group.

People are more likely to purchase policies around certain life events, such as getting married, having children or buying a home, according to a study published last year by Deloitte LLP. SoFi may be well positioned to capitalize on that demographic thanks to its already sizable base of young customers.

Mike Cagney, SoFi’s chief executive officer, chairman, and co-founder, has said his goal is to eventually render banks obsolete.

New true lender case provides support for the bank partnership model, (Pepper Hamilton), Rated: AAA

On September 20, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a class action suit alleging illegally charged usurious interest rates on private student loans in violation of California law. Beechum v. Navient Solutions, Inc.

In doing so, the court rejected the plaintiff’s arguments that the defendants were the de facto “true lenders” of loans made by a national bank under a bank partnership with a non-bank partner.

The plaintiffs, in this case, obtained private student loans using loan applications that identified Stillwater National Bank and Trust Company, a national bank, as the “lender.”

The plaintiffs alleged that the “actual lenders” of the loans were the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) or subsidiaries of the SML Corporation.

Under the agreement, SLMA would originate, underwrite, market and fund loans on which Stillwater would be identified as the lender and which SLMA would then purchase from Stillwater.

The court relied on two California appellate decisions in holding that courts “must look only at the face of a transaction when assessing whether it falls under a statutory exemption from the usury prohibition and not look to the intent of the parties.”

In looking “solely to the face of a transaction” in determining whether the subject loans were exempt from California’s usury prohibition, the court applied an objective standard that, unlike the highly subjective and fact-sensitive “true lender” line of reasoning, would result in consistent outcomes from one case to the next.

While this recent decision does not address the question of whether the claims were preempted by the National Bank Act, the case represents the latest “true lender” case, with a reasoned and measured approach to bank partnerships. In dismissing this case, the court rejected the idea of looking beyond the face of the transaction and into the intentions of the parties.

The Central District of California is the same court that, just three weeks prior, provided the decision in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. CashCall, Inc.Unlike the CashCall decision, the court did not use the “predominant economic interest” test for determining “true lender” status and acknowledged the negative effect on the secondary market of looking to the intentions of the parties instead of the transaction on its face.

Lendio and Supplier Success Partner to Improve Access to Capital for Minorities, (PR Web), Rated: A

Lendio, a marketplace for small business loans, today announced a partnership with Supplier Success, LLC, a Detroit-based company focused on providing working capital solutions, and on improving minority and women business owners’ access to capital.

Through this strategic partnership, Lendio and Supplier Success will provide minority and women business owners access to transparent lending rates and respectful business practices. Lendio recently reported facilitating more than $250 million in funding to more than 10,000 small businesses.

By joining forces with Supplier Success, we’re able to expand our capabilities to provide minority business owners easier access to financing,” said Brock Blake, CEO, and co-founder of Lendio.

P2P insurance startup Lemonade launches with charity pledge, (FinExtra), Rated: A

Lemonade raised $13 million in the biggest seed round of 2015 and, having secured a license as a full-stack insurance carrier by New York State, the firm is now inviting homeowners and renters to sign up online and through its app. Under the peer-to-peer model, Lemonade will ask customers to nominate a charity when they buy a policy.

Claims are paid out of these pools and any funds that are left at the end of the year go to the chosen charity. Policies start at $35 a month for homeowners and $5 for renters, with the entire process digitized, “replacing brokers and bureaucracy with bots and machine learning”. Lemonade takes a flat 20% fee and says that its model not only benefits charities but also customers and the company itself by reducing the incentive for fraud.

American Express Adds Its Bot to the Party, (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

When Facebook Messenger launched five (!) years ago this month, it was not immediately clear why or what it might do — messages already existed within Facebook, everyone was texting madly already, so why launch a whole new app?

A Forrester report in August warned banks off bots. Today’s bots are not ready for regulated industries that demand a certain level of user experience.

But the warning came too late — banks embraced bots, and a whole host of bots was wheeled out at Finovate. Perhaps most significantly, Kore (from the guys that brought you Kony) introduced its Smart Bot platform for banks to build their own bots. (In response to Kore’s demo a few fintech watchers at the show tweeted various versions of, “Uh oh.”)

DOL fiduciary rule to cost the securities industry $ 11 B by 2020: study, (Investment News), Rated: A

Implementing the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule for retirement accounts will cost the brokerage industry $11 billion in revenue over the next four years.

Hardest hit will be independent broker-dealers, who stand to lose $4 billion in revenue, or 22%, of the industry’s total, according to the study, which was released in August. IBDs are also expected to see a decline of $350 billion in client assets, or 11% of the industry’s total.

Personal Finance App MoneyLion Launches in Malaysia, (Business Wire), Rated: A

MoneyLion is headquartered in New York with offices in San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

MoneyLion’s free mobile app will help Malaysian consumers gain a 360-degree view of their finances through a suite of analytics tools that track spending and saving activity across multiple bank accounts.

RealtyMogul.com Closes $ 8.2 Million in Multifamily and Retail Transactions, (Business Wire), Rated: A

Following last month’s launch of MogulREIT I, RealtyMogul.com’s first crowdfunded real estate investment trust, the company announced today that it had closed five transactions in markets across the country. Four of the five deals were equity investments into multifamily properties, while the fifth marked the commercial real estate platform’s largest 1031-qualified transaction to date.

4 charts on banks, mobile money and financial inclusion in emerging markets, (Tradestreaming), Rated: AAA

Africa has long been touted as the continent whose specific geographical challenges and the widespread poverty of many of its inhabitants have enabled it to skip over traditional banking infrastructures into the waiting arms of cost-efficient fintech solutions.

The statistics, for those who are rooting for a cashless, bankless Africa, are encouraging. The following charts, sourced from a recent report on financial inclusion in emerging markets published by the institute of international finance, demonstrate that the economy is Africa is starting to pick up, along with mobile phone ownership.

Mobile money accounts aren’t exactly threatening the banks, even in developing countries.

According to an analysis from the Global Findex, 2.2 billion, or 95 percent, of the total 2.3 billion adults in low- and middle-income countries with a financial account held the account at a financial institution in 2014.

Moreover, contrary to popular belief, financial incumbents are major drivers of economic inclusion in developing countries.

Banks have a number of reasons aside from profitability to expand their activities in emerging markets, such as CSR and investment. Whatever the cause, the way forward for banks in developing countries will probably start with cellphones, smart or otherwise.

United Kingdom

Zopa readies £ 138 m debut securitisation, receives Aa3 rating, (AltFi News), Rated: AAA

The first securitisation of loans issued by leading consumer lending platform Zopa – “Marketplace Originated Consumer Assets 2016-1 plc” (“Moca 2016-1”) – has been provisionally rated by Moody’s. The loans that make up the £138m portfolio were funded in the first instance by P2P Global Investments, the £870m investment trust.

Deutsche Bank was heavily involved in Funding Circle‘s inaugural securitisation and is now acting as the sole arranger and lead manager for the Zopa deal.

Moody’s has assigned a rating of (P)Aa3 to the £114m senior tranche of Class A Notes. The Class B Notes, of which there are £7.5m, were rated (P)A2. The £7.5m of Class C Notes were assigned a rating of (P)Baa2. The £9m of Class D notes were rated (P)Ba3. There are also £12m of Class Z Notes which will not be rated. All Notes are due October 2024. Target Servicing Limited has been appointed as the back-up servicer of the portfolio.

We now learn that Fitch has conferred a landmark rating on the Zopa deal. Fitch rated the Class A Notes “AA-(EXP)”. This is the highest rating to have ever been assigned to a marketplace lending transaction by Fitch. There has been over $10bn in global securitisation issuance by the marketplace lending sector to date. Fitch declined to rate Funding Circle‘s SBOLT 2016-1 earlier this year.

This will be the UK marketplace lending sector’s second securitisation to date. Funding Circle’s SBOLT 2016-1, a £130m transaction, received an Aa3 rating from Moody’s in April. The Class A Notes, which were sold to KfW, came with a guarantee from the European Investment Fund attached.

Moody’s assigns provisional ratings to Marketplace Lending ABS to be issued by Marketplace Originated Consumer Assets 2016-1, (Moody’s Investor Service), Rated: AAA

The securitised portfolio as of 31 August 2016 consists of unsecured consumer loans to UK private borrowers. According to the borrower but not verified by the platform provider these loans are mainly used to finance cars (36.2%), for debt consolidation (34.0%) and for home improvements (22.3%). The portfolio consists of 27,137 contracts with a weighted average seasoning of 10 months and a maximum loan term of five years. Most borrowers are employed full-time (89.9%) and their average outstanding loan balance with Zopa is GBP 5,500.

According to Moody’s, the transaction benefits from: (i) a granular portfolio originated through the Zopa marketplace lending platform, (ii) a static structure that does not allow to buy additional receivables after closing, (iii) continuous portfolio amortization from day one, (iv) an independent cash manager and liquidity provided through two reserve funds, (v) an appointed back-up servicer at closing, and (vi) credit enhancement provided through subordination of the notes, reserve funds, and excess spread.

Moody’s notes that the transaction may be negatively impacted by: (i) misalignment of interest between the platform provider Zopa and investors who finance the loans, (ii) the fact that Zopa does not retain a direct economic interest in the securitized portfolio, (iii) the limited historical data that does not cover a full economic cycle, (iv) a higher fraud risk due to the online origination process, (v) an unrated servicer with limited financial strength, and (vi) the regulatory uncertainty due to the still developing regulation for the marketplace lending segment.

Moody’s determined the portfolio lifetime expected defaults of 7.0%, expected recoveries of 5% and Aaa portfolio credit enhancement (“PCE”) of 35.0% related to the loan portfolio. The expected defaults and recoveries capture our expectations of performance considering the current economic outlook, while the PCE captures the loss we expect the portfolio to suffer in the event of a severe recession scenario. Expected defaults and PCE are parameters used by Moody’s to calibrate its lognormal portfolio default distribution curve and to associate a probability with each potential future default scenario in the ABSROM cash flow model to rate Consumer ABS.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was “Moody’s Approach to Rating Consumer Loan-Backed ABS” published in September 2015. Please see the Ratings Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

In rating consumer loan ABS, default rate and recovery rate are two key inputs that determine the transaction cash flows in the cash flow model. Parameter sensitivities for this transaction have been tested in the following manner: Moody’s tested six scenarios derived from a combination of mean default rate: 7.0% (base case), 7.5% (base case + 0.5%), 8.0% (base case + 1.0%) and recovery rate: 5.0% (base case), 0% (base case – 5%).

Bar Chain BurningNight Group Secures Over £ 500,000 Within First Week on Crowdstacker, ( Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

BurningNight Group, a city center bar chain, successfully raised over £500,000 within the first week of its crowdfunding campaign on UK’s peer-to-peer lending platform, Crowdstacker. The company is currently offering 7% p.a. interest to those investing in the £3.5 million raise.

According to Crowdstacker, approximately half the funds raised so far have been invested through the Innovative Finance ISA.

Lendinvest announces industry first auction finance partnership is now live, ( Property Reporter), Rated: A

Last month, the two firms announced their partnership as an industry first and will see LendInvest pre-qualify lots at LOT11 auctions which fall within the lender’s criteria.  Lendinvest, the world’s first online lending business for the property, has announced today that details of the properties it has pre-qualified ahead of the next LOT11 auction are now live.

The partnership begins with LOT11’s quarterly auction on 27 September.

NeEw Zealand

New Zealand’s top five P2P lending platforms, (SMN Weekly), Rated: A

HarmoneyCorp Ltd. (www.harmoney.co.nz) – Harmoney became the first FMA-licensed P2P lending platform in mid-2014. The platform has helped match borrowers and lenders for more than $307 million in loans.

Lending Crowd Ltd. (www.lendingcrowd.co.nz) – The platform can be used by either individuals or businesses. It was the fourth P2P lending platform to obtain a license in New Zealand.

Lendme Ltd. (www.lendme.co.nz) – LendMe, New Zealand’s second authorized P2P lender, got licensed in April 2015 and commenced operations just five months later.

Pledgeme Ltd. (www.pledgeme.co.nz) –PledgeMe is a platform that combines three different crowdfunding models in one place – project (aka reward), equity, and lending (aka P2P lending) crowdfunding.

Squirrel Money Ltd. (www.squirrelmoney.co.nz) – Squirrel Money is part of the Squirrel Group, which also provides mortgage brokerage services. The platform helps people borrow funds to finance everyday needs such as renovations or buying a car, or events such as marriage or starting a family. In August 2016, the platform launched New Zealand’s first P2P secondary market, which allows loans to be on-sold to other investors.

Australia

Fintech lender aims to break $ 200 m barrier, (Australian Broker), Rated: AAA

Marketplace lender SocietyOne believes 2016 will be a breakthrough year as it aims to push past $200m in lending.

According to the lender’s latest financial update, the first week of September saw it reach the $150m lending milestone, one year after it hit the $50m mark.

The lender has also announced a significant increase in its funding available for lending, up to $75m after sitting at $20 million on 30 June.

China

Jack Ma’s Finance Business May Be Worth More Than Goldman Sachs, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Leung estimates that most of Ant Financial’s value is in Alipay, China’s most popular online payment service, with a projected worth of $50 billion. Its micro loans service is probably worth another $8 billion, while Ant’s wealth management unit is given a valuation of $7 billion. The rest of Ant Financial’s valuation comes from investments and cash on hand, outstripping Goldman’s roughly $70 billion market value as of Monday.

The company could grow to $100 billion in two years, as the current valuation doesn’t include growth brought in by insurance, credit scoring, and cloud computing, Leung said.

Ant Financial is considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong in the first half of next year, people familiar with the matter said last month.

China big P2P lenders shrug off crackdown, (Morgans), Rated: A

Regulators have unveiled a series of measures to head off signs of rising risks in its fast-growing P2P market, including borrowing limits and forcing P2P platforms to use third-party banks as custodians of investor funds. The regulator’s announcement knocked 22 per cent off the New York-listed shares of Chinese P2P lender Yirendai Ltd, while Chinese stocks fell to a two-week low, weighed by banking shares on concerns over the crackdown on riskier lending practices.

But many larger P2P companies including Lufax, Yirendai, PPDAI and Dianrong.com say they already comply with many of the new requirements, so could benefit from the restrictions.

The volume of P2P loans surged more than 20 times to 656.8 billion yuan ($US98.7 billion) at the end of July from just 30.9 billion yuan in January 2014, according to industry data provider Wangdaizhijia.

Nomura estimates that could reach 880 billion yuan by the end of 2016 and 1.5 trillion yuan by the end of 2018.

Several lenders already segregate investors’ funds into custodial accounts with banks to prevent fraud, while for companies like Lufax, a typical unsecured loan would be in the 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan range, below the government cap.

Author:

George Popescu

Wednesday August 30st 2016, Daily News Digest

Wednesday August 30st 2016, Daily News Digest

Correspondance From our readers regarding yesterday’s comment of why verified-income borrowers perform less well than verified one. Rich said “Hi George – on the question about why non-verified incomes perform better: could be because the rules they apply to determine whether to verify are more powerful than the lift from verification. Example: only verify if Fico […]

Wednesday August 30st 2016, Daily News Digest

Correspondance

  • From our readers regarding yesterday’s comment of why verified-income borrowers perform less well than verified one.
  • Rich said “Hi George – on the question about why non-verified incomes perform better: could be because the rules they apply to determine whether to verify are more powerful than the lift from verification. Example: only verify if Fico < 650.  This could cause the effect. I have no info on how LC underwrites – all speculation”
  • I assumed that a random sample was picked to verify income for. If the sample was not random, the source of our mystery is certainly most likely there, indeed.

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Indonesia

Australia

New Zealand

 

United States

Behalf Raises $ 27 Million, (Finovate), Rated: AAA

In a round led by new investor Viola Growth, small business financing innovator Behalf has raised $27 million in Series C funding.

Behalf pays vendors directly on their small client’s behalf – hence the name.

Behalf was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in New York City. he company has doubled revenues every six months since inception, and recently added Jorgen Bocklage, founder of 118 118 Money and former VP of Finance at fellow Finovate alum Dashlane as its new CFO.

Consumer Unsecured Q2 2016, (Orchard Platform), Rated: AAA

2014 vintage charge-offs have increased more steeply than in recent years, aligning closely with rates we saw in 2011 and 2012. While some of this trend can be attributed to deteriorating loan performance, most of it is due to the continued growth of subprime loan origination platforms. These platforms charge off at higher rates but offer investors increased interest rates as compensation for this additional risk. There’s not enough 2015 vintage performance data to draw any conclusions yet but we will be closely monitoring how that vintage performs in the coming quarters.

Across the industry, Q2 origination volume was down approximately 34% from Q1 origination volume, and down approximately 16% from Q2 2015 origination volume. Following years of consistent quarter-over-quarter increases in originations, we continue to see declines so far in 2016. Recent news and volatility at several of the largest originators have led to softening origination volumes, but we’re not ruling out an uptick in growth later this year as confidence and capital returns to these platforms.

Borrower rates rose 96bps in Q2 as a result of increases made by several originators to borrower interest rates in an effort to reignite investor demand in loan purchases.

Source : Orchard Platform

Source : Orchard Platform

Source : Orchard Platform

Three Takeaways From Square’s Latest Earnings, (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Online lending is still massive and growing: Square’s lending arm, Square Capital continues to be one of the bright stars in the company’s suite of services outside of payments. In the second quarter, Square extended nearly 34,000 business loans totaling $189 million, an increase of 123% year over year and 23% from the previous quarter in 2016.

Square originally launched the lending arm in 2014 to provide cash advances to merchants using Square’s point of sale service. Square recently announced that it would be expanding into traditional online loans, with fees between 10% to 16% of the amount borrowed.

Last quarter, Square said it was experiencing “challenging credit market conditions” and also reported delays in signing new investors to back its fledgling lending business.

Square sells the majority of its loans to third parties for an upfront fee and a small ongoing servicing fee. This quarter, Square said that it added five new investors to invest lending capital.

Is The Future Of Alt-Lending Playing Well With Others?, ( Pymnts), Rated: A

The biggest and most surprising change of direction on the “beating” vs “joining” question doubtlessly comes from the rapidly evolving world of online lending.

The banks, for a variety of reasons, aren’t going anywhere, which means a lot of lenders like Fundation are looking more into joining — and to connecting their lending platform to those banks customers.

Online lending, particularly its marketplace variant, solved a lot of problems at once and quickly attracted interest from all corners. By 2015 it seemed certain to many sober judges that lending was a business that technologists were going to slowly devour out from under the banks.

But a year can make a big difference, and the summer of 2016 is a very different place than the summer of 2015.

Today, investors have more options — less risky ones (more on that in a second) — and that has resulted in fewer marketplace loans getting bought.

Borrowers also have more options as credit has thawed for even sub-prime buyers.

“It’s saturated. Hundreds of platforms are going after the same pool of customers.”

Graziano describes Fundation as a “credit solutions provider” more than a lender — noting that the power of its offering is in the tools it offers around online applications and data-intensive credit algorithms to partners.

The Composite Model: A Viable Future for Online Lending, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Composite lending combines two models – balance sheet lending and marketplace lending – to deliver best of both worlds: all the benefits of marketplace lending, combined with the reliability and resiliency of balance sheet lenders.

Marketplace lenders shot into the spotlight just a few years ago, promising faster, easier access to credit than ever before, for those wanting or needing it.

If a recession or downturn causes loan requests to dry up or investors to pull back, marketplace lenders have no other reliable source of capital generation – making going out of business a probable fate.

As the saying goes, “you need to have money to make money” – and a comparison of marketplace lenders to balance sheet lenders proves this.

In many instances, marketplace lenders’ biggest problem is their borrowers, many of which are subprime. In addition, analyses have shown that these borrowers often borrow money to pay off debt, but then just end up accruing more debt.

In an effort to grow capital, marketplace lenders may assume even more perilous risk positions, which just leads to more delinquencies and defaults and can quickly accelerate the downward spiral.

As we have noted, the advantages of the marketplace lending model are very real.

CredibleFriends launches P2P bitcoin credit line mobile app, plans credit card, (SMN Weekly), Rated: A

Only recently CredibleFriends raised $100 006 of its $250 000 fundraising goal on the cryptocurrency crowdfunding site BnkToTheFuture from 87 backers, surpassing the $100 000 needed by July 15  to ensure the funds pledged will be deposited.

“The mission at Credible Friends is to get digital currency into everyone’s pocket by making it insanely easy to extend credit to the people you know and trust already,” Zach Doty, CEO Credible Friends told Bravenewcoin.com.

The platform locks in a 15% return, depending on defaults. A loan of $575, or 1 Bitcoin today, will be worth $661.2 in a year, regardless of the price of Bitcoin at that time. While this may work for or against the lender, it removes volatility.

Borrowers are charged 25% APR interest using the average daily balance method and the interest is charged monthly.

United Kingdom

Have online lenders changed their spots, (Alt Fi), Rated: A

Is it all just buttressing lending capital and trimming down costs? Has nothing else changed?

Transparency has long been pitched as the panacea to the industry’s so-called incentivisation problem.

However, as we at AltFi have repeatedly pointed out, standards of disclosure vary immensely across the industry. There are limits to the alignment that static loanbook disclosure can effect. There are also limits to what sense can be made of static loanbook disclosure, and to what extent investment decisions can be based upon this granularity of information.

In the UK market, AltFi Data Analytics provides investors with a real-time view of the performance of four of the “big five” marketplace lenders – Zopa, Funding Circle, RateSetter and MarketInvoice.

It’s “real-time” because the product is powered by loan-by-loan, cash-flow level data. But more important, perhaps, is the fact that the data has been packaged up into a series of tools which allow for seamless segmentation and intuitive analysis.

Finally, in questioning whether or not the online lending sector is changing shape, it would be remiss of me not to mention the imminent arrival of a brand new cadre of formidable-looking sector entrants.

Goldman Sachs is set to launch Marcus, an online lending outfit that will target both consumers and business, in October. Rumour has itthat Marcus loans will be funded by Goldman’s New York State-chartered banking subsidiary.

American Express, the $55.13bn market cap credit card giant, has also launched a platform – a short-term lender for small business owners in the US named Working Capital Terms.

And, of course, there’s the JPMorgan Chase initiative, made possible through a collaboration with OnDeck.

European Union

Two Years of Investing in Property Development Loans at Estateguru, (P2P-Banking), Rated: B

Estateguru is a p2p lending marketplace in Estonia focussed on bridge loans to property developers in Estonia. Since the launch in 2014 Estateguru has facilitated a loan volume of more than 10 million Euro in a total of 65 loans.  Typical interest rates range from about 9% to about 12%.

Many investors keep some cash in the Estateguru account in order not to miss out, when new loans appear. Tiny loans (< 40,000 EUR) are sometimes 100% funded by the time the email arrives.

Indonesia

Check out the new fintech industry partnerships announced during the IFFC 2016, (e27), Rated: A

Several companies even had the opportunity to sign their MOU on stage during the opening ceremony, with President Joko Widodo witnessing the process.

Investree – Bank Danamon

P2P lending platform Investree announced their partnership with Bank Danamon on the first day of IFFC 2016. Bank Danamon will be handling cash management for lending activities facilitated by the Investree platform, which connects lenders to SMEs. The startup has been working with Bank Danamon since its launch in October 2015.

Dimo – Sinarmas Bank

Mobile payment startup Dimo and Sinarmas Bank were one of the businesses who had the opportunity to sign their MOU in the presence of President Joko Widodo.

AMVESINDO – SVCA

On the venture capital firms side, Venture Capital Association for Indonesian Startups (AMVESINDO) and the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA) announced the formation of the ASEAN Venture Council.

Australia

XBRL to flatten information asymmetries in the small business lending market, (DailyFintech), Rated: AAA

Like English is to business, so too in many ways is XBRL to data.

It is the common language many governments and startups now hope will become the standard by which organizations share and translate information between each other. Today, without broad take-up of XBRL, many governments, investors and businesses are currently in the dark when it comes to analyzing the mountains of unstructured data thrown at them by financial entities.

For small business finance and banking, XBRL has the potential to not only reduce the need for multiple data entry, but to also allow for greater comparability and portability of financial information. This opens the door to significant productivity savings and reduced financing costs to boot.

In 2010 Australia made inroads into encouraging adoption of XBRL through the launch of its Standard Business Reporting (SBR) initiative. Using SBR enabled software, businesses across Australia can now lodge key government forms (tax returns etc) straight from their accounting software to relevant government agencies. According to a report from the Australian Business Register, at the end of June 2014, over 568,000 reports had been lodged using SBR since its implementation in mid-2010.

Unsurprisingly, there is evidence that suggests XBRL can play a role in lowering the cost of lending. After being spearheaded by the National Bank of Belgium back in 2005, today more than 95% of Belgian private firms’ annual accounts are voluntarily filed in XBRL.

Research published in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy in April 2016 has also indicated a correlation between XBRL adopters and lower interest rate spreads.

There is nothing more satisfying than being understood. Yet for many small business owners seeking credit, this is still far more difficult than it should be. XBRL has the potential to help both sides of the lending equation communicate with each other better, faster and more fluently.

ASIC Talks Regulating Fintech Insurgents, (Which 50), Rated: AAA

The corporate watchdog has its eye on new business models in financial services such as marketplace lending.  ASIC established its Innovation Hub in April 2015 in order to proactively engage with the fintech sector and help start-ups navigate ASIC’s regulatory system.

“We are making senior ASIC staff available at places like Stone and Chalk from time to time to answer questions,” said Tanzer.

In the first twelve months of operation, ASIC’s Innovation Hub worked with 93 entities, with 66 receiving informal assistance. As a result, 15 previously unlicensed innovative businesses have received a new financial services or credit licence since March 2015. The Innovation Hub has established relationships with international regulators in Europe, North America and Asia to discuss innovation developments and policy proposals.

An Innovation Hub Taskforce has also been formed, which includes senior executive leaders from many teams in ASIC and commissioner John Price.

The regulator has also have established the Digital Finance Advisory Committee, or DFAC for short, which is made up of industry, consumer and academic representatives.

New Zealand

LendMe sympathizes with Harmoney but says not in the same boat, (Stuff), Rated: B

Peer-to-peer lending service LendMe says it sympathises with Harmoney over a lawsuit filed by the Commerce Commission though it doesn’t believe the whole industry is under threat.

Harmoney, which is part-owned by Trade Me and Heartland Bank, has syndicated $300m of unsecured loans through its website which acts as matchmaker between borrowers and lenders.

Harmoney chief executive Neil Roberts said on Monday that an unfavourable ruling could “spell the end of the industry in its current form”.

A commission spokesman noted Harmoney would continue to be able to earn a margin from lenders who advanced money through its website, which those lenders could recuperate through interest payments.

LendMe chief executive Marcus Morrison said it was in a different position to Harmoney as all but one of the $3m of loans it had facilitated were to trusts and small businesses, to which the CCCFA did not apply.

Morrison said he sympathised with Harmoney, however. “They are providing a service and they feel they should be able to earn something for that. Harmoney has obviously fulfilled a strong need otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to do this level of lending.

Another disagreement between Harmoney and competition watchdog opened up after the commission denied a claim by Harmoney that the company had circulated copies of its proposed fee structure to the commission prior to it being granted a P2P lending licence by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in 2014.

Though Harmoney would have disclosed that information to the FMA, that authority “didn’t have any involvement with the CCCFA”, he said.

Some people who have lent money through Harmoney complained on Stuff that it had had virtually no loans awaiting fulfillment in recent days, meaning they had funds sitting idle on call that they were unable to invest. Harmoney responded through a spokesman that investors’ appetite to lend money through Harmoney had grown at a faster pace than borrowers’ willingness to take out loans, even though the latter had doubled.

Author:

George Popescu

August 3rd 2016, Daily News Digest

August 3rd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s news are focused on the monthly volume data published below. In the UK we see the 1st crowdfunding platforms slowdown in five years. And in China, we learn that P2P platforms, apparently, need to have a very tough to get bank relationship to continue doing business in 18 months. International July 2016 […]

August 3rd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

  • Today’s news are focused on the monthly volume data published below. In the UK we see the 1st crowdfunding platforms slowdown in five years. And in China, we learn that P2P platforms, apparently, need to have a very tough to get bank relationship to continue doing business in 18 months.

International

  • July 2016 volume numbers are in. We made a list of companies who stand out either for good growth or major decrease. Notice : we can not guarantee the accuracy of the volume numbers.

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

New Zealand

China

International

International P2P Lending Marketplaces – Loan Volumes July 2016, (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

P2P Banking publishes monthly volumes for p2p lenders.  Please note that the information is not guaranteed and P2P Banking has made relatively large mistakes in the past. Example: LendInvest in May 2016 was reported as a 80% decrease from April while as it was not the case.

For July 2016: Zopa leads ahead of Funding Circle and Ratesetter. Assetz Capital and Lendinvest achieved a big surge in volume. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 341 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending services.

Comments:

Negative stand out:

  • LandBay decreased 62% 
  • Folk2Folk 38% 
  • Kokos -90% 
  • ThinCats -37% 
  • Wellesley -33% 

Positive stand out:

  • Assetz Capital +460% , 13.9m EUR/month origination last month.
  • Funding Circle +1% vs same month last year.
  • LendInvest +14% vs last year’s month.
  • Mintos +523% vs last year’s month and last month volume of 6.9m EUR
  • MoneyThing +462% and last month volume of 3.6m EUR
  • Twino 7.2m EUR last month and huge growth

 

 

 

United States

National Charter May Be the Devil Marketplace Lenders Don’t Know, (Bloomberg BNA), Rated: A

For some online marketplace lenders, the devil they know might look better than the devil they don’t when it comes to proposals for federal bank regulators to issue national charters to financial technology companies.

The issue surfaced in March, when Amy Friend, senior counsel for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), said at a conference in Washington that the agency had fielded inquiries from fintech companies about obtaining a national charter tailored to their needs. Since then, the concept has come up repeatedly at industry conferences and elsewhere. At an OCC-sponsored event in Washington June 23, for example, Maryann Kennedy, deputy controller for large bank supervision, said the agency was forming a committee to examine the question.

A charter for a non-bank fintech company that provides financial services would be modeled to some degree on the charters the OCC issues to banks. A key feature of the bank charters that a marketplace lender potentially would value is “pre-emption:” A national charter would establish a single set of nationwide standards that a company would have to meet, overriding the necessity of complying with an array of state standards.

The danger in a national charter is that it would effectively represent the law of the land, with little or no room for maneuvering by the lenders.

Much of the testimony at the July 12 hearing involved a separate issue agitating marketplace lenders: whether federal regulators should continue to treat loans of $100,000 or less to small businesses — loans that make up the overwhelming majority of small-business borrowing — as business loans, or to treat them as consumer loans, which are subject to many more rules on disclosure and other factors.

The OCC has not disclosed what might be regulated by a national fintech charter, nor little else about its ongoing evaluation. The agency also has not said if it will decide to offer the charters, or when it might make that decision.

Negative interest rates creating increased anxiety, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Sovereign bonds are supposed to be the safest investments in the world, but according to Bill Gross, one of the best-known investors in the world, sovereign bonds are now too risky:

[Begin quote]”Sovereign bond yields at record lows aren’t worth the risk and are therefore not top of my shopping list right now; it’s too risky. Low yields mean bonds are especially vulnerable because a small increase can bring a large decline in price.”[End quote]

This was supported by a release from Fitch Ratings:

[Begin quote]”This year’s dramatic fall in yields on bonds issued by investment grade sovereigns has again raised the risk that a sudden interest rate rise could impose large market losses on fixed-income investors around the world, Fitch Ratings says. A hypothetical rapid reversion of rates to 2011 levels for $37.7 trillion worth of investment-grade sovereign bonds could drive market losses of as much as $3.8 trillion, according to our analysis.”[End quote]

Most people look at the stock market, and think that everything is rosy, but there’s a lot going on that isn’t reflected in the stock market. In 2007, it was the collapse of the real estate bubble and, more importantly, the disastrous collapse of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) backed by subprime mortgages. The disaster had already occurred before the stock market started falling.

Bloomberg columnist Lisa Abramowicz on TV on Wednesday commented on the warnings from Bill Gross and Fitch (my transcription):

[Begin quote]”There’s a high level of concern about how sustainable all of this is – when profits are declining, when you have growth slowing, when you have stimulus efforts that are not working and that are running out of steam — how long can this last? But at the same time, it’s very hard to see what could reverse it. The only thing that people possibly can point to is inflation, or if some country decides not to pay back their debt, or just forgive it, or come up with some kind of engineering that creates a technical problem.”[End quote]

According to Abramowitz’s contacts, the only thing that can stop the current plunge in bond yields is for some country to decide not to pay back their debt — essentially to declare sovereign bankruptcy. In other words, there’s a major financial crisis coming no matter what.

Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2016 Second Quarter Results, (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

Medallion Bank anticipates entering into a new line of business developing relationships with marketplace lending platforms.

Consumer loans originated by Medallion Bank were stronger than expected. In June alone, nearly 2,500 loans were funded for over $45 million in volume
Medallion Bank’s six month’s earnings increased by 39%
Managed assets reached $1.760 billion, including $1.159 billion at Medallion Bank, both all-time highs

Man claims Marlette Funding LLC made harassing phone calls to collect alleged debt, (West Virginia Record), Rated: A

Jeffrey Warren filed a complaint on July 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against Marlette Funding LLC alleging violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and other counts.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensation for all damages, costs of litigation, attorney’s fees and such other relief as the court shall deem just and proper. He is represented by Daniel Armstrong and Benjamin Sheridan of Klein & Sheridan LC in Hurricane.

Banks are rolling out personalized customer experiences, (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

Customer satisfaction with big banks has surpassed levels with midsize banks for the first time this year.
17 percent of large banks reported implementing contextual, personalized insights and solutions to consumers.

Considering the high cost, it isn’t surprising that big regional or national banks have the lead in this arena. 17 percent of big regional or national banks reported implementing contextual, personalized insights and solutions to consumers, compared to only six percent of community banks and 2 percent of credit unions, according to Digital Banking Report’s  The Power of Personalization in Banking. More than 50 percent of each category reported having a basic level of digital prowess with plans to increase future investments in digital.

There are some estimates of ROI on digitization of banking services. McKinsey identified several areas of digitization that drive more profitability than others. These areas include product back office automation, digitization of document management, automation of credit decisions, and big data analytics applied to sales campaigns.

What brokers lost by focusing so much on the desktop experience, ( TradeStreaming), Rated: A

Sticky products build engaged audiences.

That’s why Yahoo Finance continues to get a firehouse of traffic. For those of us who built our portfolios on the site ten or more years ago, that’s enough of a reason to go back. We’ve invested enough of our time and energy into the service that leaving it becomes difficult.

The thing is, as internet usage has shifted from desktop to mobile, so should trading volumes.

It isn’t enough for a broker to just recreate a web experience on mobile, either. Today’s users don’t want non-native apps. People want to feel that an app is trustworthy and vetted through the Apple Store. According to comScore, 87 percent of all time spent on mobile in the U.S. was spent in mobile apps.

United Kingdom

Brexit blamed for fall in crowdfunding deals, (FT), Rated: AAA

Crowdfunding platforms have experienced a slowdown in deal flow for the first time in five years, in a sign that “armchair investors” are taking a more cautious approach to alternative investments.
However, the number of investments offered online fell 17 per cent in the first half of 2016, compared with levels seen in the last half of 2015, according to research company Beauhurst. The fall follows 10 consecutive half years of growth in terms of the number of deals offered to investors.

Beauhurst’s head of research Pedro Madeira said the slowdown in crowdfunding was “particularly noteworthy”.

Beauhurst’s data also show that venture capital and private equity firms slowed investment into UK start-ups and high-growth companies in the same period.

Bruce Davis, spokesman for the UK Crowdfunding Association (UKCFA), the trade body of crowdfunding platforms, said the dip in deals offered was just “a pause”. The UKCFA said it was confident deal numbers would begin to grow again.

RateSetter to close 3-year market, (Alt Fi News), Rated: AAA

RateSetter says that demand for its 5 year product is the primary impetus behind the planned closure. The 3 year market has become less and less popular ever since the platform introduced its 5 year offering, and now accounts for less than 5 per cent of new investments. The company says that investors have voted “with their wallets” and that they clearly prefer to lend in the 5 year market. The 5 year market currently pays a rate of 5.7% per annum, with the 3 year sitting at 4.0%.

TISA launches P2P forum, (Mortgage Finance Gazette), Rated: A

The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA), the trade association working with the retail financial services industry, has launched a peer-to-peer lending forum to enable those in the sector to develop policy recommendations for regulators and legislators, address operational challenges and determine best practice.

Initially the peer-to-peer forum will concentrate on four key areas:

-Building an effective dialogue with the FCA, HMRC and HM Treasury

-Developing standardised terminology, operational technology, data governance principles and best -practice

-Enhancing accessibility to the sector by improving the understanding of intermediaries, discretionary managers, consumers and related parties including PI insurers

-Identifying unintended regulatory and technical blockages – for example in relation to the inclusion of P2P within SIPPs – and proposing solutions

Fintech investor joins Fidelity’s venture push, (Financial News), Rated: A

A former fintech investor at Accel Partners, who was involved in high-profile investments in WorldRemit and Funding Circle, has joined the London-based proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International as it seeks to strengthen its European business.

GLI Finance Hires Two Senior Executives, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

GLI Finance Limited (LSE:GLIF) has announced the hiring of two senior executives. Russell Harte has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and Steven Simpson has been selected as the Head of Group IT.

Harte is a Chartered Accountant with extensive general management experience. His recent roles have included being Finance Director of Liberty Holdings Limited, a JSE listed long-term insurer, where he played a key role in the turnaround of that business. Most recently he was CFO of Standard Bank Jersey Limited. Simpson is currently Head of IT at one of GLI’s subsidiaries Platform Black.  He has over 25 years of experience in the design, implementation and administration of secure and highly-available enterprise and web-based solutions for corporate customers across various sectors including finance and telecoms. Russell and Steven will join the senior management team. Russell will report to the Group CEO and Steven will report to Russell.

GLI has been going through a period of change as Whelan took over the Chief Executive role at the very beginning of 2016.

Australia

Disruptive partnership forms between two Australian platforms, (Alt Fi), Rated: A

ThinCats Australia has joined forces with DomaCom, a soon to list real estate equity investment platform.

The partnership will involve using ThinCats loans in order to gear properties on the DomaCom platform. This may be the first time that a peer-to-peer lending company and real estate equity investment platform have collaborated in this way.

The ThinCats partnership may also open up future investment opportunities for investors across the two platforms. Naoumidis said: “This also provides the 350 lenders on the ThinCats platform the opportunity to gain exposure to property assets and the ability to lend funds at an attractive interest rate with a lower risk profile.”

New Zealand

Profiling the typical ‘peer-to-peer’ investor, (Stuff), Rated: A

Investor Tom Enright was the first person to invest through LendMe, a peer-to-peer property lender.

He invested $542,000 by funding a fully-secured residential mortgage loan on an Auckland property, getting a 7.84 per cent return on his money.

There are four peer-to-peer businesses: LendMe  (direct secured property lending), Harmoney  (unsecured personal loans), Squirrel Money (diversified secured property lending), and Lending Crowd (focus on secured car lending). Harmoney is by far the biggest peer-to-peer lender with $275m of loans made.

Figures from Harmoney  show most peer-to-peer lenders are 50 or under, with 41 being the average age.

REASONS TO BE A PEER-TO-PEER INVESTOR

Harmoney says people invest in peer-to-peer because:

– They are looking for an investment that could offer regular repayments over time. This includes people trying to generate income to live off

– They are spreading risk by putting a percentage of their portfolios into consumer lending.

– They understand they are taking the risk of a loan defaulting, but believe the risk is manageable and the return fair.

– They enjoy the process of lending.

China

Failing Grade: Many Chinese P2P Lenders Do Not Meet Government Requirements, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

According to ECNS, the majority of P2P platforms have not yet established a relationship with a bank as a fund depository agent. Even though 149 P2P sites had signed agreements with banks “few had materialized.” Overall only 48 P2P lenders or just 2% of these online lenders have qualified, according to  Shanghai Ying Can Investment consulting.  These 48 platforms were some of the largest platforms in the country. These same platforms are poised to benefit by the additional regulatory scrutiny as undercapitalized and poorly managed P2P lenders may leave the market.

Chinese regulators are allowing a transitional period of 18 months for P2P lenders to adopt the new requirements. It will be interesting to see what happens after that.

P2P Finance in China: Why Firms Need Better Risk Controls, (Knowledge @ Wharton, UPenn), Rated: AAA

Since 2015, many P2P platforms including Ezubao, the Dada Group, the Kuailu Group, the Zhongjin Group and others have been charged with illegal fundraising, involving tens of billions of yuan. This is not confined to China. In May, the U.S. Treasury Department released a report criticizing the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending business and recommended it be more tightly regulated.

According to the industry website WDZJ.com, China’s P2P online finance industry reached 2.036 trillion yuan (about $300 billion in transaction volumes) by the end of May 2016. It took seven years to reach its first trillion yuan and just seven months to reach the second trillion.

Take the Lending Club in the U.S., for example. It originally hoped to evaluate personal risk based on data extracted from Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. That is in America, which has much more sophisticated credit investigation and personal data systems than in China. So you can imagine a large amount of P2P business based on personal credit in China will meet trouble in operation if there is no appropriate risk control system in place.

“There is one feature of the finance industry — the one that grows the fastest, will also collapse the fastest.”

Author:

George Popescu