Thursday February 28 2019, Weekly News Digest

Annual fintech financing Singapore

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

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Annual fintech financing Singapore

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United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Securitization Update

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

Source: PeerIQ

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

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

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

Metros where housing prices have recovered the most since 2009

San Jose, Calif.

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

San Francisco

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

Los Angeles

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

Source: LendingTree
Source: LendingTree

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Nerdwallet

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

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

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

Source: Fairfield Current

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Business Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

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

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

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

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

The commentary includes the following topics:

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

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

Not all credit histories are created equal.

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

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

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

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

China

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

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

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

Source: Dragon Victory International F-1 filings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia

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

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

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

India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asia

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

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

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

Source:

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

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

Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Africa

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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

Thursday December 20 2018, Daily News Digest

US Yield Curve

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck to enter equipment financing. SoFi releases video to destigmatize debt. RateSetter sees 47% revenue growth. Funding Circle fund expects lower returns. 360 Finance financials. Today’s main analysis: U.S. yield curve inverts. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Why did OnDeck file suit in Arlington? Fewer Americans rely on cash. More than half of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 […]

The post Thursday December 20 2018, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

US Yield Curve

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China/Hong Kong

Southeast Asia

Other

News Summary

United States

OnDeck (ONDK) to Enter Equipment Financing Market (StreetInsider), Rated: AAA

OnDeck announced today that it will begin offering equipment finance loans to select U.S. small businesses next year, bringing its heralded technology and digital lending expertise to what has traditionally been a slow-moving, opaque, and complicated process.

Who’s On Deck? And why are they in Arlington? We explain. (Biz Journals), Rated: AAA

At 2 p.m. on a Friday in mid-October, it’s judgment day for 13 small companies from across the country.

The plaintiff is On Deck Capital Inc., a publicly traded online small business lender based in New York that has sued each of the 13 companies for not repaying loans. Its choice of setting: the Arlington General District Courthouse.

New SoFi Campaign Aims To Destigmatize Debt and Financial Insecurity In Powerful “Money Talks” Video (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi today launched a campaign showcasing some of its members’ most intimate stories around their personal struggles with money. Produced in collaboration with director Tatia Pilieva, the filmmaker most notably known for her sensational short film ‘First Kiss,’ the video captures twelve SoFi members, strangers to each other, meeting for the first time to have open-ended, unfiltered conversations about their lives, their money, and their views for their futures.

The video, along with more about the members featured in the video, are now live at 

US Yield Curve Inverts; Spreads Widening on New FinTech Deals (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Core CPI rose by 2.2% keeping the Fed on track to raise interest rates next week for the fourth time this year. The market-implied probability of a rate hike next week is ~77%, although the rate hike path in 2019 remains uncertain. The US yield curve saw its first post-crisis flatteningwhich we will look at in greater detail below.

US Yield Curve Inverts for the First Time Post-Crisis

The US yield-curve saw its first inversion post-crisis as the spreads between the yields on 3-year and 5-year Treasuries fell to -1 bps. The spread between the yields on 3-month and 10-year treasuries has been an accurate predictor of past recessions. As the chart below shows, there have been 6 recessions since 1970 after the 3-month – 10-year curve inverted. Currently, the 3-month – 10-year curve is 49 bps away from inversion, but markets are watching every part of the yield curve closely.

Source: Federal Reserve, PeerIQ

Spreads are Widening on New FinTech Deals

LendingClub and CommonBond are out with new securitizations. KBRA has rated the tranches on LendingClub’s latest $272 Mn deal CLUB 2018-P3 A-, BBB, and BB. The $300 Mn collateral pool consists of 17,825 Prime loans with an average balance of $16.8 k, a weighted average coupon of 14.58%, and a weighted average remaining term of 48 months. The weighted average FICO score of the borrowers is 703. The deal has an initial O/C of 9.2% and an excess spread of 9.1%. Both the O/C and excess spread are the lowest for LC’s 2018 prime deals. This deal priced 27-50bps wider than LC’s prior deal in September due to market volatility and widening structured products spreads, according to DebtWire.

More Americans are making no weekly purchases with cash (Pew Research), Rated: AAA

Entegra Bank Chooses Velocity Solutions to Power Its Small Business Digital Lending (deBanked), Rated: A

Velocity Solutions announced today that its Akouba digital lending platform was selected by Entegra Bank to power the bank’s digital lending for its small and medium-sized business customers. Akouba provides community and regional banks with origination and underwriting services.

LoanStreet Signs Up Workers Credit Union to Use Fintech Loan Participation Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

LoanStreet, a Fintech “loan participation platform,” has signed up Massachusetts-based Workers Credit Union to its growing network.

Lending Express Appoints Former Maple Founder Ofer Ariel to Chief Product Officer; Promotes Daniel Katz to Chief Operating Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Lending Express, the technology company dedicated to increasing access to funding for small businesses, today announced the promotions of Ofer Ariel and Daniel Katz to Chief Product Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively. This announcement follows a period of impressive growth for the company, and is indicative of its commitment to provide best-in-class service to both its customers and partners.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Announces 2017-18 Revenue Growth of 47% (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter announced last week the results of its 2017-2018 financial year, which ended on March 31, 2018. The lending platform reported that revenues were up by 47% (which was £34.3 million) from the previous year (£23.4 million). The company noted that the year-end, there were 44,441 active investors on the platform with loans under management of £700 million.

Funding Circle fund expecting lower returns (AltFi), Rated: AAA

A hit from its European Investment Bank transaction as well as higher UK loss rates have prompted a fall in expected returns for the Funding Circle SME Income fund.

The £332m Funding Circle SME Income Fund saw a fall in its net asset value (NAV) of 1.4 per cent in November as the investment trust’s board said it expected returns for the full year would be lower than previously anticipated owing to a higher expected rate of defaults among certain loan pools.

Orca opens waiting list ahead of 2019 IFISA launch (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ORCA has opened a waiting list for investors interested in its self-select portfolio and Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), with plans to launch both products in the first quarter of 2019.

The peer-to-peer lending analysis and investment platform, which first revealed its plans to launch a tax wrapper to Peer2Peer Finance News in October, said the Orca ISA will allow investors to hold multiple P2P loans from different providers in one tax wrapper.

It will offer interest of up to 6.5 per cent.

Transferwise – the power of partnerships (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Cross-border payments were ripe for disruption and doing more than most to shake up things is peer-to-peer (P2P) specialist, Transferwise. Its number of partnerships with banks is multiplying while, in parallel, it is adding settlement options, most recently for direct access to the euro payment infrastructure through a euro settlement account with the Bank of Lithuania.

At present, with one notable exception, the partner banks that have been announced are challenger or other low-end players. However, it now claims over four million people around the world using its service to transfer over £3 billion each month. In the UK, global head of partnerships, Stuart Gregory, says its share of consumer international transfers is around 15%, putting in on or close to a par with some of the largest UK banks.

P2P property lending platform completes £10m investment round (AltFi), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer property lending platform BLEND Network has completed a £10m late-seed round of investing.

N26 Metal Now Available in the UK (coverageR), Rated: A

N26, the provider of mobile banking services which launched in the UK last month with a free account, is now offering N26 Metal – its first premium membership for UK customers.

For the price of £14.90 per month, Metal members get access to an exclusive partner program, dedicated customer service, and worldwide travel insurance provided by Allianz. In addition, members benefit from free ATM withdrawals in pounds, free payments in any currency, free withdrawals worldwide, and LoungeKey airport access in over 1k destinations.

This ex-Googler wants to help high street banks be more like Monzo (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

The head of innovation at one of Britain’s big high street banks told me earlier this year that he has a mantra when approaching a new problem: “What would Monzo do?”

Traditional banks are struggling to keep pace as Monzo pushes the boundaries. The startup sends smartphone push alerts when you spend money, knows when you’re abroad, lets you freeze your debit card if lost, and offers chatbot customer service — all through the app.

Onfido Sees 342 Pct Sales Growth In 2018 (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Onfido, the global identity verification company, announced Tuesday (Dec. 18) that it achieved 342 percent sales growth in 2018 compared with 2017 and that it has a four-year growth rate of 3,857 percent.

Starling Bank’s Megan Caywood jumps to Barclays’ ship (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

Megan Caywood, Starling Bank’s chief platform officer, is joining Barclays, as she handed in her notice a couple of weeks ago, according to TechCrunch.

China/Hong Kong

How a Chinese anti-virus software maker builds a fintech firm to wrestle with giants (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

360 Finance,  an online consumer loan platform that spun off from China’s anti-virus service giant 360 Group, has joined a raft of Chinese fintech companies to go public in the U.S. over the last two years.

The company priced its initial public offering at $16.50 per share last Friday, raising $51 million by selling 3.1 million American depositary shares.

Source: TechCrunch

You’ve applied for a Virtual Bank license, what’s next? (Hubbis), Rated: AAA

Hong Kong is preparing for the arrival of virtual banks (VB) — pure digital players that offer banking services solely through digital channels without bricks-and-mortar branches. In an exclusive article from Synpulse we discover the challenges associated with virtual banking.

What is your differentiating proposition?

With HKMA’s recent announcement of receiving 29 applications for VB, competition is expected to be intense.

Focus on Customer Needs

Basic banking services are about fulfilling three main needs of the customer:

  • How do I pay or get paid?
  • How can I borrow?
  • How do I grow or protect my savings?

Capitalize on strong partnerships

FinTechs have traditionally excelled in one particular area (e.g.p2p lending, remittance and FX conversion).

Avoid a Pure Discount Model

VBs can leverage their lower operating costs to provide lower fees, higher deposit rates or other price incentives to attract customers. However, without a clear differentiating proposition, a pure low-cost play will not be sustainable.

Jiayin, a Top Player in P2P Lending Business, Files for $ 57.5 Million IPO on Nasdaq (Capital Watch), Rated: A

A leading individual financial marketplace, Jiayin Group Inc., is seeking to raise up to $57.5 million in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in New York.

ByteDance registers fintech trademarks (Technode), Rated: A

In July, Jinri Toutiao launched a fintech product named Safe Lending. Up to 20,000 users were permitted to borrow up to RMB 200,000 (around $30,000) per person per day. The company claimed the Bank of Nanjing was one of its loan partners.

The product became the subject of investigations by the media in September. ByteDance later shuttered the online money lending service, while thousands of Chinese P2P lending companies shut down in the second half of the year.

PINTEC Partners with China National Investment & Guaranty Corporation to Develop Digital Lending Technologies (Markets Insider), Rated: B

Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd. (“PINTEC”) (NASDAQ: PT) today signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China National Investment & Guaranty Corporation (“I&G”), a leading enterprise in China’s guarantee industry. The two sides will jointly develop the next generation digital lending technologies and nurture a dynamic credit financing ecosystem for small and micro-sized enterprises in China.

European Union

Online Lender Creditshelf Partners with CrossLend to Offer First Digital Securitization of Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Germany based Fintech creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft, an SME financing platform, is launching a new partnership with CrossLend to offer the first digital securitization of SME loans in Germany.

A Visit to Crowdestor in Riga (P2P Banking), Rated: A

On invitation of Crowdestor I travelled to Riga and met the founders of Crowdestor Janis Timma and Gunars Udris. Crowdestor is a Latvian p2p lending platform for SME loans. They launched a year ago. Loans are typically for terms of up to 18 months and interest rates are quite high – the current loan offer by a transportation company seeking expansion capital carries 17% interest rate. The Crowdestor website is available in English, German and Portuguese language. Currently most investors on the platform are Germans, followed by Spanish investors.

Funding Options: From Fintech Petting Zoos To SME Lending Sanctuaries (Forbes), Rated: A

Both financial institutions and fintech startups have made serving SMEs a priority in 2018. However, despite business current accounts like Mettle being created this year, online comparison marketplace Funding Options has helped millions of firms across Europe, especially those that cannot get traditional bank lending because they are early-stage, high-growth or in difficulty, since its launch in 2012.

International

Finastra announces Eric Duffaut as President and Global Head of Field Operations (RealWire), Rated: A

Finastra has appointed Eric Duffaut as President and Global Head of Field Operations. Based at Finastra’s London Headquarters, Duffaut will take responsibility for the company’s entire go-to-market organization including global sales, services and consultancy, as well as overseeing the Finastra partner ecosystem.

Strengthening the Spread: ETHOS Now Live on Nitrogen Network (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Token of Ethos.io, a leading cryptocurrency wallet provider and Blockchain Financial Services (BFS) platform, has been officially listed on Nitrogen Network, a new decentralized peer-to-peer crypto lending network.

Nitrogen Network enables market participants to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies on their own terms, all while maintaining control of their holdings and private keys. This supports effective portfolio management and a diverse range of investment views across a wide variety of crypto assets.

Australia

As banks become stricter with lending, could your HELP debt get in the way of getting a home loan? (ABC.net.au), Rated: AAA

As banks rein in lending in the wake of the banking royal commission which revealed “irresponsible lending is endemic in Australia”, those who might have easily secured a home loan a few years ago now face much more stringent criteria.

Banks are looking more carefully at expenses and debts which, for 2.7 million Australians, will include a HELP (formerly HECS) debt.

India

NBFC Vivriti Capital secures Rs 200 Cr from Creation Investments in Series-A equity funding (Your Story), Rated: AAA

Vivriti Capital, a Chennai-based lending platform for corporate entities, has raised Series A equity funding of Rs 200 crores from Creation Investments, an investment management company focused on financial services.

Crowdfunding – A Brief Overview Of The Regulatory Framework (Mondaq), Rated: A

3. Peer-to-Peer Lending or Debt Crowdfunding: Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P lending) is a form of crowdfunding used to raise loans which are re-paid along with interest. It can be defined as the use of an online platform that matches lenders with borrowers in order to provide unsecured loans. The borrower can either be an individual or a legal person requiring a loan. The interest rate may be set by the platform or by mutual agreement between the borrower and the lender. Fees are paid to the platform by both the lender as well as the borrower.2

4. Equity Crowdfunding:

The SEBI Consultation Paper furnishes proposals for a regulatory framework governing procedure of Security based Crowdfunding methods for Start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Directions define a “Non-banking financial company – Peer to Peer Lending Platform”4(NBFC-P2P) as a non-banking institution which carries on the business of a Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform. Peer-to- Peer Lending Platform5 has been defined as an intermediary providing the services of loan facilitation via online medium or otherwise, to the participants6(a person who has entered into an arrangement with an NBFC-P2P to lend on it or to avail of loan facilitation services provided by it). Non-banking institutions other than companies have been prohibited from undertaking the business of Peer-to-Peer Lending platform.7 The Directions provide the scope of activities, prudential norms (the aggregate loans taken by a borrower at any point of time, across all P2Ps, is subject to a cap of Rs.10,00,000/-), operational guidelines, inter alia other regulations.

Southeast Asia

Why the ASEAN P2P lending market will avoid the Chinese pitfalls (ASEAN Today), Rated: AAA

To say that 2018 was a rough year for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending businesses in China would be a gross understatement. It was nothing short of a bloodbath, mirroring in many ways the US sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008-09.

China, despite its economic power, shares the following crucial features with smaller markets in South and Southeast Asia:

  • A large percentage of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals without access to traditional banking services
  • High mobile penetration among the population
  • Easy access to investor funds, both domestic as well as international

The Southeast Asian approach to P2P lending regulation is more proactive than the Chinese model

In the heydays of P2P platforms in China, the authorities pursued more of a “wait and watch” approach. In marked contrast, the regulatory bodies of Southeast Asian economies have adopted more pro-active steps to regulation.

Korea’s digital banks have two speeds: fast and faster (Asia Money), Rated: A

The average internet speed in South Korea is 26.7 megabits per second, faster than anywhere else in the world, according to French virtual private network developer Le VPN.

No Korean bank has ever been in the mix for this much-coveted prize. Nor did a single Korean firm appear in the latest Forbes rankings of the world’s 50 most innovative fintech companies. Indeed, it’s hard to identify a single well-known and home-grown fintech brand. There’s no Korean answer to, say, China’s Ant Financial, or Singapore-based ride-sharing-to-food-delivery service Grab.

OJK Pledges to Announce Names of Illegal Fintech Firm (Tempo), Rated: A

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) committed to monitoring legal and registered financial technology (fintech) companies of peer-to-peer lending or online loan as an effort to maintain the security for consumers.

Eurasia

Russia Is A Top Five Leader Of Digital Banking In Europe (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Because of the lack of legacy IT infrastructure within banks in Russia, the country has been listed in the top five leaders of digital banking in Europe, according to a new Deloitte and ID Finance report.

Latin America

Vitacon innovates again and launches an investment opportunity starting at USD250 with return of up to 12,8% per year (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Vitacon, a leading construction company that is revolutionizing the way people live in São Paulo, is launching one more investment opportunity for people seeking new options for earning income and diversifying their portfolios. The company, which for the past nine years has been incentivizing the shared economy in its residential developments, is launching the possibility for any investor to invest directly USD250 in a CD, a fixed income security issued by Banco Topázio, with a 24-month maturity, which allows for annual yields of up to 12.8%.

This new method, P2P Lending, is similar to one introduced in 2015, when Vitacon launched the first real estate crowdfunding, which surpassed expectations and created an international benchmark in the field, raising 28% above what was expected for the construction of the VN Cardoso de Melo building in a very prime location of São Paulo, scheduled for delivery next year.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday December 20 2018, Daily News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Friday July 6 2018, Daily News Digest

p2p loan korea

News Comments Today’s main news: PayPal, Synchrony close consumer credit portfolio deal. Personal loans hit record high. Funding Circle updates projected returns. Furongbao gets $121M investment. Creditshelf to IPO on Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Today’s main analysis: Swindlers in Korea tarnish P2P lending. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Why Kabbage isn’t ready to go public. Why a lack of local payment options hurts […]

p2p loan korea

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

India

Others

News Summary

United States

PayPal closes sale of consumer credit portfolio (FinExtra) Rated: AAA

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) today announced the closing of its consumer credit receivables transaction with Synchrony (NYSE: SYF).

Under the terms of the transaction, and related transactions with unaffiliated third parties, Synchrony acquired $7.6 billion in receivables, including PayPal’s U.S. consumer credit receivables portfolio, which totaled $6.8 billion at the time of closing, and approximately $0.8 billion in participation interests in receivables held by unaffiliated third parties. PayPal received approximately $6.9 billion in total consideration at closing.

Why This Ambitious Startup Isn’t Going Public–Yet (INC) Rated: AAA

Petralia was discussing her Atlanta-based company’s ambitious expansion plans this year, which include buying other startups and rolling out new payments products. But she was also joking about what’s shiny and new in the world of financial technology startups: everything and anything involving cryptocurrency, relating to the blockchain, or connected to artificial intelligence. Such startups were heavy on the ground in mid-June, when I interviewed Petralia and her co-founder, Rob Frohwein, at the annual MoneyConf event in Dublin, a 5,000-person gathering of entrepreneurs and established companies in every corner of the fintech ecosystem.

Lending remains a large draw for fintech-focused venture capitalists, who put $900 million into the sector in the first quarter of 2018, according to an April CB Insights report. However, venture capitalists are “on pace for a new low” of money spent on lending startups, even while overall global fintech investment is “on pace for a new high,” the report found. Instead, investors are increasingly willing to bet on startups working in wealth management or robo-advising, insurance and blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Karrot Personal Loans Got Chopped: Here’s Where to Borrow Instead (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

In 2014, Kabbage introduced Karrot, a program that provided unsecured personal loans up to $35,000.

But Kabbage recently stopped offering Karrot personal loans to grow its other offerings. Customers who already borrowed Karrot personal loans can continue making payments online. But those in need of a personal loan will have to look elsewhere.

Business Loan Company Receives Highest Award from TopConsumerReviews.com (Markets Insider) Rated: B

TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their best-in-class 5 star rating to OnDeck, a leader among online lenders who facilitate Business Loans.

SoFi Elects Peggy Alford & Magdalena Yeşil to Board of Directors (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

On Tuesday, SoFi announced the election of Peggy Alford and Magdalena Yeşil to its Board of Directors. According to the online lender, Alford is the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Previously she held positions at PayPal as CFO of Americas, Global Credit and Global Products and COO in the Asia Pacific region. Most recently, she served as the head of Human Resources-People Operations as well as the head of Cross-Border Trade for PayPal.

Personal Loans Surge to a Record High (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Personal loans surged to a record this year and are the fastest-growing U.S. consumer-lending category, according to data from credit bureau TransUnion. Outstanding balances rose about 18 percent in the first quarter to $120 billion. Fintech companies originated 36 percent of total personal loans in 2017 compared with less than 1 percent in 2010, Chicago-based TransUnion said.

Web-based firms like LendingClub, Prosper Marketplace Inc. and closely held Social Finance Inc. are driving the expansion of personal loans. LendingClub said in a filing that personal-loan originations in the first quarter soared 20 percent from a year earlier to $2.1 billion.

Why DC Developers Heart Crowdfunding (Commercial Observer) Rated: A

Small Change, was founded by Eve Picker, an architect and urban designer, with the idea of connecting investors with real estate professionals. The company’s first offering was for a tiny house in Pittsburgh, Penn in 2015. (Picker and Small Change could not provide comment due to federal law. Regulation Crowdfunding requires that all information about an offering reside on the Small Change portal and nowhere else.)

While Small Change is one of the newer platforms to the scene, other online real estate crowdfunding platforms, like Fundrise and Patch of Land, have been around for years.

19 State Attorneys General Unite Against “Madden Fix” Bills (OLPI) Rated: A

The Attorneys General of 19 states and the District of Columbia (the “AGs”) on June 27, 2018, publicly opposed to previously proposed pieces of legislation pending in Congress often referred to as the “Madden fix” bills.   Namely, the AGs made their views against HR 3299 (“Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017”) and HR 4439 (“Modernizing Credit Opportunities Act”) in a letter (“AG Letter”) to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Chairman Crapo, and Ranking Member Brown.  A copy of the letter can be found here: AG Letter.  HR 3299 passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate and revises various laws to state that a loan valid when made does not become invalid when it is sold, transferred or assigned.  HR 4439 pending in a House committee would explicitly state that a bank’s being named lender is not affected by any arrangement is has with a service provider.

Nelnet Files Application for Industrial Bank Charter (Nelnet) Rated: A

Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) today announced it has filed an application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions (UDFI) to establish Nelnet Bank, a Utah-chartered industrial bank. If the charter is granted, Nelnet Bank would operate as an internet bank franchise with a home office in Salt Lake City. Nelnet Bank would be a separate subsidiary of Nelnet, and the industrial bank charter would allow the company to maintain its other diversified business offerings.

Nelnet has hired Andrea Moss to lead the application process, and then Nelnet Bank if the charter is granted.

PayNet Sees Small Business Lending Reaching New Heights (Business Wire) Rated: A

The Thomson Reuters / PayNet Small Business Lending Index (SBLI) jumped 9.4 points to 152.7 in May and is up more than 10% on the year. The SBLI 3-month moving average also rose in May and is 11% above its year-ago level.

Of the ten largest states, growth was led by Texas (+12.9% Y/Y) and North Carolina (+12.3% Y/Y), which both climbed to record highs. The majority of industries also experienced growth in May, led by Transportation & Warehousing (+15.0% Y/Y), Mining (+9.4% Y/Y), and Construction (+7.5% Y/Y). Notably, all four of the industries that declined on a year-over-year basis are in the service sector, including Information (-9.3% Y/Y) and Accommodation & Food Services (-8.1% Y/Y). However, Health Care posted its third consecutive monthly gain (+4.1% Y/Y) after a steady two-year decline.

The PayNet Small Business Default Index (SBDFI) fell two basis points to 1.82% in May and is down seven basis points compared to a year ago, its sharpest annual decline since late 2014. On an annual basis, more than half of the major industries saw defaults fall in May, led by Mining (-183bp Y/Y), Transportation & Warehousing (-133bp Y/Y), and Professional Services (-32bp Y/Y). Regionally, defaults fell in eight of the ten largest states on a monthly basis, but were up in half of the largest states relative to year-ago levels. Notably, Texas (-36bp Y/Y) has seen defaults fall by double-digits in each of the last nine months.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle updates projected returns (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: AAA

Following the latest review, the P2P platform has updated the projected returns it displays for each lending option and will now show these returns as a range.

Projected returns are the annual returns that a diversified investor could earn after fees and bad debt, but before tax.

The projected returns for its balanced and conservative lending options are now:

• balanced: 6-7%
• conservative: 5-5.5%

P2P platform Lendy tops £400m funding (Mortgage Finance Gazette) Rated: A

Lendy’s latest milestone comes as some banks pare back their lending and more property developers seek out alternative finance options.

The firm reached £300 million in lending in April last year and has funded hundreds of bridging and commercial property development loans since its launch in 2012. These include residential developments, commercial property, and conversions.

The £400 million has been invested by over 21,500 investors who have earned more than £40 million in interest so far.

Money saving product recommendations “biggest incentive” to use Open Banking (Credit Strategy) Rated: A

Six months into Open Banking, two fifths of customers willing to share their bank transaction data with a new lender would do so if it provided product recommendations which save them money.

That’s according to research carried out by Equifax. Other motivations to share transaction data through Open Banking include the ability to easily compare products from different financial institutions (36 percent), being offered tailored incentives for switching to a new provider (34 percent), and a streamlined process when applying for mortgages (28 percent) and loans (25 percent).

Record first half for Scottish alternative lender (Business Insider) Rated: A

LendingCrowd , the Scottish alternative lending specialist, has reported record first half lending of almost £14m in 2018 and has upped its proportion of loans to Scotland-based businesses, helped by its £2.75m partnership deal with Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm.

After three consecutive months of record lending in April, May and June, the Edinburgh-based company loaned £13.9m in the first six months of the year, compared to £4.9m for the same period last year. Activity during the second quarter also reached an all-time high, with lending of £8.8m – a 225 per cent increase on the £2.7m delivered in the second quarter of 2017.

LendInvest notches another year of profit (AltFi News) Rated: A

Its loan originations came close to doubling, up 91 per cent to £536m. Revenues were also up, increasing to £53m for the year. Originations look set for further growth too, with lending capital growth of 94 per cent to £791m.

However, despite a surge in these key metrics, profits remain relatively modest at just £1.9m before tax for the period, up from £0.1m before tax the previous year, according to the firm’s gross management accounts. By IFRS standards, LendInvest recorded a similar £1.8m in profit last year, but made a loss of £1m in the preceding year (ending 31 March 2017).

Landbay co-founder looks to shake up property market (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

GRAY Stern (pictured), the co-founder of buy-to-let peer-to-peer lender Landbay, is aiming to shake up the UK property market with his new company.

The investment portal, called Dot, enables amateur landlords to invest in UK and US properties that it has already sourced via estate agents and property portals. The properties come with a pre-approved mortgage, enabling anyone with a 30 per cent deposit to buy them instantly.

As part of its package, Dot provides all the services a landlord would need, including insurance, tax compliance, lettings and management, thereby taking some of the hassle out of the process.

Who is guiding the Big Three? (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

The ‘big three’ P2P lenders – Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter – have often led the way in this process.

And as these firms have evolved, their board members – both executives and non-executive directors (NEDs) – have reflected these changes.

Here we look at the make-up of these boards and analyse the expertise and experience of the people who are guiding the big three.

Orca Cofounder Jordan Stodart Shares Update and Quiz Info (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

In preparation of its Lending Challenge, the P2P investment aggregation provider Orca partnered with UK P2P Lending Knowledge Leaderboard and posted a quiz targeting investors and industry players to see how much people know about the P2P knowledge. Neither questions nor answers will be posted here to keep the quiz fair.

Orca has teamed up with Peer2Peer Finance News; all winners will receive a print subscription to the magazine. The top 3 quiz placers will win:

  • 1st place: £100 John Lewis voucher, P2P Finance News magazine subscription & Trophy
  • 2nd place: Amazon Echo Dot and P2P Finance News magazine subscription & Silver medal
  • 3rd place: Regency Hamper and P2P Finance News magazine subscription & Bronze medal
China

Chinese P2P Lending Platform Furongbao Receives $ 121M Strategic Investment (China Money Network) Rated: AAA

Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Furongbao announced that it has received a RMB800 million (US$120.6 million) series B round, strategic investment from a controlling shareholder of Wanjiale Gas Appliances, a Chinese household appliances manufacturer.

Chinese P2P platform fails to pay back $ 15m (Global Times) Rated: A

A Hangzhou-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform  has failed to pay around 100 million yuan ($15 million) back to its investors, media reports said on Thursday.

An investor surnamed Zheng who is based in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, told the Global Times on Thursday that he had invested about 50,000 yuan on niubangold.com, but now he cannot withdraw money from the platform. “[Investors] have reported the case to local police,” Zheng said.

According to a statement posted on niubangold.com late Tuesday, projects worth 98.5 million yuan are overdue.

DLA Piper Adds Beijing Partner From Shearman (The American Lawyer) Rated: B

DLA Piper has recruited capital markets partner Yang Ge in Beijing from Shearman & Sterling, where she was counsel.

Ge’s practice focuses on equity and debt securities offerings. During her time at Shearman, which she joined in 2011, she was involved in several Chinese companies’ initial public offerings in the U.S., including advising the underwriters on online lender LexinFintech Holdings Ltd.’s $124.2 million Nasdaq IPO earlier this year and online micro-lender China Rapid Finance Ltd.’s $60 million listing on the New York Stock Exchange last year.

European Union

Creditshelf Plans Initial Public Offering on Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Q3 (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft, a Germany based online lender, has announced its intent to do an initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The IPO is currently scheduled to take place for the third quarter of 2018. The offering is expected to be newly issued shares with a capital increase in the amount of around € 15-20 million. Creditshelf says that Hevella Capital GmbH & Co. KGaA (backed by Rolf Elgeti) has placed a backstop order of up to € 15 million if and to the extent the shares are not subscribed for by investors in the course of the offering.

Creditshelf is an online lender that targets the German marketplace providing access to capital for SMEs. The platform targets a larger ticket size than many other SME lenders with an average loan size of around €500,000 and €600,000 – and moving higher.

International

‘Dollars On The Floor’ — Why A Lack Of Local Payment Options Hurts Retailers (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

As digital technology keeps bringing new efficiencies to transactions, and more consumers around the world turn to eCommerce for retail and other purchases, an accompanying trend is making life interesting for merchants and payment providers. Local payments options are increasing, resulting in a sector that promises to undergo more fragmentation in the coming years.

Scandinavian consumers have embraced Klarna and other pay-by-invoice services — for reasons not entirely understood by Booth and other analysts, it seems.

If a Chinese consumer trying to make an online purchase cannot do so through Alipay or WeChat Pay, that consumer is more likely to search for another merchant that takes that form of payment rather than, say, using their own UnionPay-branded payment card, Booth said.

Key Learnings at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance 2018 Conference (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Greg Medcraft is the former head securities regulator in Australia and is now the Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD. He talked about trust and how trust in business is low today, particularly in finance. The power of the crowd is impacting trust where companies misdeeds are amplified and public opinion can turn against a company quite quickly. One of the antidotes to this is distributed ledger technology that can create networks with more trust, transparency and traceability.

Probably the country with the biggest success story when it comes to financial inclusion is Kenya. While I have heard the story of M-Pesa before I have never heard it from the person that was in charge of overseeing the economy as it was transforming Kenya. Professor Njuguna Ndung’u was the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya from 2007 to 2015 during which time M-Pesa went from a curiosity to having half of the country’s GDP flowing through its platform. The introduction of such a system was a major challenge for central bankers as they worried about KYC concerns and financial instability.

India

PolicyBazaar.com Becomes First Indian Unicorn Foraying into Blockchain (BW Disrupt) Rated: AAA

Blockchain has been the talk of town primarily because of bitcoin and other crypto tokens’ parabolic rise in price and then the recent downfall. However the underlying technology, blockchain, rarely gets its fair share of limelight. But when a billion-dollar fintech startup plans a foray in this tech, it deserves attention.

In a chat with their CTO and CPO, Ashish Gupta, he revealed their plans to implement blockchain technology at PolicyBazaar.com, his outlook on the technology as well as how it could affect the fintech space in general.

Artha Venture Fund makes first close at Rs 40 crore (The Economic Times) Rated: A

Early stage venture capital firm Artha Venture Fund (AVF) has achieved the first close of its maiden fund having raised Rs 40 crore. Artha Venture Fund I, which received the approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India in March this year, will have a corpus of Rs 200 crore along with a greenshoe option of Rs 100 crore.

The fund, which is structured as a Category I alternative investment fund, will invest in startups across seed, pre-series A and series-A levels of growth.

Lending platform BigWin Infotech gets NBFC-P2P certification from RBI (Media Nama) Rated: B

Fintech start-up, BigWin Infotech (PaisaDukan.com) has received its Certificate of Registration (CoR) from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), paving the way for the launch of its Financial Platform – PaisaDukan.com, a release from the company said today.  Though the company received an in-principle approval from RBI to set up an NBFC Peer-to-Peer lending platform in May, the operations could only commence after the firm received a CoR from the central bank. The RBI issued those guidelines last October, to register and accredit P2P lending firms that resell loans from individuals who have money to invest.

P2P platform Monexo Fintech to raise $ 5 million in equity (The Economic Times) Rated: B

Armed with a licence from the banking regulator to operate an NBFC-cum-P2P lending platform, Monexo plans to invest in IT and infrastructure, which require continuous capital injection in the initial stages of any online marketplace.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm received the RBI licence last Friday.

Asia

Swindlers tarnish P2P loans’ reputation (Korea Joongang Daily) Rated: AAA

Korea’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market is turning out to be a Wild West of hucksters and frauds, and government regulations are nowhere in sight.

According to Crowd Institute, a research center that specializes in P2P financial markets, to date, about 3.65 trillion won ($3.2 billion) of P2P loans have been taken out in Korea, about five times the amount from two years ago.

Indonesia’s OVO platform to start peer-to-peer lending in Q4 – head (Nasdaq) Rated: B

Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group’s payment platform OVO plans to start peer-to-peer lending in the fourth quarter of 2018, its head said on Thursday.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday March 27 2018, Daily News Digest

bankruptcy

News Comments Today’s main news: Ron Suber joins MoneyLion board. Prosper reports full year results. Orca launches P2P investment platform. Santander, Ripple partner on money transfer app. Cash Suvidha raises $1M. China opens payment market to foreign companies. Today’s main analysis: The cost of bankruptcy. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingTree studies the cost of bankruptcy. Liwwa creates big impact in MENA. The lowdown […]

bankruptcy

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China

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United States

Ron Suber Joins Board of Fintech MoneyLion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ron Suber, President Emeritus of Prosper and a prominent Fintech advocate, has joined the board of directors of MoneyLion.

Prosper Reports Full Year Results (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

Prosper today reported full year results for 2017. Loan originations and transaction fee revenue were up 31% and 37% year-over-year to $2.9 billion and $130 million, respectively. Prosper also generated cash from operations for three consecutive quarters, starting in Q2 2017.

Source: Prosper

Summary of Key 2017 Financial Highlights:

  • Surpassed $11 billion in cumulative personal loan originations through the platform since inception
  • Increased loan originations 31% and transaction fee revenue 37% year-over-year
  • Net loss of $115 million included $89 million of non-cash charges related to warrants to purchase preferred stock that were issued to a consortium of investors and a third party in connection with a settlement agreement
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $5 million increased $43 million year-over-year
  • Generated cash from operations for three consecutive quarters, starting in Q2 2017
  • Closed $50 million Series G funding, ending 2017 with approximately $100 million of liquidity

Citigroup to Again Be a Nationwide Bank, but in Digital Form (Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA

After years of Citigroup Inc. shrinking its U.S. retail banking franchise to focus on affluent customers and a handful of big cities, the global bank is ready to become a national player once again.

This time, however, it doesn’t plan on gobbling up rivals or opening any new branches. Instead, Citigroup says it will use an expanded mobile app to fully serve new customers.

LendingTree Study: The Cost of Bankruptcy (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released the findings of its study on the cost of bankruptcy. The findings show that while a prior bankruptcy can make it more expensive to borrow, it’s certainly not impossible to qualify for credit. If borrowers wait to apply for new loans even just a few years after bankruptcy, they may find rates that aren’t too far off from what other borrowers are being offered.

Key findings:

  • Forty-three percent of people with a bankruptcy on their credit file have a credit score of 640 or higher within a year of the bankruptcy. Within two years of bankruptcy, 65 percent have a credit score above 640.
  • A typical $15,000 auto loan incurs an extra $2,171 in borrowing costs for those seeking offers less than a year after bankruptcy, but just $799 for those who wait at least two years after bankruptcy.
  • Borrowers who have a 3-year-old bankruptcy and apply for a mortgage see an offered APR that is 19 basis points higher than those without a bankruptcy. The higher the APR, the higher borrowing costs will be.
  • Mortgage borrowers with scores between 720 and 739 three years after bankruptcy were offered similar APRs to those without bankruptcy, indicating a strong credit score can counteract the effects of a prior bankruptcy.

With Marcus, Goldman Sachs takes on consumer banking (Bankrate), Rated: A

Despite becoming a bank holding company, Goldman’s business remained focused on corporations and the wealthy. That changed a few years ago as it began plotting new strategies, says Omer Ismail, chief commercial officer for Marcus. The Wall Street Journal recently published an in-depth account of the creation of Marcus, including juicy tidbits like conversations over lunch in the Hamptons.

Goldman decided to tackle the unsecured personal loan space first.

Marcus has found its particular angle in making its loans highly customizable. Rather than setting traditional loan terms, like three years or five years, it asks you how much you can afford to pay each month in addition to asking you how much you need to borrow. So, you might end up with a 31-month installment loan, which is not a conventional loan term.

Rod Buscher of Blinker (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Rod first made a name for himself in the car business.
  • The idea behind Blinker and why Rod decided to start the company.
  • How the buying and selling process works at Blinker.
  • The patents they have received to help identify any car in the U.S.
  • How they are able to make a safe environment for conducting a car transaction.
  • The percentage of car buyers at Blinker who opt for financing instead of paying cash.
  • How their financing process works.
  • The limits on the kinds of cars they finance.
  • The data they are using to make an underwriting decision.
  • The spectrum of the different credit profiles of their car buyers.
  • How they are getting the word out to find these buyers and sellers.
  • How they are funding their loans today.
  • Their move into auto refinancing and how they have built this business.
  • How they approach licensing in the states they operate.
  • The total number of transactions that have taken place on Blinker to date.
  • The other services they are providing to Blinker customers.
  • Rod’s vision for the future of Blinker.

Synthetic Identity Fraud: The Perfect Crime (Lendit), Rated: AAA

Synthetic identity fraud usually involves creating an entirely new identity composed of information with no ties to a known consumer. This identity is then used to apply for credit and services. Synthetic identities are one of the most difficult fraud threats institutions face today and their prevalence has exploded over the past several years. Synthetic identity fraud is arguably the perfect crime because there is no consumer victim.

Put yourself in the shoes of a fraudster. As you consider your many nefarious options for committing a crime and getting away with it, you decide that the best crime is one where there is no clear victim. Sure, robbing a bank using a synthetic identity victimizes the enterprise, its shareholders, its employees and taxes its customers. However, no one individual is intentionally, directly hurt. Therefore, the non-existent victim does not alert authorities and the fact that a crime has been committed is lost to history. There is a “credit loss” and the debtholder is impossible to locate. The debt is written off, or sold, and the fraud is perpetuated yet again. Like I said, the perfect crime.

Candex Raises $ 3.5M in Seed Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Candex, a San Francisco, CA-based fintech startup, raised $3.5m in seed funding.

Backers included Edenred Capital Partners, Partech Ventures, Advisors.Fund, Camp One Ventures, NFX, Tekton Ventures, Big Sur Ventures and fintech angel Mark Goines.

Hawaii is state with highest average debt-to-income ratio, study says (Pacific Business News), Rated: A

The average borrower in Hawaii spends 36.2 percent of their monthly paycheck on credit card, student loan, and housing payments, according to a study by Credible.com, making Hawaii the state with the highest average debt-to-income ratio.

According to the online lender marketplace, the average monthly credit card payment for a Hawaii resident is $238, the average monthly student loan payment is $385, and the average monthly housing payment is $1,091, for a total of $1,714.

With average annual income in Hawaii at $56,889, the state’s average debt-to-income ratio is 43 percent more than residents of Michigan, the state with the lowest debt-to-income ratio.

On average, Michigan residents in the dataset spent 25.3 percent of their monthly income on credit card, student loan and housing payments.

Nationwide, the study found the average American in the dataset paid $207 on credit card debt, $370 on student loans and $906 on housing each month, while taking home an average salary of $60,671.

Transparency Can Help Position a Fund for Growth (Lendit), Rated: A

When fund managers choose  experienced service providers, including custodians, auditors, accountants, attorneys and administrators, they can increase transparency in the fund, which can in turn promote investor confidence. Service providers can be much more than just an added expense;  they can be  valuable partners that can help position the fund for success.

United Kingdom

Orca Launches Investment Platform to Drive Mainstream Adoption of P2P Investing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Orca, an independent data, research and analysis provider targeting the the UK peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market, has launched its premier investment platform. The new platform will allow investors to easily diversify across multiple P2P lending platforms from a single P2P investment portfolio.

Orca seeks to provide their new service to the retail investor market.

Total cumulative lending is £13 billion since the asset class was created in 2005. Orca’s secondary service, Orca Analytics, has 2016 to 2017 growth at 18%, with £4 billion lent in 2017 alone. The estimated customer-base stands at approximately 200,000-250,000 retail investors.

The Orca Investment Platform Features include exposure to both consumer, business and property lenders. Investors may expect a return of 5% net of Orca’s cut which is a 0.65% fee.

UK digital bank that beat peers to an annual profit ‘will go into’ China — eventually (CNBC), Rated: A

OakNorth, a start-up bank based in London, recorded a pre-tax profit of £10.6 million ($15 million) in 2017 and is considered to be the first U.K. digital-orientated bank to reach such a milestone.

Khosla said his firm is already in “open conversations” with multiple countries about its global expansion plans, including the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Singapore, South Africa and Australia. The company has already established offices in some of those countries, he added.

OakNorth is expanding abroad by licensing its technology platform, ACORN, to banks in other countries. The platform uses big data and machine learning to optimize credit for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

OakNorth offers loans between £500 and £30 million to SMEs. It was granted a banking license by U.K. regulators in 2015.

‘No firm views’ on IPO

OakNorth is currently valued at $1.4 billion, which puts it in the ranks of the U.K.’s “unicorn” companies — firms valued at $1 billion or more.

It raised a total of £244 million last year in a combination of investments — the “largest U.K. fintech financing to date,” according CEO Khosla. Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC took a 10 percent equity stake in the firm.

Look to the Innovative Finance Isa for market-beating returns on your tax- free savings (City a.m.), Rated: A

IFISAs are also a way for investors to do something interesting with their savings. For example, Oaksmore has recently launched an Isa which allows investors to capitalise on historic renovation.

This particular IFISA, specialising in historical building renovation, offers a tax-free return of up to 7.5 per cent each year.

Another lender trying to do some- thing different is Folk2Folk, a peer-to- peer platform for rural and local businesses. It is offering an IFISA which gives lenders the opportunity to earn 6.5 per cent interest a year, while supporting British businesses within their local area.

China

China opens its payments market to foreign companies (The Paypers), Rated: AAA

China has decided to open up its payments market, allowing companies to apply for a payments license.

The People’s Bank of China said in a statement that foreign players who apply for payment licenses will receive the same treatment as local companies.

Applicants must set up local units, establish payment infrastructure — including disaster recovery systems — and store client information domestically, the central bank added.

European Union

Banco BNI Europa launches online account opening system through videoconference (Fintech Finance), Rated: AAA

Banco BNI Europa launched an online account opening process through videoconference. This new process also introduces an innovative system of documents signature with a qualified digital certificate and is available for Portuguese citizens who want to open an individual current account. The process is simple, fast and intuitive, without the usual bureaucracies associated with account opening.

This product is offered in partnership with DigitalSign, a Portuguese Certifying Entity specialized in the issuance of qualified digital certificates, registered in the National Security Office as an accredited entity. The partnership with Digital Sign allows, in addition to the online account opening, the issue of a digital certificate, with similar strength to a physical signature, which may be used by the client in the context of other contractual relations with the Bank.

International

Santander is set to launch an international money transfer app with Ripple (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Santander is on track to launch an international money transfer app in partnership with fintech startup Ripple in the next few months, the bank’s UK CEO has confirmed.

Nathan Bostock told the International Fintech conference in London on Thursday: “This spring, if not one beats us to it, we will be the first large retail bank to carry out cross-border payments at scale with blockchain technology.”

 

Peoples Trust Company selects Finastra to fulfill end-to-end lending vision (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Peoples Trust Company of Saint Albans has selected Finastra to provide a single, end-to-end lending solution for commercial and consumer lending. Using Finastra’s Total Lending solution, which packages the power of the Fusion LaserPro, Fusion DecisionPro and Fusion CreditQuest products, the bank will be able to manage its lending process from origination through to booking and thus increase efficiency and customer service.

FintruX raises $ 25 million in their token sale to build P2P lending platform for small businesses and startups (Tech Startups), Rated: A

FintruXNetwork is a global P2P lending blockchain-based ecosystem,  powered by Ethereum. FintruX Network aims to connect borrowers, lenders, and rated service agencies. FintruX facilitates marketplace lending in a true peer-to-peer network to ease the cash-flow issues of small businesses and startups. The startup announced today it has successfully raised over 22,000 ETH  ($25 million) in token sale from contributors around the world. The proceeds of the sale will be used to build an Ethereum-based platform that will fundamentally enhance the P2P loan experience for small businesses and startups.

 

 

 

India

Lending platform Cash Suvidha raises $ 1 million in pre-series A (Financial Express), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based fintech startup, Cash Suvidha, has raised $1 million in its pre-series A round of investment from Initia Holdings Ltd., Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others. The company plans to use the newly secured funds to increase customer base and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

The company claims to receive 15,000 loan applications every month and disbursement of loans in another 2 working days. The company has raised a total of $5.2 million and claims to have disbursed over Rs 152 crore.

Further, Cash Suvidha has disbursed loans to over 35,000 borrowers with an average ticket size between Rs 20,000 – Rs 5,00,000.

SBI To Create Blockchain-Based Exchange For Recovering NPA’s (Inc42), Rated: A

Reportedly, India’s largest public sector bank, State Bank of India is looking to create a blockchain-based exchange for Non-Performing Assets (NPA’s).

To be launched in association with 30 banks, this platform will assist the banks in data-driven price discovery.

SBI is said to have assets over $460 Bn and offers services in areas such as retail, corporate banking, financing, and insurance. The Indian banks are said to have to battle with NPA’s worth $210 Bn of which $30 Bn resides with SBI alone.

Digital lending venture success secrets for the new-age CIOs (CIOL), Rated: AAA

Velocity

Broadly, there are three types of software systems that enterprises employ. These include:

a)Systems that help in running a business process

b)Those that help companies to grow their businesses

c)Systems that transform businesses

In the year 2013, China reported an eight-fold rise in the total number of borrowers that touched 1,49,300. The growth continued through 2014, with total borrowers reaching 630,000 by the year’s end.

Quality

Traditionally, lenders considered credit score as the key parameter in defining a borrower’s creditworthiness. In case of digital lending, a borrower’s risk profile is defined based on aspects such as Aadhaar for identification, salary slips for working professionals, and the applicant’s financial behavioral patterns determined based on information curated from online sources such as social media channels.

User Experience

Boston Consulting Group estimates that by 2020, 48% of India’s internet users will be rural and of that, 21% will be women.

Asia

Facing regulatory bar at home, QARASoft robo adviser heads overseas (Korean Herald), Rated: A

QARASoft’s now-defunct platform, called “QARA,” connected individual asset managers with funds pooled — or borrowed — from peer-to-peer investors, in part by making use of the venture firm’s artificial intelligence-powered robo adviser.

The “decentralized” platform collected some 100 retail investor loans in the first two weeks. But they were retrieved after the Financial Supervisory Service banned its operation, despite a patent earned the previous year for the pooling scheme of the fund and the platform’s three-year operation of its beta version.

The service will primarily target retail investors in overseas markets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore, and the English version will be launched prior to a Korean version.

Continuous learning for SME executives (The Star Online), Rated: B

SMALL business executives who took part in the AmBank BizRACE gained a new perspective in managing their operations, allowing them to bring the business further.

The top 15 finalists in the programme recently completed two, out of four, executive development programmes at Menara AmBank.

Peoplender Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Kristine Ng, a participant in the programme, said she was inspired with a new structure for her business after the first day itself. Ng recalled one of the trainers talking about constraints that one would face in growing businesses – if it doesn’t fit the business model, then change must occur.

 

MENA

Creating big impact with a small help (Khaleej Times), Rated: AAA

According to the World Bank, 63 per cent of Mena SMEs do not have access to capital.

In Jordan, SMEs represent 97 per cent of companies and create 70 per cent of new jobs in the kingdom, according to Oxford Business Group, Jordan: Finding Financing for SMEs.

Liwwa is a peer-to-peer lending platform in the Mena region that provides SMEs with trade and asset financing. Liwwa’s target audience is divided into borrowers and investors, also referred to as lenders. To date, liwwa has maintained a solid portfolio and delivered annual returns of 10.6 per cent.

The liwwa index delivered 9.45 per cent over the last 12 months, which is attractive.

Liwwa has raised $5.55 million from investors and $6 million in debt to date. Their investors include Silicon Badia, Bank Al Etihad, DASH Ventures and Mena Venture Investments. Their debt partners include Bank Al Etihad, Capital Bank, Arab Bank and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.

Source Khaleej Times

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday December 6 2017, Daily News Digest

purchase apr

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage lends $4B to over 130K small businesses. RateSetter loses 23M GBP in ad investment. RateSetter to launch IFISA in February. Klarna, WorldPay partner on invoice and credit-based payments in Europe. Two new crypto-asset backed fiat loan platforms. Toss to expand into southeast Asia. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree’s monthly mortgage offer report. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

purchase apr

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United States

Kabbage Delivers $ 4 Billion to More Than 130,000 Small Businesses (Kabbage Email), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, has extended over $4 billion to more than 130,000 small businesses, serving the largest customer base than any online small business lender. These landmarks represent an approximate 30-percent increase in total funding and total customers served since the company’s last milestone announcement in April 2017. With over 1.5 million live data connections with its customers, Kabbage’s high growth is attributed to its fully-automated lending technology as it continues to be a trusted lending partner to tens of thousands of small businesses across all industries in all 50 U.S. states.

Robert Sharpe also joined the company as its chief operating officer. Sharpe has more than 20 years of executive leadership in North America, Europe and Asia. He has successfully held various C-level positions, including president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer with multiple global consumer goods companies, each serving tens of thousands of customers and generating billions of dollars in revenue. With an additional ten years of commercial banking and corporate finance experience, Sharpe will be responsible for Kabbage’s continued growth and operational oversight as the company expands internationally and scales its services to serve more and larger small businesses.

During 2017, Kabbage reached major milestones, including:

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

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

Source: PRNewsfoto/LendingTree
  • November’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.75% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, unchanged from October. Refinance loan offers were down 1 bps to 3.69%. Mortgage rates vary dependent upon parameters including credit score, loan-to-value, income and property type.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were down 1 bps to 4.30%, the lowest since November 2016. In contrast, the loan note rate of 4.18% was unchanged from October when it reached the highest since July. We prefer to use the APR as lenders often make changes to other fees in response to changing interest rates.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.16% in November, vs 4.43% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 27 bps between these score ranges was 5 bps wider than in October and the widest since July 2016. The spread represents nearly $13,400 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $233,127. The additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were down 2 bps to 4.24%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 19 from 16 bps, amounting to $9,500 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $235,973.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments have been rising for 8 months and reached $62,409.
Source: PRNewsfoto/LendingTree

Learning About Machine Learning (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Certainly, the mountains of data are becoming larger by the day. Seven years ago, the total amount of information produced on a global scale passed one zettabyte. The scale shakes out thusly: If a single cup of coffee holds a gigabyte, then the Great Wall of China stores a zettabyte. In just three years, the tally will be 44 zettabytes, or 44 Great Walls of China, as estimated by global market intelligence firm IDC.

Along with the impressive growth in data created, stored and used on a global scale, so too is AI poised to grow in leaps and bounds. It will create nearly $37 billion in annual revenues for companies of all stripes, sizes and sectors, according to market intelligence firm Tractica.

Within that figure, machine learning is a sector that will see $15.3 billion in revenue in 2019, as noted by BCC Research and cited by business process outsourcing company TeleTech, with an average annual growth rate of 19.7 percent. The savings for U.S. companies could be as high as $60 billion in 2020, Forbes noted. In addition, AI is expected to add $8.3 trillion in economic activity for the U.S. by 2035, according to projections by business management consultancy Accenture.

Consider a financial institution processing credit card information. The transaction data is passed to the machine learning system as soon as it is entered at the terminal or point of sale, and the system then analyzes the transaction against the system on which it has been trained. The historical data offers a way to glean what “normal” behavior of a transaction looks like.

To combat a payments fraud adversary that is evermore fluid with bad actors’ tactics and operates in a card-not-present (CNP) world, the machine deployed by a financial institution must be able to “explain” what it is doing, Feedzai said. The “learning” should result in explaining the reasoning so the logic behind the decisions is transparent and meets compliance needs.

Banks Build Line of Defense for Doomsday Cyberattack (WSJ), Rated: AAA

U.S. banks have quietly launched a doomsday project they hope will prevent a run on the financial system should one of them suffer a debilitating cyberattack.

The effort, which went live earlier this year and is dubbed Sheltered Harbor, currently includes banks and credit unions that have roughly 400 million U.S. accounts.

While most people worry about their money being stolen in a hack, banks fear something more sinister: an attacker destroying, or even simply locking, data.

Such moves could cripple a bank, leaving it unable to operate for hours, days, or perhaps much longer.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

LendingClub Introduces New Certificate Investment Vehicle (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

On Friday of last week, LendingClub announced that it closed a new kind of transaction. It was a whole loan transaction structured as a tradable pass through security called a CLUB Certificate.

This was an initiative that was investor led. Basically, they had a potential investor who did not want to invest in whole loans. They are not for everyone, given they are an illiquid investment that has a duration of several years. What this investor wanted was a security that acted like a whole loan but one that had liquidity.

While LendingClub would not share details of this deal we did learn that these were both three and five year loans of one particular loan grade. They customized this deal to meet the investors exact requirements.

LendingClub claimed that this was a first of its kind deal in marketplace lending but in my research I discovered this piece on Asset-Backed Alert from April 2016 that talked about a similar structure that Prosper was working on last year.

How Technology is Streamlining the US Lending Sector (NewsGram), Rated: A

However, when the lending process is digitized the amount of paperwork is reduced dramatically. This is because account activity, credit history, income history as well as tax compliance can be fed into the system with the click of a button. This has made the collection and verification of information quite easy. Besides streamlining the application process, the amount of time it takes to get a loan has also reduced.

In addition, some lenders have developed some innovative mobile solutions that enable customers to submit an application from anywhere. The most outstanding feature about mobile loans is that there is a constant interaction between the lender and the borrowers. This goes a long way in improving service delivery.

Courtesy of technology advancements, now it’s possible to view the status of your loan application as well as your account status with a lender. This helps borrowers to stay updated during the entire online installment loans process. In addition, you can get instant communication about any requests that a lender may have that is critical to the borrowing process.

Time to address banks’ skepticism about data sharing (American Banker), Rated: A

When bankers complain about the security risks of sharing data with fintechs, they get an eye roll. Such complaints tend to be regarded as a cover for an ulterior motive: unwillingness to give customer details to competitors.

But when Chair Sheila Bair, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., recently warned of the security risks of sharing customer data with third parties, it made some people stop and think.

Big banks hope early bet on Alexa will pay off (American Banker), Rated: A

After a number of months of testing and refining an alternative way to bank, Ally Bank launched Ally Skill. “It was ready for prime time,” said Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking at Ally Bank. Since mid-November, a customer can ask Alexa — in their own words — what their balance is, what the price of something costs in hours worked, and notably, to move money.

Since Capital One announced its skill in March of 2016, U.S Bank, American Express and several credit unions announced Alexa skills in addition to Ally. Others have been testing Alexa, including bank innovator USAA. Even smaller banks are readying to launch skills. FIS, one of the biggest bank vendors that has been testing Alexa since 2016, said about a dozen of its thousands of bank customers are on track to roll out a bank skill for Alexa by Christmas. Most recently, Amazon announced Alexa for business, and Capital One is one of its launch partners.

Mortgage providers and wealth managers are also exploring ways to offer their services over such conversational devices.

A brand-new cybersecurity watchdog just shut down a $ 15 million cryptocurrency scam (Business Insider), Rated: A

US regulators appear to be paying more attention to the opaque world of initial coin offerings.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday it halted a fraudulent ICO “falsely promising” over 1,000% returns. The regulator said this was the first case filed by its brand-new cybersecurity unit, aptly named Cyber Unit.

Trump pick plans radical shake-up of consumer protection agency (Financial Times), Rated: A

US banks and other financial companies are preparing for a lightening of their compliance burden in areas from payday lending to mortgages as President Donald Trump tightens his grip on a powerful regulator set up to protect consumers.

“Virtually the entire range of regulations previously adopted by the CFPB could be subject to review,” says Quyen Truong, a former senior figure at the agency who is now a partner at law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. “There’s no particular set of rules that would be considered sacrosanct.”

In an early sign of his intent, Mr Mulvaney instituted a 30-day freeze on new initiatives within hours of assuming office.

Reforms that Mr Cordray had yet to introduce that would extend the CFPB’s reach into new areas, including mooted restrictions on small business lending, are now unlikely to see the light of day.

Payday Lending And The New CFPB (PYMNTS), Rated: A

As we noted when we first covered the final draft of the payday lending rule, Congress retains the power to keep the rule from ever making it into the books, so to speak, through the power of the Congressional Review Act. The CRA not only would prevent the payday lending rule from going into effect, but it would also prevent any similar rule changes from being considered for the next five years.

After some dormancy on the issue, the House of Representatives passed a CRA resolution Friday that would effectively kill the payday lending rule in its cradle.

The move comes as a bi-partisan effort – somewhat surprising, given the general tenor of Congress at present, particularly when it comes to consumer protection issues – with three Republican and three Democrat co-sponsors.

Mulvaney has won the first round in court, as a U.S district judge rejected English’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Mulvaney from taking over. But English has said she intends to fight on and will seek a preliminary injunction against Mulvaney and the administration.

Congress has only 60 legislative days from the publication of the rule in the federal register to invoke the CRA, and the rule passed on Nov. 17.

Madden ruling was a step backward. Congress should fix it (American Banker), Rated: A

I have been, far more often than not, on the same side of policy issues as the leading consumer and civil rights groups. But I disagree here: Madden is not just legally wrong; it is also bad public policy, because it moves us further away from creating a more effective and inclusive financial system. Bipartisan, bicameral proposals have already been introduced in Congress to fix Madden. Congress should pass them.

U.S. News magazine cites LendingPoint in ‘Best Personal Loans’ list (LendingPoint), Rated: B

We’ve been named to the “The Best Personal Loans of 2017” list by the prestigious U.S. News and World Report.

U.S. News named LendingPoint best for “Fair to Good Credit With Merit-Based Qualifications.”

LendingTree Selects Gordian Knot Analytics Group’s Comprehensive Segmentation Subscription Service (Guru Focus), Rated: B

LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), the online loan marketplace, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year subscription for segmentation analysis and database scoring with Gordian Knot Analytics Group, utilizing their unique segmentation methodologies and proprietary machine learning toolset. Gordian Knot offers proprietary marketing analytics machine learning tools that help LendingTree more effectively target and engage with the right consumers to drive the business forward and maximize value for current and future customers.

FinTech Leader OppLoans Named 6th Best Place to Work Nationally (Daily Telescope), Rated: B

Socially responsible online lender OppLoans received top rankings in Glassdoor’s 2018 Best Places to Work award. The start-up was named the sixth-best place to work nationally for small- to medium-sized businesses.

The review-based rankings serve as a capstone to a stunning year of growth for OppLoans. Accolades include rising over 200 positions to reach number 219 on the Inc. 500 list, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, being named the third-fastest growing technology company in Chicago by Built In Chicago and launching OppU, a free, standards-aligned online curriculum that teaches personal finance skills.

PeerStreet’s Brew Johnson Named 2017 HousingWire Vanguard Award Winner (BusinessWire), Rated: B

PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, is honored to announce that its Co-Founder and CEO, Brew Johnson, has been named to HousingWire’s 2017 list of Vanguard Award winners. HousingWire’s 2017 Vanguard Award recognizes top leaders from all areas of the mortgage industry, including those in lending, real estate and investing.

Why Do I Have an Affirm Payment Due After I Returned a Phone? (Republic Wireless), Rated: B

If Affirm was used to finance a purchase from the Republic Online Store, all carted items, including shipping, must be financed through Affirm. Shipping charges are not refunded by Republic Wireless. This means that you will still be responsible to Affirm for any shipping costs you financed and interest that has accrued.

United Kingdom

Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter loses £23m after ad investment flops (The Times), Rated: AAA

Ratesetter slumped to a £23 million loss for the year after a disastrous investment in an advertising business.

The loss was due in large part to a £14 million write-off on Adpod Limited, which the lender ended up owning after using its own capital to prevent a huge default on its peer-to-peer loan book from hitting investors.

The loss is sharply higher than the previous year’s figure of £5.3 million.

RateSetter to launch IFIsa in February (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter expects to launch its Isa in February 2018.

Once the Isa launches, customers will have until 5th April 2018 to invest the 2016/17 Isa allowance of £20,000.

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland to close branches (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Two of the UK’s largest banks, 

Source: Business Insider

Orca accepted into regulatory sandbox scheme (p2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER investment platform Orca is one of 18 firms that have been accepted into the third phase of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox scheme.

The FCA received 61 submissions for the third phase of the scheme, of which 18 met the eligibility criteria and were accepted to move towards testing.

One of the successful applicants is Orca, which is developing an intelligent peer-to-peer investment platform which lets users diversify across multiple P2P platforms, lending sub-sectors and borrowers.

Personal Finance App Squirrel Now Processes £1 Million A Month (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Squirrel, a personal finance app designed to help users have more control over their money, announced this week that it now processes £1 million a month. The company reported that it processed its 10 million last week.

Squrriel is currently seeking £400,000 through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. Funds from the initiative will be used to continue the expansion of Squirrels platform.

How an MBA entrepreneur made his multiple-account bank card add up (Financial Times), Rated: A

Israeli Shachar Bialick spent the first decade of his working life founding and backing start-ups before he dropped everything to move overseas and take an MBA.

He started Curve, a fintech company, to simplify personal finances with a single bank card for multiple accounts from different providers.

“We have too many cards, too many accounts, and too many products and services we use to manage our money,” he adds. “Curve is my biggest, most ambitious business so far. We are aiming to create an entirely new category in the banking system.”

Curve has raised $12m in venture capital funding and added corporate partnerships to extend the services it offers, such as an expense filing system provided by Xero, the online accountancy service.

Aire partners with retailer N Brown as more retailers become lenders for shopping middle class (Aire Email), Rated: A

Aire, which provides a more accurate way for lenders to understand and score new applicants, today announces a first-of-its-kind partnership with online retailer N Brown, as research data reveals the ‘new norm’ of UK shoppers choosing to spread the cost for their retail purchases over time.

The new agreement will see Aire provide its augmented credit assessment technology to support N Brown, which operates online stores such as JD Williams, in analysing the full picture of online customers and the true benefits and risks that come with them. Aire combines technologies of Artificial Intelligence with data science and deep knowledge of credit, which will enable N Brown to reach a wider group of customers without increasing its risk. After recent announcements about new partnerships in the p2p lending and car finance spaces, Aire’s expansion into the retail sector means that it is adding another new market to its portfolio in under six months.

Key insight:

–          New partnership between Aire and online retailer N Brown for customers who choose to open a new credit account

–          Aire adds retail finance to its growing portfolio

–          New research finds that UK adults pay off on average of £40 per month for retail purchases

–          9% of UK adults increased their monthly commitments in the last two years

Research shows in-store crowds are biggest stress factor for christmas shoppers (DIY Week), Rated: A

The new research by Swedish payments provider Klarna delves into the views of more than 2,000 consumers, and reveals that Brits today are so stressed out in the extended run up to Christmas that they’re overwhelmed when the day itself arrives.

In-store crowds were the number one stress for a quarter of respondents, whilst finding the perfect gift was the biggest source of stress for 20% of those surveyed.

These pressures could have a big impact on the bottom line of merchants if they’re not addressed; more than a third of consumers have previously walked out of a shop in frustration as a result. This is not just a bricks and mortar issue – 1 in 10 respondents have abandoned their online basket in frustration when the process is too complex, suggesting there’s still work to be done to smooth the purchase process online.

FinTech Marketplace Wealth Migrate Continues Expansion with New UK Office (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

Wealth Migrate, (KPMG Global Fintech Top 50), a global online real estate marketplace, today announced the opening of a new office in the U.K. and the appointment of a new country CEO, as the firm continues to build on its global presence as part of a strategy to meet growing demand from investors.

To better serve its community of investors in this region, Wealth Migrate has opened a new office in London.

Adding to the news of this expansion, Wealth Migrate additionally announced the opening of their U.A.E. office and the appointment of a new U.S. based CEO this week.

To head up the new office, Wealth Migrate has appointed Ken Williams as its CEO of Wealth Migrate, U.K.

China

Runaway borrowers the new face of China’s personal credit boom (SCMP), Rated: AAA

China’s online lending boom has sent a steady stream of new clients to Guangzhou lawyer Luo Aiping in recent months: the parents and siblings of young men trapped or ruined by usurious debts.

Zeng Hong, from Hunan province, is a typical client. She went to Luo for help because she had been harassed by calls from debt collectors for months after her 27-year-old brother ran away, leaving behind a two-year-old son and more than 300,000 yuan (US$45,400) in debts.

Zeng wanted to help repay her younger brother’s loans, but 300,000 yuan is a big sum for a poor family and her husband strongly opposed her plan. She approached Luo to ask whether the debts and interest her brother had incurred were legal.

China Launches Massive Debt Crackdown (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

You see, in an effort to fuel economic growth over the past few years, China has taken on a lot of debt. Since 2008, China’s debt as a percentage of economic output has increased from around 160 percent to around 280 percent at the end of 2016. (By comparison, the total debt in the U.S. as a percent of economic output is upwards of 300 percent.)

Source: ValueWalk

Why it matters: China is BIG and getting bigger

With a GDP of US$11.2 trillion, China is already the world’s second-largest economy (it will soon be the largest), and it has the second-largest stock market. The country will also soon have the world’s biggest middle class, totalling over 550 million people by 2022. To put this in perspective: That’s 1.7 times the entire population of the U.S.

Consumer loans (such as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and payday loans) have grown rapidly recently. For example, consumer loans jumped 300 percent compared to last year.

SoftBank’s Son Eases Lufax Peer Pressure (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Lufax, the online wealth manager that’s among the world’s biggest startups, has hired five banks to work on a Hong Kong initial public offering of as much as $5 billion, according to IFR.

Lufax is the world’s 10th-largest unicorn, or startup worth at least $1 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

Lufax had a loan balance as of Sept. 28 of more than 158 billion yuan ($24 billion), more than three times the 43 billion yuan held by China’s second-biggest P2P lender, New York-listed Yirendai Ltd., according to wdzj.com, a Chinese website that tracks online financiers.

DAILY BRIEFING (TechNode), Rated: B

What happened: The Ping An-backed online wealth management firm Lufax has hired five banks to work on an up to $5 billion Hong Kong IPO.

Why it’s important: A major player in China’s P2P lending market, Lufax will join a number of fintech companies that go public in recent months. It was eyeing an IPO as early as last year but later delayed the process due to market challenges and regulatory uncertainties, the CEO told Bloomberg last year. —Rita Liao

China’s Lufax picks banks for up to $5 bln Hong Kong IPO – Reuters

CreditEase Received Top Rankings in Global FinTech Investment by CB Insights and FT Partners (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CreditEase, a world-class financial technology conglomerate based in Beijing, China, specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, announced today that its venture fund, CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (“CEFIF”) has recently been ranked No. 7 by CB Insights as “Top 10 Most Active VC Investors in Global FinTech Companies” and No. 1 by FT Partners as “Most Active FinTech Investors (Corporate VC)”.

Source: CB Insights FinTech Report_Q3 (PRNewsfoto/CreditEase)

How This Chinese Fintech Company Is Innovating by Leasing Cows (Fortune), Rated: A

Particularly, Ning Tang, CEO of fintech firm CreditEase, is lending consumers cows in a bid to reach those living in rural areas who might have limited access to credit and financing.

The rural population accounts for 48% of China’s total, with agriculture accounting for about 8.6% of the the nation’s Gross Domestic Production in 2015, according to the World Bank. Income in rural China has also been on the rise, with urban income narrowing to 2.7 times that of rural income from 3.3 times in 2009. And though migration toward the city has been on the rise and the nation’s dependence on farming and livestock is on the slide, rural populations and agriculture are still a significant part of the country’s economy.

IN CHINA, THE CHARACTERS FROM THE SHOW APPEAR IN THE COMMERCIALS, TOO (AdAge), Rated: A

iQiyi, which is backed by Chinese internet giant Baidu, adopted the tactic first and developed it into a commercial product when it broadcast the 1930s tomb-raiding adventure tale “The Mystic Nine” last year. The first batch of advertisers ranged from iQianjin, a peer-to-peer lending app, to PepsiCo, which showed characters chowing down on Lay’s and gulping Pepsi.

The other major services, Alibaba Group’s Youku Tudou and Tencent Holdings‘ video platform, have embraced the tactic too. At iQiyi, the cost for embedding one such commercial in an episode ranges from $150,000 to $530,000, depending on projected viewership, Yuan says.

European Union

Worldpay Partners with Klarna to Launch Invoice and Credit Based Payments in 6 Key European Markets (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Worldpay, a global leader in payments, has announced that it will partner with Klarna, a leader in invoice and credit based payments, to further enhance its product portfolio. From today, Worldpay customers trading in AustriaFinlandGermanythe NetherlandsNorwaySweden and the United Kingdom, and wishing to accept payments on invoice or instalments, will be able to use Klarna’s invoice and credit based payments from Worldpay. This will help eCommerce businesses to improve conversion rates by up to 20% and provide a fast and smooth checkout process.

These new payment options will allow consumers to decide when to pay for the items once they have received their goods. Instead of a request for credit or debit card details at the point of checkout, consumers are prompted for their email address and postcode, ensuring a quicker checkout process and leading to lower cart abandonment. The solution allows consumers to manage the terms of their payment, be it 14-day payment by invoice, by fixed or flexible instalments, spreading the cost over several months.

The move into credit and invoicing payments follows demand from customers wanting to expand the breadth of payment methods offered. Worldpay is one of the first payments companies to deploy this new payment integration, providing superior market coverage as well as faster time to market since there is no need for a new plug-in when  legacy technology is updated.

Fintech deposit marketplace hits 100,000 customers (AltFi), Rated: A

Savings specialist Raisin continues to gain momentum. The savings account marketplace now has itself 100,000 customers. The company is also integrated with more than 40 banks, from across 18 European countries, including a number of challenger banks and even an online lender (Younited Credit). SolarisBank is its newest partner.

ConsenSys Ventures has made its first four investments (TechCrunch), Rated: B

But the companies the fund is backing come from some relatively seasoned entrepreneurs. BlockFi, the firm’s lending for liquidity startup, was founded by Zac Prince — a serial startup founder whose previous idea was the lending platform for the underbanked, Cognical.

Up to 5% Cashback On Long-Term Investments Offered by Mintos (P2P-Banking), Rated: B

Lativan p2p lending marketplace Mintos just launched a cashback campaign running for the remainder of December. Investors investing in new loans with a term of at least 24 months on the primary market will receive a cashback of 2% to 5% depending on term length. The cashback will be credited within 6 days says Mintos.

Important: To be eligable an investor needs to enroll once for the campaign by clicking on the promotion banner inside the Mintos dashboard.

International

Salt and Coinloan Promise Crypto-Asset Backed Fiat Loans (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA

Typically, when we think of taking a loan, we think of going to a bank, filling out a ton of paperwork and then getting denied the loan unless a guarantor or cosigner signs as well. However, blockchain banking startups like Salt and Coinloan aim to change this by creating a peer to peer lending platform on the blockchain. These platforms allow users to leverage their bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as collateral for fiat loans.

Salt hails from the land of the free, a.k.a Denver, Colorado, USA.

On the other hand, Coinloan has Baltic roots and is headquartered in Estonia.

Salt will be starting straight out of Denver, Colorado and is set to launch their blockchain backed lending platform, BTC collateralized loans and loan fund by the end of 2017. In 2018, they will be launching ethereum collateralized loans in Q1, credit cards in Q2 and altcoin collateralized loans in Q3.

By contrast, Coinloan is still currently running their ICO. By 2018, they hope to obtain payment licences in Q2, develop mobile applications for IOS and android by Q3 and enter the Asian market in 2019.

Lendoit & RSK creates a decentralized BTC lending future together (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: A

In about 2 weeks, Lendoit will launch its official token Pre-sale, but it can’t wait to reveal the secret that will change the future of decentralized BTC lending, which the company has entered together with the largest and most promising blockchain-based project, The RSK Project.

Right from Argentina is Rootstock or popularly called RSK. This company is well-known for its open-source smart contract stage which has a 2-dimensional peg to Bitcoin. Amazingly, RSK uses merge-mining to reward bitcoin miners and give them the chance to be part of the smart contract ecosystem.

The Goal? To ensure that the highest level of functionality and value is added to the entire bitcoin ecosystem through the use of smart contracts, increased scalability, and near-instant payments.

Lendoit removes all intermediaries in the lending process, creates a trusted and secure platform for participants through the smart contract, and gives users a decentralized, anonymous platform where upscaling, lending, and borrowing are done hassle-free.

Source: Live Bitcoin News

PNC Live On New Real-Time Payments Network Using Finastra (Payment Week), Rated: A

PNC, a top-10 US bank by assets, is live on RTP, The Clearing House’s new US real-time payments system, using Finastra’s payment services hub, Fusion Payments.

“The ability to make an immediate payment at any time, on any day of the week, with a real-time confirmation of the payment significantly transforms the way businesses and consumers make payments in the United States. Emerging technologies such as RTP are creating opportunities for banks and clients to re-imagine our business models.”

Trulioo Recognized As a Global Leader in Digital Identity Verification (PRWeb), Rated: B

Trulioo, the global identity verification provider, is delighted to be recognized as the global identity verification leader in a recent comprehensive report published by Let’s Talk Payments (LTP).

India

Why America could miss out big time on India’s fintech revolution (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Morgan Stanley expects India’s digital payments penetration to increase from 5 percent today to 20 percent, and the e-commerce market to reach $200 billion, with 475 million e-commerce shoppers, adding up to a GDP upwards of $6 trillion — all by 2027.

India now has 800 million mobile phone users with 430 million having internet connectivity. According to Morgan Stanley, the number of internet users is expected to grow to 915 million by 2027.

Source: TechCrunch

In 2016, China’s digital payments were already 50 times America’s. Alibaba and Tencent understand ecosystems better than anyone else in the world, including American companies.

Asia

After success at home, Toss sets sights overseas (Korea JoongAng Daily), Rated: AAA

After emerging as one of the top fintech start-ups in Korea, Viva Republica, the company behind Korea’s top peer-to-peer transfer app Toss, is zeroing in on Southeast Asia as its next target market.

“While more than 70 percent of the population is using smartphones, their financial services are equivalent to that of Korea in the 1980’s. Our goal is to bring our story and product to Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam and to improve the level of financial services in the market.”

As of November this year, the accumulated transactions through Toss reached 10 trillion won ($9.2 billion). In November alone, the platform handled more than one trillion won, a feat that comes just two and half a years since it launched in February 2015. The company said its annual sales will come to 20 billion won by the end of this year and reach the break-even point sometime next year.

M’sian regulators likely to enforce licensing for cryptocurrency exchanges (The Star), Rated: B

Malaysian regulators are looking to clamp down on initial coin offerings or ICOs by expanding the definition of “securities” in existing laws, according to industry sources.

The regulator is also likely to require some form of licensing for cryptocurrency exchanges to operate on Malaysian shores.

Mexico

Mexican Senate passes fintech law (Reuters), Rated: A

Mexico’s Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would regulate its fast-growing financial technology sector, including crowdfunding and cryptocurrency firms, paving the way for a vote by the lower house.

The bill, which seeks to promote financial stability and defend against money laundering and financing of extremists, is expected to pass in a final lower house vote by Dec. 15, said three sources familiar with the measure.

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

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United States

United Kingdom

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European Union

International

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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 October 13 2017, Daily News Digest

China P2P

News Comments Today’s main news: Ron Suber delivers last keynote at Lend360. Kroll assigns preliminary ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2017-3. Judge says he is likely to certify LendingClub lawsuit as class action. Lemonade rolls out open API. Zopa CEO struggles with perception that P2P lender is struggling. Reserve Bank of India issues KYC guidelines for prepaid payment instruments. State Bank of Mauritius, […]

China P2P

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Africa

South America

 

News Summary

United States

The “Godfather of Fintech’s” Last US Keynote (FintechSauce), Rated: AAA

Ron Suber walked onto the LEND360 main stage to the theme song of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.

This was Ron’s last keynote in the US (until he makes a Jordan-like comeback, perhaps?), which attracted a standing room only crowd. His talk started off with the theme of consolidation, comparing FinTech to previous life-changing industries such as radio, tv and mobile phones.

Ron also shared his top tips for entrepreneurs and platforms:

  1. He suggested that the platforms know what makes them unique and to be able to pitch your company in two sentences or less.
  2. He also said that there is no “single solution.” There will always be ways to do things.
  3. Also, listen to consumers–they’re the ones that drive innovation.
  4. Focus. The need to focus as an entrepreneur is key to success.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2017-3 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2017-3 (MFT 2017-3). This is a $297.8 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on October 26, 2017. This transaction represents the fifth securitization collateralized by unsecured consumer loans originated by Cross River Bank, under the Marlette Best Egg Platform and sold to Marlette Funding, LLC (“Marlette”) or its affiliate.

The transaction has initial credit enhancement levels of 37.70% for the Class A Notes, 24.90% for the Class B Notes, 14.90% for the Class C Notes and 7.00% for the Class D Notes. Credit enhancement consists of overcollateralization, subordination (in the case of the Class A, Class B and Class C Notes) and a reserve account funded at closing.

LendingClub Investors Poised To Win Cert. Over Objections (Law360), Rated: AAA

A California federal judge Thursday said he will likely certify a class of LendingClub Corp. investors who allege the peer-to-peer lending company hid defects in its internal controls before and after its $1 billion initial public offering, over objections from both the company and investors pursuing separate state law claims.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup indicated he was “inclined to certify everything,” but seemed likely to trim the terms, telling LendingClub attorney Victoria Parker of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Sullivan LLP she’d “raised some good points” about….

Online Lending 2.0 by Renaud Laplanche (Field Services on Demand), Rated: AAA

Lemonade platform now “open to the world” with API (Banking Technology), Rated: AAA

“We’re opening up the Lemonade platform to the world!” says Shai Wininger, co-founder of Lemonade, a US-based insurtech firm.

The new Lemonade API supports quoting, policy creation and payment for homeowners, condo, and renters insurance policies in the company’s active markets  of New York, California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island. More regions will be added “in the near future”.

Lending Disrupted? Not Yet, Says Renaud Laplanche (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO of Upgrade, and former co-founder and CEO of Lending Club tried to reignite the flame of the consumer lending sector by forecasting not only its continuing success, but further the emergence of major innovations.

The growth of online lending will re-accelerate in the next 15 months.

Credit card debt is currently growing at a 5% rate and represents $1.021 trillion. The total debt balance of US households totals $12.73 trillion.

The US is experiencing one of the longest economic growth run, yet still 20 months shorter than the growth run which preceded the great depression. Observers estimate at less than 30% the risk of recession.

When I asked Renaud Laplanche about his personal vision of the ideal product – the product he would like his company to deliver if there were no technological or other barrier, he said: “one click responsible credit.”

Goldman wants to help flip that house (CNBC), Rated: A

Now Goldman is getting into lending for real estate pros through its acquisition of Genesis Capital.

The deal, for undisclosed terms, gives Goldman a business that makes loans of $100,000 to $10 million at rates of 7 percent to 12 percent. It won’t lend to occupants, so that leaves real estate professionals who are renovating and looking to sell fairly quickly. Genesis made $1 billion of loans last year.

Affirm’s Plan To “AMP” Retailer Margins And Conversions (PYMNTS), Rated: A

You’ve heard the old story: If brick-and-mortar merchants watched 75 percent of their customers walk in their stores and then walk out without having purchased a single thing, sirens would be screaming. But that’s precisely the situation with online commerce – three out of every four consumers who load their cart, don’t buy what’s in that cart.

AMP is integrated with seven of the top email service providers that online merchants use to market to consumers. Thee integrations give online merchants a new way to nudge a consumer into making that purchase by offering the ability to pay in installments, using Affirm. Retailers using any of those email providers are able to drag and drop the Affirm “as low as” pricing offer into any of their email templates, and then use it as a mechanism to convert abandoned carts.

“We want to give retailers a new way to follow up,” Overstreet said. “Instead of just showing their consumer the same $400 loveseat that they decided not to buy a day or a week ago, the consumer gets a prompt letting them know they can buy that $400 loveseat for little as $35 a month.”

Should you add a loan to your shopping cart? (San Francisco Chronicle), Rated: A

Got your eye on a new living room set at Wayfair? Or maybe you’re booking your honeymoon on Expedia. Increasingly, shoppers at these sites and others are encountering payment options from third-party lending companies like Affirm, Bread, Klarna and Acima Credit.

Lyst, an online clothing store carrying brands such as Burberry, Marc Jacobs and J. Crew, offers loans through Klarna. And Walmart is considering checkout loans from Affirm for items above $200, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

While some retailers may offer zero-interest promotional rates, annual percentage rates from Affirm and Bread, for example, can be as high as 30%. A $345 handbag at Rebecca Minkoff will wind up costing you $385 if you pay for it with a 12-month loan from Affirm at an APR of 21% — the average rate for its borrowers, Affirm says.

HOW SHOPPING LOANS WORK

The process is similar to selecting a store credit card at checkout. The loan option might appear next to the purchase price or in your shopping cart. In the online experience, selecting the loan option will direct you to the lender’s website or a smartphone app. You enter a few pieces of personal information — typically your name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number, or in some cases, just your phone number.

If you’re approved, the lender displays multiple loans with varying interest rates, monthly payment amounts and terms. You pick a loan, sign the agreement and finish checking out. Just like using a store credit card, the whole process takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

From Weeks to Minutes: How Fintech Is Changing the Speed of Lending (Wharton), Rated: A

In this Knowledge@Wharton interview, Spencer Robinson, head of strategy for the company, explains what Kabbage has discovered that allows it to approve loans in minutes, versus what he says can often be a multi-week slog with traditional banks. 

Knowledge@Wharton: Your website notes that you’ve provided $3.5 billion in financing to some 100,000 businesses online, and you’re still not a household word, which, with those kinds of numbers, surprises me.

Spencer Robinson: Capital One really changed the way people looked at consumer credit finance. And that sort of mindset really helps lay the foundation for the types of things that we do.

Knowledge@Wharton: It’s interesting, the difference between you and a traditional lender. I’ve seen stories about Kabbage. One is about a small business owner who wanted to borrow $50,000 and they took their loan request to a bank. It took three weeks and the answer was “no.” And then they went to you and they got their $50,000 in six minutes. Why can’t banks do that? Why is it that you can do that?

Robinson: I would say banks can. A lot of times it’s a matter of getting out of your own way.

Robinson: Our APR average is right at about 39% to 40%.

Knowledge@Wharton: What is the highest amount that you lend?

Robinson: We’re at $150,000 now.

Listen to the podcast interview here.

If the rules are right, digital microlending could play role in subprime market (R Street), Rated: A

Credit unions frequently are the best available choice for those who have difficulty obtaining credit through traditional banks. But for some, digitally coordinated peer-to-peer lending agreements—inspired by microfinance arrangements for economically fragile communities internationally—also are proving to be an emerging option.

Peer-to-peer digital microlending has the potential to fill a portion of the gap by providing this cohort with small, short-term loans that typically range from $100 to $500.

One of the largest such peer-to-peer digital microlending platforms is the “R/ Borrow” section of reddit.com. This subreddit uses the reputational ecosystem within reddit to identify worthy borrowers, banning users who default or violate the terms of use. The subreddit facilitates the microloans and acts as a central database of transactions, coordinating more than $780,000 in loans in 2015.

If it can be properly scaled, peer-to-peer digital microlending could be a worthy option over payday loans for subprime borrowers.

More than 100 financial firms using Ripple blockchain software (American Banker), Rated: A

Ripple’s campaign to beat Swift at cross-border payments just got some new recruits.

The San Francisco startup announced several new customers of its enterprise blockchain software on Tuesday, bringing the total number of financial ….

ValueInsured Closes Financing Led by Global Reinsurer (PR Newswire), Rated: A

ValueInsured, the only provider of down payment protection, today announced the closing of $6.5M of funding led by an affiliate of Everest Re Group Ltd. and also Houston International Insurance Group (HIIG). The latest round of funding from Everest Re and HIIG builds on their existing partnerships with ValueInsured, which began in 2014 with an initial $6M seed round. This additional investment provides ValueInsured with the growth capital to continue its aggressive distribution partnership strategy, expanding channel presence and enhancing the features of the +Plus SM down payment protection program.

An API-Based Cure For Post-Purchase Blues? (PYMNTS), Rated: A

But many consumers could soon find an easier process for obtaining savings on such purchases, thanks to an API-based solution: Earny, an app-based bot born from a Mastercard API. Earny launched last year with the promise of offering consumers a more frictionless price protection process.

According to Vakrat, Earny’s inspiration started with a blazer purchased for $129 by co-founder Dori Yona. A few weeks later, Yona came down with a sudden case of sticker shock after shopping online and finding the same blazer available for roughly half the price.

Vakrat said he and Yona contacted the credit card company to see if Yona could receive a refund on the difference. The credit card company offered price protection, but Vakrat politely described the process of getting reimbursed for the difference as “inefficient.” While ultimately successful, it took two weeks for Yona to complete the process and receive his $65.

To develop a more efficient post-purchase refund process, the two co-founders entered Mastercard’s Masters of Code Hackathon. The result was the Earny app, which taps into Mastercard’s Simplify Commerce API. Earny uses APIs to authenticate users through their Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft email providers, then scans their inboxes for eCommerce receipts and compares them to prices from approximately three dozen retailers – including Target, Costco and Overstock.com – checking for price drops. The service works by automating the price protection process, automatically refunding consumers for any detected price differences.

According to Mastercard’s research, U.S. consumers walk away from more than $50 billion in price drops every year because they were either unaware of better offers or because the refund process can be lengthy and require tedious paperwork.

Fed’s Bullard warns bank regulators are ‘complacent’ over fintech risks (Kitco), Rated: A

U.S. banking regulators must accelerate efforts to address the risks posed by fintech companies to the banking sector which could be “eviscerated” by these innovative new players, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday.

In the lending sector alone, Goldman Sachs estimates that $11 billion of annual profit is at risk of leaving the banking system, according to research cited by the Fed.

Fintech’s Got 99 Problems And Diversity Is Definitely One (Forbes), Rated: A

Marketplace lending platform P2Binvestor announced today the launch of a first-of-its-kind bank partnership program with New Resource Bank in order to provide crowdsourced lines of credit to growing, mission-aligned businesses with a hunger for innovation.

Alongside transforming the lending structure for fintech companies, P2Binvestor’s attitude towards diversity in the workplace and moving away from traditional, yet stereotypical roles is second to none, headed up by CEO Krista Morgan.

Five Ways To Bounce Back From A Culture Catastrophe (Forbes), Rated: A

Corporate culture is a growing concern for boards and stockholders. One study shows that 92% of executives believe improving corporate culture would increase their firm’s value. That is an overwhelming majority, and yet so many companies with seemingly unlimited resources keep falling into the trap of poor culture.

A recent victim is SoFi, a privately held online lender. SoFi lost its CEO amid a storm of accusations including sexual harassment, verbal harassment and a culture of fear.

The CFPB’s Payday Lending Rule: An Opportunity in Disguise? (JD Supra), Rated: A

Editorial: Payday loan rules make sense (LJWorld), Rated: B

Kansas legislators should take steps to rein in the predatory lending practices some in the payday lending industry employ.

According to the state bank commissioner, payday loans in Kansas totaled more than $300 million in 2016. Interest rates and fees average an astounding 391 percent per year.

Under UCCC rules, payday loans are limited to $500 on loans that last seven to 30 days, and lenders cannot charge more than 15 percent of the amount borrowed. However, they can charge an additional 3 percent per month for loans that go past their maturity date. Lenders cannot make more than two loans to the same person at any one time, and they cannot make more than three loans to the same person within a 30-day period.

Editorial: Payday lending should be restricted (CJOnline), Rated: B

The average federal student loan carries an interest rate of around 5 percent. When you take out a loan for a car, you can expect to pay between 3 percent and 10 percent. The average interest rate for a credit card is a little more than 15 percent. But if you get a payday loan in Kansas, you’ll be slapped with an interest rate of 391 percent.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, payday borrowers are disproportionately likely to be low-income African Americans with lower average levels of education. Borrowers are 62 percent more likely to earn less than $40,000 per year, 82 percent more likely to have lower than a four-year degree and 105 percent more likely to be African American.

LendingClub Schedules Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Release and Conference Call (Business Insider), Rated: B

LendingClub (NYSE: LC), America’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, announced that it will report earnings for the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, after market hours. LendingClub will host a conference call to discuss the third quarter financial results at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on the same day.

A live webcast of the call will be available at  under the Events & Presentations menu. To access the call please dial +1 (888) 317-6003 or outside the U.S. +1 (412) 317-6061 with conference ID 7584209 ten minutes prior to 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (or 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).

United Kingdom

Zopa CEO on lender freeze: Popular restaurants don’t ‘put on more tables, they take reservations’ (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The CEO of peer-to-peer lending business Zopa has rejected claims the business is struggling to attract borrowers, saying the platform is still growing lending volumes by as much as 50%.

CEO Jaidev Janardana told Business Insider: “I do struggle a little bit with this thing that we’re struggling with borrowers. We have been growing [lending] by 45-50%. I don’t think there are other businesses that are growing at 50% year-on-year that would be looked at as struggling.”

Zopa has built up a waiting list of 15,000 people who want to lend over the platform. The company hopes to let some of them onto the platform towards the end of the year.

‘Consumer lending is always a cyclical business’

The Bank of England has been sounding the alarm on rising consumer credit levels and warned lenders in July not to “return to the punch bowl,” saying it is worried that lenders relaxing their lending criteria could lead to repeats of mistakes made during the financial crisis.

Orca’s New P2P Lending Investor Guide Makes a Splash: UK Surpasses £11B Cumulative Lending Mark (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Orca’s analytic service recorded a new milestone for the asset class this month – £11bn cumulatively lent, all-time in the UK. With over 200,000 active investors and 30% of market share attributed to institutional investment, UK P2P lending is maintaining its growth trajectory, set for a market value of £15bn by 2020. In 2017 year-to-date, £3.4bn has been invested across P2P lending platforms, which is over £100m more than the 2016 total lent figure, according to the Guide.

Source: Orca

Download the guide here.

Legal 500 2017: The region’s top performers in banking and finance (Manchester Evening News), Rated: A

Law firms across Greater Manchester continue to act for a host of well-known lenders and borrowers on a wide range of leveraged, real estate and corporate and asset finance transactions.

While this year’s tiers one and two remain the same as last time, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has moved up from tier four to tier three and gunnercooke LLP has moved from tier five to tier four.

TIER TWO – DWF has a ‘strong’ borrower practice whose experience spans corporate banking, acquisition finance, public sector finance, and peer-to-peer lending.

LendInvest Teams Up With UKPA to Launch Second Annual PropTech Influence List (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On Thursday, UK-based p2p lending platform LendInvest announced it has teamed up with the UK PropTech Association (UKPA) to release the second annual PropTech Influence List.

The deadline to vote is November 3rd. The list will be announced at 

Search is on for PropTech Influencers of the Year (Estate Agent Today), Rated: B

The LendInvest PropTech Influencer List  recognises the 25 people doing the most to develop the understanding, reach and benefit of PropTech in the property market.

Nominations are open to anyone working in or contributing to PropTech in the UK and overseas.

Last year’s winner was Estate Agent Today contributor James Dearsley, who this year becomes one of the judges in the competition.

IT portfolio – debt/alternatives to gilts (Citywire Money Forums), Rated: A

In terms of alternative uncorrelated debt what are the alternatives? I hold Investec local currency EM debt, Carador income and Funding Circle IT.

Can the gilt portion be modified to other sources of debt? I have considered SQN Asset, and P2P global (recent weaknesses) as a top up. Will these forms of debt hold up in a downturn? I’m not so sure against gilts/treasuries which are overvalued but possibly the only real diversifier (I also hold 7% in gold).

SONECT wins LendIt Europe PitchIt startup competition (Bankless Times), Rated: B

SONECT, a platform that can convert anyone or any shop into a virtual ATM, is the PitchIt winner at LendIt Europe.

China

China’s Online Lending  Consolidates As Market Grows (PIIE.com), Rated: AAA

China’s online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry is going through a welcome consolidation. Weak, noncompliant platforms are failing, but long overdue regulatory tightening and still excessive competition is likely to further winnow down the 2,000 platforms online today to a few hundred in the coming years. However, those that survive will compete in a much larger market that has grown quickly despite a minefield of new regulations and frequent failures.

This post expands and updates two earlier installments in this series: an introduction to Chinese P2P in part 1, including its earlier growing pains and the regulatory loopholes they used to grow. Part 2describes regulatory measures taken up to July 2016, especially the difficulties involved with regulation through local officials.

Source: PIIE

P2P loans outstanding in China at the end of September are up 63 percent from a year ago, to RMB 1.15 trillion (around $173 billion).

Source: PIIE
European Union

Linked Finance aims to increase level of peer-to-peer lending (RTE), Rated: AAA

Linked Finance has raised €2 million in equity as part of plans to expand its business.

Since launching in 2013, Linked Finance has lent €34.5m to Irish SMEs, more than a third of which has already been repaid, and agreed its 1,000th loan in September.

Source: RTE

RTÉ’s Business News Weekly Podcast – October 13 (RTE), Rated: A

On this week’s podcast: Peer-to-peer lending platform Linked Finance raises €2m to fund its expansion and why small and medium sized Irish companies stand to benefit from more favourable tax treatment for employee share incentive schemes announced in Tuesday’s budget.

Listen to the podcast here.

Big banks discuss how to adjust to a digital economy (Business Insider), Rated: A

During a panel discussion at 

Source: Business Insider

 

Zinbaustein “Wohnen Im Village 11” Hits €625K Goal, Starts Investor Waitlist (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Private investors may now participate in a new equity crowdfunding real estate round for a mortgage of residential buildings in Darmstadt / Frankfurt area of Germany.  “Wohnen Im Village 11” on zinsbaustein.de features ten semi-detached houses and one detached house.  Private investors can participate in the form of a subordinated loan from 500 euros to 10,000 euros with a maturity of approximately 18 months and receive an interest rate of 5.25 percent per year. There is a repayment option after 12 months, when construction and sales run according to schedule. To date, 625,000 euros have been raised from the crowd for the project; a waitlist has been started.

French fintech startup Manager.one raises €2 million (Tech.eu), Rated: B

Manager.one, a fintech startup based in Paris, has raised €2 million from angel investors for its online banking platform for entrepreneurs.

International

Finastra delivers next-generation payments technology on Microsoft Azure (Realwire), Rated: A

Finastra is bringing its next-generation payments solutions to the cloud via Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise-ready trusted cloud platform. Banks will benefit from streamlined onboarding, as well as faster access to new products and upgrades. This alliance is an extension of Finastra’s cloud-based lending oversight solution that was previously launched on Azure in the US and Canadian markets in 2016. Since then, Finastra has broadened its relationship with Microsoft and is migrating its payments capabilities to Azure.

Worldcore: Bringing Banking to the Blockchain (BTCManager), Rated: A

Worldcore is an established online money transfer service, which has recently announced plans to expand its operation to create an online, blockchain-powered peer-to-peer lending platform. To this end, they have announced an ICO, which is currently scheduled to begin on October 14, 2017.

Jeff Woodward Joins Brickblock as CIO (BlockTribune), Rated: B

Brickblock, the investment platform connecting real-world assets and cryptocurrencies, has added experienced property investor and developer Jeff Woodward to its team as Chief Investment Officer (CIO).

In December, Brickblock will complete a world-first by selling an entire apartment building on the blockchain.

India

RBI announces strict KYC guidelines for prepaid payment (Jagran Josh), Rated: AAA

Africa

The SBM Group and SALT Technology Enter Exploratory Partnership to Collateralize Blockchain Assets (BlockchainNews), Rated: AAA

The State Bank of Mauritius, SBM Group and FinTech service provider SALT,  creators of the first Blockchain-backed loan platform, today announced that they have entered into an exploratory relationship to become the first to use Blockchain assets as collateral for lending services.

South America

Ripio Raises $ 31 Million in ICO Pre-sale (BlockTribune), Rated: AAA

Buenos Aires micro-lending startup Ripio has raised $31 million as part of an initial coin offering (ICO) pre-sale ahead of a new credit network launch. The public ICO will begin on October 24.

Investors in the pre-sale included Blacktower Capital, Blockchain Investors Consortium, and FBG Capital. According to the startup, participants were drawn from various parts of the world like Russia, South Korea and Canada.

Two FinTech Startups That Want to Reach Customers ‘Door-to-Door’ (Let’s Talk Payments), Rated: A

This year, the two largest contributions were made to Creditas, which received ~$18.87 million, mostly from IFC (the World Bank’s investment arm), and Avante – with ~$12.14 million received mostly of Fiinlab, innovation laboratory of the Mexican group Gentera, and the Vox Capital impact fund.

Avante, a FinTech startup that provides micro-loans, has already lent more than ~$31.45 million to 44,000 microentrepreneurs.

Creditas, an online lending platform that offers secured consumer loans to individuals with home and automobile as collateral, offers credit at lower rates using technology and data intelligence for efficiency. The startup is the second-largest Brazilian in funding, with a total of ~$28.3 million – only behind Nubank.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday September 13 2017, Daily News Digest

New Orchard deals platform

News Comments Today’s main news: Orchard connects institutional buyers, loan originators with new Deals platform. Funding Circle lends 91M GBP to UK businesses in August. RateSetter recovering from bad loan. Keynote speakers for LendIt Europe. India’s P2p lending rules have been finalized. Juvo takes financial inclusion to Malaysia with Tune Talk. Today’s main analysis: What Orchard’s Deals platform does, and […]

New Orchard deals platform

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

Orchard Unveils Global Network Connecting Institutional Buyers and Loan Originators with New Opportunities in Private Credit (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Orchard Platform has rolled out Deals as a part of its new platform launch. With the addition of Deals to their suite of technology solutions for loan originators and institutional investors, Orchard Platform takes the next step in their evolution. Deals is a global network where loan originators searching for new sources of financing, and institutional investors with capital to deploy, can connect, evaluate opportunities, and move forward with multiple types of transactions.

Deals is operated by Orchard Platform Markets, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary, SEC-registered broker-dealer, and member of FINRA and SIPC. With Deals, qualified investors gain access to a broad range of new investment opportunities, including pools of seasoned loans, forward flow agreements, and credit facilities—along with all underlying deal data and an enterprise suite of credit analytics solutions to evaluate each prospective transaction. Originators with pools of loans to sell can list deals and seamlessly share data within this global network, while working with investors who express interest in a deal to conduct due diligence and analysis, and finalize the transaction’s structure and terms.

Orchard Platform’s new features include:

  • Deals: Global network where pre-qualified loan originators and investors can browse a broad listing of investment opportunities and corresponding data, and utilize Orchard’s enterprise technology to seamlessly exchange information, assess potential transactions, and take the next steps more efficiently.
  • Capital Management: Allocation optimization, facility monitoring, and automated borrowing-base reporting offerings to help originators better monitor utilization across multiple capital sources—and manage them with greater precision and insight.
  • News & Insights: The most recent industry news, economic data, and Orchard research and commentary to keep originators and investors up-to-date on the latest industry trends and thinking. Although Deals information is only available to pre-qualified institutional investors, Orchard also provides free access to anonymized, aggregated industry data to parties seeking to learn more about the industry, including journalists, researchers, and investors.
  • Advanced Analytics: Originators can benchmark origination and performance data against an aggregated and anonymized peer group, and quickly analyze any data set under multiple scenarios, to gain deeper insights into their loan books and funding channels. Investors can also take advantage of scenario testing, data visualization, and benchmarking tools to gain actionable portfolio and market intelligence.
  • High-Quality Data Services: Data integrations with Orchard help originators improve the quality of their data, and streamline the process for client reporting.

Orchard Launches New “Deals” Platform Connecting Institutional Investors and Originators (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The key piece that I was interested in was the new Orchard Deals platform. The old Orchard Platform provided technology solutions for both originators and institutional investors but Deals is the piece that finally connects the dots. The platform connects institutional investors with origination platforms that have listed specific investment opportunities. Orchard has 55 institutional investors registered on their platform and 25 originators (with several more in the queue). Originators cover the gamut of consumer, small business and real estate lending.

At launch time they had an initial $500 million in active deals from 10 originators listed on the platform. These are both primary and secondary deals.

To be clear, Orchard’s new platform is far more than just a secondary market. It has several new features:

  1. Deals – Pre-qualified investors can browse listings of a range of different investment opportunities offered by originators.
  2. Capital Management – For originators to help monitor and optimize capital utilization across multiple funding sources.
  3. Advanced Analytics – Benchmarking of performance data against an anonymized peer group.
  4. Data Services – Helping originators improve the quality of their data and client reporting.
  5. News & Insights – Industry news and economic data as well as Orchard’s own research and commentary.

                                   Source: Lend Academy

CEO’s Fall Clouds Prospects for Fintech Firm SoFi (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Mike Cagney’s decision to resign as CEO of online lender Social Finance Inc. casts uncertainty over the financial-technology upstart’s business prospects, its attempt to open a bank in Utah and plans for an eventual public offering.

The company has been valued at more than $4 billion by shareholders including private-equity firm Silver Lake and Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.

In recent weeks, however, Mr. Cagney was spending less time on business issues and more on personnel and legal matters.

When the SoFi board met by telephone on Saturday, those issues occupied much of the conversation, according to people familiar with the matter. When the board meeting reconvened on Sunday, Mr. Cagney raised the idea of moving aside, arguing that his presence risked being a burden on the company’s progress. The executive told directors it would be better for SoFi if he resigned, the people said.

How Mr. Cagney’s departure will affect SoFi’s growth plans is unclear. Its management team was thinned following the departure of Chief Financial Officer Nino Fanlo, Chief Revenue Officer Michael Tannenbaum and co-founder Dan Macklin over the past few months.

Regulators require firms that are requesting banking licenses to maintain consistency in their management teams, which will likely delay SoFi’s application, according to a person familiar with the matter.  The company has also been looking to hire a new finance chief to replace Mr. Fanlo who could guide it to an initial public offering. That search is now on hold until Mr. Cagney’s successor is named.

SoFi CEO to step down after claims of managers’ sexual harassment (USA Today), Rated: A

Cagney, who’s also co-founder, plans to remain in the role until the board names his successor, likely by the end of the year. He was replaced immediately as board chairman by venture capitalist Tom Hutton, who has been a board member since 2012.

SoFi, based in San Francisco, is one of the hottest startups in the personal finance sector, with revenue rising 67% year-over-year to $134 million in the second quarter. It also funded $3.1 billion in loans during the quarter.

SoFi Co-Founder and CEO Mike Cagney to Step Down by Year End (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Back in August there was the news of a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former employee. Before that there had been several senior executive departures, we have had a class action lawsuit and one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable and revered fintech companies was starting to lose some of its luster.

The New York Times is also reporting that “Mr. Cagney may have been overaggressive in expanding SoFi’s business, skirting risk and compliance controls.” That is the first I have heard about any compliance issues and if it is true then this could be a much bigger issue for SoFi.

Regardless of the what the real story this is not good for the industry whatsoever. Just when it felt like we had some momentum and the industry was starting to thrive again this is definitely a setback. The press is going to bring up the issues with Lending Club last year and we will have to deal with more negative sentiment.

Personal finance app MoneyLion is experimenting with augmented reality (Tearsheet), Rated: A

MoneyLion is timing its launch of an AR tool to coincide with Apple’s iOS 11 release, which is rumored to be this week. MoneyLion’s feature, called Grow Your Stack, will let customers get a visual representation of their account balance as stacks of cash projected over the customer’s view of the real world. It will use iOS 11’s ARKit technology.

MoneyLion joins a league of banks experimenting with VR and AR technology, advancements that have the potential to transform branch banking. As Tearsheet reported in June, BNP Paribas recently introduced a VR-based app for retail banking that allows users to virtually access their account activity and transaction records. Citi and Wells Fargo are also dabbling in VR technology, while in the PFM space, Intuit has experimented with visualizing one’s financial health as a forest.

Upstart, The Brainchild Of Google Execs, Is Using Fintech To Make Smarter Loans (Benzinga), Rated: A

About 40 to 50 percent of Americans have access to prime credit, yet 83 percent of people who have taken out a loan have never defaulted, said Girouard, the CEO of the San Franciscolending firm Upstart.

The groups who are often denied by traditional credit models — but aren’t necessarily risky — include millennials with a “thin” credit file, recent immigrants and self-employed people, Girouard said.

The average size of a loan from Upstart is between $11,000 and $12,000, and the average age of the company’s borrowers is 28, the CEO said.

Loans range between $1,000 and $50,000, with APRs from 7.39 percent to 29.99 percent and three- and five-year terms.

Upstart borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have a FICO score above 620.

Amped advice for the new retired class (Financial-Planning), Rated: A

The financial advice industry exhorts retirement preparedness but provides scant guidance for retirees after they reach that milestone, according to Matt Fellowes, well-known fintech entrepreneur who is launching a new digital advice platform.

Fellowes founded HelloWallet, a software company that Morningstar acquired in 2014 for $52.5 million. After a stint as chief innovation office at Morningstar, Fellowes left to launch United Income, which aims to serve a generation of retirees dealing with very complicated lives after work.

Fellowes finds fault in how the industry approaches its deaccumulation models, claiming its methods and assumptions are outdated. Key considerations for retirees managing their finances, he says — when will they die and how much will they spend before passing — are “two of the least studied questions in asset management today.”

FULL SERVICE
The platform offers different tiers of service, from a digital-only option with a $10,000 account minimum and a 50 basis point annual fee, to advisor-assisted service, with either a maximum 60 basis point fee for a $100,000 account minimum, or a maximum 80 basis points for a minimum $300,000 account, which is advertised as “full service.”

United Income had a goal of reaching $38 million in assets by the end of the year. It has already passed $210 million, Fellowes says.

Scotch Plains Woman Charged With Attempting to Steal $ 241,000 from Online Lender (Tapinto.net), Rated: A

A Scotch Plains woman indicted last year as a leader in an auto-theft trafficking network has been charged in a separate scheme to steal $241,000 from an online lending company.

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced that Tyisha Brantley, 37, was charged with computer criminal activity, attempted theft by deception and falsifying records for allegedly used her work computer at Pfizer Inc. to create and send phony bank statements to iLoan Residential Mortgage lending in an attempt to obtain a $241,000 mortgage to purchase a home in Newark.

Brantley allegedly used computer software to alter two statements from her boyfriend’s bank account; adding her name as an account holder and changing the account balance from $-525.05 to $15,933.  She then allegedly used the computer to email, from her work account, the fraudulent statements to the lending company, which ultimately did not approve the loan.

Fintech: The Fastest Growing Industry in the U.S. (Them Report), Rated: A

Fintech, or financial technology, had close to $13 billion invested in it in 2016 from U.S. based companies alone.

Fintech allows digital lenders to offer competitive rates due to automation and lack of physical offices. Turner and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s estimates show that 13 of the largest digital lenders in the U.S. originated $28.39 billion in loans last year and a cumulative $68.75 billion since their respective inceptions.

S.F. fintech Plaid moves to larger HQ amid explosive growth (Biz Journals), Rated: B

San Francisco-based Plaid, which connects some of the hottest fintech apps to their users’ bank accounts, has moved to a new headquarters that’s more than double the startup’s previous home base.

Kabbage, Indeed, Microsoft Join A-List Speaker Lineup at the National B2SMB Summit (Benzinga), Rated: B

The national event takes place Oct. 3-4 and is spread over two locations in Chicago’s dynamic West Loop district: 1871 at the Merchandise Mart on Day 1, and the Revel Fulton Market on Day 2.

Other recent additions to the speaker roster include:

  • Pete Steger, Head of Business Development, Kabbage
United Kingdom

Funding Circle lends £91m to UK businesses in August (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle has revealed that it lent a total of £91m to UK businesses during August.

The peer-to-peer platform provided finance to 1,309 UK businesses during the month and reported that investors are set for a current estimated return of 6.7% per year.

Funding Circle reported that of its total lending, 24.7% was provided to businesses based in the South East.

Britain’s RateSetter recovering after ‘asteroid strike’ bad loan discovery (Daily Mail), Rated: AAA

Britain’s peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter has managed to retain most of its customers despite leaving the industry’s trade body last month after breaching its transparency rules, its Chief Executive Rhydian Lewis told Reuters in an interview.

Peer-to-peer platforms, which bring together individual borrowers and lenders without a bank being involved, have grown rapidly in Britain since 2015 but are starting to come under regulatory scrutiny.

Lewis said that while the platform has lost some business, it has retained 95 percent of its customers despite offering them the chance to sell out at no cost between July 18 and Aug. 31.

Orca Co-Founder & CEO Iain Niblock Shares UK P2P Lending Market Update (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Orca, an independent data, research, and analysis provider in the UK P2P lending market, recently shared an exclusive update via email: the UK P2P lending market outlook is bright.

“We are still seeing very strong growth across the UK peer to peer lending market with cumulative lending surpassing £10 billion at the very start of Q3 2017. In particular business lending has grown by 84.19% when comparing to the same period of 2016,” observed Orca Co-Founder & CEO Iain Niblock.

Goldman Sachs plans consumer lending UK push (Business Insider), Rated: A

The first phase of this expansion will see Goldman Sachs launch online deposit accounts, and the second will see the bank roll out a consumer lending offering.

Besides Goldman Sachs’ obvious clout, there are two reasons UK alt lenders should be worried:

  • The bank has already proven itself adept at dramatic pivots. Goldman Sachs originally operated as a wealth management and investment bank, and only began serving the mass market in 2016, when it eight months later, it had 

    A year in numbers! How P2P firms can help consumers beat inflation (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

    Consumer price inflation when we started in September 2016 was at one per cent. Since then, it has almost tripled to 2.9 per cent today.

    The household savings rate – the percentage of disposable income being saved – was at 5.3 per cent at the end of September 2016, but hit record lows of 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, the lowest level since records began in the first quarter of 1963.

    Savings rates have actually increased slightly. The best buy easy access rate this time last year was one per cent from RCI Bank. The same provider now offers 1.2 per cent.

    Starling Bank’s New Platform MarketPlace Integrates with Fintech Flux (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

    U.K.’s Starling Bank is embracing the PSD2 changes in finance with the launch of its Marketplace platform.

    Rewards and receipt provider Flux will be the first company to be integrated onto this platform.

    How to tell the difference between robo-advisers (City A.M.), Rated: A

    Recent research from international banking group ING highlights how cautious consumers feel about using robo-advisers.

    The report found that 29 per cent of consumers want more than just a simple online investment service – they want financial advice to guide their investment journey.

    Interestingly, the study also found that, rather than having a computer manage their money, most consumers would prefer to personally manage their investments, even if it resulted in lower expected returns.

    This 35-year-old banker left Goldman Sachs to start a fintech inspired by his mother (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Goldman Sachs has invested £100 million in a fintech startup founded by two of its former bankers that lets people borrow money and repay through their salaries.

    Neyber, founded in 2014 and launched in 2015, partners with employers to let their staff borrow money at attractive rates.

    Repayments are then deducted from future salaries, lowering the risk for the lender and hopefully helping staff manage money better.

    The startup was founded by three former investment bankers, including two Goldman alums. CEO Martin Ijaha, 35, left Goldman in 2012 and came up with the idea for the business when thinking about the experience of his family as a child.

    From ISAs to authorisations: the big stories of the past year (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

    Nick Harding, chief executive of Lending Works, argued that the arrival of the Innovative Finance ISA  (IFISA) was “far and away the most significant event” for the sector over the past year.

    John Goodall, chief executive and co-founder of Landbay, suggested that the number of Financial Conduct Authority approvals seen in the last year marked a “significant milestone” for the sector.

    Britain’s leading fintechs are banding together to work out a Brexit strategy (Business Insider), Rated: B

    Entrepreneurs from TransferWise, Funding Circle, Onfido, Monzo, FreeAgent, MarketInvoice, and Starling Bank have all joined the Fintech Delivery Panel (FDP), a new industry group that aims to “produce an ambitious post-Brexit vision for the UK’s fintech sector.”

    The panel also includes representatives from big banks such as Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Santander.

China

China’s ICO ban makes more sense in light of its history with fintech (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Many in the US have chided the PBOC for its apparent overreaction. AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant called the policy a “huge gift to Silicon Valley and its resident financiers.” VC Fred Wilson penned a thoughtful post comparing China’s approach to that of the SEC in the US, opining that “We needed a cooling off period and if China’s actions are that cooling off period, then I welcome them. However, a blanket ban on ICOs seems like bad policy to me.”

From the perspective of US and European financial markets, this reaction seems like a drastic one-size-fits-all policy for a nuanced ecosystem, calling to mind the idiom “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” However, China’s context provides four specific insights that somewhat reframe this policy:

An ever-evolving financial regulatory regime

In a country with a stock market less than 30 years old, it’s little wonder that investor protections may not yet have evolved to be comprehensive enough for the complicated ecosystem of alternative finance. Imagine China having to replicate the regulatory framework that took decades to develop in the US following the 1929 stock market crash – all in less than 30 years!

A sketchy recent past for financial technology in the Middle Kingdom

In the peer to peer lending space (in which I used to work) China is conversationally referred to as the ‘wild west’ of fintech. Thousands of platforms sprung up almost overnight in China, promising to transform mom-and-pop savings into productive debt investments. These exchanges had raised a staggering $59 billion from unsophisticated investors by early 2016.

One in three of the country’s 3,600 platforms failed and shut down, including marketplaces like Ezubao, which defrauded over 900,000 investors out of $7.6 billion. It’s almost impossible to imagine American or European regulators allowing unaccredited investors to be exposed to comparable schemes at such a magnitude of scale.

In the peer to peer space, the PBOC had a very similar reaction to its recent ICO ban, imposing strict limits on the online lending industry to curb the risks of “shadow banking.” The only difference was that the online lending restrictions came too late, in the wake of massive investor losses.

Ping An Technology is the Sole Chinese Firm to Rank Among the Top 50 Firms (PR Newswire), Rated: B

International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading global provider of market intelligence, released the 2017 IDC Fintech Rankings Top 100 list on September 12. Ping An Technology, the top-ranked Chinese firm within the list, came in at number 38, as a result of its cutting-edge innovation and strong technology competence. The rankings serve as further confirmation of the attention and recognition that Ping An Technology is getting from IDC, on the heels of the Chinese firm’s 4th place position on the 2017 IDC China FinTech Pioneer Top 25 list.

European Union

LendIt Europe Announces Keynote Speakers for 2017 Event (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The conference’s extensive speaker line-up includes:

  • Antony Jenkins, Founder and Executive Chair at 10x Future Technologies
  • Anne Boden, CEO and Founder of Starling Bank
  • Jaidev Janadarna, CEO of Zopa
  • Karen Mills, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School
  • Renaud Laplanche, Co-Founder & CEO of Upgrade

EstateGuru’s loan volume surpassed €30 million! (EstateGuru Email), Rated: A

In August, the platform’s loan volume was nearly €4 million which was a remarkable 13% from EstateGuru’s historic loan volume. In September the platform celebrates surpassing €30 million loan volume in which already 7900 investors from 39 countries have invested in. An interesting comparison can be drawn with the Baltic’s Nasdaq statistics – the largest amount of transactions were made with Siaulia Bankas (€8.4 million) and Tallink Group (€5.7 million). EstateGuru’s loan volume in August would comprise of roughly 11.5% of the entire Nasdaq Baltic transaction volume.

The growth of the firm is not only illustrated by the loan volumes but also by their strong track record.Due to the short-term nature of the loans, 70 loans worth €12 million have already been repaid to the investors, resulting in an impressive 12.4% historic interest rate. Meanwhile, loss of capital on the platform has remained €0 as the firm has not undergone any loan defaults!

Very soon, our clients will receive financial advice from a chatbot (Business-Review), Rated: A

Since the beginning of the year, BRD – Groupe Societe Generale has been developing a chatbot based on Personetics technology, which will operate via Facebook.

During Business Review’s Country Focus Community Forum in mid-June, BRD – Groupe Societe Generale CEO Francois Bloch announced the lender’s five-year plan to invest tens of millions of euros in digitalization and automation of processes. Soon, BRD clients will be the first among those of the French banking giant to benefit from financial guidance via a text conversation with an AI.

India

Peer-to-peer lending final norms to be out soon: RBI (Moneycontrol), Rated: AAA

The much-delayed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending guidelines have been finalised and will soon be released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) once it is notified by the government.

Jaipur-based Finova raises Series A funding from Sequoia Capital (VC Circle), Rated: A

Jaipur-based non-banking financial company Finova Capital Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round from Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

Wait for P2P lending to evolve before investing (livemint), Rated: A

Before we go any further on the subject, the most important aspect on P2P lending in India as of now is that it does not have specific regulations. At the same time, it is not illegal either. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken cognisance of the existence of P2P lending and came out with a consultation paper in April 2016. This is expected to be followed by formal guidelines for the sector, which the companies in the segment are expecting soon.

Since P2P lending is unsecured lending, it carries higher risk than other investments. The biggest risk is the borrower defaulting on repayments. These platforms claim to minimise this risk by using a strict filtering of borrowers at the time of registration itself. For instance, Faircent rejects close to 90% of applicants.

This means that there are many more borrowers than lenders. Financial planners advise planning properly before taking a loan. “Look at what is your cost of borrowing elsewhere. People need to understand that lending costs have come down across channels. If you benchmark P2P lending cost against credit card debt, it would look very attractive, but that should not be a benchmark,” said Dhawan.

If a borrower with a good credit score takes a personal loan from a bank, the landing cost of the loan could be 16-17%. The person can get the same loan at around 14% from P2P lending.

Asia

Juvo Partners With Tune Talk To Drive Financial Inclusion In Malaysia (Realwire), Rated: AAA

Juvo, the pioneer in mobile Identity Scoring, today announced its partnership with Tune Talk, the fastest growing Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in Malaysia. The deployment, Juvo’s first in Malaysia, will drive financial inclusion across a population that has rapidly adopted smartphones in a highly saturated market.

‘Pay Later’, created by Juvo and fueled by Juvo’s Identity Scoring, is a digitized service that provides prepaid users with access to progressive levels of financial services, starting with airtime loans. By using Juvo’s proprietary data science and game mechanics technology, subscribers graduate to higher levels of credit based on top-up and repayment history, account information, and every day interaction. Pay Later enables prepaid subscribers to unlock access to advanced financial services. And, for Tune Talk, Juvo’s solution will drive higher levels of engagement, increase retention and develop an identity-based relationship between Tune Talk and its customers.

Smartphone users in Malaysia are estimated to reach 17.8 million this year, and grow to 21.3 million by 2021.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor