Tuesday June 27 2017, Daily News Digest

shadow banking

News Comments Today’s main news: Venmo is testing a physical debit card. Zopa shares its banking plans. Ranger Direct Lending enters arbitration with Investee Princeton. Aegon Life explores digital channels for selling policies. Today’s main analysis: What’s driving the growth of shadow banking? Today’s thought-provoking articles: Prosper performance update for May 2017. The fastest consumer lenders to $1B in […]

shadow banking

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United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Canada

News Summary

United States

Venmo is testing its own physical debit card (recode), Rated: AAA

Venmo has been testing its own version of a physical debit card that would allow people who use its app to make purchases in brick-and-mortar stores using money stored in their Venmo account, according to multiple sources.

One potential advantage is that it would allow Venmo users to immediately spend money that is sent to them via the app without having to wait a business day for a deposit of those funds to appear in their bank account.

Prosper Performance Update: May 2017 (Prosper), Rated: AAA

Today we are sharing performance data for the Prosper portfolio for May 2017.  The weighted average coupon for assets originated through Prosper’s platform in May 2017 was 16.34%i, the highest for a monthly vintage since 2013.

Additional highlights from the May Update include:

  • Continued credit tightening can be seen via an increase in expected loss rate, coupon, Loss/FICO, and Coupon/FICO compared to prior months.
  • Prepayments for the 2017 origination months continue to trend above prior vintages.
  • 2015 and 2016H1 vintage delinquencies continue to trend below their prior peaks.

What’s driving the growth in ‘shadow banking’ (Chicago Booth Review), Rated: AAA

According to Chicago Booth’s Gregor Matvos, Booth PhD candidate Greg Buchak, Columbia’s Tomasz Piskorski, and Stanford’s Amit Seru, much of the growth is due to regulations that have pushed banks out of traditional lending businesses. The researchers also attribute some growth to online technology that has lowered the barrier to entry in markets where lenders once needed networks of physical branches to have any hope of building business.

The researchers focus on the US residential lending market, the largest consumer loan market in the country—and the market that drew the most attention from regulators after 2008. Between 2007 and 2015, shadow banks nearly tripled their market share, from 14 percent to 38 percent.

During the study period, lenders that originated loans online (fintech lenders) saw market share rise from 4 percent to 13 percent—but that remains less than half of the shadow-banking sector.

Source: Review.ChicagoBooth.edu

Fiserv partners with fintech startup to launch digital adviser (American Banker), Rated: A

The core banking software provider Fiserv and the fintech startup GoldBean have partnered to provide a digital adviser meant to provide that extra assistance.

GoldBean has an “investing for beginners” platform that was designed to promote financial literacy. By analyzing people’s spending, it creates customized portfolios featuring companies and brands with which end users are already familiar. GoldBean is a graduate of the INV Fintech Accelerator run by Fiserv and Bank Innovation.

Fiserv hopes that by integrating GoldBean education and advice into its Unified Wealth Platform, some of these investors will eventually interact with the human wealth managers who use Fiserv’s platform, for instance when they need to talk about a life change.

Amazon, Klarna, And The ‘Creative Destruction’ Of The Banking System (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

As a consequence, Klarna has become “one of the most highly valued technology groups in Europe. A round of fundraising in 2015 valued it at $2.25 billion. And it is solidly profitable.”

The crucial thing here is that Mr. Siemiatkowski wants Klarna to stay focused. He believes that other innovative FinTech organizations will fill in the rest of the financial landscape. That is, banking will be done by numerous FinTech companies moving at the speed of technology innovation, not at the speed of ordinary banks.

First, there is so much to be gained from creating a network or a platform that is more inclusive than separate “specialists” joining together to create “full bank offering.”

Second, there is the issue of regulation. Banks are heavily regulated.

What Mr. Bezos of Amazon.com and Mr. Siemiatkowski of Klarna seem to be doing is reinventing banking on the basis of a payments platform that can serve many purposes. The “creative destruction” of the banking system as we know it appears to be just beginning.

The Fastest Consumer Lenders to $ 1 Billion in Originations (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Anyway, I did a little digging and through publicly available information I was mostly able to figure out how quickly many of the major platforms reached their first billion in total loans issued.

1. Marcus – 8 months

2. SoFi – 14 months – Based on data from Kroll Bond Rating Agency, we know that by August 1, 2016 (when the SCLP 2016-2 securitization closed) SoFi had issued at least $1.3 billion in loans based on the loan pool balance of their first three personal loan securitizations. Based on that data I estimate they crossed the $1 billion mark around April of 2016, 14 months after they launched the product.

3. Marlette – 17 months

4. Avant – 28 months – Avant launched in January of 2013 and when they crossed $1 billion in May 2015 they were the fastest platform to that milestone at the time.

5. Lending Club – 65 months – Lending Club was the first platform to cross a billion dollars back in November 2012.

6. Prosper – 98 months – Prosper was the first marketplace lender to launch in this country all the way back in February 2006. For many years it was just Lending Club and Prosper in the online consumer lending space and for much of that time Prosper was the market leader. Prosper crossed $1 billion in April 2014. They took over seven years to do their first $500 million and just 11 months for them to go from $500 million to $1 billion in total loans issued.

ezVerify and LendingPoint Launch ezCarePoint for Medical Payments (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Today at the HFMA ANI 2017 conference, ezVerify and LendingPoint announced an exclusive partnership that will make it easier and more affordable for consumers to pay their medical bills. Working together, the two companies will provide a new service called ezCarePoint, which will allow patients to accurately predict their out-of-pocket expenses and apply for flexible payment plans and loans to cover the costs of medical procedures.

According to a report by The Commonwealth Fund, more than 30 million people do not get necessary medical attention out of fear that doing so would be financially burdensome. Many Americans do not have a clear understanding of their insurance coverage and out-of-pocket obligations — as a result, consumers face medical costs they weren’t expecting, and practitioners lose money on unpaid bills.

By integrating the ezVerify and LendingPoint technologies, ezCarePoint will help patients verify their insurance coverage and payment responsibility for health care services before the procedure takes place, preventing incidents where patients unexpectedly find themselves responsible for bills outside of their insurance coverage. If the patient can’t pay the out-of-pocket costs up front, they will have the option to apply for a loan and payment plan quickly and easily from the ezCarePoint platform. Patients will be notified of approvals in a matter of seconds, and upon approval, LendingPoint will pay the loan proceeds to medical practitioners within one business day to pay the patients’ out-of-pocket medical costs up front.

Euler Hermes Digital Agency Announces CRiskCo Partnership (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Euler Hermes, the world’s leading trade credit insurer, today announced an innovative partnership with fintech credit risk analysis company, CRiskCo. With a focus on revolutionizing factoring, trade and supply chain finance, CRiskCo uses state-of-the art artificial intelligence (AI) credit analysis and fraud detection processes.

Christophe Spoerry, Euler Hermes Digital Agency (EHDA) co-founder, said, ” EHDA and CRiskCo are working together to evolve trade credit insurance and risk management, particularly at the transaction and single invoice cover levels. This has the potential to offer small-medium enterprises (SMEs) significantly more protection when doing business, by providing innovative, simple and affordable customer analyses.”

EHDA recently launched its first breakthrough product – Single Invoice Cover – which protects companies from non-payment by business customers. Cover is provided transaction by transaction while optimizing end-to-end supply chains and extending optimal credit terms to buyers. Based on a proprietary application program interface (API), it creates a seamless process for businesses, while facilitating a comprehensive and granular management of credit exposure.

RIAs Should Embrace Alternative Investments or Risk Client Attrition (WealthManagement.com), Rated: A

Before the emergence of crowdfunding-style investment platforms, it was hard for investors to reap the benefits of investing in a diversified portfolio of rental real estate. They can now, and you can show them how.

Wealth management is a “share of wallet” game. If you diversify your solutions, clients will end up with more diversified risk—and that’s the point.

Lending Club’s first securitization is a big deal (American Banker), Rated: A

Lending Club’s first securitization of its own consumer installment loans is an important step in rebuilding its business following a scandal last year over its corporate controls.

The company has been seeking to broaden its funding sources after concerns about the integrity of its data caused many investors to pause or scaled back their purchases. Lending Club originally acted purely as a matchmaker, connecting borrowers with lenders over its platform. It did not hold on to the loans.

Money in Cleveland tech-startup community begins to circulate (Cleveland.com), Rated: A

Splash Financial is a perfect example of this long journey.

Splash Financial completed a $3.3 million financing round in January of 2017 from several local angels and will become the newest entrant in the booming digital lending marketplace that includes LendingClub, OnDeck, SoFi and Cabbage.

The company is now working with banks to help build an efficient lending platform where a strong capital source (i.e. – the banks) do not have immediate access to the doctor marketplace.

1 in 5 Small Business Owners Would Give up a Vacation Day Rather Than Their Smartphone (Small Biz Trends), Rated: A

According to a recent survey of small business owners on their mobile device use by peer-to-peer lending marketplace Funding Circle, one in five (20.4 percent) small business owners said they would rather give up a vacation day than their smartphones for a week.

Funding Circle also found more than half (56 percent) of small business owners surveyed find their smartphone gives them the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they want, so they can make time for other passions.

Nearly half (49 percent) said their smartphone keeps them in closer contact with loved ones while away from home — via tools like text messages throughout the day and video calls while traveling for work.

Forty-four percent said having their smartphone helps them relax during vacation time because it gives them peace of mind to know if there’s a problem with the business at home, they are accessible.

Follow the yellow Laurel Road (Transform Magazine), Rated: A

National online lender Laurel Road, previously known as Darien Rowayton Bank Lending Division, is a division of the Connecticut-chartered Darien Rowayton Bank, which launched over a decade ago in 2006. Wishing to define its bank lending division as the first source of income advice and financial security for the state’s many university students, DRB turned to the New York office of international design agency Brand Union to create an identity and help carve out its unique path.

Laurel Road’s new strapline, also developed by Brand Union, is ‘Rewarding determination’ and acts with double meaning, being reminiscent of both the student’s educational motives and the lender’s financial role. It also serves to encourage its customers to pursue their college journey to its conclusion,

loanDepot: “The Momentum is Just Starting” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

One of the most promising is loanDepot, the creation of CEO Anthony Hsieh, has become one of the top mortgage lenders in the US. Additionally, loanDepot has migrated into the personal loan space too challenging online consumer lenders like LendingClub.

RealtyShares Sources Debt For Seattle Student Housing Deal (Bisnow), Rated: B

RealtyShares, an online marketplace for real estate investing, has sourced $11.9M for the acquisition and partial recapitalization of a 10-property portfolio of student housing in Seattle.

3 Alternative Ways To Hedge Against A Market Downturn (NASDAQ), Rated: B

When approached correctly, peer-to-peer lending can be among the safest ways to invest right now.

The key to making it safe is to diversify across many loans. Diversification eliminates the risk of default because any single loan you invest in can default without sinking the entire investment.

I consider peer-to-peer lending via a reputable platform the safest way to invest right now while still earning respectable returns on your money.

United Kingdom

Zopa boss Janardana details plans for customer-centric bank (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Zopa aims to launch its bank next year with a series of products based on simple, flat pricing – and a direct challenge to the industry’s traditional strategy of milking their large “back books” of existing long-term customers who rarely switch or shop around.

Jaidev Janardana, Zopa’s chief executive confirmed in an exclusive interview that credit cards and auto-finance would be among the first products, and would charge a single rate for all customers, instead of ultra-low teaser offers that flip to high rates after a fixed term, catching borrowers who do not switch.

He pointed out that Zopa already follows this approach in its P2P lending with all investors receiving the same rate, and returns changing for everyone simultaneously. The company expects to apply to the Prudential Regulation Authority for its banking licence later this year.

Ranger Direct Lending Enters Arbitration Against Investee Princeton (London South East), Rated: AAA

Ranger Direct Lending Fund PLC said Monday it has entered arbitration proceedings against the parent company of investee firm Princeton Alternative Income Fund Ltd, following a provision taken over a loan portfolio.

Ranger said Monday it is now seeking to enforce redemption and provision of financial information rights against Princeton via the arbitration proceedings.

Lendy highlights gap between property prices and key influences (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: A

Lendy stated that residential property prices have risen by 20% since the start of 2014, however, the LPP, the new property market index, has only increased by 17% during the same period with the gap between them continuing to grow.

Fintech credit firm Quint posts record revenues (Express), Rated: A

FAST-growing UK fintech group Quint is forecasting a £50 million plus turnover this year after seeing a record 64 per cent rise in growth and revenues rise to £32 million.

The main drivers are the launch of its consumer credit comparison site MoneyGuru.com as well as strong growth in its lending platform Monevo and Monevo data services business.

Racefields to buy and sell debt from bridging lending market (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: A

Racefields is seeking to connect with bridging lenders who are interested in refinancing parts of their loan book after opening a trading room to buy and sell debt from the bridging market.

Blockchain raises $ 40 million from Lakestar and Google’s venture arm (Business Insider), Rated: A

Bitcoin and blockchain technology company Blockchain has raised $40 million (£31.5 million) in its second round of institutional funding.

European venture capital fund Lakestar and GV, Google’s venture capital arm, both led the round. Nokota Management and Digital Currency Group also took part in the investment, as did Blockchain’s existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Prudence Holdings, Virgin, and Sir Richard Branson.

The Series B funding takes the total raised by Blockchain to $70 million (£55.2 million).

Why Sipps aren’t yet embracing P2P (MoneyWeek), Rated: A

Since April 2016, investors have been able to shield gains from peer-to-peer (P2P) lending from the taxman in the innovative finance Isas (IF Isas). And while it has taken a while for most P2P platforms to win the necessary approvals from HM Revenue & Customs and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer IF Isas, these products are finally beginning to take off, with several launched since the start of the new tax year. However, the same can’t be said for P2P investments through self-invested personal pensions (Sipps).

Referral schemes: earn over £1,000 through family and friends (BT), Rated: B

People using peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle can net £50 if they recommend a friend or relative who goes on to lend at least £2,000. Normally, Zopa investors can earn up to £50 if the person they recommend lends £2,000 with the platform. They’ll receive £50 too. However, at the time of writing Zopa isn’t accepting any more investors due to high demand.

Elsewhere, Alliance Trust Savings will give existing customers a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher when they get a friend or family member to open an Investment Dealing Account, ISA or Select SIPP. Your friend will get £25 worth of vouchers, too.

Mutual Scottish Friendly is offering two £25 MyRewards card to their customers – that’s one for the customer and one for the person they recommend.

China

Internet majors, banks edge closer to fintech success (China Daily), Rated: AAA

China’s internet giants that forayed into online finance are now joining hands with banks, their perceived competitors, to succeed together in the booming financial technology or fintech sector.

The latest such partnership is between Tencent Holdings Ltd and Huaxia Bank Co Ltd, which was announced on Thursday.

Tencent’s peers, Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which together comprise China’s “Tech Trinity”, are jostling for supremacy in the internet finance segment. The two already have partnerships or collaborations with the nation’s top lenders.

JD.com Inc, another e-commerce major, has also joined the fintech partnerships fray. It is working with ICBC, China’s largest bank by assets, on fintech, retail banking, loans for small and medium-sized enterprises, and consumer finance.

European Union

Ingenico ePayments Partners with French FinTech Company SlimPay on SEPA Direct Debit (EuroInvestor), Rated: A

Ingenico ePayments, the online and mobile commerce division of Ingenico Group, today announced that it has teamed up with French recurring payments specialist Slimpay to support a SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) solution the company is developing for online merchants to simply and securely create and manage the e-mandates required to process SDD payments. With the partnership, SlimPay joins a rapidly expanding ecosystem of exciting and innovative FinTech companies that work closely with Ingenico to jointly develop new solutions for online merchants.

International

Aegon Life insurance company explores e-commerce channels to sell policies (Financial Express), Rated: AAA

Private sector life insurer Aegon Life Insurance Company is exploring options to sell policies via fintech and e-commerce platforms. The company’s Chief Digital Officer Martijn de Jong said digital channel is to become the primary channel for the insurers to expand customer base.

The company’s first premium income grew by 30 per cent to Rs 10.40 crore during April-May period of the current fiscal, according to data available with Irdai. Aegon Life Insurance is a joint venture between global insurer Aegon and Bennett Coleman & Company (India).

Australia

Digital advice will bypass member apathy, embarrassment (Investment Magazine), Rated: A

Despite the tremendously importance of retirement planning to the long-term financial security of the working population, the majority of Australians tend to neglect their superannuation funds throughout most of their working lives.

For example, more than 50 per cent of Australians now retire on a date not of their choosing. In addition, research from global banking and financial services firm HSBC showed that a staggering 41 per cent of Australian pre-retirees do not receive any retirement advice.

Digital advice allows users to bypass any potential sensitivities they may feel when consulting a human adviser. Those who have limited knowledge about the basics of their own savings goals or liabilities may feel too embarrassed to talk to a professional and therefore switch off from engagement.

India

Fintech Startup Stashfin Raises $ 5 Mn Funding From Snow Leopard Ventures, Others (Inc42), Rated: A

Delhi-based fintech startup Stashfin has raised $5 Mn Pre-Series A funding from Snow Leopard Ventures and Singapore-based Alto Partners. Snow Leopard Ventures is the VC arm of the Kirloskar Group.

Stashfin is the parent company of digital lending platform, StashEasy. It was founded in February 2016 by Tushar Aggarwal.

Middle East

Machine learning is transforming lending (Khalee Times), Rated: AAA

In June 2015, the World Economic Forum published The Future of Financial Services – How disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured, provisioned and consumed. The paper defined a taxonomy for disruption in financial services. It identified six broad areas and within them, 11 clusters of disruptive innovation.

The six areas are Payments, Market Provisioning, Investment Management, Insurance, Deposits & Lending and Capital Raising. Of the 11 clusters in the report, the combination of Alternative Lending and Shifting Customer Preference clusters are most relevant to today’s article. Within this combination, the Banking-as-Platform movement is playing a remarkable intermediary role in matching lenders and borrowers via a seamless, transparent, user-friendly standard API based model which leverages advances in processing power, artificial intelligence, user interfaces and design-thinking.

Traditional lenders, i.e. banks, usually find it difficult to match the agility and granular understanding that P2P Lending players have. Banks’ credit evaluation and origination platforms are often industrial-age processes with a large quantum of human intervention.

Canada

Billionaire Buffett throws lifeline to cash-starved Home Capital (Daily Mail), Rated: AAA

Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s commitment of a C$2 billion (US$1.51 billion) credit facility to Home Capital Group Inc, Canada’s largest nonbank lender, marks the billionaire’s latest effort to shore up a company in dire need of cash.

Home Capital shares soared as much as 18 percent, but was still more than two-thirds below the 2014 peak.

Berkshire also agreed through its Columbia Insurance unit to buy up to C$400 million (US$302 million) of Home Capital shares for a 38.4 percent stake, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Home Capital has suffered a deposit exodus resembling a bank run since mid-April, when the Ontario Securities Commission accused it of deceiving investors.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday September 7th 2016, Daily News Digest

Thursday September 7th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s interesting articles: for entrepreneurs the reasons not to become a unicorn before you are self-sufficient; and 2 articles on emerging bank’s user strategy vs established bank’s user strategy. And for analysis: a great article on Europe’s Fintech data and trends, a must read to understand the ongoing results of all the local various […]

Thursday September 7th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

 

United States

Why Fintech Startups Might Not Want to Become Unicorns, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Striving to achieve a valuation of $1 billion or more may no longer be in a start-up’s best interest, according to recent valuation trends and the venture capitalists who invest in the space.

“What you don’t want to do is get into sort of this half pregnant phase when you’re past where you’re digestible but not clearly on the trajectory for long term, self sufficiency,” said Sean Park, co-founder of venture capital firm Anthemis Group.

CB Insights showing second-quarter funding to venture capital-backed finch companies dropping 49 percent on a quarterly basis.

To date, CB Insights’ data also shows that the biggest acquisitions in the space have been Monsanto Co.’s 2013 purchase of agricultural insurance startup The Climate Corp. for $1.1 billion, Singapore Telecommunications’ 2015 acquisition of payment security startup Trustwave and EBay Inc.’s deal to buy global payments platform Braintree for $800 million in 2013.

Another such deal was Northwestern Mutual’s 2015 acquisition of LearnVest, an online financial planner, for what sources say was over $250 million but less than the $1 billion unicorn mark.

Online lending platforms Social Finance Inc. and Lu.com now have valuations topping $4 billion and $18 billion, respectively, and JD.com’s finance subsidiary has a $7.1 billion valuation.

Robo advisors Betterment LLC and Wealthfront Inc. are each sitting at $700 million, and online money transfer startup WorldRemit has a valuation of $500 million.

That may leave the unattractive option of being sold for a lower valuation, which has happened in a number of other industries. Gilt Groupe Holdings Inc., for instance, was once valued at about $1 billion, but later agreed to be acquired by Hudson’s Bay Co.for $250 million.

Going public also isn’t as attractive as it used to be. Of three prominent IPOs in the space, only one is trading above its initial offering price. LendingClub and On Deck Capital Inc. are both significantly below where they debuted, while shares of Square Inc. are now above that price despite a volatile few months.

Nauiokas of Anthemis said that while a number of startups may already be in that “half pregnant” phase, they might be fine with staying in . “I think for a lot of these companies that are in that in-between phase, there’s a lot of runway to go it alone.”

Ruling Boosts CFPB, Raises Marketplace Lending Questions, (BNA), Rated: A

Commentary: Lending Times covered these news on Sept 4th, however many readers being on vacation may have missed this important piece of news.

In an Aug. 31 decision, Judge John F. Walter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said Orange, Calif.-based CashCall Inc. and others engaged in deceptive practices by servicing and seeking full payment on loans rendered uncollectible or partially void by state usury and licensing laws.

He also said CashCall was the “true lender” on loans issued and sold to CashCall by Western Sky Financial, a South Dakota limited liability company licensed to do business by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) in South Dakota.

According to Walter, “true lender” status depends on the substance of a transaction, not its form.

Using the “totality of the circumstances” test to determine which transaction party has the “predominant economic interest” in a transaction might also affect marketplace lenders that rely on loans made and funded by bank partners, they said.

(Kroll Bond Rating Agency), Rated: A

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of SpringCastle Funding Asset-Backed Notes 2016-A (“SCFT 2016-A”), a personal loan asset-backed securities transaction.

The collateral in the SCFT 2016-A deal includes approximately $1,744.5 million of loans, as of July 31, 2016. The preliminary ratings reflect the initial credit enhancement levels of 19.55% for the Class A, 7.20% for the Class B notes, and 0.50% for the Class C notes, as well as the target enhancement levels of 20.55%, 8.20%, and 1.50% for the Class A notes, Class B notes, and Class C notes, respectively. Credit enhancement is comprised of over collateralization, subordination of junior note classes, a cash reserve account, and excess spread.

Aspire Financial Technologies Announces Four Initial Data Partnerships for the Aspire Gateway Platform, (Newswire), Rated: A

MaRS FinTech venture Aspire Financial Technologies (“Aspire”), announced today that it has formed new Data Partnerships with US-based marketplace lenders Marlette Funding, Pave, and Prosper Marketplace, along with Canadian Alternative Lending Originator, Progressa.

Aspire’s inaugural product, the Gateway platform, is designed to provide better data, analytics and communications infrastructure to Alternative and Online Lending Originators and Institutional Investors.  The platform uses proprietary software developed by the Aspire team providing a workflow, data, analytics, funding and reporting infrastructure solution for these two distinct user groups.

Kabbage Launches “Elevator Pitch,” a Nationwide Campaign with Lori Greiner, (Benzinga), Rated: A

Kabbage, today announced a nationwide campaign for small business owners. In early October, five finalists will have the opportunity to deliver an “Elevator Pitch” directly to entrepreneur and investor Lori Greiner. One finalist will win $10, 000 and a private, one-hour business consultation with Ms. Greiner. Contestsubmissions are open beginning today until midnight on September 20, 2016.
Since launching in 2011, Kabbage has served more than 80,000 small businesses across the U.S. with over two billion dollars in capital.

Business owners must create a short video of their best business growth idea. After contestants upload the video to Kabbage’s Facebook page, a panel of judges will select the qualifying finalists to deliver their best “Elevator Pitch” in person to Lori Greiner. Limit one entry per small business.

How emerging banks are changing the banking experience, (Banking Technology), Rated: A

Modelling products around user experience

Monzo has taken this to a whole different level. The business has identified UX as not only one of the most important drivers towards success, but as THE most important driver. This is why it has not only created its mobile app with the user at the forefront of its design, but is allowing early adopters to use features within the app already.

Customers using these features can offer feedback on their experiences and any UX improvements they feel would be beneficial. This directly influences the development team’s decision making, as offering the highest quality, most innovative UX on the market is the main driving force behind the project.

Modelling user experience around products

Atom Bank is arguably the highest profile business using this approach. All products will be built on Unity, a game-design platform which offers the type of view on development traditional banks wouldn’t even consider.

Both of these approaches are viable and clearly working in the digital age – there is enough buzz around emerging banks that it’s clear people are disillusioned with traditional banks and looking for an alternative.

To retain customers, banks are empowering them, (Tradestreaming), Rated:AAA

Only 55.1 percent of bank clients said they are likely to stay with their bank in the next 6 weeks, according to the 2016 retail banking survey. Less than 40 percent said they will refer a friend to their bank.

In North America, 68 percent of customers aged 18-34 say they would welcome receiving Personal Finance Management offerings like a “safe-to-spend” analysis from their bank, according to Accenture.

Deutsche Bank, for example, launched its PFM FinanzPlaner, developed by financial software company Strands.

ING recently launched a slew of digital money management products. The bank added a forecasting feature to its mobile banking app in the Netherlands. ING in Spain launched a digital financial advisor called My Money Coach and a similar one was launched in France.

Barclays’ PFM solution is open even to non-customers, highlighting the importance of such an offering for customer retention and acquisition.

4 best ads for loans during the Summer of 2016, (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

Australian home lender and mortgage broker Aussie’s September 2016 ad has a family applying for a loan in an airy, bright room, among dozens of service providers eager to assist and a jovial boss helping Mom and Dad choose the very best home loan option for them.

State Farm’s June 2016 car loan/insurance commercial cleverly parallels a young woman getting a car and an older businessman discovering that his car has been jacked. Though they each say the exact same sentences, “I cannot believe this” and“what a day”, they each benefit from a different financial service from the insurance provider.

Rocket Mortgage’s $5 million Super Bowl ad riled consumers, who believed that Rocket Mortgage spelled the housing apocalypse 2.0. The firm’s 2016 summer ads have avoided any major controversy so far, and tap into the renewed Star Trek franchise, with Vulcans discussing and explaining how Rocket Mortgage works.

Ok, so this video from Sainsbury’s Bank was actually posted back in May, before summer kicked off, but it snuck onto the list thanks to its really funky cinematography, which intersperses the loan applicants’ narrative with wacky short clips that enact what the family is talking about. The bank has a number of 2016 YouTube shorts that follow the same template, advertising other products, like travel money and credit cards.

 

United Kingdom

P2P Global Investments and VPC Speciality Lending among hardest hits trusts since Brexit, (Alt Fi Credit), Rating: A

The two largest p2p and marketplace lending focused closed-ended funds are among the worst performers of all investment trusts listed on the London markets since market fallout from the Brexit vote, according to research by Numis Securities.

The best performing funds have been in Asia/EM, benefitting from both strong local markets (the MSCI Asia ex Japan is up 10% since 23 June in local currency terms) and the weakness of Sterling, down 10 per cent versus the US dollar. Technology and biotech has also rallied after a weak start to the year.

“Concerns have been expressed about the quality of loan books, the effectiveness of credit analysis, growing delinquencies, slowing growth, funding shortfalls and the prospect of greater regulatory scrutiny, while the Lending Club debacle has cast a long shadow. Against this challenging backdrop, full disclosure and transparency are critical to address growing investor concerns. “

Alan Brierley, director of investment company research at Canaccord Genuity says for P2P Global Investments – the largest fund in the space – a significant hit was from an impairment charge of £7.7m.

The £414m BlackRock Income Strategies Trust also makes it into the list of worst performers. It also is a big investor in P2P, holding one of the largest stakes in the Funding Circle SME Income fund, another listed vehicle, albeit a stronger performer since Brexit.

Pariti taps into Zopa API to help millennials pay off card debt, (Finextra), Rated: A

UK money management app Pariti has formed a referral partnership with P2P financing outfit Zopa to help users swap out their credit card debt for a consolidation loan.

The startup, which claims 70,000 users, says the agreement with Zopa is the first of a number of bundled relationships aimed at creating a ‘marketplace bank’ for millennial consumers.

Pariti is using Zopa’s recently-released loan application service API to draw down rates from the peer-to-peer funder.

European Union

European Alternative Finance Jumps to €5.4 billion in 2015, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The report can be found here.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has published its 2nd report on the rapid growth of alternative finance across Europe. Entitled “Sustaining Momentum“, the CCAF research has quickly become the definitive report quantifying the growth and documenting the evolution of alternative finance around the world. CCAF has previously published research on new forms of finance covering both the Americas and Asia Pacific.

According to CCAF, as one would expect, the UK continues to dominate the continent at €4.4 billion in aggregate funding. France and Germany are second and third with €319 million and €249 million. The Netherlands had a solid showing at  €111 million. If you remove the UK, European alternative finance increased by 72% year over year going from €594 million in 2014 to €1.019 billion in 2015. While the overall rate of growth slowed, the industry is sustaining momentum as new regulations kick in and platforms mature.

Other interesting facts highlighted in the research:

  • Estonia is 1st in Europe in alternative finance volume per capita at €24, followed by Finland at €12 and Monaco at €10 (outside of the UK).
  • UK per capita volume stood at over €65
  • Balance Sheet lending was very small at just € 2 million, excluding the UK
  • About 38% of surveyed platforms felt their national regulations for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending were adequate and appropriate, 28% perceived their national regulations to be excessive, and a further 10% said current regulations were too relaxed.
  • The biggest risks cited were increasing loan defaults or business failure rates, fraudulent activities or the collapse of platforms due to malpractice.
  • The UK had the most platforms (94) followed by France (49), Germany (35) & Italy (30)
  • Just shy of 50% of firms indicated no in flow of funding from outside their country, while 72% of platforms indicated no out flow of funds to other countries

Finnovista: Spanish Fintech Sector Has Quadrupled in Three Years, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

When Finnovista first covered Spanish fintech in 2013, the site recorded only 50 startups in the sector; now, three years later, in its first edition of Fintech Radar Spain, the site identified 207 Spanish fintech startups, indicating the sector had quadrupled in three years, stats largely in line with fintech’s global trend.

Finnovista predicts that over the next five years fintech startups will compete to overtake 20% the traditional Spanish banking market creating a more significant presence in all categories of financial services including Payments, Loans, Management Corporate Finance and Personal, Insurance, Investment Management, Trading, and Savings.

In addition, Finnovista cited that Spain’s 207 fintech startups make Spain the largest market for innovation compared to Latin America, ranking significantly above Brazil’s 130 startups, Mexico’s 128 startups, Colombia’s 77 startups and and Chile’s 56 startups. Not surprisingly given these statistics, Spanish Fintech leads in number of startups in 12 of the 13 categories that Finnovista monitors through its initiative Fintech Radar for Latin American countries.

Author:

George Popescu

August 3rd 2016, Daily News Digest

August 3rd 2016, Daily News Digest

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

August 3rd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

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

International

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

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

New Zealand

China

International

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

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

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

Comments:

Negative stand out:

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

Positive stand out:

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

 

 

 

United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was supported by a release from Fitch Ratings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sticky products build engaged audiences.

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia

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

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

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

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

New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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

REASONS TO BE A PEER-TO-PEER INVESTOR

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

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

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

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

– They enjoy the process of lending.

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author:

George Popescu

July 25th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments United States A good summary by PeerIQ of the latest securitizations of SoFi and Marlette with good comparisons to previous securitizations done by the same firms and other firms. Article describing as has been the trend lately, how a German fintech bank partners with Telefonica which has more accounts than CommerzBank and Postbank, […]

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Taiwan

Korea

Singapore

India

China

 

News Summary

 

United States

Weekly securitization update (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Last week saw a substantial uptick in issuance news in MPL ABS securitization space. Four deals, totaling more than $1 billion of bonds, were either priced or announced last week.
SoFi and Marlette priced a student and consumer loan deal respectively. Both deals executed at meaningfully tighter levels.
SoFi
SoFi strengthens its lead as the largest MPL ABS issuer by volume and is enjoying a virtuous cycle of lower funding costs, improved liquidity, and expansion of the ABS base. At the current pace, PeerIQ predicts SoFi may issue 8 to 10 deals this year and is on pace to be one of the largest issuers globally in certain markets.
   sofi securitization comparison
sofi securitization details and comparison
Marlette
Marlette is a balance sheet lender that originates unsecured consumer loans via the Marlette BestEgg Platform. Loans issued through the Marlette platform are originated by Cross River Bank (CRB). CRB and Marlette retain a share of loans issued through their online platform addressing potential “skin in the game” and true lender concerns.
 marlette securitization comparison
marlette securitization details and comparison
MFT 2016-1 is the second deal from Marlette this year and is backed by a $205 million loan pool. The pricing of MFT 2016-1 is about 200 basis points tighter across capital structure as compared to CHAI 2016-MF1 (Chart 1).
The consequence of better execution on IRR for equity tranche holders is significant. We find that the excess spread on MFT 2016-1 increases IRR by a whopping ~20% as compared to CHAI 2016-MF1.
Market Outlook
In our view, ABS issuance growth trends remain robust this quarter. We predict Q3 will lead to record issuance exceeding historical quarterly deal volumes including prior quarter ($1.7 billion), and last year’s quarter Q3 ($1.1 billion).
Dynamics remain favorable–a global low yield environment, the short duration of MPL ABS assets, and improved IRRs for junior tranche holders–will lead to growth in MPL ABS securitization as we have suggested in our 2Q 2016 Securitization Tracker.
Platforms that generate strong credit performance, build investor trust, and can improve the distribution of their products (via ABS or otherwise) are well positioned to grow.

Counting Down to the Bank of Facebook, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

The latest move in upstart finance will soon arrive in Germany, where a new mobile banking service from phone carrier Telefonica will offer checking accounts, a free MasterCard and small instant loans. Telefonica’s partnering with digital bank Fidor, effectively using its license as a springboard for financial services.

It’s a deal that makes sense on both sides. Telefonica wants to assure customer loyalty while maybe gaining a bit of revenue. Fidor needs scale: its customer base of around 100,000 in Germany is hardly the stuff of nightmares for, say, Commerzbank and its 16 million individual customers. But Telefonica’s 43 million customers is a different ballgame.

fidora n26 customers source Bloomberg

That’s not to say it’s a recipe for success — telecoms’ past forays into finance have been mixed. Vodafone’s early experiments with mobile payments in Africa were a big success. U.S. carrier T-Mobile started offering pre-paid debit cards and money transfers to customers in 2014, and ended the service this month because it faced too many competitors.

Tech Threat
A survey of bankers shows non-banks are seen as the biggest threat, ahead of start-ups or incumbents

tech threat sources

For now, the tech giants have barely scratched the surface. Apple and Google have mobile payment tools, Facebook users can send money to friends through Messenger and Amazon is pitching student loans in partnership with Wells Fargo, but they’re not exactly setting the financial world on fire. Their Asian cousins are more advanced: WeChat and Tencent can now be used to pay for everything from rent to a taxi, and Alibaba runs mutual funds.

They’re set to be the main competitors for the payments business in Europe, according to 96 percent of respondents to a Finextra/FIS survey of finance companies last year.

This doesn’t have to be just a nightmare for incumbents. It could be an opportunity. European banks could lift pre-tax profits by 40 percent in five years if they find the right way to limit the impact of disintermediation and capitalize on new tech, according to BCG Partners.

With more ventures like Telefonica’s on the way, expect the pressure to rise.

Marketplace Lending Is ‘Likely Here To Stay,’ But Needs Clearer Regulation, (S&P Global), Rated: A

Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, acknowledged the significant growth of the marketplace lending industry during a June 9 forum hosted by the FTC, the first in a series of events focused on fintech. She mentioned the “rocky spring” for marketplace lending and noted reports that show flagging investor interest in the space. Still, Ramirez said that the potential benefits of the services provided by this new breed of financial institution mean that marketplace lending is “likely here to stay.”

“It’s not a good idea to look at the bank model and just port that over and drop it on,” Knight added. “They are different models and they generate different risks and the regulation should reflect that.”

Conor French pointed out that the regulatory environment in the U.K. is easier to navigate for online lenders who are overseen directly by the country’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center, pointed to the need to “flush out the bad actors” from the marketplace lending industry.

French of Funding Circle pointed out that the traditional lending choices in the financial services industry are not working. They are leaving many consumers “underserved and underbanked,” he said.

Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC, said that it is “encouraging to learn that marketplace lenders are taking proactive steps to self-regulate.” Still, she pointed out that self-regulation is “not enough.”

Lending Club’s Savior Is Patrick Dunne, (Seeking Alpha), Rated:A

Lending Club hired Patrick Dunne as its Chief Capital Officer.

Patrick Dunne brings a global network of contacts to Lending Club and has experience in dealing with failed products.

Patrick led the growth of BlackRock’s iShares business, whose products often got shut down.

Patrick has worked as a strategist, whose job is to convince clients that a certain trade is attractive.

Adventurous investors may want to pick up shares on the revival of Lending Club’s growth.

SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2016-2 LLC (“SCLP 2016-2”) ( Press Release Kroll Bond Rating Agency), Rated: A

This is a $480.55 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on August 1, 2016.

This transaction represents SoFi Lending Corp.’s (“SoFi”) second rated securitization collateralized by a portfolio of unsecured consumer loans. SoFi currently originates personal loans through its 21 state licenses or complies with certain requirements where a state lending license is not required. There was one prior unrated securitization, in which SoFi or SoFi’s institutional investors were the sponsors and the collateral was unsecured consumer loans.

Please click on the link below to access the full report: SCLP 2016-2

Collaborators Outnumber Would-Be Disruptors at Fintech Demo Event, (American Banker), Rated: A

“Fintech is destroying legacy systems and legacy attitudes,” declared Jesse Podell, the emcee and managing director of startupbootcamp FinTech New York, bounding on and off the stage in high spirits.

Five of the 10 graduates from the startupbootcamp accelerator program pitched technology designed to be used by traditional banks.

AlphaPack‘s product, Sandbox, gives banks a safe place to try out new technologies from fintech partners.

Fluent, a startup that began in Kentucky and is migrating east, has a blockchain-based platform for the $6 trillion trade finance space.

RepreZen set out to solve a longstanding problem for banks: data integration.

VendorMach provides what it calls an “early warning system” for vendor risk management. The software is designed to monitor banks’ vendors for signs of liquidity risk, data breaches and other potential issues.

Visualize Wealth has created white-label software for banks to embed in their mobile apps, to give their customers a view of their investments and an objective sense of how those investments are performing.

The Disruptors

CFX has built an online trading platform for private real estate investment trusts, a market the startup pegs at $84 billion, with 1.2 million retail shareholders.

Factury has a blockchain-based lending platform. “The lending industry is filled with fraud and inefficiency at every level,” said Arturs Ivanovs, Factury’s chief marketing officer. “It’s mostly driven by paper-based processes and human labor. Only 7% of this industry is digitized.” Distributed ledger technology will be the fundamental infrastructure for the lending industry, he said.

Consumer-Facing Plays

Seal has built mobile payments into its app providing professional agreements.

token says it’s working to make credit card fraud a thing of the past. “Our credit cards get stolen every day when we shop online,” said Yana Zaidiner, token’s chief operating officer. The firm’s mobile app lets people use a pseudo credit card and payment identity while keeping their real payment information hidden, similar to another startup called Privacy.com.

Lawnmower.io made a pitch that’s even more meta and of-the-moment than AlphaBox’s: a mobile app for investing in blockchain assets.

United Kingdom

Growth in UK marketplace lending stagnates, (Financial News), Rated: AAA

Alternative finance data provider AltFi Data estimates that UK P2P platforms will have originated between £260 million and £290 million in loans July, in line with the amount lent monthly since April.

Origination had grown rapidly up to March, when lending spiked to reach £345 million.

He said: “It’s too early to tell what the impact of Brexit has been on origination volumes in the marketplace lending industry. We do know that volume growth has been tepid for the last nine months – long before Brexit was dominating the headlines. Brexit, however, may be added to the potential headwinds facing the industry.” According to AltFi Data, the sector has been experiencing a decline in its monthly net lending growth, which measures the change in outstanding principal. Net lending at the UK’s top four platforms was £44 million in June, down 37% from the previous month.

Rhydian Lewis, the chief executive and co-founder at RateSetter, said: “In recent months there’s been a levelling-off in general borrower demand as people defer large purchases, perhaps reflecting economic uncertainty. A more longstanding thing in our sector specifically is that platforms’ focus has been on sustainability rather than growth, with, for example, the involved process of gaining full regulatory authorisation.”

Landbay: From Prelaunch to Established Platform, How Crowdfunding Fueled Business Growth, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

John Goodall and Gray Stern launched their company, Landbay, with the help of Seedrs.  Before their website was even live, Goodall and Stern were raising seed capital on the crowdfunding platform for their vision of mortgage finance.  Their first funding round was for only £50,000 in SEIS eligible seed funding. The round closed in December of 2013 at £71,590 with a pre-money valuation of £616,667.

Jump forward three years and several crowdfunding rounds later, and Landbay, a peer to peer lending platform for secured property loans, has now financed over £42 million for hundreds of mortgages. Landbay has joined the highly respected UK P2PFA, received an investment from Zoopla and reported a  £250 million wholesale funding line provided by a European asset management firm and a major bank. Landbay is now moving forward with a strategy of balancing retail investors and institutional money and ultimately securitization. These are a step stones to furthering growth as Landbay has captured traction as a niche player in the vibrant peer to peer lending market in the UK.

We chose crowdfunding as we have found it to be an effective marketing channel to increase brand awareness and to build a network of users from day one, whilst of course raising capital!

Things are going really well at Landbay. It’s now been two years since our first loan completed, and we’ve lent a total of £42.78 million – in fact, we were 2015’s fastest growing peer-to-peer lending platform in the UK.

This startup helps people get student loans funded by grads of Harvard, Cambridge, and other top unis, (Business Insider), Rated: A

Prodigy Finance has so far lent $200 million (£152.7 million) over its platform since launch in 2008, but CEO and cofounder Cameron Stevens believes loans will total $500 million by the end of the year thanks to several big institutional clients who are set to partner with the platform.

Stevens says: “If you’re coming from India and you’ve been accepted to Harvard or London Business School or wherever it may be — all of the domestic students can access finance but if you’re coming and you’re crossing a border, none of your credit history is following you and you’re excluded from all of that.

Prodigy Finance has so far provided student loans to 4,500 people, with an average loan size of $40,000. Most of the funding goes towards post-graduate students who are looking to do an MBA or similar. Stevens says it has a 99% repayment rate on its loans.

Lending Club Scandal Provokes Major UK ‘Peer-To-Peer’ Investigation,(Forbes), Rated: A

Comment: This article brings no new point of view or additional information but summarises well the last few weeks of press in the UK on p2p.

Campaign for Fair Finance (CFF) founder Dr Roger Gewolb has welcomed the intervention of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new chief executive Andrew Bailey as an investigation gets underway into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, a relatively new internet-based way of obtaining a loan. It comes amid concerns in the US and UK about how safe the sector is and protections afforded to consumers.

The P2P lending market in the UK grew to over £2.3bn in 2015 from £1.2bn of new lending in 2014 according to data sourced directly from P2P platform loan books and proprietary BondMason research. It has been predicted that while the rate of growth will slow, a further £1bn to £1.5bn will be added in 2016.

“We want crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending to succeed,” states Gewolb, a British American financier and consumer protection advocate. “We need an alternative to the tired old banks, but they need better oversight without regulating or legislating them out of business.”

Turning to Andrew Bailey’s first grilling before the Treasury Select Committee earlier this week on Wednesday 20 July, the new CEO of the FCA, a main UK financial regulatory body that operates independently of the government, said that he was actually concerned about the way peer-to-peer lending is sold to consumers. And, he believes lenders get very close to promising investors they will get their money back, plus the interest they have been promised.

However, this cannot in fact always be guaranteed in all instances as P2P lenders are not protected by the UK’s government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Any funds lent through a P2P website are not covered by the FSCS, which by contrasts with safeguards traditional bank savers have for up to £75,000 (c.$100,000).

Mr Bailey also even warned that he felt there were similarities in the way UK’s P2P lenders operate to those of Northern Rock, a British savings bank that crashed mightily and had to be bailed out by taxpayers’ money during the financial crash of 2008. One wonders if it could all happen again.

Recently, other questions have been raised about how safe P2P lending actually is. Highlighting matters, Funding Knight, a UK P2P website platform that promised investors returns as high as 12% for lending money to small businesses, was rescued by investment firm GLI Finance earlier this July after falling into administration (a British form of ‘Chapter 11’). Hundreds of people had feared that they would lose all of their money when the company simply ran out of cash.

Gewolb stresses vigorously too that: “The P2P platforms are clearly competing for bank deposits from the public, and yet they are running without anything near the strict supervision, transparency, independent oversight and protection that banks in the UK are subjected to as a matter of course.” “As things stand, the P2P loans market is relatively untried, untested and not vigorously regulated. Who is looking out for the consumer if it all goes wrong?,” asks Gewolb. He has a point.

“We are here to help,” explains Gewolb. “Whilst we want the industry to survive and thrive, we fear that to date there is not the requisite amount of transparency and independent oversight needed.”

“At the same time we are concerned that there could be over reaction by the regulators and the industry could be regulated out of sight,” argues the campaigner. As the Chinese proverb goes ‘Be careful what you wish for – You just might get it’.

Taiwan

Regulatory Development of Peer-to-Peer Lending in Taiwan, (p2p Banking), Rated: A

Comment: the language in the article seems translated from Chinese. 

In order to encourage and accelerate the development of fintech industry in Taiwan, the financial authority, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan, has published Fintech Development Strategy White Paper on May 2016[i]. One of main goals is evaluating the possibility of introducing the mechanism of P2P lending into Taiwan’s capital market and providing a regime for regulating this industry.

Some business models of P2P lending are forbidden due to conflict with The Banking Act[ii] in Taiwan. Recently, it is considered to be introduced in Taiwan and evaluated by the recently established project team of the financial authority in Taiwan, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC)[iii]. Despite the fact that the attitude toward P2P lending industry of financial authority in Taiwan is still vague, as of July 2016 there are three P2P lending platforms already providing their services in Taiwan, including Lend & Borrow[iv], Wow88[v], XiangMinDai[vi]. They have tried to design their business model to avoid potential legal risks. For better understanding of the P2P lending industry, this article tries to provide a brief regulatory overview of Taiwan in following part.

Currently, there is no any specific regulation toward this industry in Taiwan. Although there is no financial regulation of P2P lending in Taiwan, Banking Bureau of FSC has issued a statement[ix] on April 14, 2016, pointing out some legal compliance issues for P2P lending platforms, including (1) platforms should not involve in issuing any securities, (2) ensure privacy of customers, (3) activities of deposit and store-value business without licenses are forbidden, (4) illegal ways of debt-collection is forbidden.

Korea

Online Lending Takes Root in Korea, Spurring Rush for Regulation, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

South Korean investors beset by Asia’s third-lowest benchmark yields are embracing peer-to-peer loans that offer average rates of about 9 percent and not a lot of information about where the money winds up.

The nascent online P2P lending market more than doubled to 72.4 billion won ($63.7 million) in the first three months of 2016, Korea’s Financial Services Commission reported on July 12. Cumulatively, P2P loans made since 8Percent became the first platform in December 2014 totaled 153 billion won as of June, the Korea P2P Finance Association of 22 companies estimates.

The expansion is being stoked by South Koreans’ desperation for returns, with the yield for 10-year government bonds slumping to 1.42 percent last week. That’s lower than every Asian nation apart from Taiwan and Japan. The rapid growth has added to urgency for Korea’s government to protect investors from potential fraud, and the Financial Services Commission held a meeting Friday to start drafting industry guidelines. China cracked down last year after a site called ­Ezubao was alleged to have cheated 900,000 investors.

“You must watch out because many P2P businesses don’t clearly disclose where the investment money goes,” said Park Tae-woo, a credit analyst at Samsung Securities.

P2P lenders such as 8Percent, Funda and Midrate directly match lenders with individuals or businesses in need of money. The industry generally offers average rates of about 9 percent to 10 percent, according to the firm 8Percent. The Bank of Korea on July 14 held its benchmark interest rate at a record low 1.25 percent.

Singapore

Singapore: Crowdo gets MAS licence for P2P lending, equity crowdfunding, (Deal Street Asia) ,Rated: A

Singapore-based crowdfunding platform Crowdo has received its full Capital Market Services (CMS) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for securities crowdfunding (SCF) to deliver both peer-to-peer (P2P lending) and equity crowdfunding.

The Securities Commission Malaysia is currently in the midst of operationalising P2P financing for small and medium businesses by 2017. It has called for submissions from those interested in launching P2P financing platforms and had reportedly received about 100 submissions.

Crowdo’s platforms in Malaysia and Indonesia were started just a few months of each other. Since then, the ECF platform in Malaysia has gone on to help facilitate both the largest ECF offer in the region and the first ECF offer lead by a venture capital firm Gobi Partners. On the Indonesian lending platform, it has processed more than 600 loans with zero defaults.

“The license granted to us by MAS effectively makes us the first and only operator in Southeast Asia that can undertake P2P lending under a full license. We are here to stay and to play our part in making Singapore a truly exciting global fintech hub,” it said.

India

Should you look at alternative loans?, (LiveMint), Rated: A

There is a high rate of technology adoption in the SME segment and most of the applications get completed online, he said. Capital Float lends Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 crore, for tenors of 60 days to 4 years, with interest rates in the range of 16-19% per annum, Rishyasringa added.

w_money-lead-kBAG--414x621@LiveMint

China

The regulated evolution of P2P lending in China, (Fintech Innovation), Rated: AAA

The latest regional report on Alternative Financing published by the University of Cambridge, Tsinghua University and University of Sydney in partnership with KPMG titled “Harnessing Potential: The Asia Pacific Alternative Financing Benchmarketing Report” positions China as the world’s largest alternative finance market with transaction volume in excess of US$101.7 billion in 2015 – almost 99% of the total volume of Asia Pacific.

The online alternative finance market in China grew from US$5.56 billion in 2013 to reach US$101.7 billion in 2015 averaging 328% growth rate over two years. Peer-to-peer lending, both consumer and business together, account for about 91% of all alternative financing in the mainland.

alternative_financing_in_china_2015-600x349

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending remains the popular option for consumers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in China that otherwise would have difficulty getting funding from banks. The lack of regular oversight during the early days of P2P lending in China has led to a mushrooming of online lending platforms with some estimates of as many as 2,595 P2P platforms in 2015. The closure of over 896 such platforms in 2015, in addition to high profile scandals such as the eZubao Ponzi scheme, has prompted the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to released new rules.

growth_of_alternative_financing_in_china_2015

China’s CreditEase to Raise $ 200 Million for Private Equity Fund, (Bloomberg Tech), Rated: AAA

CreditEase Group, which runs a wealth manager and peer-to-peer lender Yirendai Ltd., is seeking to raise $200 million for a global private equity fund as Chinese individuals step up investing abroad.

The fund, which CreditEase started in May, invests in companies directly as well as private equity funds. Representatives from KKR and Blackstone declined to comment.

A separate $80 million pool has invested $50 million in consumer loans from U.S. Internet lenders Prosper Marketplace Inc. and Avant Inc., according to Williamson. The firm has also set up funds focusing on areas such as financial technology and real estate both overseas and in China.

CreditEase distributes products through its 3,200 wealth advisers from about 150 offices in China. The wealth business had more than $6 billion of assets under management at the end of last year. The firm is the majority shareholder of Yirendai, the first Chinese online-loan platform to obtain an overseas listing. Shares of Yirendai have more than doubled in New York trading this year.

Default Pain Turns Into Gain for China’s Debt Rating Companies, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

China Bond Rating Co. started selling “The Riskiest Chinese Bond Issuer List” this year and has offered more training sessions to financial institutions than in the whole of 2015. Golden Credit Rating International Co. said it had set up a new department to address investors’ inquiries and provide seminars. S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service also reported a spike in interest from fund managers.

Chinese regulators have stepped up controls on rating firms after investors expressed dissatisfaction. The China Securities Regulatory Commission said in March it had issued warning letters to six of them on violations.

Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., Shanghai Brilliance Credit Rating & Investors Service Co., China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co. and China Lianhe Credit Rating Co. cut a record 88 bond issuer ratings in the first half of this year, compared with 57 downgrades in the same period of 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Corporate bond defaults dropped to zero in July, from one in June and five in May, amid signs that local governments are helping companies in financial trouble.

china downgrades vs upgrades chart

China Bond Rating’s Yang said there has been an “obvious” increase in foreign investor subscriptions to the firm’s list of the riskiest bonds. It provides risk appraisal on debt portfolios for investment firms, and started issuing a daily report evaluating newly sold notes from February. The firm has trained almost 1,000 people nationwide on credit risk management through 10 workshops it has held this year, up from 7 in 2015.

“The surging defaults are giving space for rating agencies to develop risk management businesses,” said Fullgoal’s Ye. “But Chinese regulators should make sure there are firewalls between a ranking company’s rating and investment advisory services.”

Luo Guang, chairman of Golden Credit, sees more defaults in the second half than the first.

China has a boom in ‘get rich quick’ schemes, instead of the economic reform it needs, (South China Morning Post), Rated: A

The Chinese government has been promoting the slogan “All People Innovate, Tens of Thousands Start Business”.  This movement is becoming a bubble with tragic consequences down the road. Starting a business is hard. Innovation is harder.

The start-up mania won’t solve China’s economic difficulties. The economy has been in the doldrums for four years because the government is not addressing the structural problems. The truth is that the investment and export-led model has run into a brick wall; the world is just not big enough for China to develop like Japan or the Asian tigers.

China’s needed reforms are not coming because they conflict with the political doctrine of concentrating economic power in the state sector. Hence one bubble after another has been stoked in the hope that a miracle would happen to the economy without the need to shrink the government.

P2P is the latest, but by no means the biggest, example of the true nature of China’s bubbles. They are about robbing the masses to enrich the few, all in the name of innovation or boosting the economy.

“Get rich quick” is the reigning ideology today, especially for the young. Nothing fits the description better than the internet bubble.

China should stop chasing pipe dreams and get back to basics. Its economy has great potential. Its per capita income could be doubled just by carrying out proper reforms: first, household disposable income should be lifted from 40 to 60 per cent of GDP; second, investment should decrease to 30 per cent from half of the economy; and third, the market, not the National Development and Reform Commission, should decide where and how much to invest.

The hard part is that all these necessary reforms depend on shrinking the state sector and limiting government power. China’s future depends on it.

Author:

George Popescu
George Popescu

July 21st 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments A lot of news today, and today we have an especially good international section. Please do pay attention to the Australian, Singapore and China sections in particular. (And Lending Times technical team reports that yes, Mailchimp has not answered any of the multiple requests for support from a paying client in 17 hours. […]

News Comments

  • A lot of news today, and today we have an especially good international section. Please do pay attention to the Australian, Singapore and China sections in particular.
  • (And Lending Times technical team reports that yes, Mailchimp has not answered any of the multiple requests for support from a paying client in 17 hours. We will send today’s newsletter by hand again using the older design template.)

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Switzerland

India

Singapore

Australia

China

News Summary

 

United States

The marketplace lending market has received an influx of positive news recently, (Peer IQ), Rated: AAA

The WSJ reports that Moody’s removed Class C mezzanine bonds issued by CHAI 2015-PM1, 2015-PM2, and 2015-PM3 from downgrade review and confirmed Ba3 rating.

At the time of downgrade review in February, Moody’s cited a faster build-up of delinquencies and charge-offs than expected. Moody’s also increased the expected cumulative lifetime net loss from 8% to 12% (bringing revised estimates in-line with platform and market expectations).
As of the June 15, 2016 distribution date, losses on the CHAI 2015-PM1, 2015-PM2 and 2015-PM3 pools have reached 3.6%, 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively.
Improvement in Credit Spread on MPL ABS bonds
The ratings action was presaged by the ABS market which showed spread tightening from 1000 to 400 bps. Readers may seek to review the May month-end newsletter to see the analysis cited in the WSJ report:
PeerIQ credit spread on MPL ABS bonds
Leading up to the CHAI 2016 PM-1 offering in April, the culmination of ratings actions, regulatory chatter, delinquency fears, and volatile credit markets created an inhospitable environment for new deals. The auction resulted in limited participation and wide initial pricing–10.26% coupon priced to 12.5% yield on the CHAI 2016 PMI-1 C tranche.
Investors that bought the CHAI C tranche at new issuance without any leverage would have seen about 15% price appreciation in 3 months. Investors that performed the up-front credit work and applied analytics to separate the signal from headlines were able to earn outsized returns.
Dislocation creates opportunity
Ironically, the dislocation in recent months has created substantial investor interest in MPL ABS and whole loans. The CHAI 2016-1 PM1 offering prompted investors that were historically dismissive of marketplace lending to do a double-take
Repeat ABS investors are now looking upstream to capture additional whole loan economics.
Large asset managers with double-digit return objectives in a negative to low rate world are looking to strike bargains with platforms. There is still much more to be done. Nevertheless, the climate for establishing relationships with platforms may be as good as ever.

Little Change in LendingClub Loans Since Madden Decision, (BNA), Rated: A

So far, LendingClub loans haven’t changed in average interest rate or risk, either in the 2nd Circuit or nationwide.

Both the total number and value of loans and the amounts arranged through the company have only grown, not diminished, while average FICO scores measuring a borrower’s credit rating remain consistent, and internal loan grades have remained the same. One exception is that the average value of borrowers’ previously requested FICO score did increase steadily since the decision, even though FICO scores at the time of loan issuance did not.

LendingClub has also continued to arrange loans to borrowers in the 2nd Circuit that surpass the interest rate caps in those states. The Madden decision does not prevent national banks from providing loans above a state’s interest rate cap. Instead, it applies to debt collection agencies that purchase those loans.

Lending club changes after Madden vs Midland

As a result of the court’s decision, LendingClub in February renegotiated terms with WebBank—the Utah bank that originates all of the loans through the online service (40 BBD, 3/1/16)

Under the new arrangement, WebBank maintains ongoing accounts for the borrowers and receives regular payments from LendingClub—called “loan-trailing fees”—rather than a single lump sum fee on every loan it originates. The loan trailing fee is based on the total amount serviced by the bank and a “loan fee factor.” A LendingClub representative told Bloomberg BNA that the company does not publicly disclose the amount of the loan fee agreement with WebBank.

Different picture for Prosper

Prosper loan volumes

Representative for Prosper attributed any changes in lending to general market fluctuations but would not comment further for this story.

A 2009 paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said that loans sold into the secondary market through originate-to-distribute underperformed other loans by 9 percent. A 2010 academic paper funded by the FDIC’s Center for Financial Research also implicated the originate-to-distribute model in the subprime crisis.

Author and University of Michigan Finance Professor Amiyatosh Purnanandam told Bloomberg BNA that part of the problem with the originate-to-distribute model is that once the debt is sold, the originating bank has nothing at risk and the debt buyers don’t always have the skill in evaluating good borrowers as national banks do.

Jefferies revives stalled Lending Club bond: sources, (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Comment: We covered these news last week as well. At that time it was more of rumor. It seems it’s real news now.

Jefferies has revived its stalled Lending Club loan securitization in a club-style deal it has begun to pre-market to only a few select investors, two buyside sources with knowledge of the trade told IFR.

The bank is now looking to sell a two-tranche trade that could offer yields in the 4.25%-7% range, one of the investors said.

The top class of notes of slightly less than one-year were about 60% subscribed, while a longer 2-year tranche was already fully covered, the investor said.

The near-prime loan securitization was shelved after Lending Club said it had repurchased a US$22m pool of loans sold to Jefferies under Laplanche’s watch that included falsified documentation.

Goldman Sachs also hit pause on its potential bond sale of prime Lending Club loans.

But bankers told IFR that Goldman could now look to revive its bond deal, if the Jefferies trade finds favor with investors.

Goldman Sachs Sets Its Eyes on Retail Banking (GS), (Investopedia), Rated: AAA

Fast Start
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 20,000 new customers have opened internet bank accounts with the Goldman unit since it launched three months ago. Unlike other Internet-only retail banks that tend to offer a wide range of services, Goldman’s products are geared towards long-term savings, and it solely offers its customers the option to open traditional savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. As of July 20, 2016, the bank’s interest rate on online savings accounts was 1.05% while its interest rate on a 5-year CD was 1.85%. In many cases, these rates are a lot higher than what traditional banks pay their customers. For example, Wells Fargo (WFC), Citibank (C), Bank of America (BAC) and Chase (JPM) all pay less than 0.03% APY on regular savings accounts. GS Bank can offer above-average interest rates to its depositors because they do not have the overhead expenses of a typical brick and mortar bank. (See also, The Pros And Cons Of Internet Banks.)

Retail Diversification
For Goldman Sachs, savings accounts may not be as exciting as the main investment banking business. Yet, the company still benefits from expanding into retail banking, enabling Goldman Sachs to diversify its customer base and tap into a segment of the market, retail investors, that they have been unable to serve in the past. GS Bank will also help boost Goldman’s overall liquidity, and keep the company compliant with new regulations calling for more liquidity from financial institutions. Around the same time GS Bank was launched, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposed new rules that would require banks to own sufficient ‘‘easy-to-sell’’ assets that would be able to cover any and all liabilities coming due within a one year period. (See also: The History Of The FDIC.)

The Realities Of Alt-Lending Regulation Begin To Set In, (Pymnts), Rated: A

Comment: we covered this yesterday as head news. However it is so important that we would like to remind our readers just in case.

“I suspect more regulation will come to the space, and I think that will suit us well,” said PayPal VP and General Manager of Small Business Lending Darrell Esch in an interview with Forbes last year.

When asked by PYMNTS whether he was concerned about incoming regulation on the space, OnDeck Vice President of External Affairs and Associate General Counsel Daniel Gorfine simply stated, “No, not concerned.”

Reports from Bloomberg BNA this week, however, could signal a shift in how alternative lending players are reacting to the incoming threat of regulation.

“Strong evidence indicates that small business loans under $100,000 share common characteristics with consumer loans yet do not enjoy the same consumer protections,” the Treasury stated in its May report. “Treasury is willing to work with members of Congress to consider legislation that addresses both oversight and borrower protections.”

“I would have to do everything differently,” said CAN Capital Chief Legal Officer Parris Sanz in an interview with the publication. “I can’t give you a rundown of all the various moving parts that would be affected, but I can tell you for sure that it would be significant.”

In a separate interview with Bloomberg BNA, Richard Eckman, a partner at Delaware-based Pepper Hamilton LLP, said alternative lenders are probably wise to pay attention to this possibility.

REFILE-Marlette gets second ever online loan ABS over the line, (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Marlette Funding got its second-ever bond backed by personal loans easily over the line on Wednesday, but investors said the primary market was still wary of deals from the online lending industry.

Marlette’s deal narrowed its pricing from guidance, but investors said global low rates had turned all types of US consumer debt-related assets with yield into a hot commodity.

And similar deals from a year ago were pricing far tighter.

Marlette priced its top US$149m of 1-year Single A (rated by Kroll) notes at 225bp over EDSF, tighter than a 235bp-250bp area guidance, two investors said.

Last July, Citigroup cleared its top class of A3 (rated by Moody’s) bonds – one notch lower – of Prosper Marketplace loans at 140bp over EDSF, according to IFR data.

Riskier Ba3 notes from Citigroup priced at 385bp over interpolated swaps, whereas Marlette’s BBs Wednesday printed at a whopping 825bp over swaps.

By another measure, the BBs were about 75bp more than a deep subprime auto ABS sold this week by lender Consumer Portfolio Services, according to IFR data.

“Marlette’s business model ensures an alignment of interests among the company, the originating bank and institutional loan buyers,” Kroll Bond Ratings wrote in its presale report.

The hunt for yield, meanwhile, has prompted two banks with exposure to online loans to revive postponed deals in the primary market, buyside sources said.

Non-bank Jefferies has rekindled a roughly US$140m bond deal of near-prime Lending Club loans, which was shelved for two months after Laplanche stepped down from Lending Club.

Bankers said that Goldman Sachs could also look to bring out its paused prime-quality Lending Club deal after Jefferies.

United Kingdom

Oxford economist John Kay: Where the opportunities are for fintech, (Alt Fi Credit), Rated: A

Large scale financial services firms are still ripe for disruption, according to the economist John Kay, who believes the City of London and other major financial centres have taken a wrong turn.

Kay explains that he sees four main ways that fintech can be successful and help the real economy by disrupting financial services.

These are firstly; the payments system This is the system that enables the payment of wages and salaries as well as bills. Secondly; capital allocation. This how peoples’ savings become invested in the physical assets and infrastructure of a country. Risk management is third, i.e mitigating the risks of everyday life such as insurance. Lastly is wealth management in a broader sense.

Technology will take over a lot this spectrum and he argues wealth management “is an area of major disruption”, encompassing P2P lending/investing, robo-advice and other discretionary investment services. However, he says payments is the one that will most clearly disrupt things and change our lives. He thinks cash will “seem crazy” in 20 years’ time.

Kay has a sizeable investment in online investment management firm Nutmeg, however, which is one of the dominant players seeking to disrupt the fund management and wealth management industries although they have yet to announce a P2P/market place lending function.

City regulator warns on peer-to-peer lending, (Financial Times), Rated: A

Chris Philp, a Conservative MP on the Treasury committee, said many consumers do not understand the dangers they are exposed to through P2P.

He said the way P2P sites are paid fees without taking on the risk of loans on a balance sheet is akin to the securitisation of subprime loans before the financial crisis.

Mr Bailey said in response, “I agree with you on the risks”.

Mr Bailey noted that although some platforms have so-called reserve funds to pay out to investors in the event that borrowers default, there is “no guarantee in that fund”.

European Union

Renowned investor Peter Thiel increases investment in leading European fintech, Deposit Solutions, (Press Release), Rated: AAA

Prominent venture capital firms today announce they have invested €15 million in European fintech company Deposit Solutions GmbH, a fast growing fintech innovator operating in the €9 trillion market for retail deposits in Europe.

The key highlights include:  PayPal co-founder and Facebook’s first outside investor, Peter Thiel, and German leading fintech investor FinLab jointly increase their share in the company  US investor Greycroft Partners, the global growth fund of e.ventures as well as Valar Ventures come on board as three new partners  The funding round increases the valuation of Deposit Solutions to €110 million.  This is the second successful investment round for Deposit Solutions within a year, following last year´s investment into the Company of €6.5 million. Since then the valuation of the company more than quadrupled.  The funds raised will be used to further develop the proprietary technology platform and continue Deposit Solutions´ international expansion, having already recently expanded to the UK and Switzerland.  Deposit Solutions will increase the number of employees at its UK HQ in the City of London and is expected to launch its retail platform in the UK in 2017.

“We are seeing substantial demand from banks looking to offer their clients attractive deposit products under the existing account relationship. As a result we have gained access to millions of clients and billions of deposit appetite in a very short amount of time. This in turn is very attractive to banks wanting to raise deposits through our platform.”

Max von Bismarck, Chief Business Officer and Managing Director of Deposit Solutions, said: “We address an important structural problem in European banking today for banks and retail customers: Many banks are unable to offer attractive interest rates to their clients. At the same time other banks find it difficult and costly to gain access to retail deposit funding. Our platform provides a solution for both while savers find it easier to get access to better rates.”

ECrowd! Spanish Crowdlending Platform Receives License by the CNMV, (Crowdfunding Insider), Rated: A

Debt-based crowdfunding platform ECrowd! is one of the first Spanish sites to receive a formal operating license from the Comision del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the securities regulatory agency in Spain. ECrowd!, based in Barcelona, has joined Crowdcube Spain, Lendix and MyTripleA in receiving official approval as a Collaborative Finance Platform under regulations enacted in 2015.

They were on track to achieve 100% growth during 2016. [Comment: Some authors have issues with important verb tenses, it is unclear if the author meant they are or they were.]

Switzerland

The era of Crowlending opens new market for startups, (Startup Ticker), Rated: AAA

In Switzerland significant growth in Crowdlending was achieved in the previous year. The Crowdfunding monitoring report 2016 published by theUniversity of Applied Sciences Luzern early this year reported a significant increase in the total amount of money raised through Crowdlending in the year 2015. A total sum of CHF 7.9 Million was collected through crowdlending with a growth rate of +126%. 266 campaigns were financed. Crowdlending has continued to become more popular not only among start-ups but also among investors.

The crowdlending market in Switzerland is booming and has opened new opportunities for entrepreneurs. New startups operating crowdlending platforms are been established and many projects have been successfully financed. Today, there are 7 crowdlending platforms: the pioneer Cashare for both SMEs and private ventures, CreditGate24 for private and institutional investors, creditworld for both private and on SME loan, Lend, splendid that is specifically focusing on education loans,swisspeers for SMEs and Wecan.fund for SMEs. Other platforms – such as Miteinander-Erfolgreich and Raizers – also operate alongside other models as crowdlending platforms.

India

India’s Mywish Marketplaces raises $ 15 M to expand to new financial products, (Tech Crunch), Rated: AAA

This isn’t a huge round compared to what other companies have closed, but it is entirely strategic. The capital was proved by Franklin Templeton, the U.S. banking giant with more than $700 billion in assets under management. Puru Vashishtha, who is board director at Mywish Marketplaces, told me in an interview that the company didn’t need to raise the funds and it wasn’t short of interest, but it did so for growth opportunities and was very deliberate with the capital that it did close.

“We were chased by a lot of venture capitalists and investors globally,” Vashishtha said. “Because we were profitable, we did not need to raise a lot and didn’t want to dilute too much too soon — that’s one of the reasons we chose Franklin Templeton. Also, Franklin Templeton has built a very big emerging market business, we want to leverage the experience and leadership of their team.”

To backtrack a little, Mywish Marketplaces operates Deal4Loans, a price comparison and loan aggregation website in India. Its products include credit cards, home loans, business loans and personal loans.

Like Credit Karma in the U.S. and countless others worldwide, it works with banks, credit card companies and other financial institutes to help drive customers, while for its users, it tries to provide a holistic look at financing option and which one suits best for each case. The Deal4Loans site claims to have served more than 6.3 million “satisfied” customers, while the company says it has dispersed a total of $2 billion loans in the last six years at a current rate of $400-$450 million per year.

So why is this profitable company — profitable from day one, it claims — raising money?

I hinted at it earlier, but Mywish Marketplaces wants to expand into more verticals with new financing products for Indian consumers.

P2P lender Faircent makes strategic C-suite appointments, (Economic Times), Rated: B

India’s largest peer- to- peer (P2P) lending marketplace, Faircent.com, on Wednesday announced the appointment of Shivam Gupta, who was a part of the global risk management team of Standard Chartered Bank based in Singapore, as chief risk officer and Karun Thareja, who was a part of the leadership at an analytics startup called WyzMindz, as head of marketing.

Thareja, on the other hand has extensive experience in Marketing, Sales and Business Management spanning more than 20 years. His domain expertise includes Analytics, Enterprise Systems, Contact Center Management and Process Management. In his prior roles he has led multi-fold growth in business units at companies like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Dassault Systems and NIIT.

Singapore

Online lending platform to offer investor insurance, (Straits Business), Rated: AAA

Online peer-to-peer funding platform Validus Capital has partnered home-grown insurance provider EQ Insurance to offer investor protection on some of the financing it provides to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It will be the first platform in Singapore to provide investor insurance on its invoice financing services, the company said.

The platform, which was founded last year, has had a zero-per-cent default rate to date thanks to its “rigorous due diligence”, the company said. In the last few months, the company has had 27 SMEs approved for invoice financing services, each with an average revenue of $5 million.

Mr Prakash Somosundram, co-founder of Pealo – an aggregated marketplace for SMEs to access working capital – said the firm is looking into investor protection products. “This will definitely help us to attract more investors, and more people will see this form of investing as an asset class,” he added.

Pealo’s platform was launched in January – 300 SMEs have signed up and there are 46 live campaigns under way.

Mr Brian Teng, chief executive of InvoiceInterchange – which allows SMEs to put up their unpaid invoices for auction – also said the platform hopes to eventually make insurance available to investors.

Mr Teng declined to reveal how many SMEs have used the platform, but said there is significant room for invoice financing to grow as a source of funds for SMEs here.

“The penetration rate of invoice financing in Singapore is still low when compared with nations like Britain and the United States,” he noted. The company has funded $4 million of invoices since its launch in 2015.

Mr Roger Crook, chief executive of Capital Springboard – which runs a crowdfunding platform for invoice financing – said more than 100 SMEs have used the service.

The platform has funded over $85 million worth of invoices over the past year, with over 50 accredited and institutional investors taking part.

Australia

Online home loan marketplace exceeds billion in loans, (Broker News), Rated: AAA

HashChing, an online home loan marketplace, has surpassed $1 billion of home loans as momentum builds for the Sydney fintech company. The platform officially launched in August 2015 with just a few brokers on board across Australia. Now, more than a billion dollars’ worth of loans have been received and more than 1,200 mortgage brokers across the country have signed up. The platform works as an online marketplace connecting consumers to mortgage brokers.

“Customers aren’t just looking to save time. The key to our success is that our offer extends far beyond convenience. We’re able to offer pre-negotiated home loan deals from different lenders with equal features, the same products, but with an even better rate,” Sodhi, co-founder and CEO said.

Narang, co-founder and CIO added: “Our broker registration process has been automated to make it really easy and quick by allowing them to digitally sign the contract which instantly activates their account and saves the paper clutter at both ends.”

As the platform continues to build momentum, Sodhi and Narang have welcomed Claire Wivell Plater of The Fold Legal to their advisory board. Wivell Plater is a long standing member of the Business Advisory Committee to ASIC’s Licensing Division and was recently appointed to the Treasurer’s Fintech Advisory Group.

Narang explains HashChing 2.0 will involve more intelligent use of analytics for a better consumer experience.

China

How Chinese Search Giant Baidu Is Getting Deeper Into Banking, (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Chinese search giant Baidu is investing more deeply in financial technology startups as it seeks to expand its own lending efforts.

On Monday, Baidu announced an investment in ZestFinance, a startup taking on the credit scoring industry by using machine learning and a wide variety of data about borrowers to rate their ability to repay loans.

While the amount of the backing was not disclosed, Baidu also invested Bitcoin payments startup Circle Internet Financial last month, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday.

Both investments followed Baidu’s decision last year to form an online bank in partnership with Citic Group’s banking unit. The new bank would be the first in China that “truly understands both the Internet and financial services,” Baidu CEO Robin Li said at the time.

Baidu had also made several notable hires from the finance sector, the Nikkei paper reported, including executives with experience from American Express , online financial marketplace Lufax, and Everbright Bank in China.

While online lending sites like Lending Club LC -0.22% have faltered in the United States, the market is strong in China. The peer-to-peer lending market reached almost $67 billion last year, the largest in the world, Nikkei reported citing data from Citigroup.

Baidu will use ZestFinance’s credit rating technology to assess the creditworthiness of its own users. Unlike the U.S., China lacks centralized credit bureaus, and only a small portion of the population has a credit card.

Author:

George Popescu
George Popescu

July 15th 2016, Daily News Digest

July 15th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments United States Jefferies and Lending Club dipping toes in the securitization water to test bringing back to the markets the securitization that started the Lending Club Odyssey. In a context where SoFi and Marlette are getting a lot of attention and bond rates are falling, going to market with a scrubbed clean portfolio, […]

July 15th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

European Union

  • Lendix launches an ELTIF (a new brand of fund cross-border, non-bank structure the EU has created !) for  €50-75m.  Lendix has €2.4m of turnover, €240k of operating profit and employs 11 people.

United Kingdom

Africa

  • A must read. And yes, AFRICA ! Zidisha in 2009 , disbursed a first loan to a Masai nomad in a remote part of Kenya, over a day’s journey from any bank but that had access to the Internet and to the mobile phone money transfer service we use to send loan payments. Smartphones and the internet penetrate much faster virgin markets when they don’t have to fight with existing infrastructure to displace it. Our readers should look at how fast p2p took off in China. I expect that once p2p takes off in real developing countries it will grow even faster than it did in China, although with smaller markets and similar fraud risks. Many people also forget the invaluable GOODWILL the p2p lending industry benefited from when it was just p2p. Goodwill is worth billions of dollars in advertising.

India

 

United States

Jefferies, LendingClub Said to Eye Revival of Scuttled Bond Sale, (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Jefferies Group is again considering selling bonds backed by LendingClub Corp. consumer loans, people with knowledge of the matter said, after disclosure issues at the online lender scuttled an effort earlier this year.

Jefferies is having preliminary conversations with investors to gauge interest in the bonds, and may decide not to go ahead with a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. The firm hasn’t fixed a deal size, but the original offering was expected to be around $150 million, people with knowledge said in April.

Wall Street banks are looking to sell similar bonds tied to loans made by at least two other online lenders in the coming weeks as well, according to a presale report and a person with knowledge of the matter. The offerings are a sign that markets for riskier debt may be thawing as record low bond yields spur investors to hunt for higher returns, while some of the world’s biggest money managers warn that risks are building up across global markets.

Among the other lenders looking to tap the market is Social Finance Inc., one of the biggest online providers of student loan refinancings. It has hired Deutsche Bank AG to underwrite, and may begin marketing a $575 million securitization toward the end of this month, encouraged by strong interest expressed in a similar deal they issued in June, a person with knowledge of the plans said.

Online lender Marlette Funding has hired Goldman Sachs to underwrite a securitization of its own. It could start marketing the notes as early as this week, according to a presale report from Kroll Bond Rating Agency and public disclosures tied to the offering.

Buyers of securities backed by online consumer loans have included DoubleLine Capital, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and BlackRock Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg that track ownership disclosures of the securities.

Kabbage Launches Industry’s First Fully-Mobile Application Experience for Small Businesses, (Press Release), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, the financial services data and technology platform, today announced that it has launched a powerful new iOS app for iPhone® and iPad® that allows businesses to complete the entire application process in a few simple steps. The app features drivers’ license recognition, instant mobile check verification, and Apple’s Touch ID™ fingerprint authentication to deliver the best-in-class user experience and reduce the friction usually required to access business capital.

The company now drives $7 million per month in originations from mobile devices and nearly 64,000 monthly user interactions on the app.

Secondary market analysis, ( NSR Invest), Rated: AAA

What loans are available on the secondary market?
We analyzed the current listings on Folio between June 22-27, 2016.  The following are averages across the available listings:

Note Size: $35
Markup/Discount: +4.12%
Interest rate: 16.71%
Yield to Maturity: 15.39%
Loan Age: 11.17 months
Borrower FICO Score at Origination: 686
Days listed on Folio: 4
Remaining Payments: 39

83% of loans have never been late on payments
89% are current on payments
Even split between FICO scores trending up/down

Interestingly, while the average stated interest rate on Folio is 16.71%, the average is only 13.15% (non-weighted average rate) for the entire Lending Club index of loans. This indicates that investors who sell notes on the secondary market are generally listing notes with lower credit grades as compared to the index distribution of loans.

What about loans that are listed almost immediately after origination?
Loans that are listed within three months after origination (aka “fast flips,” because these notes are bought and quickly listed for sale) have a significantly higher markup compared to all loans listed. These fast flips have an average markup of 5.86%, while the entire sample is only 2.18% (only current loans included).

What dictates markup/discount of a loan on the secondary market?
From the data we analyzed, the greatest correlation with the markup/discount of a note is whether or not the borrower has ever made a late payment – about 40% of note pricing was explained by this metric alone. Other variables with positive correlation to the markup/discount are credit score trend, interest rate, and ask price (higher principal value is correlated with higher markup). A negative correlation was found with attributes such as Inquiries in the last six months, number of remaining payments, days since last payment, and outstanding principal.

Can’t Get a Loan for Your Business? I Don’t Believe it, (Fox Business), Rated: AAA

I don’t hear any complaints about getting financing. And there’s a reason for that. The financing environment for small businesses in 2016 is not just good: It’s great. In fact, it’s better than it was before the Great Recession.

Yes, venture capital and angel investing have both recently slowed.

For the established small businesses who reside in industrial parks and office complexes around the country and distribute pipes, manufacture film, mow lawns, fix roofs and serve meals – the financing environment is strong. When they want loans to grow their companies they have plenty of options today.

Don’t believe me? Then why, as Forbes recently reportedOpens a New Window., is Wells Fargo (which releases earnings this week along with other banking giants Citigroup and JP Morgan) calling on those small business applicants that it previously rejected for loans?

Big banks are lending more: According to monthly index prepared by Biz2CreditOpens a New Window., a marketplace for online lending, small business loan approval rates at big banks ($10 billion+ in assets) is now at an all-time high. Big banks this year are approving loans at a 6% higher rate than last, and the approval rating has increased seven of the last nine months. The most recentOpens a New Window. Private Capital Access (PCA) Index by Dun & Bradstreet and Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management found that small business access to capital has steadily risen over the past four years. In January, Citigroup said itOpens a New Window. lent more than $10 billion to U.S. small businesses in 2015, which was 120 percent more than it loaned in 2009. Wells Fargo has set a 5-year, $100 billion lending goal with a new loan programOpens a New Window.announced earlier this year. PNC Financial Services Group recently announced that it is extendingOpens a New Window. its popular consumer loan programs to now include small businesses.

Alternative lenders are filling in the gaps that big banks can’t serve. The online lending industry has exploded over the past few years, led by firms like CAN Capital, Kabbage, Lending Club and others. PayPal and Square are providing merchant advances for working capital to their customers who qualify based on their cash flow. And other big companies are jumping in: Office supply giant Staples has partnered with Lendio to offer lower cost loansOpens a New Window. to small businesses. American Express recently announcedOpens a New Window. a planned partnership with Lendio. Chase and alternative lender OnDeck Capital just formedOpens a New Window. an alliance. Kabbage just partneredOpens a New Window. with Scotiabank to provide loans to businesses in Canada and Mexico.

The Small Business Administration is booming. According to this reportOpens a New Window. from the Small Business Finance Institute, 2015 was a good year for bankers offering SBA backed financing, particularly the most common 7(a) loans. “SBA lending overall results, as measured by the agency’s monthly approval statistics, finished FY 2015 with better results in every category, but especially rich for 7(a) guaranteed lenders. The 7(a) program “shattered all previous Total SBA Loan Volume 2015 records for total loan volume, and even for the number of loans greater than $150,000. It’s 504 debenture volume also “grew for the first time since 2012, hopefully signaling that declining years are behind the program.”

Of course, the news is not all rosy. It never is. The PCA survey above also found that small businesses’ access to traditional bank loans, while increasing, still lags behind that of middle market companies, which means that many small businesses still rely on personal assets and personal credit for financing.

So please, don’t tell me that you can’t get a loan for your small business. You can. I understand if it may be too expensive because lenders believe that your business is a riskier investment. However, that’s your choice. Be grateful that you have one.

CreditexchangeTM Raises Seed Capital from Kuber FinancialTM, (Business Wire), Rated: A

Creditexchange, India’s first hybrid digital consumer loans platform and institutional marketplace, has announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Kuber Financial as part of its $500,000 seed round.

Creditexchange is building a digital loan origination business which it intends to support with a marketplace for institutional investors through which they can co-invest in portfolios of loans originated by Creditexchange. The hybrid model allows Creditexchange to overcome the issues faced by existing Indian peer-to-peer and marketplace lending models, mainly with regard to turn-around-times and opaqueness around regulation.

Creditexchange had previously announced a strategic technology partnership at LendIt San Francisco 2016 with LendFoundry, a market-leading platform which is trusted by large online marketplace lenders in North America, to develop a best-in-class platform customized for the Indian market.

Kuber Financial is a global FinTech holding company that invests in analytics and technology driven financial services start-ups. It is founded by Timothy Li, an established figure in the US FinTech space where he has been an advisor to start-ups like Kabbage, Rocket Loans, Blinker etc. besides being the ex-CIO of Realty Mogul, ex-CRO of Quick Bridge Funding and ex-GM of consumer lending at Loan Depot. The advisory board of Kuber is made up of Jim Redmond (Advisor to Funding Circle), Eric Bunting (early investor of Kabbage and Funding Circle), Jason Raneses (Software Architect at Credit Karma) and Amy Wan (ex-General Counsel of Patch of Land).

How the Underwriting Process Works With Funding Circle, (Fundera), Rated: A

Soon after you hit the submit button to send your completed online application, you’ll get a call from an account manager. This personal contact will not only help guide you through the process but will serve as an intermediary between you and the underwriter, according to Account Manager Natalie Roberts.

The account manager is charged with the task of getting to know more about your company’s present needs as well as your growth plans for the future. They’ll discuss your loan application with your assigned underwriter, who’s hard at work reviewing your credit report and other financial data.

To that end, if the underwriter is missing information from you or would like to discuss something about your business in more detail, you might get a direct call from them. “It depends on how the process is going,” says Roberts.

If you do receive a phone call, it will usually last about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and complexity of your business and loan application.

You should be prepared to tell your story and answer the following questions:

  • Why did you start your company?
  • What opportunities and challenges do you face?
  • How do you derive revenue?
  • How will this loan help your business grow?
  • How do you plan to repay the loan?

What Else Does the Underwriter Look For?

Collateral

This relates to any type of assets or property that might secure your loan.

Capital

Funding Circle will examine how much capital you’ve invested in your own business.

Capacity

In a nutshell, your capacity is your ability to pay back your loan.

Conditions

This relates to any situation that may affect your funding.

Character

Your character gives Funding Circle a general view of your trustworthiness and stability. For example, the underwriting team may want more information on how much experience you have in your industry and whether you have historically made payments on time. An underwriter might also take a look at your social media feeds and read any of your company’s reviews on sites like Yelp. Positive customer reviews and comments go a long way.

Red flags

Because Funding Circle is in the game to help fuel your growth, if you’re looking for a loan as a lifeline, this will be a red flag. Funding Circle will see this if your company has taken on a large amount of new debt in the past 9 months with no real reason to explain this.

July 28, 2016. This transaction represents the second securitization collateralized by unsecured consumer loans originated by Cross River Bank, under the Marlette Best Egg Platform and sold to Marlette Funding, LLC (“Marlette”) or its affiliate.

Founded in 2013 in Wilmington DE, Marlette operates an online marketplace lending platform, operating under the Best Egg brand (

European Union

Lendix launches first ever SME lending fund in ELTIF structure, (Alt Fi), Rated: AAA

Recent European Union regulation created the ELTIF, a new brand of fund available for retail and professional investors that is designed to stimulate cross-border, non-bank investment across the EU.

The Paris-based SME lending platform has launched the first European Long Term Investment fund (ELTIF) dedicated to SMEs. The French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), gave the go ahead to Lendix to take advantage of the ELTIF format following its launch. It is called the Lendix SME Loans fund II.

The fund will be between €50-75m in size and is currently backed by several larger institutional investors including CNP Assurances, ZencapAM (OFI Group) and the fund ‘Prêtons Ensemble’ managed by Eiffel Investment Group and sponsored by Aviva France and AG2R La Mondiale.

Lendix allows SMEs to borrow €30k to €1.5m over periods ranging from 3 to 84 months to finance their development and expansion. The average loan size is €250k.

Patrick de Nonneville, chief operating officer of Lendix says the average SME borrowing on Lendix has €2.4m of turnover, €240k of operating profit and employs 11 people.

“It’s under the radar of all existing debt funds, so it’s a new asset class for investors. Lendix strengthens its objective to serve both private investors selecting their loans directly on the marketplace and institutional investors investing through the fund,” he said.

United Kingdom

Funding Knight Review – The Safety of Peer-to-Peer Lending, (FX News Call), Rated: B

Comment: A better article on how Funding Knight failed would really be useful for the industry. If you would like to write it Lending Times would love publishing it.

In the wake of emerging peer-to-peer websites, many of those who were saving with Funding Knight had lost hope of getting back their money. Claims indicated that the company was running out of cash, causing its fall into administration. This caused panic to more than 900 savers, but nevertheless, a recent Funding Knight review has given them a new dawn given the rescue of the firm by GLI Finance, an investment firm.

Industry says August rate cut “inevitable”, (Financial Reporter), Rated: A

Following the news that the Bank of England’s MPC voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.5%, the financial services industry says that the Committee has made its intention to cut rates in the near future clear, and widely expects a rate cut of 0.25% next month.

Africa

Zidisha: the first global peer-to-peer microlending platform, (Blasting News), Rated: A

Lenders anywhere in the world can visit our website and browse loan proposals written directly by disadvantaged entrepreneurs in developing countries. Each lender can lend as little as a dollar to help crowd-fund a loan project. We send the funds directly to the borrower, and as the borrower repays, we return the funds to lenders. Lenders can either withdraw the repayments, or use them to fund new loans. This is a high-impact way to do philanthropy because the funds keep being recycled into new loans; $50 put into a Zidisha loan fund generates on average $750 worth of loans in five years! Lenders can also dialogue directly with the borrowers.

In 2006, I was volunteering in Senegal, Africa, raising microloans for women in rural villages through Kiva.

When I returned to the United States, we registered a local microfinance organization and hired a loan officer to manage the loans and to liaise with Kiva on the villagers’ behalf. Though we tried to be frugal, this ended up being expensive due to administrative costs. To be sustainable, we would have to charge the women more than 30 percent interest, almost enough to leave them poorer than they were before taking the loans! This is the story of microfinance in general: the world’s poorest people are paying the highest interest rates – the global average is 35 percent, but rates of 80 percent – 100 percent are not uncommon.

Eliminating the intermediary bank allowed us to reduce the cost of each loan to just 5 percent. In 2009, we disbursed our first loan to a Masai nomad in a remote part of Kenya, over a day’s journey from any bank but that had access to the Internet and to the mobile phone money transfer service we use to send loan payments. We named the organization “Zidisha,” which is Swahili for “grow,” as in an investment, business or quality-like prosperity. We now have more than 55,000 members in 157 countries and have raised loans for more than 28,000 small businesses around the world.

We’d like to be able to fund everyone who applies and also expand to offerlending services in more developing countries. If we can help people improve their quality of life, then building Zidisha is time well spent.

India

Cibil builds 360 degree view of consumer; what you really must know, (The Financial Express), Rated: A

As lending by microfinance institutions (MFIs) was never higher, it is no surprise that the country’s premier credit information company (CIC), CIBIL, has decided to get into this segment as well. In an interaction with FE, its chief operating officer Harshala Chandorkar speaks about challenges involved and how it is a win-win situation for MFIs, banks and borrowers.

Is the profiling and the data that you have acquired for MFI borrowers any different from that of borrowers from banks? Does the fact that most of the MFI lending tends to happen to joint liability groups (JLGs) a challenge?

The data points remain the same. Most MFI borrowers have a voter ID and an Aadhaar number. The challenge, however, arises when it comes to other aspects. Names tend to be very common in small villages. Addresses are not as strong and differentiated as that in metros.

With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deciding to bring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms under its purview, do you expect a change in the way individual’s credit appraisals are done, particularly given that such platforms are probably going to entirely bypass institutions like yours?

I think it will be beneficial for everyone if all the lending via P2P platforms is reported to credit information bureaus as it will help even P2P lenders to take informed decisions when they decide to lend to an individual. Secondly, the non availability of P2P credit information to banks might make borrowers over leveraged.

Author:

George Popescu