Thursday November 21 2019, Weekly News Digest

LexinFintech Vintage Curve

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi helps Pro.com make home improvement loans. BlueVine raises $102.5M. OCC, FDIC propose Madden fixes. Zopa gets banking license. Twino CEO stands down, platform hits 1B euro in loans issued. Today’s main analysis: LexinFintech lending business analysis (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Fed rate inversion. 10 cities that cost money […]

The post Thursday November 21 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

LexinFintech Vintage Curve

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Pro.Com Partners with SoFi to Make Home Improvements Even Easier (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Pro.com, the premier digital platform focused exclusively on building custom homes and major remodels from start to finish, announced a new partnership Tuesday with online personal finance company SoFi, aimed at revolutionizing how homeowners finance and complete their remodels, renovations and upgrades.

BlueVine raises $ 102.5M more for banking services that target small businesses (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

The startup, which offers financing and other banking services to SMBs, today is announcing that it has raised $102.5 million, a Series F round of equity funding that is coming from a mix of financial and notable strategic investors.

Led by ION Crossover Partners, the round also includes existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83North, SVB Capital, Nationwide (a major financial services player in the UK), Citi Ventures, Microsoft’s venture fund M12, and private investors; as well as new investors MUFG Innovation Partners Co., Ltd, O.G. Tech (the VC connected to Israeli billionaire and property magnate Eyal Ofer), Vintage Investment Partners, ION Group, Maor Investments and additional private investors.

FT Partners Advises BlueVine on its $ 102,500,000 Series F Financing (FT Partners), Rated: B

FT Partners served as exclusive financial advisor to BlueVine and its board of directors on its $102.5 million Series F financing

The OCC and FDIC Both Propose a Madden Fix (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

There is finally some real light at the end of the tunnel. In the last two days we have heard from both the OCC and the FDIC on the Madden issue, something they called unfathomable in a joint amicus brief in Colorado a couple of months ago. They have each given notice of their proposal that would clarify the “valid when made” doctrine once and for all.

At the core of the issue is the ambiguity created by the Madden decision. A loan can be valid when it is made but if it is sold or transferred can suddenly become invalid in the Second Circuit states of NY, CT and VT. This has led to reduced consumer lending to these states and also concern that, given no regulatory clarity, this could expand to other states.

Here are links to the OCC and FDIC proposals. There will be a 60-day comment period where interested parties can weigh in.

Big Tech Race to Own Digital Wallet; GS Robo-advisor on Launchpad (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Refinance demand increased by 13% from the previous week and was 188% higher than a year ago, when rates were 114 basis points higher.

First-time inversion driven by the long-end…

Source: PeerIQ, Blackstone, St. Louis Federal Reserve

In regulatory news, lawmakers are taking aim at payday loan rates. Congress members plan to introduce federal legislation that would cap interest rates at 36%.

The next move for Facebook would be to offer lending products most likely indirectly (e.g., via POS partnerships or via co-brand products such as Amazon Chase Visa, etc.).

Insurance startup Vouch tacks on growth funding to serve startups (Pitchbook), Rated: A

Just two months ago, the ink was barely dry on a more than $24 million Series A that Sam Hodges raised for his startup Vouch Insurance. Now he is back with an even larger funding, led by Y Combinator‘s Continuity Fund, as the company seeks to join a crop of startups that cater to the needs of other startups.

Fireblocks Is Now Securing The Biggest Crypto Lending Company In The US (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Fireblocks (www.fireblocks.com), an enterprise platform for securing digital assets in transit, announced today, Celsius Network, the largest provider of interest income and digital asset loans in over 150 jurisdictions worldwide is enlisting Fireblocks to help protect over $400 million assets and 53,000 active wallets, securing both retail and institutional divisions.

5 Ways to Invest in Real Estate Online (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

The primary difference between using a crowdfunding site versus flying solo on your investment journey is that your investment is managed by a team of real estate professionals. Of course, that is also the biggest risk as you are completely dependent on the project developer to deliver what they promised.

If you are not an accredited investor but want to be involved in real estate crowdfunding, companies such as Fundrise, stREITwise, and RealtyMogul are a great place to start.

ArborCrowd Investors Receive Strong Returns on the Sale of Quarry Station Apartments (BusinessWire), Rated: A

ArborCrowd (the “Company”), the first crowdfunding platform launched by a real estate institution, announced today that its Quarry Station Apartments investment (“Quarry Station”) has been realized in under two years, providing investors with returns quicker and higher than initial projections. The property’s $49.35 million sale price generated an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20.31%, surpassing the original return target of 16% to 19%.

How Crowdfunding Has Changed the Game for Real Estate Investing (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Through real estate crowdfunding, the developer can utilize an online platform that enables a large group of people to invest small dollar amounts in the project. If the development company chooses to follow the crowdfunding option, here’s how that could work:

  • First, the developer identifies an online platform that is suited to the company or mixed-use development. Each platform is different and most real estate crowdfunding sites receive significantly more project applications than they select.
  • If the investment passes all the legal, physical, and financial due diligence requirements the platform requires, that platform will then allow the developer to solicit funds using their site.
  • An investor can then use that platform to contribute financially to the development.
  • The funds are then tied up until the investor delivers on the project.

The 10 worst US cities for commutes that cost you time and money (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Online loan marketplace Lending Tree published a report on the most expensive commutes in the 100 largest cities in the US in October.

Consider a resident in New York, which Lending Tree ranked as the city with the fifth most expensive commute. Using Lending Tree’s findings via 2017 Census Bureau data, the median annual earnings for a full-time employee in New York is $51,573; their hourly wage is $26. Now, consider the mean time of commuting one way, 41.8 minutes. If you make $26 per hour at your job, and you spend 83.6 minutes daily on your round-trip commute, then your time wasted commuting is worth $37 of time you would have been working.

Five cities in California – Oakland, San Jose, Irvine, San Francisco, and Fremont – took top 10 spots in the ranking, with four of those cities being in the increasingly expensive San Francisco Bay Area.

Read the full report here.

Fintech: The Fourth Platform – Part One (Forbes), Rated: A

While the first generation of fintech companies created billions of dollars of value, because of new enablers like Plaid, Cross River Bank, Finix and Wisetack, we’re now moving past that phase to one where fintech moves from being a business model unto itself, to being the fourth layer in the stack or the “fourth platform,” wherein financial functions like payments, lending and insurance join connectivity, intelligence and ubiquity as layers of the stack upon which new companies can be built.

Source: Forbes

Balboa Survey: Small Business Owners Anticipate Robust Black Friday (Monitor Daily), Rated: A

Online lender Balboa Capital released the results of its 2019 Black Friday Survey, which was conducted to examine how small business owners are preparing for this historically busy shopping day, and to find out what their Black Friday sales expectations are.

The survey reveals that 70% of small business owners are preparing for Black Friday early, and 83% anticipate meeting or exceeding their Black Friday sales goals. Balboa Capital’s survey was sent to a sample of small business owners in a wide variety of industries during the first week of November 2019.

American Financial Exchange, LLC (AFX) Announces AMERIBOR on the Blockchain (Mondovisione), Rated: A

American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic exchange for direct lending and borrowing for American banks and financial institutions, announced today the launch of its AMERIBOR on the blockchain. AFX now mints two ERC-721 non-fungible tokens for each AMERIBOR transaction on the AFX platform (for each counterparty to the transaction).  The pair of tokens is automatically minted when the transaction is repaid by the borrowing counterparty to the lending counterparty. Each token contains encrypted transaction data and encrypted counterparty data. The counterparty data is normalized prior to encryption to further preserve counterparty anonymity.

5 Best Alternatives to Traditional Savings Accounts (Nerdwallet), Rated: B

The pros. Peer-to-peer lending tends to be a win-win: Investors get a higher rate of return on their money than a lot of banking products offer, and borrowers get an interest rate on their loan that’s usually less than bank-offered loans and credit cards.

The cons. Peer-to-peer lending won’t give you quick access to your cash if you need liquidity.

Alchemy Partners with Plaid to Enhance Loan Decisioning and Fraud Detection Capabilities (PRWeb), Rated: B

Alchemy, one of the SaaS fintech lending infrastructure companies, has partnered with Plaid to support businesses in account and asset verification for improved lending decisioning.

United Kingdom

UK peer-to-peer lender Zopa gets banking license as it looks to compete with industry giants (Stock Daily Dish), Rated: AAA

British peer-to-peer lender Zopa has obtained a U.K. banking license, clearing a key hurdle in its bid to launch a digital bank and compete with industry giants.

Business Loans Marketplace Funding Xchange Raises $ 10.4 Million via Round Led By Downing Ventures, Gresham House Ventures (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Funding Xchange (FXE), a company that helps people and organizations find suitable business loans and funding options from its marketplace of more than 45 established lenders, has raised £8 million (appr. $10.4 million) through an investment round.

London-based mobile credit card company Tymit secures £4m in funding (AltFi), Rated: A

Tymit, the London-based mobile-enabled credit card company, has secured £4m in a funding round, which it will use to develop its customer service offering.

Arbuthnot Commercial ABL supports EA-RS Fire Engineering’s acquisition of Circum with £2m facility (Business-Money), Rated: A

Arbuthnot Commercial ABL, the specialist asset based lending arm of Arbuthnot Latham, has completed a £2m asset based lending (ABL) transaction in support of the strategic acquisition of Circum Ltd, a fire protection services specialist, by EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd. (“EA-RS”). The facility comprises a flexible confidential invoice discounting line and a term loan.

Crowd2Fund’s first EIS-approved funding round goes live (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

CROWD2FUND has launched its first funding round since being granted Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) approval from HMRC.

The platform has already raised 19 per cent of its target from current shareholders and has now opened the £1.2m fundraise to private investors.

Buzzy finance startup Starling Bank has lost another senior employee amid an exodus of executives (Business Insider), Rated: A

Starling’s head of banking compliance Rachel Coote has quit to join startup Paybase. Coote is the sixth senior employee to leave the buzzy finance company in 2019.The company’s chief financial officer Tony Ellingham has confirmed he will also depart within the next year.

Trading giant Robinhood makes its UK debut in Revolut challenge (City A.M.), Rated: A

US fintech Robinhood, a commission-free trading startup valued at $7.6bn (£5.9bn), has today arrived in the UK.

Users will be able to invest in more than 3,500 US-denominated stocks, including Apple, Amazon and Tesla. They will also be able to access foreign stocks that are available to trade in dollars through depository receipts, such as Barclays and Burberry.

OakNorth Bank completes GBP3.54m loan to fund aparthotel development in London (Property Funds World), Rated: B

The finance will be used to fund the acquisition of a mixed-use property at 68‐86 Clapham Road in Oval, and in its place, develop an aparthotel with between 120-175 units, subject to receiving planning permission. The site is located within walking distance of several Zone 1 underground stations – Oval, Stockwell and Vauxhall – as well as the South Western railway line, providing services to Clapham, Waterloo, Guildford, etc.

Crypto Lending Platform Nexo Joins FIO, As Usability Remains Top Priority (Chipin), Rated: B

Nexo, the dominant player in the crypto lending space, is joining the Foundation for Wallet Interoperability (FIO), the industry consortia bringing together leading companies in the blockchain ecosystem to solve the biggest problem faced by the industry — usability.

China

LexinFintech: A Rare Quality (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

LexinFintech (LX) reported a solid set of Q3 results with loan origination growing 170% y/y that resulted in a beat on both revenue and EPS. More importantly, loan origination guidance was increased to RMB115-125b vs. the prior forecast of RMB115b.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Overall, asset quality remains stable at the end of Q3 with delinquency rate declining 9bps to 1.4% and the 6-month charge-off rate maintained at just above 2%.

Source: LexinFintech

Institutional funding has reached 75% of the total loan balance. In terms of origination, institutional accounts for 94% of the total loans originated, meaning that LX’s own P2P platform Juzi Licai is becoming less relevant going forward.

Source: LexinFintech
European Union

Twino CEO stands down, as Latvian lender swings into black (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Twino founder Armands Broks is to standing down as CEO and will now focus on new business opportunities and bringing talent on board.

The management change comes as Twino, which offers European investors investment opportunities in unsecured European consumer loans, reports pre-tax profits of €13m  (£11m) for 2018, compared to a €7.2m (£6.2m) loss the year previous.

Twino has also disclosed that it has also issued loans to the value of €1bn (£860m), since it was set up 10 years ago, half of the value of which have been issued in the past three years.

The Best Crowdlending Platforms (The African Exponent), Rated: A

Smart Lenders AM Launches New Investment Fund Specialized in Marketplace Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Smart Lenders AM announces the upcoming launch of a new fund dedicated to financing loans to European SMEs issued through marketplace lending platforms (crowdlending).

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform EstateGuru Partners with Ober-Haus on Market Research (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding platform EstateGuru and OberHaus, real estate agency operating across the Baltic region, have joined together to produce shared real estate market research and analysis with a specialized focus on the needs of the crowdfunding platform.

International

Profits and Losses of P2P Lending Marketplaces 2017 and 2018 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Source: P2P-Banking
Australia

What does a competitive mortgage rate look like in November 2019? (finder), Rated: A

The lowest fixed rate in Finder’s database right now is 2.68%, a single basis point lower than the lowest variable. This is unusual (the lowest three year fixed rate this time last year was 3.74%).

Another online lender I spoke to was fine with apartments in the same suburb but didn’t offer pre-approval. This meant I would have to start a full application with them even before I had found a place to buy. For some borrowers, this can be a significant turn-off.

Asia

Ant Financial eyeing S’pore digital bank licence (The Straits Times), Rated: AAA

Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Services Group said it may apply for a virtual banking licence in Singapore, a move that would add a heavyweight contender to the race.

OneConnect leads Southeast Asia’s sustainable financing with two smart lending platforms (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

OneConnect Financial Technology Co. Ltd. (OneConnect), today announced it is leading Southeast Asia’s sustainable financing with the launch of two smart lending platforms – SeekCap, the Philippines’ first lending platform that helps the underserved micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) manage cashflow and grow their business, as well as a multi-finance platform that will empower millions of unbanked and underbanked Indonesians with easy access to loans to finance their purchase of vehicles essential for their daily transportation so as to improve mobility and their lives.

MSMEs form the backbone of any economy. In the Philippines, more than 99% of all businesses are MSMEs and they contribute to almost 63% of total employment. Yet, at present, only 9% of loans and financing from the country’s major banks go to MSMEs.

Latin America

Brazilian Digital Bank Neon Raises $ 95 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Brazilian Digital bank Neon has reportedly raised $95.27 million in a funding round led by Banco Votorantim and the General Atlantic fund. This is according to a write up in Estado.

Neon claims a customer base of 2 million users. The additional funding will help the digital bank grow with expectations to triple that number by 2020.

How Brazil is leading Latin America’s fintech revolution (Business Insider), Rated: A

There were 380 fintechs operating in the country in May 2019, per Finnovista, and around two-thirds (64%) of Brazilian consumers are defined as fintech adopters by EY — a rate that’s level with the global average and higher than the majority of G7 countries’.

  • Smartphone and internet penetration: Three-quarters of Brazilians used smartphones in 2017, which is expected to tick up to 86% by 2025 — and both figures are the highest across the region.
  • High fees charged by incumbentsBrazil’s four largest banks control almost 80% of the country’s deposits, with similar concentrations in credit and assets.
  • A large underserved population: Around 45 million people in the country don’t have access to or have not used a bank account in the past six months.

Why Mexico’s Fintech Sector Will Be One to Watch in 2020 (Next Billion), Rated: A

The economy in Mexico remains largely informal and cash dependent. An estimated 44% of the adult population in Mexico owns no financial products. This largely unbanked population, coupled with the new fintech legislation, has created immense opportunities for Mexico’s fintech sector to grow. In fact, roughly 100 new Mexican fintechs were established in 2018 alone, representing 52% growth for the industry. Mexico has become a regional leader with more than 273 fintech ventures operating in the country. When combined with Brazil’s 380 fintech ventures, the two countries make up 56% of the region’s total fintech activity.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday November 21 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday August 1 2019, Weekly News Digest

Consumption loans

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck, Chase divorce; OnDeck to pursue bank charter. DBRS assigns provisional ratings to Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2. RateSetter ISA passes 250M GBP in subscriptions. Iwoca doubles lending, turns first annual profit. Nubank raises $400M. Elevate Credit CEO resigns. Today’s main analysis: What the Fed rate cut means. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

The post Thursday August 1 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Consumption loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

OnDeck Pursuing Bank Charter, Loses Chase (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

OnDeck had some pretty interesting updates in their earnings release which took place earlier today (Editor: July 29).

Probably the biggest shock was that Chase is concluding their partnership with OnDeck.

Chase will stop originating loans through OnDeck and OnDeck will continue to service the loans for two years.

You can view OnDeck’s Q2 earnings press release here.

Source: Lend Academy

What’s next for OnDeck after breakup with JPMorgan? (American Banker), Rated: A

In retrospect, Jamie Dimon’s comment that his bank could duplicate the capabilities of online lenders might have served as a warning.

“Can we do something like that? Of course we can,” the JPMorgan Chase Chairman CEO 

OnDeck shares slide 22% (Biz2Credit Email), Rated: B

Shares of OnDeck (According to industry expert Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, OnDeck spent a lot of money marketing when they should have focused more on managing risk and developing technology – the two most important things in today’s small business lending environment.

“Their gross write-offs were 15%… and that is in an economy that is doing very well,” Arora said.

DBRS Assigns Provisional Ratings to Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned provisional ratings to the following classes of notes (collectively, the Notes) to be issued by Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (UPST 2019-2):

— $230,208,000 Class A Notes at A (low) (sf)
— $61,558,000 Class B Notes at BBB (low) (sf)

Source: DBRS

Read the DBRS Presale Report here.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (“UPST 2019-2”). This is a $358.4 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on August 7, 2019.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2

Class

Preliminary Rating

Expected Initial
Class Principal

A

A- (sf)

$230,208,000

B

BBB- (sf)

$61,558,000

C

BB- (sf)

$66,617,000

Europe’s startup banks are coming to America. Can they succeed? (CNN), Rated: AAA

Two of Europe’s most popular online banks are making a big push into the United States. But they may struggle to win over consumers.

Berlin-based N26 and its UK rival Monzo have signed up millions of young professionals in Europe by offering free accounts that can be opened in minutes via smartphones.
Critics say the startup European banks remind them of American online-only banks that sprang up and then disappeared during the dot-com boom.

Netflix for banking; Equifax settles (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

But first, in industry news, Equifax settled $700 million with state and federal authorities due to the 2017 security breach. Investors are looking past the incident. Equifax’s stock price is within earshot of an all-time high.

“Netflix” Model for Banking

MoneyLion’s “all-you-can-eat” membership pricing model has distinguished itself from the pack. MoneyLion provides customers access to financial advice, loans, and other banking service. Customer’s can enjoy the lion’s share of offerings all at a bundled rate $20/month.

The near-Unicorn FinTech announced a roaring $100 M funding round led by Edison Partners and Greenspring Associates, bringing PIC to ~$200M. MoneyLion is looking to invest in broker dealer, training, and stock-investing capabilities and further distance itself from potential copycats.

Series Money Raised Valuation Services Provided
MoneyLion C $200M ~$1B Financial advice, loans, integration of other bank accounts
Chime D $309M $1.5B Debit, checking, and savings accounts with no fees
Acorn E $270M $860M Rounds up purchases and invests the change, financial education
Betterment E $275M $800M Robo-advising, savings, checking (soon), debit cards

Source: PeerIQ

Here’s what that Fed rate cut means for you (CNBC), Rated: AAA

The Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates 25 basis points for the first time in over a decade marked a dramatic shift in monetary policy.

Now, interest rates are historically low, which leaves the central bank with little wiggle room in the event of a recession or if the economy stumbles. The current target range for its overnight lending rate is 2% to 2.25%.

In the past five years, the average interest rate charged on credit card debt has increased 35%.

Considering that the average household currently owes $8,390, credit card users would save roughly $1.5 billion in interest as a result of a quarter-point rate cut, a separate report by WalletHub found.

Elevate Credit CEO Resigns as Q2 Revenue Misses, Guidance Cut (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit (NYSE: ELVT) announced the exit of CEO Ken Rees today a Q2 earnings release missed on top-line numbers and the Fintech lowered guidance for Q3. Current COO Jason Harvison was selected to be interim CEO as the firm seeks a full-time replacement. Rees will remain on the Board of Directors.

Japanese Online Retailer Rakuten Seeks U.S. Bank Charter (WSJ), Rated: A

Japanese online merchant Rakuten Inc. wants to open a bank in Utah to offer loans, credit cards and other financial services to customers of its existing U.S. cashback-shopping business, the company said Friday.

“We’re going to focus on that customer base we already have,” said Lee Carter, the new head of banking development at Rakuten and a former UBS Group AG executive. “That’s really the community that we want to extend additional financial services to.”

My Company Surpassed $ 7 Billion in Business By Investing in This 1 Thing (Inc.),Rated: A

In the early days of my company, Kabbage, we struggled against requests from some potential partners. They wanted customers to be able to upload traditional loan paperwork like bank statements and tax returns.

By insisting on data connections, which in 2008 was usual, we lost some potential upfront revenue but prioritized a unique customer relationship and experience that would make us a more than $7 billion lending platform just a few years later.

Online bank Green Dot reveals savings account with a rate 30 times the national average (CNBC), Rated: A

Branchless bank Green Dot is launching the highest yielding bank account in the industry.

The Pasadena, California-based bank, which gained traction with prepaid cards in the dot-com era, launched a new bank account Tuesday with 3% annual interest on savings, and 3% cash back on all online debit card purchases. The average rate for savings accounts, according to Bankrate.com, is 0.1%.

The 3% rate on a savings account is the highest for any bank in the country, according to Bankrate.

The Story of Rocket Loans and the Rebirth of Detroit (Lend Academy), Rated: A

I was in Detroit recently at the invitation of Rocket Loans CEO, Bill Parker. I do visits to fintech companies quite regularly but usually in the big hubs of New York, San Francisco or London. This was my first visit to Detroit for a couple of decades so I was excited to see how the city had changed. And you can’t really tell the story of Rocket Loans without also talking about the city of Detroit.

Quicken Loans is the crown jewel of the financial component of Rock Ventures. It is now the largest mortgage lender in the country, bigger than even the largest banks. They seem to be slowly moving away from that brand, though, and moving to Rocket Mortgage which has a much more modern and innovative feel.

BofA terminates First Data partnership (Finextra), Rated: A

Bank of America is to terminate its merchant services partnership with First Data when the ten-year contract expires in June 2020.

The news came within hours of Fiserv acquiring control of First Data, sending its shares downward.

BofA says it expects to incur an impairment charge of about $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion in Q3 2019 due to the termination of the partnership, which started in 2009.

Open Banking Takes On Bad Rap Of Merchant Cash Advance (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The merchant cash advance is considered the payday loan for many in the small business lending market — and that’s not necessarily a good thing. While designed to connect small business owners to quick capital for a boost to their cash flow, the MCA has earned a reputation for some predatory behavior, like sky-high interest rates and fees.

Man Repeller and Klarna Collab on “Dream Closet” Pop-Up at Showfields (Sourcing Journal), Rated: A

Fashion and lifestyle blog Man Repeller is taking operations offline through a pop-up retail collaboration with Klarna. Opening at Showfields in New York on Monday, the “highly instagrammable” retail space was crafted to represent a shopper’s “dream closet,” Man Repeller said in a statement. Curated by the Man Repeller team, the temporary store includes offerings…

Visa pitches a program offering fintechs faster market access through an ecosystem of partners (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Visa is pitching a new way for startups in the fintech space to get to market faster by using its rails and a group of pre-approved partners.

Chiefly, the process makes it easier to integrate with Visa. It’s an attempt to put the payment processor’s network, VisaNet, at the center of a vast array of services ranging from payroll to business to business payments and online banking, online lending and even digital wallets.

The Most Exciting Piece Of Opportunity Zone Investing Is Still Being Defined (Benzinga), Rated: A

Despite the enthusiasm they have received from the private equity world and the billionaire hedge fund set, a majority of investors have been mostly shut out of the conversation surrounding the Opportunity Zones initiative included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Although there is already a flood of capital being funneled into qualified funds (upward of $40 billion according to the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ Opportunity Zone Fund Directory) Opportunity Zones remain an ongoing experiment in maximizing the benefit to both investors and the communities in which they invest.

According to Thomas McDonald, Investment Product and Portfolio Manager of the online real estate investing platform CrowdStreet, the new language is a critical move for the program.

Real estate lending platform Groundfloor raises $ 3 million through crowdfunding (Housingwire), Rated: A

Groundfloor, a real estate lending platform that raises its loan funds via crowdfunding from the public, announced Wednesday it raised $3 million from 1,580 investors, while also doubling its annual revenue in the second quarter of 2019.

Groundfloor is taking private real estate lending public (Groundfloor Email), Rated: B

As we close out the first half of the year, we’re excited to report accelerating growth and strong financial results for the quarter. Once again, GROUNDFLOOR more than doubled its year-over-year revenue for the quarter to $1.6 million, 1H revenue to $2.6 million and trailing 12-month revenue to $4.4 million.

OCC’s innovation pilot gets little love from banks (American Banker), Rated: A

The OCC received 19 comment letters on a pilot program announced in April meant to provide supervisory clarity as national banks pursue “novel activities” in which regulatory uncertainty is perceived to be a barrier to development.

Melissa Koide of FinRegLab (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Melissa Koide, the founder and CEO of FinRegLab. They have just published their first research report this week on the use of cash flow data in underwriting. It is the first independent research done on this topic and it is milestone for both FinRegLab and the fintech community.

Zerocard aims to reduce overspending with “debit-style” credit card and rewards (CNBC), Rated: A

Fin-tech company Zero announced on Tuesday, July 30, the public release of Zerocard, a credit card providing a “debit-style experience” issued by WebBank and backed by Mastercard.

Zerocard aims to be an alternative to credit cards from big banks that make money off cardholders who fall into debt.

Genesis Reports $ 746 in Crypto Lending/Borrowing Originations in Q2: Best Quarter Ever (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Genesis, a digital asset trading and lending platform that is also a broker-dealer registered with FINRA, and a BitLicense holder with the New York State Department of Financial Services, reports that its services are booming.

According to a release from last week, Genesis’ Q2 performance was the best over as it topped $746 million in loans/borrowing – a 48% quarter over quarter increase.

Genesis states that total active loans increased to $454 million – a 149% increase over Q1.

Northwest Community Credit Union Short-Term Loans, Powered by QCash Financial’s Platform  (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU) launched two new products earlier this year called Northwest Cash and Northwest Cash Plus, offering short-term loans from $150 to $700 and $701 to $4,000, respectively. Both products are designed to help their members deal with unexpected cash needs with an easy to use application process.

Using QCash Financial’s white-label, digital lending platform, NWCU automated the loan process using the member’s credit union relationship to make the lending decision rather than credit history.

Kony Secures $ 37 Million in Financing from BMO (Finovate), Rated: B

An infusion of $37 million in debt financing from BMO will help cloud-based digital banking and low-code platform company Kony “accelerate growth” in its two signature solutions: Kony DBX, the company’s digital banking technology, and Kony Quantum, its low-code development platform. The financing, courtesy of BMO’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, adds to the more than $115 million in funding Kony has raised to date.

White Oak Commercial Finance Responds to Increasing ABL Demand with New Key Hires (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Commercial Finance (“White Oak”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, announced today the addition of two new professional underwriters, further increasing the company’s originations presence across the United States. Mr. Sudhir Chaudhry joins White Oak’s Los Angeles office bringing nearly 25 years of structured finance and underwriting experience. Mr. Kevin Maitland joins White Oak in Boca Raton with over 14 years of asset-based lending and commercial banking experience.

FINICITY INTEGRATION WITH ELLIE MAE ENCOMPASS DIGITAL LENDING PLATFORM NOW LIVE  (Finicity), Rated: B

Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, and Ellie Mae, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, today announced that Finicity’s digital Verification of Assets (VoA) solution is now available through Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Lending Platform.

United Kingdom

RateSetter ISA passes £250m in subscriptions (LoveMoney), Rated: AAA

But by investing within a large, diverse portfolio of loans (RateSetter’s portfolio is currently £875 million with 250,000+ loans) investors get the stability of scale and this makes for steady and predictable returns.

And putting this inside the ISA tax-free wrapper, it’s no wonder that in less than 18 months since launch, RateSetter’s Innovative Finance ISA has attracted more than £250 million of investments from people looking to put their money to work.

Platforms may be forced to favour high net worths due to incoming 10pc rule (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RETAIL investors are at risk of being shut out of the peer-to-peer lending sector due to the so-called 10 per cent rule that will come into force this December.

However, a number of P2P lending platforms have a minimum investment of £1,000, which would mean that individuals must have at least £10,000 in total to invest across a variety of asset classes. Official statistics indicate that most UK adults do not have this amount of money to invest, which could effectively bar them from certain platforms.

P2P lenders such as Zopa, Funding Circle and ThinCats require a minimum investment of £1,000, but the FCA’s latest financial lives survey shows that 49 per cent of UK adults, equating to 25 million people, either have no such assets or have less than £10,000 in value.

Iwoca doubles lending, turns first annual profit (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Iwoca almost doubled its loans last year, leading to its first annual profit since the small business platform was founded eight years ago.

The London-based fintech, started by chief executive Christoph Rieche (pictured, centre) and James Dear in 2012, said loan originations jumped by 91 per cent to £325m, as its lending hit the equivalent of 12 per cent of the UK’s small business overdraft market over the last year.

Former RateSetter executive to launch new P2P platform (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

RATESETTER’S former chief technology officer John Gillespie is preparing to launch a “next generation” peer-to-peer consumer lending platform.

After raising money from family and friends, SquareDeal.Finance has opened pre-registration for a funding round on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Gillespie has described the platform as “the next generation P2P consumer lender”, although he said there would be scope to expand into other types of finance in the future.

Digital asset lending platform outlines new framework in a bid to resemble securities market (The Trade Crypto), Rated: A

A digital asset lending platform is looking to set new industry standards with the launch of a framework using master agreements typically seen from incumbent capital markets bodies.

The Global Digital Assets Lending Agreement (GDALA) was developed by Lendingblock, with legal counsel and support from Norton Rose Fulbright.

The platform, targeting institutional investors, will use master agreements framework similar to ISLA’s Global Master Securities Lending Agreements, ICMA/SIFMA’s Global Master Repurchase Agreements and ISDA’s Master Agreements.

What to Know About Alternative Lending (Nav), Rated: A

Alternative lending includes business lenders that exist outside of the traditional lending space. The different types of alternative lending these lenders provide include short-term business loans, medium-term business loans, lines of credit, invoice financing, equipment financing, merchant cash advances and more. They don’t typically include bank loans or SBA loans.

ARBUTHNOT SPECIALIST FINANCE STRENGTHENS TEAM WITH TWO NEW APPOINTMENTS (Arbuthnot Latham), Rated: B

Arbuthnot Specialist Finance (ASFL) announces the appointment of Chloe Skae and Molly Markey to the relationship management team.

OakNorth completes loan to Kexgill for latest student accommodation development at the University of Hull (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Fintechs invited to enter £2m affordable credit challenge (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

THE TREASURY and innovation foundation Nesta Challenges are offering £2m in prize money to encourage fintechs and community lenders to work together on affordable credit solutions.

Over 5.4 million high-cost short-term credit loans were made in the year to 30 June 2018, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s consumer credit data.

China

China’s Generation Z Is Hooked on Credit (Bloomberg Businessweek), Rated: AAA

At one point in June last year, Zeng Jinpeng was more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) in debt to a smartphone app.

Formal household borrowing rose to 54% of gross domestic product in the first quarter, up more than 4 percentage points in a year. China’s ratio is still lower than that of the U.S. (66%), Hong Kong (72%), or South Korea (100%), according to S&P Global.

Source: People’s Bank of China

Regulators last year launched a crackdown on peer-to-peer lending, which besides being a source of easy credit had also become a popular investment vehicle. The sector has shrunk to less than half its peak size as a result of forced shutdowns. Official data showed that almost 70% of China’s 50 million P2P investors were younger than 40.

New era of technological finance faces spectrum of challenges (Global Times), Rated: A

Online attacks against China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms have been rising. An industry report released on Wednesday shows that more than 10 million malicious attacks were encountered by the online financial sector in the first half of 2019, and gambling-related attacks accounted for over 56 percent.

China Lending Arranges Partnership With Zhong Lian in Consumer Financing (CapitalWatch), Rated: A

China Lending Corp. (Nasdaq: CLDC) announced Monday its five-year strategic partnership with Zhong Lian Jin An Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd. in the development of consumer financing and litigation guarantee business, sending its shares up 4 percent intraday to 88 cents apiece.

European Union

Is ‘Hodling’ the Future of Cryptocurrency Lending? (150sec), Rated: AAA

The nascent cryptocurrency sector is renowned for its volatility.  It’s very early days in the development of the industry and with that, various niches are emerging within its overall purview.  DeFi or decentralised financing is one such area.  Over many years, the world of retail and business sector lending has seen little in the way of disruption.  However, that may be in the process of changing.

Firms like Ripio Credit Network (RCN), Salt Lending, EthLend, and WeTrust are emerging, providing their unique twists on financing with blockchain as a basis to their respective propositions.  Within Europe too, the market is innovating. Hodl Finance is one such entity – which is harnessing this newly emerging economy to provide its unique take on financing.

Engaging shoppers is hard. Keeping them is harder. (Candy Industry), Rated: A

New research from Klarna, a Swedish firm that offers interest-free installment payments among other payment solutions, suggests shoppers will only tolerate such aggravations for so long.

Through a survey of 2,065 shoppers conducted in May and June, Klarna found 55 percent of consumers say one bad retail experience would stop them from returning to a brand. Nearly 30 percent of consumers said they don’t find shopping as fun as it used to be.

Klarna also noted 39 percent of the 250 retailers surveyed realize shopper loyalty isn’t just driven by rewards programs. Nearly 70 percent understand they have to do more to retain customers, but just over a third of retailers are struggling to keep up with changing consumer expectations because of outdated technology and a short-term emphasis on sales.

International

The Fintech Revolution: Who Are The New Competitors In Banking? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In Asia, Africa and Latin America, the percentage of unbanked people exceed 60% in all cases. However, people in this segment of the population do own a mobile device.

The massive use of mobile phones has allowed great successes, such as that of M-Pesa in Kenya and ten other African countries, which over the past decade has enabled more than 30 million users to transfer money, take out loans and make deposits using mobile phones, from the remotest rural areas.

The Pulse of Fintech H1 2019 (KPMG), Rated: A

Both the number of global fintech deals and the total global investment in fintech dropped in H1’19, raising $37.9 billion across 962 deals, driven by the lack of  mega deals seen in 2018.

Source: KPMG

Catching attention in marketing (Business Daily Africa), Rated: A

Kiva, with its African headquarters in Nairobi, thrives as a peer-to-peer lending website whereby millions of US dollars get lent from around the world at zero percent interest rates. In 2009, dozens of competitors of Kiva emerged based largely off their business model: get generous individuals to lend their money for a few months up to a few years all while earning no interest return as long as the funds go towards helping entrepreneurs.

Australia

4 small business tips to kickstart the 2019/20 financial year (Mozo), Rated: A

And Australian businesses have access to a number business loan sources including traditional banks and online lenders, although according to online lender OnDeck, some small businesses can have trouble securing funding from traditional sources.

New research from the lender found that nearly 25% of small to medium enterprises (SME’s) that have applied for business finance with a bank have been rejected – a figure that rises to 37% of SMEs which have been operating for less than five years.

India

P2P Lender Rupeecircle launches Affordable Credit Products for Rural Tamil Nadu (IndianWeb2), Rated: AAA

Digital lending marketplace RupeeCircle has set up a segment-wise model of credit disbursement through its P2P platform. Deserving Individuals and families belonging to certain communities who were hitherto declined loans from banks and NBFCs due to lack of sufficient credit history or lack of a proper bank account can now avail loans on the P2P platform.

Asia

Vietnam tech company NextTech pledges US$ 10M fund for early-stage startups (e27), Rated: AAA

Vietnam-based tech company NextTech announces a total of US$10 million injected into Next100, a fund dedicated for backing early-stage startups.

Recently, Next100 invested in VayMuon.vn, a P2P lending platform based in Vietnam, Heyu.asia, a startup that provides order consolidation and shipper services, and Teky.edu.vn, a tech academy for kids.

Latin America

Fintech decacorn Nubank raises $ 400M led by TCV (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Brazil-based Nubank, which offers a suite of banking and financial services for Brazilian consumers, announced today that it has raised a $400 million Series F round of venture capital led by Woody Marshall of TCV. The growth-stage fund is best known for its investment in Netflix but has also made fintech a high priority, with over $1.5 billion in investments in the space. According to Nubank, the company has now raised $820 million across seven venture rounds.

Shares in Brazil’s Banco Inter surge as it lures SoftBank (Business Recorder), Rated: A

Shares in Banco Inter SA surged more than 20% on Tuesday as the Brazilian online lender raised 1.25 billion reais ($329.73 million) in an offering largely sold to Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, boosting pressure on traditional banks.

Africa

Reaching the unbanked — MTN to shake up Nigeria’s fintech sector (the africa report), Rated: AAA

In the latest bullish development, OPay, founded by Norwegian browser company Opera and which includes lead investors such as Sequoia China, raised $50m to partly fund its expansion in Nigeria.

While sub-Saharan Africa’s number of adults with a bank or other financial account increased to 43% in 2017, up 9% from 2014, Nigeria’s banked population dropped to 40%, down 4% from 2014. Over half of Nigerian adults — 60 million people — lack access to financial services.

Under the new mobile-money framework, MTN will drive user acquisition with its large existing subscriber base and powerful agent network. With a 42% market share of Nigeria’s 163m active voice subscriber accounts, MTN has a huge pool of untapped demand as each voice subscriber represents a potential new mobile money account.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday August 1 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Ushering In the Future of Banking

Varo Money

Varo Money made the news in July 2017 when it applied for an OCC Charter. The goal was to capture a bigger share of the services pie at a national level and applying for a state-by-state license, which was a tedious, slow, and ineffective process. Though some startups have also considered the Industrial Loan Company […]

Varo Money

Varo Money made the news in July 2017 when it applied for an OCC Charter. The goal was to capture a bigger share of the services pie at a national level and applying for a state-by-state license, which was a tedious, slow, and ineffective process. Though some startups have also considered the Industrial Loan Company route through Utah, OCC provided a more transparent route to attaining a bank charter to operate national level online lending and banking firm. Moreover, the young upstart applied for a full bank charter as compared to a fintech charter. This charter would allow Varo to operate on a national level as a full scale digital bank and would be on par with other traditional banks.

The company launched in 2015 with a vision to provide new age banking solutions. Varo provides a wide range of financial and banking products through its app. The San Francisco based company is led by its founders Colin Walsh (CEO) and Kolya Klymenko (CTO). The Varo team comprises of experienced professionals coming from leading brands like Amazon, American Express, Apple, Citi, McKinsey, and Instagram. Its social mission is to reduce the cost of banking, which is why Varo does not charge any service fee from its customers. It does not charge any monthly maintenance fees, foreign transaction fees, or ATM withdrawal fees. The company has raised almost $80 million in funding from marquee investors like Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund.

Varo Money made history in September when it received preliminary approval from the OCC for a national banking charter. It is a huge milestone for the company, but also for the industry as it highlights that regulators are considering fintech players seriously for national level banking plays. The OCC’s preliminary approval came after a reported push by the U.S. Treasury to allow financial innovation at a national level. The Trump administration has openly encouraged the alt-lending industry as it has allowed credit to flow to small and medium businesses.

A New Era in the Banking Industry

This is the first ever charter granted to a fintech company and has raised a lot of excitement. However, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency has only given a conditional approval for the formation of Varo Money as a national bank. If approved, it will make Varo the first mobile-only national bank in the Unites States. OCC first requires Varo to raise $104 million as additional capital within 12 months and the completion of a Community Reinvestment Act plan. But with moneybags like Pincus bankrolling the company, the investment part looks to be easiest of the conditions. Varo Bank will also be required to take approval from the FDIC and obtain Federal Reserve membership.

Approval of the OCC charter enables Varo Money to set up its own bank, making it the first ever truly digital bank. Why is the OCC banking charter special? As compared to the fintech charter, it allows Varo to accept deposits. Though it wont be FDIC insured (that is a different approval process), deposits are a huge step forward for Varo. Moreover, it would rid itself of state regulations and Madden Vs Midland would become redundant.

Varo Bank shall focus on reducing the excessive costs charged by its brick and mortar counterparts. It will be able to streamline its operations and look to leverage the national charter for aggressive growth throughout the country as its competitors keep applying for state-by-state licenses. Varo has been privileged to receive this charter, since after the financial crisis, very few new companies have been granted the charter.

After Approval

Soon after receiving the approval from OCC, Varo announced its tie up with Temenos, a European banking tech platform, for core processing services. Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO of Barefoot Innovation Group and former deputy comptroller of the OCC commented, “This preliminary approval from OCC is a signal that regulators recognize the value technology can bring to banking for all Americans.”

“This is a historic moment and marks the start of a new era in banking,” said Colin Walsh, co-founder and CEO Varo Money. But the ride will not be easy. This decision is an encroachment on the turf long held dear by small banks. And true to form, the Board of Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) recently started litigation against OCC for allowing special banking charters for fintech firms.

It has also recently been announced that Varo withdrew its FDIC application, an important hurdle in reaching the full banking status. The application was pulled earlier this year, and it has been reported that they will reapply by year end as they have more clarity since the OCC approval.

Conclusion

The Rubicon has been crossed with this approval. Varo Money will inspire the more established fintech lenders to start their application process and a case by CSBS would not be enough to stop alt lenders dreaming of a national footprint. The ability to work on a national level creates a level playing field for fintech banking and lending startups and allows them to pursue their agenda of online banking targeted at millennials with renewed vigor. The industry should see a flurry of deals as companies raise money to bulk up before and after the application process.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Wednesday August 1, 2018 Daily News Digest

Global Banking Executives Biggest Challenges

News Comments Today’s main news: OCC approves fintech charter. Microsoft, Nationwide invest in BlueVine. UK overtakes US in fintech investment. P2PFA members take in over 300M GBP from IFISAs. Today’s main analysis: Trump Administration hugs fintech. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Online lenders, payment companies can act more like banks. How Revolut reduced fraud by 30%. Chinese P2P lending under severe challenges. Fintechs […]

Global Banking Executives Biggest Challenges

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

After years of debate, OCC to offer fintech charter (American Banker) Rated: AAA

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Tuesday that it would move ahead to consider special-purpose charter applications from fintech firms, ending the guessing game over whether the agency was serious about giving fintechs a federal option.

The decision, unveiled just hours after the Treasury Department released a report endorsing a national fintech charter, means fintech firms that opt for the charter could soon be regulated more like banks on a national scale.

Fintech Gets a Hug From the Trump Administration (Barron’s) Rated: AAA

The Treasury Department released a report today with more than 80 recommendations that are aimed at tailoring regulations for nonbank financial institutions and encouraging the development of financial technology.

Source: U.S. Treasury Department
Source: U.S. Treasury Department

Read the full report here.

Securitizations swell as marketplace lending matures (GlobalCapital) Rated: A

A report out of the Department of the Treasury on Tuesday notes that the growth of marketplace lending has fueled ABS deals in the sector.

Marketplace lenders have originated some $100bn in loans since 2014, with unsecured consumer debt accounting for 50% of total volume.

The strong pace of originations has fueled consumer securitization issuance, with the number of marketplace loan ABS deals ballooning every year since 2013.

Online Lenders and Payment Companies Get a Way to Act More Like Banks (The New York Times) Rated: AAA

Online lenders and other so-called fintech firms — including the payment processor Square, the online lender Lending Club and the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase — have pressed for regulatory routes that would let them cut through the thicket of state and federal laws that govern financial businesses.

Heeding those requests, the Treasury Department released a 222-page report laying out the Trump administration’s view on how nonbank financial companies should be regulated. Hours later, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a national bank regulator, announced a new kind of charter that would potentially free such companies from the state-by-state approvals they currently need to offer loans and other financial products.

Source: Treasury.gov

Read the complete report here.

CSBS Responds to Treasury, OCC Fintech Announcements (CSBS) Rated: A

We appreciate the Treasury’s recognition of the vital role performed by state regulators in overseeing nonbank financial service providers. And we are pleased that Treasury noted the substantial progress states have made towards harmonizing the multistate experience for industry.

At the same time, we disagree with certain Treasury recommendations. We do not support creation of new federal rules or unauthorized federal charters that would seek to compromise the ability of state officials to apply and enforce state laws. And so, we disagree with Treasury’s recommended changes to the valid-when-made doctrine and the true-lender doctrine, and the creation of an OCC special purpose bank charter for fintech companies.

An OCC fintech charter is a regulatory train wreck in the making.

Microsoft’s M12 joins $ 12 million funding extension for fintech startup BlueVine (Venture Beat) Rated: AAA

Fintech startup BlueVine has added $12 million to its recently announced series E round of funding, bringing Microsoft’s venture capital (VC) unit M12 onboard alongside the VC arm of finance giant Nationwide.

The additional funding brings BlueVine’s total series E round to $72 million, after the company announced an initial $60 million cash injection just two months ago.

BlueVine has now raised around $590 million in funding since its inception, though it’s worth noting that around three-quarters of that came in the past year via debt financing.

Small-Biz Talks: StreetShares on Small Business Lending (Value Penguin) Rated: A

On average, veterans are getting, through us, about 2% to 3%lower interest rates than nonveterans. That’s an internal discount that we give. Comparing us to an OnDeck or a Kabbage, we are probably half the average APR of OnDeck and probably a quarter of Kabbage. They may disagree with that, but that’s our numbers.

Online Lending Needs More Regulation: New York Regulator (BNA) Rated: A

Notably, a group of lenders that is currently not subject to licensing – those making loans between 7 and 16 percent – would have to become Licensed Lenders. As a result, those lenders would have to complete the licensing process, pay the associated fees, and would then be subject to supervision and examinations by the NYDFS.

Additionally, any nonbank that lends to a New York borrower, either directly or through a partnership, would have to comply with New York’s usury limit. This rule is already in effect for servicers that acquire loans originated by banks, due to the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding. However, the NYDFS recommendation would potentially expand that rule to loans originated by lending companies organized by Native American tribes, among other situations.

Gusto raises $ 140 million to go after small business payroll and benefits with more gusto (TechCrunch) Rated: A

Gusto, which sells payroll, benefits and human resources management and monitoring services to small businesses, has raised $140 million in its latest round of funding.

The company said it will use the money to add new services to increase payment flexibility for employees. The company launched a new service called Flexible Pay, which gives employees a way to get paid no matter when a company’s pay schedule dictates. It seems sort of like a payday loan, where a percentage of the salary is taken by Gusto  for providing money upfront.

Elevate Credit, Inc. (ELVT) CEO Kenneth Rees on Q2 2018 Results – Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha) Rated: A

Before I catch on the specific highlights for Q2, I’d like to restate, as I usually do, our commitment to use technology and advanced analytics to be the most responsible lender in our space and to make a positive impact in the lives of our customers. As Slide 3 shows, we’ve now extended more than $5.9 billion in credit to more than 2 million nonprime consumers. We’ve come to call the 170 million consumers in the U.S. and U.K. who are credit constrained, the new middle class. And we’re proud to announce on this call that Elevate products have now saved our customers more than $4 billion over what they would’ve paid for legacy products like payday loans.

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Issues FY18 Earnings Guidance (Press Oracle) Rated: A

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) updated its FY18 earnings guidance on Monday. The company provided EPS guidance of $0.55-0.90 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus EPS estimate of $0.72. The company issued revenue guidance of $790-810 million, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $803.81 million.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on ELVT. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Elevate Credit from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $11.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 24th.

Nobody Says ‘Zelle Me’: Banks Struggle to Catch Up to Venmo (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

A year in, Zelle’s reviews are mixed. Usage is up, but most banks haven’t signed on, meaning many consumers can’t use it without downloading a separate app. It also fell short of its goal to have 33 banks on the network by its first anniversary, and behind the scenes, it runs on plumbing that’s more than 40 years old.

Zelle’s rocky debut shows the challenges of trying to make alterations to an industry often slow to change and still weighed down by old infrastructure.

Go Midwest, young fintechs (American Banker) Rated: A

For startups, they are not the obvious places to settle down. While fintech is flush with venture capital, three states — California, Massachusetts and New York — gobble up 75% of all VC funds. Yet if there is a good time to go against the odds, it might be now. These days, it has become fashionable for venture capitalists to say they are scouting for opportunities beyond the coasts.

Most visibly, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest seed fund, co-founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case, continues to make a splash by investing in all kinds of startups across America to promote growth and increase investment capital. As Case blogged, “People know that the future of America is tied to more than just three cities, and there is an eagerness, now more than ever, to address the investment gap.”

Bill to enhance poor credit scores will backfire, critics say (American Banker) Rated: A

Legislation to enhance credit scores by allowing consumers to include data about their monthly bills has broad bipartisan support, but some consumer advocates and others question whether the legislation may backfire on those it is meant to help.

The measure, which passed the House earlier this month and is authored by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., is intended to allow consumers to benefit from positive information about lease, telecommunications and utility payments in their credit reports. An identical version has been introduced by Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the upper chamber.

A CEO used to think student loans were predatory, but he’s changed his mind (Business Insider) Rated: A

Last week, LendingTree acquired Student Loan Hero for $60 million. In an interview with Business Insider, Josuweit reflected on how his view of the student-loan industry had changed since launching his business.

Today, Student Loan Hero offers users financial-comparison tools and personalized advice for paying off student loans, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Josuweit said he had also softened his stance on student loans in general. Where he once saw them as predatory, he now considers them a valuable tool when used wisely.

Kroger stops accepting Visa credit cards at some stores (Cincinnati Business Courier) Rated: A

Kroger Co. has quit accepting Visa credit cards at some of its stores in a battle against rising fees charged by the credit card giant.

Blockchain’s Spring Labs Appoints Peter Tapling Chief Commercial Officer (Block Tribune) Rated: B

Blockchain’s Spring Labs names Peter Tapling, an identity and payments expert, as chief commercial officer and head of industry relations. He will be responsible for overseeing Spring Lab’s network development, industry awareness, partnerships and commercialization. He will report directly to CEO and Founder of Spring Labs, Adam Jiwan, and will be based in Spring Labs’ Chicago office.
United Kingdom

UK overtakes US on Fintech investment for first half of 2018 (Business Matters) Rated: AAA

The UK has overtaken the US in terms of fintech investment for the first half of the year, and taken the top spot in Europe to attract $16.1bn (£12.3bn) out of the EUs $26bn total.

Four of Europe’s top 10 fintech deals happened in the UK, which included a $250m raise by Revolut, $100m by eToro, $60m by Flender and $54m by Moneyfarm. Data provided by KPMG’s pulse of fintech report has allayed fears that Brexit would hurt the UK’s startup scene, as venture capital firms have cemented the UK’s position as a funding hot spot.

Fintech investment across the world reached record levels over the last six months, taking in $57.9bn across 875 deals. This was an increase of 34.2 per cent compared to the whole of 2017, which recorded just $38.1bn overall.

P2PFA member platforms secure over £300m from IFIsa investments (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: AAA

Members of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) have seen 28,000 Innovate Finance Isas (IFIsas) opened, with more than £300m of funds already under management, according to the latest figures.

The six P2PFA member platforms which offer an IFIsa are: 

• Crowdstacker
• Folk2Folk
• Funding Circle
• Landbay
• Lending Works
• Zopa

UK neobank Revolut has reduced fraud by 30% – here’s how (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

UK-based neobank Revolut launched disposable virtual cards in March , and has now reported that they resulted in a 30% reduction in card fraud cases.

Disposable virtual cards provide users with card details that get destroyed right after making an online purchase, and new details are made seconds after the previous ones are scrapped. This way, a merchant can’t charge the customer again, as they don’t have the person’s actual card information.

This fraud reduction announcement comes at the right time for Revolut. Earlier in July, we reported that the neobank had discovered potential money laundering activity on its digital payments system a few months back. It informed the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), suggesting that the severity of the issue was high, as conventionally companies just inform the NCA.

Source: Business Insider

FCA regulation sees an increase in consumer confidence for loans (Financial News) Rated: A

It’s an industry that has often come under intense scrutiny, but the high cost short term loans sector has seen a significant increase in consumer confidence. This comes as a result of the FCA facilitating dramatic changes and the enforcement of new regulations. In fact, a recent review by the FCA has stated that the noticeable improvements in the payday loan industry means that it will now not be reviewing this sector again until 2020. We take a look at the reasons why the FCA has successfully increased consumer confidence in the high-cost short term loan industry.

UK Regulators Taking Very Close Look At P2P Lending (PYMNTS) Rated: A

According to the U.K. Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), a self-regulating P2P industry group that includes most of the biggest names in U.K. marketplace lending, the country’s P2P lending industry had hit £9 billion in loan originations from the group’s members as of Q1 2018.

The figures also reflected having provided finance for approximately 50,000 businesses and 221,000 individuals overall, with a total investor count of about 150,000. According to the The Times of London, those figures are even higher – though they agree on the 150,000 investor count, they think about £10 billion in total loans have been underwritten.

Will New P2P Rules Hit SME Funding? (Forbes) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s chief financial watchdog, has just spent months investigating the sector, where it has already intervened with new rules once to safeguard investors. Now the FCA says the sector has further problems that must be addressed, including poor standards of disclosure, opaque pricing structures, over-optimistic marketing claims and poor record-keeping. It is consulting on a series of potential reforms and has also warned individual businesses in the industry could be investigated for compliance failures.

Much of the regulator’s ire is reserved for the peer-to-peer lending sector, where online platforms facilitate loans from investors to consumers or small businesses. While defaults have been relatively rare – though the regulator points out most platforms have not been tested through a complete economic cycle – the FCA is worried that investors are sometimes being given false expectations about the returns they should expect.

QuickISA Launches Free Search Engine to Discover Profitable Savings and P2P Finance Schemes (Perfect Investor) Rated: A

Past economic turbulence, the recession, and the uncertainty over Brexit and its impact on future investments, has made it imperative for every investor to keep an eye on their investments.  Individual Saving Accounts (ISAs) are a great way to earn tax-free interest on your investment. But which ISA is the most profitable? This question can now be easily answered with the new online service offered by QuickISA.

Legal & General invests £3m in lendtech Smartr365 (FinTech Futures) Rated: A

Legal & General’s (LG) fintech business has made a £3 million investment in Smartr365, a Software-as-a-Service firm which supplies systems to the UK mortgage intermediary market.

Conor Murphy, director, Smartr365, says the new funding will be used for product development – such as its LendrConnect, a mortgage API service that allows brokers to submit mortgages.

China

The Chinese P2P Lending Sector Facing Severe Challenges Right Now (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Back then new platforms were launching pretty much every day as p2p lending became the hot new investment. The number of platforms grew to well over 3,000, a number that everyone agreed was not sustainable. But new platforms kept on launching, attracting both investors and borrowers with relative ease.

We all knew the party was going to end at some point and it looks like 2018 will be the year of reckoning. According to industry data provider, Wangdaizhijia (loosely translated as Online Lending House), platforms are failing at a rate of around five a day with 114 platforms shutting down between July 1 and July 24.

Xiaomi’s risky play with P2P lenders: another reason to be bearish (Kr-ASIA) Rated: A

But in the lead up to the company’s IPO earlier this month – which continues to be a rocky one – its founder LEI Jun went all in to deliver his bigger vision: Xiaomi isn’t a gadget maker, it’s an internet company. One that gathers data from a network of smartphones and other internet-enabled devices, and sells additional “online services” – things like utility apps and content, created by partners. In other words, a platform business built around the Xiaomi brand and gadgets ecosystem.

Well, large parts of China’s P2P sector were crumbling after a government crackdown. For some, it came too late – they had trusted sites with their savings in hopes of getting the promised returns.

Xiaomi had an explanation: It doesn’t have anything to do with those lenders. It only let them use its platform for advertising purposes.

European Union

Big Red Cloud becomes the latest SME to raise funds through Flender (Silicon Republic) Rated: AAA

Irish accountancy firm Big Red Cloud raises thousands in partnership with alternative-lending firm Flender.

Alternative-lending platform Flender has added another successful SME funding partnership to the pile, with Irish accountancy software company Big Red Cloud raising €31,500 in just 24 hours.

SMEs benefit from different lending models

O’Dwyer said it was encouraging to see the normalisation of alternative-lending models such as Flender as a credit option for SMEs and a novel opportunity for investors.

DGAP-News: Varengold Bank AG: Preliminary figures for first half of 2018 (Markets Insider) Rated: A

In the first half of 2018, the total assets increased significantly from EUR 445.2 million to nearly EUR 665.5 million. Customer deposits continue to be the dominant amount on the liabilities side with EUR 599.3 million and therefore 90%.

The company’s interest result increased due to the expanded lending volume from TEUR 2,047 in the first half of 2017 to TEUR 3,429 in the first half of 2018. The commission result remained almost constant at TEUR 8,108 in the first half of 2018 (30th June 2017: TEUR 5,818).

International

Fintech vendors keep reinventing themselves, and banks struggle to keep up (American Banker) Rated: AAA

There were 70 mergers and acquisitions among fintechs in the U.S., Canada and South America in the first quarter, and those deals were worth a combined $3.4 billion, according to a fintech investment report issued by KPMG on Tuesday.

The number of deals fell to 60 in the second quarter, but the total value rose to $5.8 billion. M&A activity in this field is expected to remain “very healthy [in] 2018 on the whole,” the report said.

The investment flow is also breeding new companies looking for bank clients. American fintechs, the report noted, attracted $14.2 billion in overall funding in the first half of 2018.

What that means for all banks is when it comes to tech, there’s plenty to ponder: more options for their front- and back-office operations; more retail and commercial service improvements to consider; more new vendors that will be seeking their business; and more fintech investment opportunities to pursue.

Source: American Banker

UK fintech scores the global top spot for investment in the first half of 2018 (City A.M.) Rated: A

China came in second place with $15.1bn, followed by the US with $14.2bn.

Four of Europe’s top 10 fintech deals happened in the UK, which included a $250m raise by Revolut, $100m by eToro, $60m by Flender and $54m by Moneyfarm. Data provided by KPMG’s pulse of fintech report has allayed fears that Brexit would hurt the UK’s startup scene, as venture capital firms have cemented the UK’s position as a funding hot spot.

Fintech investment across the world reached record levels over the last six months, taking in $57.9bn across 875 deals. This was an increase of 34.2 per cent compared to the whole of 2017, which recorded just $38.1bn overall.

Interval Funds: A New Approach To Alternative Investing (Seeking Alpha) Rated: A

The way I view it is that interval funds are a great blend of the traditional closed-end fund that Tortoise is used to managing, along with the traditional mutual fund that we also have managed in the past and still do. Compared to other registered fund structures, they’re obviously less liquid than a mutual fund and a traditional closed-end fund, but they’re great for more long-term investors that aren’t looking to need liquidity quite as often. From our fund’s perspective, you can subscribe daily. You only have the option to redeem at certain periods, and that’s typically between 5 and 25 percent on a quarterly basis. From a liquidity standpoint, obviously, this is nice for folks that aren’t qualified purchasers that aren’t getting exposure to traditional private funds in the limited partnership structure.

Crypto Lending Platform Launched By CoinLoan (Block Tribune) Rated: A

Estonia-based startup CoinLoan has officially launched its crypto-to-fiat lending platform that allow users to HODL crypto and borrow fiat money.

For borrowers, the platform allows them to create an application for receiving a loan in the amount that does not exceed 70 percent of the current market value of the crypto collateral. This limitation has been created for preserving the crypto assets of the borrower and reducing risk related to the high volatility of the crypto asset market.

The platform currently supports bitcoin, ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, ZCash, and Ripple. Users can borrow a loan in the following fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, CNY, JPY, RUB, CHF, PLN and CZK.

A blockchain solution for global peer-to-peer lending (Global Banking and Finance Review) Rated: A

A blockchain solution for global peer-to-peer lending is on the horizon, adding an exciting layer to an already booming sector which is expected to reach the $1 trillion mark by 2025.

The problem is, some aren’t excited by blockchain’s arrival. Experiencing Déjà vu? It’s easy to be transported back to the 1990s when the Internet was dismissed as just a “wasteland of unfiltered data”.

FintruX Network welcomes Bob Rinaldi to its Board of Directors (Leap Rate) Rated: B

FintruX Network, the global P2P lending ecosystem, has just announced a new addition to its Board of Directors, Bob Rinaldi, a serial entrepreneur and business director. FintruX Network is an online ecosystem that facilitates the lending and borrowing of finances to small businesses in a peer-to-peer marketplace powered by blockchain and no-code development.

Australia/New Zealand

Fintech startup Tic:Toc raises $ 11.5 million to take hassle out of home loan approvals (Smart Company) Rated: AAA

Aussie fintech startup Tic:Toc has raised $11.5 million in Series B funding in its bid to improve the customer service around home-loan approvals.

The funding round was led by Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia and La Trobe Financial, and also included some existing shareholders.

Heartland Bank unveils restructure plans (Interest) Rated: A

Heartland Bank says it’s planning a corporate restructure that will remove business growth constraints stemming from Reserve Bank regulation, and see it list on the Australian sharemarket.

The proposal is for a restructure of the Heartland Bank Ltd group of companies via a court approved scheme of arrangement under Part 15 of the Companies Act. The purpose of the restructure is to more clearly define the separation between Heartland Bank Ltd’s New Zealand and Australian businesses, and to enable it to access the most efficient forms of equity and debt funding, according to an NZX filing.

India

How RBI Is Solving P2P Lending Issues And India’s Credit Woes (Inc42) Rated: AAA

Over the past couple of years, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India have undergone major transformations to keep up with the growing demand in the country’s credit market.

Subsequent to the ease in regulations, a number of new NBFCs were established to supply credit to consumers. However, access to financial services was only restricted to a small segment of consumers/ borrowers with existing credit histories and profiles.

On the other hand, the unbanked sections of the population, or those with limited exposure to institutional credit were not affected much with these developments, finding themselves in more or less the same situation as before.

Latin America

Uruguay: Peer To Peer Lending In Uruguay (Mondaq) Rated: AAA

As the peer to peer lending market is quite embryonic, processional expertise is recommended to make sure the transactions are compliant and in keeping with existing and developing regulations.

Any new lending schemes in this field must be registered with the Central Bank of Uruguay, and payments must be legitimate and in line with existing regulations for the Prevention of Money Laundering.

Asia

Indonesian P2P lender Investree raises Series B round led by SBI Holdings (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

Indonesian P2P firm Investree has announced the closing of a Series B investment in a round led by SBI Holdings and joined by Mandiri Capital Indonesia, Persada Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, 9F Fintech Holdings Group and previous backer Kejora Ventures.

The financial details of the round were not disclosed.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Why Community Banks and Fintech Partnerships Make Cents

bank-fintech partnerships

Fintech is often viewed as an industry disrupter, but its greatest influence may be as a collaborator, benefiting both banks and themselves, especially in the lending space. Conceptually, partnering makes sense. For community banks, the cost of building or buying their own online origination platform is prohibitive. By collaborating, banks can achieve more with less […]

bank-fintech partnerships

Fintech is often viewed as an industry disrupter, but its greatest influence may be as a collaborator, benefiting both banks and themselves, especially in the lending space. Conceptually, partnering makes sense. For community banks, the cost of building or buying their own online origination platform is prohibitive. By collaborating, banks can achieve more with less risk: They can get improved services for significantly lower capital expenditure; a reduced cost of doing business; and, more importantly, access to market segments that would otherwise not meet their credit criteria. Collectively, this advances not only the business of community banks but also the mission.

In turn, by partnering with banks, fintech firms can gain brand exposure, more quickly scale their businesses, and increase their access to capital and liquidity, which translates to better company returns.

Bank and Fintech Partnership Models

Initially, bank-fintech partnerships followed consumer demand for digital services, especially mobile access. Lending partnerships soon followed, first focusing on retail consumers, and more recently, on SMEs. Partnership structures vary depending on which party sources the borrower, underwrites and funds each loan, and whether the product is white labeled under the bank’s name or co-branded. Below is an expanded chart of most common structures and selected partnerships, published by Lend Academy.

Borrower Source Underwriter Lender Abbrev. Customer Style Year Example (Bank/fintech)
Fintech Fintech Bank FFB Retail N/A 2014 Union Bank / Lending Club
Fintech Fintech Bank FFB SME Co-brand 2015 BancAlliance / Lending Club
Fintech Fintech Bank FFB Retail N/A 2016 Credigy / Lending Club
Fintech Fintech Bank BFB SME White label 2015 ING / Kabbage
Bank Fintech Bank BFB SME White label 2016 JPMorgan / OnDeck
Bank Fintech Bank BFB SME White label 2016 Santander / Kabbage
Bank Fintech Bank BFF Retail Co-brand 2015 Radius Bank / Prosper
Bank Fintech Fintech BFF SME Co-brand 2015 Regions Bank / Fundation
Bank Fintech Fintech BFF Retail Co-brand 2016 Regions Bank / Avant
Bank Fintech Bank/Fintech BF-BF SME Co-brand 2017 New Resource Bank / P2Binvestor

Partnership Model Breakdown

Lending Club, one of the industry’s largest online consumer lenders, partnered with a series of banks via the FFB model. In their case, the banks provided lending capital as part of Lending Club’s P2P investor base. This partnership type expands the bank’s loan portfolio and enhances the online lender’s access to capital.

JP Morgan’s partnership with OnDeck (BFB) improved the “difficult customer experience” of securing a small business loan by combining existing customer data with a streamlined underwriting platform to fund loans more quickly.

The BFF model uses the bank’s customer base to source borrowers while the fintech firm underwrites and funds the loan. Banks generally receive referral fees when their customers borrow via the fintech portal. With the Regions Bank and Fundation partnership, Fundation funds loans up to $1 million while Regions handles larger loans.

P2Binvestor and New Resource Bank advanced the bank-fintech partnership into new territory with a co-lending, asset-based financing product. Together, the bank and P2Bi provide the capital, and the bank sits in a senior lien position. P2Bi underwrites and manages each facility, essentially acting as an ABL service provider. In turn, borrowers receive a blended interest rate that reflects the risk profiles of both the bank and the fintech firm.

This model (BF-BF) offers several unique benefits for banks and borrowers. For banks, it provides the opportunity to support small businesses that would otherwise not meet their credit criteria and allows them to generate additional lending revenue with less risk. In addition, the co-lending structure acts as a potential onboarding mechanism to traditional bank lending as once the borrower qualifies it can graduate to the bank’s regular lending products. Since P2Binvestor’s technology is already integrated with the bank partner, the transition from bank-fintech partnership to bank is seamless, also a significant borrower benefit.

Challenges

There can, however, be challenges. In a recent Manatt survey on bank-fintech partnerships, bank respondents cited overall preparedness as a point of concern when considering a fintech collaboration. Per mandates from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), banks must implement appropriate oversight and risk management processes for third-party relationships and service providers. Other issues for community banks include data security and staff training, and technology integration with legacy systems. Due to these concerns, it’s imperative that when in conversations with a fintech firm, community banks are clear about the responsibilities, requirements, and protections that will contribute toward a successful partnership.

Conclusion

As seen above, there are numerous ways that banks and fintechs can partner together in order to meet the needs of the consumer involved. Although challenges can be present, it’s important to address these issues before they surface in order to prevent them from happening. Overall, the ROI from these partnerships can ultimately change the success of a business.

Author:

Krista Morgan is CEO of P2Binvestors.

For more on community bank and fintech partnerships, check out P2Binvestor’s white paper on the topic.

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

Other

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

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

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

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

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International

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United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Sanborn, CEO of LendingClub:

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

Omer Ismail, Chief Commercial Officer of Marcus:

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

Max Levchin, CEO and founder of Affirm:

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

Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans:

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

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

Source: Street Fight

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

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

Returns since inception (indexed at Jan 4, 2016)

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

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

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

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

Purchase loans

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

Refinances

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

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

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

Key highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Small Business Loans

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

 

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What returns can I really get?

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

Is the platform a member of a reputable association?

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

 

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Content Rewards

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

Ezira Cryptocurrencies

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

Decentralized Exchange

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

Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asia

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

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

Fintech Companies Are Changing the Process of Loan Offtake

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

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

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

MENA

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

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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 […]

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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

Friday November 24 2017, Daily News Digest

Lend Academy investment accounts

News Comments Today’s main news: Revolut sings 1 millionth customer. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Lending Club’s Consumer Loan Underlying Bond Credit Trust 2017-P2. Funding Circle to launch Isa. Orca is launching investment platform. Chinese regulators investigating potential Qudian data leak. China cracks down on shadow banking. China tells provincial goverments to halt microlender approvals. Swiss consortium adopts single digital identity for […]

Lend Academy investment accounts

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Africa

Canada

News Summary

United States

Goldman Sachs Faces Doubts About Loss Rates at New Online Lender (Newsmax Finance), Rated: AAA

As Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lends more money to Main Street, one question won’t go away: How many borrowers will pay them back?

A recent example it gave suggests the firm expects loan losses to be lower than what some rivals are seeing, and half of what many credit-card lenders experienced the last time the economy went south.

The bank is counting on its consumer push to deliver $1 billion in revenue growth over the next three years. While the firm looks to attract borrowers with better credit than many rivals, others think it may be underestimating the risks of a business where it’s the upstart.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q3 2017 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

If you have been reading these posts in the past year or so you will have noticed a steady decline in my returns, primarily caused by underperformance in my LendingClub accounts.

Earlier this year I adjusted my strategy and started investing across the entire risk spectrum but it is a bit like steering a battleship. Given my many thousands of notes it takes a while for any changes to show up in my portfolio returns.

My trailing 12 month returns for the year ended September 30, 2017 across all my accounts was 6.64%.

Source: Lend Academy

My main LendingClub account has performed poorly over the past 12 months. My TTM return is at a paltry 1.64%, my lowest return ever. All of my LendingClub accounts are below 5% and all have shown reduced returns over the past year.

Prosper continues to perform quite well. My three accounts are all returning between 7% and 8% which I consider quite respectable. My average interest rate of the loans I have invested in is just under 20% but returns have been quite consistent recently in the 7-8% range.

Source: Lend Academy

PeerStreet is a real estate platform focused on fix and flip properties. These are short term loans, typically between 6 and 24 months, and they are backed by the property. I use their automated investment tool to invest in only those loans that are paying 8% or more, up to a 75% LTV and a duration up to 24 months.

My first new entrant this quarter is AlphaFlow. They are a real estate platform that build diversified portfolios of fix and flip properties for you. What I like about AlphaFlow is that they deploy your money quickly, my entire investment was fully deployed in a matter of days. And they diversify across 75-100 properties, my own portfolio currently has 83 investments in 22 states with an average LTV of 68%.

Finally, as I do every quarter I want to end by highlighting the net interest number which for the last 12 months stands at $46,631.

Get the lowdown on the full range of Peter Renton investments here.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2 (“CLUB 2017-P2”). This is a $330.0 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close December 6, 2017.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2

Class Preliminary Rating Expected Initial Class Principal
A A- (sf) $239,400,000
B BBB (sf) $34,600,000
*C BB (sf) $56,000,000

This transaction is LendingClub Corporation’s (“LendingClub” or the “Company”) third rated sponsored securitization and the second sponsored securitization consisting of “prime” unsecured consumer loans facilitated by LendingClub’s proprietary technology platform supporting an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors by offering a variety of loan products originated by issuing banks through the platform, www.lendingclub.com (the “LendingClub Platform” or the “Platform”).

The transaction has initial credit enhancement levels of 35.45%, 26.05% and 10.83% for the Class A, Class B and Class C notes, respectively.

China War on Online Loans Makes Waves in New York: QuickTake Q&A (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s campaign to reduce risk in the financial system is being felt in New York. The assault on the sector threatens to stymie any new listings of such lenders on New York’s stock exchange — as well as spelling trouble for investors in the handful of companies that have already listed.

Joseph Otting Has a Lot on His Plate as the New Comptroller (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Joseph Otting, a former banker and CEO of OneWest Bank, was approved by the Senate in a party line vote last week to take over the helm at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

If Otting decides to stand up to the banking hyperbole it won’t be an easy task.

All of this begs the question: who will gain if Fintech is allowed to compete with banks?

One-Third of Small Business Owners Work Half of the Major Holidays (Small Business Trends), Rated: A

One-third of small business owners work at least three of the six major holidays in the US.

Kabbage’s new survey reveals several work/life balance issues related to the sacrifices small business owners are willing to make. The research involved surveying 400 small business owners, with 67 percent stating they expect to increase revenues by the end of the year. More than half of the small business owners interviewed said they anticipate an increase in revenue of 10 percent or higher.

The survey found that 60 percent of small business owners only take one full vacation a year, while 23 percent take less than two holidays off annually. Furthermore, when on holiday, 75 percent of small business owners continue working.

Consumers Say Hedge Fund Financed Illegal Tribal Lending (Law360), Rated: A

Vermont residents on Tuesday hit a hedge fund with a proposed class action in federal court alleging it helped concoct a sham tribal payday lending scheme meant to skirt laws preventing companies from charging consumers exorbitant interest rates while hiding behind tribal sovereign immunity.

Plaintiffs Jessica Gingras and Angela Given accused the firm, Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC, of striking a deal with payday lender Plain Green and the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation to use the tribe’s name in exchange for a small…

Payday Lenders Try Legislative Run Around State Laws, CFPB Regulation (Chicago Crusader), Rated: A

The same deception that hides the real cost of predatory, consumer loans is reflected in the title of pending legislation in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate. The Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017 (H.R. 3299 and S. 1624) would allow payday lenders, high-cost online lenders, and other predatory lenders to partner with banks to make loans that surpass existing state interest rate limits.

How the Fed Can Help Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Real Clear Markets), Rated: A

The next Chairman of the Federal Reserve System (Fed) confronts a deep and growing problem: rising inequality. A new Fed Chair could combat this problem in an unexpected way by implementing real-time payments. The few days between checks clearing are a major driver of why it is so expensive to be poor. They are also unnecessary given technology and easily removable with some regulatory will. Real-time payments could save billions of dollars for American families living paycheck to paycheck.

The check casher costs $20, but two overdrafts cost $70. Check cashing is a $2 billion a year business and represents yet another cost born by those who have less.

The technology for real-time payments has been around for a long time. The United Kingdom adopted real-time payments in 2008. Japan, Poland, Mexico and South Africa all have the technology in place today. Financial technology (FinTech) firms like PayPal are offering real-time payments for customers who exist on both ends of their system. But unless your employer will migrate to using a FinTech for payroll, you need the banking system to modernize.

Peer pressure (BreakingViews), Rated: A

The Federal Reserve’s eggheads are usually a pretty reliable bunch. So when researchers at the central bank’s Cleveland branch recently published a study asserting that peer-to-peer loans were defaulting at rates reminiscent of subprime mortgages a decade ago, it seemed to confirm the worst fears about the budding online-lending market. But industry critics and academics questioned the researchers’ data, forcing the Fed to pull the paper.

It’s not easy to come by good data for this nascent field of finance, which makes the botched study all the more regrettable.

SoFi Among Companies To Buy Six-Second Ads During Fox’ Thanksgiving Game (Sports Business Daily), Rated: B

Duracell and personal finance company SoFi have “snapped up” some of the six-second spots Fox has set aside for its Thanksgiving broadcast of Vikings-Lions, while Disney will “air a mini trailer for ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi,'” according to Anthony Crupi

United Kingdom

Fintech group Revolut signs up its millionth customer (Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Revolut, an app-based banking alternative which has over 50,000 customers in Ireland, has now signed up 1 million customers globally and claims it has saved users over £120 million (€134 million) in fees.

London-based Revolut said it is now signing up between 3,000 and 3,500 new users every day, an increase of 50 per cent growth from three months ago.

Users have now made over 42 million transactions since the company officially launched in July 2015 with a total transaction volume of $6.1 billion.

In an email to its customers seen by Moneywise and confirmed directly with Funding Circle, the provider says it will allow existing customers to invest in an Isa from Thursday 30 November.

It has yet to announce a launch date for new customers and says this is because it is anticipating strong demand for the product. For the same reason, customers will not be able to transfer existing Isas to Funding Circle when the product is launched.

Customers must deposit at least £1,000 to open an Isa.

Funding Circle borrowers back joining European Free Trade Agreement post-Brexit (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

MORE THAN half of small business owners want the UK to join the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) once Brexit is complete, Funding Circle research has found.

A survey of 1,254 borrowers on the peer-to-peer lending platform found 57 per cent would support EFTA, also known as the ‘Norway option,’ as it provides a regional free trade area comprising of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Orca to unveil diversified P2P portfolios for investors (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

PEER-TO-PEER analysis firm Orca is set to launch an investment platform.

The proposition will automatically build portfolios of P2P investments across more than 50 per cent of the market.

The portfolios would include major lenders across the consumer, business and property lending space such as Zopa, Funding Circle and Assetz Capital.

Digital wealth manager start-up Fountain secures seed investment (AltFi), Rated: A

Fountain, a digital wealth management platform aiming to “empower” investors to achieve their financial goals has secured seed round investment.

The cash, an undisclosed sum, came from a number of City figures led by Patrick Day, chairman of Day Cooper Day, a specialist pensions provider.

Peer to Peer Lender ThinCats to Rebrand as Next Phase of SME Funding in UK (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

ThinCats unveiled a new brand last week at an event attended by more than 100 business leaders. The gathering took place at the National Space Centre in Leicester but the new branding will not be officially launched until mid-December.

Robo-guidance or electric dreams? (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Effectively, FG17/8 is the new bible for everyone interested in developing a new automated (digital /robo /telephone-based) advice solution. Or it is a checklist for those who have already trodden down this well-worn path.

Do note though – as if you did not already know – the paper “contains general guidance and is not binding”, is not “exhaustive”, must not be read in isolation of the handbook, and does not address any potential changes that might arise from the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive. (Heaven forbid anyone would actually take any accountability for what is between the covers).

Two years. Two years. To pull together in one document the working practices that professional firms already follow with their eyes closed?

Three-quarters of advisers unthreatened by robo-advice (Financial Reporter), Rated: A

New research shows that 78% of financial advisers are confident robo-advice offers no threat to their business, despite nearly half expecting more demand for robo-advice over the next 12 months.

The research from Aegon found that the degree of concern felt by advisers correlates to the typical size of their client portfolios, with advisers whose client portfolios are at the lower end of the scale more alert to the threat from the lower cost option of robo-advice.

For advisers with client portfolios of more than £200k, 88% feel it offers no threat to their business, and even for portfolios of up to £100k, the figure remains high at 73%.

While the majority of advisers believe robo-advice is no threat to their business, a third (31%) do point to robo-advice and similar digital services as one of the top challenges to the wider industry over the coming two years, a little behind Brexit (40%).

China

China Regulators, Police Probe Qudian Client Data Leak (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Officials are probing allegations that data from more than a million students who are clients of Beijing-based Qudian was leaked and possibly sold online, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information.

The probe’s initial findings show that at least part of the leaked data match information clients had provided to Qudian, the people said. Investigators are checking whether the data came from Qudian, if the company was aware of the breach, and whether it took necessary measures to ensure the safety of personal information it collects.

China Commences Crackdown on Shadow Banking (The Epoch Times), Rated: AAA

Chinese regulators introduced major rules on Nov. 17—the scale of which has been compared to the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act—to unify regulations for the asset managementindustry and curtail shadow banking activities.

The rules are broad-based, covering China’s $15 trillion of asset management products issued by all financial institutions.

For example, the rules will prohibit asset managers from promising guaranteed rates of return to investors, and require issuers to set aside 10 percent of their fees from managing client assets in escrow, to serve as a buffer against losses.

For publicly offered funds, total assets cannot exceed 140 percent of the funds’ net asset value. The same ratio is set at 200 percent for privately offered funds.

China Urges Local Governments To Halt New Internet Microlender Approvals (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

China is regulating micro loans on the internet, with a high-level Chinese government agency issuing a notice urging provincial governments to halt approval of new web-based online lenders.

The firms are lending to consumers in China that have been turned down by Chinese banks. However, interest rates on these tiny loans can be very high — something borrowers don’t realize.

China’s Micro-Lender Assault Threatens Path to U.S. Listings (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

According to the International Financial News, China plans to purge the country’s 157 online micro-lenders, leaving only large state-owned companies and the biggest internet firms intact with licenses. Few of the existing lenders will survive, said the newspaper, which is managed by the official People’s Daily.

A comprehensive cleansing of the industry, which offers almost immediate unsecured loans over the Internet, often at high interest rates, would escalate earlier moves to crack down on the sector and its estimated $152 billion of loans. News that China has halted further approvals for online micro-lenders has already pummeled the New York shares of firms like Qudian Inc. and PPDAI Group Inc.

“It would seem to be an enormous, enormous risk to try an IPO with that hanging over your head,” said Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Peking University HSBC School of Business. “It would most likely put a halt to any IPO plans of these companies now.”

Source: Bloomberg

China Online Lender Qudian’s Fast Track From NYSE Darling To Dog (Forbes), Rated: AAA

The listing of online lender Qudian at the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 18 heralded the birth of a new China billionaire, 34-year-old chairman and CEO Luo Min. The stock rose by as much as 43% that day, giving Luo a fortune worth $2.2 billion amid optimism about industry prospects.

Five weeks later, more than half of Qudian’s value has been wiped out and he’s on the verge of dropping from the ranks of the world’s billionaires altogether. Qudian fell 16% last night and at yesterday’s closing price, Luo’s fortune (which he shares in a trust with family) was worth $1.02 billion. Investors in other China fintech stocks got socked yesterday, too.  Jingpu Technology plunged 12.9% to $5.75, way below it IPO price of $8 from last week.   China Rapid Finance fell 6% yesterday and PPDai fell a whopping 24%.

Debt: The secret sauce of Alibaba’s Singles Day success (Technode), Rated: A

One of most notable online lending players aptly named Huabei (花呗, Just Spend) comes from the company that invented Singles Day—Alibaba.

To help them give away money to uncle Jack Ma, as hand-choppers have joked, this year Huabei has raised its credit limit to almost 80 percent during the promotion activities before Singles Day, allowing users to spend an extra RMB 2200 on average.

Huabei is the credit card of millennials, it targets the young and the unbanked. According to a report published recently, 86% of Huabei users belong to the generations born after the 80s and 90s (in Chinese). The fact that the 60% of them never owned a credit card is a good illustrator why online lending has experienced such a meteoric rise in China.

According to Huabei data, 38% of users choose to repay their debt in 12 monthly installments (in Chinese).

Credit Suisse-Backed Online Lender to Plan $ 500 Million IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: A

WeLab Ltd. has picked banks to advise on a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $500 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The China-focused lender, whose backers also include billionaire Li Ka-shing, is aiming to list as soon as next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

An Overdone Payday Mayday (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Stop panicking about China’s online lenders. The real target of the crackdown is rogue local governments.

Financial News said government entities can’t issue new licenses for internet micro-lending beyond the 157 institutions that already have them. The consequences were immediate: Zhejiang Busen Garments Co., for one, said in a filing Thursday it’s terminating plans to set up an online lender.

As of September, there were 8,610 micro-lenders with 970 billion yuan ($147 billion) of loans outstanding. Many of those weren’t licensed by national regulators such as the People’s Bank of China or the China Banking Regulatory Commission, which have strict rules.

Rather, authorization was handed out by local governments, most of which have no fintech expertise, to companies claiming to be affiliated with state-owned enterprises.

Source: Bloomberg

Mobile payment users in China exceed 520m (GB Times), Rated: A

Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, has announced that China now has more than 520m mobile payment users, reports state-owned news agency Xinhua.

report released by the People’s Bank of China detailing the country’s payment system in the second quarter of 2017, notes that Chinese banks dealt with 8.6bn payments from mobile services during that period – up 33.84 percent from last year.

The combined value of mobile payments increased by 33.8 percent to 39.2tn yuan (around US$6tn).

How fintech companies create an alternative capital market in China (The Asset), Rated: A

IN China, an alternative capital market is taking shape with the rise of fintech companies, where fintechs are the intermediaries linking borrower and lenders. Moreover, fintechs are edging into the credit rating space, leveraging on their big data capabilities.

One core competence of fintech companies is their IT stability in the areas of payments and cloud computation. The strength of their IT infrastructure makes the technology players resilient under extreme conditions. During the recent Singles’ Day sale on November 11 – China’s online shopping bonanza equivalent to that of the US’ Black Friday – Alibaba’s Alipay processed a peak of 256,000 transactions per second and Alibaba Cloud processed as many as 42 million instructions per second.

European Union

Swiss Consortium Adopts Single Digital Identity For Online Purchases (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

A consortium of nine large companies — including UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Post, SIX, Raiffeisen, Swiss Railways, Zuercher Kantonalbank and Mobiliar — will enable Swiss consumers to use a single digital identity when making eCommerce purchases.

According to a report in Reuters, the idea behind the project is to get to a point where consumers can use one login to make purchases at shops, buy train tickets and engage in banking activities online. The group aims to create a joint venture in 2018.

Exclusive Interview with Lendoit CEO Ori Erez (Chipin), Rated: A

Lendoit is a Decentralized P2P lending platform, which connects borrowers and lenders from all over the world in a trusted, fast and easy way using the advantages of Smart Contracts and the Blockchain technology.

What do you think is the biggest problem Lendoit will solve and why is it important?

The lending industry is not efficient because it’s controlled by centralized financial organizations that set the interest rates according to their own interest. It’s not fair that honest borrower from Brazil is paying 60% interest rate while borrower from Japan pays around 1%.

Lendoit uses three types of scoring:

  1. Local rating provided by a local supplier from the borrower’s state. Lendoit is working to create cooperation with some entities in various countries to provide this service.
  2. International scoring providers that are using innovative methods such as scanning social networks and scanning the borrower’s e-mail.
    Lendoit is working to create cooperation with these International entities.We have already signed / in the process of signing with several companies in the scoring area, such as FriendlyScore, BLOOM, LENNO, and others, as noted in Lendoit’s WhitePaper.
  3. In the Lendoit eco-system platform, there is a special Smart Contract: a Reputation contract that retroactively checks each borrower who takes a loan, and set reputation score according to his or her historical activities within the platform

My P2P Lending Investment Portfolio at Bondora is now 5 Years Old (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

5 years have passed since I first started to invest into p2p lending at Bondora in October 2012. I still have 604 loans in my Bondora portfolio with an outstanding principal of 7,467 Euro at an average interest rate of 23.78%. Of these 2,746 Euro are in current loans, 778 Euro in overdue loans and 3,941 Euro in 60+ days overdue loans.

Bondora shows a net return of 19.0% for my portfolio. In my own calculations, using XIRR in Excel, assuming that 30% of my 60+days overdue and 15% of my overdue loans will not be recovered, my ROI calculations result in 17.2% return. Even if I assume total loss on all outstanding loans that are 60+days overdue my ROI calculation results in 15.6%.

Source: P2P-Banking

Finbee Expands into Czech Market (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

FinBee, a Lithuania based p2p lending platform, has started to expand internationally by launching in the Czech Republic. By 2020, FinBee plans to begin operations in another two European countries.

FinBee will provide personal lending services for residents of the Czech Republic as well as for investors from across the entire European Union.

International

Investors divide in peer-to-peer lending (Silicon Republic), Rated: AAA

Banks – local banks, in particular – have traditionally been the main and sometimes the only source of external capital for SMEs. However, increasing regulatory requirements have lowered the probability for SMEs to obtain access to bank financing.

P2P lending is part of the wider universe of crowdfunding. This is a bigger market than many people expect. For example, a 2016 paper for the European Commission reported that crowdfunding expanded by 167pc in 2014 and reached $16.2bn. North America remains the largest market ($9.5bn), followed by Asia ($3.4bn) and Europe ($3.3bn). While there are no accurate figures on the Irish market, Orca Money reports that the UK P2P market had £9.6bn cumulative lending since 2010, £1bn of which was in Q1 2017. In 2016, Orca Money reported that the UK P2P market comprised 177,000 retail investors with consumer (46pc), business (35pc) and property (19pc) borrowers.

P2P platforms have been very cautious about the loans they offer to investors, with most of them being classified as low-risk. This has resulted in low default rates and acceptable positive returns for investors. The potential for positive returns has attracted institutional and professional investors (eg investment banks, venture capitalist etc) into the game and created a disproportionate capital supply and demand. Such a trend is particularly visible in the US and UK, the two largest P2P markets, but it has recently emerged in smaller markets like Australia and New Zealand and is likely to occur, to a greater or lesser extent, in all regulated markets, including Ireland.

The lack of a clear regulation has arguably prevented the growth of the Irish P2P lending market by discouraging both investors and small businesses to participate. A clear regulatory framework is necessary to ensure transparency and to increase investors’ confidence in P2P lending markets.

Initial coin offerings: regulation and the risks (Lexology), Rated: AAA

On 12 September 2017, FCA published a consumer warning on initial coin offerings (ICOs), stating that they are ‘very high-risk, speculative investments’, and that ‘there is a good chance of losing your whole stake’ as a purchaser.

Earlier in September, the People’s Bank of China had denounced ICOs as ‘illegal fundraising’ and issued a ban that caused the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to plummet. The following day, Canadian regulators accepted a firm offering ICOs into its regulatory sandbox as part of its broad goal of supporting innovative fintech projects. The European Securities and Markets Authority has been the latest to denounce ICOs, echoing the FCA’s warning to consumers that ICOs are ‘very risky and highly speculative investments.’

By applying the conditions from SEC vs Howey, the US Supreme Court test for determining whether transactions qualify as investment contracts (and by extension, securities), the investigation found that the tokens emergent from the DAO’s ICO are securities and thus could fall within the US regulatory perimeter.

The SEC made the classification by fulfilling the following criteria from the Howey test:

  1. Investment of money
  2. Reasonable expectation of profits
  3. Derived from the managerial efforts of others
  4. Investor voting rights were limited

FintruX Network: Making Unsecured Loans Highly Secure (BTCManager), Rated: A

The FintruX Network has been established to transform unsecured loans to highly secured loan without any hurdles to borrowers and investors. The platform has unique blockchain approach of global P2P lending highways which proposed to raise $30 million by selling digital tokens.

 

 

The FintruX Network aims to enhance credit enhancements by introducing cascading levels which involves:

  •         Additional collateral
  •         A local third-party guarantor
  •         Cross-collateralization
  •         Fintrux ultimate protection reserve
Australia

Financial services industry to get its Groundhog Day commission of inquiry (Financial Review), Rated: A

But it was probably not as long as the minimum two years contemplated by O’Sullivan and the Greens for the proposed Banking and Financial Services Commission of Inquiry.

It should not be a problem if the three judges have no background or experience in fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, equity crowd funding and payment systems riding off messaging services such as those offered by WeChat, Facebook, Apple and Google.

After all, this is not about the future. This inquiry is about spending more than $200 million looking in the rear view mirror.

The age of algorithmic advice (Financial Standard), Rated: A

Futurist and chief executive of global consultancy firm Tomorrow, Mike Walsh, told the 2017 Financial Planning Association Professionals Congress that sweeping technological change driven by complex algorithms is nothing to fear as it’s simply “not unique.”

Walsh said financial planners’ fear-based thinking that technology will replace jobs must shift to ask how will jobs need to change.

India

YES Bank diversifies funding sources (The Asset), Rated: AAA

INDIA’s fifth-largest private sector bank, YES Bank, is raising a total of US$400 million in two transactions in the offshore syndicated loan markets as it further diversifies its funding sources.

The first transaction is a five-year loan amounting to US$250 million raised from a group of Taiwanese banks, led by CTBC Bank, Bank of Taiwan, Mega International Commercial Bank and Land Bank of Taiwan. The deal was upsized from the initial target of US$200 million as YES Bank exercised the green shoe option following an oversubscription of US$355 million from 13 other banks.

BankBazaar CEO Honored at India FinTech Awards 2017 (Finovate), Rated: B

Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar, was recognized by the India FinTech Awards 2017 earlier this month. Shetty was named Fintech Leader of the Year at the event, which featured more than 200 attendees, more than 40 speakers, and 20 shortlisted startups from six countries.

Africa

Millennials happy to take financial advice from robots (IOL), Rated: AAA

Millennials are not only developing a healthy appetite for financial advice, they are also more likely to trust digital advice from automated investment services than older generations.

  • Results from the study showed that in Europe 32% of online adults between the ages of 18 and 37 say they “rely on financial advice from professionals”, compared with 29% of older generations.
  • At least two-thirds of US Millennials were willing to share personal data in order to obtain better service from their financial institution.
  • Only 38% of US Millennials are confident that a bank or credit union will offer them valuable financial advice, compared with 46% of their older counterparts.
Canada

Upcoming ICO for Global Migrants and Their Unbanked Families (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

The migrant and their unbanked families in emerging and frontier markets have been suppressed for the longest time without any access to basic services, financial or otherwise. Approximately 2.4 billion people in poverty worldwide are often excluded from free movement or basic rights which often leads them to corruption and crime, including slavery, human trafficking and in extreme cases, death. Migrants far too often are denied basic financial tools.

LALA World (“LALA”) is a wholesome ecosystem for the unbanked, starting with the migrants and their families back home. The base of this ecosystem is the LALA Wallet platform. By creating a whole new peer-to-peer infrastructure, LALA aims to revolutionize the way individuals, small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs transact, make domestic and cross-border payments, borrow money and associated products like insurances, cards, wealth and other general banking products.

LALA World Products from their Ecosystem

LALA Transfer – A Peer-to-Peer local and global remittance backed by crypto as well as fiat.
LALA Bill Pay – Local and International bill payments for you and your family.
LALA Lends – Domestic and International peer-to-peer lending via crypto and fiat, individual and small businesses.
LALA Card – Crypto and Fiat card synced to your Wallet and usable at millions of PoS globally.
LALA Kit – Contains a mobile phone with pre-loaded LALA Wallet, LALA Insurance, LALA Card, partners’ products, etc.

ICO Pre-sale – Nov. 25-Dec. 15, 2017 (discounts available).
ICO – Jan. 5-Feb. 5, 2018

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday November 17 2017, Daily News Digest

consumer debt

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage secures $200M credit facility from Credit Suisse for AI-based lending expansion. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) files suit against Think Finance. Royal Bank of Scotland to launch robo under NatWest brand. Hexindai names Citi depository bank for American Depository Receipt Program. ICICI Bank, Paytm partner on short-term credit. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ Lending […]

consumer debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

Kabbage gets $ 200M from Credit Suisse to expand its AI-based business loans (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

After picking up $250 million in equity funding from Softbank earlier this year, the small business loans and finance company Kabbage — which uses only algorithms and machine learning (no humans) to determine an applicant’s eligibility — is announcing another big infusion of money. The company is picking up $200 million from Credit Suisse in a revolving credit facility that it will use for loans.

Specifically, Kathryn Petralia, who is the COO and co-founded the company with Rob Frohwein, said the funding will help the company increase the number of loans it can make to larger companies in the US. The average size of those loans will grow to “north of $200,000,” she said.

DBRS Assigns Ratings to Kabbage Asset Funding 2017-A LLC (DBRS), Rated: A

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned ratings to the following classes of loans extended by a group of lenders to Kabbage Asset Funding 2017-A, LLC (the Facility):

— Up to $148,150,000 of Class A Loans rated A (sf)
— Up to $24,868,000 of Class B Loans rated BBB (sf)

The Facility is a warehouse financing arranged for the benefit of Kabbage, Inc. (Kabbage) to support originations of small business loan receivables. Kabbage acts as servicer for the Facility.

Study suggests many borrowers bungle credit card debt consolidation (Credible), Rated: AAA

Thanks in part to the rise of fintech companies that make loans online, more than 16 million Americans now have personal loans — an increase of 64 percent in the last five years.

Payoff — a personal lender that specializes in helping consumers tackle credit card debt — says its internal data shows borrowers who paid off at least $5,000 in credit card balances between August 2016 and January 2017 saw a 40-point increase in their FICO score within four months.

Cleveland Fed study: a cautionary tale

One year after taking out a P2P loan, borrowers had credit scores that were 16 points lower than those of the non-P2P borrowers they were matched to, on average — an impact that persisted for four years, the authors said in their working paper.

The study found no evidence that P2P lenders are providing access to credit for “underbanked” consumers — borrowers taking out P2P loans were obtain other credit from traditional banks at rates similar to other consumers.

But a number of companies on the list, including Lightstream, BestEgg, LendingPoint, Earnest, and RocketLoans weren’t around in 2012, when the most recent loans studied by the Cleveland Fed researchers were made. Several others — including Avant, CommonBond, Pave, and Upstart — were just getting off the ground at the time.

The growth in fintech lending has been a driver in overall personal loan growth, with 16.1 million consumers owing $106 billion in personal loan debt as of June 30, 2017. That’s up from the 9.8 million borrowers who owed $45 billion in personal loan debt in mid-2012.

Fed flags online lending as subprime redux, but market hits back (Global Capital), Rated: A

ABS participants, speaking with GlobalCapital this week, hit back at the report, written by Yuliya Demyanyk, senior research economist, Daniel Kolliner, research analyst, both of the Cleveland Fed; and Elena Loutskina a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and contributing author at the Cleveland Fed.

The authors challenge the belief that peer-to-peer (P2P) loans have expanded credit to borrowers with limited access to debt since the financial crisis.

A central argument of the Fed’s report was that sector has not done much to expand access to debt for borrowers with low credit scores.

In securitization, subprime consumer ABS has thinned since the crisis. For the five major credit card issuers, the years 2008-2016 saw revolving credit available to US borrowers with a Fico score of less than 660 reduced by approximately $142bn, according to data published by online lender Elevate earlier this year.

Even portfolios backing recent marketplace loan ABS have a weighted average Fico score above 680, the level that defines so-called ‘near prime’ credits, despite the notable dip in collateral quality. Marlette, for example, had an average score of 705 for its most recent transaction which was priced in October, while Prosper had a weighted average Fico score of 709, according to data from Kroll Bond Rating Agency.

PeerIQ Lending Earnings Insights Report (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

We are pleased to release our inaugural Lending Earnings Insights report.

Below are some of the main themes that we explore in this tracker:

  • Large banks continue to retrench.  Wells Fargo’s loan portfolio is down $13 Bn YOY. Loss reserves are down at all major banks except at GS due to the ramp-up in their consumer lending portfolio. Goldman Sachs expects lending initiatives to add $2 Bn in revenue in the coming years. GS loan loss reserve increased 50% and GS had the highest improvement in ROE across its peer group.
  • Credit re-normalization trend continues remains a recurring theme across all major lending groups. Overall, loss-rates on recent vintages are increasing versus prior recent vintages, although performance remains stronger than pre-crisis levels.  Card issuers are increasing loan loss reserves at a higher rate than loan growth, indicating expectations of higher losses going forward. Discover and American Express increased loan loss provisions ~50% although loan growth is at 9% and 14% respectively.
  • Consumer installment lenders do not anticipate an increase in loss rates, after having recalibrated loss expectations and increased reserves in 2016. OneMain had the smallest increase in loss reserves at 4%.
  • Consumers now have access to greater supply of credit and credit demand continues to grow. Consumer average debt-to-incomes are below pre-crisis levels.
  • Several lenders cited the shifting competitive landscape and the role of technology in driving innovation and risk management. 
  • Where are we in the credit cycle? 
Source: PeerIQ

Goldman Sachs’ lending platform is booming (Business Insider), Rated: A

Other banks may be tempted to emulate Goldman Sachs’ move into lending, but they should proceed with caution. Although consumer credit demand in the US 

Source: Business Insider

LendingTree Holiday Shopping Survey Suggests Bigger Budgets, Selfless Spending and Mobile Shopping Among Parents this Holiday Season (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, recently conducted its Holiday Shopping Survey among 1,050 Americans aged 25 to 55 with at least one child. The results show that people generally expect to give more than they expect to receive, and although only 55 percent of respondents have a set budget this holiday season, 76 percent plan to spend the same amount or more on holiday shopping compared to last year.

According to the survey, the average holiday shopping budget across all age groups was $943, although 45 percent of respondents say they don’t have a set budget for holiday shopping this year. LendingTree’s 2016 holiday survey found that 56 percent of respondents planned to shop for the holidays without a pre-set budget.

Additionally, 29 percent say they plan to spend more on holiday shopping in 2017 than they did in the 2016 holiday season.

Source: LendingTree

Parents are setting a low bar for their children’s gift giving abilities in 2017, with 68 percent of parents expecting to receive no gifts from or on behalf of their kids.

Most parents (80 percent) plan to spend at least $100 per child this year while 37 percent of parents plan to spend at least $250 per child.  Although 62 percent of parents say they try to spend the same amount on each child, younger children have a slight advantage with 12 percent of parents admitting to spending more on younger children and only 6 percent of parents use a child’s behavior to dictate how much money is spent on their gifts.

A debit card is the primary form of payment for holiday shopping for 46 percent of respondents, as well as the primary form of payment for across all groups. Second to debit cards, 29 percent designated cash as their primary form of payment, and only 21 percent are primarily credit card users – although credit cards are considered more secure than cash or debit cards. A recent CompareCards by LendingTree survey found that 66 percent of Americans think debit cards are as safe or safer than credit cards for payments, when in fact debit cards don’t offer the same consumer protections as credit cards.

Respondents expect to do 50 percent of their shopping online and 34 percent of their shopping on their mobile phone. Millennials (age 35 and under) expect to do 40 percent of their shopping on their phone, the largest of any other age group.

LendingTree Inc. (TREE) Breaks into New 52-Week High on November 16 Session (Equities.com), Rated: A

Shares of LendingTree Inc. (TREE) broke into a new 52-week high yesterday, hitting a peak of $281.80. Shares closed at $279.40 after opening at $271.75 for a move of 2.83%. The company now has a market cap of $3.34 billion.

Sharestates, America’s Private lender, Launches Their One Click Closing Option (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Sharestates, an online real estate investment marketplace, announced today the launch of its new One Click Closing tool, a feature that will allow return borrowers to visit a page where they can upload all the details and documents required for a new loan, allowing for a seamless transfer of closing date information without further communications. The launch of this new tool coincides with the company’s overarching goal of providing borrowers with a streamlined funding process, while providing them the opportunity to solely focus on identifying viable real estate investment opportunities.

Bitcoin Tax Laws Are A Nightmare So People Ignore Them (International Business Times), Rated: A

A survey of 564 American bitcoin users by the online loan marketplaceLendEDU, revealed more than 35 percent didn’t plan to report bitcoin-related gains or losses on their tax returns. On average, respondents said the current fiat value of their bitcoin holdings were $2,930.85, although that will probably continue to rise along with bitcoin’s market price.

The Best Personal Loans of 2017 (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

Some of the most common requirements for a personal loan are:

  • Minimum credit score: Most lenders require that you have at least fair or good credit when applying for a personal loan. Each lender sets its own cutoff for what it considers to be excellent, good, fair or bad credit. In general, fair credit is a FICO score between 580 to 669 and good credit is a score between 670 to 739. Most companies require a score of at least 600, but some have greater requirements. A higher score will increase your ability to be approved, and the higher your score, the lower interest rate you’ll qualify for too.
  • Clean credit history: Lenders don’t like to see defaults, collections or bankruptcies. If you have one or more of these on your credit report, you might not be approved for a personal loan. If you’re approved, you may have to pay an exorbitant interest rate.
  • Stable employment: A lender needs to know that if it lends you money, you’ll have the means to repay it over time. Without a stable job, you could miss payments or default on the loan. Proof of employment validates your loan application.
  • Proof of identification: Lenders usually need to see proof of identification, such as a copy of your driver’s license or passport, before approving your loan. Identity theft is common and they want to prevent thieves from taking out loans under another person’s credit.

Choosing a Personal Loan Company

There are two types of lenders you can choose from: banks and peer-to-peer lenders. Banks offering personal loans include SoFi and LightStream and peer-to-peer lenders include Upstart, LendingClub, Prosper and Peerform.

Marketplace-based lenders usually have less strict credit score requirements than their bank-based counterparts. For example, LendingClub and Peerform only require a FICO score of 600 while bank-based companies such as SoFi and Payoff have minimum FICO scores of 660.

Every lender has a minimum and maximum loan amount. For example, SoFi will lend up to $100,000 while Payoff lends up to $35,000. If you need to borrow $45,000, then only look at lenders who offer that amount or more.

Best Personal Loan Companies of 2017

  • Best for very good credit, low APR and no origination fees: LightStream
  • Best for very good credit, low APR, no origination fees and a range of offerings: SoFi
  • Best for very good credit and low APR with merit-based qualifications: Earnest
  • Best marketplace for fair to good credit with merit-based qualifications: Upstart
  • Best bank for fair to good credit with merit-based qualifications: LendingPoint
  • Best for fair to good credit with a co-signer option: LendingClub

The Best Bad Credit Loans of 2017 (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

Bad credit usually is a FICO score below 640. FICO is the main scoring system for consumer credit, with credit score rangesdefined as:

  • Exceptional (800 to 850)
  • Very Good (740 to 799)
  • Good (670 to 739)
  • Fair (580 to 669)
  • Very Poor (300 to 579)

Payday Loans Versus Personal Loans

Payday Loans Personal Loans for Bad Credit
Lenders Online, brick-and-mortar Online, brick-and-mortar
Loan Amounts Typically less than $500 $1,000 to $50,000
Loan Terms Two to four weeks One to five years
Interest Rates 200 to 400 percent APR 36 percent APR or less

(Source)

Some alternative payday loan companies market themselves as more socially responsible than traditional payday lenders because they offer better terms. They also want to help consumers rebuild their shaky credit and make payments on time. For instance, LendUp provides financial education and rewards existing borrowers who repay their loans to be eligible for loans at larger amounts and lower rates. Fig Loans only charges fees to cover the costs of the loan.

Choosing a Bad Credit Lender

Consumers should evaluate lenders based on the following criteria:

  • Type of lending company
  • Credit history and general qualifications
  • Co-signer option
  • Additional eligibility qualifications
  • Employment requirements
  • Interest rates and types
  • Loan terms
  • Fees and penalties
  • Repayment options

The Best Small Business Loans of 2017 (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

According to the National Small Business Association, 69 percent of small businesses used financing in 2016, including loans, credit cards, venture capital and crowdfunding. The remaining 31 percent were not able to obtain adequate financing.

According to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small business bank loans totaled nearly $600 billion in 2015. At the same time, lending from alternative sources such as finance companies and peer-to-peer, or P2P, marketplace lenders amounted to $593 billion.

There are two categories of alternative lenders, direct and peer-to-peer lenders:

1. Direct lenders: Direct lenders are finance companies that fund your loan with capital other than a bank and without a middleman such as a broker, investment bank or private equity firm. Some direct lenders, such as LiftFund, offer SBA loans. Typically, small to midsize businesses borrow from direct lenders.

2. Peer-to-peer lenders: Online peer-to-peer lending directly connects you with investors who usually have a diversified loan portfolio made up of small portions of loans. A loan is often divided among several investors.

Choosing a Small Business Loan

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum credit score
  • Minimum years in business
  • Minimum annual revenue

Best Small Business Loans of 2017

  • Best for very small businesses: Kabbage
  • Best for borrowers with low credit scores: OnDeck
  • Best for new businesses: Accion
  • Best for low APR: LendingClub
  • Best for invoice financing: Fundbox

Square Now Letting Some Users Buy & Sell Bitcoin Through Cash Mobile App (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Financial service company Square is reportedly now testing out bitcoin on some of its Cash mobile app users. The new feature will allow users to buy and sell the cryptocurrency through the app.

YieldStreet Surpasses $ 200M in Originations, Bolsters Leadership Team and Launches New Website amid Period of High Growth (BusinessWire), Rated: A

YieldStreet, the alternative investment platform that is working to change the way wealth is created, announced that it has surpassed $200 million in originations and has added two new executives to its leadership team: Volfi Mizrahi as Managing Director of Originations and Ivor Wolk as General Counsel. Their additions come on the heels of the appointment of Hrishi Dixit as CTO earlier this year.

$ 15 Million Investment Round Fuels Accelerated Growth at Goji (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Goji announced a $15 million investment round led by Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd., doing business as HSCM Bermuda.

CFPB Guns for Think Finance. Files Suit Alleging Consumer Deception in Repaying Loans Not Legally Owned (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has filed suit in federal court against Think Finance, a Fintech that leverages its technology to power online lending platforms. The CFPB says the suit was filed for its “role in deceiving consumers into repaying loans that were not legally owed.”

The CFPB alleges that Think Finance illegally collects on loans that are void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders.

The actual filing states:

“From 2011 through at least 2015, Defendant has performed critical functions for three separate lending businesses owned by Native American Tribes: (1) Great Plains Lending, LLC (Great Plains); (2) MobiLoans, LLC (MobiLoans); and (3) Plain Green, LLC (Plain Green) (collectively, the Tribal lenders). Defendant is therefore a “service provider” under CFPA. 12 U.S.C. § 5481(226).”

Read the filing here.

Richard Cordray’s CFPB Has Done Its Job Well (Bloomberg), Rated: A

As recently as a decade ago, the U.S. had no single regulator tasked with looking out for the interests of consumers in financial markets. Fragmented oversight allowed all kinds of bad behavior to fall through the cracks. Mortgage brokers hid the true terms of loans in piles of nearly indecipherable documents. Banks changed the order of transactions to extract the maximum overdraft fees from poor customers. Payday lenders offered products designed to trap people in an unending cycle of debt.

Cordray has accomplished a lot. The CFPB designed new, simpler mortgage-loan disclosures. It shed light on banks’ overdraftpractices. It created the first federal rules to make payday lending less predatory. It gave the public reams of valuable information, such as a database that allows consumers to compare credit-card agreements. Its practice of publishing complaints pushed financial institutions to be more responsive. Its investigation of Wells Fargo brought national attention to the fake-accounts issue.

Some of its practices (in particular, preferringdiscretionary enforcement over explicit rule-making) are less than ideal and ought to be revisited; in other areas (such as auto lendingand credit reporting) its authority should be expanded.

We need a watchdog at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Washington Post), Rated: A

Cordray’s departure gives President Trump an opportunity to appoint a new leader, and I’m concerned that this will derail the watchdog agency’s consumer-first mission.

In Cordray’s parting statement, he wrote that the agency has recovered $12 billion for nearly 30 million consumers.

Five opportunities and challenges in digital lending (American Banker), Rated: A

Despite the rapid growth of online and mobile lending in recent years, many banks are still just getting started.

Traditional banks should help govern fintech (Reuters), Rated: A

Traditional lenders should demand that online financial companies protect consumer privacy and money interests, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said on Thursday.

Banks often pay tech companies for the information they gather on borrowers. For that reason, Brainard said, those lenders can set high standards in consumer protection and privacy.

Under Trump, Banking Watchdog Trades Its Bite for a Tamer Stance (The New York Times), Rated: A

The regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees the nation’s biggest banks, has made it easier for Wall Street to offer high-interest, payday-style loans. It has softened a policy for punishing banks suspected of discriminatory lending. And it has clashed with another federal regulator that pushed to give consumers greater power to sue financial institutions.

Buffett’s ‘Million-Dollar Bet’ shows how much fees matter (Herald Tribune), Rated: A

One category of alternative investments includes hedge and private equity funds. I am not in favor of such investments, especially for the average investor, and I am not alone.

Typically, hedge fund fees are 2 percent plus an incentive, or “carry,” of 20 percent of the profits. The result is billions of dollars for the managers and far less for clients.

In 2015, Buffett lagged his hedge fund rival for the first time since 2008, gaining 1.4 percent versus Protégé’s 1.7 percent. However, 2016 saw Buffett gain 11.9 percent to Protégé’s 0.9 percent. At the end of 2016, Buffett’s index fund gained 7.1 percent per year, or $854,000 in total, compared with 2.2 percent per year, or $220,000, for Protégé.

United Kingdom

Royal Bank of Scotland to launch robo-advice under NatWest brand (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Royal Bank of Scotland is launching robo-advice for more than 5m customers as banks return to the investment market after a string of fines and as regulators attempt to plug the UK’s wide “advice gap”.

The state-backed lender is claiming to be the first in the UK to launch automated online investment advice when it opens on Monday under its NatWest brand. The service is designed for the majority of customers and for people with as little as £500 to invest as a lump sum.

The process, which costs £10 plus fees for the investment, is aimed at customers who lack the confidence to invest alone but do not wish to pay higher charges for full-blown financial advice, such as tax and inheritance planning.

Beyond the bank (Prospect Magazine), Rated: AAA

Five high street banks remain responsible for more than 80 percent of business lending, prompting calls for greater market choice both from challenger banks and from emerging FinTech (financial technology) firms. However, the introduction of new platforms and new players raises questions of integration, innovation and regulation.

Launched seven years ago, Funding Circle has since hosted 70,000 lenders and is responsible for 2 percent of total UK business lending. While going head-to-head with the banks it is worth noting that Funding Circle is also growing the market.

So what next for financial services? Will the disruptors get disrupted? Possibly. One attendee suggested that FinTech firms would soon be providing ‘white label’ versions of their services to traditional banks that would then offer those services to customers. Others suggested that the likes of Amazon and Google would provide the biggest future threat not just to banks but to today’s FinTech leaders.

RateSetter, Funding Circle, Zopa feature in Women in Fintech Powerlist (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FEMALE employees at RateSetter, Funding Circle, Zopa and Landbay have all made this year’s Women in Fintech Powerlist, which celebrates the achievements and talent of women across the sector.

RateSetter’s entrants are: Alexa McAlister, head of partnerships; Angela Yotov, head of legal; Joanna Wright, chief risk officer; Katie Brown, corporate counsel; Laurence Perrin, head of compliance; Lucy Bott, head of customer operations; and Maud Holma, finance counsel.

Women from Funding Circle who made the list are: Alysha Randall, global finance director; Lisa Jacobs, chief strategy officer; Lucy Vernall, global general counsel and global head of compliance; Maria Weaver, chief people officer; Panni Morshedi, managing director of international; Swati Lay, chief information security officer; and Vittoria Reimers, VP loan operations.

VPC takes majority stake in online lender Borro (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

VICTORY Park Capital Specialty Lending (VPC) has continued its expansion into balance sheet lending by upping its investment in online secured lender Borro.

The alternative finance-focused investment trust now has the largest stake in the firm, which provides loans secured on luxury assets, owning around 49 per cent.

How does LendInvest’s buy-to-let offering stack up to P2P rivals? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

LendInvest said it will be offering buy-to-let loans through intermediaries ranging between £50,000 and £5m, with rates starting at 3.69 per cent depending on whether borrowers take a two, three or five-year fixed rate.

In comparison, Landbay facilitates fixed rate and tracker buy-to-let loans of between £70,000 and £500,000 from 3.55 per cent.

And fellow P2P lender LandlordInvest offers loans of between £30,000 and £300,000 from five per cent.

Crowdproperty Pitches to Raise 600K GBP through Equity Crowdfunding (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

UK p2p lending marketplace Crowdproperty is currently pitching on Seedrs to raise 600K GBP from the crowd at a pre-money valuation of 5.9M GBP.

Digital bank Monzo sizes up IPO (AltFi), Rated: A

In an advertisement for a new Chief Financial Officer, Monzo has let on about its plans for an IPO within three to four years time.

The posting, published today on Monzo’s job site, says:

Alongside the CEO, you’ll be heavily involved in future capital raising – pitching to investors and negotiating the best terms. In the next 3-4 years, it’s likely you’ll be responsible for taking the company through an IPO.

UK FinTech Beats Brexit Blues with New Funding Record (Digit), Rated: A

The UK fintech sector has enjoyed a record year of investment in 2017 with more than £2 billion invested across 182 deals, according to research body FinTech.Global.

Additionally, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% experienced by firms valued below £75 million between 2014 and 2016 was supplemented with a further investment of £1.2 billion for this bracket in 2017. As for companies valued above the £75 million figure, a further £877.1 million has been committed across eight deals.

Investment in the UK’s top-10 fintech firms accounted for nearly 46.7% of the total investment between Q1 and Q3 2017. The largest of these deals went to Gryphon Insurance in June, valued at £179.6 million. Of the top 10 deals, four went to lending firms – Prodigy Finance1stStop GroupNeyber and Funding Circle, valued at £457.5 million. Of the remaining six deals, two went to challenger banks Tandem and Atom, two went to enterprise software companies Options Technology and Darktrace, and the final two went to insurtech companyies Gryphon Insurance and Revolut.

Millennials say advisers are inaccessible and too expensive (Financial Times), Rated: A

Millennials view financial advice as an industry of “exclusivity, inaccessibility and high cost,” according to research carried out by the financial advice trade body.

The poll of 178 millennials found 78 per cent of them believed they could only receive advice if they had investible wealth in excess of £50,000 but a significant number wanted advice when they had £10,000 or less.

Online-only options appealed to just 12 per cent of those surveyed.

Cardiff will host one of the first a new network of tech hubs being set up in a £21m investment (Wales Online), Rate: B

A new tech hub will be set up in Cardiff as part of a UK-wide network of regional hubs under a £21m investment announced by the UK Government.

China

P2P Lender Hexindai Names Citi As Depositary Bank for American Depositary Receipt Program (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Wednesday, Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Hexindai announced it has appointed Citi’s Issuer Services business as the depositary bank for its American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program. According to the online lender, the program was established through an initial public offering of its American Depositary Shares (ADSs), priced at $10 per ADS, which raised approximately $50 million.

Unified credit rating system expected soon, say experts (China Daily), Rated: A

A unified platform for collecting personal financial information and assessing people’s credit ratings is being planned, and it is expected to be launched soon as a part of the central bank’s regulatory framework, experts told China Daily.

It will complement the existing credit center of the People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank.

China Fintech Companies Dominate Top-10 List of Global Innovators (China Money Network), Rated: B

Compared with the ranking last year, two more Chinese firms were added to the top 50 list. Online marketplace lending company Dianrong and credit card and online financial service firm U51.com, or 51Xinyongka, rose to top 50. Among the 100 fintech companies, lending and payments focused companies lead in terms of sectors.

European Union

Online Lender WeShareBonds Raises €12 Million in Mission to Help Finance French SMEs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

WeShareBonds, an AMF-registered crowd lending platform, has raised €12 million to continue financing French SMEs. The new funding includes both the closing of WeShareBonds’ second credit fund (Prêtons aux PME 2018) to finance French SMEs for €10 million and an equity increase of €2 million to finance platform growth.

International

Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending in India: A positive disruption to traditional financing, albeit cautious approach required (CARE Ratings), Rated: AAA

The overall size of the NBFC sector in India has grown significantly during the last few years with increasing share of NBFC total assets to bank total assets (approximately around 15 per cent of the total banking assets).

P2P Lending in UK: In UK, the P2P market has seen active retail investor participation. The outstanding loan book in the UK industry is approximately around £2.9 billion (~Rs.25,000 crore) as on Q3-2017 as compared to £0.75 billion (~Rs.6,500 crore) as on Q4-20142 . Based on the outstanding loan book as on Q3-2017, the key players in the segment are Funding Circle, Zopa, FolktoFolk, Ratesetter and ThinCats capturing majority of the market.

P2P Lending in USA: P2P industry in USA is around $20 billion (~Rs.1.3 trillion) in 2016 up from $18 billion in 20153 . P2P lending in the USA has seen active participation of institutional investors (approximately 70 per cent of the total investor volumes) lending to borrowers through the platforms. In the USA, three dominant players capture majority of the market which include Lending Club, Prosper and Sofi.

P2P Lending in China: Globally, China has the largest market size of P2P lending which started in 2006. As of January 2017, there were total 2388 P2P platforms in China4with trading volume in 2015 touching $67 billion (~Rs.4.4 trillion) which is ten times that of UK and four times bigger than USA. However unlike USA and UK, the China P2P market is dominated by large number of small and medium size firms.

P2P Lending in India: Globally P2P lending has been in existence for more than ten years; however, it has been evolving in India in the last couple of years. Given the recent RBI guidelines, companies will now need to obtain NBFC–P2P license and will come under the purview of the regulator. There are more than 50 P2P online platforms operating in India. I-Lend, LenDenClub, Faircent, Lendbox, i2iFunding, Monexo, India Money Mart, Rupaiya Exchange are some of the leading P2P platforms operating in India. Currently, some of the leading P2P platforms claim to disburse loans amounting to ~Rs.1 to 2 crore a month. Outstanding loans under P2P model is estimated to have reached ~Rs.50-60 crore.

Source: CARE Ratings

Read the full report here.

TAURUS COIN OPENS FOR BUSINESS GLOBALLY (EIN News), Rated: A

United Kingdom’s leading peer to peer cryptocurrency lender Taurus Coin today launched its online lending marketplace with USD 150M lending capital, bringing the world’s fastest growing form of lending to the South-East Asia, Gulf, Africa, Europe, and India investors.

Australia/New Zealand

Sharesies to look at robo-advice once regulator rules on exemptions (The National Business Review), Rated: A

Start-up fund distribution platform Sharesies will develop a plan to provide personalised, automated financial advice, known as robo-advice, once there is more clarity about regulatory exemptions.

Last month the Financial Markets Authority decided to grant an exemption to enable the provision of robo-advice services under the current financial advice regime and said it aims to finalise the exemption and be open for applications in early 2018.

India

ICICI Bank and Paytm partner for short term credit for users (Medianama), Rated: AAA

ICICI Bank and Paytm have partnered to offer short-term credit to users. The credit given to customers will be interest-free for 45 days and the bank says that it will give loans up to Rs 20,000. Initially, this will be allowed for select ICICI Bank customers who are on Paytm and will be extended to other bank customers as well who use Paytm.

Once the credit limit is set up for a customer, a consolidated bill is generated on the first day of the next month, which has to be paid by the 15th day of the same month. Customers can use their Paytm Wallet, debit card or internet banking of any bank for an easy repayment of their dues.

In August, the bank launched product called Instant Credit Card where certain pre-approved customers of the bank will be able to get a virtual credit card much before the physical card is delivered to them. A physical card will be sent to the customer’s address in 5-7 days.

Meanwhile, the bank’s rival, HDFC Bank said that it would start offering a virtual credit card for customers through its PayZapp wallet, as indicated by this Financial Express report. HDFC Bank has the maximum number of credit cards in circulation with 9.03 million. Meanwhile, ICICI Bank has 4.34 million credit cards.

  • Paytm’s rival in the wallet space, MobiKwik has partnered with Bajaj Finance to to bring in credit facilities to a wallet business.
  • In April this year, PayU India will be investing $50 million in its product LazyPay over the next few years. The credit facility could extend for amounts from Rs 3,000 and even up to Rs 10,000, depending upon customer behaviour.
  • For the recently concluded festival season, e-commerce player Flipkart started to offer EMIs on debit cards on high-value purchases.

Narrow banking is an idea whose time has come (livemint), Rated: A

The most heartening takeaway from last week’s public sector bank executive jamboree was the discussion around differentiated lending structures. The ThinkShop (earlier editions were called Gyan Sangams) suggested that large banks focus on corporate lending, while smaller lenders focus on retail loans or specific geographies.

Taking differentiated lending to its logical end, the time has come to consider converting the worst performers among state-owned lenders to narrow banks, which won’t lend at all.

Narrow banks are safe banks. By not lending, and using their deposits to buy government bonds, they carry virtually no credit risk. There is no danger of non-performing loans and frequent injections of equity capital that has to be funded by taxpayers. For the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) too, supervision gets easier. There is no need for deposit insurance.

RBI likely to issue clarifications on P2P lending norms soon (Money Control), Rated: B

The Reserve Bank of India is soon likely to issue clarifications on the guidelines for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms relating to the lending limits, trusteeship and other operational norms.

Asia

Active.Ai raises over million in Series-A round (India Times), Rated: A

Singapore-based fintech platform Active-.Ai has raised $8.25 million in a series-A round, which was led by Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings and Dream Incubator. Existing investors Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures also participated.

Canada

WEALTHSIMPLE, LEAGUE AMONG KPMG’S TOP 50 FINTECH COMPANIES (Betakit), Rated: B

Toronto-based WealthsimpleLeague, and SecureKey were among the company recognized in the top 50 category. In the emerging stars category, Toronto-based BorrowellWave, and Sensibill were recognized.

The list was put together by FinTech investment firm H2 Ventures and KPMG FinTech.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor