Thursday January 24 2019, Weekly News Digest

millennials loan money

News Comments Today’s main news: Funding Circle, Stripe partner on small business expansion. Goldman, Citi drop Chinese P2P lenders. RateSetter attracts 75K investors. MarketInvoice gets 56M GBP in equity, debt funding. Hexindai shares credit data with Baihang Credit. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ on bank earnings. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The link between marketplace lending and personal bankruptcy. 10 best places to […]

The post Thursday January 24 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

millennials loan money

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Goldman, Citi Drop Chinese Peer-to-Peer Lenders After Crackdown (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

First came a sweeping government crackdown and a surge in defaults and failures at thousands of China’s peer-to-peer lenders. Now, in another troubling sign for the industry, some of the biggest investment banks have stopped taking them public.

Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. walked away from U.S. initial public offerings of Chinese P2P lenders in recent months, people with knowledge of the matter said. Their concerns mainly stemmed from the timing of the deals, with an uncertain outlook for P2P companies and a slumping market knocking down valuations. In each case, the businesses went ahead with their offerings after finding new underwriters.

Marketplace Lending & Personal Bankruptcy: Cause and Effect (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

A national wave of personal bankruptcies that began in 2008 reached a peak in the year ending September 2010, when nearly 1.6 million bankruptcies were filed.

Filings fell by 1.8 percent for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2018, compared with the year ending March 31, 2017. The data continues a national trend of declining bankruptcy filings since 2010-2011.

An interesting white paper (The Real Effects of Financial Technology: Marketplace Lending and Personal Bankruptcy) co-authored by Dr. Piotr Danisewicz, University of Bristol and Ilaf Elard, Assistant Professor of Finance at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics was released last summer.

Among the many additional conclusions Danisewicz and Elard reach in the white paper are:

  • The Madden win triggered Lending Club and Prosper, the two largest U.S. marketplace lenders, to reduce lending in the states affected by the verdict.
  • The co-authors attribute the increase in the incidence of personal bankruptcy following Madden to the reduction in marketplace lending. This hypothesis is supported by a number of further results.
  • The consequences of Madden are limited to the enforceability of marketplace loans and suggest that the increase in bankruptcy rates following Madden arises predominantly from changes in marketplace lending.
  • Danisewicz and Elard also rule out that the rise in bankruptcy following the verdict could be the result of an increase in defaults by marketplace borrowers in the affected states. This may occur if marketplace borrowers are over-indebted and default after being unable to obtain additional marketplace loans in the affected states.

Strong Bank Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Banks had a rough quarter for trading revenues. FICC revenues at MS dropped by 30% YoY and by 18% YoY at GSBank of America’s 15% YoY drop in trading revenues was offset by a 10% increase in consumer banking revenuesRevenues at Wells Fargo dropped by 5% YoY driven by lower consumer loan balances. WFC faces a regulatory asset cap until the end of 2019 which is hampering loan growth. JPM was the only bank where the provision for credit losses increased, driven by a reserve build for credit cards due to loan growth.

Source: PeerIQ

10 Best Places to Pay Down Debt (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Americans’ debt balances continued climbing in 2018, with total consumer debt tracking to top $4 trillion by the end of that year. With balances climbing high, many borrowers will want to use the new year to take their debt down a peg. For those who do so, prioritizing paying off debt can bring major rewards both in the near and long distance future.

86 Million Americans Fear Maxing Out Plastic on Large Purchases (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

The holiday shopping season is over now, and many Americans are seeing the impact on their credit card bills and bank statements. During the holidays, people often make a lot of large purchases, and sometimes max out their cards in order to do so. In a nationally representative survey conducted by WalletHub, 34 percent of respondents say they worry about maxing out their card with a large purchase.

Source: WalletHub

Credit Line Increases Drive Consumer Engagement and are Most Likely to Happen at the Beginning of the Year (AP News), Rated: A

According to a new study from TransUnion (NYSE: TRU), consumers are 50% more likely to receive a credit line increase (CLI) between the months of January and May. However, credit line decreases (CLD) occur at twice the normal rate during the month of January.

Lendio Provides More Than 5,000 Kiva Loans to Support Women-Owned Businesses Around the World (Lendio), Rated: A

Lendio announced today that through continued efforts to support business growth around the world, the Lendio Gives program has funded more than 5,000 Kiva microloans. To-date, Lendio’s employee contribution and employer matching program has provided more than $130,000 in loans to underserved business owners in 78 countries.

Lendio Franchising Named No. 1 Financial Services Brand in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 (Lendio), Rated: B

Lendio Franchising recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500, the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. Named #1 in the Business Financial Services category for the second year running, Lendio Franchising was recognized for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. Placement in the Franchise 500 is a highly sought-after honor in the franchise industry; Entrepreneur received more than 1,000 applications this year, making it one of the company’s most competitive rankings ever.

Commercial Real Estate Finance Platform CrediFi Milestone: Total Capital Raised Has Surpassed $ 29 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

CrediFi, a fintech and commercial real estate finance platform, on Wednesday it has raised an additional $6 million in funding. This funding comes on the heels of the $13 million previously raised in Series B funding. The company reported that the total amount it has raised has surpassed $29 million.

Lending Express Celebrates $ 100M Lending Milestone & California’s Golden Opportunities (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Lending Express, an Israeli tech company dedicated to creating a better world of funding for SMBs, has surpassed $100 million in financing facilitated between small and medium business owners and online lenders. Lending Express also obtained state permission to open for business in California.

Fundation Launches Digital Lending Capability with Banc of California for Small Business Customers (OAOA), Rated: A

Fundation announced that it has recently launched a digital lending solution in partnership with Banc of California, enabling the California-based bank to offer a new, streamlined end-to-end solution for small businesses seeking a business loan or line of credit. The solution enables small businesses to apply for loans and lines of credit through a simple online application at Bancofcal.com and receive funds in a little as one business day.

Entrepreneurs Take Note: Success Is Within Reach (WWD), Rated: A

With insight from 600 “thriving” U.S. small business owners, a study by global financial services platform Kabbage, Inc. reveals one-third of small businesses started with less than $5,000 in start-up capital.

According to the report, particularly scrappy or thrifty entrepreneurs may want to consider starting a business in one of the three categories costing $5,000 or less “during the first six months.” Accounting; at 45 percent, online retail; at 44 percent and construction and landscaping; at 39 percent represented the least amount of start-up capital, or lowest entry barriers.

Officials caution federal workers of predatory online payday lenders during federal shutdown (News 8), Rated: A

Attorney General William Tong and Department of Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez cautioned federal workers on Wednesday to avoid predatory online payday lenders who may seek to exploit the struggling workers during the partial government shutdown.

Most People Would Not Loan Their Loved Ones Money to Start a Business (Fundera), Rated: A

The time and effort it takes to raise the funds for your startup can quickly get out of hand, which may be the reason that 29% of new small businesses run out of cash and fail.

In fact, 38% of startups are funded by friends and family members.

We surveyed 1,000 Americans on whether or not they would loan a friend or family member money to start their business and found that 82% of people would not loan a friend or family member money to start a business.

Source: Fundera

No Pay Stub? No Problem. Unconventional Mortgages Make a Comeback (WSJ), Rated: A

Lenders issued $34 billion of these unconventional mortgages in the first three quarters of 2018, a 24% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. While that makes up less than 3% of the $1.3 trillion of mortgage originations over that period, the growth is notable because it came as traditional home loans declined. Those originations fell 1.2% over the same period and were on track for a second down year in 2018.

North Capital Launches REITless Impact Income Strategies (PR Newswire), Rated: A

North Capital Investment Technology Inc. recently launched a new investment vehicle, REITless Impact Income Strategies (REITless), focused on lending and strategic debt investments to primarily single- and multi-family real estate development and redevelopment projects that aim to produce positive social impact in communities nationwide. The impact initiatives targeted by the company are energy efficiency, employment generation, affordable housing, and green-housing improvements that promote environmental sustainability. REITless is managed by North Capital Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor (RIA).

BFS Capital Achieves $ 2 Billion in Financing (BusinessWire), Rated: A

BFS Capital, a leading small business financing platform, today announced it has now issued more than $2 billion in financing to over 22,000 small businesses across the United States, Canada and, through its United Kingdom subsidiary, Boost Capital.

KeyBank To Acquire Online Lending Business Laurel Road (PR Newswire), Rated: A

KeyBank National Association today announced that KeyBank and Laurel Road Bank have entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by Key of Laurel Road’s digital lending business; Laurel Road’s three bank branches located in southeast Connecticut are not part of this transaction. Through the acquisition, Key will enhance its digital capabilities with state-of-the-art, customer-centric technology and will leverage Laurel Road’s proven ability to attract and serve professional millennial clients.

GROUNDFLOOR Launches Real Estate Investments Specific To Georgia Residents During Federal Shutdown (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Today, Atlanta-based GROUNDFLOOR is launching new investment opportunities specific to Georgia residents. The crowdsourced real estate investing and lending platform regularly offers investment opportunities to accredited and non-accredited investors throughout the country. Due to the federal shutdown and furloughs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, GROUNDFLOOR is now resurfacing state-by-state securities to continue to offer investors the opportunity to invest on a fractional, self-directed basis in Georgia real estate.

Is community banks’ loan growth too much of a good thing? (American Banker), Rated: A

Total loans at publicly traded banks with assets of less than $20 billion rose 9.2% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, based on Jan. 18 data compiled by FIG Partners. Publicly traded banks above that threshold have reported a 2.7% increase in loans.

Breakout Capital Finance expands Board of Directors, appoints Neil Gurvitch and Firoze Lafeer (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Breakout Capital Finance, a leading fintech innovator, announces the expansion of its Board of Directors by appointing Firoze Lafeer, company CTO, and Neil Gurvitch as an independent director.  In making the appointments, Carl Fairbank, Breakout’s Founder and CEO, said, “We continue to see rapid growth in our lending- and technology-focused endeavors.  Adding more seasoned leadership continues our expansion and growth plans.”

Samsung NEXT, NBKC Executives and Ellie Mae Veteran Join ProPair Advisory Board (BusinessWire), Rated: B

ProPair, a Silicon Valley innovator using machine learning and predictive decision-making to change how mortgage lenders are assigning and prioritizing their leads, today announced the additions of Leo Chang, Chad Cronk and Nick Hedges to its advisory board.

United Kingdom

RateSetter attracts over 75,000 investors (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

RateSetter has announced that over 75,000 investors have put money into its platform.

Since its launch in 2010, investors have earned £120m through the P2P lending platform at an average interest rate of 4.4% per year.

RateSetter currently has £830m of investment under management, including £170m invested through its Isa.

MarketInvoice secures £56m equity and debt funding (MarketInvoice), Rated: AAA

Fintech business MarketInvoice today announced it has raised £26m in new equity funding. This Series-B funding round was led by Barclays and Fintech fund, Santander InnoVentures with significant participation from European venture fund Northzone, an existing investor in the company. Technology credit fund Viola Credit, who also participated in the equity round, will provide a debt facility of up to £30m. The facility will help scale the MarketInvoice business loans offering that sits alongside their core invoice finance solutions.

Goldman Sachs’ Marcus platform reveals AUM (AltFi), Rated: A

The US investment giant said its digital bank attracted has more than £5bn in UK savings just three months after its launch.

The US investment giant debuted its online lending and deposit platform, Marcus, in the UK at the end of last summer, and pulled in 100,000 customers and £5.4bn in the final quarter of the year.

Metro Bank shares crash after loans blunder revealed (The Guardian), Rated: A

Metro Bank has revealed a major blunder in how it classifies its loan book, an admission that drove its share price down by nearly 40% on Wednesday, wiping £800m off the value of the company.

The bank, which has been opening new branches as established rivals cut back, revealed that hundreds of millions of pounds of commercial property loans and loans to commercial buy-to-let operators had been wrongly classified in risk terms, and should have been among its “risk-weighted assets” (RWAs).

Glenhawk grows team with LendInvest hire following strong start to 2019 (Property Funds World), Rated: B

Having originated GBP28.4 million of potential loans since the start of the year, and completed on just over GBP4 million, early indications are that 2019 will see accelerated demand for Glenhawk’s fast and flexible short term property finance. Wareham joins Glenhawk’s 20-strong team of real estate professionals, supporting an increasingly diverse range of borrowers across the South of England and Midlands.

China

Hexindai Begins Sharing Credit Data with Baihang Credit (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Hexindai Inc. (NASDAQ: HX) (“Hexindai” or the “Company”), a fast-growing consumer lending marketplace in China, announced today that it has connected its systems and begun sharing credit data with Baihang Zhengxin (“Baihang Credit”).

China crackdown aims to push peer-to-peer lenders out of the industry (Australian Financial Review), Rated: A

Chinese authorities have further tightened controls on the peer-to-peer lending industry, aiming to clear out as many P2P platforms as possible, according to an official document seen by Caixin.

Microlenders need to obtain licences from the regulators and meet certain minimal capital requirements. For instance, a microlender in Shanghai needs to register its business with more than 200 million yuan ($41.2 million). P2P platforms usually don’t have to meet such requirements.

Chinese investors try to storm company after P2P lender failure (Business Times), Rated: A

In the latest sign of turmoil in China’s once booming peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector, around 80 investors in failed lender Xinhehui protested outside the Hangzhou headquarters of a related company on Tuesday, demanding a US$330 million bailout.

Mrs Xue, who would only provide a surname for fear of retaliation, said she arrived at 8am with around 80 other investors from Zhejiang and neighboring provinces, demanding payment for 2.26 billion yuan (S$452 million) of products that Xinhehui had sold, including 860 million yuan (S$172 million) worth that were due for repayment on Jan 6.

Xi Tells Cadres to ‘Prevent and Control’ Risks as China’s Economic Woes Mount (The Epoch Times), Rated: B

At a high-level meeting of senior Chinese Communist Party officials held in Beijing, Chinese leader Xi Jinping gave an opening speech on Jan. 21 that hinted at the severity of China’s economic downturn.

European Union

Fellow Finance Launches Peer to Peer Lending in Denmark (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finland based peer to peer lender Fellow Finance is now operating in Denmark. The company says it will offer Danish consumers access to credit while Fellow Finance investors will be able to fund Danish loans. Currently, Fellow Finance provides consumer loans in Finland, Germany, Poland, and Sweden.

Note to Irish and US parents: college not the only path for your cherished offspring (Irish Central), Rated: A

According to the student loan marketplace www.lendEDU.com, the average debt per borrower at a public college is $26,872. This rises to $31,710 if you’re inclined to a private college experience. For graduate school students – whose parents have by now presumably said, “Time to pay your own way, sunshine” – the average debt is a staggering $57,600.

International

Funding Circle partners with Stripe to help small businesses expand (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle, the global small business loans platform, today announced that it has joined the Stripe Partner Program, providing businesses using Stripe with access to affordable business financing through Funding Circle. As a verified extension partner, Funding Circle now enables Stripe users to import their data directly and securely to apply for a business loan up to $500,000 — making the process faster and easier so they can get back to running their businesses.

Boost Capital ups firepower as US parent hits $ 2bn lending milestone (AltFi), Rated: A

Small business lender Boost Capital has refinanced its credit facility lifting its funding capacity to $60m, as its US parent targets European growth.

The Chelmsford-based platform, which provides business loans and merchant cash advances, said it upped its credit firepower from $40m after signing a deal with New York-based investment firm Atalaya Capital Management.

India

Matrix Partners invests in P2P lending platform LiquiLoans (Techstory), Rated: AAA

Mumbai based peer to peer lending platform LiquiLoans, one of the few players to have secured a P2P license, has now secured an undisclosed amount of funding from some of the existing investor that is Matrix partners India.

Fintech startup floated by ex-Lendingkart execs MoneyOnClick raises funding (VC Circle), Rated: A

Two former executives from online lending platform Lendingkart have quit the firm to set up a new venture in the alternative lending space, catering to consumers.

According to their respective LinkedIn accounts, the startup, which has been operational since October 2018, has already raised $2.25 million (Rs 16.02 crore at current exchange rates) as part of its first institutional funding round from undisclosed investors.

Women, non-metros topping up on credit, says BankBazaar survey (MoneyControl), Rated: A

Non-metro cities have emerged as the bigger market for unsecured credit in terms of volume than the metros in 2018, according to BankBazaar Moneymood 2019 report.

The average personal loan ticket size in non-metros is Rs 2.80 lakh compared to Rs 2.55 lakh in metros. The unsecured credit portfolio includes personal loans and credit cards which are used more for consumption activities than secured loans.

Online rental marketplace Sacorooms Rises fresh funding Pre-Series A (Times of India), Rated: A

Sacorooms, a start-up that is building co-living spaces, has closed a pre-Series A round of funding for an undisclosed amount from Mr. Broadway. The investment comes after a strategic round led by Incubate Fund and a group of investors from the real estate industry this year.

Asia

OJK Zero Down Payment Policy Drives Multifinance Growth (Tempo.co), Rated: AAA

The recent policy of zero percent down payment for vehicle credit issued by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) believed to be able to drive the performance of the multifinance industry. Businesses are confident that multi-finance companies will perform better with the new regulation.

Chairman of the Indonesian Financing Company Association (APPI) Soewandi Wiranto, said that the business expansion stated in the new regulation can increase financing industry growth. Based on APPI’s calculation, industrial asset growth for 2019 can reach up to 9 percent while the growth rate of receivables is predicted to be in a range of 6 to 7 percent.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday January 24 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa is profitable again. Capital One limits access to alt lenders. SimpleNexus raises $20M. Funding Circle changes projected returns. Metro Bank launches digital bank in Australia. Today’s main analysis: Deep dive into Amazon. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Deep dive into Amazon. More Chinese P2P lenders fall under regulatory scrutiny. How blockchain can assist banks with consumer lending. SMBs access […]

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Capital One restricts third-party data access, upsets customers (Payments Source) Rated: AAA

Capital One Financial Corp. is limiting how account data flows to outside apps for managing finances, prompting a backlash from the bank’s customers who say they have been locked out of their own information.

A technology upgrade led to the disruption, people familiar with the situation said. Plaid Technologies, whose software is used to connect banks with third parties, is unable to link with some Capital One accounts, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Slightly weak US GDP growth, Amazon Deep-Dive (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US Q1 GDP growth was revised slightly lower from 2.2% to 2% driven by lower-than-expected growth in services. This slowdown in growth seems to be temporary as the Atlanta Fed is projecting a blistering 4.5% GDP growth rate for Q2.

Amazon Treading Carefully with Its Financial Services Ambitions

A new report by CB Insights details Amazon’s “barreling into” the financial services sector, notably in payments and lending. Our view on Amazon is more sober.

In the absence of a clear regulatory swim lane, Amazon will continue to partner with financial institutions to provide lending services. The major lending products Amazon offers today are executed with highly regulated banking partners. Amazon for instance has developed co-brand relationships with JPM, Synchrony and AmEx.

Also, Amazon is courting major financial services institutions as customers of its cloud business so the company has a delicate balance that it needs to maintain between disrupting the financial services industry and losing its clients and partners.

Amazon’s Lending Products

Amazon has made a foray into consumer lending mainly with the help of co-branded credit cards. The company has also made ~$3 Bn in small business loans, but that standalone effort has now fallen to the wayside with the new small business lending partnership with AmEx.

Amazon’s international investments in fintech products have been concentrated in India where Amazon will finance commercial loans to Amazon’s sellers. However, unlike the model in the US where Amazon lends on its own balance sheet, Amazon will utilize a marketplace model with six participating banks at the outset. The lending program has grown 150% in the first five months of this year (total volumes are unreported).

Source: CB Insights

Digital Mortgage Platform SimpleNexus Raises $ 20M In Growth Capital (FinSmes) Rate: AAA

SimpleNexus, a Lehi, Utah-based company that brings the home mortgage process to mobile devices through a dynamic digital mortgage platform, raised $20m in growth capital.

Insight Venture Partners made the investment.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate its continued growth and expansion.

TD Bank Teams Up With Fintech BizEquity to Enhance Commercial Customer Experience (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

TD Bank announced on Tuesday it has formed a new partnership with BizEquity to provide its small and mid-size business customers and prospects from Maine to Florida a no-cost comprehensive business valuation through a cutting-edge digital application.

The bank revealed that through its relationship with the Philadelphia-based fintech it now offers a service that typically costs several thousand dollars free of charge to small and mid-size companies. BizEquity delivers a detailed report with valuation information and key industry performance indicators to TD Bank relationship managers, who then share it with the business owner.

Small Businesses Access More Than $ 1 Billion of Working Capital During Non-Banking Hours through Kabbage (PR Web) Rated: A

Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, reports its 145,000-plus small business customers accessed over 300,000 loans during non-banking hours, reaching a record total of more than $1 billion in funding. In total, Kabbage has now provided access to more than $5 billion in funding to its customers across America. The non-banking hour analysis illustrates how Kabbage’s fully automated lending solutions remove the age-old hurdle of normal business hours by offering companies 24/7 access to working capital online.

LendingPoint Upsizes its Mezzanine Financing, Bringing it to More Than $ 50 Million (Business Wire) Rated: A

LendingPoint announced it closed an increase of its mezzanine financing, bringing the total of the facility to $52.5 million.

Paragon Outcomes Management LLC provided the financing that closed earlier this month. Paragon and LendingPoint have been building upon a successful relationship started with their first mezzanine credit facility in January 2017 of just $20 million, which was upsized just seven months later, and now has been upsized again to $52.5 million.

Amit Aggarwal: Refining A Real Estate Platform (Think Realty) Rated: A

Amit Aggarwal joined Auction.com as its chief technology officer in late 2017, but the experienced senior information technology (IT) leader had his eye on the needs of the national housing market for more than a decade before the hire. As early as 2005, Aggarwal was watching the residential real estate industry, considering the early signs of what he refers to as “cracks” in the then-booming housing ecosystem and working on a solution. By the time the market melted down in 2007, Aggarwal had been instrumental in the design and implementation of the workflow processes and platforms that served as the underpinning for the foreclosure crisis, including working closely with Fannie Mae and several of the country’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders.

Aggarwal took his passion for purifying and refining technology, processes, and real estate transactions with him when he joined Auction.com. 

Marketplace Lending: 60-Second Market Review and Insights (Credit Chronometer) Rated: AAA

Seven securitizations totaling $4.3 billion closed in Q1 2018, up 34% versus a year ago and representing the second-highest issuance in any quarter (after Q4 2017). Q1 issuances comprised $2.1 billion in student loan ABS, more than double Q1 2017 and the highest ever quarterly issuance of student deals. Total ABS issuance is expected to climb to $18 billion in 2018, up 30% from 2017.

Delinquencies increased in Q1 2018 across the consumer credit space, and reports of an influx of defaults on marketplace loans have prompted online lenders, including Lending Club and Prosper, to tighten their underwriting guidelines. The bright spot has been the student loan sector. The sector, led by SoFi which issued its largest ever student deal in Q1 at $1 billion, has been performing well, driven by refinance loans made to borrowers with strong credit profiles.

Battle for small-business customers spurs arms race at banks (American Banker) Rated: A

Surveys of small-business owners show an increasing level of confidence and commercial-and-industrial lending is up. The Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan guarantee program seems poised for a fourth consecutive record year.

To capitalize, banks are investing in technology to make faster loan decisions. They are also hiring more lenders to better serve this segment. Now, bankers and other industry observers are hoping it all leads to increased earnings.

A retirement perk for millennials who are buried under student debt (LA Times) Rated: A

A new benefit program at Abbott means she won’t have to choose between paying down student debt and saving for the future. For any U.S.-based employee who puts at least 2% of their salary toward student loan payments, the healthcare company will contribute the equivalent of 5% of their salary into their 401(k) plan.

Abbott’s twist works around the tax penalty, because 401(k) payments are tax-free. Steve Fussell, a human resources vice president at Abbott, says the benefit also helps employees kick off their retirement savings early, which can make a huge difference over several decades of work. Only about a third of millennials are currently contributing to the company’s retirement plan, compared with 90% of the workforce overall.

Lending to Digital Natives: A Map to the Millennial Market (Credit Union Times) Rated: A

Millennials are a major demographic, yet they are not being served by credit unions. Only 32% of millennials are currently using a credit union compared to 50% of baby boomers, according to the Financial Brand.

Time reported the average 2016 college graduate will enter the workforce with $37,172 in student loan debt. They will change jobs four times in their first decade after college and their salaries are 20% lower than those of baby boomers at the same age, according to CNN.

United Kingdom

Zopa back in black (The Times) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa scraped back into profit last year, but rising default levels have led it to crack down on who it allows to borrow, writes Rosamund Urwin. The company, which has lent out £3.3bn in total, matches borrowers with investors wanting to lend. It has applied for a banking licence and wants to launch its bank within a year. A float has been pencilled in for 2020.

Funding Circle changes projected returns (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

FUNDING Circle has altered its projected returns, meaning that investors lending across the platform’s full risk spectrum are expected to earn less money and those opting for lower-risk loans could earn more.

The peer-to-peer business lender said on Friday that that its projected returns for its Balanced account – which invests in the full range of businesses across all risk bands – will now be six to seven per cent.

The target rate on the Balanced account had previously been 7.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Funding Circle’s Conservative account – which only invests in businesses assessed as lower risk – is now offering a projected return ranging between five and 5.5 per cent.

Funding Circle fund warns on dividend as currency costs bite (Citywire) Rated: A

Shares in Funding Circle SME Income (FCIF) fell today after peer-to-peer lending fund said the rising currency costs would force it to cut its dividend.

Shares fell 2.1%, or 3p, to 102p after it reported a ‘material increase’ in the cost of hedging, or removing the impact of the investment company’s holdsin dollar-denominated loans.

As a result the company, which mainly lends to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, would only be able to pay a fully covered annual dividend of 5p to 6p per share from the third quarter of 2018. This is down from the current annual dividend of 6.5p, a potential decline of 8%-23%.

SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: Recent AIM entrant Trufin is a financing business with four divisions (This is Money) Rated: A

Recent AIM entrant Trufin is a financing business with four divisions. DFC lends to firms selling motorbikes, caravans, yachts and industrial kit, areas that mainstream banks may not be willing to touch.

Oxygen Finance helps councils make savings by prompting them to pay suppliers early, and Satago helps smaller businesses manage their cash flow. Lastly, it holds a 15 per cent stake in peer-to-peer lender Zopa.

Trufin is applying for a UK banking licence, which could help lower the company’s funding costs and boost margins. Zopa has also proposed a new funding round, which could increase the value of Trufin’s stake.

Open Banking could be worth £7.2bn by 2022, report shows (London School of Business & Finance) Rated: A

A report from Big Four accountancy firm PwC has predicted that the Open Banking sector could be worth £2.8bn by the end of the year and £7.2bn by 2022.

SMEs were shown to be more aware of the effects of Open Banking than retail customers and are also willing to make use of the data-sharing scheme, with 40% saying that they would share their financial transaction information.

When it comes to what information individuals would be willing to share, just 10% cited transaction history, while 12% said that they would share information about their financial products.

Banks were also found to still be popular with businesses, with 72% favouring them over fintech companies and peer-to-peer lending firms. This was also found to be the case for 65% of individuals.

HEAVYWEIGHT INVESTOR SAYS ‘TOO MUCH MONEY’ THROWN AT TECH (Business Cloud) Rated: A

One of Britain’s most high-profile investors has expressed concerns about “too much money being chucked” at tech businesses in the UK.

Moulton has also been an active tech investor over the last three decades, having backed peer-to-peer lending marketplace Funding Circle “very early on”, and estimates that around 50 of his 120 current investments have a link to technology.

However speaking to BusinessCloud at an investment roundtable in London organised by the Lancashire Investment Readiness Programme, the 67-year-old said the return on investment in technology is is relatively “poor”, particularly in the UK, and fears that it could become worse.

China

More P2P lenders collapse amid tough regulations (Global Times) Rated: AAA

As China has been ramping up efforts to strengthen regulations on the online financial industry, an increasing number of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms have found themselves collapsing. As such, experts have warned investors of the perils of illegal financial activities that offer lucrative rewards.

After several P2P firms such as lianbijr.com and txslicai.com.cn were investigated by police in June, another Shanghai-based online lender reportedly collapsed.

Yilongcaifu and its parent company Fuxing Group have been shut down and are under investigation by police, news site stcn.com reported on Thursday.

Another Online Lender Falls Under Investigation (Caixin Global) Rated: A

Another online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender has fallen under investigation on suspicion of illegal fundraising as the crackdown continues on China’s scandal-plagued internet finance industry.

Shanghai police have detained four senior executives of Tangxiaoseng, an online lending platform controlled by Zibang Financial Service Internet Technology Co. Ltd., since police began investigating the platform on June 16, Caixin has learned.

51 Credit Card hits road for $ 174m IPO (Global Capital) Rated: A

51 Credit Card opened books on Friday for its HK$1.4bn ($173.9m) listing in Hong Kong, with 10 firms in the syndicate.The Chinese online peer-to-peer lending platform is offering 118.7m primary shares for HK$8.5 to HK$11.5 each, which could raise between HK$1bn and HK$1.4bn.

Sponsors China Merchants Securities and Citi are leading the trade alongside CLSA, which is a global co-ordinator.

European Union

Belgian Lending Marketplace Look&Fin Partners with Insurer Atradius (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Today June 28, Belgium-based SME lending platform Look&Fin announced that it has partnered with credit insurer Atradius to offer a 100% guarantee on the capital lent to SMEs by its retail investors. The move is dramatically closing the gap between marketplace lending and bank lending. SME borrowers will get marketplace loans at lower interest rates, closer to the banks’ and retail investors will enjoy bank-level security for their investment.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Atradius is the second largest global credit insurance leader with operations in more than 50 countries around the globe and total revenue of more than €1.8 billion.

Azlo and Green Dot Offer New Lending Products for Gig Economy Workers (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

Azlo will begin offering lending services to small businesses and gig economy workers this fall, the company announced last week. The fintech, which is backed by BBVA Compass, will be partnering with an undisclosed “non-traditional lending platform” to originate loans. These loans will range between $10,000 and $100,000, and even less Azlo CEO Brian Hamilton told Bank Innovation.

To determine a borrower’s creditworthiness, Azlo will not be looking at FICO scores. Instead, it will look at data collected from payment tools using APIs connected to platforms like Stripe, Square, and PayPal, in an Azlo account.

Latvia Pushes Fintech Innovation (Inside Bitcoins) Rated: A

Riga-based online lending marketplace Mintos, which just turned an annual profit for the first time, is now looking for global expansion.

Alongside Mintos, some of Latvia’s most well-known fintech startups include peer-to-peer lending marketplace Twino, and micropayment app Monea.

INLOCK to Conduct Poll to Determine the Future of Its ILK Token Model (Tech Bullion) Rated: B

INLOCK(INCOME LOCKER), a blockchain and smart-contract based peer-to-peer lending platform that enables crypto assets to be used as collateral, today announced that it will be hosting a community poll to help inform the development of its ILK token model.

Amidst preparation for the initial token sale and throughout the business screening process, INLOCK found that its token model with fractals created an unnecessary inconvenience for its users, leading to an overwhelming number of requests for a token split.

Spotcap Expands C-Suite As Business Matures (Spotcap) Rated: B

Fintech business lender Spotcap recently expanded its C-Suite to include two newly created roles.

Linh Bergen-Peters joins the company as Chief Marketing Officer and Martin Gawlak as Chief People Officer. These new roles will be instrumental in ensuring Spotcap’s continued growth. The company increased its gross revenue by more than 100 percent between May 2017 and May 2018, and doubled the size of its loan book during the same time period.

Linh Bergen-Peters joins Spotcap from HID Global and will be responsible for Spotcap’s multinational marketing strategy. Linh is a highly experienced global marketer, having held senior roles in leading technology companies such as AMD and Hewlett Packard, building and marketing high-tech brands.

International

Harmonic Fund Services live with Finastra for loan servicing (Finastra) Rated: A

Harmonic Fund Services has gone live with Finastra’s Fusion Loan IQ solution. The independent fund administration and alternative asset fund servicing firm will leverage the platform — traditionally used by banks and increasingly by service providers, to service their bilateral, specialised and syndicated loan portfolios — to provide a new loan administration and agency service to its diverse alternative investment funds client base.

Blockchain can assist banks with consumer lending (Digital Journal) Rated: AAA

The finance sector has been in the lead in terms of implementing blockchain and tokenization. The next area where the technology is likely to be applied is with traditional loans.

The advantage of cryptocurrency assets as collateral lies in the efficiency the digital currency can bring into the entire lending process. For any cryptocurrency asset approved by the lender, blockchain allows for immediate validation of its authenticity, ownership and worth. This should enables anyone to get immediate backing for a loan, provided they have a verifiable means of making repayments.

The types of startups that are making in-roads in the finance space include Ripple, a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network. Ripple is by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander. A second is the Depository Network [DEPO]. This is a multi-platform network enable lenders, including peer-to-peer lending marketplaces, banks, other credit institutions to accept digital assets as collateral.

Bitcoin Millionaires Turn to SALT for Liquidity (BTC Manager) Rated: A

SALT Lending offers a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows cryptocurrency holders to use their Bitcoin and Ethereum as collateral for loans.

A Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform

Dave Carlson, who runs a cryptocurrency mining operation in Washington, has used SALT for this very purpose. With electricity expenses running as high as $250,000 per month, Dave needed $1 million to cover operating expenses for Giga-Watt, his mining operation. However, the potential for a price surge made him reluctant to exchange his cryptocurrency for cash.  He found an alternative in SALT, which The Wall Street Journal has reported is helping Bitcoin millionaires “unleash their fortunes.”

Australia

Metro Bank founder joins digital challengers in Australia (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Serial banking entrepreneur Anthony Thomson, co-founder of Metro Bank in the UK, is helping to set up a new digital bank in Australia that aims to shake up a market dominated by the Big Four institutions.

The bank, named 86 400 after the number of seconds in a day, is initially being funded by Cuscal, an Australia payment services company.

Asia

The magic of crowdfunding (The Manila Times) Rated: AAA

Here in the Philippines and in many countries around the world, not only is the family the basic unit of society, but it also serves as the primordial foundation for economic activity.

Crowdfunding, through its biggest platform, Kickstarter, proved to be a very effective mode of hosting linkages between entrepreneurs and investors. Since its inception in 2009, Kickstarter has successfully funded 130,000 projects having around $3.76 Billion worth of pledges on all its projects. The huge acceptance and positive reception of these crowdfunding platforms continue to grow. In fact, it is estimated that it will be a $300 Billion industry by the year 2025.

Another type is “Peer-to-Peer Lending” that enable proponents to gain funding outside the traditional banking system through the risk-taking investors who are willing to shed a buck or two towards the growth of their loan portfolios.

Bermuda

Blockchain mortgages, touted for real estate investors, get thumbs-down on security concerns (Financial Post) Rated: AAA

Blockchain advocates have long touted the technology’s ability to disrupt entrenched business models. Now, several companies want to use it for real estate crowdfunding in a bid to circumvent the banks.

Bermuda-based Viva Network wants to exploit the blockchain’s ability to store records and transfer value quickly across international borders.

Targeting Bermuda as its first market, the company would use local mortgage professionals to run “mortgage hubs” that would evaluate and underwrite mortgages. It would divide each mortgage into 100,000 FMS units that could then be listed on the company’s blockchain-based exchange. Investors would purchase an FMS using Viva’s blockchain-based VIVA tokens and would harvest principal and interest payments from the property’s owner each month.

Inventions funded by

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday February 16 2018, Daily News Digest

Amazon small business lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Amazon partners with Bank of America on lending. Roostify raises $25M for expansion. Lendy’s pretax profits hit 3.3M GBP. Lendix to enter Dutch, German markets. Revolut to launch banking app in APAC. Vested backs Dojo. Today’s main analysis: Important barriers to alternative investing digitization. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Americans can’t get enough consumer debt. Who are Britain’s […]

Amazon small business lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Amazon has partnered with Bank of America for its lending program (CNBC), Rated: AAA

CNBC has learned that Amazon Lending, which launched in 2011, ultimately found a partner in Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the alliance is confidential. Partnering with Bank of America allows Amazon to reduce its risk and access capital specifically to provide credit to more merchants so they can acquire inventory.

Amazon Lending is an invitation-only program that makes loans of $1,000 to $750,000, with terms of up to a year, for companies that may have difficulty landing traditional business loans. In June 2017, Amazon said it issued more than $1 billion in loans during the previous 12-month period, compared to $1.5 billion in combined loans for the four years prior to that.

Scaling back

But even with the Bank of America deal, Amazon Lending has been tapping the brakes on growth of late. After almost doubling to $661 million in 2016, outstanding loans just barely increased last year to $692 million, according to Amazon’s annual report earlier this month.

Source: CNBC

These 10 MBA Programs Will Earn You the Highest Salary, According to SoFi (Levo), Rated: A

According to SoFi, the student loan refinancing company, “No BS” Return on Education 2018 MBA rankings, these are the best schools for earning back your money.

With Americans owing more than $1.48 trillion in student loan debt,  (which is $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt) knowing which schools are going to help you pay off your debt faster, is something you should consider if you are looking at business school programs.

Source: Levo

Roostify Closes $ 25 Million Series B To Fund Expansion (VentureBeat), Rated: AAA

Roostify, a digital lending platform provider, today announced the completion of a $25 million Series B round of financing. The round included new investments from Cota Capital, Point72 Ventures, and Santander Innoventures, the venture capital arm of Banco Santander, as well as additional funding from previous investors JPMorgan Chase, Colchis Capital, and a subsidiary of USAA. The new funds will power the company’s ambitious growth goals, including a deeper presence in the enterprise space, rich product enhancements, and expansion into new markets.

Abode Aims to Make Home Buying and Selling Easier (Chicago Inno), Rated: A

In 2016, Kyle Stoner and best friend Carson Junginger were both having a hard time navigating the home-buying process. Between finding a realtor, finding a property and securing a mortgage, the two tech entrepreneurs realized that buying a home was too cumbersome and fragmented. And when they couldn’t find a single platform where they could manage all these separate tasks, they teamed up to create one — Abode.

SoFi named Abode in its 2018 class of SoFi Entrepreneurs, the fourth cohort of startups which will receive mentorship and funding from the alternative lending startup, but Stoner declined to comment on whether SoFi is officially partnering with Abode in the future. Stoner said Abode is rolling out a new consumer product in March 2018, but declined to give further details.

Americans Can’t Get Enough Consumer Debt (WSJ), Rated: AAA

If anything, consumers are borrowing more on credit cards or through auto loans than they have in years, and lenders seeking growth are happy to oblige them.

In the fourth quarter, consumer debt, excluding mortgages and other home loans, rose 5.5% from a year earlier to $3.82 trillion. That is the highest amount since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began tracking the data in 1999. Moreover, consumers’ non-housing debts accounted for just over 29% of their overall debt load, also the highest amount on record.

Overall, households are paying about 5.8% of their disposable personal income to stay current on their nonmortgage debts, according to third-quarter Federal Reserve data. This figure, which is at the highest level since the end of 2008, bottomed out at 4.9% in 2012.


URGENT VS. IMPORTANT: BARRIERS TO DIGITIZATION IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTING (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

KPMG International and CREATE-Research have jointly prepared a report about the digitization imperative for alternative investment management.

Early on, its authors list eight key digital innovations that are reconstructing the industry:

Application programming interfaces; cognitive technology and machine learning; Big Data; blockchain; new digital platforms; robo-advisors; robotic process automation; and social media.

To that end they have talked to 125 alternative managers located in 19 countries, with combined assets under management of $2.6 trillion.

A Need to Future Proof

They found that the scale of the ongoing shake-up is well understood. Only 2% of respondents saw a “business as usual” scenario playing out over the next 10 years. Roughly one-third (35%) expect marginal changes. But 53% anticipate “partial” disruption and the remaining 10% anticipate “total” disruption.

Can small-dollar loans be both profitable and safe? (American Banker), Rated: A

Is now the time when U.S. banks, credit unions and their regulators finally see eye to eye on small-dollar loans to consumers who have checkered credit histories?

A long-running stalemate between the industry and its overseers has ceded much of the subprime consumer market to payday lenders, pawn shops and other high-cost lenders. But in recent months, banks started to get some insight from Washington about what type of product would be deemed acceptable.

Citi, PNC invest in B-to-B payments fintech (American Banker), Rated: A

In the latest example, Citi Ventures and PNC on Wednesday announced a strategic investment in the fintech firm HighRadius, which makes business-to-business payments and receivables software. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. HighRadius has an existing partnership with Bank of America on an accounts receivables platform, and also counts as clients Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

U.S. Bancorp hit with $ 613M in penalties linked to payday lender Scott Tucker (USA Today), Rated: A

U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank, agreed to the criminal and civil penalties in settlements announced by the Manhattan U.S. Attorneys Office in New York, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

From 2009 until 2014, U.S.Bank set an artificial cap on the number of alerts generated by its customer transaction monitoring systems, authorities said. The Minneapolis-based bank based the number of alerts on low staffing levels, rather than on the level of risk in the transactions.

The lax oversight aided Tucker, a longtime U.S. Bank customer who was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison last month for running an illegal $3.5 billion Internet-based payday lending scheme that victimized thousands of consumers with loan interest rates as high as 1,000%.

 

Fluid Market Launches Truck Sharing Marketplace (Business Insider), Rated: A

Fluid Market, a neighborhood truck sharing application that allows people to rent trucks seamlessly from one another, today announced the nationwide launch of its truck-sharing marketplace, providing a seamless and on-demand utility vehicle rental experience to its peer-to-peer network of users and lenders across the country.

Finalists for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards 2018 Announced (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Fintech Innovator of the Year

  • Affirm
  • Varo Money
  • Better Mortgage
  • Upstart
  • Plaid
  • Circle
  • loanDepot

Top Consumer Lending Platform

  • LendingClub
  • Zopa
  • Marlette Funding
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • LightStream
  • Yirendai

Top Small Business Lending Platform

  • Kabbage
  • Funding Circle
  • BlueVine
  • Mirador
  • Credibly
  • StreetShares

Top Real Estate Lending Platform

  • Sharestates
  • LendInvest
  • LendingHome
  • PeerStreet
  • LendingOne
  • Fundrise

Emerging Lending Platform

  • Upgrade Inc.
  • Better Mortgage
  • ETHLend
  • Neat Capital
  • Nexoos
  • LendingUSA

Excellence in Financial Inclusion

  • Kreditech
  • LendUp
  • LenddoEFL
  • Oportun
  • China Rapid Finance
  • Elevate Credit

Most Promising Partnership

  • Katipult + Polymath Inc
  • Macquarie + PeerIQ
  • Lending Club + Opportunity Fund
  • Intrinio + QUODD
  • Financeit + Goldman Sachs
  • Minna Technologies + Swedbank

Most Successful Cross-Border Partnership

  • Kabbage + ING
  • Kreditech + PayU
  • PayJoy + Macrocel
  • nCino + OakNorth
  • Kasisto + DBS Bank
  • Phoenix Finance + Saxo Bank

Most Innovative Bank

  • BankMobile
  • Cross River Bank
  • Laurel Road
  • CBW Bank
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC

International Innovator of the Year

  • UP Financial
  • LexinFintech
  • Afluenta
  • Phoenix Finance
  • IrisGuard
  • Borrowell

Top Enterprise Technology Company

  • Salesforce
  • Roostify
  • Blend
  • ThreatMetrix
  • Mambu
  • CUneXus

Top Emerging Technology Company

  • Nav
  • Ingo Money
  • Nova Credit Inc.
  • MoneyLion
  • dv01
  • Emailage

Most Innovative Mobile Technology

  • PayJoy
  • Clarity Money
  • AutoGravity
  • Dave.com
  • Blinker
  • Juvo

Top Investment Bank in Fintech

  • Macquarie
  • Marlin & Associates
  • FT Partners

See the full list here.

Macquarie looks to broaden US ABS footprint (Global Capital), Rate: B

Macquarie Group is seeking to hire a US ABS director for its credit markets team as it looks to grow its presence in US esoteric ABS sectors, including whole business, marketplace lending and renewable energy finance.

Small nonbanks call for clearer exemption from CFPB audits (American Banker), Rated: A

Nonbank mortgage firms are seeking formal assurance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that they will not become subject to surprise audits or enforcement without involvement of a state regulator.

In a joint letter to acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney, the Community Home Lenders Association and the Community Mortgage Lenders of America said the agency should practice “streamlined supervision” of smaller nonbanks, which is consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act.

 

Business Innovation Could Accelerate Under a Friendlier CFPB, LeClairRyan Attorney Says (Business Insider), Rated: B

Recent moves by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could signal a friendlier approach to businesses, according to Jay Spruill, a partner in LeClairRyan’s Richmond office and leader of the national law firm’s Marketplace Funding Team.

“The Payday Loan Rule has been heavily criticized by the small loan industry which says the rule will restrict consumers’ access to credit,” Spruill notes in the blog, CFPB Signals Retreat from Aggressive Regulation. The post appears in Marketplace Shift, which focuses on the impact of legal and regulatory developments on financial innovation.

United Kingdom

P2P Lender Lendy Releases Financial Results: Pretax Profits Rise to £3.3 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending platform Lendy has released its audited accounts for 2016, showing profits before tax rising to £3.3 million compared to £53,000 in 2015. The company reports that since launch in 2012, Lendy has originated over £376 million in secured loans generating £36 million in interest for investors. Approximately £141.5 million in principle has been repayed with current outstanding loans at £186.5 million.

 

The digital upstarts taking on Britain’s dominant few banks (The Economist), Rated: AAA

For some British millennials, Monzo is as close to a cult as a bank can be. Its coral-pink cards are hard to miss. “People in bars will get very excited if they see you are a fellow Monzo user,” says Mr Matthews, who is 29.

Counting the British arm of Santander, Spain’s largest bank takes the share to over 80%. In 2015 Britons had 70m-odd active current accounts. They paid £500 ($750) or more into 70% of them every month.

Supervisors have licensed more than 30 entrants since 2013. But by no means are all the challengers young. One of them, CYBG, owns Clydesdale, a Scottish bank that turns 180 this year, and Yorkshire Bank, aged 159. It has about 1.8m personal current-account customers and assets of £43bn. Nor are all the infants purely digital. Metro Bank has since 2010 established 55 “stores” (ie, branches) and is spreading beyond south-east England.

Among digital purists, Monzo’s chief rival is Starling Bank—where Mr Blomfield used to work. It started current accounts last spring; around 100,000 have been opened. Tandem, which recently acquired Harrods Bank, the banking arm of a posh department store, is also open for business. Atom Bank, part-owned by Spain’s BBVA, focuses on mortgages funded by fixed-rate savings. N26, a German smartphone bank, is due to arrive this year. Another near-cult, Revolut, is seeking a European licence (valid, for now, in Britain).

To ginger up small-business banking, RBS, the market leader, must cede ground and money to competitors as part of the price, agreed on with the European Commission, of its rescue by the government in 2008. RBS will put up £425m, divided into sums from £5m to £120m, to build up rivals’ capabilities, plus £350m for incentives to customers to switch banks. Banks with assets of up to £350bn may bid. That excludes the big four but just lets in Santander (£315bn), to some challengers’ chagrin.

 

Industry reacts to SME finance inquiry (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Earlier this month, the Treasury committee launched an inquiry into SME finance to look at the state of the market and the lessons to be learned from RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

The Treasury’s inquiry will look at the extent of competition in the market, the various sources of funding available to SMEs – including P2P lending and crowdfunding – and whether the current regulatory framework provides enough protection to SMEs when they borrow money.

For example, unsecured lending to an SME borrower for the purposes of their business will only be regulated if the SME is unincorporated and the amount being borrowed is £25,000 or less.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority doubles down on algorithmic trading (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Monday published its report on the supervision of algorithmic trading, which is intended to illustrate best practices and give guidance to firms considering implementing AI to automate trading operations.

The focus areas of the report hint at concerns the FCA harbors about AI use in capital markets. The regulator placed particular emphasis on humans being able to intervene in an algorithm if something goes wrong, and ensuring the technology doesn’t start behaving in a way unintended by its creators.

Innovate Finance Announces Finalists for 2018 FinTech Pitch360 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The 2018 Pitch360 finalists are the following:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Axyon AI SRL, Coriolis Technologies Ltd, Eye Capital S.A.
  • Banking/ Enterprise Solutions: Akoni, Hedgewiz Pure Risk Management Solutions, Salt Edge Inc
  • Distributed Ledger Technology: hiveonline, SPIRAL
  • Financial Inclusion: CommuScore, CreditSpring, Trezeo
  • Payments & FX: Duality Banx, Divido Financial Services, Envision&Company LTD
  • Peer-to-Peer / Alternative Funding / SME Lending: Alterest, Credit Data Research Ltd, StrideUp
  • Personal Finance Management & Robo Advice: CASHOFF Ltd, Bedaan
  • RegTech: Calcabis, Exate Technology
China

 

Hexindai: Positive Quarter Strengthens Bull Case (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

Sales increased 575% to $43.31 million, driven by loan facilitation growth, which was $388 million – an increase of 187.1% over the prior year. The high sales growth rate contributed to a whopping 1,589% net income growth, which was $26.9 million for the quarter. Gross billing ratio contributed to overall growth with an increase from 7.4% in the previous year to 12.1% in the reported one as the company continues its shift to credit loans.

The company increased its guidance, bumping EPS estimates for the year from $0.74 (see linked article for full estimate calculations) to $1.30 per share, as sales are now expected at $108 million – up from previously expected $90 million. The company believes this will be driven by a bump in loan facilitation, which it expects to be $1.23 billion, up from previously expected $1 billion.

In my previous article I initiated the company with a price target range of $14.80 to $22.20 per share given a 20x to 30x forward earnings multiple, and given recent positive catalysts I believe fair value lies in the same multiple. As the company has hiked its sales and net income guidance, pushing EPS to $1.30 for fiscal 2018, I believe the company’s fair value now lies in the range of $26.00 to $39.00 per share. That represents almost 200% upside from the current share price.

Money20/20 launches in China, the world’s biggest FinTech market (CUInsight), Rated: A

Ascential announced in Hangzhou recently the launch of its trailblazing FinTech event Money20/20 at Hangzhou International Expo Center on 14-16 November 2018.

Guest speakers includedArthur Zhu, President of LianLian Pay; Raymond Qu, CEO of Geoswift; Jeff Parker, Managing Director of WorldFirst Asia-Pacific; Eric Gu, founder & CEO of Metaverse; and experts such as Dr. Ben Shenglin, Dean of Zhejiang University’s Academy of Internet Finance.

Chinese ADSs on the Rise (Capital Watch), Rated: B

Coming in second and third place, China Rapid Finance Ltd. (NYSE: XRF) and JP Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: JP) both soared 8 percent to close at $5.17 and $19.85 per share, respectively, while Jianpu Technology Inc. (NYSE:JT) rose nearly 6 percent to $7.28 per share.

European Union

Online Lender Lendix Plans Entrance into German and Dutch Markets (ICO News Desk), Rated: AAA

Continuing its plan to lead the European SME lending market, fintech company Lendixcontinues its geographical expansion with plans to branch into Germany and the Netherlands.

bitJob teams up with the Dutch government blockchain program to enrich students résumés with a crypto flair (Chipin), Rated: A

bitJob, the P2P marketplace that connects students and businesses, is announcing today its partnership with the Blockchain projects division inside the Dutch government, to deploy its pilot project in Holland. The marketplace, developed by bitJob, bridges the gap between businesses and students by enabling both sides to offer/look for employment with a technology that promotes honesty, immediacy, and robustness.

Opiria & PDATA token: peer reviewed token sale from Germany (Opiria email), Rated: B

Opiria allows consumers to sell their personal data and companies to buy personal data directly from consumers without a veiled middleman in a fully transparent and secure way.

We are presently running an ICO. About our ICO:

  • peer reviewed with due diligence report – showing PDATA is a top 5% ICO

  • Already >1 million USD raised in the Pre-ICO (hard cap $5 million in Pre-ICO)

  • 4k+ active users providing personal data and opinions

Management Team:

  • Dr. Christian Lange (CEO): proven track record in entrepreneurship and successful exit in 2015

  • Marlene Gagesch (CTO): head of B2B software departments for > 10 years

For more information:

  • 2 min pitch video: 

    1 page business model canvas: 

    ICO website/whitepaper: 

    International

    Can’t Miss Quick-Start Guide to Launching a New Business Venture (Influencive), Rated: A

    The following quick-start guide will explain the 7 steps that you need to follow to launch your business venture.

    Make Sure There Is a Market for Your Idea

    The very first step you should take is to validate your idea or concept. You need to make sure that there is a market for your idea.

    Create a Basic Business and Marketing Plan

    If you are trying to launch your product or service as soon as possible, you will still need a solid business and marketing plan. You do not need to be completely detailed, but you should have a good plan in place.

    Obtain Funding for Your Idea

    Another way to get financing is to use P2P (peer to peer) lending. This is similar to crowdfunding, which is another option. With both P2P lending and crowdfunding, you will need to properly explain the value of your product or service. Also, it may take a while to obtain all the funding that you require.

    Research Your Target Demographic

    Once you get funding, you will need to start researching your target demographic. You need to know who you are marketing to before you start a marketing campaign.

    Create a Website

    You do not need to spend a lot to build a website. There are several affordable options with easy to use website builders. These website builders include drag and drop layouts, so anyone can build their own website. A few options include WordPress, Wix, and SquareSpace.

    Decide on a Business Structure

    The next step is to choose a business structure. This is essential and should be decided before you release your product or service.

    Start Marketing Your Product or Service

    The final step is to begin marketing your product or service.

    India

    In consultation with MCA, Sebi makes headway in framing crowd-funding norms (Business Standard), Rated: AAA

    The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is finalising the regulatory framework for crowd-funding in consultation with the corporate affairs ministry.

    APAC

    Revolut uses GPS for FX app launch in APAC (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

    Revolut will be using Global Processing Services (GPS) for the launch of its multi-currency FX app in the APAC region.

    Revolut will unleash its app, starting with New Zealand, Singapore and Japan. GPS announced the deal during the Lord Mayor of the City of London’s UK Business delegation, which is currently in Australia this week.

    Middle East

    Fintech Startup Beehive Is Closing The Gap For SME Finance In The GCC (Dubai Forum), Rated: AAA

    She found Beehive, a Dubai-based peer-to-peer lending platform. Through Beehive, Lowmass borrowed $54,000 in late 2016 at an interest rate of 9.89%. Although it took about the same amount of time to get a loan from Beehive as it did through the bank, Lowmass says, “the funds were raised cleanly and extremely quickly and we were delighted with the resultinginterest rate we ended up paying.”

    It has 6,000 registered investors—mostly from the U.A.E.—and has channeled a total of $40 million to borrowers.

    Africa

    Ecobank: African Fintech Predicted to Grow Exponentially by 2020 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    Africa is now at the forefront of fintech with 57.6% of the world’s 174 million active registered mobile money accounts (100.1 million) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fintech in Africa is predicted to grow from US$ 200 million to US$ 3 billion by 2020. As Ecobank works seamlessly across 36 countries in total, Ecobank is also the only bank that allows customers to transact more easily across borders.

    Ecobank’s mobile app allows customers in any of the 33 African countries in which it operates to check balances, pay bills and merchants, and many other services. Rwanda, where the summit is taking place, has the second highest use of mobiles in Africa, with more than 50% of the population unique subscribers. Kenya has the highest penetration rate of almost 60% of the population.

    Canada

    Vested Ventures completes seed round in gamified savings app Dojo (Finextra), Rated: AAA

    Vested Ventures, the investment arm of the fastest growing public relations agency globally, Vested, announced it has successfully completed a seed round investment in Vancouver financial software company Dojo Technology Corp (“Dojo”).

    Dojo’s iOS and Android-friendly mobile platform reimagines how families and young people interact with their banks and credit unions by providing reward-based gamification and nudging users towards positive financial habits.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

Friday May 5 2017, Daily News Digest

Friday May 5 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club’s Q1 2017 results: a little disappointing. SmartFinance to IPO in U.S. Prosper says system error overstated returns. Details on NAV’s raise of $38mil Series B. Next Insurance secures $29M during Series A. Metro Bank hits 1 million accounts. LendIt Europe to meet in London this year. Mexican fintech raises $4M in Series A. Today’s main […]

Friday May 5 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

  • Metro Bank hits one million accounts. GP:”This is a very large number of accounts. I am very impressed.”AT: “Great achievement. Congratulations.”
  • Sand. Meet Head. GP:”Certainly worth a read.”AT: “I love Anand’s sense of humor, but his insights are prescient, as well. I’m always amazed at the hubris of incumbents in any industry. Any time there is market disruption, the surest path to survival is humility, not boasting.”
  • LendIt Europe returns to London. GP:”I think there was no doubt it will be in London and stay in London. “
  • Robo-advisor to provide full retirement advice in two hours. GP:”I am not sure why it takes 2 hours to compute such a simple algortihmic solution. “AT: “This sounds like a joke, but I know it isn’t. I think most people will want the robot’s advice checked by a human until they are 100% comfortable with the technology.”
  • Octopus-backed Moola goes live.
  • What is fintech and why Google and Facebook will be the banks of the future. GP:”Google is already struggling to defent against monopole attacks and Facebook is avoiding carefully to be turned into a credit bureau. I doubt they will move in that direction. Also banks don’t have a good image with the public and aren’t that profitable so I see no reason for Google or Facebook to come even close to being banks.”AT: “The headline is misleading and somewhat overstated.”
  • Fintech: What will bring the most change? AT: “A poll indicates that blockchain may be the most disruptive fintech technology in fintech. I think it certainly has the potential to be, but we haven’t seen it yet.”
  • What does rising inflation mean for your money? AT: “A blog post at Funding Circle.”

China

European Union

India

Middle East

Central America

News Summary

United States

Lending Club Reports First Quarter 2017 Results (Crossroads Today), Rated: AAA

($ in millions)

March 31,
2017

December 31,
2016

March 31,
2016

Originations

$

1,958.7

$

1,987.3

$

2,750.0

Net Revenue

$

124.5

$

130.5

$

152.3

Net Income (Loss)

$

(29.8)

$

(32.3)

$

4.1

Adjusted EBITDA (1) (2)

$

0.2

$

(0.9)

$

26.3

Key accomplishments and developments in the first quarter across the Lending Club platform include:

Investors

  • Banks further increased their purchasing, funding 40% of total originations for the quarter, up from 31% in the fourth quarter, and retail investors expanded to 15%, up from 13% in the prior quarter
  • Developed a retail investor mobile application, now available in the App Store
  • Lending Club initiated activities to support the securitization of Lending Club loans with external partners

Borrowers

  • Achieved another nearly $2 billion originations, surpassing $26 billion in total loans since inception almost ten years ago
  • Continued the Company’s lead as the largest personal loan provider in the U.S. with a borrower base of almost 2 million individuals
  • Introduced an enhanced version of our Joint Application loan program, giving borrowers the ability to jointly apply for a personal loan

Adjusted EBITDA (3) Adjusted EBITDA was $0.2 million in the first quarter of 2017, improving $1.0 million from the fourth quarter of 2016, resulting from the decrease in revenue noted above, and a decrease of $10.3 million in other general and administrative expenses. The decrease in other general and administrative expenses was primarily driven by an insurance recovery of $9.6 million. Adjusted EBITDA also includes $10.6 million of expenses primarily associated with the Board Review that was disclosed in 2016.

Lending Club’s $ 30M quarterly loss is its smallest in the last year (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Lending Club, the online consumer lender whose fortunes were hurt by scandal last year, lost $29.8 million in the first quarter amid lower revenues and rising expenses.

BRIEF-Lending Club reports Q1 adjusted loss per share $ 0.02 (Reuters), Rated: AAA

  • LendingClub corp – qtrly originations $1,958.7 million versus $2,750.0 million
  • Q1 adjusted loss per share $0.02
  • Q1 loss per share $0.07
  • Q1 earnings per share view $-0.03 — Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S
  • Q1 revenue $124.5 million versus i/b/e/s view $122.8 million

Here is the Lending Club Q1 Earnings Deck (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Below is the Lending Club Q1 earnings deck. The company is predicted Q2 growth of 6% to 10%. Full year sequential growth is expected to be 15% to 19%.

See the Lending Club Q1 2017 results in full here.

Lending Club slowly woos investors back after last year’s scandal (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

In the first quarter the San Francisco-based company originated $1.96bn of loans, it said on Thursday, down slightly from the $1.99bn of the fourth quarter. Banks bought 40 per cent of the loans, up from 31 per cent in the fourth quarter, indicating that many are now satisfied that the company has ironed out its problems.

But net revenues for the quarter were $125m, down 5 per cent from the fourth quarter. The quarterly net loss was $29.8m, slightly less than the previous period.

According to data from Orchard, a technology provider to the industry, total returns from an index of US consumer loans came to 3.95 per cent last year, down from 8.71 per cent in 2014.

Online Lender Prosper Says System Error Overstated Returns (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Prosper Marketplace Inc., one of the largest U.S. online-lending platforms, notified the majority of the investors that buy its loans that it had overstated their annual returns due to a system error, a spokeswoman said.

The error has been fixed, according to spokeswoman Sarah Cain. Some of the investors that were affected saw their annual returns fall in half, but in most cases returns fell less than 2 percentage points, Cain said. The issue has been going for “several quarters,” she said.

The glitch didn’t affect the cash that investors received, tax documents, expected future returns, or any other information the startup provided to loan buyers. In a small number of cases, returns were understated, Cain said.

Q1 2017 Shareholder Letter (Square), Rated: AAA

Our first-quarter results demonstrate our continued ability to grow the business at scale while balancing investment and margin expansion. Improvements in net loss and Adjusted EBITDA reflect strong top-line growth, coupled with ongoing operating leverage and improvements in transaction loss rates. Similar to previous quarters, we saw strong momentum across our products, with revenue growth driven by both transaction-based and subscription and services-based monetization.

We launched in the UK, our fourth international market, where small and medium businesses (SMBs) generated £1.8 trillion of revenue in 2016.

Square is a great fit for the UK market, which has 5.5 million SMBs2 and a thriving entrepreneurial scene. The annual revenue of SMBs in 2016 was £1.8 trillion, which is 47% of all private sector UK revenue. In the UK, the average adult now carries less than £25 in cash and 70% of shoppers prefer to pay by card, yet industry research estimates that half of UK small businesses still do not take card payments. Our contactless and chip reader aims to meet the needs of the UK market, where there are more than 100 million contactless cards.

See Square’s full Q1 2017 report.

FT Partners Advises NAV on Series B Financing (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

Read the full announcement here.

PeerStreet Hits New Milestone: $ 300 Million in Loans Funded (PeerStreet), Rated: A

Under a year ago, we announced PeerStreet had funded $75 Million, October we rounded $150 Million and now, thanks to the ongoing support from our investors and lenders, we’ve just surpassed $300 Million with zero losses to date.

The number of lenders PeerStreet works with has grown from 25 to 89. The loans we’ve recently made available for investment are more diverse than ever, with 11 new states added since this time last year, now totaling coverage across 28 states and Washington D.C. Currently, we are publishing triple the number of loans we did a year ago. To support this growth, our underwriting and portfolio management teams have doubled since last year.

Next Insurance Secures $ 29 Million During Series A Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Next Insurance, an insurtech company that specializes in small to medium businesses, announced on Wednesday it secured $29 million during its Series A funding round, which was led by Munich Re/HSB Ventures with participation from  Markel, Nationwide, and other existing investors.

The funding from the Series A funding round will go towards continuing to grow Next Insurance’s insurance products and expand the company’s offering to new business sectors. The announcement follows Next Insurance’s recent release of the first ever Facebook chatbot for small business insurance.

CAN ALTERNATIVE DATA SOLVE ONLINE LENDERS’ ‘ALGORACISM’ PROBLEM? (The Alternative Lending Report), Rated: A

A March 2017 letter written by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Mo.), to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray raises fresh concerns about “algoracism” tainting the creditrisk-scoring models used by online lenders.

Cleaver’s letter highlighted five predatory practices cited by the HBS paper as pervasive in the “Wild West” of online lending and alleges that risk-scoring algorithms may be designed to discriminate against minorityowned, small business borrowers.

Minority-owned businesses comprise roughly 15% of the 28.8 million small businesses in the United States, according to a 2016 Small Business Administration report.

Biased algorithm design can occur if engineers code data correlation parameters with attributes that make inadvertently discriminatory assumptions, which could be violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. ECOA prohibits creditors from discriminating against borrowers on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because they receive income from a public assistance program.

In fact, FastPay’s loan algorithm is over 80% weighted towards the credit risk of the brand counterparties, which typically average 90-days sales outstanding before they pay their creative and advertising technology vendors. Despite prolonged payment terms, Proctor & Gamble and other Fortune 500 brands pose extremely low credit-default risks to invoice financiers like FastPay.

Ultimately, Arora attributes flawed credit-risk modeling in fintech to the big banks that refuse to share data. But banks in the U.S., unlike in Singapore and the UK, where lenders are opensourcing their loan algorithms, see no incentive to make accountholder data available to third parties.

Regardless, Mills said Kabbage, which charges an annual percentage rate, ranging from 24% to 99%, is an interesting fintech small business lender because they factor variables like borrower credit card data and the company’s Facebook page into their risk scoring models.

Source: The Alternative Lending Report

See the full report at SmallBusinessLending.io.

How Lending Club Is Differentiating Itself From Other Online Lenders (Forbes), Rated: A

In less than a year, Sanborn cut and rehired 179 jobs and hired a new CFO, COO, general counsel and chief capital officer. In addition, the company launched a new auto refinance product and an investor mobile application, Lending Club Invest.

Sanborn: Nearly 75% of borrowers also say that their FICO score has increased by 19 points after consolidating debt or paying off credit cards, which can help put them on a better financial track.

Sanborn: Today we have more than 148,000 retail investors – more than any other online lender. Part of the evolution of our marketplace is growing and balancing the mix of investors – having the right mix of investors strengthens our marketplace and makes us more resilient, scalable, and better able to serve a wide range of borrowers of all credit profiles.

Sanborn: Our mission has been to transform the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. So, everything that we do comes from this goal and with the intention of delivering a great experience for everyone who comes to our marketplace. With 10 years of experience and incredibly powerful data and insight that informs us on our customers’ behaviors, choices and needs. We’re also able to calibrate this data into our models to price credit risk and better manage our marketplace and the success of both our borrowers and investors.

A traditional bank uses government-guaranteed deposits to lend to make a spread and can only give loans to a narrow spectrum of borrowers. Our credit marketplace attracts investors that span retail, asset managers, funds and banks, all with different risk appetites, to invest in loans across the credit spectrum so we can say yes to more borrowers. Our diverse investor base also means we’re not reliant on any one type of investor to fund our loans, so we have the agility to pivot funding channels to meet changing market conditions.

OCC fintech charter plans in jeopardy as Curry departs (Finextra), Rated: A

Proposals by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to issue special purpose banking charters to fintech firms are up in the air following the departure of leading advocate Thomas Curry and his replacement as acting head of the Federal agency by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett partner Keith Noreika

Curry completed his five-year term as Comptroller last month but planned to stay on and push through his controversial fintech charter.
Noreika, a member of the Trump transition team, has extensive experience advising banks on regulatory issues, although his views on Curry’s fintech plans are not known.

Crowdfunding Real Estate Isn’t Just For Millionaires Anymore. (Yes Magazine), Rated: A

In up-and-coming neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon for developers to swoop in and alter historic buildings beyond recognition, or tear them down completely to make way for new projects. But when Eve Picker, president and founder of the real estate crowdfunding portal Small Change, came across a three-story property called the Buvinger Building in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, she saw a way to both preserve history and add much-needed housing units in a thriving area.

Luckily for Picker, the funding process is easier than it used to be. She posted a detailed project overview on Small Change’s website, which included information about the building’s history and aesthetics, the financial returns and risk factors, and a link to invest. Small Change met their investment goal of about $240,000 in just under three months, and construction on the project began in late Feb. 2017.

Though the internet paved the way for Title III crowdfunding, it solves a problem that existed long before the digital revolution. When securities regulations were put in place to protect non-wealthy investors after the stock market crash of 1929, one unintended consequence was that those very same investors were frozen out of a broader range of investment opportunities. It took years for the SEC to approve the Title III regulations in the JOBS Act, Roderick explains, because of the challenge inherent in striking a balance between protecting investors and making it easier for developers to raise money.

Small Change, however, is raising more than just capital. It’s a crowdfunding platform that backs real estate development projects only if they benefit underserved communities.

It also means that, in addition to financial returns, many Small Change investors are seeking investments that align with their values. It’s not something easy to quantify—and that’s where the Change Index comes in. The index is Small Change’s proprietary system for measuring a project’s viability in terms of transportation, the environment, and economic inclusiveness.

The Index also provides a metric for potential partners and investors to gauge their compatibility with a particular project.

Small Change plans to launch its first Reg CF offerings later this spring. It’s still one of only about 25 Title III electronic crowdfunding portals that the SEC has approved. While most Title III portals are focused on startup and small business financing, Small Change deals exclusively with real estate, which makes it even more of an outlier.

Major Credit Unions Will Unveil New Blockchain Tech Next Week (Coindesk), Rated: A

CULedger, a consortium project unveiled late last summer, is supported by more than 50 credit unions and four of the biggest credit union service organizations in the US. Spearheading the project are the Credit Union National Association and Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA).

Those involved in the initiative say they want to utilize the tech in a bid to improve how credit unions function – while also making them more competitive in an increasingly tough environment for financial institutions. The idea is to create a blockchain-powered utility through which credit unions could send money or exchange other types of information.

FinTech and Digital Wallets are the Core of Financial Inclusion (Due), Rated: B

In a FDIC survey released in 2016, the Federal organization found the roughly 7% of American households are unbanked. That is 9 million households with no checking account or savings account. No direct deposit. No credit cards. These families utilize virtually no mainstream financial services. In some parts of the country, as much as 40% of the population is unbanked!

With no bank relationship, these individuals have little if any credit history and poor credit scores. There is a lack of trust and understanding of how banks and mainstream financial services work. This is a serious problem the entire financial industry needs to overcome.

Instead, less savory businesses are often chomping at the bit for this demographic’s financial business. Payday loans, title loans, and other expensive, low-quality financial products are all these people have had access to.

In many ways, digital wallets work like a bank account. You can store funds, make payments, and transfer to other financial accounts. In the case of Bluebird, you can even write checks!

Digital wallets look a lot like a regular checking account to outsiders, but there are some important technical differences between bank accounts and digital wallet accounts.

Financial technology startups are not encumbered by those sentiments. While the rules of the game are the same, startups can quickly adapt to new market trends, customer feedback, and more.

Unlike a giant bank where you have to navigate a series of annoying phone menus to reach a live human, startups are right on the pulse of what their customers are saying and doing. That is a major advantage.

United Kingdom

Challenger bank hits one million accounts (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Metro Bank surpasses one million customer accounts less than seven years removed from launch.

Metro Bank, which became the first new high street bank in the UK for over one hundred years in 2010, now has more than a million customer accounts. The milestone was reached, fittingly, on the bank holiday Monday, when the majority of incumbent banks are closed.

Some stats from the last seven years include: being open 75 per cent longer than the average bank, saving customers over 4 million days by printing over 1 million cards instantly in-store, and preventing over 20,000 cards from being cancelled unnecessarily.

Sand. Meet head. (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Source: CB Insights
Source: CB Insights

It goes by many names.

Hubris.
Arrogance.
Cluelessness.

It’s also worth understanding that there is no upside to saying stuff like this.

Cuz more often than not, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of history like so many of these CEOs.

And then we’ll make slides to immortalize your cluelessness.

Europe’s largest lending and fintech event, LendIt Europe, returns to London this autumn (LendIt Email), Rated: AAA

LendIt Europe 2017 launched last night with a cocktail reception for 75 of London’s fintech elite at the Dion in St. Paul’s. The 2017 event is set to be Europe’s largest lending and fintech event, with over 1,000 participants from the UK and Continental Europe as well as North America and Asia. Taking place at the Intercontinental O2 Hotel on October 9-10, this year’s conference is expanding with the industry to cover the hottest topics in fintech including blockchain, insurtech, digital banking, and much more.

Early confirmed keynote speakers are Jaidev Janardana, CEO of Zopa, Francesco Brenna, Partner at IBM Global Business Services, and Shane Williams, co-founder of UBS Smartwealth. With six tracks of content including Digital Banking, Credit & Underwriting, Policy & Regulation, The Cutting Edge in Fintech, Innovations in Lending, and Investor Insights, this year’s LendIt Europe agenda will be the most comprehensive yet, with more details being released on www.lendit.com/europe in the coming months.

A featured component to this year’s conference, and back for its second year running, is the PitchIt startup competition. PitchIt allows innovative fintech startups from across EMEA to present their solution in front of the LendIt audience of international investors and industry leaders. The PitchIt programme has been an exciting part of the LendIt series of events, with past winners and finalists going on to secure significant investment and publicity.

Robo-adviser to provide full retirement advice in 2 hours (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Robo-adviser Wealth Wizards has launched a new automated paraplanner tool to help firms provide retirement advice in less than two hours.

Wealth Wizards said the tool generates a “regulated advice solution” made up of an annuity, drawdown or a blend of the two.

The report could then be edited by an adviser to make sure it suited the client’s needs.

Octopus-backed robo advisor Moola goes live (AltFi), Rated: A

Investors have a new robo advisor to choose from following the soft launch of Moola.

The firm, which is backed by private equity specialist asset manager Octopus, announced back in December that it had received full regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well that it had arranged a tie-up with Blackrock-owned ETF provider iShares.

The passive only portfolios are risk targeted and cost just 0.75 per cent per year.

What is FinTech and why Google and Facebook could be the banks of the future (Manchester Evening News), Rated: A

In total, the sector generated almost £7bn revenue last year and now employs more than 60,000 people.

Not only that, but the big players are wising up to this need for disruption with Barclays opening a flagship FinTech accelerator in May, offering 500 workspaces for start-up innovators.

HSBC and Tradeshift have also confirmed that their new ‘procure-to-pay’ product will go live in summer allowing businesses to manage their entire supply chain and working capital requirements in one place, from any device.

The innovation specialist at SoftwareONE said: “Back in the 80s, when ATMs came into play, people thought it would be the end of bank branches and jobs, but instead it freed up clerks to perform other tasks, like mortgage advice, which actually added value to the customer.

“Moving on to the current day and bank branches have now become mobile phones – or apps – people can access their accounts and information at a touch of the screen.”

AccessPay, which moved from London to Manchester, is flying after a recent £2m funding boost.

Based in City Tower, the fast-growing firm is looking to recruit 60 new staff and expand into the US after securing funds from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ Growth Finance team.

The specialist in cloud-based payments and cash products has been driving innovation in the sector since it was founded in 2012.

Fintech: What Will Bring the Most Change? (City A.M.), Rated: A

Finance professionals have two basic questions about fintech and what it means for them:

  • How will fintech positively affect their careers?
  • How will fintech negatively affect their careers? For example, will peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders replace banks as the preferred platform or intermediary for borrowing and lending? If the answer is yes, then bank loan officers and credit risk analysts should start looking for alternative careers. The particular areas of fintech that evoke this sort of existential concern include blockchain, mobile payment, P2P lending, and robo-advisers.

 

The responses of our 333 poll participants suggest that interest in blockchain technology has risen to an all-time high, with four out of 10 readers opting for that choice. Another 22% are believers in robo-advisers.

Read between the lines: What does rising inflation mean for your money? (Funding Circle), Rated: B

Inflation is rising – and is set to climb even higher by the end of the year. Official figures revealed a surprise jump in the headline rate of inflation to 2.3% in March, its highest rate for four years. And it is estimated to climb to 2.8% by the end of the year.

But there’s one area where inflation is hitting hard right now – our savings. If you can’t get a savings return higher than inflation, you’re losing money. The cash in your nest egg will be worth less and less as inflation outstrips the returns you get. And right now, no-one can get an inflation-beating rate from traditional banks and building societies with even the much-heralded new Government-backed savings bond paying less than inflation at 2.2%.

China

Chinese online lender SmartFinance targets IPO in US (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

SmartFinance, a Chinese internet loans business that judges borrowers on factors including how often they charge their phones, has consulted banks about a possible U.S. listing that could happen as soon as this year.

The rapidly expanding company, which anticipates it will reach a $1 billion valuation by the end of 2017, has hired former Cheetah Mobile Chief Financial Officer Andy Yeung to help better manage investor relations and smooth the path to an eventual listing.

Jiao, who is known to colleagues by his English name UBee, told Bloomberg the company’s next step is an initial public offering, probably in the U.S. By the end of 2017, he expects to have more than 2,000 staff and facilitate as many as 4 million loans a month.

SmartFinance is more commonly known as Yongqianbao, which translates as “need money pal,” and taps into as many as 1,200 data points collected by its smartphone app to assign credit ratings for would-be customers. Making calls that go unanswered or failing to frequently charge your phone are all potential signs of a problematic borrower.

China’s Ping An to launch first overseas fintech and healthcare fund of $ 1 bln (Reuters), Rated: A

Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd, the country’s largest insurer by market value, is launching its first overseas fund to primarily invest in financial and healthcare technology worldwide, underscoring its push beyond its home market.

The initial size of the so-called Ping An Global Voyager Fund will be $1 billion, the insurer said in a statement on Thursday. It will be managed from Hong Kong and led by Jonathan Larsen, an 18-year stalwart of Citigroup who joined Ping An as its chief innovation officer.

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

IPO boom of P2P Lending platforms is coming!
China Rapid Finance (CRF) has gone public in the US and it is also the second P2P Lender listed successfully in America, which may bring an IPO boom of Internet finance industry.

It was revealed that Qudian, a P2P lender focusing on providing consumer finance products for young people, has already submitted their IPO prospectus to the SEC, expecting to finish IPO process by the second quarter of this year. Fintech companies such as PPDAI, Lego Group Inc. Are also actively preparing for US IPO. Several giants are among the long waiting list of IPO candidates, including Ant Financial, Lufax, Zhongan Insurance and Jingdong Finance etc. In fact, the assessment value of Ant Financial has already reached to $60 billion, and once the IPO could be successful, the director Jack Ma may become the China’s richest person again with holding at least 5% shares.

Ant Financial planning to buy MoneyGram with $3.5 billion Loan
Recently, an insider revealed that Ant Financial is going to sign a loan contract valued $3.5 billion for the acquisition of an American company MoneyGram International.

The loan application has attracted 14 providers, including ANZ, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, DBS, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, J.P. Morgan, Mizuho Bank and Morgan Stanley. With Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale participated as leading banks, and BNP Paribas SA is the sponsor. Ant Financial has got the Green Light for the acquisition by raising the biding price by 1/3 and surpassed its rivals.

European Union

Altisource Launches Enhanced Vendor Oversight Platform to the Market (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (“Altisource”) (ASPS), a leading provider of real estate, mortgage and technology services, today announced the expansion of the Vendorly™ platform, an innovative vendor oversight platform for financial institutions. The platform launched last year exclusively for members of the Lenders One® Cooperative, a national alliance of independent mortgage bankers, and is now available to the broader mortgage and community bankers market outside of the Lenders One network. The Vendorly platform is designed to help streamline vendor due diligence, document maintenance, monitoring and audits.

The scrutiny of vendor oversight practices continues to be a focus of regulators. It’s important for mortgage and community bankers to have a multifaceted vendor oversight program. Through the Vendorly platform, and its vendor oversight offerings, Vendorly can help strengthen its customers’ compliance management framework and increase their operational efficiencies. Vendorly offers managed vendor oversight services, including due diligence, document management, annual assessments, information security assessments, financial condition reviews and on-site audits.

Vendorly is announcing collaboration with Secure Insight, an innovator in the mortgage industry in providing settlement agent risk evaluation, rating, monitoring and database reporting on fully vetted mortgage closing professionals. Currently servicing close to 100 clients nationwide, Secure Insight will deliver real-time risk ratings and related settlement agent data to clients through the Vendorly platform. Together, Secure Insight and Vendorly intend to develop a platform that produces a transaction-based tool with risk data on each transaction prior to a closing (and just before the proceeds are wired). It is expected that this process will provide data in a more efficient, streamlined manner and give lenders greater comfort in the protection of their money, documents and consumer data at each closing.

India

i-lend plans to venture out with funds from 50K  (India Times), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending startup i-lend has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-series A round from early-stage venture capital firm, 50K Ventures. It plans to spend the money on marketing, scaling up and expanding its core team.

The Hyderabad-based company recently started operations in Bengaluru and plans to expand to a few more cities in the coming months. It is also looking to raise Series-A funds later this year.

The company has disbursed more than 600 loans since its inception in Ventures is thinking 2013 and 50K Ventures is thinking about expanding i-lend to other verticals.

Why Nomura, Google, IBM and Amazon are Investing in Indian Fintech (Edgy Labs), Rated: A

In a press release, Nomura Holdings, Inc. unveiled its initiative, called the “Voyager-Nomura FinTech Partnership in India.” Through the Voyager Program, the company invites startups and entrepreneurs with innovative Fintech solutions for the financial industry, especially capital markets and investment banking.

To further consolidate the Voyager Program, Nomura Holdings has recruited the expertise of many authoritative partners, including Google, Amazon, IBM, PwC and Internet Services Pvt. Ltd.

Middle East

Responsible finance summit focus on Islamic fintech (Middle East Association), Rated: AAA

With the retail share of responsible investment doubling to 26 per cent in 2016, ethical, responsible and Islamic fintech can support further growth to deliver the financial products, experts said at a summit in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit opened yesterday (May 3) with leaders from across the responsible investment, impact investment and Islamic finance sectors gathering to discuss how to promote greater awareness of and engagement within responsible finance.

The first day’s sessions focused on ethical, responsible and Islamic fintech and the power they harness which can disrupt financial services and in doing so address the inequities in society and support equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Central America

Sr. Pago raises 4 million dollars in its Series A investment round (Crossroads Today), Rated: AAA

Sr. Pago, the first 100% Mexican financial integrator for acceptance of credit and debit cards provided for the country’s non-banking population, through the placement of its Series A has successfully raised four million dollars in capital, thus ensuring the acceleration of its operations and underpinning its long-term vision.

This raising of capital is taking place thanks to the confidence of three recognized investment funds: IGNIA and EB Capital, with headquarters in Mexico City, and an international fund with its headquarters in Miami, FL, which through this capitalization have become strategic partners of Sr. Pago, supporting the business model of this Mexican Fintech company as the only one that has the country’s non-banking economically active population as its primary market and main consumer.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday November 29 2016, Daily News Digest

Tuesday November 29 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: What SoFi is planning next. Today’s main analysis : Incumbent finance companies say FinTech partnerships boost revenue. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How marketplace lending is evolving. How UBank is using Agile to lead online banking. P2P lending offers a new form of financial inclusion. United States SoFi is dominating and here’s what […]

Tuesday November 29 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

Asia

News Summary

United States

SoFi Is Dominating The Finance Space: Here’s What They’re Planning Next (Forbes), Rated: AAA

There is more than one trillion dollars of student debt in the U.S. today, making student loan debt the second largest amount of debt, second only to the $8.5 trillion owed in mortgages. Despite the gargantuan size of the market, there have traditionally been very few options: 90 percent of the loans are made by the government at standard 7 to 8 percent interest rates.

Dan Macklin, VP of Community and Member Success, co-founded SoFi at Stanford with CEO Mike Cagney as well as James Finnigan and Ian Brady. Macklin and I sat down recently to discuss the future of SoFi and his unusual and effective community growth tactics.

When you started out you were groundbreaking in your market and now there are a number of competitors seemingly coming up behind you. Is that a fear, are you always looking backwards? And how are you developing?

It’s great that other competitors are coming into the market because it validates the fact that this is a real market. It’s actually helpful for us in everything we do in that if another competitor gets some press we always see a spike in SoFi traffic because those articles almost definitely mention the fact that SoFi is the dominant player in the industry. We’re very happy with that!

Now you’re developing and you’re helping other smaller businesses get started as well. Why are you doing that?

We developed the SoFi Entrepreneur Program to help entrepreneurs who are starting a company and have student debt.

It’s very true that student debt is holding many people back from entrepreneurship and we want to try to alleviate that and encourage people to start those companies.

Through the program we do two things. One, we allow people to defer their loans for six months, that can be extended to 12 months, and that gives just a little bit of time where they can devote their time and energy to their companies and not have to worry about that student loan payment. But then second, and I think more importantly, we try and help them proactively as much as we can. We introduce them to investors, we bring them along to conferences, and we promote their products to our customer base.

Being the co-founder of a scrappy start-up is one thing and one type of job. What are the challenges that you’ve personally faced now that it’s a much bigger company? And what tips would you have for others, having been through this process?

So as a co-founder, I don’t know everything that’s going on in the business, but that’s the way it should be, because if you try to keep too close a hold on things then you won’t grow at the pace that you could be growing at.

How are you developing? Now that you’re a large established company and maybe a more-trusted brand, how are you developing your approach to market?

We’re doing a lot more marketing. You may have seen the Super Bowl ad earlier this year, and we’re doing a lot more out-of-home ads: billboards, taxi tops, as well as TV.

We’re now working with more than 600 companies who are helping their employees and offering SoFi as an employee benefit. Student loans are a big problem for the young workforce of the US today, and we see student loan benefits as the new 401k.

THIS START-UP’S VALUATION JUST DOUBLED TO BILLION (Vanity Fair), Rated: AAA

At least one start-up, however, appears to be bucking this trend: on Black Friday, payments start-up Stripe announced a new funding round that will nearly double the company’s most recent valuation, bringing its value to $9.2 billion, the company said. The new funding round, as The Wall Street Journal first reported, includes $150 million from investors such as CapitalG, the investment arm of Alphabet, Google parent company; General Catalyst Partners; and Sequoia Capital, an early investor. Stripe is now valued more highly than other private fintech start-ups, including $4 billion Social Finance.

Stripe, meanwhile, is also trying to build out new ways to make money, essentially also becoming a financial-services company by broadening its portfolio to include fraud prevention tools, among other things. Stripe’s clients include other highly valued start-ups like Lyft and Slack, more traditional retailers like Macy’s and Adidas, and less-traditional clients like NASDAQ, UNICEF, and “both presidential campaigns,” TechCrunch reports.

SoFi Offers Term Life Insurance for Millennials (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

SoFi has partnered with Protective Life Corporation to provide individual term life insurance of up to $1 million. All you have to do is complete the form online.

SoFi notes that Millennials are the least likely to posses life insurance. They also say that Millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance premiums by 213%. The expected high cost of term life is  “causing them to delay getting coverage”.

PeerStreet Raises M For Real Estate Loan Marketplace (Socal Tech), Rated: A

Los Angeles-based PeerStreet, a startup which operates a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, has raised $15M in a Series A funding round. The funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz, and also included The Kaiser Family Foundation, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Montage Ventures and others.

Credible adds MEFA to its marketplace (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Student loan marketplace Credible.com has partnered with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) in a move which sees MEFA offering student loan refinancing to borrowers across the country.

Credible.com now offers student loan refinancing through six lenders.

In a release Credible.com said the average borrower saves an average of 1.59 percentage points and $18,668.

For Underbanked, Higher Fees And Auto Payments (PYMNTS.com), Rated: A

There are 67 million adults in the United States who are part of the “underserved” market, and those individuals, who do not have bank accounts, paid as much as $141 billion in fees for various financial products last year.

The study found that border trends are afoot, as those individuals have begun shifting some of their financial activity, traditionally tied to alternative financing, in part away from online payday firms and storefronts. Activity has, in fact, moved toward other conduits, such as small business marketplace lenders. Marketplace loans jumped by as much as 210 percent, and payday loans across storefront and online conduits slipped by 23 percent — a finding the study attributed to installment loans, or subprime cards, in the wake of regulatory pressures.

8 million Americans could get a lower rate on their student loans (CNN Money), Rated: A

Eight million Americans could get a lower interest rate on their student loans, and many of them might not even know it.

That’s the estimated number of borrowers eligible to refinance their debt, according to a new report from Credible, an online student loan marketplace. It’s roughly one-third of all people who are currently paying down student loans.

Your eligibility does depend, though, on how much money you earn relative to the amount of debt you have, and it helps to have a good credit score.

Credible, which helps student borrowers shop around for the best rates, analyzed data from its users over the past 17 months to see who was getting the best rates, and how much money they were saving. Here’s a look at what they found.

Recent grads who used Credible to refinance had an average income of $54,200 and a loan balance of $49,379.

On average, borrowers who refinanced reduced their rate by 1.7 percentage points, cut their term by five years, and can expect to save $18,668 over the life of the loan, according to the report.

Money360 Closes .5 Million Bridge Loan for Signal Hill, California, Property (Yahoo! Sports), Rated: A

Money360, the leading commercial real estate marketplace lending platform, announced today that it has provided a $10.5 million bridge loan for a fully occupied, single-tenant suburban office complex in the Southern California coastal community of Signal Hill, California.

Totaling 72,485 square feet, the 3.7-acre complex features three, three-story buildings connected by steel-framed pedestrian bridges in a campus-like setting that surrounds an attractive water feature. The complex has been fully built out for classroom and administrative office use and is currently leased by an established private university providing post-secondary education in pharmaceutical, nursing and clinical research studies.

LendIt Launches Fintech Industry Awards (LendIt Email), Rated: B

March 7, 2017, following the close of the second day of the LendIt USA conference on March 6-7, 2017.

Nominations are now being accepted in 18 categories recognizing top performers, innovators and emerging talent in lending and fintech, including:

  • Top Consumer Lending Platform
  • Emerging Real Estate Platform
  • Top Fintech Equity Investor
  • Top Fund Manager
  • Best Journalist Coverage
“The lending industry is entering its 2.0 phase, after maturing in 2016,” said Peter Renton, co-founder and chairman of LendIt. “As we seek to connect the global online lending community and foster innovation and industry growth, we must recognize those that are making the biggest contributions and innovations and moving our industry forward.”
Categories were designed by the expert team at LendIt to reflect the most vital stakeholders in the online lending and fintech industries. LendIt expects to receive hundreds of nominations from leading and emerging lenders, law firms, accounting firms, banks, investors, journalists and executives that make the marketplace lending industry as vital and competitive as it is today.
The awards will be judged by a panel of 30+  industry experts, representing a diverse cross-section of the industry. Distinguished judges include:
  • Glenn Goldman – CEO at Credibly
  • Brian Korn – Partner at Manatt
  • Gilles Gade – CEO at Cross River Bank
  • Angela Ceresnie – Chief Operating Officer at Climb Credit

“There is no better place than LendIt USA 2017 to announce the winners of our first-ever LendIt Awards, as this year we are expecting more than 5,000 attendees, making it the largest fintech event ever held in New York City,” said Jason Jones, co-founder of LendIt. “LendIt is dedicated not only to connecting the global online lending industry, but also the global fintech industry, as online lending has been so important in putting fintech on the map.”

The awards nomination period closes on December 21 with finalists announced mid-January.

LendingTree Survey finds Most Americans Waive Budgets for Holiday Shopping (PR Newswire), Rated: B

LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, recently conducted its second annual Holiday Shopping Survey among 1,062 American adults and found that once again, more than half of Americans  plan to shop for the holidays without a set budget. With more 43 percent admitting to having some form of financial regret after holiday shopping, some consumers may be facing more debt in the new year.

According to the survey, 27.02 percent of American’s were saddled with holiday-related debt in the first few months of 2016, and 4.6 percent are still paying off last year’s shopping debt. However, this is an overall improvement from last year, where almost 31 percent welcomed the new year with holiday shopping debt.

oughly two out of three shoppers (66.1%) estimate they will spend, in total, $500 or less on gifts during this holiday season. This represents a slight increase from the 64 percent who planned to do the same last year.

First Responders treated to National Funding Holiday Bowl (PR Newswire), Rated: B

 National Funding, this year’s title sponsor of the Holiday Bowl, announced today that they have pledged to match all public ticket donations for first responders and military service members, up to $100,000.  The San Diego business community and local San Diegans have the opportunity to help National Funding send up to 8,000 police officers, firefighters, sheriffs, lifeguards, paramedics, emergency supporters and military personnel to enjoy America’s Finest Bowl Experience.

National Funding CEO and founder, Dave Gilbert has committed this generous giveback on top of his one-year title sponsorship agreement and his support of the Holiday Bowl’s pregame FanZone.

“We’ve been thrilled to sponsor the Holiday Bowl for the past two years as a way to support our hometown. This year, we wanted to offer something special to our first responders and the military, who are such a vital part of the San Diego community. We are matching donations as a way to collectively thank and recognize their important contributions to the city and the country.”

Local businesses or individuals who wish to support National Funding’s efforts to send local first responders to the game can learn more at:www.sandiegobowlgames.com/tickets/corporate-giving. The deadline to pledge tickets is December 9th. Tickets will be distributed by the National Funding Holiday Bowl directly to first responder groups in San Diego.

The National Funding Holiday Bowl kicks off at 4:00 p.m. PST, Tuesday, December 27th and features a classic college football rivalry between the Pac-12 and Big Ten Conferences. The National Funding FanZone will kick off four hours before the Holiday Bowl, hosting a craft beer garden, local food trucks, interactive football skills challenges and a sports lounge. Access to the pregame party is included with each game ticket.

United Kingdom

54% of incumbents say fintech partnerships have boosted revenue (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The growing number of partnerships between fintechs and legacy players suggests that incumbents believe there are benefits to working with new market entrants.

  • Cost savings. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they were able to cut costs to some extent by working with fintech providers.
  • Brand refreshes. Eighty-three percent of respondents said collaborations with fintechs offered opportunities for incumbents to refresh their branding.
  • Increased revenue. Fifty-four percent of respondents said partnerships had resulted in boosted revenue. It’s worth noting that this is the benefit seen by fewest incumbents, which suggests it may take longest to emerge as the parties involved work out a business model that suits everyone.

The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world: The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees
  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful
  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.

Key themes discussed as marketplace lending sector evolves (Structured Credit Investor), Rated: AAA

Q: In an eventful year for the marketplace lending industry – during which growth has been rapid, but not without setbacks – which key themes stand out?
Chris Kennedy, md, MountainView:
The market has seen incredible growth up to this stage. Part of the process of a growing market is pull-backs and right now we are experiencing some of that, but this is still a huge opportunity for growth for investors – both investors in loans and in platforms. Unsecured consumer debt and unsecured small business debt is a US$1.2trn opportunity – at least – as US banks are over-regulated and do not have the economics to make these loans effectively.

Right now the M&A shake-out will only help the larger players grow market share and self-regulate to a certain extent, developing common standards with regard to being a data furnisher to the credit bureaus and really focusing on what works. I think everyone will realise that lending into the prime space, as SoFi does, works. These borrowers perform and the loans are good loans, so relative to global yield curves, these are above-average opportunities.

Q: The importance of thorough due diligence has come to the fore this year. What is driving this?
Charles Moore, chief commercial officer, Global Debt Registry:
This year has really put due diligence under the spotlight. It has always been important, but the specific issue of due diligence that has really come into focus has been loan verification.

Currently, the loan verification approach taken is generally to compare a loan tape to a loan agreement. The challenge in marketplace lending is that they are both electronic documents that are both provided by the seller of the asset, which represents something of a conflict of interest and is not a particularly robust model. That was being questioned last year by some of the risk departments, but I think this year is when it has really been brought to the front office and become part of the deal conversation.

Q: The concept of ‘trust but verify’ has been increasingly discussed in marketplace lending. Why is data standardisation important in this regard?
Brady Akers, director, Orchard Platform: 
Trust and verification are critically important, especially for this emerging industry to grow, and transparency is a necessity. I think it will take a coordinated effort for participants across the industry, and companies like Global Debt Registry, PwC and Thomson Reuters will play a vital role in due diligence and validating that borrowers actually exist, and that the data is accurate.

 

Institutional investors looking to enter this space, or deploy more capital, begin their research with data analysis. Right now, that is a very difficult and expensive process because datasets are not consistent across lenders.

Q: Regulatory initiatives are changing the market. What are the implications of this from an audit perspective?
CK:
From an auditor’s perspective, we are starting to see some requests that not only lenders but also platforms go out and seek independent third-party fair value marks – not only on the loan portfolios, but also the servicing assets of these platforms. On the loan side, it has been a pretty simplistic model of holding the loans at par and adding monthly adjustment for accrued interest and layering in some loss provision. Talking to investors and platforms, we have said that you really want to bake in a more robust approach and move to a discounted cashflow methodology.

Q: How much of an issue is loan stacking and should market participants be worried about it?
CK: 
The process is really understanding and tracking borrowers, so platforms will need to work with the credit bureaus to create some kind of data exchange. However, loan stacking is only affecting something like 5%-10% of the market.

How to cut mortgage fraud risk (Money Marketing), Rated: A

Recent figures from Financial Fraud Action UK revealed a financial scam was committed, on average, every 15 seconds during the first six months of 2016, says Roy Armitage, head of credit at Lendinvest.

That represents a 53 per cent rise year-on-year, with these scams coming in all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, a staggering 56 per cent of UK organisations have been affected by fraud in some way, and it is one of the biggest risk concerns facing board members.

It is crucial that lenders engage with these data feeds and add in their own information in a structured way. The richer those structured data feeds become, the more they benefit everyone across the industry.

However, the data can only do so much. There is no single algorithm that can look over that data and then decide if the application is credible and transparent. It’s also vital therefore to employ quality and experienced underwriters who know how to cast a truly critical eye over all application data.

LendInvest appoints former Castle Trust manager as BDM for Northern England (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: A

Online mortgage lender LendInvest has appointed its first business development manager for Northern England.

Damien Druce joins from Castle Trust where he was National Development Manager and was previously head of distribution and development at Crystal Specialist Finance.

He will be based in Greater Manchester and will travel extensively, considering bridging and development loan opportunities between Staffordshire and the Scottish borders.

Metro Bank revamps online banking platform (altfi), Rated: A

Metro Bank, the first in a flurry of UK-based challenger banks to receive a licence over the past five or six years, has launched an upgraded version of its commercial internet banking platform. Organisations with subsidiaries are now able to use a single customer view dashboard to keep tabs on all offshoots.

Metro Bank does not currently use marketplace lending platforms as a distribution channel for lending to small businesses, as far as we’re aware, but has been lending through consumer focused peer-to-peer site Zopa since May of last year. The challenger bank currently holds around £7.3bn in deposits, with 52 per cent coming courtesy of commercial customers.

Its revamped digital banking platform was built by Backbase, a fast growing fintech software provider.

A backward step as peer-to-peer pioneer Zopa takes banking road? (Evening Standard), Rated: A

Banks have performed a similar role for centuries but what is different about Zopa and the other marketplace lending platforms which have followed its lead is that they use the internet to find and match the borrowers and lenders.

As peer-to-peer infrastructure and regulatory costs are negligible in comparison to the banks, borrowers and lenders get a much better deal.

So it came as a shock last week when Zopa announced it was to apply for a banking licence. Its entire ethos has been to set out its stall as the future — yet here it was embracing the past.

With that action, all the promise that peer-to-peer technology would bring a new form of lending was called into question.

How all this would continue to work if all peer-to-peer lenders followed the Zopa lead and started to operate as banks is not immediately clear, given that their costs would soar and the value disappear because of that regulation and capital requirement.

Australia

How UBank’s FinTech culture enables Agile to thrive (CIO.com.au), Rated: AAA

Some organisational cultures can find it difficult to adapt to an Agile mindset. Central to adopting an Agile approach is emphasising visibility and transparency. This includes making everything (including bad news) visible across the entire organisation. It also means prioritising face-to-face communication. Finally, open team reflection is critical to identifying where things went wrong and how they should improve.

One organisation that has done this successfully is online bank, UBank.

To help drive the Agile approach even further, UBank’s digital team was recently organised into four cross-functional scrum teams, rather than by role-based functions. Cross-functional teams are used to foster a culture of innovation and encourage out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving.

Within a few weeks, UBank’s flat structure enabled this reorganisation of teams to work smoothly. The teams started talking a lot more, sharing development work, doing code reviews on each other’s code,

Strong executive support helped ensure success. Taking UBank’s CEO and other divisional leaders on the Agile journey helped guide the business transformation that the digital team was trying to achieve. To accomplish this, Bulletproof coaches worked with the product owners to link UBank’s goals to the initiatives that the digital team worked on.and clarifying with the product owner when they weren’t clear on exactly what they should be developing.

However, if you’re not there yet, there are some key takeaways that you can look into before you start your Agile journey.

  • Have a clear organisational vision: Have buy-in across the business about what your purpose is.
  • Provide visibility at the executive level: It’s important that everyone has visibility into why the cross-functional development teams are working on certain initiatives.
  • Foster a trusting environment: Software development is complex in nature which means issues will always arise.

HashChing trailblazes fully-digital loan approval (Australian Banker), Rated: A

Online home loan marketplace HashChing has announced they are set to pilot their new virtual identification system this weekend.

The technology will allow brokers on the HashChing platform to scan their clients’ faces via video call, along with a picture of their driver’s license or passport. 

Speaking to Australian Broker, HashChing co-founder and CEO Mandeep Sodhi said they partnered exclusively with South African company e4 International to develop the groundbreaking new technology.

The new system will dramatically speed up turnaround times and decrease processing costs, Sodhi said. Currently it can take one to a few weeks for brokers to validate their customers’ identities.

Asia

Peer-to-peer lending: A new form of financial inclusion (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

Players within the financial services ecosystem expect P2P lending to become a solution for the lack of access to financial services in the country and to achieve financial inclusion through synergy with other financial institutions and technology companies.

The platform offers numerous advantages over banking services. For example, its flexibility allows it to channel capital to virtually anyone, in any amount, effectively and transparently, at low interest rates.

Financial services like P2P lending promise to be a solution for Indonesia, which has been struggling to overcome a bundle of problems: First, Indonesia still has to increase financial inclusion. The Indonesian FinTech Association has reported that 49 million SMEs are not bankable, as they are unable to provide collateral to access conventional loans. P2P lending can help creditworthy SMEs by providing loans without collateral.

Second, Indonesia must overcome regional disparities in financing across the archipelago. Some 60 percent of financing services are now concentrated in Java. P2P lending, meanwhile, can reach anyone in any place.

Third, there is a gap in infrastructure financing of Rp 1,000 trillion (US$73.9 billion) annually. The existing financial institutions can only provide about Rp 700 trillion in loans of the total annual demand of Rp 1,700 trillion. With lower overhead costs, combined with innovative credit scoring algorithms, P2P lending can close the gap in the infrastructure financing.

 

Learning from other countries, the potential of P2P lending can be optimized through collaboration with banks. China, for instance, has a dynamic SME ecosystem that allows support from financing services. In that environment, the number of P2P lending companies has soared over the past five years, while that of banks in China has doubled.

Despite its huge potential, P2P lending should be regulated carefully. The role of regulators is highly needed to nurture a healthy business ecosystem.

To ensure business safety, a significant capital ownership requirement (above Rp 20 billion) would be an important part in a selection mechanism and for quality control, since P2P lending is a capital-intensive and scalable business.

P2P lending firms must also guarantee the security of public funds and data while maintaining reasonable interest rates to ensure the financial health of the public.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The Metro Bank book ban

“[Censors] rake through the entrails of many an old good author, with a violation worse than any could be offered to his tomb.” – John Milton

We live in sad times. Across the world, radicalism and hate is on the rise. The future of western democracy itself is uncertain. And on top of all this, yet another injustice.

Continue reading: The Metro Bank book ban

“[Censors] rake through the entrails of many an old good author, with a violation worse than any could be offered to his tomb.” – John Milton

We live in sad times. Across the world, radicalism and hate is on the rise. The future of western democracy itself is uncertain. And on top of all this, yet another injustice.

Continue reading: The Metro Bank book ban