Monday September 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Zopa trailing 12-month net return

News Comments Today’s main news: Equifax cybersecurity breach. Goldman to take on UK retail banks. China cracks down on online lenders, cryptocurrency dealers. Klarna is testing credit cards with employeees. Today’s main analysis: CECL overview. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Consumers who go to Equifax for help after data breach may not be able to sue. The data behind Zopa’s lowered return […]

Zopa trailing 12-month net return

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

Equifax Cyber Incident (Equifax Email), Rated: AAA

At Equifax, we recognize that consumers and customers expect us to provide superior data security, and we work hard to do that every day. Unfortunately, on September 7th, 2017, we announced a cybersecurity incident involving consumer information.  This cybersecurity incident strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do.  Above all else, our first priority is to support consumers and you, our customers, by doing what we can to make this right.

What happened?

On July 29, 2017, Equifax identified a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Equifax discovered the unauthorized access and acted immediately to stop the intrusion. We promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm that has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. We also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continue to work with authorities.

What information may be impacted?

The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Criminals also accessed credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.

Additional Information:

We have found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.  In addition, we have found no evidence that this cybersecurity incident impacted Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases, including,  ACRO, Workforce Solutions, including The Work Number payroll data, NCTUE, IXI and  CFN.

Where can I learn more?

We have set up a dedicated website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com:

  • To see if you are potentially impacted, you can click on the Potential Impact Tab
  • To enroll in complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services and how to find out if your personal information may have been impacted, you can click on the Enroll Tab.
  • To learn more about the complimentary offering, you can click on TrustedID Premier Tab. TrustedID Premier provides you with copies of your Equifax credit report; the ability to lock your Equifax credit report; 3-Bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; Internet scanning for your Social Security number; and identity theft insurance.

To speak to someone directly, we have also established a call center at 866-447-7559, available every day (including weekends) from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. EST, for individuals to ask questions.

Consumers Who Go to Equifax for Help After Data Breach May Lose Their Right to Sue (Money), Rated: AAA

On Thursday credit bureau Equifax said a data breach put personal information of 143 million people at risk. Now its response is drawing more outrage, as lawmakers and others accuse it of encouraging consumers who come to it seeking answers to sign away their chance to seek recourse in the courts.

Following the breach, which compromised tens of millions of Social Security numbers and other valuable data, Equifax set up a website to help worried consumers determine whether or not their information was at risk. That website encouraged visitors to sign up for a program known as TrustedID Premier, the company’s credit monitoring service, which provides automated alerts to credit changes and up to $1 million in ID theft insurance. That’s where the trouble began.

TrustedID’s terms of service include an arbitration clause, insisting that customers agree “all claims, disputes, or controversies…shall be finally settled by arbitration” rather than a court of law. Such clauses aren’t unusual for credit monitoring services — or indeed many other consumer products. But in this circumstance, it created the impression that Equifax was asking consumers it had harmed to surrender their legal rights — including becoming part of a class-action law suit — before it would agree to help them.

One key legal avenue that arbitration clauses typically close off for consumers is the class-action lawsuit. That could be significant for Equifax — at least on one proposed class-action lawsuit was already filed against the company late Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

Equifax free credit monitoring service has some concerned (News Channel 6 Now), Rated: A

The 143 million Americans whose information was compromised by the Equifax data breach may still be on edge even with the free credit monitoring service being offered by the company.

Everything from names, addresses, social security numbers and credit card numbers were hacked in the Equifax data breach.

Kuehner said right now the company is sending out letters letting people know if they have been potentially affected. They can also check online at equifaxsecurity2017.com.

However, it is not only the breach that has consumers concerned, it is the company’s response.

“We’re taking unprecedent step of offering every U.S consumer in the country a comprehensive package of identity theft protection, ecredit file monitoring at no cost,” said Rick Smith, Equifax Chairman, and CEO, in a statement released online.

CECL Overview (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

This past Wednesday, FASB released an update to the current expected credit losses methodology (CECL) for estimating credit loss allowances. This new accounting standard, which was initially published in June 2016 (in conjunction with regulators such as the FDIC, OCC, and NCUA), will apply to financial assets carried at amortized cost, including loans held for investment and held-to-maturity debt. Once in place, these assets must be held on the balance sheet net of an expected loss account. Changes are effective for fiscal years beginning after Dec 15, 2019, for all for-profit companies that file with the SEC.

Once firms adopt CECL, management will have increased discretion around forecasts and ultimately net asset carrying value. This represents a dichotomy for investors. Assets should be carried at more accurate levels and better reflect the organization’s financial position. However, management estimates will significantly affect the balance sheet and income statement.

The major change with the CECL methodology is that organizations are expected to include forward looking information when determining credit losses. Banks will need to calculate expected credit loss at the loan level for the entire life of the loan and then aggregate with similar instruments.

Since ECL is calculated for the life of the financial asset, rather than the annual rate, almost all held-to-maturity instruments that are not risk-free will have a credit loss allowance. These long-dated assets may appear more volatile than financial statement users are accustomed to because their impairment has large implications for the balance sheet and income statement. Under the new regulation it will be more important to have correct, auditable, and explainable expected credit losses.

Source: PeerIQ, FASB, FDIC

Overall, we applaud the coming changes to US GAAP and expect investors to respond favorably.

Square Becoming a Bank Is Brilliant. Here’s Why (Inc.), Rated: A

However, there is much more to this story. In fact, this strategic decision could be one of the best moves the company has made. Square’s decision could start a revolution and revamp the entire financial institution structure to address the changes in the transaction and lending environment.

Square essentially is proving how the traditional bank is no longer necessary. By becoming their own bank, they do not have to seek out a separate institution as a strategic partner. They don’t have to add specific business banking services to their portfolio.

Although the banking sector has tried, most banks still have too many fees and capital requirements to provide business accounts with their needs. Numerous freelancers or startups just can’t satisfy those requirements because banks are still designed with the larger business in mind.

More small businesses need smaller sized loans to tap into for their launches and expansion. Recognizing how peer-to-peer lending has grown together as an entire industry illustrates how ripe the financial industry is for more competition. Peer-to-peer lending is more personal, with a much needed boost to the financial sector in watching to find new ways to provide the much-needed financial support of smaller entities and businesses.

With these products, it makes sense that the company could become a one-stop shop for financial needs. To become a one-stop service requires obtaining a bank charter, which is what the company has now applied for under the moniker, Square Financial Services Inc.

King of fintech defined by optimism (San Francisco Business Times/Ron Suber Email), Rated: A

Source: San Francisco Business Times

PeerStreet – Real Estate Investing for Rich Millennials (Nanalyze), Rated: A

While your average American doesn’t have much in the way of savings, the younger “millennial generation” is actually saving at a higher rate than any other generation. More than 80% of those “investment professionals” will then go on to underperform the market and get paid anyway.

If all of this sounds too daunting already and you want the easy way out, use Betterment.

Founded in 2013, Los Angeles startup PeerStreet has taken in just over $21 million in funding from investors that include Andreessen Horowitz to build “a marketplace that provides unprecedented access to high quality real estate loan investments“. Before you start getting too excited, take note that you’re going to need some cash to bring to the table. PeerStreet shows you some dropdown boxes when you create your account and unless you choose the one that says you make $300,000 a year or the one that says you have $1 million in assets, you’re not going to be allowed in. Those of you who were smart enough to major in a STEM subject are more likely to be squared away here while those of you who majored in underwater basket weaving should probably just stop reading right now.

Right away we can see that this is a property that is out of reach for the majority of Americans with a hefty $3.78 million price tag.

This means that the amount of money we could get from selling our property falls to around $3 million which still makes it very easy to pay off a $2 million loan. In fact, the only point we would start to worry is if property prices fell more than -53% over an 18-month period. This would represent a “black swan” type of event which has a very low probability of occurring. Of course there’s always the risk of PeerStreet going under but then you still have the property as collateral for the loan and you are first in line to receive payback should their property portfolio be liquidated. For providing everyone with this great service, PeerStreet takes a reasonable .75% fee which is paid each month alongside the interest payments.

The first thing to note here is that the price of entry is an extremely attractive $1,000. You’d be joining the 295 other investors who have already plunked down an average amount of $6,169 which brings the loan up to 91% funded. If you then went out and found 9 other properties to invest in, you’d have a nice little diversified portfolio of 10 various property investments that are transparent and relatively simple to understand (provided you took the time to understand the risks as we have done with this example), all for just $10,000.

Source: Nanalyze

Lend360: Fintech is No longer a Boutique Financing Option, but a Key Component of Lending Market (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The early days of peer to peer lending have morphed into a far more complex and data driven credit service that is competing against not just innovative Fintech startups but traditional lenders seeking to maintain relevance. Crowdfund Insider recently asked Lend360 organizers a few questions on their perspective of the online lending industry and what has changed – and what they expect going forward.

What has changed in the lending environment in the past 12 months?

The biggest change is that Fintech is no longer just viewed as a boutique financing option, but a key component of today’s lending market. For proof of this change one only needs to look at the push for a national Fintech charter.

Where do you see current opportunities?

As long as there is a demand for credit, there will be an opportunity for Fintechs to step up and fill the void.

 

Unexpected expenses hit non-prime Boomers hard (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

New research, “The unGolden Years: Non-prime Baby Boomers,” from the Elevate Center for the New Middle Class indicates that non-prime Boomers are borrowing against their 401k accounts three times as frequently as prime Boomers do. The survey found that 4% of prime Boomers have 401k loans, while 13% of non-prime Boomers have borrowed against these retirement plans.

Less than half—43%—of the non-prime Boomers in the company’s research feel comfortable with their ability to manage their day-to-day finances, let alone prepare for retirement. Not that prime Boomers all feel confident, either, with 76% saying they can manage daily financial needs.

Elevate’s study, based on a survey of over 1,000 prime and nonprime consumers, found that non-prime Boomers are 14 times as likely as prime Boomers to have difficulty predicting monthly income—and 4 in 10 say they live paycheck to paycheck. They also tend to have difficulty predicting monthly expenses and are therefore more likely to experience unexpected expenses, the research says.

Among non-prime boomers, 7 in 10 run out of money at least once a year, in spite of generally decent employment levels—frequently, in fact, with more than one job apiece.

The study asked respondents how they would meet an emergency need for $1,200. Among the non-prime Boomer respondents, nearly half had difficulty coming up with a source of funds—1 in 8 could think of no solution at all.

  • 22% of non-prime Boomers could cover the $1,200 surprise through savings—about half of the portion of prime Boomers who could do so.
  • 22% said they could use a credit card to cover the surprise, but less than a third said they could pay off that borrowing before it began to accrue interest.
  • 11% said they could tap family or friends for the money. Interestingly, only 2% of prime Boomers would go that way.
  • A small portion—4.4%—of non-prime Boomers would use payday lenders, deposit advances, or overdraft programs. Interestingly, in a separate question, 13% of non-prime Boomers said they’d used a payday loan in the previous 12 months.

HedgeCoVest Rebrands, Pivots Toward a TAMP (Wealth Management), Rated: A

HedgeCoVest is pivoting away from being a platform to help investors access hedge funds in favor of being a turnkey asset management platform. To reflect the change, the company is rebranding as SmartX Advisory Solutions.

And as part of the change, SmartX is bringing on 27 new investment strategies from firms like Blackrock, Morningstar Investment Management and Nasdaq Dorsey Wright. The models will cover strategies including ETFs, income portfolios, international equities, global/macro investing and U.S. equity strategies.

RIA in a Box Introduces Trade Monitoring

The technology company has a new employee trade-monitoring tool for its MyRIACompliance software platform that RIA in a Box says will help firms comply with Rule 204A-11, which requires the submission of securities holdings and transaction reports. The new tool digitizes the process, provides an interface for employees to electronically link applicable personal brokerage accounts, and provides chief compliance officers with supervision, administration and reporting capabilities.

Cryptocurrency IRAs

CoinIRA, a subsidiary of Goldco focused on digital currencies, is launching Digital IRA Bundles, new investment products that come prepackaged with combinations of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.

Commonwealth Selects Quovo for Aggregation 

Commonwealth Financial Network announced the completion of an upgrade to the account-aggregation features within Investor360 using Quovo.

Don’t Fall for Loan Sharks Just Because They Have Hip Branding  (Lifehacker), Rated: A

We all know payday lenders, loan sharks, and credit cards profit when you go into debt and, therefore, they can be dangerous. But many of these companies conceal their danger with clever marketing. Beware: a debt trap by any other branding is just as dangerous.

Over at the Outline, writer Gaby Del Valle discusses one such company, Affirm. v

The difference between this service and a typical subprime loan seems to mostly lie in the marketing. Unlike other loans, Affirm is a bit more upfront about the terms you’re getting into.

Everyone is picking on Affirm here, but the issue is not unique to them. This reminds me of the recent fiasco with Navient, the student loan servicer that was sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over shady business practices like misapplying student loan payments. In the lawsuit, Navient said they have no obligation to act in their customers’ best interest. But that’s not exactly the message that comes across on their “Financial Tips Blog.” These companies use financial literacy to hook you into making bad financial moves.

How to Use a Peer-to-Peer Loan to Pay off High-Interest Debt (Forbes), Rated: A

High-interest debt, such as credit cards, sometimes seems impossible to pay off.

Peer-to-peer loans are unsecured — you don’t have to tie any collateral to them. They’re attractive to borrowers with high-interest rate debt because they provide concrete payoff dates and an option for a fixed — and potentially lower — interest rate.

In fact, according to peer-to-peer platform Lending Club, its borrowers — on average — secure a 24% lower interest rate when using its peer-to-peer loans to consolidate debt.

SS&C Announces Major New Release of Precision LM Loan Management Solution (Business Insider), Rated: A

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSNC), a global provider of financial services software and software-enabled services, today announced the availability of Precision LM™ 3.0, the latest version of the company’s loan origination, servicing, accounting and asset management solution. The new version marks the culmination of significant input and engagement from Precision LM clients as well as SS&C’s proven ability to execute on its comprehensive development roadmap.

Pefin, a fintech start-up, is using A.I. to offer financial advice. Just don’t call it a ‘robo advisor.’ (CNBC), Rated: A

Automated financial advice is becoming more commonplace in the hunt for bigger returns, yet Pefin bills itself as “the world’s first [artificial intelligence] financial advisor.” The company aims to use machine learning to deliver a range of financial planning and investment advice via a chat interface.

“I started Pefin mainly because when you think about less affluent people, there’s really no access to financial advice aside from robos,” Joseph told CNBC in an interview recently.

“Robos are trying to execute a transaction, while we are trying to manage your finances. Investing is optional with us, and we’ll help you if we think it’s the right move for you” rather than generating fees for the company, she told CNBC.

Pefin Welcomes Catherine Flax as Chief Executive Officer (Benzinga), Rated: A

Pefin, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) financial advisor, welcomed Catherine Flax as Chief Executive Officer today.

Flax has had a multi-decade, distinguished career on Wall Street, as the Managing Director and Head of Commodity Derivatives, Americas at BNP Paribas and as Chief Marketing Officer of J.P. Morgan. She was named the Most Influential Woman in European Investment Banking in 2012 and one of the 100 most influential women in European Financial Markets in 2010 and 2011. Flax has been a leader in the FinTech space, as a Board Member of leading blockchain company, Digital Asset Holdings, and for the last two years, as an Advisor to Pefin in matters of Marketing, Regulation, Business Development and International Growth.

CoverWallet, Benzinga Fintech Award Winner, Appoints OnDeck’s Paul Rosen As COO (Benzinga), Rated: B

CoverWallet, the winner of Best Insurtech Solution at the 2017 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards, has hired Paul Rosen, formerly the chief sales officer at On Deck Capital Inc ONDK, as its chief operating officer.

Insurtech reminds Rosen of what fintech looked like five to six years ago, he told Benzinga.

Former OnDeck Director Joins Pearl Capital as Chief Revenue Officer (Monitor Daily), Rated: B

Pearl Capital Business Funding, a provider of direct financing to small and midsize businesses, announced Jared Kogan joined the company as chief revenue officer.

Kogan joined Pearl following a 10 year career in the fintech space, most recently serving as the director of OnDeck’s broker division where he funded 10,000 loans for over $650 million in volume and was able to grow production from $14 million to over $40 million per month. Prior to OnDeck, Kogan served as vice president at Newtek, the largest non-bank SBA lender in the country.

Bad Credit? Business Loan Options For Entrepreneurs (Business Computing World), Rated: B

Online Lending Platforms

Typically, these lenders operate only on the web and promise quick assessment and disbursal with less bureaucracy. Some specialist bad credit lenders are ready to structure loans according to your convenience. You can also look at peer-to-peer lending platforms that give you access to individuals who are looking to invest their money in different ventures. Again, these platforms can get cash relatively more quickly into the system.

United Kingdom

Goldman Sachs to take on UK retail banks (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs is looking to expand its retail banking business to the UK, replicating its mass-market offering in the US, as it continues a steady march from Wall Street to Main Street.

The New York-based investment bank began to pivot in the US about 18 months ago, offering high-interest online savings accounts for a deposit of as little as $1. Last October it took a step further by launching Marcus by Goldman, a digital consumer-lending platform that seeks to rival the San Francisco trio of Lending Club, Prosper and SoFi.

Now Goldman is taking it international, aiming to launch an online deposit business in the UK about the middle of next year. According to Stephen Scherr, the bank’s head of strategy, the lender plans a greenfield start in the UK under the Marcus brand, but could look to buy a book of deposits — as it did in the US — if the opportunity came its way.

The data behind Zopa’s lowered return projections (AltFi Data Email), Rated: AAA

Zopa has an enviable track record of delivering net returns as evidenced by a more than 10 year track record of delivering 4-7% returns  (after losses and fees).

Source: AltFi Data
Source: AltFi Data

Investors value projected returns over track record (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

INVESTORS rank the expected rate of return as the most important factor when choosing an investment provider, research shows.

Analysis by bond provider Minerva Lending, based on a poll of 1,000 adults with more than £50,000 to invest, found 61 per cent consider the rate of return as the most important factor when choosing who to trust their money with.

The research, released on Friday, does not refer to peer-to-peer lending but investors appear to be looking for many factors that P2P firms offer.

Zopa’s Andrews warns on post-Brexit skills shortage (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE UK is facing a technology skills shortage that may worsen because of Brexit, Zopa’s co-founder and chairman has warned.

Giles Andrews (pictured) said that the peer-to-peer consumer lender’s decision to open a hub in Barcelona was partly due to a concern that it would be harder to recruit top tech talent following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Assetz signs for Manchester Green office (North West Place), Rated: B

Assetz Capital, part of the Manchester-based Assetz Group, has relocated from Newby Road in Hazel Grove where it occupied 3,000 sq ft of a 6,000 building, to take the newly refurbished Building 3 on a 10-year lease.

China

Cryptocurrency dealers and online lenders feel heat in China (Nikkei), Rated: AAA

On Friday, Caixin, a Chinese business news outlet, reported that financial authorities have decided to shut down virtual currency exchanges.

Beijing appears eager to eliminate money laundering and choke off capital outflows by shutting down bitcoin exchanges and other virtual currency trading platforms. It is also tightening its grip on peer-to-peer lending, in which individuals privately contract to borrow and lend.

Some exchanges have temporarily halted trading in response to the report. Investors rushed to sell their digital currencies for cash, sending bitcoin about 20% lower versus the yuan at one point on Saturday, compared with the day before, to below 24,000 yuan ($3,703).

Report Casts Doubt on Future of China’s Bitcoin Exchanges (Coindesk), Rated: A

Regulators in China are said to be considering a move to close all domestic bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.

As of now, no official announcements from regulators have been seen. However, there are reasons to believe the report may be authentic.

The work group was first launched by China’s State Department in 2016 to tackle market risks in the country’s financial technology industry such as p2p lending.

Emerging Digital Payments are Crowding out the Banking Market (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

According to report from the Central Bank, in the second quarter of 2017, banking financial institutions have handled 36.247 billion electronic payment services, amounting to 545.58 trillion RMB, which was down about 4.4% from the same period of last year.

Actually, non-bank payments including Alipay and wechat Pay are growing rapidly. The Central Bank’s data also shew that in the second quarter of 2017, the scale of non-bank payment market reached to 570.95 trillion RMB. Compared to the amount of 23.35 trillion in the same period last year, it has significantly increased 34.87 percent.

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On September 6th, Zhao Jianjun, deputy director of the Department of Finance at Ministry of Education, announced at a press conference that online marketplace lenders are banned from lending to college students in China.

On September 6th, Zhao Jianjun, deputy director of the Department of Finance at Ministry of Education, announced at a press conference that online marketplace lenders are banned from lending to college students in China. According to WeChat Pay, users of the new product will be able to make payments and transfer, send Hongbao, pay back credit card debt and be awarded with interest on their digital wallet balances.

As response to the latest regulation, NEO Council announced it would offer refunds for NEO purchased through its ICO.

On September 4th, China’s leading digital payment service Alipay announced to expand its operation to Norway.

Early this week, Proptech BBT announced that the platform had managed to secure RMB 60 million Pre-A funding from Hongdao Capital at the beginning of August.

European Union

Klarna is reportedly testing its own credit cards among employees (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Since Klarna received its full banking license this summer, there have been many questions as to how exactly it would be leveraged. One among many speculative scenarios includes launching the company’s very own credit- and bank cards.

Now there are some initial reports indicating that the credit card rumours are for real. Referring to internal documents it has been able to access, Breakit reports that the Swedish e-invoicing giant, valued at $2,5 bn, is testing credit cards in-house.

A memo sent through the company’s intranet has supposedly given Klarna’s Swedish employees the opportunity to test proprietary payment cards for a limited amount of time.

Knowledge is power in Grid Finance’s revolution (Independent.ie), Rated: A

SME lender Grid Finance is expanding its offering to include a digital pension product targeted at the owners of small businesses. The company has engaged Conexim to provide the back office infrastructure on the product – as well as the regulatory umbrella – while Grid will act as distributor.

It is the latest piece of innovation being undertaken by the company, which is looking to build what chief executive Derek F Butler calls “a small business bank in all but name”.

10 Swiss Fintech Startups to Watch (LinkedIn), Rated: A

The 10 selected entrepreneurs reflect the acceleration of the Swiss fintech scene in the recent years and the impressive quality of its startups. They will join the intense journey taking place from September 10 – 16 in New York.

  • Advanon, Phil Lojacono: Advanon in its basic version is an online platform that allows SMEs to pre-finance their open invoices directly through financial investors.
  • Algo Trader, Andy Flury: The startup provides an algorithmic trading software that allows automation of complex, quantitative trading strategies.
  • Creditgate24, Teddy Amberg: CreditGate24 is an independent Swiss company and a fully automated platform for lenders and borrowers which offers efficient, transparent and scalable credit processing at high quality.
  • KiWi (eBOP), Christian Sinobas: KiWi transforms merchant’s phone into a smart point of sale.
  • Monito (Global Impact Finance), François Briod: Sending money abroad? Monito is the Booking.com for money transfers, helping migrants and expatriates find, review and compare money transfer services.
  • OneVisage, Christophe Remillet: OneVisage is a leading cyber-security company developing biometric solutions to help financial services eliminating identity theft and increasing user’s digital experience.
  • SONECT, Sandipan Chakraborty: SONECT enables every shop in the neighborhood to act as a virtual ATM.

Should you let a ‘robot’ manage your retirement savings? (BBC.com), Rated: A

Consultancy firm Accenture found that 68% of global consumers would be happy to use robo-advice to plan for retirement, with many feeling it would be faster, cheaper, and more impartial than human advice.

Joe Ziemer, vice president of communications at Betterment, a US robo-adviser with more than $9bn under management, says: “The Betterment service takes your information and uses a series of algorithms to create an asset allocation plan, which might be, for example, 90% equities and 10% bonds for a retirement saver.”

Wealth Wizards, for example, typically charges £65 for investments up to £30,000, and 0.30%, or £300, on a £100,000 investment pot. Betterment charges 0.25% a year.

That’s peanuts compared to human advisers’ fees, which come in at about £580 for advice on a £200-a-month pension contribution, or £1,000-£2,000 for guidance on what to do with your £100,000 pot when your retire, according to UK adviser network Unbiased.

Robo.cash Reports Steady Growth in European P2P Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The young lender says the total amount of investments now exceed €1.8 million. Approximately €400,000 in loans were added in August. The average invested amount per investor gained 2.2% to the previous month at €3,270 in August. In regards to the number of investors using the platform, in August Robo.cash added 188 users. Currently, there are more than 900 investors in total who have joined the platform in the first six months of operation.

Source: Crowdfund Insider
International

Mitek Unveils Mobile Verify® for Lending (Globe Newswire), Rated: A

For the first time at FinovateFall, Mitek (NASDAQ:MITK) (www.miteksystems.com), a global leader in mobile capture and identity verification software solutions, will demonstrate Mobile Verify® for Lending. This new, five step digital lending experience enables lenders to verify identity and bank account information in real time for fast loan decisions with a simple process for borrowers.

When applying for a consumer loan from a desktop computer, the borrower will first log into their online bank account and agree to have their account information shared with the lender. A text message is then sent to the borrower’s smartphone directing them on how to take four photos: front and back of their driver’s license, a selfie and a photo of their pay stub or other trailing document, to complete the loan application process. This new digital experience is quick and easy for the borrower and provides the lender with real-time identity and bank account verification.

Moroku lands on the BNP Paribas Radar (Moroku Email), Rated: A

Dear friends

Last week Moroku was identified as one of the top 4 Fintech’s globally best positioned to take on the battle for Millennials 

Fintech has transformed payments but not savings, says BlackRock’s chief executive (SCMP), Rated: A

The financial technology boom has transformed the way over a billion people engage with financial services, particularly when it comes to making payments, but Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, said that no company has yet managed to use technology successfully to get people investing for the long term.

Both in China, and in Europe and North America, a plethora of investment platforms and robo advisory services are evolving, but none has yet reached critical mass.

Memorandum of Understanding Signed with GoldMint (LSE), Rated: B

Eurasia, the platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium and gold production company, is pleased to announce it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with GoldMint PTE (“GoldMint”), a Singapore based Limited Company.

Australia/New Zealand

Broker numbers to swell in SME space (AustralianBroker), Rated: A

More brokers will diversify into the SME loan space due to increased competition in traditional markets and growing demand from clients, the lender’s head of sales Michael Burke said.

“Brokers are not only looking to move into online lending because of the speed and ease of doing business it offers, but because their time-poor customers are demanding a more convenient solution involving faster turnaround times.”

As well as providing a digital platform to facilitate the loan process, OnDeck’s underwriting policy also helps ease the broker’s burden, Burke told Australian Broker.

PledgeMe joins Equitise in eyeing Australian market (Scoop), Rated: A

PledgeMe, the equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform, has joined rival Equitise in signalling plans to enter the Australian market ahead of a law change coming into effect across the Tasman this month.

Co-founder Anna Guenther will relocate to Brisbane for six months to establish the Wellington-based company’s Australian arm, according to a PledgeMe blog post. PledgeMe will participate in the Queensland government’s HotDesQ programme, which provides networks, support, and funding for companies to relocate to the state.

India

SoftBank Vision Fund makes second bet in two months; fintech remains investors’ favourite baby (Yourstory), Rated: A

SoftBank Vision Fund, the world’s largest pool of private capital, placed its second major bet on an Indian startup in a span of two months with its investment in OYO Rooms. The $250-million funding has taken OYO’s valuation from $460 million in August last year to between $850 million and $900 million.

APAC

This Not-for-profit Fintech Hub Wants To Impact The Unbanked Population (BLLNR), Rated: A

Allow me to set the scene: in the wider region of Southeast Asia that surrounds Singapore, where Lattice80, our not-for-profit fintech hub that we launched last year is based, there is a huge unbanked population. KPMG estimates put the number at about 438 million. In poor countries like Cambodia, the population with a bank account falls to just 5 percent.

McKinsey did a similar study in 2010 on the world’s 2.5 billion unbanked. Asia’s emerging markets were identified as a hotbed of unbanked. The same study suggests that reaching the unbanked population in ASEAN could increase the economic contribution of the region from US$17 billion to US$52 billion by 2030.

Multi-asset funds offer ‘all-in-one solutions’ (Straits Times), Rated: A

Q WHAT IS THE ATTRACTION OF MULTI-ASSET INVESTING?

It is the ability to combine a range of asset classes with different and largely independent economic drivers in order to achieve consistent return and reduce downside risk.

Years of central bank intervention in markets have depressed interest rates and left investors hunting for reliable yield. More asset classes beyond traditional equities and bonds have become more accessible in the past decade.

Q WHAT IS THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR MULTI-ASSET PORTFOLIOS?

More recently, we added peer-to-peer lending, mortgage and corporate funds that offer excess return over corporate bonds for a similar level of risk, litigation financing and credit funds. The world’s largest institutional investors have already diversified into these assets. Now, smaller institutions and individual investors can too, through our multi-asset strategies.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday June 8 2017, Daily News Digest

Funding Circle loans

News Comments Today’s main news: Goldman Sachs now highest-interest paying bank for savers. Zopa to build challenger bank in Barcelona.  KBRA releases comprehensive surveillance report for American credit acceptance receivables trusts. CreditEase Wealth Management expands to Singapore. Today’s main analysis: Funding Circle June review. Today’s thought-provoking articles: OCC posts FAQ on fintech questions. Addepar raises $140M in quiet […]

Funding Circle loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Canada

Asia

News Summary

United States

KBRA Releases Comprehensive Surveillance Report for American Credit Acceptance Receivables Trusts (KBRA), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) takes rating actions on 8 American Credit Acceptance Receivables Trust.  In total, 15 notes were affirmed and 15 were upgraded. The data used are as of the April 31, 2017 collection period. No rating actions were taken on American Credit Acceptance Receivables Trusts 2017-1 and 2017-2, since these transactions have less than 6 months of seasoning. The rating actions reflect the fact that losses are in-line with KBRA’s initial loss expectations and credit enhancement has built for each class of notes. The breakeven loss multiples for each class of notes were sufficient for their respective affirmations and upgrades.

Credit enhancement for each transaction consists of overcollateralization (“OC”), subordination of junior notes, cash reserves, and excess spread. Each transaction has either met or is building to their respective target OC. The collateral for all the transactions has amortized from their initial pool balance since closing.

OCC Posts FAQ That Addresses Fintech Questions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is out with an FAQ to supplement a Bulletin (2013-29). Several of the items address Fintech specifically, as well as marketplace lending.

9. How can a bank offer products or services to underbanked or underserved segments of the population through a third-party relationship with a Fintech company?

Banks may partner with Fintech companies to offer savings, credit, financial planning, or payments in an effort to increase consumer access. In some instances, banks serve only as facilitators for the Fintech companies’ products or services with one of the products or services coming from the banks.

10. What should a bank consider when entering a marketplace lending arrangement with nonbank entities?

When engaging in marketplace lending activities, a bank’s board and management should understand the relationships among the bank, the marketplace lender, and the borrowers; fully understand the legal, strategic, reputation, operational, and other risks that these arrangements pose; and evaluate the marketplace lender’s practices for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. As with any third-party relationship, management at banks involved with marketplace lenders should ensure the risk exposure is consistent with their boards’ strategic goals, risk appetite, and safety and soundness objectives. In addition, boards should adopt appropriate policies, inclusive of concentration limitations, before beginning business relationships with marketplace lenders.

Read the full FAQ here.

THE REAL ESTATE START-UP JARED KUSHNER CO-FOUNDED IS NOW WORTH $ 800 MILLION (Vanity Fair), Rated: A

In May, real-estate investing start-up Cadre found itself in the limelight when The Wall Street Journal reported that Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, had failed to disclose his investment in the three-year-old company when he became a senior adviser to Trump. Jared and his younger brother, Josh, are both listed as the company’s co-founders, along with Ryan Williams, who met Josh Kushner at Harvard. Before Trump’s inauguration, Jared Kushner stepped down from Cadre’s board and sold some of his stake in the company, Bloomberg reports.

Now, the company has raised $65 million in funding, valuing Cadre at $800 million. The biggest firm to invest in the new round of funding is Silicon Valley heavyweight Andreessen Horowitz, which joins a number of institutional investors, including Vinod Khosla, David Yu, George Soros, and Trump adviser Peter Thiel in backing the real-estate tech start-up.

Cadre is just one Kushner-connected start-up in the tech world. Before he divested from his assets, Kushner had a $30 million stake in Thrive, his brother’s venture-capital firm, which invests in companies that include Slack, Glossier, Juicero, and, of course, Cadre.

Statement by Con Hurley, Executive Director, Online Lending Policy Institute (OLPI) (OLPI Email), Rated: A

“At a time when some are calling to reimpose the strictures of the Glass-Steagall Act on banks, no one is calling for a return to the days on interstate restrictions on banking activities. Yet, this is precisely what the misguided federal court decision in the Madden case would achieve.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to ratify the longstanding law and custom of banking in the U.S. that a loan, once made, is valid regardless of subsequent buyers or assignees of that loan. The Online Lending Policy Institute salutes this action. Further, OLPI urges the Senate to make this part of its reform legislation.”

Summary:
The CHOICE Act 2.0 introduces amendments to the National Bank Act, Federal Deposit Insurance Act, Home Owners’ Loan Act, and Federal Credit Union Act to clarify that the interest rate of a loan that is valid when made by a national bank, state-chartered insured depository institution, federal savings association, or federal credit union shall remain valid regardless of whether the loan is subsequently sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to a third party. These amendments would overturn the 2015 decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Madden v. Midland Funding, which suggested that loans held by non-bank entities may be subject to state usury laws even where the loans were originated by national banks for which such laws are preempted. The Madden decision has created some uncertainty in the secondary markets for bank-originated loans.

InstaLend expands to three new states (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Today, InstaLend announced successful growth of its real estate crowdfunding platform, expanding to Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Georgia. As of June 1, 2017, investors in these three states, as well as New Jersey, will be able to participate in passive residential real estate investments through InstaLend’s online crowdfunding platform.

For any given project, InstaLend funds between 80 and 90 percent of the total project’s cost (acquisition + renovation) in the form of a senior debt loan. The capital provided by InstaLend is sourced through its network of crowd investors, and borrowers commit between 10 and 20 percent of total project cost as common equity.

RealtyeVest Lowers Minimum Investment Requirement for All Real Estate Offerings (PR Newswire), Rated: A

RealtyeVest lowered their required minimum investment amount today to just $5,000 for all offerings on their real estate crowdfunding platform for accredited investors. Previous minimum investment amounts ranged from $15,000 to $50,000, depending on the real estate project. The new $5,000 threshold is intended to draw first-time investors to experience RealtyeVest’s high-caliber performance with a nominal financial commitment.

RealtyeVest connects commercial and residential real estate owner-operators with investors. Their one-stop platform, realtyevest.com, provides a simple, secure, and transparent digital dashboard for accredited investors to partake in exclusive high-yield investment opportunities. New investors can complete the simple accreditation process right on the RealtyeVest website and become accredited within approximately 24 hours.

Payscape CEO Jeremy Wing On The Fintech Company’s Expansion and Move To Midtown (Hypepotamus), Rated: A

Payments to the people — it’s the motto and guiding principle behind Payscape, an Atlanta-based Fintech company that provides small to mid-size business owners with technologies that help them accept payments, streamline business, and increase cash flow. Payscape has grown exponentially since its inception in 2004 — their commitment to consistently developing and iterating new products that serve their customer base has allowed them to expand to 14 offices. They’ve processed 125 million transactions to the tune of $7 billion.

CEO Jeremy Wing and his team have had a busy 2017 thus far. The company invested $50 million to expand their operations, add 200+ jobs, and relocate to Midtown for access to talent and strategic partners. Most recently the team launched a new software product — Payscape Registration, an online registration management system with integrated payments. It’s already on the wish list of a few major universities, including Cornell University.

Q2 2017 was big for Payscape. Tell me more about your product launch and how it will add to Payscape’s current features.

Our new product includes a mobile app for event registration and payments, enhanced communication features such as text and an integration marketplace that will make it easier to connect other SaaS technologies with our platform.

You’re investing $50 million on an expansion and relocation to Midtown. What prompted your decision?

Midtown is the center of the Atlanta Fintech hub. It’s near Tech Square and Georgia Tech, and strategic partners like NCR, ParkMobile, Equifax, TTV, TechSquare Labs and Flashpoint. We not only look to partners to grow businesses, but as a major talent acquisition tool.

We also love the infrastructure for live/work/play. Most of our team will be using alternative transportation to get to our new headquarters.

With Fintech Changing Financial Services, Where Does Regulation Fit In? (San Francisco Fed), Rated: B

Which rules and regulations apply to products that use new financial technologies? The Federal Reserve is taking steps to make answers easier to find.

Take last fall’s Consumer Compliance Outlook. The Fed included a list of existing laws, regulations, and supervisory guidance that fintech firms and their depository institution partners might find relevant.

That’s why San Francisco Fed fintech advisors are available for in-person and virtual consultations with fintech firms and their depository partners.

6 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on a Mortgage (The Fiscal Times), Rated: B

Here’s what you need to know to score a mortgage in today’s market:

  1. Start the process early. You can make the process easier by having your financial documents — including tax returns, bank statements and pay stubs — in order and ready to share with your lender. More than half of borrowers recently surveyed by FreeandClear.com said that the paperwork was the most challenging part of the mortgage process. Pull your credit report, too, to make sure that there aren’t any errors or surprises that could haunt you.
  2. Shop around. Get quotes from at least three lenders, including a national bank, a local bank or credit union and an online lender.
  3. Understand private mortgage insurance. Any time you have a down payment of less than 20 percent, you’ll need to pay mortgage insurance on the loan, which will push up your monthly bill.
  4. Ask about all your loan options.
  5. Consider locking in your rate. On a median-priced home, an increase in mortgage rates from 4 percent to 5 percent would add $100 to the monthly bill, according to Zillow.
  6. Remember you don’t need to borrow the max.
United Kingdom

Your June Review – Insight and Analysis (Funding Circle), Rated: AAA

Summer has arrived, and it’s been another exciting month. We’ve been given full authorisation from the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority – another step forward to offering industry-leading, tax-free returns with the Funding Circle ISA, which we plan to launch later this year. You can read the full story in this article.

You’ve helped more than 8,500 small businesses access finance in the last 6 months…

Source: Funding Circle

Totalling over £610 million lent

To see a breakdown of the loans defaulted last week simply click on loans defaulted 1st June 2017.

Assetz Capital Launches Property Secured Investment Account (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

P2P Lending marketplace Assetz Capital today announced the launch of another account type. The Property Secured Investment Account (PSIA) is marketed as a way to invest exclusively in property backed loans with automatic diversification intended to help investors spread their risk across a diverse range of lending.

The target rate for the Assetz PSIA account is 5.5%.

Alternative lender Liberis announces fintech integration with Xero (AltFi), Rated: A

Leading UK-based merchant cash advancer Liberis has partnered with accounting software firm Xero. The deep integration will open up seamless access to Liberis‘ funding products for Xero users.

A specialist in small business accounting, Xero has over one million subscribers in more than 180 countries. Those users will now be able to access Liberis’ merchant cash advances in-app or on-site.

These advances can be managed in real-time using the Xero technology platform, giving businesses an accurate overview of their cash-flows.

Folk2Folk Announces Multiple New Hires as Part of National Expansion Plans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Specialist business peer to peer lending platform Folk2Folk has hired a new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and four Business Development Managers (BDM). Folk2Folk specializes in secured loans for businesses across the UK. The platform matches local businesses looking for finance with investors looking for a great return.

China

CreditEase Wealth Management Expanded in Singapore to Poise for Fintech-driven Globalization (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Leading Chinese Fintech and wealth management company, CreditEase announced today the opening of its new Singapore office in the Asia Square Tower. The new office opening was hosted by CreditEase Founder and CEO Ning Tang, CreditEase senior executives, distinguished guests from Blackstone, KKR and Tishman Speyers and other strategic partners.

Tang forecast an explosive development in crowdfunding, robo-advisor, insurance tech and blockchain innovations in the coming decade, while reiterating the company’s willingness to share its Fintech achievements and the “development dividend” to continuously create value for clients.

CreditEase Wealth Management opened its Singapore office in October 2014 with a focus on global real estate finance and investment. Its global property FoF products have been very popular among high-net-worth Chinese clients. When it obtained an asset management license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 2016, it marked the cornerstone for further business expansion in the country.

In addition to Singapore, CreditEase operates overseas offices and affiliate offices in Hong Kong, New York, and Tel Aviv. Domestically, the CreditEase wealth management network covers over 40 mainland cities, and in in 2016 the company was awarded “Best Non-Bank Private Wealth Product” by The Asian Banker.

Hong Kong’s Central Bank Inks FinTech Pact with Shenzen in China (Cryptocoins News), Rated: A

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the defacto central bank, is co-operating with the neighboring city of Shenzhen in China over developments in financial technologies or FinTech.

Given the geographical proximity between the two cities, the bilateral co-operation is certain to promote FinTech activity and adoption in two of the most prosperous cities in the region. Shenzhen is among the largest and the wealthiest cities in China, one that links Hong Kong to the Mainland.

P2P Lenders Disclosing Financial Data in NIFA’s Information Disclosure System (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: A

National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) launched the Information Disclosure System on June 5th, and the first 10 P2P lenders were known to disclose financial data in the system, including Wei Dai Network, Lufax, Souyidai.com, etc.

Now, we can search for basic and operating information of the above P2P lenders on the website of NIFA. And 8 of them have disclosed financial information as follows.

European Union

Zopa to build new challenger bank from development centre in Barcelona (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Zopa, the innovative finance company, today announces the opening of a development centre in Barcelona, Spain.

The new hub will initially focus on building the technology to support the launch of Zopa’s next generation bank and developers will work on developing payment gateways, credit card processing, and deposit systems.

Swiss Fintech Giant Cuts a Third of its Jobs (finews.com), Rated: A

Martin Saidler has built Centralway Numbrs with a considerable personal financial investment, achieving a most respectable response from investors. The firm is a global distribution platform for banking products, a super market for customers of retail banking services ranging from loans to car insurance and funds.

Centralway Numbrs in the final week of May abruptly terminated the contracts of about 50 of its staff. The people affected are programmers and other technical staff. Reason for the cuts are high development and personnel costs.

The company still doesn’t generate significant revenues with its banking app and the platform. Therefore, the fintech has to cut costs, eliminating jobs in Zurich or moving them elsewhere.

Centralway Numbrs says the reduction of jobs in Zurich is part of a restructuring process. Jobs will go in Zurich, but the company continues to hire programmers across the world who work from home – so-called remote workers, the company told finews.com.

Centralway Numbrs says the reduction of jobs in Zurich is part of a restructuring process. Jobs will go in Zurich, but the company continues to hire programmers across the world who work from home – so-called remote workers, the company told finews.com.

Centralway Numbrs has reached its first agreements with three companies this year, generating an initial return: Postbank, Norisbank and SWK Bank, three German companies which make their products available via the platform. These contracts aren’t enough to make the platform viable though.

Fashion magnate takes $ 225M+ stake in Swedish payment unicorn Klarna (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Payments startup Klarna is ramping up its valuation again as it picks up a new, strategic investor. Last valued at $2.25 billion in 2015, the company today announced that Brightfolk, controlled by fashion tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen, is becoming a “qualified owner” of Klarna — that is, buying up at least 10 percent of the company.

At Klarna’s $2.25 billion valuation, Brightfolk’s 10 percent+ stake is valued at $225 million or more. But while the company is not commenting on any of the financial terms of today’s deal, TechCrunch understands that this is an “up” round, with the valuation now higher than $2.25 billion.

Banks’ homegrown efforts dominate Poland’s fintech scene (Financial Times), Rated: A

Poland’s most popular mobile payments service was not created in a garage or innovation lab. It was designed around a conference table by the heads of country’s six biggest banks, who had decided the market needed a new service.

Poland’s most popular mobile payments service was not created in a garage or innovation lab. It was designed around a conference table by the heads of country’s six biggest banks, who had decided the market needed a new service.

In 1989, when communist rule ended, the country had just two retail banks, both of which were state-controlled. International banking groups and new private Polish banks quickly joined the fray.

Today, services such as free real-time online payments are standard, contactless payment is available in almost every shop throughout the country and customers have a choice of apps for organising their finances.

International

Suretly, a Crowdvouching Alternative to Peer-2-Peer Lending Announces ICO (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

Suretly is a unique crowdvouching platform that offers an alternative to conventional P2P lending practice. The crowdvouching model followed by Suretly works in conjunction with microfinancing organizations where investors can vouch for a borrower by offering assurance to repay a portion of the loan amount in case of default. In return for their guarantee, they will receive compensation based on the borrower’s credit rating.

Suretly mainly targets short-term loans and the platform is already dubbed as the “Tinder for Microloans.”

Suretly’s crowdfunding campaign is set for July 2017 launch, and it will be managed by the platform’s Singapore fund. The ICO follows a highly successful Pre-ICO round that raised over $350,000 in less than 48 hours.

The company has already set up its operations in Russia and has plans to enter the US market in Q4 2017.

SUR Token ICO

Suretly is planning to raise between $1.5 – $8 million USD in the next round of financing by selling 15% of its existing shares. Funds raised through the crowdsale will be used to accelerate integration into new markets and countries, spearheaded by a new, soon to be set up legal entity in Singapore.

Going Beyond Payments at the Point of Sale: AEVI and Moroku Partner to Mobilize Small Merchants (PR Newswire), Rated: A

AEVI and Moroku today announced a partnership to bring their all-in-one small merchant POS software Marrakash to AEVIs Global Marketplace; a B2B app store for smart Point of Sale (SmartPOS) devices. Marrakash is designed with the next generation of banks in mind, delivering a single solution for their small retail and hospitality merchants that seamlessly integrates their business, products, customers and payment systems into one easy-to-use platform. The partnership will leverage AEVIs open solutions and global support infrastructure to target multiple vertical markets including the hospitality, food and drink, retail andfinancial service industries.

Based in Sydney, Australia, Moroku is a pioneering Fintech firm that is providing the finance industry with engaging banking and payment experiences through gamification. AEVI’s Global Marketplace will now also feature Moroku’s Marrakash, POS software that enables small mobile merchants to grow and run their business entirely from a single SmartPOS device.

Marrakash is already in operation today with merchants in Australia, India, North America and the UK. Voted runner-up at the New Zealand Payment Innovation awards, Marrakash enables businesses to display a full product catalogue, create bespoke customer loyalty schemes and take secure card payments on the go. This gives merchants the control and freedom to run their business and take payments however, and wherever, they need. Having Marrakash available on AEVI’s Marketplace will allow vendors across the globe using AEVI-enabled POS hardware to download and add the app directly to their SmartPOS device. The strategic partnership will increase Marrakash’s speed to market in key US and European territories where AEVI already have a strong, and ever-growing, presence.

GLI Finance Owned Sancus Finance Launches New Financing Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Sancus Finance, a specialist financial services provider, has launched a new funding platform for businesses looking to participate in financing on their site. The new platform is part of a series of developments designed to improve the overall service offered to both funders and businesses. Sancus is part of AIM listed GLI Finance. Sancus BMS Group, the parent of Sancus Finance, has provided in excess of £578 million of funding to SME’s and their owners and has operations in the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar & the Isle of Man.

Australia

Australian P2P Lender Credit Crowd Joins Blockchain Lending Platform Othera (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

It was announced recently that Australia-based P2P lender, Credit Crowd, has joined Othera’s Blockchain Lending Platform and Digital Asset Trading Exchange. By joining Othera’s platform, Credit Crowd is seeking to evolve its P2P lending market by digitizing the trading of P2P loans on the block chain.

Founded in 2012, Credit Crowd provides short-term mortgages to borrowers as well as a marketplace for retail and institutional investors. The company claims to have originated over $100 million in loans to finance over 50 projects for its borrowers since being founded.

India

Addepar raises $ 140M amid relatively quiet year for fintech funding (PitchBook), Rated: AAA

Addepar, a B2B fintech company that offers a data-driven operating system for wealth advisors and other financial professionals, has raised $140 million in a VC round led by Valor Equity Partners, 8VC and Harry McPike. Valor Equity Partners is an existing backer, and 8VC, the venture firm led by Addepar co-founder Joe Lonsdale, previously invested in the company through its predecessor firm, Formation 8. Addepar had raised about $67 million prior to this round and was most recently valued at $292 million in 2014.

Much of the new funding will go toward research and development.

Among the other companies in the financial services industry that have raised significant equity funding in 2017 are online lender SoFi ($453 million in March) and Robinhood, the provider of a mobile stock-trading app ($110 million in April).

Overall, funding in the fintech industry is on pace for a

Canada

Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA (Mississauga), Rated: B

NexusCrowd, a Canadian real estate crowdfunding platform, has a number of projects on the go through crowdfunding, including a $12 million real estate redevelopment project announced in 2015 boasting three properties — one in Mississauga.

Asia

Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank launches $ 30M ‘Beacon’ fund for fintech (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Roll up, roll up, there’s a new fintech VC fund in Southeast Asia town. Today, Thailand-based Kasikorn Bank announced its inaugural tech fund which is 1 billion THB, just shy of $30 million, in size.

Kasikorn, which was founded in 1945 and is one of Thailand’s major banks, is calling the fund Beacon — think lights on top of lighthouses — and it is aimed at giving the firm first-mover advantage on global tech through startups based in Thailand and overseas. Thanapong Na Ranong, formerly with InVent, a VC affiliated with mobile operator AIS, will lead Beacon VC.

The capital, which is 100 percent from the bank, will go towards direct investments in startups and also contributions into VC funds as an LP. Kasikorn said today that it has already backed Dymon Asia, a fintech fund headquartered in Singapore that is targeting a $50 million final close, and put money into Bangkok-based FlowAccount, its first direct investment in a startup.

Going forward, it is targeting three to five deals per year ranging from seed-plus to Series A stage with a target across all aspects of fintech. The firm aims to lead or co-lead investments with a typical check size of $500,000 to $3 million. It did not disclose what portion of the fund is reserved for follow-on deals, but the capital itself is anticipated to last between four and six years.

Eight Indonesian fintech startups officially registered under OJK (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending startups Investree, Amartha, and KoinWorks are among eight Indonesian fintech startups that have been officially registered under the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in May 2017.

As of June 5, 2017, Investree claims to have successfully disbursed Rp 148 billion unfunded loan with 592 total loans, 17.5 per cent average rate of return, and zero default.

Amartha started in 2010 as a micro-finance institution. Six years later, it changed into a P2P lending marketplace. Today, Amartha claims to have facilitated over $6 million in loans to over 30,000 women micro-entrepreneurs while maintaining a 7-year long 0% default rate.

Indonesia’s fintech sector is currently the second biggest in the region after Singapore.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor