Tuesday July 11 2017, Daily News Digest

cumulative volume asset class securitizations

News Comments Today’s main news: CFPB bans banks from barring class action suits. Ballard Spahr’s response. Seedrs, Nutmeg partner with Fidor Bank on fintech marketplace. China Rapid Finance facilitates 20M cumulative loans. Auxmoney passes half-billion Euro mark. Today’s main analysis: Lend Academy looks at PeerIQ’s securitization report. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Which advisers do robos threaten? Global and regional M&A report. Faircent […]

cumulative volume asset class securitizations

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International

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India

Asia

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News Summary

United States

CFPB bans mandatory arbitration clauses, allows class action against banks (Housingwire), Rated: AAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed its new rule to ban companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses, allowing consumers to participate in class action lawsuits.

The new rule mainly pertains to consumer financial products like credit cards and bank accounts that have arbitration clauses in their contracts that prevent consumers from joining together to sue their bank or financial company for wrongdoing.

However, the new rule is not applicable to mortgage finance.

So for who the rule does apply to, according to the CFPB, it applies to the major markets for consumer financial products and services overseen by the bureau, including those that lend money, store money, and move or exchange money.

Under the rule, companies can still include arbitration clauses in their contracts, but companies subject to the rule may not use arbitration clauses to stop consumers from being part of a group action.

CFPB issues final rule prohibiting class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements; Ballard Spahr to hold July 20 webinar (Consumer Finance Monitor), Rated: AAA

The CFPB announced today that it has issued a final rule that prohibits covered providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using an agreement with a consumer that provides for arbitration of any future dispute between the parties to bar the consumer from filing or participating in a class action with respect to the covered consumer financial product or service.

On July 20, 2017, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET., Ballard Spahr attorneys will hold a webinar: The CFPB’s Final Rule Prohibiting Class Action Waivers: What You Need to Know.  The webinar registration form is available here.

Our analysis of the CFPB’s proposed rule and arbitration study found that the CFPB’s own data confirmed that arbitration is a faster, less expensive, and far more effective way for consumers to resolve disputes with companies than class action litigation.  The CFPB’s study showed that consumers who prevailed in an individual arbitration recovered an average of $5,389.  By contrast, the study showed that the average class action settlement for consumers who received cash payments was only $32.35.  And those consumers often had to wait as long as two years to receive the payment.  Class counsel, however, recovered a staggering $424,495,451.

Consumers who prevailed in individual arbitration thus received 166 times as much as the average putative class member.

The final rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will apply to agreements entered into more than 180 days after that.

Ballard Spahr’s Comment on Arbitration Rule (Ballard Spahr), Rated: A

The rule is expected to cost the roughly 53,000 financial services companies who currently use arbitration agreements between $2.62 billion and $5.23 billion over the next five years to defend an additional 6,042 class actions that will be brought by plaintiffs. The CFPB expects those numbers to be repeated every five years after that.

CFPB’s long-awaited arbitration rule may be a short-lived victory for consumers (LA Times), Rated: A

It’s all but certain that Republican lawmakers in control of the House and Senate will move quickly to overturn the rule as part of their ongoing efforts to cripple the consumer-watchdog agency and create a more business-friendly regulatory landscape.

PeerIQ Reports on Q2 2017 Marketplace Lending Securitizations (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Q2 2017 was no exception with nine securitizations taking place totaling $3 billion, a 76% growth over the second quarter of 2016. This is in line with Q1 2017 where issuance was the same, but there were only seven deals. Total issuance is now $21.9 billion across 92 deals.

Other highlights provided by PeerIQ include:

  • Multi-seller club deals and self-sponsored deals have emerged at several leading platforms.
  • Dealer and rating agency participation continues to intensify.
  • New issuance spreads continued to tighten and flatten—a credit friendly environment for securitization.
  • Delinquency rates have continued to increase across several verticals—such as subprime auto, student, and personal loans—due to exposure to riskier borrowers, a re-leveraging of consumer balance sheets, “loan stacking,” and shifting payment priority trends.
  • Initial pricing is near record tight levels.


Millennial Money Study (Fully Vested), Rated: AAA

Are Millennials really so different than their Boomer and X’er counterparts?

Given that even the oldest Millennial is a Digital Native—potentially more connected than any prior generation in history— how does this inform their financial lives? What is their relationship to money? Their relationship to earning and saving? To legacy and innovative banking products? Do they prefer “cloud banking” (banks without physical branches or ATM’s) to “terra banks” (brick and m ortar ? ltraditional branches)?

Of course, any generational cohort that is so unwieldy in size contains a multitude of opinions and approaches—in fact, Millennials are now the largest living generation, according to Pew. In this survey, we show that there are substantive differences between the mindsets of the youngest (20–24) and oldest (30–35) Millennials.

Q: Which institutions do you trust the most?

  • Among the four institutions we queried, Big Tech was the most trusted at 34%.
  • The government is the next most trusted at 25%.
  • The press is only trusted by 21% of those polled.
  • Coming in at last is the Big Banks at 20%.

Q: What institutions do you trust the least?

  • The press and the government are in a tie for least trusted at 34%, with 41% of our youngest Millennials distrusting the press.
  • Big Banks are only trusted by 24% of those surveyed.
  • Big Tech is only found to be “least trustworthy” by 8% of our sample.

Read the full report here.

Millennial Men Trust Trump on Finance; Women Don’t (BusinessWire), Rated: A

  • Millennials between 18 and 22 years of age say the Great Recession did not impact them, while those at the other end of the age bracket very greatly felt, and continue to feel, negative impact.
  • Female Millennials are significantly less likely to take a credit card than their male counterparts.
  • Having a high income, being male, and living in a city are predictive of high levels of interest in cloud banking, or banks without physical branches.

Comptroller Concerned About Banks And FinTech Partnerships (PYMNTS), Rated: A

FinTech firms — which, in many cases, appeared on the landscape as banks’ competitors because of their ability to offer faster, easier access to financial services like online credit or money transfers — are now evolving into bank partners. That is a scenario, the OCC warns, that should have banks showing particular caution.

FinTech firms and their products are still new and require greater care by banks, according to the OCC’s warning, particularly when it comes to underwriting loans for consumers and small businesses.

Why Your Phone Will Be the Key to ATMs of the Future (WSJ), Rated: A

Over the past year, lenders such as Wells Fargo & Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. have started to roll out new ATMs that can link to customers’ mobile devices. Customers will sign in through their phones, potentially using a fingerprint, and then transmit a code to the ATM.

Other banks have shared similar difficulties with how to approach biometric data. A survey by the U.K.’s University of Oxford andMastercard Inc. published in June found that while nine out of 10 bankers wanted to take advantage of biometrics, only about a third reported a good experience so far using the technology.

Meanwhile, the need for next-generation ATMs is urgent. For one, card fraud is rising despite new security measures such as chip-enabled cards. Fair Isaac Corp. , a credit-data provider, has said it detected a 70% uptick in compromised cards being used at ATMs and merchants in 2016.

In their quest to use smartphones for biometrics, banks are relying on processes that are already well established. A customer using a phone at an ATM would authenticate her identify, using, say, a fingerprint as is the case with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Apple Pay.

That means banks wouldn’t have to protect treasure troves of genetic templates from hackers. This is because the biometric data would be stored on individual devices, not in a central location.

That approach does shift more of the security burden to the user.

Is Realty Mogul the Easiest Way to Invest in Commercial Real Estate? (DoughRoller), Rated: A

Is it possible to get involved in large-scale real estate projects without actually buying property outright on your own? Realty Mogul proves it is.

Realty Mogul has actually succeeded at financing the first crowdfunded hotel in the country. The company famously raised $1.5 million to build the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, California, easily selling out of its offered shares in the campaign.

Accredited, non-accredited, and institutional investors can all use the tool. It actually offers tailored tools and features for all three types of investors. Users can also choose to invest in real estate loans or equity investments.

To date, users have invested over $265 million through RealtyMogul.com. Investors have used this money to successfully finance more than 350 properties. The combined value of investments is over $700 million.

ETHLend.io White Paper – Democratizing Lending (Github), Rated: A

Abstract: ETHLend.io introduces decentralized lending on Ethereum network by using ERC-20 compatible tokens or Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains as a collateral.

Read the white paper here.

Betterment Yearns to be Amazon of FAs. Does Amazon? (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

The CEO of robo-advice pioneer Betterment believes his firm can turn into the Amazon of financial services, he tells Business Insider. But if Amazon itself entered the game, it could drastically alter the wealth management industry forever, financial planners tell InvestmentNews.

But Amazon itself could get into wealth management, considering that it’s already doing $1 billion in small business lending and brisk business in payments and credit cards, InvestmentNews writes.

Now, what if Amazon partnered with Betterment?

Nearly a Third of Millennials Say They’ve Used This App to Pay For Drugs (Fortune), Rated: A

Venmo’s a handy app for those times when you need to split a check or pay a buddy back a round of beers—but according to a new survey, some Venmo devotees are using it to settle a different kind of debt: the one they owe their drug dealers.

A survey of more than 1,200 millennials by student loan marketplace LendEDU found that nearly one-third of them admitted to using the payment app to buy drugs. Notably, that’s more than the 21% who said they’ve used the app for gambling purposes.

Daniel Gorfine Appointed as Director of CFTC’s Fintech Sandbox LabCFTC (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has appointed Daniel Gorfine to serve as Director of LabCFTC and Chief Innovation Officer. Launched in May, LabCFTC is the CFTC’s sandbox type environment for Fintech innovation.

Gorfine is well known in the Fintech and alternative lending space due to his previous roles at both OnDeck and the Milken Institute. In this role, Gorfine will be responsible for coordinating with international regulatory bodies, other US regulators, and Capitol Hill to discuss best practices around implementing digital and agile regulatory frameworks and approaches for the CFTC.

LendingTree Announces New Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Wilson (Cision), Rated: B

LendingTree® (NASDAQ: TREE), the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced that Brad Wilson has joined the company as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Effective immediately, Wilson will oversee LendingTree’s brand strategy, marketing operations and consumer engagement as the company continues to expand into new financial service categories.

United Kingdom

Seedrs & Nutmeg Partner with Fidor Bank on Fintech Marketplace (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Seedrs has announced that it will be the sole equity finance provider in a new partnership with Fidor Bank, a challenger bank that launched in the UK back in 2015. Nutmeg, an online wealth manager, will also be joining Seedrs on Fidor’s new marketplace. The two platforms are the inaugural partners with additional partners expected to be announced in the coming months. The marketplace is expected to include a number of debt based peer-to-peer lending platforms as well.

Government urged to boost British Business Bank’s P2P resources (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE FEDERATION of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to boost the resources it gives to the British Business Bank so firms can access better information on alternative sources of finance such as peer-to-peer lending.

The report warns that many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remain unaware or wary of alternative finance options, with respondents expressing concerns that P2P lending has not been tested through the economic cycle and that the sector remains “worryingly unregulated.”

FinTech Disruption: TransferWise Case Study (The Market Mogul), Rated: A

Gone are the days when many assumed that big banks were the only options consumers had in banking, savings and foreign exchange.

They offer this fast service at a cheap price, with amounts to around £400, costing a flat fee of £2 after that, with a fee of 0.5% on the amount sent. This proves to be transparent, easy and straight-forward, especially as TransferWise communicates with users on every step of the process.

Automatic saving bots harness artificial intelligence, data science and algorithms to challenge traditional banking with what many consider inflexible, untailored, and rather boring personal finance.

Millennials are at ease; they can simply open Facebook to manage their finances, or sit back and let the machines save for them.

For example, there are a number of neo-banks and challenger banks who directly challenge the larger banks.

Monzo bank, for example, offers this new banking outlook. It offers instant balance updates and notification on spending for transparency, with handy insights, such as why a transaction was declined.

Mergermarket Group rebrands as ‘Acuris’ (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Mergermarket Group, the provider of business intelligence and research for fixed income, transactions, infrastructure, compliance and equities, today announced that it has re-launched under the brand name Acuris.

Folk2Folk launches “locaI” ISA (Business Cornwall), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, Peer-to-Peer lending platform for local and rural business today announces the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), giving investors the opportunity to support British businesses within their local area whilst earning tax-free interest on their Folk2Folk loans.

Launch of AlgoMe Set to Disrupt Asset Management and Fintech (Cision), Rated: B

AlgoMe, the London-based start-up using intelligent technology for career development and job placement, has announced its official launch today. AlgoMe is a unique and compelling proposition for professionals and companies. It is designed with the user in mind, specifically the Asset Management and Fintech professional and company.

China

China Rapid Finance: 20 Million in Cumulative Loans Facilitated (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance announced on Monday it has exceeded 20 million cumulative loans facilitated since its marketplace lending platform launch. According to the lender, this new milestone demonstrates accelerating the growth of its consumer marketplace due to the fact that the number of facilitated loans has nearly doubled within the past six months from 10.7 million cumulative loans as of the end of 2016.

The news of the 20 million cumulative loan facilitated milestone comes less than two months after China Rapid Finance released its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2017, which revealed the following:

  • Total gross billings on transaction and service fees: Increased by 13.1% to US$16.8 million from US$14.8 million in the prior year period.
  • Gross billings from consumption loans: Increased by 336.8% to US$6.7 million in the first quarter of 2017 from US$1.5 million in the prior year period. 
  • Gross billings from lifestyle loans: Totaled to US$10.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, as compared with US$13.3 million in the prior year period. 

China Rapid Finance Exceeds 20 Million Cumulative Loan Milestone (PR Newswire), Rated: A

This milestone demonstrates accelerating growth of China Rapid Finance’s consumer lending marketplace, as the total number of facilitated loans has nearly doubled within only the past six months from 10.7 million cumulative loans as of the end of 2016. On a year-over-year basis, second quarter facilitated loans jumped by over 350% to more than 5 million, up from approximately 1.1 million loans in the same quarter of last year.

China Rapid Finance also continues to achieve a high rate of customer retention. Approximately 73% of borrowers on its marketplace were repeat borrowers as of March 31, 2017. The Company expects that its lower cost of acquiring borrowers, higher customer retention rate, and larger loan sizes for repeat customers will contribute to its long-term sustainable growth.

China’s estimated population of 500 million EMMA, who have no credit histories and substantial difficulty borrowing money from traditional banks, constitutes one of the world’s largest untapped consumer credit market opportunities.

European Union

German Consumer Lender Auxmoney Passes the Half-Billion-Euro Mark (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

German online consumer lending marketplace auxmoney announced that it has crossed a new milestone: the marketplace has granted more than 70,000 loans worth more than €500 million in cumulated volume.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Moneypark Buys Rival Fintech (FiNews), Rated: B

Moneypark has agreed to buy DL Conseils en financement immobilier (DL), based in Lausanne, the company said in a statement today.

Moneypark’s owner, Helvetia insurance company, financed the acquisition.

Moneypark didn’t say how much it paid for Lausanne-based DL, which has been active as a business for ten years.

International

Which advisers profits are under threat from robo-advice? (FT Adviser), Rated: AAA

The highest-margin part of the financial advice business is safe from being carried out by automated services because customers value the personal touch most in these areas, a global survey has suggested.

These include creating a comprehensive financial plan, where 64 per cent thought human participation was beneficial, buying a pension, where 61 per cent thought it was beneficial, and looking to reduce a tax bill, where 58 per cent felt personal was better.

However, those advisers who focus more on fund and stock-picking face a greater threat from the march of robo-advice.

Despite perceptions that Millennials, or so-called ‘digital natives’ were less interested in interacting with people, more than half of those in this age group agreed with putting personal customer service over tech  – 53 per cent versus 65 per cent for the Baby Boomer generation.

Among the 60 per cent who believe that technology can’t replace personalised customer service, the belief is held more strongly by investors in the US and Europe, where 76 per cent and 64 per cent respectively agreed, than in Asia Pacific, where just 52 per cent agreed.

Women were more likely to agree, with 65 per cent of women agreeing that robots cannot replace advisers, against 55 per cent of men.

Global and regional M&A: H1 2017 (Mergermarket), Rated: AAA

Global M&A in the first half of 2017 has seen a 8.4% increase by value despite 1,117 fewer deals on the same period last year. H1 2017 recorded US$ 1.49tn across 8,052 deals, compared to US$ 1.38tn with 9,169 deals. Companies have been looking at ‘future-proofing’ in the wake of rapid changes to technology and politics to keep ahead of rivals. There have been 17 megadeals (> US$ 10bn) announced since the beginning of the year, versus 14 such deals in H1 2016.

As faith in the market continues to grow, European M&A has surged ahead, securing a 32.3% share of the global value. Both the US (US$ 602.6bn, 2,446 deals) and Asia Pacific (exc. Japan) (US$ 272.9bn, 1,585 deals) saw their share drop to 40.4% and 18.3% from 42.8% and 21.3% respectively. Following political uncertainty across the continent earlier in the year, European activity rose by 28.7% in Q2 to US$ 271.2bn (1,450 deals) compared to Q1 2017 (US$ 210.7bn, 1,641 deals). With 3,091 announcements in H1 2017, dealmakers generated a substantial US$ 481.9bn-worth of deals in Europe representing a 30.1% increase on the same point in 2016 (US$ 370.5bn 3,732 deals).

See the full report here.

A bizarre co-working scheme and the global rise of online real estate fraud (The Real Deal), Rated: A

An Australian in New York, Cindy, who like many other victims only spoke to The Real Deal on the condition that her name be changed, is one of more than a hundred investors from around the globe who lost their savings to what appears to be a bizarre fraud.

In reality, however, the space, along with other Bar Works locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami and Istanbul, looks to have served as a front for Renwick Robert Haddow, a British career fraudster. Through a labyrinth of agents and websites, of emails and social media ads, Haddow and his associates orchestrated a global fraud scheme, sources said.

In the world of scams, Bar Works is relatively small. But it is a perfect example of why real estate investment fraud is on the rise around the globe, bolstered by the spread of e-commerce and social media, the lack of an international enforcement authority, the complex nature of development projects, and investors’ thirst for outsized returns.

For Ruth*, a British retiree, it began with a “very slick” Facebook ad by an investment agency called Heron Global Partners.

Prosecutors claim he raised more than $36 million from Bar Works investors and wired $16 million to foreign bank accounts that were likely tied to him or his associates. They also allege he ran a separate scheme, Bitcoin Store, that promised high returns from investments in the virtual currency.

Endeavor Company, NovoPayment, Takes Major Global Fintech Honor (Crossroads Today), Rated: B

NovoPayment, a leading financial technology service provider and member of the Endeavor network, has earned the honor of the 2017 PayAwards Best in Category in the Outstanding White-Label Platform classification. PayAwards has conferred the most prestigious recognition of excellence in payments technology worldwide for 11 years. The awards are presented annually by Paybefore, whose publications are the leading source of industry information for payments executives.

Australia

As temperatures dip and winter energy bills soar, Australian homeowners are borrowing an average of $13,230 to make their homes more energy efficient according to an analysis of thousands of RateSetter’s personal loan customers. The peer-to-peer lender says that almost one in five (18%) home improvement loans are now taken out for green renovations that will reduce their energy bills.

The analysis of RateSetter data also shows that amongst all renovators, 89% see the use of energy efficient and environmentally friendly options as important or somewhat important to their project; selecting options such as energy efficient lighting, alternative power sources and low toxicity products in their renovation.

RateSetter’s survey of loan customers also found that around four in ten (41%) current home improvement borrowers indicated that they would make additional green changes to their home over the next 12 months.

Fintech companies are unlikely to completely replace the more conventional sectors of the financial services industry as they are mostly inexperienced in financial sector operations, according to a CFA report.

The report also found that blockchain technology would bring the most significant change to the financial services industry at 40 per cent, followed by robo-advisers (22 per cent), mobile payment (19 per cent), P2P lending (eight per cent), crowdfunding (seven per cent), and other (three per cent).

Fintechs pose disintermediation threat (Financial Standard), Rated: A

The latest CFA Institute report shows fintechs specialising in blockchain, robo-advice, mobile payments and peer-to-peer lending have the highest potential to disintermediate the financial services industry.

CFA Society Sydney president Anthony Serhan said innovation in these areas will likely disrupt financial institutions together with artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security – albeit with “limited discussion.”

India

Clocking an average of Rs 3 crore a month in lending, says Faircent’s CEO (Moneycontrol), Rated: AAA

In an interview with Moneycontrol, Rajat Gandhi, CEO and Founder of peer-to-peer lender Faircent, said that lenders can analyse the credit risk of borrowers by looking at their bank statement, income tax filings and physical verification of the borrower at the residence and at the office.

“One loan does not get funded by one lender, we have a rule that no lender can fund more than 20 percent of any borrowers requirement,” Gandhi said.

Speaking about Faircent’s financial performance, Gandhi said that around Rs 20 crore worth of loans have been disbursed over the platform till now and they are clocking an average of Rs 3 crore a month in lending.

With funding from Chinese investors, LoanMeet is trying to build a loan book of Rs 100cr (YourStory), Rated: A

At present, LoanMeet provides ultra-short-term loans of (15, 20, and 30 days) to retailers to buy inventory and repay them. But while being purely in inventory financing, there are two verticals for distribution.

The first entails giving the loan directly to the retailer who buys inventory and repays the loan after selling the goods. The second model revolves around tying up with distributors from whom retailers procure their goods. This helps bring in even more retailers as consumers of loans.

LoanMeet has a retailer (consumer) app which allows businesses to upload their Aadhaar number, business registration proof, PAN number as well as bank statement for the last three months.

Asia

CB INSIGHTS, a private research company on the startup industry, has named Modalku to the Fintech 250, a group of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology.

Modalku, the pioneering fintech (financial technology) peer-to-peer lending company operating in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, is the only peer-to-peer lending company from Southeast Asia selected to be on the list.

Africa

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday June 12 2017, Daily News Digest

Philippine banking

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa’s  6.1% return IFISA to launch June 15. CFPB’s Corday extends small biz lending RFI comment period. Zopa looking for 40 tech whizzes.  WeChat Pay available globally through Paymentwall. Today’s main analysis: Lending Club and the rise of securtization club deals. Today’s thought-provoking articles: China urges banks to devolve loan approval responsibility. How Thailand could […]

Philippine banking

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United States

Weekly Industry Update: Lending Club and The Rise of Club Deals (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

A club deal program enables Lending Club to drive standardization – in offering docs, covenants, structure, servicing, collateral consistency, and offering cadence. As a sponsor, Lending Club is able control its brand in the public ABS markets and manage competing interests amongst issuers, placement agents, and investors. (See this week’s

Corday announces extension of comment period for small business lending RFI (Ballard Spahr), Rated: AAA

Last month, in conjunction with a field hearing, the CFPB issued the RFI, together with a white paper on small business lending.  In his remarks, Director Cordray revealed that, in response to requests for additional time to respond to the RFI (which currently has a July 14, 2017 comment deadline), the CFPB is extending the comment period by 60 days.

With regard to the CFPB’s debt collection rulemaking, Director Cordray discussed thedebt collection proposals under consideration by the CFPB which it released last July in anticipation of convening a SBREFA panel.

Elevate Launches Elevate Labs (News Channel 10), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc., a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced the launch of Elevate Labs at its new San Diego-based Advanced Analytics center. The center of excellence underscores the company’s commitment to innovation in the non-prime credit market.

Elevate’s industry-leading technology and proprietary risk analytics are optimized to help non-prime consumers meet their immediate financial needs while improving their financial futures. The company annually invests $40 million in its technology and analytics capabilities, including substantial investments in its proprietary IQ and DORA risk technology and analytics platforms, to support rapid scaling and innovation, robust regulatory compliance and ongoing improvements in underwriting.

DORA, Elevate’s proprietary risk analytics platform, utilizes a terabyte-scale Hadoop database composed of thousands of elements, 1.5 million customer records and other wide-ranging data inputs including credit bureau data, web behavioral and performance data, bank account data and other non-traditional data, to accurately assign risk to customers.

Elevate’s cutting edge technology and analytics team, worldwide, consists of the most advanced thinkers in risk analytics with more than 35 data scientists in our Risk Management department including over 25 staff members with advanced degrees and eight with PhDs. While the San Diego location is the company’s most concentrated and fastest growing analytics center, the team is spread across offices in Texas and the United Kingdom.

Here Are All The Financial Reforms That Will Disappear With Dodd-Frank (Forbes), Rated: A

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Financial CHOICE Act.

The Act has seven principals:

1. Taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions must end and no company can remain too big to fail.

2. Both Wall St. & Washington must be accountable

3. Simplicity must replace complexity

4. Economic growth must be revitalized

5. Every American must be able to achieve financial independence

6. Consumers must be protected

7. Systemic risk must be managed via profit & loss

The Act proposes to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that monitors financial products from loans to high-fee investment products.

Stress tests for America’s big banks, another Dodd Frank invention, are also contentious. The CHOICE Act proposes major changes.

In mortgages, the CHOICE Act will aim to allow smaller banks to increase lending by minimizing a rule about qualified mortgages. The rule increases costs of lending to higher risk borrowers and often precludes banks from holding mortgages on their books. Modifying the rules may allow local banks to increase lending.

The Death of Basis Points? (ETF Trends), Rated: A

The Financial Services industry is in the middle innings of a multi-phased and disruptive process that began in 1993 with the first ETF, and jump-started in 2008 with the first “robo advisor.” These two disruptive events continue to put enormous downward pressure on the fees charged by mutual fund companies and individual Advisors.

I do not believe financial services is racing toward a flat-fee model. However, the pace of fee compression will accelerate as clients have more low-priced options from which to choose. The end-result is enormous pressure on traditional Advisors to justify their higher prices and deliver an asset management solution more sophisticated than buy-hold-rebalance.

There are six key steps to becoming a Quant Advisor:

1. Develop a small but powerful set of investment models that are both unique and compelling. As an example, we only work with a small number of Advisors in an area to create and keep a competitive edge.

2. Have discretion on client accounts. The real value of using models is the ability to affect many client accounts at the same time to create efficiency and scalability. Building scale is the only sustainable way to overcome fee compression.

3. Communicate. Most clients simply don’t need or want to meet with their Advisor four times a year, but they want regular access to bite-sized information about what their Advisor thinks. Creating valuable, but short-and-sweet communications keep a client happy and informed. Generic newsletters do not count (because no one reads them).

4. Create multiple channels for a client to engage. Most traditional Advisors have a simple fee grid based on assets. A Quant Advisor will have a service menu that provides options from super low-cost investment-only relationships all the way to complex financial planning solutions. Due to scale and efficiency, any of these service levels can be highly profitable. Maybe one of the options is aflat fee only service level?

5. Sell more than advice. A Quant Advisor sells financial advice/planning and asset management services. Traditional Advisors only sell advice/planning and pay someone else to provide asset management (such as managed accounts, SMA’s, mutual funds, etc.). By having a unique and compelling asset management capability in-house, Quant Advisors do not have to pay someone to do it for them. That creates a new revenue source and the ability to capture a higher percentage of the total fees paid by the client. As fee compression continues to eat away at advice/planning prices, having multiple services to sell a client creates a more stable revenue stream.

6. Be hyper-transparent. Clients are more afraid of what they do not know than what they do. By proactively talking about and disclosing fees (including the hidden ones), risk and performance the relationship can blossom based on a new level of trust and understanding.

Industry Power Players Join RealtyShares (RealtyShares Email), Rated: A

We recently had the honor of welcoming

U.S. business schools embrace ‘fintech’ as students clamor for courses (Reuters), Rated: A

Stanford University and Georgetown University business schools are planning to offer “fintech” courses for business school students for the first time this fall. New York University is planning a new course for undergraduates after launching a fintech specialization in its business school last year.

They join the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia University’s business school and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management, which all launched similar programs in recent years.

A number of prominent startups have exploded onto the fintech scene in recent years, fostering interest in mobile payment apps like Venmo, digital loan platforms like SoFi and robotic wealth managers like Betterment.

Lending Club Shareholders Approve Election of Directors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Present at the Annual Meeting in person or by proxy were holders of 313,460,225 shares of common stock, representing 77.7% of the shares of common stock outstanding.

The vote tallies were as follows:

Nominees
 
For
 
Withheld
 
Broker Non-Votes
Scott Sanborn
231,733,112
2,464,510
79,262,603
Lawrence Summers
189,603,973
44,593,649
79,262,603
Simon Williams
192,466,148
41,731,474
79,262,603

Approach alternative investments with care (Business-Standard.com), Rated: A

Unlike the wealthy, retail (individual) investors have limited options to invest in high-risk, high-return alternative instruments. The ticket size of such products — private equity, exclusive wines and paintings — are too high for small investors. But, in recent times, more avenues have opened that allow retail investors to make risky bets in assets other than stocks. For example, bitcoins is one such asset that younger investors are looking at. The price of this virtual currency has gone up from $579.13 a year back to $2,825.03 — a return of 488 per cent.

Marketplace Lending News Roundup – June 10 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Fintech’s ultimate value: Making sense of the data explosion from American Banker – Interesting piece what the true role of fintech should be: making sense of the masses of data.

U.S. business schools embrace ‘fintech’ as students clamor for courses from Reuters – Today fintech is one of the hottest courses at MBA schools, driven by student demand.

Peer-to-peer lender calls hung parliament “the worst of all outcomes” from AltFi – Commentary on yesterday’s UK election from an online lending perspective.

Marketplace Lending: The Next 10 Years from deBanked – Interesting thoughts on where marketplace lending may be heading.

LendingTree, Inc. to Present at RBC Financial Technology Investor Day (PR Newswire), Rated: B

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE), operator of LendingTree.com, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced that it will participate in RBC Financial Technology Investor Day at The Westin New York Grand Central in New York, NY.

Doug Lebda, LendingTree Founder and CEO, is scheduled to present on Wednesday, June 14 at 8:55am ET. The presentation will be webcast live and archived at

Additionally, the company’s latest investor presentation will be available on its investor relations site at investors.lendingtree.com.

The week in real estate industry deals: June 5-9, 2017 (Inman), Rated: B

RealtyeVest lowered its required minimum investment amount to $5,000 for all offerings on their real estate crowdfunding platform for accredited investors. Previous minimum investment amounts ranged from $15,000 to $50,000, depending on the real estate project. The new $5,000 threshold is intended to draw first-time investors to experience RealtyeVest’s high-caliber performance with a nominal financial commitment. “We are seeing significant activity on our platform, however we feel there is a corner of the market we are not appealing to,” said Daniel Summers, RealtyeVest CEO, in a statement. “So we are offering investors a taste of our service with a new lowered investment amount for all projects. Once they see the quick return on their investments, they will no doubt want to increase their contribution amounts.”

United Kingdom

Zopa hunts for 40 tech whizzes as it narrows focus on bank launch (The Telegraph), Rated: AAA

Britain’s largest peer-to-peer lender has heightened its focus on building a bank, firing the starting gun on a recruitment push that will see it hire at least 40 developers for the project.

However its tune changed late last year, when it emerged that the technology firm wanted to challenge high-street lenders by offering deposit accounts and overdrafts.

Having raised £32m from investors eager to support the project earlier this month, the group is now looking to bulk out its workforce by at least 16pc – bringing in tech experts able to build a digital bank from scratch.

The hires will come from London and Barcelona, where Zopa opened a technology hub last week.

Zopa clarifies coverage ratios ahead of Core account launch (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA has clarified the expected implications of phasing out of its provision fund as it prepares to launch Zopa Core on Thursday, a new account which will not be backed by the fund.

On 15 June, the peer-to-peer platform’s target date for unveiling its Innovative Finance ISA, the new account will formally take over from the firms’ existing Access and Classic products, whose safeguard fund will be phased out by December this year.

Existing safeguarded loans and new loans purchased before that deadline will continue to be covered by the fund until they reach maturity.

Zopa’s innovative finance Isa, paying projected 6.1%, to launch on 15 June (Which), Rated: AAA

Zopa’s long-awaited innovative finance Isa (Ifisa) will be made available to existing customers on Thursday 15 June, but it won’t be protected by the company’s Safeguard scheme.

The Isa, offering projected returns of up to 6.1%, will initially be made available to existing Zopa customers wanting to invest new money. It will then be possible to move existing Zopa loans into an Isa wrapper from 1 July, and transfer funds from third-party Isas from 17 August.

It is expected that new customers will have to wait two months or longer before being invited to open a Zopa Ifisa, due to expected high demand.

Zopa’s Safeguard scheme is a central compensation fund that aims to pay out to lenders whenever a borrower defaults on a loan. This fund is limited, so it could run out if lots of borrowers fail to repay, but it has covered 100% of eligible loans to date.

However, this scheme won’t be offered to Isa customers, nor will it be available to any new investors after December 2017.

It will offer two savings products in an Isa wrapper.

  • Zopa Core, in which your money will only be lent to lower-risk borrowers, offers expected returns of 3.9%.
  • Zopa Plus lends your money to a wider range of borrowers, offering expected returns of 6.1%.

LandlordInvest reports high demand for secondary market loans (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ACTIVITY on LandlordInvest’s newly-launched secondary market has been better than expected, with investors shrugging off political uncertainty to snap up loan parts in record time.

The peer-to-peer lender, which specialises in buy-to-let finance, launched its secondary market in the middle of May.

Filip Karadaghi, the firm’s co-founder and chief executive, told Peer2Peer Finance News that uptake had been higher than expected, with no signs of a slowdown ahead of Thursday’s UK General Election.

Peer-to-peer comes of age as alternative asset class for investors (Financial Times), Rated: A

More than a decade after the first peer-to-peer sites launched in the UK, the sector that allows investors to lend directly to individuals and small businesses is coming of age. Two of the largest sites in the UK — Zopa and Funding Circle — were last month authorised by the City watchdog, marking a seal of approval for the lenders and providing a boost to the broader sector.

Institutional investors are already piling in. High-profile fund managers including Neil Woodford and Artemis invested more equity capital into RateSetter in recent weeks, valuing the company at more than £200m. Zopa completed a £32m funding round, led by Wadhawan Global Capital, an Indian financial services company.

The rise of peer-to-peer sites means that lending, which as an asset class has been a monopoly for the banks, is opening up to ordinary investors.

Othera and Credit Crowd strike a blockchain partnership (AltFi), Rated: A

Credit Crowd gets on Othera’s blockchain, citing transparency as the key issue.

Blockchain provider Othera has linked up with Australian fintech lender Credit Crowd, allowing the Sydney fintech to digitise its loans on blockchain.

The partnership will allow Credit Crowd’s loans to be tokenised and traded on digital asset token exchanges—in effect, a kind of securitisation.

Credit Crowd is a P2P marketplace that specialises in short-term loans, secured by first mortgage properties. The company claims to have facilitated more than A$100 million worth of loans since its founding in 2012 and managed over A$50 million in their retail fund.

P2P lenders stay away from apps (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

APPS may be seen by some as a vital tool for any fintech business but peer-to-peer lenders have largely avoided this area so far.

Of the biggest UK P2P players, only Funding Circle has an app for investors, while Zopa has one in development.

Instead, others such as RateSetter, MarketInvoice and Landbay have focused on the overall web, desktop and mobile user experience.

Julian Cork, chief operating officer at buy-to-let lender Landbay, said the platform had considered making an app but decided against it.

Will robo-advice mean checkmate for human financial advisers? (Lexology), Rated: A

To date, robo-advice offerings have tended to focus more on the less complex end of the financial advice spectrum. The FCA’s enthusiasm for robo-advisers stemmed largely from concerns about an ‘advice gap’, situations where consumers (particularly those with limited assets) are unable to get advice and guidance on a need they have at a price they are willing to pay. The FCA has therefore seen robo-advisers as a way of providing quick and inexpensive advice primarily in relation to lower value or less complex scenarios. Robo-advice is still in its infancy and is generally not yet at the stage where it can provide sophisticated advice in relation to complex circumstances. Certain external factors are also slowing the spread of robo-advice. For example, recent research sponsored by ING suggests that the majority of the public remains uncomfortable with the idea of automated advice and this attitude will take time to change. In addition, PI Insurers may feel, by necessity, that they need to take a relatively cautious view in relation to new and untested technology. Firms implementing robo-advice solutions may therefore face increased insurance premiums, which is a further potential brake on innovation.

For the foreseeable future then, it appears that human advisers have no need to be concerned. Robo-advice is in the process of automating only one part of the wider industry and even then at a relatively restricted pace. But what about the longer term? If we make the reasonable assumption that advances in robo-adviser technology are inevitable does that mean that robo-advisers will one day become so sophisticated and accepted as to render human input redundant?

Meet the next generation of fintech startups set to revolutionise the world of finance (Wired), Rated: A

Winner of the startup stage Curve, started out in 2015 to cut out the noise and disconnection in the banking landscape. The digital wallet platform is designed to connect all of a person’s financial services into a single go-to place online, which is accessed with a Mastercard.

Finimize has grown an online community of 100,000 people. Each day, members receive a newsletter that digests the biggest finance stories of the day and why they should matter to them.

AgentCASH is an enterprise grade omnichannel platform that enables SMEs to sell and manage their products on multiple channels in real time.

Crowdsurfer brings big-data engineering expertise to crowd and peer finance to help the world understand where funds are flowing to.

Reposit was developed by its CEO Curran McKay as a faster, more affordable alternative to the £3.5 billion tenancy deposit system.

Lendr uses artificial intelligence to act as a reverse auction platform for mortgages.

Co-founder of Capitalise Paul Surtees has built technology that enables SMEs and their advisors to find, compare and select the best lenders available to them – allowing them to access the funding available. The platform matches SMEs with lenders, who are ranked based on their past successes.

London-based Paybase rolls an end-to-end solution for payments, compliance and risk into one unified API. The platform is designed for marketplaces such as the sharing economy or crowdfunding sites, as well as fintech apps and products that have complex payment processes.

China

China urges banks to devolve loan approval responsibility to boost lending (BusinessLine), Rated: AAA

China’s banking regulator has urged lenders to devolve responsibility for loan approvals to boost credit to small and micro businesses, but also emphasised that risks need to be kept under control.

Guo’s comments were made at a forum on Friday, according to a statement on the website of China Banking Regulatory Commission.

P2P Industry News (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: A

Internet Investment Fund has been Subscribed in Down Payment of ¥30bn

The Chinese Internet Investment Fund was founded jointly by the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Ministry of Finance. The total size of the fund is around $14.9billion. The initial subscription (almost $4.4 billion) has been finished with $300million was acquired by central government as guiding fund, and the rest was raised from strategic investors. Thus, the driven coefficient of the government funds reached to 1:14.

After a new round of share price increasing, Alibaba’s market value has reached to $360bn.

On 9th June, shares of Alibaba jumped by 13.29% and closed at $142.34 per share, the companies’ total market value reached to $362.3 billion. Exceeding Tencent for the second time and become Aisa’s most valuable company.

Previously, Alibaba issued its annual report of 2017 fiscal year, showing that Alibaba has surpassed Tencent on core metrics such as revenue, net earnings and cash flow.

According a report released by Deutsche Bank, Alibaba's estimated revenue for 2018 fiscal year will be far higher than expected, and the disclosed information will drive its stock price up further.

Ping An Launches Fintech Fund (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Sepaking at the recent WSJ D.Live Asia event in Hong Kong, Ping An CIO Jonathan Larsen said Ping An is launching a new fund to invest in early stage Fintech ranging from $10 million to $30 million, according to a report from Dow Jones (here).

NYSE-listed P2P firm confident on its business model (ShanghaiDaily), Rated: A

CHINA Rapid Finance will follow the strategy of “low and grow” to realize a stable and sustainable growth after its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on April 28,  Wang Zhengyu, founder and CEO of the Shanghai-based peer-to-peer lender, said in Shanghai yesterday.

CreditEase’s CEO Tang Shares Insights on FinTech in China at The Asian Banker Summit (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CreditEase’s founder and CEO Ning Tang was invited to deliver a keynote speech today at The Asian Banker’s 18th flagship Summit “The Future of Finance” in Singapore. The Summit gathered leading industry, government and academic speakers such as Barney Frank, former US Congressman and a leading co-sponsor of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act, David Shrier, Managing Director, MIT Connection Science and Engineering, and representatives from: ANZ, Bank of the Philippine Islands, DBS Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Prosper Marketplace, Prudential, and Uber.

Future Life, Future Finance

The theme of this year’s Summit shares the same vision as CreditEase at its 11th anniversary – “Future Life, Future Finance”.

In his keynote speech, Tang shared his insights as a pioneer and thought leader in the FinTech industry, giving an overview of the current landscape, and anticipating where opportunities will be against the backdrop of potential or inevitable changes.

Going Global

After 10 years of successful domestic growth, at its 11th anniversary, CreditEase is ready to accelerate its global expansion. The opening of the new Singapore office and Tang’s delivery of the keynote speech at one of world’s renowned financial summits is just part of the global voyage.  In addition to Singapore, CreditEase Wealth Management operates overseas offices and affiliate offices in Hong Kong, New York, and Tel Aviv and its domestic mainland China network covers over 40 cities. Its resources are also spread across the US west coast, Germany, UK, and Australia.

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

On June 3, 2017 Tsinghua PBCSF Global Finance Forum, which was hosted by Tsinghua University, and organized jointly by the Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance (PBCSF) and Tsinghua University National Institute of Financial Research (NIFR), convened in Beijing.

The highlights of the forum include:

Digital Financial Inclusion: LI Dongrong, President of National Internet Finance Association of China, pointed out in his speech that China and the world had the potential to drive the growth of inclusive economies by promoting digital financial services. While tremendous gains in financial inclusion have already been achieved, digital financial services, together with effective supervision, are essential to close the remaining gaps in financial inclusion.

InsurTech Innovation: JIANG Bo, Director-General of the International Department of China Insurance Regulatory Commission and Member of the strategic Council of PBCSF, said that Insurance technology (InsurTech) is a burgeoning phenomenon that has the potential to help the insurance industry reconnect with its customers following a period of increasing alienation and disengagement.

Three Chinese Fintech Companies Join Slate of Overseas Listing in 2017

  • Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance, China’s first online-only insurer, has resumed a plan to raise $1 billion or more in a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of this year.
  • Rong360, an online platform for financial product search, comparison and recommendation, has announced to raise at least $400 million in an initial public offering in the U.S. as soon as 2017.
  • With its rapid expansion, Chinese online lending platform Neo Capital has revealed its IPO plan in the U.S. last year.

On June 5, Chinese company Xiaomi, perhaps best known for its smartphones, announced that its affiliate Xiaomi Loan would partner with CITIC Securities to list CNY600 million asset backed securities (ABS) under a shelf registration on Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The ABS product was split into three tranches: AAA, AA and the subprime:

Rating level

Volume

Interest rate

AAA

CNY426 million

5.7%

AA

CNY78 million

6.3%

The subprime

CNY96 million

8%

International

WeChat Pay is now available globally via Paymentwall (Payment Wall), Rated: AAA

Paymentwall has partnered with Tencent to bring WeChat Pay (Weixin Pay) to every online and retail store. The partnership allows every business owner around the world to get instant access to 600 million Chinese shoppers in China and abroad.

With over 600 million active users, WeChat Pay is now one of the most popular payment methods in the world. WeChat Pay processed over $1.5 trillion in Chinese digital payments, representing over 30% of all online transactions made in 2016.

Human-robo combo has greatest chance of success (International-Adviser.com), Rated: A

A combination of human and robo could be the answer for underserved Asian investors seeking low-cost technology-driven financial advice, a market that pure robo-advice providers have found hard to crack.

Inexpensive, automated robo-advisors could be a solution, but unlike in the large markets of US and Europe, in Asia they face difficulties stemming from regulatory fragmentation, lack of scale and investors’ preference for human contact.

The hybrid approach uses automated financial advice systems, but provides a layer of personal contact when dealing with the institution. Some call this approach “cyborg-advisor”, others “bionic advisor”.

Due to low profit margins of robo-advisory services and the necessity to achieve scale in order to be profitable, independent robo-advisors are not likely to succeed in the region under current regulations, according to Aldcroft.

Australia

NAB Ventures provides seed funding to Australian start-up Basiq (Banking Business Review), Rated: A

NAB Ventures, a venture capital arm of National Australia Bank, along with Reinventure have provided seed funding to Basiq, an Australian-based start-up that offers open banking API platform.

India

Lending startup Loanmeet raises seed funding (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Online peer-to-peer lending platform LoanMeet, which is run by Strivers Solutions Pvt. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a clutch of investors.

Chinese entrepreneur-turned-investors Cao Yibin and Huang Wei, along with KrazyBee.com co-founder and CEO Madhusudan E, participated in this round.

LoanMeet provides short-term working capital loans to retailers for inventory financing. The company claims to be growing at 50% month-on-month.

Flipkart to Add Online Loans to its Marketplace (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Flipkart, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in India sales topping $2 billion each year, is getting into Fintech. Flipkart states that with the creation of a new focused team for financial services and products, Flipkart will be providing the public the option of obtaining loans from e-lending firms.

Flipkart is also expected to start offering other financial services such as access to funds.

Lendingkart gets Rs 50 crore loan from Yes Bank (Medianama), Rated: A

Lendingkart, an online platform for lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs, has raised debt funding worth Rs 50 crore from Yes Bank Ltd. The company said that this is the first step towards eventually shifting from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), who provide loans at a higher rate, to banks.

In June last year, Lendingkart had raised Rs 205 crore ($32 million) in a series B round of funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Darrin Capital Management, with participation from existing investors Mayfield India, Saama Capital and India Quotient. Of this, $20 million was raised through equity sale and remaining $12 million  through debt financing.

How the rise of P2P lending presents several opportunities to banks (India Times), Rated: A

Peer to peer lending is hardly new. But it has risen to commercial prominence in the past few years, thanks to technology. The emergence of marketplace lending platforms connecting individual borrowers and lenders is disrupting the business of lending.

Peer to peer lending is hardly new. But it has risen to commercial prominence in the past few years, thanks to technology. The emergence of marketplace lending platforms connecting individual borrowers and lenders is disrupting the business of lending.

A 2015 survey shows that 25% of U.S. millennials have used a P2P lending platform. According to recent research, the cumulative amount of loans that originated via marketplace lending platforms in China was over $150 billion in 2015. In US and UK, it was close to $30 billion and $10 billion respectively.

While the Indian P2P market is much smaller, the scene is heating up. Last year alone, 20 lending firms cropped up to take the total to about 30. What does this imply for our banking industry?

Asia

How Thailand Could Become Southeast Asia’s Next Fintech Hub (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Omise, a payment management platform founded by Jun Hasegawa and Ezra Don Harinsut, is Thai fintech’s greatest success story to date. In 2016, it raised a $17.5 million Series B round and currently operates in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore.

The Thai Fintech Association formed in 2016 as a networking club that would facilitate connections among fintech startups, big banks and investors, according to Disyadej. But the organization filed as an association with the Ministry of the Interior this year so it could take a more hands-on role in the industry’s development.

Although TechGrind operates in six countries in the region, it has relocated several of its startups to Bangkok so they can make use of TechGrind’s network and resources there. But TechGrind approaches opportunities in fintech — and in all startup sectors — from a cross-border perspective.

One such company is Pymlo, which creates accounting software for small businesses in Thailand and the broader region.

Hong Kong, Singapore rivalry hobbling Asia in $ 100 billion fintech race (Reuters), Rated: A

Governments across Asia – most notably Hong Kong and Singapore – have launched a raft of initiatives to grab a slice of the $100 billion invested in financial technology globally but the regulatory hotchpotch is making it tough for firms to scale up, the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) said in a report on Friday.

Investors poured $19 billion worldwide into fintech – including P2P lenders, distributed ledger technology and crowdfunding platforms – in 2016 alone and thousands of fintech start-ups continue to proliferate, according to a February report by global regulatory body the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia have launched a range of special programs to attract and foster fintech ventures, from incubators and grants, to temporary license waiver schemes, with competition fiercest between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Philippines

Consolidated credit database likely to improve lending in the Philippines in 2018 (ASEAN Today), Rated: A

The Philippines will launch a credit consumer database in 2018 in a bid to bolster retail lending.

Bulk of lending in the Philippines have been corporate loan, forming more than 80% of loan books. Consumer lending business have been secondary to corporate lending – analysts explained that the lack of consumer level data can explain this.

The gap between corporate and retail lending is the lack of a credible database.

The government’s Credit Information Corporate collects data from banks in the Philippines. This will be extended to rural financial institutions to build a credible database by 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor