Thursday February 28 2019, Weekly News Digest

Annual fintech financing Singapore

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to roll out crypto trading with Coinbase. Walmart now offers Affirm loans. Funding Circle fund ups the ante on buyback strategy. Orca launches IFISA. LendDenClub cross 1 million borrowers, lenders milestone. Today’s main analysis: 2019 securitization update. How marketplace lending is a growing and dynamic global market. (A MUST-READ) Today’s thought-provoking articles: The 2009 […]

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Annual fintech financing Singapore

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United States

Fintech Startup SoFi to Roll Out Crypto Trading Via Partnership With Coinbase (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup SoFi — known for its online lending services — is partnering with major United States-based crypto exchange Coinbase to roll out crypto trading support, according to a CNBC report Feb. 26.

Millennial online lender SoFi to offer zero-fee ETFs, an unexpected rival for index fund giants Vanguard, iShares (CNBC), Rated: A

The race to zero-fee exchange-traded funds has found an unlikely competitor: Online lending and personal finance platform SoFi, which has filed for two index ETFs that will waive management fees for the first year. In making the move to zero-fee ETFs, the online lender is crashing an ETF party dominated by Vanguard and BlackRock‘s iShares.

FTC orders SoFi to stop misleading consumers (MPA Mag), Rated: B

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered online lender SoFi to stop lying about how much borrowers can save by refinancing with the company.

Digital lender founded by ex-SoFi CEO raises $ 65M to fuel expansion (American Banker), Rated: A

The new company founded by Mike Cagney, the former embattled chief executive of Social Finance, plans to announce a $65 million funding round on Wednesday, bolstering firm’s expansion into other financial services, including wealth management.

With the new venture, Cagney is using some of the strategies from his tenure at SoFi — like diversification into areas typically only occupied by traditional banks. However, the new company, Figure, is focusing on different customers, and it’s taking steps to avoid scandals similar to the ones that saw Cagney step down from the SoFi helm.

Walmart teams with Affirm to offer point-of-sale loans (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Walmart will offer its customers point-of-sale loans for the first time — both on its website and in nearly 4,000 U.S. stores — under a partnership with the Silicon Valley lender Affirm.

Under the deal, Walmart shoppers will be able to get Affirm loans of three, six or 12 months to finance purchases ranging from $150 to $2,000. The loans are already being offered in Walmart stores, and they will be available to Walmart’s online shoppers in the coming weeks.

Affirm’s latest partnership brings its alternative financing to Walmart’s US stores and website (TechCrunch), Rated: A

The companies announced this morning that Affirm’s financing options would be made available in more than 4,000 Walmart Supercenters across the U.S., and will roll out to Walmart.com in the weeks ahead.

The offering will go live across Walmart Supercenters nationwide, except in Iowa, West Virginia and Puerto Rico, and will be soon available on Walmart.com.

Loan app Affirm CEO breaks down new Walmart partnership (CNBC), Rated: A

Loan app Affirm CEO breaks down new Walmart partnership from CNBC.

ABS Vegas – 2019 Securitization Update; Square Charter Status (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

In regulatory news, Square’s ILC charter application has received opposition from 37 community groups. The groups are concerned about Square’s CRA activities and have asked the FDIC to bolster Square’s CRA requirements. Before this letter from community advocates, nearly all of the 15 letters the FDIC received were in favor of Square’s bid. Square is the furthest along the path to getting an ILC charter and its experience will determine whether other FinTechs follow its lead.

Structured Credit Investor magazine explores the challenges facing the maturing marketplace lending sector. Issuers need to distinguish between the borrower experience that they provide and manage liquidity. The article also makes the point that the sector is ripe for consolidation, although we haven’t seen any M&A yet.

2019 Securitization Update

The first two months of 2019 saw 5 securitization deals totaling $1.7 Bn in new issuance. The issuance volume represents a 23% drop over that seen in the first two months of 2018, as the market recovers from the volatility in equity and credit markets seen at the end of 2018. Total securitization issuance now stands at $46.2 Bn, with 147 deals issued to date.

Source: PeerIQ

The Housing Market’s 10 Year Challenge — Comparing The Housing Market of 2009 to Today (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

When the real estate bubble burst in late 2008, many Americans saw their home values fall drastically, but a lot has changed in the 10 years since — housing prices have rebounded from their lows during the Great Recession. And though prices are now starting to cool, in many cases, home values have even exceeded their 2006 highs.

On average, median home values have increased by nearly $50,000 across the 50 largest metros in the United States since 2009.

Metros where housing prices have recovered the most since 2009

San Jose, Calif.

Median home value 2009: $638,300
Median home value 2017: $957,700
Median home value change: $319,400
Median unemployment rate change: -6.4%
Median household income change: $32,991

San Francisco

Median home value 2009: $591,600
Median home value 2017: $849,500
Median home value change: $257,900
Median unemployment rate change: -5.4%
Median household income change: $27,889

Los Angeles

Median home value 2009: $463,600
Median home value 2017: $617,100
Median home value change: $153,500
Median unemployment rate change: -5.0%
Median household income change: $11,467

Source: LendingTree
Source: LendingTree

Gen Xers Carry the Biggest Auto Loan Burden; Study Finds (One World Herald), Rated: A

According to the loan comparison website, the median balance of Gen Xers who have auto loans is $18,741 is higher than other age groups. It is 9% more than baby boomers’ $17,185 median balance. This is higher than millennials’ $16,200 and 37 percent more than the lowest median balance of $13,666 held by Gen Z.

Personal Loan Interest Rates for February 2019 (Nerdwallet), Rated: AAA

Personal loan interest rates, whether you’re considering a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender, generally range from about 6% to 36%. The actual rate you receive depends on factors such as your credit score and history, annual income, existing debt and where you get the loan.

Online lenders offer the lowest starting interest rates on personal loans to borrowers with good to excellent credit.

Source: Nerdwallet

LightStream and Marcus both require a minimum credit score of 660. LightStream accepts joint applications, and one applicant can have a credit score lower than its minimum. SoFi has a slightly higher credit score requirement and requires at least $45,000 in annual income.

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Posts Earnings Results, Meets Expectations (Fairfield Current), Rated: A

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The company reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09, Bloomberg Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $207.29 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $212.42 million. Elevate Credit had a return on equity of 15.72% and a net margin of 1.59%. Elevate Credit updated its FY 2019 guidance to $0.55-0.65 EPS.

Source: Fairfield Current

Hunt Real Estate Capital buys RealtyMogul’s proprietary loan underwriting program (Housing Wire), Rated: A

Hunt Real Estate Capital, which offers financing for all types of commercial real estate, will soon have a new underwriting system to help it originate those loans, as the company is buying a proprietary loan underwriting system from RealtyMogul.

Elevate’s Joan Kuehl Named Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year (The Progress), Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”) today announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Joan Kuehl has been named the Large Enterprise CIO of the Year by the Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year Awards. The award honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership.

A Recession Coming? Small Business Lending Platform Kabbage Says It’s Prepared (Forbes), Rated: A

The world is bracing for a recession, with the latest data showing  in the U.S. expect it to occur by the end of 2021

If those predictions prove true, it will be the first major economic downturn for some of the nation’s leading fintechs. Born out of the ruins of the recession, these startups have enjoyed nearly a decade of success buoyed by strong economic growth, a bull run in the stock market and low unemployment.

Here’s more on the  AJC Top Workplaces midsize companies (AJC.com), Rated: B

Kabbage has been named to the list for five consecutive years and this is its first year in the top five. The private financial technology company, founded in 2009, has 489 global employes and 367 at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. Flexibility at work and perks, such as a daily catered lunch and snacks, are among reasons employees appreciate working for Kabbage. Wellness benefits include fitness classes, health equipment onsite, biweekly meditation classes, CPR training, an annual flu shot clinic and sponsoring sports clubs. It also fully pays health benefits for individuals and provides annual bonuses and a 401(k) match. Through its sabbatical program, employees of five years can receive six weeks of paid time off and an additional $6,000. In 2018, Kabbage participated in the Atlanta PRIDE parade and also took a stand against gun violence after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Workers in 2019 will build a Habitat for Humanity home as part of its Kabbage Kares program, which also has supported PAWS Atlanta, Easter Seals and the Epilepsy Foundation.

Diversifying a Self-Directed IRA Made Simple with New Offering from CrowdStreet (The Progress), Rated: A

CrowdStreet, an online marketplace for direct equity investment in commercial real estate (CRE), today launched a streamlined, investor-friendly approach to investing qualified retirement account funds into commercial real estate offerings. This new option makes it easier than ever for individuals to access CRE investments with their self-directed IRAs (SDIRA), thus reducing their investment exposure to a volatile stock market and achieving more independence in managing their investments.

Liquid P2P and Interest Radar Announce Strategic Partnership (Liquid P2P), Rated: A

Liquid P2P and Interest Radar are pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic partnership. The two third-party investing services for online peer-lending giant Lending Club will combine strengths under a single platform to deliver a more comprehensive automated tool with a patent-pending liquidity solution.

Direct Lending Investments Suspends Investor Withdrawals (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Earlier this month Brendan Ross, the CEO of Direct Lending Investments, Inc., sent a letter to investors notifying them that they have suspended withdrawals and redemptions effective February 8, 2019. Lend Academy was able to obtain a copy of this investor letter, dated February 11, that provides some color into what happened. The reason given was the delinquency of a large holding, VOIP Guardian, a telecom receivables factoring company.

Fintech deal will provide access to midsize businesses in U.S. (American Banker), Rated: A

Add HSBC to the list of banks partnering with commercial online lenders.

The bank on Tuesday announced a partnership with Neptune Financial, a San Francisco online lender that focuses on businesses with $10 million to $100 million in assets. The bank estimates that, with the access it will get to Neptune customers, the deal represents a $1.5 trillion opportunity.

Venmo debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored card (Business Insider), Rated: A

Venmo, the PayPal-owned peer-to-peer (P2P) giant, debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored version of its physical card product. The card will function the same as regular Venmo cards, allowing customers to pay wherever Mastercard is accepted, split costs and tips, withdraw funds from select ATMs, and manage their Venmo balance, but it will only be available for as long as supplies last, according to Venmo.

Source: Business Insider

Why digital identities will be so important in the next few years, according to Mastercard’s vice chairman (CNBC), Rated: A

The pace with which we are moving toward the internet of things is “very rapid” but we “can’t have the internet of everyone without the inclusion of everyone,” according to the vice chairman of payments giant Mastercard.

“You have to start focusing on how does the human get involved, and that’s going to be through having a digital identity,” Ann Cairns told CNBC’s Karen Tso on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Credit Karma’s Dana Marineau: ‘We want users to think of us as more than just free credit scores’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Today’s marketer on the hot seat is Dana Marineau, Credit Karma’s vice president of brand, creative and communications. People love Credit Karma for its free credit scores, but the company provides so many other free tools. Dana’s team is tasked with elevating the brand beyond just free credit scores, as a place to get help with financial decisions and achieve financial progress. She brings a 15 year experience at EA, working on many of the top sports games in the business.

Why this small bank created a separate, digital-first brand (American Banker), Rated: AAA

When Midwest BankCentre, a community bank in St. Louis, launched the digital-first Rising Bank in February, it joined the ranks of other financial companies —generally large players such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and MUFG Union Bank — that have created separate, digital-only brands. Unlike them, the $1.9 billion-asset Midwest hopes to keep a community bank feel at the internet-only unit.

The Future Is Plastic: Fintech Unicorn Brex Launches New Credit Card For E-Commerce Merchants (Forbes), Rated: A

Brex, a San Francisco credit card startup that reached a valuation of $1.1 billion late last year, 22 months after its founding, is launching its second product, a physical credit card for e-commerce companies. Its first card, targeted to venture-backed tech startups, has attracted more than 3,000 customers by providing higher spending limits and simplifying the application process.

YieldStreet raises $ 62M to democratise alternative investments in shipping, real estate and more (TechCrunch), Rated: A

YieldStreet — which provides a platform for making alternative investments in areas like real estate, marine/shipping, legal finance, commercial loans and other opportunities that in the past were only open to institutional investors — is today announcing that it has raised $62 million in a Series B round of funding.

Guaranteed Rate Leads Mortgage Executive Magazine’s List of Top Loan Originators in America (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

For the seventh consecutive year, Guaranteed Rate has the most loan originators of any lender on Mortgage Executive Magazine’s annual list of the “Top 200 Mortgage Originators in America,” including the number one originator.

Guaranteed Rate led the way with 36 originators ranking within Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 200, including three of the top five. Shant Banosian of Boston, Mass., was named the nation’s 2018 Top Originator by funding $536 Million in total loan volume.

Americans Focus On Debt Management But Lose Focus On Retirement Savings (Forbes), Rated: A

Our minds are wired to prioritize the near-term over the long-term. We shouldn’t be surprised that a new survey by 

U.S. banking regulator fights NY lawsuit over fintech charters (Reuters), Rated: A

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has asked a Manhattan federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by a New York financial regulator over its plan to issue banking charters to fintech companies, saying the lawsuit is premature.

Blockchain and data protection: the main concerns (JDSupra), Rated: A

Blockchain’s usage is no longer limited to digital crypto currencies, as blockchain databases may be deployed in innumerable circumstances and scenarios, including, for instance, within the financial services and insurance sectors for money transfer, peer-to-peer lending and transfer of securities, as well as automatic execution of contracts.

LoanStreet positions for growth with new hires (LoanStreet Email), Rated: B

After the launch of LoanStreet’s commercial lending product and the announcement of their $6.5 million funding round, LoanStreet – the first fully-integrated platform that streamlines the process of sharing, managing, and originating loans – has appointed three credit union industry veterans to support LoanStreet’s aggressive growth.

These new hires include Mike Doherty, Managing Director and Head of Credit Union Sales; Tony Harter, Business Development Director; and Joe Parvin, Business Development Director.

White Oak Business Capital Hires Carol Bader Apicella to Expand Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Markets (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Business Capital, Inc. (“WOBC”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, has announced that Carol Apicella has joined the firm as Senior Vice President and Senior Business Development Officer. Apicella will be responsible for expanding the firm’s markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle fund adds firepower for buyback strategy (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The portfolio, an investment trust, of loans originated by Funding Circle lowered its dividend expectations amid lower projected returns last year prompting a discount to its net asset value.

Following a move to a more than 10 per cent discount last year it started share buybacks in a bid to narrow its discount. It has now made additional capital available from its free cash flow to be deployed into share buybacks, the fund said yesterday.

Orca Innovative Finance ISA Launches, Enables Diversified P2P Investment (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Orca Money is finally launching its long-anticipated Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). Orca’s spin on the savings vehicle allows investors to spread their money across multiple peer-to-peer lenders (P2P) thus providing a heightened degree of diversification. Additionally, Orca Money conducts due diligence on behalf of IFISA investors.

Currently, the Orca IFISA allows access to 5 P2P platforms: Lending Works, Assetz Capital, Landbay, Octopus Choice and Lending Crowd.

Experian, ClearScore scrap merger plans (Reuters), Rated: A

Experian Plc, the world’s biggest credit data firm, said on Wednesday that it had agreed with rival ClearScore to abandon their proposed merger, after Britain’s competition watchdog indicated that it may block the deal.

NatWest launches account aggregation as Open Banking takes hold (AltFi), Rated: A

It’s been a long time coming, but Open Banking is finally spreading through the traditional banking industry, this week with the launch of account aggregation for NatWest customers.

The RBS subsidiary becomes the UK’s 4th bank to let customers connect rival current accounts.

Will Open Banking boom in 2019? (AltFi), Rated: A

It has been over a year since the Open Banking UK initiative under the Competition and Markets Authority order and Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) was launched and has become one of the industry’s biggest technology and regulatory shake ups in recent years. It is no surprise that the initiative’s first year has seen a relatively low consumer uptake. This has been coupled with reports that consumers’ knowledge of the scheme appears to be markedly low.

Aave Launches Platform to Pay Bills Using Crypto (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

In an attempt to bring crypto closer to the mainstream, the London-based fintech startup has announced the launch of Aave Pay.

The app will allow its users to pay their utility bills using digital coins by converting crypto into fiat in real-time using bank transfer facility. The company is claiming that the platform can be used to business expenses as well including employee salaries, income taxes, and other commercial or corporate expenses.

Investing in crowdfunded development projects – what you need to know (Property Investor Today), Rated: A

You can invest in peer to peer development loans for the short term or in an Innovative Finance ISA for a longer commitment period, but with the potential to earn tax free returns.

By comparison, a peer to peer lending platform with its own development company will have much more control over its projects and be able to give you more detailed and trustworthy updates.

Failed Lender Reaching ‘From Beyond The Grave,’ MPs Warn (Law360), Rated: A

Failed payday lender Wonga is damaging the finances of thousands of customers “from beyond the grave” because they cannot seek redress for allegedly missold loans as the company was not covered…

International

Some Bankers Are Doing Even Worse Than in 2009 (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA

It may not feel like it, but some corners of banking are suffering as badly as they did during the depths of the financial crisis. Global volumes of initial public offerings and share placings in January and February have been nearly 60 percent lower than in the same period last year. The numbers are worse than the first two months of 2009. If activity doesn’t pick up soon, it would be worrying evidence of the fragility of investor sentiment.

The hope is that the lull is temporary, and technical. The government shutdown in Washington has gummed up U.S. IPOs. Uncertainty over the U.K.’s future relationship with Europe just drags on. And the December stock-market wobble probably killed off deals that were being planned for the window that traditionally opens between January and the start of the full-year earnings season in late February.

Marketplace Lending – A Growing and Dynamic Global Market (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

I wanted to share with you a new joint report from our U.S. and European structured finance teams. The new report, attached to this email, analyzes the growth of the marketplace lending market around the globe.

The commentary includes the following topics:

— The evolution in finance, from traditional banking to FinTech.
— FinTech’s influence on marketplace lending around the globe.
— Growth hurdles.
— Securitization considerations.

Bank on it: How Enova’s software expands credit access worldwide (Built in Chicago), Rated: A

Not all credit histories are created equal.

That’s the case for a large part of the world’s population who can’t get access to a loan from a traditional credit provider — like a bank — creating a world in which the hardest working people don’t always get access to the credit they need. Enova, however, believes it has a solution. The fintech company draws on the power of machine learning and data to offer products that expand access to credit for consumers and small businesses.

Blossom Capital scores $ 85m from Robinhood and Funding Circle backers (AltFi), Rated: A

Blossom Capital, which has already backed five startups including rental marketplace Fat Lama, today raised $85m which it will use to lead Series A rounds of between $5m and $10m in Europe.

Eight Simple Ways to Earn Bitcoin Online Legally (The Crypto Updates), Rated: B

Earn Bitcoins as the interest payments: If you have earned some Bitcoins already, you can put the Bitcoins to earn for you. Lend them out at particular interest rate. You can lend the Bitcoins directly to someone known at a greed interest rate and repayment period. You need to assess trustworthiness of borrower. Peer to peer Bitcoin lending is another way to let the earned Bitcoins earn for you. There are many peer-to-peer lending websites where the borrowers post the borrowing requests. Over these websites, you can act as a lender. It is also possible to fund the small portion of numbers of loans to reduce the risk.

European Union

Grid Finance suspends taking investments below € 100,000 (Irish Times), Rated: AAA

One of the largest providers of peer-to-peer loans in the State has shut down a key part of its business aimed at smaller investors, blaming an absence of regulation in the crowdfunding space.

Grid Finance, which is backed by Enterprise Ireland, wrote to holders of its “Brick” accounts – that facilitate the investment of up to €100,000 – in recent days stating that it would withdraw the offering from the marketplace.

China

Dragon Victory International: Exposure To The Chinese Crowdfunding Market At A Regulatory-Driven Discount (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

In recent years as China winds down its industrial and manufacturing powerhouse growth, it’s looking to other developed nations to determine which platforms it should invest in and pave the way to sustained economic growth. As most other major developed nations have done over the past century, financial services and engineering have been a very profitable platform and companies in China are quick to launch their own services to capitalize on the triple-digit growth in online financial services exhibited since 2003.

Similar to Hexindai (HX), which I’ve previously covered as a leading online lender which is capitalizing on the middle class appetite for debt to finance their lives and vacations, Dragon Victory International Limited (LYL) is taking on the crowdfunding segment in the People’s Republic of China. Similar to countless other platforms around the world, the company’s services are around financing new companies and capitalizing entrepreneurs through public funding and they already have over 4.5M users who use their services, a number nearly doubling each year.

Source: Dragon Victory International F-1 filings

China Fintech Today: The P2P Boom Is Truly Over (SupChina), Rated: A

This year, the government has continued to lead a reorganization of the industry:

  • More companies will die: As of February 17, only 60 percent of online lending institutions had disclosed their operational information for January 2019, including five problematic platforms.
  • However, the current asset quality of the online lending industry has improved significantly according the data from firms that did report.
  • As of the end of January 2019, the accumulated amount of the online P2P online loan industry was about 7.78 trillion yuan ($1.16 trillion). The total loan amount in January was 91.4 billion yuan ($13.61 billion), down 55.1 percent year-on-year and down 1.3 percent from the previous month.
  • Further consolidation of industry players is certain. Some experts quoted in media reports predict that the scale of future online loans will continue to shrink because of regulation.
  • Some listed companies, such as Aoma Electric and Panda Financial Companies, have abandoned their P2P businesses.
  • Aoma Electric issued a letter of concern to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on February 14, attributing the decision to the broader economic slowdown, and a high number of overdue loans.
  • Panda Gold Control in 2018 was also dragged down by its P2P business, and expects a net loss of 41.16 million ($6.13 million) to 57.63 million yuan ($8.58  million) in 2018. Faced with the uncertainty of the P2P sector, Panda Gold Control chose to divest.

A Crypto Project That Raised $ 20 Million Is Caught Faking Its Founding Team (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Launched on Dec. 2, BHB claims to offer an ethereum-based solution for peer-to-peer lending, but by Jan. 18, local media reports were already accusing the project of operating an illegal pyramid scheme. Now, CoinDesk is able to reveal inconsistencies in the information provided about its founding team that further suggest something may be amiss at the China-based project.

However, the image of Bobby White used in BHB’s marketing materials is identical to that of an economics professor at China’s Tsinghua University named Alexander White. Meanwhile, the image of Gregory Moss is the same as one used by a philosophy professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, who is also named Gregory Moss.

Tencent-backed brokerage firm downsizes US IPO amid weak market demand (Technode), Rated: A

Tencent-backed online brokerage firm Futu Securities has set the terms for its US initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to $130 million, which will value the company at more than $1 billion. The company previously set its target at as high as $300 million when it filed for the US listing in December.

Chinese tech behemoth, Tencent, owns over 38% of the company, has shown interest in purchasing up to 25% of the new shares issued.

Australia

How should accountants talk to clients about fintechs? (In the Black), Rated: A

Like the ombudsman’s office, ASIC has also made information available to educate consumers and advisers, including on its MoneySmart Borrowing Basics and Peer-to-Peer Lending sites.

Is any flexibility possible, Shiel wonders, with a peer-to-peer lending model in which the borrower likely doesn’t know who is providing the funds?

India

LenDenClub crosses 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders milestone (News Barons), Rated: AAA

LenDenClub, one of India’s fastest growing peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, recently crossed an important landmark with more than 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders on its platform. The breakdown of borrowers to lenders is 83,300 and 16700, respectively. The company crossed this milestone by keeping up with latest market trends, and saw an increase in the use of its product InstaMoney, which was launched in June 2018.

Why Do Fintech Startups and Investors See a Huge Potential in Lending? (Entrepreneur), Rated: AAA

Today, thanks to the ongoing digitization, borrowing has become as easy as it can get in India. For contrast, all it takes now is the touch of a few buttons, answers to a few verification-related questions, and anyone can receive a loan in a matter of hours or days, if not minutes. And all of this is without any collateral and while enjoying the comfort of your home. Now, compare this with taking a day off to go to the bank, doing extensive paperwork, visiting frequently to check the progress of your loan application, and ultimately, getting your application rejected because of the loan officer’s misjudgement. All while wasting two months of time in the constant to and fro and taking multiple days off from your office.

It is beyond doubt that the advent of fintech startups has altered the game of lending in India. It has become both simpler and convenient to borrow using their revolutionary approaches driven by state-of-the-art technologies. Currently, more than 1,500 fintech startups (of all shapes and sizes) are catering to the Indian market, and more than half of these startups have been launched over the last 3 years. This gives us a clear picture of how lucrative the sector is becoming for our startup ecosystem. But what is essentially fuelling this trend? Let’s find out.

Banning of UDS to benefit P2P Lending Industry (Inventiva), Rated: A

The latest ordinance of the Banning of Unregulated Deposits (UDS) 2019, was passed by the government to provide a comprehensive mechanism to ban UDS as well as to protect the interest of depositors. This is in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on the NBFC-P2P sector, issued in October 2017 to regulate the unorganized lending business in the country.

Asia

Singapore fintech investments rose two-fold to US$ 365m in 2018 (SBR.com.sg), Rated: AAA

US$102.2m of the total funds raised went to lending fintech companies such as the homegrown Funding Societies.

Fintech investments in Singapore more than doubled to US$365m in 2018 from US$180m in 2017, putting the country amongst the top five fintech markets by funds raised last year in Asia Pacific, behind China, India, Australia and Japan, according to Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data. The number of deals in the country rose to 71 from 61 in 2017, making it the third busiest market in the region, behind only China and India.

Source:

Validus Capital raises $ 15m for SME financing (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Validus Capital, a Singapore-based SME financing platform, has raised SGD 20.5 million ($15.2 million) in a Series B funding round, led by FMO, a Dutch public-private development bank.

Latin America

PayPal expands its small business loans initiative to Mexico (Leaprate), Rated: AAA

Online payment giant PayPal launched its Working Capital initiative in 2013 as an alternative method for business to access working capital much faster than through traditional means. Many small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients embraced the program and since then the company has advanced more than $6 billion in loans to over 170,000 businesses in the UK, US, Germany and Australia.

PayPal also recently revealed that it has partnered with Konfio, a Mexican online lender that utilizes unconventional data sources to facilitate fast credit assessments, in a deal that will allow PayPal to extend its Business loan and working capital programs to Mexican businesses.

ID Finance eyes ‘pivotal moment’ for Latam fintech as revenue in region climbs 403% (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

ID Finance, the fintech company operating in Europe and Latin America, saw revenue of $49m in 2018. This represents growth of 236% for the business, which was formally separated from its operations in Russia and CIS region last year.

The company is enjoying particularly strong growth in Latam, one of the world’s fastest growing markets for fintech adoption thanks to high mobile penetration and a sizeable underbanked population – according to the World Bank 61% of Mexico’s population is excluded from the traditional banking system, while 40% of Brazil’s 207m population are blacklisted. The company now has 141 employees in Latam and saw revenue growth of 403% in the region last year.

Challenger bank N26 expands to Brazil (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Germany-based mobile challenger bank N26 is powering on yet again as it has revealed its plans to expand to Brazil.

Africa

How FinTech Companies Inspire Africa With Mobile Technology (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

With the potential for rapid growth and job creation, FinTech firms in Africa have caught the attention of global investors. According to the London Stock Exchange Group’s 2019 “Companies to Inspire Africa” report, which highlights these firms, the FinTech sector has the second highest growth rate representation of technology and telecoms as well as financial services. As it stands, companies in this space represent more than a quarter of 360 featured firms from 32 different countries. Pan-African payments firm Cellulant is among the companies that appeared in the first and second editions of the report.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday February 28 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Tuesday November 27 2018, Daily News Digest

Reliable Consumers for JP morgan, Citigroup, wells fargo and Bank of America

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub hits $1B in CLUB certificate issuance. Zopa boosts Augmentum Fintech fund returns. Monzo breaks record on crowdfunding round. Yirendai’s critical stage to regain growth. Judo gets $350M in funding. Today’s main analysis: How late-cycle expansions turn into recessions. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub does more lending during holidays. Turning LendingClub into a financial health club. Why […]

Reliable Consumers for JP morgan, Citigroup, wells fargo and Bank of America

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

India

Other

News Summary

United States

LendingClub Reaches $ 1bn in CLUB Certificate Issuance (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

LendingClub has seen issuance of their new CLUB Certificate reach $1bn in less than a year after first announcing the pass-through security product last December at their investor day. The CLUB Certificate was created to make it easier for institutions to invest in LendingClub originated loans.

Loan for the holidays: Lending Club loans out more during holiday shopping months (Thinknum Media) Rated: AAA

This year was a record-breaking season for holiday shopping, as online spending surged 23.6% according to Adobe Analytics.

But where is all that money coming from? While some consumers saved up for the season, others might have turned to loans, such as ones offered at Lending Club ($NYSE:LC), to pay down huge gifts or refinance debt from credit card spending.

Outside of March 2016 — a month during an unusual stretch of time right before its chief executive Renaud Laplanche stepped down and a federal subpoena came in — Lending Club typically has the most loans issued by dollar amount in the months before the holiday season, according to data tracked since 2013.

Source: Thinknum

LendingClub CEO Working to Turn It Into a Financial Health Club (Web Pro News) Rated: AAA

The CEO of LendingClub, Scott Sanborn, says that they are really looking to make membership in the club mean something and are working to take Lending Club and turn it into a ‘financial health club’ that will help people successfully manage expenses. He says that LendingClub helps by shining a spotlight on credit card debt which is the first step to doing something about it.

A Looming Crisis in People’s Overall Financial Health

We are seeing really an epidemic happening which is incomes have been stagnant for more than 20 years. All of people’s major expenses, healthcare, college, housing, is going up and it’s creating a real looming crisis in people’s overall financial health and it’s something that people just aren’t talking about. Close to half of Americans have credit card debts and they are more than twice as likely to talk about spousal infidelity than they are about the fact that they have credit card debt that they need to manage. We believe that by shining a spotlight on the problem it’s the first step to helping people do something about it.

Top fintech VCs explain how PayPal missed a golden opportunity and why they wouldn’t invest in LendingClub today (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

PayPal is arguably one of the biggest success stories to come out of Silicon Valley in the last 20 years. It launched the careers of Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and Max Levchin and paved the way for other members of the “PayPal mafia” to make seed investments in a next generation of startups.

“OnDeck and LendingClub have scaled, strong businesses now, but you’d never invest in those companies as startups today,” Harris said. “I don’t think you would look at unsecured personal lending or small-business lending, where you have to go out and acquire customers in the wild, with no special sauce. That’s 10-year-old thinking.”

The current model many VCs advocate is for companies to find ways to offer additional services, like loans, to existing customers. Acquiring new customers can be expensive, and there’s a competitive advantage when you underwrite or target new services to existing customers, because they know more about them.

PeerIQ’s Lender Earnings Webinar; Bank Exec Comments on the Credit Cycle (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

One of the main themes that we explored in the LEI was how late we are in the credit cycle. Most C-level executives were extremely are sanguine on the economy but are nonetheless taking precautions. PeerIQ’s view is “The good news — and the bad news — is that conditions don’t get better than they are now.” We recommend reviewing Bloomberg Julie Verhage’s “US Banks See Good Times Ahead Even as Many Prep for Downturn” for more.

Source: Peer IQ

How Late-Cycle Expansions Turn into Recessions

The current US expansion that started in June 2009 is the longest on record at over 113 months. Late expansions are characterized by low unemployment, high consumer confidence, high asset values. We currently observe a near 50-year low unemployment rate, near record high consumer confidence, and the highest level of consumer credit outstanding (although well below peak per-capita debt levels).

Ironically, it is these solid economic indicators that are responsible for the party coming to an end. In a simplified model, credit availability expands to the marginal borrower (e.g., new entrants, cov-lite corporate loans, thin-file credits, etc.) just until the marginal consumer or corporate loans creates more losses than expected. Lenders feel the pinch on credit performance and on funding due to rising rates. Lenders individually tighten lending leading to a reduction in the supply of credit on an aggregate basis.

PeerIQ’s Q4 2018 Lending Earnings Insights Report (Lend Academy) Rated: A

PeerIQ released their Q4 2018 Lending Earnings Insights Report which points to a number of themes showing the economy is strong but CEOs are striking a cautious tone. Delinquencies and defaults continue to be low as consumers have seen their wages rise and taxes drop. Lenders are increasing reserves as they anticipate credit to renormalize in the near future, saying the economy right now was too good to be true.

Read the Full Report here.

Excerpts:

Regulators are increasingly focusing on the greater role of non-banks in consumer lending.Large money center banks continue to pull-back from riskier loans such as small business and consumer lending. Large banks instead have increased their credit facility volume 6x since 2010. FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams cites the significant role of non-banks in origination as potential for systemic risk. The FDIC is contemplating granting ILC charters to non-banks – a major shift.

Delinquencies and charge-offs in FinTech asset classes are near all-time lows, although charge-offs on prime credit are increasing. Enova (Subprime) and OnDeck (Small Biz) are seeing near cycle-low charge-offs, while LendingClub (Prime) is seeing higher delinquencies on newer vintages. The change in LendingClub’s charge-off estimates across loan grades was mixed. Charge-offs on grades B and C are estimated to be higher by 28 bps and 16 bps respectively QoQ.

Small Businesses Are Poised for Growth, but Are Lenders Ready? (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Source Business Wire

Betterment, Merrill Edge, Fidelity’s Go Lead the Pack in Digital Advice Branding, Claims Cerulli (Financial Advisor IQ) Rated: A

Robo-advice pioneer Betterment is the pack leader in digital platform awareness among investors, a new Cerulli Associates study reveals. But Merrill Lynch and Fidelity aren’t far behind, the study shows.

Among the more than 5,500 people polled, the Betterment brand was known by 15% of respondents, Merrill Lynch’s Merrill EDGE by 13%, and Fidelity’s Go by 12%. Trailing the three frontrunners was Charles Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios and Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services, which were each recognized by 10% of respondents, the study reveals.

For its digital platform marketing awareness study, Cerulli polled investors under the age of 45 earning more than $125,000 annually and with more than $250,000 in investable assets.

5 Business Loans You Can Get Without Being Profitable (NAV) Rated: A

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting over 415,226 startup firms less than 1 year old in 2017, it’s apparent that this category of business will need funding like never before. However, business loans are tricky. On hand, they tend to offer a larger line of credit to companies than personal loans or lines of credit. On the other hand, qualifying can be difficult and often requires you to provide at least two years of documentation that you are profitable.

For the brand new business that hasn’t managed to turn a profit (yet), what is left? How can you get a cash infusion into your business in time to expand, add employees, support a product launch, or refinance existing debt? The following loans are a bit non-traditional, but just might be exactly what you are looking for in your quest for funding during your startup years.

TD Bank Launches New Digital Mortgage Experience Powered by Roostify (Business Wire) Rated: A

Roostify, a digital lending platform provider, announced that TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, has leveraged Roostify’s technology to provide customers with a digital mortgage offering. This digital experience combines the latest in lending technology with a human-centric approach that gives TD Bank’s customers an accelerated, low-stress path to home ownership.

The deployment now provides prospective homebuyers with useful tools to assist them in finding a loan that fits their needs and budget. Leveraging Roostify’s proprietary DecisionBuilder lead tool, TD Bank’s Digital Mortgage allows consumers to explore which loan products they qualify for, right from a simple-to-use web page. Consumers can then move on to apply for their chosen loan in minutes, and follow a streamlined, all-digital process for moving their loan through closing. With easy access to TD Bank’s expert loan team, homebuyers can enjoy both the convenience of a digital solution and reassurance of expert guidance as they navigate one of the most significant transactions of their lives.

The Lending Alternatives Hopeful Investors Should Know Inside And Out (Forbes) Rated: A

People buy real estate for many reasons — generating cash flow, a tax write-off, appreciation value. Some of the greatest profits are made when buying real estate in a down market. Seasoned investors and fortunate newcomers who purchased coastal residential property from 2012-2017 are sitting on healthy equity appreciation as well as competitive interest rates in the 3.5-5% range.

The traditional path to buy a property is to obtain financing through banks, credit unions or a mortgage company. Following the 2008 housing crisis, traditional lenders implemented more strict guidelines: Stellar credit scores from 740 and above, stable employment, a low debt-to-income ratio, six months or more of liquid reserves.

For hopeful investors unable to meet these demands, alternatives are to pay all cash or to finance the purchase using hard money financing or a private lender. By utilizing one of these two methods, buyers also do not have to be concerned with the mounds of paperwork lenders requested. There are some advantages and disadvantages by using either type of alternative financing.

How Marcus by Goldman Sachs took to the streets of New York to market its high yield savings account (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Marcus, the online consumer bank by Goldman Sachs, has been running a man-on-the-street ad campaign about recent research the company conducted. According to the survey, 60 percent of Americans with savings accounts don’t know the interest rate on their savings account, and *more than half* of Americans with savings accounts (56 percent) opened theirs without exploring other options.

Dustin Cohn, head of brand and marketing communications at Marcus, joins the podcast to talk about the survey and why Marcus chose interest rates as a differentiator. We unpack the recent advertising campaign and explore the recent acquisition and integration of personal finance app, Clarity Money.

Ross: Easy money and the rise of ‘neo banking’ (My NorthWest) Rated: A

Banks are entering a whole new era. It’s called neo banking. Because it’s so “neo.”

You just sign over your paycheck, and suddenly you can buy things with a wave of the phone. As far as I can tell, you just look romantically at what you want to buy – and it’s yours!

You can even get loans. But it’s friendlier because neo banks don’t have loan officers who look at your income statement and say “Ha ha ha, you’re kidding!”

United Kingdom

Zopa helps boost Augmentum Fintech fund returns (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA’S latest funding round has boosted the value of Augmentum Fintech’s portfolio, helping the fintech investment fund report net asset value growth of 5.1 per cent in its maiden financial results.

UK-listed Augmentum Fintech unveiled its first financial results on Monday since launching in December 2017. It reported that a recent £60m private fundraise by Zopa had boosted the value of its stake in the lender by £3.5m to £22m.

Augmentum Fintech Sees Portfolio Rise In First Interims Since IPO (Morning Star) Rated: A

Augmentum Fintech PLC reported its first interim results Monday since listing on the London Main Market in March.

In the period from incorporation on December 19 last year to September 30, the fintech venture capital investor had a net asset value total return of 5.1%.

At September 30, Augmentum Fintech’s NAV per share was 104p. The company’s net assets at September 30 totalled GBP97.8 million.

The company’s portfolio fair value increased 62% since the company listed in March to GBP53.9 million on September 30 from GBP33.3 million on March 13.

Monzo confirms record-breaking UK fintech crowdfunding round (City AM) Rated: AAA

Digital bank Monzo has today announced it will be heading back to the crowd for the last chunk of its series E fundraising round, with a target of up to £20m.

The raise, first reported exclusively by City A.M. in August, will be the largest fintech crowdfunding round in the UK to date.

Going live on Exeter-based platform Crowdcube, existing Monzo investors will get early access to the round from 3 December. The round will then be opened up to other Monzo customers, who can invest up to £2,000.

Banking app Monzo explores expansion into high-cost loan products (The Telegraph) Rated: A

Monzo, the financial technology start-up,  is considering launching loans aimed at “the Wonga segment” of the market, its chief executive Tom Blomfield said.

Mr Blomfield said he hopes in future to offer loans to people with poor credit scores who may not be able to access more traditional loan products.

UK Competition and Markets Authority Questions PayPal Acquisition of iZettle (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a statement on the PayPal acquisition of iZettle – an event that was announced in early 2018 and closed in September. PayPal purchased Sweden based iZettle for $2.2 billion as the company seeks to gain access to iZettle’s point of purchase credit platform.

The CMA stated:

“… the CMA has found that PayPal could face insufficient competition in the UK after acquiring its market-leading rival. The finding raises concerns that the merger could result in customers, which include small and medium-sized businesses, paying higher prices or receiving a lower quality service.”

The CMA added that iZettle could have provided strong competition for PayPal if the company had not moved to take over the Fintech.

NatWest digital loan ceiling lifted to £700K (FinExtra) Rated: A

NatWest has today announced the launch of a new digital platform which will be available to all NatWest business and commercial customers allowing them to apply online for secured and unsecured loans of up to £750,000 – the largest digitally available loans in the industry.

The new platform, available to all business and commercial banking customers who use online banking, will allow applicants to complete the process in a matter of minutes, with a decision being communicated to customers usually within 24 hours, sometimes immediately. This fully digitised application process streamlines the customer experience and reinforces NatWest’s position as the UK’s leading commercial lender.

NatWest’s development underlines the bank’s commitment to further improving its digital offering and builds on the success of its ESME Loans platform, which provides loans of up to £150,000, Mettle – the standalone digital business current account, and LenderComm, the first production use of blockchain in the syndicated loan marketplace.

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending supports acquisition of Euxton Tile Supplies Ltd (Bridging Loan Directory) Rated: B

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending (ABL) has supported the acquisition of Euxton Tile Supplies Ltd (Euxton) by Earle Group with a £2m asset based lending facility, comprising a £1,250,000 confidential invoice discounting line and a £750,000 cash flow strip to provide the desired level of headroom in the transaction.

Wonga to automate compensation claims (TNT Magazine) Rated: A

Wonga, the payday lender that went into administration this August, plans to automate its compensation claims process – sparking fears that customers will lose out. Accounting firm Grant Thornton is in the process of winding up Wonga and is legally obliged to assess the claims of all customers who believe that they have been mis-sold loans.

The Guardian reports that in a bid to cut costs the administrators are creating an automated ‘adjudication tool’ that will decide which claims to pay out on, rather than processing each claim manually.

In its October letter to creditors, Wonga said that it had been receiving roughly 200 to 500 compensation claims every day after it went into administration on 30 August. Before that date the company had received 24,000 complaints from customers and a further 9,500 had been escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Proplend Milestone: Surpasses £50 Million in Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Less than six months after surpassing £40 million in online lending, UK based peer to peer lender in the property space, Proplend, announced on Monday it has now reached £50 million in online lending. According to the lender, all loans are commercial property backed, comprising a mix of bridging and mortgage lending risk-adjusted returns, which were funded by the lending platform’s growing band of Classic account, Pension account, and ISA “Lenders.” Proplend also revealed:

“By circumventing the traditional banking system, our Lenders have access to secured, inflation-beating fixed income returns whilst providing creditworthy commercial borrowers with an invaluable source of fast, flexible, interest only alternative funding. Having facilitated its first loan in 2014, Proplend has since accommodated over 50 commercial facilities, each loan typically funded within 24 hours by more than 100 participating Lenders. With a maximum loan term of 5 years, 20 loans have fully repaid to date with more than £15m capital returned and over £4m interest earned across the book – much of it tax-free.”

China

Yirendai Is At A Critical Stage To Regain Growth (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Yirendai Ltd (NYSE: YRD) released the third quarter 2018 earnings on November 12, with diluted Earnings per ADS of RMB2.43 (USD$0.35), decreased from USD 0.5 from second quarter. Considering the application of ASC 606, the adjusted earnings per ADS (if ASC were not adopted) is RMB 5.89 (USD 0.86), increased from RMB 4.91 in the same period from last year.

  1. The volume of newly originated loans has been decreasing, more than the loan volume decrease of the industry. We can compare YRD’s loan volume with the industry, as well as some competitors, as below.
    Source: Seeking Alpha

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Ping An Invests $47 million in Berlin-based Fintech Startup Finleap

The Ping An Insurance Group’s Global Voyager Investment Fund led a €41.5 million ($47 million) investment towards Berlin-based Fintech company Finleap.

Internet Finance Association of Jiangxi Province Issues P2P Exit Guidelines

On November 16, the Internet Finance Association of Jiangxi Province issued the “Guidelines for the Exit of Online Lending Intermediary Organizations in Jiangxi Province (Trial)”, stating that online lending institutions should put the rights of protecting lenders at the top of their exit work and minimize the loss of lenders. The guidelines specifically mention that when a P2P institution exit, it needs to take eight steps, namely:

(1) to file an application for withdrawal;

(2) to set up an exit work leading group;

(3) to issue an exit notice and close some platform functions;

(4) to prepare a business list of circumstances and formulate an exit plan;

(5) submit an exit plan and other related materials;

(6) publish relevant information such as the exit plan;

(7) implement the lender’s funds as planned, and steadily settle the stock items;

(8) completion of the exit.

European Union

Lendingblock Receives In-Principle Licence as DLT Provider in Gibraltar (Crowdfun Insider) Rated: AAA

Securities lending platform for digital assets Lendingblock has issued a statement indicating that the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has made an in-principle decision to grant the firm authorization as a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) provider. Lendingblock adds that it continues to work closely with the GFSC as it seeks the full DLT licence.

Lendingblock says that following this decision, and the successful testing period, the Lendingblock platform is open for institutional onboarding in preparation for launch.

Market participants are now able to sign up for access and will be able to commence borrowing and lending  BTC, ETC, BCH, and LTC beginning early next year.

Digital lenders ‘must keep investing to grow’ (IBS Intelligence) Rated: A

Research from digital ID specialist Mitek has concluded that there is a huge opportunity for digital lenders to grow, if they continue to invest in digitisation.

The findings have been published as a whitepaper, authored by fintech research practice Autonomous NEXT. Titled European Digital Lenders, it looks into the state of the digital lending market in Europe.

He said the report found that venture capital investment is still flowing into the space and is set to hit $800m in Europe: “The UK alone has originations of over $6bn, and Europe-wide, the addressable market is $150bn – with current digital lender revenues estimated at $400m,” he added. “Moreover, the market shows impressive originations growth, with a 60% CAGR since 2013.”

Australia/New Zealand

Australian challenger bank Judo gets $ 350m funding boost (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Melbourne-based challenger bank Judo Capital is edging towards a bank licence with a $350 million debt facility agreement with firm Credit Suisse.

The bank shared the news with Business Insider. David Hornery, co-founder and co-CEO of Judo, says the facility will provide further depth to Judo’s funding for Australian SMEs.

Short-term loan, long-term debt: Superloans under investigation after slew of complaints (Stuff) Rated: A

Short-term money lender Superloans has come under attack from people who say they target poor and vulnerable consumers, charge extremely high interest rates, and resort to illegal means for recouping their money.

The Commerce Commission has launched an investigation into Superloans after it received more than 20 complaints against the company since 2013 – several from financial advisors.

Copies of the complaints, obtained under the Official Information Act, reveal one complainant alleged Superloans threatened to take repayments out of a person’s pay cheque, illegally.

Another woman complained that a Superloans’ employee only looked at her bank statements before approving her loan application, and did not check her credit.

India

IvyCap Ventures makes first investment in P2P lending through Lendbox (The Ecomonic Times) Rated: AAA

Credit marketplace LendBox has secured the first investment by a large institutional investor in India’s peer-to-peer lending space, raising Rs 6 crore in a pre-series A financing round.

Major Trends Witnessed this year in Fintech (Entrepreneur) Rated: A

Online lending platforms have been quite phenomenal in filling in the credit void within our country. But how accomplished are they in doing so? MSME loans are considered as the trickiest element of lending given the sheer opacity that exists within the sector. This opacity has decreased the share of scheduled commercial banks in MSME credit from 95% to 90% between December 2015 and March 2018. The credit growth turned negative post-demonetization. During the same period, the share of loans by NBFCs (which are essentially used by online lending platforms) nearly doubled growing with an annual average of 35 per cent, largely because of cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.

5 ways to reduce risk in P2P lending (The Economic Times) Rated: A

Lending money is a risky affair. However, there are ways to minimize the risk. Since peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a relatively new concept and the RBI regulations for the P2P sector are barely about a year old, here are five effective ways in which you can reduce the risk to ensure getting your money back. Of course, with interest.

Understand the platform
You should try to understand how the online P2P model works before lending money on it. An investor should be aware how the money is lent on the platform and what are the risks involved in lending money on the platform.

Do not hesitate to ask the P2P player about the overall volume, defaults, recovery process and likely returns. You can do your own research or simply contact the P2P company through emails, chats or phone calls.

Do not go overboard
Sure, P2P platforms can offer your higher double-digit returns. But that doesn’t mean you should lend your entire in P2P lending. Choose the amount you wish to invest and then diversify,” says Raghavendra Pratap Singh, Co-Founder, i2ifunding.

Ex-Infosys CFO & Director V. Balakrishnan Joins Association of NBFC P2P Platforms as Patron Member (Indian Web) Rated: B

Within a month after the formation of NBFC-P2P industry bodyAssociation of NBFC P2P Platforms, the association today announced the joining of finance industry veteran & Former Infosys Chief Financial Officer V Balakrishnan as Patron Member.

P2P lending industry players have formed association to represent the Indian NBFC-P2P industry at various national as well as at international forums. The P2P operators participating in the operations are OML P2P, Monexo, PaisaDukan, Finzy, Cashkumar, Liquiloans, Micrograam, Lendsmartp2p, Peerlend and Indiamoneymart. The association aims to establish formal lines of communication between various government and regulatory authorities on matter of compliance and to create awareness about the industry and to work towards enhancement of public trust in this sector.

Asia

HonestFund Raises $ 12.2 million (USD) in our Series B round (Honestfund Email) Rated: AAA

HonestFund is one of the largest peer-to-peer lending players in South Korea. We were founded in 2015 and currently have about USD 300 million in cumulative originated loans. We have recently raised USD 12.2 million in our Series B round from the top VC firms, IT giants, and the largest financial institutions (i.e. Shinhan Bank and Hanwha Life Insurance) in South Korea.

Canada

Unlicensed online payday lenders are operating in New Brunswick (Global Newswire) Rated: A

Unlicensed online payday lenders are targeting New Brunswickers, warns the Financial and Consumer Services Commission.

FCNB has been receiving complaints from consumers about inappropriate collection practices by payday lending businesses not licensed to operate in the province.

“We are hearing that these businesses are contacting consumers who have fallen behind in their payments at their place of employment and in some cases, threatening to seek repayment from their employer. Sometimes they are contacting them up to 50 times a day,” said Alaina Nicholson, director of Consumer Affairs at FCNB. “It is against the law for a payday lender in the province to contact you at your place of work, or to contact your employers or coworkers to collect a payday loan that is late.”

Subscribe Technologies Upgrading Lendertech With Peer To Peer Lending Service And Integrating Platform Into Gingerly Marketplace (Stockhouse) Rated: A

Subscribe Technologies Inc. is pleased to announce it is upgrading the Company’s Lendertech financial technology platform with financial service auction and matchmaking features and has begun the initial phase of integrating the technology with the Company’s flagship Gingerly small business software application marketplace.

LenderTech facilitates greater and broader access to capital for those in need, including across a number of traditional and emerging areas such as mortgages, commercial lending, auto loans, student loans, and small business loans, among others.

As intended, our development team is now integrating this money lending service into the Gingerly software application marketplace and dashboard, with the addition of new Peer-to-Peer matchmaking features, designed for SMEs to have greater and faster access to lenders in one clean and simple to use interface.

IOU Financial Inc. Joins the FINSYNC Lending Network  (PR Newswire) Rated: B

 IOU FINANCIAL INC., a leading online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), is pleased to announce its strategic partnership with FINSYNC, Inc. (“FINSYNC”).

Small businesses of all types rely on FINSYNC to visualize, manage and project cash flow and analyze loan options.  IOU’s non-collateralized financing product has been assimilated by FINSYNC, enabling users who apply for financing through FINSYNC to quickly access IOU’s affordable, flexible financing for working capital and expansion.

Africa

Nigeria’s mixed signals on fintech (Euromoney) Rated: AAA

Earlier this year, the country’s central bank and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System opened a regulatory sandbox to enable budding fintech companies to develop new products freely and securely, becoming one of the first African countries to do so.

Even before that launch, Nigeria was frequently touted as the continent’s next big fintech hub, set to compete with South Africa and Kenya.

Bitcoin exchange NairaEx, online lender KiaKia and invoicing platform Payant are just three of the firms that have made a name for themselves in short order.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday May 10 2018, Daily News Digest

Quarterly Originations

News Comments Today’s main news: Quarz Capital Management outlines proposals to unlock >70% returns in LendingClub share price. Sharestates surpasses $1B in loan originations. Funding Circle hires first female NED. Today’s main analysis: Review of LendingClub’s Q1 2018 earnings results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingTree’s monthly mortgage offer report for April 2018. Crowdfunding in the absence of liquidity constraints. Digitization […]

Quarterly Originations

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

News Summary

United States

Quarz Capital Management Outlines Proposals to Unlock Return of >70% in the LendingClub’s Share Price (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Quarz Capital Management, Ltd. (QCM), an investment manager, today issued a letter urging LendingClub to take immediate and decisive steps to address the severe undervaluation of its share price and unlock a potential attractive total return of >70% for shareholders.

US ONLINE MARKETPLACE LENDING BEHEMOTH TRADING AT ‘STARTUP’ VALUATION
– POTENTIAL TOTAL RETURN IN EXCESS OF 70% OVER THE NEXT 3 YEARS –

LendingClub is the largest online lending marketplace platform in the US with an estimated ~50% market share1. The firm is projected to generate more than $700million of revenue on ~$11billion of loan originations in 2018E. LC’s substantial loan origination volume of more than $35billion since 2006 and its proprietary credit data increase the effectiveness of credit and risk models and enable the largest institutional investors to undertake the rigorous due diligence required to allocate capital on its platform.

Recommendation 1. Emphasize on cost control to increase profitability

Recommendation 2. Improve alignment of compensation system for top management

Recommendation 3. Increase shareholder return on sizeable cash holdings

LendingClub Q1 2018 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

During the first quarter, LendingClub is typically affected by the seasonality of the lending business so it’s beneficial to look both at the last quarter as well as the prior year period. In the first quarter of 2018, LendingClub posted originations of $2.3 billion. This represents a 5% decrease from the previous quarter, but an increase of 18% from the prior year period.

Source: Lend Academy

Revenue came in at $151.7 million, down 3% from the previous quarter but up 22% from the prior year period. They incurred a GAAP net loss of $31.2 million which included legal expenses related to legacy issues of $17 million.

Source: Lend Academy

 

Here’s Why Lending Club Is Soaring Today (The Motley Fool) Rated: A

The company called for 20% growth in its 2018 outlook, so 22% revenue growth is even better than expected. And, the company’s full-year outlook calls for total revenue in the range of $680-$705 million. At the midpoint, this implies average revenue of more than $180 million per quarter for the rest of the year. Considering that the first quarter’s revenue was “just” $151.7 million, this represents some impressive growth ahead.

Q1 2018: LendingClub Platform Update (Lending Club) Rated: A

During the first quarter of 2018, we continued to observe that credit performance across the industry is returning to long-term averages and interest rates are rising across fixed income assets.1 On the platform, we continue to see both of these trends in action: investors show higher demand for higher quality assets and are looking for higher interest rates overall.

Sharestates Surpasses $ 1 Billion in Loan Originations; Celebrates With $ 100,000 Giveaway to Investors (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Online real estate investment platform, Sharestates, today announced they have surpassed $1 Billion in loan volume – an incredible milestone that showcases their continued growth in the real estate investment space. To celebrate the achievement, Sharestates is giving away $100,000 to mark the occasion.

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for April (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released its monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network. The purpose of the report is to empower consumers by providing additional information on how their credit profile affects their loan prospects.

See the full report here.

CRE Crowdfunding Firms Continue to Scale Up Platforms (National Real Estate Investor) Rated: A

Crowdfunding firms have put a lot of effort into educating accredited investors on real estate crowdfunding and real estate investing in general. Those efforts are starting to pay for firms such as CrowdStreet. The firm hit a major milestone in March with more than 99,000 registered investors on its platform. CrowdStreet also is generating a high volume of repeat investors that are using crowdfunding to create diversified real estate portfolios with different sponsors, property types, geographic markets and risk profiles, notes Tore Steen, CEO, CrowdStreet.

The average investor on CrowdStreet has five investments in their portfolio, and over 20 percent of investors on CrowdStreet have invested more than $1 million across 12 unique investments.

Some crowdfunding platforms, such as Fundrise, Realty Mogul and Rich Uncles, have introduced e-REITs as a way to reach non-accredited investors and expand their potential customer base. But for the most part, crowdfunding firms are firmly focused on raising capital from accredited investors.

Groundfloor is one of the few crowdfunding platforms that is providing direct investment opportunities to non-accredited investors.

Banks in constant game of catch-up in combating mobile fraud (American Banker) Rated: A

Even as banks and other financial firms have invested heavily in technology designed to protect customers’ data, fraudsters have become more and more aggressive in trying to steal consumers’ identities to open accounts, take out loans or intercept payments.

According to ThreatMetrix, a global cybersecurity network used by banks and e-commerce firms to help determine the authenticity of digital transactions, 210 million attempted attacks were made on its network during the first quarter of 2018, a 62% increase over the same period last year.

Cohn says starting ‘digitized’ bank one option for next job (American Banker) Rated: A

Gary Cohn, the former director of the White House Economic Council, said he’s still weighing options for his next role but one possibility is a digital bank.

“I do have an idea for a company,” Cohn, who was president of Goldman Sachs before joining the Trump administration, said Tuesday in an interview on CNBC. “It would be an interesting concept playing on the knowledge I know from the banking world, in running a regulated bank, but in a digitized world.”

Where big banks fear to tread (Financial Times) Rated: A

Bank accounts for small businesses is an area of fintech not yet solved; Azlo is looking to fill that void as they believe banks have built their small business offering for the traditional small business owner; the new age business owner doesn’t have years of tax returns to share, providing accounts for them is not a risk banks want to take; Azlo also plans to move into loans later as an alternative to overdraft fees; they believe a straightforward, transparent offering will allow them to serve the type of small business banks have overlooked for years.

How Northwestern Mutual is using LearnVest to build advisory services (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Northwestern Mutual is growing its advisory services, building on the technology and expertise of LearnVest, which is currently shutting down and preparing for a rebrand as a content site this year.

In a statement, Northwestern Mutual said it wants to serve customers wanting an “end-to-end experience” with a human adviser using LearnVest’s digital planning platform, alongside a new content site. The integration also allows the parent company to concentrate on full-scale financial planning — a message consistent with a recent job posting that noted the company is scaling its technology and personal finance approach to reach millions of people across both LearnVest and Northwestern Mutual brands.

Bitcoin Sees Wall Street Warm to Trading Virtual Currency (The New York Times) Rated: A

The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has been working on an online trading platform that would allow large investors to buy and hold Bitcoin, according to emails and documents viewed by The New York Times and four people briefed on the effort who asked to remain anonymous because the plans were still confidential.

Rebundling the bank: an interview with Renaud Laplanche (AltFi News) Rated: A

It’s clear that Laplanche has designed Upgrade from the start with scale in mind. Little more than a year after launching its first product, the company has 250 staff across three centres, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Montreal, and its series A funding round was no minnow at $60m. Originations are running at $100m a month, having reached a level after a year that it took Lending Club more than six years to reach. Laplanche said in April he expects to originate $2bn of loans this year.

Laplanche is scathing about credit cards, labelling them “fundamentally bad products”. They are expensive – the average interest rate on the US’s $1.03 trillion of balances is 17 per cent, he says, which rises to perhaps 25 per cent once fees are accounted for – and borrowers can run up debts without having to pay down the principal every month as they would with a loan. Many don’t even realise they are taking out a loan, and card issuers never use the word.

California bank goes online competitors one better (Banking Exchange) Rated: A

First Foundation Bank, an 11-year old $4.5 billion-assets bank headquartered in Irvine, Calif., gets that message. Lorrie Asker, senior vice-president, commercial banking, says she’s heard from many clients that they handle their finances and their banking between 10 P.M. and 2 A.M. In the Age of Amazon, everyone, she says, craves immediate online availability of services, including banking.

Marketplace business lenders frequently point out that busy small business owners’ lives often don’t synch with “bankers hours.” Being able to apply for credit with online players like Kabbage or OnDeck any hour of the day is a much touted advantage. It plays to the credit hungry who find their credit by Googling for it.

10 tips to beef up your crowdfunding campaign (Born2Invest) Rated: A

Researchers from Georgia Tech checked out nine million phrases culled from 45,000 Kickstarter campaigns, and they discovered the most-used phrases from fully funded campaigns versus those that failed.

Some platforms to consider include:

IndiegogoA popular crowdfunding platform that is home to mostly technological innovations. Aside from this, the platform also offers initial coin offerings (ICO) of new cryptocurrencies.

SeedInvestThis crowdfunding platform has a selection process for startups it wants to help out. While the company only accepts one percent of startups that apply, it presents a selection of highly vetted businesses.

StraightUpMade for real estate crowdfunding, the company invests along with its clients. If a client finds a project interesting, StraightUp also supports it by participating in the crowdfunding.

LendUp Bolsters Leadership Team Across Finance, Engineering, Credit Card Product, InfoSec, And Legal, (PR Newswire) Rated: B

LendUp, a fast-growing fintech firm for the emerging middle class, today announced a number of executive hires, including a General Counsel and VP of Engineering, as well as new heads of Capital Markets, Credit Card Product, and Information Security. These appointments will help LendUp expand the scope of its affordable, consumer-friendly products, as it becomes a first-of-its-kind destination for responsible spenders, savers, and strivers.

Beyond Spare Change: Debt Payment Startup Qoins Wins Country’s Largest Fintech Prize (Hypepotamus) Rated: B

Qoins, an Atlanta-based startup that rounds up users’ spare change to help them pay off their debt, took home the largest equity-free cash prize for startups in the country as the winner of the Fintech Innovation Award Challenge at this week’s FinTech South conference. The audience was able to vote on which of four finalists would receive the $50,000 check during a live pitch event.

4 Tips for Finding the Best Online Mortgage Lenders (Nerd Wallet) Rated: B

Since not every lender offers a fully digital mortgage and your experience can differ from one lender to the next, it’s a good idea to find a company that offers an online experience that meets your expectations. These four tips will guide you to the right fit.

  1. Know who offers the loan you need with qualifications you can meet
  2. Evaluate the customer service
  3. Find out if an online application is right for your situation
  4. Test-drive online lender platforms by getting preapproved

Laurel Road Named Winner Of Best Consumer Lending Product Category In 2018 Fintech Breakthrough Awards (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Laurel Road, an online lender and FDIC-insured bank, today announced that its online student loan solution has been selected as winner of the “Best Consumer Lending Product” award by FinTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global fintech market today.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle, the UK’s biggest peer-to-peer lender, will this week take another step towards a £2bn London flotation by naming its first female non-executive director.

Sky News understands that the company, which is targeting a listing soon after the summer, will announce that former O2 executive Cath Keers is joining its board.

Ms Keers, who is an experienced non-executive director in the retail, technology and logistics industries, will bolster Funding Circle’s public market credentials as well as improving the gender balance in its boardroom.

NatWest fintech investments bear fruit as SME loans platform goes live (Computer Weekly) Rated: A

NatWest has launched a fintech (financial technology) lending platform aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that cuts the time it takes to apply for a loan to 10 minutes. The project will help the bank fight off competition from peer-to-peer lenders.

The platform, known as Esme Loans, offers SMEs loans of up to £150,000 and makes it easier to apply for them by using the latest technology, including application programming interfaces (APIs).  The entire process is online and paperless, with customers able to apply in less than 10 minutes.

China

Six and the Citi unveil API partnerships in Hong Kong (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

Citi has made six API partnerships with corporations in Hong Kong as it looks to improve its digital banking services.

The six partnerships are:

  • HKTVmall integrated with Citi Pay with points API
  • EGL Tours integrated with Citi Pay with points API
  • AIA Hong Kong integrated with Citi Customers API
  • Octopus App integrated with Citi onboarding, cards and money movement APIs
  • Citi Visa Fetch App
  • Zurich Hong Kong integrated with Citi Customers API

China’s peer-to-peer lending hits the skids (Nikkei Asian Review) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending is slowing dramatically in China as a looming clampdown on the industry spurs platform providers to throw in the towel — sometimes after just a few months in business.

The balance of peer-to-peer loans, or financing between individuals, came to 1.29 trillion yuan ($202 billion) on April 30, up a mere 6% from the end of 2017. That increase represents a sharp slowdown from the 50% surge last year and the 100% jump in 2016, according to industry information provider WDZJ.com. Less than 200 billion yuan worth of contracts were signed for April, down around 20% year on year.

European Union

CROWDFUNDING IN THE ABSENCE OF LIQUIDITY CONSTRAINTS (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

A forthcoming issue of the Journal of the European Economic Association will carry a study arguing that crowdfunding in the absence of liquidity constraints is a superior method of equity financing–superior to “traditional financing forms,” that is, unless those traditional financiers are fully competitive and perfectly informed.

By one estimate, global crowdfunding reached $195 billion in 2017. Of that, $13 billion was equity- or reward-based.

The 60 second interview: Lara Oyesanya (The Lawyer) Rated: A

Ahead of her session at the In-house Financial Services Conference, Lara talks to The Lawyer about the legal challenges of digital innovation and the way in which technology is transforming the in-house lawyer’s relationship with external counsel.

What legal challenges are brought forward by digitalisation?

Will AI function within current legal frameworks, do we actually know how it will function to properly assess legal risks, is monitoring required to ensure due legal process? There are then ongoing discussions around data, information and cyber security.Algorithms and Applied Programming Interfaces (APIs) are at the heart of digitalisation. With the continued development of artificial intelligence (i.e. algorithms with learning capabilities), there will be more legal challenges to address.

UniCredit Pushes on Cost, Asset Quality to Affirm Leadership (Bloomberg) Rated: A

UniCredit SpA Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier is ramping up cost cuts and improving asset quality to keep his promise of building a leading pan-European bank.

A 5.2 percent decline in operating expense in the first quarter helped the bank increase net income to 1.11 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from 907 million euros a year earlier. That beat the 796 million-euro profit expected by the average of 8 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

UniCredit climbed as much as 2.6 percent in Milan trading and was up 2.4 percent at 17.96 euros as of 9:23 a.m. That boosts the bank’s gain this year to 15 percent.

Taaleri records a loss of about EUR 2.5 million from a German geothermal project (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

Taaleri Investments Ltd, part of the Taaleri Group, acquired the majority shareholding in Erdwärme Oberland GmbH (86.42% of shares and votes) from the Italian energy-company Enel on March 12, 2018.

Unfortunately, the tests on the first geothermic production site have proven that the project on the site in question is not commercially doable and, Taaleri Investments Ltd records hence a loss of approximately EUR 2.5 million, visible in Taaleri Groups half year results 2018.

International

Digitization of Money and Finance: Challenges and Opportunities (International Monetary Fund) Rated: AAA

The global economy is experiencing a non-stop digital revolution. Consider this one number: a recent study estimates that by 2025, what is called the “global data-sphere” will grow to 163 trillion gigabytes from 16.1 trillion gigabytes in 2016. That ten-fold increase will encompass data held everywhere from the cloud to our handheld devices.

It raises the prospect of expanding financial inclusion, especially in developing countries. The possibilities are exciting.

Companies working with artificial intelligence are exploring credit scoring based on payment data. Fintech startups in Latin America, Africa, and Asia are moving toward the use of peer-to-peer lending data, and information from mobile phone payments to build reliable credit databases.

Firmo protocol for financial derivatives on the blockchain (Next Big Future) Rated: A

The Firmo protocol executes financial contracts on blockchain technology. Contracts are written using the domain specific language; FirmoLang. FirmoLang provides a secure execution environment for financial contracts on decentralized asset-classes. Similar to software built for airplane coordination, FirmoLang is formally verified, yielding needed security benefits for smart contracts in finance. FirmoLang compiles directly to Ethereum Virtual Machine bytecode. The Firmo Protocol is designed to integrate with and support the advancing decentralized economy, including: Decentralized exchanges, p2p lending platforms, prediction market platforms and more.

Firmo is building the future of financial infrastructure. 1/7 of the world’s economy is derivatives, but these financial contracts are not securely available in the crypto economy yet.

Valorem : Blockchain, Loans, P2P Networks, Investing, Marketplace, Insurance and Charity. ICO is still live! (TechBullion) Rated: A

The Valorem foundation provides a decentralized platform enabled by smart contracts of the blockchain to allow users engage in cryptocurrency-based transactions and exchanges. The transactions between users are facilitated by an ERC20 standard token called VLR token.

Valorem Foundation’s VLR token is the utility token for this ever changing platform. Valorem Foundation is developing a unique platform with the following features: Microloans, Student Loans, Car Loans, P2P Networks, Business Investing, Crowdfunding, Buying/Selling of goods, Insurance and Charity.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

 

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck prices $225M securitization. Prosper is looking for new whole loan contributors for securitizations. Funding Circle lends 123M GBP to businesses in March. Funding Circle SME considers new equity raise. Ant Financial to raise $9B. Today’s main analysis: Competition among lenders worth $27K to borrowers last week. The grad degrees that deliver more debt than […]

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Australia

India

Other

News Summary

United States

On Deck Capital (ONDK) Prices $ 225 Million Securitization (Street Insider) Rated: AAA

OnDeck announced today that it has priced $225 million initial principal amount of Series 2018-1 Fixed Rate Asset-Backed Notes (the “Notes”) in a private securitization transaction. The Notes, which will be issued in four classes, were priced with a weighted average fixed interest rate of 3.75% per annum. It is expected that DBRS, Inc., in satisfaction of one of the closing conditions, will rate the Notes at closing. The anticipated DBRS rating for the Class A Notes would be the highest rating ever for a class of notes in an asset-backed securitization of small business loans in the online lending industry.

The Notes will be issued by OnDeck Asset Securitization Trust II LLC (the “Issuer”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of OnDeck. The Notes will be secured by and payable from a revolving pool of OnDeck small business loans. The Issuer will be the sole obligor of the Notes; the Notes will not be obligations of or guaranteed by OnDeck or any of its other subsidiaries. OnDeck will act as the servicer of the loans securing the Notes.

The net proceeds from the Notes offering will be used by the Issuer together with other available funds to optionally prepay in full a prior notes issuance (the “Old Notes”) that had a weighted average interest rate of 4.7% at December 31, 2017.

Prosper to keep PMIT shelf, but seeks new blood as loan agreement winds down (GlobalCapital) Rated:AAA

Prosper will continue to issue ABS from its long standing PMIT shelf, but is looking for new whole loan contributors for its securitizations as it eyes the end of a loan consortium agreement inked last February.

Prosper’s securitizations will retain the multi-seller deal format, in which whole loan investors contribute collateral to the securitizations, said three people speaking with GlobalCapital on the sidelines at the LendIt Fintech USA 2018 event in San Francisco.

Anthony Noto on leaving Twitter for SoFi, and what comes next (Axios) Rated: AAA

Former Twitter chief operating officer Anthony Noto just finished his first month on the job as CEO of SoFi, the “unicorn” financial services company whose former CEO was booted late last year after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Axios spoke to Noto about the new job, growth plans, recruitment and that long-rumored IPO. The quick read:

  • He had always wanted to be a CEO, and felt he had accomplished what he set out to do at Twitter.
  • He believes SoFi is a cultural reclamation project, but that the core business is strong.
  • SoFi wants to launch a membership-type credit card.
  • The firm has no plans to either IPO or fundraise in 2018.
On joining SoFi as CEO, after stops at Twitter and Goldman Sachs:

“This opportunity leverages all of my professional background as a tech person, as a consumer-facing person and from a financial industry perspective.

Heard at LendIt Fintech 2018 (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Scott Sanborn, CEO of LendingClub:

“A reckoning is coming. The US is ground zero.There is a 37 trillion dollar shortfall in the retirement sector. This is coming and we cant just think we have 32 years to solve this problem.”

Omer Ismail, Chief Commercial Officer of Marcus:

“Since we launched 18 months ago we have done $3 billion in loans and we have $20 billion in deposits and about 500,000 in customers.”

Max Levchin, CEO and founder of Affirm:

“There are 10 to 15 million people in this country who need money and can probably borrow responsibly yet they end up at payday lending.”

Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans:

“If a mortgage can be done in 10 [days] a personal loan can be done in 1 [day]”

In a Bad Month for Public Equity Markets, Local Isn’t Spared (Street Fight) Rated: AAA

Source: Street Fight

Coming off one of the worst months in recent memory, March saw big declines in the public equity markets. The SCP SMB Index was the least impacted, retreating 4.1% compared to all other major indices, which declined more than 5% during the month.

The SCP SMB Index declined 4.1% in March. The S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones all experienced losses during the month of 5.1%, 5.2%, and 6.1%, respectively.

Returns since inception (indexed at Jan 4, 2016)

Since the inception of the SCP SMB Index in January 4, 2016 (where 100% is no change), here are the returns through March 29, 2018:

  • SCP SMB Index : 144.47%
  • S&P 500: 129.43%
  • Nasdaq : 141.73%
  • Dow Jones : 139.07%

Competition Among Lenders Worth Over $ 27,000 to Borrowers Last Week (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

We calculate the Mortgage Rate Competition Index weekly as the median spread between the lowest and highest APR offered by lenders in our marketplace. By calculating this spread, we hope to show consumers how much they stand to save by comparing rates during the lending shopping process.

Purchase loans

  • Across all purchase loan applications on LendingTree for the week ending April 8, the index was 0.59, up 0.03 from the previous week.
  • How big of a deal is it to nab a mortgage rate that’s 0.59% lower than the competition? Over 30 years, that could translate to $27,339 in savings on a $300,000 loan (see Mortgage Savings Tracker graphic below).

Refinances

  • The index was wider in the refinance market at 0.65, up from 0.63 the prior week.
  • Borrowers shopping for refi loans could have saved $30,329 by shopping for the lowest rate.

Which Graduate Degrees Deliver More Debt than Income? (Credible) Rated: AAA

Credible’s analysis of student loan debt levels and salaries across 16 graduate school majors shows that the most important consideration isn’t how much debt you’ll take on to obtain an advanced degree — or how much you’ll earn after graduation — but achieving the right balance between the two.

Key highlights

  • A Credible analysis of more than 91,000 graduate degree holders with student loans found significant debt and income differences across 16 graduate degree majors.
  • Dentists, optometrists, and veterinarians tend to have student loan debt that’s the most out of balance with their earnings soon after graduation.
  • Even years out of school, optometrists, veterinarians, physician assistants, dentists and pharmacists devote more than 10 percent of their monthly income to their student loan payments.
  • Computer scientists, MBA holders, people with masters in finance degrees (not MBA) and nurses allocate the smallest proportion of their monthly earnings to pay down their student loan debt (between 6.4 and 7.1 percent).

AUTOGRAVITY EXPANDS VEHICLE FINANCING OPTIONS TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS THROUGH A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH WESTBON (Lendit) Rated: A

AutoGravity, a FinTech pioneer that empowers car shoppers to buy and finance any new or used car in minutes from their smartphone, today announced a partnership with Westbon, the first lending platform for international students in the U.S. Through this unique partnership, Westbon financing options are now accessible to international students who use AutoGravity to finance their vehicle in the United States.

FINITIVE LAUNCHES ALTERNATIVE LENDING INVESTMENT PLATFORM WITH $ 1.3 BILLION OF INITIAL TRANSACTION VOLUME (Lendit) Rated: A

​Finitive LLC (www.finitive.com), a financial technology platform providing institutional investors with direct access to alternative lending investments, announced today the launch of its zero-fee platform.

Finitive, which commenced operations in August 2017, has received commitments for transactions with an aggregate capacity of $1.3 billion. Several asset managers and banks have committed capital for transactions in the consumer, renewable energy and commercial real estate lending sectors.

NSR Invest secures growth financing with FinSight Ventures (Lendit) Rated: A

Lend Core Inc., parent company to NSR Invest and LendingRobot, announced today the close of its first external financing round with FinSight Ventures. The investment will help the company expand its investor outreach, accelerate product development and strategic partnerships. FinSight Ventures General Partner, Alexey Garyunov, and Investment Director, Maxim Nazarov, will join Lend Core’s Board of Directors.

The company’s core technologies drive innovation through interactive analytics, custom modeling, algorithmic investing, order execution, portfolio management, and transparency through blockchain application.

Alchemy Peer-to-Peer Lending Will Help Millennials Dominate the Future of Finance (TechBullion) Rated: A

One blockchain startup, Alchemy, is using the technology to create a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system that ensures transparency and guarantees security to its participants.

Alchemy works by matching lenders and borrowers for the requested amount of capital. Because of the instant, global, and secure peer-to-peer interactions that blockchain facilitates, costs of service are kept incredibly low. Interest rates are kept as close to a free market determination as possible, ensuring a fair consumer experience that often eludes customers of big banks.

Quovo Launches New Products to Improve Lending Value Chain (Lendit) Rated: A

Quovo, a data platform that provides connectivity to consumer financial accounts, announced today at LendIt Fintech USA, new products that equip lenders with insights to streamline and improve key processes in the lending value chain, adding to Quovo’s ability to assist with underwriting, funding, and ongoing servicing workflows.

Income + Expense analyzes and summarizes recurring and irregular income and expense streams, creating a fuller picture of cash flow in linked accounts. Balance Estimator uses historical cash flows to predict future account balances up to 30 days in advance, giving loan servicers a key perspective on when customers can most
effectively meet their payment obligations.

Income + Expense and Balance Estimator provide valuable cash-flow-based insights that can be combined with Quovo’s core data products—such as Aggregation and Authentication—to create end-to-end solutions for lending, from the first loan application to the last servicing event.

MoneyLion Announces the Big Alternative to the Big Bank (Business Wire) Rated: A

MoneyLion today announced that it will be expanding its popular MoneyLion Plus membership with a full suite of checking and savings capabilities. With these additions, the new MoneyLion Plus membership will provide a comprehensive banking option for anyone with access to a smartphone, becoming the one and only financial membership consumers need to build wealth, improve credit and manage day-to-day spending.

DebtBench Consolidates The Business-to-business Loan Marketplace Into One Place (Benzinga) Rated: A

DebtBench: We are creating an Open Banking marketplace structure where business borrowers can connect and gain access to capital at lower rates, in far less time, than they would by going to a brick-and mortar institution. According to our estimates, banks, credit cards and other lending institutions generate $870B+ each year in fees and interest from over $3.2 trillion in lending activity. The interest rate spreads gained by financial institutions can be minimized.

Intrinio to Release API v2, Making Financial Data Even More Accessible (Lendit) Rated: B

Intrinio, a fintech company providing access to over 200 financial data feeds, will be releasing their API v2 this quarter.

Intrinio’s API v2 is built on the OpenAPI specification, which is a community-driven, open source, standardized API spec within the OpenAPI Initiative (OAI), a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. This allows both humans and computers to discover and understand the capabilities of a service without requiring access to source code, additional documentation, or inspection of network traffic.

OCC Gearing Up To Publish Position On FinTech Charter (PYMNTS) Rated: B

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is getting ready to release its position on a proposed charter for online lenders and other FinTech companies in the next three months.

AI and the next step in financial management tools (Venture Beat) Rated: B

An Aite Group study finding has the answer. More than 75 percent of 22- to 49-year-old consumers are interested in this kind of advice and guidance around reducing debt, achieving savings goals, and tracking their finances, as well as optimizing their overall financial health.

Funding Your Dream: Financial Tips for Startups (Axcess News) Rated: B

 

Small Business Loans

Companies like the Lending Club, make it easy for you to apply for small business loans online. You can receive several thousand dollars towards your business expenses.

 

Building a Strong Credit History Without Using Credit Cards (Analyst of Finance) Rated: B

Although many people turn to credit cards to help them build credit, there are other tools individuals can use to improve their credit scores. Since some people have trouble managing credit card debt and do not want to pay high-interest rates, they often turn to alternatives to help them build a solid credit history. Here are a few of those alternatives.

Loans to Help Build Credit
Some banks and credit unions will offer their members what are known as credit builder loans. The goal is to pay off the loan before the maturity date.

Peer-to-Peer Lending
Instead of going through a traditional financial institution, borrowers can apply for loans offered by individual investors. Known as peer-to-peer loans, consumers can apply using a reputable P2P lending website or service. The loans typically offer reasonable interest rates, and this type of financing is completely legitimate.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle lends £123m to businesses in March (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: AAA

The figure represented an increase on the £113m lent in February.

The company announced in its monthly review that in March it provided 1,831 businesses with access to finance and created 4,670 jobs (directly and indirectly) via its platform.

Funding Circle lent over £701m from September 2017 to March 2018 and more than 10,500 small businesses accessed finance through the platform in the same period.

Funding Circle SME fund considers new equity raise (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund is considering a potential equity raise as it assesses its growth options.

Any issue of shares or sale from treasury would be priced at NAV plus a premium to cover all issue costs, the fund said in a stock exchange announcement on Monday.

MarketInvoice joins NatWest Capital Connections panel (Finextra) Rated: A

NatWest has added invoice finance platform MarketInvoice to its Capital Connections panel, which helps SMEs unable to borrow from banks get access to alternative sources of money.

Liberis raises £57.5M to offer finance for small businesses paid back via customer card transactions (TechCrunch) Rated: A

Liberis, the London-based fintech that provides finance for small businesses, has raised £57.5 million in new funding to help support the company’s growth. The alternative finance provider makes loans against a company’s future credit and debit card sales.

The majority of the new capital being raised by Liberis  is debt, which in turn will enable it to issue more loans. The facility is being provided by British Business Investments (the commercial arm of the tax payer-funded British Business Bank), Paragon Bank, and BCI Finance.

In addition, Blenheim Chalcot has made an equity investment into Liberis. The so-called “digital venture builder” also previously backed Clearscore, the credit scoring startup recently acquired by Experian.

As good as it ap(peer)s? (Metro) Rated: A

■ Peer-to-peer lending is becoming popular in low interest times, but it’s controversial

Peer-to-peer remains controversial, especially since the government approved a new type of Isa, the Innovative Finance Isa (Ifisa), in April 2016 that allows customers to receive income from the peer-to-peer loans they make free of tax.

There are many questions you will need to ask before lending your cash. Here are some of the most important:

What returns can I really get?

When faced with the best-buy rate on an instant access current account (around 1.3 per cent according to Moneyfacts), or on a five-year, fixed- rate bond (2.75 per cent), it’s hard not to find the headline rate you would receive from a peer-to-peer lending site very attractive.

Is the platform a member of a reputable association?

The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association is the main trade body, though not all companies involved are members. Check membership at p2pfa.org.uk. Robert Pettigrew, director of the association, says: ‘Investors should understand the nature and level of risk to which they are exposed, so that they can ensure that it is commensurate with their individual risk appetite.

 

China

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial to Raise $ 9 Billion, Become World’s Biggest Unicorn (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial Services Group, carved out of his e-commerce giant Alibaba Group HoldingLtd. BABA -0.52% seven years ago, is preparing to raise $9 billion in a private funding round, according to people familiar with the matter. That ups a previous fundraising target of $5 billion.

Ant, which owns popular mobile payments network Alipay and is one of China’s largest non-bank lenders, is currently in talks with potential investors and demand for its shares has so far been strong, the people familiar said.

The latest funding round could value Ant at close to $150 billion, according to the people, making it by far the world’s largest unicorn—a term used to describe private companies valued at over $1 billion.

X Financial Provides a Chinese Fintech Perspective at LendIt USA (Markets Insider) Rated: A

“Fintech is playing animportant role in China. Given the demands for consumer finance are not yet fully satisfied and credit system is not perfect, financial technology has a golden development opportunity in Chinawhich leads the world in data mining and processing capabilities in the mobile Internet market.” said Simon Cheng, President of X Financial, a leading fintech company in China at LendIt USA recently.

International

Is the Banking System Up for Disruption? (GURUFocus) Rated: A

The popularity of blockchain technology has grown over the last several years as the hype surrounding the cryptocurrency market has thrived. Nearly every industry is currently exploring options on how they can use this disruptive technology to make a difference in the market. Its impact on various sectors has attracted big technology companies like Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM). They ventured into distributed ledger technology architecture to augment their existing businesses while simultaneously trying to exploit emerging opportunities in the industry.

Over the last two decades, the financial services sector has experienced a major technological shake-up, with emerging industries like fintech playing a vital role. PayPal Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) disrupted the payments industry by introducing online methods of payment. While some said credit cards and checks would be phased out in due time, they are still crucial products. It remains to be seen how long they will last, though.

On the other hand, peer-to-peer lending platforms like LendingClub Corp. (NYSE:LC) and Zorpa reinvented lending and, in the process, sparked debates on whether they could eventually overtake traditional lending in the credit market. Nothing of the sort has come to pass, yet. In fact, after peaking in the first half of the current decade, peer-to-peer lending may have started to experience a slowdown in growth.

RESPONDING TO TECHNOLOGY DISRUPTION IN WHOLESALE BANKING (International Banker) Rated: A

In this article, we explore two areas that have attracted significant interest by FinTech innovators:

  • Marketplace lenders (MPLs) that are disrupting traditional credit-underwriting models with lower overhead, higher transparency, faster loan approval and higher returns on capital.
  • Blockchain-based supply chains with the potential to disrupt entrenched payments and credit processes by managing the physical and financial flows associated with commerce. In addition, we discuss approaches to IT spending and innovation that banks can take in response.

Ezira – The distributed social media and business platform (AMBCrypto) Rated: A

Ezira will utilize the delegated proof of stake decentralized consensus algorithm used by Bitshares, EOS, and Steem. Ezira will operate on a new public blockchain, will provide a flagship user application, and a multi-token circular economic model. It will have a fairer token distribution and will share drop 10% of the EZIRA asset onto the cryptocurrency community.

The Ezira network will offer users access to a suite of cryptocurrency and social media features during its release.

Content Rewards

Users will receive content rewards for posting according to the number of votes and views that each post receives. Once per day, a content reward payment will be distributed according to the stake weight of the accounts that upvoted and viewed the content.

Ezira Cryptocurrencies

Payments using Ezira currencies will have zero transaction fees and will receive confirmation within the 3 second block time. Users send EziraCoin to a stealth address and send payments using a ring signature, and use ring confidential transactions to conceal the payment amount.

Decentralized Exchange

Users will be able to use peer to peer lending to earn interest by lending their funds to other users, based on collateral, independent verification processes, and established creditworthiness.

Australia

Online lender Prospa challenges Australia’s big banks (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Last year Prospa passed a milestone of providing more than A$500m ($385m) in loans to 12,000 businesses.

The company offers loans of between A$5,000 and A$250,000, over a term of three to 24 months, with no security required for amounts of up to A$100,000. Its platform enables business owners to apply within 10 minutes, receive approval on the same day and funding within 24 hours.

Annual interest rates on Prospa loans vary depending on risk but typically start at roughly 12 per cent and stretch into the mid-20s.

Prospa’s growth has been supported by venture capital backers, with AirTree leading a A$25m funding round last year that valued Prospa at A$235m. The funds enabled the lender to boost its staff to 165, build a direct distribution channel and sign up 7,000 intermediary partners.

Australia lags on digital banking revolution: Oracle survey (The Sydney Morning Herald) Rated: A

New survey results from US technology firm Oracle suggest Australians are less open, compared with consumers in other large economies, to engaging with the fintech revolution.

The survey, released on Wednesday, shows only 6.25 per cent of Australians regularly use a “fintech” bank, compared with 10 per cent in the United States, 12 per cent in Britain, and 40.5 per cent in India.

Despite a growing number of digital “robo advisers”, 9.75 per cent of local respondents said they used fintech wealth advisers services frequently, compared with 16 per cent in Britain and 21.5 per cent in United States.

India

P2P lending company Faircent.com launches its open API platform (ETRise) Rated: AAA

P2P lending firm Faircent.com will soon be opening its API platform for developers. The move will enable new fintech entrants and offline businesses to leverage the company’s technological infrastructure to build new digital lending products, as well as to integrate existing solutions into their offerings.

Faircent.com’s technology stack offers a wide range of solutions pertaining to online lending such as borrower and lender verification, credit evaluation and underwriting, and payment collection and recovery, among others.

Kae Capital infuses funds in P2P digital lending startup Loanzen (ENTracker) Rated: A

Loanzen, a peer to peer business loan marketplace startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of sum from Kae Capital. The Bengaluru-based digital lending platform had earlier raised an undisclosed seed funding from Angels through TracxnSyndicate.

The fintech firm will deploy fresh funds to expand operations. It also holds NBFC licence by RBI.

Asia

How is Fintech Making Credit Cards and Personal Loans Easier to Get? (TechWorm), Rated: AAA

Fintech firms have exploded onto the financial scene in Singapore and other mature markets in Asia in recent times. Focusing on disruptive technologies like peer-to-peer lending, affordable digital payment solutions, and more accurate risk analysis among other things, these startups are winning over customers by replacing the service delivery model used by traditional banks with user-friendly technologies.

Fintech Companies Are Changing the Process of Loan Offtake

Have you ever heard about Crowdo, Capital Springboard, FundedHere, or MoolahSense? These are peer-to-peer online lending sites through which you can raise funds by sharing your story. These crowdfunding sites are revolutionising the alternative lending space through disintermediation, cost optimisation, quicker delivery, and technology modernisation.

Players like Skolafund provide deserving students a chance to get funded by potential funders for pursuing education in an affordable manner. They can match profiles and ensure that the right student meets the right funder.

SMEs, often ignored by traditional banking channels, have found their go-to source for funds. Crowd Genie, which started in 2016, is helping SMEs get loans through crowdfunding.

MENA

Start-up crowdfunding: Window of opportunity (Arabian Business) Rated: A

After witnessing the 2011 Egyptian revolution, former journalist Ahmed Moor decided to launch Liwwa, a peer-to-peer funding platform that would address the MENA region’s $240bn SME funding gap by lending money to growing businesses.

Together with co-founder and CTO Samer Atiani (former senior software developer at New York-based online retailer Etsy), Moor has managed to lend over $8m to SMEs across the region since the establishment of the Amman-based firm in 2013.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday March 2 2018 Daily News Digest

Alibaba and Tencent investments

News Comments Today’s main news: Vanguard partners with Raisin. Rumor alert: Upstart seeking $100M from investors. LendInvest changes commercial property products. Apple may be blocking Chinese P2P lenders from app updates. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ’s MPL earnings insights report. (A MUST-READ) Today’s thought-provoking articles: Fintech holds promise to expand credit. How the PE lifecycle can be audited by the blockchain. How […]

Alibaba and Tencent investments

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Online lender Upstart is said to seek $ 100 million from investors (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Upstart, which was founded by Google veterans, is testing venture capitalists’ appetite for an investment round of about $100 million, said two people briefed on the matter.

The San Carlos, Calif.-based startup is looking to sell shares that would value the business at $500 million to $1 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. This venture capitalist didn’t pursue a deal because of an existing competitive investment.

PeerIQ’s Marketplace Lending Earnings Insights (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

    • Where are we in the credit cycle? Earnings calls indicate CEOs/CFOs are constructive on the health of the US consumer and see a tax reform as improving consumers’ disposable income. However, an increasing supply for credit and demand for credit, as well as re-normalization trends and increased competition are leading to higher charge-offs.
Source: PeerIQ
  • Credit re-normalization continues across all major lending groups. Credit performance this quarter is mixed. We observe improvements, and record low delinquencies from ONDK, OMF, and FinTechs in particular. LendingClub expects 31 bps lower charge-offs going forward due to tighter credit standards. At Discover – a bellwether for personal loan performance – the net charge off rate jumped 92 bps YOY to 3.62% – the largest increase in several years.
  • Card issuers are increasing loan loss reserves at a higher rate than loan growth, indicating expectations of higher losses going forward. American Express increased loan loss provisions 33% although loan growth was only 14%.
  • GS & Morgan Stanley remain comparable in market cap, revenues, and margins – are focused on lending to improve ROE. MS is doubling the size of its warehouse lending footprint. GS continues to invest in Marcus and aggressively pursue M&A. If GS executes on its strategic plan of generating, in 5 years we should observe a growth in ROE from their consumer lending activities.
  • Bank FinTech partnerships, and M&A continues. Banks are either partnering with FinTechs or investing in beefing up their technology capabilities in payments, lending, digital banking and wealth management. Banks like JP are partnering with Amazon by rolling out co-branded checking accounts and credit cards. A specter is haunting financial services – the specter of Amazon.
  • Lenders are taking actions to pass rising rates on to borrowers to protect margins and investor returns. Lenders are also trying to reduce all-in funding costs by reducing the credit spreads on their securitizations.
Source: PeerIQ

Read the full report here.

 

Fintech Holds Great Promise To Expand Credit, Says Fed’s Bank Supervision Ace (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Fintech holds great promise to expand credit, Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Bank Supervision Randy Quarles told a forum on financial services for the underserved Monday.

While promoting the advantages of algorithm credit rating and other forms of fintech, he voiced it is important for banks to understand the risks when they offer new products of their own or partner with emerging fintech companies.

Touching on another issue, Quarles said the decline in lending by small banks to small businesses can be attributed in part by entrepreneurs using big bank credit cards.

THE PE LIFECYCLE CAN BE AUDITED BY BLOCKCHAIN (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The hyperledger fabric is an open-source cross-industry collaborative effort to create a standardized enterprise code base. No cryptocurrency is required, the network is permissioned, and the system of consensus is PBFT rather than proof of work.

That latter point is important in the finance/auditing context, and so is worthy of some explanation here. The usual system in blockchains is “proof of work.” The creator of a new “block” within the chain is required to do something mathematically laborious, a calculation, also called “mining.” This is what allows the trustless and distributed consensus that made possible the creation of “bitcoins” and the launch of blockchain as a technology.

But “proof of work” takes up a lot of computational energy, and for some non-currency uses of blockchain it is just too much trouble. So alternatives protocols have developed within the blockchain world, and one of them has the ungainly name “practical byzantine fault tolerance.” That term comes from a game-theoretical issue called the “Byzantine Generals’ Problem,” which is something like the “prisoner’s dilemma” on steroids. But it is generally best to ignore all of that and just to think of the alternative protocol as PBFT.

Avant Founders Raise $ 15 Million for Blockchain Firm, Token Sale (Bloomberg), Rated: A

The team that founded marketplace lender Avant Inc. raised about $15 million to start a firm that will use blockchain technology and digital tokens to motivate companies to share data about customer identities and credit worthiness.

The venture, which is called Springcoin but does business as Spring Labs, is building a decentralized network that seeks to allow lenders, banks and data providers to pay one another for direct access to consumer information, Spring Labs Chief Executive Officer Adam Jiwan said in an interview. Many companies are hesitant to give out customer data due to concerns about regulation and security, while others don’t have a financial incentive to do so, he said.

TD Bank in commercial lendtech revamp with nCino (Fintech Futues), Rated: A

Chalk up another big win for cloud-based lendtech vendor nCino. The North Carolina-based fintech has signed a deal with TD Bank in the US that will put nCino’s Bank Operating System to work for the bank’s corporate and commercial lending divisions, reports David Penn at Finovate.

The technology is already live with employees in the TD Equipment Finance department. nCino’s platform will give prospective business borrowers faster decisions on their loan requests, as well as add transparency to the loan process. The Bank Operating System will also enable the bank’s credit risk management, sales, and underwriting professionals to benefit from insights into TD Bank’s commercial lending portfolio and better collaborate on deals. Built on top of Salesforce.com, nCino’s Bank Operating system features CRM, loan origination, account opening, workflow, content management, business process management, customer engagement, and instant reporting all on a single platform.

How blockchain is affecting banking (Stitcher), Rated: A

In this episode the host John Siracusa and co-host Sarah Bacehowski. Interview Jason Jones co founder of the Lendit Fintech Conference they discuss how blockchain is affecting national and global banking today and how it may impact credit and lending.

Fintech’s Focus Shifts Toward Finance (CFO), Rated: A

The financial technology industry is maturing at a dizzying pace, having exceeded a combined $31 billion in total funding last year alone, according to KPMG’s recent Pulse of Fintech report.

With this sustained influx of funding, innovations within the space are moving traditional banks to partner up with fintech firms. That benefits both sides as well as customers like corporate finance departments.

On Deck Capital and Lending Club have both recently found themselves in publicly precarious situations related to risk management. On Deck has had to change its strategy several times over the years to address investor concerns. Lending Club experienced a systematic fraud issue that resulted in a CEO departure, stock-price drop, and public cynicism. Other, smaller companies have faced similar problems stemming from a deficient focus on this important role.

Top 5 Debt Consolidation Loan Companies for 2018 (Student Loan Hero), Rated: A

Using a personal loan to consolidate debt can simplify your financial life. But this move is most worthwhile if you can get debt consolidation loan rates that are lower than what you’re currently paying.

This overview can help you quickly find debt consolidation loan companies with the best rates. From there, you can find the lender that offers the best rates and terms to help you get ahead of your debt.

Source: Student Loan Hero

Omnichannel and Short-Term Lending (Lendit), Rated: A

Research conducted in late 2016 noted that three things were apt to cause the average customer to end his or her interaction with a company. These included being transferred between multiple employees when seeking a resolution to a problem, long wait times, and having to repeat themselves during a transaction process. To solve these kinds of discrepancies between customer expectations and the quality of service provided across multiple platforms, more companies are taking an omnichannel approach to the customer experience—especially in the financial services industry.

Below are three questions and answers about how this novel approach to customer experience can benefit both short-term lenders and borrowers.

  1. What does the omnichannel approach offer businesses and customers in the short-term lending industry?
  2. What obstacles stand in the way of the mass adoption of omnichannel lending?
  3. What is the best way for short-term lenders to implement an omnichannel model?

LAUREL ROAD DEBUTS TRULY DIGITAL MORTGAGE PLATFORM (PR Newsire), Rated: A

Laurel Road, an online lender and FDIC-insured bank, today debuts a truly digital mortgage product that uses the company’s secure lending technology to offer home buyers and owners personalized mortgage options at real, competitive rates. Laurel Road’s platform builds mortgages entirely online, simplifying the process with transparent fees and a customized end-to-end digital experience with human support only when customers need it.

Additional product features include:

  • Truly digital experience – Laurel Road’s mortgage product puts customers in the driver’s seat by enabling a digital-first user experience, with human support via phone or online chat as needed but never required outside of closing
  • Stated pricing – Customers who have a price range or specific house in mind can input these details upfront to generate customized options and rates
  • Maximum affordability – By inputting basic financial information, customers can determine the maximum affordable loan they’re eligible for early in the process with no commitment required
  • Added savings – Customers have the ability to earn savings off their closing costs by using the online capabilities throughout the process, such as data verification
  • Optimized for efficiency – Digitally-enabled experience and built-in incentives for options that streamline the process allows Laurel Road to invest more in customer experience and deliver mortgages in just a few weeks
  • Educational resources – Prompts integrated into the user journey will help customers establish their financial readiness and evaluate how Laurel Road can be a partner in the process
  • Expert options and clear terms and fees – Based on a customer’s preferences, 3 unique mortgage options are presented in a transparent way so one doesn’t get caught with misleading teaser rates or hidden fees
  • Soft credit pull – Laurel Road will conduct a soft credit pull during preliminary stages to avoid credit penalties when customers are still exploring options

DiversyFund Hires New Chief Technology Officer (Digital Journal), Rated: B

DiversyFund has named Mark Brogowicz as its new Chief Technology Officer as the firm ramps up its efforts to reinvent alternative investing through its revolutionary crowdfunding platform.

Brogowicz will lead the firm’s product and engineering teams. Brogowicz previously helped Los Angeles startup PeerStreet launch their product and is now looking to replicate that process in San Diego.

MassChallenge wants to pair fintech startups with finance giants (Boston Business Journal), Rated: B

MassChallenge is preparing to launch a program for startups specializing in financial services technology, or fintech — a fast-growing field that’s increasingly a top priority for Boston’s investment firms, banks and insurance companies.

While details are still being worked out, the program is expected be similar to the Boston-based organization’s accelerator for health technology startups, according to MassChallenge. That program, known as Pulse@MassChallenge, pairs later-stage startups with some of the industry’s biggest local and national players, like Aetna and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The program provides them with mentoring, office space, and an opportunity to compete for cash prizes.

Shinnecock Partners Publishes an Investor’s Guide to Fine Art Secured Lending (PR News), Rated: B

Shinnecock Partners, a 28-year old family office boutique with significant expertise in alternative finance and fintech, has published “Creative Collateral: Lending Against Fine Art,” by the firm’s founding partner, Alan C. Snyder and co-authors/firm analysts Michael Cervino and Christian Williams. The 16-page report outlines a little-known niche investment opportunity, art-secured lending, which, as reported by Deloitte, is a $15 – $20 billion market that is growing at an annual rate of 13 percent.

The research paper covers:

  •     An overview of the market and the “buzzword” lexicon
  •     Key factors to consider
  •     Risk mitigants
  •     An investor participation road map

You can access the report at: 

Private Lending Association to Offer Class for Certified Fund Manager Designation (PR Newswire), Rated: B

The American Association of Private Lenders (AAPL) is offering the Certified Fund Manager (CFM) designation class May 9, 2018, at the Geraci Activate Conference, located at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. AAPL members are eligible for the CFM designation and may register for the class at  or  The CFM designation class requires a separate registration from the Geraci Activate Conference.

Seek Capital Wins Again, #1 Customer-Rated Lender for the Business Loans Category from LendingTree in Q4 2017 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

On LendingTree’s platform, Seek Capital has a 4.9 out of 5 star rating. 57 different businesses have reviewed Seek Capital on LendingTree.

Seek Capital specializes in getting startup business loans for new businesses. While there is a large array of funding options for established businesses, new businesses are left with little to no options. Seek Capital provides solutions to this under-serviced segment of the business funding market. In 2017, Seek Capital originated close to $100 million for startup businesses in the form of an unsecured line of credit.

United Kingdom

LendInvest changes commercial property products (Mortage Introducer), Rated: AAA

Borrowers wishing to fund the purchase of, extend the lease on, or refurbish a commercial property where the use will remain commercial, are directed to the updated commercial bridging product.

LendInvest has increased the maximum term for its commercial bridging loans from 12 to 24 months, and reduced rates.

Its commercial bridging rates vary between LTV but the base 60% has been reduced from 0.90% to 0.79%.

Best refer-a-friend schemes: how you can earn up to £500 (Which?), Rated: A

NatWest has launched its first ever refer-a-friend scheme, which could earn eligible customers up to £500 – and it’s not the only company offering incentives for signing-up your loved ones.

Until 20 April 2018, eligible customers will receive up to £500 when their friends and family join NatWest. But it’s not open to everyone, with NatWest randomly selecting 300,000 customers for the test phase.

Refer-a-friend: current accounts

Earn £500 with NatWest-NatWest recently launched its first ever refer-a-friend scheme, offering existing members the chance to earn up to £500 by recommending its current accounts to friends and family.

Earn up to £500 with Nationwide-Nationwide is offering existing members the chance to earn up to £500 by encouraging friends and family to switch their current account.

Earn £25 with Vanquis -Vanquis Bank customers could earn £25 for convincing friends and family to sign up to the Vanquis Credit Card.

Earn £25 vouchers with Scottish Friendly-Customers of Scottish Friendly could earn £25 by introducing a new friend or family member to the company.

P2P securitisation boom still on the cards (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

PREDICTIONS of a securitisation boom in the peer-to-peer lending sector last year failed to materialise, but analysts are still optimistic about the market.

Ratings agencies such as Moody’s predicted a boom in P2P securitisations, but the only activity in 2017 was a £208.9m Zopa deal led by investment trust P2P Global Investments.

Ratings agency S&P Global is also expecting more activity and has predicted a 30 per cent increase in securitisations from marketplace lenders around the world during 2018.

7 TECH STARTUPS THAT ARE TAKING IRELAND BY STORM (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

Pro-business policies have made the country an extremely favourable environment for startups, and the capital can lay a convincing claim to be Europe’s Silicon Valley. Here are just seven of the most interesting and highly awarded startups finding success in Ireland.

Mingo- Mingo are aiming to replicate the success of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum by floating their own currency called (quite logically) Mingocoin.

Trezeo- Firms are using digital tools to revolutionise the process of transferring and storing traditional currencies as well as digital-only ones. Trezeo are a perfect example of this mindset, and offer a product that’s of use to the everyman rather than the big financial institutions.

FlenderFlender is one of the success stories from crowdfunded investment platform Seedrs. The premise: peer-to-peer lending, where lenders can set their own rates and terms for borrowers to agree to.

Don’t Innovate for Innovation’s Sake. Understand the Need for Change. (Retail Tech News), Rated: A

Here, Luke Griffiths (pictured below), general manager, Klarna UKexplains why that means it’s crucial that retailers consider the shopping journey from browsing through to purchase, delivery, and returns.  

It’s no longer good enough for retailers to wait on the sidelines while others make the first move into innovation – something which was highlighted in a recent white paper Klarna produced in association with Internet Retailing. In it, we explored the main qualities needed to be successful in today’s ever-changing retail sector.

Retailers can’t afford to ignore more innovative payment options. This was highlighted by recent Klarna research, which found that 53% of shoppers are looking for new, easier ways to pay online; while 56% would buy more online if there was more variety in payment options available.

 

British Business Bank provides 1pm with £35m funding line (Leasing Life), Rated: A

The British Business Bank provided 1pm Group with a £35m asset finance facility which will be used mainly on hard assets through its subsidiary Bradgate Business Finance.

At the end of February 1pm has entered into a cooperation agreement with Mintos to be a loan originator on its online marketplace for loans.

1pm is the first loan originator from the UK to access the Mintos marketplace and joins approximately 30 other loan originators globally.

 

 

It’s time to crack down on high-cost credit cards, says Labour MP (The Investment Observer), Rated: B

Stella Creasy is hoping to crack down on high-cost credit cards, introducing a cap on fees and interest charges.

The Labour MP, who was credited with the caps on interest rates and fees charged by payday loan companies, will attempt to enforce similar laws for credit cards on in Parliament on Tuesday.

The FCA has ruled out capping credit card costs after reviewing the market last year.

 

China

Apple App Store Said to be Blocking Chinese Peer to Peer Lenders from Updating Apps (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

We have received some information from an insider regarding Chinese peer to peer lending platforms being unable to update their Apps in the Apple App store due to a regulatory disconnect.

The problem is that not a single Chinese peer to peer lender has passed the necessary evaluations as regulators have not yet processed any. The first batch of approvals from the Chinese authorities is due at the end of April with the deadline by the end of June. According to the source, it is even more perplexing due to the fact that having an updated iOS App is necessary to comply with the Chinese regulations and pass the tests.

The Apple enforced process is described as follows:

  • We need to update our iOS App so that we can provide updated features to customers that are in compliance with regulations
  • Local financial regulators will not allow us to complete the record-filing process if they see that we have not come into compliance across all of our platforms (Android, iOS, PC)
  • If we can’t complete the record-filing process, then we will not be allowed to update our business license to include “internet loan information agency” in permitted activities
  • If we can’t update our business license, we can’t provide the necessary documentation to App Review to have our App Update approved
  • If we can’t get our iOS app updated, then we won’t be in compliance with regulations
  • Dead-end feedback loop back to point #1….
European Union

Vanguard Teams With German Fintech Raisin (Investopedia), Rated: AAA

Vanguard, the king of passive investing and one of the world’s largest fund managers, is partnering with Raisin, the German fintech, enabling some of its investments to be sold on the fintech’s platform.

Raisin, among Europe’s largest fintechs, counting more than 100,000 customers, will offer four portfolios comprising index or exchange-traded funds from Vanguard and BNP Paribas. The Financial Times reported that the investment portfolios have annual costs on average that are less than 0.5%. According to The Financial Times, this is the first time Raisin is getting into the investment area, previously focusing its efforts on brokered savings deposits.

Banks deploy ID software for client verification (Financial Times), Rated: A

Banks have begun to implement new technologies to help verify who the customer is, though the new GDPR rules in Europe could complicate usage; the General Data Protection Regulation, which will restrict how companies collect and store data, allows for customers to ask for their data to be removed and non compliance results in huge fines; banks have started to slowly add new technology but they are still figuring out where to limit storage; new companies are trying to sell services into bank that allow them to collect information but store it in a certain way to be compliant; with new technology being developed so rapidly, governments need to ensure they keep up with innovation and clearly tell the market how to comply.

German fintech Penta launches new business banking platform (AltFiNews), Rated: A

Berlin-based Penta has announced its newest fintech “Compass”, a platform that allows incorporating businesses in Germany to deposit their share capital and open a bank account in under 24 hours.

According to Penta, incorporating a business can take up to 6-8 weeks because of the bureaucratic process of opening a bank account and registering with the correct government bodies, which is legally required in Germany. Penta’s latest proposition will allow founders to open a bank account in a process that takes less than 15 minutes, completing the whole process online for free.

 

International

BBVA-backed fintech launches global bank account (American Banker), Rated: AAA

A new fintech backed by the Spanish bank BBVA aims to do something that others before it have failed to do: simplify international payments.

The fintech, Denizen, claims it has created a “global banking platform” that allows customers to receive money in one country and pay it out in another immediately, avoiding international transfer fees and eliminating currency exchange fees.

The firm says the cross-border money movement service is the first in a planned series of products. Denizen is currently available to expatriates living in Spain and the United States. The service is set to expand in 2018, adding as many as 10 European Union countries in the second half of the year as well as the United Kingdom.

Finastra appoints new CTO to lead next wave of financial services innovation (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Finastra today announced that Eli Rosner has joined the firm as Chief Product and Technology Officer. Eli is responsible for global product and technology strategy and will support Finastra to deliver world class products, fully integrated solutions and its open FusionFabric.cloud platform for innovation.

Eli brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the role at Finastra. He joins from NCR Corporation where he served as CTO and Head of Product Management. Based in London, Eli will lead a global team of strategy and product managers, enterprise architects, data scientists and software engineers.

Australia

Online lender launches new loan portal (The Adviser), Rated: AAA

A custom-built introducer portal designed to facilitate fast, real-time processing of loan applications for brokers has been launched by an Australian marketplace lender.

Online lender Zagga this week launched the new portal, which uses custom-built algorithms to match wholesale investors with borrowers.

Speaking to The Adviser, Zagga CEO Alan Greenstein said the portal would provide brokers with simple, fast, and direct access to the loan application process from start to finish.

Sydney Angels funds QPay $ 570k to steal millennial students from banks (Finextra), Rated: A

Australia’s first ever student marketplace app, QPay, has raised $570,000 from a series of high profile investors, including Sydney Angels and the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund 2, to break into student banking through the release of a student-targeted QPay MasterCard.

QPay aims to use the QPay MasterCard to capture the largest cluster of millennial consumers at the point when they’re most likely to begin making serious financial decisions – when enrolled in tertiary education.

Asia

How Alibaba and Tencent became Asia’s biggest dealmakers (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

The China Music story shows just how hard it can be to say no to Tencent — and the other big player in the Chinese tech world, Alibaba. With their large resources and long-term perspective, the two Chinese groups are transforming Asia’s investment landscape, posing challenges for private equity and venture capitalists as well as the start-ups looking for funds. In some parts of the region, SoftBank, the Japanese investment group, is playing a similar role.

The reach of Tencent and Alibaba in their home market dwarfs that of the big tech groups in the US. While the latter accounts for less than 5 per cent of all venture capital flows in their home market, Alibaba and Tencent account for 40-50 per cent of venture capital flows in mainland China, according to data from McKinsey.

If the venture capital market in China has become a fierce battle between Alibaba and Tencent, in other parts of the region it is often a three-pronged competition that also includes SoftBank.

 

Can Korean entrepreneurs help create Indonesia’s next unicorn? (The Investor), Rated: A

Indonesia is home to four unicorns — startups whose value reaches over US$1 billion — Go-jek, Traveloka, Tokopeida and Bukalapak. But the world’s fourth populous country with more than 250 million potential spenders wants more such success stories.

“Currently, we have four startup unicorns from Indonesia but none are from fintech services. I hope to see the next unicorn from this field,” said Rudiantara, adding that he believes P2P lending fintech startups have a chance to become the next unicorn.

His wish may soon become a reality as Indonesia’s market potential, combined with the government’s push for creating a startup hub are attracting aspiring entrepreneurs from all around the world.

Africa

How technology is changing wealth management (Money Web), Rated: AAA

The investment world is no different. Robo-advice is but one small part of the broader fintech landscape, but it has already made a major impact on the investment space through improved access and by allowing investors to plan for specific needs without the use of a traditional advisor. Technology has also made pricing more competitive.

According to Accenture, global investment in fintech ventures tripled from just over $4 billion in 2013 to more than $12 billion in 2014.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday February 27 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingClub

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi’s new CEO wants to get the company ready to go public. Revolut’s transaction volumes increased 700%. China to crackdown on non-bank lending. Blender raises $16M. Today’s main analysis: Stay away from LendingClub’s notes and shares. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Legacy banks, digital startups see opportunity to go beyond storing money. LendingBlock aims to mainstream […]

LendingClub

News Comments

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United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

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United States

Anthony Noto’s Mission as SoFi CEO: Get the Startup Ready to Go Public (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Anthony Noto, the new chief executive officer of Social Finance Inc., is looking to steer the company out of crisis and get it in shape for a potential initial public offering.

The vision for SoFi outlined by Noto didn’t stray far from the one set by his predecessor Mike Cagney, who was ousted after accusations of sexual misconduct inside the company. Noto wants to create a broad online financial-service company, adding checking and savings accounts and wealth management to the main business of refinancing student loans.

SoFi’s new CEO says bank charter remains an option (American Banker), Rated: A

In an interview during his first day on the job, Anthony Noto did not promise any big course changes, though he did leave open the possibility that SoFi will revive its quest to get a banking license.

LendingClub’s Underwriting: Stay Away From The Notes And The Shares (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

I bought my first batch of $25 notes on April 22, 2016. Now, it is important to note that LendingClub is very clear in its advertising that “99% of portfolios with 100+ Notes have seen positive returns.” So I suppose I added a level of risk by not having a portfolio worth at least $2500. But even still, returns can be .1% annualized and count as ‘positive’, but that is not an acceptable return by anyone’s standards given the risks involved in lending to strangers.

My Portfolio

To date, I have received $436 in payments, $96 of which is interest. I have lost $100 on notes that have charged-off, meaning that there is zero expectation of future payment and LendingClub collectors have stopped attempting to reach the borrower. I also have a note that is late, and based on how things have gone so far, I fully expect that to charge-off too and will lose the $11.50 still owed. In short, I have already lost almost 20% of my initial investment, crossing my fingers that none of the 14 notes I still have that are current don’t enter a late status with more than a year to go before the oldest reaches full term. My results have been dismal.

Source: Seeking Alpha

LendingClub’s ratings are A-G, with A being the safest. As you can see, the vast majority of my portfolio sits in A-C, with one E and one G note (LendingClub did away with F and G notes last year).

Source: Seeking Alpha

Legacy Banks and Digital Startups See a Big Opportunity to Move Beyond Simply Storing Money (AdWeek), Rated: AAA

Change can be hard for the financial industry, which is dominated by decades of processes and internal systems. But with a slew of upstarts making their way into the trillion-dollar industry, the old guard is finding innovative ways to beat these challenger brands at their own game.

“A lot of these companies have what we call ‘technical debt’—very expensive mainframe systems that are very difficult to change, run [and are] expensive and obviously that limits their ability to innovate,” said Oliwia Berdak, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “The biggest challenge is often culture … In banks the attitude has always been to perfect [products] before it’s unleashed on customers and [technology] is a big change where you’re working with a certain degree of uncertainty and risk.”

According to data collected by Accenture, 90 percent of banking executives said that their companies needed to “innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to remain competitive,” but only 47.8 percent say that they are actually “investing comprehensively” in digital.

Another challenge: For all the talk about slick mobile banking apps and services, consumers—gasp—still like going to physical banks to manage financial decisions. Eighty-seven percent of customers enjoy going to a physical bank and prefer to interact with a human while there, per Accenture.

Source: AdWeek

Retail Banks Are Missing Opportunities to Give Digital Financial Advice (Wealth Management), Rated: A

Most customers who received face-to-face financial advice from their retail bank felt their needs were completely met (58 percent), but satisfaction drops when advice is delivered by other means, according to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Retail Banking Sales Practices & Advice Study. Only 45 percent of customers who received digital advice through their bank’s website or mobile app felt their needs were met and only 33 percent felt their needs were met via email.
The majority of customers surveyed for the study (58 percent) said they want to receive advice through their bank’s website and mobile app, but only 12 percent said they received advice in that manner.

Why neobanks need to find a niche offering (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Customers still aren’t excited about digital-only banks. Less than 10 percent of Americans looking to open a checking account would consider doing so at a digital bank, according to a new report by Cornerstone Advisors.

For example, San Francisco-based neobank Chime’s customers are mostly middle-income millennials, with a median age of 29 and incomes between $45,000 to $65,000. Chime says it caters to a gap in the market for younger customers who felt larger institutions weren’t meeting their needs.

Neobanks should focus on a “clear, differentiated value proposition” for the customer, but too many of them are just adding a little technology to a customer experience that’s not terribly different from what the big banks offer, said Satya Patel, a partner at Homebrew, a seed-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco and an investor in Chime.

How Capital One is rethinking its approach to products (Tearsheet), Rated: A

For the past year, Capital One has been rethinking how it can get out of the too-common approach of “innovating” by layering new technology on top of an old product — it’s realized it needs to entirely reconsider the customer’s interaction with it.

Are banks too blasé about mobile security? (American Banker), Rated: B

About a third of companies have knowingly sacrificed security for expediency or business performance, according to a newly published study, and researchers said that bankers’ responses were consistent with the group as a whole, which included health care and other sectors.

Bringing Credit Invisibles Into Focus with Alternative Financial Data (LendIt), Rated: A

Ten percent of the U.S. adult population do not have a credit score or history with any of the big three credit bureaus.

That’s 1 in 10, or roughly 26 million people who are considered “credit invisible.”

But the financial underserved market spends $173 billion in fees and interest to use $1.94 trillion in financial services, according to the 2017 Center for Financial services Innovation study.

There are four basic categories of people who fall under the credit invisibles umbrella:

  • Millennials: People between 18– 34 and have not yet borrowed money or gotten a credit card.
  • Low-Income: People who don’t make enough money to gain access to credit.
  • Recent immigrants: People who recently moved to the U.S. but haven’t established credit.
  • Mass-affluent: People who earn more than $100,000 per year and pay with cash instead of credit.

Mobile Payments In US To Reach $ 3 Trillion Within Two Years (Payment Week), Rated: A

in 2015, mobile payments in the US represented $550 billion. That’s good by most any standard, but the growth expected is staggering. By 2020, that number is projected to hit $2.8 trillion. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.1 percent, which is far beyond most any but the most unlikely investments.

China represents $5.5 trillion in mobile payments use as of right now, a combination of various societal factors like a comparative eschewing of the personal computer in favor of the mobile device, as well as a near-ubiquity of locations that accept the system.

BREAKFORM | RE Closes a Small Lot Subdivision Development in Record Time Via Crowdfunding (PRWeb), Rated: A

BREAKFORM | RE closed its latest small lot subdivision development project in the prime West Hollywood adjacent neighborhood in record time using Equity Multiple, one of the leading real estate crowdfunding platforms. The offering was 145% subscribed in 72 hours.

Credible Appoints Chris Bishko as Chief Financial Officer (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Credible, the consumer finance marketplace that helps consumers save money and make smarter financial decisions, today announced that it has appointed Chris Bishko as chief financial officer. Mr. Bishko will report to Credible’s founder and CEO Stephen Dash.

New York Lawmakers Open to Revisiting the BitLicense (CoinDesk), Rated: B

A bill to reform the regulation could be introduced “very soon,” State Senator David Carlucci told CoinDesk.

But what is likely to remain is the animosity toward the BitLicense, as evidenced by the small but dedicated protest gathering outside just before the roundtable began, not to mention the grievances aired by the two dozen or so attendees.

United Kingdom

Transaction volumes increase 700pc at fintech firm Revolut (Independent.ie), Rated: AAA

Fintech start-up Revolut has seen its monthly transaction volume increase by over 700pc in the last 12 months to $1.5bn (€1.2bn).

Lendingblock Aims to Popularize Crypto Lending in a Secure and Transparent Way (cryptovest), Rated: AAA

Lendingblock aims to become the first to build a marketplace where cryptocurrency lenders meet borrowers, and can exchange their assets across blockchains. The platform aims to bring securities lending to the crypto economy. The current estimates of the market paint a picture of enormous potential for development: in 2017, $2 trillion of assets on loan in traditional securities lending brought approximately $4 billion in revenue. Replicating this in crypto could generate up to $300 million within 3 years as the project notes in its white paper.

 

Britain’s big banks play catch up with fintech with new apps (Reuters), Rated: A

British retail banks are poised to introduce money management apps to compete with those already launched by financial technology start-ups, betting their trusted brands, broad client base and deep pockets will help them make up lost ground.

NatWest sets up network of fintech accelerator hubs (Finextra), Rated: B

The UK’s NatWest is launching four specialist fintech accelerators based in its Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Manchester sites.

China

Screws to tighten further on non-bank lending (The Standard), Rated: AAA

China will tighten its crackdown on illegal fundraising to fend off financial risks, according to an inter-agency meeting.

European Union

European Fintech Alliance raises bank API fears (Finextra), Rated: A

The European Fintech Alliance has fired another broadside in its tussle with the financial services establishment over PSD2, raising fears that banks will develop substandard APIs as a way to fend off competition.

Specifically, the alliance of 74 fintechs, challenger banks and fintech associations is unhappy that the Regulatory Technical Standards on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication under PSD2 allow banks the possibility to be exempted by their National Competent Authority from having to accommodate licensed Third Party Payment Services Providers (TPPs) to access accounts via the so called fallback option in case of malfunction of the API.

International

Marketplace lenders worldwide raised nearly bn last year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE GLOBAL marketplace lending sector saw nearly $9bn (£6.45bn) invested across 233 deals last year, marking a new funding record for the industry.

Consultancy firm Fintech Global, who compiled the data, found that equity investment in the sector rebounded to $8.9bn last year after a slowdown in 2016. The total was boosted by the top 10 deals, which raised a combined $4.4bn.

The second half of the year was strongest for funding, with the largest deal of the year closing in the fourth quarter when Shanghai-based peer-to-peer lender Lufax raised $1.2bn.

Online lender ID Finance bolsters security with beahvioural biometrics (Finextra), Rated: A

ID Finance, the emerging markets fintech company, is incorporating behavioural biometrics into its AI-based fraud scoring engine to eliminate fraud, boost loan approvals and reduce the incidence of non-performing loans.

The behavioural biometrics system studies the unique typing and behavioural patterns users display during the loan application process to capture a range of patterns. These include mouse movements, to how fingers interact with a keyboard. The biometrics record patterns such typing speed, typos, flight time between keys, keystroke depressions, as well as the patterns from actual input.

Celsius: Get Dollars When You Need Them or Get Paid to HODL (cryptovest), Rated: A

The global financial system is wobbling. Banks and other traditional financial institutions have so far managed to survive the crisis resulting entirely from their errors, greed, and arrogance. Now, many believe, they won’t live through the crypto revolution unless they embrace it.

Meet the Celsius Wallet – a combination of a digital wallet and a peer-to-peer lending platform where members can earn passive interest on their crypto holdings and use them as collateral to get loans in fiat currencies.

Australia

‘Essential’ brokers advising Xinja on mortgage strategy (TheAdviser), Rated: A

The chief executive of banking disruptor Xinja has revealed that mortgage brokers have been involved in the group’s home loan plans and will be “essential” to its strategy.

The crowdfunded online lender recently received an Australian credit license (ACL) from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and plans to utilise the broker channel to facilitate its digital home loan approval process.

Mortgage franchise sees decline in loan settlement (AustralianBroker), Rated: A

Mortgage franchise Yellow Brick Road posted a 2% decline to $7.74bn in loan settlement volume in the first half of FY18 over the previous period as it reduced its number of branches.

Overall, the company delivered 85% growth in profitability, with net profit before tax increasing to $0.53m in the first half of FY18 over the same period of FY17. It cited higher revenue – up by 5% – and lower costs – down by 4% – as drivers of its result.

The company also expects the addition of a small business lending product through its partner Prospa to provide additional revenue opportunities for its network and support growth in commercial lending.

India

P2P platforms as NBFCs gaining popularity in small cities, but there’s a catch (Financial Express), Rated: AAA

P Kanwal is from Punjab’s Bhatinda. He has a furniture business which mainly deals in cash, because of which it was difficult for him to get a secured loan from the formal banking system. For him, a Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform came as a rescue, which got him an unsecured loan for his kid’s education and expanding his business.

This not just the story of Mr Kanwal, but many more small entrepreneurs who are operating their businesses in Tier-1, Tier-2 cities and far-flung areas, some not even on Google map, who are getting financial support through P2P lending.

The pattern that emerges currently from the P2P lending is that borrowers from tier-2 and tier-3 cities comprised 20% and 17% of the total number of loans disbursed through the platform. The new-to-credit borrowers comprise 35% of fulfilled borrowers, while those with poor credit ratings accounted for 10% of the overall number.

MENA

Peer-to-Peer Lending Startup Blender Raises Million in Debt Financing and Equity (CTech), Rated: AAA

Israel-based peer-to-peer lending startup Blender P2P Israel Ltd. has raised $16 million in equity and debt financing, the company announced Monday.

Latin America

Airfox Launches Mobile App in Brazil, Giving Unbanked Access to Financial Services (PRWeb), Rated: A

Airfox, a mobile financial services company, today launched its free Android app in Brazil, giving millions of people unprecedented access to much-needed financing solutions.

More than 44 percent of Brazil’s population is unbanked, another 30-44 percent lack sufficient access to mainstream financial services, and those with credit cards face interest rates upwards of 200 percent (sources: World Bank, Bloomberg).

Canada

Big banks strive to give better digital financial advice (BNN), Rated: AAA

CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid discusses the Canadian banks’ quest to deliver quality online financial advice in an effort to catch up with the digital age.

Africa

PayJoy Partners With Vodacom & CBA to Bring Smartphone Financing to Tanzania (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

PayJoy, a San Francisco fintech startup, announced this week it has teamed up with Vodacom and CBA to bring smartphone financing to the country of Tanzania.

PayJoy Teams Up With Allied Mobile to Bring More Smartphones to Africans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

PayJoy, a San Francisco fintech startup, announced on Friday it has teamed up with mobile distributor Allied Mobile to bring affordable smartphone payment plans to markets across the continent of Africa. According to the duo, Allied Mobile will use PayJoy Checkout, an instant paperless finance system for customers without access to formal credit, and the patented PayJoy Lock which enables “pay-as-you-go” access to the phone. 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday February 8 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingTree personal loans

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter’s IFISA finally arrives. Renaud Laplanche to keynote at LendItFintech USA 2018. LendingClub makes changes to IRA product. Goldman could be buying Clarity. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree January 2018 Personal Loan Offers Report. LendingTree January 2018 Mortgage Offers Report. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Amsterdam gaining ground on London as Europe’s fintech capital. Senmiao Technologies sets terms […]

LendingTree personal loans

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United States

United Kingdom

China

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International

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India

MENA

Canada

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United States

Renaud Laplanche Joins LendItFintech USA 2018 As Keynote Speaker (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendItFintech, the world’s leading event in financial services innovation, today announced that Renaud Laplanche, founder and CEO of Upgrade, Inc., will join the keynote speaker roster for LendItFintech USA 2018. For three days, the world’s most prominent and emerging fintech CEO’s will gather at the Moscone Center to focus on the hot button topics and issues exploring the future of finance.

Laplanche’s keynote speech will focus on his vision for Online Lending 2.0 and in particular how new technology, blockchain, enhanced processes and the combined learnings of the past 10 years have helped make online lending better for consumers and investors alike.

Laplanche will also unveil Upgrade’s next major consumer credit product that industry observers are already touting “the biggest innovation in financial services since the credit card. Also, to illustrate how the Online Lending 2.0 principles help create more value for consumers and enable faster growth while achieving better risk management, compliance and credit performance, Laplanche for the first time, will release metrics about Upgrade exactly one year after its public launch.

Tax Efficient Investing and LendingClub IRA Changes (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Tax rates for 2018 start at 10% and go up to 37% for the highest wage earners. It’s important to understand how this ordinary income affects taxes compared to other asset classes like equities.

Let’s assume you decide to invest through a taxable LendingClub account. In a given tax year, you are only allowed to deduct $3,000 in losses against your ordinary income unless you have capital gains to offset the losses.

If you have a sizable investment in LendingClub and have no capital gains you’ll have to carry forward any losses beyond the $3,000 to future years.

LendingClub Offering a Bonus for IRA Investors

After understanding the benefits of investing through an IRA it’s worth mentioning that LendingClub offers bonuses for new accounts. The bonuses range from $25 all of the way up to $3,000 and are available on Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs or SIMPLE IRAs. Below are the bonus amounts in place for 2018.

TaxSlayer Teams Up With Kabbage To Provide Small Businesses Easy Access To Working Capital (PR Newswire), Rated: A

TaxSlayer, a leading online and professional tax and financial technology company, today announced a strategic partnership with Kabbage, Inc., a global technology and data platform powering small business lending. The collaboration offers qualified small business customers hassle-free access to lines of credit up to $250,000 from Kabbage, and exclusive tax resources, including tips, promotions and discounts from TaxSlayer.

TaxSlayer customers will have access to:

  • Lines of credit from Kabbage up to $250,000 for qualified borrowers
  • Promotions from Kabbage, including a $100 gift card after qualification
  • Partner offers through the Kabbage Customer Perks network
  • Tips and insight on small business lending and finance

Kabbage customers will have access to:

  • Small business and personal tax tips from TaxSlayer
  • Market leading tax-filing support from TaxSlayer
  • Unique promotions and discounts from TaxSlayer, including 20 percent off services

LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Excellent credit (760+ score): Offered APRs to consumers with a credit score of 760+ averaged 7.41% in January.

  • The average best APR offered to all borrowers with credit scores of 760 or above was 7.41%, a decrease of 13 basis points from the prior month, and 47 basis points from the same period one year ago.
  • At $24,218, the average loan amounts offered with the best APRs to all borrowers with a score of 760 and above, was down up 17 basis points ($41) from December, but up over 23% ($5,607) from the same period one year ago.
  • The top 10% of offers, presented to borrowers with the best profiles within this group, had APRs of 4.98% on average, and loan amounts of $34,892. A borrower with this APR and loan amount would save $2,896 by consolidating debt with a 10% APR over a three-year term.
Source: LendingTree

Good credit (680 – 719 score): Offered APRs to consumers with a credit score between 680 and 719 averaged 15.79% in January.

  • The average best APR for all borrowers with credit scores of 680 – 719 was 15.79%, down 12 basis points from last month, but up almost 200 basis points from a year earlier.
  • At $15,628, borrowers with scores of 680 – 719 saw the amounts offered with the best APRs increase by 1% ($160) in the last month, but drop by 1.72% ($268) from January 2017.
  • The top 10% of offers, presented to borrowers with the best profiles within the 680 – 719 credit score range, had an average best APR of 7.19%, offered with an average loan amount of $24,130. A borrower with this APR and loan amount would save $3,215 by consolidating debt from a 15% APR over a three-year term.
Source: LendingTree

LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • January’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.93% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, up from 3.80% in December. Refinance loan offers were up 5 bps to 3.75%.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were up 13 bps to 4.55%. The loan note rate hit the highest since March 2016 at 4.45% and was also up 13 bps from December.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.41% in January, vs 4.70% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 29 bps between these score ranges was 1 bps narrower than in December but still near the widest since this data series began in April 2016. The spread represents nearly $15,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $238,518.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were up 15 bps to 4.46%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 25 from 24 bps, amounting to $13,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $244,540.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments fell for the first time in 8 months to $63,411.
Source: LendingTree

Apple May use Marcus for Point of Sale Financing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Indicative of this systemic trend is a report this week in WSJ.com saying Apple may be cutting a deal with Marcus – Goldman Sachs’ vision of the future on online lending.

According to the WSJ report, Goldman may provide Apple with point of sale credit at interest rates far lower than the typical credit card.

“By offering a lower-cost loan, Goldman hopes to siphon off some of that business. Goldman charges 12% interest on its average Marcus loans. Credit cards can charge upward of 20% and carry late fees and other charges. Partnerships with big retailers like Apple are key. They can deliver millions of customers that Goldman would struggle to find on its own.”

Goldman is said close to buying personal-finance startup Clarity (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs is in discussions to acquire the personal finance startup Clarity Money, with plans to fold it into its Marcus online lender, according to people familiar with the matter.

Robinhood users ramped up deposits during Monday’s market bloodbath (Business Insider), Rated: A

On Monday, the US stock market witnessed its largest point decline ever. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped as much as 1,600 points during Monday trade before closing down 1,175 points. Still, a spokesperson for Robinhood, the California-based brokerage, told Business Insider its users ramped up deposits on its zero-commission stock trading platform.

Venmo monetization may be on the horizon (Business Insider), Rated: A

Source: Business Insider

Venmo alone hit $10.4 billion, about 39% of the P2P total. As P2P surges across the board, it’s helping 

Identity fraud hits all time high with 16.7m US victims in 2017 (Payments Cards and Mobile), Rated: A

The 2018 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, revealed that the number of identity fraud victims increased by 8% (rising to 16.7 million US consumers) in the last year, a record high since Javelin began tracking identity fraud in 2003.

The study found that despite industry efforts to prevent identity fraud, fraudsters successfully adapted to net 1.3 million more victims in 2017, with the amount stolen rising to $16.8 billion.

The 2018 Identity Fraud Study found four significant trends:

  • Record high incidence of identity fraud  In 2017, 6.64% of consumers became victims of identity fraud, an increase of almost 1 million victims from the previous year.
  • Account takeover grew significantly – Account takeover tripled over the past year, reaching a four-year high. Total ATO losses reached $5.1 billion, a 120% increase from 2016.
  • Online shopping presents the greatest fraud opportunity – Card Not Present Fraud is now 81% more likely than point of sale fraud, the greatest gap Javelin has observed.
  • Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated

Nearly half of small businesses plan to invest in cybersecurity in 2018 (AZ Big Media), Rated: A

Half of all U.S. small businesses were breached in 2016, according to 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report. Disruption to normal operating expenses costs an average of $955K, which can be devastating to small business owners.

As part of Kabbage’s ongoing effort to help small businesses to be successful, Kabbage recently surveyed more than 800 customers and nearly half (47 percent) plan to invest in cybersecurity products and services in 2018.

Hackers find value in obtaining employee and customer data, bank account information and/or intellectual property, no matter the size of the business. Today, more than 70 percent of attacks are targeted toward small businesses, largely due to the their beliefs that they won’t be hacked (mostly due to their size).

Virginia consumers to receive $ 2.7 million in relief from settlement with internet lender (WINA), Rated: A

Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that more than $2.7 million in relief will be provided to Virginia consumers who took out loans with Internet lender MoneyLion of Virginia LLC-an affiliate of New York based Internet lender MoneyLion, Inc. Attorney General Herring’s settlement with MoneyLion will provide refunds and debt forgiveness to 3,800 consumers as a result of the company’s alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Since creating a Predatory Lending Unit in his Consumer Protection Section, Attorney General Herring’s Office has recovered more than $25 million in restitution and debt forgiveness for Virginia consumers from online lenders.

The settlement includes the following key terms relating to loans made by MoneyLion during the period in question:

• MoneyLion agrees to provide $359,811.50 in refunds to 1,161 Virginia consumers who paid more than their loan principal plus 12% APR;
• MoneyLion agrees to give up the collection of $2,354,097.05 in illegal interest it charged on loans with 2,639 Virginia consumers;
• A payment to the Commonwealth of $10,000 as a civil penalty for MoneyLion’s alleged violations of the VCPA;
• A payment to the Commonwealth of $20,000 for its costs and fees in investigating MoneyLion’s alleged violations of the VCPA;
• Permanent injunctions preventing MoneyLion from misrepresenting its license status, allowable interest rates, and allowable fees.

Bankrupt Payday Lender Can’t Move CFPB Suit To Texas (Law360), Rated: A

A Montana federal judge refused to transfer a CFPB action alleging Think Finance duped borrowers and used sham tribal payday lenders to collect money it was not owed, finding Tuesday the case need not be moved to where the financial technology company’s Texas bankruptcy is.

U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris said the state of Montana has a “substantial interest” in hearing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s case since Think Finance LLC’s loans were voided under the state’s law.

Movement Mortgage Implements CompenSafe to Automate LO Compensation (Send2Press), Rated: B

LBA Ware, a leading provider of automated compensation software and systems integration solutions for mortgage lending and retail banking, announced that South Carolina-based Movement Mortgage has implemented CompenSafe to automatically calculate commissions for its loan originators (LOs) located in 700 branches across 49 states.

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. today announced that an affiliate has entered into an agreement to acquire Cyanco Holding Corp. from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”).  Cyanco is the largest global producer of sodium cyanide, a critical input in the gold and silver mining industry. Terms of the transaction, which is subject to customary conditions to closing, were not disclosed.

OCC Chief Praises Mulvaney On Halting Payday Rule (PYMNTS), Rated: B

After a 45-minute meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 6), Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting had nothing but praise for acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick Mulvaney.

“Acting Director Mulvaney has helped reduce the burden on the banking system by delaying implementation of his agency’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule, committing to reconsidering its payday lending rule, and deferring action on additional regulations until completing a more thorough review of those matters,” Otting said in the release. “I also applaud him for realigning his agency’s mission to the current needs of the nation, making its processes more transparent and fair.”

United Kingdom

RateSetter Innovative Finance ISA is Finally Here (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter has shared that is Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) will launch tomorrow (February 8th). RateSetter said the IFISA will initially be available to existing customers, then to new customers on 1 March and to inward transfers from other ISAs in April.

What a difference a tax year makes! P2P platforms pile in to the IFISA market (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Just a handful of peer-to-peer platforms had full Financial Conduct Authority approval in time to launch an IFISA product in April 2016, with 2,000 accounts and £17m subscribed up to April 2017.

Many saw this as a damp squib, but as we enter ISA season for the 2017/18 tax year, platforms representing almost 80 per cent of the market could be set to lead the charge.

Both Zopa and Funding Circle have loan books worth more than £3bn each, while RateSetter boasts a portfolio worth £2.5bn.

ISA Innovation: What do investors think? (AltFi), Rated: A

Crowdstacker’s CEO Karteek Patel reveals why investors have opted for the Innovative Finance ISA over the past two years. 

When the first types of ISA launched in 1999 the country was still in the first flush of a much feted Blair Government, the economy was buoyant, and the outlook rosy.

It was the end of a decade that saw average base rates of around 8%. Inflation meanwhile may have started at 9.5% in 1990, but it rapidly fell to a more manageable 1.5% by 1999.

2016-17 average ISA subscriptions were £5,558. Average subscriptions for our Innovative Finance ISA were above £11,000 – probably indicating early adopters of the IFISA are more seasoned investors, who are investing larger sums. Of course, as we know from other innovations such as smartphones and social media, where early adopters lead, the masses will follow, as long as the proposition is attractive.

How UK challenger bank Monzo turned its customers into a loyal community (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Monzo asks customers for feedback on product launches and fees, allows them to invest in the company through equity crowdfunding rounds and holds community events across the U.K., either at Monzo offices or customer suggested venues. Its approach is based on the principle that customers will stay loyal and will refer others if they’ve got some kind of stake in it. Banks have traditionally relied on large-scale ad campaigns and promotions to get customers to change their providers. But U.K. customers still aren’t changing their banks in droves; according to U.K. nonprofit Bacs only 4.45 million successful switches have taken place since 2013. Plus, they’ll have less and less motivation to switch bank providers as more non-bank entities begin offering comparable services.

The company’s biggest growth driver is loyalty, with word-of-mouth referrals being the source of 80 percent of new customer growth, according to the company. The remaining 20 percent is based on a limited amount of sponsored ads on Facebook and Twitter. More than 30,000 customers participate in an online feedback forum for new products.

Separately, Monzo holds eight to 12 events per year around the U.K.

 

Esme Loans joins NatWest’s alternative finance panel (Finextra), Rated: A

Esme Loans, the digital lending platform that allows small and medium sized businesses to quickly obtain unsecured loans of up to £150,000, will join a select group of leading alternative finance firms on NatWest’s Capital Connections panel.

Princeton dispute pushes Ranger’s 2017 returns into negative territory (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

RANGER Direct Lending (RDL) saw its net asset value (NAV) slide 2.95 per cent over 2017 due to its ongoing Princeton legal arbitration.

The investment trust’s December update showed its NAV return was 4.53 per cent in 2017 but the ongoing legal dispute with its Princeton investment over bankrupt lender Argon pushed it into negative territory.

On a monthly basis, RDL’s NAV was actually at a six-month high to 0.48 per cent.

Lendy secures major repayment on west London flat (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

P2P lending platform Lendy has announced that it has received a major repayment in excess of £2.1m on a luxury flat in west London.

The property has a security value of £3.25m, a loan value of £2.12m and an LTV of 65%.

Personal lending increases four times faster than wages (BBC), Rated: A

In comparison, wage data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the typical full-time worker has seen pay increase by 6.5%, over the same period.

British households amassed £37bn in unpaid personals loans in 2017, an increase of £7bn from three years earlier.

In Northern Ireland personal loan debt is just over £1bn and has risen 4% since 2014.

FINTECH AND BANKING GROUP SET FOR IPO (BusinessCloud), Rated: B

TruFin has published a document announcing its intention to float on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in late February.

TruFin has offices in London and Birmingham and currently operates under three separate businesses: Distribution Finance Capital (DFC), Satago and Oxygen Finance.

The group also owns a 15 per cent stake in technology-led peer-to-peer lender Zopa. The platform was launched in 2005 and has since originated over £2.6bn of unsecured loans, connecting more than 320,000 customers to 70,000 investors.

China

China’s recent crackdowns indicate growing pains for its advanced fintech industry (Tearsheet), Rated: A

The central bank is now reining in “social credit” scoring models by companies like Tencent and Alibaba that use consumer data from purchases and social behavior, as of the past weekend. These programs are designed to make up for the lack of institutional records of individuals’ creditworthiness in China’s financial system — something the central bank itself has tried to address with its own solution. Now the government is worried e-commerce-turned-fintech giants could use social scoring as marketing to sell their financial products.

China is a mobile-first nation. Mobile e-commerce took off there because its retail landscape was weaker and less efficient 15 years ago compared to that of the U.S.

European Union

Amsterdam Makes The Most Of Its Fintech Credentials (Global Finance), Rated: AAA

Despite Brexit, London has managed to hang onto its status as Europe’s leading fintech hub, at least for now. According to the Nesta 2016 European Digital City Index, “London leads for both start-ups and scale-ups.” However, Stockholm and Amsterdam, which rank second and third respectively out of 60 cities, are leading the pack nipping at London’s heels, according to the index, which looks at how European cities support “digital entrepreneurship.”

Amsterdam has many claims to fame, but one of its lesser-known features is its concentration of 350 fintech companies, more notably in the payments (Adyen, Payvision, GlobalCollect), trading (BinckBank, Flow Traders) and alternative finance (Funding Circle, Spotcap) spaces.

European Investors Elect Favorite Projects as Prêtons Ensemble Launches New €200 Million Digital Lending Fund (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The asset management firm Eiffel Investment Group which manages the €100 million marketplace lending fund “Prêtons Ensemble” (meaning “Let’s Lend Together”) for institutional investors Aviva France, AG2R LA MONDIALE, MAIF, MGEN and Klesia awarded European Digital Lending Awards at a gathering held in Paris on February 1st. The awards recognized SME projects presented on the lending platforms backed by the fund.

Nominated platforms included leaders such as Funding Circle and Lendix. The prizes however went to smaller marketplaces, a good opportunity to put the spotlight on these up-and-coming fintechs:

  • Green Economy award: Générale du Solaire, a project presented on Lendosphere, France.  
  • Job creation award: Metalliance on Wesharebonds, France.  
  • Innovation award: Selfstock on ClubFunding, France.  
  • Quality of Life award: All About Healthcare on Linked Finance, Ireland. Linked Finance is Ireland’s largest P2P lending platform with more than 16,000 registered lenders who have lent over €32 million to Irish businesses
  • Inclusive Economy: Mujeres y CIA on Finanzarel, Spain, and
    Nou verd and Nou set on Loanbook, Spain.  
  • Best pivot: Sky Hero on Look & Fin, Belgium.  
International

Senmiao Technologies Proposes Terms For $ 14 Million U.S. IPO (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

Senmiao Technology (AIHS) intends to raise $14 million in a U.S. IPO by selling 3.25 million shares at between $4.00 to $4.50 per share.

According to a 2017 research report by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, the global direct selling volume increased by 1.9% in 2016, reaching $183 billion in sales between 107 million direct sellers.

In 2014, 45% of direct selling volume came from the Asia Pacific region and grew to 46% in 2015 – 2016, as the chart below shows:

Source: Seeking Alpha

According to management, ‘there are approximately 40 lending platforms in Sichuan province.’ Major competitive vendors that provide similar services include:

  • Sichuan Jinding Wealth Information Technology
  • Koudai Network Services
  • Chengdu Hongxue Jinxin Business Consulting
  • Chengdu Zhongke E-Commerce Co

Revenue ($)

  • Six months ended Sept 30, 2017: $182,960
  • FYE March 31, 2017: $73,237

Operating Loss ($)

  • Six months ended Sept 30, 2017: ($671,729)
  • FYE March 31, 2017: ($185,535)

Operating Margin (%)

  • Six months ended Sept 30, 2017: Negative
  • FYE March 31, 2017: Negative

Cash Flow from Operations ($)

  • Six months ended Sept 30, 2017: $302,568 cash flow used in operations
  • FYE March 31, 2017: $1,324,449 cash flow from operations

As of Sept 30, 2017, the company had $76,863 in cash and $736,246 in total liabilities.

(Source: Senmiao S-1/A)

 

Exclusive Interview with FintruX CEO Nelson Lin (Chipin), Rated: A

FintruX is an established online lending platform that is introducing blockchain into its financial network to better serve both kinds of customers.

Nelson. Thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us more about yourself and FintruX?

I am the founder and CEO of FintruX and also Robocoder. Robocoder provides the technology behind Fintrux.

FintruX is a global peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform on the Ethereum blockchain network for providing unsecured loans. It connects small businesses who need money for cash flow issues, with lenders who want to earn a better return on their money.

In some ways, tokenized P2P lending platforms is a “killer app” for the blockchain technology. We are pretty sure you would agree, but can you elaborate and in the context of what you are trying to do.

All the current monetary transactions require too many intermediaries to facilitate a simple transaction from end-to-end and the process itself is also inefficient and time-consuming. Furthermore, most of the systems are fragmented, inconsistent and usually require extensive human intervention. Finally, such transactions require numerous touch-points to handle and manage the “trust” between all of the parties involved. Our mission is to make trustless financing a no-brainer for both borrower and lender.

What is the biggest problem within the industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for FintruX to fill?

The biggest problem is that small and startup businesses do not have sufficient credit history or access to capital for their short-term cash flow needs. Furthermore, the traditional systems are inadequate, fragmented, inconsistent, labor intensive and involve lots of intermediaries. There are many P2P lending platforms in existence but they do not talk to each other.

Australia

Global tech giants will threaten bank tax receipts (Financial Review), Rated: A

The $14 billion in taxes the federal government receives each year from the banking sector could be eroded by global technology companies including Apple capitalising on policies designed to boost competition in the sector, the chief executive of the Australian Bankers’ Association, Anna Bligh, will warn on Thursday.

In its half-year results presentation on Wednesday, Commonwealth Bank, the country’s second largest taxpayer, pointed to the $2 billion of taxes it pays to contribute to the economy. This contrasts to many of the global tech players, who book little profit in Australia despite huge sales, and therefore pay much less tax.

India

Credit is here to stay, new lenders beyond banks to play bigger role (money control), Rated: A

Emerging as an alternative to mainstream banking, NBFCs have also been playing an important role in bridging the credit gaps, i.e. in meeting the increasing financial needs of the underserved and unbanked areas in the corporate sector, unorganized sector and also for the local borrowers.

According to the Reserve Bank of India, in January 2017, a total of 28.8 million credit cards were in operation. Credit cards, also known as revolving credit, have been the preferred choice of masses as it enables repetitive use for daily purchases that can be paid back in instalments on a monthly basis.

According to PwC research, over 95% of financial services incumbents seek to explore FinTech partnerships.

MENA

A year when new innovations show up in Dubai realty (Gulf News), Rated: AAA

In the UAE, we are seeing some significant strides, where one technology-driven real estate crowdfunding platform, Smart Crowd, recently received approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority to establish the region’s first regulated real estate crowdfunding platform. This will enable any individual to invest and own a piece of UAE property for as little as Dh5,000 and will most likely stimulate sales in the secondary market.

Canada

Business loans: Which one works for you? (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Source: Bankless Times
Bermuda

Trunomi Closes $ 3.5 Million Round from CloudScale Capital (Finovate), Rated: AAA

Consumer consent and data rights company Trunomi closed a $3.5 million round of funding today. This investment brings the Bermuda-based company’s total funding to $10.5 million.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday November 27 2017, Daily News Digest

fintech TransUnion

News Comments Today’s main news: Ant Financial bans high-interest consumer loan products. Lending Club boosts MPL credit metrics in 3rd self-sponsored ABS. Funding Circle to launch Isa next week. Zopa reforms how returns are displayed. Robo-advisors in China must be licensed. CreditEase to pioneer fund of funds for direct real estate purchases. New Zealand publishes first P2P/crowdfunding statistical returns. Today’s main […]

fintech TransUnion

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Lending Club boosts MPL credit metrics in 3rd self-sponsored ABS (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: AAA

LendingClub’s third self-sponsored securitization of online marketplace loans is benefiting from the company’s recent tightening of credit standards.

The loans backing the $330 million Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2 involve borrowers with higher FICO scores that have allowed LendingClub to reduce its credit enhancement levels on the deal.

CLUB Credit Trust 2017-P2 has a collateral pool of 22,062 prime, consumer loans with a cumulative net balance of $368 million, or an average balance of $16,681.

TransUnion Study On FinTech Market; PayPal Enters Robo Advice Market (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that household debt totaled $12.95 Tn last quarter – the 13th straight quarterly increase. As a share of GDP however, household debt stands at 66% below a peak of 87% in early 2009.

PayPal continues to expand the range of its consumer offerings. PayPal started with payments initially, moved to personal and small business loans, and is now delivering asset management solutions. The partnership will offer Acorns a unique channel for customer acquisition and allow Acorns to compete with Betterment and Wealthfront. Paypal led a $30 Mn investment round in Acorns Grow in April 2016.

FinTechs are Growing and Taking Market Share

FinTech’s market share has grown from virtually zero in 2012 to 30% in 2016. The outstanding balances on personal loans have doubled to over $100 Bn in 2017 from late 2013, with 128 lenders making more than 10,000 personal loans annually. FinTechs compete with banks to originate loans to prime consumers, and FinTech’s originate 30% of their loans to non-prime consumers where there is less competition from banks.

Source: TransUnion

FinTechs Have The Most Robust, Risk-Based Pricing

Source: TransUnion

Brian Dally of Groundfloor (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Where the idea for Groundfloor come from.
  • Why Brian decided to start in the real estate asset class.
  • How many states they are operating in today for both borrowers and investors.
  • How they go about sourcing real estate deals.
  • Why they decided to focus on non-accredited investors.
  • How their securities offering is structured.
  • The minimum investment allowed per deal.
  • How returns have been for investors.
  • Which side of the marketplace is constraining growth today.
  • How they differentiate themselves from their competition.
  • The performance of their loan book to date.
  • Their business model and how they make money.
  • Details of their first institutional investor and why this is good for retail investors.
  • Their goal for an institutional/retail investor mix.
  • What the future holds for Groundfloor.

Online lenders pull out the popcorn, as the Trump administration fights to control the CFPB (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Republican lawmakers have long sought to reduce the CFPB’s oversight. Now dueling appointments put its immediate future in question. Last night, President Trump named his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as acting director of the agency hours after its current leader, Obama-appointed Richard Cordray, announced he would leave the job.

To counter the administration’s plans, on his way out the door, Cordray named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as the agency’s deputy director.

Under the law, the appointment should make English the agency’s acting director, though the White House says that Mulvaney plans to show up at the CFSB Monday morning anyway. The White House further says Mulvaney will keep his current job as head of the Office of Management and Budget.

If the Trump administration follows through on its threats, Mulvaney will lead both agencies until a permanent head of CFPB is chosen and confirmed by the Senate.

Nobody Knows Who the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s New Boss Is (New York Magazine), Rated: A

On his way out, he appointed his chief of staff, Leandra English, to take over the CFPB, citing the Dodd-Frank Act, which states that the agency’s deputy director will take over the agency if the director leaves. Trump responded by naming Mulvaney as expected, pointing to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act as justification for his move.

The eventual director must be confirmed by the Senate; Trump’s pick is expected within weeks.

3 trends powering the rise of financial robo-advice (VentureBeat), Rated: A

1. Availability of data

We generate more than 2.5 billion GB of data every day.

In one notable example, JP Morgan and Intuit earlier this year announced their companies will make data available via the Open Financial Exchange API. Their goal is to make it easier and more secure for consumers to use their data across various financial apps and websites.

2. Increased power and storage

  • Google Tensor Processing Unit.
  • Nvidia Volta.
  • Huawei Kirin.

3. Advancements in AI

In particular, deep learning and boosting models enable significant leaps forward in the application of machine learning. These include design concepts such as Google’s Capsule Network, which offers an alternative to traditional neural nets, and replicative and transfer learning, which enable pattern discoveries and accuracies impossible by human counterparts.

The results of studies using these ideas are impressive. In one example, University of Mannheim researchers showed how ontologies help some machine learning models validate data 50 times faster. And Google’s AutoAI demonstrated it can create better machine learning code than the researchers who made it.

Student debt relief trumps other benefits (Employee Benefit Adviser), Rated: A

Student loan repayment programs are climbing the pantheon of employee benefits, suggests a recent survey of full-time workers with student loan debt.

Pollfish found that 23% would gladly give up healthcare benefits for a student loan repayment benefit. In addition, 46% would relinquish paid time off and 33% would do the same for retirement benefits in exchange for a repayment benefit. Also, 53% said they’d consider a salary cut in exchange for a student loan repayment benefit.

Of 1,000 college graduates polled by SoFi, an online personal finance company, 90% were more willing to accept a job offer at a new company if their employer offered a student loan contribution benefit. In the Pollfish survey, 84% gave the same response.

The Most Well-Funded Fintech Startup In Each State (CB Insights), Rated: A

State Company Total Equity Funding ($M)
Arizona CampusLogic $ 17.5
Arkansas LumoXchange $ 0.2
California SoFi $ 2,040.5
Colorado IP Commerce $ 54.7
Connecticut PayVeris $ 14.2
DC Fundrise $ 52.6
Delaware College Avenue Student Loans $ 50.0
Florida YellowPepper $ 34.0
Georgia Kabbage $ 490.0
Idaho VisitPay $ 18.4
Illinois Avant $ 655.0
Indiana Allied Payment Network $ 2.6
Iowa Dwolla $ 39.1
Kansas C2FO $ 99.7
Kentucky Inked Brands $ 4.0
Louisiana Zlien $ 7.2
Maryland Regent Education $ 39.7
Massachusetts Toast $ 138.0
Michigan Clinc $ 7.5
Minnesota Bright Health $ 240.0
Missouri Clearent $ 27.5
Nebraska D3 Technology $ 35.6
Nevada Filament $ 31.8
New Jersey Billtrust $ 104.5
New York Oscar Insurance Corporation $ 727.5
North Carolina AvidXchange $ 558.2
Ohio Aver $ 23.2
Oklahoma CreditPoint Software $ 1.1
Oregon NVoicePay $ 21.5
Pennsylvania InstaMed Communications $ 101.9
Rhode Island Upserve $ 191.5
South Carolina Ceterus $ 10.2
South Dakota ReliaMax $ 3.9
Tennessee Digital Reasoning Systems $ 75.6
Texas BigCommerce $ 164.5
Utah MX $ 54.1
Virginia StreetShares $ 18.9
Washington Avalara $ 253.0
Wisconsin Dynamis Software Corporation $ 4.3
Source: CB Insights

Bridge loan helps borrowers as they pursue graduate degrees (SFGate), Rated: B

The sellers wanted to accept the offer but were concerned about the VA financing with an online lender who was unresponsive to the listing agent’s calls. The Realtor advised the couple that if they could find a local lender who could preapprove them with conventional financing, their offer would be accepted.

Wyatt held a video conference with the couple to clarify the structure of the file and learned that both clients were pursuing their graduate degrees and took time off work to attend classes. In addition, the co-borrower had recently received an employment offer for a salaried position.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle Isa to launch next week (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle has announced that it will start rolling out its Isa account to all current investors from next Thursday (30th November).

UK peer-to-peer lenders plan to raise millions from ISAs (Financial Times), Rated: A

Britain’s largest peer-to-peer lenders plan to raise hundreds of millions of pounds from savers in the coming weeks even as many of them say they will reduce higher risk lending in case there is a downturn.

“We expect a lot of demand,” Samir Desai, chief executive of Funding Circle, told the Financial Times. “We have done lots of surveys and a huge proportion of the base told us they would like to put all of the money they invest with us through the ISA.”

Zopa addresses default concerns by reforming how returns are displayed (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA is working on improving the way long-term returns are displayed so investors do not become overly concerned with monthly defaults in their portfolio.

The peer-to-peer lender said it is working on a prototype that would show investors their current portfolio performance, a range of what their returns will be and what their target rate is.

The display, currently in testing, includes a graph showing portfolio growth, and the net cash earnings after losses, a range of what the returns will be that narrows closer to maturity and what the target rate is in comparison to what was advertised.

Welendus launches new £150,000 crowdfunding campaign (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER payday loan platform Welendus has launched a new crowdfunding round on Seedrs this morning to raise an additional £150,000.

The lender, which raised £100,000 from investors during a Seedrs fundraise in March, has already reached 92 per cent of its target by attracting funding from the existing crowdfunding backers.

NatWest joins the robo-advisers (This is Money), Rated: A

High-street bank NatWest has launched a fully regulated robo-advice proposition charging £10 for customers seeking to invest sums as low as £500.

Unlike some rival robo-advisers that offer guidance based on responses to just a few questions, or simplified advice that doesn’t factor in your complete financial position, NatWest said its process will offer full-fat advice akin to the traditional face-to-face process but online.

57% of SMEs support European Free Trade Agreement (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

More than half of small business owners (57%) are supportive of joining the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), a new survey has revealed.
Research by peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle has found that the key reasons cited by businesses for wanting to join the EFTA included the ease of exporting and importing (59%), a larger customer base (46%) and lower tariffs (42%).

 

Was the Budget boom or bust for personal finance? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER lenders are split about the outcome of the Budget for people’s finances.

RateSetter said there was “a notable absence of measures to help people put away more for the future” in Wednesday’s fiscal event, but Lending Works called it “a boost for personal finance”.

Rethinking bricks and mortar: alternatives for property investors (Your Money), Rated: B

A mismatch of supply and demand has made UK property more unaffordable than ever for would be buyers. Property investors pursuing the buy-to-let route are also facing challenges due to a recent crackdown in tax legislation. Against this backdrop, peer to peer (P2P) and equity crowdfunding have grown in popularity as alternative ways to access the property market.

Key considerations before picking an investment route

 

  • Investment risk
  • Debt or equity
  • Liquidity
  • Who’s the provider

RateSetter Appoints Richard Steele Regional Manager of Midlands (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter announced on Friday it has appointed Richard Steele as its regional manager for the Midlands. According to the online lender, Steele has more than 15 years of business lending experience and prior to joining RateSetter, he held the relationship manager position at Barclays and business development manager at BCRS Business Loans.

China

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On November 17th, top financial regulators in mainland China (including PBOC, CBRC, CSRC, CIRC and SAFE) released a new set of rules covering the country’s asset management market. It is the first time that the regulators designated one of the articles to Robo-advisors.

According to the article, financial institutions that conduct Robo-advisory services or AI-driven investment programs should be granted license from financial regulator before carrying out any operations.

Here Comes Tencent Credit

Two years ago, Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Alibaba, launched its own credit scoring system Sesame Credit. This week, Tencent, Alibaba’s main rival in China, finally followed suit by launching a similar and competitive product, Tencent Credit. The credit score ranges between 300 and 850.

Sesame Credit Ceases Cooperation with Cash Loan Platforms

On November 21st, a cash loan platform told the media that they had received a notification from Sesame Credit, the credit scoring services of Ant Financial. According to the notification, Sesame Credit will cease to cooperate with cash loans from December 12th of 2017 due to some of its illegal behavior regarding interest rate setting and debt collection.

Chinese fintech firm CreditEase to pioneer funds of funds as alternative to direct real estate purchases (SCMP), Rated: AAA

CreditEase, one of China’s largest financial technology companies, has set its sights on funds of funds focusing on real estate projects as founder and chief executive Tang Ning anticipates a new property investment scenario.

At present, high-net-worth individuals in China seeking returns from property investment often directly buy and own residential or commercial units, betting on the appreciation of assets.

CreditEase, which specialises in lending to small businesses and consumers as well as wealth management for affluent investors, plans to set up a clutch of funds of funds that will allocate capital to leading global real estate funds managed by big names such as Blackstone and KKR.

China Online Lender Qudian’s Latest Plunge Knocks CEO From Billionaire Ranks (Forbes), Rated: A

Qudian lost 24.3% on Friday to end at $12.22, the worst close since it listed at $24 on Oct. 18.  Friday’s decline left Luo’s fortune at $776 million.

Luo, 34, ranked No. 255 on the 2017 Forbes China Rich List published on Nov. 16 with an estimated fortune of $1.48 billion.

Shares in Qudian, which is 11% owned by Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial, and other Chinese online lenders have been falling on reports that regulators plan to tighten restrictions on microlenders. On Friday, Qudian said it would cap charges and costs to customers linked to Alipay at an annual interest rate of 24% (see announcement and details here).  Qudian also said it is working to extend credit through its own app where it can charge up to an annual rate of 36%.

Alibaba Affiliate Bans High-interest Consumers Loan Products (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba, has barred consumer loanswith an annual interest rate above 24% on its Alipay platform.

Ant Financial stated that it has increased monitoring of the financial service providers on Alipay and its credit platform, Sesame Credit, and found some inappropriate collection methods and interest rates above legal limits, according to Reuters. Further, Alibaba’s Ant Financial stated that it would withdraw cooperation with some cash loan providers. Sesame Credit is a proprietary credit scoring system, which gives Alipay e-wallet users a credit score.

China Fintech Firm Is Said to Mull Fate of $ 500 Million IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: A

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd., owner of Chinese online lending platform Fenqile, plans to meet advisers this weekend to discuss the fate of its proposed U.S. initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company aims to decide whether to imminently start its IPO roadshow or wait for a later date when market sentiment may be better, according to the people.

Yirendai Awarded ISO 27001 Certification (Business Insider), Rated: A

Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE: YRD) (“Yirendai” or the “Company”) announced today that it has been awarded certification to the international standard for Information Security Management (ISO 27001) from British Standards Institution.

The ISO 27001 certification is an internationally recognized best practice framework for an information security management system (“ISMS”) and specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving information security management within an organization. It also takes into account risk assessment and risk treatment with regards to security of information.

Tencent to set up fintech lab in Xiongan (ECNS.cn), Rated: B

Tencent Holdings Ltd, Asia’s most valuable firm, is planning to set up a financial technology lab and digitize public medical services in the Xiongan New Area, as part of a broader push to gain a foothold in China’s latest economic zone.

European Union

One Idea to Make Europe Bigger in Tech Is to Pay Employees More (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Europe isn’t producing the kind of large, globally-influential technology companies like those coming out of the U.S. and China. A perennial question is why?

One reason might be that European startups don’t give employees as much of a chance to strike it rich, according to a new study by the European venture capital firm Index Ventures. While startup employees in the U.S. are often rewarded with stock options — allowing them to cash out handsomely if a company is sold or goes public — young firms in Europe don’t offer the same scale of incentives.

In an analysis of 73 companies, Index found that European employees own on average about 10 percent of the startup where they work, compared to 20 percent for U.S. workers. European companies often skew stock options to executives rather than rank-and-file employees.

A tech VC explains why Revolut is such a hot ticket as the fintech app hits 1 million users (Business Insider), Rated: A

Revolut announced the milestone on Friday, saying that customers have now completed 42 million transactions on its app worth a combined $6 billion (£4.5 billion). The company began as a foreign exchange app linked to a pre-paid card but has since branched out into broader financial services, such as current accounts, insurance, and investments.

Revolut, which is applying for a full European banking license, said that 42% of its customers are aged 25-35, “a clear indication that traditional banks are no longer meeting the needs of younger, tech-savvy generations.”

Flender closes in on £2m funding round (Independent), Rated: A

Dublin-based peer-to-peer lending business Flender is close to raising more than €2m in its latest funding round.

Some €400,000 of the money has been raised from its own platform – the first peer-to-peer equity investment on an Irish platform. Terms are close to being agreed for the remaining balance of a £2m (€2.25m) round.

CS Invests in Swiss Fintech (finews), Rated: B

Credit Suisse has bought a majority stake in Tradeplus24, a Zurich-based fintech firm specialized in small- and mid-sized business loans. The Swiss bank bought into a series A1 financing through its subsidiary, SVC, the bank said in a statement.

International

2 investment trusts for income investors seeking reliable high yields (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

With interest rates still near historic lows, it can be hard to find mainstream investments that will pay out a significant yield.

But for investors who don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up their own account with a peer-to-peer lending platform, P2P Global Investments (LSE: P2P) offers an alternative route to gain access to the sector. It’s an investment trust that offers investors a ready-made and diversified portfolio of peer-to-peer loans, saving time from building a portfolio from scratch and enabling investors to earn income straight away. At its current share price, it has a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 6%.

ETHLend – A Fully Decentralized & Democratized P2P Lending Platform On The Ethereum Blockchain (Chipin), Rated: A

The main feature of ETHLend is the financing options available in ETH, which allows users to borrow or lend ETH using ETHLend’s digital tokens in an efficient manner or by using ENS domains as a collateral.

The ETHLend platform can be also used as a tool for both B2B and B2C transactions.

An interesting aspect of ETHLend is that both borrowers and lenders will receive 0.1 credit tokens (equal to 1 ETH) each for every loan that is repaid successfully.

These credit tokens can then be used as collateral for loans on the platform or sold for profit.

Here are the details of the upcoming LEND token sale:

Token name: LEND

Token base: Ethereum (ERC-20)

Token supply: 1,000,000,000

Token sale duration: 25th November, 2017 – 27th December, 2017

Token sale target: 37,600 ETH (hard cap)

Token exchange rate: 1 ETH = 25,000-27,500 LEND (depending on period of sale)

Celsius – The P2P Decentralized Credit Protocol Built On Smart Contract Technology (Chipin), Rated: A

The modern credit system is a mess, particularly for millennials and the Generation X youths.

Celsius is a P2P and blockchain-powered global credit network designed to improve the efficiency of modern credit and financing systems.

There are 4 types of loans in the Celsius platform:

    • The platform will enable millennials to establish a digital credit score and be issued a credit line; the credit can then be accessed by a sponsored credit card from Celsius.
    • Celsius will also allow the platform’s users to expand their credit limit against their own cryptocurrency asset holdings they have at Celsius. The extended credit can be easily accessed through several options.
    • Members can also choose to lend any cryptocurrencies they own and earn up to 5x the normal interest rates they get from banks. Finally, members can borrow cryptocurrencies in a secure and transparent manner
    • To safeguard the platform’s ecosystem, both lenders and borrowers on Celsius are verified and carefully selected to prevent fraud.

Here are the details of the upcoming DEG token sale:

Token name: DEG

Token base: Ethereum (ERC-20)

Token supply: 1,000,000,000

Token sale duration: 25th of January, 2018 – TBA (pre-sale is currently LIVE)

Token sale target: $100,000,000 (hard cap)

Token exchange rate: $0.20 = 1 DEG

Australia/New Zealand

Why SocietyOne needs more than its billionaire backers (Financial Review), Rated: AAA

The other is it’s in the midst of what is expected to be its last funding round before listing the business, raising up to $20 million in equity based on a valuation of up to $200 million, which is based on a multiple of one times its loan book.

The raising, managed by Venture Advisory and due to close late this month, is part of a long-term, highly anticipated plan to target a sharemarket listing in 2018.

SocietyOne is expected to need a book worth $500 million or so before it starts breaking even.

Chief executive Jason Yetton has said previously the company is eyeing a 2 per cent to 3 per cent share of the $105 billion consumer finance market in the long term, of which credit card debt comprises $42 billion.

Fortress backs $ 120m capital raising by MoneyMe (Financial Review), Rated: AAA

Global credit investor Fortress Investment Group will invest $100 million in debt capital to support MoneyMe’s consumer lending growth as the fintech considers an initial public offering in early 2019.

Fortress’s investment is part of a $120 million asset-backed securitisation deal, which also includes a $20 million bond, issued by Evans & Partners, which was oversubscribed.

MoneyMe, which has made $150 million in personal loans to 70,000 customers in the past four years, is both cash flow positive and profitable, very rare for an Australian fintech.

Of its $150 million in lending, $80 million has been advanced in the past 12 months.

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Publishes First Peer-To-Peer/Crowdfunding Statistical Returns (MondoVisione), Rated: AAA

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today published its first statistical reporton peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding in New Zealand.

The data shows $259.9 million is currently loaned to individuals and $29.5 million loaned to businesses through peer-to-peer lending in the year ending 30 June 2017.

A total of $74.2 million was raised from investors through crowdfunding, including wholesale investors, in the same period.

Tic:Toc to undercut broker distribution in white label play (TheAdviser), Rated: A

Mortgage brokers are facing a double threat from online lender Tic:Toc, which is seeing a surge in demand from consumers and interest from banks and non-bank lenders looking for cheaper distribution.

The fintech started lending four months ago and has received approximately $330 million of applications in that time, with conversions hovering around 17 per cent this month.

Financial regulator shines light on P2P lending, crowdfunding (Stuff), Rated: A

Kiwis have nearly 17,000 loans through “peer-to-peer” lending platforms, but more than one in 12 borrowers were behind on repayments, according to the Financial Markets Authority.

There were 16,977 loans outstanding with P2P lenders at the end of June, it said, of which 1469 were in arrears. The average size of loans being taken out was $8771.

During the year, 833 loans with a total value of $8.5 million were written off.

Why banks and fin-techs need each other (NZ Herald), Rated: B

Chris Russell, HSBC New Zealand chief executive, said history was littered with banks who had spent large sums of money on developing new technology, only to find it had gone in another direction while it was working on it.

Globally Russell said HSBC was setting up innovation labs to work with financial technology firms and it was China and India where it saw the biggest sources of development.

In New Zealand it is also partnering with a local fin-tech, although Russell won’t name who yet.

India

The quick and safe way to build a credit score (livemint), Rated: A

If you are new in the workforce, you can start by getting a low-limit credit card from the bank where you have a salary account, said Sumit Bali, senior executive vice president and head-personal assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

Alternative credit scoring

While the RBI-regulated credit bureaus are currently not allowed to use alternative data for credit scoring; in other developed markets parameters like utility bill payments, insurance premium payments have been used for credit scoring (read more on it here.

However, financial institutions including top public and private sector banks and NBFCs in India, have started using alternative data in multiple verifications and validations across the credit value chain, Agarwal said.

Asia

Considering an ICO… then read this (The Star), Rated: AAA

The ICO euphoria is likely being fuelled by the fact that despite all the negative news surrounding ICOs and cryptocurrencies, the price of bitcoin has generally kept soaring, despite the many mini crashes it tends to suffer.

For sober markets like Malaysia and Singapore, the regulators’ stance is clear. They are not outlawing ICOs but making a simple statement: if fund-raising is your main objective, then please take note of existing securities laws, which have been built and refined over a very long time.

Malaysia should not become a hotbed for dodgy ICOs.

Asian regulators should focus on light touch for ICOs (Asian Review), Rated: A

China banned initial coin offerings in September as “a form of unapproved illegal public financing behavior.” South Korea followed suit a few weeks later. Regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.S. and other countries have also expressed concerns. What is it that has them so worried?

Africa

A Digital Transactions Takeover right under our nose – Cassava Fintech (Newsday), Rated: AAA

Cassava Fintech is a specialized Pan-African Fintech company that delivers innovative digital transaction solutions across the mobile ecosystem. Sounds fancy right? Not quite. Simply put Econet’s vision has expanded beyond Telecoms and our Zimbabwean borders. Econet’s premise sits within an inclusive connected future that leaves no African behind.

Fintech SMEs to drive 72% of bank innovation (The Star), Rated: A

Financial technology startups, commonly known as fintechs, will be responsible for 72 per cent of financial innovations in the next three years, a new industry report shows.

Financial technology startups, commonly known as fintechs, will be responsible for 72 per cent of financial innovations in the next three years, a new industry report shows.

81 per cent of financial institutions said they are currently partnering with start-ups or intend to in the next 12 months.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday November 21 2017, Daily News Digest

Purchase APR LendingTree

News Comments Today’s main news: Experian buys, integrates Clarity Services. Think Finance files for bankruptcy. PayPal offers robo-investing. Assetz Capital achieves 1.5M GBP funding through Seedrs. Elevate launches industry research repository. Nav Athwal steps down as CEO of RealtyShares. Ping An Insurance prepares for Lufax IPO. TransferWise doubles revenue. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree releases monthly mortgage offer report. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The […]

Purchase APR LendingTree

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Australia/New Zealand

India

MENA

News Summary

United States

Integration of Clarity Services Inc by Experian (Experian Email), Rated: A

Dear Clarity Services Inc Supplier:

As a supplier to Clarity Services Inc, we are writing to formally notify you that as of October 6, 2017, Clarity Services Inc has been purchased by Experian Holdings, Inc.

Effective January 1, 2018, purchases and invoice payments will be processed by Experian’s centralized Procurement and Accounting departments.

Source: Experian

Think Finance Files for Chapter 11 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court), Rated: AAA

Read the court brief here.

PayPal in robo-investing venture (The Australian), Rated: AAA

The payments company was connecting its website and smartphone apps with those of Acorns Grow, a five-year-old automated savings and investment service, the two companies said on Monday.

PayPal users would be able to use their accounts to make contributions to Acorns and would be able to monitor and manage their Acorns investments from the PayPal app, said Joanna Lambert, the company’s vice-president of consumer financial services.

PayPal is rolling out the Acorns offerings in phases, with the first batch of users getting access on Monday and all US users by early 2018.

Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class Launches Industry Research Repository (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

The Center for the New Middle Class, a research-focused body developed by Elevate to engage and educate the public about the growing needs of individuals who do not have access to traditional credit options, today announced it has launched an industry research repository for researchers, reporters, policy makers and the general public. Known as the Resource Database, it is a curated collection of the best research on non-prime Americans and their challenges, attitudes, and needs.

In addition to containing external research and editorial content from sources such as Pew, the National Bureau of Economic Research and “The Atlantic,” the database will house research and commentary from the Center for the New Middle Class regarding economic conditions that affect America’s New Middle Class.

By visiting the database here users can search for entries, filter the results, and see the full bibliographic reference of information provided.

The Cleveland Fed Retracts Their Report on “P2P Lending” (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The shame of all this is that all the sensational headlines have already been written and confirmed in many people’s minds the supposed shady nature of our industry. It would have been far better for everyone if the authors of this report had done their homework and produced a thoroughly researched report in the first place.

As Todd Baker pointed out, “we really should know which online lenders are adding to consumer financial health and which ones are detracting from it.”

Why The Cleveland Fed Pulled Their Online Lending Study (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

“[These borrowers] are not underbanked, they’re sort of overbanked,” observed Yuliya Demyanyk, a Cleveland Fed economist and co-author of the report. “Defaults on [marketplace] loans have been increasing at an alarming rate, resembling pre-2007 crisis increases in sub-prime mortgage defaults, where loans of each vintage perform worse than those of prior origination years.”

The authors of the Nov. 9 report “have received several questions about the composition of the underlying data set they used in their analysis,” the Cleveland Fed said on its website, and are “revising their paper to further clarify the data sample they used” and will post the new version as soon as it’s ready.

So, what happened?

One theory is that they may have stretched the definition of online lending so far as to make an accurate and credible apples-to-apples comparison implausible.

Karen Webster spoke with Lending Club’s head of government relations, Richard Neiman, to get a better sense of the source of discrepancy, since even Googling the definition of marketplace loan, Webster commented, might have saved the Cleveland Fed economists a lot of grief.

“The industry is so big now,” Neiman said, “that it is not easy for policymakers to fully understand the divergences between different platforms, the different products, the different modeling and the differences in levels of transparency that are now defined as online lending.”

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for October (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its first monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network.

  • October’s best loan offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.75% for purchase and 3.70% for refinance, on conforming 30-year loans.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were down 3 bps month over month, to 4.31%, the lowest since November 2016. In contrast, the loan note rate of 4.18% was up 7 bps to the highest since July.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw an average APR offer of 4.18% vs 4.44% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 22 bps between these score ranges was 1 bps lower than in September. The spread represents nearly $12,600 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $228,730. Additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were up 10 bps to 4.26%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 16bps from 15 bps, nearly $7,500 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $235,844.
  • The average proposed down payment for purchase mortgages have been rising for 7 months and reached $59,680 in October.
  • Average monthly payments were little changed at just over $1,100 for both purchase and refinance. The credit score bucket spread was $241 for purchase and just $77 for refinance.
Source: Business Insider
Source: Business Insider

Inflation and Counterfeit Credit (GoldSeek), Rated: AAA

Let’s take a look at an often-repeated idea that is popular in the gold and alternative investing communities. The government possesses a printing press. Therefore, it will never default. It will just inflate its way out of the debt. It will devalue the dollar.

The government does not set the value of the dollar. And it has no mechanism to set it. So, logically, it has no mechanism to reset it. It cannot devalue it. In the same way, you cannot lower yourself down by your bootstraps since you are not lifting yourself up by them in the first place.

We must emphatically state that the government does not print. It borrows. Congress does not have a printing press, to create greenbacks. It has a Treasury that can sell bonds to cover whatever payments the government is obligated to make that it has not got tax revenues for. Over the past year, for example, the government increased its debt by over 630 billion dollars.

Like any bank, the Fed borrows to fund its purchases of interest-paying assets. It earns a spread between what it pays (currently about 1.25%) and what its asset portfolio pays (over 2%). The commercial banks currently deposit over $2.1 trillion in excess reserves, and the Fed’s total liabilities are over $4.4 trillion including Federal Reserve Notes (on which the Fed pays zero). Unlike any commercial bank, there is a law that obligates us to treat the Fed’s liabilities as if they were money.

We are working on the problem that all borrowing and lending uses the dollar. We offer gold financing, simplified and a yield on gold, paid in gold.

Source: GoldSeek

Right now speculative mania is occurring in crypto currencies so that may (but not necessarily, beware correlation!) shunt such capital flows away from gold. As to default risk, there are signs of rising stress in high yield credit markets, but it’s early yet.

Nav Athwal Exits CEO Role at RealtyShares (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Nav Athwal, one of the more prominent founders in the real estate crowdfunding space, has announced his decision to step down from the CEO role at RealtyShares, a platform he founded four years ago.

Ed Forst, RealtyShares Board Member and former CEO of Cushman and Wakefield, has been selected as the interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

Crowdfund Insider spoke to Athwal regarding his decision to change his leadership role at RealtyShares and he explained he would continue to be engaged with the company;

“RealtyShares is in the strongest position it’s ever been in. The company is moving from the build phase to the scale phase of its lifecycle. To best position RealtyShares for the future, I made the decision to transition out of my role as CEO to a new role on the Board of Directors. I asked Ed Forst to take on the role of interim CEO, while we look for a permanent CEO who will fit the culture and profile we’re seeking. I am still very much a part of RealtyShares and will be actively involved in strategic decision-making. I am looking forward to supporting the company in this new capacity and getting back into principal real estate investing and agribusiness. As I begin to work on additional projects, I will be sure to let you know.”

Leading RealtyShares Into Its Next Chapter (RealtyShares), Rated: A

I started RealtyShares four years ago with the idea of creating a company that would make real estate more accessible, efficient, and transparent. RealtyShares has come a long way since those early days in my living room. It is now a 100-person operation and the leading platform for online real estate investing and capital formation.

My primary focus has always been to best position RealtyShares for future success. RealtyShares is now at an inflection point. I will remain on the Board of Directors supporting the company as it continues on its journey to build a global marketplace for real estate investing.

Kabbage Releases Research: On Building Successful Small Businesses (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Kabbage Inc., a global financial services, tech and data platform serving small businesses, released new data reporting on the similarities that connect all small business owners (SBOs), including personal sacrifices, professional challenges and growth expectations. Featuring responses from 400 SBOs, the data shows more than 67 percent expect to increase revenues by the end of 2017, with more than half anticipating an increase of 10 percent or higher.

In partnership with Bredin, a leading small-business market research firm, Kabbage polled small business owners across industries, including retail, education, manufacturing, food and beverage, healthcare, automotive, energy and finance.

RealtyMogul Tops $ 300 Million in Real Estate Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

RealtyMogul has topped $300 million in total deal flow.

RealtyMogul has garnered over 140,000 investors, received over $300 million invested into deals presented on its platform and returned $65 million to its investors since its inception in 2012.

RealtyMogul Wins Gold in 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business (BusinessWire), Rated: A

RealtyMogul has been awarded the Gold Stevie Award in the Consumer Services category during the 14th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run. All individuals and organizations worldwide are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2017 awards received entries from 25 nations and territories.

The Postal Banking Solution (Jacobin Magazine), Rated: A

Fewer than two thousand people live in Bluff, but any one of them can walk into the post office and cash a check or apply for a loan.

Meanwhile, the United States is riddled with what are called banking deserts — inhabited areas, many of them urban, where residents have no access to a bank.

One in four US households is unbanked or underbanked, meaning they’re fully or partially boxed out of traditional financial services. Those 68 million people represent a growing market for payday loan sharks, and spend an average of 10 percent of their yearly income on the high interest and fees that go with alternative financial services — roughly the same proportion they spend on food.

But there’s a collective solution to the banking desert: we could set up a public postal banking system like New Zealand’s.

Fighting the fees: robo-advisers win followers, if only for lower costs (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Rated: A

But one day last year Mr. Hansen was complaining to his mother, an avid investor, about the high fees he was paying on his investment account. She suggested he look into an online investment company called Betterment that markets itself as a low-fee alternative to traditional financial advisers.

Some of the most popular robo-advisers — such as Betterment, Wealthfront and Charles Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolio — use exchange-traded funds to keep costs low. Betterment charges an annual fee of 0.25 percent of the account value. Wealthfront charges no fee for accounts $10,000 or less. Schwab’s robo-advising platform limits its fees to the operating expenses included in the ETF, which range between 0.07 percent and 0.21 percent of the fund balance.

Citizens Bank, a Providence, R.I.-based bank that claims the third-largest deposit market share in the Pittsburgh region, introduced a new digital investment and advisory platform on its online banking home page in September.

A July report by S&P Global Market Intelligence predicts that digital advice assets will grow from $98 billion at the end of 2016 to $460 billion at the end of 2021.

InterNex Capital Launches “Velocity” (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Digital asset-based lender, InterNex Capital (“InterNex”) is pleased to announce their Velocity platform for small and medium-sized businesses. Velocity provides borrowers on demand liquidity through the InterNex Line of Credit and delivers real-time access for working capital management. Velocity empowers accelerated growth and powerful analytics, traditionally only available to large enterprises.

Wells Fargo adds overdraft protection with Rewind (Bankrate), Rated: B

On Nov, 14th, Wells Fargo announced Overdraft Rewind, a new feature to help customers avoid fees for overdrawing their checking accounts right before payday, when overdrafts most commonly occur.

Going forward, the bank will not charge overdraft or insufficient funds fees if a direct deposit large enough to cover those charges is received by 9 a.m. local time the day after the account goes negative.

You don’t need to opt in; if you have a Wells Fargo account, you’re covered by default.

Fintech seeks to ‘democratize data’ with Nasdaq’s help (American Banker), Rated: A

The fintech startup Intrinio has partnered with Nasdaq to include the exchange’s real-time data feeds in its financial data marketplace.

Global Debt Registry Unveils Collateral Pledge Blockchain Proof of Concept (Global Debt Registry), Rated: A

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company, today announced it has developed a collateral pledge registry, the first of its kind in the structured credit space, using Hyperledger Fabric, one of the Hyperledger blockchain framework implementations hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Midwest is on the rise in attracting tech investors’ interest (Crain’s Cleveland Business), Rated: A

Among those quoted in the story is Mark Kvamme, a top venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who now heads Columbus-based Drive Capital. The firm has raised $550 million and invested in 26 companies, betting, The Timessays, that “the middle of America amounts to an undervalued asset, rich in markets, new business ideas and budding entrepreneurs.”

Even so, three-quarters of all venture capital invested in America goes to California, New York and Massachusetts, the National Venture Capital Association estimates, and Ohio gets less than 1%.

Getting Help with Credit Card Debt (Business Insider), Rated: A

For the many Americans who face unmanageable credit card debt, it’s time to get their financial lives in order, says Andrew Housser, co-founder and CEO of Freedom Debt Relief– and if they need outside help, time to know how to find the right firm.

People looking for a trustworthy debt relief organization to help win the battle against debt can ask Housser’s seven questions:

  1. Does the company provide actual consultations and free advice to consumers?
  2. Does the company provide educational material, including budgeting and financial advice, free of charge?
  3. What is the background of the firm’s management team?
  4. How long has the company been in business?
  5. Request and review the company’s dropout and completion rates.
  6. What are the fees, and how will the firm assess them?
  7. How will the company help with creditor calls?

Atomist is formally launching with the Developer Automation Platform, an open source client and API. The new Development Automation Platform is designed to bring automation into the development and delivery process so that developers can focus on more important tasks.

Companies such as NVIDIA, Pivotal, Kyyti Group, Marlette Funding and Barclays Africa use Atomist for automation.

Mphasis’ top trends in Cognitive Intelligence in 2018 (CIO), Rated: B

  1. Smart environments with Pervasive Human and Machine Networks
  2. Predictive Analytics driven Customer 360
  3. Artificial Intelligence driven Multi-structured analytics – Cognitive Intelligence can enable insurance companies in analysing contact centre as well as chat data interactions in real time to predict propensity for fraud based on voice, video and text analysis and correlating the same with other similar fraudulent customer behaviors. The long term objective in such scenarios is to build machine learning based intelligent systems which learn on an ongoing basis based on historical pattern based analysis of billions of user and machine data points and predicts events.
  4. Immersive Multi-modal User Experiences
United Kingdom

Assetz Capital Achieves £1.5 Million Through Latest Seedrs Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Less than a month after launching its latest equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, peer-to-peer lending platform Assetz Capital has successfully secured £1.5 million from more than 700 investors. The online lender took to the funding portal to raise £1 million for expansion.

Banking bots advise NatWest customers on investments (ITPro), Rated: AAA

NatWest has launched a chatbot that allows customers to seek financial advice from the comfort of their sofa.

The bot will determine the best way for customers to invest their money by asking questions such as what they want to achieve from investments, their current financial situation, what they can afford, their debts and other personal information, plus their attitude to risk.

It will then suggest ISA products they could consider for investment, plus how much they should consider investing and the most effective way to use their ISA allowance.

Monzo plans crowdfunding push to deepen ties with customers (Financial Times), Rated: A

Banking app Monzo is planning to launch one of the UK’s largest crowdfunding efforts next year to give customers in the fast-growing bank what it calls “a greater share of ownership”.

Tom Blomfield, chief executive, said the start-up, which raised £71m in a private equity fundraising earlier this month, intends to make a further cash call of between £10m and £30m in 2018.

However, the main driver of the crowdfunding push would be “to enable the customer base to own part of the bank”, Mr Blomfield said, adding that crowdfunding created a “genuine sense of ownership”.

Payday loan firm used £1.2m pension liberation scheme to pay debts (Citywire), Rated: A

Three directors of an insolvent payday loan firm which received cash from pension liberation schemes have been disqualified.

Speed-e-Loans.com (SEL), used £1.2 million from private investors via the schemes to meet its existing debts.

Directors Philip Miller, Robert Alan Davies and Daniel Jonathan Miller have been banned from acting as directors for nine, six and five years respectively for breaching fiduciary duties and the duties of care, skill and diligence.

China

Ping An Insurance Preparing For IPO Of Online Financing Platform Lufax (Asian Review), Rated: AAA

Ping An Insurance Group is working towards an initial public offering for its peer-to-peer online financing platform Lufax Holding, the Chinese insurer’s chief operating officer said on Monday.

She didn’t provide a timeline or size for the planned public offering. The company was valued at $18.5 billion after a round of fundraising last year.

Ping An Insurance sells tech, lightens assets to aid returns (Asian Review), Rated: A

Ping An Insurance Group will go light on assets and target technology exports as its next mainstay, China’s leading financial conglomerate said Monday.

European Union

TransferWise reports doubled revenue for last fiscal year (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The London-based firm’s annual revenue has grown by 140 per cent since last year, coming in at £67m this year compared to £28m in 2016. Its audited results show an adjusted operating profit of £2m, and an overall profit for the fiscal year of £7.4m.

As a result, TransferWise’s operating loss has decreased from £17m in 2016 to £56,000 in 2017.

Swiss Platform Launches ICO Engine to Host Start-ups (TheStreet), Rated: A

Switzerland headquartered Eidoo has today officially launched a initial coin offering (ICO)engine that allows companies and startups to host ICOs through the Eidoo mobile app.

According to data provider Coinschedule, $3.3 billion has been raised in more than 200 ICOsover the past 12 months alone and the popularity of this innovative ICO form of crowdfunding shows no signs of relenting.

BNP Paribas buys 10% stake in SME credit specialist Caple (AltFi), Rated: A

Through the alliance and a 10 per cent stake in Caple, BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) is establishing a new platform to offer alternative credit to European SMEs.

Australia/New Zealand

CEO Jeff Greenslade details why Heartland Bank is moving aggressively into digital banking (Interest), Rated: AAA

Greenslade also reiterated Heartland’s forecast for June 2018 year net profit after tax of between $65 million and $68 million, an increase of up to 12% from $60.8 million in the June 2017 year.

“While some understandably lament the decline of branch banking, the bricks and mortar approach is not something we can compete in and is showing signs of obsolescence,” said Greenslade.

He pointed to Heartland’s digital services offering livestock finance, personal loans, SME working capital finance and deposits, noting “significant opportunity” to build on these.

Heartland has just six branches in Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Riccarton in Christchurch, and Ashburton.

India

Lower interest rates for borrowers in offing? Read where things stand (Financial Express), Rated: A

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) guidelines for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending will attract more people to these platforms and help bring down the interest rates for borrowers, Bhavin Patel, founder and CEO of LenDen Club, told Shritama Bose. Players in the segment have sought the regulator’s clarifications on the permissibility of institutional lenders on P2P platforms, he added.

Will the RBI guidelines have an impact on the lending rates?

In the current scenario, the P2P lending market is a minuscule percentage of the huge lending market in India. But, due to the sentimental impact of the regulation, many more lenders may take to P2P lending, resulting in higher liquidity on such platforms. This will eventually lead to reduction of the interest rates offered to borrowers in this segment.

How Fintech is Shaping Up the Future of Financial Services (Dekh News), Rated: A

Traditional banking institutions have changed very little in the last hundred years. Most offer online banking and mobile apps these days, but behind the scenes, very little has changed.

In total, $49.7 billion was invested in fintech between 2012-16, which indicates just how important fintech is.

Fintech innovators are more cost-effective than traditional lenders. Their technology and business models are low cost. A traditional lender may have operating costs of around 7% compared to an online lender whose operating costs are as low as 2%.

A staggering 38% of customers no longer visit banks. The rise of online banks has proven that traditional bank branches are not essential. Online lenders such as Atom have become firmly embedded in the banking ecosystem.

MENA

A tale of how two cities thrive in FinTech world (Khaleej Times), Rated: A

Two cities thrive in this new world. Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Long before renewable energy was pervasive, Abu Dhabi had established Masdar. It has brought in the magic of the Louvre from Paris. Singapore has consistently been ahead of the curve of change. The world’s largest vertical botanical garden paves the way for urban farming. The Marina Reservoir is a masterpiece of engineering and vision that turned an inlet of the sea into a strategically critical freshwater resource for the “Little Red Dot”.

Recently, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) held its inaugural FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit.

Two major announcements were made at the event. The first was the launch of the ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre by the first half of 2018.

The second was about a collaboration. ADGM and Plug and Play, the world’s largest startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley, signed a new partnership to launch a startup acceleration programme in Abu Dhabi, focused on FinTech. The programme, first of its kind in the Mena region, will be housed within the ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre. The partnership was signed by Ahmed Al Sayegh, chairman of ADGM, and Saeed Amidi, CEO, Plug and Play. Some of Plug and Play’s success stories include Google, Paypal, Dropbox and Lending Club.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday November 17 2017, Daily News Digest

consumer debt

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage secures $200M credit facility from Credit Suisse for AI-based lending expansion. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) files suit against Think Finance. Royal Bank of Scotland to launch robo under NatWest brand. Hexindai names Citi depository bank for American Depository Receipt Program. ICICI Bank, Paytm partner on short-term credit. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ Lending […]

consumer debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

Kabbage gets $ 200M from Credit Suisse to expand its AI-based business loans (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

After picking up $250 million in equity funding from Softbank earlier this year, the small business loans and finance company Kabbage — which uses only algorithms and machine learning (no humans) to determine an applicant’s eligibility — is announcing another big infusion of money. The company is picking up $200 million from Credit Suisse in a revolving credit facility that it will use for loans.

Specifically, Kathryn Petralia, who is the COO and co-founded the company with Rob Frohwein, said the funding will help the company increase the number of loans it can make to larger companies in the US. The average size of those loans will grow to “north of $200,000,” she said.

DBRS Assigns Ratings to Kabbage Asset Funding 2017-A LLC (DBRS), Rated: A

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned ratings to the following classes of loans extended by a group of lenders to Kabbage Asset Funding 2017-A, LLC (the Facility):

— Up to $148,150,000 of Class A Loans rated A (sf)
— Up to $24,868,000 of Class B Loans rated BBB (sf)

The Facility is a warehouse financing arranged for the benefit of Kabbage, Inc. (Kabbage) to support originations of small business loan receivables. Kabbage acts as servicer for the Facility.

Study suggests many borrowers bungle credit card debt consolidation (Credible), Rated: AAA

Thanks in part to the rise of fintech companies that make loans online, more than 16 million Americans now have personal loans — an increase of 64 percent in the last five years.

Payoff — a personal lender that specializes in helping consumers tackle credit card debt — says its internal data shows borrowers who paid off at least $5,000 in credit card balances between August 2016 and January 2017 saw a 40-point increase in their FICO score within four months.

Cleveland Fed study: a cautionary tale

One year after taking out a P2P loan, borrowers had credit scores that were 16 points lower than those of the non-P2P borrowers they were matched to, on average — an impact that persisted for four years, the authors said in their working paper.

The study found no evidence that P2P lenders are providing access to credit for “underbanked” consumers — borrowers taking out P2P loans were obtain other credit from traditional banks at rates similar to other consumers.

But a number of companies on the list, including Lightstream, BestEgg, LendingPoint, Earnest, and RocketLoans weren’t around in 2012, when the most recent loans studied by the Cleveland Fed researchers were made. Several others — including Avant, CommonBond, Pave, and Upstart — were just getting off the ground at the time.

The growth in fintech lending has been a driver in overall personal loan growth, with 16.1 million consumers owing $106 billion in personal loan debt as of June 30, 2017. That’s up from the 9.8 million borrowers who owed $45 billion in personal loan debt in mid-2012.

Fed flags online lending as subprime redux, but market hits back (Global Capital), Rated: A

ABS participants, speaking with GlobalCapital this week, hit back at the report, written by Yuliya Demyanyk, senior research economist, Daniel Kolliner, research analyst, both of the Cleveland Fed; and Elena Loutskina a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and contributing author at the Cleveland Fed.

The authors challenge the belief that peer-to-peer (P2P) loans have expanded credit to borrowers with limited access to debt since the financial crisis.

A central argument of the Fed’s report was that sector has not done much to expand access to debt for borrowers with low credit scores.

In securitization, subprime consumer ABS has thinned since the crisis. For the five major credit card issuers, the years 2008-2016 saw revolving credit available to US borrowers with a Fico score of less than 660 reduced by approximately $142bn, according to data published by online lender Elevate earlier this year.

Even portfolios backing recent marketplace loan ABS have a weighted average Fico score above 680, the level that defines so-called ‘near prime’ credits, despite the notable dip in collateral quality. Marlette, for example, had an average score of 705 for its most recent transaction which was priced in October, while Prosper had a weighted average Fico score of 709, according to data from Kroll Bond Rating Agency.

PeerIQ Lending Earnings Insights Report (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

We are pleased to release our inaugural Lending Earnings Insights report.

Below are some of the main themes that we explore in this tracker:

  • Large banks continue to retrench.  Wells Fargo’s loan portfolio is down $13 Bn YOY. Loss reserves are down at all major banks except at GS due to the ramp-up in their consumer lending portfolio. Goldman Sachs expects lending initiatives to add $2 Bn in revenue in the coming years. GS loan loss reserve increased 50% and GS had the highest improvement in ROE across its peer group.
  • Credit re-normalization trend continues remains a recurring theme across all major lending groups. Overall, loss-rates on recent vintages are increasing versus prior recent vintages, although performance remains stronger than pre-crisis levels.  Card issuers are increasing loan loss reserves at a higher rate than loan growth, indicating expectations of higher losses going forward. Discover and American Express increased loan loss provisions ~50% although loan growth is at 9% and 14% respectively.
  • Consumer installment lenders do not anticipate an increase in loss rates, after having recalibrated loss expectations and increased reserves in 2016. OneMain had the smallest increase in loss reserves at 4%.
  • Consumers now have access to greater supply of credit and credit demand continues to grow. Consumer average debt-to-incomes are below pre-crisis levels.
  • Several lenders cited the shifting competitive landscape and the role of technology in driving innovation and risk management. 
  • Where are we in the credit cycle? 
Source: PeerIQ

Goldman Sachs’ lending platform is booming (Business Insider), Rated: A

Other banks may be tempted to emulate Goldman Sachs’ move into lending, but they should proceed with caution. Although consumer credit demand in the US 

Source: Business Insider

LendingTree Holiday Shopping Survey Suggests Bigger Budgets, Selfless Spending and Mobile Shopping Among Parents this Holiday Season (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, recently conducted its Holiday Shopping Survey among 1,050 Americans aged 25 to 55 with at least one child. The results show that people generally expect to give more than they expect to receive, and although only 55 percent of respondents have a set budget this holiday season, 76 percent plan to spend the same amount or more on holiday shopping compared to last year.

According to the survey, the average holiday shopping budget across all age groups was $943, although 45 percent of respondents say they don’t have a set budget for holiday shopping this year. LendingTree’s 2016 holiday survey found that 56 percent of respondents planned to shop for the holidays without a pre-set budget.

Additionally, 29 percent say they plan to spend more on holiday shopping in 2017 than they did in the 2016 holiday season.

Source: LendingTree

Parents are setting a low bar for their children’s gift giving abilities in 2017, with 68 percent of parents expecting to receive no gifts from or on behalf of their kids.

Most parents (80 percent) plan to spend at least $100 per child this year while 37 percent of parents plan to spend at least $250 per child.  Although 62 percent of parents say they try to spend the same amount on each child, younger children have a slight advantage with 12 percent of parents admitting to spending more on younger children and only 6 percent of parents use a child’s behavior to dictate how much money is spent on their gifts.

A debit card is the primary form of payment for holiday shopping for 46 percent of respondents, as well as the primary form of payment for across all groups. Second to debit cards, 29 percent designated cash as their primary form of payment, and only 21 percent are primarily credit card users – although credit cards are considered more secure than cash or debit cards. A recent CompareCards by LendingTree survey found that 66 percent of Americans think debit cards are as safe or safer than credit cards for payments, when in fact debit cards don’t offer the same consumer protections as credit cards.

Respondents expect to do 50 percent of their shopping online and 34 percent of their shopping on their mobile phone. Millennials (age 35 and under) expect to do 40 percent of their shopping on their phone, the largest of any other age group.

LendingTree Inc. (TREE) Breaks into New 52-Week High on November 16 Session (Equities.com), Rated: A

Shares of LendingTree Inc. (TREE) broke into a new 52-week high yesterday, hitting a peak of $281.80. Shares closed at $279.40 after opening at $271.75 for a move of 2.83%. The company now has a market cap of $3.34 billion.

Sharestates, America’s Private lender, Launches Their One Click Closing Option (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Sharestates, an online real estate investment marketplace, announced today the launch of its new One Click Closing tool, a feature that will allow return borrowers to visit a page where they can upload all the details and documents required for a new loan, allowing for a seamless transfer of closing date information without further communications. The launch of this new tool coincides with the company’s overarching goal of providing borrowers with a streamlined funding process, while providing them the opportunity to solely focus on identifying viable real estate investment opportunities.

Bitcoin Tax Laws Are A Nightmare So People Ignore Them (International Business Times), Rated: A

A survey of 564 American bitcoin users by the online loan marketplaceLendEDU, revealed more than 35 percent didn’t plan to report bitcoin-related gains or losses on their tax returns. On average, respondents said the current fiat value of their bitcoin holdings were $2,930.85, although that will probably continue to rise along with bitcoin’s market price.

The Best Personal Loans of 2017 (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

Some of the most common requirements for a personal loan are:

  • Minimum credit score: Most lenders require that you have at least fair or good credit when applying for a personal loan. Each lender sets its own cutoff for what it considers to be excellent, good, fair or bad credit. In general, fair credit is a FICO score between 580 to 669 and good credit is a score between 670 to 739. Most companies require a score of at least 600, but some have greater requirements. A higher score will increase your ability to be approved, and the higher your score, the lower interest rate you’ll qualify for too.
  • Clean credit history: Lenders don’t like to see defaults, collections or bankruptcies. If you have one or more of these on your credit report, you might not be approved for a personal loan. If you’re approved, you may have to pay an exorbitant interest rate.
  • Stable employment: A lender needs to know that if it lends you money, you’ll have the means to repay it over time. Without a stable job, you could miss payments or default on the loan. Proof of employment validates your loan application.
  • Proof of identification: Lenders usually need to see proof of identification, such as a copy of your driver’s license or passport, before approving your loan. Identity theft is common and they want to prevent thieves from taking out loans under another person’s credit.

Choosing a Personal Loan Company

There are two types of lenders you can choose from: banks and peer-to-peer lenders. Banks offering personal loans include SoFi and LightStream and peer-to-peer lenders include Upstart, LendingClub, Prosper and Peerform.

Marketplace-based lenders usually have less strict credit score requirements than their bank-based counterparts. For example, LendingClub and Peerform only require a FICO score of 600 while bank-based companies such as SoFi and Payoff have minimum FICO scores of 660.

Every lender has a minimum and maximum loan amount. For example, SoFi will lend up to $100,000 while Payoff lends up to $35,000. If you need to borrow $45,000, then only look at lenders who offer that amount or more.

Best Personal Loan Companies of 2017

  • Best for very good credit, low APR and no origination fees: LightStream
  • Best for very good credit, low APR, no origination fees and a range of offerings: SoFi
  • Best for very good credit and low APR with merit-based qualifications: Earnest
  • Best marketplace for fair to good credit with merit-based qualifications: Upstart
  • Best bank for fair to good credit with merit-based qualifications: LendingPoint
  • Best for fair to good credit with a co-signer option: LendingClub

The Best Bad Credit Loans of 2017 (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

Bad credit usually is a FICO score below 640. FICO is the main scoring system for consumer credit, with credit score rangesdefined as:

  • Exceptional (800 to 850)
  • Very Good (740 to 799)
  • Good (670 to 739)
  • Fair (580 to 669)
  • Very Poor (300 to 579)

Payday Loans Versus Personal Loans

Payday Loans Personal Loans for Bad Credit
Lenders Online, brick-and-mortar Online, brick-and-mortar
Loan Amounts Typically less than $500 $1,000 to $50,000
Loan Terms Two to four weeks One to five years
Interest Rates 200 to 400 percent APR 36 percent APR or less

(Source)

Some alternative payday loan companies market themselves as more socially responsible than traditional payday lenders because they offer better terms. They also want to help consumers rebuild their shaky credit and make payments on time. For instance, LendUp provides financial education and rewards existing borrowers who repay their loans to be eligible for loans at larger amounts and lower rates. Fig Loans only charges fees to cover the costs of the loan.

Choosing a Bad Credit Lender

Consumers should evaluate lenders based on the following criteria:

  • Type of lending company
  • Credit history and general qualifications
  • Co-signer option
  • Additional eligibility qualifications
  • Employment requirements
  • Interest rates and types
  • Loan terms
  • Fees and penalties
  • Repayment options

The Best Small Business Loans of 2017 (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

According to the National Small Business Association, 69 percent of small businesses used financing in 2016, including loans, credit cards, venture capital and crowdfunding. The remaining 31 percent were not able to obtain adequate financing.

According to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small business bank loans totaled nearly $600 billion in 2015. At the same time, lending from alternative sources such as finance companies and peer-to-peer, or P2P, marketplace lenders amounted to $593 billion.

There are two categories of alternative lenders, direct and peer-to-peer lenders:

1. Direct lenders: Direct lenders are finance companies that fund your loan with capital other than a bank and without a middleman such as a broker, investment bank or private equity firm. Some direct lenders, such as LiftFund, offer SBA loans. Typically, small to midsize businesses borrow from direct lenders.

2. Peer-to-peer lenders: Online peer-to-peer lending directly connects you with investors who usually have a diversified loan portfolio made up of small portions of loans. A loan is often divided among several investors.

Choosing a Small Business Loan

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum credit score
  • Minimum years in business
  • Minimum annual revenue

Best Small Business Loans of 2017

  • Best for very small businesses: Kabbage
  • Best for borrowers with low credit scores: OnDeck
  • Best for new businesses: Accion
  • Best for low APR: LendingClub
  • Best for invoice financing: Fundbox

Square Now Letting Some Users Buy & Sell Bitcoin Through Cash Mobile App (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Financial service company Square is reportedly now testing out bitcoin on some of its Cash mobile app users. The new feature will allow users to buy and sell the cryptocurrency through the app.

YieldStreet Surpasses $ 200M in Originations, Bolsters Leadership Team and Launches New Website amid Period of High Growth (BusinessWire), Rated: A

YieldStreet, the alternative investment platform that is working to change the way wealth is created, announced that it has surpassed $200 million in originations and has added two new executives to its leadership team: Volfi Mizrahi as Managing Director of Originations and Ivor Wolk as General Counsel. Their additions come on the heels of the appointment of Hrishi Dixit as CTO earlier this year.

$ 15 Million Investment Round Fuels Accelerated Growth at Goji (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Goji announced a $15 million investment round led by Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd., doing business as HSCM Bermuda.

CFPB Guns for Think Finance. Files Suit Alleging Consumer Deception in Repaying Loans Not Legally Owned (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has filed suit in federal court against Think Finance, a Fintech that leverages its technology to power online lending platforms. The CFPB says the suit was filed for its “role in deceiving consumers into repaying loans that were not legally owed.”

The CFPB alleges that Think Finance illegally collects on loans that are void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders.

The actual filing states:

“From 2011 through at least 2015, Defendant has performed critical functions for three separate lending businesses owned by Native American Tribes: (1) Great Plains Lending, LLC (Great Plains); (2) MobiLoans, LLC (MobiLoans); and (3) Plain Green, LLC (Plain Green) (collectively, the Tribal lenders). Defendant is therefore a “service provider” under CFPA. 12 U.S.C. § 5481(226).”

Read the filing here.

Richard Cordray’s CFPB Has Done Its Job Well (Bloomberg), Rated: A

As recently as a decade ago, the U.S. had no single regulator tasked with looking out for the interests of consumers in financial markets. Fragmented oversight allowed all kinds of bad behavior to fall through the cracks. Mortgage brokers hid the true terms of loans in piles of nearly indecipherable documents. Banks changed the order of transactions to extract the maximum overdraft fees from poor customers. Payday lenders offered products designed to trap people in an unending cycle of debt.

Cordray has accomplished a lot. The CFPB designed new, simpler mortgage-loan disclosures. It shed light on banks’ overdraftpractices. It created the first federal rules to make payday lending less predatory. It gave the public reams of valuable information, such as a database that allows consumers to compare credit-card agreements. Its practice of publishing complaints pushed financial institutions to be more responsive. Its investigation of Wells Fargo brought national attention to the fake-accounts issue.

Some of its practices (in particular, preferringdiscretionary enforcement over explicit rule-making) are less than ideal and ought to be revisited; in other areas (such as auto lendingand credit reporting) its authority should be expanded.

We need a watchdog at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Washington Post), Rated: A

Cordray’s departure gives President Trump an opportunity to appoint a new leader, and I’m concerned that this will derail the watchdog agency’s consumer-first mission.

In Cordray’s parting statement, he wrote that the agency has recovered $12 billion for nearly 30 million consumers.

Five opportunities and challenges in digital lending (American Banker), Rated: A

Despite the rapid growth of online and mobile lending in recent years, many banks are still just getting started.

Traditional banks should help govern fintech (Reuters), Rated: A

Traditional lenders should demand that online financial companies protect consumer privacy and money interests, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said on Thursday.

Banks often pay tech companies for the information they gather on borrowers. For that reason, Brainard said, those lenders can set high standards in consumer protection and privacy.

Under Trump, Banking Watchdog Trades Its Bite for a Tamer Stance (The New York Times), Rated: A

The regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees the nation’s biggest banks, has made it easier for Wall Street to offer high-interest, payday-style loans. It has softened a policy for punishing banks suspected of discriminatory lending. And it has clashed with another federal regulator that pushed to give consumers greater power to sue financial institutions.

Buffett’s ‘Million-Dollar Bet’ shows how much fees matter (Herald Tribune), Rated: A

One category of alternative investments includes hedge and private equity funds. I am not in favor of such investments, especially for the average investor, and I am not alone.

Typically, hedge fund fees are 2 percent plus an incentive, or “carry,” of 20 percent of the profits. The result is billions of dollars for the managers and far less for clients.

In 2015, Buffett lagged his hedge fund rival for the first time since 2008, gaining 1.4 percent versus Protégé’s 1.7 percent. However, 2016 saw Buffett gain 11.9 percent to Protégé’s 0.9 percent. At the end of 2016, Buffett’s index fund gained 7.1 percent per year, or $854,000 in total, compared with 2.2 percent per year, or $220,000, for Protégé.

United Kingdom

Royal Bank of Scotland to launch robo-advice under NatWest brand (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Royal Bank of Scotland is launching robo-advice for more than 5m customers as banks return to the investment market after a string of fines and as regulators attempt to plug the UK’s wide “advice gap”.

The state-backed lender is claiming to be the first in the UK to launch automated online investment advice when it opens on Monday under its NatWest brand. The service is designed for the majority of customers and for people with as little as £500 to invest as a lump sum.

The process, which costs £10 plus fees for the investment, is aimed at customers who lack the confidence to invest alone but do not wish to pay higher charges for full-blown financial advice, such as tax and inheritance planning.

Beyond the bank (Prospect Magazine), Rated: AAA

Five high street banks remain responsible for more than 80 percent of business lending, prompting calls for greater market choice both from challenger banks and from emerging FinTech (financial technology) firms. However, the introduction of new platforms and new players raises questions of integration, innovation and regulation.

Launched seven years ago, Funding Circle has since hosted 70,000 lenders and is responsible for 2 percent of total UK business lending. While going head-to-head with the banks it is worth noting that Funding Circle is also growing the market.

So what next for financial services? Will the disruptors get disrupted? Possibly. One attendee suggested that FinTech firms would soon be providing ‘white label’ versions of their services to traditional banks that would then offer those services to customers. Others suggested that the likes of Amazon and Google would provide the biggest future threat not just to banks but to today’s FinTech leaders.

RateSetter, Funding Circle, Zopa feature in Women in Fintech Powerlist (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FEMALE employees at RateSetter, Funding Circle, Zopa and Landbay have all made this year’s Women in Fintech Powerlist, which celebrates the achievements and talent of women across the sector.

RateSetter’s entrants are: Alexa McAlister, head of partnerships; Angela Yotov, head of legal; Joanna Wright, chief risk officer; Katie Brown, corporate counsel; Laurence Perrin, head of compliance; Lucy Bott, head of customer operations; and Maud Holma, finance counsel.

Women from Funding Circle who made the list are: Alysha Randall, global finance director; Lisa Jacobs, chief strategy officer; Lucy Vernall, global general counsel and global head of compliance; Maria Weaver, chief people officer; Panni Morshedi, managing director of international; Swati Lay, chief information security officer; and Vittoria Reimers, VP loan operations.

VPC takes majority stake in online lender Borro (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

VICTORY Park Capital Specialty Lending (VPC) has continued its expansion into balance sheet lending by upping its investment in online secured lender Borro.

The alternative finance-focused investment trust now has the largest stake in the firm, which provides loans secured on luxury assets, owning around 49 per cent.

How does LendInvest’s buy-to-let offering stack up to P2P rivals? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

LendInvest said it will be offering buy-to-let loans through intermediaries ranging between £50,000 and £5m, with rates starting at 3.69 per cent depending on whether borrowers take a two, three or five-year fixed rate.

In comparison, Landbay facilitates fixed rate and tracker buy-to-let loans of between £70,000 and £500,000 from 3.55 per cent.

And fellow P2P lender LandlordInvest offers loans of between £30,000 and £300,000 from five per cent.

Crowdproperty Pitches to Raise 600K GBP through Equity Crowdfunding (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

UK p2p lending marketplace Crowdproperty is currently pitching on Seedrs to raise 600K GBP from the crowd at a pre-money valuation of 5.9M GBP.

Digital bank Monzo sizes up IPO (AltFi), Rated: A

In an advertisement for a new Chief Financial Officer, Monzo has let on about its plans for an IPO within three to four years time.

The posting, published today on Monzo’s job site, says:

Alongside the CEO, you’ll be heavily involved in future capital raising – pitching to investors and negotiating the best terms. In the next 3-4 years, it’s likely you’ll be responsible for taking the company through an IPO.

UK FinTech Beats Brexit Blues with New Funding Record (Digit), Rated: A

The UK fintech sector has enjoyed a record year of investment in 2017 with more than £2 billion invested across 182 deals, according to research body FinTech.Global.

Additionally, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% experienced by firms valued below £75 million between 2014 and 2016 was supplemented with a further investment of £1.2 billion for this bracket in 2017. As for companies valued above the £75 million figure, a further £877.1 million has been committed across eight deals.

Investment in the UK’s top-10 fintech firms accounted for nearly 46.7% of the total investment between Q1 and Q3 2017. The largest of these deals went to Gryphon Insurance in June, valued at £179.6 million. Of the top 10 deals, four went to lending firms – Prodigy Finance1stStop GroupNeyber and Funding Circle, valued at £457.5 million. Of the remaining six deals, two went to challenger banks Tandem and Atom, two went to enterprise software companies Options Technology and Darktrace, and the final two went to insurtech companyies Gryphon Insurance and Revolut.

Millennials say advisers are inaccessible and too expensive (Financial Times), Rated: A

Millennials view financial advice as an industry of “exclusivity, inaccessibility and high cost,” according to research carried out by the financial advice trade body.

The poll of 178 millennials found 78 per cent of them believed they could only receive advice if they had investible wealth in excess of £50,000 but a significant number wanted advice when they had £10,000 or less.

Online-only options appealed to just 12 per cent of those surveyed.

Cardiff will host one of the first a new network of tech hubs being set up in a £21m investment (Wales Online), Rate: B

A new tech hub will be set up in Cardiff as part of a UK-wide network of regional hubs under a £21m investment announced by the UK Government.

China

P2P Lender Hexindai Names Citi As Depositary Bank for American Depositary Receipt Program (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Wednesday, Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Hexindai announced it has appointed Citi’s Issuer Services business as the depositary bank for its American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program. According to the online lender, the program was established through an initial public offering of its American Depositary Shares (ADSs), priced at $10 per ADS, which raised approximately $50 million.

Unified credit rating system expected soon, say experts (China Daily), Rated: A

A unified platform for collecting personal financial information and assessing people’s credit ratings is being planned, and it is expected to be launched soon as a part of the central bank’s regulatory framework, experts told China Daily.

It will complement the existing credit center of the People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank.

China Fintech Companies Dominate Top-10 List of Global Innovators (China Money Network), Rated: B

Compared with the ranking last year, two more Chinese firms were added to the top 50 list. Online marketplace lending company Dianrong and credit card and online financial service firm U51.com, or 51Xinyongka, rose to top 50. Among the 100 fintech companies, lending and payments focused companies lead in terms of sectors.

European Union

Online Lender WeShareBonds Raises €12 Million in Mission to Help Finance French SMEs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

WeShareBonds, an AMF-registered crowd lending platform, has raised €12 million to continue financing French SMEs. The new funding includes both the closing of WeShareBonds’ second credit fund (Prêtons aux PME 2018) to finance French SMEs for €10 million and an equity increase of €2 million to finance platform growth.

International

Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending in India: A positive disruption to traditional financing, albeit cautious approach required (CARE Ratings), Rated: AAA

The overall size of the NBFC sector in India has grown significantly during the last few years with increasing share of NBFC total assets to bank total assets (approximately around 15 per cent of the total banking assets).

P2P Lending in UK: In UK, the P2P market has seen active retail investor participation. The outstanding loan book in the UK industry is approximately around £2.9 billion (~Rs.25,000 crore) as on Q3-2017 as compared to £0.75 billion (~Rs.6,500 crore) as on Q4-20142 . Based on the outstanding loan book as on Q3-2017, the key players in the segment are Funding Circle, Zopa, FolktoFolk, Ratesetter and ThinCats capturing majority of the market.

P2P Lending in USA: P2P industry in USA is around $20 billion (~Rs.1.3 trillion) in 2016 up from $18 billion in 20153 . P2P lending in the USA has seen active participation of institutional investors (approximately 70 per cent of the total investor volumes) lending to borrowers through the platforms. In the USA, three dominant players capture majority of the market which include Lending Club, Prosper and Sofi.

P2P Lending in China: Globally, China has the largest market size of P2P lending which started in 2006. As of January 2017, there were total 2388 P2P platforms in China4with trading volume in 2015 touching $67 billion (~Rs.4.4 trillion) which is ten times that of UK and four times bigger than USA. However unlike USA and UK, the China P2P market is dominated by large number of small and medium size firms.

P2P Lending in India: Globally P2P lending has been in existence for more than ten years; however, it has been evolving in India in the last couple of years. Given the recent RBI guidelines, companies will now need to obtain NBFC–P2P license and will come under the purview of the regulator. There are more than 50 P2P online platforms operating in India. I-Lend, LenDenClub, Faircent, Lendbox, i2iFunding, Monexo, India Money Mart, Rupaiya Exchange are some of the leading P2P platforms operating in India. Currently, some of the leading P2P platforms claim to disburse loans amounting to ~Rs.1 to 2 crore a month. Outstanding loans under P2P model is estimated to have reached ~Rs.50-60 crore.

Source: CARE Ratings

Read the full report here.

TAURUS COIN OPENS FOR BUSINESS GLOBALLY (EIN News), Rated: A

United Kingdom’s leading peer to peer cryptocurrency lender Taurus Coin today launched its online lending marketplace with USD 150M lending capital, bringing the world’s fastest growing form of lending to the South-East Asia, Gulf, Africa, Europe, and India investors.

Australia/New Zealand

Sharesies to look at robo-advice once regulator rules on exemptions (The National Business Review), Rated: A

Start-up fund distribution platform Sharesies will develop a plan to provide personalised, automated financial advice, known as robo-advice, once there is more clarity about regulatory exemptions.

Last month the Financial Markets Authority decided to grant an exemption to enable the provision of robo-advice services under the current financial advice regime and said it aims to finalise the exemption and be open for applications in early 2018.

India

ICICI Bank and Paytm partner for short term credit for users (Medianama), Rated: AAA

ICICI Bank and Paytm have partnered to offer short-term credit to users. The credit given to customers will be interest-free for 45 days and the bank says that it will give loans up to Rs 20,000. Initially, this will be allowed for select ICICI Bank customers who are on Paytm and will be extended to other bank customers as well who use Paytm.

Once the credit limit is set up for a customer, a consolidated bill is generated on the first day of the next month, which has to be paid by the 15th day of the same month. Customers can use their Paytm Wallet, debit card or internet banking of any bank for an easy repayment of their dues.

In August, the bank launched product called Instant Credit Card where certain pre-approved customers of the bank will be able to get a virtual credit card much before the physical card is delivered to them. A physical card will be sent to the customer’s address in 5-7 days.

Meanwhile, the bank’s rival, HDFC Bank said that it would start offering a virtual credit card for customers through its PayZapp wallet, as indicated by this Financial Express report. HDFC Bank has the maximum number of credit cards in circulation with 9.03 million. Meanwhile, ICICI Bank has 4.34 million credit cards.

  • Paytm’s rival in the wallet space, MobiKwik has partnered with Bajaj Finance to to bring in credit facilities to a wallet business.
  • In April this year, PayU India will be investing $50 million in its product LazyPay over the next few years. The credit facility could extend for amounts from Rs 3,000 and even up to Rs 10,000, depending upon customer behaviour.
  • For the recently concluded festival season, e-commerce player Flipkart started to offer EMIs on debit cards on high-value purchases.

Narrow banking is an idea whose time has come (livemint), Rated: A

The most heartening takeaway from last week’s public sector bank executive jamboree was the discussion around differentiated lending structures. The ThinkShop (earlier editions were called Gyan Sangams) suggested that large banks focus on corporate lending, while smaller lenders focus on retail loans or specific geographies.

Taking differentiated lending to its logical end, the time has come to consider converting the worst performers among state-owned lenders to narrow banks, which won’t lend at all.

Narrow banks are safe banks. By not lending, and using their deposits to buy government bonds, they carry virtually no credit risk. There is no danger of non-performing loans and frequent injections of equity capital that has to be funded by taxpayers. For the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) too, supervision gets easier. There is no need for deposit insurance.

RBI likely to issue clarifications on P2P lending norms soon (Money Control), Rated: B

The Reserve Bank of India is soon likely to issue clarifications on the guidelines for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms relating to the lending limits, trusteeship and other operational norms.

Asia

Active.Ai raises over million in Series-A round (India Times), Rated: A

Singapore-based fintech platform Active-.Ai has raised $8.25 million in a series-A round, which was led by Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings and Dream Incubator. Existing investors Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures also participated.

Canada

WEALTHSIMPLE, LEAGUE AMONG KPMG’S TOP 50 FINTECH COMPANIES (Betakit), Rated: B

Toronto-based WealthsimpleLeague, and SecureKey were among the company recognized in the top 50 category. In the emerging stars category, Toronto-based BorrowellWave, and Sensibill were recognized.

The list was put together by FinTech investment firm H2 Ventures and KPMG FinTech.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor