Thursday May 3 2018, Daily News Digest

10 best states for small business lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Microloans for SMBs are becoming big business. RateSetter offers IFISA transfers. Funding Circle opens IFISA to transfers. Funding Circle SME Income Fund issues more shares. BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME lending fund. Today’s main analysis: Lendio’s top 10 best states for small business lending. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The missing benefit in employee financial […]

10 best states for small business lending

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United Kingdom

International

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News Summary

United States

Microloans a glimmer of hope for small businesses in need (USA Today) Rated: AAA

The microloan market has evolved in the last five years, says Antara Dutta, a social entrepreneur and mentor with the Delaware chapter of SCORE, a volunteer network of small business advisers. Many nonprofit organizations, foundations and peer-to-peer lending networks have also entered the microloan market.

One such company is Funding Circle, a San Francisco-based lending platform that connects investors with small business owners.  “Banks have really pulled back from doing small business loans over the past decade,” says Sarina Siddhanti, Funding Circle’s U.S. Head of Commercial. “We fill that gap.”

While Funding Circle awards business loans up to $500,000, they also offer microloans to entrepreneurs who need less.

Lendio Announces Annual List of Top 10 Best States for Small Business Lending (Lendio) Rated: AAA

In honor of National Small Business Week, Lendio, the nation’s leading marketplace for small business loans, today announced its third annual list of top 10 states for small business lending, based on lending data from the Lendio platform, which matches businesses with more than 75 lenders.

Source Lendio; sba.gov

CommonBond’s Latest Study Reveals the Missing Benefit in Employee Financial Wellness (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, CommonBond, an online lending platform servicing the student loan market, released the results of one of the most comprehensive employee financial wellness benefits studies to date. According to the lender, the research revealed the extent to which student debt affects employees’ financial wellness, as well as how companies are meeting, or not meeting,  the financial wellness needs of their employees.

Key findings of the study included:
  • Student debt cuts across all age groups, including parents who are taking out loans for their children: Nearly 75% of all workers have taken out loans to fund their own education, while 21 percent of workers expect to take out a loan for a child or other family member’s education in the next five years. 
  • Human resources executives prioritize benefits for employees without student debt: For employees with student debt, student loan repayment is the most-requested financial wellness benefit; however, human resources teams rank student loan repayment as their third priority. 
  • Employees do not think their benefits are as innovative as human resources executives believe: 71% of human resources executives see their benefits offering as innovative, compared with 50 percent of employees. 
  • Student loan benefits attract talent, retain employees, and improve work performance: 78% of employees with current or future student loan debt want their employer to offer this benefit, and 65% of employees over age 55 in these categories want the same.

RealtyMogul Brings Fintech Solutions To Commercial Real Estate Investment (Benzinga) Rated: A

What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?

RealtyMogul is a unique commercial real estate private markets investing platform that provides discerning investors exclusive access to thoroughly vetted opportunities, rigorous underwriting, and high-touch customer service through licensed investment professionals. We strive to build wealth through sound principles and data insights, serving real people who want a smart alternative investing strategy.

Fannie and Freddie approve thousands of loans with no formal appraisals (The Washington Post) Rated: A

For homeowners and buyers, it’s been a windfall: relief from having to pay for a traditional mortgage appraisal that usually costs between $400 and $600. The savings nationwide to consumers in just the past year alone may total tens of millions of dollars.

Last year, the two largest sources of American mortgage financing — federally backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — began accepting home-purchase loans that carried no formal property appraisal.

Ryan Lundquist, an appraiser in Sacramento, noted that computer programs “cannot smell 20 cats living at the property.”

Pat Turner, a Richmond appraiser, says that, worse yet, the “savings” from Fannie and Freddie may not always flow to buyers. He cited a recent case in his area where a major online lender allegedly charged a buyer $600 on a loan with an appraisal-fee waiver.

 

After ceding a key competitive advantage to fintech companies in recent years, several mass market and regional banks are testing alternative data for use in marketing, pre-screening, and underwriting consumer loan products like credit cards and personal loans, and exploring emerging use cases in fraud prevention and other areas.

While most lender decisions still use traditional sources, such as credit file data managed by the consumer reporting agencies, the potential for alternative data to transform lending is clear. Rent and utility payments, employment information, and behavioral data paint a clearer picture of a consumer’s creditworthiness and could allow lenders to reach underserved populations. In fact, alternative data has allowed Lending Club, a marketplace lender, to extend lower-priced credit to borrowers that would otherwise be classified as subprime, according to the Federal Reserve.

Inside Bank of America’s big plans for small businesses (TearSheet) Rated: A

What about branch transformation on the small business side? How is B of A marrying its physical and digital strategies?
We know in certain pockets of towns and cities you’ll have more business owners coming in and out than in others; in those centers with high traffic of business owners we add more capabilities so we’re there for them and have more people who understand small business.

What’s an example of technology you’re investing in?
Three weeks ago we launched our relationship rewards program, which is our version of the Preferred Rewards, where when you bring more to us — more deposits or lending — you get more benefits. It’s a very straightforward way to bank with us that encompasses lending, merchants and operating accounts. That’s a technology investment in itself because we have to on the back-end tie everything together and understand the full picture of the relationship; it comes from updating our products and solutions in the backend to streamlining the underwriting and fulfillment processes.

 

 

First RealFund Raises $ 500,000 of Preferred Equity for Brooklyn Property Renovation (Citizen Tribune) Rated: B

First RealFund (“FRF”) has raised $500,000 of preferred equity financing for the renovation of a 4-story brownstone in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood.

Morgan Stanley kicks new tech strategy into gear (American Banker) Rated: B

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has asked Rob Rooney, the investment bank’s technology chief and leader of its international unit, to return to New York to focus solely on the tech part of his job.

“We have enormous, staggering amounts of data for risk management, [anti-money-laundering], regulatory and other purposes,” Rooney said. “The use cases here are enormous. The job in our technology organization is to make sure we build a strategy we can leverage across the firm, otherwise it’s not efficient.”

The bank is increasing its investments in innovation and cybersecurity, he said.

United Kingdom

RateSetter opens IFISA to transfers (Peer2Peer Finace) Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has opened its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to transfers from other providers.

RateSetter will accept full and partial transfers and there is no limit on the number of existing ISAs that can be transferred.

RateSetter introduces bonus scheme (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: B

Investors will receive a £50 bonus if they recommend the platform to a family member or friend who then invests £1,000.

The referred person can also receive a £100 bonus if they keep the £1,000 invested in RateSetter for a year.

Funding Circle opens IFISA to transfers (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle has opened its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to transfers, meaning that all of the ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lenders now offer this capability.

“Since last November more than £90m has been lent directly to businesses through the Funding Circle ISA, and we’re pleased to see so many of you taking advantage of the opportunity to earn attractive, stable returns tax-free,” the company said on a blog post on its website.

 

6%-yielding Funding Circle fund issues more shares (Citywire) Rated: AAA

The 6% yielding lender to small businesses, plans to sell up to 24.9 million shares it holds in treasury having bought them back when they briefly traded at a discount two years ago.

The shares are being offered to ‘qualified’ experienced investors at  102.2p, which is 2.2% less than the share price at Monday’s close and a 2%-3% premium to their net asset value.

Starling Bank partners with Samsung for mobile payments (AltFiNews) Rated: A

Announced today, digital bank Starling has partnered with Samsung to offer mobile payments method Samsung Pay to all Starling customers, creating the bank’s fourth partnership for making purchases via a mobile phone.

Starling users will now be able to make contactless payments at the point of sale using nothing but their Samsung phone, using iris, fingerprint or PIN recognition to prove their identity.

Nucleus targets start-ups with new type of loan (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

The alternative business finance provider announced the launch of Start-up Finance on Wednesday, which is tailored to help start-ups get their business off the ground.

Young companies can borrow between £25,000 and £20m, with a secured interest-only loan, over a period of up to five years.

High-cost lending provides “a socially valuable function”, says regulator boss Bailey (City A.M.) Rated: A

The boss of the UK’s top financial regulator believes access to controversial high-cost loans is an “important feature” for many Britons to fund everyday living.

Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, today indicated a clampdown on the sector would not be forthcoming.

How to become an IFISA millionaire in 25 years (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

Figures from P2P analyst 4th Way suggest if a lender invests £10,000 each year across several platforms and aims for nine per cent interest after bad debts, they could be a millionaire within two-and-a-half decades.

Rip-off debts soar as rent-to-own, catalogue credit and doorstep lending surge after payday loan crackdown (The Telegraph) Rated: B

Debts from catalogue credit, doorstep lending and rent-to-own have all more than doubled in recent years even as regulators cracked down on payday loans.

Lenders now face a crackdown as the City watchdog wants to make sure high-cost loans are only used by borrowers who can afford the debt and are helped by it.

 

China

Niwodai Seeks Partners for Fintech-driven Expansion into Southeast Asia (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Niwodai, one of the largest Chinese P2P lending companies, is said to be seeking a path into Southeast Asia, according to sources. The company is in frequent contact with potential partners, looking to map out a proper route to advancing their business, of which financial technology is the most powerful tool. Considering the challenges that most Chinese fintech companies have faced, proper cooperation with a local partner should be a win-win situation.

European Union

BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME lending fund (AltFiNews) Rated: AAA

BNP Paribas Asset Management has launched a new SME lending fund for institutional investors.

The BNP Paribas Novo 2018 business loan fund follows on from its Novo 1 fund, launched in 2013. The new fund has the backing of the FF and the CDC and aims to provide new sources of financing to help French medium-sized companies expand.

BNP Paribas Novo 2018 could invest €264m over the next three years, the firm said in a statement.

German Varengold Bank Provides Credit Line to Estateguru (P2P Banking) Rated: B

Estonian property p2p lending marketplace Estateguru announced that it has secured its first institutional investor.

In March 2018, Estateguru signed the firm’s first institutional credit line to be invested in loans originated in the Baltic market with Germany based Varengold Bank AG.

International

New FIS Study Finds Larger U.S. and U.K. Banks Are Vulnerable to Losing Critical Small-Midsized Business Customers (Fintech Finance) Rated: AAA

The study found that more than 80% of surveyed SMB customers in the U.S., and 70% of SMB customers in the U.K., are satisfied with their primary banking providers. However:

  • In the U.S., SMBs report higher satisfaction with services from community banks over larger banks.
  • In the U.K., nearly one in four SMBs – most of which use larger banking providers – are planning to switch banking providers in the next 12 months
  • Common reasons cited by SMBs in both countries for switching banks are uncompetitive fees, dissatisfaction with services/products provided, outdated bank processes, or being declined for a business loan/line of credit.
  • SMBs in both countries report difficulty in obtaining reliable and accurate information from their banks, especially larger institutions, without visiting a physical bank branch.

Growing Adoption of Digital Tools

  • About 60% of SMBs in both countries have increased the number of transactions done digitally over the past year.
  • More than 40% of financial transactions were completed digitally by SMBs in both countries.
  • Acceptance of online, mobile app and person-to-person payments increased 38% over the last year for U.S. SMBs.

 

Banks are treating customers like product developers (TearSheet) Rated: A

Banks’ race to meet the customers “where they are” has taken on a new twist: customers are now product developers — not just end users.

Digital-only challenger banks like Monzo are emphasizing customer involvement to build a human connection with customers — a move others like Tandem, Revolut and Chime are also emulating. Chime, for instance, recently launched a chat feature within its mobile app that lets customers provide real-time feedback, a tool that’s used by around 50,000 users every month, according head of product Zachary Smith.

Three-year-old Monzo, which has 650,000 customers, has been active on various fronts in seeking feedback from customers on products while they’re in development — both through in-person “Testing Tuesdays” at Monzo offices and an exchange of views and polls on its online forums.

Rad Card Great HODL Survey Reveals Average Crypto User 25-34, Male (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

The team at Rad Card, found online at RadLending.com, just completed something called “The Great HODL Survey”.

  • The average cryptocurrency user is a male between the ages of 25 and 34
  • That person holds a bachelor’s degree
  • The average cryptocurrency users “hodls” between $1,000 and $10,000 worth of tokens, but has never used cryptocurrency for payment of goods and services
  • Crypto investors, overall, “prefer not to use their assets in real life as much as business owners”, according to the study, as well as freelancers or service providers that accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for their work, products, or services

Core features of the RAD platform include a P2P lending platform, crypto-secured lending, and a digital credit score. The company will offer its services to miners, small crypto businesses, post-ICO companies, exchanges and traders, and traditional fiat investors, all of whom can benefit from crypto-backed loans.

Fintech and the Sharing Economy (TLE) Rated: B

One of the phenomena this has supported is a surge in partnerships forged online, to provide peer to peer services.

The prediction is that the sharing economy will be worth over $335 billion by 2025. Fintech is pivotal in this, as it’s responsible for developing the accessible and efficient systems to carry out these digital “barter and buy” opportunities.

Peer to peer lending using Fintech also requires less cost to facilitate and therefore provides greater equality of opportunity.

ZPER Embeds Trustonic in New Mobile Wallet for Optimized Security (Blockchain News) Rated: B

Decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) Lending Platform ZPER is using features from digital security semiconductor group Trustonic in its new mobile cryptocurrency wallet, claiming that it will be the most secure available.

The wallet will also be able to store and exchange multiple cryptocurrencies, thus enabling P2P cross-border value exchanges.

 

Australia/New Zealand

Online lender continues huge loan growth (Australian Broker) Rated: AAA

Neo-lender Wisr Limited saw a 42% growth in its origination of personal loans in the latest financial quarter.

This was the company’s largest quarter in loan originations since Wisr, formerly known as DirectMoney, began in 2014.

Loan originations have continued to grow over the financial year, growing by 20% in the first quarter and by 79% in the second quarter.

The FMA Makes A Guidance Note For Peer – To – Peer Lending Services & Crowdfunding Services (Mondaq) Rated: A

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA), New Zealand’s regulator for financial services, has released a guidance note to licensed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending services, licensed crowdfunding services for fair dealing in advertising and communicating offers of financial products or services.

Who is this guidance for?

  • The FMA addressed the guidance note to P2P lending services and crowdfunding services, but it is useful for anyone who is promoting or advising others about these services (i.e marketing teams, investment bankers, lawyers).
  • The fair dealing expectations stretch beyond New Zealand’s borders, so they apply to people overseas. Anyone who acts in relation to, or makes an offer of financial products or services in New Zealand should take note.
  • The guidance note is applicable to any media channel that businesses use to communicate and advertise their financial products and services (be it snail-mail or social media).

 

 

Bank names new group executive (Mortgage Business) Rated: B

Online lender ME has appointed Craig Ralston as group executive of customer banking, effective as of 1 May. He will be responsible for ME’s product and service delivery, with a focus on improving the design, simplicity and fairness of the bank’s offerings.

Mr Ralston joined ME in February 2015 as head of strategy to enhance the bank’s strategic and business planning cycle.

India

Fintech Startup OpenTap Raises ₹3 Crore from HNIs (IndianWeb2) Rated: AAA

Chennai-based OpenTap, a fintech startup focusing on the alternate lending segment, has raised about ₹3 crore funding from HNIs (high networth individuals). The capital raised will be used by the startup to strengthen its technology infrastructure and widen the reach of its financial services network across the country. The startup had earlier raised undisclosed amount in seed funding, in May 2015.

India Dealbook: MyLoanCare raise funding (Deal Steet Asia) Rated: B

Fintech startup MyLoanCare raises $975k in Series A round Online loans marketplace MyLoanCare, operated by My Finance Care Advisors Pvt. Ltd, has raised Rs 6.5 crore ($975,000) from Ncubate Capital Partners, the venture capital arm of Gurugram-based SAR Group.

Asia

Startup bags funds from Singapore ex-minister to get ultra-wealthy into crowdlending (Tech in Asia) Rated: AAA

Singapore-based Helicap is a new fintech platform that aims to bring a fund management angle in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending space. To make this happen, it has raised US$1.5 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Teo Ser Luck, the former Minister of State for Manpower who last year decided to trade politics for the startup sector. Fintech company Nufin Data, where Teo serves as chairman, also invested.

Latin America

Neon Raises $ 22M in Series A Funding (Finsmes) Rated: AAA

Neon, a São Paulo, Brazil-based fully-digital Brazilian bank, raised $22m in Series A funding.

Propel Venture Partners, Monashees, Quona Capital, Omidyar Network, Tera, and Yellow Ventures participated in the funding round. As part of the investment agreement, Neon Pagamentos SA transferred its controlling interest to a holding company in the United Kingdom. In addition, as part of the new round, Jay Reinemann of Propel Venture Partners, and Marcelo Lima of Monashees, are joining Neon’s board of directors.

The company intends to use the funds for product expansion, investment in technology and innovation on customer experience.

Canada

On Wednesday, Lending Loop, a peer-to-peer online lending platform for small-business loans, announced a pilot project in partnership with Ontario that will provide $3-million of loans over the next two years. The government will boost Lending Loop’s loans by 10 per cent, which will help fund more than $30-million of loans to businesses across Ontario. The government will receive a full re-payment of the loan plus interest at the end of the loan terms.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday April 20 2018, Daily News Digest

Marketplace Lending Securitization League Table

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck closes $100M credit facility. LendingClub expected to announce quarterly sales of $152.18M. Affirm expands to cover smaller purchases. Funding Circle lends 80M GBP through IFISA. China Construction Bank opens robot-only branch. Today’s main analysis: Originator league table. UK P2P lending nears 9B GBP. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Top fintech investors by stage. Interview with […]

Marketplace Lending Securitization League Table

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Australia

Other

News Summary

United States

OnDeck Announces New 0 Million Revolving Credit Facility (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

OnDeck announced today the closing of a $100 million asset-backed revolving credit facility with Pioneers Gate LLC, a lending vehicle of a leading life insurance company managed by 20 Gates Management. The new facility provides the longest revolving funding period of any of OnDeck’s funding sources, and the lowest interest margin of any of OnDeck’s variable-rate funding facilities to date.

Lending Club (LC) Expected to Announce Quarterly Sales of 2.18 Million (The Lincolnian Online) Rated: AAA

Wall Street brokerages expect that Lending Club (NYSE:LC) will announce sales of $152.18 million for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have provided estimates for Lending Club’s earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $150.00 million and the highest is $154.53 million. Lending Club posted sales of $124.48 million during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 22.3%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings results after the market closes on Tuesday, May 8th.

On average, analysts expect that Lending Club will report full-year sales of $688.45 million for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $680.00 million to $693.30 million. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will post sales of $803.61 million per share, with estimates ranging from $773.00 million to $858.31 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Lending Club.

Affirm Expands Offering to Cover Smaller Purchases with Simple, Transparent Payments (The Virginian Pilot) Rated: AAA

Affirm, Inc., the company founded by entrepreneur Max Levchin to provide fair and honest financial products, today announced Affirm will partner with brands and retailers to offer shoppers a simple, no-interest payment option on purchases of any size via three easy, monthly payments. Now, Affirm’s financial products are available for purchases of any size, marking an expansion for the company. Affirm will continue to offer shoppers the option to buy now and make simple, transparent payments over time for purchases up to thousands of dollars, with terms ranging from 3 to 36 months.

The expansion of Affirm’s capabilities will be especially valuable to fashion and apparel brands and retailers that want to offer a quick and convenient payment method that better aligns with shoppers’ cash flows and are more transparent than traditional credit.

PeerIQ Releases Their Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker For Q1 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

We see another robust quarter for marketplace lending securitizations with $4.3 billion in new deals.

SoFi lead the way again with $2.6 billion or around 60% of the market with two huge student loan deals and a consumer loan deal.

Online Lending in Risk On Mode: Unprecedented 21 Months of Non Stop Securitization Issuance (Crowdfubd Insider) Rated: A

The most recent report stated that PeerIQ has observed an “unprecedented 21 months of non-stop issuance. Markets remain in a “risk-on” mode and MPL investor appetite continues to grow. This is a very bullish statement for online lenders coming at a time when interest rates are rising as is competition in the sector is increasing.

Top Seed-Stage FinTech Investors (Crunchbase News) Rated: AAA

Crunchbase News recently took a deep dive into the U.S. FinTech industry’s Q1 2018 venture activity. We found that deal volume in 2017 amounted to more than $7 billion in venture funding for seed, early, and late-stage startups. As 2018 came to a head, the number of deals in the space declined slightly, while venture capital dollars increased by 37 percent quarter over quarter.

The firm has made more than 690 investments in technology companies, with lead investments in 24 startups. Plug and Play also made an early bet on PayPal, now a public company with a market cap over $90 billion. California-based Hippo Insurance picked up an investment by Plug and Play in its $25 million Series B in January 2018. Hippo Insurance was coincidentally also mentioned in our Crunchbase News analysis of startups that have weird names.

Source: Crunchbase News

Defi Solutions, a SaaS platform for lenders, was the latest growth-stage FinTech company to score an investment by the firm. Bain Capital Ventures was the sole investor in the startup’s $55 million Series C in January 2018.

Source: Crunchbase News

RealtyMogul’s MogulREIT I Closes Senior Debt Investment in San Francisco (The Virginian Pilot) Rated: A

MogulREIT I today announced that it has completed an investment in a $6.69 million mixed use building in San Francisco, California, its 15 th acquisition since inception. MogulREIT I was designed to offer investors potential cash flow through managing a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate investments, including, but not limited to medical office buildings, multifamily apartment complexes, office spaces and retail shopping centers.

Ascentium Capital Surpasses $ 4 Billion in Originations (deBanked) Rated: A

Texas-based lender Ascentium Capital announced last week that it had surpassed $4 billion in origination volume since the company was founded in 2011.

The other business channel is a direct channel where Ascentium makes direct loans to small and medium sized businesses of up to $250,000. Depping told deBanked that the company’s direct channel makes up about 30 to 40 percent of its business.

Q&A: Renaud Laplanche on Starting Upgrade and Offering New Credit Products to Consumers (LendEDU) Rated: AAA

Q: It looks like you co-founded Upgrade with a total of 6 co-founders. How has starting Upgrade been unique from a team building perspective?

A: Over the last year we’ve on-boarded more than 250 team members across our three offices – San Francisco, California headquarters, Phoenix, Arizona operations center and Montreal, Quebec, Canada development center. It has been an incredible year, especially looking back at the team we’ve formed.

Q: How did the challenges of starting LendingClub compare to the unique challenges of starting Upgrade?

A: The challenges are quite different because the launch of each company stands about decade apart, so the landscape is very different.

Q: Beyond credit monitoring, how is Upgrade helping to educate consumers about their finances?

A: We believe helping people get smarter about credit can enable them to access more affordable credit in the future, and that’s why we launched Credit Health. Credit Health comprises of a range of tools that we think can help people understand their credit profile and what they can do to improve it. In addition to credit monitoring and alerts we offer Credit Health Insights – a library of educational articles and videos. Credit Health also features a credit simulator that gives you customized advice and tips tailored to your unique credit history. We haven’t seen other credit monitoring platforms offer this the same way we do.

Blockchain Startup Backed By Billionaire Bitcoin Bull Peter Thiel Gets $ 28 Million Investment (BTC Manager) Rated: A

Harbor, a blockchain startup backed by billionaire bitcoin bull Peter Thiel, has received an additional $28 million investment that it hopes will make blockchain real-estate investing a reality.

This latest cash infusion was led by Thiel’s Founders Fund, venture-capital fund Andreessen Horowitz, and cryptocurrency investment firms Pantera Capital and Craft Ventures. The San Francisco-based Harbor secured $10 million in Series A financing in February 2018, raising its total investments to $40 million.

LendingClub vs. Prosper Review: Here’s What You Need to Know (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

In recent years, there’s been rising interest in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. A report from Research and Markets estimates that P2P lending could grow by 53.06% between 2016 and 2020, while Transparency Market Research projects that the global P2P market will be worth $897.85 billion by 2024.

Source: Student Loan Hero

Need an Alternative to a Capital One Personal Loan? Here’s Where to Look (Student Loan Hero) Rated: B

For example, if you’re looking for a small loan — say, around $500 — you should skip online lenders. Most don’t provide loans for less than $1,000 or $2,000. Also remember that your credit score is vital to the approval process, so if you can’t get one on your own, consider getting a cosigner.

Source: Student Loan Hero

Why digital banks are welcoming CRA revamp (American Banker) Rated: A

To get a sense of why Ally Bank wants the Community Reinvestment Act rewritten, look at its situation in Utah.

Since it has no retail branches, the $137 billion-asset Ally is assessed for CRA compliance for its lending in Salt Lake City, where its bank is headquartered. But Ally gets no CRA credit for lending in Detroit, where its holding company is based and where nearly four in 10 households are living in poverty.

Quarles suggests new Fed approach to ILCs (American Banker) Rated: B

The Federal Reserve Board’s chief regulator suggested he was open to companies receiving industrial loan company charters, a sign that the central bank’s view on ILCs may be evolving.

“I don’t think of [ILCs] as a particularly special, excessively problematic case,” said Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles at an International Monetary Fund forum Wednesday.

Education Loan Finance Receives AAA Ratings on Inaugural Securitization Deal (Business Wire) Rated: A

Education Loan Finance (ELFI), a division of SouthEast Bank, focusing on student loan debt refinancing and consolidation, announces the close of its inaugural securitization of refinanced student loans. Education Loan Finance is the first student loan refinancing lender to receive the AAA rating from both Standard & Poor’s and DBRS on its senior notes in its first securitization transaction comprised of this type of education loan product.

The $200 million transaction was comprised of $24.784 million of variable rate Class A-1 Notes, $158.65 million of fixed rate Class A-2 Notes, and $16.566 million of Class B Notes. The Class B Notes are rated A by DBRS. Citi and Credit Suisse served as joint lead managers on the transaction.

The process of elimination in multiple-offer scenarios (The Ledger) Rated: A

If a house is listed for $400,000 and someone presents a cash offer for $380,000, that will not be favored over an offer for $400,000 from a person getting an 80 percent loan.

For example, a 75 percent loan from an online lender with no ties to the Nashville area could be trumped by a 100 percent loan from a local, well-known lender that provides physician loans.

Boulder solar power finance firm lands big bucks (like $ 112M of them) (Denver Business Journal) Rated: A

Boulder-based Wunder Capital, which lends money for commercial-scale solar power projects, said Wednesday it’s raised $112 million in equity and debt financing to grow the company.

The Series B financing round was led by New York City investment firm Cyrus Capital Partners, which manages $4 billion in investments. Existing investors also were involved in the round, including Techstars Ventures which led the company’s Series A round of funding in March 2016.

United Kingdom

£80m lent through Funding Circle Isa (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: AAA

Funding Circle has announced that approximately £80m has already been lent to thousands of businesses through its Innovative Finance Isa (IFIsa).

The Isa offers an estimated tax-free projected return of 7.2% and is a flexi Isa which allows investors to take money out of their account and put it back later in the tax year without losing their tax-free entitlement.

There is an initial minimum investment of £1,000 and investors will be able to transfer exiting Isas into the Funding Circle Isa later this year.

 

 

P2PFA: UK Peer to Peer Lending Industry Nears £9 Billion in Total Lending (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

The UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) has released Q1 data for its member platforms. According to the industry association, P2P lending is nearing £9 billion in loan originations having provided finance for approximately 50,000 business and 221,000 individuals. Total investors stand at around 150,000.

 

Source: Crowdfund Insider

How Starling Bank is taking cues from Amazon (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

And digital-only banks with a license, like Monzo, Starling, Tandem and OakNorth, are growing market share.

What are the biggest problems with banking today?
Banking as it is today sucks — it’s hard to easily manage account openings, and [until recently] to send payments to friends. That’s why Venmo has been so successful, but this should be a thing banks do.  You shouldn’t have to read an FAQ to use the mobile app or set up a bill pay.

LendInvest Calls Upon UK Government to Improve Finance Access for Property SMEs (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

LendInvest reported that in a new report entitled Putting Finance First: the alternative route to funding Britain’s SME housebuilders, the online lender recognizes that while the government is trying to help improve the outlook for property SMEs, but then argues that not enough is being done to put rhetoric into action. The report focuses on three proposed initiatives that combine existing government-backed funding mechanisms with the experience and expertise of alternative lenders, like LendInvest, to speed up and increase the supply of finance to property SME businesses:

  • Homes England: Should deploy its £2.5 billion Home Building Fund through funding lines agreed with alternative lenders.
  • Local authorities: Should co-invest with alternative lenders in local developments, utilizing the Public Works Loan Board mechanism to provide discounted capital for SMEs.
  • The British Business Bank: Should appoint more alternative lenders to use the ENABLE Guarantee programme to underwrite property investment and development loans.

Malta-Based Decentralized Ventures to Spearhead Crypto Island’s Blockchain Services Provision (Blockchain News) Rated: B

Blockchain services provider Decentralized Ventures on Tuesday announced its official launch, with the objective of bolstering Malta’s crypto communities.

A partnership between initial coin offering (ICO) specialist TokenKey and token research and Blockchain consultancy Strategic Coin Inc., Decentralised Ventures is designed to support the Maltese government’s plans to create the world’s first fully regulated market for ICOs, DLT and virtual currencies, a statement said.

 

JustUs launches IFIsa to support ethical housing scheme (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: B

The IFIsa aims to raise £367,500 and will offer a return of up to 6.5% to investors.

JustUs will provide a bridging loan to Mersten for up to 50% of the property’s value to fund the renovation.

China

 

China Construction Bank opens robot-run branch (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

China Construction Bank (CCB) has opened a branch in Shanghai run solely on the power of pure technology.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the branch has no human staff and instead uses facial recognition, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to provide the bank services.

SCMP says it is hyped as a first for the Chinese banking industry, and the Beijing-based bank says it has installed 1,600 smart machines at its 360 branches in the city to ramp up its appeal to tech-savvy customers and trim staff costs.

CreditEase’s Hou outlines allocation outlook (Asian Investor) Rated: A

Beijing-based CreditEase, a peer-to-peer P2P lending platform and wealth management platform, has been busy building its roster of mutual fund, trust and insurance products.

European Union

iZettle squares up to Square with e-commerce platform launch (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Swedish mobile payments firm iZettle is taking on Square with the launch of its new e-commerce platform that will allow merchants to sell in-store and online.

Called iZettle E-commerce, it lets small business owners set up and customise a new webshop or start selling across channels online, including social media, blogs and existing websites.

International

Digital banking’s key trends: Demand, competition, mobile on the rise (American Banker) Rated: AAA

Two global studies — a study of 150,000 consumers polled by Gallup for the World Bank for its Global Findex Database, and a survey of 5,200 consumers by the tech giant Oracle — found complementary trends in the use and adoption of digital banking.

For example, 60% of customers globally want to open a bank account online, according to Oracle’s survey.

Many are already there: Sixty-seven percent of customers globally are on digital banking platforms now, according to Oracle; the World Bank reports that 515 million customers worldwide opened a banking account through a mobile money provider in the last three years.

 

More Than Half Of Cards Issued Globally Were EMV-Enabled (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Data from EMVCo shows that 54.6 percent of all cards issued globally by the end of 2017 were EMV-enabled.

In addition, the number of EMV payment cards in circulation around the world increased by 1 billion over the previous 12 months — to a total of 7.1 billion.

“Both EMV chip card issuance and EMV chip transactions surpassing 50 percent globally is testament to the increasing maturity of the worldwide infrastructure, and [is] a significant milestone for the payments community,” EMVCo Executive Committee Chair Jack Pan commented.

 

Australia

Australia’s top bank says it charged dead clients for advice (CNN) Rated: AAA

Australia’s top bank has admitted to charging fees to clients it knew had died years previously.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUF) told a government inquiry Thursday that the practice of billing deceased customers for financial advice stretched back years. In one instance, an adviser at the bank’s financial planning business was collecting fees from a client more than a decade after they had died.

The revelations emerged as part of a Royal Commission, or public inquiry, into malpractice in Australia’s financial services industry.

One winner from the banking royal commission (The Australian) Rated: B

The peer-to-peer lending space may be a major beneficiary of the poor practice scandals coming out of the Royal Commission, according to one non-bank lender.

ME hikes home loan interest rates: does this mark the end of super low rates? (MOZO) Rated: A

Online lender ME has announced it is increasing home loan interest rates across its variable mortgage range effective today, citing increased funding costs as the reason – and it’s not the first to do so.

ME hiked its standard variable rate for existing owner-occupier principal-and-interest borrowers with an 80% LVR by 6 basis points, bringing it to 5.09% p.a. (5.11% comparison rate).

Existing investor principal-and-interest borrowers were hit with a bigger increase of 11 basis points, while interest-only borrowers saw the biggest increase of 16 basis points.

Source: MOZO
Asia

 

High investor FOMO about P2P lending in SE Asia: Funding Societies co-founder Kelvin Teo (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

Your Series B round is likely the largest for a P2P lender in the region. Is that a measure of how strong the investor interest in this space and the potential for the sector in Southeast Asia?

P2P lending is a promising sector in Southeast Asia. We see strong investor interest, but perhaps too much, especially for emerging markets like Indonesia where the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) is high. SME lending is a technical and a very localized business, and Southeast Asia apparently is not easily understood. We did not realize the significance of them until we started speaking to investors for Series B. In all candour, it was slightly painful to interact with investors who do not know Southeast Asia and/ or lending business.

Is $25 million the amount that you were looking to raise? 

We have a trust-based relationship with our shareholders. Our early discussion with our Series A lead investor Sequoia was to raise US$ 10M – 15M.

Alternative investment opportunities in Việt Nam (Viet Nam News) Rated: A

Access to and use of formal financial services is low in Việt Nam compared with other countries in the region, with only 31 per cent of all adults having formal bank accounts in 2016, according to the World Bank.

In 2016, 14.6 per cent of Vietnamese had saved money with a formal financial institution, 18.4 per cent had a loan with a formal financial institution, and only 26.5 per cent had access to a debit card. Interestingly, about 30 per cent of adults borrowed from friends or family in 2016 in Việt Nam, against 18.4 per cent who have borrowed from a financial institution.

Latin America

Creditas investment a Brazilian first for Santander InnoVentures (Bankless Times) Rated: AAA

Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, announced today an investment in the startup Creditas, a Brazilian secured lending platform. This is Santander InnoVentures’ first investment in Brazil and second in Latin America.

Creditas also announced today an increase of its Series-C funding round to $55 million with the addition of Santander InnoVentures and Amadeus Capital Partners. The round was led by Vostok Emerging Finance (VEF), a company focused on early and growth stage fintech companies across emerging and frontier markets, based in Sweden. Current investors also participated in the round, including Kaszek Ventures, Quona Capital, QED Investors, International Finance Corporation and Naspers Fintech.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor