Monday July 30 2018, Daily News Digest

TransUnion

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper tops 1 million loans. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program (2018-3) Trust. Elevate Credit earnings preview. Zopa CEO on FCA regulatory review. 60 firms apply for Hong Kong banking license. Today’s main analysis: Credit bureau earnings. Today’s thought-provoking articles: FCA to crack down on UK P2P lenders. What to expect in […]

TransUnion

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United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

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News Summary

United States

Marketplace Lender Prosper Tops One Million Loans (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Online lender Prosper announced a new milestone yesterday. The marketplace lending platform topped one million loans this past week representing over $13 billion in originations.

In May, Prosper announced strong loan originations saying the platform experienced a 27% year-over-year increase in the first quarter to $744 million.

The net loss for Q1 decreased by $12.6 million to ($24) million but EBITDA was positive for the fourth consecutive quarter.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-3 Trust (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of notes issued by SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-3 (“SCLP 2018-3”). This is a $546.00 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-3

Class Preliminary Rating Class Principal
A-1 AA+ (sf) $278,000,000
A-2 AA+ (sf) $136,000,000
B A (sf) $69,000,000
C BBB (sf) $63,000,000

In Second Act, a Silicon Valley CEO Opens Up About Affairs (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

Seeking a fresh start in Silicon Valley, former Social Finance Inc. chief and co-founder Mike Cagney now admits that an affair with a subordinate was a reason for his abrupt departure last year from the firm.

Now, Mr. Cagney is adding another reason for deciding to leave a startup he led for six years. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said that he had consensual sexual relationships with female subordinates, something he had previously denied publicly. He also said he had misled SoFi’s board of directors about one of the affairs.

Sex Scandal Toppled a Silicon Valley Chief. Investors Say, So What? (The New York Times) Rated: A

Yet just months after Mr. Cagney departed SoFi, two venture capitalists who had been on the company’s board and knew many details of his actions invested $17 million in his new start-up, called Figure. Since then, Mr. Cagney has raised another $41 million from others for the lending start-up, which will open soon.

Mr. Cagney’s swift comeback — from ouster to new company took four months — provides one of the starkest illustrations of the speed with which the technology industry is moving past the sexual harassment allegations that swept Silicon Valley and many other industries over the last year.

Highest GDP Growth since 2014, Credit Bureau Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The US economy grew at a blistering 4.1% pace, the highest GDP growth reading since 2014, driven by consumer spending. Consumer spending grew by 4%, higher than economists’ estimates. Consumer spending has been driving US economic growth and outstanding consumer debt has reached all-time highs, although consumer debt per capita is still well below its pre-crisis peak.

Credit Bureau Earnings

PeerIQ’s partner TransUnion released its 2Q earnings this week, along with Equifax. TransUnion’s earnings beat market expectations with revenue of $563 Mn, up by 19% YoY. TU’s revenue growth was driven by Online Data Services, where revenue grew by 23% YoY.

Source: TransUnion and PeerIQ

Equifax’s revenue increased by 2% YoY to $877 Mn in 2Q, while net income decreased by 12% YoY to $145 Mn. Below we compare the latest earnings of the 3 credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Note that Experian’s earnings are for the 6 months ending 3/31/18.

Source: Bloomberg and PeerIQ

Elevate Credit earnings preview: what Wall Street is expecting (Markets Insider) Rated: AAA

  • Elevate Credit is reporting earnings from Q2 on July 30.
  • Analysts predict earnings per share of $0.073.

Elevate Credit releases earnings for the most recent quarter on July 30.

9 analysts are estimating earnings of $0.073 per share as opposed to earnings of $0.080 per share in the same quarter of the previous year.

Analysts are expecting the company to report $186.8 million, an increase of 24.13% over the prior year quarter.

5 Ways to Earn a Truly Passive Income (Zing Blog) Rated: A

In recent years, investors have started putting their money into peer-to-peer lending companies. By lending out your own money to peers in the form of personal loans, you are able to earn interest – similar to the way that banks and other lenders produce income. On sites such as Lending Club and Prosper, you can open an account and begin investing in this passive income venture.

Like all investments, the ROI varies, but Lending Club and Prosper boast an average investment return of about 5 – 10%. Both of these platforms also give opportunities for users to make their investment semiautomatic, meaning you wouldn’t need to constantly monitor your investments or reinvest returns. But there would still be some work involved. If you want this to be a completely passive income stream, Lending Club offers a PRIME account, in which you’ll have a fully managed account. You’ll need to have a minimum investment of $5,000, though, and it will be subject to a one-time .8% fee.

85% of Small Business Owners Say They’re Living the Dream (Small Business Trends) Rated: A

According to recent findings from Kabbage, a financial services and data platform, 85 percent of small business owners believe that being your own boss and owning a business is achieving the American Dream. In addition, 84 percent said they hope their children will also one day become small business owners.

The survey, which consists of responses from more than 1,000 small business owners, found that 38 percent of those who hope their children become entrepreneurs feel that way because they want them to turn their passion into a career. 24 percent appreciate that being their own boss allows them to create a flexible schedule. And 22 percent feel that building a small business is rewarding, and they want their kids to feel that sense of pride.

ArborCrowd Wants HNW Investors to Understand the Appeal of Workforce Housing (National Real Estate Investor) Rated: A

ArborCrowd targets IRRs from 12 percent to 15 percent in top-tier markets and IRRs in the mid-teens or low 20s in secondary and tertiary markets, according to Adam Kaufman, co-founder and managing director of the online crowdfunding platform.

MILLENNIUM TRUST COMPANY REFRESHES ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT PLATFORM (STL News) Rated: B

Millennium Trust Company, LLC, (“Millennium Trust”) a leading retirement and custody services provider to advisors, financial institutions, businesses and individuals, announced today the launch of its enhanced education platform on the Millennium Alternative Investment Network (MAIN). MAIN is a free research, education and alternative investment resource to help investors and advisors increase their understanding of alternative assets, and invest through simplified and streamlined investment processes.

United Kingdom

Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana Welcomes FCA Regulatory Review of P2P Lending (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

This past Friday, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) finally released their reviewof the crowdfunding industry regulations. While the investment crowdfunding sector (equity crowdfunding) came away mostly unscathed the loan based sector (or peer to peer lending) took a bit of a lashing.

The FCA said the peer to peer lending had become “increasingly complex” and sited occurrences of operations that lacked transparency and instances where interest rates were not matched with the appropriate level of risk. The FCA subsequently announced a new consultation as it looks to firm up compliance for UK online lenders. Gillian Roche-Saunders, a partner at the law firm of Bates, Wells & Braithwaite – and Fintech expert, said this will be “the foundation of a much more sophisticated and targeted supervisory approach from the regulator.“

Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana welcomed the reappraisal and added scrutiny of P2P operations calling it a positive step. Janardana said they “wholeheartedly agree” with the FCA assessment;

Crackdown is looming for peer-to-peer lenders (The Times) Rated: AAA

The City watchdog is to crack down on peer-to-peer lending and the crowdfunding industry amid fears that consumers are being exposed to risks they do not understand.

The popularity of peer-to-peer lending, where individuals or small businesses borrow from members of the public and institutions on the internet, has soared in recent years.

About 150,000 Britons have handed over nearly £10 billion in the past decade through these forums, earning an attractive average of 4.5 per cent interest.

U.K. Watchdog Proposes New Regulations On Lending Platforms (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority is looking to tighten up oversight over crowdfunding platforms, which provide short-term lending for small businesses and consumers, in part to make sure customers have clear information about the rules, terms and conditions.

A 156-page report by the watchdog found that some customers were subject to poor practices by certain online platforms and that they were provided with unsuitable products and poor treatment.

The reform measures have been backed by platforms like Funding Circle, a leading crowdfunding lender, as a way to gain more legitimacy as competition heats up with traditional banks. RateSetter, one of the three-largest P2P lenders in the U.K., has also sought clarity on regulations as a means to better compete against established banks.

We would remain in EU now, say small companies (The Times) Rated: A

The majority of small companies would vote to stay in the European Union if there were to be a re-run of the Brexit referendum, a survey shows.

A poll of 965 small businesses found that 56 per cent now want to stay in the EU and 32 per cent wish to leave. The remainder were undecided or declined to state their preference.

The survey, which was conducted by Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lending platform, highlighted a 7 per cent swing towards remaining since April last year.

Tougher P2P lending rules proposed over poor practice concerns (Your Money) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened a consultation on loan-based crowdfunding platforms (peer-to-peer) following its original review of the sector in 2016.

It said since then, it’s observed that the new and growing area has become increasingly complex and has found evidence of “poor business practices” that could cause actual or potential harm to investors.

For example, P2P platforms have a much more active role by taking decisions on behalf of investors, structuring the loans they’re exposed to, and splitting loans across a number of investors (lenders) in order to receive a target rate of return.

Here’s what the industry thinks of the FCA review (Peer2Peer) Rated: A

THE FINANCIAL Conduct Authority released its long-awaited review into the peer-to-peer lending sectoron Friday. Here are some of the industry reactions so far…

Rhydian Lewis, chief executive, RateSetter-“I believe peer-to-peer lending will become a part of every investor’s diversified portfolio and the proposals from the FCA do not change that belief.”

James Meekings, co-founder and UK managing director of Funding Circle-“Funding Circle has consistently campaigned for proportionate regulation that protects consumers, whilst allowing innovation to boost choice and competition in the lending and investment markets.”

Stuart Law, chief executive at Assetz Capital-“While we have just received this latest FCA consultation document, and therefore have not as yet fully digested it, we will always be supportive of any regulation that ultimately benefits our investors, borrowers and the wider peer-to-peer industry. Proposals that advocate greater transparency, appropriate investor remuneration and good corporate governance are very much welcome.”

China

Hong Kong prepares to usher in virtual banks, as 60 firms apply to be pioneers in financial revolution (South China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

When SagaDigits, a HK$2 million (US$254,820) start-up, wanted to add post-merger shareholders and signatories to its corporate bank account, its chief executive approached a Hong Kong bank for help.

What happened next turned into many months of back-and-forth paperwork and arguments with the lender, said the company’s chief executive officer, Arthur Chan. He even spent a month tracking down his bank relationship manager after the staff was relocated to another branch.

Good news may be at hand for him, as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is poised to issue the city’s first virtual banking licence by year’s end to promote fintech and offer customers “a new kind of experience.”

Ning Tang, founder and chief executive officer of CreditEase, a Chinese wealth-management firm and the majority owner of U.S.-listed peer-to-peer lending platform Yirendai, talks about China’s P2P lending industry. He speaks with Tom Mackenzie on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”

European Union

What Can FinTech Expect In The Next 24 Months In The Central And Eastern Europe (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Trend #1: Further development of payment and money transfer solutions., FinTech incumbents started historically with niches that were on the one hand abandoned by traditional banks and, on the other hand, not as strictly regulated. That is why there has been more transaction service providers originating in the region, compared to different types of FinTech companies.

Trend #2: Business-to-business. Retail banking requires relatively more effort and brings in lower returns in exchange than servicing Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), not to mention large enterprises, which has been one of the remaining strongholds for banks (aside from trading, mortgages and services for corporations). Therefore, FinTech startups began offering their products to individuals but are slowly entering the corporate sector.

One of the examples is

Trend #3: Growth in complexity. From single service providers with excellent client experience, FinTech incumbents have evolved into mature companies with the high tech background.

Trend #4: Blockchain.  

FinLeap moves into the fintech platform-as-a-service space (FinExtra) Rated: A

Berlin-based fintech factory FinLeap is positioning as a provider of bundled solutions for startups and banks, melding stand-alone products across a common platform.

The company is rolling out two platform-based products to connect disparate applications in the consumer markets – FinReach – and in business process management – Infinitec.

10 Irish startups to look out for in 2018 and beyond (EU Startups) Rated: A

This week we took a closer look at the Irish startup scene with the goal to introduce you to some of the most promising startups from there. Below you’ll find 10 Irish startups to look out for in 2018 and beyond.

Flender: Successfully funded through the Seedrs equity crowdfunding platform, Dublin’s Flender is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform for businesses and consumers to borrow and lend money through their existing networks. Flender was launched in early 2017, offering a combination of social network, low-interest rates and an excellent mobile experience. They have so far raised €2 million from investors to formalise the social lending market among friends, family and business connections.

International

Libra Credit Receives Investment from Binance Labs (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Libra Credit, an online lender in the cryptocurrency space, has received an investment from Binance Labs – the tech incubator and VC portion of Binance – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

According to a post on Medium, the agreement enables BNB holders to receive loans collateralized by the crypto. So Libra Credit will lend fiat and digital assets to users who pledge BNB.

Nexo Crypto Lending Platform Offers to Acquire SALT Lending’s Qualifying Assets (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Known for being the first-ever instant, cryptocurrency-backed loans provider, Nexo took to Twitter to express its offering to acquire what remains of SALT Lending, a membership-based lending and borrowing network and a worthwhile competitor.

The tweet made on July 27, 2018, made it seem as if the Nexo was doing a favor or “lends a helping hand” to its competition, while sharing its willingness to “provide instant liquidity to its community, up to $2,000,000 per client without “proof-of-access” requirements.” To add to this public announcement, the firm also shared what appears to be its letter of intent to SALT Lending.

Global Debt Registry Bolsters Executive Team To Help Transform Structured Credit Market (Payment Week) Rated: B

Global Debt Registry (“GDR”), today announced two new executive hires from the banking industry. Evan Psaropoulos, formerly of Credit Suisse, has joined GDR as CFO, and Patrick Dietz, formerly of BNY Mellon, has joined the organization as Product Director. This follows Charlie Moore assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer, in addition to President, in recognition of his leadership and vision.

In his role as CFO, Evan will oversee the finance function within GDR, including overseeing equity financing and commercial strategy. He will lead investor relations for GDR across the capital markets space leveraging his investment banking and corporate development experience.

Australia

Online Lender Prospa Receives Recognition as Top Fintech (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Prospa, a leading online lender for Australian SMEs, has received a nice recognition being named National Fintech Lender of the Year in the 2018 MFAA Excellence Awards.

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia  or “MFAA” is the national body representing finance brokers, mortgage managers, lenders, aggregator/broking groups and other industry participants, in the mortgage and finance industry in Australia.

The MFA also recognised Prospa’s Roberto Sanz as the National Winner of Business Development Manager in the Lender and Support Service Provider category for 2018.

Strong First Half for Fintech Lending (Livewire) Rated: A

It has been a very active half year in the Australian Alternative Finance (AltFi) market. Since my previous wire on the key themes expected for 2018, the market has continued to grow and evolve. The themes were: 1) Continued Growth, 2) Consolidation of Lenders; and 3) Transparency via Listings.

These themes have been present in the first half, however we have seen two other themes present that will accelerate the development of the Australian Fintech lending market. One being the participation of banks in funding the AltFi lenders, the other, Government support for SME lending.

India

i2i Funding Helps Break Away from Traditional Banking (The Tech Panda) Rated: AAA

The Peer to Peer or P2P lending market has doubled in China. Though it might be at a nascent stage in India, according to co-founder of P2P lending platform i2i Funding Raghavendra Pratap Singh, it has a lot of potential. In a chat with The Tech Panda, Singh explained the intricate process and i2i Funding’s plans for the future.

I2i Funding had started with loan amounts of INR 10-15 lakhs per month, and now are doing INR 1.5 crore. Currently, they have around 30,000 registrations for borrowers and around 4000 for investors.  They add around 200-300 new investors per month. So far, the company has disbursed over 500 loans of over INR 8 crores.

How to earn money by investing (Economic Times) Rated: A

Many individuals still consider keeping money in their bank savings accounts akin to investing. Yes, it earns an interest rate but over a longer period of time, the earnings heavily fall short of negating the impact of inflation.

Currently, most banks offer 4 percent or even lower return on their savings accounts. It, therefore, becomes important to look out for other better alternatives and investment options to make your money earn you money.

Asia

Economy in brief: Half of unlicensed P2P lending from China (The Jakarta Press) Rated: AAA

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has discovered that more than 100 unlicensed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending providers in the country had been developed by Chinese firms.

The OJK reported its findings on Friday, pointing out that out of 227 unlicensed P2P lenders it had listed, at least half originated from China.

What Imran Khan’s Election Win Means For Pakistani Fintech (Forbes) Rated: A

Imran Khan has claimed victory in the 2018 Pakistani election for his PTI party after a campaign that has been marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging. Although Khan’s party is expected to fall short of an overall majority and would have to form a coalition, his economic policies have been questioned.

As per his 

MENA

Thinking outside the (financing) box (CPI) Rated: AAA

Can you describe the development of peer-to-peer lending in MENA?
Marketplace lending is still a relatively new phenomenon in the MENA region. A big part of what we do is to educate investors in the potential for diversifying their existing portfolios with a different type of investment. It offers them a wide-range of choice as investors are able to browse through campaigns and select the ones that match their criteria best.

Liwwa only lends to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and we continue to scale up that lending activity. As our underwriting activity grew from $2.3 million in 2016 to $5.2 million in 2017, the level of funding from retail investors nearly doubled. Retail lenders want to see a credible company, a solid portfolio and a low default rate. As long as Liwwa continues to deliver on those three criteria, we can build trust in the platform and hopefully build an ongoing relationship with new and existing investors.

Over the last 18 months banks have significantly scaled back lending activity to the SME sector. How as this affected P2P lending activity in the region?
IFRS 9, with its provisioning rules, is one of the main drivers of banks’ reticence to lend to SMEs. The market demand for loans hasn’t appreciably changed, and one could argue that market risk has stabilised in many MENA economies—so the accounting rule change is having an outsized impact. Alternative financing structures such as these are poised to fill a need because much of the debt is treated on an off-balance sheet basis. Retail lenders and non-bank institutions can contribute to filling the SME lending gap given a difference in risk appetites and a more generous perspective on solvency ratios.

Africa

Peer to peer lending: from Nigerians, to Nigerians (Stears Business) Rated: AAA

When societies were small and closed-off, people lent freely among themselves based on trust. At worst, the lender believed that he could take up his case with the local community. But as globalisation and technology came, people began to migrate, and personal lending became inefficient. The solution? Banks.

At the centre of this story is FINT, a Nigerian online peer-to-peer lender founded in early 2017. The idea is simple. Emeka signs up to the FINT platform and requests for a loan. Chinyere signs up, funds her account, and chooses which loan(s) she wants to finance from a pool of anonymous borrowers. In its simplest form, Emeka wants ₦120,000 for six months, and Chinyere lends it to him and gets monthly payments of the principal (₦120,000) and interest (e.g. 10%) every month – or ₦13,200 each month.

FINT has been pioneering this simple form of lending in Nigeria. Its aim to “empower Nigerians by making loans more accessible and affordable; and lending more rewarding” speaks to the core idea of peer-to-peer lending.

Latin America

New rules for credit fintech companies (Lexology) Rated: AAA

The Central Bank also issued Circular 3,898 in May 2018, which set out the procedural rules for establishing such entities.

The Central Bank has introduced these rules in order to continue the modernisation of Brazil’s financial sector – something which has been ongoing since 2013, with more intensive actions being taken since 2016. The main goals of the rules are to:

  • incentivise innovation;
  • increase legal certainty;
  • enable the entrance of new players in the market;
  • increase competition; and
  • reduce interest rates.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Mondy July 16 2018, Daily News Digest

market implied inflation

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingTree to acquire Student Loan Hero. SoFi to go after brokerage business. British Business Bank talking about backing Funding Circle loans. Funding Circle slashes US exposure. Duanrong raises $45M. Today’s main analysis: Deep dive on inflation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: New LendingClub account performance. New York state’s recommendations for online lending. Is there subprime auto loan bubble […]

market implied inflation

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Asia

Other

News Summary

United States

LendingTree, Inc. Announces Agreement To Acquire Student Loan Hero (Payment Week) Rated: AAA

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Student Loan Hero, Inc., a personal finance website dedicated to helping student loan borrowers manage their student debt.  Student Loan Hero offers current and former students in-depth financial comparison tools, educational resources, and unbiased, personalized advice.

We are going after the brokerage business, says SoFi CEO (CNBC) Rated: AAA

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses the company’s “modern take on the checking account” and where he seeing the next big investment opportunity, including cryptocurrency.

Rising Inflation, Deep-Dive on Inflation Trends (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Consumer credit increased by $26.4 Bn in May, the largest monthly jump in 6 months, to an all-time high of $3.9 Tn. Growth was driven by a $9.8 Bn increase in revolving credit card debt. Credit growth has been averaging 7.6% fueling consumer spend-driven GDP growth. The Fed’s latest G-19 report can be found here.

Source: Federal Reserve, PeerIQ

Rising US Inflation

US CPI rose by 2.9% YoY, its highest reading since March 2012. This week we look at various inflation measures and how they stack up against the Fed’s 2% inflation target.

Measured Inflation vs the Fed’s Inflation Target

Source: BLS, BEA, PeerIQ
Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

New LendingClub Account Performance – Q2 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

The current status of my LendingClub account is very typical for new investors. A handful of loans have been paid in full while just a couple have entered either grace period or the late 31-120 days stage. A majority of the loans are issued and current.

Below is a screenshot of my target allocation shortly after account setup with about half of my capital allocated to LendingClub notes.

Source: Lending Club

Below is a screenshot as of today with all $5,000 invested which now closely resembles my target allocation.

Source: Lending Club

DFS Releases Recommendations for Online Lending (deBanked), Rated: AAA

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released a report on Wednesday on the subject of online lending in the state. The report was mandated by a billsigned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 1 of last year.

Source: New York Department of Financial Services

Access the full report here.

Loan applicants are reverse engineering the online lending algorithms (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Online lenders are assailed by fraudsters on all fronts. There were 1579 data breaches in the U.S. in 2017, 302 of which resulted in the exposure of full credit and debit card numbers. Because online finance frees up applicants from having to show up physically to a bank, it also opens up opportunities for identity fraud. This really is the other side of phishing and identity hacks. Once data ends up in the hands of criminals, the next step is to monetize it by taking out fraudulent loans.

Kabbage claims that 95 percent of its customers have a fully-automated underwriting experience.  “By getting customers to connect their Amazon, Square, eBay, and business bank accounts, Kabbage gets a direct view into the finances of a small business borrower,” said Yaakov Erlichman, vice president of fraud and underwriting strategy at Kabbage. “We have more than two million live data connections. It’s really hard to fake live business data.”

You Accidentally Sent $ 149 to a Stranger on Venmo? Good Luck Getting It Back (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

With the rise of money-transfer apps such as PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Venmo, it’s never been easier for people to send money to their friends. It’s also never been easier to accidentally send money to a total stranger.

Getting the money back is often far more difficult: Many digital payments are irreversible.

For the recipient, it’s the equivalent of finding cash on the sidewalk— except it comes with a moral quandary.

Baker Hill Inks Loan Origination Deal with West Texas State Bank (Finovate) Rated: A

One month after bringing its loan origination platform to $5.6-billion North Carolina-based First Bank, Baker Hill is back in the news. The fintech is teaming up with West Texas State Bank (WTSB) to support efficient loan growth with its NextGen Loan Origination for Commercial and Consumer Lending platform. The technology, in the words of West Texas State Bank Chief Lending Officer and COO Les Robbins, will help the bank “streamline the origination process with … roles-based, intuitive lending solutions.”

Uphold To Bring Crypto-Backed Credit To Members With Libra Credit Partnership (Block Tribune) Rated: A

Cryptocurrency platform Uphold has partnered with crypto lending platform Libra Credit to offer its users access to a variety of Libra Credit products.

Founded by former PayPal financial technology veterans, Libra Credit is an ethereum-based lending network that facilitates open access to credit anywhere and anytime. Libra Credit offers a seamless digital lending process that can be completed in five steps: application, verification and credit assessment, confirmation, collateral deposit, and disbursement. The platform focuses on a dual-credit risk scoring mechanism that considers the creditworthiness of the pledged collateral as well as the credit information of the borrower. Borrowers will be able to pledge any crypto-assets as collateral and receive loans in their desired asset.

How to Choose Your First Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment (U.S. News) Rated: A

Crowdfunded real estate investments account for $2.5 billion of the $7 trillion commercial real estate market, according to CFX Markets. There’s major growth potential in the industry as more investors lock in on the benefits of investing in real estate through crowdfunding platforms.

United Kingdom

British Business Bank in talks to back £150m of Funding Circle loans (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle’s listed investment trust is in talks with the British Business Bank (BBB) about providing further funding through the peer-to-peer platform.

It comes as the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) reported its net asset value (NAV) had increased from £308m to £165m in the year to March 2018, while its NAV total return was 14.9 per cent.

FCIF highlighted a structured finance transaction with Citibank to fund loans through the Funding Circle platform as one of its major deals last year, and also revealed it was in talks with the BBB about providing up to £150m of funding.

Funding Circle slashes US exposure after dividend cut (Citywire) Rated: AAA

Funding Circle SME Income (FCIF) will reduce exposure to US loans after the increased cost of hedging the dollar saw the listed peer-to-peer fund cut its dividend.

Last month, the alternative lender to small businesses said it would cut its annual dividend of 6.5p per share to between 5p and 6p, after a ‘material increase’ in the cost of removing the impact of changes in the value of the dollar on its portfolio.

However, a ‘partial reallocation of capital deployment away from the US and towards the UK and continental Europe’ will see North American loans fall by up to 10% from 25% of the £329 million portfolio.

LendInvest partners Onfido for digital verification services (Verdict) Rated: A

Instead of the need for paper forms, LendInvest BTL applicants can now confirm their identity online by incorporating Onfido’s proprietary technology into its digital application system.

The new solution not only eliminates the needs for certified physical copy documents and saves time, but also it makes the mortgage application process easier for both brokers and their clients

Plans are also being considered to add Onfido technology into the onboarding process used for LendInvest’s online investment platform in the future.

UK Peer to Peer Lender Lending Works Raises £2.8 Million in New Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Lending Works has received £2.8 million in funding in a round led by Maven Capital Partners, with £800,000 of backing from Pollen Street Capital and NVM Private Equity. The UK peer to peer lender said proceeds will be used to fuel growth including loan customer acquisition via other channels.

Founded in 2014, Lending Works has originated approximately £115 million in loans with £32 million (27%) in the first half of 2018. – 27% of which (£32 million) was distributed in the first half of 2018 alone. Lending Works expects to originate £100 million in loans during 2018. The P2P lender is also a member of the UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) – the association that represents leading P2P platforms.

Another robo-adviser enters the fray: Tiller lets you invest in passive AND active funds – so how does it compare? (This is Money) Rated: A

Another player has entered the increasingly crowded ‘robo-advice’ space to cater for modest investors who have been priced out of conventional financial advice.

The new service, called Tiller, will pit against the likes of Nutmeg and Moneyfarm in a bid to win the custom of those investing smaller amounts who are under-served by financial advisers.

Like many of its competitors, Tiller creates a personalised portfolio which is rebalanced if necessary, buying and selling depending on what the markets do.

China

There’s No Subprime Bubble in China Auto Loans (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Slowing car sales and tightening credit look like a toxic combination for China’s auto-financing industry, which has exploded in the past few years. Concerns the sector is heading for a subprime-like meltdown may be overblown, though.

Sales in the world’s largest car market rose 2.3 percent in June from a year earlier, data showed last week. While faster than several analysts expected, growth decelerated from an 8 percent pace in May. Compared with the previous month, deliveries fell about 1 percent in June.

The cooling coincides with Beijing’s quest to deleverage the financial system, which has led to tighter liquidity, reduced access to credit and, in theory, squeezed consumer discretionary spending. In a report last week, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein linked the weakness in car sales to a slowdown in peer-to-peer lending, pointing to “the deflation of what amounts to a subprime (P2P) auto bubble.”

Source: Bloomberg

Chinese Fintech Platform Duanrong.com Raises $ 45M Series B Round (China Money Network) Rated: AAA

China Money Network’s DealShot provides detailed information on venture capital and private equity deals in China on a daily basis.

Here you can find out where Chinese investors have been investing their money each workday.

Company Round Lead Investor Participants Sector Headquarters
Duanrong.com Series C Lanua Asia fund Fintech Beijing
LemonBox Seed Round Y Combinator, Guangjian Lab E-commerce Beijing
58 Suyun Series A InnoVision Capital Cainiao Network, Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF), Qianhai Fund of Funds, 58 Daojia Logistics Tianjin
Honor Alliance Series A Angel Around Investment Fund Enterprise services Beijing
ASR Microelectronic Series B IDG Capital, Wanrong Hongtu Fund Smart Hardware Shanghai
Hash World Series A+ Shunwei Capital Danhua Capital Blockchain Beijing
EON Protocol Angel Round UpHonest Capital, BGOGO, Fission Capital Blockchain
Paopao Hero Series A undisclosed Consumer Upgrade Guangzhou
Haowujiayi Pre-A undisclosed E-commerce Shenzhen
51signing.com Series A Fenbushi Capital, DL Capitals Enterprise services Beijing
Viva Vision Biotech Series B Healthcare Shanghai
iBanker Pre-A Button Capital Mindfulness Capital, AC Capital Education Beijing
Soushi88.com Series A Ferry Venture Capital Buhuo Ventures E-commerce Guangzhou
IPSTAR Pre-A miHoYo Volcanics Venture, Shenzhen Huode Qianhai Fund Management Co., Ltd Media & Entertainment Shanghai
Huaqiang PCB Series B Cowin Capital, China Merchants Bank E-commerce Shenzhen

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Toutiao Marches into the Fintech Market with Cash Loan Products

China’s leading digital media platform Toutiao has long denied the potential of entering the financial markets. However, it is reported this week that a series of cash loan products have launched on Toutiao’s app without too much marketing.

The product Fangxinjie (literally meaning reliable lending) was listed within Toutiao’s digital wallet with credit up to200,000 yuan and daily interest low to 0.03%.

Fintech Startup xyb100 Secures ¥200 Million B Round Funding led by Japanese Financial Institution Credit Saison

This week, fintech startup xyb100 announced that it had secured 200 million B round funding by famous Japanese financial institution Credit Saison.

European Union

Fundvisory Raises €1.8M From Macif and Aviva France (Coverager) Rated: AAA

Fundvisory, the Paris-based startup that offers a white-label robo-advisory solution has raised 1.8 million euros from Aviva France and Macif.

Founded in 2015, Fundvisory provides automated and modular robo-advisory tools such as portfolio monitoring, risk profiling and compliance to help financial institutions digitize their financial advisory services. Led by Nicolas Gonzalez and Romain Deguest, the startup previously raised 300,000 euros from friends and family, and is currently a team of 10 according to LinkedIn.

India

RBI Grants NBFC-P2P Certification to Cashkumar (Silicon India) Rated: AAA

According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, Indian P2P lending industry is estimated to cross the $4 billion mark by 2021. Owing top such pleasing industry forecast, along with the additional support schemes & initiatives from the Government, the fintech players in India have garnered a lot of momentum. In this light, Cashkumar, one of India’s leading P2P lending companies, announced that it has been granted the NBFC-P2P license from RBI (Reserve Bank of India). With this, Cashkumar joins the list of the very few fintech firms who hold the NBFC-P2P accreditation. Post this, the company focuses on providing loans between  20,000-100,000 with tenures of 3-12 months and offering only to salaried individuals.

Asia

Japanese startup Paidy raises $ 55M Series C to let people shop online without a credit card (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

Paidy, a fintech startup that enables Japanese consumers to shop online without using a credit card, announced today that it has raised a $55 million Series C. The round was led by Japanese trade conglomerate Itochu Corporation, with participation from Goldman Sachs.

The Tokyo-based startup says this brings its total funding so far to $80 million, including a $15 million Series B announced two years ago. One notable fact about Paidy’s funding is that it’s raised a sizable amount for Japanese startup, especially one with non-Japanese founders (its CEO and co-founder is Canadian and Goldman Sachs alum Russell Cummer, left in the photo above with CTO and co-founder Lee Smith).

Bambu raises $ 3m in Series A funding (FinTech Futures) Rated: A

Bambu CEO and founder Ned Phillips says it has topped growth targets for the year, and points to seven new clients in Asia and the US that were slated to go live soon.

He adds: “Our next ambitious goal is to get a million end users on the platform by 2019.”

Also participating in the round were Singapore family office Octava and Japanese fintech investor Mamoru Taniya.

The funding takes Bambu’s total capital to more than $4 million.

Lendr wins Asian award for innovative partnership (Manila Standard) Rated: B

Lendr, the digital lending platform of FINTQnologies Corp., bagged the ‘Most Innovative Partnership Strategy’ award at the 21st Annual Telecom Asia Awards on June 26 in Singapore.

MENA

Generation Start-up: Smart Crowd helps micro-investors build wealth, brick by brick (The National) Rated: AAA

In the case of Smart Crowd, the platform enables fractional ownership of real estate. Investors can purchase a stake in a rental property for as little as Dh5,000 ($1,300), ‘co-owning’ the asset along with tens, hundreds (or thousands, depending on the size and value of the unit) of other people.

They can hold their stake for as long as they wish, collecting the rent from it, or sell it and use the proceeds to invest in something else listed on the platform. Or they can use accumulated returns to buy a property on their own.

Smart Crowd is licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the regulator of Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai’s financial free zone, to provide crowdfunding services for real estate. It won regulatory approval in January, obtained an operating licence in April, and in June completed its first transaction – the acquisition of a Dh365,000 studio in Remraam generating a gross annual yield of 10.8 per cent (approximately 8.6 per cent with fees), the founders say.

Big data for bigger opportunities (Khaleej Times) Rated: A

Businesses in Dubai are not sparing any efforts to tap possible avenues to boost sales and growth, and the latest trend is that firms specialising in big data are unlocking opportunities to study customer preferences, loyalties and any segment that will help boost customer numbers.

Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important: it’s what organisations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analysed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves, according to the definition given by SAS Institute.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 15 2018, Daily News Digest

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper loan originations up 27% year-over-year, over $2B co-sponsored securitizations closed. Funding Circle launches new borrower referral incentive. Renren investors seek to block asset sales. PayMate acquires Z2P Technologies. Today’s main analysis: Singapore’s biggest bank vs. China’s tech giants. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 80% of startup money goes to three states. The Sharestates story: $1B […]

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper Loan Originations up 27% Year-over-Year; Over $ 2 Billion of Co-Sponsored Securitizations Closed (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Prosper today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2018. Loan originations increased 27% year-over-year to $744 million, driven by strong demand for the company’s personal loan product and stable funding.

Financial highlights include:

  • Total Net Revenue, which includes the non-cash impact related to warrants to purchase preferred stock, was flat year-over-year at $30.5 million in Q1 2018 compared to $30.8 million in Q1 2017.
  • Core Revenue(1), which excludes the non-cash impact related to warrants to purchase preferred stock, increased $11.6 million or 34% year-over-year to $45.7 million in Q1 2018 compared to $34.2 million in Q1 2017.
  • Net Loss decreased by $12.6 million to ($11.4) million in Q1 2018 compared to a Net Loss of ($24.0) million in Q1 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased $13.6 million to $4.5 million in Q1 2018 compared to ($9.0) million in Q1 2017, the fourth consecutive quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) generated by Prosper.
Key Operating and Financial Metrics (Unaudited)
(in thousands)
Three Months Ended March 31,
2018 2017
Loan Originations $ 744,127 $ 585,590
Transaction Fees, Net 31,354 26,869
Servicing Fees, Net 7,184 6,154
Total Net Revenue 30,450 30,845
Core Revenue (1) 45,729 34,152
Net Loss (11,401 ) (24,021 )
Adjusted EBITDA(1) 4,520 (9,039 )

80% of start-up money goes to three states — here’s what one visionary is doing to help spread the wealth (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Baird: And the microfinance industry is — $30 billion a year around the world is lent in $500 chunks to small businesses, near a 100% repayment rate.

Microfinance is a tool. All investing is a tool. Every microfinance bank, every bank is neither good nor bad, they’re amoral. It’s just what are people trying to do with it. I’ve seen microfinance banks that act in extractive ways and their primary goal is extract as much profit out of poor communities as possible. I’ve seen payday lenders do the same thing. I’ve also seen microfinance banks that are very good and say, “Our core goal is building wealth for the community and we’ve structured our business in a way that works for us.”

One percent of start-up investment goes to African-Americans. Two percent of start-up investment goes to women. There are a lot of people who are overlooked.  So roughly 80% of start-up investment goes to three states: New York, Massachusetts, California. If you’re in Ohio or Florida or Nairobi or Mumbai, it’s really hard to get your idea into the system.

The Story of Sharestates: From Startup to $ 1 Billion in 3 Years (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Now, just over a year later, they have announced they recently crossed the $1 billion mark in originations. The company did so in just over 3 years, having officially launched in February 2015, just before LendIt USA that year. They are the second company in the real estate crowdfunding space to do so and are on our list as one of the ten options available for accredited investors in the marketplace lending space.

Originations in the lending space is only one metric. Any lending company’s survival depends on the quality of the loans they are making. According to the Sharestates’ website, investors have earned an average 10.54 percent annualized return. They also report 0% loss of principal for their investors. As of last year when we checked in the company was profitable which sets them up for continued success going forward. We’ve seen very few companies in the marketplace lending space broadly achieve this goal.

BuildDirect Partners With Affirm (Globe Newswire) Rated: A

BuildDirect, the first technology platform for the home improvement industry, today announced its partnership with Affirm Inc., a financial technology company that provides transparent payment alternatives to traditional credit. Now, U.S.-based BuildDirect customers have easy access to flexible and transparent financing options to pay for home improvement and renovation materials over time. At the point of sale, shoppers will see exactly how much they’ll pay in fixed monthly installments over the term they choose.

Banks struggle to combat the cyber crime bad guys (Financial Times) Rated: A

Digital banking has been a big positive for the financial services industry, though it has opened companies to greater cyber risk; cyber criminals now have a lot more entry points when it comes to getting access to funds illicitly; banks have increased their spending on defense but it isn’t enough as they also need to construct better, more secure systems; the CEO of Standard Chartered writes in the FT that banks can better utilize the data they collect, design tech better and work more closely with governments to catch bad actors.

Blockchains Could Be the Answer to Fairer Lending Systems (Nasdaq) Rated: A

The advancement of blockchain technology, this is poised to change. Through the technology, anyone anywhere in the world can raise financing from peers without having to rely on the traditional credit scores and the often heavily bureaucratic conventional mortgage processes.

Blockchain solutions such as Homelend  are making it possible for borrowers to directly reach lenders without depending on any intermediary and with no paperwork. The whole process is safeguarded by smart contracts to ensure that all parties in the deal adhere to their part of the bargain. According to Aneeza Haleem , a senior account manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions, blockchain-powered peer-to-peer mortgage financing significantly reduces the costs involved in the mortgage process.

Will Wells Fargo hurt Zelle by improving on it? (Payments Source) Rated: A

The irony of the explosive growth of mobile P2P is this: As consumers get more comfortable with paying one another through mobile devices, they’re thinking of P2P less as a service that one should find within a bank’s app.

This is a problem for Early Warning’s Zelle, the bank-run P2P network whose main selling point is its integration with banks. It’s a sharp contrast to rivals such as Venmo, which styled itself on a social media app; and Facebook and Apple, which took their own messaging platforms and blended P2P payments into the interface.

Capital One buys digital identity start-up Confyrm (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Capital One has acquired San Francisco-based digital identity start-up Confyrm as it seeks to capture the market for consumer identity services.

Financial details were not disclosed, but as part of the deal Andrew Nash, founder and CEO of Confyrm, has become managing vice-president of Capital One’s consumer identity services. No word on what happens to the rest of the staff.

Confyrm was founded five years ago and offers help against online fraud.

Where Bank of America uses AI, and where its worries lie (American Banker) Rated: A

Bank of America spends $3 billion developing and buying technology every year, and about three times that on keeping its existing IT infrastructure going, says David Reilly, global banking and markets technology chief information officer.

As you might expect, some of that goes to artificial intelligence technology. The bank does not disclose how much.

An old-school fraud analytics program might see a customer using a card in a place they have never used a card before and block the transaction.

AI can do better.

The one area where banks and fintechs want more regulation (American Banker) Rated: A

Banks, fintech firms and data aggregators are asking regulators to provide more clarity on how to handle consumer data and who is responsible for leaks when it is shared between firms — a request that’s seemingly a reversal from the deregulatory approach the industry often takes.

The potential liability stemming from consumer data has become a critical concern for the financial industry as more data aggregators and fintech firms rapidly enter the space, seeking access to customers’ bank account information in order to offer loans and other products.

Could US Post Offices Become Banks? Here’s How The Plan Would Work (10 News) Rated: A

Now, there are a couple different ways Congress could build banking into the U.S. Postal Service. The first approach would just cover the basics.

That means offering low-dollar checking accounts and debit cards to low-income earners. That would at least offer basic financial services to all Americans, regardless of wealth. And it probably wouldn’t be too tough politically because the big banks typically aren’t interested in these customers.

But Gillibrand’s proposal would go further, allowing the postal service to also make loans of up to $1,000 with a super low interest rate around 2 percent, even to the poorest Americans. Because many of those loans would be at risk of not being paid back, some experts say the interest rate will have to be higher, maybe 25 percent. But that would still be a lot lower than rates from payday lenders, which often have people pay back three or four times what they borrowed.

Citizens Financial To Launch Online Consumer Bank (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Citizens Financial Group announced on Monday (May 14) plans to launch Citizens Access, a nationwide direct-to-consumer online bank.

In a press release, Citizens Financial said the digital platform will offer FDIC-insured deposits products aimed at serving people who want to save and want the flexibility of an online banking service. The company said it will provide digital deposit services at attractive rates and lower costs to help consumers save more for the future. The platform will be launched in the third quarter and will be available throughout the U.S.

 

Now Is the Time to Refinance Student Loans (Pharmacy Times) Rated: B

Refinancing your student loans from pharmacy school can potentially save you a significant amount of money while providing the convenience of making one payment a month. Keep in mind refinancing may not be for everyone. Individuals with a poor credit history, low salary from a pharmacy residency or fellowship, or those who want to keep the provisions in federal loans may want to closely consider their options before jumping right into refinancing their loans.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle launches new borrower referral incentive (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle is offering £1,500 in Amazon vouchers to anyone who refers a business that takes out a loan of £25,000 or more with the peer-to-peer lending platform.

The UK’s third-largest lender to small businesses said the borrowers may need the cash to grow, refurbish, buy stock or equipment, hire more staff or simply boost their cash flow.

HMRC updates crypto investors on tax confusion (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

However, a HMRC representative has told Peer2Peer Finance News that the tax office will deal with cryptocurrency related tax bills “on a case-by-case basis”.

The 2017-18 tax year saw huge volatility across the cryptocurrency sector, with Bitcoin reaching a high of £13,840 in mid-December before ending the tax year at approximately £4,750 per coin. This has led to confusion among retail investors regarding their tax liability, particularly if they sold out of the market at a high, then reinvested the profits only to see any gains wiped out.

Frederic Nze of Oakam (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • What was the catalyst that led to the founding of Oakam.
  • The loan products that Oakam offers.
  • The difference between small dollar loans in the US and the UK.
  • How Oakam is able to find their customers.
  • What percentage of their customers apply for a loan on a smartphone.
  • Why they still have physical stores where people can apply for loans in person.
  • How they have refined their underwriting models over the years.
  • How they are dealing with increased fraud via their online channels.
  • The interest rates they charge.
  • How their customers are able to reduce these rates for future loans.

Technology not size is key to banking success (Financial Times) Rated: A

Antony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclays and now head of 10x Future Technologies, writes in the FT that technology is key to the battle with banks; having technology that is more nimble and focused on the customer will help to better position challengers; UK challengers banks have found it hard to compete against the big names, even with recent consolidation; understanding what the customer needs most and allowing them to access services anytime and anywhere is what firms should focus on.

Fintech most popular sector for HNW investors (Investment International) Rated: B

Capitama’s current registered investors have a total annual investment capacity of £7.6bn. Of this total capacity, investors have expressed an annual investment capacity of £5bn into private equity opportunities, with £2.3bn total annual investment in Debt and Income opportunities. The interest of the registered investors in Philanthropic and Social Impact opportunities currently stands at £300m per year. This is an additional theme on Capitama given the rise in interest in these organisations from wealthy individuals and organisations.

69% of Capitama investors are interested in fintech investment opportunities and 67% want to see software and technology deals. Of the nine different investment types available on Capitama, Growth funding is the most popular, with 83% of Capitama registered Investors interested in this area, followed by Early stage investments (72%), Buy-outs (63%), and Real Estate (47%).

 

 

China

Renren Investors Seek to Block Asset Sales to Chief, SoftBank (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

A group of Renren Inc. investors are trying to block the private sale of company-owned assets to a consortium that includes its own top executive and major shareholder SoftBank Group Corp.

Renren announced the complex deal in April, which it said was necessary to address concerns that the SEC might deem it an investment company — forcing its delisting if it failed to obtain relevant licenses.

The letter accused management of trying to transfer the assets at values equal to or lower than their book value, neglecting their duty to smaller shareholders and misrepresenting certain financial statements. For example, it says the shares in SoFi — one of America’s biggest student loan refinancers — are being sold at a valuation of $269 million when they could be worth double that amount.

US online lending model is unproven, Eisman of The Big Short fame says in Hong Kong (South China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

Steven Eisman, famous for successfully shorting the US subprime market before the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, has said the online lending business model used in the United States is unsustainable, and that losses from Canadian mortgages could widen.

The one pocket of financial market anomaly in the US was online lending, where, he said, the underwriting of peer-to-peer credit was unproven, as selling a loan to investors such as hedge funds and other financial institutions was an unsustainable business model.

“The problem [with P2P lending] is that selling a loan [online] is not the same as selling a book. You buy a book on Amazon and that’s the end of the transaction. When you make a loan, that’s the beginning of a relationship. The question is how you manage that relationship,” said Eisman.

Soft Chinese Tech IPOs Test Next Wave of Listings (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

More than a dozen technology companies from China are rushing to go public abroad, in an enticing opportunity for investors but one that has generated poor returns recently.

Shares of most Asian tech companies that have listed in New York and Hong Kong since the start of 2017 have notched lackluster performances, with the bulk trading below their initial public offering prices after strong early gains.

European Union

Bondora Go & Grow – Bondora Rolling Out New Product (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Go & Grow is designed for the passive investors as hands off p2p lending. One of the main advantages is that Bondora says it is tax optimised.

The Bondora Go & Grow product features a target interest rate of 6.75% which will accrue daily. It runs completly on autoinvest. The investor just needs to join it and pay money into the Go & Grow account (or transfer it from the normal Bondora account). The Go & Grow account promises daily liquidity. There is a 1 EUR withdrawal fee making small withdrawals expensive but for portfolios of 1000 EUR or more and usual investment horizons this fee is negligible.

Three Year Old Fintech Mintos is Profitable (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Latvian Fintech Mintos is reporting a profit in its brief three year old history. According to the company, the global online marketplace for loans has seen their revenue increase more than four-fold in 2017 to € 2.1 million generating a net profit for the year of € 197,000. Mintos says it has experienced significant growth, making it the “peer-to-peer lending market leader for continental Europe” with a 38% market share.

In aggregate, Mintos has topped € 660 million in investments by investors and the company expects the amount of loans funded to reach EUR 1 billion before the end of this year. As of May 2018, Mintos claims more than 58,000 investors using the platform and this number is expected to surpass 100,000 at some point in 2017. Currently, investors may expect an average 12.1% rate of return.

International

The 30 most valuable VC-backed companies in the world (Pitch Book) Rated: AAA

Ridehailing giants Uber and Didi Chuxing, based in San Francisco and Beijing, respectively, lead the list of most valuable private companies around the globe. And moving down the rankings, the pattern set at the top continues. A total of five of the companies are in the ridehailing industry, and 26 of the 30 are based in either the US or China.

 

Source: Pitch Book

What is Libra Credit: Digital Assets as the Future for International Credit (Coin Central) Rated: AAA

Libra Credit is offering a decentralized lending Ethereum-based ecosystem that helps users get open access to credit anywhere and anytime.

As long as a user has digital assets, they will be able to borrow money from Libra Credit by using those digital assets as collateral. Additionally, these users will be able to build an international credit history – a concept that Libra Credit and its partners plan to push to be recognized globally.

Source: Coin Central

Libra Credit plans to charge a fixed 8% annual interest rate charged by Libra Credit, which is party enabled by its partnerships with traditional finance institutions. The rate is competitive with that of other peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Lending Club and Salt, but isn’t tied to the availability of a peer match.

Source: Coin Central

How Misbehaving Australian Banks Are Causing Global Pain (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Australia’s four biggest banks — Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp.National Australia Bank Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. — have been plagued by a string of scandals. The accusations run the gamut from giving misleading financial advice to trying to manipulate a benchmark interest rate. Simmering public resentment — stoked by a sense banks were gouging fees to fuel record profits and executive pay — boiled over last year when Commonwealth Bank was sued for systemically breaching anti-money laundering rules.

The government has announced tough new penalties for corporate wrongdoing and beefed up the regulator’s powers; analysts have trimmed earnings forecasts and speculate future legislation could force the biggest banks to sell off advice businesses.  All this comes at a time when bank profits are under pressure from a slowing housing market, rising costs and increased competition. Most of the banks are trying to simplify their operations and sell non-core operations.

Citi Inks $ 100 Million Trade Finance Deal With Asian Development Bank (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Global financial institution Citi is expanding its existing partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to share risk in trade finance transactions, reports in The Financial said Friday (May 11).

The ADB’s Trade Finance Program reached a deal worth $100 million with Citi that sees the financial institutions (FIs) sharing risk on trade finance transactions in an effort to bolster support for trade and access to finance across Asia.

 

Australia/New Zealand

FINNIES 2018: Here are all the finalists for Australia’s fintech industry awards (Business Insider) Rated: A

89 companies and individuals were chosen for Australia’s only industry-backed fintech awards, from a record field of more than 200 entries.

Excellence in Business Lending
● Finstro
● Prospa
● Spotcap Australia
● The Invoice Market – tim
● Trade Ledger

Excellence in Consumer Lending
● HashChing
● MoneyMe
● MoneyPlace
● RateSetter Australia
● SocietyOne

Robot financial adviser granted FMA exemption (Radio New Zealand News) Rated: A

The country has its first robot financial adviser after KiwiWealth was given an exemption by the Financial Markets Authority from the current law which requires humans to give financial and investment advice.

But Mr Bishop said it would still have human advisors offer detailed advice and have control of the robot.

India

PayMate Acquires Digital Lending Platform Z2P Technologies to Benefit SMEs (BW Disrupt) Rated: AAA

PayMate, an early pioneer in India’s payments industry and a leading player in electronic Business-to-Business (B2B) payments space, announced today the acquisition of Z2P (Zaitech Technology Pvt. Ltd.), a digital lending platform which provides hassle-free and real-time credit using social and banking data along with proprietary analytics and AI.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by May 2018 and it follows the announcement in February of this year by PayMate of its B2B partnership agreement with Visa.

As a result of the acquisition, PayMate acquires an innovative and proven lending solution in Z2P, which when combined with PayMate’s proprietary B2B payments platform will revolutionize the way businesses manage their payment operations, cashflow, and access to growth capital. PayMate plans to partner with banks and NBFCs to improve the flow of credit to SMEs.

Canada

Last week, Power Financial CEO Jeff Orr told reporters he plans to invest more money in fintech startups as the company looks to find technologies that can be incorporated into its business model and avoid disruptions that have hurt other sectors.

Widely known on the Street for its empire of financial advisers and investment products, Power Financial has spent $320-million in the fintech sector – with more than half the funds being allocated toward online robo-adviser Wealthsimple.

Asia

Singapore’s Biggest Bank Takes on China Giants in Fintech Battle (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

 

Almost 55% of customers say they would consider branchless digital-only bank

Source Bloomberg

Gupta credits his early recognition of the threat to his early days in Citigroup’s transaction banking division, unusual for a bank CEO, who tend to hail from the retail or investment banking arms of their institutions. That background taught him both the nuts and bolts of banking and the importance of technology, Gupta said. He also dabbled briefly but unsuccessfully in the startup world, when he quit Citigroup in 2001 to found an Internet portal in India, around the time the dotcom bubble was bursting.

Latin America

Morgan Stanley Goes After Brazilian FinTech Market (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Bloomberg, citing four people with direct knowledge of the matter, reported that Morgan Stanley purchased $14 million in local subordinated bonds from online consumer lender Geru Tecnologia e Servicos. The Geru bonds, which the company issued in December of 2017, have a four-year maturity and pay about 11.2 percent each year, noted the report.

The company is also reportedly in talks with international investors about raising $50 million via an equity round that QMS Capital is handling. QMS has a 10 percent stake in Geru. General Atlantic could also be an investor in the round of fundraising, noted the report.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor