Wednesday August 15 2018, Daily News Digest

financial assistance

News Comments Today’s main news: Square expands Bitcoin service to all 50 states. Funding Circle says higher rates will help them. Zopa says UK investors likely to hate Marmite. Preview of China Rapid Finance Q2 earnings. Funding Societies hits SGD200M in SME crowdfunding. Today’s main analysis: How non-prime families cover college tuition. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How Goldman Sachs created […]

financial assistance

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United States

United Kingdom

China

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News Summary

United States

Square Expands Cash App Bitcoin Service to All 50 US States (CoinDesk) Rated: AAA

The company – which was co-founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey – announced the service expansion through a Tweet on Monday, months after the firm initially rolled out the bitcoin service to investors in the country.

As reported by CoinDesk, Square officially launched the bitcoin purchasing option on its Cash App in January following a testing phase started last year. However, the service was not offered in the states of New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming due to their more restrictive regulations regarding bitcoin transactions.

How Non-prime families cover college tuition (Center for the New Middle Class) Rated: AAA

Students from non-prime households are more likely to attend public, community, or junior colleges compared to students from prime households.

  • Consequently, they are more likely to live at home.
  • The majority of these students come from single-parent or homes with a stepparent.
  • Compared to prime parents, non-prime parents are significantly more likely to say that financial aid affected their choice of schools.
  • Non-prime parents are slightly more sensitive to schools welcoming students from diverse economic backgrounds.
  • Students from non-prime families are extremely reliant on financial aid as nine out of ten will use some form of financial assistance to cover college expenses in the Fall 2018, compared to three-quarters of prime students.
  • Access to financial aid is critical for these students because most of them come from single-income households with fluctuating incomes where their parent’s financial situation is precarious and burdened with high levels of debt.

Almost twice as many nonprime students, 42%, attend public/community/jr colleges compared to prime students, 23%.

Source: The Center for the New Middle Class
Source: The Center for the New Middle Class
Source: The Center for the New Middle Class

Read the full report here.

How Goldman Sachs Created Marcus To Be a Dominant Force in Consumer Banking (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

First, there was the launch of GS Bank in April 2016. Six months later Goldman Sachs introducedthe world to their Marcus brand. They began as an online lending platform offering unsecured consumer loans up to $30,000 with interest rates ranging from 5.99% to 22.99% (they now offer loans up to $40,000 and rates range from 6.99% to 24.99% as of August 2018). Their big differentiator was offering no fees. There was no origination fee for the borrower, no prepayment fees and no late fees.

They gained traction very quickly. They crossed $1 billion in total originations within eight month of launch. At the end of their first year they were at $1.7 billion. At that time they brought their deposit business under the Marcus brand, it was formerly branded under GS Bank. Now when you go to the Marcus website you are presented with two options: personal loans and savings accounts (which includes certificates of deposits).

We learned in Goldman Sachs Q2 earnings call in July that Marcus had originated more than $4 billon in total loans since launch and they had 1.5 million customers. Their deposit base is now $23 billion.

Lenmo, the Venmo for Lenders, Set to Launch for IOS (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

Whether it’s a consumer lender like Goldman Sachs’s Marcus or a point-of-sale lender like Affirm or even SMB lenders like BlueVine, there is a lot of perceived opportunity in the lending market.  Add a P2P dimension to that, and you have Lenmo.

The new app is launching in the next few weeks in Apple’s app store, Bank Innovation has learned. Lenmo, founded less than a year ago, is a peer-to-peer app in which the lender can select a borrower as well as set their own interest rate, “which will be higher than most alternative options,” Margaret Cipparone, a Lenmo spokesperson, told Bank Innovation. These individual lenders will facilitate small, unsecured loans ranging from as low as $50 to as high as $5,000, she said.

For borrowers, they can choose the various lenders available on the app and select the one they find most suitable. The goal behind this type of P2P lending service is to cater to the vast underserved market.

Transforming The Small-Business Lending Customer Experience: Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein (Forbes) Rated: A

In the intervening years since Frohwein and his friends, Marc Gorlin and Kathryn Petralia, started Kabbage “with an idea and a misspelling of cabbage” (a slang term for money), it’s gone on to fund more than 150,000 small businesses, representing a wide variety of industries, with over $5 billion of working capital. And in that time, the goal has evolved, says Frohwein, to “never allowing you to go below zero.” What he means by this is “to keep entrepreneurs away from that pit-of-the-stomach feeling, which I know as a former small business owner myself: Deciding whether to pay vendors first, or make payroll, or invest in marketing, and knowing you need to do all three but it’s going to kill you because your cash flow just isn’t working out. It’s here that Kabbage can step up and help.”

Micah Solomon, Forbes:  I’m interested in how you went about pushing back against the traditional customer experience norms in lending.

Rob Frohwein, Co-Founder and CEO, Kabbage, Inc.: Everyone knows that banks have been underserving small business customers, but our transformational moment came from asking “why?”. It turns out that a large part of the reason is the costly, manual processes that make underwriting small business loans time-intensive and unprofitable. Kabbage’s technology quickly analyzes the live business data of a small business and fully automates the underwriting process, so businesses get an answer and access to capital in minutes, not weeks or months.

And for Kabbage? What’s next for you.  

Another internal saying here is “Let the bakers bake.” A baker didn’t start their business to deal with back-office financing all day long. They want to serve their customers and perfect their craft. We’re in the business of giving small businesses back more time in their day and to remove unneeded friction.

Startup’s mission: Help cash-strapped students finish college (American Banker) Rated: A

Harvard MBAs who want to refinance their student debt have numerous options, including the online lenders SoFi and CommonBond. Ivy Leaguers who need a loan to get through college also have choices, including Discover and Wells Fargo.

But low- or moderate-income students who do not have relatives with sound credit who can co-sign have few options for obtaining the financial help they need to complete college. Many of them are women, who hold nearly two-thirds of outstanding student debt in the U.S. — almost $900 billion as of mid-2018.

Fintech Crowd Dives Into Subprime Credit-Card Lending (The Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

Facing rising loan losses, especially among the riskiest borrowers, banks are reining in their growth in this sector. Subprime credit-card balances at seven large U.S. banks rose 3% in the first half of the year from a year prior, down from a 13% increase in the year-earlier period, according to Autonomous Research. Capital One Financial Corp.’ssubprime balances accounted for 32% of its domestic credit-card balances in the first half of 2018 compared with 36% in the same period a year earlier

Capital One has around $32 billion in subprime credit-card balances on its books.

The new entrants say their use of machine learning and artificial intelligence for underwriting helps them manage the risk. They also mostly extend small credit lines, often ranging between $500 and $2,000, limiting the scale of potential losses.

Around 60 million U.S. adults have credit scores lower than 650, according to Fair IsaacCorp. , roughly the threshold where banks focused on prime borrowers stop lending. Some 53 million U.S. adults don’t have credit scores at all because they have little or no borrowing history.

Q2 Holdings To Acquire Cloud Lending For Lending And Leasing Platform (Seeking Alpha) Rated: B

Q2 Holdings (QTWO) has announced it has agreed to acquire Cloud Lending for $105 million plus contingent earn-outs.

Cloud Lending has developed cloud-based software for the financial lending and leasing industry.

QTWO is acquiring Cloud Lending for its next generation web-based system and complementary capabilities and geographic customer base.

The San Mateo, California-based Cloud Lending was founded in 2012 to develop and operate a cloud-based peer to peer lending and leasing platform.

Roostify Announces Roostify Adapt Functionality to Extend Branding and Customization Options for Enterprise Lenders (Business Wire) Rated: B

Roostify today announced the release of Roostify Adapt. An easily configurable feature for lenders with complex workflows, Roostify Adapt allows for real-world process management while maintaining the power of primary and secondary (“parent/child”) accounts within the Roostify digital lending environment.

United Kingdom

Higher rates will help us, says Funding Circle after divi cut (Citywire) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending lending investment trust Funding Circle(FCIF) is expecting rising interest rates to help boost its yield after hedging costs forced a dividend cut.

After launching in 2015, the peer-to-peer fund had offered a 6.5p annual payout but in June it was forced to cut its target dividend range to between 5p and 6p for the next 12 months.

That equates to a forward yield of between 4.9% and 5.8% based on the current 102.8p share price.

ZOPA: UK investors more likely to hate Marmite (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

INVESTORS in the UK are more likely to hate Marmite than average, according to new research.

A survey commissioned by peer-to-peer consumer lender Zopa showed that 50 per cent of UK investors dislike Marmite, compared to the national average of 33 per cent.

The research, which polled 2,000 people with an investment of at least £2,000, found a number of other quirky traits.

This included a preference for blue cars, which are owned by 20 per cent of investors, and a love of listening to Radio 2.

Here Are The U.K. Companies That Will Be Unicorns In 2019 (Forbes) Rated: AAA

There are 

Wonga investors raise £10 million to save company (Isreal National News) Rated: A

Payday loan giant Wonga.com has received a £10 million cash injection from its investors to avoid going into administration. The controversial company was once hailed as the fastest growing company in Europe and had plans for a £1 billion flotation. However, the firm has faced difficulties after a surge in compensation claims and a regulatory clamp-down on the high-cost loans industry.

The company had a variety of backers including Israeli investors – but emergency fundraising in the last few weeks caused their original investors of Accel Partners and Balderton Capital to offer a bailout solution.

P2P Lender Welendus Returns to Seedrs to Raise £850,000 (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Short-term peer-to-peer lending platform Welendus has returned to equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs to raise £850,000 in funding. The lender’s latest initiative comes less than one year after it secured £208,898 through the funding portal.  

Welendus also reported that for investors its enables them to invest in short-term loans, offering higher returns with the short-term investment flexibility and the benefit of a Provision Fund.

Exploring the effect of the FCA crackdown on P2P and crowdfunding (AltFi News) Rated: A

The growth of P2P lending and its positive effect on the UK economy cannot be disputed. Initially starting out as a curiosity during the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, P2P lending has grown from £300 million in funds being lent in 2011 to a huge £4.6 billion in 2016.

China

Preview: China Rapid Finance Q2 Earnings (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

On Wednesday, China Rapid Finance XRF 4.86% will release its latest earnings report. Decipher the announcement with Benzinga’s help.

Earnings and Revenue

Wall Street analysts see China Rapid Finance reporting a loss of 13 cents per share on revenue of $30.88 million.

China Rapid Finance EPS in the same period a year ago came in at a loss of 29 cents. Revenue was $15.16 million. Revenue would be up 103.67 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Victims of P2P Lending Crisis in China Speak Out About Misfortunes (The Epoch Times) Rated: AAA

Yindou had a loan balance of 4.4 billion yuan (about $640 million) as of the end of June, according to Yicai, a major Chinese business newspaper. After Yindo suspended its operations in July, the company’s investors were left without the ability to withdraw their investments.

Since the platform closed, Yindou investors have turned to the bank in hopes of collecting their investments back.

Recently, victims of another financial product apparently gone wrong have taken to the streets. This year, a total of 170 private funds, 70 percent of which are private-equity or venture-capital funds, have failed or closed without explanation. This has led to many protests, most notably in Beijing on Aug. 7, where local police turned away protestors before they could make their case to China’s bank regulator, the Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

Meanwhile, China’s M2 money supply, or the total savings of companies and residents, increased more than a hundredfold from 1990 to 2017, according to He, at a rate faster than the growth of GDP. While a steady money supply, or credit, can fuel an economy’s growth, such excessive credit, in relation to the GDP, can fuel bubbles and cause inflation.

Regulatory Reorganization Crucial to Health of Financial System (Caixin Global) Rated: A

The merging of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission into the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) naturally has attracted a lot of attention outside of China as it involves major changes across two important areas of finance.

Yet perhaps the most important thing is how this will change the relationship between regulators and the central bank, the People’s Bank of China.

Fifteen years ago, responsibility for supervising and regulating banking institutions was taken from the central bank and given to the then-newly formed CBRC. This development had far-reaching consequences, and led to the rebuilding of the previously inefficient financial regulatory model into a comprehensive and professional banking system that is in line with international standards. State-owned banks were also commercialized around this time.

Protests Mark China’s Ruptured P2P Lending Landscape (PYMNTS) Rated: A

China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending crisis has caused widespread anger from citizens who are demanding that the government bail out hundreds of collapsed P2P companies. Last week, it was reported that China ordered a lockdown of Beijing’s financial district to prevent individuals from protesting a crisis in the P2P lending marketplace.

The size of China’s P2P industry is bigger than in the rest of the world combined, with outstanding loans of 1.49 trillion yuan ($217.96 billion USD). The industry was nearly unregulated and at its peak in 2015, when there were about 3,500 P2P businesses in the country. However, a combination of regulatory failures, fraud and the declining debt is being blamed for the shuttering of 243 online lending platforms since June.

China’s multi-front economic war dulls direction (Asia Times) Rated: A

Chinese stocks were at the bottom of the Emerging Asia pack into August, down 20% in local-index terms, as the so-called “trade war” with Washington added another 25% mutual tariff blow on tens of billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

The International Monetary Fund urged a negotiated settlement as it predicted only “limited direct impact” on the Chinese economy, shaving growth by half a percentage point under a medium-case scenario, while holding to this year’s 6.6% forecast. However, the IMF also warned that credit expansion was unsustainable and that tighter global financing conditions posed “downside risk,” as the renminbi continued its 10% slide since April.

However, the US-China exchange-rate and trade regimes now closely overlap as an overhang on “A” share consideration, despite China’s 30% slice on the benchmark MSCI Index, with a clean resolution of cross-cutting issues unlikely to offer recovery prospects in the coming months.

European Union

Lower Interest Rates on Mintos – How do Investors React? (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Compared to the beginning of July the interest rates for newly issued EUR loans on Mintos are much lower now. While investor enjoyed interest rates of up to 13-14% for loans issued in the first half of the year, typical rates are 8-11% now, with a 12-13% for more exotic loans mixed in.

To find out how investors reacted to the situation P2P-Kredite.com conducted a survey among German speaking Mintos investors. Here are the preliminary results (48 respondents):

  • 35% say they withdraw univested cash and invest it on other p2p lending platforms
  • 21% say they continue to invest on Mintos primary market
  • 17% say they just wait, the interest rates will rise again
  • 15% say they withdraw unimvested cash and invest it in other asset classes (e.g stock)
  • 12% say they buy on the Mintos secondary market now, instead of using the primary market
International

Banks and Retailers Are Tracking How You Type, Swipe and Tap (The New York Times) Rated: AAA

The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features. To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking visitors’ physical movements as they use websites and apps.

Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices.

The data collection is invisible to those being watched. Using sensors in your phone or code on websites, companies can gather thousands of data points, known as “behavioral biometrics,” to help prove whether a digital user is actually the person she claims to be.

When clients log in to their Royal Bank of Scotland accounts, software begins recording more than 2,000 different interactive gestures. On phones, it measures the angle at which people hold their devices, the fingers they use to swipe and tap, the pressure they apply and how quickly they scroll. On a computer, the software records the rhythm of their keystrokes and the way they wiggle their mouse.

Asia

Funding Societies Hits SGD200 Million in SME Crowdfunding (Funding Societies) Rated: AAA

Funding Societies surpassed the SGD 200 million mark in total crowdfunded SME loans. This achievement came just 6 months after crossing SGD 100 million in January this year. In the same period, its investor base has also increased from about 40,000 to 75,000, indicating strong demand from investors to support local SMEs while diversifying their investment portfolio.

Chinese P2P Lender Hexindai Announces Equity Stake Acquisition in Indonesian Online Lending Platform Musketeer (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Hexindai (NASDAQ:HX) announced on Tuesday it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire a 20% equity stake in Musketeer Group Inc., an Indonesian online lending platform that offers consumption installment loans, for approximately $1.6 million, and simultaneously completed the acquisition. 

MENA

The Impact Of The Middle East’s Fintech Boom On Economic Inequality In The Region (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

The past decade has shown that fintech can be a powerful force for equality. Blockchain, data analytics, and mobile phone technology are evolving at breakneck speed and have shown potential to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Safaricom’s mobile-money platform, M-Pesa, reaches an estimated 96% of households in Kenya, and is credited with lifting at least 200,000 Kenyan households out of poverty. The Indian mobile wallet, PayTM, has nearly 200 million users, including women and rural families that can now participate in the digital economy. Will the Middle East produce companies of the same caliber and social impact? There is certainly an opportunity, thanks to three factors.

The first factor is necessity. The Middle East is in dire need of ideas to bridge the massive gulf between the rich and the poor. The region leads the world in economic inequality, where the top 10% of the population enjoy about 60-66% of the region’s income. 86% of the adult population is underbanked, which means they don’t have access to services at formal financial institutions. This provides a tremendous market opportunity.

Square And MetLife Watch Out: Two Fintech Startups Target T Markets (Forbes) Rated: A

Lending Express, a Tel Aviv-based platform founded in 2016 that connects small businesses with lenders, is hoping to expand the market for small business loans. As CEO Eden Amirav explained in an August 13 interview, Lending Express — which has raised $2.7 million in seed capital — has grown from under 10 people in October 2016 to 25 — mostly in Tel Aviv with a business development office in San Francisco.

Lending Express did not disclose its revenues but it seems to be growing. As Amirav said, “We currently work with more than 30 leading lenders and FinTech partners, and have facilitated $65 million in SMB loans funded through our platform. Since we began operations in the US in the last quarter of 2017, and thereafter almost every quarter, we have doubled the number of loans we facilitated the previous quarter and 46% of all loans we’ve helped close happened in the second quarter of 2018.”

Lending Express sees tremendous potential for SMB lending outside of traditional banks. Amirav estimates that a mere 1% of the $1 trillion in total SMB loans — or $10 billion — is offered by alternative lenders like Lending Club and On Deck.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday May 24 2018, Daily News Digest

Small Dollar SBA Loans

News Comments Today’s main news: PeerStreet funds $1B in loans. Elevate Credit celebrates 2M non-prime customers. Assetz Capital raises rates. Australian government lends $700K to HashChing. Plaid expands into Canada. Today’s main analysis: Fintech gave brick-and-mortar SBA lender an edge. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How much mortgage borrowers can save by shopping around. Competition is pushing banks to change strategies. Millennials dominate […]

Small Dollar SBA Loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

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News Summary

United States

PeerStreet Funds One Billion in Loans (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

PeerStreet, an award-winning platform for investing in real estate backed loans, today announced that one billion in loans have been funded through its marketplace since launch. This announcement comes after the company announced the close of its $30 million Series B last month.

Elevate Credit Celebrates Its 2 Millionth Non-Prime Customer (Citizens Tribute) Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) (“Elevate” or the “Company”) today announced it has served more than two million non-prime customers in the US and UK, saving them more than $3 billion versus the cost of payday loans. Elevate’s three products, RISE, Elastic and Sunny, employ advanced data and analytics to provide safe access to small-dollar credit to the two-thirds of Americans who cannot get personal unsecured loans from their banks.

Mortgage Borrowers Could Save the Most Ever by Shopping Around (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.

Purchase loans

  • Across all purchase loan applications on LendingTree for the week ending May 13, 2018, the index was 0.66, up 0.03 from the previous week.
  • How big of a deal is it to get a mortgage rate that’s 0.66% lower than the competition? Over 30 years, that could translate to $30,617 in savings on a $300,000 loan —over 10% of the total loan amount (see Mortgage Savings Tracker graphic below).
Source: Lending Tree

Lenders are ramping up competition as spring season heats up (MPA Magazine) Rated: A

The spread between the lowest median APR offered by mortgage lenders and the highest rate increased last week.

That’s according to the LendingTree Mortgage Rate Competition Index which analyzes rates offered by lenders on its platform. The spread for purchase loans increased from 0.23 a year ago to 0.66 last week and was up 0.03 from a week earlier.

For refinances the spread was 0.71, up from 0.67 a week earlier.

Here’s why GreenSky is one of the year’s most-anticipated fintech IPOs (Proactive Investors) Rated: A

The financial technology company plans to issue more than 34 million shares priced between US$21 and US$23. It’s scheduled to price the shares after the market close Thursday. At the midpoint price, GreenSky may raise as much as US$748mln.

The fintech has received US$560mln in funding from big-name investment firms such as PIMCO, TPG, Iconiq Capital and Fifth Third Bank.

OCC gives banks green light to compete with payday lenders (American Banker) Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is shaking up the world of short-term lending by encouraging banks to offer high-interest rate loans to subprime borrowers as an alternative to payday lenders.

In a major break from past regulators, Comptroller Joseph Otting said Wednesday that he wants banks to originate loans of $300 to $5,000 to borrowers with FICO scores of 680 or below, with few other parameters beyond “sound underwriting.” The new OCC guidelines could open a $90 billion market to financial institutions.

Pew Commends OCC for Encouraging Banks to Provide Installment Loans (PR Newswire) Rated: A

The Pew Charitable Trusts today praised the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for formally encouraging banks to offer their customers safe, affordable small-dollar installment loans.

Millions of American adults, many of whom are low income and have damaged credit, spend more than $30 billion a year to borrow small amounts of money from payday and other high-cost lenders that operate outside the banking system. Pew research indicates that, given the opportunity, 8 in 10 payday loan borrowers would prefer to get credit from their banks or credit unions.

Americans Are Prioritizing Phone Payments Over Car Loans (Bloomberg) Rated: A

U.S. consumers are more devoted to their mobile phones than their automobiles.

The sea change has taken place over the last few years as mobile devices become an integral tool not just for communication with loved ones or employers, but also everything from banking to dating to watching TV and listening to music. As cars grow relatively less important, borrowers struggling to pay back their loans on time are increasingly prioritizing payments on the latest iPhone instead of making sure they hold on to their pickup or coupe.

Small businesses becoming more satisfied with fintech lenders (American Banker) Rated: A

Small-business owners are becoming increasingly satisfied with online lenders largely because they will often make loans that most banks won’t.

That was a key takeaway from an annual survey of small-business credit trends released Tuesday by the 12 Federal Reserve banks.

While small-business borrowers are generally more satisfied with banks — their rates are substantially lower — the survey found that the gap is narrowing.

Radius Bank Debuts Rewards Program with Enhanced Benefits For Loyal Customers (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Radius Bank, a virtual bank focused on providing clients with banking solutions to better financial health, announced on Tuesday the launch of its new rewards program that offers enhanced benefits, such as increased transaction limits and cash back opportunities, for loyal customers.

According to Radius Bank, the rewards program is tiered into three levels based on criteria such as personal deposit balance and the longevity of the relationship clients have had with the Bank.

Loeb Seeks to Raise $ 400 Million for New Blank-Check Company (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Activist investor Dan Loeb is seeking to raise as much as $400 million to acquire financial technology firms via a so-called blank-check company.

The firm, Far Point Acquisition Corp., will be led by Tom Farley, who stepped down Monday as president of the New York Stock Exchange. Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp. are leading the share sale, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Far Point intends to issue 40 million units at $10 apiece under the terms of the offering. Each unit consists of one Class A share and one-third of one redeemable warrant.

How fintech gave this SBA lender an edge (American Banker) Rated: AAA

Add Seacoast Banking in Stuart, Fla., to the list of community banks that now believe in working with fintechs.

Seacoast, which became a SmartBiz client late last year, booked $700,000 of gains from selling SBA loans in the first quarter, tripling what it reported a quarter earlier and surpassing its total for all of 2017 by 40%.

Kleffel, who said loans generated through SmartBiz hit 127% of targeted volume in the first quarter, predicted that the effort should allow Seacoast to become one of the SBA’s top 100 7(a) lenders for the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30. To do so, Seacoast would likely have to increase year-over-year 7(a) originations by more than 60%, according to SBA data.

Source: American Banker

CREXi raises $ 11 million to bring commercial real estate out of the Dark Ages (Tech Crunch) Rated: A

CREXi — the CRE stands for “commercial real estate” — has been around since 2015, but recently announced an $11 million Series A as well as some interesting user numbers. Key investors include Jackson Square Ventures, Manifest Investment Partners, Lerer Hippeau, Freestyle Capital, TenOneTen Ventures and Founder Collective. The company has managed more than 100,000 “properties brought to market” on its platform and they have 200,000 users per month. They see more than 6,000 properties listed on the site each month.

 

American banks had their most profitable quarter ever (CNN) Rated: A

Bank profits soared by 28% during the first three months of 2018 to $56 billion, according to statistics published by the FDIC on Tuesday.

The stellar results were released hours before the House of Representatives is expected to pass legislation that would roll back some rules on community banks and regional lenders designed to prevent another financial crisis.

 

NEA Welcomes Jonathan Golden as Partner; Announces Several New Hires (Pilot Online) Rated: B

New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) today announced that Jonathan Golden has joined the firm as Partner. Golden, an experienced technology investor and the first product manager at Airbnb, will be based in the firm’s Menlo Park, Ca., and San Francisco offices. The firm also named Matthew McAviney, M.D., Tak Cheung, M.D., and Santhosh Palani, Ph.D., as Principals on the healthcare team.

As an active angel investor, Golden has backed numerous early-stage companies including Bowery Farming, Coinbase, Everlane, Funding Circle, and Tile, among others.

Trelix Now Provides End-to-End Mortgage Fulfillment with the Addition of its Closing Services Solution (Altisource) Rated: B

Trelix quality control and other due diligence products and services across the loan origination and securitization lifecycle, today announced the launch of its closing services solution that helps mortgage lenders efficiently and properly execute and settle their loans. With the addition of closing services, Trelix now provides a full suite of end-to-end fulfillment services for its customers.

United Kingdom

Assetz Capital Announces Its First Ever Rate Increase Across Access Accounts (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform Assetz Capital announced last week its first ever rate rise across its access accounts. The online lender reported that the rate increase, which takes effect from 1st May 2018 until further notice, will take target interest rates for the Quick Access Account and 30-Day Access Account from 3.75% to 4.10% and from 4.25% to 5.10%. Assetz Capital also revealed both new and existing investors will benefit from the target interest rate boost, and it applies to both ISA-wrapped and non-ISA accounts.

New SME funding platform launches (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

A NEW funding platform is aiming to make it easier for small- and medium-sized (SME) businesses to access loans, equity and grants.

The online platform has been created by Swoop, which is a rebrand of BizFly.

The firm says it holds a database of over 400 lenders.

P2P lenders accessible via the platform include Funding Circle, Zopa, Growth Street, RateSetter and MarketInvoice.

“Manchester Can Be A Global Leader In Fintech” Say Policymakers (Business Up North) Rated: B

Further evidence of the optimism and ambition of the event comes from the business deals and opportunities that are created among this group of people. For example, Dan Rajkumar, chief executive of White Label Crowdfunding and Rebuildingsociety, and co-founder of the event, has announced the win of a new customer, AGPeer, which is launching a new peer-to-peer lending platform targeted at the agriculture sector.

 

European Union

Millennials dominate European P2P lending (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

MORE THAN half of all European peer-to-peer lenders are millennials, new research has found.

Data from European P2P loans platform Robo.cash has shown that the younger demographic is steadily taking over the leading position from the older generation of investors.

Over the past six months, Robo.cash has noticed that its share of investors aged between 22 and 37 has grown to 53.9 per cent.

A Swedish startup has raised 10 MSEK to help Nordic banks attract millennial house buyers (Business Insider) Rated: A

Headed by Klarna veteran Pär Isaksson, the startup offers established banks – not exactly known for their innovative zeal – a one-stop-shop for streamlining their mortgage lending online, from user interface to operations.

The service is planned for launch in Sweden this fall, to be followed by the rest of the Nordics during 2019. To execute on that, the company is now raising 10 million Swedish krona ($1,2 m) from a number of profiles in Swedish finance, including Swedbank’s former CFO Göran Bronner.

International

Fintech competition is pushing banks to change strategies (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

It has become apparent that the space is evolving in a way that will see new technologies have an outsized impact in the next few years, according to a reportfrom Temenos and The Economist Intelligence Unit. Additionally, the report examined the impact of open banking and how banks are shifting their business models, among other things.

Source: The Economist

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Tech and digitization will have a bigger impact than regulation. Forty-eight percent of banking executives think new technologies, such as blockchain and AI, will have the biggest impact on retail banks through 2020, while only 43% are most worried about regulatory fines.
  • Though open banking initiatives are the center of many recent stories, only 13% of respondents think those initiatives will have the biggest impact on retail banks.
  • In terms of evolving their business models, 61% of banks want to develop niche propositions for their own customers, followed by 54% wanting to maintain their own products and become an aggregator of third party-products, and 53% opting to open their services to third-party developers.

Access the report here.

Exclusive Interview with Alex Mashinsky, Celsius CEO and VoIP Innovator (Crypto Globe) Rated: A

During the recent Milken Institute conference debate, Alex Mashinsky really stood out as a harsh critic of the traditional banking system, and a strong believer in the future of cryptocurrency. He recently had the ICO for his crypto lending platform Celsius Network, but his involvement in the tech world dates a few decades back. In the 1990s, when Alex invented VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), he strongly believed that internet calls through a decentralized protocol could disrupt the business model of phone companies. It is now used by over a billion peopleacross the globe.

Vlad: About that, just a few weeks ago I was thinking that cryptocurrency could replace all the functions of a bank except for that of lending money to other parties. I guess it’s so much easier to follow tradition and go to the bank to get a loan each time you need a large amount of money. But then I saw you debating at the Milken Institute Conference. I found out about Celsius and was amazed that someone found a solution around it. So can you tell me how these crypto loans work?

Alex Mashinsky: They work exactly the same way as in the case of banks. There’s no magic involved, we’ve implemented a cryptocurrency-driven system which follows the same principles you find in a bank, only that you can deposit or lend funds in ways that are more stimulating from a financial perspective. We are fairer, more transparent, and operate on the blockchain.

International Digital Asset Platform (IDAP Token): Crypto Derivatives? (Bitcoin Coin Exchange) Rated: B

The Idap.io, which is a shorter name for the International Digital Asset Platform, has been planning to transform the cryptocurrency market with its new projects and ideas.

What Is International Digital Asset Platform?

This platform is a derivatives instrument that lets you access assets of the market by clicking. It has many tools that you will help you to find the best investments that you can make in the market and discover why you should make them.

You will be able to access crypto pairs, swaps, ICO venture funds and even P2P lending via this new platform.

Australia

Australian Government Backs Fintech HashChing with $ 700,000 Loan from Jobs NSW (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

HashChing, a Sydney-based home loan marketplace, has just announced a $700,000 loan from Jobs NSW. Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said the NSW Government had backed the Fintech which is expected to create 46 jobs over the next five years.

India

How Zerodha is reinventing the rules of lending with an age-old product (Your Story) Rated: AAA

The country’s third-largest brokerage Zerodha has received a lending licence from the RBI, and is now gearing up to launch operations by June end.

Loan against a security, be it a movable or immovable asset, is an age-old practice. While banks have traditionally occupied the largest piece of the lending pie in this space, there are others like non-banking finance companies that are also establishing themselves.

Loans against shares have been a popular product in the retail category, but of late, these loans seen some degrowth. Clocking a growth rate of 21.5 percent in FY2015, the growth of loans against shares grew by 16.5 percent in FY2017, according to the RBI Bulletin.

Chinese lenders out for a taste of India (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

Several digital lending startups have been receiving a unique set of visitors in recent months: Chinese lending companies looking to set shop in the country. At least half a dozen Chinese financial-technology companies have held multiple meetings with the founders of digital lending startups in India for investment as well as partnership opportunities, according to domestic entrepreneurs involved in those discussions.

Chinese lenders facing regulatory heat in China due to
1 Restriction in lending rates
2 No fresh licences being given out to lending startups
3 Credit bubble causing ballooning NPAs

Sectors the Chinese could be interested in
1 Consumer lending
2 Instant personal loans
3 Peer-to-peer lending

Late last year, Chinese regulators cracked down on the micro-lending space, tightening lending rates to 36% annualised and withholding new licences for online lending startups.

Asia

P2P lending feared to trigger black credit (News Vietnam Net) Rated: AAA

After registering to borrow money on Tima.vn, a reporter, who acted as a borrower, was told to send some necessary documents via Zalo or Facebook. He was informed that he would have to pay the interest rate of 18 percent per annum to the company, not including the consultancy fee.

The reporter, when contacting vaymuon.vn, was told that he would have to pay the interest rate of 1.5 percent per month, plus the fee of VND2,000 a day for every VND1 million worth of loan, and the interest rate and fee may change at different moments.

The borrower was also warned that if he cannot pay debts, the lenders will be able to take necessary measures to collect debts – making public about the debt, selling the debt to third parties or suing before the civil court.

 

Canada

Dead fintechs don’t wear Plaid (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

San Francisco-based fintech app provider Plaid is expanding to Canada as its first international market.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday March 20, 2018, Daily News Digest

fintechs

News Comments Today’s main news: Affirm intros in-store capabilities. SoFi prices first student loan ABS with medical residency refis. Experian targets non-prime borrowers with new credit score. RateSetter CEO warns of collaboration risk. Today’s main analysis: Hui Ying Financial Holdings’ 2017 financial results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: What the Senate Banking Committee bill means. Key Chinese technology players. What Europe’s investors […]

fintechs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Affirm Introduces In-Store Capabilities (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

Affirm will partner with merchants to make Affirm financing available in-store. Now shoppers can use Affirm InStore in brick-and-mortar locations, securing credit in just seconds before they even get to the cash register, and can pay for their purchase over time in simple, fixed monthly installments. Additionally, the company announced that consumers will have the ability to instantly add a newly issued Affirm virtual card to Apple Pay, the easy, secure and private way to pay, via the Affirm mobile app.

Affirm InStore brings the same easy experience shoppers and retailers have come to expect online to the point-of-sale in brick-and-mortar locations. Affirm gives merchants two flexible options: they can integrate the Affirm InStore API (application programming interface) with their Point Of Sale (POS) system or use Affirm’s expanded virtual card experience.

According to a survey conducted by Affirm, this can impact a retailer’s brand even if the financing product is offered by a third party. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they would think less favorably of a brand that offers a financial product that can be harmful to consumers.

Affirm’s platform makes it possible for shoppers to pay for purchases over multiple-month terms with simple interest loans that don’t charge compounding interest or late fees. And, unlike most credit lenders that base loan decisions on a consumer’s credit score and income alone, Affirm takes a more sophisticated approach, using data science in credit-scoring algorithms that combine credit history and other relevant factors to assess creditworthiness.

Affirm, a startup founded by PayPal co-founder, just launched Apple Pay Credit Card without the plastic (Tech Startups), Rated: A

Affirm now has more than 1,000 merchants using its service.

The company is going after the millennials with a new type of credit card, without plastic and only available online. The company announced today the launch of Affirm virtual card to Apple Pay Credit Card without the plastic. With Affirm Virtual Card, consumers will have the ability to instantly add a newly issued Affirm virtual card to Apple Pay, via the Affirm mobile app. With the virtual card, Affirm is reinventing credit with alternative to traditional credit cards and making its micro-lending program available through Apple Pay and letting customers use their iPhones to pay in brick-and-mortar stores.

SoFi prices 1st student loan ABS with medical residency refis (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Social Finance’s second private student loan securitization of the year, which priced Friday, is also its first to include loans refinancing the debt of medical residents.

Loans refinancing the debt of medical residents and fellows account for approximately 5% of the collateral for the original collateral for the transaction, SoFi Professional Loan Program 2018-B Trust, according to rating agency presale reports. The collateral for the deal was upsized, to $900 million from $700 million originally, in response to strong demand, though investors demanded slightly higher spreads on the senior notes compared to SoFi’s previous student loan securitization, completed in January.

Experian Releases a New Credit Score Aimed at Non-Prime Borrowers (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The ranks of thin file consumers continues to grow in this country. According to Experian these consumers now number 25% of the total U.S. population. These are people with five or fewer items in their traditional credit history.

Since the acquisition they have worked with the Clarity Services team to build a new score specifically for the non-prime segment. They are calling it the Clear Early Risk Score. As the name implies this new score is designed to give lenders a clearer view of the risk of these thin file consumers, many of whom should not be categorized as subprime.

When I asked Alex how this new score will be used in conjunction with their traditional FICO score he said it will be used in two ways:
1. When the consumer has no traditional file and therefore no credit score it will be used as an independent score.
2. The consumer may be originally scored as subprime and this new score could provide new  information that may lead to a different conclusion regarding risk.

 

 

 

Here’s what the latest Senate bill means for US fintech (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

A bill that the Senate Banking Committee has been drafting for several years, designed to reduce the regulatory burden for small- and mid-sized US lenders, received bipartisan approval in the Senate on Wednesday with a 61-38 vote.

The bill’s proposals include raising the threshold for the Dodd-Frank definition of a “systemically important” lender from $50 billion in assets to $250 billion, thus absolving smaller banks from strictures like annual stress tests; absolving banks with under $10 billion in assets from the Volcker Rule; and allowing small banks and credit unions to report less of their mortgage loan data, among other things.

Source: Business Insider

U.S. Online Merchants Believe Instant Financing Will Drive Increased Sales (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Online merchants in the U.S. are increasingly recognizing the importance of offering instant financing to shoppers, according to a new online e-commerce survey. Nearly two-thirds of retailers polled (64 percent) believe providing online financing options through their store is important to driving new and increased sales. Forty-six percent indicate it would decrease cart abandonment – still one of the most critical challenges for online retailers today.

The merchant survey, which recognizes the importance of instant financing among online retailers, corresponds with consumer attitudes as revealed in a Klarna-sponsored survey last year that showed:

  • Three quarters of consumers (75 percent) indicate preference for online merchants offering instant financing
  • 39 percent said they would spend more money if given instant credit options when purchasing goods and services online
  • 28 percent would be very likely or completely likely to change merchants in order to use instant financing
  • Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) would like to be presented with an instant financing option while shopping online

THE QUANTS, THE ALGORITHMS, AND THE PERFORMANCE (All About Alpha), Rated: A

In the forthcoming paper he contends that with only “a tiny handful of exceptions” (read “Renaissance”) such trading doesn’t produce exceptional results. The problem goes far beyond what one addresses by saying that the field is new and still developing, that machine learning will get better, that Big Data will get even bigger, and so forth.

Heaton asks us to contemplate Citadel LLC. This huge hedge fund “returned only about 13 percent in 2017,” which was short of the S&P 500 gain. Yet the S&P gain would have been “available quite inexpensively to anyone with the money to open an account at Vanguard Group.”

Does Citadel compensate for underperformance in bull markets by preserving capital in bear markets? Heaton says that it does not, “Citadel fell nearly 60 percent in 2008, far more than the S&P 500 index.”

Composing Architecture for Growth (Lendit), Rated: A

The same technology that is influencing this change is also making it possible to deliver that experience at a fraction of the time and cost it would take with older technology.

This ‘right’ technology means embracing cloud-based services and an API-enabled composable architecture.  Today, building an architecture is quick and cost effective, particularly through the use of cloud technology.  Rather than having to buy, build, and maintain a collection of poorly-connected systems, an API-enabled composable architecture lets institutions leverage services built on a flexible yet secure infrastructure.

A composable API-driven architecture is necessary to tap into the full potential of cloud technology. The traditional approach is all or nothing, build an end-to-end solution which relies on a single vendor which would be responsible for the implementation.  But the composable approach embraces thinking that one company cannot focus on everything and be the best at it.  The architecture can be divided in small pieces and managed through life cycles separately and tested, removed or replaced without risk.

Everlasting Capital Grows from a Basement to Inc.’s 500 List (deBanked), Rated: A

“I was making $267 a week at the pawn shop and I was having to ask friends to help me pay my rent for a room,” Feinberg said. “So at that point, I realized that something needed to change.”

That question prompted Feinberg to present to his brother and Murphy the idea to start a finance company. Feinberg said he drew up a business plan in a day and a half and his brother and Murphy agreed to give him $3,000 to start the company. That was November of 2012.

And it did. After a year, Feinberg’s company, Everlasting Capital, made $110,000 in commissions and $3.5 million in volume. Within that first year, he also hired three people and moved from the basement of the pawn shop in Rochester, NH to a 600 square foot office in the same town.

This lightning fast trajectory is by no means common. That’s why Everlasting Capital made it onto 2017’s Inc. 500 list, the iconic list of America’s fastest growing private companies. By year two, Everlasting Capital earned $640,000 in commissions, generating $14 million in volume, and by year three it earned $1.6 million in commissions with $18 million in volume.

A Conversation with Lendup’s CEO Sasha Orloff and Vice President Jotaka Eaddy (The Financial Revolutionist), Rated: A

We were happy to connect with LendUp’s co-founder and CEO Sasha Orloff and Jotaka Eaddy, the company’s vice president of policy, strategic engagement and impact. Orloff, Eaddy and the rest of the LendUp team are clearly mission-driven professionals who want to put borrowers on the pathway to better financial health.

The Financial Revolutionist: Sasha and Jotaka, it’s great to see you again. Sasha, I know you started the company in 2011 with your step brother, Jake. When did you start making loans?

Sasha Orloff:    Thanks Gregg. We recently hit our six-year anniversary of our first loan. Although Jake and I “started” the company in 2011, LendUp was really born after coming out of Y Combinator’s Winter 2012 class.

FR:     Is access to credit a civil rights issue that needs more attention?

JE:    Absolutely. It’s just that some of the blatant racism that’s confronting our nation these days takes center stage on TV and social media. But historically, race has played a major role in accessing credit and how people are marginalized when trying to access it. Plus, when you look at the predatory products across this country, they are heavily marketed to poor communities. So yes, safe access to credit is an important issue for me — and should be for everyone — and LendUp is on the right side of it.

OCC once wanted payday lenders to ‘stay the hell away’ from banks. No longer (American Banker), Rated: A

More than a decade has passed since federal regulators cracked down on partnerships between payday lenders and banks that had been designed to circumvent state interest rate caps.

Now the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, operating under newly installed leadership, has taken a notable step in the opposite direction.

The agency said Friday that it has terminated a 2002 consent order with Ace Cash Express.

South Dakota is an example of a state that could be impacted. Sixteen months ago, the state’s voters approved a 36% interest rate cap. Critics of payday lending worry that federal banking regulators may effectively overturn such laws, and that last week’s decision by the OCC is a step down that path.

Goldman Sachs Adds LPL Financial to Its Securities-Lending Business (US News), Rated: A

Goldman Sachs Group Inc has signed LPL Financial Holdings, the largest U.S. independent broker-dealer by revenue, to its securities-based lending platform, the bank said on Tuesday.

Called GS Select, the platform was launched last year as a way for the Wall Street bank to target borrowers who have less than $10 million in investable assets. GS Select issues loans worth $75,000 to $25 million that are collateralized by the borrowers’ investment portfolios.

Goldman’s typical wealth clients have at least $50 million in assets.

Questions raised as robo advisers hire humans (FT Advisor), Rated: A

Robo-advice firms offering automated financial advice have begun incorporating human advisers into their service, raising questions about how this will impact their business models.

Schroders-backed Nutmeg is currently looking at introducing human advisers into its service, while rival Scalable Capital, in which Blackrock has a large minority stake, has recently done just that.

Cerberus completes Cyanco acquisition (PE Hub Network), Rated: B

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. today announced the completion of the previously announced acquisition of Cyanco Holding Corp. by a Cerberus affiliate from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. The transaction closed on March 16, 2018.

Cyanco will continue to be led by its current management team. As part of its investment, Cerberus will be putting in place a new board of directors for Cyanco. The new board will be chaired by Daniel Ajamian, an executive who has been Chairman of several other Cerberus portfolio companies.

Here Are 7 Atlanta Startups That Have Raised More Than $ 100 Million in Funding (Atlanta Inno), Rated: B

Kabbage, a FinTech company that connects small businesses with capital they need, is sitting pretty at $1.6 billion in total funding acquired since its debut on the Atlanta credit scene in 2009. Kabbage was recently in the news after the lending startup announced that, in the wake of the Parkland shooting, it would stop processing loans to assault-style weapons manufacturers.

Greensky, a consumer lending company which offers paperless solutions and financial services to businesses, secured a total of $350 million in funding in just two rounds.

 

United Kingdom

RateSetter CEO warns of ‘risk’ of collaboration over competition (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: AAA

At the Innovate Finance Global Summit at London’s Guildhall, Lewis warned that if the two cohorts solely collaborate, there would be little visible change from the viewpoint of the consumer.

“The technological advances being made are unstoppable; the question is who is going to take them to market,” he said on Monday.

There have been an increasing number of partnerships between fintech firms and the very incumbents that they are trying to disrupt. US investment bank Goldman Sachs has acquired a number of innovative start-ups through its online lending platform Marcus.

report released last month from consulting firm Capgemini and corporate networking website LinkedIn found that more than 75 per cent of fintech firms cite collaborating with incumbent firms as their primary business objective.

 

The state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is working on secret plans to create a standalone digital bank to compete with emerging British fintech champions including Monzo and Revolut.

Sky News has learnt that RBS has assigned one of its top executives to the project, which is so confidential that few people inside the company are aware of its existence.

RBS has already struck agreements with a number of leading fintech companies such as Funding Circle, with which it works to direct customers to peer-to-peer and other providers of alternative finance.

 

LendInvest launches second retail bond offer (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: A

The online platform for property finance has issued a five-and-a-half year 5.375% fixed rate retail bond due October 2023.

Payments under the bond will be guaranteed by LendInvest and the bond will be secured by way of a floating charge over the whole of the undertaking and all property, assets and rights, both present and future, of the issuer.

LendInvest’s first retail bond – which trades on the London Stock Exchange – raised £50m from a broad base of retail and institutional investors.

As of 31st December 2017, the bond was 99.6% utilised, with an interest coverage ratio of 192% and a weighted average LTV ratio of 57%.

Letter: Build a brighter future (Watford Observer), Rated: A

My suggestion was Funding Circle, which enables businesses to access finance independent of their banks and allows them to receive funds within a couple of weeks, compared to up to three months with a traditional bank loan.

It’s been a tried and tested investment since August 2010 and there are currently 18 councils investing through the Funding Circle platform, and the amounts invested vary from £1,000 to £2 million.

The Funding Circle minimum a council could lend to a business is £20, so Funding Circle suggests lending £2,000 would allow a council to lend to at least 100 businesses, lend no more than 1 per cent of the portfolio to each business.

What recent IPOs reveal about the state of fintech (AltFiNews), Rated: A

Over the last week or so we’ve seen not one but two fintech focused venture capital style listed funds list on the London market: Augmentum Fintech raised £94m while TruFin hit the market with a £70m valuation. Both of these funds have their own unique characteristics although perhaps the most interesting information from the listings is what they reveal about the likely worth of the alternative finance space in the UK.

The fund’s 15 per cent stake in Zopa, by contrast, seems a little more tangential though it’s also the single most valuable asset in the fund.

City of London and Innovate Finance Launch Fintech Strategy Group (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The City of London Corporation and Innovate Finance have jointly announced the launch of the Fintech Strategy Group (FSG) to help continue the success of the UK Fintech sector. According to Innovate Finance, the group will combine senior industry leaders across the sector including banks, regulators, and innovative Fintech startups.

The purpose of the FSG is to foster a collaborative dialogue on the future of UK Fintech – a vital issue as Brexit weighs on the financial services industry.

 

 

China

Chinese Tech Major Key Players – Tencent, Vipshop, Weibo, and Yirendai Market Analysis & Forecast 2017 to 2022 (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

China’s government is intent on upgrading its manufacturing sector and leading the world in a range of advanced technologies. Implicit in its “Made in China 2025” 10-year plan is the notion that China will displace the US as the world’s dominant technological power.

The US is likely to remain a leader in all major advanced technologies over the next decade, with Baidu the only Chinese player equipped to challenge the US’s lead in next generation technologies such as AI. There are signs though, that China is closing the overall gap faster than we expected.

This report researches the state and thrust of Chinese technology over the next two to five years and what it implies for global technology investors.

Hui Ying Financial Holdings Corp. Reports Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Results (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

Revenues increased by 88.4% to $46.5 million and loans facilitated through platform increased 59.9% to over $1.3 Billion

Source: Markets insider
  • Total loans facilitated through our platform increased by 59.9% to $1,308.7 million for the year ended 2017 from $818.5 million in 2016, as China’s online peer-to-peer lending platform industry continued to grow significantly during 2017, coupled with an increased marketing campaign, promotion activities on our platform as well as increased brand awareness of our online marketplace. This led to accumulated value of loans facilitated through our platform in the aggregate amount of $2.87 billion since the launch of our marketplace in December 2013 through the end of 2017.
  • We had 8,047 borrowers and 69,232 investors participated in an aggregate of 23,263 loans during 2017, compared to 1,067 borrowers, 39,999 investors and 8,739 loans during 2016. As of the end of 2017, we had 367, 893 registered investors and 24 cooperative partners who frequently serve as guarantors of loans on our platform.
  • Total revenues increased by 88.4% to $46.50 million for the year ended 2017 from $24.68 million in 2016, as a result of an increase in loans facilitated through our platform and the contribution from the newly launched entrusted loan business. Revenues from loan origination service fees, loan repayment management fees and financing income from entrusted loans were $26.70 million$18.21 million and $1.58 million, respectively, for the year ended 2017 compared to $17.49 million$7.19 million and nil, respectively, in 2016.
  • Net income increased by 344.1% to $15.27 million for the year ended 2017 from $3.44 million in 2016. Diluted earnings per share was $0.21 for the year ended 2017, compared to $0.05 for 2016.

Blockchain startups are overvalued: Q&A with Anju Patwardhan, Managing Director at CreditEase China (Technode), Rated: B

Blockchain technology is in full swing. Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are all vigorously investing in blockchain technology and Chinese VCs are fishing for blockchain tech companies. What’s more, the Chinese government is also poised to educate Chinese people about this booming technology. However, that doesn’t mean that all blockchain projects are viable.

With a $500 million fund and another RMB fund with the same amount, CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund is investing in fintech companies, mostly participating in B and C rounds.

European Union

Here’s what investors in France, Spain and Italy are up to (GooRuf), Rated: AAA

Lendix is one of the leading European players in the crowdlending sector for SMEs and although it is not yet active in the UK or outside of Europe, it sure is expanding fast.

So what are investors’ preferences?

– The French investor prefers grade A projects with a duration of 37 to 48 months.
– Spaniards are the most risk-averse and tend to invest more in projects with A and A + grades, but are not opposed to longer durations.
– Italian investors are the most risk-prone: they prefer B rated projects but with shorter durations (0-24 months).

This data shows that the Lendix community invests 11% more on A, A + and B + projects than on B or C ratings. Moreover, the duration seems to have a relative impact in terms of amounts invested, even if investors are more attentive to this parameter in the case of small projects (amounts up to 100,000 euros). In general, the community invests 32% more in long-term projects.

These 2 brothers just declared a mortgage price war – and Sweden is going nuts (Business Insider), Rated: A

Sweden’s mortgage industry is today worth around 3 trillion krona ($370 bn), according to Statistics Sweden, and most of the interest on these loans end up in the pockets of big banks.

A new fintech venture called enkla.com has today launched a potentially game-changing service. The Swedish online lender offers consumers a 0.95% fixed mortgage rate for three years, which is considerably less than the 1,6% average for similar loans among Sweden’s major banks, according to Di Digital.

Enkla’s self-stated goal is to borrow 100 billion SEK ($12,2 billion) worth of mortgages in the next 18 months by issuing mortgage bonds on the international markets, Di Digital writes. If the target is met, Enkla.com would be looking at a 3 percent share of the Swedish mortgage market.

The service enters a market where Sweden’s household debt has exploded from 66 percent to 87 percent of GDP in the past decade, driven by soaring housing prices. Consumers are evidently hungry for a cheaper deal than what banks can offer. Currently, Sweden’s four biggest banks – Swedbank, Nordea, Handelsbanken and SEB – have 75 percent of the country’s mortgage market, Breakit reports.

Enkla.com takes a 0,35% cut on the mortgages.

Beyond data sharing, open banking boosts omnichannel payments (PaymentsSource), Rated: A

In Europe the move to open banking has been driven by regulations such as the revised Payment Services Directive PSD2 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which compel banks to open their core systems to allow customers to control and release their data to third parties delivering added value services.

In other territories with no regulatory imperative, the drive towards open banking is led by the desire to provide the best customer experience, with added value services, new business models and connected marketplace products from third parties and vice versa. To do this, the application programming interfaces (APIs) of the bank will need to be open and connected to external providers. And cloud technologies will be fundamental in enabling this to become a reality.

International

Tech and Global Money Transfers: Why We Need Each Other (Canstar), Rated: AAA

Digital disruptors such as peer-to-peer lending services, mobile apps and blockchain have shifted the market, offering borderless accounts combined with speed and transparency.

Powering these disruptors are new technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and robotics, which are changing the customer experience; providing unprecedented insights into customer behaviour that help deliver a more seamless money transfer experience.

The World Bank predicts the value of global remittances will grow by 3.4% to USD$616 billion in 2018. In order for the industry to continue to thrive, businesses will be better served by coming together to redefine the future of money transfers.

A bitcoin trading firm just opened up a lending business — and it’s going gangbusters (Business Insider), Rated: A

Bitcoin might be in a bit of a slump, but one brand new bitcoin business is going gangbusters.

Genesis Capital, the recently launched subsidiary of market making firm Genesis Trading, has close to $100 million in loans outstanding, a person familiar with the company’s operations told Business Insider. That’s a striking milestone, considering the business was launched two weeks ago.

It gives out loans worth $100,000 or more in cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, and bitcoin cash. BlockTower Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund, and DV Chain, a crypto trading firm, are some of Genesis’ clients, according to people familiar with the matter.

Autonomous NEXT estimates the number of crypto funds has increased to 226. That’s up from approximately 50 at the end of August 2017. In total, they manage approximately $3.5 to $5 billion, a tiny fraction of the $3.2 trillion managed by traditional hedge funds.

What are the technology trends to look out for in 2018? (Investment Week), Rated: A

One key trend at the forefront of the digital space is artificial intelligence (AI). Some estimates predict that the AI market could grow from $5bn to $120bn by 2025.

A report from digital consultancy Juniper Research, has found that annual cost savings derived from the adoption of ‘chatbots’ in healthcare will reach $3.6bn globally by 2022, up from an estimated $2.8m in 2017.

The UK is leading the way when it comes to peer-to-peer lending, and is one of Europe’s largest alternative finance markets at £4.9bn, according to the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School.

 

Fintech: partner, build, or buy? (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Fintech” covers many things, but is often used to refer to nonbank firms that leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver financial services directly to consumers and businesses. In that sense, banks initially viewed fintechs as competition, as they compete for lending, personal finance, payments, and other consumer services.

1. What’s the problem to be solved?

Sounds like common sense, but a fintech partnership should necessitate an extensive evaluation of the underlying need, such as filling in product or service gaps, or, in this bank example, offering borrowers a digital channel for applying and getting to closing quicker on a commercial loan as their primary competitors offered. Clear objectives help the bank and fintech determine if the match is on solid ground from the start.

A fintech partnership should offer the bank an upside—quantitative and qualitative—that simply isn’t available at more favorable cost, risk, and performance measures under the build or buy options.

2. What’s the difference between buying vs. partnering with a fintech?

Is it a shared risk and shared reward? Does the reward justify the risk? Or is it just the innovation culture of the third party? The definition is critical as the process of evaluating a fintech’s performance, costs, and risks entails unique considerations from a typical vendor evaluation.

Many partnerships are really just vendor relationships. That’s okay. In many cases, banks with extremely low risk appetites prefer the typically lower risk of a vendor relationship. One fintech exec noted how impossible it is to run many banks’ risk gauntlets because they don’t understand what they are getting into.

Asia

Indonesia eyes banking boom (Asean Economist), Rating: A

Indonesian banks will enjoy “more than 12 per cent” loan growth this year due to a recovering global economy and rising commodity prices, according to Jakarta’s financial regulator.

Loan growth in Indonesia has fallen below 10 per cent since early 2016, compared with more than 20 per cent during the preceding commodity boom.

MENA

Interview with Ahmed Moor, CEO of Liwwa (P2P Banking), Rated: A

What is Liwwa about?

liwwa is a marketplace lending platform that provides funding to small and medium businesses in Jordan. Our mission is to support job and income growth in the region. To date we have underwritten about 10 million USD in loans. This has helped to create 475 jobs in Jordan, 1.77 million USD in income, and 13.05 million USD in economic output.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

The type of investors we target are financially-savvy professionals who already have a portfolio of investments. They are attracted to our service because it is a way for them to further diversify their existing portfolio. The other advantage is that there are no big barriers to testing out the platform – provided he meets certain basic criteria, anyone can register and there is no minimum amount required in order to start lending.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

There is a 240 billion USD capital access gap in the MENA region. For borrowers, we provide a much-needed alternative to bank financing.

Canada

BMO launches banking chatbot with Finn.ai (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

The chatbot – called BMO Bolt – is available via Facebook Messenger, which is Canada’s “top messaging platform”, according to Finn.ai.

84% of the country’s population uses a smartphone to access Facebook and 38% performs mobile banking tasks via mobile phones, the vendor adds.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club stress test

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi completes $769M student loan securitization. Affirm is headed to unicorn status. Funding Circle SME fund to double. Funding Circle SME Income Fund NAV, profit to rise. Zopa investors can move repayments into IFISA automatically. Harmoney says Kiwi SMEs are tapping into P2P for cash flow more. TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card in Africa. Today’s main […]

Lending Club stress test

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi Announces Completion of $ 769 Million Student Loan Securitization, Bringing Total ABS Issuance in 2017 to $ 6.9 billion (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of its $769 million offering of SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F).

The closing marked the company’s 12th ABS transaction this year, bringing its total issuance in 2017 to $6.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2016.  The 2017 total includes six Student Loan ReFi and six Consumer Loan transactions.

LendingClub’s Investor Day Highlights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) sent a letter to the Cleveland Fed accusing them of using their study on peer-to-peer lending to block bill “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act” (H.R. 3299). The bill proposes to overturn a decision in the Madden v. Midland Funding case against the “valid when made” clause which allows sales of legally made loans in one state to parties in other states, even if the loan exceeds the interest rate cap in the state of the borrower.

Positioning and Strategy 

LendingClub doubled-down on the capital-light marketplace lending model, and emphasized the role of technology, data & analytics, and the “virtuous cycle of scale.”  LendingClub also emphasized the new product innovation on the investor side of its business – notably the Exchange Traded Product (ETP) which we think may have been lost in the immediate reaction to revised guidance.

LC sees an addressable market opportunity of $300-350 Bn in the credit card refinance and debt consolidation spaces, and a $38 Tr pool of addressable capital on the investor side of its marketplace.

LC has a two-pronged strategy to attack these markets and meet EBITDA margin goals:

  1. 2018: Focus and Invest
    1. Accelerate personal loans growth while prudently managing credit
    2. Invest in auto and leverage secured capabilities for personal loans
    3. Strengthen Investor franchise by expanding securitization and growing new structures
    4. Address legacy issues
  1. 2019-2020: Expand and Deepen
    1. Expand lead in personal loans through further data, analytics, and product and testing efforts
    2. Expand role in the borrower journey through new products and services
    3. Expand investor universe to lower cost of funds, improve resiliency, capture more value
Source: Lending Club

As seen in the chart below, LendingClub is positioning MPL loans as a new asset class that offers higher risk-adjusted returns as compared to other fixed incomealternatives, while offering lower interest rate risk. LC has delivered historical annualized loss-adjusted returns of 6.7% on its Prime loans portfolio, and 10.9% on its Near-Prime loans portfolio.

Source: LendingClub

The top question on investors’ minds remains the expected performance of MPL loans thru a recessionary scenario in the chart below, LendingClub published estimates of expected annualized charge-offs on Prime loans in a baseline scenario of 5.5%, in a moderate recession scenario of 7.9%, and in a protracted slump scenario of 11.5%.

Source: LendingClub

Why it is easier now for small businesses to go global (Born2Invest), Rated: AAA

It has become significantly easier today to run a multinational business compared to a few years ago. This is down to the increasing adaptation of technological advances to various business operations.

Markets are becoming decentralized and barriers to entry are minimal

The internet is central to the paradigm shift we have witnessed in the business environment over the last couple of decades. For instance, you do not have to live in the U.S. to sell your products or services to the Americans. Even where certain levels of certification are required, these can easily be done online thereby allowing a foreigner to obtain the required credentials for operating a business that targets American citizens. Therefore, market access is global, decentralized and without limits for anyone looking to expand exponentially.

Another thing that is influencing growth strategies among small businesses is the ease of access to financing.

Ideally, most businesses would opt for local lending. However, with the growing popularity of online-based peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club, small businesses can now access financing regardless of whether they have security. But it is not as easy and straightforward as it sounds. According to National Business Capital, the process can be as tasking as trying to apply for a securitized loan with background checks and credit scores playing a crucial role.

Nonetheless, lending institutions are being pressured by the increasing number of peer-to-peer lending platforms. This has forced them to lighten up their lending requirements in a bid to increase their loan portfolios and subsequently interest incomes. In this case, we could say that technological advances and the emergence of alternative lending solutions have forced the hand of the credit market to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Max Levchin’s lending startup is heading for unicorn territory (Axios), Rated: AAA

Affirm, the personal credit startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has filed a stock authorization form in Delaware that would allow it to raise up to $210 million in new funding at around a $1.4 billion pre-money valuation.

How Max Levchin cofounded and built PayPal into a payments monster after 6 pivots and a bitter rivalry with Elon Musk (Business Insider), Rated: A

He now spends most of his time at Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn’t charge any penalties or fees.

 

PayPal founder talks digital payments, bitcoin (The Seattle Times), Rated: A

Q: Are digital payments progressing as quickly as you hoped since you started PayPal?

A: They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.

Q: What are some of the most interesting areas of digital payments?

A: A good example is international remittances, where companies can pop up and do well. They’re the guys who figured out how to do it much cheaper and much more transparently with much lower friction to both the recipient and the sender.

Can I get my pay instantly? New payday apps give workers fast access to wages — for a price (Mic), Rated: AAA

And while many workers typically wait anywhere from once a week to once a month to get the money their company owes them, new apps from financial technology startups like DailyPay, FlexWage and PayActiv are giving workers everywhere — including at Goodwill, McDonald’s and Uber — faster access to wages, and sometimes even on the same day they clocked their hours.

Proponents like Shah say faster access to wages can motivate hourly workers to put in longer hours (since they’ll reap the rewards more quickly) and can reduce their reliance on abusive payday loans with sky-high interest rates that can leave borrowers in an unending debt cycle. Indeed, taking out a single $100 payday loan for two weeks could eat up more than $130 out of your next paycheck, once you factor in interest and fees. Repeat that every two weeks and you are down hundreds of dollars for the year — equivalent to a full month’s rent for many.

With DailyPay — which is used by hourly workers at DoorDash delivery service, the Maids residential cleaning service and Kellermeyer Bergensons Services facilities management firm — employees can access 100% of their accrued and unpaid net wages for a fee of $1 to $3 per transaction. The money can be deposited directly into their bank account or put on a prepaid card or payroll card on the same day.

Another app called Earnin lets workers withdraw up to $100 a day and $500 per pay period in advance of receiving their regular paycheck. While it charges no fees, it does give workers the option of “tipping.” The service then withdraws funds directly from your checking account after you’ve been paid.

FlexWage, for example, only lets workers tap up to 70% of their unpaid wages between regular paychecks (for a $3 to $5 fee per transaction). PayActiv gives them access to 50% of their net pay for every 30 hours worked for a $5 fee.

Instant Financial lets employees withdraw half their daily net pay every day at no cost at all: Instead they charge employers $1 per month per employee enrolled in the program.

Source: Mic

There’s an attractive way to profit from the $ 1.3 trillion student-loan bubble (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to Goldman Sachs, the outstanding student loan balance has reached $1.3 trillion in face value, about the size of the high-yield corporate-bond market. This outstanding debt is not without problems, as it delays homeownership for some millennials and cuts their disposable income.

It’s the $190 billion of outstanding loans that are held within asset-backed securities (ABS) refinanced by private lenders such as SoFi.

“Recent marketplace student loan deals have featured borrower pools with average credit scores above 770 and average borrower incomes above $160k: a very different credit profile than the government guaranteed portfolios.”

Source: Business Insider

Some lenders stand to gain as others leave auto niche (American Banker), Rated: A

The indirect auto business is in a state of transition.

TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., surprisingly walked away from the segment on Dec. 1, and others like Regions Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp have tapped the brakes for reasons ranging from competition and credit concerns to regulatory pressure and low yields.

Auto sales are also projected to fall by 7% this year, according to Autodata and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

America’s financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and retain financial education material differently than their prime peers, the research indicated.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different messages.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management principles.

Ken Rees of Elevate (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The evolution of Ken’s career that led to the founding of Elevate.
  • The different products that Elevate offers today.
  • A profile of the typical Elevate customer.
  • How Elevate’s products help their customers’ financial situation.
  • Their typical loan terms.
  • Ken’s view of the new CFPB rules on small dollar loans.
  • How Elevate’s underwriting process works.
  • The total originations for Elevate in the US and UK.
  • The importance of data analytics in their business.
  • The percentage of customers coming to them through a mobile device.
  • How they can underwrite 95% of their loan applications in an automated way.
  • How their charge-off rates have been trending.
  • The different funding sources they use to fund these loans.
  • What their Center for the New Middle Class does.
  • How their IPO process went and what it is like being a public company.

 

Winners and Losers in the CFPB Mess (Credit Union Times), Rated: A

Winners

Payday Lenders – Like them or not, the payday lending industry was in for a huge takedown under the CFPB’s final rules that will restrict the way they do business.

Still, the industry now has a friend rather than a foe in the director’s office. And that can’t hurt for an industry that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for a major takedown.

Attorneys general call for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau independence (Lake County News), Rated: B

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined attorneys general from 17 other states in calling on the Trump Administration to respect the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PNC to offer consumer loans through mobile devices (American Banker), Rated: A

PNC Financial Services Group plans to introduce a consumer lending product that it will market through both its mobile wallet and in new branches.

The $375 billion-asset Pittsburgh company intends for the new loan product to be available on a national scale, Chairman and CEO William Demchak said this week.

Kaplan Fox Announces Investigation of Qudian Inc. (Business Insider), Rated: A

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP (www.kaplanfox.com) is investigating Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE:QD) on behalf of investors who purchased Qudian American Depository Shares.

On October 17, 2017, Qudian issued 37.5 million American Depository Shares at $24 per share under a Registration Statement and Prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for gross proceeds of $900 million.

On November 21, 2017, Chinese media sources began to reveal that the personal information of millions of Qudian customers were allegedly available for sale on the black market. On November 23, 2017Bloomberg reported that “Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meet Tim Russi, President of Auto Finance at Ally Financial (Vator.TV), Rated: A

VatorNews: How is technology influencing and impacting Ally’s auto business? Why is this technology integral to the company’s future in this arena?

Tim Russi: We’re a company that’s 100 years old, and you don’t become a 100 year old company in today’s world if you don’t have the ability to reinvent yourself.

Ally operates in what we in the lending world refer to as an ‘indirect model,’ so dealers originate the loans and leases and then we purchase them from the dealers. The speed and access of the indirect model has changed significantly in the last 15 years. The industry was very disruptive in creating online portals for dealers to be able to submit applications to lenders, so the lender didn’t have to be on site to do the loans.

VN: How have you seen technology in the auto space evolve in that short amount of time? How quickly is the space changing?

TR: You look at a lot of the lending models today and they’re going direct to consumers, and we’ve even got a direct model, because as you look at digital and the consumers doing shopping online, and wanting to buy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to select and purchase the vehicle and obtain financing right at the ‘point of sale.’ If the sale’s going to be online, not in the dealership, we want to make sure we’re there and then fulfillment can occur at the dealership.

VN: How has SmartAuction changed the way dealers sell and buy vehicles? What kind of ROI have you seen?

TR: SmartAuction, we actually developed in 1999 and we’ve done over 5 million transactions. We have 20,000 vehicles that are available for sale or purchase in the marketplace. It’s a wholesale marketplace so dealers can post and buy.

Notable Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. – Sohin ShahInstaLend

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. – Anthemos GeorgiadesZumper

Peer-To-Peer Lending : Here Are 5 Things To Know (NDTV), Rated: B

  1. P2P lending is a form of financial innovation but the concept that works behind it is the same as in the case of the banking system.
  2. Any lay investor or lender can lend money to any borrower who is registered with the P2P platform.
  3. Borrowers and lenders enter into a contract according to which they agree to the amount disbursed and the rate of interest.
  4. A borrower can raise loan at the rate of interest, which is inversely proportional to his credit score.
  5. Each P2P lending platform charges a fee for the transactions that are fructified at their platforms.

Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped (Des Moines Register), Rated: B

President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be “substantially increased.”

Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle SME fund size to double following C share merger (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) is set to double the value of its assets after announcing plans to convert its conversion shares into the ordinary portfolio on 20 December.

The investment trust, which invests in loans on the Funding Circle platform, revealed in its half-year report that the move will increase the fund’s size to around £310m.

Currently the ordinary shares are worth £165.3m and the C shares, launched in April, are worth £142.3m.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Net Asset Value And Profit Both Rise (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Net asset value per ordinary share was 100.55 pence per share, representing an increase in the total NAV to GBP167.0 million from GBP165.0 million at the start of the half, which ended September 30. Net asset value total return was 12%.

For the C shares, net asset value was 99.82p, having only been issued in April. These shares are due to convert to ordinary shares on December 20.

Zopa investors can now automatically move repayments into their IFISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA investors can now automatically re-direct their repayments into their Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

The peer-to-peer consumer lender confirmed this week that customers can gradually move their Zopa money into the tax wrapper without having to sell loans or pay extra fees.

Moving money into the IFISA will contribute to the investor’s annual tax-free allowance, Zopa said. However, once money is in the IFISA and has been lent out, those repayments will not contribute to the IFISA allowance.

Why banks will share your financial secrets (BBC), Rated: AAA

Customers of nine of the biggest UK banks have received letters and emails in recent weeks informing them that their information can be shared, securely, with other firms. All they need to do is give their permission.

The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

Most people stay loyal to their bank. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year.The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

How will it work?

In practice and in time, customers will probably see a dashboard on their bank’s mobile phone app.

This will show them how much money they have in their different accounts, with different banks, and eventually how much they owe on credit cards and store cards too.

A set of computer programming rules in the UK, called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will ensure all these new services and banks to talk to each other.

Applications for mortgages could be dealt with more quickly, as providers and brokers could access spending history, rather than ask for printed copies of the last three months of bank statements.

Anne Boden, of mobile-only Starling Bank, says customers will be able to see exactly what they bought for lunch each day, an app could analyse the calorie levels, and then cross-check it with how much exercise that person is doing.

Customers could be bombarded with invitations to try out a new service, and could quickly lose control of their financial data, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

He describes Open Banking as “a daft idea”, which will lead to more financial exclusion for those already on low incomes.

Unscrupulous individuals would be keen to access this data and use it alongside information revealed on social media to build up a complete set of personal information.

The UK needs its own version of business development companies (Financial Times), Rated: A

The great scramble for yield has seen asset managers hunt down ever more alternative sources of income. Many are starting to move into the world of shadow banking, alternative forms of lending in areas where banks are not competing for business as much as they used to.

But evidence from the US suggests that the biggest opportunity probably lies in what is called direct lending, preferably through a structure that might mimic US business development companies. These BDCs are a large and diverse universe of tax efficient, listed, closed-end funds resident in the US. Collectively they are worth at least $100bn, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the investment bank, nearly all of which has been lent to mid-market private businesses in the US — capital that has arguably helped to improve the nation’s corporate productivity and profitability. Income-hungry investors have also snapped up these funds, with average yields well over 9 per cent per year.

Direct lending companies will service the mid-market secured lending space for loans above £50m but they, in turn, lack an outlet into the public markets typically afforded by BDCs in the US.

Industry reacts to Cambridge report on alternative finance (AltFi), Rated: A

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s report, entitled Entrenching Innovation, found the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to £4.6bn.

“Abundance was particularly pleased to see our category (debt securities) confirmed as the fastest growing of all at 1,147 per cent year on year, with an accompanying 40 per cent increase in average deal size to £1.4m. It was also good to see hard evidence of investors in debt securities conducting their own due diligence and being comfortable with the risk/reward offers they found,” he said.

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of fintech business finance firm MarketInvoice, says as awareness increases, which will be propelled by PSD2, so too will the use of alternative finance platforms.

The UK ranks top of all major developed economies for establishing new businesses (City A.M.), Rated: A

The UK outranked all other major developed economies in terms of the number of businesses established last year, according to figures from accounting group UHY Hacker Young.

It became home to 218,000 more businesses in 2016, a rise of six per cent over year-on-year. Meanwhile, other major developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US saw an average two per cent rise in number of businesses over the year.

FCA to change advice definition in January (FT Adviser), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will introduce its new definition of advice from Wednesday 3 January.

As part of this it has amended its handbook to change the definition of financial advice, meaning only advice which offers a personal recommendation will be considered regulated.

China

Chinese Banks Face Potential Capital Shortfall, IMF Says (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.

With Chinese banking-sector assets, at $34.7 trillion, soaring to three times the size of China’s economic output, at $11.2 trillion, the IMF said that “holding more capital would strengthen the banking system and bolster financial stability,” according to a report on Thursday.

The IMF said China should consider boosting risk-weighted assets at its banks by 0.5% to 1% over the coming 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LexinFintech, China’s online provider of installment-based loans has decided to conduct extra due-diligence investigation for its IPO in the US.

This week, KPMG China announced the 50 leading Fintech companies operating in China and published a related insight report.

(Note: Companies are arranged in alphabetical order based on the first letter of their Chinese name in pinyin.)

  1. Anxindeli
  2. Baidu Finance
  3. BAIFENDIAN
  4. 100credit
  5. ICE KREDIT
  6. TENPAY.COM
  7. Dianrong.com
  8. RQuest
  9. FUTUNN.COM
  10. ChinaPnR
  11. PING ++
  12. 3GOLDEN
  13. JFZ.COM
  14. JD Finance
  15. Juxinli
  16. QUARK FINANCE
  17. 99Bill
  18. Tigerbrokers
  19. QuantGroup
  20. LENGJING INFO
  21. LU.com
  22. Ideacome
  23. MSXF
  24. Ant Financial
  25. PINTEC
  26. QFPAY
  27. Qudian
  28. UCREDIT
  29. Rong360
  30. Wecash
  31. ChinaScope
  32. BBD
  33. Souyidai
  34. Suanhua Credit
  35. Feidee
  36. Taiyiyun
  37. TalkingData
  38. Tcredit
  39. Beagle Data
  40. Tong Dun
  41. Wacai
  42. Wei Zhong Shui Yin
  43. WeBank
  44. WeLab
  45. u51.com
  46. Onchain
  47. Hcspark.com
  48. Zipeiyi
  49. Zhongan Insurance
  50. Zuihuibao

New guidelines for banks to support P2P lending (Taipei Times), Rated: A

The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday gave its nod to guidelines on collaborations between peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and commercial banks, in a move to support the development of emerging financial services.

Under the guidelines, banks may provide custodian and trust account services to P2P platforms, as well as transaction processing to meet rules against collection of deposits by non-bank entities, the commission said.

However, banks are barred from making recommendations on decisions about loan approval, interest rates and principal amounts.

The guidelines also regulate the so-called peer-to-bank (P2B) model, where banks participate as lenders on P2P platforms.

CreditEase’s CEO Ning Tang spoke about FinTech and innovation at Fortune Global Forum (Business Insider), Rate: A

Ning Tang, Founder and CEO of CreditEase, attended the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on December 6-8 in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy,” the Global Forum convened world leaders, senior executives and prestigious scholars to discuss the dynamic frontiers of international commerce.

Tang stated that the Chinese FinTech industry still sees great potential in the coming decade represented by development in applications such as microloans for SMEs, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology, and blockchain products and services.

India’s FDI climate good for China investment (China Business Law Journal), Rated: A

Mumbai-based fintech start-up Kissht recently raised US$10 million in funding primarily from Fosun International, a Chinese investment consortium. The Krishnamurthy & Co team acted for and represented Kissht and its owner OnEMI Technology Solutions, led by Mumbai-based partner Sanket Sethia and associate Vwastav Ghosh.

European Union

Moody’s highlights improving performance for European SME ABS next year (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: AAA

The performance of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) asset-backed securities (ABS) will remain stable across all major markets in Europe and issuance volumes will likely increase slightly, according to the 2018 outlook for European SME ABS from Moody’s. However, emerging political risks have created some uncertainty in affected markets, with a limited effect on securitised deals in the United Kingdom (UK), and potentially negative effects in Spain.

Billie Raises €10m Series A (LendIt), Rated: A

Billie is an invoice finance platform that launched earlier this year; the round was led by Creandum with participation from existing investors Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital; the company focuses on complete automation with no human interaction; It was co-founded by Matthias Knecht and Christian Grobe; Billie also secured a refinancing facility from a major German bank.

International

Regulated Crypto Platform Plays By the Rules and Disrupts Trading Model (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Trade.io’s solution is to develop an exchange platform for the sharing economy where traders can not only exchange tokens, crypto and fiat currencies and other assets but also share in the risk and revenue of the liquidity pool. To participate in the liquidity pool, members buy 2,500 Trade Tokens secured by financial assets in their trade.io wallets. Crypto and fiat currencies are accepted as collateral.

Trade Token owners share in 50 percent of the gains or losses of the liquidity pool, which are distributed to the wallets of pool participants. Besides trading fees and commissions, revenue is earned from investment banking and P2P lending fees.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney Reports Increase in Kiwi SMEs That Are Tapping into P2P Lending for Business Cashflow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, Harmoney announced there has been an increase in Kiwi SMEs that are tapping into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for business cashflow.

The New Zealand online lender stated it estimates $100 million will be loaned to business accounts through its lending platform within the next six to twelve months. Currently, the average loan amount for business cashflow on its platform is $25,000.

Sydney fintech Avoka raises $ 16m in Roger Allen-led round (Financial Review), Rated: A

Avoka Technologies, a fast-growing Sydney-based provider of customer acquisition services to financial institutions, has raised $16 million from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75 per cent and the headcount moves towards 300.

Avoka offers a software-as-a-service platform called Transact, which claims to enable institutions to launch new digital products in weeks rather than months, and monitors customer interaction with them once established.

BankWest’s mobile banking app was built on Avoka, while Mr Copeland said HSBC was about to launch new credit cards whose customer interface was developed through the platform.

Asia

Crowdcredit, Inc from Japan (Makoto UJIKE Email), Rated: AAA

Crowdcredit is a cross border online lending platform, which raises funds from Japanese investors and finances overseas financial institutions, SMEs, or individuals.

Crowdcredit, Inc. announced its completion of appx. USD3.5mn financing mainly from Femto Partners, one of the most influential venture capitals in Japan.

Crowdcredit track record;

  • – Established in January 2013
  • – Started raising funds since June 2014,
  • – Finances financial institutions, SMEs, or consumers in Peru, Cameroon, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, etc.,
  • – Has registered investment user of 8,000+
  • – Has issued funds in total US$ 45.5mm, and
  • – Issues funds of US$ 4mm monthly with increasing trend.
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit

Learn more about Crowdcredit here.

Crowd-lending platform New Union awarded CMS license (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Crowd-lending platform New Union has been awarded the full Capital Markets Service license (CMS) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and announced a potential deal flow pipeline of about S$2 million to be launched soon.

P2P lending platform Validus Capital gets licence to deal in securities in Singapore (Business Times), Rated: A

VALIDUS Capital announced on Monday that it has been awarded a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to deal in securities – a move that may give Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more access to financing opportunities.

Singapore banks can save over 10% from fintech (SBR.com.sg), Rated: A

Moreover, about 41% of banked balance has now abandoned traditional channels.

MAS estimates fintech payments already takes up 20-50% of household consumption if the probability of payments disintermediation is high in the next five years.

A majority of 56% of the banked population is also willing to shift their savings into a pure play digital bank. An average of 41% of total balance has already been shifted.

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (The Star), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for early-stage and early-growth companies to tap investors attracted by the potential for high returns. An investor who has spent the last couple of years lamenting over the lacklustre performance of his stocks sees ECF as an investment channel that claims to offer even better returns.

P2P investing is garnering a lot of interest from would-be investors who are looking for something different and better than banks’ fixed deposits.

ECF means investing in very early stage businesses and as such, there are inherent risks to be aware of such as the likelihood of bankruptcy, in which case, you will not be able to recover your original investment.

With P2P investing, the most obvious risk that comes attached is of course the possibility of the borrower defaulting on the debt. As the reasons for not being able to repay the loan are typically financial, any subsequent attempts to recover your investment may prove futile if the business indeed has gone under.

Key tips to investing

1. Know where ECF and P2P stands in your strategic asset allocation.

2. Ensure you are investing in best of breed by comparing apple to apple when it comes to risk versus returns.

a) Ensure the platform is approved by SC.

b) Research each scheme on the platform as not every one is the same.

c) Read the fine print in the platform operator’s agreement and know the rights and liabilities of each party. Pay particular attention to the risk warnings in the agreement with regards to potential loss of invested capital and the unsecured nature of the investment (for P2P).

3. Diversification is key.

4. Monitor how your investments are performing.

5. Consider the time required before you see your investments come to fruition.

MENA

New Amendment To Address Reward-Based Crowdfunding And What To Expect (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

A new omnibus code that amends, amongst others, the Capital Markets Code (“CMC“) has been enacted by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2017.

The CMC amendment primarily refers to reward-based crowdfunding (i.e. receipt of goods, reward or pre-sales in return or investment-based or loan-based crowdfunding) while donation-based crowdfunding where the investor donates the money with no return is still subject to aid and donations legislation. The said amendment limits crowdfunding to project or venture financing and only through crowdfunding platforms that are prior-recognised by the Capital Markets Board (“Board“).

Crowdfunding platforms can only operate in Turkey once they obtain the necessary permission from the Board.

Fintech Is The New Oil In The Middle East And North Africa (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report. Disclosed investment infintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year. The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015. It is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Aside from the fact that the sector encompasses every tech startup active within the financial services industry, beyond the ones that specialize in online payments or money transfers, e-commerce in the region is set to quadrupleuntil the end of this decade. Additionally, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and internet connectivity, 86% of the adult population in the region is unbanked, while three in four GCC bank customers are ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.

Boosting financial inclusion is crucial for economic diversity and growth across the region. Moussa Beidas, co-founder of Dubai-based startup Bridg, which allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, says fintech has become an innovative way to bridge the divide and provide cheaper services to the unbanked.

Significant banking changes due to tech innovation (Gulf News), Rated: A

The rapid advancement in innovation is transforming the financial services industry, especially the banks, as technology has become an integral part of the business strategy — from initially being just an enabler to now actually streamlining operating processes.

The Middle East has amassed more than $100 million (Dh367 million) in FinTech start-up funding in the past ten years, with 105 FinTech start-ups launching in 2016, with hopes to raise $50 million in funding by the end of 2017.

Banks in the UAE remain the trendsetters, although other GCC countries are not lagging far behind, with several banks in the region embracing FinTech in many different ways.

Africa

TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card solution (IT Web Africa), Rated: AAA

Data firm TransUnion has launched Mobile Score Card, a mobile loan information service that enables lending firms to access a loan applicant’s credit status.

Mobile Score Card is a database solution that continually ‘learns’ based on mobile transactional history.

It also provides mobile lenders with customisable and reliable risk view of the mobile loans. The product targets banks with mobile lending solutions, savings and credit cooperative organisation and independent mobile lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi completes $769M student loan securitization. Affirm is headed to unicorn status. Funding Circle SME fund to double. Funding Circle SME Income Fund NAV, profit to rise. Zopa investors can move repayments into IFISA automatically. Harmoney says Kiwi SMEs are tapping into P2P for cash flow more. TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card in Africa. Today’s main […]

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi Announces Completion of $ 769 Million Student Loan Securitization, Bringing Total ABS Issuance in 2017 to $ 6.9 billion (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of its $769 million offering of SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F).

The closing marked the company’s 12th ABS transaction this year, bringing its total issuance in 2017 to $6.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2016.  The 2017 total includes six Student Loan ReFi and six Consumer Loan transactions.

LendingClub’s Investor Day Highlights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) sent a letter to the Cleveland Fed accusing them of using their study on peer-to-peer lending to block bill “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act” (H.R. 3299). The bill proposes to overturn a decision in the Madden v. Midland Funding case against the “valid when made” clause which allows sales of legally made loans in one state to parties in other states, even if the loan exceeds the interest rate cap in the state of the borrower.

Positioning and Strategy 

LendingClub doubled-down on the capital-light marketplace lending model, and emphasized the role of technology, data & analytics, and the “virtuous cycle of scale.”  LendingClub also emphasized the new product innovation on the investor side of its business – notably the Exchange Traded Product (ETP) which we think may have been lost in the immediate reaction to revised guidance.

LC sees an addressable market opportunity of $300-350 Bn in the credit card refinance and debt consolidation spaces, and a $38 Tr pool of addressable capital on the investor side of its marketplace.

LC has a two-pronged strategy to attack these markets and meet EBITDA margin goals:

  1. 2018: Focus and Invest
    1. Accelerate personal loans growth while prudently managing credit
    2. Invest in auto and leverage secured capabilities for personal loans
    3. Strengthen Investor franchise by expanding securitization and growing new structures
    4. Address legacy issues
  1. 2019-2020: Expand and Deepen
    1. Expand lead in personal loans through further data, analytics, and product and testing efforts
    2. Expand role in the borrower journey through new products and services
    3. Expand investor universe to lower cost of funds, improve resiliency, capture more value
Source: Lending Club

As seen in the chart below, LendingClub is positioning MPL loans as a new asset class that offers higher risk-adjusted returns as compared to other fixed incomealternatives, while offering lower interest rate risk. LC has delivered historical annualized loss-adjusted returns of 6.7% on its Prime loans portfolio, and 10.9% on its Near-Prime loans portfolio.

Source: LendingClub

The top question on investors’ minds remains the expected performance of MPL loans thru a recessionary scenario in the chart below, LendingClub published estimates of expected annualized charge-offs on Prime loans in a baseline scenario of 5.5%, in a moderate recession scenario of 7.9%, and in a protracted slump scenario of 11.5%.

Source: LendingClub

Why it is easier now for small businesses to go global (Born2Invest), Rated: AAA

It has become significantly easier today to run a multinational business compared to a few years ago. This is down to the increasing adaptation of technological advances to various business operations.

Markets are becoming decentralized and barriers to entry are minimal

The internet is central to the paradigm shift we have witnessed in the business environment over the last couple of decades. For instance, you do not have to live in the U.S. to sell your products or services to the Americans. Even where certain levels of certification are required, these can easily be done online thereby allowing a foreigner to obtain the required credentials for operating a business that targets American citizens. Therefore, market access is global, decentralized and without limits for anyone looking to expand exponentially.

Another thing that is influencing growth strategies among small businesses is the ease of access to financing.

Ideally, most businesses would opt for local lending. However, with the growing popularity of online-based peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club, small businesses can now access financing regardless of whether they have security. But it is not as easy and straightforward as it sounds. According to National Business Capital, the process can be as tasking as trying to apply for a securitized loan with background checks and credit scores playing a crucial role.

Nonetheless, lending institutions are being pressured by the increasing number of peer-to-peer lending platforms. This has forced them to lighten up their lending requirements in a bid to increase their loan portfolios and subsequently interest incomes. In this case, we could say that technological advances and the emergence of alternative lending solutions have forced the hand of the credit market to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Max Levchin’s lending startup is heading for unicorn territory (Axios), Rated: AAA

Affirm, the personal credit startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has filed a stock authorization form in Delaware that would allow it to raise up to $210 million in new funding at around a $1.4 billion pre-money valuation.

How Max Levchin cofounded and built PayPal into a payments monster after 6 pivots and a bitter rivalry with Elon Musk (Business Insider), Rated: A

He now spends most of his time at Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn’t charge any penalties or fees.

 

PayPal founder talks digital payments, bitcoin (The Seattle Times), Rated: A

Q: Are digital payments progressing as quickly as you hoped since you started PayPal?

A: They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.

Q: What are some of the most interesting areas of digital payments?

A: A good example is international remittances, where companies can pop up and do well. They’re the guys who figured out how to do it much cheaper and much more transparently with much lower friction to both the recipient and the sender.

Can I get my pay instantly? New payday apps give workers fast access to wages — for a price (Mic), Rated: AAA

And while many workers typically wait anywhere from once a week to once a month to get the money their company owes them, new apps from financial technology startups like DailyPay, FlexWage and PayActiv are giving workers everywhere — including at Goodwill, McDonald’s and Uber — faster access to wages, and sometimes even on the same day they clocked their hours.

Proponents like Shah say faster access to wages can motivate hourly workers to put in longer hours (since they’ll reap the rewards more quickly) and can reduce their reliance on abusive payday loans with sky-high interest rates that can leave borrowers in an unending debt cycle. Indeed, taking out a single $100 payday loan for two weeks could eat up more than $130 out of your next paycheck, once you factor in interest and fees. Repeat that every two weeks and you are down hundreds of dollars for the year — equivalent to a full month’s rent for many.

With DailyPay — which is used by hourly workers at DoorDash delivery service, the Maids residential cleaning service and Kellermeyer Bergensons Services facilities management firm — employees can access 100% of their accrued and unpaid net wages for a fee of $1 to $3 per transaction. The money can be deposited directly into their bank account or put on a prepaid card or payroll card on the same day.

Another app called Earnin lets workers withdraw up to $100 a day and $500 per pay period in advance of receiving their regular paycheck. While it charges no fees, it does give workers the option of “tipping.” The service then withdraws funds directly from your checking account after you’ve been paid.

FlexWage, for example, only lets workers tap up to 70% of their unpaid wages between regular paychecks (for a $3 to $5 fee per transaction). PayActiv gives them access to 50% of their net pay for every 30 hours worked for a $5 fee.

Instant Financial lets employees withdraw half their daily net pay every day at no cost at all: Instead they charge employers $1 per month per employee enrolled in the program.

Source: Mic

There’s an attractive way to profit from the $ 1.3 trillion student-loan bubble (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to Goldman Sachs, the outstanding student loan balance has reached $1.3 trillion in face value, about the size of the high-yield corporate-bond market. This outstanding debt is not without problems, as it delays homeownership for some millennials and cuts their disposable income.

It’s the $190 billion of outstanding loans that are held within asset-backed securities (ABS) refinanced by private lenders such as SoFi.

“Recent marketplace student loan deals have featured borrower pools with average credit scores above 770 and average borrower incomes above $160k: a very different credit profile than the government guaranteed portfolios.”

Source: Business Insider

Some lenders stand to gain as others leave auto niche (American Banker), Rated: A

The indirect auto business is in a state of transition.

TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., surprisingly walked away from the segment on Dec. 1, and others like Regions Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp have tapped the brakes for reasons ranging from competition and credit concerns to regulatory pressure and low yields.

Auto sales are also projected to fall by 7% this year, according to Autodata and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

America’s financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and retain financial education material differently than their prime peers, the research indicated.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different messages.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management principles.

Ken Rees of Elevate (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The evolution of Ken’s career that led to the founding of Elevate.
  • The different products that Elevate offers today.
  • A profile of the typical Elevate customer.
  • How Elevate’s products help their customers’ financial situation.
  • Their typical loan terms.
  • Ken’s view of the new CFPB rules on small dollar loans.
  • How Elevate’s underwriting process works.
  • The total originations for Elevate in the US and UK.
  • The importance of data analytics in their business.
  • The percentage of customers coming to them through a mobile device.
  • How they can underwrite 95% of their loan applications in an automated way.
  • How their charge-off rates have been trending.
  • The different funding sources they use to fund these loans.
  • What their Center for the New Middle Class does.
  • How their IPO process went and what it is like being a public company.

 

Winners and Losers in the CFPB Mess (Credit Union Times), Rated: A

Winners

Payday Lenders – Like them or not, the payday lending industry was in for a huge takedown under the CFPB’s final rules that will restrict the way they do business.

Still, the industry now has a friend rather than a foe in the director’s office. And that can’t hurt for an industry that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for a major takedown.

Attorneys general call for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau independence (Lake County News), Rated: B

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined attorneys general from 17 other states in calling on the Trump Administration to respect the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PNC to offer consumer loans through mobile devices (American Banker), Rated: A

PNC Financial Services Group plans to introduce a consumer lending product that it will market through both its mobile wallet and in new branches.

The $375 billion-asset Pittsburgh company intends for the new loan product to be available on a national scale, Chairman and CEO William Demchak said this week.

Kaplan Fox Announces Investigation of Qudian Inc. (Business Insider), Rated: A

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP (www.kaplanfox.com) is investigating Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE:QD) on behalf of investors who purchased Qudian American Depository Shares.

On October 17, 2017, Qudian issued 37.5 million American Depository Shares at $24 per share under a Registration Statement and Prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for gross proceeds of $900 million.

On November 21, 2017, Chinese media sources began to reveal that the personal information of millions of Qudian customers were allegedly available for sale on the black market. On November 23, 2017Bloomberg reported that “Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meet Tim Russi, President of Auto Finance at Ally Financial (Vator.TV), Rated: A

VatorNews: How is technology influencing and impacting Ally’s auto business? Why is this technology integral to the company’s future in this arena?

Tim Russi: We’re a company that’s 100 years old, and you don’t become a 100 year old company in today’s world if you don’t have the ability to reinvent yourself.

Ally operates in what we in the lending world refer to as an ‘indirect model,’ so dealers originate the loans and leases and then we purchase them from the dealers. The speed and access of the indirect model has changed significantly in the last 15 years. The industry was very disruptive in creating online portals for dealers to be able to submit applications to lenders, so the lender didn’t have to be on site to do the loans.

VN: How have you seen technology in the auto space evolve in that short amount of time? How quickly is the space changing?

TR: You look at a lot of the lending models today and they’re going direct to consumers, and we’ve even got a direct model, because as you look at digital and the consumers doing shopping online, and wanting to buy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to select and purchase the vehicle and obtain financing right at the ‘point of sale.’ If the sale’s going to be online, not in the dealership, we want to make sure we’re there and then fulfillment can occur at the dealership.

VN: How has SmartAuction changed the way dealers sell and buy vehicles? What kind of ROI have you seen?

TR: SmartAuction, we actually developed in 1999 and we’ve done over 5 million transactions. We have 20,000 vehicles that are available for sale or purchase in the marketplace. It’s a wholesale marketplace so dealers can post and buy.

Notable Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. – Sohin ShahInstaLend

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. – Anthemos GeorgiadesZumper

Peer-To-Peer Lending : Here Are 5 Things To Know (NDTV), Rated: B

  1. P2P lending is a form of financial innovation but the concept that works behind it is the same as in the case of the banking system.
  2. Any lay investor or lender can lend money to any borrower who is registered with the P2P platform.
  3. Borrowers and lenders enter into a contract according to which they agree to the amount disbursed and the rate of interest.
  4. A borrower can raise loan at the rate of interest, which is inversely proportional to his credit score.
  5. Each P2P lending platform charges a fee for the transactions that are fructified at their platforms.

Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped (Des Moines Register), Rated: B

President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be “substantially increased.”

Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle SME fund size to double following C share merger (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) is set to double the value of its assets after announcing plans to convert its conversion shares into the ordinary portfolio on 20 December.

The investment trust, which invests in loans on the Funding Circle platform, revealed in its half-year report that the move will increase the fund’s size to around £310m.

Currently the ordinary shares are worth £165.3m and the C shares, launched in April, are worth £142.3m.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Net Asset Value And Profit Both Rise (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Net asset value per ordinary share was 100.55 pence per share, representing an increase in the total NAV to GBP167.0 million from GBP165.0 million at the start of the half, which ended September 30. Net asset value total return was 12%.

For the C shares, net asset value was 99.82p, having only been issued in April. These shares are due to convert to ordinary shares on December 20.

Zopa investors can now automatically move repayments into their IFISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA investors can now automatically re-direct their repayments into their Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

The peer-to-peer consumer lender confirmed this week that customers can gradually move their Zopa money into the tax wrapper without having to sell loans or pay extra fees.

Moving money into the IFISA will contribute to the investor’s annual tax-free allowance, Zopa said. However, once money is in the IFISA and has been lent out, those repayments will not contribute to the IFISA allowance.

Why banks will share your financial secrets (BBC), Rated: AAA

Customers of nine of the biggest UK banks have received letters and emails in recent weeks informing them that their information can be shared, securely, with other firms. All they need to do is give their permission.

The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

Most people stay loyal to their bank. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year.The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

How will it work?

In practice and in time, customers will probably see a dashboard on their bank’s mobile phone app.

This will show them how much money they have in their different accounts, with different banks, and eventually how much they owe on credit cards and store cards too.

A set of computer programming rules in the UK, called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will ensure all these new services and banks to talk to each other.

Applications for mortgages could be dealt with more quickly, as providers and brokers could access spending history, rather than ask for printed copies of the last three months of bank statements.

Anne Boden, of mobile-only Starling Bank, says customers will be able to see exactly what they bought for lunch each day, an app could analyse the calorie levels, and then cross-check it with how much exercise that person is doing.

Customers could be bombarded with invitations to try out a new service, and could quickly lose control of their financial data, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

He describes Open Banking as “a daft idea”, which will lead to more financial exclusion for those already on low incomes.

Unscrupulous individuals would be keen to access this data and use it alongside information revealed on social media to build up a complete set of personal information.

The UK needs its own version of business development companies (Financial Times), Rated: A

The great scramble for yield has seen asset managers hunt down ever more alternative sources of income. Many are starting to move into the world of shadow banking, alternative forms of lending in areas where banks are not competing for business as much as they used to.

But evidence from the US suggests that the biggest opportunity probably lies in what is called direct lending, preferably through a structure that might mimic US business development companies. These BDCs are a large and diverse universe of tax efficient, listed, closed-end funds resident in the US. Collectively they are worth at least $100bn, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the investment bank, nearly all of which has been lent to mid-market private businesses in the US — capital that has arguably helped to improve the nation’s corporate productivity and profitability. Income-hungry investors have also snapped up these funds, with average yields well over 9 per cent per year.

Direct lending companies will service the mid-market secured lending space for loans above £50m but they, in turn, lack an outlet into the public markets typically afforded by BDCs in the US.

Industry reacts to Cambridge report on alternative finance (AltFi), Rated: A

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s report, entitled Entrenching Innovation, found the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to £4.6bn.

“Abundance was particularly pleased to see our category (debt securities) confirmed as the fastest growing of all at 1,147 per cent year on year, with an accompanying 40 per cent increase in average deal size to £1.4m. It was also good to see hard evidence of investors in debt securities conducting their own due diligence and being comfortable with the risk/reward offers they found,” he said.

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of fintech business finance firm MarketInvoice, says as awareness increases, which will be propelled by PSD2, so too will the use of alternative finance platforms.

The UK ranks top of all major developed economies for establishing new businesses (City A.M.), Rated: A

The UK outranked all other major developed economies in terms of the number of businesses established last year, according to figures from accounting group UHY Hacker Young.

It became home to 218,000 more businesses in 2016, a rise of six per cent over year-on-year. Meanwhile, other major developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US saw an average two per cent rise in number of businesses over the year.

FCA to change advice definition in January (FT Adviser), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will introduce its new definition of advice from Wednesday 3 January.

As part of this it has amended its handbook to change the definition of financial advice, meaning only advice which offers a personal recommendation will be considered regulated.

China

Chinese Banks Face Potential Capital Shortfall, IMF Says (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.

With Chinese banking-sector assets, at $34.7 trillion, soaring to three times the size of China’s economic output, at $11.2 trillion, the IMF said that “holding more capital would strengthen the banking system and bolster financial stability,” according to a report on Thursday.

The IMF said China should consider boosting risk-weighted assets at its banks by 0.5% to 1% over the coming 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LexinFintech, China’s online provider of installment-based loans has decided to conduct extra due-diligence investigation for its IPO in the US.

This week, KPMG China announced the 50 leading Fintech companies operating in China and published a related insight report.

(Note: Companies are arranged in alphabetical order based on the first letter of their Chinese name in pinyin.)

  1. Anxindeli
  2. Baidu Finance
  3. BAIFENDIAN
  4. 100credit
  5. ICE KREDIT
  6. TENPAY.COM
  7. Dianrong.com
  8. RQuest
  9. FUTUNN.COM
  10. ChinaPnR
  11. PING ++
  12. 3GOLDEN
  13. JFZ.COM
  14. JD Finance
  15. Juxinli
  16. QUARK FINANCE
  17. 99Bill
  18. Tigerbrokers
  19. QuantGroup
  20. LENGJING INFO
  21. LU.com
  22. Ideacome
  23. MSXF
  24. Ant Financial
  25. PINTEC
  26. QFPAY
  27. Qudian
  28. UCREDIT
  29. Rong360
  30. Wecash
  31. ChinaScope
  32. BBD
  33. Souyidai
  34. Suanhua Credit
  35. Feidee
  36. Taiyiyun
  37. TalkingData
  38. Tcredit
  39. Beagle Data
  40. Tong Dun
  41. Wacai
  42. Wei Zhong Shui Yin
  43. WeBank
  44. WeLab
  45. u51.com
  46. Onchain
  47. Hcspark.com
  48. Zipeiyi
  49. Zhongan Insurance
  50. Zuihuibao

New guidelines for banks to support P2P lending (Taipei Times), Rated: A

The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday gave its nod to guidelines on collaborations between peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and commercial banks, in a move to support the development of emerging financial services.

Under the guidelines, banks may provide custodian and trust account services to P2P platforms, as well as transaction processing to meet rules against collection of deposits by non-bank entities, the commission said.

However, banks are barred from making recommendations on decisions about loan approval, interest rates and principal amounts.

The guidelines also regulate the so-called peer-to-bank (P2B) model, where banks participate as lenders on P2P platforms.

CreditEase’s CEO Ning Tang spoke about FinTech and innovation at Fortune Global Forum (Business Insider), Rate: A

Ning Tang, Founder and CEO of CreditEase, attended the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on December 6-8 in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy,” the Global Forum convened world leaders, senior executives and prestigious scholars to discuss the dynamic frontiers of international commerce.

Tang stated that the Chinese FinTech industry still sees great potential in the coming decade represented by development in applications such as microloans for SMEs, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology, and blockchain products and services.

India’s FDI climate good for China investment (China Business Law Journal), Rated: A

Mumbai-based fintech start-up Kissht recently raised US$10 million in funding primarily from Fosun International, a Chinese investment consortium. The Krishnamurthy & Co team acted for and represented Kissht and its owner OnEMI Technology Solutions, led by Mumbai-based partner Sanket Sethia and associate Vwastav Ghosh.

European Union

Moody’s highlights improving performance for European SME ABS next year (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: AAA

The performance of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) asset-backed securities (ABS) will remain stable across all major markets in Europe and issuance volumes will likely increase slightly, according to the 2018 outlook for European SME ABS from Moody’s. However, emerging political risks have created some uncertainty in affected markets, with a limited effect on securitised deals in the United Kingdom (UK), and potentially negative effects in Spain.

Billie Raises €10m Series A (LendIt), Rated: A

Billie is an invoice finance platform that launched earlier this year; the round was led by Creandum with participation from existing investors Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital; the company focuses on complete automation with no human interaction; It was co-founded by Matthias Knecht and Christian Grobe; Billie also secured a refinancing facility from a major German bank.

International

Regulated Crypto Platform Plays By the Rules and Disrupts Trading Model (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Trade.io’s solution is to develop an exchange platform for the sharing economy where traders can not only exchange tokens, crypto and fiat currencies and other assets but also share in the risk and revenue of the liquidity pool. To participate in the liquidity pool, members buy 2,500 Trade Tokens secured by financial assets in their trade.io wallets. Crypto and fiat currencies are accepted as collateral.

Trade Token owners share in 50 percent of the gains or losses of the liquidity pool, which are distributed to the wallets of pool participants. Besides trading fees and commissions, revenue is earned from investment banking and P2P lending fees.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney Reports Increase in Kiwi SMEs That Are Tapping into P2P Lending for Business Cashflow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, Harmoney announced there has been an increase in Kiwi SMEs that are tapping into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for business cashflow.

The New Zealand online lender stated it estimates $100 million will be loaned to business accounts through its lending platform within the next six to twelve months. Currently, the average loan amount for business cashflow on its platform is $25,000.

Sydney fintech Avoka raises $ 16m in Roger Allen-led round (Financial Review), Rated: A

Avoka Technologies, a fast-growing Sydney-based provider of customer acquisition services to financial institutions, has raised $16 million from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75 per cent and the headcount moves towards 300.

Avoka offers a software-as-a-service platform called Transact, which claims to enable institutions to launch new digital products in weeks rather than months, and monitors customer interaction with them once established.

BankWest’s mobile banking app was built on Avoka, while Mr Copeland said HSBC was about to launch new credit cards whose customer interface was developed through the platform.

Asia

Crowdcredit, Inc from Japan (Makoto UJIKE Email), Rated: AAA

Crowdcredit is a cross border online lending platform, which raises funds from Japanese investors and finances overseas financial institutions, SMEs, or individuals.

Crowdcredit, Inc. announced its completion of appx. USD3.5mn financing mainly from Femto Partners, one of the most influential venture capitals in Japan.

Crowdcredit track record;

  • – Established in January 2013
  • – Started raising funds since June 2014,
  • – Finances financial institutions, SMEs, or consumers in Peru, Cameroon, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, etc.,
  • – Has registered investment user of 8,000+
  • – Has issued funds in total US$ 45.5mm, and
  • – Issues funds of US$ 4mm monthly with increasing trend.
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit

Learn more about Crowdcredit here.

Crowd-lending platform New Union awarded CMS license (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Crowd-lending platform New Union has been awarded the full Capital Markets Service license (CMS) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and announced a potential deal flow pipeline of about S$2 million to be launched soon.

P2P lending platform Validus Capital gets licence to deal in securities in Singapore (Business Times), Rated: A

VALIDUS Capital announced on Monday that it has been awarded a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to deal in securities – a move that may give Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more access to financing opportunities.

Singapore banks can save over 10% from fintech (SBR.com.sg), Rated: A

Moreover, about 41% of banked balance has now abandoned traditional channels.

MAS estimates fintech payments already takes up 20-50% of household consumption if the probability of payments disintermediation is high in the next five years.

A majority of 56% of the banked population is also willing to shift their savings into a pure play digital bank. An average of 41% of total balance has already been shifted.

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (The Star), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for early-stage and early-growth companies to tap investors attracted by the potential for high returns. An investor who has spent the last couple of years lamenting over the lacklustre performance of his stocks sees ECF as an investment channel that claims to offer even better returns.

P2P investing is garnering a lot of interest from would-be investors who are looking for something different and better than banks’ fixed deposits.

ECF means investing in very early stage businesses and as such, there are inherent risks to be aware of such as the likelihood of bankruptcy, in which case, you will not be able to recover your original investment.

With P2P investing, the most obvious risk that comes attached is of course the possibility of the borrower defaulting on the debt. As the reasons for not being able to repay the loan are typically financial, any subsequent attempts to recover your investment may prove futile if the business indeed has gone under.

Key tips to investing

1. Know where ECF and P2P stands in your strategic asset allocation.

2. Ensure you are investing in best of breed by comparing apple to apple when it comes to risk versus returns.

a) Ensure the platform is approved by SC.

b) Research each scheme on the platform as not every one is the same.

c) Read the fine print in the platform operator’s agreement and know the rights and liabilities of each party. Pay particular attention to the risk warnings in the agreement with regards to potential loss of invested capital and the unsecured nature of the investment (for P2P).

3. Diversification is key.

4. Monitor how your investments are performing.

5. Consider the time required before you see your investments come to fruition.

MENA

New Amendment To Address Reward-Based Crowdfunding And What To Expect (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

A new omnibus code that amends, amongst others, the Capital Markets Code (“CMC“) has been enacted by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2017.

The CMC amendment primarily refers to reward-based crowdfunding (i.e. receipt of goods, reward or pre-sales in return or investment-based or loan-based crowdfunding) while donation-based crowdfunding where the investor donates the money with no return is still subject to aid and donations legislation. The said amendment limits crowdfunding to project or venture financing and only through crowdfunding platforms that are prior-recognised by the Capital Markets Board (“Board“).

Crowdfunding platforms can only operate in Turkey once they obtain the necessary permission from the Board.

Fintech Is The New Oil In The Middle East And North Africa (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report. Disclosed investment infintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year. The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015. It is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Aside from the fact that the sector encompasses every tech startup active within the financial services industry, beyond the ones that specialize in online payments or money transfers, e-commerce in the region is set to quadrupleuntil the end of this decade. Additionally, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and internet connectivity, 86% of the adult population in the region is unbanked, while three in four GCC bank customers are ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.

Boosting financial inclusion is crucial for economic diversity and growth across the region. Moussa Beidas, co-founder of Dubai-based startup Bridg, which allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, says fintech has become an innovative way to bridge the divide and provide cheaper services to the unbanked.

Significant banking changes due to tech innovation (Gulf News), Rated: A

The rapid advancement in innovation is transforming the financial services industry, especially the banks, as technology has become an integral part of the business strategy — from initially being just an enabler to now actually streamlining operating processes.

The Middle East has amassed more than $100 million (Dh367 million) in FinTech start-up funding in the past ten years, with 105 FinTech start-ups launching in 2016, with hopes to raise $50 million in funding by the end of 2017.

Banks in the UAE remain the trendsetters, although other GCC countries are not lagging far behind, with several banks in the region embracing FinTech in many different ways.

Africa

TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card solution (IT Web Africa), Rated: AAA

Data firm TransUnion has launched Mobile Score Card, a mobile loan information service that enables lending firms to access a loan applicant’s credit status.

Mobile Score Card is a database solution that continually ‘learns’ based on mobile transactional history.

It also provides mobile lenders with customisable and reliable risk view of the mobile loans. The product targets banks with mobile lending solutions, savings and credit cooperative organisation and independent mobile lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday September 22 2017, Daily News Digest

APAC alternative finance

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi hit with a new lawsuit. Former SoFi loan reviewer says company created a hostile work environment. LendingClub launches Android app for investors. ZhongAn prices Hong Kong IPO at HK$59.70, raises $1.5B. Australia passes Japan to become second largest alternative finance market in APAC. Today’s main analysis: APAC alternative finance report. Today’s thought-provoking […]

APAC alternative finance

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

APAC

South America

News Summary

United States

SoFi Condoned ‘Rampant Sexual Activity,’ Lawsuit Alleges (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

A former loan reviewer at Social Finance Inc. claims in a lawsuit she was repeatedly sexually harassed while working there, ratcheting up pressure on the embattled fintech startup.

Sonoma County Superior Court court clerk confirmed by phone that the complaint was filed Thursday.

Top management indulged in the inappropriate behavior, which then trickled down through the ranks, according to the complaint. Cagney dated subordinates at SoFi’s San Francisco office — where his wife works as chief technology officer and vice president of engineering — and attended parties with SoFi’s Healdsburg staff while intoxicated, Zamora alleges.

SoFi Faces New Sexual Harassment Claim Days After CEO’s Departure (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Yulia Zamora, who worked as a loan reviewer at SoFi’s Healdsburg, Calif., office from October 2015 until October 2016, said in a complaint against the company that a manager had propositioned her for sex and retaliated against her when she refused.

She added that SoFi exhibited a “hostile work environment where sexually inappropriate behavior became widely accepted and laudable by upper management.”

In her complaint, Ms. Zamora said that a SoFi director of operations who had authority over promotions approached her during and after an office Christmas party in December 2015. The manager, Adam Cobb, told her that he was “intimidated by [her] beauty” and that he “want[ed] to do sexy things” to her, according to the complaint. She denied his advances, the complaint added.

In the weeks following those comments, Mr. Cobb refused to promote Ms. Zamora and refused to write her a letter of recommendation after she resigned from the company, according to the complaint. She raised the issue with supervisors just after the party, but said that they found the story “entertaining rather than upsetting.”

Why Startup Founders Should Be Required to Sign a ‘No Go, Bro’ Clause (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Startup CEOs like Cagney, Travis Kalanick at Uber, and Taylor Freeman at UploadVR—accused in a recent lawsuit of bragging with his co-founder Will Mason about how many girls they were going to have sex with at company parties, and designating a room at the office as a “kink room”—can destroy as well as create billions of dollars in value for their companies, all while creating toxic work environments.

Whether they resign like Cagney and Kalanick or remain with the company like Freeman and Mason, startup executives typically own a large percentage of company stock. That often leads investors and boards to treat them gently when it comes to sexual harassment allegations and other forms of misconduct—but it should not.

Before making a big investment in a startup, investors should use their power to require CEOs to sign a clause under which they forfeit a large proportion, or potentially all, of their stock, if fired for misconduct, including reasons such as sexual harassment and misrepresentations to investors.

 

 

 

LendingClub, a peer-to-peer loans platform, just launched its Android app for investors (Android Police), Rated: AAA

With the LendingClub Invest app, you can log in via your fingerprint, view information like your current value and return, as well as transfer money.

Keep in mind that this is for investors, not borrowers. It’s for those using the service who want to manage their accounts and view the details of their current investments. Borrowers using LendingClub don’t have an app just yet.

The full log for this initial release is below:

WHAT’S NEW

Access your LendingClub investor account through a convenient experience optimized for your mobile device.
In this initial version you can:
– Log in to your account with a touch of the finger (for Android 6.0 or above)
– View and manage your account
– See your Net Annualized Return (NAR)
– Invest in Notes
– Use your saved filters to find the Notes you want
– Set up and update automated investing
– Transfer money between your LendingClub account and your bank

Hackers Entered Equifax Systems in March (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Hackers roamed undetected in Equifax Inc.’s EFX +2.76% computer network for more than four months before its security team uncovered the massive data breach, the security firm FireEye Inc.FEYE +0.24% said this week in a confidential note Equifax sent to some of its customers.

FireEye’s Mandiant group, which has been hired by Equifax to investigate the breach, said the first evidence of hackers’ “interaction” with the company occurred on March 10, according to the Mandiant report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Equifax has said it didn’t discover the breach until July 29. Days later it called in Mandiant. Equifax didn’t disclose the breach until Sept. 7.

In a progress report that accompanied that announcement last Friday, Equifax said hackers accessed consumers’ data from May 13 through July 30. It didn’t mention in that report that the attack had begun at an earlier date.

Mandiant’s report this week noted the hackers accessed one of Equifax’s servers by taking advantage of a flaw in software called Apache Struts, used by many companies to build interactive websites.

Two days before the access occurred, on March 8, security researchers at Cisco Systems Inc. warned of the flaw in Struts and a patch was issued by the Apache Software Foundation. Equifax in its report last week said its security staff “took efforts” to fix the system, saying it understood the intense focus outside the company on patching efforts and that its review was ongoing.

After interacting with Equifax’s server in early March, the hackers then entered the computer command “Whoami,” Mandiant wrote. This command would have given the attackers the username of the computer account to which they had just gained access, an early step in a hacking attempt.

The Ultimate Anti-Competitive Mergers (Prospect), Rated: A

When you need a new mortgage in the future, will your only options be AmazonWellsFargo or AppleChase? The prospect of a mash-up of banking and commerce keeps people like George Washington University law professor Arthur Wilmarth up at night. “This would mean an end to healthy innovation and startups and competition,” said Wilmarth. “I think it is that dire.”

In principle, these maneuvers could inject competition into a banking industry controlled mostly by four Wall Street giants, making financial services more accessible and flexible to modern needs. But special charters also let fintech evade critical regulatory scrutiny. And the tentative steps by SoFi and Square seem like a dry run for the day Silicon Valley’s giants decide to get in the game, building sprawling businesses the government has aimed to prevent for decades.

Banks get all sorts of privileges from the government—and if banks can also function as ordinary commercial enterprises, they have unfair advantages against other businesses (who are also their clients).

Non-Prime Gen-Xers Lack Financial Stability According to New Research by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Members of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) now sit at the age where they anchor the country’s economic and social structure. Yet, new research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class shows that Gen-Xers face a slew of economic challenges that perpetually keep them off balance. Worse still, that lack of balance means they can’t plan for the future or get back on track.

Non-prime Gen-Xers, in particular, lack stability – in their employment as well as their income. They have difficulty predicting their monthly income, and consequently act like cash accountants in managing their day-to-day finances. Non-prime Gen-Xers are thus the least likely generational cohort to be able to save money—an important aspect of financial planning. Compared to their prime counterparts, non-prime Gen-Xers are:

  • 4x as likely to be living paycheck to paycheck
  • 4.5x as likely to worry about meeting monthly expenses
  • 2x as likely to have been laid off in the past year, and almost 3x as likely to be laid off in the last 5 years
  • 5x as likely to feel “significant stress” over finances
  • 5x more likely to say that in the prior 12 months they were never able to plan for a major expense

The planning gap between prime and non-prime Gen-Xers is wider than any other generation, and 1 in 5 reports running out of money every month. When it comes time to pay for unplanned or unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs, only 13 percent feel confident they could come up with $1,200. This lack of confidence may be due to lack of reliable options. Though 80 percent of prime Gen-Xers have a solid option – savings, credit or turning to family/friends – only 44 percent of their non-prime counterparts have a solution for coming up with the funds.

3 Stocks With eBay-like Return Potential (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Club is finally starting to show signs of growth after several quarters of stagnant loan originations. With the stock down 74% since its first trading day in 2014, there’s certainly potential for a big investment win if things continue to go well.

For the second quarter of 2017, Lending Club’s loan originations grew by 10% year over year as well as sequentially, which came as a pleasant surprise to investors. Revenue grew by an impressive 35% from last year, and profit margins improved tremendously. What’s more, Lending Club’s CEO said that the company could approach GAAP profitability as we head into 2018, which would be a major improvement from the first half of the year.

Lending Club’s loan portfolio is currently about $11.1 billion in size, which may sound like a lot, but consider that the U.S. nonrevolving (loan) consumer lending market has more than $2.7 trillion in outstanding balances, not including mortgages, according to the Federal Reserve.

US auto-loan fintechs help incumbent lenders stay up to speed (Business Insider), Rated: A

Hyundai Capital America, the car maker’s US lending division, has partnered AutoGravity, a US-based digital car shopping and financing platform, to extend its loans more easily to consumers looking to buy a Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis vehicle.

Hyundai Capital will be one of several auto lenders that consumers can borrow from via the platform.

JPMorgan Chase partnered online car marketplace TrueCar in August 2016 to launch an end-to-end digital platform, Chase Auto Direct, for finding and financing a vehicle. Additionally, Ford Motor Credit Co., the car giant’s lending arm, started leveraging US marketplace lender AutoFi’s software in January to make it easier for customers to buy and finance a vehicle without going to showrooms.

The Saatva Company Partners with Payment Solutions Company Klarna (PR Newswire), Rated: A

The Saatva Company, the largest online luxury mattress retailer, has formed a strategic partnership to offer financing plans to its customers with Klarna, a global payment solutions company that works with other top U.S. brands like Microsoft and Taylormade.

Through this partnership, Saatva customers now have the option to “Slice Up Your Payment” through Klarna and spread the cost of purchases over time with convenient, stress-free low APR financing offers. It is available immediately under all three Saatva Company brands – Saatvamattress.com, Loomandleaf.com and Zenhaven.com.

After selecting the perfect mattress, customers can apply for Klarna financing at checkout through a simple three-step instant credit approval process. Customers are approved for an open line of credit that may also be used at any other merchant where Klarna is accepted.

Digital Lending Dramatically Cuts Down Closing Times (The M Report), Rated: A

In a recent sampling of 10,000 purchase loans from LendingTree, a leading online loan marketplace, the closing times on mortgages saw a sharp decrease thanks to more digital lending; approximately 74 percent on average from May 2016 to May 2017. According to the report, the average closing still takes roughly 72 days, but this rate is influenced by several other buying factors as well as digital integrations.

The study shows the average amount of days to close in Boston (79.5) strongly differs from the time spent in a city like Denver, (56.2); a 23.3 day difference.  New York closely followed Boston at 79.2 days and Cleveland at 71.5. Phoenix and Dallas barely ranked above Denver at 57.5 and 57.6 days respectively. The time to close also varies largely by state, with Montana measuring at 52.7 days until closing and New York at 91 days.

Activehours raises $ 39 million for its new take on cash advances (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Nine months after raising $22 million for its unique take on the cash-advance business, Activehours has gone back to the venture capital well and pulled out another $39 million in financing.

Led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from the company’s early-stage investors Matrix Partners, Ribbit Capital, and March Capital Partners, Activehours has managed to now raise nearly $65 million since its launch in 2013.

The Palo Alto-based company skirts regulation as a payday lender because it doesn’t charge interest on the cash that it fronts to customers. Instead, the company asks that users pay a small voluntary fee for access to their money ahead of their payday.

Tribal Lender Claims Immunity From Challenge To Immunity (Law360), Rated: A

An online lender accused of striking “rent-a-tribe” deals with a Native American tribe in order to benefit from tribal immunity urged a Virginia federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a proposed class action over its lending practices, saying it is, in fact, a sovereign arm of the Chippewa Cree tribe and therefore immune from the litigation alleging false immunity.

The Government Shouldn’t Collect Private Financial Information from America’s Poor (National Review), Rated: A

The CFPB, which was created under Dodd-Frank supposedly to protect consumers and prevent the next big financial crisis, is now being used to try to discourage payday lending, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans.  The rule will require customers applying for a small-dollar loan – the average of which is $350 — to submit extensive personal financial information in support of their applications. In addition to determining a customer’s ability to repay the loan, the lenders will be required to share this information with each credit reporting agency (CRA) registered with the Bureau.

With this data all in one place, it will be vulnerable to a potential hack.

And just this week the SEC reported a hack.  Now government will have a new pool of data for hackers to try to infiltrate.

Embracing Blockchain Is in the ‘National Interest’ (Coindesk), Rated: B

Giancarlo continued:

“Everything we do has been digitized. The one thing that has not yet been digitized is regulation. We’re still very much an analog regulator of digital markets.”

And most importantly, Giancarlo stressed that it is imperative that U.S. regulatory structures catch up with the fast-moving digital economy.

eOriginal Announces Coluzzi as New Chief Financial Officer (Benzinga), Rated: B

eOriginal, Inc., today named Michael Coluzzi as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), another valuable addition to the executive team of the rapidly growing financial services technology firm.

Coluzzi is the third key addition to eOriginal’s leadership following a growth capital investment by LLR Partners. In addition to the new CFO, Brian Madocks joined as Chief Executive Officer in April 2017 followed by Timothy Wall as Chief Revenue Officer earlier this month. These hires and the existing eOriginal management team together will drive the business towards achieving full potential.

Veteran CFO Bruce Felt Joins Personal Capital’s Board of Directors (Business Insider), Rated: B

Personal Capital, the leading digital and professional advisor based wealth management firm, today announced that Bruce Felt, the Chief Financial Officer of DOMO, has joined Personal Capital’s Board of Directors and will chair the Audit Committee.

Felt is the CFO of DOMO, one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the country. Previously, he was the CFO of SuccessFactors, where he guided the company through six acquisitions, a public offering and the sale of the business to SAP. Felt has spent 25 years managing financial operations for high-tech companies and serving on multiple boards of directors.

Form 8-K Elevate Credit, Inc. For: Sep 15 (StreetInsider.com), Rated: B

The Registered Office of the corporation in the State of Delaware is changed to 251 Little Falls Drive, in the City of Wilmington, DE, County of New Castle, Zip Code 19808. The name of the Registered Agent at such address upon whom process against this Corporation may be served is Corporation Service Company.

United Kingdom

Ex-Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins raised £34 million for his fintech startup (Business Insider), Rated: A

Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins has raised £34 million ($46 million) for his fintech startup 10X Future Technologies.

The Series A funding round was led by Chinese firm Ping An Insurance and consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

London-based 10X, which went public last October, will help banks and financial institutions modernize their back office technology.

Older people are underserved by financial services, says the City watchdog (City A.M.), Rated: A

In its Ageing Population Project, the FCA found that older people’s needs are not being fully met which may result in exclusion, poor customer outcomes and possibly even harm.

It has called on retail banks, advisors and the savings industry to think about the vulnerabilities which older people – defined as those who are aged 55-plus – may face.

Cautious investors blind to risks of alternative favourites (FT Adviser), Rated: A

The aftermath of the financial crisis has seen investors pour capital into income generating alternative assets perceived to be low risk but market watchers have warned the dangers won’t be evident until interest rates rise.

The AIC said 70 per cent of the investment trust launches over the past five years have been in the alternative income sector.

Jonathan Davis, who runs Jonathon Davis Wealth Management in Hertford, said he has been preparing his clients portfolios for higher inflation, and higher interest rates, and generally avoiding UK equities.

LendInvest hires Aldermore’s Boden (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: B

Aldermore head of commercial mortgages Ian Boden has joined specialist lender LendInvest.

Boden joins the group as sale director, after five years at Aldermore Bank.

He has previously worked at Lloyds Bank and HSBC and has an advanced diploma in financial planning from the CII.

In his new role, Boden will help grow the business development team at LendInvest. He will help the group expand to new markets.

Deadline nears for pub purchase (County Echo), Rated: B

THE 30 September deadline to secure the necessary funds to purchase the threatened Tafarn Sinc pub in Rosebush is fast approaching.

“The aim now is to see a sum of £200,000 in shares achieved by 1 October and also the committee has endorsed a special Peer to Peer (P2P) lending scheme where a four per cent gross interest rate is offered to individuals who can lend a £5,000 sum to the co-operative to secure the total funds.

“As a target for the P2P we have 20 lots of £5,000 loans we are seeking and then this will bring in the needed final sum to purchase the pub and ensure it is owned by local people.”

China

China online insurer ZhongAn prices HK IPO at top end, raises $ 1.5 bln (Kitco), Rated: AAA

ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co priced its IPO at the top of an indicated range, raising $1.5 billion in Hong Kong’s biggest ever financial technology stock offering, IFR reported on Friday.

China’s first internet-only insurer priced 199.3 million new shares at HK$59.70 ($7.65) each, the top of a HK$53.70-HK$59.70 range said IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. It cited people close to the deal.

ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co priced its IPO at the top of an indicated range, raising $1.5 billion in Hong Kong’s biggest ever financial technology stock offering, IFR reported on Friday.

China’s first internet-only insurer priced 199.3 million new shares at HK$59.70 ($7.65) each, the top of a HK$53.70-HK$59.70 range said IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. It cited people close to the deal.

China’s first Internet Insurance Company is set to list in Hong Kong on 28th Sep (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Zhongan Insurance, which was co-founded by Jack Ma of Alibaba, Ma Mingzhe of PING AN and Pony Ma of Tencent, is the first internet insurance company in China. Because of its strong background, every move of Zhongan Insurance is closely concerned. On September 17, Zhongan Insurance revealed it would be listing in the main board of Hong Kong stock exchange. More details, the price range will be set at HK$53.7- 59.7, and the company plans to raise HK$10,948 million in total, it is scheduled to begin trading on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange on September 28. If the plan is implemented, Zhongan will become the first publicly listed fintech unit of China.

Chinese online stockbroker Tiger Brokers gets investment from US firm Interactive Brokers (SCMP), Rated: A

Tiger Brokers, a Chinese online securities brokerage start-up backed by Wall Street billionaire investor Jim Rogers, said on Thursday it has landed an investment from Interactive Brokers Group, one of the largest electronic brokers in the United States.

The Beijing-based Tiger Brokers, which offers an app to allow Chinese investors to trade on US stock markets and the Hong Kong exchanges and in Chinese A shares, did not disclose the size of the investment by Interactive Brokers.

The Top 10 Most Valuable Unicorns (Benzinga), Rated: B

The United States is home to the most unicorn companies in the world, with over 100 such companies, according to a new report by HowMuch.

8. Lu.com ($18.5 billion): China

Lu.com is an online finance marketplace which started as a peer-to-peer lending platform. Since 2011 it has service over $2.5 billion peer-to-peer loans.

 

European Union

EU’s new data privacy law creates headaches for U.S. banks (American Banker), Rated: AAA

What happens when a cookie of a Brit in London lands in the server of a community bank in the U.S. if, on an off-chance, the Brit browses the bank’s website?

It’s unclear, experts say, but U.S. banks — especially small and midsize banks — need to go find out because the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could affect them, unlike the EU privacy regulations before it.

The countdown is ticking on GDPR’s website. The law, approved by the European Parliament in April 2016, will take effect in late May 2018. It will apply to “all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location,” the website said.

International

SoftBank’s Banker Stash (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Their presence begs a question of the Vision Fund, whose backersinclude Apple Inc. and Saudi Arabia. Is its long-term goal to get into everything from ride-hailing apps to indoor farming, or is it more about getting juicy returns?

One Fund to Rule Them All
SoftBank’s $93.2 billion Vision Fund is the world’s largest private equity fund.
Anshu Jain, Deutsche Bank’s former co-chief executive officer and key architect of its rapid growth in markets prior to the credit crunch, was an adviser at SoftBank-backed U.S. based online lender Social Finance Inc. until recently.

While SoftBank put in equity to the tune of $28 billion, its partners, including the government funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, hold part of their stakes via preferred instruments, also known as mezzanine capital. It means they’re owed yearly payouts, similar to a dividend.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, for instance, is injecting $45 billion, but only $18 billion of that is straight equity, the Wall Street Journal reported in May. The preferred units will earn about 7 percent interest annually over the life of the fund, expected to be 12 years.

Source: Bloomberg

Which banks are leading digital (and who are the laggards)? (The Finanser), Rated: A

Banks typically spend 80% of their IT budgets on legacy technology maintenance and a tier one bank could easily spend up to $300m a year on existing software which constantly needs expensive updates in order to meet regulatory requirements.

Why so much? Because most of those systems are written in programming languages that no one knows anymore. Anna Irrera writes on Reuters that 43 percent of US banks’ core systems are written in COBOL.

$3 trillion in daily commerce flows through COBOL systems. The language underpins deposit accounts, check-clearing services, card networks, ATMs, mortgage servicing, loan ledgers and other services.

In another report, Autonomous Research said the banks with the most potential to do better than analysts’ profit expectations because of digitisation were: JPMorgan Chase and SunTrust in the US, Spain’s CaixaBank, Lloyds Banking Group in the UK and KBC in Belgium.

Autonomous ranked the banks based on two criteria: their current level of digitisation and their transformation outlook. It assessed 18 attributes from customer ratings of mobile banking apps to IT expertise on the board of directors. Banks viewed as being behind on digitalisation included HSBC, BNP, Credit Suisse, Intesa Sanpaolo and Standard Chartered; the three biggest Japanese banks: MUFG, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group; and the four big Canadian banks: TD Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia.

Bitcoin’s connection to the real economy (Business Live), Rated: A

Among those leaving the building is Wayniloans (‘an online peer to peer lending platform based on bitcoin technology. Wayniloans INC was founded in 2015 and is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina’).

According to Juan Salviolo, Wayniloans co-founder:

On Wayniloans part of our business is achieved thanks to bitcoin, and in May we agreed to a sentence to reach consensus for the good of the ecosystem. This sentence was later changed to a longer agreement without our notice, and it was known as the New York Agreement (NYA). At the time we didn’t know that existing developers wouldn’t support it, or that most Latin American bitcoin users, our customers, would view it as a contentious proposal.

Which brings us back to Fickling’s point. The connection between Bitcoin and the real economy is sentiment and therefore, ipso facto, prima facie, mutatis mutandis, sentiment is the sole driver of value.

Australia

Australia ranked as the second largest alternative finance market in the Asia Pacific (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Findings from a joint study by KPMG, the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, released today, reveals that Australia’s alternative finance market size grew by 53 per cent from 2015 to 2016 and has now reached US $609.6 million.

According to the Second Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report, Australia has leap-frogged Japan to become the second largest alternative lending market (behind China) across the Asia-Pacific.

Outside of China, Australia now contributes 30.42% of the total market in Asia Pacific and stands well ahead of Japan (US $398.45 million) and South Korea (US $376.31 million) in terms of market size.

CCAF Asia-Pacific Report Shows Dramatic Rise for Alternative Finance in Australia (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

China is the biggest kid on the block when it comes to the emerging alternative finance market in the Asia Pacific region. In fact, China has the largest alternative finance market in the world driven by a fast growing economy, a highly connected population via mobile devices, and a need for access to capital not serviced by traditional state owned banks. But rapid alternative finance growth is not isolated to just China in the Asia Pacific region. Australia experienced growth of 53% from 2015 to 2016, according to the recent research report published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. Australia’s alternative finance market has now reached US $609.6 million.

MoneyPlace CEO Stuart Stoyan echoes Bertoli’s sentiment regarding online lending;

“We have now moved on from being an ‘early stage’ and ‘cottage’ industry to be a legitimate source of funding for Australian borrowers,” he said.

Daniel Foggo, CEO of RateSetter Australia, explained that while trust and confidence in banks continues to erode, peer-to-peer lenders are building a sustainable, technology-led alternative to the bank model, offering better value to Australian investors and borrowers.

Trademarks and fin-tech (Lexology), Rated: A

Technology is an increasingly important aspect of the financial marketplace. With the rapid introduction of platforms such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and new crypto-currencies, it is important for fin-tech users and providers to protect their intellectual property (IP) from infringement and ensure they are not at risk of infringing the IP of another.

Businesses that provide fin-tech services are at risk of infringing the trademarks of other such providers. For instance, one European peer-to-peer facilitator attempted to register a trademark for their brand, only to be challenged by a similarly branded business. This resulted in an expensive negotiation that lasted for almost a year and a half.

India

RBI move on P2P lending companies may affect small players, say experts (The New Indian Express), Rated: AAA

While the recent Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification treating all peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is likely to bring some credibility to the business, experts say it’s a battle half won by the fintech firms.

The RBI proposal, they say, might cripple the operations of small players who won’t be able to comply with some of the new requirements such as keeping net available funds of Rs 2 crore.

APAC

Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Report “Cultivating Growth” Released (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance together with the Australian Centre for Financial Studies at Monash University and Tsinghua University today released their second annual alternative finance report.

Source: Lend Academy

Alternative finance volume totaled $245.28 billion in 2016, up from $103.31 billion in 2015. It’s amazing to see alternative finance continue to grow in the region. Not surprisingly, China is the main driver accounting for 99.2% of the total Asia Pacific market. China represented approximately 85% of the entire global market in 2016.

Other findings from the report include:

  • China continues to see “distinctively low levels” of institutional participation in alternative finance compared to other markets such as the US and UK, with only five per cent of peer-to-peer business lending coming from institutions in 2016.
  • In the Asia Pacific outside of China, about $1.5 billion was raised by businesses through alternative finance channels, up 72 per cent from the previous year, with an estimated 43,000 business entities utilising alternative channels of business finance.
  • In China, 72 per cent of peer-to-peer consumer lending platforms see cyber-attacks as the biggest threat to the industry, while more than 50 per cent across all platforms in China see current and proposed regulatory norms to be adequate.
  • Outside of China, 69 per cent of platforms in Japan see existing regulation as inadequate or too relaxed, while in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia around two thirds of platforms see current regulations as adequate.
Source: Lend Academy
South America

Venezuela Said to Be Late on $ 185 Million Sovereign Bond Payment (Bloomberg), Rated: A

The intermediaries tasked with passing along interest payments for the cash-strapped nation haven’t received the funds for an $185 million coupon that was due Sept. 15, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Investors interviewed by Bloomberg say they haven’t been paid, and brokers say their clients are still waiting on the cash.

The government has a 30-day grace period — now 25 days — to make good on the payment before triggering an event of default on the notes.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday September 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Zopa trailing 12-month net return

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

Zopa trailing 12-month net return

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

Equifax Cyber Incident (Equifax Email), Rated: AAA

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

What happened?

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

What information may be impacted?

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

Additional Information:

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

Where can I learn more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CECL Overview (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

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

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

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

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

Source: PeerIQ, FASB, FDIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: San Francisco Business Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Nanalyze

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

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

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

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

Where do you see current opportunities?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIA in a Box Introduces Trade Monitoring

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

Cryptocurrency IRAs

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

Commonwealth Selects Quovo for Aggregation 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online Lending Platforms

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: AltFi Data
Source: AltFi Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

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

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

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Crowdfund Insider
International

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

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

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

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

Dear friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia/New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India

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

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

APAC

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

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

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

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

Q WHAT IS THE ATTRACTION OF MULTI-ASSET INVESTING?

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

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

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday August 30 2017, Daily News Digest

Prosper

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper performance update for July 2017.Top Mozido executives quietly left company.White House OKs delay of fiduciary rule.Funding Circle kicks off 12M marketing campaign with TV ad.LATTICE80 to open London fintech hub.Klarna profits up 130%+.RateSetter hits 2,000 broker milestone. Today’s main analysis: Millennials prefer auto, personal loans to credit cards. Today’s […]

Prosper

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

South America

Canada

Africa

News Summary

United States

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

Today we are sharing performance data from the Prosper portfolio for July 2017.

Our risk team implemented a credit tightening in July aimed at removing certain populations of borrowers from originations on a go-forward basis. As a result of this credit tightening, the overall distribution of the book shifted slightly towards lower risk loans. This slight shift resulted in an overall portfolio coupon decrease of 45bps and an overall return estimate decrease of 26bps.

Additional highlights from the July Update include:

  • Charge-off levels in 2016H2 vintages continue to show meaningful improvement compared to 2016H1 vintages.
  • Periodic delinquencies moved higher for 2016 and 2017 vintages.
Source: Prosper

The Top Executives Of Former Fintech Unicorn Mozido Have Quietly Left The Company (Forbes), Rated: AAA

The top two executives of Mozido, a financial technology company that raised some $300 million to develop a mobile payments business, have quietly left the company.

On its web site, Mozido currently lists Todd Bradley as its CEO, but Bradley said in a brief interview that he left the company in June. Bradley’s departure appears to have left Mozido without a chief executive officer. Bradley has also left Mozido’s board but the company’s web site still lists Bradley as a director.

Scott Ellyson, Mozido’s chief financial officer who is listed on Mozido’s web site as its second-most senior executive, has also left the company, according to Bradley. Ellyson’s LinkedIn page currently does not mention his time at Mozido. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Three weeks ago, Michael Liberty, the founder of Mozido, was sentenced to four months in prison and a $100,000 fine by a federal judge. Liberty pleaded guilty in November 2016 to making illegal campaign contributions.

Digitalization Among Factors Pushing Millennial Credit Preferences Toward Auto and Personal Loans (NASDAQ), Rated: AAA

As the first generation to be fully immersed in mass-market digitalization, Millennials are slowing their credit card usage while increasingly using other credit products such as personal loans. A just-released TransUnion (NYSE:TRUstudy found that Millennials are carrying on average two fewer bankcards and private label cards than Generation X (“Gen X”) consumers at the same respective ages. Conversely, Millennials’ appetite for new auto and personal loans has grown at a faster rate than Gen X borrowers at the same age points.

Credit Cards Out of Fashion; Cars and Personal Loans in Style

The study found that, in addition to carrying fewer credit cards than Gen X consumers, Millennials also are maintaining lower balances on those cards. TransUnion analysts believe that this is partly driven by the CARD Act of 2009, which limited the marketing of credit cards on college campuses. The increased use of debit cards also plays a role in this shift. The study pointed to recent Federal Reserve data, which found that debit card transactions grew from 8 billion in 2000 to 60 billion in 2015. In contrast, credit card transactions only increased from 16 billion to 34 billion in that same timeframe.

Source: TransUnion

Millennials and Mortgages

Among all major credit products, the mortgage market has been the slowest to recover from the Great Recession, with home ownership rates still below levels observed in 2009. Overall, homeownership is down 0.8% since the Recession, but this number grows to -1.6% for 35-44 year olds and -2.1% for those under 35.

As a result of credit access being limited and, per the U.S. Census Bureau, affordability being affected by income gaps between the two generations, TransUnion’s study found the percentage of Millennials opening mortgages between the ages of 21-34 (5%) is nearly half of the Gen X group (10%) when they were that age. TransUnion observed a smaller but still material gap (13% for Millennials vs. 16% for Gen X) within the Super Prime risk tier, suggesting that this dynamic is not driven solely by credit supply.

TransUnion’s study found that access to mortgages has declined dramatically for 21-34 year olds. In 2000, 39% of mortgage originations in this age range were comprised of non-prime borrowers.  In 2016, non-prime borrower originations declined to 20%.

Further impacting mortgage originations to Millennials are lower income levels. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income of consumers ages 25-34 declined from $60k in 2000 to $57k in 2015.  The impact can be seen in the housing status of these consumers: a larger portion of younger adults ages 25-29 are living with their parents, rising from 15% in 2000 to 25% in 2014.

Despite these challenges, a TransUnion survey of 1,340 consumers in July 2017 found that nearly 75% of Millennials ages 23-37 said they plan on purchasing a home in the future.

White House OKs DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: AAA

The Office of Management & Budget of the White House has approved the Department of Labor’s request to push back the final implementation date of its fiduciary rule — originally scheduled for January — to July 2019, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Banks Send Warning Signs for Economy (WSJ), Rated: A

Being a key transmission mechanism for savings, investment and spending, the banking sector is worth watching as a barometer for the health of the overall economy. Lately it has been acting as one would expect toward the end of an expansion phase.

Most glaringly, after strong lending growth for several years, momentum clearly is slowing. In its quarterly report on the sector, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. found that total loans and leases by banks and other insured institutions rose by just 3.7% from a year earlier at the end of June. That is the third consecutive quarterly deceleration and is down from a 6.7% pace of growth a year ago.

After a period of strong lending, it is also typical for defaults to start ticking up as levels of indebtedness rise and bills come due. This is indeed happening, at least among consumers. Credit-card charge-offs soared by 24.5% in the second quarter, according to the FDIC, marking the seventh straight increase. Charge-offs on loans to commercial and industrial borrowers, however, declined by 9.7%, possibly due to a recovering energy sector.

‘Madden fix’ bills are a recipe for predatory lending (American Banker), Rated: A

Currently pending in both houses of Congress are versions of the Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act of 2017 — bills that would “fix” the 2015 appellate court decision in Madden v. Midland Funding LLC. Unfortunately, these so-called legislative solutions are based on a faulty reading of case law.

The Madden case held that National Bank Act preemption of state usury laws applies only to a national bank, and not to a debt collector assignee of the national bank. The decision has potentially broad implications for all secondary markets in consumer credit in which loan assignments by national banks occur: securitizations, sales of defaulted debt and rent-a-BIN lending.

Unfortunately, the “Madden fix” bills are overly broad and unnecessary and will facilitate predatory lending.

The actual “valid-when-made” doctrine provides that the maker of a note cannot invoke a usury defense based on an unconnected usurious transaction. The basic situation in all of the 19th-century cases establishing the doctrine involves X making a nonusurious note to Y, who then sells the note to Z for a discount. The discounted sale of the note can be seen as a separate and potentially usurious loan from Y to Z, rather than a sale. The valid-when-made doctrine provides that X cannot shelter in Y’s usury defense based on the discounting of the note. Even if the discounting is usurious, it does not affect the validity of X’s obligation on the note. In other words, the validity of the note is a free-standing obligation, not colored by extraneous transactions.

Recovering Non-Performing Loans: Better Options (Lend Academy), Rated: A

A small business lender knows that a certain percentage of loans will become NPLs and typically has parameters the business must stay within to remain profitable. The lender may pursue NPLs on an in-house basis indefinitely past the charge-off date or turn them over to a collections agency at some point. Both options create problems in the fintech business model.

The best recovery option for online small business lenders is to manage NPLs in-house until they become charge-offs, then use the services of a reputable commercial debt buyer. This is how it works.

  • The lender works with the commercial debt buyer on a one-time basis, periodically, or in a forward-flow relationship where NPL information is sent regularly to the buyer.
  • A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is signed and the lender provides information to the buyer on the pool of non-performing assets. This includes the number of accounts and amount of outstanding balances.
  • Buyer assigns a value to the NPLs and offers a price.
  • Lender signs the purchase agreement. Typically, buyers in forward-flow relationships will send payment within 24 hours.
  • Reputable buyers then work to collect the debts over time, without using the lender’s name and in a sensitive manner, and without reselling the debt.

TEN-X PARTNERS WITH MONEY360 TO OFFER FINANCING SERVICES FOR COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION MARKETPLACE (Money360), Rated: A

Ten-X Commercial, the nation’s leading online real estate transaction marketplace, today announced that it has partnered with Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender focused on commercial real estate (CRE), to offer financing for properties available for sale. The partnership will expand the investor pool for commercial properties listed on Ten-X by giving prospective buyers assurance they will be able to procure the necessary financing to fill the deal’s capital stack, while providing sellers and their brokers increased confidence that once terms are agreed upon, buyers will be able source a loan and close the deal.

Under the agreement, Money360 will work with Ten-X to determine which commercial properties listed on the Ten-X platform are appropriate for pre-arranged financing, and will then pre-underwrite bridge and/or permanent loans for qualifying properties. The lender’s offers will be listed on the Ten-X property detail page, informing prospective buyers about the available financing terms. After the property trades, Money360 will work with buyers to underwrite, process and close the loans to facilitate the transaction.

Non-Prime Boomers Struggle Financially, but Less So Than Other Generations (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Despite the widespread perception that Baby Boomers (ages 51-64) are struggling to make ends meet more than any other generation, new research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class has found that Baby Boomers are actually struggling the least. In fact, Baby Boomers are the most likely to have steady employment and run out of money less often, compared to data from previous studies.

“These findings come as a surprise, as they are counter-intuitive to many of the trends we have seen widely covered around Baby Boomers,” said Jonathan Walker, executive director of Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class. “Recently, it was reported by the Federal Reserve that Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce in such large droves that they are skewing employment numbers, but we’ve found that 60 percent of non-prime Boomers have had no employment change in the last 12 months, compared with 59 percent of Gen-X and 43 percent of Millennials.”

But even though they struggle less than other non-prime generations, they are still facing challenges in the new economy, especially when compared to their prime counterparts. Non-prime Boomers are more likely to hold more than one job and are 10 times more likely to run out of money every month.

Additional key findings include that – compared to their prime cohorts – non-prime Boomers are:

  • 2.2x as likely to say that their finances cause them significant stress
  • 4x as likely to live paycheck to paycheck and 1 in 6 use payday loans
  • 14x as likely to express difficulty predicting monthly income and are 2.5x more likely to overdraft on bank account
  • 3x as likely to take a loan against their 401k
  • 46 percent less likely to go on vacation
  • More likely to be living in households with 3 or more working adults

How Gen Z Will Affect The Future Of The Peer To Peer Economy (Forbes), Rated: A

Born in the mid-1990s to late 2000s, Gen Z accounts for one-quarter of the U.S. population. They are considered the most diverse and most multicultural generation the U.S. has ever seen. The highly influential Gen Zers are the first digital native generation. They are already impacting the current peer-to-peer (P2P) economy and will have an enormous effect on how this economy evolves.

Gallup study found that about 8 in 10 students in grades 5 through 12 reported that they wanted to be their own boss rather than work for someone else.

Additionally, a millennial branding studyreported that 72% of high school students and 64% of college students want to start their own business.

PUBLIC COMPANIES MAKING ICO-RELATED CLAIMS (Investor.gov) Rated: A

The SEC may suspend trading in a stock when the SEC is of the opinion that a suspension is required to protect investors and the public interest.  Circumstances that might lead to a trading suspension include:

  • A lack of current, accurate, or adequate information about the company – for example, when a company has not filed any periodic reports for an extended period;
  • Questions about the accuracy of publicly available information, including in company press releases and reports, about the company’s current operational status and financial condition; or
  • Questions about trading in the stock, including trading by insiders, potential market manipulation, and the ability to clear and settle transactions in the stock.

The SEC recently issued several trading suspensions on the common stock of certain issuers who made claims regarding their investments in ICOs or touted coin/token related news.  The companies affected by trading suspensions include First Bitcoin Capital Corp.CIAO GroupStrategic Global, and Sunshine Capital.

RealtyShares Reports: $ 10.3 Million Raised for Industrial Real Estate Deals in San Francisco and Boston MSA (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Online real estate marketplace RealtyShares announced on Tuesday the closing of two industrial real estate financing transactions in San Francisco and Boston MSA. The amount raised between the deals was $10.3 million.

RealtyShares stated it secured  $8.7 million industrial debt loan for a San Francisco located mixed-use, industrial warehouse and office space in the city’s South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood.

Westlake Financial Services Embraces Clarity Services’ Clear Fraud to Enhance Its Auto Lending Nationwide (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Following impressive results using Clear FraudTM to mitigate losses in targeted auto lending transactions, Westlake Financial Services has expanded its relationship with Clarity Services to strengthen its auto portfolio nationwide.

Westlake, which has a network of more than 50,000 new and used auto and motorcycle dealers throughout the United States, began testing Clear FraudTM a year ago in select markets. The California-based finance company has enhanced its profitability by using Clear FraudTM to provide loan terms that are more attractive to both consumers and dealers.

By incorporating Clarity’s credit data, Westlake is able to more accurately price and structure deals with profitable loan terms, and determine down payment requirements. Westlake’s use of Clear FraudTM helps the lender evaluate subprime applicants with credit scores below 600. Clear FraudTM also makes it easy to integrate scores into Westlake’s existing scorecard.

AirFox Closes $ 6.5 Million AirToken Pre-Sale Weeks Ahead of Schedule (News BTC), Rated: A

AirFox, the company making mobile data and the internet more affordable for millions of people, today announced it closed its $6.5 million ICO pre-sale weeks earlier than scheduled. The ICO will open at 10 a.m. ET on September 19, 2017. AirFox will use the ICO funds raised to further develop and launch its new blockchain consumer platform, AirToken (AIR), in order to tokenize mobile access by unlocking mobile capital from the smartphone for the underserved and underbanked prepaid mobile subscribers in emerging markets.

FinTechs Give Banks A Wake-Up Call With Loan Disbursements (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Not too long ago, when small- to mid-sized business (SMB) Orion First, a business credit ratings firm, needed a loan, its only option was to visit a local bank, fill out myriad application forms and wait several weeks or months to (maybe) get approved. Fast forward to today, and the small business lending process has undergone a significant overhaul.

With a growing number of FinTech players competing in the lending space, small businesses now have improved access to a range of loan options — and, in most cases, funds are disbursed in as little as 24 hours.

New services that can expedite the lending process for companies like Orion First are already gaining popularity with SMBs and consumers who need short-term loans. The Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA), a trade organization representing several companies in the space — including prominent players like small business loan provider Kabbage and financial consultant and insights provider PayNet — says its member companies have distributed more than $14 billion in capital loan disbursements to small businesses to date.

The millennial population is estimated at roughly 83 million, and a recent survey found almost half of millennials (49 percent) plan to start their own businesses within the next three years.

recent survey by YouGov found 81 percent of both retail consumers and SMBs who turned to digital lenders said the ease and speed of completing a loan application were the reasons they made the switch. In the same survey, 77 percent of respondents cited the rapid pace of loan decision making as the key appeal for these platforms.

3Q 2017 PitchBook Fintech Analyst Note: Marketplace Lending (PitchBook), Rated: B

Key takeaways & highlights:

  • Online lenders have faced increased competition from other more established fintech companies. Furthermore, banks such as Goldman Sachs have started their own lending arms
  • Publicly traded firms have made great strides in improving financials; the analyst consensus has Lending Club moving into positive GAAP earnings by year end in part driven by securitizations as a lower-cost source of capital
  • SoFi has made strides towards becoming more bank-like after adding mortgage loans, wealth management services and acquiring (and subsequently shuttering) online bank and money transfer service Zenbanx

Online Lenders Gain Traction By Partnering With Incumbents (ValueWalk), Rated: B

As the latest PitchBook fintech analyst note points out, some of the most notable companies are becoming more like banks, with SoFi the most prominent example, as it expands from student loan refinancing into unsecured consumer credit, wealth management and more. Yet as some online lenders establish a foothold, there are still significant hurdles to overcome.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle is kicking off a £12 million marketing bonanza with a Great British Bake Off TV ad (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Online lender Funding Circle is kicking off a £12 million ($15 million) marketing campaign with a prime-time TV advert during the Great British Bake Off.

A 30-second TV spot of a woman drumming will run during the premiere of the smash hit baking show on Channel 4 on Tuesday evening.

Singapore Fintech Hub LATTICE80 Announces UK Expansion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LATTICE80, a fintech hub owned and operated by Singapore-based private investment firm Marvelstone Group, announced on Monday it is set to open a fintech hub in London as part of its global expansion. The organization revealed that as of August 2017, its UK entity has been registered, but a suitable hub space remains to be found. It is currently in talks with relevant parties in the private and public sectors, with plans to secure and open a hub by 2018.

The evolution of the UK receivables market (AltFi), Rated: A

In particular, the UK market has lots of new entrants (now in excess of 100 providers) but the number of clients seems to be static at about 40,000-45,000. In order to remain competitive, lenders are required to compete on price and terms, which increases their risk and often reduces their return.

Customers also have more choice in the market, in that they have access to working capital both from banks and alternative lenders such as peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the non-traditional players in the market that are harnessing technology. The new generation of borrowers is more tech-savvy and more comfortable embracing P2P capabilities, which makes new players more attractive.

The funding pitfalls a small business owner needs to know (RealBusiness), Rated: A

Richard Spielbichler, ABL director North West, Independent Growth Finance

“The main pitfall to consider is whether the business has a USP that will protect their position in the market. Many businesses suffer from ‘me too’ syndrome, where their USP is very similar to an existing organisation.”

Angelika Burawska, COO, Startup Funding Club

“It depends on the type of financing. In the case of loans and various types of trade finance, the main pitfalls lie in payment terms, such as how much and when, late payment fees and what happens if a company fails to pay.

“In the case of equity funding, businesses have to pay attention to the valuation they raise which may be too high or too low; and the control rights they give to investors.”

China

There Is a Major Tech IPO Boom Happening, Just Not in the United States (TheStreet), Rated: AAA

In the first half, a total of 59 Chinese technology, media and telecommunication (TMT) companies sold shares through initial public offerings (IPOs), a surge from 10 a year ago.

In value, the firms raised a combined 25.8 billion yuan (US$3.9 billion) in the first six months, five times the amount a year earlier, said the accounting firm in Shanghai.

The trend is a continuation of a boom that began in the second half of 2016, when there were 58 IPOs of such companies raising a total of 33 billion yuan.

Embracing Auto Finance Wave, Zhushang Financial Raised Tens Million RMB in Series A (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

On 25th August, Zhushang Financial, a P2P lending platform specialize in providing auto financing services, announced the closing of Tens million RMB in series A funding. Toulang Capital led the round, with participation from Cailang Capital. The “Zhushang Financial” brand has been upgraded from the “Zhushang Dai” brand and announced with this round of financing.

Zhushang Financial is based in Chengdu, a developed city in west China, providing P2P auto financing services for small companies and individuals. Currently, it has established branches in many western cities, including Chongqing, Guizhou Province, Kunming, Xi ‘an, Taiyuan and Lanzhou. Also, the company has signed agreements on depository with both Zhejiang Mintai Bank and Hunan Rural Commercial bank (Youxian Branch). Up to now, the total volume of the platform has reached over 500 million RMB.

According to the report of Central Bank, China’s auto financing market reached 700 billion RMB in 2016 and may exceed 1.85 trillion RMB in 2018. Its rapid growth comes not just from the wave of “car service”, but also from the policy support. Actually, according to the policy issued last year, the net loan assets must be small and dispersed, and since then auto finance has become a new hotspot of P2P lending industry.

sources said the SFC on the ICO advice Jianzhao pyramid schemes (Yicai), Rated: A

August 29, the first financial reporter from a block chain technology business executives were informed that the China Securities Regulatory Commission recently to some of the block chain enterprises on the ICO (Initial Coin Offering, virtual currency initial public offering) for advice, the current In the stage of collecting comments and discussions, the SFC expressed particular concern about ICO projects for pyramid schemes in the name of virtual currency.

Net mass transfer will go to the US IPO official response (01Caijing), Rated: B

According to Bloomberg News, Fintech Quantifiers currently selected JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley as US financial adviser to the US IPO, the IPO size of about 200 million US dollars.

European Union

Profits Up More Than 130 percent In Klarna’s Half-Year Report (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Klarna, the online payments firm based in Sweden, and one of the unicorns that came of age with a more than $1-billion valuation, posted results Friday detailing growth for the first half of the year.

The company said that net profit came in at 228 million crowns, or about $28.4 million, up 138 percent year over year, on sales of 2.05 billion crowns.  Sales were up 21 percent.

Klarna Celebrates Year-Over-Year Sales, Profit Gains (Finovate), Rated: A

On Friday the company reported sales and profit results for the first half of 2017 that represented gains of 21% and 138%, respectively. The strong financials come amid a series of headlines that show the Swedish payments company making strides on a number of fronts. This includes rumors that Klarna is partnering with Stripe to better access the U.S. market. Such a partnership would make Klarna the only non-credit card option available on the platform, and enable customers to take advantage of Klarna’s signature “pay after delivery” service. A deal between Klarna and Stripe also would provide what an anonymous source quoted in Nordic Business Insider referred to as “potentially an important piece of the puzzle” of Klarna’s plan for expansion in the U.S.

Swedish Tech Bank Klarna Launches ‘Smoooth’ Brand (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Last year, Klarna launched the “Smoooth” campaign with a series of award winning and critically praised advertisements showing just how smooth payments should be. Now Klarna takes the next step by fully implementing the concept of “Smoooth” across all aspects of the brand. This includes not only a new logo, graphic identity and checkout touch-points but towards a completely new user experience – transforming rational payment transactions into an emotional shopping experience for consumers.

Ice-cream melting on warm car hoods, shampooed long-haired dogs and pencils being pushed into huge jelly pastries. Klarna`s new identity is definitely not your average bank speaking.

“We are on a journey to transform Klarna from a traditional payment provider to a stronger consumer brand. Our new identity is more modern and expresses our focus on the consumer experience, innovation and simplicity in payments. It’s time for a new kind of bank.” Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna

This is not only an update of the visual identity of Klarna but also changing the way consumers interact with the company. The concept of “Smoooth” will be evident when watching an ad or pushing a button to pay in the Klarna app. Every Klarna touchpoint has a new unique graphic and will be smarter and more intuitive. That will ensure a better user experience for consumers, but will also support in driving growth, conversion and consumer loyalty for all  Klarna merchants.

There are three intuitive ways to shop with Klarna:

  • Pay now. – Pay directly at checkout. No credit card numbers or passwords to remember.
  • Pay later. – Try first, pay later. Klarna lets you have 14 days or more to decide if you want to keep your goods or not.
  • Slice it. – Get all your payments on one invoice and choose how much to pay each month.

As of today, Klarna has released all touchpoints that can be updated automatically, and over the coming months will continuously roll out “Smoooth” updates to the touchpoints of all merchants.

PitchIt @ LendIt Europe 2017 (LendIt), Rated: B

Submit your application to PitchIt, a competition for fintech startups, taking place at LendIt Europe–one of the largest international lending and fintech conferences in Europe. This exclusive programme will nurture emerging talent throughout the competition, provide selected finalists with unparalleled access to industry expertise as well as invaluable exposure, branding and more at the event.

Deadline for applications is 4 September 2017.

International

NEW REPORT: Faster Disbursement Services From Alt-Lending Players Put Banks On Notice (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The August edition of the PYMNTS.com Disbursements Tracker™, powered by Ingo Money, highlights several notable developments that explain the waning influence of the paper check, and how new disbursement tools could impact the workplace, pension systems and mobile payment options.

The August edition of the PYMNTS.com Disbursements Tracker™, powered by Ingo Money, highlights several notable developments that explain the waning influence of the paper check, and how new disbursement tools could impact the workplace, pension systems and mobile payment options.

Hike recently added a digital payments wallet to its app, allowing money transfers between customers using the country’s United Payments Interface (UPI) service. Skype is another messaging service helping users quickly send money to one another using popular payment option PayPal. The partnership between Skype and PayPal enables users to send money to fellow Skype users in 22 countries, including the U.S., Canada and more than a dozen nations in Europe, through PayPal in the Skype mobile app.

Australia

Australian SMEs are turning to alternative sources of funding (Finder.com.au), Rated: AAA

Australian businesses are turning to crowdfunding, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and online loans for finance, according to new research from Businessloans.com.au. The Small Business Credit Surveyconducted by ACA Research, found that the most sought-after alternative funding source was equity finance (34%), followed closely by online lenders (30%) and P2P business loans(21%).

However, while small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are embracing alternative sources of capital, not all of them are receiving the loans they hope for. The survey revealed that while 84.1% of businesses were successful in their applications, less than half of those (38.9%) of those were approved for all of the credit they applied for.

It is interesting to note that the number of businesses which were declined a loan is only 1.6% of respondents. The remaining 14.3% of the “unsuccessful applicant” group was approved for less than half of the loan they had asked for. Over one-third of this group (35%) had applied for more than or equal to $250,000.

The survey found that a rejected application seriously affects a business. Respondents that did not receive the full amount applied for delayed or could not expand their businesses (34%), delayed or were not able to fulfil existing orders or contracts (27%) or did not hire new employees (17%).

 

P2P lender reaches 2,000 brokers (Broker News), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has accredited 2,000 brokers on its lending platform, amidst a rise in P2P popularity within the general public.

Lending volumes through the broker channel, especially in auto and home improvement loans, are doubling every six months, according to the lender’s most recent settlement figures.

Across the direct and broker channels, RateSetter has also passed $150m in lending facilitated since 2014. In the last five months alone, lending grew 50% across both channels, passing the $100m milestone in March.

Source:: BrokerNews.com
India

‘Future-ready’ Industrial Policy to be out in October (The Hindu), Rated: A

The other “illustrative outcomes” are developing alternatives to banks and improving access to capital for MSMEs through ‘Peer to Peer Lending’ and ‘Crowd funding’, providing a credit rating mechanism for MSMEs to provide them easier access to funds, addressing the problem of inverted-duty structure and also balancing it against obligations under multilateral or bilateral trade agreements, studying the impact of automation on jobs and employment, ensuring minimal/zero waste from industrial activities and targeting certain sectors to radically cut emissions.

Asia

Dianrong and FinEX Asia Launch Asia’s First Fintech Asset Management Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Dianrong and FinEX Asia today announced the launch of Asia’s first financial technology (fintech) asset management platform. FinEX Asia was established in 2017 to connect Asian investors with US consumer lending assets, such as credit card loans.

FinEX Asia combines its risk management expertise with Dianrong’s advanced fintech capabilities to give Asian investors access to a diverse and attractive portfolio of U.S. consumer lending assets. FinEX Asia’s fintech solutions offer advanced risk modeling capabilities, blockchain data security, performance monitoring, and secondary marketplace liquidity.

Seminar: Regulating Peer-to-Peer Lending to SMEs (Asian Development Bank), Rated: B

Event | 12 September 2017ADBI, Tokyo, Japan

This seminar looks at the regulation of P2P lending in the US, People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the UK, and discusses how regulators can help develop P2P as a safe and effective source of financing for SMEs.

Register here.

South America

Top VC funds in Fintech in Argentina (TechFoliance), Rated: A

Currently, Argentina has four major investment funds that have Fintech companies within their portfolios.

  1. NXTP
  2. Kaszek – Founded in 2011, it recently announced the release of a third fund of $200 million to be used for young technology throughout the region. To date, Kaszek has invested USD 1.4 billion in 43 companies, including Nubank, Brazil’s largest digital bank.
  3. Wayra
  4. Incutex
Canada

RBC WANTS TO USE AI TO GIVE CUSTOMERS FINANCIAL ADVICE (Betakit), Rated: AAA

Canada’s largest bank has announced that its mobile banking app will soon provide users with “actual insights about our client’s financials and a fully automated savings solution that uses predictive technology to identify money in a client’s cash flow that can be automatically saved.”

Dubbed ‘NOMI Insights’ and ‘NOMI Find and Save,’ the services are currently in a pilot release. A full launch is expected later this fall.

IOU Financial Inc. Releases Financial Results for the Three and Six Month Period Ended June 30, 2017 (Newswire), Rated: A

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV: IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses, announced today its results for the three and six month period ended June 30, 2017.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Loan originations for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017 were US$26.2 million versus originations of US$31.8 million for the same period last year. Loan originations decreased by 17.8% due to changes made to the Company’s lending policies in response to increased delinquency levels. We anticipate that these changes will have a positive impact on our loan portfolio over the course of 2017. For the first half of 2017, loan originations amounted to $48.2 million, representing a decrease of 15.7% over the origination of $57.1 million for the same period last year.
  • As of June 30, 2017, IOU’s total loans under management amounted to approximately $65.7 million as compared to $79.6 million in 2016. On June 30, 2017, the principal balance of the loan portfolio amounted to $41.6 million compared to $35.5 million in 2016. The increase is consistent with the Company’s strategy to retain more loans on its balance sheet. The principal balance of IOU’s servicing portfolio (loans being serviced on behalf of third-parties) amounted to approximately $24.1 millioncompared to $44.1 million in 2016.
  • IOU recorded gross revenue during the second quarter of $4.4 millionversus $3.5 million for the same period last year, representing a 24.5% increase. The increase in gross revenues was primarily driven by a 55.3% increase in interest income from $2.4 million in 2016 to $3.7 million in 2017, as a result of an increase in the size of the loan portfolio. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2017, gross revenues improved to $8.7 million compared to $6.8 million for the same period in 2016.
  • Interest expense during the three-month period ended June 30, 2017increased by 44.3% to $1.0 million, up from $0.7 million over the previous year. The increase is attributable to an increase in borrowings under the credit facility partially offset by a reduction in the cost of funds borrowed versus the previous year. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2017, interest expense amounted to $1.9 million compared to $1.3 million in 2016.
  • Provision for loan losses (net of recoveries) increased to $2.4 million for the three-month period ended June 30, 2017, up from $1.2 million for the previous year. The increase is primarily attributable to an increase in defaults by borrowers and partially due to an increase in the size of the loan portfolio. To improve loss performance, IOU Financial has made changes to its lending policies and deployed its next generation proprietary IOU Risk Logic Score. In addition, the Company has implemented certain process changes to improve its servicing and collections which includes an aggressive litigation process against businesses who intentionally default on their loan obligations. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2017, IOU recorded a provision for loan losses of $4.3 million compared to $2.0 million in 2016.
  • Excluding non-recurring costs, operating expenses decreased 18.1% to $2.5 million for the three-month period ended June 30, 2017 as compared to $3.1 million for the previous year. During the quarter ended September 30, 2016, the Company adopted a plan to reduce operating expenses. The Company is on track to achieve its target of quarterly operating costs of $2.0 million to $2.2 million on a normalized basis in the third quarter. In the second quarter, IOU recorded non-recurring costs of $0.5 million related to vendor contract cancellations and impairment of intangible assets. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2017, operating expenses amounted to $4.9 million, excluding non-recurring costs, compared to $6.0 million in 2016.
  • IOU closed its second quarter 2017 with a net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.03per share, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million or $0.02 per share during the same period of 2016. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2017, the net loss amounted to $3.1 million versus $2.8 million in 2016.
  • IOU closed its second quarter 2017 with an adjusted net loss of $1.3 million, which excludes certain non-cash and non-recurring items, compared to an adjusted net loss of $1.1 million in the second quarter of 2016. For the first half of 2017, the adjusted net loss was $1.9 millioncompared to an adjusted net loss of $1.6 million for the same period in 2016. Assuming the cost reduction plan was fully implemented on January 1, 2017, IOU’s pro forma adjusted net loss for the three-month and six-month period ended June 30, 2017 would have been approximately $0.8 million and $1.2 million, respectively.
Africa

Should established banks fight or assimilate to tech? (African Business Magazine), Rated: AAA

The same quandary that now faces established banks stood before landline telecoms operators 15–20 years ago. In terms of fintech, it seems likely that the answer will become clear over the next few years, as different banks adopt different strategies.

Global consultancy Accenture calculates that fintech threatens more than a third of traditional banks’ revenue. Due to the march of technological innovation and the emergence of more attractive investment regimes, the challenge posed by fintech is only likely to grow.

Fintech is not just a threat to established banks but also to other companies in the financial services sector. Visa, for instance, is built on technology developed during a previous financial technology revolution, and should be able to capitalise on the fintech boom.

Other attempts to integrate the two worlds include PayDunya, an online payments system that allows African e-businesses to accept payments from credit and debit cards, as well as mobile money wallets. Similarly, Yoco provides retailers with an integrated card acceptance and point-of-sale solution, incorporating a mobile app, and either wireless or plug-in card reader.

Some established banks have sought to compete by becoming incubators for fintech. Standard Bank and Barclayshave both launched startup support programmes, with the most successful companies taken under their wing at the end of their periods of support.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday July 13 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative lending deal tracker

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi aims for 12 ABS deals in 2017. Funding Circle’s business boomed after Brexit. Dianrong acquires Quark Finance asset-origination operations. Mambu recognized as European growth excellence leader. Santander invests in three fintechs. Today’s main analysis: Europe’s alt finance market hits $9.1B in Q1. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How non-prime millennials struggle. Top 40 payments trailblazers. United […]

alternative lending deal tracker

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

SoFi preps new deal, aims for 12 in 2017 (Global Capital), Rated: AAA

Online lender SoFi is on track to sell its eighth ABS this month and is said to be looking to bring as many as 12 deals through year end across student loan refinancing and consumer loan platforms.

Money Management by Non-Prime Millennials: How They Struggle and Worry More Than Their Peers (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Young people have always struggled with money, but for non-prime Millennials today, managing their personal finances is especially hard, according to the final two studies in a series of Millennial-focused reports by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class.

According to the research, 58 percent of non-prime Millennials – those with credit scores below 700 – find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck and 41 percent run out of money every other month, or more often.

Additional key findings include:

  • 13 percent of non-prime Millennials admit that it is difficult to predict their month-to-month income
  • 13 percent regularly overdraft their savings or checking accounts
  • 64 percent say that they have too much debt right now, twice as likely as prime
  • Only 37 percent of non-prime Millennials express any confidence that they could come up with $1,200 for an emergency expense in a month
  • Non-prime Millennials are 71 percent less likely to turn to credit cards if they needed to come up with $1,200, compared to their prime counterparts
  • Are more likely to experience unexpected car repairs or non-routine medical expenses
  • Are 45 percent less likely than prime Millennials to maintain a monthly budget
  • Are 58 percent less likely than prime Millennials to put aside money for savings

Invesco co-launches robo-advice platform for financial advisers (AltFi), Rated: A

The U.S. platform will provide a digital space for financial advisers to open new accounts.

Investment management giant Invesco is continuing its foray into digital wealth management.

The company is co-launching a U.S.-based platform for financial advisers through its wealth management solution company, Jemsteps. The site is for financial advisors affiliated with Advisor Group, an American network of independent financial advisory firms.

Funding Circle Names New Chief Compliance Officer for US (Corporate Counsel), Rated: A

Funding Circle Ltd. has named Richard Stephenson as its U.S. chief compliance officer. He joins the San Francisco-based small business lending platform after working in financial services for three decades, most recently as the CCO of Silicon Valley Bank.

Stephenson has also held various senior roles with financial institutions and in private practice, including at Bank of America, Union Bank, Washington Mutual Bank and Mechanics Bank.

For a fintech company, particularly one that partakes in lending, Hodges said it has been important to prioritize compliance, given all of the uncertainties in the regulatory space.

Sindeo is back in the mortgage business after acquisition (Inman), Rated: A

“Renren, one of Sindeo’s investors, has acquired Sindeo and all of its assets,” Nick Stamos, one of Sindeo’s co-founders, told Inman in a statement. “We are excited to work closely with the Renren team to execute on our original mission of offering homebuyers a straightforward path to home ownership and refinancing.” He did not disclose the terms or the sum of the acquisition.

Ex-Merrill Lynch FAs with $ 1B in Assets Go Indie (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

A team of Merrill Lynch financial advisors has jumped ship to launch a new independent wealth management practice, according to a press release from Dynasty Financial Partners, with whom the team has partnered.

Celenza, who’s been an advisor for close to 20 years and with Merrill Lynch for six of them, says the decision to go independent was prompted in part by the ability to access “a greatly expanded selection of investment capabilities, lending platforms, sophisticated insurance products, planning resources, capital market solutions, and alternative manager opportunities.”

Treasury quietly looking at revamping CRA (American Banker), Rated: A

The Treasury Department is embarking on an effort to revise the implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act, a law many community groups say is out of step with modern banking practices and that institutions say has devolved into a compliance exercise.

Tucked away in Treasury Department’s regulatory reform report released last month was a nascent effort to reform the way regulators implement the CRA — a law intended to compel banks to offer loans and financial services to low- and moderate-income areas.

Backed by Israeli Bond Funds, Moinian Capital Partners Rides the Nonbank Lending Wave (Commercial Observer), Rated: A

When the Moinian Group tapped Morgan Stanley and UBS alumnus Jonathan Chassin to lead its newly formed real estate lending platform, Moinian Capital Partners, in February, it was a testament to the Joseph Moinian-led firm’s ambitions to become the latest developer to expand its business into the realm of financing.

Thus far, Moinian Capital Partners has sought to focus its energies on “smaller, $50 million to $100 million development deals where we can quote the whole loan,” Chassin said—the sorts of projects that often have greater difficulty securing funds from more established debt lenders.

The operation is also finding success in the market for mezzanine debt, where its flexibility as a nonbank means it can provide “additional terms that other lenders don’t,” Chassin said. “Where banks and traditional mezz funds are doing five-year deals as a rule, we can quote six- or seven-[year terms]. We can do bridge deals because we understand the basis and understand the market.”

Coinsource Launches Five Bitcoin ATMs in Phoenix (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Coinsource, a bitcoin ATM network, announced on Monday it launched five new machines in Phoenix Metropolitan Area, marking its first venture into Arizona. According to the company, the bulk installation caps off a strong first and second quarter, with it installing 50 machines so far this year, now with a portfolio of 116 machines across 10 states. The five new Bitcoin ATMs have been installed in Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa.

CrediFi enables real time streaming of real estate deal and client data directly into Salesforce (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CrediFi Corp., the market intelligence and deal discovery engine for commercial real estate (CRE) finance, has announced the launch of a new solution that seamlessly streams CrediFi data into the Salesforce® CRM platform with the click of a button.

CrediFi simplifies the work of CRE dealmakers by serving as the one-stop-shop for data and analytics on commercial properties and loans as well as CRE owners and lenders. Now, CrediFi enables users to sync its vast repository of CRE data seamlessly and directly into Salesforce.

The launch of CrediFi for Salesforce® follows the April launch of CredifX, an online marketplace for CRE financing, and CrediFi recently secured $13 million for its Series B funding.  Michael Helpern has joined CrediFi’s team as Head of Strategy, and will oversee further innovation of solutions for this market. Mr. Helpern brings with him over a decade of experience in commercial real estate brokerage, at firms including Marcus & Millichap and CBRE.

Thales provides database encryption solution for Beyond Platform’s peer-to-peer lending service (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Thales announces internet-based financial services technology company Beyond Platform has adopted Vormetric Transparent Encryption from Thales to deliver a secure credit evaluation model for its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.

Beyond Platform wanted to implement a data security system that offered a security level required by the major banks in order to comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in South Korea. In addition, the solution needed to pass a security review by NongHyup Bank (an agricultural and retail bank in South Korea)  with whom Beyond Platform was developing a joint P2P lending service. Beyond Platform adopted Vormetric Transparent Encryption from Thales to encrypt structured and unstructured data in an enterprise system. As a result, it met the database encryption requirements and passed the bank security review, opening the floodgate for developing and launching P2P services. In addition, the company has built a reputation among customers as a reliable and safe P2P provider.

Vormetric Transparent Encryption is a kernel-level encryption solution that encrypts all file types including logs and images as well as database data, so there is no need for enterprises to purchase a separate encryption solution for database encryption and unstructured data encryption.

EPHESOFT SECURES $ 15M SERIES A FUNDING FROM MERCATO PARTNERS (Ephesoft), Rated: A

Ephesoft Inc., the developer of document capture and analytics solutions that extract meaning from unstructured content, today announced that it has completed a $15 million Series A financing round. Mercato Partners, a trusted growth capital partner, is the exclusive investor in this round. The investment will be used to accelerate Ephesoft’s product development while expanding operations, market presence and sales channels. Joe Kaiser of Mercato Partners will join the Ephesoft Board of Directors as part of the investment.

Founded in 2010, Ephesoft has developed advanced machine learning solutions that capture, extract and analyze unstructured content. The company has over 500 customers globally ranging from financial services, Federal government, insurance, mortgage and healthcare sectors.

Why Chicago is the best city to launch a fintech company (Crain’s Chicago Business), Rated: A

Chicago was recently ranked among the top five global fintech hubs by Deloitte and the Global FinTech Hubs Federation, thanks in part to FinTEx Chicago’s strong advocacy. Further, fintech and financial services companies even account for 14 percent of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the region, according to Crain’s 2017 Fast 50.

And most important, the financial sector is driving real job growth in the city. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of March, year-over-year employment in Chicago’s financial sector grew 3.6 percent—more than double gains in the next-highest industry. That also trounces growth of 2.2 percent in the financial sector nationally.

AlphaFlow Launches “Tax Implications of Crowdfunding” eBook (Benzinga), Rated: B

To help investors more effectively evaluate real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities and their potential tax implications, AlphaFlow has released its inaugural eBook: “Tax Implications Of Crowdfunding.” This 23-page eBook, written by AlphaFlow and Sundin & Fish, CPA, closely examines the top tax issues investors must consider as they invest across the real estate crowdfunding industry.

  • A few of the topics discussed in this eBook include:
  • Types of crowdfunding platforms
  • Differences between debt and equity deals
  • Federal and state tax issues
  • Pros and cons of using self-directed IRAs
  • Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI)
  • Tax planning and strategies

Ballard Spahr closes San Diego office (Bloomberg Law), Rated: B

Ballard Spahr, which recently lost two partners to Dinsmore & Shohl, said it has closed its office in San Diego, transferring other lawyers from the city to its Los Angeles office. (Legal Intelligencer)

United Kingdom

Funding Circle CEO Says Business Boomed After Brexit (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

ThinCats teams up with Alderburn Finance to fund Scottish marine trainer (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THINCATS has sealed a deal with commercial finance broker Alderburn Finance and Stream Marine Training (SMT) to help the latter step up its cost efficiency and growth plans.

The peer-to-peer lending platform, which channels funds to small- and medium-sized enterprises, will help the Scottish training specialist cut time and overall costs as it plan to boost its consultancy services to the global maritime, oil and gas, renewables and construction sectors.

Edinburgh-based Alderburn Finance acted as a loan sponsor, as it vetted the borrower’s funding application and assisted ThinCats in the origination process.

Navigating a complex market (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Despite being around for many years, direct lending, which also encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, has only recently been recognised as a mainstream asset class.

There are several fundamental things to consider if you are thinking about direct lending as an addition to your investment portfolio.

  • Your objectives: Be clear about your objectives and your appetite for risk. Why are you investing?
  • Timing: Investing in direct lending can be more effective if you keep your money invested for at least 12 months.
  • Diversification: Diversification is also an effective tactic.
  • Loan opportunities: A good rule of thumb is to use the RADAR principle: reason, assets, duration, amount, repayment.
  • Investing for Capital Growth or Income: The concept of compounding applies to direct lending in the same way as other investments.
  • Taking control: Finally, it’s good to stay pro-active.

 

China

Dianrong Acquires Asset-Origination Operations of Quark Finance (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Dianrong today announced the acquisition of Quark Finance’s asset-origination operations, including the new Credit Studio platform. This transaction will significantly expand and strengthen Dianrong’s existing asset-generation capabilities across China.

Quark Finance operates 71 borrower service centers in 47 Chinese cities. These centers provide comprehensive loan underwriting data collection and servicing. Dianrong already operates 28 technology-enabled borrower service centers in 27 cities in China.

Additionally, Quark Finance owns and operates Credit Studio, a platform that provides data analysis through automated and human interactions to achieve mass-production credit evaluations and processing. Credit Studio leverages Dianrong’s technology to minimize manual activities and lower operational risks, expenses and processing time. Marketplace-lending assets generated by Credit Studio are available to Dianrong and Quark Finance lenders.

By combining Quark Finance’s borrower network with Dianrong’s existing local footprint and fintech capabilities, Dianrong is adding significant scale to its overall asset-generation capabilities. The combination also adds new distribution channels for Dianrong’s borrower lending products and services.

Wang Zhengyu: It will take more time to make profit for China Rapid Finance (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, China Rapid Finance held a media briefing on IPO issues and Q1 financial report. Just before the meeting, Wang Zhengyu, the CEO of China Rapid Finance, revealed that the company currently is still in the loss. Although, it doesn’t mean a bad management for the company, it’s just a problem of time to make money.

In Q1 2017, China Rapid Finance’s net loss is $149 million, decresed by 46 percent on the basis of the earlier time. The net revenue is $10.5 million, declined by 20 percent compared with the beginning of the year. In fact, China Rapid Finance has been being losed for two consecutive years, the loss amount in 2016 and 2017 were $33.366 million and $3002.6 million respectively. In 2014, the profit was only $131,000.

European Union

MAMBU RECOGNISED AS EUROPEAN GROWTH EXCELLENCE LEADER (Financial IT), Rated: AAA

Mambu, the SaaS banking engine powering innovative loan and deposit products, today announced that they have been named the European Growth Excellence Leader for Native Cloud SaaS Banking and Lending by research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan’s global team of analysts and consultants research a wide range of markets across multiple sectors and geographies identifying companies that maintain consistently high standards for delivering customer value, which translates into growth above the industry average.  The award recognises the company which excelled in driving growth and is best-in-class in three key areas: meeting customer demand, fostering brand loyalty and carving out a unique, sustainable market niche.

Santander Buys Stakes in Three Startups as Botin Pushes Into Fintech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest lender, bought minority stakes in three financial-technology firms as Chairman Ana Botin makes machine learning a hallmark of her growth plan.

Pixoneye’s algorithms can build a profile of a consumer from photographs stored on his or her smartphone or other device, while Gridspace utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze the sentiments of people on phone calls with customer service representatives.

Europe’s alternative finance market hits $ 9.1 billion in first quarter (Consultancy.uk), Rated: AAA

The alternative finance economy for mid-market players across Europe hit $9.1 billion in closed deals across the first quarter of 2017. Deal activity in the relatively new segment hit more than a 1000 accumulative deals this year, with the UK remaining out ahead in terms of closed deals – at almost 400. Fundraising for buyouts remains the driving force for turning to alternative lending platforms.

In response to demand, marketplace lenders (MPLs) have sprung up – usually as online platforms – which, through a range of new mechanisms, offer an easy means for peer-to-peer lending across a range of segments – with low returns on other forms of assets continuing to entice investors to the market.

Source: Consultancy.uk

In total around 1011 deals were completed in the past 18 quarters across the burgeoning market, with 612 of those in Europe and 399 in the UK – making the UK by far the largest contributor in terms of activity.

In the UK the most deals took place in the technology, media & communications segment, at 19% of all deals, followed by the business, infrastructure & professional services segments, at 18%. Human capital represented 6% of deals in the UK, while financial services firms accounted for 10% of closures.

Source: Consultancy.uk

ECN Reminder to Complete Cross Border Crowdfunding Survey (Crowddfund Insider), Rated: A

The European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) is reminding alternative finance industry types to complete the survey on cross-border crowdfunding and online lending (IE P2P lending, marketplace lending etc.).  The survey deadline is 12 Noon this Friday, July 14th.

The survey focuses only on crowdfunding models that entail a financial return, notably:

  • investment-based crowdfunding (where companies issue equity or debt instruments to crowd-investors through a platform) and
  • lending-based crowdfunding (where companies or individuals seek to obtain funds from the public through platforms in the form of a loan agreement)

Paycock Enters Russian Fintech Market with Its Convenient Mobile Payment Service (MarketWatch), Rated: A

The K-ICT Born2Global Centre, a major Korean government agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), announced that Paycock, one of its member companies, has signed a business MOU with AEB IT, a Russian financial IT corporation. As a result, Paycock will now begin commercializing its mobile payment solution to satisfy the needs of the Russian financial market, which is expected to undergo rapid growth in the near future.

Paycock Check is a mobile payment service that does not require a card-reading device, as the entire payment process is conducted using only a smartphone camera and near field communication (NFC) technology.

Fintech lender strikes partnership with major Italian bank (AltFi), Rated: A

iwoca has announced a strategic partnership with Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo. The fintech lending platform will now sell its credit products into the Italian banking group’s SME client-base.

Intesa Sanpaolo is one of the biggest banking groups in Europe, with a market capitalisation of €42.7bn. The company boasts over 11.1 million customers in Italy alone, but is also active across Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

International

Top 40 Payments Functions Trailblazers (Everest Group), Rated: AAA

Australia

Why a majority of Australians don’t know about peer-to-peer lending (news.com.au), Rated: A

New research by Finder.com.au has found despite the sector growing from one to eight lenders since it launched in Australia in 2012, 65 per cent of consumers don’t know about it and women are less likely than men to understand and use it.

Finder’s research found that only 8 per cent of women would consider using a P2P lender, compared with 20 per cent of men, and three-quarters of women do not know what it is.

Finder’s data shows 63 per cent growth in P2P users in the past six months, while data from some providers shows 195 per cent growth last financial year.

India

Accel-backed Good Methods Global acqui-hires fintech startup Save Your Money (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Save Your Money (SYM), a fintech startup that offers an automated micro-saving platform, has been acqui-hired by health-tech startup Good Methods Global (GMG), a company statement said.

What is LoanAdda doing to make itself profitable in a crowded market? (Your Story), Rated: A

But all this was far from the mind of Anshuman Mishra (39), when he set up LoanAdda in 2015 to make loans available to large sections of people left out from the purview of the informal and formal banking channels.

As someone who was responsible for managing ICICI Bank’s priority sector lending business, he was acutely aware of the limited access to credit for unbanked customers and poor guidance in facilitating loans.

Today, 78 percent of LoanAdda’s customers are first-time loan takers. Moreover, LoanAdda’s technology algorithm follows its own logic while measuring the eligibility of a certain customer to take loans and throws up the best possible product to the consumer.

Currently, LoanAdda has tie-ups with more than 42 banks to provide home, business, personal, gold and collateral loans on its platform. Through a partnership with India Infoline, an NBFC, the company also gives out its own loans.

Anshuman says that 50-60 percent of LoanAdda’s customers are salaried people with a monthly salary of less than Rs 40,000. The average ticket size is Rs 3.39 lakh for unsecured loans and Rs 34 lakh for secured loans. However, 70-75 percent of all loan takers on the platform get loans of less than Rs 30 lakh.

Why Indians Should Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending (BW Disrupt), Rated: B

Online peer-to-peer lending as a prospective investment class offers many unique propositions.

  • Net Returns and Interest Yields

While savings accounts or fixed deposits usually yield interest rates of 6% to 8% on average, Mutual funds on the other hand, offer returns averaging at 9% to 13%, with some funds yielding up to 15% p.a. Compare this to online P2P loans, which can generate average net returns of 18% to 22% p.a for lenders.

  • No Lock-in period, enjoy benefits of compounding interest
  • Risk Mitigation

As with any debt-based investment, there is a risk of default in online P2P lending as well. But since the premise on which P2P lending is based is similar to that of debt instruments, the capital risk is lower, and there are ways to mitigate it. One of these is diversification.

Asia

Singapore and Thailand Central Banks Unite in FinTech Deal (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have entered a FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) to further develop and enhance the existing financial ecosystem in the ASEAN region.

The agreement aims to “develop a richer financial ecosystem” in both countries and South-East Asia, an announcement revealed. As per the agreement, both central banks will also share information on new and emerging market trends in an era of micro-financing and digitization as well as their impact on traditional regulatory practices.

Vertex Ventures invests $ 2m in Turnkey Lender (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Turnkey Lender, a cloud- based loan management system, has raised $2 million venture investment from Vertex Ventures. The venture offers a SaaS solution that employs machine learning and data analysis to understand potential loan applicants, ranging from small scale to large scale loans.

Turnkey Lender has previously received seed funding from SMRK VC Fund. The initial development for the company was done in the Ukraine, where it has its roots. It is currently headquartered in Singapore, where the team believes that can have greater flexibility in approaching the different financial needs of their international clients.

Investment proceeds will be used to engage in expanding business operations across the region, product development and talent acquisition. The company told DEALSTREETASIA that the primary growth markets it if focusing on are Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

Bank Mandiri invests in cashless payment startup (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: A

The venture capital unit of Indonesia’s largest lender by assets, Bank Mandiri, on Wednesday said it is leading a $2 million funding round for local financial technology startup Cashlez, which claims to offer a portable, more user-friendly alternative to electronic data capture machines.

Cashlez’s “mobile point of sales” system runs on a slim card-reader device operated with a smartphone application.

Canada

John D. Orr, Senior Banker and Investor, Joins FutureVault as Chief Executive Officer and a Significant Investor (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FutureVault, a personal and business information management company, has named banking executive, lawyer, entrepreneur and investment professional John D. Orr as Chief Executive Officer. In addition to joining the management team, Mr. Orr has made a significant personal investment in the Company for a material ownership position.

Launched commercially in North America in late 2016 after two years of development, FutureVault has created an advanced cloud-based information management platform with patents pending. In an increasingly digital world, characterized by volume, complexity and risk, FutureVault’s secure platform provides both individuals and businesses with the tools and intelligence to select, retain and optimize all their information. The platform represents a new category: an intelligent, secure, encrypted, auditable repository for all the information in one’s life or business. FutureVault’s product suite and feature set accommodate a broad range of customer information management needs, from a relatively straightforward individual’s requirements to those of a multi-jurisdictional business or a large family office.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday June 15 2017, Daily News Digest

big bank loan approvals

News Comments Today’s main news: Patch of Land expands debt facility to $30M. Over 3,500 firms give up permission to advise on P2P agreements. Tencent leads $146M in startup called Futu. Old technology costs Australian advice industry. Today’s main analysis: May 2017 loan approval rates drop at banks, alt lenders. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Why banks are going to survive […]

big bank loan approvals

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Canada

News Summary

United States

Patch of Land Expands Debt Facility With SF Capital to $ 30 Million (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

Patch of Land, an online real estate lending marketplace using a technology-rich crowdfunding platform, has expanded its senior warehouse debt facility with SF Capital from $10 million to $30 million. SF Capital, a private investment firm with a flexible, long-term investment focus, began its lending relationship with Patch of Land in 2015.

The expanded debt facility provides Patch of Land greater flexibility in funding loans to support the company’s growing mortgage loan origination volume. It also complements the company’s robust crowdfunding network and enables Patch of Land to expand its pre-funding efforts to continue to meet the unique lending needs of real estate investors. The move is part of company initiatives designed to improve the borrowing experience for real estate entrepreneurs and, at the same time, expand access to residential and commercial real estate investing.

Loan Approval Rates Drop at Banks and Alternative Lenders in May 2017 (Biz2Credit), Rated: AAA

Loan approval rates at big banks ($10 billion-plus in assets), small banks, alternative lenders and credit unions dipped slightly in May 2017, according to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Biz2Credit.com.

Small business loan approval rates at big banks fell two-tenths of a percent from April’s 24.3% figure, a post-recession high, to 24.1% in May 2017. The drop comes after approval rates at big banks climbed for most of the year.

Loan approval rates at small banks also dropped in May to 48.8%, down from April’s 49% figure. Small banks have flirted with the 50% mark, but have not reached it since October 2014.

Institutional lenders loan approval rates in May improved slightly to 63.8%, another new high on Biz2Credit’s index. It marked the fifth time in the past six months that this category of lenders showed an increase in funding approval percentages.

Loan approval rates dropped at alternative lenders by two-tenths of a percent in May, as non-bank lenders granted 57.7% of the funding requests. This marks nearly one year of consecutive decreases for this category of lenders.

Loan approval rates at credit unions dropped one-tenth of a percent in May to 40.5%, another new low for this category of funders on Biz2Credit’s index.

Why Banks Are Going To Survive (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In 2016 alone, global venture investment in fintech grew by 11% to $17.4 billion in 2016, according to data provided by PitchBook.

Platformification is the bundling together of multiple services onto one online platform, and provides an efficient, automated and integrated customer experience.

Why does platformification matter now?

However, 59% of banks (according to an Accenture study) are creating full-stack platforms.

Banks must effectively bundle multiple online products together and monitor how customers interact with those products to deliver a differentiated and compelling customer experience, ultimately affecting their bottom line. According to Gartner, we are just at the beginning of this trend, as it predicts that by the end of 2019, 25% of retail banks will use startup providers to replace legacy online and mobile banking systems.

LendKey is leading the movement

LendKey pioneered the “lending as a service” model back in 2009 and already works with nearly 300 banks and credit unions nationwide to create custom, white-labeled online lending platforms.

Among the hundreds of credit unions and banks using LendKey’s tailor-made platformification service are Navy Federal, WSFS Bank and McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union. When a student decides to take out a loan on Navy Federal’s website, the customer experiences platformification without knowing it in the form of a lending portal from LendKey, an ID portal from IDology and a signing portal from DocuSign, yet all three are delivered via a seamless process.

How the industry applied platformification

Aside from LendKey, Wells Fargo has distinguished itself in the industry as being particularly open to platformification.

Now, through platformification and customer demand, SigFig allows Wells Fargo customers to build, implement and rebalance tailored portfolios online, based on responses to investing questionnaires.

Because of platformification, banking has essentially been reinvented. Banks and financial service providers are no longer constrained by slow and inconvenient systems.

Avant, for instance, successfully launched their first bank partnership in September 2016 with Birmingham-based Regions Bank, a top 20 bank with over $136 billion in assets under management.

Online lenders haven’t been verifying income and employment on their loans(Business Insider), Rated: A

Prosper Marketplace and Lending Club, two of the largest players in the online personal loan business, don’t always verify key borrower information like income and employment, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Matt Scully.

Prosper told Bloomberg that it verifies identities and bank accounts for all of its loans, and that it has “developed some of the industry’s leading risk-mitigation controls.”

A Lending Club representative told Bloomberg that the company uses “machine learning and other techniques to build robust models that segment which borrower applications need verification and which do not.”

As Much as They Try, Non-Prime Millennials Struggle to Make Financial Progress (BusinessWire), Rated: A

According to the research, 44 percent of non-prime Millennials conducted personal research about how to manage their own finances, compared with 47 percent of prime Millennials. Despite these nearly equal efforts, non-prime Millennials – those with credit scores below 700 – are twice as likely to experience significant stress due to their finances and are about half as likely to feel satisfied with their financial situations.

The root of these challenges may come from how non-prime Millennials were taught about personal finance early in their lives. The study also found that non-prime Millennials:

  • Didn’t benefit as widely as their prime counterparts from seeing how their parents managed their finances, with only 49 percent stating they learned from their parents’ example, as opposed to 61 percent for primes
  • Were less likely to be actively taught financial management skills from their parents, with 1 in 5 receiving this parental education, compared to one in three of their prime counterparts who received instruction at home
  • Are more likely to learn financial skills via trial and error (72 percent, compared with 41 percent of prime), which may explain how some Millennials became non-prime – learning by trial and error means non-prime Millennials likely made more mistakes that damaged their credit, as opposed to prime Millennials who may have avoided those mistakes altogether

New Lending Club ABS deal structure a draw for investors (Global Capital), Rated: A

All loans securitized in the transaction are whole loans purchased through a pro-rata allocation of the ‘near-prime’ loans originated on the platform by seven third parties unaffiliated with Lending Club, according to a Kroll presale report.

ABS investors told&nbsp;<i>GlobalCapital </i>they were receptive to the online platform’s decision to do ….

LendingTree unveils its own Zestimate-style home valuation tool (Housingwire), Rated: A

The new valuation tool is from LendingTree, which announced Wednesday that it is rolling out a new home valuation feature within its financial intelligence platform, My LendingTree.

According to details from the company, any of My LendingTree’s 5 million current users (or anyone else who signs up for the service) will now have the ability to get a valuation of their home within LendingTree’s system.

The company says that its home valuation tool “leverages a proprietary home valuation model that estimates home value by accessing third party data and tracking it to visualize the user’s home value data trends over time.”

According to details from the company, My LendingTree users that have a mortgage have an average home value of $310,000 and an average mortgage balance of roughly $178,000, which translates into roughly $132,000 of “untapped home equity” on average.

And the company wants to help its users “tap into” that home equity.

As seen in the image below, users are then shown the total equity they have in their home and encouraged to get a home equity loan, if they are interested.

According to LendingTree, the company “has facilitated more than 65 million loan requests” since its inception, and the company’s network currently includes more than 500 lenders offering home loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, business loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans and more.”

IBM intros first suite of tools from Watson Financial Services (ZDNet), Rated: A

IBM has since leveraged the industry expertise of Promontory’s workforce — made up of ex-regulators and banking executives — to teach Watson all about regulation, risk, and compliance. The first batch cognitive tools covers three areas: Regulatory requirements, financial crime insights, and financial risk modeling. The Watson-powered software is available today via the IBM Cloud.

How a Betterment GM made her way out of banking and into startupland (Built in NYC), Rated: A

Loh was hired to launch Betterment for Business just over a year ago, and now, Betterment for Business’s management team is completely women-run. They work with over 400 companies and are growing at a fast clip.

What made you decide to make a career switch into fintech?

I spent a decade in asset management and I was considering a couple of different factors. I took a hard look at the trends going on in the industry and saw how technology was affecting finance. Then, I looked at my own experience to make sure I had utility for the next 30 years of my working career. That’s when I made the move into the tech sector.

What advice would you give to people thinking of making the switch from traditional financial services into tech?

For me, it was all about looking at the financial services industry. I would recommend reading Reid Hoffman’s ‘The Start-up of You,’ which asks you to look at your life like a startup. It makes you question things like what skills you need to acquire and where do you need to raise capital. Something I always hear from candidates is that they’re not ready to take that risk. My advice to make sure you’re thinking of risk in the right way. Staying at a big bank in the short term is secure, but in the long term, will you have a skill set that anyone wants to hire?

5 Tips for Real Estate Crowdfunding (U.S. News), Rated: A

To invest in real estate, you can do it the old-fashioned way, buying a property with a loan or cash, then collecting rent or fixing it up to sell. Or you could invest in a real estate investment trust, a kind of fund that buys residential, commercial or industrial properties.

Or you could do it the 21st century way, with a real estate crowdfunding company, which pools investors’ funds to make loans to home flippers or to buy residential and commercial properties. Interest and rent earned on those deals is passed back to those who supplied the money.

Most platforms have been limited to “accredited investors” – people with at least $1 million in liquid assets or annual income of at least $200,000. But rules are changing fast, so stay tuned if you don’t qualify now. Realty Mogul and Fundrise allow non-accredited investors.

One of the industry’s big names, RealtyShares, currently offers a number of opportunities with handsome projected returns if all goes as planned, such as 9.5 percent on a Church’s Chicken restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama, 11 percent on a single-family home in Jacksonville, Florida, and 14 percent on a home being built in Los Altos Hills, California.

  1. Know the rules. Most experts urge investors to consider real estate crowdfunding to be a long-term investment, since real estate holdings and debt are not as liquid as stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Equity real estate investments are considered long-term holdings, while debt investments may produce returns more quickly, but pay less in the long run.
  2. Watch for risk.
  3. Don’t overdo it. This is a new industry and sure to experience growing pains, so don’t bet the farm.
  4. Don’t get greedy. As with other investments, higher returns generally come with greater risks. The real estate market could sour, rising interest rates could undermine property values, the borrower may turn out to be less competent than your site thought, especially if the project involves a fix and flip.
  5. Know your partners. Obviously, it’s important to research the platforms you use, but also dig for information on the other investors.

Cetera Financial Institutions introduces insurance-focused portal for bank and credit union-based financial advisors and clients (CUInsight), Rated: A

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”)*, a network of independent firms supporting the delivery of professional financial advice through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions, and Cetera Financial Institutions (“CFI”) today announced the launch of a new portal designed for CFI-affiliated advisors and clients to streamline and simplify the process of identifying and purchasing insurance solutions. Cetera Financial Institutions is the Cetera firm specifically focused on serving the wealth management programs of banks and credit unions.

The portal was developed in coordination with Covr Financial Technologies, an innovative technology firm that provides consumers with access, education and the ability to purchase insurance policies in conjunction with financial advisors.

CFI’s new insurance portal is designed to increase application processing speed and improve case management efficiency for advisors, among other functions.  It also creates a more simplified and straightforward experience for both advisors and clients in identifying and purchasing life, long-term care, disability and other forms of insurance. The CFI-branded portal functions as an integrated offering within Cetera’s existing SmartWorks® advisor workstation, and has been custom-built to serve the needs of the full Cetera Financial Institutions insurance team — from sales to operations to case management. Cetera anticipates incorporating the insurance portal into its MoneyGuidePro® financial planning solution within the next month.

Schwab Sees FAs Adding Services Without Upping Fees (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

Moreover, 79% of advisors believe there will be more opportunities than challenges in the next 10 years, the survey found.

But 44% of advisors say they’re providing additional services to their clients without charging them, while 40% say they’ve been spending more time on each client but haven’t raised their fees, according to Schwab.

In addition, 24% of advisors believe that investing in technology to build scale isn’t offsetting the expense, the survey found. Nonetheless, most advisors are still confident technology will help them: 76% think technological advances will let their companies stay ahead of the competition, according to Schwab.

Treasury Report Seeks to Deliver Regulatory Relief to Banks & Credit Unions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Treasury’s recommendations relating to the reform of the banking sector regulatory framework may be summarized as follows:

  • Improving regulatory efficiency and effectiveness by critically evaluating mandates and regulatory fragmentation, overlap, and duplication across regulatory agencies;
  • Aligning the financial system to help support the U.S. economy;
  • Reducing regulatory burden by decreasing unnecessary complexity;
  • Tailoring the regulatory approach based on size and complexity of regulated firms and requiring greater regulatory cooperation and coordination among financial regulators; and
  • Aligning regulations to support market liquidity, investment, and lending in the U.S. economy.

Global Debt Registry Announces Expansion in New York and Leadership Hire (Global Debt Registry), Rated: B

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan validation expertise, today announced it is moving its headquarters to New York City as part of its overarching strategic growth initiative to be closer to the investor community. The Company also announced the addition of structured finance veteran, Michael Koenitzer, as Director of Business Development.

InstaLend: Online Real Estate Investing Made Simple (Real Estate Tech News), Rated: B

For as little as $5,000, InstaLend connects accredited investors to borrowers seeking to fund short-term residential real estate investments.

Qualified borrowers, such as property flippers use InstaLend to apply for flexible loan products including hybrid loans and Sub-630 FICO lending programs. All deals go through a vetting process when InstaLend underwrites the loan.

United States P2P Lending Market 2017 : Lending Club, Borrower, P2P Credit, Prosper, Funding Circle (OpenPR), Rated: B

The report studies the industry for P2P Lending across the globe taking the existing industry chain, the import and export statistics in P2P Lending market & dynamics of demand and supply of P2P Lending into consideration. The ‘ P2P Lending ‘ research study covers each and every aspect of the P2P Lending market United Statesly, which starts from the definition of the P2P Lending industry and develops towards P2P Lending market segmentations. Further, every segment of the P2P Lending market is classified and analysed on the basis of product types, application, and the end-use industries of the P2P Lending market. The geographical segmentation of the P2P Lending industry has also been covered at length in this report.

Top Manufacturers Analysis Of This Research Report

1. Lending Club
2. Borrower
3. P2P Credit
4. Prosper
5. Funding Circle
6. Upstart
7. Kiva
8. Zopa
9. Lendkey
10. LendingHome

Get Free Sample Copy of Report Here : www.marketsnresearch.com/request-for-sample.html?repid=11043

United Kingdom

Over 3,500 firms give up permission to advise on P2P agreements (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

A total of 3,555 firms have voluntarily given up the permission to advise on peer-to-peer agreements by cancellation or variation of permissions since April 2016.

The FCA informed B&C that around 15,000 firms were originally authorised to advise on peer-to-peer agreements.

Firms that have cancelled their permission for advising on peer-to-peer agreements include two distinct groups:

•    Those which were formerly authorised to carry out the activity, but then ceased to be regulated entities by cancelling their permissions
•    Firms which were formerly authorised to advise on peer-to-peer agreements, but removed the activity by varying their permissions while remaining to be authorised by the FCA for other activities.

Stephen felt there were a couple of key reasons why advisers may be slower to advise on the peer-to-peer space:

  • It’s a growing and complex industry with lots of operating models and different lending opportunities and risks
  • It’s not clear that existing professional indemnity insurance would cover advising on peer-to-peer lending, so this needs to be clarified ahead of an adviser undertaking these activities.

Peer-to-peer lender Relendex raises money at £6m valuation (AltFi), Rated: A

Relendex, a P2P lender focused on commercial real estate loans, has concurrently closed a rights issue and a round of financing from new investors.

The exact amount that has been raised has not been disclosed. But we do learn that this latest investment gives the company a post-money valuation of £6m, on a fully diluted basis.

Relendex intends to use the money to invest in new technology and services.

Why crowd-based capitalism has changed the economy (City A.M.), Rated: A

Unlike 19th and early 20th century evolutions, today’s technological shifts are steering us away from managerial capitalism and towards what many see as a more crowd-based iteration, Sundararajan said. Traditional hierarchical organisations and large, well-staffed companies that create goods and services are in decline. An alternative model is ascendant, one in which products are distributed not by a firm, but by a heterogeneous crowd. This economic structure blurs the lines between the personal and professional and between casual labour and full-time work.

Take Funding Circle, for example. Funding Circle provides small business loans through crowdfunded capital. Often as many as 200 people fund one loan, with some parties offering as little as £20 in exchange for a return.

Based on his research into these questions, Sundararajan believes “when we understand the evolution of trust we understand the evolution of business.” Rather than conventional handshakes and signatures, Sundararajan says that today trust develops from ‘digital cues’ — online information about individuals and organisations that we process and interpret to determine with whom to associate. Sundararajan identifies several digital cues that help us gather enough online information to inform our decisions on who to trust. These include government, third-party, or brand certification; reviews of Facebook and LinkedIn profiles; and digital peer feedback through sites like Yelp, among others.

FCA says banks won’t fill advice gap (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Banks are not a panacea to the problems facing the financial advice market, David Geale has said.

The report also recommended a number of measures for the Financial Conduct Authority to take forward, aimed at giving firms the confidence to deliver streamlined advisory services focusing on specific consumer needs.

The review also highlighted the increasing role that technology can play in creating a more engaging, cost-effective advice market.

Mr Geale added that later this month the FCA would be publishing it’s baseline measures for judging whether the Financial Advice Market Review process had been a success over the next few years.

Insurex Announces Crowdsale for Blockchain-based Marketplace for Insurance Products (The Merkle), Rated: A

Insurance blockchain startup InsureX has announced that it will open its crowd sale on 11 July at 14:00 UTC. InsureX is building the first blockchain-based marketplace to be used for the trade and management of insurance products.

‘Blockchain technology presents an exciting opportunity to disrupt the industry. Preliminary estimates are that gross written premiums generated by insurers contribute11 July at 14:00 UTC. Contributors in ETH will be eligible for IXT tokens with bonuses of up to 36% for early birds.

InsureX will operate as a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

China

Tencent Leads $ 146M Round In Chinese Online Brokerage Firm Futu (China Money Network), Rated: AAA

Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has led a US$145.5 million C round financing in Futu Securities, an online brokerage platform serving Chinese investors trading U.S. and Hong Kong-listed stocks.

If Li’s statement is correct, Futu Securities would become the latest addition to China Money Network’s China Unicorn Ranking, which includes 102 such companies worth a total of US$435 billion when the ranking was released in May 2017. Futu Securities would also become the first Hong Kong company to officially join the unicorn club.

Established in 2012, Futu provides an online stock trading platform enabling Chinese individual investors to trade U.S. and Hong Kong-listed stocks. Since its founding, the company has cumulatively served over 3.4 million customers who have completed over RMB500 billion (US$73 billion) worth of transactions. Annual transaction value reaching nearly RMB300 billion (US$44 billion) in 2016 alone.

How Chinese P2P lending institutional investors measure a platform (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: AAA

In China, P2P lending institutional investors usually conduct due diligence before they invest a platform. The following short report is a due diligence report of Caifuzhihui Inc. wrote by Xeenho, which briefly illustrates the procedures of the measuring method.

Basic Information
Caifuzhihui.cn is a P2P lending platform based in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. The company mainly operates for car pledge, truck and real estate mortgages. Xeenho rated “BBBB” for Caifuzhihui.cn. The information of the platform is open and transparent, ready to accept due diligence from investors. The online interest rates of their loans are in high level, but there are relatively too much remaining funds in the platform.

Here are the points of Xeenho’s rating report on Caifuzhihui.cn.

Operations
Regional resource advantages and fewer counterparts in the area.
New business of truck mortgage is logic and reasonable, good security in use of funds an source of repayment.
Lack of local professional talents.

Risk Control
Transparent and open, ready for assault investigation.
Owing to policy support, getting better assets at lower cost.
Lack of strict verification to the mortgage of some pledged cars.

Financial Capacity
The platform has been profitable, while their qualification inspecting of partners needs to be improved, the investors cannot accurately judge the strength of them.

Interest rates
High level of interest rates in the industry and shorter-maturity give the platform certain investment value. However, there are too much remaining funds in the platform, investors should take into full account the idle loss.

Click here to get the full report.

China’s P2P lenders dodge regulations (China Economic Review), Rated: A

Following years of explosive yet unchecked growth of P2P lending in China, the central government in August announced sweeping regulations to rope in the nascent sector.  But Caixin reporters found that while some P2P lenders have been trying to follow the new requirements, others have managed to skirt the new rules.

In 2016, a total 2 trillion yuan in loans were made through P2P lending firms.

Here is the Presentation that Explains How Ant Financial, Part of Alibaba, Will Dominate Finance (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

One area that Alibaba wants to dominate is finance for both consumers and SMEs and they are well on their way.  Ant Financial, their financial services subsidiary, is executing on this vision and last week Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, delivered a presentation explaining their approach.

Jing shared some hard numbers:

  • Alipay, their payment platform, has 520 million annual active users
  • Wealth management, Ant Fortune, has 330 million cumulative users with 17% year over year growth
  • Ant Credit Pay and Ant Cash Now have 100 million active users
  • Ant Insurance has 392 million users and is growing premiums at 43% year over year
  • Zhima Credit has 257 users and 95% year over year growth

PayPal only has 203 million active accounts. Charles Schwab has just 10.2 million accounts.

As for future growth, Ant Financial points to the fact that 30% of the adult worldwide population is underbanked, 80% of the worlds SMEs have no access to formal financial systems and 90% of the adult population in developing countries do not have a credit card.

View Jing’s full presentation here.

European Union

Where Top European Banks Are Investing In Fintech In One Graphic (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

In Q1’17, investments to European VC-backed fintech companies spiked to 73 investments worth $667M. At the current pace, total funding dollars to fintech companies based in Europe are on pace to surpass $2.6B and deals could surpass 2016’s total by 57%.

International

The U. of Cambridge Launches 2016-17 European, Africa & Middle East Alternative Finance Industry Surveys (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School has launched its third European benchmarking survey and the second survey for Africa and the Middle East. The two separate research initiatives will review the emerging alternative finance markets in each of theses regions.

The CCAF defines alternative finance as innovative financial instruments and distributive channels that have emerged outside of the traditional financial system. This includes crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending activities.

The forthcoming surveys on Europe and Africa & the Middle East build upon their multi-year research agenda to provide the best available source of industry data on a country-by-country basis.

The survey data will be collected directly from over 350 alternative finance platforms across 90+ countries in Europe and Africa & the Middle East with the aim to capture over 90% of visible online alternative finance market.

The results of the survey will be made freely available for all in the two industry reports and are expected to be published in the third quarter of 2017.

Misys boss to lead fintech giant after merger with DH (The Telegraph), Rated: B

The boss of banking software firm Misys is to take the helm of a new £1.7bn company called Finastra that has been formed from the British company’s merger with Canadian rival DH Corp.

Nadeem Syed has been named chief executive of the giant fintech business, which is owned by Vista Equity Partners and is the world’s third biggest financial software provider behind competitors FIS and Fiserv.

Australia

Old technology costing advice industry (Financial Standard), Rated: AAA

The majority financial advice firms are still choosing to rely on Microsoft Excel as their primary source of administrative software despite a range of financial software products coming to market, YTML said.

According to the financial technology provider’s anecdotal evidence, eight out of 10 practices are still using Microsoft Excel as a dependency in the advice process.

YTML co-founder and chief operating officer Piew Yap said this software gap is preventing advisers from taking advantage of the time and cost saving measures which updated and tailored technology solutions can provide.

One of the main barriers to taking up new technology, according to YTML director Terri Ho, is the reality that many software providers prefer to operate in silos – or “don’t talk to each other”. According to Ho, advisers are operating a number of different technology platforms to service client needs but are still having to manually enter details across all.

India

Lending API-fied : Start of P2P Lending Revolution (Finextra), Rated: A

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has revolutionised Indian Payment Industry and has removed friction. Newer payments platforms like IMPS, UPI, BBPS etc have solved payment and collection problems of all customer segments. NPCI has change the market by standardising and securing APIs across banks. UPI is classical API use case, which is simplifying mobile payments for P2P as well as Merchant Payments.

On the lines of payments, there is urgent need to revolutionize Lending in the country through technology intervention by an organisation similar to  NPCI. I am calling the entity as National Lending Corporation of India (NLCI) for now.

High level flow of Lending Process (and the APIs) is given below:

  • Loan Request API (sent by Retail Borrower): Standard API for request for loans from a specific person (like VPA of the lender in UPI parlance) or for generic listing of loan requests. This would include the amount of loan, expected duration (range), type of loan (EMI based).
  • Data enrichment of Loan Request API (by NLCI) : Aggregation of critical customer credit data from CIBIL and key alternate sources for sharing with lender.
  • Loan Inquiry API (Retail or Institutional Lender): This entity would be able to run inquiry for a loan based on key inputs like expected Credit Score, Amount, Type of Customer etc. Incase, the loan request is sent specifically in their name (i.e. VPA), the loan request would be available in their queue for acceptance or rejection (similar to UPI collect request).
  • Loan Confirmation API (Retail or Institutional Lender): Lender would be able to approve the loan or reject the loan.
  • Loan accounts would be maintained to NLCI platform for accounting and processing.
Canada

BlueRock Wealth Management Partners with FutureVault (Benzinga), Rated: A

BlueRock Wealth Management Inc., a wealth management firm that provides personalized financial advice and services, has announced that it is offering FutureVault’s Digital Collaborative Vault – called the BlueRock Vault – as an exclusive service to its executive and high-net-worth clients.

The new service will allow BlueRock clients to securely deposit, store and manage important financial, legal and personal documents. FutureVault’s patent-pending Trusted Advisors feature will enhance the sharing and fiduciary tracking of vital documents between BlueRock clients and staff in addition to a client’s external network of Trusted Advisors (i.e. lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers, etc.) providing complete transparency and new levels of trust.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor